You meet a lot of people in a lot of incongruous locations when you cover a lot of major poker tournaments. For instance, Dave Hardy became well known to reporters and staff covering the inaugural season of the Latin America Poker Tour last year, even though he’s originally from Essex in south east England, and spends most of his working life on oil rigs off the coast of Scotland. Hardy regaled us with stories of playing online at PokerStars amid the tempests of the North Sea while we were all sitting in the shadow of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, and then later amid the jungles of Costa Rica. It was enough to make us all look quizzically at our holed out pineapples and wonder precisely the potency of the liquid we were sucking through our curly-wurly straws.
Dig a little deeper though and it’s not all that surprising. There’s not much to do on oil rigs after night falls and PokerStars online satellites are one of the best ways to get the hell out of there. Hardy learned his trade on his laptop after a day of drilling, and now he’s regularly going deep in the most prestigious tournaments in the world.
In truth this tournament has been more of a slow grind than a volcanic oil rush for Hardy. Starting with a short stack of around 20,000 today, he has gradually chipped up and up, enduring the long plateaus and the slight dips, before reaching his high point of about 85,000 as the end of day two approaches. There are fewer than 140 players remaining now, Hardy among them, and with the cash bubble looming into view at 120 players, he could be in for some money.
We’ll continue to monitor his progress — doubtless across the world.