PCA 2015: Broke and want to go home?

There is a ring tone that, when it sounds, immediately sets off the opening bars of the Serge Gainsbourg song Douze belles dans la peau in my head. It's the pavlovian effect and I cannot help it, two "dings" that sounds like the opening notes. I hum the first line of the song immediately and involuntarily. I've learned to live with it, even though when I listened to the song not so long ago it didn't feature this double ding at all. I'd imagined it.

At the PCA though I've discovered there's another noise, the alert "ding" on WhatsApp, which I don't think I'm imagining. It sets off another song in my head, one that has more than a passing reference to the Bahamas, and Nassau. It's also fairly apt for those currently getting WhatsApp messages of commiseration as they bust from the Main Event.

The song is Sloop John B, the Beach Boys version. I'll give you a second to try it out yourself so we're all in the right key. Get someone to send you a message, and then listen to the very start of the song. I'll wait.

Around Nassau town we did roam
Drinking all night
Got into a fight
Well I feel so broke up
I want to go home

Maybe it's just me. But it struck me that this was quite a poignant track, for those about to leave us, who after three days of toil and sweat found today that their PCA dream was over. And now, feeling broke up (or maybe just broke), they want to go home.

But then not everybody appears so broken. Certainly not Elizabeth Bennett.

The Canadian's incredible run just came to an end. Having survived the bubble with hardly any chips, she pushed on for several hours more on one of the toughest tables in the field, with Ole Schemion to one side, Jason Mercier and Jonathan Duhamel to the other. For her at least this was poker at its most fun.


sloop_john_b_pca2015_med3.jpg

So when she busted there were no regrets. There was no bitterness (no drinking and getting into a fight). Instead she insisted that she have her photo taken, first with Mercier, and then Duhamel. Both were more than happy to oblige.

But as long as the WhatsApp ping keeps echoing across Atlantis, that song will keep popping up in my head, the unofficial anthem for those beaten by the PCA.


Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.