LAPT Punta del Este: Steak in the air
Mere feet from the tournament room sits a giant hearth. A sweating man in a chef's hat maniacally throws giant logs into the flames. He stares at the fire until he feels it's right and then he throws giant slabs of red meat on the adjoining grill. It is, in a word, beautiful.
Play began here shortly after noon today. Now coming up on eight o'clock, the assembled poker players are being forced to play one more hour as dinner begins to cook. Normally, this would be no big deal. However the smell of bubbling beef fat hitting the hot coals hurts in a place only hungry poker players know. It is, in another word, torture.
We can't say for sure how this could affect the level of play over the next few minutes, but we feel sure it's not going to help anyone concentrate on pot odds, implied odds, reverse implied odds, or for that matter, how to even play the game of poker. These players know that when the clock hits zero, they can run, grab their seats, and get their meat on. For now, though, we must concentrate on the task at hand.
As we careen headlong toward the dinner break (...sirloin), it appears we have two players fighting for the chip lead. Our most recent counts put Ron Wasiel out in front with 110,000. Spain's Alberto Font is next on the list with 70,000 chips. Brazil's Magno Aragao is not far behind with 65,000 (...filet mignon). To put those stacks in perspective, the chip average currently sits somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 (...chorizo sausage...).
In all honesty, there may be no better smell than what is currently wafting through this room. We honestly thought we could go our entire careers without writing that sentence about a poker room, but, as they say, it is what it is.
You're going to have to excuse us for a bit. If we don't get out ahead of these poker players, there won't be any beef left for us. And that would be, in a final word, tragedy.