There’s something refreshing about talking poker with someone outside the industry, who at most is an occasional recreational player in the most informal sense. This happened to me on the way to the airport. The taxi driver, who had recently played poker for the first time while on a cruise, immediately began to tell me his story. This is usually a time to fix the best false grin you can muster onto your face and sit it out. But, using the language of someone not embedded in the poker world, the taxi driver made it all sound very different.
“I had two kings in my… in the cards that were dealt to me, and there was another king in the three cards in the middle,” he began. “The woman I was playing against, she had, I think… I can’t remember what she had but it was something like six-seven, and two of the three cards in the middle were an eight and a nine, or something. So she needed to get another card, like a ten or something.
“So when the fourth card came out, it was a ten, or something, I thought she might have got a running hand and we turned the cards over and I saw what she had, and I thought ‘oh no!’ But then the last card was a king, and I was like ‘yes!’ And I turned over one of my cards and then slowly turned over the next one to show her that actually I had four kings, not three. It was great.”
This kind of enthusiasm, albeit for a slow-rolled-lucky-river-with-a-victory-lap, can serve as a useful reminder that poker is, at its purest level, great fun, regardless of stakes and surroundings, and the trappings of an event such as this.
There’s a winner out there somewhere
The same goes for the new players that each stop ushers in, never before seen, bringing fresh hope of a major title and the enormous cheque to go with it. So while today’s field is full of this, local players stepping up onto a bigger stage for a dream chasing title bid, it’s not detrimental to the tournament as a spectacle. For most it’ll end with nothing more than a story, but the winner has to come from somewhere, and why not that unknown chap in the three seat in the far corner? This is, after all, how Kent Lundmark won his title.
Full coverage of EPT Sanremo is on the main EPT Sanremo page. There’s hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top and feature pieces below.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.