APPT Macau: Will ElkY have the last laugh?
The hype surrounding the latest batman flick The Dark Knight has led to a bizarre fascination in The Joker, the character played by Australian actor Heath Ledger shortly before his untimely death.
Plug the words "joker", "people" and "obsessed" into Google, and it brings up a not-insignificant 352,000 results.
Well, that figure is set to skyrocket after Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier decided to don the facepaint and crushed velvet purple (actually, it looks brown) jacket made famous by Gotham City's most famous villain.
Judging from his performance in delivering the order to "shuffle up and deal", it looks as if ElkY has been rehearsing this role since the movie was released. Maybe longer.
"I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you ... stranger," as The Joker would say.
'ElkY' has now taken his seat as we kick-off day 1B in the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau main event at the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino.
The 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion didn't steal all the limelight during today's opening, with Team PokerStars Pros Vanessa Rousso and Chad Brown joining JJ Liu on the percussion instruments for edition II of the traditional Lion Dance.
But the fun is over as the field of more than 180 players gets down to business - scores of PokerStars qualifiers are in action today, with many nervously pacing the tournament area for up to an hour before play started. Poor C.D. Scotten, a PokerStars qualifier from the US, drew the day's shortest straw being seated next to The Joker, who's still breaking into maniacal laughter every couple of minutes.
Aside from the Team PokerStars trio, today's field includes PokerStars Sponsored players Aussie Van Marcus, Hong Kong's Elton Tsang and Ivan Tan from Singapore. There are also two former world champions - Johnny Chan and Mansour Matloubi - plus Mel Judah, David Saab, 2007 WSOP Europe H.O.R.S.E. winner Thomas Bihl and 2007 WSOP Heads-up champion Dan Schreiber.
We've also spotted David Steicke, who placed third in last year's APPT Macau High Roller event and Roger Spets, the Malaysian-based Swede who final-tabled at two APPT events last year. Like day 1A, we'll be playing seven levels of 60 minutes today, with the blinds:
Level 1: 25/50
Level 2: 50/100
Level 3: 100/200
Level 4: 100/200 (ante 25)
Level 5: 150/300 (ante 25)
Level 6: 200/400 (ante 50)
Level 7: 300/600 (ante 75)
Watch APPT Macau 08: Day 1b Starts on PokerStars.tv