Friday, July 11, 2008

The Barometer

It's the first night in weeks when it's felt nice to sit outside. The outdoors has been an inferno only tolerated in minutes-long doses and the walk across the virtual skillet that the Rio parking lot becomes in the daylight hours has been, again, the worst part of each one of the string of identical days I've lived since last posting on this space.

Get up. Throw self in shower. Get dressed. Eat pancakes. Drive to the Rio. Work. Eat Dinner. Work. Drive home. Rip bong hits. Sleep. Repeat.

When I open the door to my car, the heat slaps me in the face like opening an oven door. It's too hot to get in immediately. When I touch the seatbelt to fasten it, my fingers sting against the scorching metal. The A/C must cool the wheel before I attempt to grip it. And in the five minutes it takes the car to cool down to a manageable level of air temperature, the shower I just took is rendered moot.

So sitting out here tonight, next to the pool with my bong and my laptop and the wind in my hair is nice. My time at Scheckytown has really made me miss living in a house after spending the last 13 years or so moving from shitty apartment to shitty apartment.

But God almighty, do I miss my shitty apartment.

I started to want to go home about three days ago. It was the fourth Day 1 of the Main Event. That's well over 48 hours spent in the Amazon Room in four days witnessing the same poker cliches over and over again. Bad plays. Huge crowds. Idiots celebrating their suckouts. All those thousand-yard stares on the faces of the early bustouts. How could I blow ten grand so quickly, and how am I going to tell people about it? Those same guys, five minutes later on their cell phones, trying to explain to the person on the other end how they got it in with the best of it and still lost. No new house. No early retirement. No quick fix. I'm sorry, honey.

A few nights ago, I was having a drink with Pauly and Iggy, who had just made Day 2 of the Main Event. Before arriving in Vegas, Iggy had written about all the drama he went through getting his buy-in wired to the Rio. Bottom line was, he wasn't going to get the cash off Poker Stars quickly enough, so he had to front the money himself. Iggy had the means to do that, so after mucking through the red tape, he was able to take care of it.

"That should be the barometer" I mused aloud. "If you are financially comfortable enough to be able to take out ten grand out of the bank and front it for the Main Event, even if you won your seat, you should be here. Everyone else should have kept the money."

That's what I think about when I hear these guys on cell phones in the hallway, as they get their wives and girlfriends on the phone and lead off with something like "Well, I had pocket aces..." They should have kept the money. I think about those women on the other end of the phone and imagine what is going through her mind.

"That $10,000 could have paid off our Visa bill. That $10,000 is five mortgage payments. That $10,000 could pay our kid's tuition."

Most of these guys shouldn't be here. But they are, and that's what makes the modern-day Main Event so damned lucrative. One shot, one roll, one double-down. One turn of a card. Everyone can dream. Until those chips are shipped across the table, and they're forced to emerge from the fog of the tournament and the haze that hangs over the Las Vegas Valley and wake up to their real lives. Oh my God. It's over. I'm no different. I'm no richer. There's a dent in my pocket and a hole in my soul. I feel like shit. What the fuck do I tell my wife? And where's the nearest bar?

Seven days of play have been completed in the Main Event, and yet we're only closing out Day 3. I also had no idea what day of the week it was until I just looked at the calendar on my laptop. And only hours ago, Iggy cashed in the Main Event, earning himself at least a $21,000 return on his $350 satellite investment. My heart bursts with pride at his achievement. Congratulations, my friend. Tight, solid, calculated, patient poker pays off.

Four more days. But at least everyone who sits back down tomorrow is guaranteed to walk out with some cash. And the race to the next bubble begins... the final table bubble. Easily the largest monetary bubble in poker history when it comes to fame and endorsements. The tenth-place guy isn't getting signed as a Full Tilt Pro. The tenth-place guy isn't going to be on David Letterman. The tenth-place guy isn't going to get a warm and fuzzy bio segment on ESPN. The tenth place guy is getting over $591,000 and an ache in his stomach that may never go away.

Thank you, readers for visiting Pot Committed. We're three years old this week and still smokin'.


DrChako said...

Congrats on 3 years and thanks for what you do. Sorry I missed you in Vegas.


SirFWALGMan said...

Change100 rawks! Deep throat Iggy for me. I would do it if I was there. I tried to get CK to do it but she says she hates dwarves. I looked at FTrain briefly was totally confused and gave up trying.

Uncle Chuck said...

3 years, woo hoo!

Hey how's does UC meet up with you and your bong next weekend in LV? Still looking for an in to the MM...

I assume you will be gone, but I thought I would ask. I can check back later for a response. Otherwise, it'll have to be December...

Great post.

jusdealem said...

Congrats on 3 yrs! Great stuff!

Maudie said...

Well said - and congrats on the anniversary. You've done a stellar job this summer!