PCA 2013: Players enter stage left as feature tables fired up

The television set is back in service today after the celebratory scenes of the Scott Seiver and the Super High Rollers (not a bad name for a band) yesterday. The feature table and the secondary table hog the attention of the TV crews who have just refreshed their clip boards with the names of their first guests, counted on to provide some fascinating B-roll.

At least that's what they might prefer. For one player the next few hours might seem more about survival than providing entertainment.

Bruno Pereira arrived carrying a rack of chips and a new seat assignment card to the vacant seat eight. Pereira, wearing a yellow tracksuit top of his native Brazil, paused, re-examined his assignment and looked again at the table. He looked like a man who'd just taken a wrong turn down a backstreet and interrupted a group of angry big men playing with dolls.

Those men happen to be among the most fearsome players in the game. Erik Cajelais in his full battle dress of muscles and tattoos, the ever cheerful Daniel Negreanu, Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy and Chris Oliver. At the other end of the table was former EPT Player of the Year Fernando Brito, but he didn't look up. Pereira reluctantly took his seat.

Daniel Negreanu

The table could actually a perfect reflection of the poker world in general, a mixture of young hopefuls, young heirs-apparent, old timers and masters of the game. It's reflected in both their records and appearances.

At one extreme are the likes of Ryan Pignatelli and Chris Oliver, Pigantelli looking to make a name for himself against quality opposition, and Oliver, big and unmovable, the main event runner-up here two years ago. Interestingly both wear images of extended middle fingers on their clothing.

There's one other feature of note, the card reading device, permitting the TV crew to record the hand histories without any actual cards being shown face up. Players simply put their cards over a patch of dark blue baize and some TV magic does the rest. We can't see that information - hardly anyone can - but when the time comes to edit a TV program the results will be there to see.

With this line-up the results should prove quite lively.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter