LAPT San Jose: Click, click, clatter, clatter

It rained last night in San Jose, a gentle reminder that we're in the rainy season in a country that is half covered by rain forest. We probably should have known.

But drawing back the curtains this morning revealed bright sun, baking heat and a familiar calm that always precedes what soon becomes exceptionally stormy.

Here's how it usually works. Overnight, the staff of the Cariari Country Club set up 40 plus tables to accommodate our record turnout.

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Then, this morning, players began registering at the same time that dealers and tournament staff began filing into the empty room. They counted out the chips to slide in front of vacant chairs.

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Then some of the media arrived, scurrying to a press conference with Glenn Cadamateri, the President of the LAPT, and Humberto Brenes, of Team PokerStars Pro and Costa Rica. The two stalwarts of the LAPT blasted through the ever impressive statistics surrounding PokerStars events. Today's latest mind-blowing figures include the expectation that we'll top 400 players and have a prize pool of more than $1 million. That's already an increase of a third on the excursion to Rio earlier this month.

Then the tournament director, Mike Ward, grabbed the microphone to prepare us for the deluge. "The players are coming in now," he said. And so they did, pouring towards their seats and, for many, the biggest tournament of their lives.

Clatter, clatter, click, click. The riffling of chips. Then, those words: "Shuffle up and deal!"

And we're off.

We'll be taking a walk of the room momentarily to introduce you to some of the stars playing here this week. Stay tuned.