Waiting for K.C.
It doesn't take long for the hat to draw suspicion.
"What's up with the hat?" asks Baze, one of our photogs.
What's up with the hat is I'm already looking forward. In 48 hours I'll be watching live cards be shuffled and I'll be riffling chips in the riverboat poker rooms of Kansas City, where I'm attending a wedding. I collect poker room chips, so I'm looking forward to a few more in my collection.
On Monday, it'll be a year from the first time that I ever played online .25/.50 limit on Pacific Poker. Now I'm playing $3/6 regularly, multitabling. Bonus chasing. And surfing the variance waves. Mark also.
Where will this end? I long to be able to one day be sitting across the table from Poker Girl (not her login) on Party Poker, at her usual $15/30 limit.
April will be an interesting month as well. Later next month, I'll return to Las Vegas with what I call the new "Coalition of the Willing," a group of fellow home-gamers who bring a mix of live-table experience, from previous trips to Vegas and Biloxi, to experience in the Emory game. I also have to decide by then if I want to join my folks for a May trip to London. I hear they play poker across the pond.
Everytime I go back to Las Vegas I feel different. It's not intimidating like it was last May when I found myself playing 2/4 at The Plaza, staying up all night in the process. What's the same though is I love my second city, knowing the streets like a taxi driver, speeding down The Strip late at night, the casinos' neon lights bouncing off the car.
The hat is off. My game face is back on. I've just finished a story that I've been working on and I'm ready to get out of here. I pick up the hat. It has a little wear but is still new. My old UB hat that I've had for a long while, I left in a cab when I was in Santiago visiting Mark. Gone forever.
"Maybe you should put back on the hat," says Baze as he walks by.
I do. And flick-tip up the hat with my middle finger, like in those old Western movies.