HELP SAVE a KITTY!

HELP SAVE a KITTY!
A BIG KITTY!!!! [click the logo]

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Minions Poker Tourney This Sunday!

Well...we are a 'go' for launch. This coming Sunday the 29th, at Kai's place...we will hold a tourney that each player is buying into for $400...which will go directly towards making them automatic 2-share owners in this summer's Team Monkey WSOP members, whether they are on the team or not. Currently, with room for a maximum of 20...we have confirmed 10 players. I am hoping to get some more...so we are able to have two tables of players. I am also looking for two experienced dealers who would like to donate their time on Sunday night. Sure we can find a few dollars 'laying around' to compensate someone that is willing to work the whole tourney. Contact me if you interested and available. ThePokerMonkey1 at AOL. 

As for total overall shares...I am now up to 143 sold, not including the shares that will be generated from the Wild Card Tourney this weekend. With 10 confirmed now...that would take the shares sold up to 163...as we march to a goal of 250, and a desire to send 5 players to Vegas to represent me and all of our investors this summer. Our 3rd member of the team will be crowned late Sunday/early Monday when one of these players wins the tourney at Kai's place. Then we will start looking to who our 4th and hopefully 5th players will be. In addition to that...I am starting to get the ball rolling on 'schwag' this week...t-shirts, hats and hoodies. I am kind of entertaining the idea of recreating the logo we use on our stuff this summer. While last summer's was okay...I'm eager to come up with something a little more eye-catching. If any of you are graphic artists...well...let's see what you got!!!!

I have invited EVERY person who has sent me an application to be a minion this summer to Kai's poker tourney. If you are still someone who would like a shot at this year's team...and think that your only hope might be paying $400 with the goal of beating a very small field for a $10,000 seat...then email me your interest and qualifications. I'm going to be honest...to be considered to play the tourney...you will need to be someone I consider a serious candidate to make a deep run in the Main Event. I have several investors to answer to...and while this 3rd entry will be potentially 40% funded by the actual players themselves...that rest is being invested by our investment group...they are trusting me to put the best field of players possible in this tourney.

My mom left on Saturday...after a three-week stay. She was pretty sad to leave. We had fun while she was here, and managed to get out and play some poker together. In our last tourney at the Scarlet Pearl last Wednesday...she busted fairly early, and then sat behind me at the final table and watched me win the tourney. She got a kick out of that. Same 'ol drill...guys wanting to take money out for the bubble person (10th) me saying no....guys wanting to chop at 9, me saying no. When they asked 7-handed, I just told them, "Guys...look, I'm not trying to be rude...but I simply do NOT ever chop in this little tourneys. Mainly because I like playing them out. It's fun. Why play all day to make the final table only to quit? Seems dumb to me." So they quit asking...well, until we got 3-handed. 

I think the blinds were 8000/16000 and I was in the BB. The guy on the button shoved all in for 42,000. Hmm...so lets see, 30,000 in the pot (with antes) and I have to call 26,000. Not to mention I had about 150,000 in my stack. I didn't look at my cards...in the event I see a horrible hand and talk myself into folding. I called. Told the guy I wasn't looking...and was calling based solely on the math. He was an older guy...and he gave me the 'Yeah whatever buddy' response when I busted his AK with 10-8 offsuit. I wasn't about to argue with him about it. You either 'get it' or you don't. And he didn't. I saw him a couple days later at IP in a cash game...and after answering his question about where I finished, I carefully explained it to him. I think he understood it better that time.

Well, we got heads up...and the other guy had a very large chip lead over me. But he still asked me if I wanted to chop. "No thanks. But I'm just curious...you have a huge lead over me...why would you want to chop???" I don't think I got a coherent response. With 4-6h I limped on the button. He checked with Q5. The flop comes 6-6-2. He checked, I checked. Queen on the turn. He open shoves. Ha. Gotcha! I call. I win. Now leader. Two hands later...I raise with AQs. He shoves all in with A9. I call...and I win. Game over. $1100 on a $60 buy in. And in only 3.5 hrs. Not bad. 

Regarding the Beau Rivage, and what I thought was my 86 being lifted? Well...it has not gone as smoothly as I was led to believe it would. Where it gets weird is here: for the past 4-5 years...and after I was unceremoniously booted because a high-roller didn't like me and went to his casino host and demand that I not be allowed to play or he wouldn't come back. This, after I put a bad beat on his wife in a tourney. It was utterly ridiculous. The guy was a total fool. But he was a whale in the casino so his voice carried weight over mine, the measly, piddly poker player who the casino could care less about. All that was fine. I was told I just needed to sit out the rest of the event and could come back and play the next one. Until I wasn't! Because when I came back for that...I was met at registration by Johnny Grooms, who asked why I was there, then proceeded to tell me I was still 86'd. I felt lied to, because well...I was lied to. When I asked why I was still 86d..and what I needed to do to get back in...I was told "that decision is TOTALLY out of my hands...and it is completely up to SECURITY." 

I was told this three times over the past four years. That it was totally a security issue. So I just gave up. But once Grooms left, I figured I might as well try one more time...so I wrote a letter to the head of security asking to be reinstated. A week later, I got a phone call from the security office, telling me that my trespass had been rescinded, and that I 'could return to the Beau to play poker again.' The only demand/request, was that I wait 48 hours until it cleared the system and I wouldn't be accidentally kicked out by security. I complied, and waited a week before I went to play for the first time.

And, so...I went to go play cash game, with our two mothers there playing slots. 5 minutes later...my wife came in to the poker room, telling me that someone was going to come talk to me about what they expected of me. Standard protocol I assumed, telling me how they expected me to act, etc. I put my wife's mind at ease by assuring her I would agree to whatever they said and remain 'chill' about it. Well? They came and pulled me from the table as expected. But what followed was unexpected. I was instead told that there was a protocol they had to follow, that while they knew I'd been allowed back in by security, I had NOT been allowed back in by the poker room. That they, as a team, would make their own determination separate of security. That I needed to leave that day, then go home and write a letter to the current poker room manager, asking to be reinstated.  Which I did, that day.

Was this disappointing? Well, yeah, obviously...since I'd been told for the past five years that the decision to let me back in was totally up to security, and NOT the poker room. But now? I guess when the old manager left, and the new manager was hired, perhaps they adopted their own new set of rules pertaining to letting previously 86'd players back into their room. Either that...or Johnny Grooms was just lying to me. Which I'm sure he would NEVER do, right?

Well...as of today, it's now been two weeks since I wrote that letter. I wrote the manager last week, asking how long I should expect the decision to take, since it had been a week already. I was told he'd been busy, but would hope to have it addressed and resolved this week. Not much I can do or say but sit back and wait on an answer I guess. I will say, that through a fairly reliable rumor mill, a player had mentioned after I posted on Facebook that I had been allowed to return to the Beau, that the dealer at his table had steadfastly insisted that I would NEVER get back into the poker room...despite what I had posted on my wall. So I'm not sure how to interpret that, and after sharing that with the poker room manager, I was told that it wasn't the case. I don't know why (a) a player would just make that up and/or (b) why a dealer would be blurting that out while working, if there wasn't something to it. I have no idea who that dealer was...or what possible issue he or she may have or had with me in the past. I mean...I'd have to think that after 5 years, it would be silly for a dealer still working there to have that much personal angst against me to say something like that. It's kind of odd too, considering I rarely even played cash game at the Beau. Ever. Most of my poker at the Beau had been tournaments. 

Well...whatever...that is where things stand now. For all of those who keep asking me when I am going to be playing there, since they saw my post and wondered what I was waiting for. I absolutely would love to be playing some of their weekly tourneys there. I am fond of the new managers they have there, both in the poker room, and the tournament director. Guys I THINK I've always had a mutual poker friendship with. Even the floor supervisors are guys I've always liked. So honestly...if there is ANY issue with letting me return? I can't imagine what it could possibly be. Unless there are a couple of long time dealers who have some kind of personal issue with me that they've been holding on to for years. Which as far as I'm concerned...would be ridiculous. But...this IS the poker world we are talking about, after all. 

That's all I got for you today! Carley weaseled out of going to school again today, so I should probably get off my computer and go do something to entertain her! 

MONKEY

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

UNVEILING of the MINIONS!!!

Okay, you have all been very patient! First...good morning, Happy Monday, to those of you with 9-5 jobs that you just LOVE! Yesterday, I laid eyes on my rental house in Pensacola for the first time in over a year. My mom had never seen that house, nor had she ever been to Pensacola...so Carley skipped daycare, and we headed for the sandy white beaches of Pensacola Beach. It was a really nice day. We ate a big dinner at Flounders, while Carley played in their big sand playland for kids. And went by and met my renters and checked out the house. It looked great. Nothing more wonderful than having great tenants! 

Got home and spent most of the evening on Facebook going back and forth in a heated political debate with a Crazy-Cat-Lady-In-Training...you know the type, way too many selfies, way too many pictures of cats, and a slow, morphing appearance of an owner who secretly is trying to look, herself, like a cat. Well, she is a massive Hillary supporter. Me? I hate Hillary. In fact, I have a group on Facebook, called 'Killary Wears Prada.' Arguing with a Killary supporter is akin to ....wow, I don't even know if I can come up with a sufficient analogy. Fortunately, as far as I can ascertain, most of my good friends hate Killary as much as I do...so when I do encounter a Killary supporter, I try with all my might to pretend they don't exist.

Kai Landry has come up with a remarkably intriguing idea. Now...this IS Kai we are talking about...so this might not be an 'idea' as much as it is a cry for attention from the Kaister. Things in his life have been pretty slow and boring lately. Lacking a healthy supply of hugs (and handies probably) Kai has this remarkable ability to come up with 'events' at whatever witty and creative name he has given his living quarters this month. Probably something silly like Lord Puddingsworth's Lair or The Domicile of Doom. Anything Kai can get people to show up for, also gives him the alibi necessary to employ scantily-clad ladies (think Hooters here) for the evening to provide adult beverages for his guests.  I'm sure most of you (or a lot at the very least) are familiar with Kai's much-hyped event at his 'place' a couple years ago. The first annual ...Jeezuz I don't know what it was OFFICIALLY called...The World Championship of Poker Champions Player Championship of.....on and on and on...see with Kai...its all about redundancy and intentional stupidity. At any rate. I won. And proceeded to (as promised if I won) streak through his neighborhood with the HubCap Trophy...which I had already broken. The following year, the trophy was 'stripped' (see what I did there?) from me by Danielle Stewart. The third event...has been in the planning stage now for over two years. 

Say what? Two years? Yeah...well...people underestimate just HOW hard it is to get people over the age of 30 to all assemble under one roof for a period of 4-5 hours simultaneously. I am convinced the older you get, the harder and harder it becomes. Just too many distractions. Kids. Jobs. Addictions. Mistresses. Pool Boys. Deep-seated hatred for Kai. Stuff like that. Which makes what Kai has proposed so exciting, but at the same time, perilous. I don't like planning things, only to have The Most Unreliable Party Planner of All Time drop the ball. But...well, here goes!

THE 'WILD CARD TOURNEY' TO BECOME A 2016 MONKEY GRINDER (aka MINION)

Date...to be announced. (think: next 30 days or less) We intend to host a poker tournament at Kai's Casa, complete with 'real' dealers, and probably ME as the tournament supervisor. The winner of this tourney...whether it be 5 players or 20 (the absolute maximum) WILL join the team this summer and win a seat into the $10,000 WSOP Main Event. You MUST be invited. You may also apply by emailing me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol. Kai lives here in Biloxi, so obviously, if you live out of town...this might not be something you can pull off. The COST...to play in this tournament...will be $400 per player. And this is the BEST PART. Each player that buys in? Will essentially be buying two shares! So no matter what...they WILL have a sweat, a financial interest in ALL of the eventual team members, whether they are on it or not. In the past, I've always encouraged those named to the team to buy shares. Why would you buy shares of something you are playing in? Well...duh...you aren't just getting an additional (added to your 35%) piece of yourself...but ALSO of all your fellow Minions! It helps build camaraderie among the team! 

The act of running this tournament, will be great for the selection process. As this is easily the toughest year I've had out of the three so far, this will add a whole new element to the promotion. Also...it will help me spot talent in a player who might dominate the whole tourney while playing lights out...only to get super unlucky, say, three or four-handed. I can identify with, and sympathize with bad luck at crunch time. The tourney will have a great structure, just like the WSOP...obviously it won't have two hour levels! And 30,000 chips! That would be silly! And take a week! But it won't be a crapshootie turbo either.

DISCLAIMER: A MINIMUM of 8 PLAYERS MUST PARTICIPATE FOR A SEAT TO BE AWARDED. IF NOT, THE PLAYERS HAVE THE OPTION OF SIMPLY PLAYING FOR WHATEVER AMOUNT THEY DEEM DESIRABLE AGAINST EACH OTHER, HANGING OUT AND GETTING DRUNK WITH THE HOOTERS GIRLS (or whoever Kai gets to come work for child labor rates) OR SIMPLY GET IN YOUR CAR AND GO HOME!

So...that's it on that deal. If you are interested? GET IN TOUCH WITH ME ASAP! I will get Kai to get his shit together and get this thing planned and set up with dates and times announced.

MOVING ON....and now the UNVEILING of the FIRST TWO (not so secret) GRINDERS for 2016! If you read Jennifer Gay's blog, on this same website (www.GulfCoastPoker.net) then the cat is already out of the bag. And if you don't? Well then I invite you to become a reader...as she has started sort of a 'Blog Mini Series' of sorts, titled 'The Making of a Minion.' It's all about her husband, Steven Pique, who officially joins our Charter member, and returning Minion, 'Wild Bill' Phillips. I'm going to make it real easy for you to learn all about Steven...by simply letting you click on this link BELLA DONKEY...which will open up a treasure trove of info on Steven and his plight this summer!



Steven Pique is 31 and from Biloxi, MS. Currently living in Las Vegas with his wife and two year old, he works at Aria as a Floor Supervisor/Relief Shift Manager in the Poker Room. He has a BS in Biology from Southern Miss. Shortly after graduation he left his laboratory job to follow the circuit as a dealer and climb the ranks. Tournament poker has always been his passion, but the instability of playing professionally isn't an option with a young family so his play is limited to regular appearances at the nightly events around Vegas. Playing the Main Event tops his bucket list, and he's already committed countless hours of studying to prepare for this opportunity. This could be a life changing opportunity for his family and one he plans to make the most of. He's solid, even tempered, quiet and smart but most of all he's patient and has the stamina to go the distance.

So? Welcome to the Team, Steven! I am 100% convinced that I have made a great decision, and that you will represent all of us with great aplomb!!!! You have a FANTASTIC PR REP working for you, too! So congrats, good luck, and enjoy the ride! 

As for Wild Bill? He needs no pep talks! He's 'been there-done that' and as the soft-spoken leader of this posse, he is currently in New Orleans once again proving that his selection to the team is not without merit. He has already clicked off two final tables in this weeks WSOP circuit event at Harrah's. Bill got the deepest of the four team members in our first year...which earned him a return trip. Then last year he became our first Minion to CASH in the 'Big Show.' Which got him another invite to play for us. To say I have 100% confidence in Bill and his ability to make a deep run in the Main Event would be a gross understatement. 

So...that's two down. I've currently sold 129 shares. 100 shares sends two players. So we are getting close to getting a third player funded. If this contest happens at Kai's Manor of Ineptitude, we will have our third member via special qualification. It's getting exciting folks! Time is drawing near! The Main Event starts on July 7th. Three starting flights. Are you wanting to buy a share? Or more? Get a hold of me....soon! ThePokerMonkey1 at AOL. All the details you need you will find by scrolling down to my recent blog titled 'Release the Hounds.' So please don't email me asking me to explain the whole thing to you. I beg you.

Okay then....gotta lot on my plate to tend to today! So that is it. You've got your news! Do with it what you may! 

MONK

Sunday, May 15, 2016

MONKEYS MOM DOES POKER! MINIONS UPDATE!

It's May!

We'll call this the 'Month of Mimi's' since my mom has been here two weeks and just extended for another week, and Squirrel's mom just left after being here a week. It's been great for Carley...and us! It means we get some good home-cooked meals, and the occasional 'date night' for us. This week we went to New Orleans for the night, so Cheryl could see one of her favorite country singers, Chris Stapleton. I didn't know even one of his songs, but clearly, he is very talented and put on a good show. The Big Easy is still a gross, dirty city, and customer service is still lacking in almost every sense, but we got what we came for I guess.

A couple times since my mother has been here I've taken her to play poker. She is hooked. Fortunately, her losing sessions have been offset by my winning sessions. Yesterday, I took her (and staked her) to play at the Golden Nugget and their $130 tourney with a $5k guarantee. There was an overlay yesterday, as they only got 37 players. The mom did not fare well. After my table got broke, and I was moved to her table...despite trying hard to give her helpful tips to use, she managed to donk off her chips in glorious fashion. After she raised (at 200/400) to 4000 (leaving 1500 behind) UTG with Ah2h, and getting flatted (which was a constant occurrence during this tourney, much to my amusement) by a guy with J-J...the flop came out A-K-4...and when she went all in, he couldn't really fold. Double up for the mom. Well, as I told her later...that hand kind of murdered her table image, and made her 'out hand' a pretty predictable scenario. 


'The Mom' about to use her 'Super Tight' image to bust out of the tourney!


So...with the blinds now 400-800...and her sitting on a reasonably comfortable stack of 13,000...this guy limps utg for 800 with, it turns out, tens. It folds around to my mom on the button...how starts getting that squirmy look...like she has a decent hand but doesn't know how to play it. The more I observe her actions the more I'm thinking she actually has a monster. Then she goes all in. Which makes no sense to me. Folds around to the the guy with 10-10's and I guess he was remembering the A2 hand...because he called. My mom turns over Qd5d. Hey! It was suited. I bury my head in my hand...fortunately, my mom isn't sensitive to criticism. In fact, over the years, she's gotten rather battle-hardened from 'taking it' from me and my equally sarcastic sister. QUEEN FIVE! Wow...and no..she didn't hit that magical three-outer. She was out. Yes, I gave her shit the rest of the day. She did the only thing she could do that made up for it, went to the gift shop and bought Carley a stuffed animal. To add to her ridiculous collection of stuffed animals.

Yep! That says 'Carley's Zoo' and those ARE all stuffed animals!!

So me? Well...I was playing my 2nd tourney of the week. The first, I played the $60 fun-fest at Scarlet Pearl on Thursday. Arriving with 1 minute left to register, I pretty much steamrolled everyone on my way to the final table. Down to 6 I had 60% of the chips in play. I ended up heads up with a very excitable Asian fella, who got incredibly excited when winning a hand, any hand. He was very fond of the ALL IN play...apparently not possessing the ability to play after the flop. While 3-handed he shoved all in with K5c. And ran into the BB's aces. Big deal. They're just aces. Runner runner flush. Bye Bye guy with aces. Heads up...and I still had an edge. I got to where I had a 2.5-1 edge and raised with QJ. He shoved all in. And I really wish now that I had called. But I folded. So when I raised with AJ and he shoved with A9...it was an easy call. He hits a 9. Ugh. Now short, I shoved with QJ...got SNAP called (weird) with K3d. It held. The guy stood up...hollered 'YES!' and pounded his hands on the table. You would have thought he just won the Main Event. Well...good for him. I settled for 2nd place. $560. Yay.



In the tourney at the Nugget yesterday, it was one of those where I would get short...double...sustain...increase, then get rivered, to get short again. Then build it back up...nice stack...then boom, get rivered again. Back to being short...again. This happened four times. 99 vs AK.....king on the river. Then late I have AQh...flop comes Kh-Js-8h. Pretty disgusting hand. Four handed too. It checks to me, so I check to the button, hoping he bets. He does. He shoves. He wasn't thrilled when I called, mainly because he was hoping to take it down with his 10-10. But I missed all 17 outs..and was short, AGAIN. It went like this ALL DAY. Very aggravating. 

But I did at least make the final table. It's a 5k guarantee so they automatically pay 9. 9th got me $250...so basically, me and my mother's buy in back. I floundered around for awhile...while three more players lost. So I was up to $450. Hip hip hooray. Earlier in the tourney...this old guy, who I'd been told was playing awful and getting lucky before I arrived, kept to that theme. I picked up KK utg for the 1st and only time in the tourney. I made it 750 at  150/300. He called (as well as three others) with 10-3 offsuit. The flop brings the always-predictable-ace-whenever-you-have-kings. It checked to me...I meekly checked. Old codger bets 300. Yeah. 300...into about a 3000 pot. Button calls. I call. Turn is a ten. He now has two pair. (3 on the flop) I check again. Now he bets 1000. Still not enough to make me fold. I call. The river is a 4...which makes anyone with a five a straight. He checks. We turn over our cards...the table shows disbelief. I roll my eyes. Nice hand, sir.



Well...this guy? He made the final table. Somehow. Now..understand...this guy NEVER talked. Except ONCE. I had 78c. Flopped two pair against a guy all in with AJ...who, after rivering a useless ace...has him tap the table in that "nice hand, nice double up" way that players do. When the dealer slid me the pot...the old guy looked like someone had shoved a spiked finger up his polyp-lined colon...sitting up and bellering out, "Wait! What won that hand!???" When informed I'd won with two pair, he seemed almost personally affected. Hmmm...what's THAT all about I wondered? First words he'd spoken all tourney, and I was the catalyst. Interesting. 

So here we are 5-handed, me in the big blind, blinds 4k-8k..and he makes it 20k. I have pocket fours and about 60k. Now...why in the hell I didn't shove there, I'm not sure. OR after the flop...when it came Q-Q-3. I checked though...like a dumbass. And he bets out 25k. Well, as most of you with half a clue about poker know...I've just played that hand very badly. Because, now even if I shove, he can't really fold. Which allows, as some of us like to say, 'the deck to beat us.' Because even though I might be ahead (which I was) he still gets two more cards to beat me. As opposed to shoving on him...and him meekly folding, and me dragging a nice pot of about 60k. Dumb dumb move, that probably cost me the tourney. Well...after he bets 25k, and I fold, he SHOWS me..yeah SHOWS ME...a bluff, of 7-8. Why? The old buzzard shows me a bluff! 5-handed! I mean...sure sure, we all understand the showing of the bluff early in a tourney. You know, set the tone for the rest of the tourney. Put the guy on tilt maybe...make him play bad. But dude...we are FIVE HANDED! Zero point there, other than he felt like being a dick. An old dick. A dusty, old, buzzards-flying-over-him-waiting-for-him-to-die dick! But I didn't freak out. I just looked at the guy next to me and laughed...

Next time around, he min raises my BB again. I have 5-6 and call. I couldn't really ASK for a better flop....but I wasn't going to check-raise this time and allow myself to get sucked out on...especially since I really needed to win a big pot. Flop comes 6-4-2. I shove. He snap calls, and turns over (ugh) pocket tens. Damn. It held. I was out. And...after the usual (happened at Scarlet Pearl earlier too) refusal to chop from me (absolutely refuse to chop in small tourneys) they all decided to chop it with four left. I hate that. It's so stupid. Maybe because I just love playing tourneys down to 1...and being the bonafide WINNER. I guess there was a time in my poker life where I didn't mind chopping. Not anymore. Okay...if we are talking about millions? Sure, I will do a deal. But anything less than $5k? Forget it.

So that's the past couple weeks for me. That and trying to wrangle up a bunch of shares-purchasers for this summer's edition of the WSOP Main Event Grinders. We are currently at 109 shares sold. But that is without MY shares (10-15'ish) and my friend Barth's, who says he will come in for 'whatever I need him to' but lets be realistic! I'm not going to ask him to buy 100 shares! Mark him down for somewhere between 10-20. So we are approaching enough for THREE PLAYERS. I really, really want to send at least FIVE players again...but its starting to get late. And these guys/gals are going to need at least a couple weeks to make their travel arrangements. My next blog post...coming in the next day or two...will give you the first two players...with a BIO on each...and then (still contemplating) the next two or three players that are 'on deck' in the general pecking order. This year has seen a RIDICULOUS number of candidates apply. Some have sent me very comprehensive emails...with personal stories, stats, even references. 

I've gotten phone calls asking to be considered. I've gotten Facebook messages asking for consideration. Good friends giving me all the reasons why I should choose them. People I've never met who think because they aren't my good friend they don't have a chance. Nope, not the case. The bottom line...I am trying...and trying hard, to pick people who would never get to play otherwise. Who are SO hungry and desperate to play in the main event. But who also have a chance to get deep, cash, and even make a run to the final table. I know what style works in that tournament. And I've definitively concluded what style does NOT work. There is SO much that goes into picking the right people. And I am always acutely aware that there is/are those friends, or good poker acquaintances, who are going to be offended or have their feelings hurt by not being selected. 

Here's another thing: I don't want to be someone's 'easy path' to a Main Event buy in. There are a lot of good players out there. There are also a lot of good players that have a somewhat reasonable network of friends, family, and/or poker acquaintances, to where if they even put in a little bit of grunt work, they can sell a WSOP package and get to play. So if you are one of those players? Try to understand that its for that reason that you aren't going to be garnering any serious consideration. It's not because you aren't good enough. You probably are. It's because I feel that you can get yourself sold with a little bit of effort. The one's who can't? The guy with a full time job. Who rarely gets a chance to play...let alone travel to the circuit events. But when he does play? He almost always gets deep. These are the people I want on the team. I hope that makes sense. Also, to those of you who have applied, and whom I have yet to respond to? I apologize big time. I have meant to carve out some time...sit down, and respond to each and every one of you. But it's been a REALLY crazy/busy/hectic month. We finally bought our house two weeks ago. Then all last week we had new appliances and a new AC unit installed. And then the moms came...which has kept me going-going-going. Hell, just finding time to sit down and write this blog post was a massive accomplishment!!!!

Well, I hear Squirrel walking in from work...so I'm gonna go ahead and push the 'publish' button and put the wraps on this post! Talk to y'all soon!

MONK


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Release the Hounds!!!

Today is Thursday, April 27th. I fired off the first official email announcement to my rather large distribution list, touting the sale of shares for this year's edition of Monkey's WSOP Grinders....also known, and probably more popularly, as Monkey's Minions. In rather expedient fashion...I quickly sold 40 shares...which is only 10 shares short of sending our first team member. The goal is to send 5 again like last year....but I would love it if we could get 7 or 8 on the team. We have, basically, 60 days to make this happen. The WSOP Main Event starts July 9th. 

Here is the letter/email that went out yesterday:

   
Couple things: When going through one, two...or even three (yes, that's me, three!) computers since last summer...you sometimes tend to lose certain VERY IMPORTANT files when attempting to carry over all your vital info. I just spent three hours this morning going through my whole hard drive trying to locate last year's list of investors...which, once located and MUCH to my delight, also happened to have all of 2014's investor info!
 
Hence...everyone who participated the first two years in my special event...sort of a 'Make-a-Wish' type of deal, only for poker players...not for terminally ill children. And now, I honestly feel terrible for even using that as an analogy. But not horribly bad since I donate monthly to St. Jude's and Shriner's. It was just a thinly-veiled reference!
 
Now...you would think with all the emails I've been getting the past couple weeks (even three payments for shares!) that the WSOP Main Event was starting next week! Relax! It's not starting until about July 7th. So we have a full 2 months to get this year's team together.
 
In 2014...we sent FOUR players. None cashed, regrettably. Though on the basis of being the deepest finisher (by far) Wild Bill Phillips was invited back in 2015. He rewarded us by being the first Grinder...who have come to be affectionately known as 'Monkey's Minions' to cash. So...as we raised enough to send FIVE players...we finally got a little return on our collective investment, about 75% of what we paid. Now...Wild Bill, who last year ALSO won my March Madness Pool (and almost won again this year-finishing third, out of 769 entries!) will represent this year's team once again...
 
Bill just happens to own and operate the poker website that gave me a forum to voice my views, opinions and everything else back in 2008. Over 700 posts later, I've developed a pretty loyal following of blog readers...and admittedly, it made doing something of this magnitude a LOT easier than it would be for some random Tom-Dick-and Harry type poker pro. Adding to the ease with which this has gone down...is the access to my nearly 2000-person mailing list for my sports pools.
 
SO! For those who are past investors...you don't need any explanation, I don't think. It's the SAME BALL GAME! $200 per share! 50 shares sold, sends ONE team member. Sell 100, send two....and so on! Last year, we sold 250 shares...raising $50,000...and sent FIVE players.
 
What is my 'cut' in all this? ZILCH! Nothing! In fact, I invested about $1300 of my own money last summer to outfit our team in hats, hoodies and t-shirts. I personally bought 15 shares (for $3000) and rooted like crazy to just break even! Bill had a great run...but in the end...his KK went down in flames, just like mine did in 2012 during my deep run. I was derailed by 10-10. Bill by AQ. (anyone wanting to 'chip in' an extra few bucks to help cover the cost for all the poker schwag, I would be extremely grateful!)
 
WHO ARE THE PLAYERS? HOW ARE THEY CHOSEN? WHEN DO WE LEARN THEIR IDENTITY? These are some popular questions. Basically, I started an application process weeks ago. I have a very large file of people who are clamoring for the chance to play in the (for some) 'Once-in-a-Lifetime' biggest poker tournament in the world...which offers $10,000,000 to the eventual winner...and where all 9 players making the final table all win at least a million bucks!
 
The investors are asked to TRUST IN MONKEY that I will make the best possible choices for team members. I take into account a LOT of factors. One of the biggest being getting a player who is right for the type of tournament format/structure that the WSOP Main Event uses. A player with discipline, patience, and an ability to observe, study and predict the actions of their opponent. Cash game specialists are the LAST type of player I would ever recruit. This tournament IS the ultimate marathon.
 
(DISCLAIMER: last year, we had some second-guessing that came into play. It was a painful distraction. Let me say this...if you do NOT THINK that after ten years of doing this full time, and while putting in a large chunk of my OWN money...that I am not qualified to put the best team possible on the felt? Or you are thinking about telling me that you might invest, but won't do so unless I TELL YOU who the players are? Or insist on being involved in the selection process? Or are basically just a highly critical, second-guessing person by nature? This, then...is not for you. Seriously...please do not even CONSIDER getting involved. I, my players, and most of my investors, do not want you. You can delete this email RIGHT NOW. Thanks)
 
Is it a personality contest? No. However...it is nice to have some players with a little personality. Some character! We want players who will do a good job of communicating with the investment group...giving reasonably timely updates, for instance. Showing up for group functions. A player who gets named to the team...who then goes and promotes him or herself to friends and family to sell shares, not only to support them...but their teammates. I also look for players who's presence on the team will/would make for a nice story should they get deep.
 
I try to shy away from players who already have a pretty good reputation, and who can most likely sell shares of themselves through their own, already-established network of poker friends. Those players don't probably end up having the appreciation at being named to the team that someone would who has almost NO poker 'connections' to reach out to. I want the HUNGRY. The player who would literally do almost ANYTHING for the chance to play in the WSOP Main Event. It not only makes ME happy...but the investment team as well. I mean...I don't think I'm going out on a limb, when I say that most people LOVE to support an UNDERDOG, right??? Especially one with the skills to get the job done!
 
So that is what this is! For those who know MY STORY with the WSOP...and specifically Jack Effel, who has basically used his position and power to see that I am never allowed back into the WSOP after a, well...ridiculous incident back in 2012..yeah, four YEARS AGO...this initially started out as my attempt at a big EF YOU to him. My dream was to start this team...get a player to the final table, and present him with an ultimatum...let me back into the WSOP...and the player will leave a massive tip...or DON'T...and get a tip of $0! By the time it might make it that far...the media attention given to it would most likely heap an insane amount of pressure and scrutiny on him...that he would have to respond to the charges of impropriety where my '86' was concerned. Yeah...that WAS the main goal!
 
Well, this has grown...and I almost feel petty now by making it about me. After all...I've kind of quit traveling the circuit, gotten into staking other players, and other successful business ventures, and well, just being at home and enjoying being a 'daddy' to Carley, who just turned four yesterday! So...my motivation has shifted somewhat...more to a 'how many players I can help' and 'how many investors I can show a good time to' every summer!!! Let's face it...some (most!) of us just can't carve away the time needed to whoosh off to Vegas for 7-10 days to try and hit it rich with a huge, lucky run of good cards mixed with skill! So what I've started three years ago..is the next best thing! Am I not right!!!???
 
I apologize for this being so long! However...I am trying to do everything to avoid a gazillion questions being emailed back to me! So right now? I have decided on THREE TEAM members.(I will reveal that in an upcoming Blog post in the next day or two) I will add players as the funds come rolling in!
 
Obviously, I will keep EVERYONE in the loop on what has been raised, and who has been named to the team. For updates, also tune into my blog...where I will post updates on the process. I am also considering something new this summer. Once we get, say 3 or 4...and have established a healthy group of investors...there is a good chance I will reveal a list of candidates on the NEXT UP FOR CONSIDERATION list...and put it up to a vote among the current investment team. I think this might be a great idea, to give the investors some input of their own.
 
As for the question: HOW MUCH CAN I WIN? HOW DO WE GET PAID? Poker math wizards might ask: "What's the Mark-Up!??" Which drives me absolutely berserk. Here is the easiest way I can answer it.
 
The player can't win ANY of the $10,000 buy in money. The player will win 35% of whatever prize money he/she wins AFTER the $10k has been deducted. The investors (obviously) win 65%...plus having their $10k refunded back.
 
Now this really is VERY simple to figure out. The total won...is simply divided by the TOTAL NUMBER OF SHARES SOLD. Period! Each share, is then worth x-amount of dollars. If you bought 5 shares? You would get back 5 times that number.
 
If 2 out of say, 5 players cash....yippee! We probably make money! Example: Player 1 wins a total of $36,000 (a min cash, we call it!) and Player 2 wins a total of $120,000 (well done!)...the investors pool is $156,000. Player 1 wins 35% of $26,000 ($9100) and Player 2 wins 35% of $110,000 ($38,500).  This would leave a GRAND TOTAL in the INVESTOR POOL of $108,400. If we sent 5 players...that would mean we sold 250 shares. Therefore, each $200 share, would now be worth $433 each. You would have doubled your money, plus some!
 
The players all pay for their own hotels and airfare to get out to Vegas. With that in mind...I have pledged to have all of our players named by Memorial Day...which will give them a full 30 days plus to get their travel arrangements made...as well as time for me to get all our 'poker schwag' made! And paid for by yours truly!
 
There is NO LIMIT to how many shares you can buy! The more, the merrier! As for deadline to pay? The SOONER the BETTER. I'm currently carrying about $15,000 worth of debt from the pool season (mostly for squares) and I have absolutely NO DESIRE to carry any more from this. ESPECIALLY since Squirrel and I are closing on this house this Friday!!!
 
I do not know if I will be going to Vegas this summer...so please don't ask if you can pay me in Vegas when you see me out there, because there is nothing set in stone on me going yet. As for ways to pay? There are a TON! And I have posted them below.
 
NOW...and this is VERY IMPORTANT! In an ongoing attempt to NOT GET MY ACCOUNTS SUSPENDED (which in some cases can lead to getting money confiscated) if you are using ANY electronic means for payment....do NOT NOT NOT leave a comment in the subject line, OR comments section telling me what you are paying for! They have people and filters that literally PREY on this type of thing...and refer to it as GAMBLING-related payments. They will shut me down in an INSTANT! So please...do NOT BE THAT PERSON!!!!! That person during football season this year was....well, okay I won't call him out here.
 
The spreadsheet for investors has already started....with Brian Delatte, David Gindratt  and Jennifer Gay being this year's first to join the team! Who is next??? Let the investment team form....NOW!  And if you have ANY MORE QUESTIONS...must click REPLY and ask away...I will try to give timely responses to everyone!
 
LET THE FUN BEGIN!!!!! MONKEYS MINIONS are COMING TO VEGAS!!!!! AGAIIIINNNNN!!!!!!
 
William 'Senor Monkey' Souther

WANT TO INVEST IN THIS YEAR'S TEAM? Just drop me an email....at the SpamBot Avoiding email address  ThePokerMonkey1.......at.......america online dot com!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

WHAT IS GOING ON!???

Is there any relationship between me creating two groups on Facebook, one called 'TED CRUZ MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL' and the other one....'KILLARY WEARS PRADA' that could possibly be responsible for the ridiculous, incomprehensible number of hits I've gotten on my blog on WED and THURS?

Something is UP and I don't know what it is. It's freaking me out. Kind of. And I don't have time to write today. Plus Prince just died earlier, and that has me really sad. For real. Not just pretending. It was the first concert I ever went to. With the first girl I ever...well...my first 'real' relationship. Prince was pretty prominent in my early years. Almost every Prince song I ever hear reminds me of a time in my life, or a person, a job, an historical occurrence. Something. It's weird when someone like that just suddenly dies. At 49...its happening more and more...and the more it happens, the more I'm starting to be aware of my own existence on this wonderful planet Earth. 

I played poker last night at IP. Wanted to play at Pearl...but they had no game going. Sucked. So went to IP...had to play limit for an hour (won a whopping $56) before finally getting a seat on the 1/3 game. Nothing very exciting to talk about. Won $503 in about 3 hours. Which basically covers the cost of Carley's upcoming 4th birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese....a.k.a. 'The Rat Hole.' I really hate that place. Bunch of fuckin crooks running that place. Look, if something is broken or not working right? And you know...because you either just KNOW, or several parents have bitched about it? Put a motherfreaking OUT OF ORDER sign on it...instead of just letting one person after another put their token (avg. cost being about .25 per token) in it and being disappointed. And poorer. But whatever. The kid loves the place. And the stupid rat. Whatever makes my princess smile. 

Congratulations to my, well...former I guess...horse, Mike Bratovich...who managed to win his 2nd WSOP ring up at Cherokee in a very large field, over 500 I believe, in the Turbo 'bird.' (see, even I can be a poker dork if I try hard enough) He just got a 2nd place a couple weeks earlier up in Baltimore...so it seems his little slump that led to me having to take a hiatus (at least until our house closes next week) for awhile appears to be over. I'm very happy for him and his wife and kids. Nothing worse than stressing out wondering if you will ever win again. That is the absolute worst.

Great news from Jacksonville. Turns out...the video was, in fact, located, secured, and sent to my lawyer. I got the video, via CD, in my mailbox today. I haven't even watched it yet. Mainly because my new Dell doesn't have a disk drive! My Mac doesn't either...but I bought a ...oh I forgot what they call it, it has some fancy name...EXTERNAL DISK DRIVE! I just have to find it and get it hooked up. Too lazy. Plus, like I said, I've been busy creating "I hate Ted Cruz and Hillary" groups on Facebook, as well as mourning the loss of Prince. And no...I'm not going to even mention Chyna...or whatever her real name was. Look. She came from an alcoholic father, who knows what else, got into weight lifting, then steroids, then wrestling, fought with Vince McMahon, quit, did porn, got messed up on drugs, quit porn, got back into porn again...then more drugs...then....well, you get the picture, she's dead. I saw someone had posted on their wall today that she was an Icon and Superhero. I was like...HUH? Yeah...that's who I want my daughter emulating. People are fucking stupid.

I went broke on Bovada last week. After buying in for $200 a couple months ago...and running it up pretty big...a couple times...finally got the standard, online-poker beatdown. Haven't put anything else on there since. Basically, I stepped up and bought the newest XboxOne last month...along with 15 games. So I have dedicated the next few months to nothing but Stanley Cup Playoffs for as long as the Rangers are still alive...and killing people on XBox. Maybe mix in a few trips to the gym...since I'm on this life-changing diet of mine, inspired by the products of Le-Vel...to put it the way they would like...I'm 'THRIVING' or I have my 'THRIVE ON.' Trying to dump 40 lbs by summer. So far...I've dropped 15-17 lbs...depending on the day of the week and the meal I just consumed. 

MONKEY's 2016 MINIONS are starting to take shape! Keep the applications coming. My decision hasn't been totally announced or decided upon yet...but I'm getting close. How many? Basically, the way I'm going to handle it this summer? And I think this is smart: Commit to sending THREE right away, because, well...I know I can raise $30,000 very fast. Then name Minion #4 then #5...as alternates...or next in line...or ON DECK and IN THE HOLE...and if we keep getting funds pouring in? I will just keep adding to the team. Hell, I'll send TEN if I'm able to come up with $100,000. Don't rule it out. You have no idea of the network of degens I have to draw from! It's both impressive and a little unbelievable too! 

If you are wanting to APPLY or if you are simply wanting to PARTICIPATE as an INVESTOR...at $200 per share....email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. And basically, when you send $200 for ONE share? You have a piece of EVERY player that makes the team. As to what each share is worth? It's not your 'traditional' staking format. So you can't just say...."Oh, well two shares is worth X%" because it just doesn't work that way.  Say we end up selling 250 shares? That is enough for 5 players. $50,000. I do NOT take a fee. Never have, never will. I raise exactly enough to put them in the event, period. And I buy shares myself. No, we don't raise money for the players' hotel and/or airfare. The way I see it...if I am giving them a chance to play for 35% of potentially $10,000,000...and they don't have to come up with a nickel of the $10k? Well...they can find their own way out there and own place to sleep. No one has bristled about it in three years yet. And if they do? Well....NEXT!!!


So back to the payouts...potentially. So, last year...I think we had 84 people who bought a total of 250 shares. Wild Bill Phillips was our lone cashing player. I don't remember what he won. Lets call it $52,000. First things first...the $10,000 buy in comes out..and dropped into the prize pool. Plop. Splash. Leaving $42,000. Player gets 35% of that. $14,700 to the player. The other $27,300 goes PLOP into the Investors Fund...bringing that total to $37,300. DIVIDE that amount by the total of 250 shares sold. Comes out to $149.20 PER SHARE.  Which means you lost about $51 per share on your $200 investment...but still got 3/4th of it back. And that was just ONE out of FIVE players cashing. Pretty easy to figure out the ROI. (return on investment) Taxes? Well that's something we handle internally, and it's not really anything major. Just not that interesting of a topic so write about it? But yeah...it is addressed and handled quite easily.

So...I wonder what all these hits are all about the last two days!?? 

I would like to thank the oil workers in Kuwait for going on strike this week...it was solely responsible for the sharp increase in barrel prices, and resulted in two very nice days in the 'ol investment portfolio! Carley's college fund looks much better today! Hoping they can stay on strike for at least another week!

Okay...I gotta go mow the lawn. Probably dial up Pandora and find the Prince channel and reminisce while chopping grass. Speaking of grass...happy 420 Day to all your stoners out there. I know it was yesterday, but I also know how much you guys procrastinate too...so its not like I'm really THAT late.

MONKEY

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Long-Overdue J-Ville Part 2 Post

Yeah...sorry, LIFE happened, and it took me a lot longer to post my continuation story. Found a couple minutes to do it, since my room is off limits to the guy who is tearing apart the wall to repair the termite damage in there. That's part of the conditions of me buying this house...that it will be fixed and remedied. Turns out, since last writing, our owner/landlord has since had the house fall into the hands of the bank...and we are now buying it from the bank in a short sell...which means I am getting a MUCH better deal on the house than any other buyer ever would have. So, in short, it all worked out as well as it could have. Pretty stoked to get that all wrapped up. Hopefully by the end of the month. [update, after posting this, about 3 hours later, I get a text from the lady asking if I've sent the rent payment for April. Interesting. If you are buying a house, THAT month..am I wrong in assuming that you wouldn't PAY rent? Also...considering its a short sell, and the sell is between me and the bank, isn't she basically, completely out of the picture? The way I see, and I could be wrong...is were I to send her rent (or the leasing company who manages it for her) would I not just be giving her free money? Since its known that she is no longer making mortgage payments? Kind of an awkward situation. If you know the answer to this...feel free to share with me]

So I will get right into it. Jacksonville? Another venue with lots of potential...but being run by people who are strictly minor-league and don't even know they are minor-league. All I needed to see was dealers who didn't know anything about racing off green chips, or floor guys who didn't know how to handle the swap out after the race off. Those of us who do 'get it' find it painstakingly awkward to watch stuff like that. Dealers pushing out with 30 seconds til the break for the next dealer. Side pots turning into agonizing shit shows. You ever play one of those tournaments at a charity event? And they bring in dealers who's lone experience with cards is playing spades out at the lake house? I tend to be a little overly critical ANYWAY...always have been, with anything I have a lot of experience in. Dining is probably the other thing I have a hard time doing, especially down here in Mississippi where enjoying a good dining experience is rare. So when I am put on life tilt in those situations, it obviously has an affect on my desire to ever go back. I don't see myself going back to Jacksonville. You can add it to the list of places, like Coushatta, for example. 

One problem you get when you have a tournament at a venue that is being sponsored by another entity...but being run by the home casino's staff...is a lot of passing of the buck. Anytime you have a question about anything, prize structure, blind structure, certain rules, info about breaks, etc...and you ask one of the in-house floor people, they often times don't know..and defer to the people from, in this example...the MSPT guys. So to get a simple question answered, you are running all over the place looking for the proper person to ask. 

My level of success at Best Bet was negligible. I rode down with Kenneth Christoper, and staked him in Flight A. I might have backed him for a second bullet, after he busted...but I think he was so disillusioned with the players, coupled with him having a girl that came up from West Palm he decided he preferred to frolic with...that he decided not to even pursue a second bullet. I made the same deal with Mike Bratovich...who had sold his own package for the event, but who had told me if he busted Flight A, he would let me buy him in for a second bullet. He busted in A and all he wanted to do was get the hell out of there...so he fled, instead of sticking around for Flight B. (smart man)

Me? Well...Ken and I arrived in time to play the 7:30 mega satellite. I put us both in. Ken busted. I won. So yeah, that saved me $850. At one point in Flight A, Ken ran his $20k up to $85k and was looking good. Then, after dinner he ran his KK into AA and went broke. Well, I had that same experience, but it was early in the day. in fact, level 1! Hand #3. And I get KK. I raised. Guy re-raised. I raised again. As did he. I just flatted....starting to fear AA. Flop came all rags. You know the rest of the story. Then I learned...since it certainly wasn't advertised very well...that it was an open re-entry up til Level 6. Well shit....it's level 1...I'm not going anywhere. REBUY!


Photographic proof of my appearance in Jacksonville!

Second bullet went much better. By better, I mean I didn't get knocked out until the 600-1200 level. It's been a month now, I don't even remember how I ultimately lost. Nor can I even tell you how I lost the next day when I had almost a carbon copy of day one...busting early...then rebuying, and busting late again. So yeah...I was in for a total of 4 bullets, plus Ken's. Not a very good trip. Luckily, I had much better luck in the cash game. I was amazed at how bad the play was down there. I think if you live in Jacksonville, and are even just mediocre at the game...you can make a living playing cash game down there. There is no need to really 'play poker' there either. In fact..it probably works against you. Just sitting there and playing A-B-C poker...you will emerge profitable. No one folds. So bluffing is kind of stupid. Just making a hand and not scaring them out of the pot with bets that are TOO big....that is really all the skill you need to make money there. Pot control. 

Well, although I was ready to leave after busting Saturday night (and my wife was extremely anxious for me to GTFO)...my road trip partner was still out on his date. So I had no way (a) back to the hotel and obviously (b) no way to leave town yet. So I sat playing 1/2 Pot Limit Omaha H/L which is ABSOLUTELY my game! Bought in for $500. Within an hour was up to $1400. Then John Holley sat at my table..and started doing what John Holley does. Nuked the table basically. Totally killed//changed up the whole dynamic that I'd spent the first 90 minutes setting up. Keep pots small to start in case I need to see a turn card, I can afford it...then inflating it on the turn to make it too expensive for people to chase on the river. Well...John likes to pot everything pre-flop. So you are spending a fair amount just to see the flop...which, if incomplete, leaves you with a decision to call a huge bet to see the next card. Killed all my momentum. So while I lost about 500 on my stack...he busted twice and rebought, the second time very deep. I never understand some things, the way some guys play. But whatever..it is what it is. And John has had a lot of success, so don't take what I'm saying about him as criticism. He just has his own style, and I have mine. And the two don't mix especially well.

That's when something happened that would lead to my departure from BestBet. And which I've been pretty mum on. Intentionally. I'm going to be very vague/ambiguous here...because there is pending litigation. A guy walks by our table. John says hi to him...by name. I see his back as he walks by. And I realize....it's HIM! Who? I can't say right now. Way back...in about 2008...a story circulated out in Vegas that a dealer and his wife had been robbed. That their condo was broken into, money and laptop and other stuff, all stolen. I felt really bad for them. (there were rumors later, told to me by several people, that their burglary never really happened. Maybe, maybe not) 

Well, having a large email distribution list...I decided to try and help them out. So I sent out a note to my people, explaining the situation. A handful of people pledged support to help them. Some sent me PayPal money. And some said they would send a check. I was only too happy to give this guy what I'd been sent, and told him others had pledged something, but I was going to have to wait to get it before I could give it to him. One guy even pledged an old laptop. But I couldn't give him what I didn't have yet. So, I gave him what I DID have already...which I think was $500? Honestly, I can't remember..it was 8 years ago. 

This particular summer (like so many others!) I wasn't permitted to play at WSOP events. So I was playing at Venetian. He was a WSOP dealer. He would make frequent trips to Venetian to ask me if I had gotten any more money. I don't remember the details on if I had or not, or how much. All I remember is that he pretty much started becoming a nuisance about it. By the end of the summer, he would ask me to front him some money because his car wasn't running right, and he needed to get it fixed to assure that they got home okay. Again...I don't remember how much it was ($450 sounds right) he needed, but I gave him money for it, not really expecting to get it back. I didn't. Whatever. No big deal. I had a good summer that year at Venetian. 

Well...fast forward about 3 or 4 years...someone told me, "Hey! Remember that guy you helped out in Vegas a few years ago?" Then named him. Yeah, why, I asked? "Well, dude...I have to send you this link...he is on Facebook just bashing the hell out of you!"  What!??? So I found the thread and was honestly....devastated. He was just blasting me. And I had no idea why. And when I questioned him there...he didn't relent. Just kept pouring it on, calling me all kinds of shit. What had I done to deserve that??? Had he simply lost his mind? I couldn't figure it out. But I did tell him he better hope he never ran into me...especially outside the (relative) safety of a casino...because I would make him pay for this betrayal (in my eyes) against me. Well...I didn't see him again any time soon. I'd heard that no one would hire him to deal anywhere...and that he'd gotten out of poker entirely. Not surprising.

Well...he showed up at BestBet...and I was kind of incredulous. I honestly didn't know how to act...but since I was sober, and basically having a pretty good night, I wasn't in any kind of a hostile mood. Yet...just seeing him kind of got my blood boiling. I shared the story with the guys at my end of the table. Two of the guys kept turning around and looking at him two tables away...where he was playing 1-3 no limit with his new girlfriend seated behind him. He kept looking over in my direction...usually with some pompous smirk on his face. I finally told him to do himself a favor and quit antagonizing me. Which prompted him to holler that "that's a pretty good way to get yourself thrown out Will." What a dick. Yeah...I'm sure that was what he was rooting for...since he knew me being in the same 'airspace' as him wasn't too good for his well-being. So that's about the time I see him worm his way over to the late night shift manager/floor guy. I can tell by his body language that he is spinning some bullshit tale. Then about 10 minutes later...the floor guy approaches me at our table.

"What is the deal with you and that guy?" I tell him as briefly as I could about my history with him. Tell him I have made no threats against him, that I haven't even left my seat. And that I would never start a fight in a poker room. He seems satisfied with that...and tells me he doesn't want anything to escalate. Sure. No problem. You got it. He goes away.

Well..idiot didn't want to leave it alone. He continues to pester me. I just sat giving him my death glare. And the two guys at our table didn't help...as they kept turning around looking at him...which probably gave the look and feel that something was brewing. Because a few minutes later...the floor guy returned and told me I had to leave. Why? He claimed that a dealer had said he observed me talking about wanting to kill the guy. Really? So I'm sitting here at my table, as told to do...and because he is over there making stupid ass faces like a 12-year old...and I say I would like to kill the guy (figure of speech) that you.....oh fuck it! Whatever...if you aren't smart enough to figure out who the adult in the room is, who the functioning, contributing member of society is...and who the loser, douchebag is...well, like I said...fuck it! It's 2:30am, I'm up $1800....have no plans to return to this place anyway....good time to leave.

So I get my chips in a rack. On the way to the cage...I'm being escorted by two in-house security guys. You know the type. Ugly velour purple blazer, older...the kinds who could never really contribute anything should anything significant actually go down? They are following me to the cage....and one of them asks me for my ID. "Why?" Well, he wants it so he can 'document' what happened. "Document? Well..no, I'm NOT going to give you my ID. Unless I'm being trespassed, or unless I'm being charged with something...there is no reason for you to see my ID...so no." Well that apparently ruffled his feathers because he taps his little shoulder mic...and I hear him state "suspect doesn't want to give us his ID, maybe you want to call for backup."  Huh??? Backup? Suspect!!??? WTF? 

Well sure enough...as I tend to do, I attracted the shit storm. Now...in fairness, I didn't exactly do my self any favors, or what I might have been advised to do should, say for example, my wife been with me. Instead of just walking out quietly...and finding a cab to take me back to my hotel, I chose a different departure route. Mainly because I didn't want this asshole to feel like he'd 'won' the battle and gotten over on me. As I was walking through the poker room, I cleared my throat and addressed the room, "Attention...fellow poker players! I would like to thank you for my time here at Best Bet! I am being forced to leave because that little schmuck standing over there (pointing to him) is afraid of me and thinks I'm going to hurt him I think. See, years ago, I helped him out of a couple jams...to which he repaid me by talking shit about me on a social thread for no reason. Whatever you do...don't EVER loan that guy money! Or buy into his BS scams, or fall for any of his woe-is-me stories. He's a loser!" This as I was making my way to the door. Well...towards the end of my 'speech' a short sheriff's deputy who I'd later learn is assigned to that post full time comes up to me, gets in my face, chest-bumps me and asks if I have a problem with leaving as I'd been asked to?

No...I tell him, I don't have a problem with it...do you NOT see me walking towards the door? He bumps me again..."then why aren't you leaving!???" I tell him I AM leaving...that I just wanted to deliver a speech to prevent this punk from ripping anyone else off. I then asked the guy why he was getting physical with me? He tells me he's not, as he shoves me again. That's when I thought I better get out my phone and start rolling video on this over-zealous cop. As soon as I hit the record button, he smacks the phone out of my hand...sending it about 20 feet away.

"Oh...that's nice!" I go to pick up my phone...and as I do so...am tackled by FOUR cops. No idea where the other three came from...but BOOM...they were all there. Must have been the 'backup' that had been called by the floor toughies. I am now laying on my front side...and am being ambushed by all four cops. One guy has a hold of my foot and is turning it violently...like he was trying to break my ankle. It hurt a lot. I have no idea what the fuck he was doing. While that's happening I'm being handcuffed. I turn to my right to see three guys with camera phones all videoing...so I was confident that by laying there not resisting whatsoever I could use that later to my benefit. So I just laid there wriggling around, hoping that guy would stop twisting my foot and ankle. Meanwhile I got another guy standing on my back, another on my shoulder...while kicking me in the ribs. About that time another guy is pressing down on my shoulder and strikes me in the left side of my face.

[side note: by some crazy coincidence, if any of the guys who were shooting that video happen to read this, and didn't, as I suspect, get management from Best Bet to order you to delete the video from your phone under some kind of threat? I am willing to pay you $250 for a copy of the video. Just email me, at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com]

I'm now starting to kind of lose my shit...but trying to stay calm because I know its all being videotaped not only by camera-phone guys...but Best Bet in-house security. And I don't know what the gaming laws are in Florida...but I know some casinos are required to save tape for up to 30 days. So I'm trying hard to stay calm, knowing I am going to have a great case against these idiots later. I spent an HOUR in the cop car...handcuffed, with no air, and no leg room. I was in tremendous pain from my back...recurring pain that had been persisting for weeks, and which I had a back procedure scheduled for when I got home from Jacksonville, on March 8th. That would later be cancelled when I showed up for it...when they told me they couldn't do the procedure because I had complained about an ear infection that had showed up that night. It turns out...it wasn't an ear infection. After a trip to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, I have a ruptured ear drum..as a result of the cops punching me in the side of the head. It's been almost 6 weeks, and it still hasn't healed. I have no hearing in one of my ears..its very frustrating and annoying. (It's been driving Squirrel crazy, me not ever hearing anything she is saying) It's expected to heal...just no idea how long it will be.

After about an hour in the cop car...that same short little cop who started it all...walks over to my window, and says "Mr Souther...you seem like a pretty good guy, why didn't you just stay calm and leave like you were asked to, instead of getting all crazy?" To which I laughed...and said "That's really funny. Is that honestly your take? The spin you are going to put on this? You are amusing. So what? After you ran my info, and finding that I have no warrants, or record, or anything else...and seeing pictures in my bag of my wife and kid...that NOW I seem like an okay guy? Look..I'm sure you hear this from just about every guy you guys do this to, that you just made a huge mistake, they are going to have your badge, blah blah blah, right? Well...let me just tell you this; I'm the real thing. I have plenty of money, and plenty of time, and the truth on my side. As soon as I get out of your county jail? The first call I will be making is to find the best lawyer in this city who handles police brutality cases, and pursuing a case against you. If you want to make a really smart move right now, the best thing you could do is take these cuffs off of me, apologize for kicking the crap out of me, in front of my peers, then drive me to my hotel, and beg me not to press charges against you. And because I do tend to be a pretty reasonable guy, I will likely let it go."

I really, for a second, thought he was possibly considering that move. But I assume that since they had already called it in, they had to process me at that point. So I was charged with 'Resisting Without Violence to Officers or Self' which is one of the most chippy offenses they have but, according to one of the guys I spoke to at the jail, who was helping me get my bond taken care of....the most widely applied charges they see there. Gee, imagine that. 

Later...after I located the lawyer I was referred to, who was labeled, 'The best lawyer in Jacksonville that deals with these kind of cases' we were talking on the phone, and when discussing the case, he told me they had a MAJOR problem with this kind of shit in Jacksonville. While telling him my story, he would literally finish about half of my sentences...like he was there! He's obviously represented numerous people who have basically experienced the same thing I did.

So I quickly posted cash bond. Was told that would get me out the fastest...in 30-60 minutes. Huge lie. I sat in there for 8 hours. While going through the process of getting 'dressed out' and accounting for all of my belongings at the Inventory counter, I learned that my pills, all of which come with a prescription...were basically stolen. No evidence that they ever existed in my bag. Just gone! Of course, I'd just gotten my pain pills renewed/refilled...so by law, my doctor couldn't rewrite that scrip for 30 days! So, needless to say, the past month has been a real joy! I think I spent about 4 hours in what they call a 'pod' or a dorm, where all the criminals (allegedly!) share a common space. I rolled up in a ball, threw the thin scratchy blanket over myself that was about 5 feet 3 inches in length, a foot shorter shorter than I am...requiring me to roll up in a ball to cover all of myself in what was a freezing cold room. I tried to sleep to kill the time, the waiting period before they would finally get credit from the state for having had me incarcerated for what would amount to a full day, and let them get paid for my being there as a guest. Because that IS what it's all about when you get thrown in a county jail. They need to get paid. So you need to stay a certain number of hours. Luckily I am smart enough to know this...so I wasn't ever freaking out or panicking wondering why it was taking so long to get out. Fucking bullshit legal system.

Well, I finally got released. And yeah...I do have pictures of the bruising all over my body, and the cut they put over my left eye. I can't post them here. Not now. Not yet. My lawyer has already secured a warrant from the judge to subpoena the video from the poker room, and the hearing for my Resisting charges has been addressed...so I felt it was okay to share the basics of what happened in Jacksonville now. What happens in terms of a civil suit against, whoever...will be determined once the tapes are hopefully obtained. As for my annual donation that goes to the Sheriff's Association in Florida? Well...after ten years, I think they may have seen their last donation from this guy. As for my choice to take sides with law enforcement in all these Black Lives Matter situations over the past year or two? This certainly changes my perspective a little bit. I mean...I'm white, not a criminal..and I get that treatment? I can't even imagine being a minority, maybe 'looking' like a criminal, but being totally innocent...and manhandled by cops who lack the ability to effectively problem-solve in a situation that calls for good judgement and/or discretion.  Yes...I do STILL think the BLM people are a bunch of fucking idiots...with an agenda that is simply perpetuating racism in our country, and encouraging violence against law enforcement...but I also think there are STILL way too many cops that aren't doing things right. And when you act like that...I don't know how you can expect to be treated with the respect that you DEMAND of people. It's impossible.

So...yeah, there ya go. That was my Jacksonville experience! Thanks for the memories J'Ville! I will say this: The people working in the jail? For the most part? Pretty nice folks. Fairly respectful of me the whole time I was there. And observing some of the stupid shit they had to deal with, and HOW they dealt with it? I have to admit, I was rather impressed. It's too bad the local law enforcement officers couldn't act the same way. Maybe some of them need to sit behind bars for a few days to learn a few things about treating people with the respect they deserve.

Well, as I've been writing this...my latest shipment of Sewansecott Oysters just showed up on my doorstep, courtesy of UPS. Sent yesterday from Virginia, $150 for 100 of the most incredible oysters you will ever taste! Recommended to me...actually SENT to me (the first batch) by Charlie Townsend, a poker player a lot of you know...I have grown addicted to these delicious mollusks! Kai Landry has already reserved a spot on my back porch and will be coming with a wonderful white wine to pair with the oysters! 

MINIONS UPDATE:  Summer is quickly approaching....and the applications have been flying in. I have already decided on one...mmmm...two I guess...and almost three....Poker Players who will be playing in this year's WSOP Main Event under my banner. I'm not prepared to unveil their names as of yet. Okay...well, one. Wild Bill Phillips will be representing us for a third consecutive year. Last year...he won another shot for being the deepest finisher in year #1. And well, this year, he will return as our first (and ONLY) Minion/Monkey Grinder to ever cash for us (investors and fans). He also runs (with Gene Dudek-also a current candidate) the website that I blog on...so there is a bit of a marketing angle tied to this decision, obviously. I also happen to be a really big fan of Bill, for a variety of reasons...so its a very easy decision for me to name him as a team member. Oh, and on an unrelated note...and this is kind of funny; we tend to do pool swaps on our pools. My March Madness Pool got 739 entries last year...this year....769. His pool got around 70 this year. I took third place in his....I won about $160. He won 3rd place in mine! He won about $1600! Oh and...if North Carolina had won? He would have WON my pool...for the second year in a row! In 20 years of running my March Madness Pool...nobody has ever won it twice. So to play last year...and WIN...and follow that up with another WIN???? Would have been just sick! But still....winning $7000+ last year...then $1600+ this year? Nice!

If you are interested in playing for TEAM MONKEY in this year's $10,000 WSOP MAIN EVENT..its not too late to apply. Send your application to me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. Oh...just texting me or sending me a message on Facebook, telling me you want to be selected? That's kind of weak. Sure, you might be a great player who is more than a good investment...but what I'm looking for? Are people who REALLY REALLY REALLY demonstrate a desire to be on this team. I would like to feel like I am really helping someone who REALLY wants to play this tourney. It makes me feel good to know I've chosen someone who truly appreciates it. Not someone who, if I don't pick them...will simply go raise the money from other people. Yeah, big deal, right? On the other hand...please don't ask me to consider you if you really don't have any kind of a resume to support me selecting you. Keep in mind...I have investors...last year upwards of 80 of them...who I have to 'sell' you to. I don't need 80 people laughing in my face, or worse, demanding their money back. These people trust me, and expect me to put a good product at the table for them to root for. So yeah...there's all that!  I fully intend to have the FULL TEAM in place, named, and merchandise starting to be made for all of them....by Memorial Day. 

Bovada finally got me! After weeks of crushing that stupid Zone Poker game...it finally reared its ugly head and bit me....check that...chewed me up in small pieces...piece by piece...and swallowed all of me and my bankroll. One unbelievably ridiculous beat after another. The kind that just leave you shaking your head in disbelief. They have a tournament series going on there right now...that yeah, I would kind of like to be playing. But I just have ZERO faith in online poker at all. Nothing ever seems to hold. No matter how you play ANY hand...slow play it, fast play it, limp a lot, raise a lot, three-bet four-bet like crazy...just flatting and playing post flop?? None of it works. I've tried every way. I get deep SO many times in tourney online...only to take that one-two-three punch where you go from a top ten stack to a min cash...BOOM! And you're like...why? Why did I just waste 8 hours for THAT? It's really all just kind of a joke. So I probably won't play any of these big events. Why bother? I can go down to the Scarlett Pearl, buy in for $500 and almost certainly cash out with $1500 consistently, and I'm going to have a lot better ROI than anything I do online. 

As for live tournaments? Will I go play anywhere? Will I go to Vegas this summer? I don't know. I have no answers to any of that. Truth is, I like being at home right now a lot. Carley is at this fun age...talking, playing, we do stuff together a lot. She is just so funny, and cute and sweet. Hell...she's my best friend. And me and Squirrel are her best friend. She misses me so much it hurts whenever me or Cheryl are gone. Cheryl went to Birmingham this past weekend for a friend's birthday weekend...and Carley was miserable missing her mommy. So...knowing I have that at home...it makes it really hard to ever want to go anywhere for very long. Maybe if I can get Cheryl to get 5-7 days off this summer...I will bring her and Carley out to Vegas the week that the Minions all get ready to play...like I did last year. We can stay at a fun, kid-friendly hotel...I can play a few tourneys, and we can get the Minions all set up, and hopefully have a great pre-tourney dinner together again like last summer. Maybe go to Frank and Piper Kasella's 4th of July party too! We'll see. Still a few months to go before all that! 

I'm just glad I was finally able to sit down and write the follow up to that post!!!! I was feeling really guilty for not getting that done. Next on my list...write a very LONGGGG overdue letter (after she has written me FOUR times) to the little (just-turned this week) 7 year old Filipino girl who I sponsor on the other side of the world. She is such a little cutie...and it makes me so happy knowing how much $35 a month helps her and her family! I have been meaning to write her now for weeks! Procrastinating sucks! If you are interested in sponsoring a child in need...it really is a great company....the site I go through is www.childfund.org. Check them out. I promise you...nothing you donate to (and my list of monthly donors is now up to 7!) will give you a greater feeling than this one!

UNTIL NEXT TIME!

MONKEY