John Tabatabai

Finishing off our “A Week In The Life Of…” with John Tabatabai here’s the Third and Final Part where John tells us all about his favourite hand of the week, his lack of PLO coaching and the Colombian gym..

How many tables have you been playing?

I am playing six tables. I was playing 12 and realised that was just stupid.

So you entered a brand new game at 10/20 whilst twelve tabling?

Well a mixture of 10/20 and 5/10 but still not the smartest thing to do.

So now you are six-tabling 1/2. That’s probably still a mistake right?

Well I did four-tables for ages. The tables are pretty slow and take forever. Now I think it is good as I am actually learning, whereas before I was just pressing buttons and being impulsive. Now I am really thinking about a lot of things I haven’t thought about before.

What have been your best resources for learning PLO?

It’s so tough as everything is both fresh, and mixed up, and I don’t know where my head is right now. But my single bit of advice would be just general poker advice in the sense that nothing is standard. Or something like, “Just because you have aces you don’t have to four-bet it out of position.” You can play different ways to accomplish different benefits. I am starting to realise that PLO is a very strange game.

So no training resources then?

It started off like that then I realised I was wrong, so I did get some coaching from someone. He definitely helped bring a bit more sanity to my game.

Who was coaching you?

The first one I did work with was Ryan Daut, he is a solid PLO player so that was useful and at the moment I am waiting for my other friend to reappear and I honestly do not know what the best advice is, as everything I have received is better than where I was, so I guess not overplaying AAA9 or thinking KKKA is a good hand. I did manage to get $3k in pre flop with KKK9 and honestly believed that was a good play at the time.

What has been your favourite hand of the week?

I just thought of one that was funny, but not necessarily interesting for the readers unfortunately. There was this guy who kept abusing me and saying how bad I was. He opened the cutoff and I called on the button with AT99 (double suited) and the flop came J93 (rainbow). We were 150BB deep and he bet, I raised, he re-raised and I thought “Oh f**k! Here we go.” So we end up getting it in and of course he has Jacks and it came diamond-diamond to give me the flush, which for me was really funny, I just typed in the chat, “You are so bad. How can you get it in there?”

And what did he type?

“You don’t have a clue!”

What exercise have you done this week? Do you have a routine?

I make sure I go to the gym every day. It is easy to be motivated to go to the gym as the gyms here are unlike anything else in the world. The quality of the equipment is just mind blowing, I have never seen so many machines in my life. I am not really a gym person, so firstly I don’t know what to do in the gym and secondly there are so many machines I have never seen before I don’t even know what half of them are? The gyms here are insane. They even have a machine which stretches you, which I have never seen anywhere before. My routine when I get there? I do different types of running and sprinting, different cardio and then just do some weights. I am not interested in getting big just to stay active and healthy.

What other things besides poker have you done this week?

Everything is based on learning Spanish. Meeting new people. Tomorrow I am meeting up with friends and going away for a week so that will be interesting.

Finishing up then very quickly give me a snap shot of your day?

I wake about 8.30 get to the gym by 9.30. Work out till 10am, come back do some Spanish, go to University for a couple of hours learning Spanish. I meet up for lunch with people from the class and it costs 3200 peso for the dish of the day, which is £1.40 and for that you get a drink of your choice, excluding water as they don’t have water here which is strange, then you get a soup, some kind of meat, rice, bananas obviously! Some kind of potato with side salad so that is funny. I come back and grind for a few hours and then go out and socialise. That’s pretty much it. On the weekends I go to different parts of Columbia and explore places like Guatape or Bogota

Missed Anything?

We hope you’ve enjoyed this series of “A Week In The Life Of”. If you missed Part One you can read it here and Part Two is available here.

About the Author

Lee Davy is a writer from Ogmore Vale in South Wales. You can follow his views and opinions through his blog at or on Twitter

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