PCA 2012: The view from the rail

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Amid the television cameras, the roving camera crews, the sound men, the tournament reporters, Robbie Thompson calling the action, a couple of production staff and meters of cable on the main stage, there stands a lady in flip flops, wearing a pink and purple floral dress, her arms crossed and holding a digital camera.

Normally if you get this close to the table without permission, or wearing anything but black, you'll either be accidentally crushed under the wheels of a camera tripod or asked in no uncertain terms to leave the stage. If you're crushed you're still asked to leave.

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Tense: Janene Lewin

But no one is asking this lady to leave. This is Janene Lewin, girlfriend of Danny Chevalier in seat four, and at this point Chevalier is all in. In such circumstances the rules for visitors sometimes change.

The screen above the table flashed images of Chevalier, then of Casey Kastle, who was trying to crush the dreams of the Australian.

Kastle had shown pocket jacks to take on Chevalier's ace-king; a second ace hit the flop and a third the river, taking him to 575,000, much to the delight of Lewin who did a little jump of delight, her face beaming, before she started breathing again, returning to her seat thirty feet away.

"I'm more nervous than he is," she said, clearly living an emotional roller coaster.

For his part Chevalier looked calm and in control. Along with his Player of the Year title, Chevalier was granted a trip to either the PCA or the Aussie Millions. The latter takes place this month on his doorstep in Melbourne. He chose the PCA and the logistical nightmare that involved.

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Relaxed: Danny Chevalier

"Our first flight was cancelled," explained Lewin, who had now taken to fanning herself to calm down.

We've all lived with airport delays but when you're flying from Melbourne to Nassau it can have exhausting knock on effects. Eventually they made the trip from Melbourne, to Los Angeles, to Miami, to Nassau; a nightmarish journey for sure, but one conveniently forgotten now that Chevalier's home field form is beginning to come good.

Lewin had spent most of the week outside the tournament room by the pool. Once the bubble burst though, all that changed, and relaxation turned to nervous anticipation.
"Once he got into the money I couldn't sit by the pool anymore," said Lewin.

It's an experience made harder by the lack of mobile telephone reception. Luckily Lewin befriended someone whose boyfriend was also in the main event, and received text bulletins pool side now and then. That's now unnecessary.

As she lives each minute the hard way Chevalier, who looks like he's enjoying himself, occasionally looks over at Lewin, smiling a smile the cameras would have to be sharp to pick up, and tapping his heart. Lewin smiles back.

With four ANZPT final tables, including a win back in 2009, Chevalier now stands poised to earn his first cash finish beyond home shores. So far he's managing it in fine style, and has the cheering section on the rail to keep that going, albeit a nervous, jumping, and breathless one who can't sit down.