Musings on Poker and Other Stuff
Basically I have brought you all up to speed to the point at which I arrive back in Sin City. This was about a year and a half ago and where my life moves to the felt....sort of. I spent several month prepping movies I was never going to shoot. I also started a talent agency to represent my boyfriend and other fighters in the film business. At the time it seemed like a perfect idea: I had all the connections in the film world and all the fighters' managers were terrible. This too, would take a back seat however once I fell hard for PokerNews. I still represent Heath. So all the time and money that went into starting that agency wasn't a complete waste. But my future was not going to be in the managing of fighting actor types, or even the managing of film sets. To quote Kristy Arnett, my future was, "to be semi-famous on the internet."
I was randomly sifting through Craigslist.org one day. I'm not 100% sure what, but as my thesis has been so far in this blog, I trust my gut and it never leads me too far astray. I saw an ad looking for a production assistant for the World Series of Poker. Coming from a production background I thought I might be able to take my skill set and learn a new trade. I was interested in poker and wiling to start at the bottom if need be to merge into this world as seamlessly as I had film. I interviewed with Matt Parvis, Tinsley and Topper. Topper gave me the thumbs up, but Topper is a lover, so I don't think that impressed. I waited. After a few days though, I got a call and as long as GloBalls didn't reject me...I was in for the WSOP. Sometime mid-week I got the call that GloBalls wasn't repulsed by me. I would start on Monday.
But I had to get through the weekend before that happened. My thought was, 'Sweet, let's party cause it's nose to the grindstone after this.' Some friends from Palm Springs were coming up to visit. And by friends, I mean a DJ (DJ Madd Matt) and some DJ groupie he had picked up on the way up. The whole thing is bit blurry. I have an openness problem. I want to share everything. Yet, there are people in my life who prefer a bit of privacy. I digress. Suffice it to say that the weekend ended on Sunday with me punching the refrigerator in my apartment and breaking my hand.
Here I was about to start this new life in the poker world and I had to start out my day by going to the doctor to see what the damage was. In an attempt to do it cheaply I went to a Doctor friend Heath had from his fighting days. Sadly though, he could not help me except to say, 'yes it is broken.' The break was bad and I had broken it several times before. In fact, I had some sets of screws in there. I needed surgery. But I didn't want to have to call my new boss and say, "Thanks for hiring me. I might have to take a few days off for surgery." I begged the doctor to set it and set me free. She set it.
Next mission was to do a good job at my new job while taking pain killers and typing with only my left hand. I actually just found my notes from the Series last year and was laughing because they looked like the scribbles of a child--they were written with my left hand. I went back to the doc the next week and she said my hand had shifted. It really needed surgery, but it was the last possible degree where she could let it slide if I insisted. I already felt like this job was perfect for me, so I told her to let it slide. My hand is kind of funny now. It sticks out a bit and is super sensitive. It doesn't always work right. I call it my special hand. It gives me character.
Turns out, the poker world LOVES characters.
I served my community and met some really crazy, and also some really awesome kids along the way. I returned to California for court and had my case dismissed. Finally that chapter was over, but I wasn't exactly sure what the new chapter would be. I was living with Heath and helping him through a pretty intense training program. His trainer was having all these family problems, (once again it was a blessing disguised as a curse), and so his trainer would email me the program and I would make Heath's meals and make sure that he got to the gym on time, etc. Fighters are like babies during training. Their bodies and minds are so haggard that you just have to lead them from one strenuous activity to another, to a meal, to another body bruising two hours, followed by some protein. According to one of his trainers from Holland he wasn't doing enough. In Holland they just destroy you, Heath was very familiar with this as he lost 50 lbs when he first moved to Holland at 21. His American trainer however thought he was pushing it too hard and that his body was breaking down. As it turned out, he was training too hard. He developed Bronchitis about 6 weeks out from his scheduled fight with Cain Valasquez. Heath has asthma and the doctors determined that traveling to Germany for the fight would put his immune system at risk of developing Pneumonia. Thus, after six months of intense training, we had to throw in the towel.
The universe continued to guide us in ways we never could have predicted on our own. The lease was ending on our crazy house. An opportunity presented itself for Heath to invest in a restaurant/bar called the Tilted Kilt in Palm Springs. Heath played poker with a guy who was part-owner and pretty soon we were in a UHaul on our way to Palm Springs. We were given a gorgeous place to live minus the fact that it is a retirement community. Check out the house we left behind in Vegas.
The bar was fun. I mean I'm like a kid in a candy store if you offer me free booz. Although there were some down sides. I have always said that fighters are like catnip for skanks.
And the Tilted Kilt is basically Hooters...so it wasn't always pretty. But I'll throw down. (drink) J/K Anyways, I left for 6 weeks to do a movie. Don't worry though, I got Heath on the movie, so he got to come for most of it. Woop. Woop. When we got back I took a job at an organic cafe. At first I felt like I was going backwards career wise. Then I realized it isn't always about forward or backward, it's about what fits right now. I didn't have a part in the Tilted Kilt business besides following my boyfriend to Palm Springs and drinking all their profits...so it made sense to do something else. I am the kind of person that has to do SOMETHING.
Towards the end of our six moths in Palm Springs Heath started playing a lot of poker. When he was home, he was up until 6am playing online. When he was with his friends he was playing live. It didn't take long before I wasn't able to have an engaging conversation with him because his mind was so focused on poker. After fighting it for months I finally decided to read a poker book. He had some appearances in Las Vegas, so I sat down at my first real poker table. I cleaned up.
I'm pretty sure that is what happens to most people...or at least all of us that got hooked. It doesn't take a genius to make that connection. What I enjoyed the most was watching Heath play online and talking about why he was doing certain things. Pretty soon we were debating choices together. And not too long after that we were on our way back to the City of Sin. That six months was a tough time for Heath and I. But we came out of it much stronger in ourselves and in each other. And finally both of us were into poker.