LAPT San Jose: The elements intervene
As if the atmosphere here in the Cariari Country Club wasn't tense enough, we now have a tropical storm brewing outside, with thunder-claps and teeming rain.
Poker players might be casual about playing for close to a million bucks, but some of them are scared of thunder, if the collective jump at the first boom was anything to go by, and others are thrilled by the sight of the heavens opening, running to the windows to look out over the saturated golf course outside.
On media row, we're more worried about the internet connection, which proved to be especially susceptible to the electrical storm. It's back now, but if we disappear, you know why.
Back around the tables, we have had a predictable deluge of departures as those overnight short stacks reassess their chances and know they have to double up or die. We went from 85 players to 72 in the blink of an eye, and a quick walk of the room espied several other endangered species, sure to shove at any sight of an ace-face or pocket pair.
Corrie Johannes Romate, left, and Matt "Ch0ppy" Kay exchange some early fire
Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari was among these shove-merchants early in the first level, pushing 20,000-odd in on the button when it was folded to him. The big blind woke up with ace-king and called, but Akkari made a flush with his queen-nine of clubs. He's now north of 40,000 and back in the hunt.
In other news, both Maria and Max Stern are still going strong and the partnership can set a pretty amazing landmark if they were both to cash here.
That's a long way off, of course, but we'll be watching.
The first break will come at the end of level 12, at which point we'll do our best to update the chip counts to reflect the early fluctuations.
Those no longer taking part after an early bust today include:
Jose Stawski Goldzwaig
Christian de Leon