The trip in was relatively easy, with no surprises along the way other than perhaps a little extra excitement on the ride from Tocumen International Airport to the Veneto Wyndham Grand Hotel where I’m staying and where the tournament is being played. Zipping along in the shuttle at 100 km per, we had a couple of close calls with others jockeying for position along the two-lane Corredor Sur, but made it in good shape. And good time, natch.
Riding in we were traveling west and did for a time duck out over the Gulf of Panama, before curving back inland. Could see the skyline, kind of a distinctive feature of Panama with its several tall buildings not bunched together but spread out along a lengthy swatch of the coastline. Am west of the canal, I believe, spanned by the Bridge of the Americas.
I checked in and hung out in the room just a short while before connecting with Sergio, my fellow blogger who handles PokerStars’ blog for Brazil. We relaxed in the bar area next to a large pool which was pretty popular when I first arrived, but soon the skies turned gray and opened up to send everyone under cover.
We shot the breeze for a good while, then eventually ventured out into have a nice dinner at a Peruvian restaurant a couple of blocks away called Machu Picchu where I filled up on seafood appetizers (calamari and parmesan shrimp) and a delicious sea bass entree.
As Sergio pointed out, we’ll be mostly confined to the hotel-casino for the next few days where it’ll be a lot of burgers and fast meals, although we’ll probably get out -- and likely back to the Machu Picchu -- once the weekend comes and the tourney days are shorter.
Not sure what kind of field size we’ll see tomorrow, although it sounds like with the WSOP having just ended and the Brazilian Series of Poker having their BSOP Brasilia event next week there will probably be a somewhat smaller group here than last fall when there were 570 total entries.
Gonna file this one now and get some rest. Probably will only have time for the short reports this week between all the other stuff I have to get done. More to come.