A big chunk of the poker world has been battening down the hatches this weekend, dealing with the poker calamity emanating in the U.S. In Lima, Peru, however, at least one person has been focused on the 2011 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Peru Main Event. Colombian Daniel Ospina ended Day 1 as far and away chip leader. He repeated the feat on Day 2. When play concluded on Day 3 with only eight players left, Ospina was still on top of the counts but his lead had almost vanished.
The action was frenetic during the first two levels of the day. A field full of short stacks quickly consolidated itself from three eight-handed tables to two eight-handed tables. Ospina was the beneficiary of some early run-good when short-stacked Brad Stebeleski was forced to move with and ran into Ospina's . A short time later Juan Carlos Rodriguez ran his ace-jack right into Ospina's pocket jacks.
But it wasn't just all good timing for Ospina. In between the big hands, he constantly opened pots and applied pressure on his opponents on later streets. It didn't hurt, however, to eliminate Franklin Diaz in 16th place by winning a race with pocket nines against ace-king and to notch a double knockout of Juan Marsano and Derek Lerner by making a flush with after both moved in preflop.
For almost the entire day, in fact, it felt like the rest of the field was watching Ospina, wondering who he would knock out next. The only player who got the best of Ospina was Samar Hodali. She spiked a lucky ace when play was nine-handed to double through Ospina's pocket kings with , then used those doubled-up chips to apply some of her own pressure late in the day. It was Hodali who notched the final elimination by taking out ninth-place finisher Mayu Roca with against Roca's .
Hodali's late charge has changed the tenor of the Day 4 final table. But for one river card, Ospina would have started the final table with almost 40 percent of the chips in play. Instead he and Hodali will start almost level with these six other players.
Ospina is trying to go wire-to-wire at Season 4 LAPT Peru. Only seven more players stand in his way. They'll return at noon local time (1700 GMT) on Sunday to play down to the champion. Be sure to follow along with PokerNews' live coverage of the event straight from the floor in Lima, Peru.
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*Photo courtesy of PokerStarsBlog photographer Carlos Monti