Sunday, March 23, 2014

Travel Report: LAPT7 Chile, Day 3 -- Rumbling Along

There’s a shot to the left of my walk in each day from the hotel to the casino. I may try to go for a run along this sidewalk tomorrow morning as I don’t fly out until Monday night. Have seen plenty of others doing the same this week, along with all of the dogs about.

Kind of an oddly-shaped day in terms of the poker pacing for Day 3 of the Latin American Poker Tour Chile Main Event.

They started with 32 and raced down to nine in less than four hours. With the schedule calling for them to stop at the eight-handed final table, it appeared that the day wouldn’t be lasting much longer. Which after three straight 12-hour-plus days seemed like a good situation.

But nine-handed play managed to last three full hours of play with a 75-minute dinner break tossed in the middle, so that ended up keeping us into the evening, then after a dinner that began around 10 p.m. it still turned out to be kind of a late one.

At last I was able to enjoy an actual dinner, and took full advantage having a delicious salmon dish while talking about progressive rock and poker in Brazil with Sergio. We also talked a little about the earthquakes that regularly hit Chile, something I’ll admit I’ve been vaguely thinking about from time to time while in my fourth-floor hotel room or on the third floor of the Enjoy Viña del Mar Casino.

The LAPT stop in Chile was canceled back in 2010 after the huge earthquake hit about 175 miles south of Viña del Mar, an 8.8-magnitude monster that is one of the largest ever recorded, causing billions in damages and resulting in more than 500 deaths. That was late February that year with the tourney having been scheduled a couple of weeks later, I believe.

Others who’ve come for the stop have experienced earthquakes as well, including a minor one a couple of years ago happening during the week of the event. I can only say that I’ve experienced an earthquake one time before and in an almost trifling way.

Apparently one did hit northern Chile during the day on Saturday (we are far south), and indeed from reading around they are so frequent it seems like the chances are actually better to feel one than not to if visiting for more than just a few days. Will be just fine with missing that part of the Chile experience if I can.

Sergio’s countryman Jefferson Melo leads to enter the final table (pictured at left, as photographed by Carlos Monti). He’s led to end Day 1a and Day 2 as well, and has thereby been able to pose for some all-timer chip leader photos. With bodybuilding as his hobby, it’s hard not to avoid the puns describing Melo bulking up his stack as he muscles his way to the top of the counts.

Check the PokerStars blog for reports, and watch the new LAPT Live feed (in Spanish and Portuguese) over on

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