Monday, May 28, 2012

Travel Report: 2012 LAPT Punta del Este, Day 4

Heads-up at LAPT Punta del EsteAnother longish day yesterday at the Mantra Resort, Spa & Casino here in Punta del Este, Uruguay as we followed the playing out of the Season 5 LAPT Punta del Este Main Event. Marcelo Fonseca and Angel Guillen began the day eighth and ninth in chips, respectively, out of the final nine, but ended up being the last two at the table, with Fonseca ultimately winning out.

There were a couple of deals -- one three-handed, then another at heads-up -- to flatten the payouts a bit at the end. Fonseca ended up taking away $144,420 for the win, with Guillen grabbing $126,240. Afterwards we all grabbed a late dinner at the buffet (forgoing the massive, meaty addendum of parilla this time around), then made it back to the home-away-from-home sometime after 1 a.m.

Got up this morning reasonably rested and looking ahead to the long day-slash-night-slash-day of travel I’m facing. I saw my partner in crime F-Train off this morning as he has an earlier flight than the rest of us. Was great fun as always trading off posts with him as we reported from the event all week over on the PokerStars blog.

As often seems to happen among groups like us who find ourselves away covering events such as those on the LAPT, we talked a lot about the nature of tournament reporting, including sharing ideas about what makes for a worthwhile record of an event that is entertaining and useful to those following as well as satisfying for those producing it.

Couldn’t help but think ahead to the summer and all the reporting that’s going to be happening from the Rio as the WSOP unfolds over the next seven-plus weeks. I mentioned before I’ll be back with PokerNews starting a little after mid-June and will be there until they reach the final nine in the Main Event four weeks after that.

Kind of incredible, really, to think about how the reporting side of things at the WSOP (and tourneys in general) has gotten more and more involved over the years, even since I first got into it all. For fans there’s no end of information about these 61 WSOP events, it seems.

Was hearing something over the past few days about how apparently dealers at this year’s WSOP will be helping track chip counts via Blackberry Playbook tablet devices at every table. Sounds like they’ll be keeping track of players, checking them in when they sit down, recording them as busted out when that occurs, and updating stacks during breaks. Here’s more about the system, about which I guess I’m kind of in believe-it-when-I-see-it mode

Mickey Doft counting chips at the 2012 LAPT Punta del Este final tableSpeaking of counting chips, to the left is a picture of legendary chip counter Mickey Doft, taken yesterday by the great Carlos Monti. Both Mickey and Carlos are tops when it comes to paying attention to details.

Will be interesting to see how all of this stack-tracking stuff goes at the WSOP. Still think there remains a place for well presented narrative accounts of poker tournaments, whether in the form of hand reports or longer form essays summarizing highlights and/or delving deeper into interesting details or side stories along the way. But the stats geek side of me also likes the idea of discovering ways to gather still more “surface-level” or technical data about how tournaments play out, too.

Gonna save thinking on all that until later, though. Will try to rest as much as I can on the flights home, then enjoy the respite I’ll have for almost three weeks before returning to the airport again for another poker-related journey.

Talk to you again on the other side.

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