LAPT Punta del Este: Our kingdom for a cattle prod
Let's just state the obvious here: People really like them some poker. Nowhere is that more clear today than in Punta del Este where more than 320 poker players have shown up for the second stop in this fine city.
Even in the face of the best planning money can buy, the Mantra Resort and Casino poker area is as packed to the gills. The tables spent an hour playing eleven-handed. The main room and overflow area couldn't make room for a small dog, let alone another poker player. Several tables are still playing out in the back 40 (how we've come to think of the casino poker room--up the escalator and in the main casino). The world economy may be stumbling over itself on a daily basis, but if this event is any indication, the LAPT is recession-proof.
The smart money says this field will be cut in half by the dinner break, but for right now, navigating through this crowd requires an electric cattle prod (or, if you prefer, several polite utterances of "excuse me").
The room did open up a bit ago, but we're not at all happy about why. The always imposing Vincenzo Giannelli made an early exit in this event. While that certainly will cut down on the fun factor, it does free up a little space in the room. If you've not had the pleasure of meeting Giannelli, he stands at least 6'5" and takes up his fair share of space in a place of this size. However, as his personality is as big as his frame, we'd just as soon have kept him around for a while.
Players are getting ready to go on their first break of the day. We plan to spend the time shopping at the Crowd Control Warehouse.