ANZPT Repechage: The life cycle of a poker player

The Crown Poker Room has seen many transformations over the years. From the tables of Two-Card Manila in the back corner with registration on whiteboards, to the seventy-something tables and digital displays that are now spread throughout the basement level space here in the Crown Casino. Even today, one end of the room is barricaded off. Possibly to fix the escalator, or possibly to build a radical new gambling adventure theme park. Who really knows?


But there's one area of the Crown Poker Room that has stood the test of time. It's seen every flop, turn and river, and heard more bad beat stories than most. It's been there in times of celebration and in times of need. It's been a constant source of support and nourishment. That area is the Crown Poker Room bar.


The bar is also the chamber that bears witness to the transformation of the humble poker player.

At the start of the day, the poker player sits down with the innocence of a child. Full of hope of what the day may bring. However constant suffering throughout the day inflicted by bad beats, coolers and uneducated opponents, will most likely see the player slowly wilt away before all hope is lost.

With no chips left to fight with, the poker player looks to the skies where they will see the flashing neon lights circling the Crown Poker Room bar. Like moths to a flame, the fallen will sulk to the bar post-elimination to indulge in copious amounts of alcohol to drown the sorrows of what had just unfolded.

After several hours of guzzling in a cocoon-like state, the busto player will emerge as the creature known as the railbird. With a new-found sense of self confidence the railbirds will flock together to the rail where their sole purpose is to heckle other players from the rail, distract tournament reporters with mindless questions and annoy tournament directors. If you throw them a chip they will squawk like a seagull. While they are often the centre of much amusement, their novelty will soon wear off and they will be forced to stagger home, often via a strip club, before passing out in a hotel room that may or may not be their own.

The next day the poker player will wake bright-eyed, dust themselves off and do it all over again.


Earlier today hostess Nicki Pickering spoke with Amanda De Cesare about her tough table here on Day 1a of the ANZPT Repechage Main Event. Some of those players may have been recently spotted at the bar: