PokerStars Blog’s photographers tell the story of some of their favourite pictures.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive

WHERE ARE WE AND WHEN?
The final table of EPT Barcelona. August 2018.

WHO OR WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT?
Piotr Nurzynski and his girlfriend, immediately after he won the EPT Main Event.

GIVE US SOME CONTEXT
Nurzynski’s girlfriend had been railing him throughout the final table, and a long heads up battle against Haoxiang Wang. On the final hand, Nurzynski pumped his fist in victory and then made his way from the final table over to his girlfriend, in front of the TV set, where they kissed, hugged and celebrated. This celebration lasted about two minutes and you could see Nurzynski savoring the moment he had won the tournament and a Platinum Pass.

WHAT IN PARTICULAR DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THIS PICTURE?
My main priority as a poker photojournalist is capturing the emotion of the game with storytelling imagery. Often players don’t give much away — that’s the whole point of poker — but I’ve realized they show their feelings more often than you think. That’s especially true at critical moments in poker tournaments and when big money and prestige is at stake. What I like most about this photograph is the complete look of satisfaction and relief on Nurzynski’s face. The heads up with Wang had lasted a long time and this image shows exactly how excitement combines with relief at times like this. It can be absolutely exhausting. I also like his girlfriend’s look of admiration towards Nurzynki and his accomplishment.

ANY ADDITIONAL DETAILS
As a photojournalist, you attempt to include newsworthy, story-telling elements in the background of your images that provide context to the situation. Being able to see other people clapping in the background as well as PokerStars banners and branding adds to the context and provides information to our readers.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
I shot this on my Nikon D800, with Nikon 70-200mm lens, focal length at 105mm. ISO 1600. Shutter speed 320sec @ f2.8.

POKERSTARS BLOG EDITOR ADDS
This is in many ways a classic Giron image. We’re always on the look out for photos that both capture the emotion of the moment and actually illustrate the story we’re trying to tell. As writers, we’re able to relate the details of the cards and the betting and things like that, but quality photography paints the full picture. Joe understands that instinctively.

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