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Daniel - Poker Journal

A Day in the Twilight Zone

25 Feb 2005

I woke up this morning at around 10:00am to shower and head over to a recording studio to do The Business of Sports, a television show with the Fan 590's Bob McGowan.

I aired live via satellite and discussed the PPT, the WPT, and poker business in general. Then at 12:30pm I was scheduled to do a radio interview with a Cleveland radio station but they had some breaking news so the interview was postponed.

While in LA I decided to head over to the Beverly Center and do some window shopping and get a hair cut while I was there. On the way out I decided to grab a snack for the road back toward the Commerce so I headed into Quiznos.

Once inside, I noticed this dude staring at me while I was looking over the menu. He was there with what appeared to be a friend and I overheard them talking while I was ordering.

It became pretty clear to me that they recognized me and were talking about me. Just then, one of the guys said to me in a very San Fransisco-esque tone, "I hear you're single cutie, you ever play with boys?"

Huh! What the... is this for real! I'd been hit on by guys before but never quite like this. "Sorry dude, I don't swing that way bro." I said.

"How do you know unless you try." he replied.

I didn't think there needed to be a reply, but nonetheless I said, "I just know dude. Trust me I just know." He was being kind of pushy and it genuinely made me a little uncomfortable.

I made sure to order my sub to go and I darted back to my car. I don't have any problem with gay people at all but this guy was kinda creepy, gay or straight.

About 2:30pm I headed back to the hotel for a 3:30pm interview. My GPS system said it should take 18 minutes to get there, but of course I was in LA so you need to add an hour to everything. At 3:30pm I let the guy know that I was stuck in traffic but that I was only 8 miles away so I should be there soon. That 8 mile drive took a solid 40 minutes and I finally got there at around 4:10pm. I fully understand now why people in LA have issues with stress, this is ridiculous!

Immediately after that interview I had to shoot a few spots for www.pokerupdates.com. We did them outside and by that time it was getting cold so we only got through a few of them. I then head back to my room, changed quickly and headed to my next set of interviews for the PPT.

First, E-DOG and I did a fun interview together, and then I did my solo interview after that was over.

By about 9:00pm, E-DOG, Josh, and I were hungry so we decided to get away from the casino for a while and head to the city. I knew a great restaurant on Sunset Blvd. called Mirabelle's that was close by the Comedy Stop which is where we planned on heading next.

Dinner was awesome. The food was great but more importantly the conversation was meaningful. We talked about life: future, past, and present. Male bonding at it's best!

Once dinner was over we headed down the road to the Comedy Stop. On the way there we were talking about Chris Rock, possibly my favorite comedian. I love his delivery and his sense of timing, just a comical genius in every sense of the word.

So wouldn’t you know it, as we got to the Comedy Store guess who just finished a surprise set? Yup, Chris Rock himself. If only we could have cut our conversation just 15 minutes shorter!

Oh well, we were still excited to hear some great comedy. When we got there the first thing that came to my mind was that this place smells a little like vomit. I'd never been to the Comedy Stop before and had no idea what to expect, but it had a very dingy feel to it.

When we got there a mediocre comic was just wrapping up and the next guy was pretty funny. Not Chris Rock funny, but his delivery was good and he used the crowd (or what was left of it) well.

It was getting late, just past midnight, so we were just hoping for a decent follow up act.... wow. Oh my. Wow. I, I, I don't even know how to describe it?

This guy comes on stage and was introduced as a comic with just two days experience. He starts off playing the role of a very nervous comic reading from a napkin. Ok, I could see the potential here if he is willing to be self-deprecating.

After about 10 minutes though, he was still playing the unfunny comic and doing a “way too good” job of it! He was just bad. Josh, Erick and I just looked at each other baffled?

Finally the comic said, "Ok guys, did you not like that material?" I thought this was part of his act and that he was maybe going to start his actual routine now so I said, "No, can't say that it was buddy."

He looked at me deadpanned and was like, "What was wrong with it. I'm trying out this new character. What didn't you like about the material?"

"It was weak." I told him. No one in the audience disagreed with me, I think they had to be equally baffled at this point.

"Ok that didn't work" he said, "I tried something new and ‘that guy’ doesn't like it so I guess I'm eating it tonight."

I was like, what? "That guy" didn't like it? How about, nobody laughed... EVER dude! Anyway, I was still optimistic and rooting for the guy to make a good comeback. Maybe he could make fun of me, I didn't mind helping the guy out. Hey, I'll throw him a bone for the sake of his set.

But nope, this guy was serious? He was really upset. Angry almost that the audience didn't think anything he had to say was funny. That's when I felt a little uneasy. This dude was creepy!

He went off on a depressive rant and then left the stage finally. At that point I was genuinely worried that he was unstable and may go postal on me and the rest of the crowd.

We were all glad it was over and were hoping that the next comic might help lighten the mood. Nope, this guy wasn't as bad but he might as well have been. We had given up at that point and headed for the door.

On the way out we saw the first comic and let him know what a great job he did. They all recognized us from the WPT which made me feel even more uneasy in some ways. I just didn't want that dude to know who I was after realizing how unstable he may be.

We got out of the club and a "gansta dude" called out my name. At this point I'm already a little freaked out but decided to listen to him. He went on to explain to me that he runs a legal herbal marijuana room here in town. "Sorry man, I've never smoked a joint in my life." I told him. He proceeded to give me his card anyway and told me that he might see me down the road since he has some "hook ups" at the Commerce whatever that means.

I turned to Erick and Josh and said, "Dude, let's get out of here man I feel like I'm in the twilight zone. We're in HollyWeird over here.”

We headed over to where the car was parked and once again some slightly overweight blonde dude screams out at me, "Dude are you from Cleveland?"

"No man, I'm from Chicago sorry." I replied.

"Are you sure you're not from Cleveland dude? I coulda swore I knew you."

"No man, I've never been to Cleveland sorry." After all the bizarre things that happened to me during the day this normally mundane moment freaked me out a little bit as well.

"Ok man, you have like a twin in Cleveland though just so you know."

At that point I yelled out to Erick, "E-DOG, hit the gas man this place is nutty!"

Now I know it wasn't just me because both Erick and Josh said, "Dude, you need to burn that blog of yours, this is getting kinda creepy."

No kidding. It's given me a newfound realization of how important it is to maintain some degree of privacy. While I don't mind sharing personal details about my life at all, days like this one make me realize how important it is that I don't go overboard with it. Next time I go to HolyWeird I’m going to make sure I bring a couple 6’ 4” ex-fighters with me. Not that Josh and E-DOG aren’t tough enough, but you never can be too careful!

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