LAPT7 Peru: The Grand Final begins today

¡Hola, amigos! We're back! Back in the beautiful Miraflores district of Lima, Peru, that is, where the Latin American Poker Tour touches down this week for the final stop of Season 7. The Grand Final begins today, and much drama awaits as the LAPT looks to crown one last Main Event champion of the season.

This marks the fifth time the LAPT has come to Lima, always a favorite stop of regulars on the tour. Writing to you this morning from the west coast of South America where the skies are blue and the temperatures mild, it seems like the entire world is playing poker at present.

There is the European Poker Tour happening in London this week, where our intrepid team of PokerStars bloggers are delivering all of the action from the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden. The World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific is winding down as well, where Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer has already won his third WSOP bracelet of the year and currently is sweating a tight race for WSOP Player of the Year with Brandon Shack-Harris.

Meanwhile the LAPT will be back in action at the Atlantic City Casino with this week's $1,550 + $150 Main Event. Patricio Rojas of Chile is the defending champion here in Lima, having defeated a 557-entry field late last summer to claim the title and a $123,840 first prize after a seven-handed deal was made at the final table.


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Patricio Rojas

As noted this week's tournament culminates another successful, thrill ride of a season in Central and South America for the LAPT. It's a season that is coming to a close a few weeks earlier than had been the original plan after a decision was made to forgo traveling down to Uruguay next month following a mutual agreement between PokerStars and the Mantra Resort & Casino in Punta del Este. Instead the LAPT will be replacing the Uruguay stop by starting Season 8 in January at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, giving the tour's players a chance to experience the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas while competing against the best in the world.

There will be a lot of talent on display this week here Lima, too, however, where LAPT Season 7 champions Fabian Ortiz, Caio Hey, and Mario Lopez are expected to help comprise a field full of contenders. And speaking of Player of the Year races, those atop the LAPT Season 7 leaderboard like Horacio Fernando, Guillermo Olvera, and Victor Sbrissa should also be among those looking for more cashes and points this week.

The first hands are scheduled to be dealt at noon local time for today's Day 1A, the first of two Day 1 flights. The schedule calls for 10 one-hour levels to be played today with a 75-minute dinner break coming after Level 6. Players will start with 20,000 chips and unlimited re-entries will be available through the beginning of Level 7, with players who bust today also having the option to return for another try on Thursday.

We'll be here all day and night -- and all week, too, until a champion is at last crowned on Sunday -- so settle in and add another set of pages to follow as the global game of poker continues with nonstop action from Peru.


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The Atlantic City Casino in Lima, Peru

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

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.