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LAPT7 Panama Gets Underway

Following a short break after the World Series of Poker, the live tournament scene is slowly picking up momentum. Yesterday saw Day 1A of the Latin American Poker Tour event in Panama – a $1,650 tournament with unlimited re-entries for the duration of the first six levels.

The first of two starting flights gathered a total of 174 entries, 58 of whom will be advancing through to Day 2 scheduled for tomorrow, July 25th. It was Mexican Guillermo Olvera who bagged the chip lead after the last river of the nigh was dealt. Olvera will be returning with a stack of 147,400. Finishing on his heels was Argentinean Juan Martin Pastor, who bagged 143,400.

The other 56 survivors include Angelina Rich, the fashion design student and blogger who qualified for the Panama Main Event via online satellites on PokerStars, Francis Cruz and his stack of around 71,000, as well as Carter Gill, who finished the night with about 55,000 in chipa. Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero will also be coming back on Friday with 65,000 in his arsenal.

Things clearly did not work out so well for 116 players who were sent to the rail. One of the most famous among those eliminated was Team PokerStars Pro Humberto ‘The Shark’ Brenes. His pocket Nines fell short against the pocket Jacks of Cruz and Brenes will have to try his luck again today if he wants any chance of final tabling the Main Event.

Like Brenes, things did not go as hoped for online grinder Joel ‘JMPRODIGY’ Mika, who played a long session of tournament poker only to be eliminated as the night was coming to an end. Justin ‘JWPRODIGY’ Westmorland, Scott Mongomery, Barbara Friedl and Fred Volpe all encountered the same fate as Brenes and Mika.

The good news for all those whose luck ran out yesterday is that it is not game over. Everyone has the option to re-enter today during the first six levels and can fire as many bullets as desired. Like yesterday, this is guaranteed to create action as players will be doing their best to build up a stack of chips that will put them in a good spot at the start of play tomorrow.

It may not be the WSOP Main Event, but the LAPT Panama Main Event certainly gathered some household names. Once registration closes, the amount to play for will be anything but insignificant. We will be keeping our eyes peeled on Panama as the rest of the summer poker action plays out.

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Ivan Potocki

Ivan is an aspiring journalist writer from Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a degree in English Literature and a fiery work ethic, Ivan adds a dynamic and flexible element to the PokerUpdate writing staff.