Sure we didn't actually make it to the first event in Brazil, and there might have been a few other media outlets in Costa Rica, but big bold statements like that just sound better.
For all of you out there still unfamiliar with the Latin American Poker Tour, it's yet another daring project set up by online giant PokerStars.com. Tapping into the growing poker culture in Latin America and the legions of online qualifiers all around the world, the first season of the LAPT kicked off in Rio de Janeiro last May.
The PL.com team was poised to make the long-haul flight when we realized Brazil requires visas for North Americans.
Not even our extensive network of travel agents and our well-placed moles in the Brazilian government could expedite our travel documents and so, with great regret, we were forced to admit defeat and leave the reporting to our friends at PokerStarsBlog.com.
With their help we were able to bring our readers the gist of what went down. Click through to check it out.
When Costa Rica rolled around we had each of our figurative ducks in a row and hit San Jose like a runaway train of tournament-reporting fury. Make use of the series of tubes which will take you to comprehensive live updates, photography, full results and a wicked final-table recap by Owen Laukkanen.
The LAPT is a good thing for a slew of reasons. As you're probably already aware, poker is picking up momentum all over the world, and Latin America is no different. Apparently it's not just Humberto Brenes and his cronies any longer.
Traditionally poker has been associated with dimly lit rooms and pale players hiding from the sun. These days, however, tournament poker has brought the game into the light, so to speak, giving players the chance to couple poker events with trips to beautiful destinations.
The LAPT takes this concept to the extreme, with each of its events playing out in different parts of Central and South America.
The locales are only one part of why the LAPT has serious potential for growth. With a relatively low buy-in of $2,500 the main events are that much easier to qualify for online. It's no easy feat to take down a WSOP or EPT package worth more than $10,000, but with an LAPT package totaling out at less than half that, it's a lot more attainable to the average player.
PokerStars is the place to give it a shot and they have a ton of options. I love the Steps system and if you're a sit-and-go player it's really not that hard to take down a package.
A huge portion of each field is made up of online qualifiers, but a few big-name pros always seem to turn up. We've received word that Vanessa Rousso, Andre Akkari, Chad Brown, Greg Raymer, Barry Greenstein, Humberto Brenes and Alexandre Gomes will all be on hand.
The PL.com tournament-reporting special forces are in transit as we speak, making the surprisingly long and circuitous trip to Uruguay. Shuffle up and deal will be on Thursday so go ahead and bookmark the Live Updates page now so you don't forget.
With the post-WSOP decompression period almost over, PL.com is preparing for an all-out assault on live events worldwide. The WPT, EPT, WSOP Europe, WSOP Circuit, Latin American Poker Tour, Asia Pacific Poker Tour and every major stand-alone tournament on the planet will be conquered.