About four Saturdays ago I was still staying with my Dad up in rural Pennsylvania. I had right around five dollars on me. Luckily, the old man works for a local oil company and he gets a few dozen gallons of gasoline credited to his account every month. I used my Dad’s gas card to fill up the Wrangler and drove down to Maryland to deal Pops’ $1/$2 NL game.

I had been away for a short while. At least four weeks, maybe six. I had a disastrous trip to Atlantic City that made me wonder if I’d ever know how to play poker again, and if not for my Dad I would’ve been left wondering how I was going to eat night after night.

Finally – a chance to make money again. And it couldn’t’ve come soon enough because I’ve got an agreement with the old man where I need to make monthly payments on the Wrangler and car insurance to the tune of several hundreds of dollars. Got another payment about to post in the next day or so, now that I think about it.

Like I said, it’d had been a month since I had played. For a brief fleeting moment, it was almost as if I’d lost my gambulitus. I had damned near begun to respect the value of money again and while in PA, I even briefly considered getting one of them there job things.

Try not to laugh too hard.

The tournament was still going strong at Pops’ and Stirfry, Billy, and a few other random characters just felt like gambooling before the $1/$2 NL action started. “Let’s flip, blind.” They’d each put up $X, get dealt seven cards face-down, no peeky- roll you’re hand up one card at a time until you’ve got the best hand showing.

One hand, roughly $400 in the middle, Billy says, “If I win this Trav, you’re getting a meatball for a tip.”

meatball(n.) One hundred dollars. Five meatballs is sometimes referred to as a sandwich.

He won it, and a few others. Before I even dealt a single hand of $1/$2 NL – I had almost $150 in tips. Yep, those nightmares of getting a real job were squashed. I’m a degen for life.

Half way into the night I start chatting it up with a new player who I come to find out owns his own business. Somehow he decides he wants to interview for a position at his company. Well shucks, maybe I could try this real job thing.

I drove back up to PA after dealing the game, told my dad I might get a real life again, talked to Ricky Bobby about settling me into the Laurel Apartment, and next thing I know, I’m wearing a damned spiffy shirt, tie, and slacks and interviewing for a job.

I drove from my Dad’s house in PA straight down to Crofton, MD for the interview. Almost four weeks later, and I haven’t been back to PA yet.

Did I get the job? No, ‘course not. Am I distraught? No, not even close. There are rumors that he found out about my sub-stellar attendance record while finishing up my time in the Air Force. No big deal.

Most importantly, I was getting my dealing gigs back. I’ve been dealing the Pink Game again and starting later tonight, I’ll be dealing $1/$2 NL as well. Holy shit did I ever remember how to play.

I just got home from Steve’s $2/$5 NL – I was told that I “put on a clinic” by more than one of my opponents. I lost two big showdowns, first one I flopped top set on a Jd5h3d board – committed myself on the turn against the turned nuts – second hand I got silly and big-stacky with a naked frush draw where I came to find out at showdown that I actually had 12 outs, not just non-board-pairing flush cards to make the nuts. You’d think I would’ve had some fold equity, too – but I picked a bad spot against a tilted goober.

I coined a new phrase last night, too. Lawyer John tried to tell me that if I had bet big on the turn in one hand, he would’ve fold his [insert meaningless hand history here]. I said, “John, you’re on Wild Rabid Monkey Tilt, don’t lie to me and tell me you would’ve folded.”

I think I might use that one again, soon.

Between Steve’s Thurs Night $1/$2 NL, doing well at Pink, and running sick-hot at $2/$5 – I’m up a several thousands of dollars in the past couple weeks. Be a good trend to keep up. I’m thinking of doing crazy things like actually getting a cell phone again and becoming “reachable” and maybe even something crazier, like buying a bed so I don’t have to sleep on the couch anymore.

Earlier last night, on my way to the game, I actually stopped and put money INTO an ATM. That felt good. For my next trick, I’ll try to not get stuck in the Monday game for >$1K when I’m spota just be dealing.