Toil In The Salt Mines

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007, 7:42 pm

Today is Day 1B of the Aruba Poker Classic, and my workday has been a never-ending slog of ceaseless toil. Why, I barely had time to enjoy the champagne I had at lunch:

Now don’t get started–we used to have champagne for lunch all the time when I was working at PNC Bank. And LandAmerica always had a chef preparing hand-rolled sushi in the breakroom.

Before the players went on dinner break I decided to skip out and snap some pictures of the sunset. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance once the field really starts dwindling so I struck while the proverbial iron was hot.

And to answer the question I know you’re asking/spitting/shrieking, yes, I understand how lucky I am to have this gig.

Tomorrow’s gonna be a long day, and so will the day after that–we’re either going to play down to 36 or stop at 2AM tomorrow, and I’m betting we’ll hit the latter way before the former. Then we have to play down to the final six. I’ve been getting some good sleep the last few days, though I’ve had weird, vivid dreams. I woke up laughing this morning–I mean, laughing out loud, so hard I nearly started coughing. What I was dreaming was funny, but not THAT funny. Still, better than the cold, dark despair I used to feel when I greeted the morn.

And the last two days I’ve become re-acquainted with an old friend–video poker! The machines here seem to be especially soft, which is why the fact that they’re skunking me is especially galling. But so far I’ve managed to keep my losses to fifty bucks, which is what I used to blow in about a half-hour back in Vegas.

Almost time to get back to work. I have to admit, after I bought my camera I felt a bit of buyer’s remorse. Did I really need an SLR? DId I really need such fancy lenses? Couldn’t I make do with my trusty PowerShot? Let me say that my camera has been a freaking godsend. It’s SO much easier to do this job when you can accompany your glittering prose with a clear, crisp picture. And when my Rebel’s battery unexpectedly crapped out on me when Phil Hellmuth busted, I reached in my pocket for my PowerShot and tried taking a few pics. I mean, are you freakin’ kidding me? They were AWFUL. It’s really hard to get good shots in that light with a little point-and-shoot, especially when your target is moving around. I ran back to my bag, grabbed my spare battery, and got a quick pic of Hellmuth waving goodbye as he left the room. It wasn’t exposed perfectly, but it worked.

I also took this photo of a storm that brewed just out of reach Monday night. I was gonna write a post about how the events leading up to the Main Event were "the calm before the storm", and then lo and behold–a storm! Since I like my metaphors to be as subtle as a sledgehammer delivered to the big toe, I raced up exposed staircase on the far side of the building and, six stories later, I found a perfect vantage point. Unfortunately, after racing up six stories in that heat and humidity, I needed to have a bit of a lie-down. Seeing as I had to use a slow exposure and therefore had to hold the camera still, I couldn’t be all trembling and panting and just about to pass out. But once I recovered I took dozens of shots before I got one that was at least decent:

I didn’t even notice till I got home that I’d caught the lightning strike at the very bottom. I’m not going to be on the cover of National Geographic anytime soon, but for a blog post, ehh, OK.

OK, really gotta get back to work. And I’m serious. Stop the sarcastic snickering.

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3 Responses to “Toil In The Salt Mines”

  1. KenP Says:

    Ahh, the Margret Burke-White of poker blogdom. To put it in better perspective… She shot Ghandi; you are shooting Hellmuth.

    Nice to hear the SLR is working out. But, watch out! Photography can be come additive. And $$$ become the crack that’s there to get that next step up.

  2. Darcy Says:

    Geno, I love your writing. I am so glad you have that Aruba gig, too. Great photos!

  3. Matt W Says:

    Hey Gene!

    Great post here and on Pokernews. Really love the articles!

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