Now Live EPT Malta888Live Festival London LAPT Punta del Este, Day 1: Raymer, Brenes Among Early Leaders LAPT Punta del Este, Day 1: Raymer, Brenes Among Early Leaders 0001

The third stop on the Latin America Poker Tour kicked off yesterday in Punta del Este, Uruguay, with 351 players from around the world heading to the seaside resort to enjoy neither sun nor surf, but a shot at a prize pool totaling $851,175. Among the notables in the field were 2004 World Champion Greg Raymer and Team PokerStars teammates Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, Vanessa Rousso and Humberto Brenes. Also in the field was World Series of Poker Main Event final table player David "Chino" Rheem, making his first major appearance since becoming one of the "November Nine."

Rheem was active early on, slinging chips with abandon until he found himself short-stacked against Daniel Palsson. Rheem suggested that he would move all in blind preflop if Palsson agreed to call. The deal was made, and Rheem shipped it all in with 9-6. Palsson called with 6-4, and was dominated by Rheem's six-high, but a four on the turn sent Rheem packing as Palsson stacked the chips.

Barry Greenstein was another Day 1 elimination when he fell to Teddy Peterson shortly after the dinner break. Greenstein moved all in preflop with pocket tens after an early-position player raised. Peterson squeezed his hole cards to reveal two aces, and made the easy call. An ace on the flop left Greenstein dead to running tens, and without the miracle cards, he headed to the rail. Other notable eliminations on Day 1 included Chad Brown, Brandon Cantu and EPT San Remo champion Jason Mercier.

Greg Raymer was exceptionally active on Day 1, bouncing around the top of the leader board for most of the day. Playing at a "table of death" with fellow Team PokerStars pros Vanessa Rousso and Andre Akkari, Raymer chipped up throughout the afternoon before tangling with Akkari in a big hand. Raymer re-raised from the cutoff with {a-Clubs}{a-Spades}, and Akkari went into the tank for a long time before moving all in with {q-Spades}{q-Diamonds}. Raymer quickly called, and the board ran out {k-Clubs}{k-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}. Akkari headed to the rail as Raymer moved into the chip lead. Raymer continued a very active game throughout Day 1 and finished the day with one of the largest chip stacks.

Carter Gill finished Day 1 with the chip lead, building on a successful summer that saw him make the final table of Event #7 at the WSOP. Gill picked up several big hands early on in the day to help him build his stack, then made a huge call in a big pot late to lock up his place on the leader board. On a flop of {a-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}{2-Spades}, his opponent fired out, and Gill called the small bet. Both players checked around when the {6-Diamonds} landed on the turn, and his opponent bet out at the {k-Hearts} on the river. Gill thought for a long moment before making the call with {a-Spades}{3-Diamonds}, and his opponent folded his bluff. 95 players made it through Day 1, as Gill finished the day with the big stack. Greg Raymer, Alex Brenes and Humberto Brenes all ended Day 1 among the chip leaders, and will return at noon local time today to take their shot at the final table at the LAPT Punta del Este.

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