LAPT6 Colombia: Esquivel’s up top when the final horn sounds

June 06, 2013

His name is Luis Hernan Esquivel. He is from Chile and today he was wearing a pinkish-red sweatshirt. By the end of Day 1a of the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Colombia National Poker Championship he had accumulated 214,600, good for the overnight chip lead. He also had acquired a PokerStars player bag, which he wore from both his shoulders – while seated at his table – for long stretches of the day.

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Esquivel, with bag

Esquivel came to his chip lead later in the day. As a result I’m not quite sure how he got there. He was not on a table with any of the other chip leaders. In fact, most of the other players at Esquivel’s table had middling to short stacks, suggesting Esquivel may have been the only player accumulating chips. Still, there’s no doubt that Esquivel is the leader of the 46 players who survived out of the 209 who started Day 1a.

Three Team PokerStars Pros started the day: Angel Guillen, Cristian “El Grillo” de Leon, and Leo Fernandez. They were joined by Colombian Team Online player Freddy Torres. Of the four, only Grillo failed to survive the day. Torres didn’t repeat his LAPT4 Colombia and LAPT5 Colombia antics by ending Day 1 as a chip leader, but he’s still fighting with 30,000. Fernandez is sitting just above average with 72,500.

The day started with a short study in the dual nature of Medellin before quickly turning to a favorite topic of seemingly everyone in South America: football. Juan Pablo Angel made a brief appearance to play LAPT6 Colombia but busted about midway through the day.

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Juan Pablo Angel

Plenty of players here in Colombia are qualifiers or other players taking a shot at winning a big one. They hope to follow in the footsteps of others who came before them; it’s important not to lose sight of that. But that doesn’t mean everything here in Medellin should be a serious discussion of poker. We made sure to spend about 600 words on hot dogs, too.

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Hot dogs at the fore, hopefuls to the rear

Attendance was a little down today from what we’ve normally come to expect from the LAPT, likely because many regulars are in Vegas for the WSOP. While they’re gone, we tried to bring back as many familiar features as possible to keep things comfortable in Colombia.

After dinner things turned more serious. Two pairs of dueling jacks provided insight into why cards don’t often speak, and Colombian Eduardo Akl staked the first claim to the chip lead. Akl didn’t end the day with the lead, but his 166,000 puts him near the top. Team Pro Guillen flirted with it himself before dropping back to 114,700 to end the day.

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Eduardo Akl

Tomorrow we’ll be back at it again for Day 1b. Some of the faces will be new, some will be familiar, some will have even played today. All will be welcome on the journey to the third champion of the season and the third in the history of the LAPT in Colombia.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

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