Once upon a time I was invited to be a part of a professional poker players union. I tried to weigh my value in this group. I felt I might serve best as a tournament reporter. I certainly wasn’t anywhere near the playing level of the other pros. But I could write, and no one else stepped up.
Well, it turned out to be a huge mistake, but at least I found out and got some good experience. Tournament reporting is sometimes tougher and more stressful than playing! The long hours; it doesn’t matter that you’re not playing, you have to come before the tournament starts and stay until after it ends. This doesn’t even include the hours of writing in your crappy hotel room after the tournament ends, so that you can get the report cranked out before the next morning. Then, the next morning you have to take your write-up to a printer in order to have the report on the sign-up desk by the time players start to gather around and buy into the event. On top of all of that, there are about a half dozen players who don’t like the way you write, or they don’t like you, or maybe they think you misrepresented them. So they e-mail you, flame you online, call the tournament director and otherwise haunt your every move just because you said they were 2nd in chips coming into the final table instead of first. Oy, vey!
There were, however, some bright moments; I have friends who are still my best friends in the poker world to this day. I also know who the scammers and cheats are. Who in the poker industry cares about the players and who doesn’t.
At any rate, I might have turned into a first class tournament reporter if this two week experience hadn’t soured me on tournament reporting. Please keep in mind that I did all of this for free! I’ve never done it again, except as a joke, or for fun. So I’ll paste my reports from a poker festival that took place in the fall of 2004. Tell me what you think!