The day after my arrival at Panama City, I went to the casino venue at the brand new Sortis Hotel. This place has a beautiful casino and everyone seems to be very happy with the rooms as well. Great restaurants too - now I understand why LAPT made a last minute move and switched venues! (to the guy from the marketing department: hi - if you read this, maybe I can take some photos after all ;)) ?
Anyways, upon arrival I found out that they were having a satellite to the main event the same day at 4 pm. This one is offered by the casino management, so it is not oyn the official LAPT schedule. Also, they started with a $500 rebuy tournament on the 6th of May which had 300+ players. Nacho Barbero was playing heads-up when I left yesterday, for $32,000. Not bad. I'll arrive earlier next time and play that one too.
So I signed up for that $275 satellite. Tables filled quickly and at the end we had over 100 buy-ins and rebuys, so that there were 11 tickets up for grabs, plus $1,250 for the 12th. Turbo style tournament, but with 10000 starting chips.
First three hands I made (correct) folds which would have flopped solid winners if I had played them, but I pick up a few pots later and have app. 15k after half an hour. Then I raise with 88, 1 player calls, 1 player reraises, I call. Flop comes 3d4d7d, with me holding the 8d. I bet, one fold, and the re-raiser goes all-in. The pot already has 4k in it, and the all-in guy had only 3k left, so I call. He shows QQ but no diamonds, and I hit a diamond on the river. And that woukld turn out to be my only "lucky moment".
After that, I played a spotless game and keep building my stack. Then, no hands for me for two hours, and my stack decreased until I get AA and get raised on the button. I go all-in, get called by AJo and win. At this point, I have only lost one showdown, when a guy with a pair of aces and a deuce kicker was too stubborn to fold to my river bet on a draw-heavy board. And I managed to keep it at that for the rest of the satellite.
As we approach the bubble, I have a good stack and then find 5s6s in the cutout. No limpers before me, so I raise 1,5 blinds and get a caller from the big stack on the button. Flop comes 789 rainbow. Button checks, I bet 2 big blinds and to my delight, the big stack pushes all his chips in. I call, he shows A9o and I take the pot. After that, it's all smooth sailing and I win my ticket.
Tomorrow I'll play the day 1A of the main event, the day after I'll try the $600 Turbo. More to follow soon ...