LAPT Colombia Day 1a: Levels 5-8 (blinds 150-300, ante 50)

lapt-promo.gif9:55pm: Last fifteen-minute break of the night

9:43pm: Luis Perez crippled by a nasty, nasty beat

Sometimes all you can do in poker is get your chip sin with the best of it and hope the cards break your way. Luis Perez must have been thinking about nothing but value when the button player open-raised with a standard raise and Perez had A♥A♠ in the big blind. Perez three-bet and induced a four-bet shove from his opponent for 28,700. Perez snap-called and was up against Q♥8♥. The [10h]9♥6♦ flop gave Perez's opponent lots of possibilities, one of which filled with the J♦ turn.

When the stacks were counted down, Perez was left with just 3,000 and a bitter taste.

9:25pm: Just one more thing...

Vying for the chip lead with Andres Castro for the first time is Osvaldo Colombo. Colombo has been quietly amassing chips near the front rail and had climbed to 112,000 when we last checked. He gave 12,000 back in a hand that he played out of position in the small blind.

The under-the-gun player raised to 2,100, with only Colombo making the call. Both players checked a flop of K♦[10c]4♥. On the 6♠ turn, Colombo fired 3,800. Colombo quickly called to see the board pair on the river, [10s]. Colombo bet another 5,600. His opponent tanked for about 90 seconds before calling with 8♣8♦. It was a great call; Colombo showed A♥J♥ for an ace-high bluff.

Even despite that hit, Colombo still has 100,000 in chips.

9:09pm: What's Manzano's image?

LAPT Season 4 Sao Paulo winner Alex Manzano's stack has been up and down today, as befitting his incredibly aggressive style. We don't know how he and one other player got to the river of a board that showed A♣[10c]Q♠Q♦A♠, but when they did there was 10,500 in the pot. Manzano's opponent checked, drawing a suspiciously small bet of 3,100 from Manzano. His opponent stared glumly at the board, then peeked back at his cards. After about a minute, he tossed calling chips into the pot.

Manzano was playing the board as he opened a counterfeited pair of fours, 4♣4♦. His opponent showed down J♣[10d] to collect the pot with the two pair on board and a jack kicker.

8:55pm: Level 8 begins (blinds 400-800, ante 100, 160 players remain)

8:47pm: Los Hermanos Gemelos

It's time on Day 1a to tell you the story of Los Hermanos Gemelos. It's not the story of Los Hermanos Pollos (which really does disappoint a few of the people in the media room) but it's not a bad story all the same. Los Hermanos Gemeos are Luis Perez and Carlos Perez. They're native Colombians and they're twins (yeah, if you're not a Spanish speaker, gemelos are twins). One of them has already made an LAPT final table; the other played in the America's Cup in Peru; and both are dangerous players.

Luis, notable today for his yellow shirt, is currently rocking a stick of 52,000. His brother Carlos is just behind him, with 37,000.


8:32pm: Was Ospina Castro's victim?

We're trying to straighten out some of the counts, find lost players, and all that jazz. We can confirm that Samar Hodali is out, and that Alex Manzano just knocked out a player to begin the long climb back up to the top. He's currently at about 62,000.

One player whose name we haven't called of late is Daniel Ospina. He may have been victimized by Andres Castro (now seated to Ospina's left with a mountain of chips). Ospina doesn't seem pleased, and the fact that he has only 20,000 chips may have something to do with it.

8:15pm: Castro flying high

With still more than 175 players in the field, and yours truly but a lone man (a lone groomsman, some might say), it's been difficult keeping an eye on even the highest of flyers. But we spotted Colombian Andres Castro early, and he may be the real deal. He has continued to accumulate chips throughout the day, and is now the clear chip leader with 130,000.

7:55pm: Level 7 begins (blinds 300-600, ante 100)

The players are back from dinner and we think our internet issues have been resolved. Fingers crossed...

<8strong>6:40pm: Players are on a 75-minute dinner break

6:31pm: Manzano falls back to the pack

When we first became acquainted with Alex Manzano's style in Sao Paulo, we became aware that he can be very creatively aggressive. Often times that aggression serves him well; sometimes it gets him into trouble, such as a few minutes ago when he six-bet shoved A♦5♦ pre-flop and ran right into pocket aces. Manzano didn't improve, and as a result his stack has dropped back to 45,000.

6:22pm: Internet's back! Castro keeping pace with Manzano

At last count, local hope Andres Castro had 87,000, just behind pace-setter Alex Manzano. The player to his right joked about not having many chips himself, but he took out a 10,000-chip short stack with pocket kings against pocket jacks to climb to 50,000.

6:13pm: One step closer

We have internet access now, but are firewalled off from reaching the blog. It's a gradual process, but we're getting there.

6:01pm: Saouda is done; Manzano cruising

Well, it was fun while it lasted for Giselle Saouda. With about 30 minutes to go before the dinner break, she stood up from her table, wished the other players well, and exited the tournament area -- directly into the media room, much to the delight of the assembled bloggerati.

Meanwhile, those of us who shook off the spell and made it back onto the tournament floor continue to look for players that can top Alex Manzano's stack (currently 90,000). If they're hiding out there in the 200+ players still in the room, we can't find them.

5:40pm: Level 6 begins (200-400 blinds, 75 ante, 216 players remain)

5:37pm: A few chip counts from around the room

Daniel Ospina is hanging tough with his 40,000. He's been putting those chips in a lot of pots but so far his stack seems not to be moving much.

Humberto Brenes has carefully worked his stack up to 34,000.

Carlos Watanabe recently took out a short stack. His K♦3♦ made a running flush after his opponent flopped top pair of aces with A♥J♠, all in pre-flop. Watanabe is not a particularly tall stack himself, with around 15,000 chips.

Team Online player Fredy Torres is in good shape with 43,000. At the other end of the spectrum, the Colombian model, Giselle Saouda, is in terrible shape with just 2,700.

5:21pm: Tournament sells out!

As long as we're dipping into the "remember when we said 2 hours ago" file, remember when we said 2 hours ago that Day 1a was completely sold out? Now you can add Day 1b to that tally. The LAPT staff just made an announcement to people standing in the lengthy registration line that all of the seats for tomorrow have been sold. As a result, the LAPT staff is shutting down the cashier for the day. Players who were shut out have been told that they can try to come back tomorrow (presumably to see if any seats become available due to un-registrations) but that there is no guarantee any seats will be free.

If anyone needed proof that poker culture is on the rise in Colombia, this has got to be it. Kudos to the LAPT for a wildly successful event!

5:15pm: Internet problems

We've lost all internet connectivity here in the media room at LAPT Colombia. We're continuing to track the action, however, and as soon as connectivity is restored we'll resume posting the updates.

5:06pm: She's not *that* Giselle but we're not complaining

We'd be lying if we said the far half of the room hasn't been mesmerized by a female player sitting at Table 5. She has undeniable beauty and also has been quick to offer smiles to people walking by -- a winning combination. Thanks to our colleagues on the Portuguese blog, we've learned that the beauty is a Colombian named Giselle Saouda, an actress / model / reality TV star / bombshell. Her stack hasn't shown a lot of upwards momentum yet, but we're hoping it does soon so we're not denied the pleasure of being forced to pass by Table 5.

And since this post is useless without pics (as the kids say), here you go:


5:00pm: Sometimes they're bluffing and sometimes they have it

When you walk up to a table with a hand already in progress, it's tough to know exactly how it got to the point it was at. We came to Table 6 to see a hand in progress, with the big blind moving all in pre-flop for 26,200. The player in the cut-off position called with pocket kings, bad news for the big blind and his ace-king. The case king hit the flop, and that was all she wrote for the big blind. His 87 big-blind stack evaporated in a flash, boosting his opponent to almost 60,000 and leaving him to shake his head as he walked away.

Poker is alive and well in South America!

4:53pm: Chile and Colombia, neck and neck

Remember two hours ago when Alex Manzano thought he must be out of the tournament, after making an all-in river raise with second pair that was called? Fast forward two hours after being stunned to win that pot, and Manzano is the chip leader. He's sitting behind 80,000 chips, even after putting about 2,000 into a pot with unimproved K♦[10d] and losing to an opponent's A♠K♥.


Hot on Manzano's heels is Colombian native Andres Castro with 78,000. A handful of other players are in the 40,000-to-60,000 chip range, including Cesar Augusto Cifuentes, Mayu Roca, Daniel Ospina and a few players we have yet to identify.

4:35pm: Level 5 begins (blinds 150-300, ante 50, 249 players remain)

We'll be playing two more levels before the players go on a 75-minute dinner break.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in Medellin