Saturday, August 27, 2011

Part One: The long road to hell. Roadtrip, Gang Initiation, Cooper, Sharkady, CatCat and MORE.

Rather than write a novel, I'll do this in a couple of parts.  I'm obviously way behind.  So I live in Vegas now.  But getting here was harder than it sounds. First, I had to pack everything I own in a Ford Focus.  Which isn't as hard for me as it probably would be for most people.  I don't give a damn about material items. Never have. In the slightest. So throwing away/giving away possessions is no big thing for me. The only sentimental items I have are things others have given me. I know this will probably lessen my status as a woman, but I only own maybe 6 pairs of shoes. Really, who needs more than a pair of brown, a pair of black, a couple of heels and the obligatory pair of hooker boots? Not me.

Who needs more than this? Everything I own, ready to go!

If you don't know about CatCat by now, you're probably a first time reader.  He makes regular appearances.  He had to come too, obviously.  He's been with me through almost my entire adult life, and he's used to my nomadic tendencies.

I left in the middle of the night, because I'm one of those people that hate waiting. During my time as a Marine Corps wife we were always waiting, and now, if I can get the jump on a situation.. I do it. So I hit the road around 1 am.  The drive out was mostly uneventful, with a lot of facebooking to keep me awake. 
This pretty much sums up the scenery through Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

The goal was Denver, where I would pick up dealer extraordinaire and friend Josh Cooper for the second leg of the trip.  (On a side note: Josh is dealing the Gulf Coast Poker Championship at the Beau Rivage this week.  If you see him, tip him well. He deserves the bonus for putting up with my aggravation).  Everyone gave me a hard time about routing through Denver.  Not only was it excessively out of the way, but the terrain wasn't the easiest to put my car through.. especially considering I have a little less than 1 horsepower in that thing.

Actual gas station in Oklahoma.

I wanted to see Colorado, and I'd never been to Utah.  Plus, I figured, leaving everyone I love behind would be less traumatic if I had a friend in the car.

The Colorado skies are breathtaking.

I knew before I got out there that my friend would have family obligations until pretty early in the morning, so when I arrived at 6 pm, I found a Pilot gas station to settle into for a few hours.  I'd only been in Denver previously a handful of times.  I did live there one summer for a couple of months, but I was with a boyfriend, Chris, who always made sure I was taken care of.  Because I know Chris is a reader, I'll mention that he was an excellent boyfriend. Right guy, wrong time. If only he'd been less of a Nirvana fan... (kidding!). Anyway, my previous time in Denver, I had someone who drove me everywhere and catered to my every whim.. so it really never occurred to me that there would be "ghetto" I'd need to avoid.  In my head, Denver was a peaceful city full of hearts and flowers.

CatCat too was optimistic about Colorado.

The homeless convention settled outside the gas station I'd chosen, should have been my first clue.  Or perhaps, the fact that I was the only person speaking English fluently.  Being a little slow to pick up on the obvious, I was quick to hop out.. rent a shower at the Pilot (Material possessions mean nothing.. clean hair means EVERYTHING).. and release the CatCat for a little stroll around the parking lot.

Prior to getting out of the car, he was comtemplating suicide. Without far to jump, he gave up the plan.

I met two fellas who were "freight train jumpers".  They invited me to join them to Cheyenne, where we would jump the "train of all trains" headed for "destination unknown".  At 6 pm, I wasn't too keen on this idea.  10 hours later, it would seem like a great idea.

Really, it wasn't Josh's fault.  I knew beforehand that he'd be tied up until 1 or 2 at the latest.  When he texted me ONCE to tell me that it'd be 4 am (!??@#@!), and didn't once inquire about how I was, or make sure I was somewhere safe.. I was not loving him too much.  I'm a southern gal.  In my world, men make sure the women are safe.. and almost never leave them sitting at a gas station in gang land. Fortunately, I had a lot of phone friends to keep me laughing.. thanks to Scott, Patrick and Christina for the help.

Fortunately, I'd left my red bandanna packed and only had to decline two invitations to join the Spanish Kings, so it wasn't entirely awful.  Around midnight, a very large tow truck pulled up.  I thought this was fortuitous, considering I had almost zero faith in my car's ability to not break down.  Out of the tow truck came a rather large black man, Gene, from Texas who was originally born in Memphis.  The driver, Jay Coolbaugh, who was a Denver local and covered in glorious tattoos also struck up a conversation.  We became parking lot friends, them vowing to not leave me until I had someone with me.  They stayed with me for four hours.  Others would join the party, including Jay's boss who came bearing hamburgers, and a random assortment of passerby from the Rocky Mountain Sign Company. 

My parking lot guardian angels.  Blessings come in all forms.

When it ultimately came time for me to pick up Josh from a random bus station (Really? Yes), that large orange tow truck escorted me to the exit.. and they even followed up with text messages to make sure I'd found my destination.  We're facebook friends now.

I owe this guy, big time, for watching out for me. If you ever need a tow in Denver, I got your hookup.

At the risk of making a lot of readers weary, this is proof that God looks out for you.  Sometimes in the oddest ways.

So then we take off, make it to Vegas and life goes on happily ever after, right?  Not even close.

We make it about an hour down the road.  Maybe two, and decided to hunt down a Chick Fil A.  Those fruit cups are delicious, after all.  During this off-highway excursion, the car loses all power.  We were immediately able to regain power, but clearly something was wrong. Many phone calls, several hours in a parking lot, and a repair bill later.. complete with an overnight stay in a hotel, we would find out that a GSR or EDT or ADR or NXOAIUREHGLASSLIO valve had busted on my car.  Apparently, this is a critical valve, and they're hard to come by.  Awesome.

Josh, CatCat and I spent the day in Grand Junction, CO on the side of the road chillin' on a flatbed truck.  The mechanic and shop owner, Craig of ASAP Auto Repair in Grand Junction is amazing.  He even tolerated my temper tantrum when I'd just had enough.

We were there a LONG time.

These guys are amazing.
Takin' care of business. In the parking lot. Cat in tow.

Christina, who was waiting for us in Vegas, was starting to panic.  This had me way behind schedule and she needed me to be there the day before. So now I'm potentially losing my job (Not her fault.. she needed me at a certain date and time, and if I wasn't there, it was out of her hands).. we're exhausted, and we have no transportation.  We ended up getting a room to sleep in a few hours, recover the vehicle.. and then.. on the road again!  Thank you to everyone who helped expedite our road trip.

Back on the road, we switched off driving until neither of us could handle the stark nighttime terrain of Utah anymore.  After a truck stop dinner in Green River, Utah, we slept in yet another gas station parking lot for a few hours.  It's amazing we didn't get car jacked.  Perhaps its a testament to how bad of a lemon my car really is.  We didn't want it, but potential thieves wanted it even less.  The key to not getting mugged.

The dead steer looked on ominously as we ordered the country fried steak. Look how tired Josh is. I was in worse shape.

Vegas would greet us around 10 am. A very sleepy Christina Sharkady would whisk me off to get scalped in a hair test drug test, which I would pass and clear me to start work at the Riviera the very next morning. I am always proud of myself when I pass a drug test.  Don't get me wrong, I am not a drug user by any stretch of the imagination.  But I've seen days, in the distant distant past, when I've done enough drugs to contaminate a small country.  Since cleaning up my act, about 6 years ago, I'll socially hit a joint with friends maybe once a year.. and never more than one hit.  I just don't like weed.  I know I'm in the minority here, as it makes it's way towards legalization, but weed makes me paranoid. And sleepy. So I just don't like it. A couple of Xanex though, I'm a fan. I'm high strung and I like being mellowed out. Even that hasn't happened in a few years though. I still buy into the hair follicle propaganda though that for every inch of hair they can go back 90 days. And seeing as how  my hair is about 900 feet long, and they ALWAYS take an entire sample.. I wait with breath held for the DEA to call me to find out how I'm still alive. Thankfully, my sordid past stays hidden in the very blonde strands that hang to my waist.

My first night in Vegas, Josh and I hit the Stratosphere.  I wanted to look out over the city and see just what I was in for.  What I'd signed up to be part of, and what possibilities were out there.  We sat on the stark black leather couch, overlooking the city and talked about faith in the city of sin.  It was a perfect end to a mildly horrific cross country journey.
For a girl who loves all things sparkly, this is my paradise.

Bright lights, big city.

Cocktails with Christina and Josh to get the week, and new city off right.  The rest to follow in another blog.

The welcome party.. and it was good.

Tonight I'll knock out "Part 2: Living in Vegas. You CAN'T see it all in one week. But you can try."

I will leave you with THIS picture.  We don't know this guy, but it sort of sums up my first week in Vegas.  This picture kinda makes me think of Kai for some reason.

Who needs more than a foot ball cocktail and the world's largest Golden Nugget? NOT ME!

For now, I'm off to work.  Thanks for being patient with me. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sometimes so much blog builds up...

The text messages, emails and irate phone calls have begun.  I realize you're all tired of reading about my last night in Memphis.  I get it.  I'm working on an update, I promise.  The problem I'm facing is SO much has happened, and I have little to no time right now. I'm working all day every day at the Riviera.  The first week, I was also going out every night.. because, well.. I'm in VEGAS!

The enchantment of the bright lights has not subsided, but my desire to sleep two hours a night has.  So I'm falling into a normal routine.  There have been more than a few funny moments I'll share with you all, and a few embarrassing ones as well.

I'll get SOMETHING up tonight, even if it kills me.

Thanks for keeping up with me, even if I haven't been the most diligent in reporting from Mars.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last Night in Memphis, Nostalgic, Emotional, Girl-Rant. Disregard this Entire Post.

I'm sitting at my mother's desk, drinking a Bud Light. Texting a few good friends, trying to think of something poetic to say.  The truth is, my brain is so overextended with this move, that I don't have anything poetic left in me.

Actual photo of my evening. The strawberry is a bit busted. Like my heart. Awwww.

The beer reminds me of sitting on the deck of a bar in Florida with Scott earlier in the year. I don't drink Bud Light.  He does. I bought it to make him bitch less, which is a miracle when it occurs. When we were in Florida, I drank whatever was on sale. I got absolutely tore up one night. Not-Able-To-Walk tore up.  Sometimes I'm amazed our friendship has endured some of the things that have come out of my mouth. The man, he has patience.

One night, while drinking at the Beau Rivage, we met four guys straight out of prison.  Some of you have heard this story, but it's worth documenting.  Anyway, Scott being the wonderful pal that he is, noticed them noticing me.. and instead of being a protective male type, he invited them over.  They decided to play coy at first and pen a poem, which they passed via courier to our side of the large bar.  The poem was graphic, crude and rather elementary.  It compared the color of my skin to a certain bodily fluid.  This made me want to both shower and tan simultaneously. 

We make a nice team. That's team, not TAG team. We weren't down with the Deliverance Boys.

This didn't bother Scott in the slightest. Hell, he was delighted by our new friends.  When they made the journey to our side of the bar, I swear I heard the banjos from Deliverance in my head.  At one point, the largest of the species, put his hand on Scott's leg and said rather ominously "You sure do got a pretty mouf."  Not mouth, mind you, though this is what he indicated as he spoke.. but "Maw-fff". Prison-starved AND eloquent. Jackpot! I felt a love connection on the brink.  While they clustered together to rock-paper-scissors which one was going to have his way with us (collectively) first.. I declared a sudden urge to run to the ladies room.  Scott gripped both of my arms and said "You are NOT leaving me here!". I saw honest to God fear in his eyes.  We managed to escape while they looked for twine and duct tape.  You'd think I'm making this up, but I'm not.

This photo has nothing to do with the blog post. But it makes me laugh. This is from that same trip to Biloxi, where I fell and cracked my ankle (Due to an inability to walk and chew gum simultaneously). This was posted on Faceplace to fully explain the damage.  Photoshop skillz. I has them. Thanks to Scott and Connie for taking me to the hospital, and for making sure I was nice and drugged up. I owe ya one.

That night, we shared a room with Connie Rice, which left us to one bed between the two of us.  Not entirely keen on snuggling up, instead, Scott wanted to recreate the moment from earlier in the night.. and decided to write me a poem.  It was salacious. It was naughty. It started with "Roses are red..".  It was everything a girl could hope for. We laughed until we fell asleep.  The next morning, in a hurry to make our noon event we forgot the poem, leaving it behind in bed. We were moving to a hotel room at the IP, leaving this room for the sweet, very innocent, married-to-her-high-school-sweetheart Connie.  Housekeeping found our poem, while doing their thing and decided to leave it.. displayed poignantly on Connie's pillow.  I'm sure she read words on that napkin she'd never heard before.  She called me in a panic, absolutely certain that she couldn't show her face in that hotel again.  We laughed. She didn't. I'm amazed she still talks to us.

When he came over tonight, to say goodbye, I thought of this night at the Beau.  And the dozens of others where we've gotten ourselves into situations that neither of us will ever forget. We sat on the couch, long after Mom went to bed, and talked about poker and friends.  Hookups and relationships. We moved to the porch and watched the rain and joked about mutual acquaintances of ours.  When I walked him out, and gave him a hug.. knowing it will be a long time before I see him again, I tried very hard not to cry. I made it to the house before I did.

I'm scared of Vegas.  I'm scared I won't have the friends there that I've managed to make here.  That no one will understand me.  Which sounds incredibly vain, but seriously, I can rub people the wrong way without meaning to.. and in other scenarios, rub people just the right way.. unintentionally as well.  I'm afraid of going out there and failing, and crawling home with my tail tucked between my legs. I'm afraid of never sitting in a bar/on a deck at the beach/on a couch with a friend and laughing so hard I can't breathe again.

I think, today, even CatCat realized I needed my hand held. He's intuitive like that.
I've written about my battle with depression before.  I've believed, for some time, that I've kicked its ass.  It hasn't reared it's ugly head in some time now, and when it starts to creep a toe in the door, I can head it off before it begins.  I feel it right now, holding my hand.  Coaxing me in just the right ways. Trying very hard to squish me. I feel like everything is hanging by a thread, and that thread might just snap. Not just because I'm moving, but because absolutely everything that approaches stability in my life has been thrown into the wind, by my own hand. I know the only thing that will resolve this is time. Just maintaining, every day, until I don't feel those dark icky feelings. Patience is not my strong suit though.

I'm only exploiting this personal text message, because I know she'll be okay with it. I want to share with everyone the kind of friend Sharky is. She's a girl's girl. She's been a trooper, and I'm proud to count her among the people I confide in. <3 that girl.

On a positive note, I have a list. Two actually. The first.. things I will NOT miss about Tunica.  We all know what I'm going to miss about living here.  I'm going to focus on the positive. Or try, anyway. The second list, are the things I'm looking forward to in Vegas.  I'm such a tourist, ya'll. Seriously. I have almost always lived in tourist locations and I love the touristy crap that even the tourist hate.  It delights me.

Things I won't miss about Memphis/Tunica ...

  • Overalls and Suspenders being the required poker room attire

    It's not like I had to work to find this specimen. He was right there, in uniform. Like they are every night.
  • Guests referring to comps as "Meal Tickets". Do I look like MIFA?!
  • Where ghetto isn't run-down housings, it's a style/creed/fashion statement/lifestyle. And applauded.
  • Being the only woman over 25 without a baby-daddy.
  • Buffets are actually considered fine dining here.
  • Mosquitoes the size of eagles.
  • Men who measure their masculinity by the size of their belt buckle.
  • First dates that involve mud and large tires.
Things I'm looking forward to in Vegas...

  • Sitting for ages in front of the Bellagio Fountains.
  • Driving out into the desert, laying on an abandoned street, and seeing the stars you can only see there.
  • Eventually making a cameo on COPS: Las Vegas
  • Musashi after midnight.
  • Weekend trips to Palm Springs, San Diego, Big Bear, Los Angeles and the garden cities.
  • No pollen allergies
  • People watching
  • Spending time with Sharky, Mr. Dick and hopefully (?!) new friends, and having old ones visit.

I'm going to hit the road sometime tomorrow if all goes as planned.  Not sure when exactly.  My computer at home is dismantled, and I'll be going there in the morning to pack it and the CatBeast up for the trip out. I'll be posting regular updates on Facebook as to my location and the inevitably bizarre shit I witness while crossing this great nation of ours.

I can't reiterate enough how much I'm going to miss a lot of you.  I know some of you (Joe and Stephen and Steven come to mind) feel cheated because I didn't say goodbye.  I'm going to call you.  Right now I'm just avoiding as many emotional encounters as I can.  I have a lot to get done, and if I think about some of you right now, there is no way I'm getting in that car tomorrow.

Hit me up on Facebook for regular updates, or call/text. I won't mind the company one bit.  If you don't have my number, and don't know someone who does have it.. there is probably a reason for this. 2/3rds of our nation seem to have it, especially when I'm trying to sleep.

In my next post, I promise to write a few notes about the characters in Tunica who have made my life worthwhile, unforgetable, dreadful and exciting.  Right now it would be too clouded with girl-emotion and I want to accurately describe these critters/friends of mine for those making a trip to the cotton fields.

Thanks guys, for reading.  Your support, comments and companionship are invaluable to me.  <3

For now. :)  See you in Vegas.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The End: My Farewell, the WPO, Cooper is the Catalyst, Scotty too Hotty's Brain Freeze and More.

"When the pain of remaining the same ....
becomes greater than the fear of change...
 surely we will let go."

Really, it's all Josh Cooper's fault.  Everything.  He came into Tunica and destroyed worlds and crushed dreams. He made a grown man nearly cry, and a woman abandon her home to cross the United States in hopes of living the dream. When this all ends terribly, it'll be him we blame.  As if we don't, already. Aren't dealers the ones we can always blame when the cards don't run in our favor? I like to think so. At least, in this case.

But more on that in a bit.

The WPO is over with.  I'm a bit heartsick, I must admit.  This is the first big event that Scott and I ever played together, what seems like ages ago.  And it'll be the last for awhile I'm afraid.  I don't suppose I can't go much further into this blog, with it making much sense, if I don't start at the beginning.

Please, please be as fabulous as the sign promises!
I have submitted my resignation to Horseshoe, Tunica and accepted a position with the Riviera Casino in Las Vegas. NV.  That's right, boys and girls, this southern gal is going Vegas style. And I'm terrified. Excited, and terrified all at the same time. I have a week, give or take, left in the south east United States, before I pack up the Orange Beast, take a very few possessions and make my way west. Again.

I say again, because I sort of have a habit of doing this.  Once when I was 18, I put everything I owned in a Geo Metro and went off for Los Angeles.  No real plan, just me and my car in quite possibly the scariest city in the world.  Not even a place to live, or more than $300 to my name.  Excellent planning. But it worked out. I had a blast, got a bit of education, fell in love and procreated. 

I crossed the United States then to move to North Carolina with my fledgling marriage and soon to be baby. Coast to Coast.. feet in one ocean one morning, 36 hours later, feet in the other. We bounced around a bit on the eastern seaboard, and even did a brief stint in Japan.

My marriage nor my son survived, it was a really dark spell, and I made the cross country trek back to the safety of middle America. Didn't take me long before I got the bug, and back to California I went. Acquired a cat, a bit more education, and a penchant for sushi in overpriced restaurants.

My apparent theme song. Great.

Never one to keep things firmly rooted in one location, North Carolina called me home again.  I suppose by now I feel like that wretched country song.. "Heads Carolina, Tails California".  Actually, let me side bar for a minute.  I was once standing in the Mojave Desert with a beautiful Marine.  He was headed east, and pulled out a quarter.  He actually quoted the song, I called it, and sure enough.. back east we went. I was pretty open minded like that.  This sounds cheesy now, but it's probably the romantic pinnacle of my life. True story. Anyway, North Carolina was even better the second time around. Got published. Changed the world. Or at least, my county, through journalism. Things were swell.  Different boy, same ridiculous intentions, but west we went..

And that landed me here. Back in Memphis.  This time, there is no boy, no procreation and no ridiculous dreams.  I'm actually leaving behind a lot more than I stand to gain.  And yet, I have to go. I have this ridiculous calling to go, see, do and experience.  And right now, I'm a floundering guppy in a stagnant pond.

I won't say anything negative or revealing about my time with Horseshoe, Tunica.  Lisa Crompton is quite possibly one of the best bosses I've ever had (Denise Foster, you were practically a mom to me, so don't take offense! I love you! Thanks for publishing my ridiculously long winded rants!). I learned more from my stint at Horseshoe than I could have anywhere else in a lifetime. It was emotionally stressful, hard work and something I benefited from tremendously. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't do well with some of the cliques. It wasn't a smooth run, but I'm grateful for the experience and will look forward to the opportunity to work with Harrah's again someday. If you have the chance to play in Tunica, go by the 'Shoe.  They have some of the most dedicated, professional staff in poker.  Tell Joe and Gabe I said Hi. And that I miss and love them.

You all know how I love things that sparkle...

It's time for me to move on though, and the next step for me is dealing. In Vegas. Bright lights, big city. I'm still a guppy, I'm just moving to a bigger pond.

A lot of you had no idea this was coming. Some of you knew it before I did.  I'm sorry for those I'm not going to get to say goodbye to.  I hope you'll keep in touch.  I care tremendously about a lot of the friends I've made here. I promise to get an awesome apartment with an extra fabulous futon in the spare room.. and you can all come sleep on my couch. Or hell, I'll take the couch and you take the bed.  That's how we roll in the South.

More than you know.

I'm going to miss being away from my Mom a tremendous amount.  I'm not even allowing myself to think about this yet, except with thoughts that I'll visit often.. she'll visit, and that someday maybe we'll end up on the same end of the continental United States again.  She's learning to deal, and she's going to come spend some time in Vegas.  I'm so grateful for the time we've spent together on this trip home. She's a constant inspiration to me, and I am proud to be her daughter. As we age, our time with our parents grows shorter and more precious.  I'm feelin' it now more than usual.

The next big question, as a lot of you will have already asked, is "What about Scott?".

Well, really, after the way he played his Queens in the main event at the WPO, I don't really mind leaving him 3,000 miles behind.  Seriously.  You should have been there.

With that aside, I'm going to allow his ego to go completely out of control for a moment. I don't think a day is gonna go by for a long time that I don't cry for missing his dumbass. He's my person.  Sure, he aggravates the hell out of me. I mean, anyone who has played at a poker table with the two of us in the last 9,000 events can see this. If we had a dollar for every time someone suggested that we get married, we'd both be able to retire. Independently. In separate countries. I love him. A whole bunch. Which I'm sure he knows, and hell, everyone else knew from day one. For those who were pulling for us, our "fan club" if you will, it was never meant to be more than a friendship.. hate to let you all down.  I know we made a lot of jokes and allusions to more.  He really did write me poetry in bed that night. We weren't joking about that.  And he really does have photos on his phone of me that are suitable for blackmail, but who doesn't?

I've had some of the best times, and the most laughter of my life with that guy. I'm so grateful we had a weekend of camping and swimming, far away from a casino, before I picked up to move. I could spend a week in a padded room with him and be entertained. (And it's been suggested...).

This picture both shocks and delights me. I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.
I swear.

Things are going to be different. I'll visit, he'll visit, and life will go on.  Maybe now he can get a steady girlfriend.  She won't be as awesome as me. And even if she is, I'll pretend otherwise. And maybe I'll actually have a date that doesn't end with me calling Scott to complain. We've been in a few sticky situations together, and our friendship has always survived.  At least I'll always have my stalker photo (Blog post regarding stalker photo here: .....).  It'll hang in my new home. Probably over the bed. To creep out any future boyfriends.  This would delight Scotty too Hotty.  I'll miss you, Mr. Celebrity.  Most of all.

Remember that time you pushed me down the stairs? I do.

Which brings me full circle, back to why I have to go and why this is a good move.  It's time to move forward in some capacity or another.  I've been waffling on it for a long time now. I've been asking for a sign for awhile, something to motivate me towards change.

I got it in the form of a blond dealer with a sarcastic tongue and a weakness for blogs.  I mentioned him briefly in my last post.  Josh wandered into my card room, struck up a conversation (He reads the blog! I'm a fan of my readers!), and a quick "Hey, we have mutual friends" chat turned into a ten hour conversation. Which turned into ten, ten hour conversations. 

During our conversations, we talked about his command decision to embrace change as a necessary reality.  Starting over, striking out on a lark without any guarantees, and the adventures it's entailed.  Here's a kid who is significantly younger, and yet he's got a lot more figured out about life than I do.  We talked about career fears and risk verses reward. And it was through these conversations, and how desperately I clung vicariously to his experiences, that I realized I needed to gamble a little bit and get moving.  I'm simply not happy here.  I'm a happy girl, surrounded by people who make me happy, but overall.. I'm not challenged, I'm not progressing and I'm not thrilled at being in a stagnant pond.

The cup is Tunica.. and well.. You get the point.

So I was inspired by someone to take that final leap into life changing decisions, and I may not even ever see him again. I mean, sure we may end up in the same city at the same time.  He's a touring dealer and technically homeless, but really, it wasn't about HIM.. but the message. I heard it loud and clear. The worst thing that could possibly happen is I end up in an apartment with two other people, sleeping on a floor and starving while unemployed. He survived it. I can too.

If this ends poorly, send him your letters of complaint.

The end for Scott.. and the hands of Mr. Cooper.

In a fit of poetic justice, it would be Cooper that would deal the hand that would knock Scotty out of the main event at the WPO.  Queens vs Aces on a low technicolor board. I talked to Scott for over an hour tonight about what went wrong.  Everyone in the room knew he was beat, but for whatever reason, he kept putting chips in the pot.  He says.. "All I know is, I went to dinner break with you, went up to your room, came back downstairs and threw away $140,000."  I like to think I'm worth distracting a man away from $140K, but really, neither of us know what happened.  He says "I know I'm going to sound crazy here.. but my brain stopped working. I don't understand it."

Actual photo of Scott on dinner break.

Fatigue maybe?  Bad food from the Atrium?  Disparity over my impending move?  We'll never know.  Three from the money, of which he was almost guaranteed to cash. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

So really, like I said.. it's all Cooper's fault.  The good, the bad AND the ugly.  Forward your customer service complaints to him. If you can track him down.  He's a mobile individual.

And by mobile I mean... Homeless.

I have a lot of things to say about the WPO. Congrats to Team Bustout's Smilin' Don for his 3rd place finish, Kyle Cartwright to his 4th place finish, and the always impressive David Diaz for bringing home the big bucks.  I'm always sad at the end of an event.  Particularly sad for this one, with it being the last time I'm in Tunica for awhile.  During one of those ten hour chats, it was said.. "Next time you're here, you'll be a tourist."  And that really kicked my ass.  True, but who wants to think of that?

I had some tremendously good nights out with the crew from St. Louis. Had more than a few beverages with Smilin' Don Norman, Tim Burt and Ryan "Corinth" Enis. Shared a breakfast with Sam Barnhart, conversation with Vanessa Rousso, a fabulous birthday dinner with my wonderful mother. I laid in a dark hotel room with Mr. Celebrity Status and helped plot his way towards $140,000. I put a new friend on an airplane, with an entirely different story than I had when he first flew in. It's been a long strange trip, and I'm quite possibly the luckiest woman I know to have had all the experiences I've had here.

Thank you, Tunica. <3 <3 <3 In a weird way, I'm going to miss you.

Moving Forward....

Next week, we have an event starting at the Riviera.  It's a big national pool players convention, a huge deal with the area, and they LOVE some poker. Join me and Ms. Sharkady, rockstar poker room manager, for some of the best action anywhere.. cause you know pool players are gamblers.  We've got tournaments, live games and round the clock action.  I'm counting on some familiar faces to help me adjust to Vegas.  Come see me, give me a hug and remind me that everything will settle down soon enough.  Join me for cocktails afterwards.  I am looking forward to seeing you ALL in Vegas, to dealing to you and to maybe conning a few of you into giving me a tour of the city... We shall have a toast. To new beginnings. You can do it too, you know. Pick up and go.  If I can, anyone can. I have faith in you.  (And I need you to have faith in me!).

I'm going to leave you with a song that kinda sums up how I'm feeling about everything. It's a personal favorite. Check it out if you like.