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LAPT Lima: Barbero seeks second straight LAPT conquest

lapt-promo.gifby Martin Harris

One of the more famous phrases appearing in 19th-century historian's William Prescott highly regarded History of the Conquest of Peru goes as follows: "If no man could become rich in Peru, no man could become poor."

Prescott was referring to civilization building, but he could have been talking about the LAPT Lima Main Event. In the zero sum game that is tournament poker, no one player can become richer without another becoming poorer.

There were 24 players still seeking their fortunes from our starting field of 384 when play began on Friday. And while some indeed got richer, several quickly got poorer. Indeed, the pace was furious at the start, with eight eliminations taking place within the first hour.

Gino Guidi of Costa Rica was the first to go. After getting crippled in a hand versus the Venezuelan Valerio Valera, Guidi was busted shortly thereafter by Silvio Martins of Brazil. That began a seemingly uninterrupted parade of players to the rail, including Jorge Schwalb of Peru (23rd), Julio de la Rosa of the Dominican Republic (22nd), and Steven Black of St. Kitts and Nevis (21st).


Costa Rican Steven Thompson was next to go in 20th, knocked out after running pocket jacks into Peruvian (and crowd favorite) Erick Cabrera's Q♥Q♠. American Jacob Baumgartner, chip leader after Day 1, next went out in 19th, then Marcelo Bonanata of Uruguay was busted in 18th. When Jorge Gomez of Chile was eliminated by the ever-aggressive Jose "Pepa" de la Guardia in 17th, the remaining players reconsolidated around two tables.

At that point, Danny Manriques of Chile had emerged as the leader with 16 to go, flirting with the one million-chip mark. Jose de la Guardia, Jose "Nacho" Barbero, and Amer Sulaiman were also sporting extra large stacks of more than 750,000 each.

Santiago Cardenas of Mexico was next to go in 16th after his pocket nines lost a race with Ben Barrows' A♦T♦. Team PokerStars Online pro Karlo Lopez of Puerto Rico fell in 15th, knocked out by U.S. player Chris Conrad. And Costa Rican Jose Alfaro fell in 14th, having taken A♦Q♣ up against Jose Barbero's K♣9♦, but Nacho paired his king and Alfaro couldn't improve.

That hand, in which Team PokerStars pro and Season 3 LAPT Punte del Este champion Barbero outdrew his opponent, perhaps prefigured what was easily the most remarkable -- and tourney-changing -- hand of the afternoon.

Before we got there, Canadian Amer Sulaiman -- leader at the start of play today -- was knocked out by Chris Conrad in 13th, and Jose de la Guardia followed him in 12th. Soon afterwards, Conrad and Barbero got involved in a bout of preflop gamesmanship, with Barbero opening with a raise, Conrad three-betting, then Barbero shoving all in for more than 700,000 total.

When Conrad made the call, Barbero responded with a sheepish look, having been caught making a situational play with 8♣4♠. Conrad held A♣Q♦, and was good through four community cards. Then the 8♠ cheekily landed on the river, giving Nacho the hand and sending the 100-plus deep crowd into a frenzy. Barbero had not only escaped, but was suddenly the chip leader!


Barbero would bust Conrad shortly thereafter, then the Chilean Danny Manriques went out in 10th. Hand-for-hand play lasted a short while before Nicasio Sanchez Toranzo was crippled after running his pocket queens into Ismael Cadiz' A♥A♦. Toranzo was soon out in ninth, and our eight-handed final table was set.

Seat 1: Erick Cabrera (Peru) - 1,426,000

Seat 2: Ismael Cádiz (Chile) - 1,125,000

Seat 3: Ben Barrows (United States) - 1,154,000

Seat 4: Silvio Martins (Brazil) - 594,000

Seat 5: Valerio Valera (Venezuela) - 236,000

Seat 6: Rene Aguiar (Chile) - 691,000

Seat 7: Jose "Nacho" Barbero (Argentina) - 1,817,000

Seat 8: Carlos Herrera (Colombia) - 434,000

Will chip leader "Nacho" Barbero be able to make it back-to-back LAPT victories? Or will one of our other seven final tablists be the one claiming his own conquest of Peru?

Come back at noon tomorrow local time (that's Central time zone) to find out! Those looking to follow the reports of our colleagues in Spanish, visit, and for Portuguese, go to

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