Queenstown Snowfest: The luck of the draw
The old saying to have "the luck of the draw" applies to the game of poker in its most literal sense. Some days you can make good reads and play to your absolute best, but ultimately you can only do so much with the cards you are dealt by the poker Gods. If luck is not on your side, there's just not a lot you can do.
But luck of the draw has another literal interpretation in the game of poker. The draw can not only refer to the cards, but it can also refer to the table you are drawn to sit at.
"Did you do the table draw today?" Ivan Zalac jokingly poked at us earlier in the day.
"Why did you put me next to these two?" Zalac added as he looked at ANZPT regulars Ricky Kroesen and Tom Grigg seated to his direct left.
"It's ok," we replied. "When they three-bet, you four-bet, and when they five-bet, you just six-bet jam!"
Zalac will have been relieved to see the back of Grigg who was eliminated earlier in the day, but in such a small field it's highly likely that we're going to see some stacked tables. If these guys were expecting an easy tournament to go with their little skiing holiday, then they were sadly mistaken.
Table 4 has been loaded all day with the likes of Alex Lynskey, Jacky Wang, Ami Barer, Luke Edwards, James Honeybone and Anthony Aston all seated together. A few of those names would be familiar to followers of the local tours, but Canadian Ami Barer might be a new name.
Under the online handle "UhhMee", Barer has almost US$4 million in online career earnings. If his table weren't aware of that fact at the start of the day, they probably have a decent idea that he's the real deal right about now.
Meanwhile Table 5 is also not a place you want to be. Liam O'Rourke, Billy Argyros, Jesse McKenzie and Matthew Wakeman fill the first four seats of the table, while online phenom Michael Fadersen has been lurking in seat ten.
And there is no relief in sight as we've just been told that it's been two hours since we saw an elimination here late on Day 1b with the big screen currently stuck on 35 players remaining.
It's not going to get any easier from here as the field reduces and only the strong will survive. At that point, I guess it all once again comes down to the luck of the draw.