Owing to a technical hitch, Tori and I missed The Vision on Day 1a... reason being that Our Leader was still taking registrations and we never thought for a minute that The Vision could happen without him. I was taking no chances for Day 1b and installed myself on the rail three hours early.
There was a nasty moment when Tori tried to trick me into leaving the room to find an extra 40 chairs for players, but I was having none of it and she had to carry in the chairs on her own.
I can say it now, without any bias whatsoever: The Vision was spectacular. To the sound of Space Odyssey 2001, the lights dimmed and the giant midnight-blue curtains on the Salle des Etoiles stage slowly parted.
There, in all its glory, was The Trophy - framed by a perfect drift of sumptuous dry ice. On each boom in the music, The Trophy was illuminated AS IF FROM WITHIN!!! This was clearly the master-stroke in The Vision and Tori and I immediately keeled over with respect and appreciation.
Then, to the sound of The Blue Danube (slightly curious choice this, but best not to argue with a visionary), the even larger curtains surrounding the opposite wall of the Salle des Etoiles were inched slowly open to reveal a stunning vista. Basically the whole of Monte Carlo.
Afterwards I went to congratulate the visionary but, typically, he was rather grumpy. "Great vision, John". "It was rubbish. That lighting guy, he's fucking useless." Apparently, on the second boom of SO2001, it was the PINK lights that were supposed to come up.. and then, on the third boom, the PokerStars logo was supposed to get a flash. I thought it was fab (nearly cried actually) but there's no pleasing some people.
Picture credit: David Lloyd