LAPT5 Colombia: Study break

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lapt-promo.gifFor the typical recreational player, a $2500 poker tournament is a luxury that's often out of reach. Family, mortgage payments, day-to-day living expenses, and other typical drains on an individual's bank account ensure that playing in a $2500 poker tournament - and footing the travel and hotel expenses associated with it - remains an idle dream.

In the LAPT5 Colombia Day 1b field, there are several recreational players who are experiencing that dream. For free. Some are players who won PokerStars freeroll promotions. But none has as unique a story as Mexico's Daniel Berumen.


Berumen is a 21-year-old industrial engineering student at The University of Anahuac. He took part in a unique promotion offered by PokerStars to Mexican university students that saw players play in no-limit hold'em tournaments across four different weekends. Points were given based on how the players finished in each tournament. At the end of the four weekends, the top nine players advanced to a final, single-table tournament.

The top prize for that final tournament included a package for a trip here to LAPT5 Colombia, valued at about $4,000. But that LAPT5 Colombia package was the smaller portion of the prize. The larger portion was a scholarship for one semester at university. Berumen estimated that his scholarship is worth about $6,000.

Berumen hasn't been involved in too many pots yet today, choosing instead to spend most of his time carefully watching the action around him. I almost felt bad tapping him on the shoulder to chat with him for a few minutes about his unique path to Medellin and diverting his attention. He presents himself not just as a student of industrial engineering but also as a student of the game.

Berumen is joined by a few other freeroll qualifiers here in Medellin. Cayo Tanaka watched a twitcam with Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen and thus learned the password for a freeroll qualifier on PokerStars. Tanaka won that freeroll, earning himself a $215 ticket for an LAPT5 Colombia qualifier. He turned that into an entry here today.


The big board shows 212 players registered for Day 1b. There's still some time to go in late registration, but when added to the 115 from yesterday they bring the total up to 327 players.


At LAPT Punta del Este, Andre Akkari made a bet with Jose Barbero over which player's country would put more players at the final table. Akkari was confident in Brazil's chances, but some late Brazilian eliminations ensured that Barbero won that bet. The two friends and Team PokerStars Pros have no such bet today, though both are in the Day 1b field.


Women's football, gold medal match: U.S. 1, Japan 0. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in Medellin