LAPT6 Peru: Meet the final eight

August 04, 2013

We arrived for yesterday’s Day 3 along with 27 players, survivors from the massive field of 557 entries for the Season 6 LAPT Peru Main Event. Not knowing what to expect, we resisted making predictions about how long it might take to play down to a final eight.

But once the day began it was clear by the pace early on that the day might well end by the scheduled dinner break (after six one-hour levels), and indeed that was the case, with play coming to a close with just a few minutes left in Level 26. Patricio Rojas of Chile emerged as the only one of the eight who remained with a stack of more than 2 million when the bags were brought out, and thus will begin today with the chip lead.

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Seat 1: Patricio Rojas, Chile (2,165,000)

In first position in the counts, Rojas will start the day in Seat 1, as well. Primarily an online player, the 27-year-old is participating in his first LAPT event and in fact this marks his first live final table, period.

On the bio sheet players were asked to complete at night’s end yesterday, Rojas mentioned how he’d like to finish heads-up today versus the player who’ll be sitting to his left in Seat 2, his fellow countryman Ricardo Chauriye, who returned the sentiment by making a similar wish about Rojas on his sheet.

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Seat 2: Ricardo Chauriye, Chile (1,520,000)

Like Rojas, the 29-year-old Chauriye is a professional online player who has only recently started playing LAPT events. This, too, marks his first live final table.

They have more in common as well. They both enjoy watching football. And they both increased their stacks considerably during the final level of play last night, with Chauriye winning the last three hands including knocking out Johann Ibanez of Colombia in ninth.

Moving around the table, the two Chileans have a formidable foe sitting to their left in Season 4 LAPT Colombian champion Julian Menendez.

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Seat 3: Julian Menendez, Argentina (1,570,000)

An accountant and a university student, the 24-year-old is likewise a sports fan who plays a great deal online where he’s enjoyed considerable success. He looks today to join his countryman Team PokerStars Pro Jose “Nacho” Barbero to become the second ever two-time LAPT Main Event champion.

Next to him the 23-year-old Carlos Noriega will take his seat behind the shortest stack of the eight remaining players.

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Seat 4: Carlos Noriega, Peru (540,000)

This is Noriega’s second LAPT cash and first final table. He likes to create scripts and make short films, and is no doubt thinking of writing a comeback story today.

Next we find Scott Diver, one of the few Canadians who participated in the event.

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Seat 5: Scott Diver, Canada (1,045,000)

Diver moved to Jamaica recently where he has a business supplying wireless internet to hotels in that country. The 31-year-old has been playing poker for a dozen years both live and online and is here participating in his first LAPT.

To his left will be the table’s second Peruvian, Victor Jesus Lay.

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Seat 6: Victor Jesus Lay, Peru (1,655,000)

Lay started playing poker about nine years ago at home with his father, Victor Alfredo Lay, who also happened to make a deep run in this event, getting knocked out early yesterday in 26th place.

The 35-year-old enjoys tennis, soccer, and pool and has participated in several LAPT events with this week’s tourney marking his second cash and first final table.

To his left will be a player with quite a bit more LAPT final table experience, the 30-year-old Colombian, Rafael Pardo.

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Seat 7: Rafael Pardo (675,000)

Pardo finished seventh in the very first LAPT Main Event back in 2008 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, then took seventh again at the first LAPT Colombia event in 2011 where he became friends with eventual winner Menendez. Like the Chileans, those two have listed each other on their sheets as the player each would like to finish the event playing against heads-up.

The 30-year-old then finished third at the Season 6 LAPT Brazil event back in April, making this his fourth LAPT final table overall. He returns to the second-shortest stack today, but with that experience an early double should make him a serious contender.

Finally in Seat 8 will be the 25-year-old Andrey Spitsyn who returns to the second-largest stack.

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Seat 8: Andrey Spitsyn, Russian Federation (1,750,000)

Spitsyn enjoys traveling and has played in poker tournaments around the world. We spotted him way back on Day 2 as one of only three players from Russia playing the event.

At that time Spitsyn was one of the shortest stacks in the room with about 100 players left, and was still on the short side when the money bubble burst at 88. But a successful day-and-a-half since has positioned him well to make the most of this, his first ever LAPT event.

It’s an eclectic bunch, representing six countries, three continents, and bringing a wide variety of backgrounds and experience to today’s final table.

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We’ll again resist making predictions either about how long the final table will take or how the chips may ultimately fall, although with Level 27 about to start (blinds 30,000/60,000, ante 10,000), the action may heat up quickly again today.

We do feel confident forecasting an exciting finish, however, perhaps inspired somewhat by Heath Chick’s report of the conclusion of the APPT7 Queenstown Main Event where the winner, Jonathan Bredin, incredibly had the winning hand tattooed on his arm! No shinola!

Play picks back up at noon, and we’ll be here for however long it takes with reports of how it all plays out. Come back then to find out who will be the next Latin American Poker Tour Main Event champion.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

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