LAPT Grand Final: The grind
At various times in the past, in this very space, I have waxed eloquent about the coffee in South America. The last time that happened I was blogging from the LAPT Colombian National Poker Championship in Medellin in October. But I beg your indulgence to allow me to spill the slightest bit more digital ink on black gold.
I'm not a "coffee person". I couldn't really tell you what makes South American coffee so fantastic. But I do know that my blogging partner, Brad Willis, was spot on (as he often is) when he tweeted yesterday, "Anyone who has ever claimed coffee isn't a drug has never been to South America." There's just something different about coffee down here that gets lost in translation when the stuff gets transported to North America and mass marketed and produced.
Whatever the difference, I was extremely disappointed when the usual pot of coffee wasn't delivered to the media room at the LAPT Grand Final this morning. A night of "imbibery" has left me in a state that a cup of the finest South American blend would go a long way towards curing.
Instead, I face the grind of Day 3 of the LAPT Season 4 Grand Final without my precious grounds. As do the 24 remaining players.
They're a diverse bunch, these 24. 7 Brazilians. 4 Venezuelans. A couple of Chileans and Argentinians. And single representatives of nine other countries. Two of them, Caio Pimenta (607,000) and Vincenzo Giannelli (538,000), crested the 500,000-chip mark yesterday and lead the field. Two others - Daniel Negreanu (398,000) and Humberto Brenes (51,000) - are proud and long-standing members of Team PokerStars Pro.
When play concluded yesterday at the refreshingly early and decidedly dangerous time of 8:30pm, roughly 30 minutes remained in Level 17 (blinds 3,000-6,000, ante 1,000). That's where we'll pick things up today. We'll throw these 24 players into the grinder and see which 8 come out on the other side, where a berth at the Day 4 final table awaits.
Hopefully none of them spent as much time or money imbibing last night as I did. Focus and stamina will be keys to surviving the day, for them as well as for me.
If only there were somewhere I could find focus and stamina, perhaps in liquid form.