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Reason to Believe…

Reason to believe… I choose to believe Barry Hearn. And if the wool is being pulled over my eyes, please don’t tell me now, because I’m too excited. At 7:30 pm last evening Barry Hearn took front and center microphone in the 23rd floor restaurant of a London Hotel, and dressed like a million bucks in a black and white pinstripe with a power tie, the head of Matchroom made one of the most eloquent speeches that has ever been given in support of the sport of poker. He thanked the players, he talked about the future, and generally got everybody so riled up to play that the two alternates standing with the readies by the door who had figured they were even money to get a last minute drop out, well they just wanted to know if the book was still open.

Going up… I had a visit to Sky Studios yesterday, to check out what this next level of poker will be all about. In addition to tons of new graphics, charts, and every which way to analyze a hand, they have come up with an idea that could be nearly as exciting as under the table cameras. It’s heart monitors. Every player will have a heart monitor attached to their body during play. Players’ heart rates will be available at all points during a hand, after a hand, and averaged in between. Barry Hearn said he’s been playing online with a monitor attached, and as cool a cucumber as he is, Barry’s pulse still went up 30 beats a minute while sitting in his den and hitting a flush. Surindar Sunar figures to be the early favorite for the lowest standing pulse rate, but someone did point out that the issue might be compounded by Padraig Parkinson, who has threatened to show up dead. And what happens, another queried, if they find that the Devilfish has no heart at all? It could mean nothing, but it is curious. Barny Boatman flies at 300 beats a minute at all times, but nobody is any closer to figuring out where he’s at…

Cocktail bits… The Hendon Mob might not be able to wear their logos on TV this week, but they made a grand entrance in their custom fitted black Hendon Mob dress shirts and had a great photo session with Steve Davis huddled round a poker table… Bruce Atkinson was dressed in an Elvis suit and singing Strangers in the Night… Don’t count the celebrities out. Apparently Hearns and Davis have been practicing constantly, and the general feeling is that Jimmy White is capable of anything… there’s more, but I’m late. Tomorrow…

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