It's the dead of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and the beaches are deserted in this playground for the wealthy and the glamorous.
In the summer months they make the voyage east from Montevideo and Buenos Aires to the sweeping dunes and the postmodern glass-and-steel vacation homes that take up the majority of the available land, but now few are to be seen - apart from in the poker room.
The here, but suffice it to say the $241,735 first prize stacks up nicely against the $222,940 and $274,103 awarded to the LAPT champions in Rio and San Jose, respectively.
Among those including themselves in the hunt for the prize money and the oversized vase were 17 Team PokerStars pros, including bona fide Latin Americans like Alex Brenes would overtake him by day's end, he still bagged an impressive $70,000 going into the second day of play.
While the Fossilman was making his run to the top of the charts, however, many of his counterparts were falling by the wayside. Brandon Cantu was among the first to go, hitting the bricks with a pocket pair of tens against an opponent's pocket kings.
Rheem would follow shortly thereafter when his desperation shove with 9-6 couldn't hold up against an opponent's 6-4.
Meanwhile, Barry Greenstein seemed to spend his day trying not to fall asleep at the table. Greenstein arrived in Uruguay on the red-eye flight early on Thursday morning and at times in the proceedings seemed to be on the verge of nodding off.
The Bear made it stick until the sixth level but would ultimately falter, victimized by one Teddy Peterson when his pocket tens ran up against Peterson's aces and failed to improve, ending Greenstein's day and, one hopes, allowing him at least a little rest.
Gualter Salles made a run at the chip leaderboard midway through the day, pulling off an excellent semi-bluff with jacks on a queen-high flop and inducing a fold from an opponent with K-Q.
A few hands later the speed freak would get all-in with a pocket pair of fives on a J♦ 6♥ 5♥ flop against an opponent with the nut-flush draw. The board failed to bring diamonds and Salles was up to over $40,000 at a time when that number really meant something.
A few levels later, however, speed racer was shipping it with pocket tens on an 8-x-x-7 board, only to find himself up against an opponent with 8-7. So, that was a bit of a downer and after the river failed to bring a ten or another pair, another Brazilian Team PokerStars player found himself unable to carry on.
Action ended for the day at a few minutes past midnight local time with about 95 players still in contention. Not among them was Chad Brown, who fell with A-6 to pocket eights late in the ninth level, or Max Stern, who ran pocket fives into pocket tens a bit earlier in the night.
Both men will have the luxury of watching their significant others compete on Day 2, however, as both Vanessa Rousso and Maria Stern remain credible threats for the title. Also still in the hunt are Valdemar Kwaysser, Costa Rican sensation Steven Thompson, Alex and Humberto Brenes, Veronica Dabul and the Kiwi Kid, James Honeybone.
Action resumes on Friday at noon local time (11 a.m. EDT) and will continue until only nine players remain. Keep it locked on PokerListings.com for comprehensive coverage of this landmark event - and next time, c'mon down yourself!