“Where are you from?” he asked.
“America.” I said.
“I don’t believe you,” he said. “If so, you’re the first American I’ve met who speaks English.”
“And where do you live in America?”
“Ah, there’s a song about that, yes?” He started humming “Sweet Home Alabama.”
“That’s not it,” I said, knowing I should shut up. “That song is about Alabama.”
“I’m quite sure you’re wrong,” he said. The rest of the table was glad he’d found me as a target. “Sweet Home Carolina,” he sang over the crowd.
This had been going on to varying degrees for some time. The table had repeatedly asked the floorman to take some action. The floor didn’t seem to care until the entire table revolted. Facing a mere six euro bet on the river (after having made the nuts, by the way), the guy sat and refused to call or fold. He just sat there pretending to think. Finally the floor told him he had one minute to make a decison.
‘Fine,” he said, “I call” and knocked 100 red chips into the center. He won that hand, but that was it. The floor man brought the kid some racks. The kid pretended to be agreeable, but started racking his chips by putting them in the sbo rack sideways. Finally, the floorman did it for the kid. He had 170 euros, which the floorman brough the kid in cash.
“What is this?” the drunk said. The floor explained that was his money.
“Where is the rest of it?” the drnk said, muching on a piece of toast dipped in ketchup.
By the time it was over, he kid had exploded in a rage, demanding to see the security tapes which he believed (incorrectly) would prove he had more than 500 in front of him. I smirked a bit as security escorted the kid out into the parking lot. The show almost made up for the fact I gave back my winnings from the other table.
And to Monte Carlo
monaco.jpgSo, I was about done with poker. In Monte Carlo, I played four sit and go tournaments and suffered just about every kind of beat you can imagine. I came to peace with it as I sat playing with the Russian buy-a-bride of a European player (I have to assume he bought her, anyway). So, I lost. I’ve done enough losing recently, I think I haven’t been lying when I tell people “I’m a better writer than poker player, and that should tell you a lot.”
Action had been everywhere. Chinese poker games, 1000 euro ten-person tourneys played by World Champions, entire poker tables filled with Europeans playing online poker on their laptops.
And yet there I was on my way to a hotel room game with a crew of TV people and PR folks. When I got there, I wished I had gone back to my room. It appeared there would be little in the way of poker being played. Two pretty, young English girls were gnawing on medium rare hamburgers and tossing back glasses of wine. A producer was demonstrating his ability to open beer bottles with just about anything. He did it with a cigarette lighter (easy), he did it with a cell phone (not as easy). He started doing it on the bed frame but stopped when he ripped some paint off. He started using the brim of a Yankees cap before the owner took it away from him. He finally failed when he tried to use a poker chip and the chip shattered in four pieces.
Finally, the game (a ten-person tournament) got started on a room service table. By the time we’d reached four people, I shared the chip lead, one of the players was asleep, and the floor was covered in beer. I suggested a four-way chop which was immediately accepted.
As I walked back to my hotel room, a player who had cashed for a goodly sum in the tournament was walking back with what I still assume was a prosititute. If I’m wrong, I guess I’ll have to apologize later.
It’s been two weeks and I get to go home in about six hours. If you’ve read this far, you’ll likely agree, while sometimes neat and sometimes exotic, this gig ain’t necessariy as glamorous as it might seem.
Then again, it sure beats digging ditches.
First, here’s a shot from my friends at Poker Images showing the…errr…glamorous life of a pro blogger. Incidentally, around midnight every night, I’d replace those Pellegrino bottles with Monaco beer. It made for a better picture, but no one was around to shoot it.
Poker Images has quite a good business going. They go to tournaments and shoot every player, then sell the shots screen printed onto fine canvas. They also have a great gallery and collection of stock footage. I haven’t licensed this photo, so go make good by taking a look at their stuff. The owner has licensed some good older galleries with some great stuff in it. For other news from across the pond, my write up from Vienna and Monte Carlo can be found below.
In other news, had I not taken this new gig, I would be on the Party Million cruise right now. I’m pleased to report that private Live Journal poker blogger Terrence Chan is doing quite well. I’m sad to report that another poker blogger we all know is no longer playing. So, bloggers are 50-50 right now.
I sorta wish I was there…