It's been a wild, fun, and certainly interesting last 24 hours. I arrived in Lima, Peru have a quick 8 hour flight from LAX. Shirley Rosario was also on my flight and she was heading down to Peru to play in the second-ever LAPT Lima. I was flying down to cover the event for PokerStars Blog. My partner in crime will be Short-stacked Shamus. Hopefully, I can be Earl "The Pearl" Monroe to his Walt "Clyde" Frazier. Regardless, expect us to lots of swishing and dishing for PokerStars Blog over the next four days while we bring you coverage of the LAPT Lima.
Shamus already wrote about the dead body that we saw as our taxi drove along a road that separated the ocean from massive cliffs. The driver said that there were two bodies and that both people jumped. I'm dubious and suspected they were thrown off the cliff by local rogues.
Hunter Thompson said it best, "Never burn the locals."
I got put up in a hotel around the corner from the Atlantic City Casino, where the tournament will be played. I got hooked up with a swanky loft/duplex. Check out the video here.
We met up with our Costa Rican colleague Rey, who wanted to watch the Real Madrid-Tottenham game because he heard that I had bet the dog, Tottenham, and a buddy of his who handicaps soccer said that they were getting some good value with the lines. I placed my bet online (I was 2-0 at that point for the day betting on soccer) but Rey said that the AC casino had a sportsbook (owned by an offshore book who partnered with the casino to handle the wagering/line setting).
We rushed around the corner, sprinted up a circular marble staircase, and wandered into a quaint sportsbook. A young woman manned a desk with a TV screen behind her head that flashed MLB moneylines. Shamus, Rey, and I pooled our money and bet on Tottenham. We were going to watch the game in a dive bar, but the sportsbook had a few tables and a big-ass screen to watch the game on. We settled in for the game and I was fighting back fatigue. I had been up for almost 50 straight hours at that point and almost fell asleep at half time. On a good note, we got free food and beers, compliments of the house. Oh, and thanks to Tottenham's butterfingered goalie, we lost 1-NIL. Oh well.
Welcome Parties at any PokerStars branded tours are eerily similar. Once you've been to one, you can expect that the rest will be similar with a few local, flavorful exceptions (food and booze). In this instance, Peru is notorious for their ceviche (celebrity chef/traveler Anthony Bourdain said that what you can get for $2 in Lima, chic eateries in NYC and LA would charge you $18-20) and the local drink called a Pisco Sour. Both held up to their lofty expectations.
The party was hosted at a restaurant in the Mariflores neighborhood of Peru, adjacent to the Huaca Pucllana Pyramid. We got a tour of the ruins, which were dated to around 400 A.D. Supposedly, they sacrificed virgins and ate shark meat during rituals to the ocean (and perhaps ancient oceans Gods?).
Here's a video I shot of the Huaca Pucllana Pyramid...
Thus concludes the Cliff Notes version of my first day in Peru. I also wrote an expanded version of my journey from Los Angeles to Lima over at Tao of Pauly.