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The Precipice of Degeneracy

I like to think of myself as a poker degenerate. I play poker almost daily (whether online or live), I've written about poker almost 5x per week for the last three years, and more often than not, I'll jump on the chance to play poker.

In my earlygoings, I considered these things to be the badge of honor of a degenerate. And unlike most people, I wore the name degenerate with a sense of pride; not ironic pride, real pride.

It is true that I am a young successful NY attorney with a beautiful loving wife, but I see myself in very different terms. I pride myself on not being the stereotypical young successful NY attorney with a beautiful loving wife. I have always seen myself as a little outside of the norm. When I was growing up, I hung with a group of social misfits. I was in the honors classes, but my friends were all in regular classes. I could get broads, but my most of my buddies were celebate (and not by choice). I always felt more like a grunge kid, a freak or a dirtbag than I did a upper-middle class overacheiver with opportunity abound.

Why this is, I just don't know. It's always been this way, since I was a kid on the playground sticking up for the underdog in the face of a popular jock to when I wore a trenchcoat in high school because my pre-emo (and pre-Columbine) self was reacting to a feeling of isolation inside.

But the reality is, no matter how I feel, a part of me is that young successful overachieving lawyer. And that part of me is the part of me that allows me to maintain the self-image of degeneracy (with pride) and even the outward appearance of degeneracy, while maintaining normalcy in my everyday life. Its what gets me to leave Jaime's Wall Street Game at 11pm on weeknights even though my commute is a 5 minute walk. It's what keeps me from playing higher stakes. And it keeps me from being the poker player I can be.

That last one is the tricky part.

Earlier in the week, I received a mass email from Wendy (of the WSG). Wendy is heading to AC for the weekend and invited a large assortment of people. It always amazes me the frequency with which people can travel. Whether it was Dawn from IHO traveling to AC every weekend for weeks at a time, Matty Ebs heading out to N.O., or Jaime or CK spending weeks at a stretch in Vegas (raging solo, no less), the ease and ability of these people and their ability to, as my good friend Nike used to say, Just Do It! blows me away.

So I said to myself, Self, if Wifey Kim is busy all Saturday morning and evening, why not head to AC for the day? And my self said to me, Great idea! I pulled the trigger, emailed Wendy that I would see her Saturday in AC, and decided to go via bus.

And then, the other part of me took over. It started with wifey Kim's harmless question, You are going by yourself? Why not invite a friend? Well, honey, I wasn't quite going by myself. I'd see Wendy and whoever else there, but I figured a text message wouldn't hurt. I texted Roose, Hole, b-i-l Marc, Davey Ruff and Timmy Bones, but in the end, none of them can go.

And suddenly, that degenerate part of me that says, Nothing to do, poker 3 hours away, cheap bus transportation, is at odds with the other part of me that says, Going solo is pathetic, 3 hours both ways is a long time on a bus, and I could get some work done that day/night.

Damn you, other part.

So I stand on the precipice of degeneracy. On one hand, if I go, I will be that person most of my family and friends silently worry about. A guy willing to travel 6 hours alone just to gamble. On the other hand, if I don't go, I will be letting down that part of me that feels like poker is needed. Degeneracy is needed. I need to spend more time playing this game live if I am going to be the player I want to be.

The precipice of degeneracy is a weird place to be. I guess until Saturday, I'll just enjoy my view on the top of the fence.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 3:36 PM,

12 Comments:

At 4:33 PM, Blogger BWoP said...

DO IT!!!

Your journey towards the dark side will be complete . . .

 
At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Mary said...

I don't even know why you are deliberating. Just get on the bus already.

I never consider going solo to be pathetic - one less person you have to worry about/depend on.

I also have a great (IMHO) investment idea for all solo travelers to AC - now if I could only get some financial backing.

 
At 4:57 PM, Blogger F-Train said...

The only reason I rarely make a solo trip is because I'm lazy -- having someone else to go with forces me to be at a certain place at a certain time.

It's really not pathetic at all. Not like you're going to be at the same table as anyone else anyway.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

You're not "giong solo". You're riding a bus to meet people in A.C.

If you were "going solo", you wouldn't be meeting anyone there.

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Lucypher said...

Jordan, go for it. You have already acknowledged your non-degenerate side by having this conversation with us and yourself. You work hard. You deserve to play hard. Now, get yourself to AC and kick some poker ass already.

 
At 5:56 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Yowzas! I thought this was one of those introspection, no comments posts. Guess I was wrong.

Some people focus on the "pathetic" part, and while I definitely mentioned it, the real thing holding me back is probably laziness. That, and the vague concern of, "what if something happens to me in AC?" But all of the comments made me realize that I should just pull the trigger and take the day trip. Thanks guys.

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger Uncle Chuck said...

Easy solution. Choke back an entire fatty to yourself before you get on the bus. Save another one for the ride back.

On the way there, focus on poker.

On the way back, don't focus on anything but the wad of cash in your pocket.

I agree with the above - work hard, play hard... and smoke hard... because UncleChuck said so.

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger DP said...

Read a book on the bus... maybe something classic, and perhaps meaningful? That's not an option if you get motion sickness, I guess... unless you take some Dramamine (is that what it's called?) or something.

There's no reason to always be working, and if it's something you'd enjoy that doesn't harm anyone else, then you might regret not going through with it. Use the time to relax (and you've mentioned you can be introverted, so you might not mind the alone time-- outside the apartment) and hopefully have a good time...

Blah. ;)

gl yo

 
At 9:12 PM, Blogger kurokitty said...

Is it degeneracy or knowing yourself? ATL-Tunica is 6:30. Going there yourself is like making the Kessel run.

 
At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. Go to AC. Funny how I have similar type thoughts about AC myself.

 
At 2:01 PM, Blogger genomeboy said...

I think the worst part of this is the bus. Rent a car, take the Holland Tunnel and save yourself 2 hours r/t.

Nothing lame about traveling to AC solo, everything lame about taking the bus...

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah what's the problem with driving down to AC alone, I don't get it. I've done that hundreds of times to play poker, what's the diff if someone else is involved or not.

Hope you won big.

 

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