One distinctive feature of the surrounding environs just ouside the Enjoy Viña del Mar Casino and Resort are the horse-drawn carriages clop-clopping up and down the Aveneda Peru as they transport sight-seers around the city.
The four-legged guides trace a circular path again and again throughout the morning, afternoon, and into the evening. Not unlike the circular patterns being followed here on the third floor of the Enjoy by the cards, the button, and the action as play gets going among the nearly 200 two-legged combatants (so far) on Day 1a of the LAPT7 Chile Main Event.
The Latin American Poker Tour itself has been tracing its circles around the South American continent for six years now, with this week’s kickoff in Viña del Mar beginning a seventh annual trek.
One evidence of the tour having well established its groove by Season 7 is the introduction this season of live streaming of LAPT Main Events not just at the final tables, but throughout the tournaments. Feeds are available in both Spanish and Portuguese, with a feature table full of players being highlighted and commented upon. Even the English-only crowd can likely follow the action, thanks to the universal language of bets, checks. calls, raises, and cards.
Currently sitting at the feature table to start out play today on Day 1a is Carter Gill, the American player who comes to Chile as the most recent LAPT champion after winning the Grand Final at Punta del Este last November to conclude Season 6. Gill earned $238,260 for topping a field of 508 in that one.
In fact, Gill has himself begun to establish a serious groove here on the continent. That win at Uruguay followed another LAPT Main Event final table just a couple of months before in Panama where Gill took fourth for $57,060. And in fact less than two weeks ago Gill was winning again in South America, outlasting a large 1,290-entry field at the Majestic Casino in Panama City in the Latin Series of Poker Millions for another big score of $175,070.
Gill noted after winning in Panama that the finish marked his fifth straight final table on the continent, with a couple more in Colombia rounding out what has been an especially hot run in this part of the world.
Gill’s sitting a little below the starting stack of 20,000 as play moves into the second level today. But given his recent string of success, all eyes — including ours — will certainly continue to follow his progress wherever he’s sitting as he tries to trot his way around to yet another deep finish.
Photography from LAPT7 Chile by Carlos Monti. Follow live streaming coverage throughout LAPT7 Chile in Spanish at PokerStars or via Facebook as well as in Portuguese, also at PokerStars or via Facebook.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.