Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chilling in Chile

I have successfully wound my way about 5,000 miles or so south to Viña del Mar, Chile where the Latin American Poker Tour is set to kick off its seventh season with the LAPT7 Chile Main Event tomorrow.

The second flight from Atlanta down to Santiago, a red-eye that left around 10 p.m. and landed at dawn, went well and I even managed to snag a few hours sleep after watching All the Presidents Men for the umpteenth time.

Had a nice neighbor for the ride, a woman originally from Chile who moved to the U.S. as a late teen. She was heading back to visit family somewhere north of Santiago, her first trip back in a decade. We chatted about traveling, poker and gambling (the latter a predilection of her husband), and life in Chile.

Team PokerStars Pro Christian de León was on the plane, too, and we shared the shuttle from Santiago International Airport. David Williams is coming down as well and in fact was supposed to be with us, but he ended up switching plans to come a day later as the event has two Day 1 flights.

The weather greeting us as we stepped outside the airport was about as perfect as one could imagine -- upper 60s, clear and blue, with a light breeze. T-shirt weather, really, although equally comfortable in a light jacket and a far cry from the icy, wintry mix I’d left at the farm a day before.

Mountains surrounded us for the first part of the drive, then after we tunneled through a couple of them they began to receded to be replaced by ubiquitous vineyards. Eventually we neared the coast and at last the row of hotels looking out over the rocks and crashing waves where the land meets the Pacific.

Ended up resting much of the day, my repose interrupted only briefly for a short trek to snap some pics. Reunited some of the LAPT folks this evening and had a nice dinner with Reinaldo (now the media coordinator for the LAPT) before getting back to the hotel where I’m presently looking for ways to watch that NCSU play-in game that starts in about a half-hour.

More mañana.

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