Sunday, November 20, 2005


After spending a week on the road at Foxwoods Casino in western Connecticut and at Senor's suburban digs in Rhode Island, I came to the conclusion that Foxwoods was by far my favorite assignment that I've had as a freelance writer and one of my favorite trips that I've taken this year. Sure covering the decadent European Poker Tour in magical Barcelona, Spain and the side trip to the always insane Amsterdam can never compare to the simplicity and ordinariness Foxwoods and Outside Providence, yet I definitely had the most fun with what I was doing. My time in Europe was hectic, very stressful, mind-blowing, and although I got to hang out with Briana and some old friends that I met in Las Vegas, I partied way too much and didn't sleep at all. I did serious damage to my body. That was the trip that officially burnt me out. By the time I got back to America, I should have went to bed for two weeks straight and sobered up. But I didn't, I kept working and pushing myself.

Having the assignment at the Borgata in September was super tough because I partied for a week straight in Europe then flew all the way from Barcelona to NYC via Paris then Amsterdam, then I had to get in a rental car and drive to Atlantic City. Add one of the longest days (18+ hours) of tournament reporting I ever experienced and I was hurting by the time the Boathouse Bash begun. Yet I somehow managed to squeeze in two nights of partying there with AlCantHang and a slew of other bloggers.

By the time the Bellagio event rolled around, I was going through the motions. I had my mind focused on other projects and thinking about the upcoming Vegoose music festival. Bellagio was a weird place for me, because I was distracted, yet I managed to get the job done. When it was over, all I wanted to do was quit.

At Foxwoods I paced myself, did my share of partying, played a lot more poker, ate well, wrote some of my best stuff in months, and I got to spend quality time with Senor's family along with hanging out with the craziest 2 year-old I know. I guess I was finally in a very good place and I was ale to enjoy what I was working on and fully understood why I was doing the things I do. Nothing feels more empty inside than forgetting the purpose why you are doing things.

It felt good to finally reconnected the navigator inside me. I'm back on track after spinning out of control for the past few months. Ever since I got back from Vegas, I've been living a blur of a life. As soon as Joe Hachem won the World Series of Poker, I had been on one of the longest benders of my life. It was almost four months long and I lost track of myself despite the fact I was traveling all over. I got lucky once again and a few close friends noticed I was losing control. They stepped in and said a lot of things that needed to be said. All of which was a wake up call. I admire their courage. I was able to make adjustments ad changes before it was too late. The cumulation of all the resentment of my assignments, overwhelming deadlines, overflowing booze, easily available drugs, newly ingested fame, tons of money, and tempestuous women fried my mind. There's only so much of your debauchery you can blame on Las Vegas. At some point, you have to accept the fact that the beast within has always been there and roaming freely. Stuck in the middle of the darkness of Las Vegas was just an excuse to let it out.

Foxwoods is one of my favorite casinos, probably because I spent a lot of time there over the past few years. In some ways, it's been a place of healing for me. At Foxwoods, I felt fresh and focused at the task at hand. I pumped out some of my best tournament coverage to date and put a lot of time into improving my photograph taking. I also set aside time for me to play cards, unlike during other tournaments when I adopted a strict work and write first and play some other time attitude.

I needed a relaxing venue after a week in faded madness in Las Vegas during the Halloween bender which I'm still recovering from. My days started out calm. Senor lives on a small lake/large pond. I can see it from where I was sleeping. I'd write for a bit then play with Jodd. Sometimes we'd watch cartoons. Other times I wacthed him run around aimlessly through the house. When it was time to go to work, I either ate at Denny's or Crackel Barrel getting my standard French Toast with bcaon and hash browns. The Foxwoods tournament director gave me a $10 food comp everyday for dinner. I ate southern food at Amy Ruth's twice with BJ. I got mac & cheese both times. I also used up my player's club Wampum points for a few free meals/snacks like plenty of free Ben & Jerry shakes.

When it was time to leave Foxwoods at night, I either stuck around to play poker or I went back home where I played online poker and wrote. I settled into a nice routine and realized that what was lacking from me right now. Being on the road constantly means that I am unable to get adjusted to a consistent schedule.

On Saturday, Senor and I went to go see Trey Anastasio Band in Wallingford, CT. I'll write the review soon. Senor had low expectations and Trey impressed him. For me it was interesting since I've seen Trey a bunch of times already this tour. I felt that his best moment in Las Vegas was during his stint with Widespread Panic. Trey ripped the shit out of Thin Air. Trey had a brand new drumer with his 70 Volt Parade lineup and there is tons of speculation why Skeeto Valdez left the band and why Trey replaced him with a New Orleans drummer. Alas, Trey sounded pretty good and I was pumped to hear an acoustic Harry Hood.

We ate at Friendly's which is good eats. The chocolate shakes are pretty good. The place was swarming with hot high school chicks. I never saw so many hot 16 year olds. Senor and I been talking about taking a trip to Thailand. I was already to buy a plane ticket when I got word that the trip is being called off. Now I'm looking into heading to somewhere in Central America or Peru for a week in February. My first original trip to Thailand got axed too! I'll get there someday.

I watched the Jets game with Derek on Sunday and they blow. The Knicks actually won a game and StephonMarbury is the cancer that's infecting the Knicks. We ordered pizza and I ate two Scilian slices.

I was supposed to hang out with Briana on Sunday night. I was super late because I played in a super-satellite poker tournament online at Full Tilt. I ended up coming in first place and winning a seat in the satellite for next Sunday. First place gets to play in a televised tournament at the Palms. Anyway, I was caght up in the game and a good heads up battle where I just ran over the table and that only remaining guy to win. I finally showed up at her apartment... late but with a good excuse. I had not won a tournament online in a very long time. I chopped Brad-o-Ween in August although I came in 2nd a few weeks ago in a big tournament on Party Poker.

Anyway, time to go kill bain cells by watching TV.

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