LAPT San Jose: Pura Vida Party

Though we've written about it before, it is worth repeating. Costa Rica, this lush land of virtue and vice, expresses its innate joy with one simple phrase: Pura Vida. In its literal translation, it means "pure life." It is used, however, to emote just about anything good, from "this is the life" to "right on." Anyone who walked the red carpet into the LAPT San Jose welcome party tonight would've been just fine screaming "Pura vida!" at the top of their lungs.

Just 17 hours in advance of the start of the LAPT's second season, PokerStars hosted yet another in a long series of blow-out parties. Fueled by a mix-mastering DJ and distortion-heavy live band, the party offered everything from empanadas to bottomless cocktails.

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It was hard to turn in any direction without seeing a familiar face. From the ubiquitous visage of Humberto Brenes to the always-happy faces of the Brazilian chip-slingers like Andre Akkari, Alexandre Gomes, and Maria Mayrinck, the party was a who's who of the Latin American Poker scene.

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This crowd of revelers faced a tough decision tonight. The bar was open and the service was quick. It would be hard to turn down another Imperial Beer or chocolate covered strawberry. Staring all party-goers in the face, however, was a noon-time start in the adjacent poker room for the kickoff of the LAPT San Jose event.

Though it is unclear at this time how many people have entered tomorrow's event, one thing is certain. PokerStars and the LAPT have guaranteed a $1 million prize pool. That was enough to get a roomful of satellite players in their seats for $400 at the party's close.

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In just a little more than 12 hours, we will all convene on the ballroom near the Fiesta Casino for the beginning of LAPT's second season. If tonight's party was any indication, the coming series of tournaments is one that should not be missed.

If you'd like to read a little more on this event, see The Godfather Welcomes His Family. Otherwise, we'll see everyone bright and early at the start of tomorrow's event. In the meantime, we leave you with one thought...

Pura vida.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Latin American Poker Tour