The worst day of my life was November 26, 2009. That was the day I woke up to a pain in my back I had never before experienced. I had no idea what was going on. That night I ended up in the emergency room in the most agonizing pain I had ever experienced. What I had just lived through was the passing of a kidney stone. The only good part of that experience was the mixture of pain killers the doctor fired into me while I waited on the stone to pass.
Leading up to this wonderful experience, I had encountered the same thing, only in milder form, in the tournament I won at Venetian in the summer, the one where I had Amarillo Slim at my table most of Day 1...and then again at the Final Table. The pain in my lower back came in waves....hurting for 30 minutes...then going away...coming back...back and forth for most of the night. When I returned on the 2nd day, it was still there but not as bad. Finally it stopped. What I think happened that first time is that I passed a very small stone.
So what the hell happened to me yesterday? I finished my blog...got on the bus, and headed for Caesar's to try one more time to win a ring and some National Freeroll points. I arrive in Level 2...and immediately noticed my lower right back hurting. Decided to take a pain killer, hoping it was just a sore back. Started chipping up, at a table of terrible players. If there was going to be a chance to win another ring, this was a very good table to be at. I picked up AA and flatted in middle position behind an early raiser, taking a gamble on someone re-raising or shoving all in behind me. Didn't happen. Instead we got three callers. No sweat...I flopped a set of aces. First guy bet. I called. Third guy called. Turn was nothing too worrisome, first guy bet, this time I raised...and the guy behind me re-raises big. Nice! First guy folds, I shove all in, and he does the Phil Helmuthian move of leaping out of his seat and shoving his chips forward, turning over A-10d...with two diamonds on the board. Uh oh.
No problem, I held. And now had a decent stack. 236 players...$17,000 for first. Let's go! Um. Never mind! False alarm. A little while later...dude raises my BB (again) from the button. The guy in the SB just calls. I call the min raise with 6-7. Flop comes 6-7-J. We both check to him. He bets 1100. SB calls. I sense that button has zilch, and SB has 45. So I re-raise it big. Button folds. SB shoves all in. Huh? Oh boy. Can't fold. He has JJ. Yeah. Jacks! And never re-raised pre-flop. Strange. Lovely, so now I am down to just 5000 at 400/800.
Spend a couple orbits getting no cards and no spot to pick up a round of blinds and antes. Finally get A10 in early position and shove. Getting a walk and picking up a much needed round.
Then this suck-the-life-out-of-me hand happens. Dude who loves to min raise does it again in early position. I look down at AJ and am getting ready to shove...when the guy behind me in SB re-raises it 3x. Son of a ......no way AJ is good here.
First guy calls...holding 88. An ace flops...and this guy in the SB (who it turns out has AQ) doesn't bet. He checks. The turn is nothing, he checks again! What the.....??? Finally, a jack hits the river. Dammit, there goes my triple up! Checks again! Then takes down MY pot!!!
I don't even get done punching myself in the face...when on the very next hand...I get AQ, with the queen of diamonds. Same guy raises again. This time I shove all in. He calls with his AJ. Okay, nice. Got him dominated. Three rag cards, ALL diamonds hit the flop. I glance at my queen of diamonds and am feeling pretty good, until I notice that he has the ace of diamonds. Oh noooooo!!! No more diamonds! Turn is a 2 of spades. Hold baby. Hold!!!! Nope. 6 of diamonds on the river and I was gone. Shit!
On the way out of Caesar's I noticed my back hurting more and more. Damn...should I go to the hospital? At least, having gone through the experience, there is no mystery as to what is ailling me at least. I know what is going on...just wondering how extreme it is and how long I can expect the pain to last.
Why I decided to hobble over to Venetian and play the 3pm $150 Big Bounty tourney I have no freaking idea. But I did. Won my first couple of hands. Table broke...and I get moved to a table with...who else? Gary Bolden. Delightful. And on one of the first couple of orbits he raises on the button into my BB...at 200/400 makes it 1600. I call with K10. To which he immediately starts chirping.
"Nice call sir. Great call." I miss the flop. Check he bets. I fold. "Nice call...nice call."
Normally I might let this bother me...but being in the clutches of kidney stone hell, it was not even registering. I had already made some phone calls, one to a nurse here in Las Vegas, who got me in touch with a doctor. Another to my insurance company...to try and see if I could avoid the astronomical cost of the emergency room, if it came to that. Every time the button would pass me, I would go find a spot to lay down and try to will the pain away.
On one trip to the floor, something very peculiar happens. Gary 'The Terrible' comes over and checks on me, to see if I am okay. Now...talk about your mixed messages. What is he doing? Doesn't he KNOW we are sworn rivals? He so much as told me the day before that he can't stand me...and now here he is coming to check on me. Why? Dammit, why do people have to be so freaking hard to figure out sometimes? Well, I must admit, it did hit a nerve, and told me that maybe underneath all that hatefullness, there is a decent human being in there. Maybe. Or maybe it was just one of those deals where he was hoping to see me dead on the ground and wanted to be the first one to witness it.
I was now getting cold sweats, along with the back pain...and was on the verge of vomiting. Something about the human body, I've learned, you can only endure a certain amount of pain...then the body starts to convulse and then seems to resort to vomiting as some kind of self defense mechanism. Now I had security swarming me...thinking probably that I was some drunk guy passed out and needing to be evicted. I calmly explained to them my condition, that there was nothing anyone could do to help me. Then I crawled over to a garbage can and hurled. Shit!
I finally return to the table. The whole table has a look on their face of sympathy...as they all know now that I am experience the murderous pain of a kidney stone trying to pass. Some have been there, others have just heard about it.
Some dope in a Montana sweatshirt kept pushing all in, for no good reason. 600 in the pot...all in for 12k. He did this about 5 times. I was looking for any good situation to try and gamble with this guy...to either double up to a big stack...or get knocked out, so I could retreat to my hotel room, load up on pain killers, pound liter upon liter of water (to flush out the kidney stone) and crawl into my bed.
So, idiot raises to 2000 (blinds at 300/600) and I call in the SB with A9d. The lady in the BB also calls. The flop comes 9-8-5 rainbow. Perfect. I shove all in for 7200. The lady folds. And dopey insta calls, and turns over A9c. Grrr...guess its a chop...and as I am pulling my chips back from the middle, what happens? Dealer turns a club...then rivers another one...flush! And I am eliminated. Did not even flinch. In fact, I may have done a Tiger Woods-esque fist pump, excited to get out of there and get to my mancave. I made my way to the front of Palazzo, snagged a cab, and was in bed in 10 minutes. Loaded up on Vicodin, drank two liters of water...and passed out.
When I woke up at 10pm...I felt better. No pain. But after getting out of bed and walking around for awhile...I could feel that it was still there. Took another pain killer and decided to finally watch these movies I picked up from RedBox three days ago. First one...'The Ides of March' with George Clooney and that kid who is in every movie these days. Wasn't very impressed. But kind of fun to watch with the Presidential campaigns going on right now. Next up was 'Rise of Planet of the Apes.' That was a good one. Of course I love animals, so it was a bit depressing. The last one was 'The Debt' with Helen Mirren. I thought this looked really good in the trailers...and it might have been, but I kept falling in and out of sleep. It was kind of hard to keep up with. Maybe I just have too short of an attention span, or just aren't smart enough to follow it.
Just got my massive 1800+ person email out for more Super Bowl Squares....got a feeling we are going to set a record this year. Its now 12pm and I have no idea what I want to play today. Maybe that thing they run at the Wynn. I think it's $150 with $100 rebuys till the break. I like the Wynn. And its close by. The Venetian has a $440 tourney called Big Bounty. I'm not really a player who benefits from those, because I rarely bust people. I don't know, might call down and see how many players they have in that...if it's over 200 then I will likely go play that one.
I woke up this morning, and there aren't any signs of pain. Which is good, but also kind of making me nervous...because I know the pain can come and go. And in all the trips I took to the bathroom, not once did I see a stone laying in the bottom of the toilet, which tells me it is still in me somewhere...hopefully having made its way down the urethra and now sitting in my bladder, posing no threat, just waiting to be expelled. So with all that in mind...I'd maybe rather play a smaller buy in in case I have to bolt for the hospital or something. Eating a $450 buy in is a little silly.
Okay...that's all I have for you today. Three blogs in two days? You kidding me? You guys are getting spoiled. But yesterday was the biggest number of hits in one day this month....so I see you guys are paying attention at least! With one day left in the month this blog is at 5,604 hits. Do I hear 6000!??? Unlikely....but crazier things have happened.
Have a Nice Day!