WSOP 2014: Here's to you, the "old guy" at the table
After nearly ten years of coming to the World Series of Poker, I find that the older I get the more time I spend before the trips packing ointments for physical ailments, medications for unspecific aches, stronger sun cream, and remedies for various scenarios that may or may not happen. All of which are united in pacifying the man who is starting to feel old.
Just as the saying goes that as you get older the policemen get younger, so it seems do the poker players. Each year they appear to be even more youthful in their wide-eyed, clean-cut optimism, carrying bags of money won online with uncynical ambition. The world really is their playground.
But perhaps it's not as clear cut as that, as a look around the Amazon Room suggested as players returned from the dinner break.
The World Series of Poker Main Event is in many ways the great leveller. It is the most democratic of sporting occasions, open to anyone who can produce the dollars needed to cover the buy-in. And in Las Vegas there are plenty of older guys who still feel the draw of the Main Event, the thrill of the competition, the shot at glory, and the chance to teach the young guns a thing or two.
So here's a post-dinner time salute the older guy at your table.
The man who wears the same summer clothes he's been digging out of the closet since the Clinton Administration. The man who even now is slightly worried that his lawn back home needs mowing. The man who had to have "one of his little pills" with dinner. The man whose card protector has a story behind it. The man who has had a subscription to CardPlayer magazine since 1985.
The man who has a signed first edition of Sklansky. The man who is known by a nickname in his home game. The man who has a lucky watch and who once won a pot against Doyle Brunson. The man with a novelty poker shirt. The man who has to bring with him two pairs of glasses. The man in the knee high white socks. The man with the regimental baseball cap. The man who once chased Tom McEvoy down the hall for an autograph.
The Main Event is for everyone, but here's to that man.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.