2008 World Series: TV time at table three
Three tables and several hundred of poker’s hardcore fan base, all watching 27 players. That will be the landscape here for the foreseeable future.
But what does it take to run one of the last three tables in the World Series main event? Well, table three needs the following...
A deck of cards, 49,740,000 chips, nine players, three television cameras, three microphone booms, six guys to hold all of those, someone with a clipboard, seven pairs of headphones, eight baseball caps, a photographer, several packs of chewing gum, a few tournament officials, a cocktail waiter, someone to write all this down and all the patience in the world you can muster.
Table three in action
This will be the slowest of days - not in the same way a school maths exam passes slowly or the delay you might get waiting for a flight, but in the high pressure scenario of elite competition where mistakes are punished and there are no second chances.
Table three features faces now familiar in the PokerStars sense. Several PokerStars players are in the line up; Dennis Phillips is here, along with Chris Klodnicki, David Rheem, Albert Kim, Jason Reisenberg (who was forced to limbo beneath a boom to get back into his seat) and Darus Suharto who I’ve never seen this week without an enormous smile on his face.
The table description above will stay unchanged for most of the day. Players may switch seats or bust out, but the backdrop will be one of furious effort to record every moment for posterity and of course the all important coverage between now and the final table in November.
In that crowd, looking for their first glimpse, were a couple decked out in cowboy hats and stars and stripes, taking in what can look like a confusing scene.
“They look like babies!” said one man, watching with his wife as three microphone booms hung over the table, like puppeteers orchestrating the action below.
That was the view of the new railbird, but one spectator getting used to the daily grind was ‘Bash’, one of the Rio security guards. Bash paces the rail ensuring the press area is kept clear of trespassers, walking from one end to the other before turning and walking back the opposite way. I said it was going to be a long day. He checked his watch...
“Only about another two and a half hours...”
I thought for a second this was courageous optimism, but then I realised his shift tomorrow might start before this day ends.