My sleep is restless, I can't get the temperature right in my room. By the time dawn peers around my blinds, I'm coming to accept a truth I've been trying to deny.
I get a delivery, proceed to gingerly undo the packaging. I undergo a strange ritual, and wait. With my wife on the phone I peer at a white plastic capsule and see two pink lines.
I'm crestfallen. I've worn a mask publicly since I stepped foot in the airport five days ago. On the plane. In Ubers. At the tables. I'm vaccinated and boosted.
But I can't say I'm surprised. It's hard to see the crowds of people here, and not wonder how this doesn't turn into a super spreader event. Every cough I hear, fingernails on the chalkboard of my germaphobia.
There was the dealer, who when asked by a player, "are you ok? Do you have Covid?" just smiled and nodded. It was unclear if she didn't understand the question, or was just being honest. Too many dealers live paycheck to paycheck, and management hasn't given them any incentive to stay home when sick.
There were the handful of players at my tables, with their furtive hacks and sniffles. Can I blame them for not wanting to give up their buy-in if they start to get sick in the middle of a tournament? There's no rule, no out, no incentive to stay home.
The heartbreak of having to bow out of a deep Main Event run would be hard to bear. I'm grateful my own altruism doesn't have to be tested that way. If I could pick a time on the schedule for this to happen, now would be it.
I'm not sure when I'll return to the tables. But my symptoms are mild, and I'm optimistic I'll recover quickly.
I lay on the couch in a robe and slippers, register for the WSOP.com $400 online bracelet event. I play for several hours but don’t cash. There’s a Die Hard marathon on TV and my belly is full from a delicious feast. I glance at the beautiful view from my high floor.
There are far, far worse places to quarantine.