It seems like all great summers have a theme – the Summer of Love, the Summer I Got My License, the Summer I Got Laid, the Summer I Spent in Cancun. It’s been years since I had a theme summer, but this past summer had several. The Summer of Vegas, the Summer I Was Sick All The Damn Time, the Summer I Grew Up. The theme that really sticks with me though, is the World Series of Jewelry.
For many years of my life, I wore a ring. The same marquise diamond mounted in 24-karat gold, and surrounded by diamond baquettes; always worn on the same finger. It came off only in times of necessity and was so fused with me that over a year after I took it off for good, I would still occasionaly reach for its ghostly presence on my hand, before remembering there was (rightly) nothing there.
Ironically enough for someone who made a business out of designing jewely, I’m not a big jewelry wearer. When in Vegas, I’ll take the time to fuss with earings, but at home the only time you’ll likely see me in a pair is on Texans game days. Knowing this about myself, along with my previously demonstrated ability to put a ring on day after day, I decided I wanted a ring to commerate my dream summer in Vegas at the WSOP. And I’d never ever gotten anything that came in a little blue box…
Shortly after his unfortunate bustout from the WSOP, Ryan announced he was heading where all tournament pros go after a big cash – Tiffany. Since the WSOP was over from my perspective, and I was wanting to make a trip there as well, I offered my driving services. Not yet having ridden in a car with me, Ryan accepted, and off to the Bellagio we went.
I had a fairly good idea of what I wanted, which is rare for my indecisive self, and had narrowed it down to two rings of the same design. Visually, I favored the larger one, but after trying them both on, I was back to square one. Like Goldilocks, one was too small, the other too large – Ryan described it as grandma-y, which is hardly what a woman on the cusp of her 30th birthday wants to hear when selecting an accessory. I remained at the counter, disappointed that the designs I liked so much just weren’t “me”.
But in addition to being a kick-ass poker player, Ryan’s also a great shopping buddy. While I stood at the counter internally debating, he lapped the store looking for something else he thought might appeal to me, and then returned with a fantastic, yet dangerous, suggestion: “What would look great, is if you got two of the small ones and stacked them. But don’t try it, because if you do, it’s going to look perfect, and then you’re going to have to get two of them.”
I would, of course, have completely ignored this advice, and we both knew it. So did the saleswoman, who had a second ring out and ready before he finished his warning. And as predicted, two stacked rings were absolutely perfect. A quick check of prices revealed that two small rings exactly equalled the price of the larger one I had intended on getting. Sold.
For weeks now, that ring has served as a constant tangible reminder of the amazing summer I had. It symbolizes a lot – good friends, growing, learning, and the place where I left my heart behind. A week ago, another reminder arrived.
Day 1C of the WSOP found me in the middle of the tournament floor, asking Dan and Jay Greenspan if they knew where Phil Gordon had been moved to. [Jay's reply: "I could tell you April, but then that would violate the terms of the restraining order."] I finally found him in a corner in the front quadrant of the room, but since his table wasn’t right on the rail as it had been previously, proper railbirding would have meant planting myself in the middle of the room – a move sure to get me hit in the head by an ESPN camera. (But what really stopped me was that it would have just been too obvious.)
Instead, I returned to the media room and then later made my way back to the tournament area, where I planted myself in the bleachers at the featured table. I was sitting next to a very drunk Marcel wannabe, and as we chatted about the notable bustouts and pro player updates, a gentleman sitting near us inquired about Phil Gordon. Having just passed a very upset looking Phil in the hallway, I relayed the information that he had sadly busted.
My new friend then introduced himself as Sebastiano Di Bari, the Managing Director for Sector Group US, and told me how he knew Phil – from his consultation in the design of a new watch that Sector Sport Watches was releasing soon. From the description he gave, I immediately recognized it as the watch Phil was wearing earlier in the day. In addition to having quad aces on the watch face, it has a removable bezel that is meant to be used as a card protector. Now any time the wearer found themself in an impromptu poker game, they were fully prepared. It’s a feature only a degenerate would come up with, and therefore it was no surprise when Sebastiano told me it was Phil’s idea. Sebastiano, who is a kind man as well as a very good marketer, told me he’d like to send me a watch as a gift. And true to his word, one arrived last week. It’s absolutely beautiful, though my father did remark several times that it was far too big for my dainty little wrist. (A fairly obvious ploy designed to get me to give it to him.)
It seemed a shame to let such an ingenious design go to waste by not trying it out, but schedule conflicts have pushed the next Austin blogger game out till later this month. Fortunately, the best boss in the world had just the answer…