Up to your neck in a PokerStars Championship Main Event
Who needs vast levels of experience to win a PokerStars Championship Main Event? Turns out all you need is a scarf. Or maybe a loose t-shirt.
Two players stood out both for their performances in Barcelona, and their style of play, not so much the way they played their cards, but how.
Worried about giving away information with his neck, Aeragen Arunan spent almost the entire Main Event playing hands with his t-shirt pulled up over his face, fearful that in all the excitement, the vein in his neck - a sure fire way of gauging a players' adrenalin levels - would give him away, throbbing away during big hands.
His solution was basic, but effective. He pulled his t-shirt over his face, a strategy that would enrage a mother eyeing the ruined neck line, but good enough to help Arunan on his way to a €193,000 payday. That's a lot of new shirts.
Arunan is not the first to understand his limitations and seek a solution.
Former Team Pro George Danzer, started by wearing a scarf to hide whatever he was giving away. It brought him so much success, and presumably tranquillity, that he's since ditched the scarf in favour of a mohawk. Presumably people are too busy admiring his hair to notice what's happening under his chin.
And Arunan need only have looked across the table to see another player adopting the scarf technique with amazing results. Sebastian Sorensson wore a Miami Dolphins scarf (gets cold much in South Florida?) all the way to his Main Event win. Nobody ever knew of the bulging neck vein that pulsed every time he got a hand.
But if we take anything from this it's that you may as well hide your tells. Better to leave an opponent unsure than totally convinced. If you're giving yourself away stop worrying about appearing like a newbie. These guys were just that and opted to wrap up anyway. If one thing helps you lose your rookie status, it's winning hundreds of thousands of Euros. Get a scarf, a loose t-shirt or an Elizabethan ruff. Whatever works.
So, here's to all the new guys out there worried they're giving their game away with their neck tell, and specifically Aeragen Arunan and Sebastian Sorensson. They're at the start of promising careers. The moment they show up with mohawks, we'll know they've conquered it.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley. What did you think about this post? Let us know on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.