The LAPT and bananas poker

Yep, that's right, I was playing the Sam Trickett game of Colombia!

The Latin America Poker Tour (LAPT) event in Columbia was very soft as expected. We started with 20,000 chips, blinds starting off at 50-100 with an hour clock. Structure was okay, of course I would have preferred a slower structure given the nature of the opponents. Unfortunately, it was a non-event for me, I simply didn't connect with the flops at all and most of the good spots miraculously didn't work so before I knew it I was down to 18bb by the end of the day and lost a flip, JJ v AK and that was that.

Rather unfortunate but feel like my Multi-Table Tournament (MTT) game has improved considerably this year which will hopefully reap me some rewards. During the LAPT there were some cash games and I tried to play a few times, but there always seemed to be an offer of going out and whence in Colombia, it's hard to say no to a fiesta over a $10,000 - $20,000 game. Colombion Pesos that is :)

On the very last night, I did manage to get a little session of live PLO in which resulted in quite an incredible scenario, one which I had not seen for a few years, since Marrakech. We were playing $10k-$20k shorthanded, it was a must move table to the bigger PLO which was a $1,000,000 buy-in. Yep, that's right, I was playing the Sam Trickett game of Colombia! For those of you whom are not familiar with the currency, that work out to be approx $560 buyin lol. Anyway, it's a balla currency and lets not take anything away from that. Back at the ranch, a hand develops where I had AQ49 and I got it in v a shortstack on a flop of AQ5hh. He started shouting something at me which sounded like "Do you have two pair?". Now, I have to add that an Australian chap had just mentioned to me that this guy had tried cheating the last couple days he had played verse him as well as the fact that everyone was slowrolling each other on the table for around 30-60 seconds after each hand with the nuts. Apparently slow rolling is part of the fun, and not intended maliciously, unless you do it against the wrong person of course.

So, the dealer deals the turn and river which runs out Kh, K. So I am pretty much dead, whilst sighing she deals another turn and river, 3r,2r making me a straight. So I guessed he was on about running it twice, which I wouldn't have normally agreed to as it was only a "milly" pot but it appears to have worked out for me on this occasion. I turn my hand over and await the customary 30 second stare before revealing cards trick. After a while he turns over A579r for top and bottom which is now cancelled out. The dealer stares at the hands for a while and starts to pile the chips up in order to chop the pot. I explain to her in English (pointless) that I win both pots and then, out of nowhere, another player on the table takes my opponents cards and shows that I win the hand with the straight obviously but the other one is a split pot as we both have AAKKKK with Q on the board kicker. I am slightly confused as I have only been playing PLO 3 months, haven't really played poker last 2 months and it seems everyone on this table is saying i'm wrong.

And then, the beauty, Sorel Mizzi who was also playing chimes in saying yea its a chop. Now I assume I'm in the wrong and decide to take one last look, whilst the dealer is yet again piling the chips for a chop I remember that PLO is a 5 card game where you MUST use two cards from your hand. So I call over the floor man who speaks English to explain what is going on. Whilst he is coming over, my opponent throws away two of his cards which he isn't using and starts pulling out random cards from the muck, eventually he gets a '4' so he also has a straight. Now, when the floor comes over, he explains that my AQ wins as my Q kicker obviously plays. Now the guy is claiming he splits the other pot due to his 4. Of course I am laughing at the level of cheating occurring over a $500 pot, Sorel helps and stands my ground meanwhile the Dealer has clearly never dealt PLO before and has no clue as to what is going on. My opponent starts shouting yet again at me, something which sounded like ok, ok, I made a mistake you win the pot. I of course nod my head and before I knew it, he took a black $100,000 chip out of the pot. Seemingly, he wanted a settlement for 'letting' me claim the pot! He quickly put the chip in his palm and attempted to hide it until I demanded he opened his hand, placing the chip back. The debate continued for another 5 mins as the Dealer refused to take control of the table, or in fact speak. The floorman was either in shock or simply not present and it appeared that the players were in charge of the decision. My opponent eventually gave up his disgraceful attempt of salvaging some lost funds and the saga was over. Truly incredible the level of cheating which I witnessed in that particular hand, but unfortunately it was not limited to that hand, nor that particular day from what I heard.

Poker aside and back to the culinary table. We hired a maid from day one to come and spend a few hours a day at our apartment too clean, wash, cook etc. I explained to her that we did not want any fried food, cheese, excess salt, sugar, pasta, rice and bread. The difficulty comes into play when you realise I just described 80 per cent of Colombian ingredients. However, she is super cool and without speaking a word of English has done a reasonable job. Well, apart from cleaning and listening to cooking orders that is. She has sadly ruined quite a few of our shirts and jeans through not reading labels, using wrong powders, leaving items in jean pockets. Foodwise, she has started to sneak in her own ingredients as I threw everything I didn't want out! Anyway, It's truly incredible in how many different types of food they manage to sneak bananas into, omelettes, soups, steaks, ice cream, anything they can get their hands on. I clearly told our maid 5 or 6 times on different days to not add any more bananas to my food. Of course, I get in today after my second day of University to find a lovely chicken soup, but guess what, yet again she had added bananas to it! Simply incredible.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.

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