LAPT San Jose: Better poker through racial profiling

Every poker player, at one time or another, has made a judgment about an opponent based on that player's physical charateristics -- style of clothing, facial hair, even ethnic background. As much as humanity aspires to judging individuals based on anything but the color of their skin, it's human nature to sit down at a poker table with a Chinese opponent and to think that he will employ a very loose and aggressive style (for example). And to be fair to all of us who have made such a judgment, stereotypes exist for a reason. There's at least a kernel of truth buried under there somewhere.

Humberto Brenes is as human as any of us. Just ask Gerardo Godinez. Pre-flop, Brenes was faced with a decision to call the all-in bet of Godinez. Brenes opened for 900 and Godinez shoved over the top of him for about 8,500.

Brenes stood up from his seat. "You're a Mexican. I know you're only going to do that with ace-king. Show me your ace-king!" he said as he shipped in the chips necessary for a call. Godinez obliged and showed ace-king.


Humberto Brenes and Gerardo Godinez, seconds before Godinez out-flopped Brenes.

Chalk one up for racial stereotypes. As it turned out, Brenes lost the hand -- and more than a third of his stack -- when his pocket tens couldn't dodge a king on the flop. But he seemed overjoyed that his read, based on nothing but the nationality of his opponent, was correct. Brenes smiled and shook Godinez' hand after all was said and done, even posing for a photo taken by one of Godinez' friends.

It's the best example of not being results-oriented that I've seen in years.

There are several other Team PokerStars Pros still in the hunt here in San Jose, including Andre Akkari, Alexandre Gomes and Victor Ramdin. Check out Ramdin's take on his day, courtesy of

Watch LAPT San Jose 08: A quick catch up on

The final tally of registrants is in. With 219 players in the field, 24 will get paid. The amount each player will get is now available on the Prizes page. Continuing coverage of this tournament is also available on the PokerStars Spanish blog and the PokerStars Brazilian blog.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in Latin American Poker Tour