APPT Sydney: Chairmen of the board
It started with a casual conversation in the Star City Poker Room, and ended with the two very nervous Scandinavians standing on a Sydney beach at 7am on a Saturday thinking, "what the hell are we doing here?"
Whether it was just bluff or bravado, credit to PokerStars Qualifiers Sam and Simon for setting the alarm on a glorious Sydney morning for a morning in the surf at Bondi Beach.
Sydney offers arguably the best surfing on any city in the world, with a number of internationally renowned surf spots dotted along the suburban coastline. Bondi might not be noted for its surf, but it is Australia's most famous beach and is home to a gentle beach break, perfect for a pair of surfing novices.
With a slightly sleepy PS blogger for company (who was really just scared to death that these two Euros would end up on the evening news), the boys wet-suited up, much to the amusement of the scores of Sydneysiders enjoying the early-morning sun.
Adam, an incredibly patient and chirpy instructors from the Let's Go Surfing School, ran the Scandis through some exercises on the beach and before long, the boys were pounding into the ocean with all the grace of a tow truck.
But showing the tenacity and aggressive that have made our friends from northern Europe such feared opponents at the poker table, Sam and Simon were soon standing up, and falling off, and standing up, and falling off, and standing up, and finally staying up.
With a proud instructor and relieved blogger watching on, the boys were soon whooping it up and putting in some more than respectable rides on the gentle swell.
They're unlikely to unseat Kelly Slater in the annals of surfing history, but given the number of Swedes who surf, there could be a national champion in the making.
As Sam and Simon headed off to consume their body weight in fried breakfast, we're heading back to Star City for day three in the PokerStars.net APPT Grand Final, with 66 players chasing 48 spots in the money and a first prize of AUD $594,000. We'll be underway at 12.30pm local time.