LAPT Panama: Victory cigar $171K up top
A thunderstorm rolled across Panama City this afternoon and rendered the already warm air into a drippy, tropical soup. On the seventh floor of the Wyndham Veneto, low gray clouds dripped into the pool. As the storm passed, a lone man worked under an overhang, his dark hands against almost-matching tobacco leaves. In a matter of minutes he'd created what could soon be a victory cigar.
Registration closed after two levels today. When the internal audit finished an hour later, the tournament staff announced that 338 players had signed up to fight for the $754,080 prize pool. The top 48 of those players will pick up at least $3,900. The winner will pocket more than $171,000. More on that below, but know this:
More than $170,000 will buy a lot of victory cigars. They're going for just a few bucks apiece outside.
There's a lot to be said for Panama in late September. The American dollar spends well here. The air is warm, and the people are warmer. As one Lonely Planet writer once quipped, it's a lot like Miami, but more people speak English here.
While the air is right for swimming or enjoying a cigar at poolside, the action tonight in the pre-dinner break hours is solely focused in a green-lit ballroom a couple hundred feet from the pool. The fun and games of early low-blind action are almost over. When players return from grabbing some grub, they'll be in for a fight to the late finish. When the night is over, the field will likely be half the size with was when 338 people sat down today. The remaining field will be forced to go to bed with the knowledge that they'll have to fight down to 24 players on Friday. In the game of looking ahead, this is just the very beginning.
That's because anyone who does survive tomorrow will be able to go to the cage and walk away with a stack of American money. How much for each one still remains to be seen. But for now, they can see a complete look at the payouts on the LAPT Panama prize pool and winners page.
After that, we'll talk about the cigars.
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Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging