“They had to pick you they needed a girl” I would hear this phrase coming at me from many, even some I considered friends, in the days after it was announced that I was the new host of Bill Perkins Thirst Lounge.
Is what they’re saying true? Did I not earn it? Am I just a prop that fits the project? What happens if I fail and prove them all right, burn through my roll, ostracized in the house, or worse kicked off for just being terrible? I could hear the self doubt creeping in. I shake my head, as if I could somehow physically rid myself of the talk track trying to take hold in my mind.
I remember that the ones who know me, see past the image, Train,Tuchman, Moneymaker, O’brien, and many other incredible people know your heart, what you’re capable of, they believe, rooted for you, and stuck their necks out to put in good words for you. It's time now, step up for them, for your son Rhett, for yourself, this is your life after all Kasey.
As I sit here writing my first blog for the Thirst Lounge I look out at the crystal blue water of the Virgin Islands and think of how I got here. I had a rough start by all accounts. The youngest of four girls, we grew up poor and with many tough experiences. If I wanted something I had to fight for it. At nine years old, I worked at the stables, mucking stalls, caring for the horses, and sweeping the barn so I could earn money to ride the beautiful creatures. I fell in love with horses the same way I did poker, with influence from my grandmother.
At five years old she put me in front of her on the saddle and we galloped away. I remember the feeling of flying. The freedom I felt melted away everything I dealt with at home. She taught me poker around the same time and never went easy on anyone.
My grandmother was put in an orphanage as a small girl because her father believed females had no value on the farm. She spent her life proving she could be as good as any man, and boy did she ever. An avid competitor she was the first chosen on all her coed teams, amazing at skiing, scuba, golf, baseball, and anything else she threw herself into. At eighty seven she still bowls over two hundred.
However, in the end she realized her value was not tied to being the same as her brothers but in showing up in her own beautiful feminine power. She became a mother of three boys and a nurse who many turned to over the doctors for her knowledge and strength. Eventually she cared for her father and on his deathbed, she was the one there holding his hand as he transitioned out of this world.
It’s that fighter spirit and the gratitude of finding the joy through the pain that I call on now to remind me who I am, and where I come from. It’s that grit that will see me through this journey.
I will be enjoying every second of this wild ride, documenting the highs, and lows as I put in the work to run it up, both in poker and life.