LAPT8 Peru: Vamoooo Vamplew
The many poker tours criss-crossing the globe can sometimes carry players far from home for the purpose of playing cards. Case in point, a glance at the entry list from last season's Latin American Poker Tour Peru Main Event reveals players from 35 different countries participated, including those from as far away as Taiwan, Australia, and South Africa.
None who played in Lima last October hailed from Scotland, but this year at least one has made that very trip -- EPT/UKIPT London champion David Vamplew.
The player known as "davidv1213" on PokerStars did technically participate in one previous LAPT event -- the inaugural LAPT Bahamas event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January. But today marks his first try otherwise on the LAPT.
"Basically one of my friends suggested it as somewhere to tack onto a trip from Vegas," explains Vamplew, fresh off another long summer in the Nevada desert at the World Series of Poker.
"Most of the time when you're in Europe, it's an extremely long flight to come to South America -- probably the cost of the flight makes it not worth it. So I played just one satellite in May, thinking 'Oh, maybe I'll go' -- and I won.... I thought, 'well, I'm definitely going now.'"
We caught up Vamplew during the early stages of his LAPT Peru adventure, but asked him nonetheless if he'd formed any opinions about the field and caliber of play after having chipped up a bit from the 20,000-chip starting stack during the day's first four levels.
"I guess my impression beforehand was that everyone was just going to go off," he chuckles, referring to the Brazilians' reputation in particular for a sometimes loose style. "But people probably play slightly tighter and slightly better than I expected."
That impression is continuing to evolve, though, as suggested by Vamplew's two-word punctuation to his early evaluation...
As he does with every tournament he enters, Vamplew is hoping to make something good come from the opportunity to play. And given that this is his first time in Peru, he's also intending to make the most of things away from the tables while he's here.
"I've booked a little trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu as well," says Vamplew. "So I can actually see a little bit of Peru while I'm here other than just the inside of a casino."
Vamplew has accumulated more than $3.5 million in tournament earnings over the past five years, the £900,000 he earned for topping an 848-entry field in the EPT/UKIPT London Main Event in 2010 his largest tourney score. His having collected five more cashes at the WSOP this summer suggests things went well for him there, too, although he's quick to provide a more honest assessment.
"That's the most cashes I ever had by some distance," he agrees. "But I didn't make a profit. That's what you're aiming to do in the end, so I can't say it was a success."
With a seat won via a satellite and that exploration of Peruvian countryside soon to come, it sounds like Vamplew has already ensured him a profit of sorts here in Peru. Whether or not that profit will be of the financial variety for him, too... we'll see.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.