EPT9 Sanremo: Back to the Future, Sanremo style
In Back to the Future you need a DeLorean and in Looper you'll be shot if you try it. But time travel is possible in Sanremo, and you only need to walk through a door.
As you probably know already, the pictures you are seeing on EPTLive from the final table in Sanremo are not actually live in the traditional sense. A more truthful name for the service would be EPTAsLive or EPTOneHourDelay.
Because the action is being shown with cards up for the viewers, the pictures cannot go out precisely live. Spectators might be tempted to relay information to the players and the security of the game would be severely breached.
It means that the pictures are broadcast an hour after the action actually occurred, and our "live" reporting is also an hour late. In the press room, reporters are huddled in front of a television screen; it is the safest way to ensure the one-hour embargo is never contravened.
But if you are actually on the ground in Sanremo, there's nothing stopping you popping into the casino theatre - about 20 paces from where this is currently being written - to check out the real state of affairs. It feels like walking into the future, and it's great. They've got hover-boards and jet-packs there.
What they don't have is much provision to make this a true live spectacle. Despite being set up in a beautiful old theatre, spectators cannot see very much of the action. The table is arranged on the stage - "It's like watching eight people have dinner," said Stephen Bartley - but it is far too far away to see precisely what is going on.
It means that the majority of the spectators are occupying the seats in the stalls directly behind the television director's desk, where they can see a tiny screen and the (cards-down) action. It is like being at a football match where everyone is opting to watch the stadium screen instead of the game occurring immediately in front of them.
A big crowd for a 12'' TV screen
Back in the press room, it can be a little confusing when we get a visitor from the future. A moment ago, Ludovic Lacay wandered into the press room, and all of us did a double take. He was also involved in a hand on the television at that precise moment, and he even stopped briefly to watch himself.
Lacay wasn't out of the tournament (at least I don't think so). But the real world was on a level break, while the alternate reality was still deep in progress. Next stop, the Enchantment Under The Sea dance.
Keep an eye on the live tournament reporting from EPT Sanremo for all the news from the television screen.