After two long days of play, the PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Lima has whittled its field from 374 players to 24 with Amer Sulaiman sitting a top the leaderboard followed closely by Team PokerStars Pros Jose "Nacho" Barbero of Argentina and Karlo Lopez of Puerto Rico.
Barbero, who recently won a SCOOP event and has an LAPT title under after winning LAPT Punta del Este earlier this year, got much of his stack during the early evening holding ace-king in successive hands. The first, saw Barbero all-in preflop racing against an opponents underpair and hitting with his big slick, while on the second, Barbero had top two pair, played it slowly and got his opponent to stack off with ace-jack. Those two hands gave Barbero the chip lead at the time, and he used that big stack to put pressure on his opponents who were trying to creep into the money. Barbero ended the day with 646,000.
Karlo Lopez, who is sitting fifth on the leaderboard with 524,000, flew somewhat under the radar for most of the day. During the start of play, he was under 100k and seemed to be able to accumulate chips without going to a showdown. One hand saw Lopez raise Jorge Ortega all-in with the board reading after Ortega led out for about 16,000. Ortega made the laydown, and Lopez allowed him to see one card, the .
Amer Sulaiman, who also has an LAPT title under his belt after winning LAPT Costa Rica last November, won two huge pots at the tail end of the day to catapult himself to 801,000. The first saw Canadian Sulaiman all-in holding against the pocket jacks of his opponent. The board was good to Sulaiman, coming and giving him the 400k pot. The second big hand saw Sulaiman limping in the small blind with pocket aces and seeing a ten-high flop against Pamela Espinosa who flopped top pair. Espinosa committed all of her chips, and Sulaiman's aces held up.
PokerStars online qualifiers Jacob Baumgartner and Ben Barrows also survived Day 2 and still have chance to turn their small investment into $250,000. Not Joining them on Friday are Stefano Vega, Diego Silva, Maria Mayrinck and Carter Gill; all busted out Thursday.
Play resumes Friday at 12 p.m. in Lima, Peru, as the remaining field will play down to a final table of eight. Will the two former LAPT Champions make the final table, giving themselves a shot at making LAPT history? You'll have to tune into our live reporting pages to find out.
Looking to take a stab at an LAPT event yourself? Sign up today for a PokerStars account and start grinding those satellites.