Day 1A About to Start

At the PokerStars welcome party in the Gran Provincia Hotel in Mar del Plata (tango dancers, buffet, well-stocked bar, speeches from dignitaries, or so I supposed) I fell into conversation with Jack, who’s from somewhere near Sacramento. Being surrounded by groups of vaguely autistic, testosterone-loaded, poker-playing lads is preferable when they’re doing their stuff in a foreign language, but I was feeling in need of some communication. My previous conversation was with a cheerful, if travel-dazed, young Dutchman, who has never played a live tournament before and qualified by investing $22 in an $11 rebuy tournament online. Jack, who is 53, kept reiterating that he was focused and ready to play. He took part in the Mexico leg of the LAPT, which was the event that wasn’t–being suddenly cancelled half-way through when the players were getting close to the money. Jack had recently been knocked out, was sitting at a cash table when the Mexican police came into the resort.

Jack sold his business a couple of years ago and is now a full-time online player, sitting with 12 screens, grinding away as he makes more more money than he ever did before, and his farm goes untended around him. He is a big man, ginger-haired and freckled, who wears little dark shades over his eyes. He has a sort of Gene Hackman geniality about him, a sharp little laugh, speaks slowly and carefully, with the slightest suggestion that some sort of explosion might be just about to ignite. He prides himself on his ability to read players, to get under their skin, and I had no doubt that this is the case.

The tournament begins today. The event is capped at 600 runners, but there seems no likelihood that the field is going to be anywhere near that large. They’re still running satellites at the Casino Central, which is an old building that should be charming and art deco-y impressive but is in fact rather dingy, with yellow-brown carpeting, poor lighting, and a staleness of cigarette smoke and the tiredness of a resort out of season in the air. Maybe we’ll reach 350 runners. Day 1A will play until there are 27 left, and Day 1B will play for as long as it took 1A to get there. I’m playing 1B tomorrow, and rather wish that I was starting today. I’d like to get going. As Jack says, 90% of us are going to lose. I prefer him when he’s announcing how focused and ready he is.

This entry was posted in poker. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

One Comment

  1. JF
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Good Blog, keep them coming. I never realized there were so few entries into the competition. Good Luck!!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>