Thanks for all the messages from everyone asking how the poker emergency went! I’ll try to capture that…. as well as our trip to Tucson…
Nothing exciting happened on the trip there… Steph picked me up in Memphis and we made the 40 minute drive to Tunica. (Passed the really big strip club misspelled “Caberet”…) Marveled all all the…. glop… everywhere.. remnants of the flooding last fall. We quickly checked into the room and headed off to the poker room as Steph and Karen were about to start Day 2 of the big 10K tourney. I got that weird itchy MUST PUT MONEY IN SOMETHING feeling when I got near the slot machines – but was quickly reminded why slot machines are from hell.
I hung out in the poker room with them most of the day — I missed Phil Ivey, Daniel Negraneu and Mike the Mouth Matasow as they were all knocked out the day before. Karen had Eric Lindgren and Barry Greenberg at her table — Steph had D’Agostino and Mihn the Master as well as other pros that I can’t recall. Clonie was there… and Liz Leu…. Andrew Black (The Buddist) were all there. The Grinder…. We saw TJ Cloutier…etc. It was weird to stand right next to them. They are just normal jokers. Mihn is so short he had to pile two chair on top of one another to sit at the table properly… it was very surreal. The floor guy, MarkFrank (his name is Mark but Steph thought it was Frank so I called him Frank in my mind for several days) gave me a cool spinner and a multitude of free lunches. I was dressed sort of the like the press that was there for the poker magazines so everyone just sort of let me wander around the tables….
Both Steph and Karen went out that day (Friday) … which was sad… but they played really well. Steph made it to around 100th — and it paid to 50th. We hung out and didn’t do much that night.
On Saturday, Steph and I played in a $500 60 no limit tourney courtesy of her very generous and lovely mom… Steph went out early on and I ALMOST got in the money! Went out 23rd out of 147 people and it paid the top 18 spots. I was knocked out by Olga Varkonyi something – who’s husband won the 2002 World Series of Poker. I had pocket 8s and was short stacked. I went all in and she called me with 9/10 off suit. She caught a 10 on the river and that was that — she went on to win the whole tournament – $25,000. I got so close to the money that Steph’s mom paid for me to play in the tounament again on Sunday!!
There were only 50 players this time and they only paid the top 5 seats…. I made it to the final table and went out 10th, if you can believe it. This time I had A/10 suited AGAINST the other guy’s pocket 8s — he flopped an 8 and that was that. I knocked out James Worth, who had recently won a World Poker Tour event — and I knocked Mike Sica out BOTH DAYS — and he won a bracelet in 2004. Anyhoo…. it was lots of fun and it was great validation to know that I am good enough to play at that level. Most of the people I met thought I played the circuit and I tried not to laugh out loud when they asked me…….
Otherwise, Steph and I had a blast…. we laughed and giggled and kept her mom up all night (who had a bad cold).. and generally just enjoyed each other. Her mom copped a freak out here and there – but otherwise it was great.
Ooooohh — but then Monday morning, the wake up call I was supposed to get never came for my 6am flight. We finally get the call and they are apologizing profusely etc… we race downstairs to see if I can still make my flight and discover WHY we didn’t get the call. The entire front of the hotel was smashed to shit… glass all over the entire football field sized marble lobby. Mangled metal everywhere. I thought a bomb had gone off until I saw the large Pontiac sitting in the middle of the lobby. A disgruntled player had apparently decided to kamakazi the hotel…
Just when I thought I was going to get through a trip without any random weirdness….