“It’s the easiest thing in the world, to become a professional poker player. All you have to do is quit your job.” – Tommy Angelo
So after I dealt with work, talked to my friends there, and told them I was not coming in, I really did not know what I was going to do. My initial plan was to take two weeks to myself and then sit down and make a plan. During those two weeks I was at Fenway Park nearly every night as the Red Sox won 21 games out of 28 that month. This was all after the shocking move of trading long time short-stop Nomar Garciaparra. I was on the high of highs, running good like the Red Sox. I was really enjoying the freedom.
So August slipped by and we were onto September. I kept telling myself I would get my resume together. I kept playing on Pacific Poker and Party Poker and making trips down to Foxwoods to play the $20/$40 LHE game when the Red Sox were on the road. And when I wasn’t playing online, I ended up in Fenway park as the sox made their run to the playoffs. I was even at the 1st game of the 2004 playoffs versus the Anaheim Angels.
ALDS Game 3: David Ortiz’s two-run homer in the 10th off Jarrod Washburn completes an 8-6 win and the Sox’ sweep of the Angels.
It was magic. Leaving Fenway that night you could feel something special was about to happen. Ortiz was crushing the ball with very timely hits and it was amazing to watch. I get chills just thinking about it.
And we all know how this story goes. After the Sox sweep the Angels, they go to play the dreaded New York Yankees. There is a ESPN 30 for 30 film coming out called, “Four Days in October”, the trailer gives me chills:
I didn’t get to any of the ALCS games versus the Yankees. The ticket prices were exceedingly high after Game 4. I did have my season tickets for the World Series and I went to Game 2.
Game 2 of the World Series in Fenway was one of the most amazing things I will ever witness in my life. The ticket taker made sure he said, “Welcome to Game Two of the World Series” to EVERYONE who walked, and I just got the chills while typing. I walked in the back gate, under the bleachers, there was electricity in the air, this glow, this energy, everyone just smiling as they got their peanuts and beer. A four piece jazz band was playing under the bleechers and the sound was bouncing off the walls and it felt like you just entered a time warp, back to 1918, when the Red Sox last one the World Series. Settled into my seats just as James Taylor started the National Anthem. This was going to be a special event for sure.
The Sox won game one of the World Series and our hero Curt Schilling was back on the mound for what would be known as Bloody Sox II. (The Sock is now in the Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY.)
From Schilling’s Wiki:
Schilling pitched (and won) Game 2 of the 2004 World Series for the Red Sox against the St. Louis Cardinals. In both series, he had to have the tendon in his right ankle stabilized repeatedly, in what has become known as the Schilling Tendon Procedure, after the tendon sheath was torn during his Game 1 ALDS appearance against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. As in Game 6 of the ALCS, Schilling’s sock was soaked with blood from the sutures used in this medical procedure, but he still managed to pitch seven strong innings, giving up one run on four hits, and striking out four. This second bloody sock was placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame after Boston’s victory over St. Louis in the World Series.
I was there.
It was amazing.
I have never been higher on life than ever before.
Wait, this blog is about my poker story right?
Oh yeah, poker.
During August, September and October 2004, I had spent a good chunk of my savings, barely played any poker, turned 32 years old, the Red Sox won the world series for the first time in 86 years, and I do not think I had a sober night.
Suddenly after all the rush was over with, I sobered up.
Oh yeah, poker.
Why don’t I just play poker? I love poker. It allowed me to enjoy these three months so why not stick with poker?
Yup Poker it is. I sober up. I tell my parents. I run bad.