As is usually the case on the LAPT, the tournament here at the Mantra Resort Spa & Casino has brought players from all over the world, becoming yet another example of a poker-inspired international summit.
This year’s LAPT Punta del Este event attracted players from 20 different countries, with Argentina (136) and Brazil (110) the most represented. Such are numbers most relevant to that prop bet between Team PokerStars Pros Jose “Nacho” Barbero of Argentina and Andre Akkari of Brazil we were telling you about yesterday — the one regarding the number of seats at that final table their respective countries claim.
Check that post to read more about that “Border War.” As the field falls below 100 players and we begin to approach that final table tomorrow, we’ll revisit that bet to see who gets the better of whom.
The next most-represented country at this year’s event is host Uruguay with 44 players having entered. Most of them (32) made it through to Day 2, and for a time earlier today three Uruguayans sat atop the counts — Juan Garcia, Martin Lourido, and Claudio Garrone. All three have fallen back to the pack since then, although hopes remain for each to maintain their above-average stacks to return in good position on Saturday.
Their fellow countryman, defending champion Alex Komaromi, got off to a good start earlier today, but didn’t fare so well thereafter. It was during level 9 he lost a significant chunk of his stack in a preflop all-in confrontation in which his A♦K♥ failed to improve against an opponent’s pocket sixes.
Soon thereafter the defending champ was all in with K♥10♥ on a ten-high flop, but was all but drawing dead against an opponent holding pocket tens. Two cards later, Komaromi was out.
His father Pedro, however, has had a much better afternooon, having worked his stack up toward 100,000 as we move toward the end of Level 10. Looks like he’ll be around to help the Uruguayan cause for a while.
Rounding out the list of countries represented here this week (with the number of players in parentheses) are Chile (21), Venezuela (11), Peru (11), Mexico (8), Bolivia (5), Colombia (5), Canada (3), Costa Rica (3), Guatamela (3), Paraguay (3), Spain (3), Panama (2), Russian Federation (2), United Kingdom (2), Australia (1), Denmark (1), and Ecuador (1).
Looking back at representation at LAPT Punta del Este final tables’ past, out of 32 players (making the four final tables), Brazil leads with 12 (but no winners), with Argentina next with six (with one winner, Jose “Nacho” Barbero, in Season 3).
Two of the other LAPT Punte del Este champions — Jose Miguel Espinar of Spain (Season 1) and Karl Hevroy of Norway (Season 2) — were the only players of their respective nationalities to make a final table here. And when Alex Komaromi won last year in Season 4, he was only the second player from Uruguay to make it to the final eight at LAPT Punte del Este.
There are two more one-hour levels to go in Day 2, after which we’ll see how many players — and countries — remain in the hunt to capture another coveted LAPT title.