WSOP Main Event: From the LAPT with love
The neat thing about the Latin American Poker Tour is that it's big enough to create some respectable prize pools, but it's still small enough that regulars on the tour are almost like a little family. Day 1D at the World Series of Poker is a reunion of sorts for the LAPT brood.
Nestled about as far as you can go in the WSOP sea without swimming all the way to the casino is Ms. Martha Herrera. We met the Puerto Vallarta lady just a few miles from her home in Nuevo Vallarta when the LAPT briefly visited Mexico. She eventually made the final table that played out in Uruguay. By that point, she'd broken her leg and played the whole final table with her leg in a cast and propped up on a chair. Now, she is a PokerStars qualifier and playing in Day 1D of the WSOP.
Herrera is just one of many faces we recognize from the LAPT. Canada's Derek Lerner is here, fresh off his final table in the LAPT Mar del Plata event in Argentina. Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari and Alex Gomes are here to represent Brazil, as is Humberto Brenes for Costa Rica.
The Mexicans have invaded on Day 1D. J.C. Alvarado, Christian de Leon, and new bracelet winner Angel Guillen are all here to represent all the folks just south of the border.
In the 40 year history of the World Series of Poker, only one other person born in Latin America has won a World Series bracelet. That, of course, is Carlos Mortensen. He was born in Ecuador, but now calls Spain his home.
There is still a long way to go before we know who will win this year's bracelet, but if Day 1D is any indication, the folks from Latin America have a decent chance of competing in 2009.
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VARIOUS STATISTICS OF THE HOUR
What the final table of the 2009 World Series Main Event will earn:
Number of tartan items in Trond Erik Eidsvig's suit: 3 (pants, jacket, waistcoat)
Size of tip (in US dollars) given by Per Ummer for one can of Red Bull ("If you can get it here in less than three minutes"): 100 (successfully received)
Number of viewers of premiere of "Bart Gets an F", the most viewed Simpsons episode of all time: 33.6m
Number of rail-birds watching Simpsons creator Sam Simon's table at WSOP: 0
CLERGY OF THE HOUR
Men of the cloth currently on the rail: 1
JOE GIRON PHOTO HOUR
VIDEO OF THE HOUR
Watch WSOP 2009: Marlon Wayans thinks he's all that! on PokerStars.tv