Saturday, September 8, 2012

My New Friend the Skink, Ante Up Cruise, 24 Hour Jaunt to Jersey and More.

I currently have a no-contact order against a blue tailed skink. One has taken up residence on my front porch.  This is unfortunate, as this is my favorite place of refuge multiple times throughout the day.  He seems as distraught by my presence as I am his, though, so hopefully we're able to come to a mutual division of assets and maintain a comfortable civil arrangement.

My Skink-A-Saurus Rex. He's larger than some house dogs.

I just finished up dealing the Ante Up Cruise with the crew from the magazine. It was amazing. I don't know what I expected a "poker" cruise to be like, but I can't believe it's taken me this long to find out. I can't stress it enough.. you MUST go on one of these cruises.  The next one I'll be on is Feb. 4-8th, leaving from Port Canaveral, Florida. I would love for some of you to come along. 

Don't you want to cruise with this dealing staff?

The first day was spent at sea evading Hurricane Isaac. We dealt and played poker all day long, shared cocktails with friends and enjoyed the pretty awesome food aboard the Monarch of the Seas.  The next day, Poker News Senior Editor and friend, Chad Holloway and I took our Moms to Nassau for shopping. (We both had our Moms as our dates aboard the ship!).  The afternoon was spend zipping along on Jet Skis off the coast of Cabbage Beach behind the Atlantis Casino and Resort.

Cabbage Beach is oddly lacking in cabbage.

The following day was spent at CoCo Cay. Eric Terpening, Heather Mae and I went snorkeling and despite clearly defined barriers.. immediately slipped off the shelf into "no man's land" and came face to face with a mutant Manta Ray. When Terp pointed it out, I literally couldn't see it because everything was dark in front of me. Then, in slow motion, as the current rippled it's arm/fin/skin flap thing.. I realized the darkness WAS the Manta Ray. It was the single most awesome and terrifying moment of my existence. Only heightened by the sheer terror I saw on the faces of my co-snorkelers as I realized a smaller (but still Volkswagen sized) Manta Ray had settled onto the sand directly beneath my feet. It was pretty amazing.  We saw barracuda, eel and box jelly fish. We were attacked, rather viciously, by some variety of large tropical fish. I couldn't have had a better day.

Terp, the co-snorkeler who had my back in the "Manta Ray incident of 2012".

The remainder of the cruise was spent in the poker room.  It's amazing how you can board a ship with a handful of familiar faces and leave with dozens of friends.  It might have something to do with the fact that no one can escape. These cruises are worth every penny they cost.. (And really, at around $350 a person, it's a bargain). I can't stress enough.. PLEASE come join us. You haven't lived until you've partied with the Ante Up Crew. For more information, please visit

Following my Bahamas experience, I went and visited my sister in Destin for a minute.  My brother in law just returned from Afghanistan and it was nice to see him safely back stateside. Then a quick trip to return Mom to Memphis, and in less than 24 hours I was back on the coast to kill 36 hours with the always fun PK. In dealer world we're practically neighbors, and when I realized I had no specific plans for Labor Day.. it made perfect sense to recruit/force-by-guilt-trip him into spending the afternoon playing air hockey and seeing Possession with me. Time well spent. If you have the pleasure of having him deal to you, feel privileged. He's one of the good guys.

Incidently, this movie poster is the scariest thing about the movie. It wasn't "bad". It was just kinda.. "Meh".

Speaking of good guys.. Chris Quan busted his ass to get me lined up to deal at the Borgata in Atlantic City. After leaving the coast, I rushed back to Memphis, pulled a quick dealing shift at an unspecified location and then immediately left the game to board a plane to Jersey. With almost zero sleep, I was quickly running on empty.  On the flight out there I was rather delirious.  So it's no surprise when I saw a strapping young gentleman assisting every lady over 40 with her luggage, that I'd pop off with some smart ass comment about him being on a work-release program. Instead of him being offended, he laughed. I knew then that we'd end up friends. But sleep was taking priority and I quickly forgot about my new travel buddy. It was when he heroically returned my driver's license (I'd dropped it without noticing) that I made the effort to chat him up a bit.  Sarasota Greg made the second half of my flight a lot more enjoyable. He's interesting and smart and as charming as a Yankee can be. ;) Welcome to my blog, new facebook buddy! (P.S. I DID mention that almost everything I do ends up publicly spread all over the internet, didn't I? Oh I didn't? My bad.)

This is a VERY flattering picture of Atlantic City. Trust me.

So now I'm in Jersey. At the prestigious Borgata WPT event. I'm THRILLED! All set to deal.. make new friends and continue to take the poker world by storm right?! Nope. Apparently if you've ever been married and divorced, you must have copies of your marriage and divorce decrees in order to obtain a Jersey gaming license. Yeah.. let me just grab those out of my purse. Oh wait. I don't carry those with me. FOILED.  I spent the afternoon walking on the beach with Andy Lee, sobbing and feeling sorry for myself. I still hadn't slept, so I was a swirling vortex of tears and heartbroken declarations. 12 hours later.. Yep. Back on a plane to Memphis.

Starting out the trip, plane-resting on dealer cushions, curled up in my Carhartt Hoddie.
 Really excited, 24 hours without sleep.
Didn't care.. running on adrenaline.

Finishing up the trip, in the airport, 47 hours without sleep.
I make end stage terminal patients look vivacious.

I came home and slept 15 hours. Woke up. Turned over. Slept 15 hours more.  And now we're here. I have no immediate plans. Going to play in a poker tournament with the illustrious Scott Williams tomorrow. Gonna go down to Bossier for the WSOP circuit stop and harass my dealer friends, have dinner with Bob Talbot, and hopefully run into Kenny Milam (Who I've been promising a blog mention for over a year now!) and perhaps take HIM to dinner. Right now my tentative plans include kidnapping PK after the event wraps up and road tripping down to Florida for some poker. But my car seats four comfortably.. and six in a pinch.. so anyone up for an adventure is welcome to come along. (It's ALWAYS an adventure in the Death-Focus!).

Thanks for reading, and continuing to read. <3