LAPT Peru: Red, white and food
Players are just returning from dinner break, and as we've mentioned before, the food in Peru is fantastic.
Peru is known as the gastronomic capital of Latin America and no other country objects. The country's cuisine has Japanese, Spanish, Italian and Chinese roots blended with a bit of local spice. The results are spectacular, unique and too diverse to explore in a 75-minute dinner break.
Lima, being on the coast, is also known for spectacular seafood.
There's also a lot of pizza.
Just half-a-kilometer away from the Atlantic City hotel is the infamous "Calle de las Pizzas." This isn't a nickname or a colloquialism, the place is officially called Pizza Street. It's a small pedestrian-only street that has several pizza, pasta and ceviche restaurants. It's also home to a few bars and dance floors. They're currently hosting a pasta festival, where a plate of pasta, garlic bread and a beer goes for S/13.50, approximately $5.23.
But inexpensive doesn't mean cheap.
Oh no. The plethora of restaurants offer steaks, ceviche and...everything. Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari headed down with a group of Brazilians the other day and they feasted.
Pizza street is Brazil tested, Akkari approved.
During the day, the mood is festive. Soccer games are shown on TV and dance classes are held in some of the emptier restaurants. It's a light mood aided by great weather and a laid back attitude. At night, the mood stays high and so do people's BAC.
The street also tries to cater to all types of night life. They have everything from discotheques to an Old English Pub.
During the day, there's another attraction in front of Pizza Street, Kennedy Park. Named after John F. Kennedy, the park is right at the mouth of Pizza Street. This giant, multi-block park is adorned with flowers, trees and free wi-fi. Couples adorn the benches and a swarm of children do children things in the park's playground.
There are plenty of snack carts scattered throughout the park too. Churros, arroz con leche and bags of popcorn are all available for prices that barely exceed $1. The park also hosts a daily artisan market. Every day, up until about 4 pm, local artisans set up shop at the park and sell a plethora of handmade goods.
There's a bunch of traditional, Alpaca wool clothing among several other oddities. One vendor sells framed insects and bats. Another sells tiny wooden sculptures and one man sells old Peruvian heirlooms.
They include old coke bottles, a shoddy, ancient-looking typewriter and allegedly authentic pictures from one of Peru's many coups that took place during the 20th century.
Both the park and Pizza Street are highly recommended by locals. In fact, several LAPT Lima veterans are already diehard fans of both.
Players are now starting to trickle back into the room. Some coming from Pizza Street, others from the hotel buffet.
Regardless, we're certain they ate well.
We'll be returning to Level 17 with 3,000/6,000 blinds and a 1,000 ante. Only 34 players remain and they're all guaranteed $4,230. Action went fast after the bubble burst, and we lost our last player from Trinidad and Tobago, Ramlal Basdeo.
Basdeo finished in 45th place, and earned $3,960. This puts his total live tournament earnings at $25,667, cementing his position as Trinidad and Tobago's top earner.
Team PokeStars Pro Jose "Nacho" Barbero is still in the mix. The Argentinian pro was already the LAPT's top earner with $563,100 and only person to win two LAPT titles. One of those titles came here, in LAPT Lima back in Season 3.
Barbero is, without a doubt, looking for a third LAPT victory. He's won Lima before, and if he keeps on chipping up, he might just have a chance.
The flop read K♣2♥3♥ and Barbero called a 16,500 bet from the button. Barbero's opponent led out for 35,500 on the 2♣ flop and the Team Pro called again.
Both players checked the 3♠ on the flop and Barbero showed A♣J♣. His opponent flipped over J♣[10h] and Barber took down the pot, increasing his stack to around 350,000.
Barbero is above average, but one player seems to have a commanding lead. Oscar Barriga, from Peru, is sitting with a stack worth around 750,000. A large portion of his stack comes courtesy of the player to his left, our Day 1 chip leader.
Marcelo Marchan, our start-of-day chip leader with 306,900 is left with 180,000, around 40,000 below average.
We'll see if the post-dinner bust surge is in effect today. If so, we might in store for a short Day 2*.
*Cue superstitious jinxing
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Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog