LAPT Lima: Proving Poker is the World's Game

Good morning from Lima, the capital city of Peru! And, for the next few days, Lima is also one of several cities (along with Sydney, Australia and Uncasville, Connecticut) serving as one of the capitals of the "poker world" this week.

Players traveling from more than 30 countries converged on the Atlantic City Casino at noon on Thursday, all with the same goal of negotiating their way through the total field of 350 become the one to claim all of the others' chips and secure the $207,400 first prize and trophy.

The home country for this international battle, Peru, was unsurprisingly the most represented with 80 players, followed by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the United States, and Venezuela, all with more than 25 in the field. Colombia, Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica all reached double figures in terms of player representation. And players from all over Europe and elsewhere -- including one from New Zealand -- were here, too.

After yesterday's ten one-hour levels, about a third of those who made the journey to Lima will be returning for more today, led by the late-charging Daniel Ospina of Colombia who will be unbagging and stacking 264,200 chips.

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Daniel Ospina

That puts Ospina more than 100,000 ahead of his nearest challenger at the moment, the Argentinian Lisandro Gallo.

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Lisandro Gallo

Among the other stories of note from the first day of play was the late entrance and early exit of last year's winner, Jose "Nacho" Barbero. Barbero, you'll recall, was Mr. "Back-to-Back" well before all of the repeating that went on this week over at the Mohegan Sun, winning LAPT Lima after having just claimed the title at the tour's previous stop in Uruguay. But after an active couple of levels, Barbero was bounced before even getting to enjoy the fine buffet here at the Atlantic City.

Meanwhile, the Brenes clan -- Humberto (the Shark), Alex (brother of Shark), and Roberto (son of shark) -- all made it through to today's Day 2. All have healthy stacks, with Humberto and Alex a little above average and Roberto a little below. And representing Humberto's Team PokerStars family, Angel Guillen, Andre Akkari, and Leo Fernandez will be rejoining us today, as will Team PokerStars Online member Karlo Lopez.

By the way, check out a Day 1 recap with lovely Lynn Gilmartin and a super nervous PokerStars Blog reporter Reinaldo Veneges....

The plan today? Winning and winnowing. We reach the money today, as the top 48 will cash. But just half that group will be returning on Saturday, as the schedule is to play until the field has shrunk to 24.

As was the case yesterday, my colleague Paul "Dr. Pauly" McGuire and I (both hailing from the U.S.) will be reporting all the happenings from LAPT Lima, with our friend from Argentina, Carlos Monti, providing photos.

Coverage begins here at the PokerStars blog in about three hours. Come join us, from wherever in the world you might be!

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Lima