LAPT5 Punta del Este: Argentina ascends, Luca leads end of Day 2

May 25, 2012

lapt-promo.gifWe’ve arrived at the end of another quick day here at LAPT Punta del Este, with roughly 75 players still with chips and thus an invite to return for tomorrow’s Day 3. At day’s end a trio of Argentinians had built the biggest stacks around: Ivan Luca (329,900), Cristian Lopez (289,600), and Julian Menendez (270,300).

Day 2 began with a plan to follow a formula established on Thursday and play six one-hour levels. That’s differed from the usual course taken on the Latin American Poker Tour which dictates early days go long so as to ensure reasonable-length days toward the end.

But as with everything on the well-managed LAPT, there’s a method in play here. Tournament Director Mike Ward was gracious enough to explain to us how it all adds up, as my blogging partner Dave Behr explains in “Solving for x.”


LAPT Tournament Director Mike Ward

Speaking of numbers, totals from the first day showed 375 entrants in this year’s event, coming from 20 different countries, proving once again that if there’s a good card game going, the world comes to Uruguay.

Of that starting group 245 remained, with Juan Garcia leading them all with a robust stack of 134,650. You might say were things looking up for the Uruguayan.


Juan Garcia

Garcia would eventually slide back to the pack, while Pablo Melongo, Julian Menendez, Eduardo Santi, Ivan Luca, and others started accumulating chips to push their way toward the top of the leaderboard.

We found ourselves following the fortunes of a couple of other Uruguayans today, defending LAPT Punta del Este champion Alex Komaromi and his father, Pedro.

Early in the day we gave an update of the progress of “Padre e hijo (Father and Son)” at a time when both were faring well. Shortly after, Alex lost his stack in a couple of hard-luck hands.

And in an extra-added-twist-sort-of-development we only discovered later — Alex’ mother, Lina Gecelter, played in the event as well. She managed to last a bit longer than Alex, in fact, although also busted before the end of play today.

Pedro, however, was able to add to his stack on Day 2, ending with 85,600. He’ll return tomorrow with hopes of improving upon his bustout-on-the-bubble finish from Season 3 Punta del Este.


Pedro Komaromi

Three Team PokerStars Pros returned for today’s second day of play. Or as Dave Behr the Bard likes to call them, the Red Spade Brigade.

Humberto Brenes nursed his short stack for a few levels before busting. Jose “Nacho” Barbero appeared close to sharing Brenes’ fate, but managed a timely triple up later in the day to catapult back into position to shoot for a second LAPT Punte del Este title (following his win in Season 3). Barbero ended the day with 132,900. And Angel Guillen of Team PokerStars Mexico steadily grew his chip stack all day to end with a more than healthy 197,200.


Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen

As we approached the end of play and the field fell below 100 players, big hands and bustouts began to occur with more frequency. For the fortunate came riches, while for those less so others’ doubles spelled toil and trouble.

Meanwhile, we’re off again to enjoy a second straight early evening, knowing full well there won’t be such end-of-day rewards tomorrow as Day 3 will likely be a long one. We’ll be here again, though, start to finish, as we see how well the field does chasing leader Ivan Luca and his fellow Argentinians.


Ivan Luca


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