With poker commentator Dave Tuchman on our fast boat to nowhere, out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
My morning began with a mouthful of ants.
By mid-afternoon, on a fast boat to nowhere out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I rescued a dead fish.
Ten hours, one bottle of cheap wine, and a dozen overpriced cocktails later, by 2 am, I was pacing the sidewalk out in front of a downtown art gallery like a vagrant, screaming profanities through a plate-glass window at shitty paintings being sold at mind-numbing prices.
None of which has to do anything to do with poker, of course.
Just another day on location at “Poker Night in America,” this week in Florida.
I hate small talk.
I fucking loath it.
What’s the most annoying string of words that stream from the human mouth, other than “Can I borrow money?” Consider these three words: How are you? Other variations of this persistent irritation include the following — How’s it going? What’s going on? You doing okay?
Quit it. Just stop. I’m begging you.
What’s the point of all this worthless time-wasting drivel? Do you really want to know my current state of affairs — about how furious I am right now with Nevada State Bank for hitting me with those overdraft charges, the car leaking oil, my plantar fasciitis killing me, the bookies wanting their money, and current the state of affairs in Syria?
How am I, you dare to ask? Look at me. I’m working from noon until 3 am every day inside a building that’s so cold it could refrigerate meat. I’ve got bronchitis and it’s 109 degrees outside. Oh, and one of the companies I work for is $22 billion in debt and in bankruptcy. How the fuck do you think I am?
Fact is, you don’t really care. So, don’t ask. Clam up and snap it shut. Unless you have something really important to say to me, stand clear and keep quiet. Got it?
When you do approach me, there are certain rules and procedures to follow.
Rep Porter, a two-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner, outlasted nearly 430 players on Friday afternoon in “The Colossus,” billed as the biggest poker tournament in history. Given more that 22,000 players are expected to enter this mega-competition, that meant Porter could enjoy bragging rights for coming in 21,612th place.*
Porter never had an above-average stack of chips at any point in the tournament and would have gone largely unnoticed, had it not been for his early elimination and subsequent walk of shame, wallowing through nearly 2,000 players packed like sardines inside the bustling Pavilion Room, at the Rio Las Vegas.
When asked to explain the humiliation, Porter snapped, “What can I say? I ran out of chips. I didn’t want to leave. But once I was out of chips, they wouldn’t deal me any more cards.”
Along the rail, Porter was welcomed by another former gold bracelet winner, licking his wounds and sharing his bad beat story with anyone in the surrounding area who would listen. Ken Aldridge, a used car salesman from North Carolina, couldn’t even outlast Porter.
When asked to comment, Aldridge said, “I hope to make it past the first level next time. I can’t believe Rep Porter finished higher than me in this event. Please don’t tell anyone, okay? That would look really bad if that were to get out.”
You deceptive lying-ass shits!
I just opened up my Visa bill this month and caught you motherfuckers red-handed again. Cold blooded thieves! That’s what you are! And for this, you are going to pay. Dearly! Just wait til you hear what I have in mind next time I pay you a visit. Already, I’ve got my revenge planned.
You, the villainous Hilton Corporation, with thousands of money-sucking hotels worldwide, enabler of the planet’s most obnoxious golden-haired waif, jerked me off on this month’s bill for an extra $500. That’s right — fiiiiiive huuuuundred dooooooollars. You thought I wouldn’t notice, didn’t you? Well, I did notice! Indeed, I might not have caught your “honest mistake,” except that $500 is basically a sports bet for me, and no one is going to break my balls and bash me in the ass for five bills unless it’s some shortstop in Cleveland I’ve never heard of making a throwing error to first base. Then, I can live with losing the $500 after spewing off a load of F-bombs.
Which brings up to today’s hot topic: If it’s really an “honest mistake,” why do we always seem to get charged TOO MUCH? Why never TOO LITTLE? Shouldn’t the mistakes balance out?
I’m loaded with evil conspiracy theories, and my latest is that Hilton consciously does this all the time. My reasoning: I’ve gotten hotel bill gang-banged three times over the last 18 months for extra charges I didn’t make when staying at Hilton properties. Just a coincidence, you ask? Am I the most unlucky customer in the world? How come Hilton never forgets to charge me for the extra $9 can of Pringles out of the room fridge? Huh? Answer me that.