There are a few usual suspects in the LAPT.
Familiar faces and names keep popping up in payout sheets, time after time. They always sit in their seats, smiling and playing poker like we don’t know about them.
But we do.
These people know how to play poker and the repeat offenders just can’t stay away. Instead of hiding in the shadows, they thrive in the spotlight, constantly trying to test the LAPT three-strike-title rule.
What’s the three-strike-title rule?
Well, we’re not entirely sure, no one’s ever gotten that far.
Until recently, Jose Ignacio “Nacho” Barbero was the only player with two LAPT titles. Barbero won back-to-back titles in season 3 and no one was able to match his feat until season 7.
Then another player joined them this season.
The first happened right here in Panama, just a kilometer away at the Veneto Casino.
Fabian Ortiz’s first tournament cash was his first LAPT title. Ortiz won LAPT2 Chile back in 2009 but then vanished from the LAPT payout sheets until 2014.
Since then, Ortiz’s perfect LAPT cash/victory streak has ended. Ortiz cashed in two more LAPTs including LAPT8 Chile a few months ago.
That’s when the two-timer club grew again.
Oscar Alache won LAPT8 Chile just months after claiming his first LAPT title in LAPT7 Lima. If it weren’t for the inaugural LAPT Bahamas event, Alache would’ve joined Barbero as a back-to-back champion.
Alache’s currently sitting with about 60,000 –the average is 85,000– but he knows what it takes to win an LAPT or two.
There’s only one other player in the field with LAPT victory experience, Carter Gill.
Gill has several LAPT cashes, a few final tables and one LAPT title. After finishing 4th in LAPT6 Panama, Gill redeemed himself by taking down the following event, LAPT6 Punta del Este.
Angelina Rich, the fashion designer turned poker player, made her LAPT debut in Panama last year and squeaked into the money. Rich was the first to go after the bubble burst and earned $2,820 for the 79th place finish.
Most players in the field are chasing their firsts though.
Many are hoping to become the first LAPT champions from their country. With registration closed and the magic of the internet, we’re able to provide you a breakdown of where all our 422 LAPT8 Panama entries have come from.
For multilingual coverage, check out our Spanish PokerStars Blog and our Brazilian PokerStars Blog. If you’re more of a watcher, head over to LAPT Live to check out the live stream. Updates are also available on the LAPT Facebook page.
All photos are snapped by Carlos Monti and all words are clacked by Alexander Villegas.