LAPT8 Bahamas: The tour comes to the Caribbean; Main Event starts today

"Season Eight? Really? Wow."

So said my PokerStars blogging colleague Howard Swains to me last night as we discussed today's PCA schedule and its highlight, the inaugural LAPT Bahamas Main Event which kicks off Season 8 of the Latin American Poker Tour.

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Having covered the LAPT's first season back in 2008, Howard remembers the tour's humble beginnings. Meanwhile having been on the LAPT beat for the last several years, I've had the chance to see the tour's significant growth and how it has established its own tradition as an increasingly important part of the global tournament picture.

Last fall the decision was made to add a new LAPT stop here at the Atlantis, and during the months since the anticipation has been building toward today's Day 1. LAPT President David Carrion shared his thoughts about this event and the coming season with us yesterday, his comments reflecting the excitement surrounding both the tour's coming to the Caribbean and much else planned for in 2015.

Today's event features a $3,000 buy-in, an increase from the usual price tag for LAPT Main Events. "When we considered kicking off Season 8 here, we thought a buy-in of $1,500 or so wouldn't be enough," explained Carrion to us yesterday. "If people are going to have to fly here and book an extra night to play, we thought the buy-in should be a little higher. We were thinking as well of the players the PCA normally attracts and how many of them can sustain a little higher buy-in."

The structure will be largely the same, however, as other LAPT Main Events. The plan for today features 12 levels lasting 50 minutes each, with a 75-minute dinner break following Level 8. Unlimited reentries will be an option for those busting prior to the start of Level 9, at which point the tournament becomes a freezeout. (Late registration is available until then as well.) This is scheduled as three-day tournament, with the eight-handed final table -- which will be live streamed -- coming on Friday.

We've already seen a lot of the usual LAPT crowd here for this one, with a number of players from the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere who've never played an LAPT event before set to participate as well.

For updates all day, click the "LAPT Bahamas reports" link on the right-hand sidebar. Meanwhile head to the Super High Roller page for ongoing coverage of Day 2 of that event, and tune in to watch as well at EPT Live.

Yes, it's true... it's Season 8. And we can't wait!

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.