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Old 03-25-2014, 01:22 PM   #76
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

Regarding CQ, I've never been, but my friends tells me it's the nut - if you bring a GF. Supposedly better than Pipa also.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:47 PM   #77
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For the ones already in Brazil, if you want to go to Canoa Quebrada this weekend is perfect for that. There's going to be a poker tournament there starting this Friday. Buy in is US$100, lots of cash games going on too.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:05 PM   #78
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

Damn I'd love to visit this region. Nice thread!
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:29 AM   #79
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Damn I'd love to visit this region. Nice thread!
Glad you liked it my Finnish friend, and you should absolutely come.

TL;DR warning:

I think this thread would be nothing if I didn't offer my opinion on the poker here. Having spent many hours playing in Vegas for instance, or some other smaller casinos around Europe, I would say there are 3 major things that stand out down here. And let me be emphasize that this is MHO about the games in Natal, not Brazil in general, even though I think we could generalize to some extent in this matter.

1. Everybody is super friendly. I mean, really really friendly. Even if it's your first visit everybody will be very welcoming towards you. This in turn means that they are very upset if one goes on epic tilting or is rude at the table. In fact, I have seen on a couple of occasions that tables break because of episodes of rage. There will be an awkward silence and then mass cash out.

Even the internet kids with headphones and introverted personalities don't berate other players. This is a definite no-no. They will often have discussions among themselves about how they played a certain hand/spot, but it's never berating/offensive.

In my time here I've seen some truly horrible beats in huge pots. Never have I seen a player go ape over this. I can go off the reservation if it happens to me and I can tell that they are hesitant to talk to me the day after. That's the feeling I get when I step out of line.

2. The ebb and flow of the games, whether it's donkaments or cash games, is very different. Bet sizing, positional play and play in relation to stack sizes for instance is not much considered. I would say around 85-90% of the player pool does not pay attention to this. This makes it very difficult to make moves, however all you basically need is ABC poker to go deep. This also makes so much more fun to play, especially since the BIs are very cheap.

When it comes to bet sizing things get weird. I had a coaching session with kerwinty a few weeks ago and he basically had to ask twice if it's correct that they make it 10x with pocket nines for instance (he was reading my HHs). One of the top winners here in cash games does this, profitably. I guess his logic is that; "ok, if I make it 4x with my nines here I get 6 callers. Let's make it 10x and get 2 callers, then c-bet 400". It works for him.

This also goes for tournaments. It's very difficult to play a TAG game here, because you must make big bets pre to narrow down the field.

I must add that this is due to the low buy ins we have here. I was watching the stream from BSOP this weekend and was impressed by the level of play there, where the buy in is BRL 2.200 (about 1k USD).

3. Most importantly; it's like a brand new boom. They have like a 10 year delay or something here. I really don't know why, it's probably a number of reasons, but poker here is really exploding. It recently got approved as an official sport by some ruling in both the courts and by the ministry of sports in Brazil. They have Ronaldo as a posterboy for Stars, clubs are opening all over, the BSOP is constantly getting better etc, they have LAPTs and stuff. Internet poker is open and easy to play/transfer++. For me, who used to play online before, this is fun to part of again. Even though I don't play online anymore (because I'm old) I really enjoy the live scene here.

Sorry for the TL;DR. It's 05:30 in the morning and I just came back from a game of PLO. I'm sure I've left something out, but it doesn't matter.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:59 AM   #80
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Bet you won that Omaha game huh?
Btw, is jurandir Jr considered one of the best players in Natal? I played against him and Roberto (owner of clube do poker) recently, and that's what i heard from people who know the scene. Jurandir ended up shipping the tournament.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:36 AM   #81
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

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Bet you won that Omaha game huh?
Btw, is jurandir Jr considered one of the best players in Natal? I played against him and Roberto (owner of clube do poker) recently, and that's what i heard from people who know the scene. Jurandir ended up shipping the tournament.
I will send you a PM on this!

And I did not do good on the PLO game fml
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:05 PM   #82
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

is there a rainy/dry season?
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:17 PM   #83
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is there a rainy/dry season?
The months of April, May, June and July are considered winter time here, and on occasion there can be rain. It's not like several days in a row with rain, rather a couple of hours a day in between sunny days. When it does rain however it's heavy.

Sometimes the power cuts when raining, like yesterday when my block was without electricity for about two hours. This happens like 2-3 times per year based on my experience.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:53 PM   #84
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

^^ Awesome, the power outage frequency was my next question. Is there any surfing there? Is the water warm enough to be in for a while without a wetsuit?

Thanks a lot, I have been seriously considering Brazil for a year or so come June. How would you compare Natal to Florianopolis?

Thanks for this awesome thread! I may see you there
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:19 PM   #85
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^^ Awesome, the power outage frequency was my next question. Is there any surfing there? Is the water warm enough to be in for a while without a wetsuit?

Thanks a lot, I have been seriously considering Brazil for a year or so come June. How would you compare Natal to Florianopolis?

Thanks for this awesome thread! I may see you there
In Natal, like I said, it's not very common with long outages. Especially in the higher end hoods.

Surfing scene here is big, although I'm not in to that, I have friends who surf. Water here is stupid warm, year round. Never seen anyone at the beach in a wetsuit tbh.

The south of Brazil is very different from the north. In general the cities of the south have a higher standard of living, better infrastructuren and such. The prices are also higher, in general, but the biggest difference imo is the climate. They have fairly cold winters down south, a lot colder than up here in the north.

Poker wise I believe the south have a bigger live scene, especially when it comes to tournaments like the BSOP and LAPT.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:35 PM   #86
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

very informative, thanks!
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:51 PM   #87
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

Great thread, thanks.

How are rent prices being affected by WC madness? Still possible to get one of those beachside new condos for 1.500? Really thinking about checking Natal out, but thinking I might have to wait for WC to end.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:19 PM   #88
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Great thread, thanks.

How are rent prices being affected by WC madness? Still possible to get one of those beachside new condos for 1.500? Really thinking about checking Natal out, but thinking I might have to wait for WC to end.
It's not that bad yet actually. I recently rented a house and got it at a normal rate, but I had to commit for 2 years and no sub-letting during the WC.

As far as condos go I think it's difficult now, to get one of the newer ones unless you commit to long term leasing etc. Swedish friend of mine just rented an apartment I actually checked out before him. When I was there in November they wanted BRL 1.260 and he rented it now for 1.660 on a month per month basis. They want it back before the 12th of June.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:44 PM   #89
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

Thanks. Maybe I oughta wait then... but still curious..What kind of deposit do condos usually ask for in Natal? Long term leases aren't so bad if you just plan on losing the deposit.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:39 PM   #90
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

I've had some PMs about bankroll and living expenses, and things related to that. Let me try to give you an idea of how much it costs for a foreigner to live here.

I don't play poker for a living. I only play to have a good time and I really don't know how you guys would want your BR to be ahead of coming here. I do however know how much a foreigner spends here on average. A few months ago I rented a house, 5 b/r, 3 baths, newly renovated. The guy wanted BRL 2.200. I got it for 2k even, not including gas, electric, local estate tax. He also wanted 3 months rent up front, which is the norm here.

(Figures in BRL, which transforms 1 BRL to 0.44 USD today)
Broken down:
Rent: 2.000
Local tax: 96
Gas: ~25
Electric: ~250*
Water: ~45
Total: 2.416 BRL

* I have two A/Cs, which doesn't run frequently. The last months bill was 250 tho, I'm thinking this could be a little low tbh. I'll update once I've used the A/Cs a full month.

There is no point of me going on about how much I spent to furnish the house, because most flats/condos are fully furnished for gringos to rent.

Then there is food. If you eat out everyday, every meal except breakfast, it will be expensive in the long run. Food at supermarkets is not very expensive IMO. Everytime I go, I shop for 10-14 days and spend 300. One of my leaks is to buy these coffee capsules from Nestlé, so those are 22 a bucket. For instance. Stuff like that will run up the bill of course, but you should be fine within 600-700 per month (and live very well).

You should go at least 2-3 times per month to the churrascaria, which is the Brazilian version of a BBQ joint. There are quite a few here, most notable Sal E Brasa and Fogo & Chama. Sal E Brasa is 35 per person during weekdays, 55 at weekends. F&C is 70 flat. Not including desserts and drinks. Then it's all you can eat. I try to make sure they lose money on me, but it's not easy.

Drinking is in general cheap. Here in Ponta Negra everything is slightly more expensive than the rest of the city, but still not crazy expensive. In one of my regular bars it's BRL 6 for a 600ml of bear. I pay 3 for a bottle of Stella or Heineken. A Smirnoff vodka red goes for 6. You can get bottle service at the clubs for anything from 120 to 500.

Cigarettes are now at 7 for Marlboro and Lucky Strike.

Everything imported in to Brazil is very expensive. They do this to protect their own industry, their own brands and employment. That's why someplaces a can of Redbull is more expensive than a bottle of vodka. Most recognized brands are produced here, on a license tho, so you can buy one of these small type cars (VW Gol etc) for about 35K. Any car not manufactured here or in Argentina is very expensive.

The gas price is now at just above 3 reais per liter. It used to be 2.99, not sure when they bumped it. Cab fare is cheap, but I don't have the numbers here.

Working girls have a fixed rate at 200. This is of course a rate you can lower if you feel like haggling with these girls. Some of them will demand an extra fee for taxi, typically 50. Most of the higher end hotels will not allow you to bring working girls in to the premises, so you must factor another 100 to one of the motels scattered all over town. Obviously, working girls on the reg is a huge leak. You could however work out a deal if you find one you're comfortable with, should be able to get a good price.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:42 PM   #91
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

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Thanks. Maybe I oughta wait then... but still curious..What kind of deposit do condos usually ask for in Natal? Long term leases aren't so bad if you just plan on losing the deposit.
The norm here is 3 months rent in deposit for long term leases. If you lease by the month, like 3 or 4 months ahead there is no deposit.

I still think you'll be able to find something if you're willing to offer them some long term deal. Some of these guys knows that the WC only lasts 11 days here in this city.

Feel free to PM me, I work in real estate here and can give you a heads up if I come across anything.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:04 AM   #92
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

Gonna bump with a kinda funny story from today's $50 re-buy donkament at local club here. It's not haha-funny and it could be posted in BBV, but I like my blog here.

So we're about two hours in, just before the break and thus freeze out commences. I'm in MP, sitting with 40k with two black Kings. Blinds are 400/800 and we have one limper and I make it 3500. Drunken, older guy in the SB goes into drunken tank mode and calls. We see a flop of 578r. DOG leads out with 5.000, limper folds and I re-pop it to 12.000. Guy asks the guy to his right how much more for him to call, counts out one pink and one black to make the call. While he's counting he says to me "I know you have kings. I know it, you know it". He leans over to his neighbor and says "It's so obvious kings". And then he moves all in, it's 18 more to call.

I immediately enter wtf zone. Could he really have aces? DOGs can sometimes trick you with AA. There is no way his holding the nut straight. 6 seconds later I call (I'm not folding KK here, ever). He flips over the Queens and almost high fives neighbor guy, like "i knew he had kings!!". Turn is an ace and he spikes the queen on the river.

There is no use in getting upset when this happens. He basically knew that he would hit the Q there. I was doomed once I saw the kings.

This weekend is a 10K guaranteed here. Last time they had the same tourney they ended up with 16K, could be good. It's a $230 re-entry with a pretty soft field and top heavy structure. I'm having an internal debate if I should go. If I go deep I shall post here. If not I will say I didn't enter.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:23 PM   #93
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This weekend is a 10K guaranteed here. Last time they had the same tourney they ended up with 16K, could be good. It's a $230 re-entry with a pretty soft field and top heavy structure. I'm having an internal debate if I should go. If I go deep I shall post here. If not I will say I didn't enter.
I'll make sure to post ITT if I end up busting you :P
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:57 PM   #94
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

great thread HF.
Although i know HF and many other expats are having a good time in brazil, i would like to point that the country is extremely violent, specially for foreigners and specially in northeast.
Just came across the news that a croatian and a swedish were tortured in the city of Jenipabu, in the same state as Natal.
I dont wanna put "water in the beer" (however this is translate - its a brazilian expression) of anyone; but there is a huge gap between northeast and south and southeat of brazil; so you can imagine how huge is the difference from northeast to 1st world countries.
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:46 PM   #95
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

honestly, I think the entire country is equally violent. just check this data:

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-m...d-2013-11?op=1

there are cities from every region.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:06 PM   #96
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

Yes.. the whole country is very violent. But not equally.
In order of position in the rank (of the link mentioned), the brazilian cities are:
Maceio (northeast)
Joao Pessoa (northeast)
Manaus (north)
Fortaleza (northeast)
Salvador (northeast)
Vitoria (southeast)
Sao Luis (northeast)
Belem (north)
Cuiaba (center-west (?))
Recife (northeast)
Goiania (center-west)
Curitiba (south)
Macapa (north)
Belo Horizonte (southeast)
Brasilia (center-west)

out of 9 capitals in northeast, 6 are between the 30 most dangerous cities in the world.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:13 AM   #97
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

Hey 40s, glad you like the read.

You are certainly right, Brazil is a voilent country. I don't think that I will ever learn to cope with this the same way Brazilians do, the voilence I mean. Brutal killings seems to be something you have to deal with on the reg here. During my time here two guys I knew have been killed (by their wifes). Both of these happened in a relative short timespan, and both died in a vicious way - horrible way to go. I won't argue the statistis either. I just stand by what I said earlier, take precautions and you will be safe.

The Croat and the Swede (Swede by passport, originally Croat also) was a tragedy, like all deaths. I will not go into detail here, I will not say they did something to provoce this or anything like that. I know about this case fairly well through friends in the Policia Civil. They had both been regular visitors here for years and felt like home in Brazil. I will leave with; be careful around people you don't know - keep a low profile.

KansasCT - if you bust me tomorrow I will let you have the bragging rights . I'm not playing tho, came 6th today after JJ vs A6 AIPF and feel like tournaments are on the back burner for a while....
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:03 AM   #98
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

HF, i agree with pretty much everything you said.
I just may disagree with "take precaution and you will be safe". You can choose to not buy a nice car or expensive watches and not be seem as a potential victim by the criminals.
But at the moment you have to take attitudes like that, you are already victim of violence. Criminality is taking off your freedom to buy things you may want or your free to come and go in the area you want. (one of) The worst part of violence is that you are victim of it everyday, even if something doesnt happen directly to you.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:18 PM   #99
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HF, i agree with pretty much everything you said.
I just may disagree with "take precaution and you will be safe". You can choose to not buy a nice car or expensive watches and not be seem as a potential victim by the criminals.
But at the moment you have to take attitudes like that, you are already victim of violence. Criminality is taking off your freedom to buy things you may want or your free to come and go in the area you want. (one of) The worst part of violence is that you are victim of it everyday, even if something doesnt happen directly to you.
Of course, there's just that I wouldn't flash money/things/wealth in European or US cities for that matter. Even rich Brazilians here tone it down. I wouldn't say you're a victim of violence by taking precautions. By precautions I mean treat people with respect/be nice, don't go around with wads of cash, don't talk down to the locals etc. I'm not talking about hiring security guys etc, just be sensible and you'll be fine.
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:55 PM   #100
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Re: Ask me about Natal, North Eastern Brazil

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Of course, there's just that I wouldn't flash money/things/wealth in European or US cities for that matter. Even rich Brazilians here tone it down. I wouldn't say you're a victim of violence by taking precautions. By precautions I mean treat people with respect/be nice, don't go around with wads of cash, don't talk down to the locals etc. I'm not talking about hiring security guys etc, just be sensible and you'll be fine.
I still disagree that being sensible will guarantee your safety, it will help, tho.
The cases are endless and happens everyday.
Of course i wish everyone be safe there, but choose brazil as a country to live (when you are not brazilian) sounds a poor decision to me. There are countless better places, and due to the scenario where brazil is not even cheap anymore, i dont see any comparative advantage.
For people who born in brazil, its very difficult to leave the country, so its another story; but for someone who choose brazil having dozens of other places, doesnt sounds sensible.
That said, i understand its all matter of taste and experience.. and i wish everyone the best
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