Musings on Poker and Other Stuff
I'm heading to the Rio tomorrow for the first of what will be many trips to my summer homeland. It is such an interesting feeling each year, like going to summer camp when you where kid. One can't help but feel a mixture of emotions; excitement at the anticipation of seeing everyone and seeing lives changed, combined with a little nerves at the prospect of forgetting your own life for a few months and hopefully not messing up too bad. Speaking of messing up, I was just prepping to shoot the Welcome to the WSOP 2012 video today and I stumbled across some gems from last year.
Bloopers are always my favorite. Watching these made me miss my team so much! I wonder how many blogs I can have that are themed, I am so grateful to be in this business? But I feel like I am constantly reminding myself how lucky this whole journey has been. It got me thinking how we all keep changing and growing, but some things stay the same. Here is the blooper reel from my first tournament in front of the camera. My voice is literally at least 5 octaves higher than normal.
I want to thank my girls so much for showing me the ropes. Kristy Arnett & Lynn Gilmartin were already best friends and it would have been so easy for them to be caddy to me or at least not helpful. But it was the total opposite. The team at PokerNews is so amazing and I can't wait to spend the summer watching poker history happen before our eyes. This little gem pretty much explains how I feel.
This post is going to be a bit of a Debbie Downer. Honestly, if I was you, I would turn away now. But, when scanning my mind of the things that have affected me in the last week, I can't help but be barraged by a certain sadness. Anyone who knows me knows I am an avid animal lover. To my own detriment sometimes. I support animal shelters more than people I think. Heath always gives me hell for this but, I feel the animals have the best hearts and the least ability to change their surroundings.
The week started awesome. Heath and I went to see an Elvis impersonator at the Hilton (or what used to be the Hilton). On our way out of the show, I crossed paths with this little treasure.
I was commenting how i hope the dog has a good quality of life even though he is a bit of a kitchy show dog.
The next day the Humaine Society sent me this video about a certain kind of show horses.
I had heard about this kind of terrible training before. Someone mentioned it in a documentary I just watched called Buck whom they based The Horse Whisperer after.
Buck showed such a grace in the human and animal connection. It made me feel so good to see a human have a healthy love and respect for his animals. I've seen several things about relationships between animals and people that are so heart warming.
On Tuesday I watched a documentary called Mine which really demonstrated that bond. And yet it also exposed some fundamental problems with our system. During Katrina dogs were not allowed at the hotels or shelters. Thus, people were just forced to leave their dogs there to drown or starve. I couldn't believe the beaurocratic nightmare these dog owners were enduring. I mean, at what point do we say that when we accept a dog as a part of our family that we are responsible for taking care of it. I know they would take care of us.
Taking it a step further, yesterday I stumbled across this:
Some teenagers put firecrackers in a dogs mouth and taped it shut. He suffered. They ran. He eventually died. I just burst out crying. I can't keep seeing this shit!
My mind is just blown at a general human lack of empathy. I can not fathom how people can be so cruel. We already face so much adversity it terms of politics, food, health, money, etc. The world is just a hard place in some ways that needs a lot of our energy to fix. The fact that I even have to place so much energy into looking out for the things on this Earth that love fully and unconditionally is madness. Animals deserve more.
Not a fun post. But my heart just hurts for all the precious creatures who are suffering.
I recently went on an overnight trip to LA for a photo shoot. A friend of ours who is super cool and dynamic invited Heath to participate in working with this dope photographer Tyleron an apocalyptic themed shoot. The shoot went awesome, I'm sure I'll have the pix to post soon. But shoot became very interesting and I must say I am ashamed at myself. I let myself act as judge and jury for someone else. I acted like a hypocrite and a gossip. The friend of ours will be called Joe for the purpose of this blog.
Joe is quite the character and ever since we have known him he has been attached to a very lovely lady we shall call Katie. Really Katie and Joe did everything together it seemed. She was always with him when he came to town or met us anywhere. She didn't have a job anything but that seemed to suit them very well. She was free to travel and play with Joe. I got to know her a little bit and actually started to like her. At first, like any hot girl, I assumed she was a mental midget, but she turned out to be very endearing. About a year ago when we saw the two of them in Vegas, they had gotten engaged. The proposal sounded absolutely magical!
Anyways, when I went to the shoot with Heath, I expected (which everyone knows is dumb) that she would be there. In the taxi on the way there, one of the other 'talent' for the shoot said that Joe and Katie had broken up. No Way I snap-called his bluff. I had just seen pix on facebook of them last week, looking all in love. Well, when we showed up, not only was Katie not there, but there was a new girl there in her place.
I was totally freaked out. How could this be? How could they have broken up? And more importantly how could she have been replaced so fast? It was kind of ironic because on the flight down I was stressing about the World Series and some work stuff and I was thinking how nice it would be to be Katie and just travel around with your beau and not have to worry about work. And yet, even after I had that thought, the thought creeped in, but then you put yourself in the position of being totally screwed if he leaves you. And in this case, he did.
I think I let it come into my mind that there was a time when if Heath left me I would have been totally up sh*t creek. I let all my insecurities fill up in me. I felt every time I had been betrayed. I thought about how Katie probably couldn't sleep and how Joe seemed to be having the time of his life. I remembered knowing that jealousy. It just touched on lots of pain.
I was nice enough to his new girl, after all, it really wasn't her fault. And I was nice enough to him too. I really like and respect him. But after a few glasses of wine i really started letting it out. I started judging and questioning. How could he do that to her? How could he be so happy? What about loyalty? What about Love? I bitched and moaned until Heath had to ask me to please stop. Really, I probably kept on after that.
When I awoke the next morning to head back to Vegas I had a terrible and guilty feeling in my stomach. (that wasn't just the WSOP stress). I knew in my heart that I had acted as if it was my job to judge someone else. I have no idea what their relationship was like on the inside. I don't know his heart. I don't know that it won't end up being the best thing for her. I don't know anything about anything. And moreover, let's be honest, it isn't as if I haven't broken a few hearts. It isn't as if I haven't watched someone beg me to come back and felt hardly anything. I left someone for their best friend once.
So while i had my pity party of all the sorrow I had experienced at the hands of lovers. I forgot to remember the damage I too have caused. And that with each lasting or broken relationship comes some kernel of truth. Who am I to keep that from anyone?
I have always heard tons about the Philippines. Heath had gone as a guest for a fight a few years ago and came back raving. So naturally when Lynn requested to trade me for the Grand Final, I was more than happy to oblige. I opted to go a few days early. It made my flight cheaper, and that way I could enjoy some beach time before we headed to the Airport Hotel and Casino to work.
The water was incredibly clear. I fed the fish with little crumbly pieces of bread and they crowded around me with no fear. It was kind of like coming full circle. Let me explain. When I was younger I had a totally irrational fear of fish. I would swim but only with extreme trepidation. I was constantly imagining what might be lurking below me. Now, I was able to let them brush past my arms and legs in swift movement to score a bit of the tasty delight.
Speaking of tasty delights. I believe I had never really had a mango until I had a mango in the Philippines. They are known for having the juiciest and most mouth watering mangos on the planet. I actually <gasp> was drinking mixed drinks instead of wine. Nothing like a mango daiquiri to melt away my fish fears.
The Filippino people are known for being very welcoming and kind. And they did not disappoint. And what is more, the staff and players were equally as incredible. Having never done an APPT I was a bit worried about being a fish out of water so to speak. But the people welcomed me warmly like we'd known each other forever. I immediately felt at home.
So much so that I thought, we might just have to move there. It turns out you can get a place on the beach for $100 a month. We could live like kings. Which we did while we were there.