I was playing 5/10 at the Wynn.  An older reg bet into me on the river -- I tank called.  No idea what the hands were.  My call was right and as the dealer was pushing me the pot I said to the guy, "Nice bet."  He politely acknowledged me, but didn't reply.

I NEVER do that.  It's a stupid thing to say.  He bets, I call and win, and as I'm scooping his money I tell him he made a good bet? I legitimately don't remember another time saying that to someone, ever.

That night, in his suite at the Wynn, the older reg shot and killed himself.  Did it have to do with my comment?  Eh, probably not.  But I assume the guy had a gambling problem and I didn't help.  Of course, it could have been life in general that did him in.

I can't help but think about how poker players are just as bad as casinos though.  We create a fun environment.  We act like we are best friends with the fish just like casino hosts do.  We cater to the fish until the fish has no money left.

I heard about a poker player committing suicide last week and it made me think of the guy at the Wynn. I guess I started out writing about that and took a turn on the "poker players are scummy" street.  Are we scummy though?  Is poker a scummy profession?

I understand why someone would kill themselves.  This place can be a nightmare.  And people will tell you that if you're feeling suicidal to seek help, but being your own mental health advocate is an impossible task. It's like asking someone with a broken legs to walk to the doctor.  

Cliffs: Poker, suicide, scummy, life.


what you don't know

A few years ago I was on Poker Night In America. I was never invited back. It may have something to do with me not talking much. I generally don't talk a lot at the table but knowing that this was for TV and lively table banter was what the producers wanted, I made a mental note to chat it up.

Working against me though was Seat 1.  Seat 1 wouldn't shut the fuck up. The entire time we played, he would not shut the fuck up. I can't over state how much he wouldn't shut the fuck up. Not one to yell over him, my goal of chatting it up wasn't met and I mostly just sat there and silently turned straights and rivered full houses.  

On break one of the people associated with PNIA said to me "You sure don't talk much."  I said something about it hard to get a word in but the PNIA guy was already walking away. 

Also on break, Seat 1 told me he had a debt collection business. He collected debts that were written off and at this point in the game if the borrower didn't pay they wouldn't face any repercussions. I questioned him how it was that he was able to collect if that was the case.  He said, "Well they don't know that."

Seat 1 is now serving 8 years in jail for the largest debt collection scheme in US history.  

I'm not happy about his circumstance, jail probably sucks.  I'm just taken back with how vocal he was about the scheme.  A lot of interesting characters in this here poker world.  

We Are Nowhere And It's Now

I used to have a friend named Thuy.  I met her playing 10/20 unlimited holdem at the Commerce.  Thuy was cool.  She was good at no limit, not the most common thing for a girl.  And she was super laid back.

Thuy had cancer.  She had her leg amputated a few months before the summer of 2010.  But that didn’t stop Thuy from coming out to Vegas for the WSOP and crashing at my condo in Turnberry.  

A group of us went to the Rhino one night and I was separated from Thuy.  The next morning at my place she was there. She had driven home the night before, drunk and with one leg, and couldn't remember any of it.

I started the first draft of this blog out complaining.  But I didn’t have my leg amputated and I have yet to die of cancer like Thuy eventually did. 

So I said, “Self, stfu with all your complaining.  Nobody wants to read it.”

Then, in that first complain-y draft I put a quote that said “…the world doesn’t stop you from succeeding; you’re not that big of a deal."  And that quote reminded me of Thuy.  That’s how this post was born.

I went to Virginia to visit Thuy in the hospital as she was succumbing to her disease.  She told me about the priest that would come in to chat with her and the questions she would ask him.  Then she said this very profound thing that I wish I could remember the exact words to.  It’s something about being the most important thing to ever be created and the least meaningful thing to ever exist all at the same time.

So yea, the universe doesn’t give a shit about whether I succeed or not, it neither roots for me or against.  I find this comforting and intimidating at the same time.

the secret

Was a busy week of gambling but not much of interest happened.  Got a good number of hours in, grinded out a decent amount, but besides that I’ve got nothing.  No funny anecdotes.  No amusing tales from the tables.

I feel like a failure, man.

I did have a dealer tell me I was older than her mother.  She either did the math wrong or her mother had her in junior high, which I guess is possible.  I just hoped we didn’t get a couple of all-ins with multiple side pots going for everyone’s sake.

Gambling wasn’t that thrilling this week, but life is.  I’ve got things brewing.  Bigly things.  I feel good stuff coming my way.

Or maybe I don’t but I’m doing that law of attraction thing.  You know that thing for people of privilege to do where you think of what you want and then you get it.  It’s for people of privilege you see because people with privilege have opportunity.  It only works for people with opportunity.  For example, those getting bombed in Syria today aren’t thinking, “Please bomb us.”  No, they are thinking, “Please DON’T bomb us.”  But because they are not people of privilege, people with opportunity, it won’t work for them.  Follow?

I used to be all into motivational quotes and putting out into the world what I wanted hoping to get it back.  But then I grew up and realized it’s all bullshit.  All of it.  It only works out for people who are born into or stumble upon opportunity.  If you’re a female in a small village in Nigeria for example, you’re shit out of luck.  If you’re an orphan in Haiti, too bad for you.  What you say?  You want to be a doctor when you grow up?  Good luck with that.  Get adopted or sponsored by an American with privilege who can give you opportunity and then maybe you have a chance.  Without that, no motivational quote will help you.*

Alright, enough of this.  Back to my reality where today I went to get a pedicure and the girl took too long.  Tough life I’ve got.


*Few and far between there are exceptions, but let's be real.