WSOP 2015: Hair of the dog
We can't always be at the top of our game. We cannot always wake each morning with joie de vivre running through our veins, and a deep yearning to be the best we can be in our hearts. Sometimes we feel lucky that "cure self" is not number one on the day's to-do list, but that feeling in our chest is heartburn.
People try to recover from these unplanned indulgences by leaning on various solutions, few of which actually work. It might be a can of energy drink, strong coffee, or some kind of protein shake of a colour not usually associated with a beverage. But even if they do something to temper the physical effects, the metaphysical scars take much longer to heal.
Or do they?
Let me be clear, I'm not suggesting that Kenna James plays today after a night spent in reckless debauchery. Quite the opposite. All I'm saying is that he might have found the perfect cure to ease a troubled mind during a day of high stakes poker.
It's called Tank, and she's a Chihuahua.
Mrs James, sitting a few feet away on the rail, had Tank in her arms. But seeing this six inch tall bundle of joy Mr James wanted some action for himself. He signalled for Tank.
Seeing this and remembering his manners, a member of the ESPN crew obliged, scooping Tank up in one hand and gave him to James, like he was handing off to a running back. James didn't audibly purr, but perhaps did inwardly, snuggling up to this little gal and cradling her in his arms as he played a hand. James looked at peace. Tank seemed to be enjoying it too.
The reasons are obvious. The health benefits of owning a dog are widely known. It's thought they lead to happier, healthier lives, and not only that they can reduce stress levels at work. On that latter point James has it beat.
"It's more therapeutic for her, than him," said Mrs James, as her husband put tank in his lap, where she got comfortable and fell asleep.
The rest of us can only watch as we work on our own issues, while Kenna James, on top of his game, scampers on blissfully to what is an almost inevitable November Nine appearance.
Come to think of it, our turn next with the dog.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.