Thursday, July 24, 2014

Travel Report: LAPT7 Panama, Day 1a -- Veni, Vidi, Veneto

A full day yesterday for Day 1a of the LAPT Panama Main Event at the Veneto Wyndham Grand Hotel here on Vía Veneto y Av Eusebio Morales in Panama City.

As expected there was a relatively modest-sized field for the first Day 1 flight, although the 174 total entries I think might have been a little more than some were thinking might turn out.

Most (but not all) of the usual suspects were present, and while the first levels of any tournament generally don’t provide too much excitement in the way of poker, there were some intriguing hands and I also had a chance to meet some interesting players.

Early in the day I chatted with Joel Micka who arrived bright and early for the first hand at 12 noon after having stayed up late the night before making a deep run in the Super Tuesday, the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold’em tourney on PokerStars (he finished 10th). A friendly guy who has had a lot of online success plus some good live results, too, including a huge million dollar-plus score in early 2013 at the PCA when he took runner-up in the Main Event.

Also enjoyed talking to Angelina Rich, someone with whom I felt like I probably had a little more in common for a few reasons. A relatively new player, Rich has enjoyed some success during the past year winning the Women’s Sunday on Stars, also cashing in three events at EPT10 Sanremo including winning the Women’s Event a few months ago, plus winning her seat into the LAPT Panama tourney via FPPs.

Rich has a degree in fashion design and started a during the past year as well called Rich Street Fashion, and we had a chance to talk about her poker education as well as her blog yesterday.

I expect I’ll meet a few more new folks today. There will be some of the same faces back again, too, as the tournament allows reentries, meaning people like Humberto Brenes and Leo Fernandez of Team PokerStars Pro who busted last night will surely be returning.

Staying right here in the venue is extremely convenient, something I don’t always get to do on these trips, although I suspect it’s gonna keep me from seeing too much of Panama City this week. Perhaps later when we do get to some shorter days there will be a chance at least to walk around a little.

More mañana.

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