I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some fine people on the poker road in the past year or two. Most of them have been mentioned ad situs online here. Two of them, however, have remained unmentioned and unlinked for far too long. Now, they both have new projects that are more than worthy of mention.

***

It’s morning, and that’s about all I know. Twelve hours earlier, I knew what my job was and how I would do it. Twelve hours later, I’d wake up to a blur of chips, craps, video poker, and pre-taped dog race betting with Pauly. But at this moment, the sun is coming up and I’m standing in Binion’s valet area. There’s a limo there, but I know it’s not for me. The stretch is for Tex Barch, his dripping hot lady, and–piquing my curiousity–Layne Flack. My synapses are misfiring and I’m trying to figure out how Flack fits into the limo. Is he part of some odd Montana-Texas menage a trois that I just don’t understand? Did he actually win the WSOP an hour ago? Because, I didn’t see him at the table. Is he drinking again? Or, more likely, is he following Barch to the cage to pick up his millions? I don’t know. Even now, I’m wondering if I imagined it all, or if Flack wasn’t with Barch at all.

The only other thing I know is that Jay Greenspan is standing beside me. It’s Vegas Summer Hot and we’re both hallucinations. There are no cabs, despite the protestations of the valet men that a taxi will be by at any time. I need to get to the Mirage. Jay needs to get to the Rio. We both need to sleep and do anything but play or watch poker. I think Jay is saying he is leaving the country, but that could just be a hallucination, too. We’re in downtown Las Vegas and we’re one of maybe 12 people who couldn’t give a damn that we were in one of America’s most decadent and intoxicating cities.

As Barch and Flack ride off on leather-appointed comfort, a taxi arrives. Jay and I look at each other, desperately wanting to be courteous to our fellow poker writer, but desperate to find a lumpy motel bed and greasy breakfast to make us feel one percent human until we can find an airplane to take us somewhere else.

Very few words are spoken as we climb into the cab together, somehow agreeing that one cab to two destinations is better than waiting five minutes for another cab to arrive.

We ride through an early morning hot haze and chat. Our words only serve to keep us awake and sane for the twenty minutes it will take to find a shower. When we reach the Rio, Jay again mentions that he’s leaving the country. The hope brimming in his eyes makes me believe him.

That was the last time I saw or spoke to Jay. Like any road warrior, we said, “See you next time,” secretly wondering if either of us had the strength to ever do this again.

I learned yesterday that Jay is alive and well and has started a new project to give us all a little more inspiration to make our writing good and our pursuit of poker more genuine. I’d encourage you all to visit Poker Scribes and check out what Jay has in the works.

***

Amy. That’s a name that has popped up in my life a lot. It started with the first girl to steal my virtue. More recently, it’s been that girl that most people know as, “The chick in the hat.”

Amy Calistri has this thing about her. As ubiquitous as her black hat (and often, Johnny Cash-esque black everything) is the look in her eye that says, “I know something that you don’t and holy crab cakes is it juicy.” Even more hypnotic is the simple fact that, usually, Amy does know something you don’t and it is usually more juicy than you could imagine.

Amy was a frequent guest of the Pauly and Otis Liquid Dinner Hour at the WSOP. She drinks red wine and smiles more after two glasses than she does after one. She’s written for a well-known industry site that has morre turnover than a bakery and the Mizzou Tigers combined. And, be sure, she knows something that we don’t. Always.

Now she is writing unfettered at her new blog, Aimlessly Chasing Amy. Give her a read.

And, here’s to hoping I have a chance to see both of these fine writers again one day soon.