LAPT San Jose: Keeping watch

One of the more interesting tables at today's event has developed over by the window furthest from media row. There, Sam Simon, Gualter Salles, Piragibe Lindolfo Ataide and Jennifer Mann are doing battle.

Not many of these names will immediately ring bells with too many observers, but there is a decent story behind each. Simon, for example, is one of the guys behind a television show you may have heard of. "The Simpsons" first appeared on our screens in 1989 and now, 19 years later, it is still going strong, with 420 episodes in the can.


Simon is one of those men who seems to excel at whatever he tries -- he also has credits on "Taxi" and "Cheers" among others -- and is a poker player of some repute. He cashed in the World Series main event last year, good for close to $40,000.

Gualter Salles is something of a household name in his native Brazil, where he is a stock-car racer and owner of a stock-car team. Before moving back to South America, Salles raced on the American Indy Car and now is careering round the poker tables.


He attracted a sizeable rail when he played in Rio, busting shortly before the money, but is hoping to go even better here now he's on his second lap.

Piragibe Lindolfo Ataide also made headlines in Brazil, but for all the wrong reasons. He was the unfortunate bubble boy, ending about an hour of hand-for-hand play when his ace-eight was outdrawn by eight-two and sending him to the rail. Piragibe was over talking to the journalists earlier today, convinced and insistent that he's not going to burst the bubble this time. That would be harsh indeed.

Rounding off the list is Jennifer Mann, a PokerStars qualifier from New Brunswick, Canada, who is appearing in her first ever live poker tournament. The 24-year-old won a package to Costa Rica on PokerStars and came to San Jose with her father. She went all the way from step one, for just $7.50, and "cannot lose".


The most interested party, however, is likely to be her brother Kristopher, who is stuck back in Canada. He is also a poker player and is said to be slightly on the envious side -- a kind of envy that only really exists between siblings -- as his sister mixes it in the big time.

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Tournament update:

Time for some sick beats, accounting for Julien Nuijten and Alex "Assasinato" Fitzgerald. Nuijten, our winner in Rio, was knocked out shortly before the most recent break when his flush was outdrawn on the river by an opponent's set that filled up.


It was a similar story for Fitzgerald as his flopped nut flush was also busted by the river. This time, his opponent, who had turned trip queens, even looked at him and said: "You have the flush," before making a crying call. The board paired on the end to fill him up and assassinate Assassinato.

Montel Williams has also hit the rail, vowing to return for tomorrow's second chance tournament.

We're currently in the process of updating the chip count page. Click HERE for some of the best counting, courtesy of our newest recruit Alex.