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8.02.2005

part II - On The Road BACK

I get to the casino and get into an immediate 10/20 game (leaving work early finally yields an advantage).

The play if fast and serious. About 45 minutes after I arrive, I win my first pot with a set of Kings (trumping 2 other players each holding 2 pairs).

Thereafter, the table is evenly matched, pots going uncontested, chips changing hands evenly and consistently. No player has less than $500 and no player appears ready for a table change or dinner reservations. Seems everyone has fallen into a rhythm of play which even new incoming dealers take few moments to which to adjust. You could teach a clinic with the moves being demo'd.

After 3 hours, I'm about $270 to the good (thanks mostly to that aforementioned set and some overall aggressive play), and thinking that this might be the best suited table for me to set-up camp for the night.

Suddenly, a guy from a neighboring table (limit unknown) closes in on me, still on his chair. I brace myself for what I expect to be a request for a loan, or a solicitation to exchange the remaining morsels of his Hot&Sour soup for my fruit platter.

Instead, he calmly tells me in his charming Alabama patois that he'd appreciate I stop staring at his girlfriend unless I intend on asking her out. !!!

Look, I don't even know where his girlfriend is seated.

I do know this: There's no woman in the previous 3-4 hours who's come under my immediate scope worth a look, let along a continuous gaze. Most of the women are at the 3-6 or 4-8 games, completely outside the criteria of my sensitive radar, and this day, from what I could see with limited vision, is they are nearly indistinguishable from their male counterparts.

I am a master at avoiding confrontation thanks to the Ph.D I earned when working all those customer support jobs. So, I take a good 15 seconds to look around the room, check for a hidden camera, look for friends getting premature for April Fools Day, look at my watch ... just about anything to buy myself some time and prevent an emotionally charged response from escaping uncontrollably.

Finally, I tell the guy how sorry I am, and that it won't happen again. He looks shocked that I would respond this way... probably as shocked as I was when he asked me to stop looking at his imaginary girlfriend in the first place. He takes his chair back from whence he came and tightens his Crimson Tide cap on his head.

I'm in seat 4, and the guy in seat 5 upon hearing this little exchange tells me he would've handled "Beau" a little differently (I'm paraphrasing of course).

Not sure if I'm more surprised that seat#5 is on first name basis with 'Beau', or that maniac's name is actually 'Beau'. Either way, I quickly help myself refocus on Poker and get over the whole episode by wondering how Beau prefers his name spelled. I'm thinking 'Bow' was probably implicated in that SeattleTimes Bestiality story (username/password: jbristol/jackie) and is taking it out on the most northeast looking guy in the room!...

I'm dealt 2nd best hands twice in a row, and with just over $100 remaining in front of me, I conclude that in case I'm next accused of fucking the imaginary girlfriend in front of the 'Wheel of Fortune' machines, it's best I make a timely exit from this game and from 'Bo'.

I cash out, and on my way to the exit, I see this guy staring me out the poker area.

S-C-A-R-Y.

On the road again! On the drive home, I think of a million classically witty and obnoxious things I could have said. And though each one would have made me feel like a mix between Clint Eastwood and Vince Vaughn, I'd have ended-up in very unfamiliar, unglamorous territory.

Time to think about online poker a little more seriously? May-Be!

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