Thursday, May 07, 2015

Travel Report: EPT11 Grand Final, Day 8 -- The Skies Open Up, and the Return of Boat Crane

Two moments stood out from the rest during this eighth day of 10 of my helping report on the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final festival for the PokerStars blog, both happening during the late afternoon, early evening -- just around the dinner hour.

One happened when a group of us walked outside for a little fresh air. As I’ve been noting here off and on, walking around Monte Carlo is especially pleasurable thanks both to the temperate weather and picturesque views in every direction.

We headed out toward the water in back of the Monte Carlo Bay Resort and Hotel, moving slowly when suddenly both Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains -- many-year vets of Monaco -- looked up and shouted out as one.

“Boat crane!”

Amid the usual run of cruise ships and other vessels criss-crossing just off the coast was the one being singled out by their cry, an odd-looking industrial vehicle floating just in front of us. A regular sight and thus frequent subject of conversation between them during previous visits, they were humorously delighted to see their old blue steel friend reappear again for the first time since we’ve been here. (Click to embiggen pics.)

The other moment occurred in the main tournament room when I just happened to be there when a decision was made to open the roof, something else the others have seen many times before.

Very uncanny feeling, having the somewhat overcast sky suddenly open up above us as the seagulls traced diagonals overhead. Instantly everyone was grinning as the room full of poker players and staff grew relatively quiet, almost solemn. The air being let in was brisk, too, cutting through the slightly stuffy darkness from before.

The contrast was remarkable. Like a spell being cast. Suddenly a comment by someone passing helped me ease back into reality.

“So... we can smoke now? Oui?”

For more from the EPT Grand Final, keep visiting the the PokerStars blog.

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