LAPT5 Colombia: Medellin's white rabbits

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lapt-promo.gifGiven the pace that PokerStars Team Online player Freddy Torres set yesterday with his Day 1a-leading performance, you'd think that his fellow PokerStars teammates would have extra incentive to show up on time today. And you'd be wrong.

"Buenas noches, señor," said LAPT staff member Greg Pappas in his highest, girliest voice as Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen arrived to the tournament floor thirty minutes after play began. Guillen, slightly disheveled, smiled sheepishly and offered a quiet, "Hola," then asked for directions to Table 19.


A seated and smiling Guillen

Guillen wasn't the only late arrival for Team PokerStars. Humberto Brenes, dressed in a red shirt and his trademark white PokerStars visor, sauntered in a few minutes after play began, smacking his chewing gum. Jose "Nacho" Barbero was "early", by his own standards, when he arrived less than halfway through the first level.

Guillen is sharing a room at the Intercontinental with fellow Team Pro and fellow Mexican Cristian de Leon, who wasn't quite as late as Guillen. And a good thing, too. De Leon had already doubled up by the time Guillen arrived, getting his whole stack in on a 9♦5♠7♦ flop against a young Argentine. It was the classic "cooler" hand, set over set. De Leon had the bigger set and did not get one-outed. He instantly doubled up to 40,000 only 20 minutes into the day.

"Mala suerte," he said to his opponent as they shook hands.

Andre Akkari, seated at the feature table that's being streamed on, and Team Online player Jorge "Baalim" Limon were much closer to being "on time" than any of the other PokerStars players.

But not turning up at the moment play begins isn't an afflication limited to PokerStars players. We still haven't seen last season's Medellin champion, Julian Menendez. It's rare that a past champion doesn't return to defend his title, but it's possible that Menendez won't play this year. A few of the other players that made deep runs in that tournament alongside Menendez are here, including American Jason Sudol and Australian Stuart McDonald.

The big board shows 190 players right now, but late registration is still available for a few more levels. There's still time for a few more white rabbits to show up even later than Guillen.


"What's the wifi password?"


Otavio Mesquita spent thirty minutes before play started wandering around the floor with a camera crew, interviewing anyone who would give him a few minutes. Then he took a seat at one of the back tables and promptly went on a heater, pushing his starting stack from 20,000 to 50,000 in less than 40 minutes.


15 degrees Fahrenheit, the difference in room temperature between the main floor and the back room where the last four tables are located. Those will be the first to break.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in Medellin