Just as every poker player has his or her own style, developed through their years and months (or sometimes minutes) of play, every table in these major tournaments also begins adopting some very definite characteristics.
Through some quirk of scheduling -- or maybe just the law of averages -- there is often at least three tables of maniacs, tossing chips around as though they're sowing seeds, as well as a couple of rock gardens, where some of the seeds inevitably end up lodging as the players themselves scatter across the room.
There is also, without exception, a great discrepancy in the level of noise that is generated by each table. While some are surrounded by ten statues producing nothing louder than a tinny drone from the wrong side of twenty I-Pod headphones, others resemble nothing more than a meeting of mothers who have brought their mothers and their mother's mothers along for motherly natter on a cold morning, not as cold as it was last week, but still quite nippy in that draft there, isn't it.
Today's mothers' meeting features some of the best-known natterers in the business: Neil Channing, Nik Persaud and Noah Boeken, of Team PokerStars fame. And they're hardly attempting to quash the sterotype.
Noah "Exclusive" Boeken
"You're such a limit player, Noah," gibed Nik Persaud a moment ago after "Exclusive" had called a button raise with 10-6 suited and rivered a full house.
"You got to play those cards," said Noah.
"Who else is a limit player?" Nik asked. "You're a limit player," he continued, pointing to seat nine. "That explains that call with ace-queen."
"I had the best hand," said seat nine.
"Limited skill player," mumbled Noah.
A couple of orbits later and Nik and Noah were crossing swords as well as words. Nik stuck in a decent bet with four cards already exposed, and Noah passed. Nik flipped up six-seven off-suit which, after a quick check of the board, was round about seven-high, no draw.
"I knew he had nothing," chimed seat four.
Etc., etc., etc......