Kind of incredibly, Nacho Barbero is leading heading into play today. Barbero has won two previous LAPT Main Event titles, one of only two players to achieve the feat along with Fabian Ortiz. He won them both during Season 3 -- back-to-back in fact -- and as it happens his second victory came here in Peru in 2010, my first trip to help cover an LAPT.
Nacho ended the night with a ton of chips, but came perilously close to busting in 104th on the stone cold bubble when he was all in with A-K versus an opponent who’d five-bet shoved on him with 10-8-suited. The flop brought a flush draw to his opponent, and after the turn both the ten and eight were still live, too. But Barbero faded the river, and after the bubble burst picked up some big pots to cruise out in front of the pack.
Nacho recently ended his tenure as a Team PokerStars Pro -- a mutual decision between Stars and the Argentinian -- which perhaps might add a little extra intrigue to his doing well in this first tournament after that event. He’s got a lot of other interests, I know, including running what I’ve heard is an excellent restaurant in Argentina, but poker is likely going to remain a central focus for him for now.
Besides reporting on Nacho at night’s end (evidence of which can be found in the picture above), I had fun writing up a post about Leandro Csome, a.k.a., “Peluca,” after he happened to be the one knocking out the 104th-place finisher and thus bursting the money bubble. That event reminded me also of the LAPT event here in Lima from back in Season 3, and a funny story involving Csome that happened as the bubble neared in that event.
The dealers are here and the bags full of chips are starting to be distributed to the six tables. Soon the players will come and cards will be in the air again. As always, head over to the PokerStars blog to follow the action, and when you’re done with the EPT Live show from London perhaps dial up LAPT Live -- it’s only in Spanish or Portuguese, but as everyone knows poker has its own language anyone acquainted with the game can follow.