EPT9 Monaco Super High Roller: Signs of the times in the tournament room

In the lift to breakfast this morning two Russian poker players appeared. I said good morning and one of them replied "morning," in a thick accent. His friend, jerked to attention, asking his friend to repeat what he had just said. "Morning" he said again. His friend replied saying he thought he'd said "all-in."

It's an easy mistake when you're whole world spins around the axis of cards, chips and poker. A mis-heard word heard here and there speaks volumes about the man who hears it, an obvious fanatic.

For others it manifests itself in different ways, behaviours or backgrounds that give away signs of their potency or weakness at the table, small visual clues like those found in the tournament room this week.

Such as the weight loss fitness freak, beware of him. They're not just going to the gym a couple of times a week and skipping the cheese burgers. They've hired a trainer at great expense from their winnings, who drags them from their bed each morning to pummel them with a medicine ball, denying them any cheeky McFlurrys along the way.

ElkY: Dragged from his bed every morning

Age can often tell you a lot. Often mistaken for amateurs, hedge fund managers seem to be everywhere. The other traditional way to appear at these events without anyone knowing how is to sell a gaming website for hundreds of millions of dollars. Doing this gives you the right to wear a shirt showing pictures of playing cards and dice.

The feature table in action

At the other end of the age scale are the young Americans. Not just any, but the ones that still live in the United States. Not Tijuana or Listerville, but where they were living before the internet was turned off. These guys can't play online so they make their money the hard way, playing live, and winning.

Lastly there are the hysterical. Usually sunburned pink, these men are both friendly and utterly terrifying. Eliminating him can go either way, igniting the kindness in his heart or the fire in his belly. Either way, shake his hand, let go only when he does, and tell him he was unlucky. Make no comment about the state of his teeth or the three inch scar on his face.

Small signs that betray the mentality or quality of a player, visible everywhere if you look for them.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

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