The phone rang about four hours later. I had no idea why it was ringing, or really, why there was a phone next to me. I opened half of one eye and discerned that I was in a bed, and that I was alone. On about the fifth ring, I groped blindly for the receiver.
"This is your...9..20...A.M....wake-up call!"
OK... that’s nice... but, how did I get here? And who ordered this phone to ring?
Ohhhhhhh...the MGM. Right. Oh, fuck that’s right! My chips! I’m afraid to look in my purse. It’s gonna be empty. My heart pounds. Shit shit shit. Was I in a cab with black hookers? Is that how I got here? Jesus Christ... what have I done...
I gathered every vestige of strength I had and sat up. The first thing I noticed was the one knee high black stiletto boot I still had on along with my "I busted Rafe Furst" t-shirt, which was inside out and backwards. The second thing I noticed was that I didn’t have a headache. And the third was that I was still pretty drunk.
I found my jeans and dug into the left pocket. My bankroll was still there, less the $200 I bought in with at MGM. There was an appropriate amount of small bills in the other pocket. The hookers didn’t rob me. That was good. Now for the purse. I braced myself for the worst as I unzipped my gold leather pouchette. My cigarettes. And another pack of cigarettes that weren’t mine. Credit cards, ID, quarters, perfume, sunglasses, bag of pot, wad of money... wait a minute! I pulled out the cash and counted out $158. It must have been the money I left at MGM! But how did I get it back? I couldn’t remember cashing out.
I staggered up to the tournament at a little after 10, making a beeline for the buffet of stale cookies and bad coffee along the back wall of the poker room. Food, water, and caffeine steadied me a bit, but I was still pretty much a disaster. I had one of those moments where I really thought I wasn’t going to make it before my eyes focused in on my chain-smoking, hung-over bretheren huddled around the doorway. I was nauseous and miserable, but certainly not alone.
JoeSpeaker turned from his conversation and grabbed my attention as I was going inside to register. "How are you feeling this morning?" he queried, with a knowing glint in his eye.
"Dude, I don’t know what the fuck happened. How I got so wasted, how I got back here? I think I was in a cab with hookers and may have ordered myself a wake-up call in a blackout."
"I put you in the cab."
"The floorman told me you were about to pass out somewhere, so I cashed out your chips and put you in a cab."
"It was you! Oh my God it was you!" I wrapped my arms around my hero and savior JoeSpeaker as anxiety drained from my body. That’s Murderer’s Row taking care of their own. And they say there are no good men in L.A.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Joe Speaker. You’re a true gentleman and I owe you big time.
Michael Craig was speaking as I entered the tournament room. Each blogger I spotted looked more hungover than the next. I saw Joe Sebok talking with Derek and thought he was pretty cute, though I may be taller than he is. I filtered in and out of the tournament room through most of the pre-game show, stopping to chain-smoke with people around the trash cans outside the door. Almost everyone was drinking again already, but I was having enough trouble managing with bottled water and dry peanut butter cookies.
107 bloggers started the tournament. I was seated with Donkeypuncher, Alan, Ryan, Jen Leo, Amy Calistri, Russ Fox, and three guys I met only as Brian, John, and Mark. I folded my first four or five hands before picking up AA in the cutoff. Fuckin’ gold. There was an EP raise of 150 and I bumped it to 450. Brian, the guy on my immediate left, immediately pushed all in. The EP raiser folded and I insta-called. He showed the two Kings that I thought he would.
The flop came Q-T-blank. The turn, a nine. The river? A jack. Runner runner straight. Even the dealer couldn’t believe it. I shipped all but three green chips over to our table luckbox.
A couple of hands later I’m UTG+1 and I look at two sixes and toss in the three chips. Amy Calistri and one other guy call. Amy’s pair of queens takes it and I’m bounced in a hundred and something place. Total freakin’ downer but I got my money in ahead– nothing else I could do. At least I wasn’t Gigli.
I wandered around for a while, snapped a few photos, and gave my bustout story to CJ, who was recording everyone’s finish. With my tournament plans cut short, I jumped into a $2-4 LHE game with Linda, Jason Spaceman, and Biggestron. Spaceman was pounding Heinekens and started straddle-raising every chance he could. He even managed to drop CJ’s favorite hand with a rousing "You just got JACKHAMMERED!" right as Joe Speaker came over to say hello to us. Mrs. Spaceman still had a strong stack in the tournament and Jason grabbed updates from bloggers on his tiny, adorable wife’s progress every chance he could.
Right before the final table began, I took a break from the cash game and peeked in on the remaining players. Pauly was doing his tournament-coverage-thing with camera and notebook in hand, despite his warm, dare I say giggly, Soco-induced state of being. He walked over to where I was standing and put his arm around me.
"How you doing? You OK? Yeah?"
"Tell me something, Pauly."
"What did I do last night?"
"You don’t remember?"
"No. I really don’t."
"Do you really want to know?"
"Yes! But don’t lie to me."
"Are you sure?"
"Come on I can handle it."
Pauly walked me two steps away from the crowd and looked me in the eye.
"OK. Well, you were pretty wasted and you came up to me and pinned me against the bar in the MGM. Then you said something like, ‘I wanna fuck Phil Gordon so bad.’ And then you grabbed my junk."
"Wait a minute..." I squeezed my eyes tight and tried to remember. "Was Phil wearing a blue shirt?"
"Are you fucking with me?"
"Not at all! You had like 30 witnesses. Ask anyone. Ask Jaxia."
"Is this true, Jax?"
"Yeah. I saw it."
"Ohhh Goddd... I’m sorry, Pauly. I’m such a fuckin’ idiot."
"Don’t apologize. I enjoyed it."
And thus, my reputation as poker’s most notorious junkgrabber was cemented.
To be continued...