Friday, May 25, 2012

Travel Report: 2012 LAPT Punta del Este, Day 1

The view out my hotel window in Punta del EsteThere’s a shot out the back of my hotel suite, the Atlantic ocean lapping up onto the shore here during the early days of a mild Uruguayan winter.

It was a relatively calm Day 1 at the tournament yesterday. Short, too, as we only played six one-hour levels.

Apparently the reason for only playing six levels -- as opposed to the usual eight or ten -- had something to do with the availability of dealers and their union not permitting them to work more than seven-hour-long shifts.

With the large field here at the start of the tourney there’s a need to spread more tables, and thus a need for more dealers. Once the field shrinks, however, they’ll be able to split up the dealers they have into early and late shifts, and so we’ll be able to play more at that point.

I believe the plan today, then, will be another six-level day, which means tomorrow’s Day 3 will probably be extra long, and Sunday’s final day may be as well. A total of 375 ended up coming out for this one, down a little from the 422 they had back in August, but still a big group. They played down to about 274 or thereabouts yesterday.

Had a chance to write some fun “color”-type posts yesterday with my blogging partner F-Train, which made the short work day even more enjoyable. My favorite of the day was one about the wild sculpture in the sand just up the road called the “Monumento al Ahogado” or the “Monument of the Drowned.” That’s the one with the four fingers and thumb coming up out of the sand (see a picture in my Tuesday post).

I managed to pull together a post about the sculpture that told the story while relating it to poker, and was able to include a couple of neat pictures as well. Reinaldo had a cool one of himself standing amid the sculpture, and our awesome photographer Carlos got me a picture of stacks of poker chips that I incorporated into the post as well.

Then the title kind of wrote itself: “Have I Got a Hand for You.”

Thanks to the short day we were able to take a cab back down to the Isidora, the waterfront restaurant we’d enjoyed during the last visit and which a couple in our group (F-Train and Josh) hadn’t been to before. I made sure to get the delicious rabas (squid rings) again.

At the end of the meal, someone mentioned playing credit card roulette for the bill, and while we decided against doing so, Mickey thought he’d see what would have happened if we had. My card was picked first, continuing that run good I’ve been having on the trip thus far, and with what seemed like utter inevitability, Mickey’s own card was last.

“Unbelievable,” he said. Which all who know Mickey will find believable.

Got back to the room in good shape and am reasonably rested for today. Am vaguely aware of other big happenings in the poker world, including the WPT Championship winding down and the WSOP about to crank up. But enjoying a little respite from that frenzy for now amid the relative calm of Punta.

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