EPT12 Prague: What to write about when nothing is happening

December 15, 2015

Apparently one player arrived at his table this morning and rushed immediately to the tournament staff to ask for a waitress to be sent over at once. It was absolutely imperative he said, that someone bring him sausage and cabbage as soon as possible.

This is the sort of thing you hear about when there’s very little going on in the Main Event, or in this case the passage of play with 18 players left during which, well, things dragged a little.

tv_cameras_prague12_15dec15.jpgHiding from the TV cameras
These moments crop up from time to time. The outer tables grow quiet, very little happens, and you wonder where the next thing to write about will come from. So your mind wanders and you look for distractions.

For instance, you discover a lot about some of your colleagues at moments like this. One member of the press corp. explained how he sometimes found himself subconsciously urging a player to act in a certain way. When he wanted a player to call he noticed that he leaned back and forth very slightly. When he wanted the opposite to happen the swaying would be side to side.

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Sometimes it got even more obvious, like looking at his watch when someone tanked, or showing his disgust at a player’s action by dropping his note book and exhaling. None of it is deliberate. It just happens.

main_event_chips_prague12.jpgNobody mentions that the chips look alike
Then you learn a bit about yourself. I tend to know when it’s time for an eye test based on how close to the table I need to stand to see the flop. At ten feet I know everything is fine. At five feet I figure an appointment might not be a bad idea. The trouble really starts when I’m leaning on a player to understand what’s going on.

You make note of the things you see, knowing they probably won’t matter. People like the big man in the shorts and t-shirt two sizes too small, playing one of the side events. Or the chips, beautiful new chips which right now have an aquatic theme and are almost impossible to tell a part. But you don’t want to criticise so you cross it out.

And all the while nothing is happening you just hope none of the cameras spotted you yawning in the background.

Or wearing a Santa hat.

thomas_stacha_prague12.jpgOff duty photographer Thomas Stacha
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.


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