This period between seasons on the European Poker Tour allows a time for respite, for rest, and reflection. It's a chance to look back on what has been done, and look forward to how we might improve on that in the future.
With this in mind I've set myself a challenge for the next couple of months, before the poker community convenes on the Barcelona shoreline. I'm going to stop using the word "notable".
I admit. I've been using "notable" for too long. I'm aware of it, as I introduce a tournament or wrap up the day's action. Sometimes I use "familiar faces" to fool myself into thinking my vocabulary is broader than it actually is. But sooner or later I'm back to writing about notables and having trouble sleeping again. It's an illness.
The trouble when trying to find a collective noun for the usual
notables players that show up to play, say, a High or Super High Roller. Space, time and sanity spares you writing them all out, and conveniently allows you to bypass putting names to all those faces. But it's also short hand for a stacked field, which personally I think needs a little work.
Let's examine the alternatives.
"Well known" -- To whom?
"Legends" -- That only applies to a handful of players.
"Degenerates" -- Perhaps that's a little too familiar.
I was discussing this in the office this week. Would Neymar Jr ever be referred to "pirouetting through an opposition defence made up of notable players"? I doubt it. Would Fatima Moreira de Melo ever have won a Gold medal alongside a team of notables?" Preferably not. It all feels a bit lazy.
It's only a minor problem. But I'm letting it be known I'm taking suggestions (note: I've ruled out "gaggle", "plethora" and "a load"). In the meantime bear with us the next time you see a poker writer - even a notable one - using that word to shorten a list of names.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.