A great article including a very nice video about the Extreme Memory Tournament can be found at the New York Times website. Check it out!
The interesting point it raises is the way I think of people's names if they're unfortunate enough to be among my 2704 mental images. I'll always say Guy Plowman's full name like that if someone puts me on the spot and asks me to describe the images I just used to memorise a pack of cards with no consideration of whether it'll show up in a major newspaper article (he's quite delighted with the publicity, so it's okay), because he's the eight of diamonds and queen of spades, which is a 'Guyp" sound.
Othello players illustrate all the possibilities between them - Geoff Hubbard (2d/8s) is just 'Geoff', and I'd struggle to remember his surname if you surprised me by asking it; Roy Arnold (Kh/2h) is 'Arnold', although I do remember to call him Roy face to face; and Garry Edmead (7d/Ks) is 'Greedy', his internet nickname. It's a confusing business, all in all. I'd remember people's names better if they were cards.