The Night I Got My Bankroll

We normally play poker for pennies, but today we cemented a priceless bond. I missed his birthday party yesterday because I was working (10:45 AM to 10:40 PM with an hour break to commute and change clothes in between jobs) and had come to celebrate with him for a little bit… and ask a big favor. I pulled out the super size dark beer I had brought to share (the only gift I could find in my house to bring), he poured us each a glass, and then I popped the question. “I need to ask you,” I said, taking a deep breath, “How serious were you when you said you would be willing to give me a $1,000 for the World Series of Poker?”

“I could give you $1,000,” he said as he sat up a bit taller, listening intently to the two minute description of my IndieGoGo campaign and the poker tournaments I hoped to play in should the plan to fund my artisan candle maker and freelance writing career succeed. Then, he simply said, “Okay,” or, “That sounds fun,” grabbed his checkbook, and handed me my bankroll. It was the most surreal moment of my life to date. It got even crazier when he suggested that I only owe him the $1,000 should I win and nothing if I lose. I had to explain that he deserved the lion’s share of any profits I acquire. I am a nobody and this is a huge sum to be given with no strings attached. For taking this type of chance on me, I believe he deserves 60% of my profits (after taxes).

So, who is this crazy man willing to throw gambling money my way? Around these parts (my blog), he is known as Willy. One of the first stories I posted here was about our penny poker games and the way he and his friends make me feel like a poker shark. We met about nine years ago through one of my many jobs. He is a bit older than me and has admitted he finds me attractive, but he has never made me feel he expects anything in return for any of the generosity he has shown me over the years. All he has ever done was remind me that there are great people disguised as average human beings everywhere you turn. It’s unlikely anyone would have predicted this level of friendship would grow between us, but it merely goes to show that you truly never know what can happen unless you ask for what you want.

My IndieGoGo campaign is already 40% over and I am only 5% funded, but I have the seemingly least attainable piece of the puzzle already in my hands. If you fund the campaign designed to help me break free of my minimum wage evening job by Friday, I will reveal the identity of my backer. This angel gave me the funds to buy my way into the poker tournaments that will make my entire dream possible. I would leave this Saturday morning to visit my cousin and interview her about her experience surviving a double lung transplant then play in the $20,000 guaranteed first prize No Limit Hold’em tournament at Lucky Chances Casino in Daly City on Sunday before driving home. The following Wednesday, I will enter the satellite tournament for the World Series of Poker Main Event at Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. The rest will be up to fate to decide.


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