EPT12 Barcelona: Wake up! There's poker to play
We knew poker players were not typical of the breed. They're equipped with a unique ability to survive on bar food and massages, and have a knack for staying awake when the rest of us are either asleep on the couch, or hitting the snooze button for a fourth time.
The proof of this almost superhuman ability - or ambivalence - is before us today. They're the players who only a few hours ago were in a completely different event, and playing for completely different stakes, and racing the sun to bed. But not one of them seemed concerned about the time they had to rest before they had to return.
Liv Boeree, currently second in the Single Day High Roller as it moves into its, ahem, second day (to be played out tomorrow), was adamant, when asked at 5am this morning, that she would return to pay the main. She did, but was out within 45 minutes of taking her seat. Meh, that's part of the game.
Jeff Rossiter too. He finished in 7th position and also had an appointment today. Wasn't it on his mind? The prospect of playing on with little sleep? Evidently not.
"I don't go that deep in a 25 K event that often," he said. "So it's no big deal. I got to bed at around 4.30am so I still got six hours of sleep."
Like Boeree, Rossiter's return was short lived. He busted in the first few hours of the day. But the point still stands. Poker players don't think like the rest of us. Sleep is one thing, but the game has to be played.
Jani Sointula is the same. OUT of the High Roller in fourth at 4.10am, IN to the Main Event by 12 noon.
The same goes for Isaac Haxton, out of the High Roller in sixth. Earlier this week he asked why it was poker players, unlike say golfers, feel compelled to play for 22 hours straight. Last night he gave a practical demonstration. He's still in the Main, and looks unfazed by the late night.
Sebastian Pauli too. Not a high roller finalist, but winner of the €500 Limit Razz event which concluded in REM sleep.
But perhaps these are the normal ones. After all they had something to play for. The real superheroes are not the ones who had a reason to be up so late (or 865,000 reasons to be exact), but those who were railing their friends, who had a legitimate reason to turn in early, with their pals good luck, and catch up first thing in the morning, refreshed, perhaps after breakfast. Players like Mustapha Kanit and Dario Sammartino who, carrying a few beers, stuck it out to the end.
Both are back today, looking better than most of us, and building stacks worthy of day 3. It's remarkable really, and shouldn't be tried at home.
Unless you're a poker player that is.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.