The Storm Before the Calm

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008, 2:03 am

Went to the big PokerStars bash last night at Rain. Yes, yes, I saw Isabelle and Dario going at it. You usually need to be at Talledaga to see a car wreck that goes on and on and ON like that. But I’m OK. I appreciated all the flowers.

Nightclubs that are dark as a coal mine with wall-to-wall people and noise levels approaching the deck of an aircraft carrier…that ain’t my scene. That was never my scene. Had a good time chatting with the usual suspects, but as the night wore on tempers started to fray. Two guys I work with got into a fight…well, I wouldn’t call it a "fight". One guy Pearl Harbored the other, and to be honest the attack on December 7, 1941 did not compare to the treachery of what happened last night. I’ll spare you the details, for now.

I even got into a tiff as I was leaving the joint. I bumped into Jonno, who ran the floor show for PokerNews last year, and after we screamed at each other for a few minutes I made one last circuit of the place before heading out. I fell in behind this group of guys and the trailing dude elbowed my hand. I was holding an empty Heinie bottle so I didn’t really feel it. Then he tightened up and elbowed my right in the sternum. Not HARD hard, but hard enough that I said something along the lines of "WTF?" He turned to face me and stuck out an arm to give me a shove, and I thought we were really going to drop the gloves. Then he looked at me, his brow furrowed, and it was obvious that I wasn’t who he thought I was. He turned back and kept on walking. An interesting choice, seeing as I might not have been a sleepy wuss but perhaps instead a drunken lout looking for a bit of the old ultra-violence. I had a beer bottle in my hand, he’d elbowed me pretty hard…it would’ve been nothing to bring it down on his crown with a most satisfying THUNK. And then to jump up and down on him until he was but a stain on the floor.

Instead I headed out, played a few hands of video poker to see if Matt was available to pick me up, and was rescued by F-Train. "Really?" he said when he saw me at the machine. "I mean, really?" Hey, I won fifty cents! Got a free bottle of water out of it. Before we left we found Otis on the rail sweating a $2/5 No-Limit game featuring several well-known pros, including Chris Moneymaker. He was trying to get into the game, and that’s pretty much the difference between Otis and most of us–we think about watching stuff like that, he thinks about actually jumping in.

Was in bed by 1:30am, woke up at 7 feeling great. No hangover (didn’t drink much) and only a bit sore after playing basketball with the PokerNews crew earlier in the day (only watched the soccer game). My Achilles is still a-killin’ me but that’s to be expected after not exercising for a month. I went back to bed feeling great…and when I woke up ten I felt bloody awful. Three hours of bad dreams will do that do you. I think it’s Vegas that messes with my unconscious. Maybe it’s the desert air.

Today the field was only 1,300 or so and all hands were on deck. And there really wasn’t much to do. I was snooping around, snapping pics, trying to find stuff to do. I asked Garry where we should reploy after all the tables in our section broke and he said, "Take off". The whole afternoon off! Went home and put on shorts and sandals, got a bite to eat (many bites, actually), did some shopping, spent some time in the pool and hot tub. Thought about heading to South Point to have some beers, play some poker or video poker, but I might table that. Tomorrow is gonna be a long, rough day. There’s gonna be 2,800 players for Day 2, Iggy among them.

After tomorrow all the players will be playing at the same time. No more split days. And the field will start to boil down, the storylines will start to develop and flesh out. Still a long way to go after tomorrow, still have to make the money. But by 1AM tomorrow we’ll have turned the corner. Well, a corner.

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