ANZPT Auckland Day 2: Getting to know you
Starting Day 2 of a three-day tournament in a small poker room with over a hundred players is not as simple as it sounds. 105 players is an awkward number for a variety of reasons.
It was a busy start to the day for tournament organizers as all eleven poker tables in the SKYCITY Auckland poker room, including two overflow tables out on the main gaming floor, were in action when play commenced. That meant organizing dealers for every table in the room and getting 105 bags into the right seats. There was even some confusion with that last night as one of the player bags went missing, before later being accounted for, which explained why our surviving field suddenly grew from 104 to 105 overnight.
It's also a tough number for tournament reporters. It's too many players for us to identify and track individually, but it's small enough that we should at least give it a crack.
You might have noticed a reporter walking the tables carrying a print out of the table seating draw and, usually at the start of the day, they'll be scrambling around as many tables as possible, furiously scribbling down notes. What are they doing exactly?
Well, most likely we're creating a bit of a cheat sheet, just like the one you used in your University exams. We're jotting down descriptions of what the unknown players look like before tables starting breaking and players start moving, so that later in the day, they can still be identified without the need to harass them for their name.
Dark T-shirt. White cap.
Stripey shirt. PokerStars patch.
The trick with cheat sheets is that they usually only work for the person who wrote them. They might have some short-hand or nicknames that others can't follow. Or your fellow poker reporter might just be completely colour blind and not know his pinks from his greys (*cough* Josh Bell *cough*).
The system is not flawless and we'll probably lose a few of you during the day - usually when you cover up that pink t-shirt with a grey hoodie - so please forgive us if you get a tap on the shoulder later on and we ask you your name. Next time, just wear something easily identifiable at the poker table like a giant sombrero, a loud cowboy shirt or a hoodie with gold skulls on it. Then we'll have no problems ID'ing you.
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.