StreamBoat 2: Priorities in the face of disaster
If you spend enough time around Bill Perkins, you can get the impression his life is nothing but fun. He carries himself with a self-assured nonchalance. He smiles as often as he breathes. He has a big boat. It is The Good Life, defined. (Not the 1975 British sitcom, mind you, but the Caribbean rum-punch version)
So, when Perkins started hooking up with the likes of Jaime Staples, Kevin Martin, and Jeff Gross for live streamed Caribbean grinds in the sun and sand, it was one of those things that would make you think, "Man, I'd really like to do that." Hell, I'm old, and I thought the same thing.
So, when the boys started running contests for special invitations to the StreamBoat festivities, they were not disappointed in the number of people who clamored for a chance to get on the boat. In fact, all the guys were there and had picked out the people they were going to fly in.
And then this happened.
That's all of the guys getting out of Dodge. They are relaxed by nature, but the reality of the situation was a lot more dire. Hurricane Irma is among the most powerful storms to ever form in the Atlantic Ocean. The Virgin Islands were right in its path. As the StreamBoat team was evacuating, this was what the path of the storm looked like.
The storm appears to have been as bad as predicted. Perkins told us today, "Reports are coming back of extensive damage, and right now our minds and hearts are with the residents affected and recovering from Hurricane Irma. We intend to assess the situation and help where we are able. Once the islands are able to provide the wonderful experience they normally offer, we will have StreamBoat2. We will coordinate as soon as it is practical."
It is a bummer to be sure, but one that is completely understandable when compared with the reality of what's happening in the islands right now.
These are the people who were set to head to StreamBoat 2 and the people who picked them
PokerStars: Johannes Jetschgo
Kevin Martin: Brent Waters
Bill Perkins: Kevin Mitton
Jaime Staples: Sebastian Larsen
Jeff Gross: Eric Graziosi
Matt Staples: Patrick Trzaskoma
PokerStars and the organizers of StreamBoat2 are still planning for StreamBoat2 to go ahead and are checking weather and situation reports to establish the safest and most suitable dates and location for StreamBoat2 to take place. Based on the extent of the damage, the rescheduled event will most likely happen much later in the year or 2018, but there are still a lot of things to consider and assess before any decisions are made.
Meanwhile, PokerStars is keeping all competition winners informed and is working hard to ensure that they will still get to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience that they have earned.
For now, however, our thoughts are with the people in the Caribbean who have already been affected by the hurricane, as well as the people who live on the southeastern coast of the US who are currently evacuating ahead of the storm. We wish you all safety and a quick recovery.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Follow him on Twitter: @BradWillis.