Saturday, June 18, 2005


I have to get back on the road and head up to Rio. Glenn just called in and they don't think they'll need him tonight. Since he works tomorrow and Monday, this is my only chance to get him to take me up to Vegas and stay overnight.

Slow and easy this time. No big tourneys, just cash games when I feel up to it, and the rest of the time I'll pressure players into calling Charlie.

Be back soon.

Felicia :)

Marcel Luske

From the moment I entered Rio on Tuesday, Marcel was seeking me out. I originally found him first, wanting to thank him for calling Charlie and making his week.

Marcel started begging me for updates. Marcel wanted to know if there was anything more he could do. Could Charlie's life possibly be saved? Could he send Charlie anything? Could he do anything at all to make things easier?

Marcel told Pauly and me that he'd recently lost a loved one to cancer himself, due to asbestos.

Marcel asked for Charlie's hospital and home number again, so he could keep calling him.

Marcel even talked about Charlie in a CardPlayer interview, although he mistakenly said "surgery" instead of "cancer." Not bad for someone whose first language is Dutch.
(Click on "Marcel Luske Gets Personal")

...More Heros to Come!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Enemas & Breastfeeding

So, besides my preoccupation with Charlie, and making his last days special, what else is going on?

Um, not much. That is pretty much my number one priority.

I was kind of dismayed to hear that Pauly is getting run ragged. It happens. It is just a horrible, exhausting job to do tourney reporting. The pay is non-existent and most players complain about everything that is written.

So in my warped, illogical mind, I volunteered to help out Pauly when I return to Vegas. My first priority remains to get the top players to call Charlie, but I will definitely try to give Pauly a bit of a break.

Am I insane for doing this when I had such a bad experience last year with the WPPA? Yeah, probably. But at least no one promised me the world if I took on this task. I have been made no promises, and will not ask for anything, other than a media pass to be able to get the ice and water I need for my protein shakes that are available readily in the media room.
In more "news of the weird," I have found a group of angels who want to come to my rescue.

As many of you know, my immune system is severely compromised. That makes it harder for me to stay strong while playing poker and/or running around many hours per day. I have to rest frequently, and sometimes I feel just plain exhausted.

So, one day I got a message from the wife of a player. She runs Mother's Milk Home Lactation Services, a private In-Home Lactation Support Company.

She asked if I'd heard or read the reports about cancer trials that had to do with cancer cells being attacked by (of all things) breast milk. Yes, HUMAN breast milk! She passed along some reports that she'd been sent, along with some studies about adult humans with compromised immune systems being greatly benefited by breast milk. Mostly the patients were going through chemo and had low labs, or were in the final stages of AIDS.

I had a V-8 moment. Of course breast milk would have immuno building properties. Think about it. Babies have infant immune systems themselves and need to be built up.

She also told me that she'd attended a conference, and that they showed breast milk cells under a microscope literally attacking and subduing cancer cells! Nice.

If I hadn't been so preoccupied, I might have thought of this myself.

Okay, so at any rate, she asked me if I would be willing to try breast milk therapy. Supposedly it is being prescribed to cancer/chemo patients as well as ailing AIDS patients. Most insurance companies will not cover the milk, because it is considered "experimental," but many patients get it anyway, although it is about $4 per OUNCE.

She said that she had some clients whose mother's had succumbed to breast cancer, and that they were excited and more than willing to "donate" their breast milk to me, if I would pay for shipping.

She thought I might be grossed out by the thought of drinking breast milk, but she couldn't have been more wrong. Shoot, I am the one going around trying to talk the bloggers into trying an alcohol enema so they can tell me what it's like, lol ;)

So the timing of this experiment couldn't have been more funny. I was playing in the Stud 8 event on Wednesday and who walks up? Tami, with breast milk in tow. I almost had her whip it out right there in front of the table so that I could take a swig, but in the end I decided to have pity on those poor, poker creatures who don't know how crazy I am.

Naw, to be completely truthful, I just wanted to make sure I could tolerate it and didn't hurl it on the table at them, haha!

So during the break we were in the hall, and I decided to give it a swig. Tami was right, breast milk is much more mellow and good tasting than cow's milk. I kept it down with no problem.

John Juanda and Barry Greenstein came over while I was chugging the milk, but neither of them asked what the heck I was drinking. John needed to talk to me about Charlie. I guess I gave him the wrong number in all of my confusion on the first day.

Anyway, now I'm a baby again, drinking breast milk. If I was a lesbian, I'd try to get some poor woman to let me breastfeed naturally, lol.

Felicia :)

Heroes at the Rio

I'm back from Vegas.

Everyone knows that poker has kind of taken a backseat in my life right now. It doesn't seem very important in the grand scheme of things.

Charlie decided to leave Vanderbilt on Wednesday. I don't blame him. If I were terminal, and laying in the ICU with machines beeping and no privacy, I'd want to go home to die, too.

He has also decided that the extra days or weeks he would get from radiation aren't worth the side effects he would suffer. Can't say I blame him there, either. It's a mature choice. At this point, it's not like they are offering him any hope, just giving him a few more days by shrinking the tumors.

Somehow whether or not I cash in a series event, whether or not I even play, doesn't seem to matter much one way or the other to me.

When I arrived at the Rio on Tuesday, Max was still in the PLO event. They were down to two tables. Shorthanded tables, at that. Max was doing well. We talked during his breaks and he promised to call Charlie. He also asked if he could stake me halfway in the 1k Stud 8. Since the structure was such a crapshoot, I let him. I usually won't allow anyone to buy any part of me (greed), but we were only starting with 1,000 in chips, and the first level was 30/60. Theoretically, we could be all-in on the first hand.

I quickly tracked down John Juanda, Evelyn Ng, John Cernuto and Marcel Luske. There are some heroes among us. I want to write about some of these heros very soon, but suffice it to say, these people went above and beyond anything I expected.

There are also some people who simply don't give a crap. I should know, I'm usually one of them. I am very preoccupied and sometimes am told things that make me say, "So what?" I don't care. I don't care about your bad beat, I don't care about how you were a 93% favorite when all of the money got in. I don't care that you drew a table filled with pros. I start detaching myself from the same group of railbirds who tell the same bad beat stories three hundred times per day.

So when people walk by me with this "I don't give a crap" attitude, when things are very important, I know exactly what they are feeling, and thinking. Maybe they are busy, and yes, this does have something to do with it at times. They are in a hurry, they have no idea the importance of the mission they are blowing off.

While players like Howard Lederer and Scott Fischman annoy me with their "F-you" attitude, I know that both of them wanted to do the right thing, they were just too preoccupied with their petty little errands to respond in the correct manner. I'll get them next time.

This trip I was strong enough to play for two days straight. Boom, boom, two full days before the hammer dropped. I must be doing something right. Last trip it was only one day, and not even a full one, at that.

Maybe by the time I make it back for the Razz event, I'll be strong for three full days.

I have decided to forgo the Sunday 2k Stud 8 event, and the Thursday 5k Stud event. I am simply not strong enough. I have to be 100% to make it through these long days, and I'm not even close.

On Wednesday when they announced that play wouldn't close until about 2am, I knew I was sunk. I felt like I'd already played a marathon by 2pm!!! I wasn't playing my best, and that is something I have to do at all times, because I'm not as good as these players. I have to be on top of my game to even have a prayer of cashing.

I'll get more into that later. Right now it simply doesn't seem to matter.

At any rate, the heroes that are reaching out right now to make Charlie's last days filled with happiness are as follows:

Marcel Luske (above and beyond anything he was asked to do)
Max Pescatori (ditto)
John Juanda (deserves a post of his own)
Evelyn Ng
Miami John Cernuto
Ted Forrest
Barry Greenstein

There are, perhaps, more of these heroes, and I will talk more about them in posts to come.

Felicia :)

Monday, June 13, 2005


My thoughts are running astray and are disjointed.

Most of it has to do with my lack of sleep. I can't sleep well these days. The pills the doctor gave me are horrible and don't help. I guess I should try something else. I'm not sure anything would help besides something that truly knocked me completely out, and besides Ambien, which I'm scared of, I don't think there is anything like that available.

Charlie seemed to be doing so well two weeks ago. He was on a new clinical trial for metastasized cancer. I'll go into more of what that trial was about in my cancer journal.

Unfortunately, although the trial may have been working wonders, the tumors started pressing up against his heart and making it hard to breathe and even sit up comfortably.

Charlie is now in Vanderbilt and it doesn't look good.

Charlie is a poker player and loves Marcel Luske. So yesterday Pauly got Marcel on the phone to Charlie. It made his day, his week, I'm sure.

Since I haven't had an original thought in 20 years and could never have come up with this on my own, I decided to steal the idea, and get some of Charlie's other favorite players to call him. I'm still at home right now, but I figured I could get Hank to find Lederer or Ivey for me, since he works for FTP. He got Lederer to call Charlie. I don't know the outcome of that conversation, but I'm sure it was awesome.

Tomorrow I'm headed to Rio with a new mission. I'm going to get as many pros as possible to call him, if he makes it overnight.

You'd better watch out, if you're at the Rio right now, planning on being there tomorrow, and you are a big name. I'm coming after you. You'll give this kid five minutes of your time or you'll have hell to pay. If you're reading this and don't want to donate five minutes of your time, and you're a big name, you'd better run! LOL ;) I know you're all willing to do it.

So please forgive me if my posts sound crazy. I'm crazy anyway. And the upcoming chemo mixed with the lack of sleep, mixed with thinking about Charlie is making me even crazier. I'm sure you understand.

Felicia :)