The short version is: I played like shit today. I may have even played the worst poker of my life. I really, really, really miss my kids, too.
The longer version is:
Otis and I met up with Pauly and Change100, and headed up to the hooker bar for a beer. When we got there, Otis said, "How are you feeling, man?"
"I feel stupid," I said. "I feel like I played like shit, and I really hate myself right now."
"Don't hate yourself," he said. "Tell me again how the hand went down."
I did, and identified the really big problem with the whole goddamn thing: I lost focus at a key moment, because I was watching Joe. The writer and the player came into conflict, and the writer won. If the writer hadn't been watching Joe to get the story, the poker player wouldn't ever have tried to steal and end up in a crippling hand. It also turns out that the poker player just didn't bring his "A" game today.
"I can't see how I could have played it differently," I said, "unless I'm willing to be so tight, I give him credit for a hand he might have . . . "
" . . . and that's monsters under the bed," Otis said.
"Yeah," I said. "And while I'll tell myself that I would rather bust before the dinner break than nurse a short stack just to stay alive . . ." I shrugged and threw up my hands. "I don't mind going out of a tournament, but calling off my stack with top pair and not even a great kicker to cripple myself was just stupid. It was a goddamn Celebrity Poker Showdown move, and I really went out hating myself. No matter how hard I try, I just feel stupid," I said, "and the truth is, I'd much rather write than play poker right now, because I don't like feeling stupid."