When I was in highschool, my old football and gym coach, Rube Berry, liked to name his phys ed teams. When we played floor hockey, I was on the Sophomore Jinx. I always thought it was a pretty cool name. Rube was a standup guy.
I hadn't thought about that old nickname in about 15 years. That was until this past weekend.
That was when I realized, I have a problem.
I am a jinx.
Maybe it had something to do with that old episode of the Brady Bunch I watched before I left for Europe. You remember the one. Oliver has just been introduced the Brady family through some odd, incestuous cult-like kid swap. As soon as he arrives, everything goes wrong. But then, his presence ends up resulting in almost the whole Brady clan getting to be in a silent movie (I'm still not sure why a film studio was making a silent movie in the 1970s, but that's not the point).
I wish my jinxing ended so well for my Brady clan.
Victim #1: Curzdog
That's Curzdog there in the middle, sandwiched in between John Fanning (one of the minds behind Napster) and a European dealer who looks quite good in a pair of tight pants. Moments after this picture was taken, he would run into pocket aces twice and leave the tournament out of the money.
Now, you might call that bad luck. I thought so, too.
I'd been keeping an eye out for Curzdog at the Monte Carlo tournament because I'd heard so much about him from DoubleAs. As it turned out, Curz and his fiancee were great people. My favorite thing to do was watch Ms. Curz when her man was in big hand. She'd put her hands on her cheeks like the "Home Alone" kid and hold her breath until the river fell.
So, I was unhappy that Curz got unluckly. I tried to put it out of my mind and did until the next night when I witnessed...
That's Scott. He's one of EasyCure's buddies. He played a stellar game for the whole week. His wife sweated him for most of the tournament as well. After playing a great game, he made a great play at the right time, and a bonehead called him on it.
That's when it occured to me I may have a problem.
If I needed proof, I got it within 24 hours.
That's Brandon Schaefer in happier times. Going into dinner he was the chip leader with just a few people left. Shortly after dinner...he finished in second place.
Now, the question: What do these three people have in common?
All of them, less than two hours before busting out of the biggest tournament of their lives...had dinner with me.
Each night, we all drank a little red wine, ate some ravioli Marsala, and chatted about poker, travel, and life in general. I usually ate quickly, opting to head back to the tournament area to work before the break was over. Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure my presence had something to do with these three fine men busting out of the tournament.
So, here's a rule:
If you're going into a big game, don't eat a meal with me before the cards get in the air.
What I'm afraid of...really...is being a jinx to myself.
I may have to start skipping more meals.