Supernova Night Out: Toronto
There's a special buzz in the air on a cool Spring Saturday evening in Toronto. The streets are packed, cars are jockeying for every foot of progress - clearly people have somewhere to go, somewhere to get to. For 9 PokerStars Supernovas last Saturday night there was nowhere they'd rather be than where they were: enjoying a luxury box suite, watching two original six NHL squads do battle at the Air Canada Centre.
The evening's festivities began at 6 o'clock at the gargantuan Real Sports bar, the perfect setting to pique even the most casual sports fan's appetite. It's hard to take 2 steps without discovering a previously unnoticed big screen TV. After the necessary introductions, exchanges of PokerStars UserIDs (to ensure no beefs needed settling between arch-rivals) and the consumption of mandatory pre-game beverages, our eager group headed up to the luxury suite PokerStars had accorded us to take in the night's entertainment. Awaiting them was wide selection of culinary delights, an open bar with a private bartender to ensure that no glass was left empty and some of the best seats in the house.
For much of the evening, the hockey game itself took a back seat to the mingling and story-telling going back and forth. There's a Toronto game every Saturday, but it's a rare occasion to be able to swap stories with some of the best players in town. Just as we settled in for the second period, we were surprised by a visit by Leafs great and Hall of Famer Darryl Sittler who came in to shake hands and sign pucks for a group of star struck Supernovas.
As we headed deeper into the night, it became apparent that by a stroke of luck (something Leafs fans are unfamiliar with), a great game was playing out in front of us. Likely due to the presence of so many esteemed Supernovas, the recently floundering Maple Leafs were showing heart, and pulled ahead by a goal in the third, only for the opposition to dramatically (and predictably) score minutes later to tie up the game and send it to Overtime.
With a shootout imminent, the poker talk dimmed as we prepared for one of the more dramatic finishes in sports. As a Rangers forward sent a wrist-shot over the shoulder of the Leafs goalie to crush the arena's hopes of a Leafs victory, it was hard to take the loss too hard surrounded by newly made friends and decadent surroundings. As the Supernovas made plans for post-game celebrations and we headed into the chilly Toronto night, it was undeniable that it ain't that bad being a Supernova VIP...even if you're a Leafs fan.
Just ask him.