Saturday, January 12, 2008

Working in Paradise

It's not often you have the chance to walk to work through an aquarium on the way to work, but that's standard fare at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. It's surreal but you take it on the chin and after a couple of nano-seconds you are seized by nonchalance. Atlantis is a place where even a trip to Starbucks takes you past Mayan temples, Greek Gods and an Incan bingo game. Clearly the designers of the Atlantis Resort and Casino were a little bit confused about ancient cultures but this is Paradise - and maybe Paradise is really like this.

Working at the PCA - as opposed to lounging around on holiday like I did last year - is a deeply weird experience. You wake up. You look out the window. You gaze admiringly at the beautiful beach, turquoise sea, palm trees blowing in the wind, the Mayan death slide and the Spartican lagoon.

Then you leave your room and that's the last you see of it for another 24 hours. Ocasionally people venture out and return with sunburn or irritating stories about snorkelling with sharks. Or sometimes they venture out and just don't come back. Meanwhile those who are working plunge into the poker room and emerge just in time to see the "Pool Closed" signs go up.

There were people going around (well, mainly me) saying they would rather be in Dortmund. In Dortmund, my view from my bedroom window was a train track and although I actually rather like watching trains, I didn't feel quite the same pang of regret and longing there as I left my room each day to head for the casino.

Nevertheless, the Four Horses of the Apocalypse couldn't have stopped me wanting to be in the PCA poker room. On the last day, I did actually sneak off to the pool but spent every minute wondering how the final table was going. The solution to this will be to ensure that, next year, the EPTLive web cast is shown poolside so you can have your Bahama Mama AND drink it.