LAPT Punta del Este: Walking the room
After a brief delay at the start of the day, action has begun in Punta del Este.
Not long after we began, the first player departed - his pocket kings emphatically outdrawn by A-Q on a flop featuring two aces. No worries, his seat was soon occupied by an alternate, who will continue to join the action until the end of the second level.
During the opening exchanges, PokerStars blog's Alex Villegas walked the room to pick out a few of the notable players in the field:
Humberto Brenes - Team PokerStars Pro
After playing on his home turf in San Jose, the Team PokerStars Pro joins us once again in LAPT Punta Del Este. Accompanying him as usual are his fun loving antics, poker expertise and desire to be the first Latin American to bring home an LAPT trophy.
Andre Akkari - Team PokerStars Pro
Chad Brown -Team PokerStars Pro
One of the newest members of Team PokerStars Pro, Brown is already a veteran of the LAPT, having appeared on the opening date in Rio de Janeiro. In between then and now, he starred at the World Series, with five cashes, and is now back on the circuit with Uruguayan glory in his sights.
Barry Greenstein - Team PokerStars Pro
Despite stepping off a plane only this morning, Greenstein will be many commentators' favourite for this event. He is one of the game's true megastars, earning six cashes at this year's WSOP, including his third career bracelet and a final table in the showpiece $50,000 HORSE event.
Greg Raymer - Team PokerStars Pro
Poker ambassadors don't come any more respected than the 2005 World Champion Greg Raymer. As dignified off the table as he is fearless and aggressive on, Raymer is always a threat in any environment.
Vanessa Rousso - Team PokerStars Pro
Another Team PokerStars Pro who enjoyed a successful World Series, with three cashes including the main event, Rousso has returned to Latin America for the final stop on the LAPT.
Alexandre Gomes - Team PokerStars Pro
The most recent addition to Team Pokerstars Pro, Gomes brought home a 2008 WSOP bracelet along with $770,000 to keep him company.
After falling victim to the storm of pocket aces in the final table of LAPT San Jose, Joe Ebanks, feared online as ‘Ender 555’, is quickly making a name for himself on the circuit.
After securing her fame as the host on the TV show “Live At the Bike” and owner of the website Poker-Babes, Rosario hopes to secure a major tournament win here in Punta Del Este
His online name “Assasinato” seems appropriate to those who’ve had the chance to play him online. Having already played in Costa Rica, where he went deep before finding his luck out just before the money, Fitzgerald has all the equipment to go better here.
Max and Maria Stern
The husband and wife team from Costa Rica wear more than just matching wedding rings. Both sport World Series bracelets, making them the only husband-wife bracelet winners. Maria went very deep in San Jose before falling just out of the money.
Alex has so far outshone his more famous brother Humberto, with a a solid fourth place at LAPT Rio.
After cashing three times at the recent World Series, the Argentinian Dabul is trying her luck on Latin American felt.
Played in this year’s WSOP main event and finished 33rd, taking home a hefty $193,000.
Former Indy car racer in the United States, now a stock car driver and team owner in his native Brazil.
David “Chino” Rheem
Sponsored by PokerStars, David showed amazing skill and endurance in reaching this years WSOP final table. He'll have to wait until November until that plays out, so he's killing some time here in Punta Del Este.
One of very few players in possession of both a WPT and WSOP title, Cantu also went deep in this year's WSOP main event, finishing 27th.
After taking down LAPT San Jose, ending it with a flourish and pocket aces, Valdemar returns to the LAPT in hopes of a repeat here in Punta Del Este.
The only player in the tournament field with a chance of becoming the first-ever winner of an LAPT and an EPT event, Mercier won in San Remo last season and is now trying his luck as a qualifier on the LAPT.