your cowboys are no good here
The only thing worse than having pocket kings busted twice (by AQo, then AKo) in three hands, moving me to the other side of the rail and out of the money, was my goddamn iBook crashing so hard it wouldn't even boot, leaving me with no way to blog about the last few days. Five times in two years (across two different machines — this most recent time just a couple days after I got the damn thing back from the Apple Hospital) is just about my limit, so I think I'm done with it, and now I'm shopping for a new laptop. I'll look at the Powerbook if I can convince Apple's Customer Service to help me out, otherwise I think I'm giong to break down and get one of those Dark Side laptops, so I can play ultimatebet, or partypoker, or pokerstars while I'm on the road.
Or in my bedroom. Or in my living room, kitchen, or just about anywhere else, because if I liked poker before, I am madly, passionately, stupidly in love with it now.
My friend Chris wrote in his blog a month or so ago about this moment when his game suddenly changed; when all the books, homegames, the online and live tournaments, the WPT and WSOP on TV, and everything else all combined to kick his game up to a new level. That happened to me while I was nearing the end of the first day at Bellagio. It never would have happened if I hadn't sat with Lee Jones at Aladdin on Monday night, but somehow everything he told me, plus the little bit of reviewing I did, then putting that into action against some amazing players . . . I may not have much money to show for it (though I did kill a guy at Flamingo late last night in the 1-2 NLHE game with . . . wait for it . . . Kings) but my game is better, I've made great new friends, and I proved to myself that I actually can compete at a higher level than I could ten days ago.
I didn't make the money, but I played the best poker of my life. I sat there with the best, and I played with them. They made plays at me and I played right back. I took down a few good pots from some great players, and I can take some comfort in knowing that I was finally knocked out by one of the best players in the world. I always got my money in good, and I only needed to get lucky twice. Once I did, and once I didn't. Hell, that's poker. I wouldn't change a thing.
I made some great new friends in Vegas. John Vorhaus, who is blogging the tournament for Ultimate Bet, and Jen Creason, who updates for PokerWire.com cheered for me when I was a player, and welcomed me into their world when I traded my chips for a notebook.
I'm home for another ten minutes, then off to ACME for the show tonight, then back to Vegas tomorrow morning to cover the final table.
In the past, whenever I've had the good fortune to experience anything great, writing about it has always been as much fun (and sometimes more fun) than the original experience itself. I'm so excited to start writing this story . . . I have a feeling that the story that eventually comes out of this week is going to fucking rock. (Well, for me, at least ;)