LAPT Vina del Mar: Welcome to the Garden City

Walking into the vast, four-story atrium that greets you upon entering the Hotel del Mar, here on the sun-splashed Chilean coastline, the clatter of chips is unmistakable. Players are milling about, tall leggy women in tight orange dresses are handing out goody bags and inside the Enjoy Casino, dealers are stacking up the players' 10,000 in starting chips. The LAPT Vina Del Mar-- the tour's first-ever stop in Chile-- is about to get underway.

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Thus far, we've spotted a number of Team PokerStars Pros taking their seats including Humberto Brenes, Andre Akkari, and Alexandre Gomes. "November Niners" Ylon Schwartz and Dennis Phillips are also in the house, though this time, Phillips' 300 or so "clones" could not make the trip. Also scheduled to play today are some of poker's top ladies, including Veronica Dabul, Shirley Rosario, and Maria Stern.

Action will be underway shortly.

Watch LAPT Vina Del Mar 09: Day One Intro (English) on

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Latin American Poker Tour