PCA 2013: Pantless on Paradise Island
Bruce Drake of Alberta, Canada has no pants. Or, better put, he has no pants with which he has an intimate relationship. Maybe that's what makes him seem a bit curmudgeonly as play starts on Day 2 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event.
Understand, Drake--a PokerStars qualifier--is not a tired old man, but he'll let you believe he is.
"All you young guys surviving on Jolt Cola and Red Bull," he scoffs at the youths of Table 4.
Forgetting for a moment that many people under the age of 30 have never heard of Jolt Cola, we can still rest assured Drake isn't feeling his age as much as he lets on.
"The young guys have been great," he said. "I like to play up the old guy edge a little bit. I just use that to put them back on their heels a little bit."
At 46 years old, Drake is outfitted like a man on vacation. His khaki shorts still have the manufacturer's crease in them. His Atlantis t-shirt has never been washed or worn. Since he's arrived three days ago, he's done little else but play poker. As a 40-year-old married man myself, I make the quick assumption he's not here with his spouse.
"My wife let me go on my own," he said. "She said 'It's your hobby,' gave me a kiss for luck, and sent me out the door."
The luck might be working for poker (after all, Drake made Day 2 of the Main Event), but it didn't work for his pants. Or his shirts. Or his toothbrush.
Drake--like many other people here today became a victim of the dreaded and much-storied Polar Vortex, aka, that really bad cold snap that shut down a big portion of North America for a day or so.
"Three hours to fly to Toronto, four hours to wait for a gate," he said. "This is my third day here. I don't even have luggage."
On any other trip, that might be a problem, but for this one, it's hardly an issue. Drake, a land surveyor by trade, is a resourceful man. Also, he's not had much need for anything than poker room attire. I asked him what he's doing when he's not playing poker.
"Playing poker," he said.
Souvenir t-shirts from Atlantis aren't the type of thing that necessarily come cheaply, so it's fair to worry about Drake's bankroll. Fortunately, part of his PCA qualifier package included a resort credit on his room.
"Thank you very much to PokerStars for the room credit so I can afford to buy clothes," Drake said.
PokerStars says, "You're welcome," Bruce. (And, to be fair, that money comes out of the qualifiers' prize pool). And if you somehow manage to avoid all those young guys and win the tournament, you can buy all the souvenir Atlantis t-shirts you want.
Our coverage of the 2014 PCA is comprehensive on PokerStars Blog, and it is simple to follow. The PCA 2014 Main Event page has a box at the top in which you'll find hand-by-hand coverage and chip counts after the action commences at noon. Below that are feature pieces, interviews and analysis updated throughout the day. You can also follow the action on PCA Live.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging