Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nick Tuna - Day 1

While there would be five of us in all heading to Tunica, our routes would be much different.  CJ was driving and perhaps had the least to worry about with respect to travel delays.  Late last year, G-Rob and I booked what we thought were cheaper flights out of Charlotte rather than Greenville.  It turns out prices were on the way down, not up.  For the following three weeks we heard how Otis and TheMark booked out of GSP for much cheaper.  In every email and at every home game conversation, they took every opportunity to remind us of the additional 75-minutes worth of travel time and the additional $60 cost of our flights.  And just as I would be reminded of on Sunday with the Pats leading at half-time, you just don’t tempt the Gods of Randomness until after the fact.  Those Gods don’t like braggarts.

I have a friend that works out of GSP International for the TSA, who whenever he sees me in the security line yells out for all to hear, “Get me the elbow length gloves and all the lube we’ve got!”  I laugh each time.  In Charlotte, I still managed to find my way into the arms of a TSA agent after setting off the metal detector three consecutive times.  Unlike Derek Smalls, I did not have a cucumber wrapped in tinfoil in my pants.  Sadly, I had failed to take out my iPod from my pocket, simply forgetting it was there.  G-Rob made fun of my idiocy, costing as at least 5 minutes of early morning drinking at the airport bar.  To make up for it, I picked up the tab, tipping our friendly tendress Pearline enough to hopefully make my karma for the week tip towards the good side.

Our flight finally took off after an hour delay.  We needed to be de-iced, but thankfully Charlotte is a far bigger airport than Greenville.  I wondered aloud to G-Rob if GSP’s fewer resources would impact Otis’ and TheMark’s flight since the weather was just above freezing.  They were due in Memphis forty minutes ahead of us if their flight had taken off as scheduled.

Through the miracle of DVD-decrypter and Videora iPod converter, I watched X-Men 3 on my iPod to pass the time.  When we finally landed in Memphis and contacted Otis, we heard the bad, if not slightly amusing news.  Their flight out of GSP had been cancelled.  Using some of TheMark’s classic verbal wrangling, they tried all they could to get to Memphis by 5pm.  At this point in our story, they were stuck in Atlanta, Otis deeply mired in travel tilt.  G-Rob and I were forced to take a cab to Tunica rather than wait for Otis and his rental car.  Another small price to pay.

After a quick check in to our free room at the Grand, I phoned Maudie to see what was going on.  She was at the Horseshoe playing some friendly 4/8 poker waiting around for Miss Gracie to arrive.  G-Rob and I took a shuttle and met her in the poker room and placed our name on a 1/2NL list.  Our drinking began anew.

In another tilt-inducing move, I text-messaged Otis that the Horseshoe poker room served free Grey Goose martinis.  His only reply was an exclamation point.  The waitress kept them coming and I was fully engaged in my plans to spend my first night in Tunica drinking and playing moron poker.  I passed with flying colors.

After successfully pushing my stack into the nuts not once but twice, I realized that even at a 1/2NL table, I could lose more than I wanted to if I continued at this pace.  So I slowed down the drinking after I pushed my short stack all-in pre-flop with pocket tens.  G-Rob was one of the two callers who called my bet, each tabling pocket Aces.  With the T33 flop, I had cracked them both.  While I raked in that particular pot, I felt the familiar heat of embarrassment rush to my face.  It was time to smarten up and cease being the idiot at the table.

I had displayed my stupid side for too many people.  Gracie, Maudie, and even DealerTim from the Spring Hotel who had found his way down to Tunica, bore witness to some of the worst poker play I’ve ever displayed.  The only solace was that it was past midnight and Otis and TheMark still hadn’t arrived.

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