LAPT Colombia Day 1a: Torres leads a field filled with Colombians
We asked LAPT Tournament Director Mike Ward earlier today on Day 1a of the PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Season 4 Colombia National Poker Championship to name the one thing without which he couldn't do his job. He didn't miss a beat with his response.
Any time an operator launches a new stop on a well-established tour, there's going to be some nail-biting. Will the players show up? Because the truth is that it doesn't matter how effectively the operator plans for any possible problems that might arise. If the players don't respond to the event and show up to play, the event will be viewed as a failure. Nobody would fault LAPT staff if they were nervous about how players would respond to Colombia's first ever LAPT event.
It turned out that any fears they had were way overblown.
LAPT staff fit 33 ten-handed tables onto the tournament floor here in Medellin, Colombia. It was tight, but they managed. They then sold out all 330 seats for Day 1a of the event. Not only that, but by 5pm they also sold out all 330 seats for Day 1b tomorrow.
660 players for the first ever big buy-in poker tournament held in Colombia by the LAPT. I'd say the players are here.
Also here: Team PokerStars Pros. They had a tough Day 1a though. Jose Barbero, Cristian de Leon, and Angel Guillen all busted early. Humberto Brenes briefly climbed to double his starting stack, then suffered through a very rough stretch in the middle of the day. A late surge found him bagging up 53,700. He'll have work to do tomorrow.
Of course, the misfortunes of the Team PokerStars Pros left room for some of Colombia's native sons and daughters to climb to the top of the leaderboard. For a long stretch of the day it seemed that Colombian Andres Castro would be the Day 1a chipleader. By day's end, however, Castro faded a bit and it was PokerStars Team Online Player and native Colombian Fredy Torres who claimed the overnight lead by bagging up 207,000 chips. Torres was followed by Osvaldo Colombo of Chile (138,600) and Daniel Hurtado of Colombia (126,200).
Torres started off the day strong, but took a turn down in the middle of the day. Then a fortunate table break seemed to right his ship. As soon as he moved to his last table of the day, where he spent several hours, he zoomed from a stack of about 50,000 all the way to the chip lead.
Tomorrow we'll do it all over again. 330 brand new players will take their seats in the crowded tournament floor here at the Casino Allegre in Medellin to flop, turn and river their way closer towards claiming the first LAPT Colombian National Poker Championship.
Until then, you can find us at the bar.