LAPT Rio: A different kind of off-shore posting

People play poker in all kinds of places, and they play for numerous reasons.

Dave Hardy, a PokerStars qualifier from Essex, England, plays during down time in his job. And there can sometimes be a lot of that, with not many options for other entertainment. Dave works on an oil rig, you see.

Stationed somewhere off the coast of Norway, Dave discovered the PokerStars tables when there really was nothing else to do. The internet connection can sometimes be patchy in the middle of the North Sea, but you'll tolerate the occasional disconnect when it's a choice between another night with the seagulls and the chance to qualify for tournaments in Rio de Janeiro.

LAPT Rio_Day 1_0022.jpg

And qualify he did, earning his passage over to Brazil for the largest live tournament of his career. And even if things don't go according to plan here in Rio, he'll have another chance in a couple of weeks. Dave also traded a face full of surf and salty winds last week for a qualifying tournament to the LAPT Costa Rica. And he qualified again.

That's two out of two for the man from Hornchurch. As we approach the dinner break, he's sitting with somewhere around 10,000. That's still enough to make some waves of his own in this tournament.

* * * * *

More bad news for Team PokerStars Pro as we are now down a World Champion AND a home favourite. Andre Akkari earned a bear-hug from team-mate Humberto Brenes, below, after he shoved his 4,000-odd pre-flop with his ace-queen and found the original raiser with kings. Good game, and Akkari was gone.

LAPT Rio_Day 1_0029.jpg

Moments earlier, Greg Raymer left the tournament arena surprisingly inconspicuously for one of the most recognisable faces in the game. But he's definitely gone, although no one knows the hand details as yet. We are searching for them right now.

* * * * *

Players are now on a 90 minute dinner break.