Saturday, November 28, 2015

Travel Report: LAPT8 Brazil, Day 2 -- Part of the Crowd

It was a third straight long day behind the laptop, and now the 426-entry field is down to just 32 players at the Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final in São Paulo.

There’s still a lot of extracurricular activity happening all around the featured tournament, with workshops, numerous side events, and the start of the Brazilian Series of Poker Main Event which like others in this BSOP Millions festival promises to feature an enormous field.

I’ve had a few conversations over the last few days both with Brazilians and others about the thriving poker scene here in Brazil. Everyone has been very friendly all week and especially accommodating of my sad lack of Portuguese, and I’ve enjoyed having these discussions and at least getting to know a bit about poker’s place in the culture, even if I haven’t gotten to explore much else as yet.

While São Paulo is kind of a central hub, there are numerous large cities (many nice vacation destinations, too) where poker is continuing to grow, and just the sight of something like what is pictured above makes it hard to deny poker’s prominence here.

You can click that photo to see a larger-sized image, one taken by the great Carlos Monti (in the center below). I am in there -- play “Where’s Shamus?” by looking to the upper right, just between the “Dourado / Golden” sign hanging down and the tournament clock. There I am, against the wall wearing a white shirt.

There are a 151 tables in the Golden Hall here in the World Trade Center São Paulo complex, and there have been many times when every single one of them has been in use.

The body clock is completely thrown off now, as I find I’m waking up early despite the late finishes. Still, I can’t help but be energized by the atmosphere, and with several big names from the LAPT still among the Grand Final field I’m as curious as anyone to see what happens over the next two days.

Check the PokerStars blog for more reports on the Grand Final.

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