A couple months ago, I fielded a large number of phone calls, had long chats in the IRC and an inbox teeming with verbose e-mails. They were from friends, family and yes, poker bloggers, writing to see how I was, offering their help and support. Just thinking about some of them make me tear up to this day. One, in particular, said the following,
Take care. Stay focused. You have friends who are here to help you up when you fall. Some of us will even carry you for a while. Never forget that.
My friends have carried me at times, always answering when I call, responding to my cyber requests and, finally, flying across the country to see me, to wrap me in an embrace and find me some fun, allowing myself to forget about everything for a few days.
And THAT is why we ended up at The Playboy Mansion.
When all this shit came down on top of me, Bob and Chad immediately hit upon the idea of us getting together in Vegas, to get me outta Dodge, if only briefly. We soon added BG and found out during one of our lunches in LA that Pauly and change100 were going to be in Sin City on our chosen weekend, as well. Jason was with us that day, and considering he had to be in Reno the following Monday, figured he could come out for the weekend and then move on to cover the tourney.
And THAT is how we ended up doing SoCo shots with Steve Dannenman and Hoyt Corkins.
When Jason was invited to cover the Playboy Charity/Celebrity Poker Tournament, with the proceeds benefitting The Urban Health Institute, I chose to believe it was a stroke of good fortune handed down to a bunch of selfless people who would do anything to help out a friend.
And THAT is why I had my picture taken with two of my top 3 favorite Playmates of all time, Ava Fabian and Tiffany Taylor. Yes, I knew their names and yes, they like it when you address them by name, based on the elbow squeeze and couple extra questions Ava asked me after the shot was taken (I'll post it as soon as Chad sends it to me).
I wasn't entirely sure I was gonna be any factor at the party. A 17-hour drinking/poker binge the day/night/day prior went well past our stated deadline for sleep, followed by four fitful hours of said sleep and a 6-hour drive to LA had put us in a rather down-trodden state as we dressed for the Bunnies. Funny thing about The Playboy Mansion. It, and some hair of the dog, can give one a second wind pretty easily.
I came home to an empty house today. An empty, depressing place with nobody to talk to, nobody to share the events of the previous days. Nothing here but me and my rampaging thoughts about all I have lost in the last months. But I sat down and played the WPBT event, logged in to the chat and laughed and bet. I read the first impressions of my fellow Mansion-ites and the memories came flooding back, bringing smiles and good cheer. Everywhere I look around me are remnants of my decimated past, the negative baggage of my present, but a bunch of charitable individuals have shown me the possibility of an improved future, a life beyond all that currently ails me. They have given me my second wind.