The PokerStars Blog team has been making regular appearances on the EPTLive lite webcast this week and, bar us making some grievous blunder*, we’ll be popping up for the odd 20-30 minute stint throughout this festival. The idea is not only to make Stephen Bartley feel as uncomfortable as possible, but to feed information from the tournament on the floor and the festival on the whole into the live feed. It’s a symbiotic relationship. We supply content and knowledge gleaned from years of gazing blankly at players who are obviously tank-folding, they use their souped-up moving picture boxes to push people towards our super articles (not this one, the good ones). Call it sophisticated PokerStars backscratchery.
*This is distinctly likely.
During one of our drop-in sessions yesterday EPT presenter James Hartigan opened up Twitter (using the #EPTLive hahtag) to field general questions to the PokerStar Blog. An interesting one that we didn’t have a chance to address came in from @MattiasBlomste.
“Nick, do U think the players must do interviews when media wants it.How often they decline? How do u approach some1 who is reluctant?”
First of all, I’ll excuse being called Nick.
No, players shouldn’t have to do interviews on demand throughout the tournament – we on the PokerStars Blog certainly only request to speak to players. It’s up to the individual whether they agree, but believe us, after sitting down staring at cards for eight hours most are glad for the distraction, if not just an excuse to stretch their legs. We’re happy to oblige. We always work closely with the floor and organising bodies to make sure that players have the best experience possible and that the integrity of play is preserved, i.e. don’t talk to players when they’re in a hand, or, if at all possible, talk to them away from the table, especially if it’s for anything approaching an extended interview.
Most players are only too happy to contribute. Think about it. You’re playing poker and you’ve just won a good pot through – as you see it – some incredible and sophisticated play, you’ll want to talk about it. Or perhaps, you’re playing poker and you’ve just lost a big pot through – as you see it – some terrible piece of misfortune, you’ll often want to talk about that, too.
That’s only the play by play stuff. Most of the more in-depth pieces you’ll see, either here on the PokerStars Blog, in magazines or videos will be done away from the table at a break (and there’s plenty of them across a seven-day tournament).
Many of the players within the field follow live reporting, whether that means reading longer articles or simply checking chip counts, so there’s an argument that it’s in the players’ best interests to take part in the process. It really is very infrequent that they don’t. There are, of course, always exceptions.
One player running deep in this year’s PCA claimed it would be harmful to his energy to be interviewed, and even went as far as trying to stop another player, Joel Micka, from doing so. Micka, who was a short stack at the time, shrugged it off and took the interview; he ended up finishing second for $1,190,000, while the reticent player failed to make the final day of play. We’re not saying that we’re got the golden touch, but, hey, Micka won a million bucks. Draw your own conclusion.
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Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.