Thursday, March 20, 2014

Travel Report: LAPT7 Chile, Day 1a -- Reporting from the Rail

Some quick hit blogging here once again during the dinner break at the Latin American Poker Tour Chile Main Event.

Yesterday went well, though by night’s end I was about as tired as I could be after the travel plus having to take care of a lot of extra duties surrounding the full day of tourney work.

The Grand Ballroom in which the tournament is being held is nicely laid out, comfortable both for players and media alike. The turnout for the first of the two Day 1 flights on Wednesday ended up settling at 237 entries altogether after the re-entries ended after the dinner break.

The buy-in was upped this year from the $1,100 of a year ago (when there were 1,024 entries), to $1,700 this time (putting it more in line with other LAPT events). So the overall number entries is expected to be down a bit, and in fact there are a number of concurrent events happening this week which will likely be having an effect as well.

Still, it’s a pretty exciting time on the LAPT after having completed a successful sixth season and finding itself as popular as ever in this part of the world. The tour is growing into something starting to resemble the template set by the bigger (and senior) European Poker Tour, from the various accommodations provided to the broadening of the coverage.

Just 74 made it through the 10 one-hour levels yesterday, with the Brazilian Jefferson Melo ending the night with a little under 200,000 chips. There are more entries today (registration is still techincally open as I write), and I’d suspect tonight’s leader will have passed Melo.

I’d mentioned how Lynn Gilmartin was playing her first LAPT this week, and yesterday she battled through the dinner break only to have the misfortune of running pocket kings into pocket aces to bust (reminding me of a similar tourney experience from a while back). A highlight of the day, though, was interviewing Lynn for the PokerStars blog, which I got a kick out of and I think she did, too.

Also enjoyed talking to Carter Gill yesterday, who I mentioned before has been a hugely successful tourney run on this continent of late, including winning the LAPT6 Grand Final in Uruguay and final tabling the LAPT6 Panama event before that. Gill was friendly and humble, and while he, too, busted before the day was out he was back at it again today.

Have to sign off, but check the PokerStars blog for more scribbling and also the great pics from Carlos Monti, a.ka., the Fisherman, who snapped the one above yesterday morning.

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