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Thursday, July 31, 2014

ONE BULLET!!!??? Call That a Win!!!!

 (I am pleased to announce that I won't be using any of these stupid fu**ing words in this blog post: 'bird' (in place of tourney) 'heaps' (lots of chips) 'spew' (giving away chips on a frequent basis) 'rip' (moving all in with aggression) 'showers' (being felted) 'binked' (hitting the card you are rooting for) 'runners' (number of players-a British term, this is America) and I won't refer to myself as 'we' either. It's just ME and/or I. I won't say 'bagged and tagged' either, that's for dead people. Nor will I describe my opponent as 'villain'. Enjoy)

A 12-hour drive. 5 hours of sleep. 8 hours of poker. Standard disaster in Level 12. 42,500 chips (16 bb's) placed in plastic zip-lock bag in the opening event of the PBKC WSOP Circuit event's Flight 1A. I will take it!

When you arrive for the first day in an event that has FIVE starting  flights....with unlimited rebuys/re-entries for the first six levels, the painful reality is that a lot of players are going to expend a LOT of buyins (bullets) to chase the big prize at the end of the rainbow. It's inconceivable to even imagine who will own the record for entries in this event. But suffice to say...you will have someone with 10+ bullets spent probably.

Are you laughing? Don't. If you were at one of the tables yesterday, and saw how a lot of these pickle brains were playing...you would think they all have money trees in their backyards down here. Hell maybe they do...if so, I need to follow a couple of them to their house when they leave, being stealthy as hell, of course.

The day started horribly. I sat down at 12:18pm EST...and looked down at JJ on my very first hand. Wow. I raised to 250 (50-100) and got no action. That would  be the last hand I would win in three levels. It was a blood bath. What made it worse was my table was SO soft...I mean...the whole time I'm just thinking....please just let me make a damn hand ONCE...so I'll get paid off. Didn't happen. I just kept losing, and losing, and losing. My 12k starting stack dwindled to 5400. But I wasn't freaking out. In fact...if you've followed my adventures this summer...you're likely aware that anytime I've started out hot...which I did a LOT this summer at Venetian, it usually ends in disaster.

I finally caught my break. The worst player at the table...a black guy I'd never seen before, wearing a (I shit you not) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt...raised to 750 at 150/300. Pretty much the whole table looked him up. I wasn't about to fold J10h in the SB. Flop comes...hello! 6c-8c-9h. There was about 5400 in the pot...and I had 4600 in my stack. Can you say "check raise?" I can. I check.

Ninja Turtle bets 1000. He gets two callers. I move all in. He tanks and calls. Then Ricky Daniel calls with 9-10. The turn is the king of clubs. Ugh.  But they both check...so maybe they WEREN'T on a flush draw!!?? The river is...boink! 7 of clubs! Making me the straight...but also putting 4 damn clubs on the board. Surely I'm fucked. Ricky turns over his hand...'I have a straight.' Then he sees my J10 and groans. And I'm still waiting for the other guy to turn over a club that sends me walking. (or to the showers if you're one of these 'new age' Twitter fucks) No! No club. I win. Boom! And just like that I'm up to 17k! Hell yes!

From there I took off...and had the chiplead at my table about half an hour later and held it for 3 levels. Then our table breaks. I move to an equally soft table. In fact...the whole field yesterday was crazy soft. I guess all the 'real' players haven't shown up yet. I have one guy at the table who is a major fucking pest...raising light a lot, raising 5 or 6 'x' behind one or two limpers. You know....'that' guy! He was a generally pleasant guy...and if we were just hanging out I'd actually like the guy. But as a poker player? I wanted to kill him. Bad!

So I'm sitting at 44k. He raises in MP. (not a rarity) It folds to me in the small blind and I look at KcQc. Had I been at the table a little longer...and known this guy like I would hours later, I would have three-bet the hell out of him there. But I had limited info at that point. So I flatted. The flop comes Qs-Js-9h. I decide to take it down right there. I lead out for 3500. Which is about what was in the pot. He immediately shoves. It's 15k to call. I look at him. I look at the board. I watch his body language. I finally conclude that he either has A10...or a flush draw. Even tell him that. And watch for a reaction. I'm pretty convinced that I have him beat...at least on the flop. And now there is a pot that tells me I'm getting two-to-one to call. I'm also thinking that if I can hold...bust his irritating ass, and be sitting on 60k with the average at 27k...I can likely cruise to the finish line.

I call. He tells me "good call" and turns over 9s-10d. Boom. Yes! Right call. Now please hold! The turn is a four of spades. The river is the 2 of spades. Holy shit! Four-card flush. He jumps up, celebrates...and I just bury my face in the bumper...clenching my fist under the table. It leaves me with 21k. At 800/1600.  And then I go card dead. Lovely. here we go again.

Had that sinking feeling it was going to be another one of those play all day deals only to get hit with disaster at crunch time again. The last three hours were excruciating. This lady...who had 22k when I got to the table...literally blinded down to 5400...never played a hand...so when she finally moved all in, and I looked at QQ I wasn't that thrilled, knowing how long she waited. Regardless I moved in for 14k. No one called me.

She says "I only looked at one" which tells me...shit! She has an ace! Yup. Luckily her kicker wasn't an ace! She had Ac3c. Flop was clean....but the turn gave her a flush draw and a gutshot. "Oh god, oh god, oh god...don't do it don't do it!!!" River......brick! I had already cut out the 5400 preflop expecting to lose. Okay...so it wasn't a double up...but it was a hand  I could NOT afford to lose. And didn't. Whew.

I picked up a few other pots along the way...finding a few good spots to move in on guys I knew were just raising because they had position. Hate those guys too. To their credit they didn't screw around with folding..making it quick. 

Earlier in the day, we had this old guy in the 1-seat...who had an accent that suggested he was Greek maybe. He was insane, we think. Later, an older guy named Dave who I've played with, and who everyone seems to know, told us he's always been a prick...even when he was younger. So that explained a few things. For some reason, he took a severe disliking to me. So I started doing what I do in those situations sometimes...speaking like a loon. He would be talking about something, and I would quickly switch the topic to something completely irrelevant to the conversation. During one occasion, in the midst of another one of his 3-5 minutes to act on his hand, someone quipped that if he stayed at our table we would all make it to Day 2. I think I said something to the tune of..."I might kill myself before we get that far." 

He heard me and goes ballistic about not being able to see. Oh...because those bright yellow chips are incredibly hard to make out. 5 yellow chips...none on top of the other...neatly and clearly  laying on the felt: "How much is that?" about 100 times. He goes on a rant about how lucky I am because I have perfect vision.

But instead of sharing with him that I actually have pretty bad eyes...I tell him instead that it's not fair for him to 'discriminate' against me because I have good eyes. I tell him I'm an astronaut for NASA and that we are required to have perfect vision. Meanwhile he loses the hand...and it was the last hand before break...and he starts mumbling incoherently, then as he is leaving the table...says this classic gem..."why don't you go shit out your ass!" Huh? I look at the guy two seats over...who is cracking up...and who says "Aren't you SUPPOSED to shit out your ass????"  The table laughs some more.

While the back and forth with this guy was going on...the floor person was walking back and forth behind our table and visibly trying not to start cracking up. I notice the guy has a badly infected finger. You know when you have a hang nail...and you rip it off...which leads to your finger getting all infected? Real nasty and painful? He had that going on. So I tried to act like I cared...and asked him what happened to his finger. He got really defensive and refused to tell me. A little while later...while he was fuming from a hand in which he lost AK to A10 for a good portion of his chips....he said something to me...and I said "Sir, I don't want to talk to you anymore...not until you tell me what happened to your finger!" 

"It's none of your goddamn business what happened to my finger!!!!!"

About three hands later he moves all in with A8. I call him with AQ. Nice. Oh...is it? Jeezuz...the board comes J-9-4-9-4. Unreal. Chop. And he yells out "Karma!!!" Huh? Karma??? Who's dog did I poison!?? How is that karma? I think karma might be one of the most misused words in the vocabulary...and it's certainly not the first time I've had a poker player use it out of context. But okay...you got me old man. KARMA!!!!

Well...a little while later...he would raise again...with AK again...and the guy next to him...a guy I'd grown fond of, actually I pretty much liked our whole table with the exception of that old psychopath...who I actually was enjoying because he made the table interesting...and the pest in the 10-seat. Oh sorry, back to that guy next to him who shoves all in (for a lot-a lot of that going on yesterday...the standard 3-bet was simply all in, not a lot of pot control) with Ac3c. The old guy calls obviously. And loses. And goes mental. He's now sitting there with 4000 chips at 600/1200. He's cursing the dealer. I almost feel sorry for him...but naw...that would be stupid. He is literally the definition of the word CURMUDGEON. I did take his picture...but per my agreement with the WSOP...I will NOT post people's photos during an event. But if you want to see him, email me and I will send it to you.

Now you want to talk about funny? Jessica, the floor person...shows up to our table to balance the tables...and moves our next big blind. Who is it? Yup! Good 'ol Happy Pants! Who picked up his now 2400 chips and goes to another table. We all start howling! I think he was out five minutes later. I'm guessing he busted...then went down to where they keep the racing dogs and kicked 5 or 6 of them. 

Late in the action...it folded around to me and the big blind. We had both been struggling the last three hours. He had a scene like me where he had trapped this old lady...him holding AQ her with A8 on a flop of A-4-J. He checked. She shoves..which she did a LOT (she was also a pretty nice lady...and appreciated my warped sense of humor...which made her alright in my book!) and he calls...only to watch the board go JACK...KING! Chop! He lost another hand in sick fashion after that. In fact...our table was disgusting...the best hand RARELY won. And if someone was all in...they almost inevitably won. Well it folded around to us in the blinds and I looked at A4 at 1200/2400 and 16k in my stack. I raised. He shoved. I couldn't fold. He had Jd10d. Yikes. I think we all like his hand there. Whoa! Ace on the flop. And on the turn he was drawing dead. That...was a critical hand!

I managed to fade the Level 15 disaster...picking up a few pots...and bagged up the aforementioned 42,500. And yeah, it's certainly not a lot. But...most of my 'good work' in tourneys has come when I go to Day Two with a smallish stack. I tend to make better decisions, play more patiently...and frankly, we will go back almost in the money...so I should be able to survive long enough to at least bank what will likely be about $800 or so to cash. And while I'm certainly not chasing $800...I think it's important to set goals and accomplish them one at a time. Goal 1: Buy in ONCE...and bag. Check! Goal 2: Make the money, get that buy in back, with a little profit. Goal 3: Get down to 3 tables and some respectable money. Goal 4: Make the final table and make a 5-figure, life-altering score...and Goal 5: Win that bitch! Win a ring! Win some respect! And freeroll the rest of the event! Goals...gotta have 'em. 

So I bag up. Decide (bad decision)  to play the 8pm $135 Shit Show. I seriously wish they would just rename it that. Because that is exactly what it is. Horrible horrible players...or players on super tilt from busting out of the nooner (11am!) littering the field. 12k starting stack! Wait what? Okay calm down. The blinds go like this...brace yourself:  100/200 (yes that is the FIRST level) 200/400, 300/600, 400/800, 600/1200....yup. 20 minute levels. Started with 68 players. I busted and rebought. Turned that 12k into 40k at 300/600 and actually had a moment where I thought I might just win this thing. Had a real friendly 2nd table too. Ricky Daniel was back at my table..and to be honest...he owned my soul. I had a good hand, he had a better hand...about 3 or 4 times. I finally got 8 BB's in with KQ and ran smack into AA and KK. Wow. I did flop a queen...but didn't get another one...and was out. 17th place. Oh well. It was fun.

Next up? Cash game. The max buy in is only $200. Hate that. It was a weird table. We had a guy who looked like Meatloaf when he cleans himself up, and not quite as fat. We would end up liking each other I think. Him in the 3 seat, me in the 8 seat. At one point we tried to get the floor to let us...just him and I....play for our bankrolls. He was raising just about every hand...to 15 or 20. And he would run hot and cold. I slow rolled him one time on a board that sported four spades (I had the ace) and which gave me a straight on the river. So at showdown...I turn over the 3...and tell him 'Straight!' He turns over the king of spades and says...'Well I have a flush!!!' 

"Ahhhh...nice hand. Oh wait! I have a flush also! And show him my ace!' This was early in our 'table relationship' so he snapped. Went storming off telling anyone he knew that he'd just been slow rolled. Apparently he'd been bullying the shit out of the table because they all loved it. I had only been there about 20 minutes. It only got better from there, until we eventually were having a lot of fun with each other. He was over there pounding tequila while I was having an occasional Coors Lite. Then at some point...he started wigging out. Why? Oh shit! The waitress cut him off. Now in his defense? Sure...he'd had a LOT of shots. But he was plenty coherent. Big guy. But I guess he had violated the 'drinks per hour' rule or something. That had him pretty pissed off.

I wasn't running very well. Missed 17-outers about 5 times. One of the more memorable ones being a flopped open-ended straight flush draw only to brick. And it kept happening to guys who had less than 100 chips...so I could never fold to them. Standard play. They bet 20 on the bet (c-bet by them) and I raise to about 50...they shove, I obviously call...and go brick brick. Sigh. Over and over and over...with an occasional win mixed in.

It was getting late. I was getting tired. Then IT happened. Our dealer was this old...I mean OLD guy. Three of the regulars had mentioned how f***ing slow he was, and how he always makes mistakes. Great. Well...he did NOT disappoint. 

Have you ever been playing cash game late at night...and notice that the floor supervisor has that look about him that if he is ever called to your table to make a judgement call that it is very likely not going to be handled correctly? Well...we had THAT guy. And that guy cost me $380...and got me sent home for the night. That guy will  have a written complaint issued against him today when I go in to play the 5pm PLO 8 or Better tourney.

The kid next to me had been whittled down to $12. Yah! TWELVE DOLLARS. Nice kid. I looked at him...and told him "Dude...your $12 stack is putting me on life tilt! Buy some chips!" Nope. He was gonna ride that $60 buy in into the dirt. Okay. Literally two hands later...he moves all in behind a raise of $20. I re-raise to $60 with QQ. My buddy (Meatloaf) calls, because, well...he calls everything WITH anything. Fair enough. The original raiser...a crazy guy who was either Hispanic, Asian or a combination of both...and who kept trying to tell us some kind of story about a mango he kept trying to smuggle into the poker room, pushes all in. This meant nothing. I wasn't folding QQ to this guy. No way. I call. I show the kid my hand. He shows me AK clubs. Ah. Nice hand. The flop? Hilarious. Qc-Jc-9c! Set for me...nut flush for him...and we don't see the other guys hand.

I turn over my cards...tabling my queens. The cowboy hat-wearing,  mango-smuggling guy grunts when he sees my hand. This is when things get interesting...and by interesting...I mean TOTALLY FUCKED UP!

The dealer pulls my cards into the muck. Um...excuse me? Sir? You just mucked my cards!

"What?" Uh...you just pulled my cards into the damn muck!

Fortunately I'd tabled my cards...so it was anything but dead...despite the guy in the 5-seat now lobbying for it to BE dead. (angle-shooting asshole) Oh no you don't! That's when the floor was called. A guy I can only compare to someone who looks like the cartoon character Droopy Dog. I won't post his name here. But if you are a regular down here, you know who it is. The hand is explained to him, unfortunately by the dealer...who is failing to mention that my cards were tabled. And when I try to tell the floor guy that, the dealer barks at me that 'I'm explaining the story, do you MIND!???" 

"Um...well, yeah...I do mind, because its almost a $400 side pot...and you aren't explaining the story correctly, the way your telling it...that my cards were face down...the floor guy here is going to rule that my hand is dead, despite you 'accidentally' pulling it into the muck. So please...explain it right!"

Well, this is when Meatloaf chimed in...insisting that the WHOLE table saw my queens...and that my hand should NEVER be dead there. So...I got my cards back.Thanks 'Loaf!

Now? It gets REALLY REALLY interesting...and this is something I have NEVER seen happen before. Ever. And HOW long have I been playing poker? Get ready.

With Droopy Dog still hovering around the table...Kermit the Frog (the dealer's nickname in my mind, due to his posture mainly) puts out the turn and the river. The kid holds up on the main pot (small) but I win the side (big) pot. The guy in the five seat turns over KJ, cards in his hand still...displays disgust...and shoots his cards...upside down...into the muck. Hand over...pot shipped to me.

Wait!!!! Now the guy in the 5-seat claims he had a straight! Okay...first of all...no he didn't...as there was no ten on the board...which he needed to make a straight. And furthermore...he knowingly mucked his hand...even if there WAS a ten out there. Done deal right?

Nope! The dealer...who couldn't be counted on probably to remember his address, let alone the last 5 cards on the board...all of a sudden decides that YES...he DID have a straight! What!??? No fucking way. 

I go mental. Here comes Droopy Dog. He had been watching the scene unfold. I am freaking out...two other guys at the table have my back...and they are telling the floor that he did NOT have a straight...and that he killed his hand anyway. But oh no...this fucking dealer is insisting he did. Well then he tries to dig the cards...both hands..AND the flop from the muck...and it's a total circus. There are cards scattered all over the place. 

"You have gotta be kidding me!??? Is this really happening? Floor! Do you even realize how ridiculous this is? This isn't even a hard decision."

He waves security over...and tells me if I don't calm down he's going to make me leave for the night. 

"So you are about to give away my $400 pot...wrongly...and I'm pissed because your wrong...and you are going to just make me leave? Really? That's how you deal with a mistake? I know you have surveillance here. Go check the damn tape...see what the board was...watch his action...then give me my damn pot!"

Oh no...the dealer reaches over...and pulls my pot back..and pushes it to Mr. Mango! I come unglued. And Droopy tells me I'm done for the night. I get escorted out...by a Sheriff I'd been chatting with earlier in a friendly manner...so he was pretty cool with me..and just told me to take it up with the poker room manager the next day. He told me he didn't know enough about poker to know what just happened. I told him I basically just had $400 stolen from me by the fucking dealer...and had an incompetent floor guy back him up.

Now...ya ever had THAT happen to you??? No? Yeah, probably not. Do I expect them to make it right? Hell no. Maybe they will say their sorry. Yippee. But they need to know who they got working graveyard. And the mistakes they are making. 

Oh...speaking of the cash room. They did a real nice remodel here. New tables, new carpet...and I guess they painted the walls. The layout is still the same...it just looks and smells better. 

I bet on my first dog ever yesterday. #4. Don't even know his name. But I was on break...was running good...and saw the dog take a crap on his way to the starting gate...which I'm told is the dog you should always bet on. So I put $20 on him to do something I didn't understand. Told the lady I didn't know what I was doing...she said something about a box, or a quintilla  or something. Whatever...I was rooting for #4. That dog sucked. He was in last place until he made a little burst at the end to finish 2nd to last. Damn dog. Maybe if he could have run TWO laps instead of one he'd have pulled it out.

It's 1pm...and I kind of want to go to the beach. I've never been to the beach down here..and I can only assume its really nice. And my 4th of July tan has pretty much faded. But I don't know...the beach really drains you...and I would like to be fairly 'fresh' when I go play this Omaha tourney at 5pm. I'm also afraid of sharks. And they live in the ocean.

Day Two in this first event isn't til Sunday....nice! So I will just play some one day events probably, work in a few sit n gos...try to build up my bankroll. Then hopefully return on Sunday and get lucky!

I'm outa here!

MONKEY

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Back To Florida....In Search of Run Good!

It's been a pretty weird month. I've played some poker. Had two back-to-back nights of run-bad on Bovada. One night I literally went 0-15 in tourneys. Losing with every imaginable big hand in every way you can possibly come up with. It was comical. So having had enough of that BS I decided to go to Nugget and play some live poker.

The first night...it took 4 hours to finally get a 1/3 NL table going. In the mean time I  lost $300 playing 4/8 limit when no matter what I had in my hand, it was losing. Flopping sets, flopping straights, flopping flushes....nearly never held. It was always 9 to the flop...7 or 8 to the turn and 6 or 7 to the river.  It was a joke. How anyone sits and plays limit poker for any significant amount of time and doesn't come away wanting to either kill someone or themselves is beyond me.

I  think the worst part of playing limit poker is the annoying conversations that take place at the table. You are listening to people attempt to have meaningful chats regarding poker, something none of them know anything about. It's painful. Two guys in a hand vs. each other...not saying anything throughout the hand...but then once the hand is over...we get the pleasure of hearing them share their mindset on the hand from beginning to end, what one guy put the other guy on. And it just devolves from there...until finally....you envision yourself removing a bullet...writing both of their names on it...then selecting an angle where if you shoot them you stand a good chance of killing them both with the same bullet!

Yeah...limit poker sucks!

So finally, a NL limit table opened. I was excited just to be able to make a $30 bet on the flop or turn and maybe get lucky and win a hand when I have it. Well...that didn't go as planned either. I was getting called down with junk, usually when I was bricking 17-outers while bluffing the flop and turn. It was a lousy session...I lost a good amount for the night.

But I returned the next day, a Saturday, mainly because they were giving away $100 or $200 every half hour...pulling names out of a drum. I filled out about 70 tickets the night before so my sore hand forced me to go back. I went back...and I ended up winning $625 for the session, which ended at 4am. My name was never drawn in the hours between 10am and 12:30am. Guest appearances were made by Gabe Costner and Kai Landry. 

As for circuit events? I've decided to travel today to Palm Beach Kennel Club for the first WSOP-circuit event of 2014-15. It was nice of WSOP to add a second event to the PBKC...as they draw very well there. I was a little surprised, however to not see it mentioned on the Cardplayer schedule and the WSOP site itself doesn't even have the schedule for the new season up. Weird. Also not on the schedule is the 3rd event of the WSOP season (after Foxwoods) at the IP in Biloxi. And since I've just learned that my two-year ban at IP is about to be over I would hope to see that show up there soon so they can hopefully get a better turnout than they traditionally seem to get there.

Leaving to go play poker is getting harder and harder the older Carley gets. This past two weeks we first broke her of the habit of wanting a bottle. That was a lot easier than we thought it would be. What we feared would be impossible, shedding the pacifier? Proved to be even easier...but it was kind of by accident. Carley got a little cold sore on her mouth, which was something called Stomatitis, something common in toddlers. It resulted in a terrible fever that persisted for 4-5 days,  and more sores on her mouth. She was absolutely  miserable. Well, during that bout with sickness, she couldn't put a paci in her mouth...and now that she is completely recovered, she has forgotten all about it. Wow! No bottle, no paci! And in the last week...she has turned into a little chatterbox. She is getting so funny, and smart. It's amazing watching her transform from baby...to little girl. 

When we went to Squirrel's family's house two weekends ago...Carley saw me packing and started freaking out...because she thought I was leaving her again. It killed me....even though she was coming with us. She was bawling...and we had to explain to her that she was coming with...that I wasn't leaving her. So when it came to this trip to Palm Beach..which I think will be my last trip,  poker-wise, for 2014...I decided to wait to pack until  I dropped her off at daycare. Yeah, it will suck when she comes home chanting 'Daddy? Daddy?' and I'm not here. But she is getting a lot more responsive to Facetime...so that is at least some relief. 

There were  two events I wanted to play...the Palm Beach event, and the big Hard Rock event a little further south. And both of those events consume all of August. Last year, in that $10m Guarantee $5k buy in...I min-cashed. It's a field of great players and the structure is awesome. So it was hard to decide what to play. I couldn't play both...I just can't do that to Carley...or Squirrel. It's too much work for her...and not to mention, I miss them both a ton when I'm gone. That month in Vegas this summer was really tough...I couldn't do that again. 

So  the plan is to play the shorter tourney...and the one with smaller buy ins...and if I should happen to run pretty well, maybe just fly down to Ft. Lauderdale at the end of the month and play the $5k Main Event only. 

I decided to play on my own dime for this event...but am throwing all of my backers from this summer, both MY package and the package for the Grinders, aka 'Minions.' I've told them that if I cash for over $20k in cashes at PBKC, I will throw them all 10% of my winnings...paid out over equal shares to anyone who was involved in one or both. I'll be honest, I decided not to sell a package because I don't think I'm worthy! I haven't done much lately that I feel warrants getting backed! So I will hope to go down there, play well, and have some hands hold up at crunch time and come back with something to show for it. And if not? Well,  at least I will be the only one who suffers!

The other reason I'm not selling a package, is that I have some personal stuff going on with my family back home in Seattle...and at a moments notice, there is a chance that I might have to hop on a plane and fly home to deal with it. It wouldn't be right to sell to investors knowing that I have that floating around out there. Kind of irresponsible. 

In the news this past month has been totally dominated by the fighting in Ukraine, and then the shoot down of a Malaysian airliner. It's absolutely sickening the way its been handled...and I hope the world comes down hard on Vladamir Putin and his band of idiots in Russia. Watching that whole mess, it really makes me appreciate our own NTSB and FBI for the way they handle plane crashes. First and foremost is their total respect for the dead. Secondly, the way they totally seal off a crash scene...then catalog each and every piece of debris they find..in an attempt to find out EXACTLY what happened. This crash scene in Ukraine is a total shitshow...and I feel terrible for anyone who lost a loved one in that tragedy.

Meanwhile,  in the Middle East...I think they are now up to 22 days of bombing the shit out of each other. Facebook has been one big adventure. I have friends that are both Jewish and Arab...and there have been some incredibly spirited debates supporting both sides while decrying the other. The whole thing is sad. Saddest in all of it, is all of the innocent children that have been killed and wounded in Gaza. As a father..it really breaks my heart seeing these kids. I don't have any hardcore feelings either way as to who is right and/or wrong. My only thing is that I can't understand some of the views of Hamas, such as their message to fellow Arabs/Palestinians being that Israel and all Jews needs to be wiped out. I mean...you can claim hardships all you want...and maybe they are warranted, but when you are living by a mantra that your neighbor needs to die? It's hard to feel sorry for you.

About a week ago...I made a post on my Facebook that pissed some people off. Totally not the goal. I suppose instead of using the words Jews and Arabs...I was supposed to use the words Israelis and Palestinians. And by saying 'this is the place to be' some who hadn't been embroiled in my days-long thread on Facebook or known about it...took that to mean the Middle East was the place to be.  I was guilty of having tunnel-vision. My own friends who are from Israel and Gaza and contributing to the debate had no problem with it because they knew what I meant, but because my Facebook wall  posts are open to everyone, including people who aren't friends....and all of my FB posts ALSO post to Twitter? Well...it got a lot more visibility than I'd contemplated. 

So I get a message from a friend of mine who was aware of the beef I had with a certain woman of Israeli descent two years ago after all that shit happened at Hammond. When that whole thing was going on...she decided to bash me on her wall, saying I'd been at her table during the WSOP Main Event (the year I cashed 175th) and that I'd done and said all these sexist comments...none of which was true. In fact, what actually happened, was that I mistakenly thought SHE was a HE. And during a hand we were in, I respectfully called her 'sir.' She didn't correct me. She didn't even make a facial expression that would suggest I had made a mistake. Instead...on the 15-minute break...the dealer told me. I felt so stupid, and embarrassed. But holy crap...I couldn't be the first person to have made that mistake!!!


I will let you judge for yourself. Does that not look like it MIGHT be a man? Well...that day at my table...she looked like a freaking man! And after the break I did everything I could do to try to make up for it, being overly nice. Guess it didn't work, because the first chance she had to trash me, she took  it. She even went so far as to say the WSOP had TAPES of me acting in the ways she accused me of. Hilarious...this was on day 1...where there was a whole ROOM full of tables...and somehow she thinks there was a hidden camera filming me? Anyway...her name is Breeze Zuckerman...and once she saw my comment on Twitter she went nuts! She posts my comment then calls me a racist idiot pig.

First of all...I'm not sure what in my comment would have led to anyone considering me a racist. Last time I checked, Israeli's and I are the same 'race.' If anything, she could have screamed that I was Anti-Semitic, except that would be pretty stupid too,  since I'd been supporting the Israeli's all throughout the threads on my wall.  Nope...the easy to figure conclusion was that my buddy Breeze saw my post and just went with her knee-jerk reaction...instead  of doing about 3 minutes worth of research. She then tried to rally all her 'friends' to inform them all of what an asshole I am. Well, I reached out to several of them...sending them messages explaining in detail my 'history' with Breeze..and the reasons for her bitterness. I also explained my position on the skirmish in Israel. Three of them responded very positively. 

Ya know...what the fuck is it with miserable human beings? Okay, in fairness, and I say this because I've seen a lot of heated discussions as a result of this conflict, this particular issue has really caused people to react with a lot of ire. I get it. It's a very heated subject. And people have some serious personal feelings about it. I lived in NYC for five years and several of my very good friends are Jewish...and I've asked a lot of questions over the years, as a kid raised in Seattle and Montana, we had very little religious and racial strife where I grew up. The answers that I've gotten from my Jewish friends have educated me to the situation, but also led me to want to know more, and wanting to understand the views of the Palestinians. To be frank...the whole thing is a mess.

But these people who just decide that when they see something they don't like, or agree with...that they just declare war on the person? It's incredible. And to be honest...the way a lot of these people act? Is a microcosm of just how irrationally the two sides are acting over there! I might agree more with Israel's plight in all this...but it doesn't mean I think they aren't making mistakes along the way. And I obviously find a lot of fault with Hamas' handling of the whole conflict as well. But the reactionary attitudes of some people when simply discussing this situation? They prove just how closed-minded they are to the other side's feelings. And until that ends...there will never be peace between those two sides. Ever.

As for Breeze Zuckerman? And her constant attacks on me? Pffft....whatever. I really don't care about that broad...she's got her own problems that I can't ever begin to hope to deal with.

Incidentally I will be meeting up with the dealer who started all of my nightmare with getting banned in Hammond and subsequently all Caesar's owned properties while I am down in Florida. We talked last August about the whole mess...and she assured me she wanted to help me get back in,  that what happened between us was just a misunderstanding. But I didn't do a very good job of following up with her on it. Well I've gotten more proactive about it  because I really do NOT want to be sitting out another year of WSOP events next summer. My current goal  is to get Cheryl to take a month off of work...and have her and Carley come out to Vegas with me, and rent a house with another couple with a kid about Carley's age. Make it a much better time for all of us. Well...so with that in mind, I'd really like this ban to be worked out and eliminated. So her and I are going to get a letter written and get it sent off to the appropriate people while  I'm down there. 

Well? I think that's about it. Oh! Football season is almost (finally!) here and once again, my four major pools are about to get kicked off. I sent out the first invite of the year yesterday. I always get so excited for football season to start! I also opened up my  4 fantasy leagues last week...and am close to getting those 16-team leagues sold out. If you are a reader that is NOT on my distro list...and would like to  get involved in my pools and/or fantasy leagues...shoot me an email at ThePoolMonkey@aol.com and I will get you involved!!!!

Time to go pack...and get on the road to Palm Beach!!!! Hopefully I have some good news to report in the next 12 days in what will likely be my last poker road trip of 2014!

MONKEY


Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Minions Get Hit With The Shrink Ray!!!!

I thought by now (Day 6) you all knew this already...but I guess not, judging from a lot of the comments left here. 

The Grand Plan fell short...as our only Grinder advancing to Day 3...'Wild Bill' Phillips, was somewhere in the 2nd level on Day 3 when his KK fell to JJ...the other guy flopped a set. It was a true bummer, as Bill started the second day with 18k...and managed to get it up to 54k while the other three guys all busted on Day 2. 

In checking the unpublished comments before writing this today, I happened upon one that kind of irritated me, and left me feeling like I owed some people an explanation. Maybe I don't...but hell, whatever.

I can honestly say that I had an equal amount of confidence in every one of these players. Who I picked, and who the public (you guys) picked, really didn't have anything to do with my friendship with any of them. Now, saying that...I am really good friends with Kai Landry and BJ McBrayer. Bill and I have mostly a professional relationship, though I think the world of him...we've never actually 'hung out' before. And Joshua and I had never met before spending half a day at the same table at Venetian. His father had actually presented him as a 'Grinder Candidate' way back when I first announced my intentions to try to pull this idea off. I liked what I read. I  researched his results and also liked what I saw. And embarrassingly, I didn't even realize it was him at my table that day at Venetian! The other two guys who didn't get picked, Christian Iacobellis and John Wesstra, are both also good friends. In addressing one of this guys' comments...that he found it 'interesting' that I ONLY chose my good friends? This is what I would say in rebuttal:

If you were going to invest a large amount of money in someone to play in the Main Event...who would YOU pick? Someone who you KNOW had a good shot to win that was a friend? Or someone you KNOW had a good shot to win who you either didn't KNOW...or who you didn't like? I would hope that isn't a tough question to answer. How you would use this as a 'conspiracy angle' makes me shake my head in utter confusion. 

To further that...I had somewhere between 15-20 people apply for the seat. I would say at least 10 of those players I knew pretty well. It would be hard to go out and just dig up people with skills who I DON'T know...especially considering how long I've been at this game. I mean...I look over the final 300 players in the WSOP Main Event yesterday...and I would estimate that I know (in some way) at least 25% of them. Currently the field is down to 55 the last time I looked...and I'm pretty friendly with four of them...Leif Force, Kyle Bowker, Matt Waxman, and Bryan Devonshire. I would love it if ANY of those guys won or even made the Final Table. Not because I have a piece of ANY of them...but because I just enjoy rooting for people I like to have good things happen to them. Simple concept, though I do think there are those who wish for some of their fellow players NOT to do well because they are simply jealous of other people's success.

Anyway...the "you just picked good friends" barb is pretty stupid, if you didn't figure that out. Last point on that: If anyone, and I'm speaking of investors...thought that the players I selected weren't worthy...or didn't possess the skills to win the Main Event...do you think...for 1 second...that they would have committed $200 per share? Again...you can't fix stupid...and even harder is trying to defend yourself AGAINST stupid!

I managed to make a big discovery last night/today. Two discoveries actually. So out of nowhere, on my Facebook wall..someone I'm not friends with...and who goes by the name of a woman that just happens to be the name of his dog...and who's dog is featured as the avatar/profile pic on his account...pops up out of nowhere and poses a lot of very unusual questions.

To paraphrase, he basically was trying to insinuate that I was 'running a scam' by overselling the shares...and that I then apparently sat crossing my fingers that NONE of them cashed...so I could, you know...make a little money on the side. Then he spent the next two hours waffling back and forth (in true Bi-Polar fashion)...going from "Oh I was just curious about the business model of such a venture" then swerving to "Well, if no one verified how many were sold..then how would anyone know!?? I want you to send me your whole list of investors and what they bought!" Huh? This was about the time he got jumped by 5 or 6 of my investors...who had taken notice and come in to both defend me and explain to this guy that he had absolutely no fucking business asking to see information that he wasn't a part of. I was grateful for that...but at the same time...I'm sitting there thinking to myself, "Holy shit...is there ANYTHING I can do in this life without SOME asshole trying to paint me as a shyster?"  I'm telling you...the shit really gets old.

Just so I can make this as easy to understand as possible. We raised enough to send 4 players to the WSOP. FOUR. Which cost a total of $40,000. I personally bought five shares myself...for $1000. Once we hit 200 shares...the sale was closed. Two guys who sent me $200 before I had a chance to tell them we were full....Jon Chisholm and Eric Cochran...both got their $200 refunded back to them on PayPal within an hour of sending it to me. It's my opinion that only the biggest idiot in the world would go out of his way to find and send the BEST PLAYERS he could to try and win $10m in a poker tournament...purchase $1000 of the plan HIMSELF...and then go and oversell shares for what? A chance to make a few hundred, maybe a thousand extra dollars?

There is a reason I don't play tournaments under $100. Because 'scores' of anything under $1000 are pointless to me. $1000 will do very little to change my life. And I would assume, most of your lives too, who are reading this. So...why in the F*** would anyone with half a brain (which I'm positive I have, maybe even 3/4 of a brain) run the risk of exposing himself to potentially $32,000'ish PER SHARE should one of your four players WIN the Main Event? Hmmm...can you say "find a new country to run away to?" As I stated, I have TOTAL confidence in every one of these players. So for someone to insinuate something like overselling shares...to me is just a reflection on how fucking stupid THEY are.

In addition to just common sense...there is another thing called credibility. After doing pools for over 20 years...and selling poker packages for about 7...I have a spotless record on paying people who win, and doing it quickly. People don't chase me all over kingdom-come looking for their money. Ever! I run pools on a regular basis where I actually lose money on them. Mainly because I always take a lot of extra entries for myself...that eats up the small commission I charge for running them. And now...I award a hoodie to every winner of my pools...which is another $50. On all three Triple Crown race pools I did...all the winners got a hoodie despite me losing about $100 on each pool. No big deal. It's all about keeping my word.

The people who bought into the WSOP Grinders package...73 of them....I would say about 80% of them either play my pools or have bought into one of my past poker packages. I'm pretty sure NONE of them have any doubts about how I run  these things. So why do I let it bother me when someone like this guy hijacks my wall on Facebook (I finally blocked him after he turned it into a contest of 7th grade-like 'your mama' and 'your sister' jabs with people who were defending me and slamming him) and starts making all these ridiculous and irritating comments and accusations? I'm not sure. I've never been someone who is good at just dismissing them, turning my head...and marching on. I've always for some reason felt like I needed to defend myself. I don't know if that is a flaw or not. It's just the way I've always been. 

One note regarding my 73 investors: We had some REALLY classy people in the group. Midway through Day 1 I opened a private Group page on Facebook just for them, the players, and the players' family members. Once all the players had been eliminated, there were some incredibly nice comments left on there, in support of the players. It really made me happy to see that the overwhelming feeling wasn't sour grapes. And in turn, the players did a great job at expressing their gratefulness for being given the opportunity. Wild Bill posted a really cool post on his blog, that appears on this site. I won't lie...I was touched. And it made me feel SO good about the decision I made on these four guys. 

And to take it one step further, several of them (investors) expressed enthusiasm about doing it again next year, if I do it again next year. I am currently working on trying to get back in to playing all the WSOP events, and hope to have that resolved by the new year...but I have to think..even if I DO get in, and am free to play the Main Event next year...I think it would still be a lot of fun to do it again. It would give me a chance to start earlier...and outfit everyone in 'Team Monkey' gear...make it a real 'team' thing. Granted...all four guys really did work together, from picking each other up at the airport, to meeting to get their money and get bought in together to staying in touch with each other. It was cool. And as a player...I'm telling you...when you are in Vegas...it can be a very lonely place sometimes...especially when you are out there grinding by yourself. Having a group of people with you...all supporting each other...it really is an emotional boost...whether you're running good or like shit.

And hell, if you have 4 or 5 of you on a 'team' and you all have a financial interest in each other...it makes it less of a blow when you get 1-outed on the river for your tourney when, as your walking out you realize the other 4 guys are still alive...and you can turn a positive into a negative by being supportive of them and hoping good things happen for them, and in turn...yourself!

For the financial backers? A lot of these people play poker...but can't get out to Vegas to play for numerous reasons...jobs, family, other obligations. And so what this offers to them is a chance to have a 'sweat' in the biggest tourney of the year. And I made damn sure the players picked would be good about keeping everyone informed...which they did a pretty good job of. Granted, had any of them made it past Day 4...they wouldn't have had to...since every move from that point on is pretty much on the websites...and I wouldn't want them being distracted by ANYTHING. Having a bunch of those backers tell me they can't wait to do it again? That makes me feel like I did things the right way.

Oh...so back to my 'discovery.' I've been getting these shitty comments on my blog as I mentioned. Obviously there is never a reason for me to publish them. Well...and besides, for whatever reason...that 'comment' widget on the blog design/layout stopped working last year some time. I've done everything to fix it and nothing seems to work. So I couldn't publish them if I wanted to. Well...after the marathon (250+) comment thread that I finally locked him out of last night...he turned around and left a post on my blog, again. Same manner of speech. Same tone. Same theme. Never before has someone gone so NOT out of their way to mask their identity. Basically reiterating everything he had to say on the Facebook thread...with the warning that my 'little pool operation is now being watched!' OH!!!! Scary!!!! Watched by who? I'm about to be busted by the Pool Police? That's hilarious. Bring em on. I register EVERY payment. EVERY payout. Report all my profits (minimal) on my taxes...where I file as a professional gambler.  Not exactly sure what this guy thinks I'm going to get popped for. Then he mentioned I was going to be 'watched' for something I don't even partake in. So that was interesting.

What I haven't mentioned is that I was tipped off by someone as to who the 'talking dog' on Facebook was. And the more he talked the more it matched. Other little clues fell into place until I was 100% convinced of who it was. I won't go into detail or reveal his name...but suffice to say, it came as a disappointment. It was someone I honestly tried to help about 4 years ago...and who kind of suffered a mental episode while we were amongst fellow friends, and instead of confiding in me like I'd hoped he would have...he just retreated. Went home, and burned all the bridges to all of us...lumping all of us into the same category. I was never upset with him, or mad about anything. In fact I felt sorry for him. But what that got me was a big EF YOU I guess. I hadn't heard anything from him or about him in the 3 or 4 years since. But now, I realize he's been keeping real close tabs on me and my life...while leaving these horrible messages on my blog message board. And then taking it up a notch and blasting me on my Facebook wall last night.

Here's the thing with my Facebook. I have my settings set so that people who aren't my friends are free to see my wall and make comments on it. Is that smart? Meh...probably not. But the thing is...I feel 100% confident with how I live my life. I know I live a clean life and don't screw people over. Sure...I'll make fun of people sometimes...or rip on people I think deserve to be ripped on. And that probably isn't what some people would call 'nice.' But I can't help it. I'm sarcastic...and there are some people who just leave you no option but to make fun of them. But does that make me a 'bad' person who does 'bad' things? Of course not. If I was a scum bag with a lot of shit to hide...there is no way I'd let just anyone make comments on my Facebook, as I'd be running the risk of getting caught. 

Oh wow, I just thought of something. Now that I've said this...if I now go and make my wall private, and only open to my 1500+ friends to see and make comments on...then they WILL say all those things I just said are all the reasons I DON'T make it private. See!!!!??? Damned if I do...damned if I don't! I guess I'll just leave it alone...and hope that I can count on my friends to have my back when I'm getting assaulted by some jagoff.

So yeah...I've had a pretty fun day. In between all this I watched a pretty boring World Cup final. I'm 75% German...but if Argentina won I'd have won 3rd place in my World Cup pool. And I never played soccer. I really just watch it during the Olympics and the World Cup. And will watch if the Seattle Sounders make the MLS Championship only because they are from Seattle. One thing about soccer that makes me sick is the number of times guys go down like they've just had their leg cut in half...rolling around on the ground like they're dying...only to pop back up 30 seconds later and resume playing. Yeah yeah...I get it..their trying to sell the foul. Just like in basketball. Well, I hate it there too. Well...Germany won. In extra time. Thank God. I think using penalty kicks to decide a World Champion is a joke. Another reason I love the NHL. Sure they use penalty shots in the regular season after a 5-minute OT period doesn't decide a winner. But not in the playoffs. Nope. Play til you die! And you will see quite a few 2 and 3 OT games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's the greatest. That last game between my beloved NY Rangers and the LA Kings...that ended near the end of the 2nd overtime...was one of the most incredible games I've ever seen in my life. And that's coming from the guy whose team LOST. Anyway...enough about soccer.

I've been going at it with people on the ESPN message boards all week. It is literally one of my primary sources of entertainment. My wife thinks I'm nuts and that it's a waste of time. But it's just damn near impossible to read some of the stupid comments people leave and not just rip into them. I really think if I was a comedian, I would resort to the message boards for a lot of my material. It's there...in heaps.

I drove 5268 total miles on my trip out west and back. Before I left I had my rear brakes fixed. So why..I wonder...did they squeak and squeal the whole time I was gone? It was driving me bonkers. I get back from our family trip to Orange Beach this past week...take it in to where I got them done...and this old guy tells me...yeah,  I just knocked the glaze off your discs...you should be good to go now. Huh? Glaze? Made me think about ham. Mmmmmm...ham! Snapped out of that and said, "Um..so they aren't squeaking now?" Nope...you're good. And I was. No charge. Weird.

Anyone wanna talk about what's going on in Israel? No? GOOD!  Brought it up on my Facebook wall and it became another 200+ thread. One thing about the Arabs and the Jews...no matter who is involved in the conversation...it almost always becomes heated. Just when I think I know enough to have an educated discussion about what is going on over there...people hit me over the head with facts I never knew..which always leaves me kind of regretting getting into the conversation in the first place. I'll say this...I like learning things, and at 47 it doesn't happen as much as it once did. And that two-day thread was very educational. I will only say that I hope nothing happens that both sides will regret.

What's next for me on the poker landscape? Hmmm. Well...there are TWO events, both in August, in South Florida. The Palm Beach Kennel Club was awarded a second circuit event..and now they have the first one of the season...from July 31st to August 12th...in addition to the one they have in February. Then from Aug 14th to the end of the month, the Hard Rock in Hollywood has the $10m guarantee that I went down and played last year...min-cashing the Main and running pretty bad in everything else. The investors made about half their money back if I remember right. Those would likely be the last events I'd want to play heading into football season...when I become content to sit at home for the most part. In fact...I don't think I played anything last year after the Hard Rock until January, when I went to Choctaw. Those four months off from poker were great. I just looked at the All-Time Cashes for WSOP circuit events...and where I used to be 3rd on the list...I've plummeted to like 15th! With nine cashes I could get back into the top 5. It must be the competitor in me that has me thirsting to regain my spot on that list. Well that and I just like winning. Oh and winning money also doesn't suck. So that is a possibility.

The only thing that complicates those plans...is word from my sister today that my mother, who after recently retiring, is planning on selling her house in Seattle and moving to Wisconsin to be closer to my sister and her kids...is requiring my assistance to fly out to Seattle sometime in the next 30 days to help her get her house ready for sale...and move a bunch of heavy objects. Well...it's my mom...you only have one mom...and I don't see how I can say no. She's done a lot for me over the past 5-10 years...as well as for my wife and daughter. Not that those things make me feel obligated, I would do it anyway. But NOT doing it...well, that would make me a pretty rotten son. And hey! Maybe while I'm there my suddenly resurgent Mariners will be in town and we can take in a game! My mom loves the Mariners too. We sweat out games together via text message...her watching on local TV and me watching on MLB.tv that I subscribe to for $29.99 a month. 

Okay...that's it for this blog. Hope you all had a great weekend!

MONK

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Grinders Return to Day Two....All Four of Them!

Here we are. The cards just went in the air on Day 2C...which is 1200 players shy of the 3768 they started Day 1C with on Monday. Five levels were played and at the end of the night, all four of my sponsored players (by 73 individual investors) were still standing. Oh...none were sporting monster stacks...but why would that be any fun!??

Early in the action on Monday, an article appeared in the Live Reporting thread on PokerNews...an article penned (or pecked I guess) by Chad Holloway, who I've gotten to know fairly well through the years. With the exception of the photo of me he chose, one I'd never laid eyes on before and if I had would have burned...and his letting the cat out of the bag on my 'strategy' should any of my Four Horsemen of the Monkpocalyspe make it down to the final three tables (yes Kai, I'm giving you creative credit for that moniker) it was a fun and appreciated mention! Here, in case you missed it was the feature itself.

 http://www.pokernews.com/live-reporting/2014-wsop/main-event/post.233959.htm

I will assume Chad searched for the picture that best illustrated my utter disdain for the WSOP and their reasons for keeping me on the sidelines of the worlds biggest NL Tourney.

 So as you may or may NOT have been aware, this Friday was a frenzied affair! I woke up needing to still sell a few shares to get our 3rd player into the big game....and that was immediately remedied by (a) writing a blog (b) posting on Facebook and Twitter and then (c) sending out an email to my 1800+ distribution list that I use primarily for my sports pools. As a matter of fact, they were sold within an hour of the notification...and then oversold, to the point that I found myself turning away enough to cover half of another player. 

Then it happened. One guy...who I won't name, announced he'd take 20 shares if we could get one more, a 4th guy...into the tourney. Boom! Done! And so like that...we had 42 covered. The last shares went quick....and suddenly there were four. Now my biggest problem, was going to be getting my hands on $40k and getting it to Vegas. That proved to be a nightmare. First, Friday was the 4th of July...so all banks were closed. I'd received a lot of the money on PayPal...which, if you have PayPal you know it takes 3-4 business days before a withdrawal from there actually hits your account. Oh, I tried to find someone in Vegas who would let me send them 10k on PayPal and in turn hand one of my players already there 10k in cash. No dice.

My money mule, who I'd given $30k in checks to...to cash...on my way home from Vegas...had elected to NOT GO to Vegas...creating another roadblock. Oh boy! In a last second hail mary...I woke up on Saturday morning, found the nearest Wells Fargo that was open on Saturday (until 2) and drove there from our vacation condo in Orange Beach, Alabama. What took place for an hour after I got there about drove me to do things I'd never in my life contemplated, like robbing your own bank of the money that belongs to you! Seriously. 



Between my three accounts with Wells Fargo...I had  a total of about $42,500. And I needed $40k of it. When was the last time you walked into your bank needing to take out 96% of your funds? Needless to say...they weren't letting it go without a fight. Just when I thought we were all good to go, in steps....The Bitch. Aka...'transaction supervisor.' Wait! There was a deposit on Tuesday....yeah...TUESDAY....for $18k that hadn't cleared. Huh? You mean the one that was quoted as clearing on Wednesday? That one? Now...as a side note...three checks..one for $50 (guy was in the middle of closing an account) and one for $500 and $750 from the same guy...a guy who is supposed to be a friend, would both end up bouncing later on. That friend just played the $10k Main Event...and when pressed about the bouncing checks was sitting at the $500 Aria Main Event requesting not to be questioned about it because it was 'tilting him.' I had already held those two checks for 45 days per his request...and told him they were going in once I got home from Vegas. Ahhhhh friends!

But I digress! Back to the deposit that The Bitch didn't want to credit to my account because it was now, for some reason...showing a post date of 7/7/14...yeah,  MONDAY! As soon as I heard that I started getting faint. My head started spinning....I started getting all hot, my skin was kind of tingling. Oh my god...this is NOT happening. I am envisioning my inability to get at least two of the players money...of the investors who's trust in me would be destroyed. Of this bank bitch...who once she walked out of work in less than an hour now...would most likely be run down by a 2005 Toyota 4Runner with 144k miles and a recently rebuilt engine (for those following my Vegas trip this makes sense!). Then I started feeling nauseous. 



And  then....I remembered the movie I'd been watching that morning (for the 847th time)...Rocky II. And I rallied. I could hear that song....how it starts with the chiming of bells...Clang!.....Clang! Da da da ta da da da da ta ta! Da da da ta da da da da da ta ta....da da da da ta da....DA DAAAAAA!!!!! And I went ballistic on that bitch! Started hitting the speed bag...doing pushups...some situps...chased a wild chicken around the lobby...was doing sprints out in the parking lot...me and Apollo Creed...and I went off on her!

Lady! I've banking with Wells and Wachovia for 20 years! I've never written a bad check! I've never been overdrawn...not ONCE! You guys TOLD ME that deposit would clear on WEDNESDAY! This is Saturday! 9k of that deposit was my OWN MONEY! $4k in cash, and $5k from my other bank! This is BS! If you don't approve that deposit a LOT of people are going to suffer...one of them being YOU! 

"I'm trying to help you sir...but if you keep raising your voice I'm not going to!"

Oh yeah? Really!??? That's your comeback!??? Ha! You aren't going to threaten me with withholding service! Like I said...you think you're worried about your job NOW regarding approving a deposit that is shown on your computer to not post until Monday...if you approve it? I promise you....I will move heaven and earth to make sure you are living off Obama's meal ticket by Monday morning if this isn't put through. I know how you people do things...one of your customers makes what is seen as a run on the bank and the roadblocks just start popping up for why they can't have their money. You WILL give me my money...all $40,000 of it!!!!

Well....The Bitch got on the phone and started making a bunch of calls. I calmed myself, sat down in a lobby chair and let the process play out. What I believe happened,  was someone on the other end of the phone with some common sense looked at my account...noticed my daily average balance on all accounts was/is around 45k...and noticed my banking history....and told her to process the withdrawal. If I heard her say (on the phone to whoever she was talking to) "well, I'm just trying to protect my job" one more time? I was going to walk over with a machete and whack her head off.

I got the money. All of it. Walked out of there with it in an old-school lunch sack...like THAT isn't conspicuous or anything, right!??? Memo to readers: If you have hit rock bottom and have decided to knock over a bank? Don't do it...it's not worth it. However...if you just park outside the bank and wait for 'that guy' to walk out with the brown paper lunch sack? Well....

I returned to Orange Beach. Made the most of my wasted first day at the beach with my family, our friends, and a condo (penthouse at least) full of 11 kids. You heard me...eleven! But honestly...it wasn't as crazy as that might sound. And Carley had a total blast for four days...yes, we stayed an extra day...getting home finally last night. (Tuesday) 

Back to Saturday. Later that night, after everyone had gone to bed...I slipped out around 1am...drove (halfway, per the agreement) to Loxley, Alabama...to an Oasis Truck Center (your welcome for the free plug) and waited on Kai Landry to arrive. I stepped into the cafe, called Derailed Diner (again, your welcome) home of the greatest liver and onions I've ever had the pleasure of feasting on (at least five times in the past) and placed my order with the old waitress who's skin was trying very hard to escape the rest of her body...yes, it was freakishly creepy. That is when she informed me that liver is not served after 10pm!

WHAT THE!!!!???????

French toast it is. The crowd moans......

Kai finally showed up. After an hour of chit chat...we retreated to the parking lot and my 'little brown bag' to cut up the buy in money. Somehow...when I got to him, the last one ...I fell $400 short. C'mon! How did THAT happen? Well...no big deal, I opened up my iPad and fired him the $400 on PayPal. Later on...Joshua discovered I'd given him $100 too much...and like a solid, honest man I knew him to be...brought it to my attention. Thank you sir! 

Kai made his way back to Biloxi...I returned to the beach...and my job was DONE! Well, aside from all the various investor updates and rounding up the remaining 10k or so in payments still due (of which most were sitting in my mailbox last night when we got home!). Him and 'Wild Bill' Phillips made their flights on time the next night...the guys all met up in Vegas...and per my instructions, bought in around midnight to avoid the massive crush of players on Monday morning...and sent me their proof of registration for me to send to my investors....as well as a very cool, 'Jersey Boys-like' photo of the four of them in front of the big WSOP sign in the hallway of Rio. Very cool stuff. Of course...I didn't see any of that until I  woke up because when you go to the beach...for some reason,  you can never manage to stay awake past 10pm, can you!???



Well...Monday came finally...and about half way through the day I realized the MyStack app wasn't working too well for anyone. Forming a group proved to be impossible. Bill and Kai were having major problems getting their app to work. Finally...I created a Facebook Group page...and added all the players and every investor and/or family member of them that had Facebook to the group. They all seemed pretty pleased with that move. It gave the players a better place to post stuff...and it was a lot easier to access.

ALL FOUR PLAYERS SURVIVE DAY ONE! When we started, I said I would be happy if 3 of 4 made it through. I know how tough it can get. I  also know how easy it can sometimes be getting through Day 1. Well...our players faced a LOT of ups and downs all day...some really crazy hands. Some of them got up as much as 50k at one point...but when the dust settled, BJ McBrayer led the way with 32k...Kai Landry had around 22k...Josh Reichard had right at 20k...and Wild Bill Phillips was at 18k...but seemed to be the most confident...which reminds me of myself. Sometimes the fewer the chips I have in a nice, long, deep structure...the better I like my chances!

As I type this...and maybe I should have waited, but why? BJ texted me a little while ago telling me he had busted. He had QQ...and raised...was 3-bet by another crazy Euro...then a short stack with 18k shoved all in. BJ decided to isolate by shoving all in over the top only to get snap called by the guy....holding aces. Oh boy. To make it worse (if that's possible) the small stack was holding KK. Ouch for that guy! BJ was relegated to needing to hit a two-outer and hoping it held. It didn't come. And BJ is our first 'Minion' to see his 2014 Main Event come to an end. Bummer.

A few people texted or Facebook'd me telling me they couldn't find Josh anywhere in the field....so I texted him and he replied, telling me he is at table 385...the same table as NBA player Paul Pierce. That must be a pretty entertaining table!! Pierce does a lot of talking...not like Maurice 'The Black Mouth' Hawkins (black mouth since there is already one 'Mouth' in poker...Mike Matusow of course) who will talk the felt off a table...and the two tables next to it!

Well...that will do it for your Monkey's Grinders update in the early stages of Day Two...with 3 of our guys (as far as I currently know anyway) still alive and kicking!

MONKEY