Friday, September 22, 2006

A New Goal

Ta Da. I finally hit the brick wall. Yep, I'm done.

Curiously it didn't quite come the way I expected. First off, and most importantly, I figured I'd hate Hold'em more than I've ever hated any game in my life. Yes, even more than Chutes & Ladders, lol ;)

This didn't happen. If anything, I have a new found appreciation for HE, and can finally hear that rhythm, the flow and texture of the game. Instead of hearing nails scrape against a chalkboard in the back of my head while playing the dreaded game, I now hear music, albeit faint. Surely nothing like Stud, but it is there, and I never really thought I would grow to appreciate HE at all.

I also thought there would be one final boom at the Riverside. One guy slapping someone (a woman most likely), and getting told he "Shouldn't hit patrons" and should "sit out a few hands and calm down," while I went absolutely ape and jumped on the guy's back and gouged his eyes out (this is not out of the realm of possibility, btw).

I thought the end would come with a bang. A bang which would land me expelled from the cardroom, if not in jail. Or so absolutely fed up with the mob-like ownership that I couldn't bring myself to enter the premises again.

None of this happened. It was more like a soft crash. I just wasn't going anywhere. I was spinning my wheels. I was getting more and more choked up by the smoke. I had to listen to people cough up lungs and wheeze all day. People who are doomed (some already on oxygen). I smelled it everywhere.

One day I lent a sweatshirt from my car to another player who was cold. He is a non-smoker, btw. He left it at the front of the poker room for me to pick up the next day. I picked it up and put it back in my car. That night, when we entered the car to go home, it smelled so overwhelmingly of smoke that we both just stared at each other in shock. I mean it smelled like someone had smoked a pack of cigarettes in the car itself and hadn't opened a window. All of this, for a sweatshirt left in a NON-SMOKING poker room overnight.

Oddly enough, smoking never bothered me. My Mom smoked while I was in utero. She smoked in a dinky little 400 (max) SF trailer while I was a toddler. She smoked the entire time I was growing up, as did my ex-step father.

But I started thinking about my future. I already had cancer once, and this summer a scare with a spot on my lungs. What does my future hold if I continue to spend 40-50 hours per week in a cardroom surrounded with smokers (the Riverside allows them to stand right on the rail and blow smoke into the room)?

I started wondering about other aspects of my health. I was eating Pizza Hut almost every night, instead of the fresh fruit and veggies from my garden. I was "forgetting" to drink my shakes while at RS. Instead of getting 3-6 per day, I was getting one or two, max.

I wasn't really making any money, as anyone can see by my stats.

And I was making money online, albeit a very modest amount compared to what I could make live.

So I just decided to stop. No big boom, no blow-up. No swan songs or threats about never entering Riverside again. I have no problem with them, oddly enough. I might end up playing once a week or so.

And the car? Well, I'll work on it here at home, online. It's not forgotten. I simply have a new goal.

Felicia :)