While most of North America was still shaking off sub-freezing temperatures, it was a temperate 90 degrees for the start of the PokerStars.com Latin American Poker Tour's Vina Del Mar tournament. This is the third stop of the LAPT's second season, and the first time a live PokerStars event has been held in Chile.
The event drew 216 starting players, including 2008 WSOP Main Event final tablists Ylon Schwartz and Dennis Philips, the latter wearing his signature St Louis Cardinals cap. The first family of Costa Rican poker was well represented as Humberto Brenes and his two sons, Jose and Roberto, took the field. Backgammon expert Paul "X-22" Magriel was in attendance as was Veronica Dabul, the Argentinean backgammon champion. The veteran poker couple Max and Maria Stern were on hand, and Andre Akkari, J.C. Alvarado, Alexandre Gomes, and Shirley Rosario were also in the starting field. Columbia's Nicolas Perez topped all players, finishing the day with 90,050, with Team PokerStars pro Gomes not far behind in fifth.
Day One took its toll, leaving only 63 players to see Day Two. The tournament will pay the top 27 finishers with $523,800 going to the winner.
Day One Chip Leaders:
1. Nicolas Perez — 90,050
2. Fabian Ortiz — 86,350
3. Damian Andres Salas — 83,000
4. Brandon Demes — 82,625
5. Alexandre Gomes — 80,275
6. Ariel Celestino — 70,800
7. Alex Javier Manzano Ramirez — 70,650
8. Ricardo Bozicevich Masegosa — 62,675
9. Samar Mukarker — 60,450
10. Gabriel Loyo — 57,000