LAPT6 Colombia: Blogger meets Dogger

June 05, 2013

Somehow, in two previous trips to Medellin, I have failed to write about the hot dog vendor at the Allegre Casino. That oversight ends now.

Everyone in the poker world seems to be trending towards healthy eating over the course of the last year. It all started with All American Dave at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, who by the way made my Bluff Power20 list this past January as someone who had a positive influence on poker in 2012. I’m sure I’m the only one who voted for him, but damn if I haven’t seen every poker player and his sister tweeting about Dave’s meals since the 2013 WSOP started.

Anyway, with all that healthy living, a correction back towards the mean seemed inevitable. Enter “Dogger”.

Near the bar in the center of the Allegre Casino is a hot dog vendor. Really the vendor is just a small cart with those constantly rolling heat tubes that keep the dogs rotating in place, the kind that you might see in a Kwik-E-Mart. At any given moment, there are upwards of 30 dogs on the contraption, rotating away like happy little hot dogs in search of a bun. Immediately beside the dogs is a condiment station with relish, onions, sauerkraut, salsa and no fewer than seven different sauces (mustard, ketchup and other condiments not easily identified).

LAPT6 Colombia hot dog.JPG

I will admit that despite my proclivity to eat healthy, even I break down once in a while to snack on a hot dog. Usually it happens at barbecues or at ball games, but each trip to Medellin I allow myself one or two dogs. They’re average dogs, but you know, a hot dog is a hot dog. It’s not some high form of cuisine. You know what you’re getting and it’s hard to screw up. It’s mainly fat and the disgusting parts of the cow, which is what makes it so unhealthy and so tasty.

This year, however, the hot dog vendors stepped up their game. It’s like somebody told them, “No money in selling hot dogs. Everybody’s solid.”

So, a marketing makeover was in order. First of all, the hot dog vendor that previously had no name (other than “the hot dog guy”) now has a brand name. It’s called “Dogger”. I will grant you that Dogger is not exactly the most imaginative name, but at least it creates a strong brand identity with the item that the vendor sells. Unless you are British, or in the market for a puppy, in either of which cases what are you doing in a casino?

Next up, a menu makeover. This year, selling plain old hot dogs isn’t good enough. Anybody can do that. So first of all, hot dogs are now called “doggers” and come in two sizes: the “dogger” size and the “big dogger” size. But if a run-of-the-mill hot dog isn’t your thing, consider trying one of the three other varieties for sale: the “chilli dog”, the “choridog” (which is just glorified chorizo, as near as I can tell), or the hamburdog, which is ground beef rolled into a log instead of a patty.

The hot dog vendor has also expanded its product offering to include potato chips and brownies. A nearby beverage vendor will slake your thirst with Heineken, Red Bull, Smirnoff Ice, Club Colombia beer or a variety of juices. I assume the juices come with a shot but since the media gets free water and coffee service in our little nook of the casino, I didn’t investigate further. Also, I have to write for the next six hours. Hemmingway might have written The Old Man and the Sea falling down drunk, but nobody is going to mistake me for E-Dog – especially not the corporation that I’d like to pay my invoice next week after this event is finished.

I’m not unhealthy enough to keep eating hot dogs for the remainder of the week. I leave that task to my colleagues Reinaldo Venegas and Sergio Prado, who are doing their best to counteract All American Dave’s great work in Las Vegas. Sergio, in particular, is on a quest to be crowned the dogger-eating champion of LAPT6 Colombia.

As it should be.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

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