Seven years ago today, the PokerStars Blog published its first post. In honor of the seventh anniversary, we've chosen to republish a bit from a recent PokerStars Caribbean Adventure magazine that outlines a bit about how we...ahem...work when we're on the road.
The following is a day in the life of a PokerStars Blogger at the PCA, a writer who goes to countless poker tournaments but never touches a card or a chip. The bloggers never play one hand, but they know almost everything that happens from the first flop to the last river. This is how they work.
9:00am: On the floor sits a backpack stuffed with chicken-scratch notes, unopened from the late finish the night before. In the bed lies a member of Team PokerStars Blog. He has a decision: breakfast or another 30 minutes of sleep. The decision he makes will factor into whether he eats a proper meal on this day or subsists on potato chips, Jamba Juice, and Atomic Fireball candy.
9:05am: The decision made, the blogger dreams of playing heads-up with Liv Boeree. Breakfast is for school children. The dream will soon end with the blogger being beaten up by Joe Hachem. Always does. Off to work.
11:00am: The bloggers arrive before most people. There's a lot to the job that most people don't see. It goes beyond tracking chip counts and standing around poker tables. There's the matter of photography, videos, writing, keeping track of winners, and getting it all done in a fast enough fashion it could be considered live. Moreover, they know that what they produce will be the definitive chronicle of that happens at the PCA. They may look like a bunch of ruffians, but they take the job seriously, so they arrive early, bleary-eyed, and hungry.
12:00pm: Somebody shouts "Shuffle up and deal" and the bloggers descend into maze of tables to mark down where the notable players are sitting. During the first few minutes, they are likely to see aces versus kings, set over set, and someone going broke with ace-king all-in pre-flop. World-weary, the bloggers nod in sympathy as they mark down the first bust-outs of the day.
3:00pm: With the first three hours of the day gone, the bloggers have recorded and written more hands than they can remember. They are haunted by that guy who went busto with ace-king, but the rest of it is a blur of clubs, hearts, diamonds, and spades. They've already met about 100 players they've never seen before and assigned them code names like "Flat-Brim Hat Blair" and "Suzy the Girl Who Looks Like My Fifth Grade Girlfriend." This is the only way they will keep everybody straight until the end of the day.
3:00pm-9:00pm: The bloggers would look like ants if ants moved like mercury spilled on ice. It's a chaotic scene, but professional at the same time. Despite how it may look, the bloggers are pros. One comes from a national newspaper background. Another spent ten years on-air as a radio and TV news reporter. The photographers are the undisputed best in the industry. The team as a whole has played and seen more poker hands than can possibly be calculated. The PCA is just one of the dozens of tournaments the bloggers will cover during the year and just a sunny addition to the daily updates on everything that happens online at PokerStars. And so they report with an eye toward accurate, comprehensive, and entertaining coverage.
9:01pm: As the surviving players and staff file from the room, the bloggers remain behind. They are sweating from the previous 15 minutes of running around the room and making sure they know without question who has the chip lead. They will use that information to compose the overnight wrap-up on the PokerStars Blog. No one will leave until it's finished. At some point long after everyone is gone, the bloggers will shuffle out with cramped hands, aching feet, and the knowledge that they have about 12 hours until a dreamscape version of Joe Hachem beats them up again. This is what they do.