EPT8 Berlin: Players standing out, divine light or not
Even before the introductions were made at the start, the stand-out line-up, the table you would pick up and put in front of television cameras, or at the very least hang framed on the wall, was the obvious one; that featuring Scott Seiver, Olivier Busquet, Andrew Brokos and Barny Boatman mentioned earlier. Since then Will Molson arrived at the Hyatt, borrowed a computer to transfer some money, and bought in. Then he took his seat at this same table.
Adopting a standard level one strategy, the Canadian grabbed a passing massage therapist and put her to work.
"What's your name?" he asked, looking aghast when she replied. "Are you French?"
For a second, it seemed Molson had something against the French, despite hailing from French speaking Quebec. Actually the problem had been pronouncing her name. When you're about to have your back karate chopped it's nice to be on first name terms.
Boatman on the other hand needs no massage, the two cans of complimentary hotel branded energy drink lined up in front of him providing him with all the provocation he needs. He checked the two cameras perched behind him before looking down at his cards.
Elsewhere German player Jan Heitmann was easy to spot in the middle of the room. It wasn't just his salmon coloured hoodie that caught the eye, it was also a single spotlight, perhaps providently placed above him, that made him glow with what Malcolm Muggeridge might have called "kingly light".
All that disappeared when EPT photographer Neil Stoddart, unequipped for photography in the dark, took it upon himself to turn the lights up.
Other than him the main standouts in the tournament room are the camera crews working the floor. Unlike any other EPT event, filming of the event starts today (for television) with EPT Live broadcast on PokerStars.tv for the final table.
The TV crew
It means the stage is in place and the roving crews are at work, while others, with headphones and chewing gum, patrol the room for things they can write on clip boards. With them on the fringes of the room are the unemployed massage therapists, who missed their chance with Molson, and a few casino employees selling fizzy drinks and cheese sandwiches from boxes slung around their necks.
Plenty to see.