Vegas -- That little sick feeling
Shopping arcade underneath MGM Grand, Las Vegas 11/3/06
LAS VEGAS -- "This is probably not a good idea," I say as I push $91 into the pot with my flush draw against a guy who looks like a real-life version of Eric Cartman.
Of course, things that haven't been good ideas have been my forte for a while and ever since I've been in Las Vegas I've been walking around with a totally sick-to-my-stomach feeling.
That's from the girl, who has invaded my thoughts and done something that I'd never before thought possible: Taken away my city from me.
I see the bright lights of Mandalay Bay down the strip and think of the Four Seasons tower where we stayed.
By the time I checked in Thursday night at the Sahara, it was 10 p.m., which made it 1 a.m. on the East Coast. I was already tired. I quickly fell asleep. But I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and quickly tried to make up for lost time. I ambled down to the Sahara's poker room. There were some drunk kids in a 5-handed game. It looked good but I wanted to get my feet wet in a full ring. I passed.
At Bally's, known for their late-night donkfests at the NL tables, the dealers were just arranging decks. No one was there. I ended up at the MGM Grand, but there were only a few tables open. The poker room looked lonely.
"November is always a slow time of the year," the lady at the deli next to the MGM Grand poker room tells me. There are only a few tables open, at 4 a.m. on a Friday morning.
The turn comes, a blank. I have 9Ts of spades, with a four-flush draw, a gutshot-straight draw and top pair. And now my percentage chance to win is slowly going down the drain.
I've been here before. It doesn't take much to alter your play in poker and when it does, you can be in for a train wreck. Even the pros, watch Daniel Negreanu on High Stakes Poker when he finds himself down $700,000 after a multitude of suckouts. He's not the same player and it shows.
There's nothing you can do but ride it out and take everything that comes to you.
The river comes, an A of spades.
"Flush," I say, flipping over my cards and collecting the pot. I breathe a huge sigh of relief. And like a bubble popping, my scared feeling of breaking up with Kelley is over. Trading one fear for another sometimes does the trick.