Rei, Rei’s copywriter Justin and i mooched on over to Jody’s quaint seapoint palacio to play poker on thursday night. the night began with chips and beer, peaked at imported butter biscuits with chocolate on them and shuddered to a climax with bags of woolies gum sweets and some coke light. the life of the young and the risky.
The flailing neck in the corner is Jody. His contortion followed him mumbling something about a bald spot.
things went really well considering it was the first time i played for money. in fact around half way through the evening i was a veritable mogul and the rest of the players were wagering their iMacs, their Flickr Pro accounts and one brave sod offered up a removable hard drive to make up for the fact that they didn’t have any chips left. then i went and did what every overconfident, sugar-rushing poker players does; i started abusing my power and making silly bets that i didn’t even care that much about when i really should have folded until 10 minutes before cutoff time and then forced the remaining chips out of the corners of my dwindling foes. but i didn’t do that – i lost my wealth and my power, miserably. i went all in and came out all out. but it did teach me a few very valuable lessons that i can apply to every day agency life.
Head down, game face on, dignity left at the door. A bit like presenting a concept to a client who doesn't like concepts.
lesson #1: if you don’t have money to start with, you’re not going to make money. you might make a little money. pussy money. but this is not going to make you rich, and you should keep visualising that wine farmer / applying for a management position / ‘moving into PR’.
lesson #2: once you click how the game works, you will think you own it, and that it’s your bitch. the game, like advertising, is not your bitch. it will lull you into a false sense of confidence in your wildly wonderful creative skills / card flare / luck vibes, but ultimately, you will spend a lot of time beating yourself up for folding before you saw the cards / doubling up the blinds when you were rich / talking like a texan oil baron because that’s the effect money has on you.
lesson #3: the person to your left, whom you call a friend during daylight hours, is fucking you over and cheating you out of your money. i don’t even need to put an advertising spin on that one.
lesson #4: the drunker you can be while playing, the better. sucks for me, since i still haven’t decided on a brand alignment or signed an endorsement deal with an alcopop. 2 cans of coke light down and you get a little jittery. you get annoyed that you have to keep telling the person to the left that it’s their turn. when you tap out your host thinks there’s someone at the door and when he jumps up to answer it, you want to kill him, so you shove a handful of woolies sweets in your mouth and make a resolution not to eat carbs tomorrow. gah!
lesson #5: poker is way better than ad agency-based book club. and i don’t just say this because the king james book club has rejected my application to join them in their naff little meets in the library on fridays. i don’t even want to join their bookclub. i already have a bookclub, even though it’s in jozi, and i hardly get to see them, but i get to watch them on tv because they are so fabulous top billing and the like enjoy following them around. i say this because when we play poker, we all start out as equals, whereas agency bookclub seems to have some sort of strange heirarchy built into it involving a chairman who doesn’t even work at the agency and looks like stephen king. i’m not bitter. i’m just saying.