Wednesday, July 05, 2006

WTF Was I Thinking?

It seems like every six months or so, I go through something that makes me wonder what I was thinking. The past two days really showed me what an idiot I am.

When we got to Las Vegas, it was clear when I ran into some people who appreciate me and want to be with me.

Orleans was attracting some of the 2nd tier pros. Those who usually have backers, but not big sponsorship. Those who have had some big successes, but not enough of them. Those who haven't scored big lately, etc.

Mostly, these people are no different than those at the very top. Sometimes they simply have horrible money management, or leaks like craps. Other times they can succeed at tourneys, but not cash games.

The main point is, these are the type of people I obviously belong with (tourney pros). Whether they be first tier, second or someone like me (no tier, lol), who cannot succeed at tournament poker, but is self-reliant and never begs for buy-ins.

Even Glenn got a big glimpse of this family atmosphere when he played the NLHE rebuy event and cashed! He played against the same guys for hours, and got to know them. They came up to him the next day, told him what an awesome player he was, how impressed they were (since he is really a cash game player), how great it was to meet him, etc.

Top tourney pros protect their own. They become friends and family with like-minded individuals, and they will go to great lengths to embrace others who travel the circuit, and protect them from harm. They make other serious players feel welcome and included.

Glenn said he now knows for certain how I feel about the friends I have made in the past three years, and why I embrace those friendships and work hard to keep them. He said he hasn't felt so included in a long, long time.

Yesterday after I busted out of the O8 event, we ran over to Rio really fast, for just that purpose. I needed to see the top tier, to make sure they were all doing well (in life). To see the very people who inspire me, protect me and want to be with me. Boy, did I get an overdose!

I saw just about everyone that I wanted to see. Most of them in a rush to get back from dinner or take a pee break. I never try to hold them up, but just shoo them on their way.

Max was talking with Todd Brunson, whom I am not friends with, but only know by sight on the tourney circuit. Max quickly invited us into the discussion. Max and Todd were both out, so they were going to Todd's house for dinner. Todd seemed like a great guy, very genuine. Max was delighted with the number of e-mails and encouragement he has gotten this year from my readers. Go readers!

Barry was on his cell phone, so I'm not going to stick around for that to end (ugh). He gave me a big hug and continued on his way.

John always cracks me up. He ran into me in the hall and said, "Hey, I know YOU!" we shook hands and he invited me to some party in the FTP suite. He said to go in, he was going to hit the bathroom. Glenn and I tried to go in, but they wouldn't let us. I told them John was headed to the bathroom and told us to go in. The host said, "John who?" I said "Juanda." He asked, "Who is that?" Wow, they must just hire people off the street. We waited for John. He came back and tried to get us in, but found out that the party was only for employees and pros at FTP, so he said he wanted us to come to a different party. He apologized profusely that they wouldn't let us in. It was no biggie, I was only going in because he asked me to do it. He is such a sweet guy, it's hard to say no to him.

I was talking to James Van Alstyne as he came back from dinner about the FUBAR that Rio pulled on him last week (that is a whole other post), when Marcel came rushing up and started hugging and kissing me. He told me about an article he'd written recently, and asked me how I was doing, said I looked good, etc. Just as I was shooing them both off to get back to the tables, John Cernuto came running up, skinny as a whip already. He was grinning ear-to-ear. Look at John! Way to go! I made sure he was keeping healthy, drinking his protein shakes every day, and we just smiled until our faces ached talking about how well everything is going for both of us. He seems so glad that he got gastric bypass, and looks really good.

David Levi was playing a satellite, and a friend was sweating him. I asked the friend if he knew David (he was standing in between two players so I wasn't sure at first who he was sweating). He said David. I asked him if he gave David a kiss. He said he always kisses David. I asked David if he would rather have a kiss from his male friend, or me. David did his usual flirt and said, "Oh, always you baby, always you!" Or something along those lines.

I met the friend and even hugged him for telling me how great David and Asher were in the Israeli army, and how he admired them so much.

I ran into Asher in the hallway and we had a long discussion that should also be a separate post.

Mel Judah and I talked about how well the Orleans was doing, and Shirley. He was so bummed out about Shirley, but I was happy to read that she is bouncing back. She is so much stronger than I am. Go Shirley!

Mel said that so many pros need sponsorship now. It just won't work if they don't get some, due to the huge fields, etc. It's so tough to make a big score these days. Mel said he'd just signed on with Doyle's Room, as did Max.

I didn't see one of my best friends, although I looked for him (he'd probably already busted out, but the crowd at the rail was so thick that I couldn't tell for sure). Mrs. Ted Forrest will be very sad to hear that I didn't get to talk to him yesterday.

I virtually tackled Jan and Katja in the hallway. I have been "missing" them for two years. We just never seem to find each other. I was the typical rude, obnoxious, blunt American and forced them to stop and talk to me, lol. Then again, they are Germans, so they are known for that behavior, too! ;)

Jan was way skinnier, younger and good looking than his pics. Katja was supermodel gorgeous (to me). I love that look in women. Classy and elegant, almost aristocratic. Not the little gidget type, or girl next door blonde beach type. She is really going places. A TV show in Germany (poker), a gig with Poker Stars, the sky is the limit. She said she is running badly so far at the WSOP, but I told her things would turn around. I told her that we Americans say that the cream rises to the top, and she is the cream. They were both fabulous.

Speaking of running bad, that is the topic of my next post about our Vegas trip, I'm sure.

The one constant theme with a lot of my friends is that they are running bad, running out of money, running out of steam and need sponsorship to keep playing. I was so, unbelievably hurt for them. Poker is changing. No longer is the top pro making a score out of every 50 tourneys or so. It's more like 500 these days, due to the fields literally going up 1000%.

To every one of them, I said that brighter days are ahead, sponsorship is coming, a big score is coming, things will turn around. These people are just way too good to stay down for very long. I don't back losers, and the losers aren't my friends. These people are not only top players, but fantastic people as a whole, and they have a proven record of winning. It just takes some serious adjustment and an inflow of cash for things these days.

My day was absolutely fabulous. I was reminded once again that I belong with certain people, and not others. Wasting my time wondering what losers think, responding to posts and e-mails by people who would like nothing more than to drag me down, worrying about threats and people ripping on me or Glenn on the frigging Internet for god's sake is just a waste of my time and mind. It drives me insane, and that is not where I belong. I need to support the winners in my life, not the losers who think that 72o is cute and needs to be shoved in every other hand for a full buy-in, so they can post a screen shot and laugh it up as they devour their Nteenth beer.

I should not be explaining myself, or my position to these people. These people can't even see the forest for the trees and have no business taking up my time.

The people who are worthy of my time and spirit are the ones who are running up to me, screaming in happiness to see me and giving me a big bear hug. They are the ones who know I am genuine and sincere. They understand I am blunt and extremely candid and don't care. They don't care because they are somewhat the same, plus they are solid, self assured people, not whiners and losers.

They do not take my posts out of context and proceed to rip me apart on the Internet. They don't follow behind me and flame my comments when I'm trying to help out a new player. They don't make up stories about me or write me hate mail. They are happy to have my company and see me doing well, as I am them. They are my lifeline and have been extremely supportive of me over the years.

When I say I "love" certain people in poker, I truly mean it. And the word love is extremely difficult for me to use. It seems so overused and so shallow, because people say it all the time and then stab the person in the back the next day for a buck. So I tend not to use it.

But the truth is, I do love some of these people very much. They appreciate my friendship, unlike the many wannabe's on the Internet who simply love to flame, troll and trash me. Why I ever gave them five minutes of my time is beyond me. What I do know is that I'm going to severely cut my reading list, my links and my help to those monkeys on my back. I have said it before, and I meant it then, but I keep trying to take on one or two losers who never even appreciate my help and advice. They have no chance. They are a dead end and simply suck the life out of me. I feel like poor Ted now, always backing losers, lol. Unfortunately, Ted does it with money, I only do it with time.

I will start once again to focus on the winners in my life and cut out the losers. I make no promises, because it is obvious that I've broken them several times. Oddly enough, I only seem to have this trouble on the Internet, not in real life. I can banish the albatross in real life so easily. I'm so unbelievably rude, that he walks away and never even tries to return. But on the Internet? I don't know, it's like they keep coming. They keep trying to weigh me down. They don't appreciate me. They don't like, respect or listen to me. They make promises, but in the end, they just do what they wanted to do all along (lose their money, mostly). So why should I constantly be spending my time on them? It's insane.

Didn't someone say that in Chinese the definition of insanity was to do the same thing over and over again, yet expect different results? If that is true, then I am insane. I keep nursing along these little, fledgling players who have no intention of becoming serious players, and every time, it leads to heartache.

So let's see what will come in time.

For right now, Orleans is rocking the house. The rep that Rio has right now has gotten out, and a ton of players who would normally be there are showing up at Orleans every day instead. The O8 field was over 500 yesterday!!! They ran out of dealers. Every dealer was in the tournament, closing all of the sats and cash games. Every floorman was dealing, leaving only Brian to work the floor in a huge field. They were one table from putting Glenn in a white shirt (he can still deal legally in Nevada).


Not only that, but they cut the rake from last year, charge about 50% of the sat rake that Rio is charging, have a better structure than the WSOP, give out $5 comps when you sign up, and give a full, free dinner buffet if you are still in at the dinner break (worth $15-20 depending on the night).

There are tons of problems with Orleans. I am not a big fan of theirs. I have problems with their rules and definite problems with Brian (although the rest of the staff was fabulous). I have never really been on their side in any major conflict that they have had. I think they pretty much suck. But I have to give them credit. They are running a fantastic event. No complaints other than the rules were not available for players upon request, and they decided to change the first hour structure of the second chance event without prior notification.

I was super impressed. I have to give them that. I'll be back on Friday, already have reservations.

Anyway, links and more stories from the Vegas trip to follow. I'm beat!

Felicia :)