EPT11 Grand Final: Food for thought in the Super High Roller
It's more of a curiosity than an attraction, but one of the things that stays with you after a trip to the Grand Final if the experience of buying lunch. Specifically the price list, which can convince the first-timer - wrongly - that they're buying a small bakery, rather than a single cheese sandwich.
For most, a trip to the on-sight café, complete with a €20 cheeseburger, is the only option during a long day at the table. But not for everyone. While the Super High Rollers are the best players in the world, they're also the healthiest, and that means finding something other than a plate of pasta or a foot long baguette to gorge on between hands.
It means right now the tournament area is strewn with brown paper bags, from which half the field has been pulling out boxes of take-out salad to eat between hands. Naturally the conversation too turned to health.
There's nothing unusual about this. In the past the Grand Final has served as a kind of AGM for the High Rollers, as players from both sides of the Atlantic reunite and compare notes for the first time since the PCA. In years previous Fabian Quoss has spoken of the virtues of a Paleo diet, while Daniel Negreanu has done the same for vegan food. Flash forward to now and Negreanu had changed the theme slightly, explaining that while white wine keeps him energised, red wine makes him lethargic (both, however, remove the need to care).
Max Altergott, a man who looks about a thousand years away from having his first minor medical condition, was eating a raw salad from a card board box, which got Tobias Reinkemeier curious.
"Any oil in that?" he asked, as Altergott tried to cut a boiled egg in half using a wooden knife. Altergott shook his head, and unconvinced, Reinkemeier peeled a banana.
But it is hard to find food here that's reasonably priced and available in a 20 minute break, particularly when you're a player on the budget. Suddenly Grasel Sweets day (today) takes on a greater significance, with the value not inexperienced players as such, but free food.
No sweets in the Super High Roller though, just another order of water from Negreanu and lemon tea for Martin Kabrhel, all of which makes Leonid Markin's double espresso look positively reckless. No wait, he's drinking lemon tea as well.
Of course the bigger question is, does healthy living actually work in poker? Well these guys seem to think so, the likes of Negreanu, Quoss, Jacobsen, McDonald, Smith and others. All play on in the Super High Roller, and all glow with good health.
But where's the fun in healthy, affordable food in the most exclusive venue in the world? Pass the ketchup. We need to get our money's worth on these €8 fries.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.