Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Poker Trip: To Be 22 Again

Last night, I checked out the Grand Tunica. It is as you would expect. A sprawling complex covered with glitter. As if a wandering giant passing by had vomited neon. As I sat in the bar eating a burger and watching Georgia Tech whip up on Duke, two young men sat next to me. Wearing their skull caps, they seemed out of place among the silver fox slot jockeys and the desperate cowboys. They are the new breed of poker.

I remember being 22. Completely fearless. Bouncing along through nascent adult experiences never worrying about what may be around the next corner. But I am now 38. I have experienced death, love, heartache and desperation. To age is to know fear.

Fear is the poison of poker. It will cripple you before you begin. The lingering shadows of doubt must be conquered before you can conquer any opponent. It is on days like these when I wish I was 22 again. Fearless and stupid.

But knowing fear does not mean acceptance. When the fear hits, I know how to face it, pull it inward, smother it with the blanket of experience. One day, maybe today, fear will hit the 22 year old and he will not know what to do. That's when the old dog will show he has a few tricks left.


Sara said...

Directions to become fearless and stupid:

1. Order beer.
2. Consume beer.
3. Repeat.

possum said...

You can be fearless and stupid again. Join the Republican Party!

Anonymous said...

Just do what the true professionals do - get a schtick. Wear your reflective snake sunglasses, or your regular ones upside down, or an ugly cowboy hat, or always wear your headphones or have a mullett. You'll be too busy looking and feeling ridiculous that you won't have time for fear.

possum said...

He already does all that.

griftdrift said...

I did wear shades and you wouldn't believe what a difference it makes in your comfort level. As Jesus says, it's just one thing I don't have to worry about.

Oh and I do need a haircut so I am sporting the mini-mullet.

But the hat is my lucky FSU baseball cap.