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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

July 18, 2008

Eskimo's Bitch

by Otis

It was late, but not so much so that I was ready for bed. The Palms poker room was knee deep in players, smelling of smoke and red meat, and a generally sweaty mess for a Monday night. A tourist wearing souvenir clothes and carrying a camera paced the rail like a kid waiting to see Bozo. Or a kid waiting to pee. I couldn't tell and I doubt he would know the difference. The sensations are pretty much the same.


I had slipped out of the giant party at Rain as Dita Von Teese was splashing around in giant champagne glass. It has been another sweaty mess where I was one of a few people not playing the fool and not getting too drunk on free booze. I was a full mental mess and immersed in the kind of self-pity that is both embarrassing and all too common. It was a full-blown cliff-diving Otis that greased the floor guy $20 to put me in the room's big game, the list be damned.

The big game was only a $1,000-cap $2/$5 game, so it was nothing in terms of the money I had in my pocket at the time. It was probably only a need to be in the middle of the action that made me want to be there in the first place.

As I stood waiting for the first open seat, I watched the tourist take pictures of Chris Moneymaker and Jim Worth. These are both guys with whom I've spent a fair amount of professional time, my writing going alongside their playing. It would be nothing note-worthy to have played with them. It was simply something I wanted to do at that moment. Plus, it was The Thing going on in the room at the time. A life of chronicling The Thing of the moment instead of participating in it has left me wanting, if ever so briefly, and in ever-so meaningless fashion, to participate.

A few friends wandered by and said hi. Moneymaker asked me how I'd gotten on in a similar game a few nights before. It was a brief and meaningless chat, but one that drew the attention of a few people who were crowded along the rail. People started to look at me and talk about me as if I wasn't there.

"Who is that?" someone asked.

"His name is Brad," someone else said.

"He's a pro player," someone else said.

This conversation was repeated around me like a game of Telephone until it reached the two guys who stood immediately on my right.

The big one was a tall--no, huge--burly guy with a graying beard. His name was Paul. Paul Eskimo Clark, in fact.

He asked his friend, "Who is that?"

It was a question he could've turned to his left and asked me directly. Instead, he asked the guy on his right.

"His name is Brad," the guy said. "He's a pro."

Eskimo grunted. "Never heard of him."

And that was the defining moment for this last trip to Las Vegas

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