"Pizza, Pasta and Poker" by Vince Burgio
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"Inside Poker: The Good, The Bad and
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February 9, 2015

It has been a while since my last blog; I guess laziness would be the
biggest reason for the lapse.  Secondly, last year I cut back on my
playing which translated to a less-than stellar year financially.  I did
make a third-place cash the middle of November at the Venetian in a
HORSE tournament in Las Vegas.  That felt good and I thought it might
be a nice springboard for the coming year.    

I felt great and was anticipating a great Thanksgiving, Xmas and New
Years.  My wife and I were also planning our yearly Las Vegas visit to
celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary.  Also, my wife would be
changing her work schedule to three days a week starting in Jan. 2015,
so we were excited thinking of all the things we could do with her extra
days off -- more three- or four-day golf trips and more poker
tournaments on which she could accompany me.

Well, a few days before Xmas, all my optimism took a large setback.  I
got on my treadmill, as usual, and did my usual 7- to 8-mile jog.  Then,
my wife and I were preparing the house for our annual Xmas party with
some last-minute chores when I picked up a small piece of furniture to
move to a different location.  With the piece of furniture in my hand I
lifted and turned in one motion.  A split-second later, I was frozen in the
most excruciating pain you could imagine.  I literally could not move for
about 10 minutes - I was frozen in a hunched-over position.  Within a
couple of minutes, I was ringing wet.  At that point, my wife finally
persuaded me to let her call 911.  They came, and I went, to the ER of
course.  Within an hour, I was out of pain, thanks to a pain shot
administered by a nurse.  They took some tests and three hours later, it
was concluded that I had a very bad sciatic attack with the underlying
cause being spinal stenosis.

Well, the party went off fine for everyone.  I was not able to move
around, but I guess because of pain medication, I was not feeling that
badly.  I managed to sleep a few hours that night until the pain
intensified, so I took another pain pill - this time, it was much less
affective.  After a couple of hours of laying in bed, I tried to get up and
go to the bathroom - I literally could not stand, so I did the next best
thing and rolled out of bed and crawled on my hands and knees to the
bathroom.  It was then that it hit me, “yesterday I was running 8 miles
and today I am crawling twenty feet.

That episode was two months ago and my recovery has been slow.  I
still have some numbness in my leg and at times some back pain.  But I
literally thank the Lord every morning when I wake up and realize that I
slept through the night - no pills and little or no pain.

I am looking forward to getting back on some kind of exercise regiment
soon and hoping I may even play a few poker tournaments.  I don’t
think I will be able to play golf for a while, but I have my fingers crossed
so we’ll see.

Hopefully in my next blog I can tell you I am fully recovered and all
things are back to normal.

For What it’s Worth...

Vince's  Interview
with Legendary
ActorJoe Mantegna