LAPT Mar del Plata: First tango in Plata

lapt-promo.gif"In less than ten minutes," the man said, "you will witness some of the best tango dancers you have ever seen."

It was a bold statement. First off, the man had no way of knowing the caliber of tango dancers we've witnessed. Second, the tango is a dance that can't necessary be predicted. Just because a couple has pulled off a good one during a rehearsal doesn't necessarily mean they'll bring it when it counts.

And then it happened. With the music blaring and the lights pulsing with all the fervor of some hippie's heaven, the heretofore unseen partners took the stage. There danced the best tango we'd ever seen. Prediction fulfilled.

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We write this in the aftermath of yet another of PokerStars' signature welcome parties, this one for the grand finale of the Latin American Poker Tour's second season. It will happen just steps from the beaches of Argentina's Mar del Plata, the Happy City, a place just entering its autumn of 2009.

We write tonight on the eve of the big one. The stars have come out for this final event. As we waded through the Quilmes beer, prime beef, and prawns on a stick, we saw the world's poker heroes. Among the jugglers and dancers we saw such greats as Chris Moneymaker and Joe Hachem. We saw one J.C. Alvarado, fresh off his Spring Championship of Online Poker victory. What's more, we saw such fresh prospects as Veronica Dabul, Alex Gomes, and Maria "maridu" Maryricnk. Like always, it was a party where greats rubbed elbows with greatness.

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Only one thing can temper a party with such potential. That, of course, is the poker.

By noon Thursday, the $5,200 main event will be underway. It doesn't forgive hangovers or sleepiness. It simply is what it is: one last chance to claim a title in the LAPT's second season.

Because we recognize all of the above, we have taken it easy tonight and are bedding down for one good night of rest before embarking on the four-day journey that will lead us to our champion.

Watch LAPT Mar del Plata S2: Welcome Party on

We hope you will join us here at noon local time (that's ET plus one hour) for live blog coverage of Day 1A.

It may not be the best tango you've ever seen, but, if we may be so bold, it stands to be some pretty damned interesting poker.