LAPT Rio: Griffin on the rise

If you're checking the primitive and early chip count page -- click HERE if not -- you may have noticed some spectacular fluctuations by the name Gavin Griffin. No one has been mistyping, however.

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The Team PokerStars Pro from Illinois found the early going pretty rough in Rio. He'd slumped to about 6,000 in the opening level, and trod water for a few hours more.

But just recently he has catapulted close to the chip lead and sits behind a stack of something like 33,000. About half of this came courtesy of an ace-jack, a board reading J-10-A-9-5 and an opponent with 10-9 for a smaller two pair.

He'll no doubt hope the trend continues in an upward direction.

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It shouldn't really come as a surprise that the LAPT has already exceeded expectations. We should be used by now to setting the bar pretty high, only to have it soared over.

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But even so, it's pretty remarkable to be able to report that the official numbers are in and that 314 players entered the first ever major poker tournament to be played in Brazil. Bear in mind that we began with estimates of around a 200 capacity, that it was gradually shifted to 300 tops, before today we were accepting alternates up to the end of level two, and that several more didn't get lucky enough to make it into the field.

The full list of payouts will be calculated soon -- the number-crunchers are on it as I type.

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Greg Raymer is still holding firm on table 27, although he's now found himself the butt of several jibes from his fellow players. The reason is a discussion held during the last level concerning the official tournament ruling on whether players are obliged to show both cards if they decide to flash one at a showdown.

There had been some to-ing and fro-ing on this particular subject, before Greg decided to end the discussion once and for all. He beckoned to the floor manager, explained the ins and outs of the debate, then waited expectantly for the definitive ruling.

"I don't know," said this 'official'. "I'm a waiter."

According to our Brazilian floor reporter Andre, players at the table are reluctant to allow the Team PokerStars Pro to forget. "You want to ask the waiter about that?" they are apparently asking after most pots.

Greg, typically, has taken it in good grace and continues to smile.

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Breaking news: Chris Moneymaker has hit the rail. As he so often does, he got it in good but found his pleas to stay good falling on deaf ears. The former world champion had kings, one opponent had jacks and another sixes. When all the money found its way to the middle, the flop was down and it wasn't looking too rosy for Moneymaker. It was ten high, but all clubs and Chris didn't have one. The other two players both did.

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"No club, no club," he repeated. But while the turn was a blank, the river was the five of clubs and Moneymaker took the walk, leaving his nemesis, Renato Marquez, jubilant.

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