LAPT Costa Rica: A contrast in styles

Nobody ever said there was one way to play poker. If anyone had, however, they only need visit this room in San Jose.

Witness first the mad rush to a table in the center of the room. Seconds before, the area was barren. Then, a bald man with more energy than ten people screamed, "I'm all-in! I'm allllll innnnnnn! This is what I do for a living! I go allll-innnnnn!"

Magnus Bing is a Norwegian transplant to Costa Rica. Once, in one person's estimate, Bing was huge. As in, he was a big guy. Having lost quite a bit of weight, his voice is still big enough to draw an audience. Like pulled by a whirlpool to the center of the the room, the crowd sucked up to the table, only to see Bing's opponent fold.

Only one hand later, he check-raised all-in. Once again, he screamed. The words and the crowd's attention were the same. Within seconds, it was impossible to see the table. Once again, his opponent folded. That is what Bing does for a living. He goes all-in.

Contrast that with the all-in performance of serial PokerStars qualifier Jim Hamburger. He raised pre-flop to 700 without saying a word, got one call, and saw a 3c-6s-7h. Hamburger bet 1,500 and again his opponent called. The flop was the 8s. Hamburger, almost inaudibly, said, "All-in" and put 7,000 chips in the middle. While dozens of decibels quieter than Magnus Bing's all-in, the effect was the same. Hamburger took down the pot to work his way back up over 10,000 chips.


Jim Hamburger

Perhaps it was too quiet in the room. Five minutes later, we heard a voice everybody knew.

Humberto Brenes screamed in Spanish across the room to his son, "Was this the man who knocked you out last week? Was this the man?"

The man was Luis Milanes, a man with whom the elder Brenes had tangled with earlier in the day. The answer from the Brenes progeny came in the affirmative. It seemed clear what was about to happen. And happen it did. Seconds later, with the yell of a father who had vindicated his son, Brenes sent Milanes packing.

Indeed, style can only account for so much in this game. Three all-ins from three different styles makes for one very interesting poker tournament to watch.

Alas, one style that did not survive was that of former Costa Rican first lady Doris Yanklewitz who succumbed to pocket sixes with her A-T.

And, finally, speaking of style, let's not forget last night's party, which was style defined. Check out this video blog.

Watch LAPT San Jose 08:

Welcome Party on

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Latin American Poker Tour