EPT12 Barcelona: Trying not to stand out from the crowd
Not far from Casino Barcelona, as you head out from the Port Olympic and walk towards the Harbour, is the Passeig Maritim.
I'd guess there's an equivalent in most towns, including your own. It's a long pedestrian boulevard where people go to, well, strut a little, or maybe swagger. In Rome it's called the Passeggiata - an evening walk, dressed up to the nines, ready to impress. In Paris you might stroll along the Champs Elysees. In Barcelona, unofficially at least, it's the Passeig Maritim.
Here you'll see people from one particular walk of life, specifically the one that likes to show off. So doing my best I walked the length of it. I saw crowds of teenaged girls looking edgy, crowds of teenaged boys trying to make them smile. There were young people on push bikes, some on a motorised version terrorising anyone who didn't notice them coming.
There were spandex joggers oblivious to the humidity, some stopping occasionally to lift a leg up in an elaborate stretches. There was a young man with a golden beard skateboarding at speed, a young woman on her bike with a dress flowing behind her, tanned people on rollerblades, and a man with a harpoon. All the while I did my best to fit in by wearing shorts, showing knees of brilliant white.
But if one thing was clear this was not a place where people tried to fit in. It was the opposite. A place to show off, expose some flesh, flirt a little, or feign disinterested if any interest was shown. This was a crowd, but to be part of it wasn't the idea. The plan was to stand out.
All of which happens to be the opposite of events indoors in Casino Barcelona. And thank goodness.
Obviously when I say this I exclude Diego Gomez, a man who even as I write, parades around the tournament room in clothing embroidered with images from the movie Minions, not unlike those worn by a typical seven year old at bedtime. Let's call him the exception to the rule.
For everyone else though, the day is about being part of the crowd and part of an event of some sort, currently filling the main room and the tent to the brim. After all, being part of this crowd means you're still in contention for something. To stand out here means you're eliminated. If anything it means they're no longer interested in you. People might stare at you, but it's not in a good way. Not like they stare at the man on the skateboard, or the spandex girl with the roller blades, or even the guy with the harpoon.
You'll have to go outside for that. And maybe borrow something from Mr Gomez along the way.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.