LAPT Peru: Hometown hero
"The 'Chark,' not the "Shark," has made a special request," said LAPT President, David Carrion, at the welcome party last night. "He wants me to congratulate a recent Sunday Million winner, Gerardo Rodriguez."
The crowd erupted into applause for Rodriguez, especially the Peruvians. Aside from getting a six-figure cash on October 28th, Rodriguez gets a lot of Peruvian support because, well, he's Peruvian.
Born and raised in Lima, Rodriguez is hoping to follow the footsteps of his countryman, Martin Sansour, and take down an LAPT Grand Final. Sansour won the Season 3 Grand Final in Argentina for $322,280 and there hasn't been a Peruvian LAPT champion since.
Not only does Rodriguez have a recent six-figure cash on his resume, several other players vouched for Rodriguez and said he was probably the best player in Peru.
"It might be true when it comes to tournaments," said Rodriguez. "But I'm always learning and getting better."
The Peruvian pro has attended every LAPT this season and made the final two tables in Colombia. There, he finished 14th for COP$ 13,290,000 -- approximately $7,433.
Rodriguez is currently a bit above average stack, but he's facing some stiff competition.
Team PokerStars Pro has a lot of local favorites still in the field. Humberto Brenes, Angel Guillen and Jose "Nacho" Barbero are all still in the tournament, but there's one player Rodriguez won't have to face: Leo Fernandez.
The Team Pro and inaugural LAPT Panama champion was recently eliminated. Our friends at CodigoPoker.com.com saw Fernandez move all-in for 16,000 after a 4-bet. The initial raiser snap-called and showed aces. Fernandez turned over A♠K♠ and no help came on the flop, turn or river.
Fernandez left, failing to achieve a back-to-back LAPT victory like fellow Argentinian Team Pro, Jose "Nacho" Barbero. While his chances of a back-to-back main event win are over, Fernandez will still come back fro the second chance and high-roller. His LAPT is far from over.
Players are now on their second break of the day and will be returning for another six levels of play. We have an unofficial number of 368 players and tournament staff expects our final number to be close to that.
Around 50 players have been eliminated, but we still have hundreds to go.
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Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog