If there's one thing you don't want to hear while working at a poker event, it's the tournament director announcing there will be five more levels of play after dinner. For the players themselves it means a late night, of course. For us bloggers and floor staff, it means a later night still. But there's one peril that all of us face together as we trudge our way through the evening and into the early morning hours: the refreshed nature of those playing in some of the side games.
Players and friends not involved in the bigger side events are having fun instead at the cash and sit and go tables and, as is usually the case, some of them appear to have been making full use of the 40 bars available here at Atlantis.
One such sit and go table has been getting progressively louder for more than an hour. Just ten yards from the High Roller rail, it's here that some friends are hollering, yelling and screaming on the turn of almost every card. More trays of beer appear at an alarming rate and the volume increases further. As their sit and go wrapped up, there was every hope they'd decide enough was enough and head off into the night. Instead, they racked up for another sit and go.
And then ten vodka and Red Bulls arrived.
Just as I was remarking that this seemed a little harsh on those playing in a $25,000 tournament just yards away, fighting for a first prize of $1,134,930, one of the high rollers themselves had had enough. Gualter Salles, a Team PokerStars SportStar from Brazil, had been playing with headphones covering his ears, but even he was being put off by the noise. While many others may have thought about it, he acted, called the floor and requested some peace.
"This is a $25,000 event. Go drink somewhere else," he said.
In huge festivals like this, you have to understand there will be a little rowdy behaviour; it's what happens when you put lots young men on an exotic Island with time to spare, money to burn and thirsts to quench. They deserve to have fun, after all.
That said, if it gets too noisy, then the floor staff will exert a little 'pressure'. Not the sort of pressure that Shaun Deeb appears to be getting from his massage lady; that seems to be verging on physical assault. Instead, a quiet word is all that is normally necessary. One warning is usually enough.
As the high rollers headed off for an end-of-level break, knowing they still had three more gruelling hours to go before bagging up at 2am, they were hoping a bit of friendly advice was being meted out just yards away to ten refreshed young men.