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Old 06-11-2018, 03:46 PM   #1151
Truestoryteller
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Gimme The Loot
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

I wish there were some logic to it other than having experienced difficulty before, because I would love to travel and see friends that I have around the world. I wouldn't say I have access to boatloads of meds, but I do know who to go to in order to get what I am looking for. I have discussed this with Nicole as we had plans for work and I don't want to leave her for dead - I think she knows enough to break even at 4/8 limit. I would even consider putting her in the 1k Ladies event but she's never played at a real casino.

My other real reason to drive is I really like to drive and haven't seen New Mexico or Nevada, and most of Texas. Florida is miserably hot this time of year and the canals are filled with algae thanks to to the South Florida Water Management district. Not that Vegas is cooler but the open desert always fascinated me when I went to Tucson and Phoenix.

My other plan would to go visit my friends in Richmond, VA. One just got back from Poland and doesn't have a phone or car, he reads this read though so John check your emails, lol. The other doesn't do social media and is hard to get a hold of.

In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas of playing in the Southeast, I am up for a roadtrip just about anywhere in the Southeast.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:30 PM   #1152
sw_emigre
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Something I've never really understood about the whole "go to Vegas during WSOP and play cash games" idea is that, in my town at least, some of the top players are taking a week+ to go there. That has meant that my room has had smaller wait lists and more recs in the game. Frankly the last week was the best I've seen it in a while.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:32 AM   #1153
jcorb
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

I live in Arizona and play at the Indian casinos, Talking Stick in Scottsdale is the best one in the state.

It's 110 ***** degrees here right now and I can barely stand it. Playing low limit at the local card rooms with the nits, omc's and general jerks tilts me as bad as the heat but then again we build our own hell don't we?

I wonder what the market would be in the rich areas of Phoenix for rare plants? There are some cacti that goes for big bucks.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:52 AM   #1154
VegasGroove
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw_emigre View Post
Something I've never really understood about the whole "go to Vegas during WSOP and play cash games" idea is that, in my town at least, some of the top players are taking a week+ to go there. That has meant that my room has had smaller wait lists and more recs in the game. Frankly the last week was the best I've seen it in a while.
The quality of players that flood into town during WSOP is, quite frankly, abyssmal. Free money for the taking. Case in point: at the Orleans this Friday night I just cashed out up $800 after only two hours in a 4-8 Limit game. (I only left due to a legit family emergency.) Friday's 7pm $130 NLH tournament at the Orleans, which consistently has 200-215 players each week, had over 350 runners that night. Over 100 of them busted during the first 3 levels. Lemme tell ya, these fellas came to gamboooool! And, as they got knocked out of the tourney, they immediately headed over to the cash games... where we were waiting for them.

Point is... I can confirm that it is DEFINITELY worth it to make the trip here for the cash games. If I didn't live here already I would certainly make the trip.

Didja ever see that nature special about the ocean that showed a massive biomass of baitfish, packed into a tight ball, getting utterly eviscerated by larger fish attacking from all sides, and by whales from below, and even by gamuts diving from above?
That's a perfect parallel to what I saw happening on Friday.
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:48 AM   #1155
Truestoryteller
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Route 80/70

A few days later I met up with Tim, Willy, Rhett (who was very into this as well), and the two guys from Myakka City who were the test strip slingers, we can call them Clayton and Trevor. I knew Trevor a little bit only because he had caught a charge for possession of coke, but was actually a pretty cool guy. They claimed to be cousins, but Myakka City is one of those places where the family trees don't branch much - everyone is cousins with someone in the town. They refused to pick me up on the south side of town so I had to drive 25 miles north just to get to them, only to double back past the same area. They had a route and a method and I wasn't going to persuade them otherwise. Tim insisted he ride shotgun and no one contested it - Tim needed the space.

Thankfully when I showed up in this commercial complex, the kind where you rent garages for storage or work, I saw we were riding in a late model Ford Expedition. I didn't feel like sitting leg to leg with Willy and Rhett in a sedan, the trip back I was sure I was going to pass out and claimed the third row seat. We left around 5pm and headed out on Route 70 towards Arcadia, passing their hometown of Myakka City. As backwards as the place was, it was one of the few communities in Manatee County that was untouched by suburban sprawl and had an old Florida feel about it. It also had that feeling that if you ventured off the main road you might start to hear the sound of banjos getting ever so stronger. We reached Arcadia and it was dinner time - it was another 150 miles the way we were going and only a few small towns along the way. Though Arcadia is a small country town, there is a Sonic there and everyone but me agreed it was a great idea. They have some very creative and different items than most fast food places, but most burgers and sandwiches are just a mashed edible mass that looks like nothing on the actual menu. Tim chugged down two or three chili dogs with a massive coke and I got something resembling a bacon cheeseburger.

Heading south on Route 31, we were to eventually meet up with Route 80 in Fort Myers Shores, a suburb on Fort Myers on a narrow part of the Caloosahatchee River. Route 80 is a very old road, and one of the few ways to get across the state this far south. It starts in downtown Fort Myers as Palm Beach Boulevard, and heads East for about 15 miles before we caught up with it. Just before we hit the road we crossed the old drawbridge over the river, and on the right is a marina I visited 12 years before to test drive a 1967 Donzi Sweet Sixteen - a boat I had wanted since I had my first boat in high school. It was modeled after a 50's style hot rod, designed by Don Aronow, and this model had a foot pedal for a throttle. Back in 2004 I was a preppy kid that wanted a classy boat; driving past that marina, I knew that person was gone, that was an entirely different life I had lived. Thinking about those days sometimes made me very depressed, as my life had hard forked and I wasn't sure if I had made the right turn. As we turned left onto 80 heading East, the traffic started to bore me and I looked behind the seat at the strips. I had a type 1 diabetic girlfriend, but didn't remember what test strips even looked like. I peeled open one of the boxes and saw it was just a bunch of cases. There were 4 or 5 of these boxes, as well as a smaller box that was sealed, it looked quite different from the others but otherwise pretty normal.

"What are ya lookin' at back there?" Trevor was driving but could see me in the rearview.

"What do you think I'm looking at?" As if there was anything else to look at than boxes of boxes.

"Don't touch the strips man, these guys only liked unopened merchandise." He was keeping my temptation to whip out a tester kit and check my blood sugar at bay.

We trekked on the four lane highway and reached LaBelle, the first of about a half dozen small towns between Fort Myers and West Palm. The towns would get progressively shadier along the route - I made it a point never to stop unless I absolutely had to. LaBelle is an old town, though the demographics have changed a lot lately due to immigration - it is now one of many interior cities where Central American migrants live a low cost lifestyle and commute either to the citrus and sugar cane fields or all the way back to Fort Myers. The landowning locals comprised the minority here but could be seen in their jacked up brand new heavy duty diesel trucks. Kelly actually used to own a house here and foreclosed on it because the town was hot, boring, and getting more dangerous during the recession. The main intersection in town boasts a courthouse and a McDonald's, which caught Tim's attention; thankfully the drive-thru was wrapped around the building and no one wanted to wait.

"There's another one in Clewiston, don't worry," I reassured Tim. I was hoping it would be closed by the time we got there, but 35 miles later we were parked out front so he could get his fill. Trevor and Clayton double checked on the boxes like they were gold bullion and I stared in the dark at the shops I had passed so many times before. Clewiston is in the Northwest corner of Hendry County, large in size but about 10% of the population of Lee County where Fort Myers and Cape Coral are next door. It was known for being the sugar cane capital of the nation, and had an Air Force training base during World War II. Times had fallen hard on the town, it was like LaBelle mostly a migrant town full of laborers and low wage field workers. Back in 2013 I had actually driven out here to meet up with a girl who had come with her sister to my nursery, she was 19 at the time and was quite interested in a serious relationship, that story is for another time though. We jumped back in the car and didn't make it more than five miles until Willy had forgotten to go to the bathroom and I had them roll up into John Stretch Park right alongside Lake Okeechobee. The bathroom was a ****hole, and no one was ever there when I came here. Plenty of parking spaces and picnic tables made the place inviting, but most visitors here were probably just meetups for drug deals or hooking up. As Willy was blowing up the toilet, I made the hike up to the overlook on the lake - there is an 11 foot levee blocking the view, and as I got there all I saw was more swamp. The lake was dry this time of year and though it was huge, it was very shallow, murky, and full of runoff from the farms all around it. It stunk like low tide, and the only view I had of anything was a huge thunderstorm in the distance. I got back as Willy was done and they were smoking a joint outside the truck. I was glad as if we got pulled over between here and West Palm, we were probably going to get stuck in a jail cell in a shady town full of real criminals.

The next couple of towns on Route 80 are some of the poorest, most dangerous small towns in the nation. The first was South Bay, named this because it is at the Southernmost tip of the Lake. This is 100% sugarcane territory, and the landowners are insanely rich while rundown quadplexes dot the main road. At this point, you can continue south on 27 and head to Miami along the canal, or turn left and head over the canal to Belle Glade. Belle Glade sounds like a beautiful town, and probably once was at some point in the mid 20th century. When refugees from all over the Caribbean came to work in the fields outside of Miami, sometime in the past forty years the Jamaicans and Haitians were forced out of the city as it grew and found work out in the cane fields for next to nothing. Both sides of the road are lined with fields as far as the eye can see, but once in town the scenery looks like an inner city ghetto. Pawn shops, check cashing places, and dollar stores are the most prominent, and people are all over the streets at night. This would be normal in a big city, but a small town at 10pm, this was usually people out looking to score or people looking to make money the easy way. The remnants of Everglades Hospital looked like the beginning to a Resident Evil game with an art deco twist - it was painted in that pastel pink that was once very popular and is now dated.

Before we hit Belle Glade I heard the cracking of a metal can top up front and the smell of rubbing alcohol with a sweet yeast afterthought came through the car. It didn't take me long to determine that Clayton in the passenger seat had helped himself to a Natty Ice in the cooler. I never understood why people who supposedly made good money would drink alcohol whose only purpose was to get you blackout drunk. I hadn't touched the stuff since I was 16 and blacked out twice in one month from the stuff, but the memory of that smell never goes away. I tried to talk him out of it but he finished it in five minutes as we hit the main stretch of Belle Glade, a quick jog north before the final turn sent you East to the West Palm metro area.

"I gotta take a ****, pull over at the gas station here." Tim was feeling the effects of the Sonic sooner than I expected. I tried to explain to him that this was not the town to go wandering around, he was going to stick out like a sore thumb. The only gas station open in town had a couple donks at the pumps and 8-10 guys hanging out front with bars on the windows. "Well ****, I'm not going to go here, I'll wait for the next place.

"The next place is 40 miles dude, can you hold it?" I explained just how far away we were from everything else. He got out of the car and waddled over to the front door, went in, came back out with one of those keys with a big piece of wood attached so you wouldn't steal it and used the outside bathroom. After 10 minutes or so he came out and giving the key back and walking through the crowd, he came back with a look on his face like he had seen something that he could never unsee.

"Let's just get the **** out of here. There was **** on the walls, stuff written in ****, I had to hold onto the sink to balance myself over the toilet." We headed north and took the right to head East through the miles and miles of cane fields that separated us from civilization.

This stretch of highway was the most desolate and most dangerous if one were to break down. Forty miles of sugarcane separates the Lake from the edge of civilization on the East Coast. The fields once provided a purpose for the area, but after carving up the Everglades and the cheap importation of sugar from outside the US, these canes were just heavily subsidized and fairly useless. Every summer the runoff from the fields causes the Lake to swell up with green tainted water which would then be dumped through the South Florida Water Management's canal system and invade the beaches from Port St. Lucie to Miami on the East Side and Marco Island sometimes all the way to Tampa on the West Coast. Algae stinks of low tide 24/7 and certain types of algae, known as the red tide, can cause respiratory problems similar to bronchitis in the middle of the summer. If the Army Corps of Engineers ****ed up one ecosystem in the 20th century, it was the Everglades. They blocked a slowly rolling river from Orlando to the southern tip of the state and chopped it up into canals and dammed it up, destroying the natural process. It was along this canal that Tim decided he needed to fertilize the water with his personal sewage hole. We had to pull over again and he leaned onto the truck while we sat inside, away from mosquito swarms, gators, and snakes that called the Everglades home. I handed him half a roll of paper towels out the window, by the time he got back in the truck, they were all gone.

"Damn dude, that Sonic destroyed my stomach, it's all ****ed up now." This is why I never eat ****ty food on a road trip.

As we finally entered the West Palm metro area, my hopes for having a chance to play at Palm Beach Kennel Club dwindled as we took a quick turn on D road in Loxahatchee, 12 miles short of the Club, and with it already past 11pm thanks to our great route and navigation skills, I knew our chances of playing were basically nil. At this point I just wanted to get back to the other coast before sunrise, hoping I would get something out of this ridiculous trip. Loxahatchee was a town I was pretty familiar with - I had a few friends who lived here and had plant nurseries, as well as a few clients who had bought a lot of plants from me in the past. Route 80 as it comes into the West Palm area encounters two towns first on each side of the road - on the South side is Wellington, arguably the horse riding capital of the US and a very boring deed restricted community where everyone had identical houses, and on the North side was Loxahatchee, the cheaper, more rural alternative. Neither town was meant to be suitable for human habitation - they were swamps that were drained and chopped up; in Loxahatchee, these were 5 acre lots with the idea of rural living near a major metro area. Like many planned communities throughout Florida, some attracted a variable crowd, and this town was a mix of everything, from farmers to equestrians to a shadier type of resident, the ones you see on COPS. It is a large town geographically, but many lots were empty or never cleared, and the deeper you go off route 80, the sketchier things got. I don't think a single road is paved in the entire town, and the bumpy dirt roads were doing a number on Tim's condition. The car already smelled like he had shat himself which was most likely the case, but outside didn't smell much better with standing swamp water everywhere.

Five miles on the dirt road brought us to a string of lights and a property that had seen better days. From the lighting the house was various shades of lighter blue, a sign that it was once a darker blue but a decade or two of the Florida sun had destroyed this color in various degrees. It was an 80s ranch house, lacking the contours and boring lines of most new houses in Florida with fake Spanish tile and colors, but also lacking any definition as it was one long structure with outdated windows and it was hard to tell where the front door was. Clayton, Trevor and Willy got out and went to the front door, while Tim and I hung out by the car. People appeared at the front and there were greetings as some guy my age and his wife came out - everyone was wearing wife beaters and military style cargo pants like it was some sort of MS-13 convention. Sitting on the tailgate of the truck, I was smoking, listening to the sounds that were unmistakably Florida. Cuban tree frogs, buzzing mosquitos, and a cackling owl in the trees as well as unknown insects hanging around the canal waters making odd squeaking noises. After the greeting and handshakes, they came over to me and I introduced myself to Shawn and Shana - these people had definitely been on COPS before. Shawn had that ragged look of drinking Natty Ice first thing in the morning coupled with a two pack a day Newport habit. Shana was also in a similar degree of disrepair, like Shawn she had that flat-bodied look that was either alcoholism, meth, or both. They looked ten years older than me at least but Shana and I shared a birthday, hers a year later in 1982. They were from Kentucky and somehow knew Clayton and Trevor from back home, they were probably related somehow as most people in the state were. Despite their rough look, they were surprisingly energetic.

"Let's see what we got this time!" Shawn exclaimed as he opened the boxes containing the testing supplies and looked through them like he had to make sure they were legit. He opened a box to check its contents as if he were tapping into a kilo of coke like they did in the movies. Yeah..... its all there buddy.

"And what else did you get Clayton my man?" The smaller boxes seemed to be of equal if not greater importance than the testing boxes. Shawn broke out a large filet knife that appeared out of nowhere and cut open the package, opening the box and revealing four small bottles. He was reading the front, squinting at it from 2 inches away but I could already tell what they were - Roxy 30s. These weren't in a prescription bottle either, they were what you got from the manufacturer, I knew a little bit about it thanks to my sister's pharmaceutical background. There had to be 20 bottles, and even 2000 pills at $15 dollars had a street value of about $30,000 wholesale and double that if you shipped them up north for retail. This is what separated the Kentucky boys and Willy from the East Coast - they had a market. Ten years ago, all of the pill mills were in this area, and after a bunch of crackdowns, they moved North and West to Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando. The South Florida metroplex had run dry of shady doctors who would hand it out - they either lost their license, went to jail, or moved. I was honestly in awe when I saw that many pills in one place, then pretty pissed when I realized what I had gotten myself into, more what they had deceived me into believing. It was like hero calling all-in with Ace high for your whole stack and being shown the nuts - you feel very misled but had good intentions. I had to make money other than the game and pushing Roxy blues was not what I had in mind. I started to feel anger as I saw them counting down the testing supplies and getting a few thousand, and then what appeared to be 15k for the pills. I found myself walking around, down the street on the gravel, up and down the driveway, I wanted to go home.

We were there for over an hour, which is what I expected coming into this, but by the time I had found out this wasn't a legit business I wanted to get home ASAP. I had nothing to gain from doing a ride along with a couple pill pushers and everything to lose if we had gotten pulled over. Over the course of the hour, they had asked me to come inside to hang out in the house and meet their pitbulls, but I already knew the type of place - crappy discolored tile, the odor of a dog's ******* from every room, random dog**** bombs scattered around the house, the kind of place you pissed outside because you didn't want to open the bathroom.

"Your friend Liam there doesn't seem that talkative or interested in our project, you sure it was a good idea for him to come along?" This was asked in a nice manner but I felt like he was projecting his anxiety about someone new there into some form of passive aggression, something that was meant to scare me.

"Listen Shawn, I'm sure you make a lot of money doing this, but I am not interested, you are right. I came here with the idea that you guys were making money legitimately. I am 34 years old and I don't have time to go down any more dead end careers, I have a lot to lose and I am aware of it. Maybe you should be more self-aware, both of you." Shana talked for the second time tonight and she was pissed. Unfortunately she was a little bit out of it, her teeth were not in (if she had dentures), and her Appalachia accent made it impossible to catch much of what she was saying, but she was defending why Shane did what he did for a living. This is why they were a perfect fit for Florida - self righteous ignorant rednecks were the unfortunate backbone of much of suburban and rural Florida, but usually not this far south. We were on the fringes of the Miami metro area and these people had to nest like rats on the outskirts of civilization.

I told them I was ready to go when they were done conducting business, and I felt like I was the DD and just told my drunk buddies it was last call and I was going to leave them there. There was something about me being there that made or broke the deal, I just didn't understand why. I was mad that it was past midnight now, I was in the sticks, and I had a long drive home just to my car and then some. I could tell Tim wanted to use their bathroom but he hobbled down the street, their house was that filthy. There was a lot of talk outside, I laid back in the 3rd seat and just waited. Tim got in and I asked him if we needed to stop and get him new pants and he wasn't really in the joking mood after bending over the canal water and fertilizing it. The rest of the guys filed in the backseat and Willy was driving.

"Can we take a normal route home please? This is a 3 hour drive if you just go the right way on 70. They were worried about getting lost, and this twisty weird route was the only way they knew to stay off the highways. It was like a 10 year old was driving, I just told them where to turn and to head over the North side of the lake.

Before anyone had studied the ecology of the Everglades, no one realized that the middle of the state South of Orlando was basically one slow moving river into Florida Bay, starting with the Kissimmee river flowing into the Lake on the North end. Near where the river meets the Lake is a town called Cypress Quarters, it was a hideout for old working class gringos from Miami who had moved out when everyone else moved in. We eventually stopped at the only 24 hour store for 50 miles, everyone was hungry and wanted to get out of the car thanks to the smell of Tim. We walked inside, and at 2am you can expect only the finest upstanding citizens of the area shopping. After going to the bathroom, Tim and Rhett went into the clothing section and managed to find Tim's size thank the lord. Everyone got some food and Tim actually wore the clothes he bought with tags still on them and scanned the tags at the self-checkout. His other clothes were missing so I assumed he threw them away. He had also purchased a few of the mini pecan pies, a Monster XXL, and Walmart's finest bacon and cheese macaroni salad. We got back into the car all eating, and I felt a little better knowing we were on the home stretch back to Bradenton.

"Listen man, the main reason we brought you along for all this, this whole ride, it wasn't for the test strips. Sure they make some extra cash, but its nothing compared to the pills we can sell to those guys." Trevor was talking to me as if I were on the fence with helping them, and I didn't see how I could even help them. I asked him where he had gotten the other bottles, and he said a disgruntled pharmacy tech took them on her last day and somehow they couldn't find her. Apparently the cops were looking for her, but she had moved out of state. It dawned on me why I was here the whole time. My sister was a pharmacy tech that had just gotten her MBA and was looking for another job. Tim must have told them, it was the only way they would have known.

"So you want my sister to help you? You do realize my sister has worked for Walgreens for 10 years, owns a house in town, and isn't going to risk jail time over a few thousand dollars?" My sister was the last person who would do this, she was embarrassed just to fill my prescriptions in front of her coworkers. They continued to talk to me as if there was some chance of me buying into this, and I had to explain to them that this just wasn't going to happen. They decided to pull over in a field in the middle of nowhere to take a piss and smoke a couple joints. What went down next was something you had to actually see to believe. It was getting a little cold, and as I walked back to the truck after going to the bathroom I saw this profile of Tim - his new clothes were all black and he looked like a bankrobber with his hoodie on. All of a sudden the shorts he had bought dropped to the ground and unfortunately he was going commando; fortunately his stomach covered the family jewels but he exclaimed that the drawstring had broken and was waddling around now holding his shorts halfway on. During this time, Clayton and Trevor were both smoking cigarettes and were clearly high as ****, as much so that I told them I would drive and they were okay with that. Trevor dropped his cigarette and managed to bend down and in a perfect motion, impaled the cherry of Clayton's cigarette in his nostril, proceeded to freak out and it broke off inside. Trevor had played a tough drug dealer character this whole time so when he screamed like a 12 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert I actually fell on the ground laughing. Tim seemed not to care much about his shorts anymore and they were just kind of hanging around his ankles, and Trevor finally managed to get the remnants out of his nose and the whole area was red and purple.

"I need medical assistance!!" He said in a very odd and proper manner as if he were a cop, and we went to the truck to check it out better. The inside of his nose was toast and the outside was a little red and bulging, and the tears were pouring down I was guessing as an involuntary reaction. This wasn't 911 worthy but we had to get going. Clayton and Rhett took care of Trevor in the back seat while I drove and Jim sat half naked with me in the front, and Billy in the back, I thought we had forgotten him but he was passed out. I drove through Lake Placid and luckily there was a hospital just before the interstate where I had parked my car. This area, known as Lakewood Ranch, is typical of this gated community culture that exists in Florida and much of the new South. Lying 10 miles east of downtown Bradenton and Sarasota and even further from the beach, it was supposed to be a luxurious upscale community, fully planned, and was continuing to grow. Houses here were built on drained swampland that went for $500 an acre 25 years ago and now had houses that started in the $500k range up to 2-3 million. I would always needle people who told me they lived there by calling it East Bradenton, as Bradenton wasn't known for having an upscale image. It would look much like a scene from Agrestic in Weeds minus the mountainous terrain. The upside to this was they had a nice, newer hospital and we pulled up and got Trevor in the waiting area. Knowing it was going to be a while, I asked Tim to give me a ride to my car, they could wait for him, I was ready to pass out anyway. I still remember Trevor trying to tell me to think about the offer of "working" with him over and over, even in the waiting room in front of medical staff. He was drunk and high and hanging around there was the last thing I wanted to do after this ridiculously long night.

Driving home I was mad at myself - I knew better to think that a bunch of guys with no business experience were making serious bank off of diabetic testing supplies? What if Shawn and Shana had been people who didn't take no for an answer, or were just going to rob the guys instead of pay them? I had acted too naive about the situation which I chalked up to the lack of hours I had been getting in the box and no game to really run anymore - I was looking to make some real money. It was time to get more hours on the felt, not in the box.

"How did tonight go?" Nicole asked as I finally pulled into the condo at 530am. I didn't even know where to start, or how I could even explain what had happened.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:18 AM   #1156
chipraker999
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 30
Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Excellent update! Wow, the detail in your story is amazing. Reading about all the history of all the town's on that route, much better than Wikipedia!! Is all your knowledge from years of experiences or do you actually do a bit of research before writing!

Anyhow, this will be an excellent addition to The Book!!

MAKE IT HAPPEN! The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Sent from my Z963VL using Tapatalk
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:35 AM   #1157
Truestoryteller
grinder
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Gimme The Loot
Posts: 459
Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Quote:
Originally Posted by chipraker999 View Post
Excellent update! Wow, the detail in your story is amazing. Reading about all the history of all the town's on that route, much better than Wikipedia!! Is all your knowledge from years of experiences or do you actually do a bit of research before writing!

Anyhow, this will be an excellent addition to The Book!!

MAKE IT HAPPEN! The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Sent from my Z963VL using Tapatalk
Obviously this should have been written a long time ago. I have been taking a few back to back bad beats in life. My big job is somewhere in work purgatory for no apparent reason so my trips to Miami are on hold for the moment. My mom is in long term care now (not sure if I had updated that), so I drive up and visit her a lot. It may be a year or two before she can have the ability to walk or use her hands. My dad decided to YOLO it and just leave his girlfriend of 15 years and move up on a mountain outside of Keene, NH and live out on some property that is cooperatively owned by my family in his teardrop trailer and Jeep. I have been watching WSOP FT streams all day and night, and when I am not I am playing in local games.

Not sure how many people watch 2-7TD, did anyone else see Grinder draw 3 in the first round and pick up a wheel right away? That had to be tilting for Dan Smith who had #3 I think.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:30 PM   #1158
Truestoryteller
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Join Date: Sep 2016
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Quote:
Originally Posted by chipraker999 View Post
Excellent update! Wow, the detail in your story is amazing. Reading about all the history of all the town's on that route, much better than Wikipedia!! Is all your knowledge from years of experiences or do you actually do a bit of research before writing!

Anyhow, this will be an excellent addition to The Book!!

MAKE IT HAPPEN! The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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I realized I didn't answer the question about the extra info I have on the areas. A lot of this info comes from old Miami residents who have moved out of town as well as my personal experiences driving through the town. My first mentor in the plant world and his wife had lived in Miami since the 50s and told me just about every weird story you could hear about South Florida. Sometimes I will double check info like years and dates, but that's about it.

Glad that the extra info was entertaining and gave insight!
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:40 PM   #1159
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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You know where Shelter Island is?
Sorry I'm still at the beginning of this phenomenal thread but had to chime in here. I grew up in Southold. How old are you?
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:19 AM   #1160
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Im 36, got your pm. I didn't really hang out much in Southold but a distant relative used to own the Chrysler dealership in town.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:28 PM   #1161
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Route 80/70

A few days later I met up with Tim, Willy, Rhett (who was very into this as well), and the two guys from Myakka City who were the test strip slingers, we can call them Clayton and Trevor. I knew Trevor a little bit only because he had caught a charge for possession of coke, but was actually a pretty cool guy. They claimed to be cousins, but Myakka City is one of those places where the family trees don't branch much - everyone is cousins with someone in the town. They refused to pick me up on the south side of town so I had to drive 25 miles north just to get to them, only to double back past the same area. They had a route and a method and I wasn't going to persuade them otherwise. Tim insisted he ride shotgun and no one contested it - Tim needed the space.

Thankfully when I showed up in this commercial complex, the kind where you rent garages for storage or work, I saw we were riding in a late model Ford Expedition. I didn't feel like sitting leg to leg with Willy and Rhett in a sedan, the trip back I was sure I was going to pass out and claimed the third row seat. We left around 5pm and headed out on Route 70 towards Arcadia, passing their hometown of Myakka City. As backwards as the place was, it was one of the few communities in Manatee County that was untouched by suburban sprawl and had an old Florida feel about it. It also had that feeling that if you ventured off the main road you might start to hear the sound of banjos getting ever so stronger. We reached Arcadia and it was dinner time - it was another 150 miles the way we were going and only a few small towns along the way. Though Arcadia is a small country town, there is a Sonic there and everyone but me agreed it was a great idea. They have some very creative and different items than most fast food places, but most burgers and sandwiches are just a mashed edible mass that looks like nothing on the actual menu. Tim chugged down two or three chili dogs with a massive coke and I got something resembling a bacon cheeseburger.

Heading south on Route 31, we were to eventually meet up with Route 80 in Fort Myers Shores, a suburb on Fort Myers on a narrow part of the Caloosahatchee River. Route 80 is a very old road, and one of the few ways to get across the state this far south. It starts in downtown Fort Myers as Palm Beach Boulevard, and heads East for about 15 miles before we caught up with it. Just before we hit the road we crossed the old drawbridge over the river, and on the right is a marina I visited 12 years before to test drive a 1967 Donzi Sweet Sixteen - a boat I had wanted since I had my first boat in high school. It was modeled after a 50's style hot rod, designed by Don Aronow, and this model had a foot pedal for a throttle. Back in 2004 I was a preppy kid that wanted a classy boat; driving past that marina, I knew that person was gone, that was an entirely different life I had lived. Thinking about those days sometimes made me very depressed, as my life had hard forked and I wasn't sure if I had made the right turn. As we turned left onto 80 heading East, the traffic started to bore me and I looked behind the seat at the strips. I had a type 1 diabetic girlfriend, but didn't remember what test strips even looked like. I peeled open one of the boxes and saw it was just a bunch of cases. There were 4 or 5 of these boxes, as well as a smaller box that was sealed, it looked quite different from the others but otherwise pretty normal.

"What are ya lookin' at back there?" Trevor was driving but could see me in the rearview.

"What do you think I'm looking at?" As if there was anything else to look at than boxes of boxes.

"Don't touch the strips man, these guys only liked unopened merchandise." He was keeping my temptation to whip out a tester kit and check my blood sugar at bay.

We trekked on the four lane highway and reached LaBelle, the first of about a half dozen small towns between Fort Myers and West Palm. The towns would get progressively shadier along the route - I made it a point never to stop unless I absolutely had to. LaBelle is an old town, though the demographics have changed a lot lately due to immigration - it is now one of many interior cities where Central American migrants live a low cost lifestyle and commute either to the citrus and sugar cane fields or all the way back to Fort Myers. The landowning locals comprised the minority here but could be seen in their jacked up brand new heavy duty diesel trucks. Kelly actually used to own a house here and foreclosed on it because the town was hot, boring, and getting more dangerous during the recession. The main intersection in town boasts a courthouse and a McDonald's, which caught Tim's attention; thankfully the drive-thru was wrapped around the building and no one wanted to wait.

"There's another one in Clewiston, don't worry," I reassured Tim. I was hoping it would be closed by the time we got there, but 35 miles later we were parked out front so he could get his fill. Trevor and Clayton double checked on the boxes like they were gold bullion and I stared in the dark at the shops I had passed so many times before. Clewiston is in the Northwest corner of Hendry County, large in size but about 10% of the population of Lee County where Fort Myers and Cape Coral are next door. It was known for being the sugar cane capital of the nation, and had an Air Force training base during World War II. Times had fallen hard on the town, it was like LaBelle mostly a migrant town full of laborers and low wage field workers. Back in 2013 I had actually driven out here to meet up with a girl who had come with her sister to my nursery, she was 19 at the time and was quite interested in a serious relationship, that story is for another time though. We jumped back in the car and didn't make it more than five miles until Willy had forgotten to go to the bathroom and I had them roll up into John Stretch Park right alongside Lake Okeechobee. The bathroom was a ****hole, and no one was ever there when I came here. Plenty of parking spaces and picnic tables made the place inviting, but most visitors here were probably just meetups for drug deals or hooking up. As Willy was blowing up the toilet, I made the hike up to the overlook on the lake - there is an 11 foot levee blocking the view, and as I got there all I saw was more swamp. The lake was dry this time of year and though it was huge, it was very shallow, murky, and full of runoff from the farms all around it. It stunk like low tide, and the only view I had of anything was a huge thunderstorm in the distance. I got back as Willy was done and they were smoking a joint outside the truck. I was glad as if we got pulled over between here and West Palm, we were probably going to get stuck in a jail cell in a shady town full of real criminals.

The next couple of towns on Route 80 are some of the poorest, most dangerous small towns in the nation. The first was South Bay, named this because it is at the Southernmost tip of the Lake. This is 100% sugarcane territory, and the landowners are insanely rich while rundown quadplexes dot the main road. At this point, you can continue south on 27 and head to Miami along the canal, or turn left and head over the canal to Belle Glade. Belle Glade sounds like a beautiful town, and probably once was at some point in the mid 20th century. When refugees from all over the Caribbean came to work in the fields outside of Miami, sometime in the past forty years the Jamaicans and Haitians were forced out of the city as it grew and found work out in the cane fields for next to nothing. Both sides of the road are lined with fields as far as the eye can see, but once in town the scenery looks like an inner city ghetto. Pawn shops, check cashing places, and dollar stores are the most prominent, and people are all over the streets at night. This would be normal in a big city, but a small town at 10pm, this was usually people out looking to score or people looking to make money the easy way. The remnants of Everglades Hospital looked like the beginning to a Resident Evil game with an art deco twist - it was painted in that pastel pink that was once very popular and is now dated.

Before we hit Belle Glade I heard the cracking of a metal can top up front and the smell of rubbing alcohol with a sweet yeast afterthought came through the car. It didn't take me long to determine that Clayton in the passenger seat had helped himself to a Natty Ice in the cooler. I never understood why people who supposedly made good money would drink alcohol whose only purpose was to get you blackout drunk. I hadn't touched the stuff since I was 16 and blacked out twice in one month from the stuff, but the memory of that smell never goes away. I tried to talk him out of it but he finished it in five minutes as we hit the main stretch of Belle Glade, a quick jog north before the final turn sent you East to the West Palm metro area.

"I gotta take a ****, pull over at the gas station here." Tim was feeling the effects of the Sonic sooner than I expected. I tried to explain to him that this was not the town to go wandering around, he was going to stick out like a sore thumb. The only gas station open in town had a couple donks at the pumps and 8-10 guys hanging out front with bars on the windows. "Well ****, I'm not going to go here, I'll wait for the next place.

"The next place is 40 miles dude, can you hold it?" I explained just how far away we were from everything else. He got out of the car and waddled over to the front door, went in, came back out with one of those keys with a big piece of wood attached so you wouldn't steal it and used the outside bathroom. After 10 minutes or so he came out and giving the key back and walking through the crowd, he came back with a look on his face like he had seen something that he could never unsee.

"Let's just get the **** out of here. There was **** on the walls, stuff written in ****, I had to hold onto the sink to balance myself over the toilet." We headed north and took the right to head East through the miles and miles of cane fields that separated us from civilization.

This stretch of highway was the most desolate and most dangerous if one were to break down. Forty miles of sugarcane separates the Lake from the edge of civilization on the East Coast. The fields once provided a purpose for the area, but after carving up the Everglades and the cheap importation of sugar from outside the US, these canes were just heavily subsidized and fairly useless. Every summer the runoff from the fields causes the Lake to swell up with green tainted water which would then be dumped through the South Florida Water Management's canal system and invade the beaches from Port St. Lucie to Miami on the East Side and Marco Island sometimes all the way to Tampa on the West Coast. Algae stinks of low tide 24/7 and certain types of algae, known as the red tide, can cause respiratory problems similar to bronchitis in the middle of the summer. If the Army Corps of Engineers ****ed up one ecosystem in the 20th century, it was the Everglades. They blocked a slowly rolling river from Orlando to the southern tip of the state and chopped it up into canals and dammed it up, destroying the natural process. It was along this canal that Tim decided he needed to fertilize the water with his personal sewage hole. We had to pull over again and he leaned onto the truck while we sat inside, away from mosquito swarms, gators, and snakes that called the Everglades home. I handed him half a roll of paper towels out the window, by the time he got back in the truck, they were all gone.

"Damn dude, that Sonic destroyed my stomach, it's all ****ed up now." This is why I never eat ****ty food on a road trip.

As we finally entered the West Palm metro area, my hopes for having a chance to play at Palm Beach Kennel Club dwindled as we took a quick turn on D road in Loxahatchee, 12 miles short of the Club, and with it already past 11pm thanks to our great route and navigation skills, I knew our chances of playing were basically nil. At this point I just wanted to get back to the other coast before sunrise, hoping I would get something out of this ridiculous trip. Loxahatchee was a town I was pretty familiar with - I had a few friends who lived here and had plant nurseries, as well as a few clients who had bought a lot of plants from me in the past. Route 80 as it comes into the West Palm area encounters two towns first on each side of the road - on the South side is Wellington, arguably the horse riding capital of the US and a very boring deed restricted community where everyone had identical houses, and on the North side was Loxahatchee, the cheaper, more rural alternative. Neither town was meant to be suitable for human habitation - they were swamps that were drained and chopped up; in Loxahatchee, these were 5 acre lots with the idea of rural living near a major metro area. Like many planned communities throughout Florida, some attracted a variable crowd, and this town was a mix of everything, from farmers to equestrians to a shadier type of resident, the ones you see on COPS. It is a large town geographically, but many lots were empty or never cleared, and the deeper you go off route 80, the sketchier things got. I don't think a single road is paved in the entire town, and the bumpy dirt roads were doing a number on Tim's condition. The car already smelled like he had shat himself which was most likely the case, but outside didn't smell much better with standing swamp water everywhere.

Five miles on the dirt road brought us to a string of lights and a property that had seen better days. From the lighting the house was various shades of lighter blue, a sign that it was once a darker blue but a decade or two of the Florida sun had destroyed this color in various degrees. It was an 80s ranch house, lacking the contours and boring lines of most new houses in Florida with fake Spanish tile and colors, but also lacking any definition as it was one long structure with outdated windows and it was hard to tell where the front door was. Clayton, Trevor and Willy got out and went to the front door, while Tim and I hung out by the car. People appeared at the front and there were greetings as some guy my age and his wife came out - everyone was wearing wife beaters and military style cargo pants like it was some sort of MS-13 convention. Sitting on the tailgate of the truck, I was smoking, listening to the sounds that were unmistakably Florida. Cuban tree frogs, buzzing mosquitos, and a cackling owl in the trees as well as unknown insects hanging around the canal waters making odd squeaking noises. After the greeting and handshakes, they came over to me and I introduced myself to Shawn and Shana - these people had definitely been on COPS before. Shawn had that ragged look of drinking Natty Ice first thing in the morning coupled with a two pack a day Newport habit. Shana was also in a similar degree of disrepair, like Shawn she had that flat-bodied look that was either alcoholism, meth, or both. They looked ten years older than me at least but Shana and I shared a birthday, hers a year later in 1982. They were from Kentucky and somehow knew Clayton and Trevor from back home, they were probably related somehow as most people in the state were. Despite their rough look, they were surprisingly energetic.

"Let's see what we got this time!" Shawn exclaimed as he opened the boxes containing the testing supplies and looked through them like he had to make sure they were legit. He opened a box to check its contents as if he were tapping into a kilo of coke like they did in the movies. Yeah..... its all there buddy.

"And what else did you get Clayton my man?" The smaller boxes seemed to be of equal if not greater importance than the testing boxes. Shawn broke out a large filet knife that appeared out of nowhere and cut open the package, opening the box and revealing four small bottles. He was reading the front, squinting at it from 2 inches away but I could already tell what they were - Roxy 30s. These weren't in a prescription bottle either, they were what you got from the manufacturer, I knew a little bit about it thanks to my sister's pharmaceutical background. There had to be 20 bottles, and even 2000 pills at $15 dollars had a street value of about $30,000 wholesale and double that if you shipped them up north for retail. This is what separated the Kentucky boys and Willy from the East Coast - they had a market. Ten years ago, all of the pill mills were in this area, and after a bunch of crackdowns, they moved North and West to Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando. The South Florida metroplex had run dry of shady doctors who would hand it out - they either lost their license, went to jail, or moved. I was honestly in awe when I saw that many pills in one place, then pretty pissed when I realized what I had gotten myself into, more what they had deceived me into believing. It was like hero calling all-in with Ace high for your whole stack and being shown the nuts - you feel very misled but had good intentions. I had to make money other than the game and pushing Roxy blues was not what I had in mind. I started to feel anger as I saw them counting down the testing supplies and getting a few thousand, and then what appeared to be 15k for the pills. I found myself walking around, down the street on the gravel, up and down the driveway, I wanted to go home.

We were there for over an hour, which is what I expected coming into this, but by the time I had found out this wasn't a legit business I wanted to get home ASAP. I had nothing to gain from doing a ride along with a couple pill pushers and everything to lose if we had gotten pulled over. Over the course of the hour, they had asked me to come inside to hang out in the house and meet their pitbulls, but I already knew the type of place - crappy discolored tile, the odor of a dog's ******* from every room, random dog**** bombs scattered around the house, the kind of place you pissed outside because you didn't want to open the bathroom.

"Your friend Liam there doesn't seem that talkative or interested in our project, you sure it was a good idea for him to come along?" This was asked in a nice manner but I felt like he was projecting his anxiety about someone new there into some form of passive aggression, something that was meant to scare me.

"Listen Shawn, I'm sure you make a lot of money doing this, but I am not interested, you are right. I came here with the idea that you guys were making money legitimately. I am 34 years old and I don't have time to go down any more dead end careers, I have a lot to lose and I am aware of it. Maybe you should be more self-aware, both of you." Shana talked for the second time tonight and she was pissed. Unfortunately she was a little bit out of it, her teeth were not in (if she had dentures), and her Appalachia accent made it impossible to catch much of what she was saying, but she was defending why Shane did what he did for a living. This is why they were a perfect fit for Florida - self righteous ignorant rednecks were the unfortunate backbone of much of suburban and rural Florida, but usually not this far south. We were on the fringes of the Miami metro area and these people had to nest like rats on the outskirts of civilization.

I told them I was ready to go when they were done conducting business, and I felt like I was the DD and just told my drunk buddies it was last call and I was going to leave them there. There was something about me being there that made or broke the deal, I just didn't understand why. I was mad that it was past midnight now, I was in the sticks, and I had a long drive home just to my car and then some. I could tell Tim wanted to use their bathroom but he hobbled down the street, their house was that filthy. There was a lot of talk outside, I laid back in the 3rd seat and just waited. Tim got in and I asked him if we needed to stop and get him new pants and he wasn't really in the joking mood after bending over the canal water and fertilizing it. The rest of the guys filed in the backseat and Willy was driving.

"Can we take a normal route home please? This is a 3 hour drive if you just go the right way on 70. They were worried about getting lost, and this twisty weird route was the only way they knew to stay off the highways. It was like a 10 year old was driving, I just told them where to turn and to head over the North side of the lake.

Before anyone had studied the ecology of the Everglades, no one realized that the middle of the state South of Orlando was basically one slow moving river into Florida Bay, starting with the Kissimmee river flowing into the Lake on the North end. Near where the river meets the Lake is a town called Cypress Quarters, it was a hideout for old working class gringos from Miami who had moved out when everyone else moved in. We eventually stopped at the only 24 hour store for 50 miles, everyone was hungry and wanted to get out of the car thanks to the smell of Tim. We walked inside, and at 2am you can expect only the finest upstanding citizens of the area shopping. After going to the bathroom, Tim and Rhett went into the clothing section and managed to find Tim's size thank the lord. Everyone got some food and Tim actually wore the clothes he bought with tags still on them and scanned the tags at the self-checkout. His other clothes were missing so I assumed he threw them away. He had also purchased a few of the mini pecan pies, a Monster XXL, and Walmart's finest bacon and cheese macaroni salad. We got back into the car all eating, and I felt a little better knowing we were on the home stretch back to Bradenton.

"Listen man, the main reason we brought you along for all this, this whole ride, it wasn't for the test strips. Sure they make some extra cash, but its nothing compared to the pills we can sell to those guys." Trevor was talking to me as if I were on the fence with helping them, and I didn't see how I could even help them. I asked him where he had gotten the other bottles, and he said a disgruntled pharmacy tech took them on her last day and somehow they couldn't find her. Apparently the cops were looking for her, but she had moved out of state. It dawned on me why I was here the whole time. My sister was a pharmacy tech that had just gotten her MBA and was looking for another job. Tim must have told them, it was the only way they would have known.

"So you want my sister to help you? You do realize my sister has worked for Walgreens for 10 years, owns a house in town, and isn't going to risk jail time over a few thousand dollars?" My sister was the last person who would do this, she was embarrassed just to fill my prescriptions in front of her coworkers. They continued to talk to me as if there was some chance of me buying into this, and I had to explain to them that this just wasn't going to happen. They decided to pull over in a field in the middle of nowhere to take a piss and smoke a couple joints. What went down next was something you had to actually see to believe. It was getting a little cold, and as I walked back to the truck after going to the bathroom I saw this profile of Tim - his new clothes were all black and he looked like a bankrobber with his hoodie on. All of a sudden the shorts he had bought dropped to the ground and unfortunately he was going commando; fortunately his stomach covered the family jewels but he exclaimed that the drawstring had broken and was waddling around now holding his shorts halfway on. During this time, Clayton and Trevor were both smoking cigarettes and were clearly high as ****, as much so that I told them I would drive and they were okay with that. Trevor dropped his cigarette and managed to bend down and in a perfect motion, impaled the cherry of Clayton's cigarette in his nostril, proceeded to freak out and it broke off inside. Trevor had played a tough drug dealer character this whole time so when he screamed like a 12 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert I actually fell on the ground laughing. Tim seemed not to care much about his shorts anymore and they were just kind of hanging around his ankles, and Trevor finally managed to get the remnants out of his nose and the whole area was red and purple.

"I need medical assistance!!" He said in a very odd and proper manner as if he were a cop, and we went to the truck to check it out better. The inside of his nose was toast and the outside was a little red and bulging, and the tears were pouring down I was guessing as an involuntary reaction. This wasn't 911 worthy but we had to get going. Clayton and Rhett took care of Trevor in the back seat while I drove and Jim sat half naked with me in the front, and Billy in the back, I thought we had forgotten him but he was passed out. I drove through Lake Placid and luckily there was a hospital just before the interstate where I had parked my car. This area, known as Lakewood Ranch, is typical of this gated community culture that exists in Florida and much of the new South. Lying 10 miles east of downtown Bradenton and Sarasota and even further from the beach, it was supposed to be a luxurious upscale community, fully planned, and was continuing to grow. Houses here were built on drained swampland that went for $500 an acre 25 years ago and now had houses that started in the $500k range up to 2-3 million. I would always needle people who told me they lived there by calling it East Bradenton, as Bradenton wasn't known for having an upscale image. It would look much like a scene from Agrestic in Weeds minus the mountainous terrain. The upside to this was they had a nice, newer hospital and we pulled up and got Trevor in the waiting area. Knowing it was going to be a while, I asked Tim to give me a ride to my car, they could wait for him, I was ready to pass out anyway. I still remember Trevor trying to tell me to think about the offer of "working" with him over and over, even in the waiting room in front of medical staff. He was drunk and high and hanging around there was the last thing I wanted to do after this ridiculously long night.

Driving home I was mad at myself - I knew better to think that a bunch of guys with no business experience were making serious bank off of diabetic testing supplies? What if Shawn and Shana had been people who didn't take no for an answer, or were just going to rob the guys instead of pay them? I had acted too naive about the situation which I chalked up to the lack of hours I had been getting in the box and no game to really run anymore - I was looking to make some real money. It was time to get more hours on the felt, not in the box.

"How did tonight go?" Nicole asked as I finally pulled into the condo at 530am. I didn't even know where to start, or how I could even explain what had happened.
I refer to Lakewood ranch as Bradenton for white people all the time.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:57 PM   #1162
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

If anyone is in the Orlando area, Nicole and I are going on a trip to the Lakes area and I'll be playing at Orange City at least one night. Never been there but looks like they run 1-2 and 5-5 PLO with multiple tables, I am guess the game is pretty good?
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:28 AM   #1163
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Originally Posted by Truestoryteller View Post
What went down next was something you had to actually see to believe. It was getting a little cold, and as I walked back to the truck after going to the bathroom I saw this profile of Tim - his new clothes were all black and he looked like a bankrobber with his hoodie on. All of a sudden the shorts he had bought dropped to the ground and unfortunately he was going commando; fortunately his stomach covered the family jewels but he exclaimed that the drawstring had broken and was waddling around now holding his shorts halfway on. During this time, Clayton and Trevor were both smoking cigarettes and were clearly high as ****, as much so that I told them I would drive and they were okay with that. Trevor dropped his cigarette and managed to bend down and in a perfect motion, impaled the cherry of Clayton's cigarette in his nostril, proceeded to freak out and it broke off inside. Trevor had played a tough drug dealer character this whole time so when he screamed like a 12 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert I actually fell on the ground laughing. Tim seemed not to care much about his shorts anymore and they were just kind of hanging around his ankles, and Trevor finally managed to get the remnants out of his nose and the whole area was red and purple.

"I need medical assistance!!" He said in a very odd and proper manner as if he were a cop, and we went to the truck to check it out better. The inside of his nose was toast and the outside was a little red and bulging, and the tears were pouring down I was guessing as an involuntary reaction.
This is great. Being able to look back and laugh at **** like this is one of the best parts of life. You are a great storyteller. Reminds me a bit of Don Winslow's writing. He did cartel novels but you could do underground poker games and related adventures pretty well I think
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:01 PM   #1164
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

this would make a much better script than Molly's Game.

Ever consider dealing at the WSOP in Las Vegas? Might be good for a few laughs and I would love to read a trip report on that.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:48 PM   #1165
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Originally Posted by jcorb View Post
this would make a much better script than Molly's Game.

Ever consider dealing at the WSOP in Las Vegas? Might be good for a few laughs and I would love to read a trip report on that.
I don't think I could handle all the BS that dealers have to deal with there. Besides, I would rather play a few events and I wouldn't be able to do both.

I am outside DeLand now, I stopped into Orange City to see the place and ask about the PLO action. Seems that 1-2 PLO runs almost all day and 5-5 in the evenings. Probably will be there tonight.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:55 PM   #1166
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Originally Posted by FreeportMainePoker View Post
Wow, what a story man! I'm finally caught up.
I'm a classic snow bird from Maine was heading to Tampa with my wife and kids a couple weeks ago. I searched 2+2 looking for poker in the area and came across this thread.
It was so much fun driving from St Pete to Hard Rock to play, riding over Skyway and passed the Derby and all the other places mentioned in your story.
Thank you so much for taking the time to entertain us all!
Do you have a PO Box or Venmo or equivalent so I can buy you a gift card to Waffle House or something?
Also, I think you should start a Go Fund me to get this story edited and published. I agree with the sentiment here that HBO would buy the **** out of this screen play.
Good luck with the writing. I will hit you up next winter when I'm back in Florida and buy us in to a 2/5 at HR.
Let me know if you ever head to New England!
In the mean time, stay safe and MMMoar!!!
Hey man, I missed this post as well as the one above, sorry I never got back to you. I appreciate the gift card offer but it actually means more to me that people like you post your appreciation for the story. I may head to New England in the future to visit my dad once he decides on a place to settle down, he can't live in his camper all year round up on a mountain there, lol. Also, I have had others request to meet up at HR, and I will definitely let people know when I am in the area, it has been a long time. I drove right past it last night and would have stopped in if I didn't need to be up here by midnight.

Feel free to pm me and let me know when you are in town.
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Old 06-27-2018, 01:07 PM   #1167
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Originally Posted by Pride of Cucamonga View Post
TST: While not quite the fanboy of some of the people posting here, I've enjoyed this thread, especially as for the last 15 years I've lived in Hallandale/Hollywood area of SE Florida and am familiar w/ many of the areas you describe. I wonder if you ever had a short guy named "Crazy Steve" or "Satchel Steve" (I know his last name but don't want to use it on a public forum...he was short & a little heavy, wore a Louis Vuitton man-bag, was funny as hell, gave crazy action and usually donked off large amounts of money) play in any of your home games?

Previously someone asked why a poker player--if they had the option--would choose to play in a raked home-game versus a legit casino / card room. Although there are benefits to both, in my experience home-games are often a lot more fun, but too often they @#$^ you over when it comes to the rake. I've played in quite a few home-games, and more often than not the person(s) running it are shady as hell and will rake as much as they can get away with. At first glance running a raked home-game would seem to be a huge money-maker, but I'm wondering at the end of the day if that's true, or--if like many businesses--once you run the numbers you find out that it isn't as easy or as profitable as it might at first appear?

It is as profitable as it appears to me, why the hell do most people screw over their customers by increasing the rake by whatever they can get away with--pure stupidity and greed? It would seem to me a well-run home game w/ one or two tables full tables even once a week would be a major money-maker, why the need to skim? The saying "Pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered" comes to mind.... If you have the time and/or interests, personally I'd like to read a post where you breakdown the average costs and profits of a full, one table home game that runs from say 8PM to 3AM.

Btw, many pages back you were considering moving and mentioned the poker room in the Villages area of Florida; for future reference you should def. take this area permanently off your "possible list of places to move to". For family reasons I recently relocated here, and the poker room near the Villages has got to be the single worst room in all of Florida. Not only is the Villages truly "Heaven's waiting room" and the poker room full of old tight nits, if I remember correctly they take $2 for the bad beat jackpot, which added to the rake & dealer tip, makes 1/2 virtually unbeatable. That doesn't matter to me personally as I usually play 2/5, but it still irks me. And shockingly, they charge for everything, including soft drinks and water! What poker room charges for bottled water?!?!?!? I pretty much refuse to play there on principle--screw them!
It is funny I see this post now because the next story was going to mention rake. Taking rake is a lot like financing a car. There are people out there who don't care about how much interest they pay (buy here pay here or other means) as long as they get the car they want. Others are very inquisitive and want to make sure they get every rebate as well as their money's worth in the car - they are smarter or more logical shoppers, though not always the case. Same goes for rake - some people don't care at all, and some watch a ton of pots to make sure the rake is as advertised.

People who rake more than a reasonable amount ($5 plus some jackpot) are being too greedy and it is usually for other reasons. They are either looking at the short term, that the game may not run long (only a few months) or they may not have a game every week and need to make ends meet. I know the rake in NYC and other cites is higher, and I can understand that due to overhead costs in higher cities and more heat on them than in a mid sized town. Mike's reasoning for taking high rake was to fuel his sports betting habit. Tim was never a fan of higher rake until a certain point, I will get into that soon.

The game I play in now is reasonable ($5 plus $2 for straight flush) but the action is definitely good enough to not care about the $2. One thing I would change is you are obligated to tip a dollar for someone to go to the fridge and get you a soda, I would rather take the 5 steps and do it myself.
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:50 PM   #1168
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

I cannot believe how well you can describe south Florida. Like even down to describing the army corps ****ing up the water system (I am very familiar, as Iím big into fishing). As well as the terrifying cane field interiors.

Makes me feel like I have a poor memory, as none of it readily comes to mind, but when I read it I know itís 100% accurate.
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Old 07-01-2018, 04:22 PM   #1169
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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I refer to Lakewood ranch as Bradenton for white people all the time.
Thank you for quoting the entire post just to add this fascinating comment.
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Old 07-07-2018, 06:08 PM   #1170
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Great stories! Definitely gave me the itch to look for home games around Atlanta. Keep us updated on the poker travels. I grew up in Pinellas County during the $100 max days at THR and have been back 10 times or so since they raised the limits.

Looking forward to any and all future chapters.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:57 PM   #1171
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

I love this thread less than three
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:19 PM   #1172
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

forgot to say thanks for the latest update; keep them coming!
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:18 PM   #1173
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Thanks guys, I have been on a real tear lately, and by tear I mean watching WSOP coverage all afternoon/night and sleeping all day. The home game in town started a PLO night, I should have some good stories to add to the old game if people want a "sequel" of sorts. I have just been in a very low ambition, low energy mood and watching and playing poker seems to be the only thing keeping me awake. I am definitely at a life crossroads and am unsure about what the future will hold.

Once the One Drop table is done, writing will resume.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:03 PM   #1174
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Originally Posted by Truestoryteller View Post
Thanks guys, I have been on a real tear lately, and by tear I mean watching WSOP coverage all afternoon/night and sleeping all day. The home game in town started a PLO night, I should have some good stories to add to the old game if people want a "sequel" of sorts. I have just been in a very low ambition, low energy mood and watching and playing poker seems to be the only thing keeping me awake. I am definitely at a life crossroads and am unsure about what the future will hold.

Once the One Drop table is done, writing will resume.
I know you recently had made some comments about your big job being in work purgatory, but do you think that is a long term issue?

Sorry to hear you've been in a funk, but that is understandable with your mom's illness and even changes in your dad's life. I hope you have some brighter days in your future.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:03 AM   #1175
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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I know you recently had made some comments about your big job being in work purgatory, but do you think that is a long term issue?

Sorry to hear you've been in a funk, but that is understandable with your mom's illness and even changes in your dad's life. I hope you have some brighter days in your future.
Yeah, I am hoping too. I have literally just been sleeping all day and last night was the last WSOP final table. The job appeared to be longer term, but like a child who gets tired of his old toys, my client suddenly showed disinterest in his collection. This isn't the first time this has happened, and I have plans for a consulting/seed distribution business.

On the upside, I have more time in the evening for playing and writing about poker - I will probably go ahead and start writing now.
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