PokerStars Festival Manila: Fidget spinning it up

August 03, 2017

Before entering a tournament, players will often try to assess their bankrolls, the potential toughness of the field, their expected value and return on their investment. Here in Manila, they need to add another factor to the equation: fidget spinner equity.

Every player here at PokerStars Festival Manila will receive a fidget spinner, and in case you’ve been living in a cave for the entirety of 2017, let’s get you up to speed on exactly what a fidget spinner is. A simple device (pictured below) with a bearing in the center of three prongs designed to smoothly spin around the axis, the fidget spinner exploded in popularity this year, but similar toys have reportedly existed since 1993.

PSF Manila fidget spinner.jpg

Fidget spinners have been advertised as relieving stress and anxiety, with the idea being that fidgeting can limit the brain’s tendency for distracting or obsessive thoughts. While the science is still out on these claims, we’ve been conducting our own (very legitimate) research here in Manila.

Many players have been spotted spinning at the table, and one man who has seemed mesmerized by his new fidget spinner is Sparrow Cheung. He’s been spinning his way to success at this PokerStars Festival, having already locked up two cashes, two final tables and a title in the PHP55,000 Deepstack event. The hot streak saw Cheung overtake Alan Lau as the current Asia Player of the Year frontrunner, and with Cheung still in the High Roller among just 15 runners remaining, we could see him spin his way to another victory here today.

PSF Manila Sparrow Cheung fidget spinner.jpg

Sparrow spinning it up

While fidget spinners have proven a hit with the overwhelmingly majority, one naysayer, India’s Dhaval Mudgal, is yet to be convinced.

“I can’t believe how idiotic fidget spinners are,” Mudgal said. “Let the other players spin their toys, I’ll spin up my stack.”

Mudgal is attempting a fidget spinnerless run in Day 1A of the Main Event but so far it doesn’t seem to be working out too well for him.

Coincidence? Or is our research starting to indicate a correlation between fidget spinners and success at the poker table? We’ll continue working diligently until we get to the bottom of it.

PSF Manila Dhaval Mudgal.jpg

Mudgal without a fidget spinner (AKA drawing dead)

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