LAPT6 Colombia: Arias at the pole after short, weird day

June 08, 2013

Day 2 of the 2013 Latin American Poker Tour Colombia National Poker Championship was a weird, weird day. To give you a sense of how weird it was, I can’t remember the last time that the field played down to the final 24 players on Day 2 at an LAPT Main Event. Usually Day 2 is a full 10 levels on the LAPT, with about 30 players returning for Day 3. Yet today, the field collapsed to 24 three minutes into the 9th level of the day. At that point, Colombian German Arias had the biggest stack in the room. By far.

Arias was featured earlier in the day on the PokerStarsBlog. While all of the well-known players found themselves congregated under the bright lights of the feature table, squaring off against one another, Arias used several sets of kings to go from 115,000 to 400,000 to 700,000. I believe his high-water mark was around 1.3 million before he settled back to his chip leading stack of 1.1 million.

Also unusual: four Team PokerStars Pros started Day 2, and three remained in contention at the end of the day. In that sense it’s almost a repeat of LAPT6 Brazil, when Andre Akkari, Angel Guillen, Jose Barbero and Leo Fernandez all made Day 3. Guillen finished 23rd; Barbero busted 11th. Akkari and Fernandez advanced to the final table, though neither won the event.

Here in Medellin, Cristian de Leon started the day as the chip leader and finished with 440,000. That’s well off the lead, but it’s above the 367,000-chip average and gives “El Grillo” some maneuverability at the start of the day tomorrow. He shared the spotlight on the feature table today with fellow Team Pros Guillen and Fernandez until Fernandez was broken to an outer table. Guillen (451,000) and Fernandez (338,000) will have a similar amount of breathing room as El Grillo at the start of the day tomorrow.

Even more unusual: we had no photos in the blog today. Some technical issues prevented us from being able to bring any of Carlos Monti’s wonderful photos of this event to brighten up the blog. Hopefully we’ll have that resolved tomorrow, but please indulge us while we work out the problem.

All of these unusual developments happened on day that required intense concentration of the type displayed by Rafa Nadal in his French Open seminfinal this morning. The biggest distraction of the day was undoubtedly the Colombia-Argentina World Cup qualifier.

A scan of the starter list revealed just five players from outside the Americas. One of them, LAPT5 Colombia champion Robbie Renehan, worked his way to a 49th-place finish and some prize money. Another was Main Event Passport winner James Demhall, who went even deeper than Renehan. Unfortunately for Demhall, he will not return for Day 3.

Renehan and Demhall both busted after the money bubble burst. The unfortunate bubble boy distinction this time around went to Gustavo Jimenez, who had to wait and wait before being knocked out by Mayu Roca.

Stack sizes started changing in the middle of the day, and quite a bit at that. It was enough to wonder who might be winning, even though every tournament veteran knows that nobody wins a four-day poker tournament on Day 2. We sprinkled in some bite-sized updates after that, just long enough to decide that actually German Arias was winning. Arias built a huge stack going into the dinner break, although he suffered a few setbacks in the two-plus hours of post-dinner play.

That’s where things stand right now. When players return at noon tomorrow, they will be 24 strong. There will be 57 minutes remaining in Level 19, 5000-10000, and the average stack will be 367,000. Given how quickly the field collapsed from 143 to 24 today, I’d expect that tomorrow will be roughly a six-hour day.

Until then, you can find us at the bar.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

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