LAPT8 Peru: Doubling up with WSOP APAC champ Scott Davies

We were just observing how players from around the world -- 33 different countries, in fact -- together form this year's Latin American Poker Tour Peru Main Event field.

One who is still among the less than 90 players currently vying for the trophy is last year's World Series of Poker Asia Pacific Main Event champion Scott Davies, who himself has been visiting a number of different countries lately -- not quite 33 of them, but an impressive number.


Scott Davies

Since his WSOP APAC win last October -- worth the equivalent of about $737K USD -- Davies has been conducting his own global poker tour, in a sense. He has played tournaments in Macau (where he won an ACOP event), North Carolina (where he won a WSOP Circuit event), Las Vegas, Australia (again), Niagara Falls, Amsterdam, Macau (again), Monaco, and Las Vegas (again), cashing in just about every place he's been.

And now he's in Peru, a first-time visit for the New Jersey player currently living in Vancouver. But this isn't his first LAPT, as he visited the tour once before -- and cashed -- way back in Season 3.

"I think it was my second cash ever or something," says Davies of his 2010 trip to Florianapolis, Brazil. "Right on the bottom of the Hendon Mob," he adds with a chuckle, and a quick scroll down the page indeed shows his 21st-place finish in that LAPT Main Event.

"That was right when I was getting into tournaments," he explains when asked what had inspired that earlier international excursion for poker. "I just happened to win a satellite on Stars. I had some extra screen room and I saw this thing and I thought 'I'd never been to Brazil before,' and so I fired it up. That was one of the first live tournaments I ever played."

In fact, that trip five years ago is linked to the one he's made to Lima this summer, having indirectly provided an extra reason to come this week.

"I really like to travel and I'd never been to Peru," says Davies. "I saw there was this and then the BSOP in Sao Paulo right after, and I actually happen to still have a Brazilian visa in my passport from when I went to Florianopolis."

Davies has seen a lot more of the world since that last LAPT. Now that he's played on several different continents, we asked him how the field and atmosphere here compare to what he's seen elsewhere.

"It's a good vibe. It seems like there are a lot of recreational players here who are looking to enjoy themselves and have fun. The style of play here is a bit looser. I've seen a lot of multi-way pots. Yesterday it was pretty standard for us to go five ways to the flop in a raised pot, which is fun."

"It seems like people here are very light-hearted and not so serious. You don't see people getting super-tilted at the table -- nobody arguing or fighting. I grew up in Jersey and I used to play at the Taj and people would like stab each other there (laughs). It's refreshing to play poker in an environment where people are genuinely here to have fun and a good time."

Further skimming of that Hendon Mob page shows Davies having consistently picked up tournament cashes all through the years between that small cash in Florianapolis and the big one in Melbourne. But as he explains, while the earlier score perhaps provided encouragement to keep playing poker, the latter one has encouraged him in even more profound ways.

"It's been been eight or nine months now, but the feeling still hasn't worn off. It's still pretty incredible. It completely changed my life -- it's how I've really gotten to see the world."

It's clear that while the string of cashes since WSOP APAC has been satisfying for Davies, the experiences he's collected while earning them mean as much or more to him.

"I didn't just want to throw the money in the bank and have it just be a number," he says of his WSOP APAC cash. "I really wanted to turn it into an experience for me.... It's always been my dream to see the world and travel, so it's pretty amazing that poker's given me that opportunity. No matter what, I'll never forget these experiences I've had since APAC happened."

While speaking Davies reaches into his pocket, a wide grin spreading as he does.

"I've been so places I had to go to the embassy and get more pages in my passport." He holds it up to show -- worn, battered, and now twice the standard size. "I never thought I'd live a life like this," he says.

Through two levels today Davies had 33,000, down a bit from the 43,000 with which he'd started Day 2.

"It's not the start I envisioned, but it's better than being knocked out."

Soon after play resumed, however, Davies enjoyed some good fortune, getting his chips in with a pair of eights versus an opponent's pocket nines, but managing to draw out to move back over 60,000.

Yet another pleasant surprise for Davies. His stack -- like his passport -- had doubled in size.

Photography from LAPT8 Peru by Carlos Monti. You can also follow the action in Spanish here and in Portuguese here.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.