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Of railbirds and chip leads: observations from the poker tournament

If you find the world of professional poker tournaments at once utterly baffling and alluring, this quick-hit list from a seasoned observer might clear up some of the confusion. No, actually it won't. But it's a brief, entertaining read from a true fan.

Some media members hate these loud rails – which is mental, to steal a phrase from our friends across the Atlantic. In general, poker is pretty damn boring, but these crazy rails actually make it fun and exciting. We should get amped when people are heads up for a bracelet, we shouldn’t want to go home and fall asleep. I love loud rails, and if the Brits are going to be the only ones causing a ruckus, then God Save the Queen.

As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.