The strangeness is happening over on one of the sites’ high-stakes no-limit hold’em tables.
It looks like just another table, on the surface. The table in question is a $25/$50 heads up table -- called “pokernubz” -- and sits there among several other high-stakes NLHE tables, waiting for players to take their seats and start playing each other for the big money.
But here, check this out:
That’s right. 241 players are waiting to take a seat at Table pokernubz. WTF?
This is actually one of those “private” tables one sometimes finds over on Full Tilt Poker. There’s one such table down at the low limits where I usually hang out, a $25 max. pot-limit Omaha table called “SmBoatDrinks” where there is always a seat reserved for the player after whom the table is named. I wrote Full Tilt support once to ask about the table, and they explained to me that SmBoatDrinks had “purchased” his own table through the Iron Man Challenge promotion.
I looked into it. Looks as though one needs to accumulate 750 medals to be able to go into the “Iron Man Challenge Store” and get the private table created. The Iron Man Challenge is not unlike other programs (like Stars’ VIP program) that are designed to reward high volume play. Looks like the minimum amount of time it would take to accumulate the needed medals is six months. Don’t ask me how many hands one would have to play to get there -- I’ve never played enough to bother too much with the Iron Man stuff.
In any event, the player “pokernubz” was able to create for himself such a table some time during the spring. However, pokernubz apparently chose to make a table at a much higher limit that the one he currently plays. He can be found on the site from time to time, but sticks to $1/$2 NLHE. It appears he created the table with an idea that one day down the road he might be ready to play at the higher limit.
The long waiting list began to develop shortly after the table was created. This thread over on Two Plus Two that began in May provides some background on how the list became so large. The thread started with someone asking why the waiting list was so long (it had climbed over 50 names at that time). Then it appears 2+2ers soon decided en masse to join in the fun, artificially ballooning the number of players waiting to over two hundred. (Indeed, the picture appearing above of the marathon runners comes from the thread, a visual comment from one of the posters.)
Full Tilt Pro Eric Liu was sitting at the table earlier today, but he has just left. (He was there when I took the screen shot of the lobby page, which is why the name of the table appears in red.) Huck Seed was on the list at some point early on, but he either made to the table and left or removed his name. Craig Marquis is there now in 164th, hoping perhaps to get a crack at pokernubz before he plays the WSOP Main Event final table in November. Another player who has made a WSOP ME final table, Lee Watkinson, is also on the list right now in 176th.
There’s another thread over on the Hendon Mob forum as well discussing the list, with the original poster also asking why the waiting list was so long. Within a few responses, one poster said when he checked in on the list he put his name on it as well. “Not really sure why,” he added. He “just wanted to be part of the crowd.” Someone follows up saying “there’s your answer” to the original question. Indeed, the phenomenon resembles one of those virus-like “memes” in which the content becomes less and less significant and the act of being “part of the crowd” takes over.
Meanwhile, the world waits to see if pokernubz ever sits down at his own table. Perhaps one day his bankroll and skill level will have increased to the point where he is ready to play.
And when that day comes, he knows he’ll have a game.