Friday, May 13, 2016

Travel Report: LAPT9 Panama, Day 1a -- My Two Balboas

Day 1a of the Latin American Poker Tour Panama Main Event was a smooth one, with a not-so-huge field and great accommodations make the reporting work pleasurable.

In stark contrast to Monaco, our media area is located right next to the tournament -- though in a separate room which allows for clearer-headed thinking while scribbling. In other words, instead of walking two full minutes (and negotiating lots of stairs) back-and-forth to file updates, it’s just a quick hop to get stuff and get it out.

I was mentioning yesterday how the Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino is a new facility and thus full of new-fangled, latest-and-greatest accommodations to make things easy. Panama is also one of those countries Americans can visit without having to fret too much about things like currency, electrical outlets and so on. USD is the commonly-used currency, accepted everywhere, and the plugs are all the same.

I have gotten back some Panamanian balboas as change, the national currency (named after a famed Spanish conquistador -- no, not Rocky) with an exchange rate of 1-to-1 with USD. And in another contrast with Monaco, expenses are much less exorbitant here (obviously), with stuff costing about what it should (i.e., nothing like those €20 cheeseburgers). Again, nice -- to give my two balboas about it.

There were 218 entries yesterday and 63 survivors, and today’s second and last Day 1 flight oughta draw at least 300 if not considerably more. Check the PokerStars blog for updates to see who comes and how many of them there are, along with pics and updates from myself and Will O’Connor.

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