We were mentioning before Carter Gill’s hot streak here in South America, punctuated by five final tables and a couple of victories all taking place within less than a year, including one to earn the last LAPT Main Event trophy awarded in Punta del Este to end Season 6.
Gill began the day on the feature table, and after he was moved we were able to get him to chat with us about what all have been wondering… what’s the secret to his South American success? And can they get whatever it is Carter has got?
“More than anything it has just been that I have been running extremely well lately,” Gill explained. “In the last tournament (the Latin Series of Poker Main Event in Panama earlier this month), I couldn’t lose a hand if I wanted to. At the final table I had more good hands than the rest of the table combined, and when you’re playing nine-handed and that happens, that’s pretty crazy.”
Of course, running good and playing well tends to go together. And as those who followed the coverage of his win at the LAPT6 Grand Final in Uruguay last November, it has also been the case that Gill has found ways to put himself in position to reap the rewards of a nicely-timed card (or a few of them).
“I do feel like I’ve been playing my A-game and have been playing very well for the majority of the time,” said Gill before reverting back with a laugh to the more modest explanation.
“And it doesn’t hurt that every time I get it all in, I win.”
“People don’t realize how much results can just be variance. I mean if every time you are 60-40 you win, then you’ll win the tournament.”
The explanation reminded us of his memorable ouster from last summer’s World Series of Poker Main Event, the one that saw him all in on the turn with the board showing 10♠4♥A♣3♣ and in what seemed a highly enviable position of holding A♦10♠ for two pair against David Paredes’s A♥Q♥. A queen fell on fifth street, however, painfully proving Gill’s point about variance.
“Exactly… you can be 95% and lose,” he said, then couldn’t help but smile almost wistfully.
“I still think about that a lot, actually,” he grinned.
Besides winning everything in sight, what else has attracted the Oregon resident to the LAPT?
“Everyone’s more relaxed,” he said. “It’s one of the few tournament series where if you come back on time from the break you can sometimes steal the blinds because everyone’s outside smoking a cigarette or drinking their coffee.”
The conversation turned toward the interesting way players on the LAPT sometimes react to the nearing of the money bubble, a period when the overall vibe tends to be a bit lighter than the highly tense atmosphere at other tournaments.
“Here everyone is getting up cheering, jumping up and down,” chuckled Gill. “It’s a good time.”
Gill had tried the LAPT before several years ago, then went about three years only making it down for one event, then came back for last year’s LAPT Chile Main Event in which he cashed. Then came the fourth-place finish at LAPT6 Panama followed by the win at LAPT6 Uruguay.
The camaraderie helps add to the fun of the events, Gill continued, with many of the same players showing up at most of the LAPT stops.
“It’s the same crowd, generally speaking,” said Gill. “I recognize a lot of the guys… in fact a number of them were in Panama and I just saw them a few days ago, and now they’re here.”
Indeed, many keep coming back to the LAPT, and not just because they keep winning as Gill has done of late.
Gill chipped up to around 35,000 in the early going today where he’s held steady for the afternoon and early evening. With the dinner break now done, the 180 or so players who have survived Day 1A thus far have returned for four more one-hour levels of poker.
At least that’s the plan for most, although not all of them will be realizing that goal. With their return late registration ends for the day, but those who have busted or who haven’t tried as yet will have tomorrow’s Day 1B to take their shots at getting what Carter has and earning the next LAPT Main Event trophy.
Photography from LAPT7 Chile by Carlos Monti. Follow live streaming coverage throughout LAPT7 Chile in Spanish at PokerStars or via Facebook as well as in Portuguese, also at PokerStars or via Facebook.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.