Kat Arnsby – poker player, raconteuse, dealer/supervisor, and media dabbler – has been involved in the casino industry for 15 years, but only recently accepted her first e-gaming role as poker manager for redbet. She is here at MPNPT Manchester supporting two players from the site, Kristian Eklund and Martin Garcia de las Bayonas as they make their way through Day 1B.
The pair of Swedes had been among the first to adopt redbet as their online platform, helping with the inevitable teething problems of a new poker site. With just five weeks to get up and running before MPNPT Manchester, in lieu of satellite qualifiers, the fledgling redbet’s poker manager brought along Eklund and Bayonas, the trio meeting up for the first time face to face last night at the Players’ Party.
Just in case the players hadn’t managed to bond sufficiently offline yesterday, they’ve been sat at the same table in the £550 Main Event (after Eklund rebought following an early mishap) so there’ll be plenty of time to get to know one another through the ice-breaking medium of blind-stealing.
Meanwhile, Arnsby, bedecked in fire-engine red, gave her opinion on the MPNPT – and live poker in general – while watching the action railside. “I like to see live tourneys with decent structures at this buy-in level,” she said, “Proper poker for less money.” It appears that, like many players, her main concerns include crapshoot avoidance and the feeling, when coming to a multi-day poker tournament, that it’s a mini-holiday where people who have grown to be friends over the course of a season can catch up in between throwing down the gaming discs.
“I like holiday tours even though I live in Malta,” she said, mentioning Bucharest in particular as a great potential destination, “But it’s all about the venue – enough space, good side events, and area for just hanging out.” Grosvenor Bury New Road fits that bill; the atmosphere here is one part competition, one part school trip, and friendships that have grown with the burgeoning MPNPT were consolidated yesterday in the arena of Batak Pro (think perpendicular whack-a-mole).
Should her players fail to progress to Sunday’s Final Day, there’s always redbet’s weekly Sunday €500 freeroll online, which, unusually, is open to all players, no strings attached. Her enthusiasm for introducing people to low stakes games is apparent in the hours she spends personally vetting all new UK players (as is legally required) just so beginners can try out the game straight away, for free.
Don’t look for Arnsby: keeping a straight face while saying, “My role model is Franke from the Cash Game Festival.”
Look for Arnsby: watching over redbet Live at the Dragonara Casino in Malta (July 28-30) like a structure-proud mother hen (David Lappin apparently told her, “The structure’s almost too good”), or ranting as ThePokerBaffer online.