When you fly into Medellin airport, you pass over row after row of greenhouses. Flowers are a big part of the economy and the culture here, so much that there is an annual flower festival that takes place every August. The festival is more than 50 years old at this point, a source of pride for the city that connects the city of yesteryear with the city of today.
The city of today is a city of innovation. Citigroup and the Wall Street Journal bestowed the title of “World’s Most Innovative City” on Medellin earlier this year on the strength of Medellin’s transit system, museums, schools and libraries. The city edged out Tel Aviv and New York, two cities that loom large on the global stage. That is some pretty august company.
Innovation is the theme of the world these days as more and more cities and countries become connected to each other through broadband Internet. The Internet has the power not only to transform, but to bring people together who otherwise might never meet. One only need to look out across the tournament floor of the Allegre Casino here at the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Main Event to see the truth of that statement.
Yesterday 209 players entered Day 1a of this 2-million-peso event. 46 survived the day, led by Chilean Luis Hernan Esquivel. Today LAPT staff are expecting the field to roughly double in size for Day 1b. It will be hectic in here and it will be loud in here. People will come together – some who know each other, many who do not – brought to the tournament tables in Medellin by their love of a game of cards and, in many cases, the power of the Internet.
They’ll play ten levels. At the end of the night, roughly 80% of the field will failed to have made the cut. They’ll commiserate with each other over beer, over aguardiente, over food, over other gambling games. The other 20% will remain to sign their count slips, bag their chips, and bond over making it through the first day of a big buy-in poker tournament. Some will be qualifiers and some will be pros, but all will look forward to bursting the money bubble tomorrow.
That’s getting far ahead of things though. The LAPT likes to be innovative and tinker with the game, but even they haven’t figured out a way to play Day 2 before playing Day 1b.
Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.
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