Friday, November 27, 2015

Travel Report: LAPT8 Brazil, Day 1b -- Reading, Writing, 'Rithmetic, Rast

Was another long one yesterday at the Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final here in São Paulo, where Day 1b played out and we weren’t finished until about 4 a.m.

The day was a lot of fun, though, for a few reasons. One was the fact that Reinaldo had the NFL games streaming on his iPad all day. They began just after play started at 3 p.m. here, and ended just before they bagged and tagged. That and also getting to enjoy a delicious dinner of picanha with Rei helped simulate the Thanksgiving experience somewhat I was missing back home.

Had a couple of fun conversations yesterday, one with Brian Rast who is here playing his first ever LAPT event.

Rast has been spending a lot of time in Brazil over the last five-plus years, having first come down in 2010 and then meeting his eventual wife who is from Paraíba. He hasn’t played a lot of poker here, though, and so this is a somewhat new experience for him. Carlos our photographer snuck a photo of us talking -- that’s me above asking Rast what it feels like to win $7.5 million in a poker tournament as he did in early July. (Spoiler alert: pretty damn good.)

A little later I also had the opportunity to talk with a very friendly fellow named Cristiano Torezzan who teached applied mathematics at the University of Campinas, the huge state-run university system here in Brazil. He has a elective course he’s been offering there since 2013 called “Poker Basics” which uses poker to teach about decision-making, math-related concepts, and other interesting metagame matters.

We also talked about my “Poker in American Film and Culture” class, and shared a lot of notes on what it’s like “teaching poker” in a college class -- that is, using the game to explore other non-poker ideas as well as to teach non-poker “basics,” too. Only a little of our conversation made it into the post I wrote about him and his class. You can check it out, though, to learn more about his interesting course.

Gotta sign off quickly again here as we’re less than a couple of hours away from cranking back up again. There are 202 players left from what turned out to be a bigger than expected 426-entry field. Head to the PokerStars blog and peruse around to see what else happened the last two days and to follow what happens going forward.

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