They played down from 195 players to just 32 yesterday, and it took from noon to midnight once again for the day’s play to complete. Along the way I had a chance to chat with Ken “Teach” Aldridge, here amid a first-time visit to South America.
Some may know of “Teach” from his World Series of Poker bracelet win back in 2009 or his runner-up finish in a World Poker Tour event in 2011. He’s collected a number of other cashes and deep runs over the last five years or so, and is an easily recognizable figure thanks to the bright yellow jacket and cap he’s always sporting.
I was kind of surprised to see him here, mostly because the number of U.S. players making the trek down for LAPT events has shrunk dramatically after Black Friday. Some events only get a couple of Americans total; I believe about six played this one.
Read my interview with Aldridge to get to know him better. I especially like his perspective on what he’s doing in his early 60s traveling about playing poker. As he explains, the game has become an avenue for him to meet others and experience the world, something I can identify with greatly.
In fact, I’ll admit I can identify with even more with “Teach,” and not just his background as an educator. As it happens, he and I were born in the same North Carolina town, and he still lives not far away so we have a number of other common touchstones.
As it happened, Aldridge and David Williams both made the cash and then busted on the same hand last night, finishing 43rd and 44th, respectively.
I also enjoyed dinner last night with LAPT President David Carrion, LAPT Tournament Director Mike Ward, LAPT Poker Manager Thomas Koo, and and LAPT Event Manager Maria Paula Montero. There was shop talk about building tours and the impressions afforded by tourney turnouts, prize pools, and other factors -- all kind of fascinating to learn about and consider.
Back to the grind. Check the PokerStars blog for updates as usual.