Thursday, August 01, 2013

Travel Report: LAPT6 Peru, Day 1a -- Poker Made Passion

Was a fast-moving day yesterday at LAPT Peru with the first of two Day 1 flights coming and going in what seemed like the blink of an eye.

There were 213 total entries yesterday (including a number of players who busted in the first four levels and re-entered), with only 55 making it through the day to come back for Friday’s Day 2. Today comes Day 1b, the second and last Day 1 flight, and expectations are we’ll see many of those who didn’t it make it through yesterday coming back to try again today.

There were several highlights yesterday, many of which I was able to include in my posts for the PokerStars blog throughout the day. One was the meal we enjoyed downstairs from the poker room at the Eliazar, the restaurant in the Atlantic City Casino where I’ve had multiple good meals during my visits to Lima.

Had a tasty potato and tilapia dish for a starter, breaded chicken with rice for the main course, then a delicious pastry-based dessert with caramel and jelly.

The latter had us laughing with the menu description thanks to the inclusion of an English translation that went “I have left the dessert made passion” which Ray and I subsequently tried our best to develop into a catch phrase for the rest of the evening.

Humberto Brenes is here, of course, and after re-entering once early on he made it through to Day 2. As often happens on the LAPT, the “Shark” was the source of few more highlights yesterday.

On these LAPT stops I’m always reminded of Brenes’s elevated status as a genuine poker celebrity in this part of the world. He sometimes gets referred to as the “Godfather of Costa Rican poker” or the like, and it’s easy to see how much others tend to enjoy and appreciate his presence at the tables.

There were a few hands late in the day, all-in situations that Brenes helped turn into celebrations with his involuntary expressions of excitement, that caused us to think of that new word we have all learned in the last month -- “Sharknado.” (One such scene is pictured, with Brenes on the left.)

I remember a few years ago when many were first exposed to the antics of Brenes on ESPN, and how there were a few less-than-enthused reactions from some quarters who thought he might be unduly playing to the cameras. But in truth his passion for the game is always genuine, and in the context of an LAPT event adds considerably as a reminder to all much fun card-playing can be.

Have to run as Day 1b is approaching fast. Sounds like we’ll see more today than yesterday in terms of entries, so there’ll be more tournament to cover. Check in over at the PokerStars blog for reports all day.

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