Musings on Poker and Other Stuff
Yep, home games are where it all started for me. It is where I really fell in love with poker. It is where I saw just how much fun it can be. I used to think dinner was the only way to sit 9 people around a table and make em talk for a few hours. Well, I learned you can get more than 9 people around a table and have 'em all laughing for 5 hours if you get a home game going. After one of my best friends Newt taught me a trick or two and I started getting a bit more comfortable...we amped up the fun. I've always loved playing dress up.
That is my full on "I wanna be Doyle look." But when I'm really trying to score a poker face, this is a no brainer.
Well, as much as I love home games. Turns out it is quite an art to get them together. You have to get people at the right time, that like to play poker, not too many, not too few, people who like each other, competitive people, a designated driver or two, etc. So, I think it had been almost a year since I had a home game. And in reflecting on who I would invite and how I would get it together, I realized a lot of my circle had not only changed, but grown. Before I would invite someone and tell them to invite their room mate or whatever, just to fill out the game. This time, I knew I had a core 6 people that would have my home game back for sure.
Now, while there were a few differences from the home games of yore. For example: the amount of money amassing in the middle, the fact that people only brought hundreds and the sick three-barrel bluffs being call with 9 high. The game had the same thing at its core; good friends, tons of food, drinks, drunks and of course POKER. And inevitably it ended up the same.
My friends are evolving. They becoming more and more the poker community. And I guess if I've learned anything it is that although poker friends may no be reliable in everything. You can count on them to come to your home game and bring their A-game. I feel so blessed to have found the core clan: a strategy hostess, a UFC fighter turned poker player, a super-nova elite, a cash grinder, a PokerStar, and the woman who made me love poker. BOOM. I'll see you guys at the next one. And um, lets not go play cash after next time. LOL.
Oh what a difference a few years makes. Three years almost exactly that I started shooting "Sex, Blood and Fights" aka. Never Surrender and my life changed forever via The Texas Crazy Horse. But I got a little blast from the past weekend when two parts of the 4 part hipster crew that was Nads, Aubs, Manlunas and Sarah Grant came to Vegas. I think this was the party where we all officially started what would be two years I politely refer to as 1001 Drunken Nights. Obviously it wasn't 1001, but this isn't a math blog.
Los Angeles is a crazy town. I can't say for everyone, but for me, when I was in it, I thought the City of Angels was the ONLY city. I thought our hipster clubs and blogs and bars were the only place really cool people were. I thought our world was so unique. I thought free PBR and Colt 45 were a diet fit for a King. I thought paying marked up prices for a jacket at a thrift store made sense, since, geez, it was really vintage. I also thought I was living the dream.
Turns out, I was pretty broken. Turns out I never felt as cool or sheek or pretty as my hip little counter parts. Turns out, being a vegan didn't make me skinny. Turns out if I'm left to my own devices, I will strive on the outside, but I self destruct on the inside.
Double take, yes, those are the same two girls with only three years of history separating the pix. It was funny seeing these girls again, now, years later. I realized how important we were to each others' sanity. That amongst a sea of fist pumping bitches, we shared an understanding. We shared with each other an honest version of ourselves. Flipping through pix of club camera websites and free music downloads of the hottest new DJ, we somehow managed to share our collective brokenness and turn it into 1001 drunken nights.
WOW, I have to say it again, what a difference three years makes. But let's be honest, the night in my new home, Sin City, was no different. I ended up at home at 9am. Growing up doesn't mean you can't still party hard. I guess it just feels like you don't NEED to. No matter how strong I pretended to be and thought I was at 23, I've realized there is a certain strength that only time can give you. There are certain lessons that only growing older can teach you. And one is: you are not as cool as you think you are!!! But you are likely more beautiful than you realize.
Just in case that wasn't emo enough for you....at the end of the day I can count these girls amongst the people who have shaped me and the people who have shared a part of me I don't think will ever return. With each new chapter in all of our lives we are finding new mates, new loves, new jobs, and new cities for that matter. But, if I don't see them again for 20 years (I hope that never happens), I will always treasure the time we shared and consider these bitches best friends.