LAPT5 Colombia: Déjà vu as Torres leads again
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Before play started this morning, I wrote about the surprises that might be in store for us over the next five days at the 2012 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Colombia Main Event. We know that Sunday someone will get all the chips, and we know the basic route the tournament will take to get there. What we'll be surprised by are the various stops along the way.
Still, the metrics are in for Day 1a. 43 of the 115 starters had chips left when play was halted at the end of the night. It's not a surprise that PokerStars Team Online player Freddy Torres is the end of Day 1a chip leader with 122,000 in chips. The surprising part is that he managed the same feat at this event last year.
The surprises started earlier than that. A total cooler for EPT7 Grand Final champion Ivan Freitez cost him most of his stack before many players had even gotten to their seats. Ten minutes into Level 1, he flopped middle set in a heads-up pot, 7-8-J. He got all in against his lone opponent, who turned over the nuts - a jack-high straight made with 9-10. Freitez never filled up. By the time he paid off the double-up, he was down to 50 in chips and fighting for survival. Freitez, by the way, finished the day with 52,600 chips. He'll be back on Friday for Day 2.
Later in the day we took some time away from the tables to talk about the elephant in the room: Medellin's history as a haven for the ruthless drug cartel headed by Pablo Escobar, and the strides the city has made in the 20 years since Escobar's death. The wounds to Medellin's reputation from that bloody period still exist, although the city improves day by day and year by year.
Having mentioned the unmentionable, we brought things back onto the tournament floor here at the Allegre Casino with the story of Gerardo Rodriguez, the LAPT's Stephen Chidwick. Rodriguez is part of a newer generation of LAPT players who show a higher base level of skill than earlier generations of LAPT players.
We also noted the eliminations of Team PokerStars Pros Chris Moneymaker and Leo Fernandez, both of whom were out early.
The last level before dinner, we picked up a few police officer railbirds. Their presence prompted a flight of fancy, wondering about how the poker police would patrol the game if they existed.
After dinner the LAPT staff brought us all flowers while I made my way around the floor, checking to see what familiar faces were still in the field. Since that post, Sorel Mizzi was eliminated when he shoved K-Q for 11,000 and didn't improve against A-2.
That took us to the end of the day. A crazy three-way all in helped push Nunes to the chip lead with about 90 minutes left. He carried it through almost all the way to the bag-and-tag process but was pipped at the wire by Torres (122,000). Nunes bagged 120,600, good for second-best on Day 1a. He was followed in third place by Omar Andres Rodriguez Ruiz (111,800).
Tomorrow we'll do it all over again, with a brand new Day 1 field full of brand new players. If Torres somehow manages to lead the field again, we won't be surprised. We'll be calling the gaming authorities to investigate.