I just spent a full week in sweet Georgia for the Cash Game Weekend stop in Batumi from 10th to 15th July. If you go to the photo section of this website, you will find a link to the archive of more than 200 photos I shot during my stay or you can scroll down to end of this post to get to the Facebook album.
The standard program was to stroll around the city and its beaches during the day while I spent almost all my nights at the casino resulting in a pretty poor local nightlife experience all in all. While we had a lot of fun (and drinks) together last time we met in Riga, my hosts were pretty busy this time resulting in another problem I had not anticipated: there was quite some language barrier over here as very few people speak decent enough English to have a proper conversation. I am not fluent at all in Latvian but at least, I could read the signs and menus, make deductions or suppositions while I was tapping in complete darkness here.
Not that I have become super shy all of a sudden but, additionally to the harsh language Georgian is, it's completely and absolutely impossible to read Georgian for me. I cannot even identify all the letters of their alphabet and when something was translated in local stores, it was in Russian or Ukrainian which is also a writing system I don't master. The rest of the population is Turkish, Iraninan or from some STAN republic from even further East. hardly any western people seem to make it to Batumi. To top it, most signs are still handwritten here which makes writing notoriously event more difficult to read even when you know the writing system. It felt like being deaf or at least dumb which almost never happens to me with my pretty good knowledge of 8 languages by now and I think I missed out on a lot just because of that. I'll be better prepared next time...
All this would not discourage me from skipping any of the crappy western fast foods and stores that of course managed to spread over here too. Those moderne and hopelessly not Georgian places were more or less the only ones where I could actually read the name of what I was eating and drinking before tasting it. Being a vegetarian, this was a bit of a hassle and I ended up a few times with something in my hand or in my mouth that I really did not want :p Last time I was in Tblisi, there were more signs/menus/notes translated into English and I had two local buddies with me that would translate me things or at least tell me afterwards what I had eaten and how it's called so I could order it [never] again depending on whether I liked it or not :) This week, I could not even read the names of certain streets I was passing by.
I had some rather cool random encounters with locals in the streets of Batumi nevertheless, I even had a date but I mostly had a blast admiring the mixed architecture of this booming city. Georgian hospitality is not a legend!
The Poker games as such were also pretty nice with daily 5/5 and 5/10 (US Dollars) games running and occasionally higher blinds in NLH and PLO formats and the action was going on until very late/early every morning.
Talking about Tbilisi, Cash Game Weekend has just announced that their next stop will be in the capital city in late August so check your agendas and save the dates. It's coming up quickly. More info will follow soon under www.cashgameweekend.com.
In the meanwhile, enjoy the Batumi photos ;)
More personal thoughts on my Instagram feed.
All Aachen (D) Aarhus (Dk) Alicante (E) Amnéville (F) Amsterdam (NL) April 2013 April 2014 April 2015 April 2016 April 2017 April 2018 April 2019 April 2020 April 2021 As (CZ) August 2012 August 2014 August 2015 August 2016 August 2017 August 2018 August 2019 August 2021 Austin (Tx) Austria Batumi (Ge) Belarus Belgium Belgrade (SRB) Berlin (D) Bilbao (E) Blankenberge (B) Bratislava (Sk) Breda (NL) Brussels (B) Bucharest (Ro) Bulgaria Campione (I) Cannes (F) Castellon (E) Chaudfontaine (B) Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic December 2012 December 2013 December 2014 December 2015 December 2016 December 2017 December 2018 December 2019 December 2021 Denmark Divonne-Les-Bains (F) Dublin (IE) Estoril (Pt) February 2013 February 2014 February 2015 February 2016 February 2017 February 2018 February 2019 February 2020 Folschviller (F) France Georgia Germany Gevgelija (MKD) Gibraltar Gibraltar (GIB) Granada (E) Grande-Motte (F) Gujan-Mestras (F) Hosingen (L) Interviews Ireland Italy January 2013 January 2014 January 2015 January 2016 January 2017 January 2018 January 2019 January 2020 January 2022 July 2012 July 2013 July 2015 July 2016 July 2017 July 2018 July 2019 July 2021 June 2012 June 2013 June 2014 June 2015 June 2016 June 2017 June 2018 June 2019 June 2021 Kayl (L) Kyrenia (Cy) Las Vegas (USA) Latvia Lille (F) Lisbon (Pt) Live Poker Lloret De Mar (E) Looking Up Luxembourg Luxembourg (L) Macedonia Madrid (E) Mallorca (E) Marbella (E) March 2013 March 2014 March 2015 March 2016 March 2017 March 2018 March 2019 March 2020 March 2021 May 2013 May 2014 May 2015 May 2016 May 2017 May 2018 May 2019 May 2020 May 2021 Metz (F) Middelkerke (B) Mindset Minsk (BY) Morocco Namur (B) Nazaré (Pt) November 2012 November 2013 November 2014 November 2015 November 2016 November 2017 November 2018 November 2019 November 2021 October 2012 October 2013 October 2014 October 2015 October 2016 October 2017 October 2018 October 2019 October 2021 Online Poker Opatija (HR) Paris (F) Peniscola (E) Photo Prints Portugal Praha (CZ) Riga (LV) Romania Rozvadov (CZ) Sanremo (I) San Roque (E) Santa Susanna (E) Scheveningen (NL) Seefeld (A) September 2012 September 2013 September 2014 September 2015 September 2016 September 2017 September 2018 September 2019 September 2021 Serbia Sevilla (E) Slovakia Soignies (B) Sousse (TN) Spa (B) Spain Sports St. Amand Les Eaux (F) Tangier (MA) Tbilisi (Ge) Texas (U.S.A.) The Netherlands Toulouse (F) Troia (Pt) Tunisia USA U.S.A. Utrecht (NL) Valencia (E) Varna (BG) Vienna (A) Vigo (E)