LAPT Playa Conchal: Shaking off the morning
They called "Shuffle up and deal" at the stroke of noon, with many Team Pros, qualifiers, and local players still rubbing the sleep out of their eyes and shaking off the effects of last night's welcome party. The registration line winds out the door of the convention center of the Paradisus Playa Conchal, poker luminaries like Jean-Robert Bellande waiting to buy in and take their seats.
Though there are still a number of empty seats at the tables, they are quickly being filled in with the likes of Andre Akkari, Angel Guillen, Felipe Ramos, Christian de Leon, J.C. Alvarado, Leo Fernandez, Gualter "stockcar99" Salles, and Maria "maridu" Mayrinck. Victor Ramdin flew in yesterday, as did Veronica Dabul, who took down Humberto Brenes' "Shark Hunt" tournament last night, which raised $9,650 for charity, a sum that will be matched by Brenes and matched again by PokerStars.
Speaking of the first family of Costa Rican Poker, no fewer than five Breneses have been spotted on the premises, including Alex, Eric, his son Eric Jr., Humberto, and his youngest son Roberto, who made a deep run Season 2's stop in Vina del Mar, Chile. Family last-longer honors are once again up for grabs.
PokerStars player Shirley Rosario made the long trek to Guanacaste from her native Los Angeles, as did U.S.-based players David Plastik, Paul "X-22" Magriel, and George Lind III. We have also spotted at least one Season 2 champion in the room-- Vina del Mar winner Fabian Ortiz, who made one of the greatest comebacks we've ever witnessed in tournament poker, rallying from half a big blind to take down the title.
The PokerStars video blog team put together this reel highlighting our luxurious new venue, the Paradisus Playa Conchal. Check it out below:
Watch LAPT S3 COSTA RICA: Welcome to Paradise on PokerStars.tv