Monday, October 23, 2006

Nietzsche Died of Syphilis

"Is man one of God's blunders? Or is God one of man's blunders?" - Nietzsche
My favorite aspect about working on Wall Street was that I legally gambled with other people's money. I got experience the rush without the financial liability.

There are moments when I'm in a casino and I'll hear someone utter that infamous and dangerous phrase, "You're playing with House money!"

That's where the gambler knows that he or she is up but presses the issue because they're not gambling with their money... it's the casinos money or rather it's the money that used to belong to a fellow tourist or addicted local. Yes when you win, you win losers' money. Regardless of how hot you're playing, throwing, or nailing bets... there's resinated bad karma attached to every single chip that you possess. Like germs invading your weakened immune system, microscopic flakes of negative karma influence your gambling senses. It doesn't matter if you cash out your chips at the cage. The paper Benjamins that line your pocket also used to belong to... losers.

That blatant disregard for the concept of money is what often allows poker players to make better decisions at the tables, but it also allows the degenerate darkside of human nature take control of your weaknesses and addictions and they keep gambling when they should quit while they are ahead. One moment you were up a grand at the blackjack tables daydreaming about how you were going to spend that money before a cute dealer from Saigon cold decks your ass into oblivion and you walk away from the pit with a warm Corona and a cheap feeling like you've been fucked in an extremely uncomfortable place in a dark corner of a Turkish bath house.

But that's why the majority of people gamble, because they are addicted to losing. Don't believe me? Just walk around a local's casino on the outskirts of Las Vegas, and you'll see the soulless zombies emptying their bank accounts and spending their social security checks for the chance of one more slot pull.

For one more hand of blackjack.

For one more toss of the dice.

I wonder how many people sitting in the rows of slot machines actually believe in God? They certainly whisper his name in desperation with every pull of the lever or while they're on the brink of elimination in a poker tournament.

"Please God. One time!"

And like most of your prayers, they go unanswered by God. If he does exist he has more important things to do than help you spike your two outer on the river.

* * * * *

I'm 44-6 in picking college football games over the last five weeks. I'm picking 88% without the spreads. That's not too shabby. Too bad I couldn't pick an NFL team to save my life. I had a perfect week in the NFL three weekends ago, but now I have no idea what's going on over the last two weeks. Perhaps it's variance or parity or the simple fact that I suck. I should go back to gambling on women's field hockey.

The best part about Party Poker closing down is that there are more players at the middle low-limit tables on Full Tilt. There used to be no more than a couple of 5/10 tables or 10/20 tables going and you'd never see anyone at playing 8/16 limit. This is no longer the case. I've been grinding off a reload bonus at the 5/10 tables with occasional forays into 8/16 short-handed and 10/20.

Every time I walk into a bank or the post office or stand in an airport security line there are two things that will eventually happen to me:
1. I'll either get stuck standing in front or behind the most annoying person on the planet.
2. I'll get stuck in the slowest line as it inches forth every few minutes like a morose Russian bread line circa 1981.
That's life's little evil way of evening things up on Planet Pauly. Karmic balance. Kind of like being card dead for an hour and finally finding Q-Q and raising in late position only to get three callers as both an Ace and a King hit the flop. Or when I finally flop a set with a baby pair, the turn fills a flush and I foolishly call all the way to the river because I can't let go of a set.

Despite the fact that those things seem to always happen to me... I still continue to stand in the slow line at the grocery store and I still play my big pairs and sets hard. Is it because I'm addicted to gambling and losing? Or is it that I don't have anything else better to do at the time?

I should be speaking out against the worst Congress in the history of American politics, saving the Costa Rican spider monkeys, and rescuing Malawain children from the puerile grips of over-the-hill menopausal 1980s pop stars. But I'm not, because I'm selfish and I really don't give a shit as the dominant existentialist voice takes control of the karaoke microphone inside my head and he screams, "Time to fire up Poker Stars. Life is utterly meaningless. Let's gambooooool."

* * * * *

Here are 5 Random Things I Did in LA Over the Weekend:
1. While on a early morning jog, I pissed in an alley off of Olympic Blvd.
2. A former Baywatch actress stood in line behind Change100 and myself at Zankou Chicken.
3. I won $5 playing a $3 scratch lottery ticket that Showcase bought me.
4. I cracked A-A with SMTL after I flopped trip 3s.
5. I discovered that I'm three inches taller than the greatest living drummer in this solar system, Stanton Moore from New Orleans, as we stood face-to-face at the House of Blues in West Hollywood and I asked him to play my favorite Galactic song.

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