Poker's sleeping giants
Are poker players the most sensible high stakes competitors in the world?
I ask this because I've been struck by something I see often in the replies I get from players interviewed about their latest triumph on PokerStars.
It's a strange phenomenon, kind of like the story line of an ill-concerned TV series commissioned during a writers strike, or a Woody Allen monologue that usually ends with an alien race bringing mankind its laundry.
The pitch would go something like this.
"A young, poker player dedicates his life to winning the game he is obsessed with. Rejecting a conventionally lifestyle he finally achieves his goal, and promptly falls asleep."
It's this last bit that keeps cropping up. In conversation with the winners of events like SCOOP, or the Sunday Million; they win, they go to bed.
Wait, come back. What about the champagne?
"I was really tired, so I went straight to bed," said Gambler 4444, who explained what he did to celebrate his win in the Super Tuesday last week. No champagne corks, no dinner, no dancing.
What about SCOOP and Sunday Million winner frost3ggg?
"I gone to bed," he said. Actually he 'climbed the apples and pears' and went on a 'trip to Bedfordshire' without even telling anyone he'd won.
Of course, it's not like there aren't reason for this.
The bottom line is that to win a major online poker tournament you normally require a super human ability to stay awake all night. There's no finishing line in poker, no clock that counts down to zero. You play on until you win (or lose). Few other games have a similar schedule, so the deal is that with victory you accept exhaustion. Besides, even if you wanted the dinner and dancing, those places are usually closed at 8.15 on a Monday morning.
But surely someone somewhere was prepared to do a little something and pay their dues to a tradition typically reserved for the vanquisher. For that we can rely on Mike "SirWatts" Watson. Well, just about.
"I drank a celebratory beer," he said.
That's more like it. "...and got some sleep."
Well, that'll just have to do.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.