PCA 2012: Eating sand, short sleeves and tension mounting
The tournament floor seems to be getting busier, even as the number of players gets fewer.
As the clock ticks down, just three tables are in action beyond the two feature tables, and the first hints of crowd trouble are brewing; curious railbirds fluttering forward to catch glimpse of the players making a run for the final.
We say goodbye to Jan Heitmann, who departs in 38th position. The German Team PokerStars Pro, who also coaches a number of celebrities, has been absent with leave over the past 12 months, becoming a father and enjoying the rigours associated with, dypers, midnight feeds and softening the edges of anything sharp in the house.
His family, including his now one-year-old daughter ("She's eating lots of sand") are here and Heitmann looks a contented man. Even with his lack of chips he looked like he was enjoying himself.
Is playing a tournament like this more fun once you reach the money, I asked. Heitmann thought about it, then said that it grew more pleasurable the more days there were behind you, then of course when you reach the money. He paused again and then boiled it down to having more chips.
Alas, Heitmann's event was to end soon after. A solid return to the international tournament fray.
If you're Russian poker player you probably know Ilya Gorodetskiy. If you listen to WCOOP Radio you'll also know him. He is himself a solid player with a sharp wit and an uncanny ability to use the British idiom "it's not my cup of tea."
He's currently talking Russian into a camera while on a flying visit to the Bahamas as one of the front men of everything Russian on PokerStars.tv.
"I'm spending two days on a plane and four days here," said Gorodetskiy in his typically sardonic way. "I'm missing the zero degrees in Moscow."
This is true, it is cold in Moscow, but, as Gorodetskiy pointed out, that's unseasonably warm for January. Usually the people in Moscow have to venture outside in minus ten degrees right about now. Or more accurately, stay in. It's a wonder he even owns a short sleeve shirt.
As for Gorodetskiy, like the rest of us, he's a Bahamian whilst he's here, prohibited from playing, and he eyes the 8-Game tournament which started today with a longing that other working poker players can fully understand. We agreed that, despite being told we were Bahamian, neither of us felt Bahamian, nor did we look like one. Goroedtskiy is perhaps the only man in this room paler than me.
For info it's currently 25 degrees in the Bahamas.
Back at the tables and a few more wives and girlfriends have found seats close to the tables. Janene Lewin is still there, although finding it tough to sit. Having mastered how to dodge cables and cameras she watches Danny Chevalier on the feature table before returning to put her camera away. The look on her face says it all.
"I'm gonna need a lot of medication after his," she joked.