LAPT Rio: There's shuffling and there's dealing

Well, the sun came out in Rio today for the first time since we arrived on Wednesday. Perfect time, then, to join the hordes of players and supporters heading through the darkened corridors of the Intercontinental Hotel to the conference facilities, where we're getting ready for the start of this LAPT extravaganza.

Mike Ward, the tournament director, was in characteristically bullish mood, drilling his army of dealers in the finer points of chip allocation ahead of the biggest tournament ever to reach these shores.

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Soon enough, the chips were all in their neat multicoloured stacks, and moments later they were being riffled anxiously, casually, threateningly or dismissively by the 300-plus players who will use them as their weapons for the coming three days. The starting stack is 10,000 and the structure can be found HERE. Take a look around the LAPT site for more about the event, then check back here throughout the day for progress reports, photographs and video blogs.

We'll also be providing the latest chip counts HERE, as well as eliminations as they happen. It's all a bit hectic and sometimes sketchy at the start of these huge events, but we've had a good deal of experience keeping on top of it.

In moments, we'll surely hear the inimitable "Shuffle up and deal!" over the microphone, repeated three times, in Portuguese ("Embaralha e distribua as cartas!") and Spanish: ("Barajad y repartir"). Which reminds me, we're covering this event in multiple languages. Click HERE for Portuguese and HERE for German.