PCA 2012: The solutions to all of poker's problems
Problems arise, solutions are found. It's the way the world works and life is better for it. Some of mankind's greatest inventions came about through innovation and need. Spectacles for instance, underpants too and more recently the double ristretto venti nonfat organic chocolate brownie frappuccino extra hot with foam and whipped cream upside down and double blended, from Starbucks. Someone needed it so someone invented it.
But despite this pursuit of perfection there remain several items that could still revolutionize, if not the world, at least the microcosm of a poker tournament. Little things that are people are crying out for, they just don't realise it yet.
Mass numbers of power sockets...
Were the proverbial aliens from out of space to land out on the beaches of Paradise Island, then walk, slither or hover into the tournament room looking for our leader (that would be Simon Young by the way, and I for one welcome our new alien overlords...) they would naturally assume that several hundred people had gathered to read the news on iPads and listen to music through big headphones. While they were at it they played a card game with other news hounds to keep their fingers busy.
Battery running out (foreground)
The demand for secondary entertainment in poker is massive - the tendency for player to forget to recharge their electronic devices is also massive. A solution must be found, if for no other reason than to reduce the insurance liability of several dozen iPhones scattered and charging between laptops in the media room.
People tweet and for some reason other people want to read those tweets. It may not be for everybody but while someone is doing it someone else will want to follow. It also brings life and colour to a poker tournament, allowing people to keep tabs on their favorite players in a unique and direct way. Let the players tweet by wiring up the tournament room and then they may stop asking us for the media wireless code.
The number of people wanting to watch poker from a few feet away is always bigger than you imagine. This is in stark contrast to the amount of things they can actually see from a few feet away.
I can't see a thing from here...
Like it or not, unless it's televised, poker isn't an ideal spectator sport. At least give those watching the chance to examine the faces of the players in close up, counting the nose hairs from their positions thirty feet away so they can at least identify them.
A giant scoreboard
I'm not talking Corrs Field, I'm thinking more like the Caesar's Palace Sports Book. It would require the chips to be, well, chipped, in order to keep count of them accurate and quick to do. Those amounts could then be displayed on a giant screen. It would put an end to the most oft asked, and least answerable question, "who's winning?" It would be right up there on the board.
Chips in chips?
The plan does have a drawback. Players too would have to be electronically tagged to match the stack to the player, and so far the only technology available would be that used to microchip pet dogs. Unless....
Formerly the role of mothers everywhere, sending their kids to school with a lunch bag or sports kit with their name sewn on, this would ensure the identity of every player was known from start to finish, and let mothers everywhere know a bit more about what their sons, and daughters, do in their spare time.
Who was that guy who just stormed off in a tizz, breaking a barrier rail on his way to the door? Boom - that's so-and-so. Who was that guy who just flipped a coin to determine his tournament fate? No problem, his name's on the list. Who was the dude in the flip flops who didn't wash his hands after a bathroom break? Don't worry, we got 'im.
Let's make it happen.
Others 'ideas' that didn't make the list:
A Plexiglas screen hanging over the playing area, permitting tournament reporters (crawling across it) a bird's eye view without getting too close to the players.
A magnetic force field to keep spectators away from the tables and players at them.