Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Punta del Este, Departure

Uruguay at nightThat’s one of the last pictures I took while in Uruguay. From the back of the shuttle, somewhere between Punte del Este and Montevideo. Not bad, considering we were hurtling forward at more than 100 km per on a bumpy highway.

We had an early check-out yesterday, but weren’t leaving until later in the afternoon. Meaning we were pretty much stranded in the hotel lobby for several hours waiting for our shuttle to Montevideo. That gave us the time to hang out some more with our friend Luke (of Australia) whom we envied as we watched him grind a bit on PartyPoker.

This was my first trip out of the U.S. for a tourney since going to LAPT Lima back in April, the one I took with Dr. Pauly during which Black Friday surprisingly smacked us all. I’m realizing now how for every subsequent trip abroad a hard-to-ignore theme is necessarily going to be America’s (essential) non-involvement in the online poker scene. At least in the near term.

Watching Luke play, I was inspired to dial up Hero Poker where I have my small roll and I goofed around with some nickel-dime PLO while we waited. Hardly the stakes for which Luke plays, of course. But that wasn’t the only thing different about our games.

I’ve mentioned here before how even for a recreational player like myself the whole concept of online poker has suddenly become something entirely different from what it was prior to April 15. More theory than practice, now, if that makes sense. Something we Americans are aware of as an idea, but don’t do anymore. Not really.

Carrasco International Airport at Montevideo, UruguayOur shuttle finally arrived and a couple of hours later we were checking in at the Carrasco International Airport, shaped like a huge clam shell suddenly opening up there amid the Montevideo countryside. A couple more hours’ wait there and we were off to Miami.

Drew an especially good seat for this one, having the next-to-last row all to myself. There was a group of eight- or nine-year old boys in the row ahead of me, which looked for a moment early on like it could spell trouble. But they didn’t make too much noise, especially after the first half-hour or so. In fact, one of them helped provide an especially funny moment early on, just before dinner was served.

A flight attendant was standing by my aisle when the boy jumped from his seat and stood before the uniformed man. He had a question for him.

“Where’s the bathroom?” he asked.

The attendant responded without expression. “There are no bathrooms on this airplane,” he said. The kid’s jaw dropped. “Really?!” The attendant raised his hand. “Hang on,” he said, and turned around, reached back behind him, then faced the youngster once more.

I couldn’t help but grin as I saw the attendant hand the boy a plastic cup.

“Wha...?” the boy began, and finally the attendant gave him the straight dope. “Just kidding... it’s right here,” he said, pointing to the restroom located just behind us.

Having the extra seats meant I was able to stretch out and sleep pretty much without interruption from dinner to breakfast, about five-and-a-half hours. Felt kind of luxurious after a week of not-always-so-comfy accommodations. We all went our separate ways in Miami, and I made it back home to Vera in decent time and relatively decent shape.

As happened with that Lima trip, it feels like I’ve returned to an America that’s changed more than a little since I’d left, what with the stock market’s dramatic nosedive yesterday dominating the headlines today. Lots of poker news happening, too, of course, including another cheating drama (that “Girah” story), more Full Tilt Poker machinations, and the Epic Poker League kicking off their first Main Event about an hour from now. Oh, and there’s decent some poker on the teevee tonight, too, with that $50K Poker Player’s Championship finale airing.

flying homeSo much going on, it seems, even when not playing online. Stuff just flies by. Hardly time to stop and take a photo.

Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Punta del Este, Pregame
Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Punta del Este, Arrival
Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Punta del Este, Day 1
Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Punta del Este, Day 2
Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Punta del Este, Day 3
Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Punta del Este, Day 4

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