LAPT5 Colombia: You don't bring me flowers
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There's a flower festival taking place in the Premium Plaza shopping mall this week. That's the shopping mall where the Allegre Casino - host venue for LAPT5 Colombia - is located.
The flower festival is a welcome change over last year's army exercises, in which heavily armed commandos roamed the interior and exterior of the Premium Plaza in some kind of "Be All That You Can Be" demonstration of Colombian military might. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that when the revolution comes the heavily armed commandos will keep the bloggers from being the first against the wall. The problem, as my friend and colleague Sergio Prado pointed out, is that "It inspires feelings of security in the wrong kind of way."
As part of the festival, PokerStars ordered a giant red-and-white spade made completely out of roses. It's set on a side table near the center of the poker room, drawing the attention of just about everyone before they return to muttering about bad beats. I'm told that there's going to be some kind of promotion to guess how many roses are in the Rose PokerStars Spade.
From minor touches like the Rose Spade to giant touches like the Snoop Dogg concert in Las Vegas at the WSOP a few years ago, nobody has ever accused PokerStars of being cheap. Little touches like the Rose Spade may not seem like much but they create an environment where poker is not only challenging but also fun.
At the risk of being trite, there's probably a deeper metaphor to be found in the Rose Spade. Poker players truly have cornered their little share of the market for negativity. At times the game can perversely inspire that by penalizing the "right" play and rewarding the "wrong" play. No matter how hard they try, players can't take the luck element out of poker, and that lack of control can inspire some outbursts of negativity. Consider the player earlier today who complained that "every f***ing tournament, the same f***ing bulls**t" after he lost a big pot.
But that's the wrong approach to the game. The better approach is to "stop and smell the roses" whenever that negativity starts to build. That's what the Rose Spade symbolizes.
Or maybe it's just a giant spade made out of red and white roses.
BEST ESTIMATE OF THE HOUR
Number of roses in the Rose PokerStars Spade: 1,200
CHIP COUNT UPDATES OF THE HOUR
Freddy Torres - 47,000
Vincenzo Giannelli - 50,000
Sorel Mizzi - 7,800
Ivan Freitez - 17,000 (remember when he had 50?)
VANITY OF THE HOUR
PokerStarsBlog Spanish-language blogger Reinaldo Venegas taking photos of the article about himself - that he wrote - in the latest issue of CardPlayer Colombia.