PCA 2015: Tailgating at the Atlantis
Poker is the focus today, no doubt. But football -- the American variety -- has wrestled the attention away somewhat, too, for both players and others. As often happens on Sunday afternoons, especially come playoff time.
Following Baltimore and Seattle's wins yesterday, for today's games the PokerStars staff planned a "tailgate party" around today's Dallas-Green Bay and Indianapolis-Denver clashes. Inclement weather forced the party from the terrace inside, but that hardly dampened the enthusiasm of the many poker-playing football fans who enjoyed free burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, desserts, and drinks while watching the Cowboys and Packers battle in sub-freezing temperatures about 1,450 miles northwest of us in Wisconsin.
The game was a barnburner, coming down to the final minutes with a controversial ruling deemed by one of our Dallas-betting colleagues as unconscionable and another who's a Green Bay fan as an excellent call.
Meanwhile much fun was had before Green Bay advanced and winners of the latest round of Squares were determined. Another highlight were beer pong matches over on the sidelines, including one in which PokerStars qualifier Laura Garzon defeated PokerStars PR Coordinator Scott Collins.
Incidentally Garzon -- who got into the Main Event on just 6 FPPs -- would narrowly miss the cash today, though most certainly had fun regardless.
Thereafter came a second match between Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker and our media colleague Remko Rinkema, the closeness of which matched the game playing out on the big screen.
After reminding the Dutch reporter how beer pong is of American origin, Moneymaker quickly jumped out to an advantage. Once Rinkema had been forced to down two cups, Moneymaker turned to the gathering crowd.
"Someone get me a beer," he said. "I might get dehydrated."
Moneymaker extended his lead, then Rinkema stormed back to narrow the gap before finally edging ahead and winning by a single cup before a roaring crowd.
"I have one question for you," said Rinkema afterwards to the Tennessee native. "Are your Titans as bad as your beer pong game?" "You're cutting deep!" said a grinning Moneymaker.
The early game having concluded, the Colts-Broncos contest began soon after. As the Cowboys' title hopes burst, the room's attention shifted to that other bit of bursting happening in the PCA Main Event when Arne Kern was eliminated in 120th place, one spot shy of the money.
Like the tailgaters, those still with chips were unsurprisingly all smiles after making the money. The games continue.
Take a look as Sarah Herring stopped by to talk to a few tailgaters:
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.