LAPT Panama: Reduce, reuse, recycle
Wednesday November 5, 2008 was a day no veteran of the LAPT will ever forget. The U.S. Presidential elections had finished up the night before. The party in the Ramada Herradura bar lasted until the early morning hours. The final table started that afternoon, and brash American Ryan Fee dismantled his opponents in just a few hours. It stands as the fastest final table in LAPT history (and good thing, too, after that party the night before).
Hovering like a halo above that memory is an oval of red. A padded oval of candy apple red. It's not a memory brought on by too much tequila. It's the memory of a poker table the LAPT hasn't seen in nearly three years.
Even if you spend a lot of time playing poker, you may not think a lot about the logistics of running the biggest poker series in the region. Organizers have to hire dealers, source chips, ship cards, and remember all the while that they will need a couple of hundred dealer buttons. And even if you have all that stuff, you're still going to need tables. A lot of them.
Consider this: tables aren't small. When you have dozens of them, shipping them from country to country can cost more than the tables are worth. So, the LAPT and other tours create tables they can have at the ready in certain regions. It cuts down on costs and spares the tables a lot of shipping from country to country each season.
So, by and by, those red-railed tables that started in San Jose in Season 1, survived the Ryan Fee onslaught in Season 2, and journeyed to the Costa Rican coast in Season 3 went into storage after Playa Conchal, never to be seen again...until now.
If you're not up on your geography, Panama is just south of Costa Rica. It's less than 500 miles from San Jose to Panama City. So, the tables made the journey here, a place that already looks to be a part of LAPT Season 6.
Sure, it's a small thing, but whether you're a player, a dealer, or a reporter, you spend a lot of time staring at poker tables. Moreover, you spend a lot of time with your hands all over the rail.
So, if you're mother ever says, "You don't know where that thing's been!" now you can say, "Yes, I do!"
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Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging