LAPT7 Panama: Forecasting fun as Day 1A awaits

"Welcome to sunny Panama!"

So said David Carrion to me yesterday afternoon while sitting poolside at here at the Veneto Wyndham Grand Hotel and Casino. A broad grin punctuated the always affable LAPT President's words, an acknowledgement of the not-quite-accurate weather report contained in his greeting.

No, the sun was well hidden behind gray skies which had just opened up in a torrential downpour, scattering the swimmers and everyone else who took cover at the nearby bar.


Funny... not sunny

It's a first visit to Panama City for your humble scribbler, here to deliver reports all week from this latest stop of Season 7 of the Latin American Poker Tour. And while the skies were dark yesterday, the forecast for the week is much brighter as the tour's third visit to the Central American nation's capital promises an exciting tournament ahead.

Two years ago the LAPT made its first visit to Panama, where Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez of Argentina managed to best a field of 338 to earn his first tour title.


LAPT5 Panama winner and Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez

Then last fall the buy-in was reduced from $2,500 to $1,650, and it was Panama's own Galal Dahrouj topping a 570-entry field to earn a first ever LAPT title for Panama.


LAPT6 Panama winner Galal Dahrouj

The buy-in remains at $1,650 this time around, and we'll soon see how many players will be vying for this next LAPT Main Event trophy. There are two Day 1 flights scheduled today and tomorrow, with unlimited re-entries available through the start of Level 7 for those busting today and anyone knocked out on Day 1A able to rejoin the tourney for tomorrow's Day 1B.

Both days will be long ones, as the schedule calls for 10 one-hour levels to be completed with a dinner break after Level 6. Indeed, while that sun has in fact reappeared this morning bringing a crystal blue sky to greet us early risers, it will have long gone by the time the bagging and tagging commences around midnight tonight.

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The Veneto Wyndham Grand Hotel and Casino in Panama City

Meanwhile keep your browsers pointed here over the next five days for start-to-finish coverage of LAPT7 Panama, where you can count on frequent reports on the conditions inside starting shortly after play begins at 12 noon local time (Central).

Photography from LAPT7 Panama by Carlos Monti. Click here for live updates in Spanish, and here for live updates in Portuguese. Also check out the start-to-finish live streaming coverage (in both Spanish and Portuguese) at

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.