Wil Wheaton and I weren't holding hands, but it was appearing more and more as if we were on a date. Absinthe walked beside us, eying us as if we had morphed from his drinking buddies into a pair of lovers.
Me? Well, I was just lost. I'd spent my day off playing cheap mixed games with friends and then folding to a non-cash in Caesar's nightly 7pm tourney. When I finished, everyone else was either still playing or gone. Except for Wil and Ryan, who insisted I have gelato from the Italian joint in the Fourm Shops. Wil bought my pistachio dessert and made things better, if a little more on the "light in the loafers" side of the sidewalk.
"So, what now?" we asked each other.
"Let's go back and walk through the poker room and show off our gelato," we agreed.
And back we headed, dodging the line of paparazzi that had formed outside of Pure. I get the impression that Red Carpet events are really losing their uniqueness. Now, some girl I never heard of had her own red carpet an her guests were people I'd never seen before. Regardless, the paparazzi were clicking and shooting away. I wanted to scream, "Hey, I got Absinthe here! Son of a bitch made Day 3 of the WSOP! Oh, this guy, my date, the guy who bought me gelato? Yeah, he's mother fucking Wil Wheaton! He's widely read!"
The problem with all this (and my love for ice creams that have less than 35% air in them) is that by the time we got back into the poker room, I had eaten all my pistachio gelato. I tried to pretend I was still eating and show off for my friends who were stuck at the poker table, but I looked more desperate than I looked like I was enjoying myself. I was licking the inside of a plastic cup, like, "Yeah, bitch. I'm enjoying this stuff."
Wil and Absinthe looked at me like they had finally tired of my gelato fetish and bid me goodbye. And there I was left with nothing to do but leave or play cards. My gelato was gone. Wil and Absinthe were gone. G-Rob had been saying he was going to leave his table for the past four hours. Badblood was waiting on the drunk Norwegians. Pauly, Craig, and Change were whooping it up in the limit section of the room.
And, so, I sat down at the first table I could find. It was a $2/$5 no-limit, no-max game. To be honest, I'm always more comfortable buying into games with a max buy-in. I feel like it keeps lesser players from buying in and using a big stack and hyper-aggression to bully around people who buy-in with a reasonable amount of money.
This night, however, I was looking foward to the game. There was something in the air, something in mood of the table, and something in the gelato that made me want to play.
Before you wait for Part 2 of this small story, you should know I won all of $20 after playing for about five hours. This is not a big win story. This is a story about finding Ray Bitar in the one-seat, a bi-polar englishman in the two-seat, a tightbox in the four-seat, a tough Norwegian in the five-seat, an up-and-coming punk in the six-seat, a maniacal Asian grandfather in the eight-seat, and me cuddled up next to the dealer.
I bought in for a grand and settled in to watch $40,000 appear on the table.