Musings on Poker and Other Stuff
I can't believe it is already the PCA again! PCA was my debut on camera 3 years ago and as such always make me reflect on the last few years. This year I felt inspired to comb back through all the vids I made in 2012 and find some of my favs.
Best Welcome Video:
Best Explain This:
Best Winner Interview:
Best Who Would You Rather:
Best Interview in a Bed:
Best Video of 2012:
I'm not sure what I expected. Considering that almost everything in my life has gone a bit backwards, I suppose this makes sense. My life is nothing, if not a bit unusual. I digress. The point is. I'm engaged.
I make Heath a book every year to showcase all the things we have done that year. I call them chapters in the story of a boy and a girl. The first year I did it, I wasn't sure if there would be any more chapters to come. But I knew I had enjoyed the last year immensely and I wanted to show Heath that he was forever a part of MY story now. The books have gotten bigger and bigger as our lives revolve around each other more and more. It is always an interesting reflection and reminder of all the things you share over the course of a year.
I had just finished the one for this year. I snuck it in while he was in LA working on a movie.
We were on Skype talking about a fight we had the previous weekend. Finally I just told him. I made a decision. "Heath, if you don't want to spend the rest of your life with me. If, after 5 years, you aren't sure I'm the one. Then, let me go so I can find someone that knows they want to." I was just overcome with the feeling that now was my time and that we were on a precipice. Either this was my soul mate, and I was convinced that it was. Or, it was time to fold our hand and move on. This was a situation I had likely wanted to bluff many times before, but I didn't know if I was ready for his action. Sometimes you just know. I put my chips in the middle.
And then...so did he. Apparently he had been holding out for Aces.
He calmly told me to open his night table drawer. I did. And after some digging I found the most perfect black box. It was the box every girl waits for. I opened it. WIthout any awareness of his view on Skype.
It was absolutely the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. Everything I wanted and then some. He wasn't on the fence. He knew already. But I guess he needed someone to push the action. He asked me to please come to LA and see him. Which brought me back to beginning of our relationship when I lived in LA and he lived in Vegas. The first chapter. Now, I was coming from OUR home in Vegas to see him working in film in LA. That used to be my life!
As I boarded the plane the next day I was overcome by the irony. I knew in my heart that we would have many, many more chapters in our "book." And at the same time, we would have very little control over the direction our story takes. 5 years ago if you told me I would be carrying his ring with me from Vegas to LA, I might have hoped, but never believed. We have made an interesting circle. Regardless of what crazy path gets you there...I think, the circle is perfect.
It is 1:35 in the morning and I am sitting in the dark in the Penn and Teller Theatre uploading videos. And I still have energy! The energy in the Rio during the WSOP Main Event Final Table is so palpable.
I remember the first time I was here for this event in 2010 I had never experienced anything like it. I was just getting to know poker and there were so many interesting characters. The Grinder, Duhamel, Senti, Cheong, Dolan, Jarvis, Racener...I mean I was just overwhelmed. And then there was the action. There were so many cards that fell to create these epic moments. Someone hitting a 3 outer on the river. The turn giving tons of new outs. Even Shaun the Dealer told me he had never dealt so many coolers and bad beats in his life.
Now things are even closer to home. Before we watched from a window high above the action. Now we are on the main stage. I can literally feel the stands shake when the rail goes crazy. I can hear everything. I can smell the hang overs from the rowdy fans.
(my view this year)
It is such an incredible experience. I've never seen a professional football game but I have to liken it to something of a spectacle like that. Yet there is something that makes this entirely unique.
The fans have some personal investment. It isn't just like a football game where maybe you chose your team based on where you were born or where you live now or even just randomly. Almost every spectator in here is rooting for someone because they know them and love them. It is not a convenient affair at a stadium 20 minutes away. People travel from all over to see this thing. And many of them put their hearts in it. The feel like they are a part of it. And they might not even be poker fans. Although I imagine if they weren't before this, they will be after.
Horses scare easily. So man invented blinders to keep them from seeing things in their peripheral vision which might unnecessarily spook them. It is a very basic analogy, but we all have this. We all have the things which keep our focus in front of us or else we might go crazy with all the amazing things this world has to offer. The coolest thing is when something new comes into your field of vision and it joins the sight you have created.
Four years ago I didn't know anything about poker. Obviously I still have tons to learn, but with each passing year my understanding of the games and its players grows exponentially. The first year I feverishly studied the blog to get an understanding of all the players I would need to know to cultivate my interviewing skills. There is no amount of studying however that can surpass the knowledge that comes with time.
Now during the Main Event some non-professional poker players who often have other skills find their way into this little poker world. Of course with their mass appeal it is important to cover them as well. This year I heard there was a hockey player in the main. So, I read his Wikipedia and headed off to his table. Minus the fact that this hilarious guy with a goblet walked right thru our shot, I thought it went okay for an interviewer who maybe has 10 mins of prep time.
Someone mentioned to me yesterday that there was some article with the video in it on a Yahoo site. Honestly, at this point in my job, I've gotten pretty used the the whole internet troll thing. I never read the comments. Everyone has an opinion. But since everyone was talking about it I figured I better read it. The big complaint is that I don't know who he is. To which I reply, "okay sports writer, do you know who Chris Moorman is?" Am I supposed to know everything about everything. I mean come on! My job is to report on poker, not hockey.
It is interesting because I think in some ways I am guilty of this also. The poker world is so isolated and I don't even realize it. I will be talking to people and mention Vanessa Selbst or Jason Mercier and they will just have a blank stare. It is so hard to see the world outside of your own tinted vision.
The amazing thing is that your own vision is constantly evolving. When I was living with no electricity in Thailand my family thought I must be on drugs, because when you come to rely on all your amenities, you think you can't exist without them. But, humans have such an amazing ability to adapt. Given two weeks I think almost anyone could adjust to almost anything. It is part of how we are built.
The difficult thing is to learn empathy. The essential thing is to at least try to look at the world through the eyes of someone else. Everyone can not know everything about everything, but we can at least try know each other.
Furthermore I can say from my own life the more judgement you put out there, the more you get. Every time I gossip about someone or say something shitty about someone, I end up spending more time wishing I didn't and regretting it than I did in the actual moment. Conversely, when I chose to extend forgiveness and kindness to people I am apt to dislike, it is actually ME who ends up feeling good. It is a decision we each make moment by moment. I probably deserve tons of ridicule for plenty of poison I've spewed in my own life. But, because it is a decision every moment, I am making the choice to pull my blinders off and see the world in its complete awesomeness. And of course try to be patient with everyone else so I might actually learn something from them!
Welp, we are nearly 27 events deep in the WSOP. As always it is going by SO fast. I was re-watching some of my favorite videos so far this year and figured I would post em up and see what you guys think to.
As I expected, my favorite so far is the THE STRADDLE. This is a Series where Kristy gets to just put together whatever she wants. She is so creative and works so well with her camera guy...everything they do is genius.
I personally love the chance to put poker players on blast. Facebook, along with a few other things, has essentially eliminated privacy. Thus, if you've done it...someone tweeted it, snapped a pic, Instagramed or Facebooked it. Looking forward to more of this series from the players who play on and off the felt.
Lynn has always been the best at blowing that bankroll. So she headed over to see what Vanessa Rousso had put together in terms of housing for some of pokers' best gals.
Obviously there are more gems coming out every day, so I'll keep adding and you guys keep letting us know what you love and hate.
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.