WSOP Main Event: Donna Skolnick
One of the more interesting sideshows to this year's World Series of Poker has been taking place in the corridor beside the main entrance to the tournament room. There, Ron "MadYank" Fannelli, an American exiled in London, has just broken the endurance World Record for heads-up play; he just completed 74 hours of hallucination, delirium and deuce-to-seven triple draw, no-limit hold 'em, pot limit Omaha, what's your game, sir?
Ron will take the plaudits - and rightly so - but it's now time to turn our attention to Donna Skolnick, who sat for vast portions of the record attempt with the deck in her hand, keeping the cards in the air, the pots in order and the baying crowds in check. Today she takes her place in flight 1D of the main event as a PokerStars qualifier, with her eye on another marathon session around the tables.
This is nothing new for Donna. She is a card-room manager in London and a player in what spare time remains after the assorted sickos have departed the club in the early - and often late - hours of tomorrow morning. She has seen a lot of cards - it's her job and it's her hobby - something she continues to combine in Vegas right now.
She has also overseen more poker tournaments than any of us have had bad beats and knows how these things progress. That's why she currently sits, three hours into the tournament, with near enough precisely the stack she started with. Slowly does it.