greetings readers. tomorrow is my birthday, so tonight seemed like a good time to try to impose some order on the pile of disarray my life has become. it’s been another several weeks of turmoil and uncertainty, but in the last few days i’ve been more hopeful that there will be some kind of happy ending in store (cue dirty joke).
at the time of my last update, i was still waiting to see whether it looked like full tilt would return player funds by the end of the summer. however, after phil ivey came out with a scathing denouncement of the site a few days later, i knew there was no chance of that happening. until that point, i kept telling myself to just be patient a few more weeks for full tilt to get their shit together – all i needed was to get my online bankroll, and then i could use it to make a fresh start playing live. but when it became apparent that they do not actually have the money, and that i will not see my funds ANY time soon, or possibly ever, my financial reality became too bleak to ignore. i’d squandered all the profits i’d made playing live up until then, and was left with only a few months’ living expenses, and i knew it was too dangerous to try to use that money for a live bankroll.
it seemed delusional to think i could somehow continue with poker under those circumstances. i couldn’t play online anymore, and i had no bankroll for playing live. at that point i made the decision to abandon the idea of playing poker professionally. i gave up.
it was the worst feeling i’ve had in a long long time. it felt like the tenuous strings that were holding me together emotionally frayed and broke apart, for real, and for good. i was transported back to the despair i felt just after i finished my ph.d., to the feeling of being stuck in some horrible limbo state with a fancy – but mostly useless – degree, and no idea what to do with my life. from late may to early june i spent a couple “lost” weeks being drunk out of my mind and doing stuff i mostly don’t remember. once i got it together a little bit, i spent another few days aimlessly applying to temp agencies and random office jobs on craigslist to no avail (i have yet to hear back from any of them).
i was still playing online on carbon just for kicks; i’d won a $3 rebuy tournament for $1300 in mid-may, and that was helpful in reassuring me i can at least still play poker. however, with the current state of online poker and the merge network in particular, i am skeptical i will ever see that money. after that score i requested a check withdrawal from carbon (conveniently they offer no visa, bank wire, or electronic withdrawal options for US players), and it has been “pending approval” for at least a month now. on twoplustwo forums i read that checks take 4-6 weeks, and many of them bounce upon arrival, soo.. great. anyway, i’ve been continuing to fuck around on there and in the beginning of june i had a $700 score for a 2nd place finish in another MTT, so that felt good as well. again, i have absurdly minimal expectations of ever successfully withdrawing that money, but it’s nice to be able to play online, even if it’s just to keep my skills sharp.
the world series in las vegas kicked off in the beginning of june, and of course i’ve been jealous out of my mind reading updates from all the pro players on twitter, obsessively keeping up with the reporting on pokernews as all the tournaments progress, and watching most of the final table live streams on the WSOP website. once upon a time i’d hoped i’d be there too, but after my “retirement” i had fully resigned myself to the fact that i wouldn’t be going to vegas this summer.
but then.. ! a fortuitous occurrence!
one of my best friends ever in the entire world from back east texted me, saying that she would be in vegas the weekend of the 24th, that her boyfriend’s mom was throwing some big ritzy party at the encore, and that they had reserved a room for me there! so of course, this got the wheels rolling in my mischievous head. i’d already worked up a schedule of events for late june back when i was thinking of selling action for a package, so i knew there were a few tournaments around that time. there were ladies’ events at binions and at the venetian, along with the usual deepstack schedule there, not to mention this daily deepstack thing at the rio, low buy-in nightlies at aria, and of course juicy cash games everywhere..! basically, everything i could ever want poker-wise, and more, is happening :)
as you can imagine, i didn’t need too much convincing to book a flight to vegas. my own birthday is june 22, and while i’d envisioned some exciting plans involving a bottle of cheap prosecco, my cat, and some talking heads records, obviously i couldn’t say no to a free room in vegas and a chance to celebrate with friends i’ve been dying to see for months. however, i realized that if i was going to be partying with my friends all weekend, there would not be much time for poker. so, ill-advised or not, i decided to go ahead and make a little trip of it, and booked another room through thursday the 30th so i’d have time to play some small buy-in tournaments and maybe get my groupie on at the world series.
after this glimmer of hope about vegas had been restored, i think it gave me peace of mind in some perverse way. it didn’t change anything about my dismal financial situation, but it was like this absurd and irrational assurance that things were all going to be okay again. for the first time in weeks i started feeling motivated about life in general, and i started having the strong desire to play live. i knew it was not sensible to put money that i needed at risk, but i just had this resurgence of confidence and sense of well-being, that this is what i was supposed to be doing. all it took was the idea of potentially going to vegas this summer, to somehow make things right again in my fucked-up world.
i took a trip to a casino i’d never been to, about half an hour north, and within two hours i’d turned my $200 buy-in into $700. it was one of the first winning sessions i’ve had since black friday. my spirits up, i then went over to my usual card club, and turned another $500 profit there. in a few hours, i had made $1k! so that was awesome, and after some really awful sessions just after black friday, the last couple weeks have been huge in restoring my faith in my live game. since that night i’ve played a few more times, at a couple of home games and down at bay101, and i’ve had winning sessions every time! i’m so happy about that – i’ve got a little vegas fund going now, and i’m hoping i can grow it further in the next few days before i head out there.
so now i’ve got approximately three hours until the clock strikes BIRTHDAY. i’m going to finish my champagne and head over to the card club to hopefully continue the winning. i am so ridiculously excited about going to vegas on friday! and even though i’m aware that there isn’t a great likelihood i will win a lot of money (or any money), i’m just so glad for the chance to get out there, and i’m looking forward to meeting lots of people and just being part of things in my mostly sad groupie capacity.
off to the tables, wish me luck, though hopefully i won’t need it!!! ;)