APPT Melbourne: Poker Scramble

Playing a full day of live poker can take its toll. It's hard to stay focussed when you're not getting any good cards, the guy on your left is talking smack, and you'd just rather be up at the bar watching the footy. Staying patient and relaxed at the table has been proven to be vital in the success of a poker player. Some listen to music, some like to read. But thanks to the radical improvements in technology, players now have a wide range of entertainment, literally at their fingertips, on their iPhone or iPad.

So what apps do the Australian poker community enjoy to pass the time?

For a while Temple Run was a big hit. Running mindlessly through a maze of platforms, leaping fire-laden obstacles and collecting coins while being chased by rabid monkeys was a great time waster. I remember when I thought 50,000 was a good score. Then one day, I scored 500,000. Then I saw a screen shot of someone who scored 50 million. I then quit that game.


The problem also was that Temple Run was a solo game, so you couldn't play against your friends. So that's when Words with Friends became popular as you could play other poker players in the room at the same time. Many poker players enjoy other games like chess and scrabble, so WWF had plenty of appeal as you used letters to form words on a board to get points. The only problem was that games involved plenty of think time and games against good opponents could take many days or longer to finish. That's no good when you're looking for a quick game in between hands at the poker tables.

So many of the poker community found their way to Scramble with Friends. Another word game, players are presented with a grid of random letters and have to form as many words as possible in two minutes. It's scrabble on crack.


Some of those seen on the Scramble grind include Dan Neilson, Grant Levy, Joel Dodds, Celina Lin and Bryan Huang, and if you're looking for an easy win, then challenge PokerNews blogger Joshua Bell.

So who is the toughest Scrambler out there? There are several good wordsmiths in this region, but James Obst, Benn Skender and Jackson Zheng set the standard. If anyone else wants to throw their name into the ring, then I'm open to challenges.

One thing is for sure, if a Scramble tour starts up, I'm not going to be stuck blogging.

@PokerStars in Day 1b