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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Filling Out the Roster

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Okay things are getting pretty exciting...for lots of reasons! First..we are 8 days away from zipping off to St Thomas for the Grand Opening of our bar, Bernie's Bar & Grill in Red Hook (the part of the island, kind of like Buckhead in Atlanta!). The girls are very excited for the beach...and I have to admit, I am too! It's so freaking beautiful down there!

Two nights ago, I almost snapped off an impromptu blog post that was inspired, or rather motivated...but a guy who posted just a RIDICULOUS comment in Raymond Davis' Facebook Group, Real Grinders. Basically, the guy comes in asking about a certain play of his that he pulled, and asked if people thought it was an angle shoot. Well, he quickly find out it WAS...as he was brutally ambushed by poker players who used all forms of varying responses to let him know he was either a complete douchebag, or the most clueless fool who ever played the game.


It went on for a LONG time. I got into it...and was having a good time with it. Then all of a sudden, the next day, he completely edited the 'question' and it went from 'I' and being HIS story to being 'My friend Jim' and talked about in the third person. That managed to enrage everyone all over again. About this time...his wife (supposedly-though I have doubts about that) jumped in to support him. Telling us all what a GREAT (honestly had never heard of the guy, and a quick check on Cardplayer revealed him to have few results on his resume) player he was, and furthered that by telling us all what a wonderful guy is how and how many poker friends he had.

It was kind of nauseating. First of all...at no time did he defend HIMSELF all throughout the thread. But his wife comes chiming in? Just kind of weird. I guess I backed off exposing him and throwing him into the volcano of public scrutiny when he came in last night and posted this sappy, woe-is-me comment where he basically calls himself a doofus who just didn't know better. Whatever. I honestly don't care enough about the guy to invest any further energy into him. But it was funny. And for those of us who got to 'enjoy' that brief encounter with the guy...it was some always-appreciated free entertainment!

I took Carley fishing again yesterday. This marks the third time since getting her a fishing pole for her birthday. On Saturday I went back to Academy Sports and had her line fixed up, and bought a bunch of new tackle. We must have swapped out our bait, lures, hooks...whatever...about 30 times yesterday! And we didn't catch ONE fish. I got a few bites...and that was it. We started at that cool grassy area to the Ocean Springs side of the Golden Nugget...then moved down to the pier by the lighthouse next to the Beau Rivage. Carley had a really good time...and I guess that's all that matters, but I sure would like to let her experience the joy of reeling in an actual fish. 

I've been referred by local card player...and avid spear-fisher, Jennifer Day...to a charter captain named Jay...who I guess will take us out for a little 4 hour boat trip and guarantee to catch us lots of fish. For like $150 or something. Trying to get that booked ASAP! 

Played the tourney again this past Friday. Shit sandwich again. Level 7. Probably should have re-raised, even shoved...against 'Benny' a notorious loose, wide-range player when he raised with Jack freaking seven of diamonds...but no...I flatted his raise with Ah10h. Flop came J-10-5 with two diamonds. He made a fishy bet that felt like a miss. I called. Then I turn the gin card on the turn...Queen of hearts...giving me a pair with a Royal draw. Pffft. Never folding there. And when he moved all in...I didn't. I bricked the river and was busto.

I then proceeded to find an extremely juicy cash game...a 1/3 game with a LOT of chips on it (uncapped game). So I decided to buy in deep...for 1500. And within an hour I was sitting at 1850 and really liking my chances of getting out of there with a few thousand if things kept going like it was. Fuck that. Everything quickly went to shit. Running QQ into KK. Flopping straights (4 times) and losing all of them....three to flushes, one to a boat...all on the river. Pretty much any way I could find to lose, I lost. Bricking 17-outers like it was my job. It was...well..it totally sucked. By the time I finally gave up, I'd managed to dust off $1900. Great session!

SPECIAL REQUEST: It's THAT time of year again...where if you are a poker player, you probably have about 65-75% of your friends on Facebook as mutual poker players. Your newsfeeds are FLOODED right now with mostly optimistic posts about WSOP and other poker stuff taking place. It's kind of funny...every year is the same. First two weeks...extreme confidence, excitement, optimism, even lots of bragging. Then a few weeks later...you can start to feel the frustration of all the bad beats, the long runs followed by bubbling, or annoying min-cashes. Bankrolls drying up. Lots of 'FML' and other colorful acronyms. And then of course...in the final month...you see the dark side of poker. Talk of suicide. Talk of drinking oneself into submission. Hatred for fellow players. Etc Etc Etc. Every year. New year. Same shit. 

This is my request. Can you poker players PLEASE come up with some new buzz words? For the love of my sanity???!! First off...quit saying "WE!" We aren't doing shit at the poker table! You are! Even if I have staked you with MY money..."We" are NOT playing the hands together. "WE" are not running bad, or good, or "Bagging and Tagging" (another irritating phrase) together. NO! It's YOU and only YOU doing these things! So stop with the fucking "WE" okay???? And if it IS going to be "WE" then when WE WIN? I want my cut....and I want it FAST! No making us "US" wait to get paid!!!!!!

Next: I get it. You're pumped. You're excited. You're feeling the ride. But can we please get rid of "LFG!??" Otherwise know as "Let's Fucking Go?" Its SO played out! I know for a lot of you it's just habit, kind of like "Bagged and Tagged" is. But like some of my new favorite players have done...they are embracing the opportunity to demonstrate some originality...by coming up with something that communicates the same information, but in an original and non-annoying way. Is it really that hard to use your imagination? It really shouldn't be. 

You have some other buzz words that REALLY need to be put out to pasture, or even taken out back and shot dead in the alley. For instance: "RIP." Ironic as it...when RIP can mean Rest In Peace...like it NEEDS to do...it's used way too often, and usually by the most annoying human beings that you might be forced (on breaks is a popular place to get ambushed by these fucktards) into discussing poker with. What they are doing with this word, is using it to describe the action of "Moving all in" with their chips. Used in a sentence:  "And then...clutching a meager 12 bb's, I ripped it with a bad suited ace and prayed." Ugh. Ripped...your face...that's what I want to rip when I hear you talking this nonsense. 

Okay that's enough on that topic for now. Lets move into the good shit, the shit a lot of you are reading this for. To find out who my next...and possibly LAST...if we don't make it to 400 shares sold (and we are currently at 337 with time ticking down) two players are on this year's 2017 WSOP TEAM MONKEY!!!!!

This has been one excruciatingly tough decision to make. In one vein...there are some applicants that really appealed to me in a personal sense, who's story I really really enjoyed. The "everyone loves an underdog" in me was leaning hard towards a few of these people. Then there was the desire to try and place a woman on the team. It's great for a little diversity, and to get the lady investors a little added motivation to jump on board. 

Well, I had my lady picked out...and it's probably no secret, since she essentially was one nasty three-outer away from locking up a seat in our Wild Card tourney a few weeks ago. The invitation was extended to Rebecca McCann Campbell, but after much consideration and conference with her family, she decided to go it alone. While I was disappointed to NOT have her play for us, I appreciate her decision and wish her nothing but the best in this year's tournament!

So knowing I had to make a call to give the next two players a chance to get their travel and hotel arrangements made...I decided to go with two players who I felt the most comfortable with when it comes to my level of confidence in them cashing and perhaps getting deep in the tourney. I have a lot of investors who have been in the picture ALL four years...and while I am pretty certain they all appreciate my ability to spot talent, and endorse the reasoning behind my selections, I felt a bit of an overwhelming obligation to try and put the most SOLID team together this summer that I could. For them...mainly.

And so...without further adieu...I give you the next, and as mentioned before possibly final...two players on this year's team.

RETURNING to the squad....the other player who cashed for us last summer....CHRISTIAN IACOBELLIS. This guy is not only a good friend...but he is a GREAT poker player. We met at the Rio almost ten years ago. He used to just DESTROY Full Tilt in its hey day. Then we swapped a piece at the Borgata Main Event back in 2010 (I think) and he final tabled that huge event. He is a PURE deep-structure tournament BEAST....and anyone would feel good having him on their team. So welcome back my man!!!!


Appearing for the first time...and a guy who I have been staking quite a bit over the past year or so...with limited results, most of it due to just terribly bad luck...which I can certainly relate to, is a guy who basically just wore me down by being persistent. No joking. To the point I almost told him to fuck off and leave me alone two or three times!!!! He has also spent about 200 hours since the fall working at my house, helping me to rebuild my gigantic deck, and stain my new fence. But he has struggled financially...and I feel all his frustrations over the past year, and know just HOW much this opportunity means to him. I also know he is a great poker player. He has some very big scores to his credit as well. And as a matter of fact, back when I was backing Mike Bratovich...and he was at a final table in Foxwoods...I was watching on the Livestream...and lo and behold...I see THIS guy across the table from Mike!


Please welcome to this summer's team....KENNETH CHRISTOPHER! And on a side note...his cousin Bubba Thompson...who I've been tracking all year in HS football and baseball...is about a week or two away from being drafted in the first round of the MLB amateur draft! He's committed to play football (or is it baseball?) at Alabama! But there is a good chance he'll be going straight to MLB! Pretty exciting shit for Ken's family. Wouldn't a deep run in the WSOP Main Event be the perfect capper!???


Now then. Today is election day here in Biloxi, and my good buddy Kai Landry is running for City Council. As I mentioned in my last post...we did a commercial...and I promised I would post it. Well...I'm not a fan of myself in this thing...but here it is, as promised. I need to run down and vote for him after I post this.

As for shares? Perhaps these two new additions will spark the required amount of interest to get us sold out. We are only about 13 shares shy right now of fully funding all seven players...350 shares. Those shares are $200 per. I really am open to sending 8...and will...if I get a late run of shares requests. But I also need to make sure everyone is paid up...and have given everyone a deadline of JUNE 20th to get me PAID IN FULL or run  the risk of losing their spot on the investment team. 

AGAIN...if interested in joining the investment team...email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. 

Oh hey! Kind of a funny story. Liv Boeree, who I became friends with back when she was dating my good buddy Allie Prescott...has gone on to enjoy a pretty successful poker career in the past 5 or 6 years since we met. We occasionally exchange hello's on Facebook. Well about three weeks ago...I dropped her a line, basically just catching up. I didn't hear back from her. No biggie. WSOP was coming up...figured she's busy...whatever, right?


Then the other day I'm leafing through the newsfeed, and I see that she is down to five in that big 10k Tag Team WSOP event...and holding the chip lead. Awesome! Well...I was sitting in traffic somewhere, and all of a sudden she hits me with this really long response to my message to her. And I'm like..."'Wait a second, Liv...aren't you like...at the Final Table of a really huge event going for really huge money? And NOW you decide to respond to me!????" Really kind of blew my mind. I mean...at that moment...you had to KNOW she was getting bombarded with all the usual kind of messages you get when you're on a deep run in a poker tourney. Any way...I thought it was kind of cute and amusing. Oh...and then she and her partner...who's name is really long and hard to pronounce, proceeded to win the damn thing...giving Liv her first-ever WSOP bracelet! So HUGE CONGRATS to her! She deserves it...she's a great chick!!!!

K bye!

MONKEY

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vegas! Vegas!! Vegas!!!

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Well hot damn! Look at how fast this year is rocketing by! Today is opening day of the World Series of Poker at Rio. Despite all the rumors and trends in the poker industry, the WSOP is still, somehow, in control of the Caesar's corporation. And still held at Rio. Obviously, if you follow me or any part of my life...this isn't good news. But...since poker is no longer a dominant force in my life, its lesser of a big deal than it was a few years ago.


All that being said...there is LOTS of poker to played in Las Vegas...not JUST at Rio...but all over town, and at numerous properties. In fact, one could argue that if you aren't someone who's chasing poker immortality (and tacky bracelets), and maybe a future induction in the all-important Poker Hall of Fame, the really GOOD tourneys with good structures and lots of 'play' in them...can be found at places like Venetian, The Wynn, Golden Nugget, Aria, Bellagio, even semi-run down places like The Orleans and Binion's have  solid, well-attended tournament series.

Bottom line? If you prefer a less crapshoot-style format, you have a ton of choices. But if you are a 'lottery-playing' poker player...excited about the shot at a BIG SCORE? Well...Rio is all for you! And when on the 2nd week of the 9-week run of summer fun finds your bankroll running on fumes...you might reassess your decision to go chasing after bracelets and million dollar payouts!

Also littering Facebook, Twitter, and various poker forums, are all the players selling (or trying to) their 'Summer Blockbuster Backing Packages!' Hey! Some of those selling packages, I've noticed...are people who owe me large sums of money! I was sure to call them out about it too! Don't think I didn't! And, as per my promise in my LAST blog post...I will be 'posterizing' any poker player who owes me money on July 1st...right here on this blog. Complete with photos of them. And why they owe me money. And any other little snippets of info about them I've managed to gain from OTHER people who they either owe money or have screwed over in the past. Hey! Call me whatever you want. It's time to start taking out the trash...cleaning up this profession. We don't need a bunch of dead beat losers out there playing poker.

As for everyone else trying to sell packages? I've been defending a lot of them on social media...when, after posting their info...some jerkoff has the audacity to post some bullshit about how unprofitable tourney poker is, and why backing players is a bad investment. This is my take: We (intelligent people who also play poker) realize that poker is NOT a smart investment for investors. Hey! Know what else isn't? Bars/clubs/restaurants! Didn't stop me from getting involved in a place 25 years ago in Atlanta...or this month in St. Thomas. Ya know why? Because I know a LOT about the business, and I partner with people who do as well. And when you do that? You often times have great results!

Poker? Sure. Get some horses in your stable that have proven they have the pedigree to take you to the winners circle. BUT...and this is an important BUT...throw your saddle on someone who gives you an entertaining ride! They might not win...but at least let them know you gave it one hell of an effort! A lot of investors don't give a shit about someone's 'markup!' Save all that voodoo math and markup shit talk for the nerds who make up the Markup Mafia. A lot of people have more money than any poker staking package is ever going to put a dent in. They don't need Super Dork telling them how stupid they are for buying a poker package. In fact...some of those really wealthy people might just get annoyed enough with that asshole to hire someone at twice the cost to do unspeakably hilarious things to them, just for their own personal entertainment!!!!!

In other words: Poker Markup Mafia? Do us all a favor and just shut the fuck up! If a poker player has managed to cultivate and grow a strong enough network of family and friends and fellow players to be able to sell a package at WHATEVER price he/she has listed it at? MORE POWER TO THEM! And good luck! To the player AND their investors! Why you feel you need to 'educate them' to the awful investment they are making...is simply mind-boggling! Or is it??????

No...it isn't. I can explain it to you very easily! Its called, "Being a Hater!" Ask yourself this question...have you ever met a hater, or simply someone who was putting you down, or just talking shit behind your back...who's life you would gladly trade places with? Can I answer that for you? 

NO! You wouldn't! Why? Because you are living a good, happy life! You don't have TIME for all the negative bullshit. But they do. Know why? Because they are generally fucking miserable pukes. They are straight up JEALOUS that some player they think (and hell, maybe they are!) sucks is able to get backing for a handful of tournaments...when they can't! I've spent a lot of time defending my own packages in the past...with some calling me a SCAMMER and a THIEF...because I had people lined up to buy my packages. I laughed. Why? Because it was hilarious! If you can't spot a hater...and you can't spot jealousy...well...that sucks. The older I get...the easier I find it to laugh at the losers in life. The thing is...it's almost like they are wearing a big T-shirt that proclaims "I'm a TOTAL FUCKING LOSER!!!!" It's that clear and blatant through their behavior!

Moral of the story? If you see someone bashing someone for their pricing or 'markup' of their poker package? That person is an asshole. A loser. A jealous prick. Fuck that person. Laugh at them. If you see them in person? Buy them a drink. Because they need one. Or ten. Then just thank the gods that you aren't that sorry piece of shit loser! Feel better? Good. That was my goal here! 

Now, to those of you selling packages? Sell that shit! Don't listen to the Markup Mafia! Sell yourself for whatever YOU think YOU are worth...or what YOU can get from your network of poker constituents. Feel me!???? Awesome!

Now...lets get to the update on TEAM MONKEY 2017! The team is shaping up RATHER NICELY I must say! 

I'm coming off another two-outer debacle at the Beau Rivage...followed by a -500 cash session that saw me lose to flush chasing rivers FOUR times...and a guy with top top vs my top two who counterfeited my ass on the river for a $350 pot. It was ugly. And annoying. But it seems to be how my cash sessions always go. I sat there playing for 5 hours while my mother (on her second to last night here) played slots after SHE was two-outed by some old lady overplaying AJ off like a banshee (vs. my mom's AQ suited) rivered a jack to knock HER out. (the flop produced an ace...and of course it all got in after that). That old fart made the final table but didn't cash...which gave us both a moment of glee. 

This followed our efforts last Friday...when I got knocked out fairly early when I ran QQ into AA...then my mom went out 14th, paying 9. She was very distraught, but I managed to talk her off the ledge. She and I share something in our genetics...we hate losing. And take it hard. Worse than the loss of the actual money....its just the simple act of losing. Hey...what can I say? Losing sucks!

Back to the Minions...aka, the "IMPORTANT STUFF" at this time of year.

Before I go one step further, I have to recognize a gal who I have agreed to stake in the $1000 WSOP Ladies event, based purely on her making my life 77% easier as it pertains to taking on this now annual event. The making of...and order taking for...and money collecting for...and finally shipping out of....the SCHWAG for all my team players, as well as investors, family friends, etc...has literally been the BIGGEST headache in doing this thing, but one I found to be totally necessary to give the enhanced experience to everyone.

Well Jacqueline Britton, who came on board last year as an investor, and helped me with the T-shirts and hoodies...took on the WHOLE project this year! And I could not be MORE thankful!!!! She is my little Angel on the Felt. So if you are looking for someone to root for in the Ladies event? She's your gal!!!! On top of it all...she is a wonderful lady! I'm thrilled to have her on the team!


Now then...some of you have already heard the results of last week's Wild Card tourney held at Out of Bounds in Metairie...and some of you maybe have been waiting with baited (bated?) breath wanting to know the outcome.

Well...a smaller crowd showed up than I had hoped for, for starters. I wasn't going to do it unless we got at least 14 players. But when I sat there looking at 8 faces who were ready to play some poker...and me not wanting to make THEM or ME drive back over there the next week to do it all over again? I just said "Screw it! You're all very good players...and one of you is going to Vegas! Shuffle up and Deal!!!"

And wow...the play was magnificent. Wild Bill Phillips...a team member all three years prior...took an early chip lead with a huge pot vs. Scott Adams...and he would milk that stack in a very quiet fashion for hours. Gene D...a member last year...managed to compile a massive chip lead about halfway through the action, before he started losing some big hands. 


Action got to 6-handed and stayed that way for about FOUR hours! The starting stack was 15,000...and the structure was great...so just like last year's tourney, I figured it would take awhile to determine our winner. I can't tell you how impressed I was with everyone's play. Most of the time I sat in an empty seat observing the action. I definitely paid a lot closer attention than I did at last year's tourney...when Barth Melius and I sat on the living room couch playing heads up for $500 a game. (I got crushed) I am really glad I spent so much time watching. Chris Canan, who was named to the team previously, was nice enough to show up and deal the entire tourney for us. And he did a fantastic job!

The last player to arrive was Rebecca McCann Campbell, who a lot of players on the circuit have nicknamed "Smiley" because, well...she is almost ALWAYS smiling. I've gotten to know her on a personal level this past year...and despite her being an LSU fan...think the world of her. She's a solid solid player, and a very affable player that everyone seems to like. I couldn't help but think she would make the perfect team member.

Well...at around 4:30 am...we finally got to heads up play, and lo and behold, there was Rebecca holding a massive chiplead against 3-time Monkey Grinder Bill Phillips. Bill really had his work cut out for him. But 'grind' he did...refusing to submit to the dominating stack of Rebecca's. After about an hour of heads up play...the BIG HAND finally arrived. With the blinds at 3000-6000...Bill moved all in with A2 for....an amount that was an auto-call for Rebecca holding AQ. All she had to do was fade...well we all know what she had to fade. But when a deuce hit the flop...you just KNEW the outcome. Anyone who has ever played a good amount of poker knows that feeling and has experienced it a bunch of times. It always sucks. And it feels like you've been kicked in the gut.

And on the other side of the fence? We've also been the player who has gotten it in SO bad...only to get the miracle suck out. And that was Bill. Then to seal the win...he would get it in with 4-7 vs Rebecca's J-7 (again-dominating Bill) only to see Bill hit a four! And just like that...it was OVER! Bill was our winner...and once again...a member of TEAM MONKEY!!!!

To BOTH of their credits...and I don't think you could have EVER wanted to see it handled any better by the winner OR the loser, Bill (as he always is) was incredibly humble and low key in victory and Rebecca was an absolute professional about how she lost. The smile never left her face...despite the gut-wrenching pain I know she was feeling. It's always nice to be around people who don't do the "Stand Up and Cheer and Scream" when they win...or the "That's What I'm Talking Abouuuuuut!!!!!" victory reaction. Ugh.

Nope. They were both amazing. They both played great. Everyone played great. It was one of the most well-played tourneys I've ever been a part of. And is going to undoubtedly have an effect on the selection process in the determination of my final two players on this year's squad.

SIDE NOTE: Wild Bill held his annual WSOP Main Event satellite (also at Out of Bounds) this past weekend...and the eventual winner was Lance Campione! Lance is already an investor of our team...so he's in line to have a fantastic summer potentially! Congrats Lance! 

So. Where are we? We have FIVE players on the squad. And as of this moment? I have sold 274.5 (yes! you can buy half a share! That IS a thing!) shares. 250 shares sold covers 5 players...so we are halfway to the sixth player...and I'm 100% positive the 7th player will be a breeze. And Jackie has me covered on the apparel side of things! If things play out right...by the time I take the family to St. Thomas on June 14th for a week...I'll have all 7 team members named, and most of the money collected, and just be really focused on MY own travel arrangements to Vegas.

Yeah. As for me? I've decided...with some input (of course) from the wife, who has no interest in going to Vegas ("I've been to dang Vegas a thousand million times, I don't care about going to Vegas! That's not where I want to use up my vacation days!") that she gets to spend 4th of July weekend (actually the 8-10th) in Pensacola Beach with her friends...and I get to go to Vegas the week before, and play a handful of juicy events. An $1100 at Venetian with $300 bounties. Then if I bust that, another $1100 Omaha mix game at Venetian. Then the $1500 Main Event at The Wynn. Take Wednesday July 6th off for the TEAM DAY and TEAM DINNER...on July 7th have my horse Jacqueline and possibly my mother and sister running in the Ladies WSOP event...then play my Day 2 hopefully. And...if I don't make the Final Table...fly home Friday the 8th to take care of Carley while Mama Squirrel goes to play at the beach. If I MAKE the Final Table? Well...we have a back up plan for THAT!!!! Hopefully that gets put in play!

So, RECAP: I have two more Minions to come up with! I also have approximately 75 more shares to sell at $200 per share. Investors have a 65/35 majority in the team. Players give back the $10k to the investors if they cash. Players also have the option of withholding 20% of their winnings to account for all tax implications. All investors know about each other. A spreadsheet goes out listing EVERYONE's personal stake. There is NEVER the possibility of me OVER-SELLING the shares. Doing so would be utterly foolish. Once I hit 350...that's IT. It's SOLD OUT and DONE! If I do get interest once we are sold out...I then give those who haven't paid yet...a date to pay or lose their spot on the team to someone willing to pay for their shares. I am longggggg since tired and weary of carrying bad debt that I have to chase people for. 

If you are interested in joining our team of investors to have a piece and rooting interest in ALL SEVEN TEAM members this summer...and get ALL the constant updates from the players, as well as frequent posts on the private Facebook Group page (for players, investors and friends and family) just shoot me an email at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and you can climb on board!

I could probably ramble on about a bunch of stuff that's been going on in the past month...as its been a pretty exciting and eventful month...but I fear this post has gone on too long already! So that's a wrap!

Oh! And now? I have to go rehearse my lines for....huh? Yeah...you heard me! REHEARSE MY LINES! I've been 'cast' to play a 'Dad' in a commercial tomorrow for my good buddy Kai Landry, who is running for a local political office here in Biloxi! No, I am NOT kidding! If I get a hold of the finished product, I will be sure to post it here!

MONKEY

Friday, May 19, 2017

Update on Wild Card Tourney

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As I prepare to head to Grand Bear Country Club and play 18 holes (been wanting to play that course for a long time!!!) I wanted to get some quick info out to everyone!

First...if you plan on being an investor in this years 4th Annual Monkey WSOP Grinders' Team...you best be getting on it! I am at 223 shares sold right now. At 350 I stop selling...as I've decided on a maximum of 7 players this year. For info on how to purchase $200 shares email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com

Second...the Wild Card Tourney I am running tomorrow night (Saturday the 21st) at Out of Bounds in Metairie? I made one little gaffe. I thought 'Wild Bill' Phillips was running his annual WSOP ME Satellite at noon there tomorrow. So I picked a time of 6:30 to run mine...using that first one as somewhat of a 'feeder' tourney. 

Well...MY BAD! His tourney is actually NEXT Saturday at noon! However...I kind of determined it might actually be a GOOD thing! Some of the invited players might play the WSOP Main Event today...bust out, and NOT have the money to fire a second bullet for another $1675. Or maybe they will....and then bust before 6pm. And decide to head over to play. OR...in the most optimistic scenario...they may play today...and BAG UP CHIPS tonight! Which would make THEM very happy; as they could THEN play my tourney tomorrow night ALSO! 

SO....bottom line...I am gonna run with it. But what I need, or would LIKE, anyway...is a RSVP email, text, Facebook message...something...letting me know if you PLAN to TRY to make it. I really don't want to do the tourney unless we get 16-20 minimum. If we don't...then I will likely postpone it until either next week, or the week AFTER that. And then I will just stick around tomorrow night and play cash game with everyone for a few hours and buy everyone that DID show up a drink!!! Either way, you can't lose!!!!

SO please text me (if you have my number) or email me (see above) if you are planning on playing in the Wild Card tourney tomorrow night...or would LIKE to be considered for it if not already previously invited. 

THANKS. 

Now I'm going to go out and see how many balls I can lose!!!!

MONK

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Hunt for Minions Continues!!!!

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Happy May! Okay. Happy Middle O'May!

A bunch of you are currently toiling away at the WSOP circuit event in NOLA. Me, not so much. I'm busy hosting my mom, Squirrel's mom, AND my brother Jimmy...who sleeps about 21.5 hrs a day.

I've been busy working on the Summer Grinders for the 4th consecutive year now...and now that my 'big ballers' have mostly re-upped for another run, the numbers are starting to get very respectable. As of today, I have run it up to 215 shares SOLD, with about 75% of them already paid for.

That locks us into FOUR players...3 of whom were previously named, and one of whom was added via a clarification I confused myself over. Robert Harwell, who was last summer's highest finisher, will return to the squad as the accomplisher of that feat.

So...to date, Chris Canan, David Chocheles, Kenny Milam, and Robert Harwell, are all LOCKED IN and their shares accounted for. With 15 to spare.

Which gets me to the next order of business. The final 2 or 3. Last year we ran a brilliant little tourney, one that was the idea of Lord Puddingsworth, aka Kai Landry. It went so well, and I have such an abundance of applicants from the Gulf Coast area, that it made all the sense in the world to do it again. And this time, instead of 11 players...I can reasonably see us getting 20-25.

Picking the best time to do it was tricky. Having it while the WSOP circuit event is going on here means we have a lot more players in the area, with the opportunity to be here to play. The Main event is this coming weekend. They can either play in that on Friday OR Saturday OR both...if things don't go so well. Kai's place (The Manor) was a no-go...so we settled upon the place my friend and business partner Barth owns, in Metairie, to hold it. His only request? Please don't do it Friday night! Okay. So on Saturday...Wild Bill Phillips, a 3-time Minion member is holding his own WSOP ME satellite tourney at Out of Bounds at high noon!

AHHH HAH! Well...I anticipate some people who will be playing in that, also happen to be some people who will want (and who have been invited by me) to play in a Wild Card Tourney to Find the Next Minion!!!! Hence...I have picked the time of 7pm (arrive by 6:30!) to run this tourney! And I will receive help from the aforementioned Wild Bill...as well as others, including 2017 Grinder Chris Canan, who has offered to be a dealer for the event.

The cost will be $450. Of that, $400 will guarantee each participant two SHARES ($200 per share) owned for this summer's team. So by playing they are already a likely winner of some amount (because SOMEONE is DEFINITELY going deep this summer!!!!!) The other $50 is for admin costs to run the tourney. If you think you are up to my standards for consideration for the team? And would like to participate? Shoot me an email at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com

I would like to have a pretty good idea of how many players we will have (ballpark) by Saturday morning, even Friday night...so we can kind of plan accordingly. Barth has a really great set up at Out of Bounds...so it should go off without any real headaches!

"I WANT MY MONEY, MAN!!!!!!"

Hey! Are you a poker player who owes me money? Well...there are a lot of you out there. And I'm just warning you...I'm getting less and less patient in my old(er) age. I've been awfully laid back about this topic the last 5-10 years...but I find myself getting real cranky lately. And the more I listen to old-school rap and hear them talking about disrespect and what-not? The more I start to understand the motivation behind some of their actions.

See...even if I don't NEED the money, necessarily? It is starting to, more and more, irritate me that some of you chumps are sitting there laughing at me. Thinking to yourselves (perhaps) "pffft! Ha! Fuck that guy! What's he gonna do? Seriously? I ain't payin that dick!"

Well. See, first of all YOU are the one who is a DICK. Second...karma also has a way of catching up with losers like you. (though I'm getting old, and waiting for karma to get you? I'm kind of OVER that) Third. I DO actually have a number of people who have offered their 'collection' services to me. And no...I don't know HOW they go about collecting from deadbeat losers. I don't. And I don't want to. All I know...is if I get 75% of what you owe me? I'm happy. As for finding you? It's amazing how easy it is for these guys. I don't know what they do or how they do it. But they do it.

Look. Those squares you took? That you KNOW I always pay out 100% to the winners on? Nobody put a gun to your head and told you to try and become a big winner when Janikowski made that huge game-winning FG. He missed. It's not MY fault. You still owe the money! I still paid the winners. Out of MY own pocket...since you decided to be a douchebag with no morals. And frankly? I've given you plenty of time to pay. And I'm sick of playing Mr. Nice Guy.

So I think I've come up with a game plan. I think I'm going to give ALL OF YOU until JULY 1st to pay me what you owe me. Or watch you come up with a really believable story that convinces me that you're "good for it." (a phrase I hate almost as much as "check is in the mail."

And once that date passes? And since it will coincide perfectly with the start of the Main Event? And I know a lot of you will be out there trying to get people to back you? Well...I can almost promise you that NOBODY will want to touch you with a ten-foot pole after I torch your ass on this blog. Nope. You will be what we like to call 'radioactive!' 

Pictures. Stories. Yeah. Those two combined? Tell a 1000-words. And if you think it makes me an asshole for doing that to you? And your falsely-earned 'good' reputation? Well...you are wrong. You NEED to get called out. Before you can fuck over anyone else. You know who you are. Quit being a deadbeat, loser, dickbag. PAY UP! Because Phase One....of destroying you on my blog? It's gonna be a go! I promise! In fact...you're damn lucky I'm not doing it RIGHT NOW...because trust me, the urge? It's there!!!!!!

As for Phase Two? Well...I think you're clever enough to figure that out! But let me share this with you. Because this is something I've discussed with a good buddy of mine...who thinks this idea would make for a #1 smash TV hit, were I ever to do it. Let's hypothetically say I get a diagnosis that has me croaking in, lets say 9-12 months? Terminal! Like...I'm going to DEFINITELY die. Well...that's when I pack up all the available firepower at my disposal, grab my buddy, and maybe a camera crew. Rent a sweet RV...and start a tour of the country. Knocking on doors of those who have a long-running debt and demanding payment. Because If I'm leaving this Earth? I'll be damned if I'm doing it before I collect on EVERY DAMN DEBT that is owed to me, and putting it right in Carley's college fund. You might think you can fuck ME over...but my daughter? Ha!!!!!!! Good luck with that!!!!! Plus? You will have the chance at letting me make you famous (or infamous) to the rest of the world!!!!! Good luck digging your way out of THAT hole of Loserdom!!!!!!

Okay. That should be about enough on THAT topic, yeah!??? Needed to get that off my chest!

Bar is almost open! Booked our flights to fly the girls and I...and our little sidekick, Abbey...down on June 14-19th. Barth booked us a charter on the most kickass 53' yacht for a day of boating to the British Virgin Islands. Can't wait! The bar itself looks amazing! Can't wait to start making some money, too...as its been nothing but money going out, out and out since February! But he is down there doing EVERYTHING right! It's gonna rock! I've invited any and everyone to come on down for the Grand Opening weekend...June 14-18th...we have bands and all kinds of special stuff planned. So far I have two, maybe three friends who are coming down and bringing their families.

I'm on another weight loss campaign. And its utilizing the oft-successful in the past Le-Vel/Thrive (see info on right-hand margin over there) Wow. I posted (on Facebook) that Robert Harwell and I are embarking on a challenge with each other...and while I already have the diet plan and exercise regiment all set up, I must have gotten about 10-15 emails from people telling me how I should go about losing the 20-25 lbs I am looking to shed. I guess if one doesn't work, maybe one of those will!!!!!

Is this shit with Trump and the lunatic Liberals driving anyone else as crazy as it is me? I'm not gonna lie...I've almost completely quit watching the news altogether. I just don't see the point. The Trump-haters are never gonna quit hating Trump. The Dem's aren't going to quit trying to impeach him. Ever. And Trump supporters just grow more and more galvanized because of all the BS being heaped at him. It's human nature. Even if THEY (his voters/supporters) don't LIKE Trump...he is THEIR Trump...and they'll be damned if they aren't going to support his ass while all these jerkoffs are trying to take him down 24/7/365. It just amazes me how completely STUPID the leadership of the Democratic party is. I mean...how can you not understand simple human nature? But they don't. They truly don't.

What IS their end-game anyway? Get Trump (somehow-despite a GOP majority in the House AND Senate...which BOTH have to vote to impeach him if its to happen) impeached and then what? They get Mike Pence? Who most diehard liberals think is even WORSE than Trump in a lot of ways? And in doing so (the impeachment) pissing off every conservative and probably even the moderate conservatives in this country SO much...that the thought of EVER voting for another Democrat in their lifetime would be about as possible as ME running and winning the presidency???? First, they will lose all of their remaining seats in 2018. Then? Well...there will be NO then. 2020 would be a hilarious cakewalk to a GOP re-election. It's all so simple...and yet...these liberals just continue to march themselves in to the pits of hell. I love it. It really is comical and entertaining.

The Rangers won't be winning the Stanley Cup again this season. Hence, for me, Hockey season is over.

The Seattle Mariners have nearly their entire starting pitching staff on the DL. And their two best hitters. Could be another long one for Mr. Monkey the Baseball Fan.

The Seattle Seahawks have a new beast mode I think. Eddie Lacy worked out with the founder of P90x last offseason and showed up to GB camp in the best shape ever. His first 3 games he was a monster...but then got hurt. Well Seattle has him now. And yeah...he came in overweight...but yesterday he cleared his first weight 'hurdle' and picked up 55k. I anticipate GREAT things out of him this year. Bad news? There are rumors and rumblings that management is contemplating picking up that douchecanoe Colin Slapperdick. I hate that guy. And I hated him BEFORE 'KneelGate.' I even DM'd Pete Carroll yesterday BEGGING him to NOT let that piece of shit step foot in a Seahawk locker room. We'll see what happens.

Carley got sick this past week with strep throat and had to miss her graduation from Pre-K. Fortunately....she didn't really care. Props to my kid. Graduation? From fucking Pre-K? For real? I hear they have the same shit from Kindergarten next year too. Stupid. You graduate twice, as far as I'm concerned...from High School, and from College. Period. The rest? Are just more idiotic ideas dreamed up by the parents of under-achievers. Fuck those clowns. If you're kid is a loser...it's probably because their parents were losers too. It's called the Circle of Life. Deal with it!

Hmmm...are we done here for today? I think we are. Thanks for tuning in. More soon I promise.

MONK

PS: I did actually step out of the house to play some poker. Went to the Beau and played the $50k Guarantee a couple weeks ago. First bullet, busto! Second bullet...and the $600 last longer I had with this other guy...also busto. Raised on the button with JJ. Got called by BB with A9. Flop came 9-4-3. He led out. I raised. He shoved. "I am going to assume you have Ace Nine" and I called. Yup. Turn? Nine! Poker is great! And that...is my ONE bad beat story for this post!!!





Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Time for a WSOP Team Monkey Announcement!

(so yeah..I STARTED this post last week...should be obvious)

Hello everybody! Hope you are having a wonderful spring! I haven't posted in awhile, and mainly its because I've been busy. I've had the intention to sit down and pen a blog post a couple times...but it seems like every time I'm about to do that...something comes up and sidetracks me! At the moment, I'm sitting in our room in Pensacola Beach, where I brought the girls for a few days while Carley and her buddy Abbey are out on Spring Break. We got lucky...the weather was perfect the entire time. We have to leave in a couple hours. On the way out of town I'm going over to the house I own here and meet with a landscaper about re-doing the sod and getting the sprinkler system back up and running again. I finally have a great tenant over there, and I've been doing a lot of little extra things for her to keep her a happy renter.

Since my last post...I've played ZERO hands of poker. But I have been putting the wheels in motion to launch the 2017 WSOP Team Monkey...aka Monkey's Minions. We are about 2.5 months away from the BIG WEEK.....and its about time to get the ball rolling. I've received a handful of players who are interested in being a part of this year's squad...and I appreciate the interest.

I've decided to take a bit different approach this year. In the past, I've first put shares on sale...then after enough had been raised to send 3 or 4...started naming the players who would be representing us. Predictably, I've had a lot of people who wouldn't buy in until they knew who the players were. I stayed stubborn on those situations...insisting that it would be best if I waited to announce who the players would be. Frankly....I'm damned surprised that I was able to use this method and be as successful as we have been. I guess its a testimony to how much people truly trust my eye for talent and just really wanted to be a part of the action. But after viewing it from another perspective...I now realize that knowing in advance who the players are...or at least who SOME of the players are...also will give THEM a chance to work their own personal networks to get investors to buy shares...not just to support them...but the rest of the team as well. After all, a purchased $200 share not only covers their favorite player...but also buys a piece of ALL the members of the team.

It just makes more sense, I've decided...to name the first three members of the team...and give everyone a glance at who they will have representing them as we go after the MILLIONS that the final table will be offering those final 9 players again. If you are interested in buying a share ($200 per share) or more...just email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. Each 50 shares sold, sends ONE player. Last year...we sold 300 shares and sent 6 players, two of which cashed...Robert Harwell and Christian Iacobellis. The investor/player split is 65/35.

2017's FIRST THREE MEMBERS of TEAM MONKEY!!!!

KENNY 'TRUCKER' MILAM

DAVID CHOCHELES

CHRIS CANAN

If you go checking stats on these guys...and the place where most people like to check stats is either on www.cardplayer.com or www.hendonmob.com you will find that Kenny Milam has the most cashes of the three. Another thing I noticed is that his earnings are split...which often times happens with these reporting sites. I've personally had profiles under various combinations using my first, middle and last name. Kenny is listed under Kenneth, Ken and Kenny. Aggravating. I finally got on top of mine...and had them all merged a long time ago.  Kenny's biggest listed cash is $40,000 which was accomplished in the $10k WSOP Main Event in 2015. As for David, he's a relatively new player..and his biggest score is also $40,000...which he won playing in the $3k Main Event at the Beau Rivage's Main Event in the Million Dollar Heater in January 2016. 

None of these guys are going to knock you out with their amazing stats. One large reason for that is that they play a lot of local tourneys...at Caesar's New Orleans for example. Here's the thing about the reporting sites...they no longer report ANY results that come in events that are less than $400. Which eliminates a LOT of results. I'm not a big fan of that decision by those sites...but its THEIR sites, so.....

For the first couple years...I had 'Wild Bill' Phillips back on the squad for a couple of reasons. One...he ran deepest the first year...and he was the only one to cash the 2nd year. But also because he was the owner of the site who has been hosting this blog for the 9 years I've been writing it. He has also been incredibly supportive to me personally, through all my trials and tribulations in poker. And additionally, he played a huge role in promoting this effort on the site itself. I didn't necessarily make it a POLICY that anyone who cashes will be back the following year...though it seems some have arrived at that conclusion. Obviously...they would merit consideration, especially if they were good team members...which our two players who cashed last summer WERE. Robert Harwell and Christian Iacobellis certainly have to be on the short list for consideration on this year's team again. 

It's always an extremely stressful job in deciding who gets one of the spots on the team.There are a lot of various factors that come into play...and I always fear upsetting people. 

I'll be totally honest...I was really close to nixing the whole thing this year. What started out as a bit of a mission born of spite towards Jack Effel, who has unfairly kept me on the outside looking in when it comes to playing WSOP events...and it being my way of having a presence in the world's biggest poker event, has become more of an annual event that focuses a lot more on just giving a lot of people a fun sweat during the tournament. On top of that...it gives an opportunity to some players to chase their dream, players who most likely wouldn't be able to otherwise play. That aspect of it has taken front and center since my own involvement in poker has dwindled mightily the past few years. I've been much more involved in being a husband, and a father, and branching out into other avenues of making money. It just gets harder and harder to justify traveling to cities and spending countless hours at a poker table trying to win amounts of money that are inconsequential. If I get the time...and a BIG tourney presents itself...where the prize money is worth putting in the time for, then YEAH...I will totally give it some consideration. But it just doesn't happen that much anymore.

This winter I was presented with an opportunity to do something I've always kind of yearned to do again. Back in the early 90's...after a number of years in the Food and Beverage business doing every job from the bottom to the top...I got involved as a part owner in a bar (Lulu's Baitshack) in Atlanta, as well as another one in Athens. We had 6 of us...which proved to be very problematic for a variety of reasons. I always said I would NEVER do a bar again with partners. Well, my best buddy from the New Orleans area, Barth Melius, who happens to have his hands in several (anywhere between 3-5, I can never keep track) bars and/or restaurants over there...took a trip to St Thomas with a girlfriend for a little vacation, and while there kind of tripped upon a place that was available. He asked all the right questions and got all the right information...and when telling me about it...I asked if I could get in on it with him? We've talked about doing 'something' together in the past...but so far it had only been to maybe buy a boat together!

Well...after a lot of research, we decided to buy this place in the Red Hook area of St Thomas. Barth is literally the only human on Earth who I would be partners with in a bar. And he says the same of me. I have a background also as a wine and liquor rep for Southern Wine and Spirits...my last job (in Pensacola) before quitting in 2003 to play poker full time. So I have a good amount of knowledge on the other side of the business as well. But Barth is basically a genius at these things...and has been down there pretty full time for the past three months. Any thing I've asked about...he's usually already covered. It's an amazing location. He negotiated a fantastic lease. The food we will be serving is cajun...which the locals down there are thrilled about. We are located in a big yacht marina..just a few hundred yards down from the Ferry that runs to St Johns. We will be called 'Bernies'...and feature a theme that plays off the old movie "Weekend at Bernie's" which was actually filmed in St. Thomas! We have gotten permission from the production company who made the movie to use various items to promote the bar. The build-out has been going on for over two months and is almost completely finished. We are both REALLY excited, and so is Squirrel. The opening...which will be a 'soft' opening...will take place in about two weeks (May 15th) and then on I THINK June 9th...maybe the 15th...waiting on final word there...we will have our HUGE Grand Opening party...which is being sponsored by Avion Tequila! If you were a fan of 'Entourage' you know who THAT is!!! There will be bands and lots of give-a-ways as well. 

I went down 3 weeks ago for a week to just basically check everything out and see what I was getting myself into! I loved it! Barth has rented us a condo that is literally 50 yards from the beach...called Sapphire Beach, which is beautiful. There is a little bar and grill right on the beach too. When its time for the Grand Opening I will be bringing Squirrel and Carley with me...and maybe Carley's little travel buddy who goes just about EVERYWHERE with us....Abbey! It's going to be a really hectic month...with my mother, my brother (Jimmy-the one with Down's Syndrome) Cheryl's mother...all coming for long visits during the month. Then in June...the trip to St Thomas...then a week in Orange Beach with the family. All of this...led me to waffling on whether I really wanted to take on the added stress of doing the Poker Team again. It wasn't going to take much to talk myself out of it. 

But....then the emails started coming in! The ones wanting to be on the team. The ones wanting to invest in the team again. And before I knew it...I was sucked back in again. And since we got 4 in the first year (2014) then 5 in the second (2015) and 6 last year (2016) naturally I am going to shoot for 7 in 2017. What can I say? I'm silly like that!

Oh...and to you donkey dicks who read my blog to find something to bust my balls about? Who think everything I do is a scam? Oh how I love thee! This little deal that I do? I've lost money doing it the first three years. I take NOTHING for doing it. Zilch. I invest in it myself...15 shares last year ($3000) and if the players don't win enough to get us back to even and beyond? Then I come out a loser. It's a very straight forward business model. All investors know who each other is and how many shares everyone has. The backers hold a 65-35 stake in all the players. If a player cashes...the $10k buy in is taken out and put in the collective prize pool. Then whatever they win...they get 35% of...and the rest? Into the prize pool. However much money is placed in the prize pool...it gets split up into even shares. If we sell 300 shares like last year? And there is $50,000 in the total prize pool? Then each share is worth $167. Which is $33 short of the purchase price of $200 per share. So basically, the break even point on 6 players...with 300 shares sold...would be $60,000. Everyone would get exactly $200 back per share. The first year we got shut out. Two years ago, Bill Phillips won $40k roughly, and each investor got back $95 per share. (taxes also figure into things) Then last year...two players accounted for $43k and each investor got $105 per share back. So...to be fair...with the tax implications...the break even point is actually a bit higher than $60k...probably closer to $80-85k. 

Ideally, we get ONE player who makes it down to the final three tables then we are freerolling on all the other players! To be able to get back to break-even with one player would be great! Bottom line...I put in a LOT of work...with the rounding up of money....with getting all the t-shirts, hats and hoodies made, and just the never-ending back and forth correspondence that goes along with doing this. But...when we get to the Team Day...and all the contracts are signed, the buy ins are done, the team photo is taken, the schwag is passed out...and the team dinner is over....and all I have left to do is kick back and watch the Minions do their thing? It's all worth it. To watch them from afar...through their social media updates...its a blast. To see all the support they get from the investors. To see them give us all their updates on their current stacks. It's a blast. It's easy to see why people get so excited about it. It's not everyone who can just drop everything in their lives and run off to Las Vegas for 7-10 days to play in this thing. So to be able to spend a little money to have a bunch of 'horses' to root for? Its the next best thing to a lot of people.

As for myself? From a poker standpoint? I don't know what or even HOW much I will play when I go out there. Maybe just play one or two big tourneys at Venetian and The Wynn. I know last year my trip out there corresponded with their main event at both places. I ran pretty well in both of them...bagging up on Day 1 in both but falling short of the money in both too. I wouldn't mind trying to improve on those performances. 

So...Carley just turned five this week...and one of the things I got her for her birthday was something she'd been pestering me about for months now: a fishing pole. Our friend manages the local Academy Sports and I went in there last week, spent a couple hours with him...and him hook me up with everything I could possibly need to go sit at the fishing pier and try to catch some fish. She is all excited to go fishing now. I promised her if she was good at school today I would take her fishing tonight. Well...I also forgot we promised her best friend Presley we would go to her last T-ball game tonight when we saw her at Carley's birthday party last week...so looks like I have to figure out how to squeeze in both things tonight!!! 

Again...if you are interested in being on the team this summer...please email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and tell me a little bit about yourself...and why I should be considering putting you on the team. You don't need to tell me your life story...just enough to get my attention! Throw in some stats...but I can also search on those myself. No promises! And I DO try to at least respond to everyone who applies...but that can get tough at times too. 

TAKE CARE!

MONKEY


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Hobbies Never Suck!

Greetings my poker (mostly) friends. It's been quite a year so far. We saw the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history last month...or the greatest choke job, depending upon your point of view and who you root for (or against). We've seen the most controversial president in the history of our nation slog through his first 100 days with a wholly divided nation hinging on every action and every word that comes out of the White House. 




We saw an Academy Awards end with a Steve Harvey-esque conclusion...throwing chaos into an event that was already being watched closely by the Conservatives...as they waited for another Liberal Hollywood personality use their pulpit as a place to preach politics. Chet...the older brother in 'Weird Science' who couldn't cut Wyatt and Gary a break in their pursuit of building the perfect woman (and at that time, Kelly Le Brock WAS the perfect woman) just passed away. We had a lot of famous people die last year...and in fairness, most of them had reached their end naturally. But Bill Paxson...only 61? All these actors and musicians who I grew up with in my childhood, dropping left and right...has put a whole new perspective on my own mortality. 




On February 16th, I hit the half century mark. Ask me twenty years ago if I considered 50 to be old...and I would have enthusiastically replied, "Hell yeah it is!!!" Then you get to 50...and things really change. Little changes in your subconscious...you don't see yourself as being old. Even looking in the mirror, you still see that guy you saw in High School and College. It's not until you go to Dollar General and that little acne-faced teenager addresses you as "Sir" that you even feel a little bit older. Funny thing...when I was younger...much younger, I wasn't one of those asshole kids who made fun of old people. And I think that it was mainly due to my grandfather who passed away when I was about 15. Before he died, we had some of the greatest chats. He taught me so much about life, and about people, and shared so many experiences with me of his amazing life. I took a lot of what he said to heart...and have tried to live the fullest life I possibly can. I've traveled the world. I've dabbled in numerous career fields. I think I can safely say, I left it all out on the field! And whenever I encounter someone I consider elderly...I'm left wondering to myself, "Hmm...I wonder if they are happy with the life they've led? I wonder if they have regrets? Things they wished they'd done? 

We get older...and friends and family members die. The older we get...the more frequent it gets. It gets harder and harder to process. But then....I wonder...do we just get numb to it? Does it become such a regular thing that it doesn't phase us after awhile? Do we just wait for our turn to arrive? And while we are getting older and older...we have these little jerkoffs...they are currently called 'The Millennials' in most circles, who think they know SO much...and have such little regard for anyone outside of their generation. 




They will be replaced by my daughter's generation...no telling what they will be called. And so it goes....on and on and on some more. Ask me when I was 10, "Do you think America is an old country?" And I would have reacted by saying "Oh yeah! Really old! 200 years!!!" But then you live 50 years...and it all seems to go by so fast...and you realize...damn! 50 years is but 25% the age of our nation!  (older now, of course) So no...I think our country is nothing but an infant. Isn't that weird? This...what you have just read? Is what I would call one of my classic sidebars! Now back to my originally intended blog post! 

Shall we talk a little about poker? Especially considering this is a poker blog on a poker website? Sure...why not. I also assume there are a handful of people checking in periodically to see if I am taking on comers for this coming summer's team of grinders...to venture out to the desert in pursuit of millions. Well...I will, indeed be getting that ball in motion soon...very soon. Let me just say...I have about two or three people in mind for this year's team already...if, of course, they are equally interested in being on the team. As for all others? The process...is that I take applications...with (hopefully) an impressive cover letter. And one thing that I would impress upon potential applicants? Have some impressive scores on your resume. Try to keep in mind...its not just ME who is investing. In fact, I am but a mere partial investor. I just happen to be the choreographer of the whole shebang. So, while I may very much be impressed with your skills at the poker table...remember that there will always be 100-125 people who I must convince that this person I have chosen is legitimately qualified to take our $10,000 and make a run deep into the most famous poker tournament on the planet. Because when I select someone? And they fall on their face? Guess who gets second-guessed and criticized? Yup! This guy!!!!

All interested/potential candidates should email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com for consideration.

How have I been running? Well...first I drove over to New Orleans...then drove a little longer. Got lost a couple times...but eventually found my way to Boomtown, who was running a semi-big tourney for the folks from Heartland Poker Tour. It was a good field, and had a good structure. I had only committed to firing one bullet, and wasn't all that excited about it....because their Day 2 would be played on Super Bowl Sunday...and they didn't have any kind of set up to be able to watch the game from the tournament area. It was also situated in a very poor location, smack dab in the middle of the slot area. So it was noisy as hell, and smoky as a mother. I'd been warned about the smoke by others...so picked up some surgical masks on my way over there. 




I made the dinner break...and that was the highlight...because, while the service at Pier 41 was dreadful....just lousy....the food coming out of the kitchen was amazing. I sat at the bar and feasted on a ribeye steak that was incredible. Then I returned to the tourney and busted....don't even know when. But I didn't bag, so what does it matter? The following day...having returned to Biloxi, I posted on my Facebook that I'd been fantasizing about that steak all day and would happily pay someone to bring me the same exact meal I had enjoyed the night before. Well, no sooner did I post that, than Charlie Gelvin messaged me that he'd take me up on my offer. I was like...."Whoa, what?? Really!??? Okay!!!" And about two hours later I was sitting at my kitchen table eating that same meal and drinking one of my better bottles of Pinot Noir! Bliss!!!



Know what I forgot? I forgot that after busting the Main there...I made my way to their poker room...just to see if it was as much of a joke as I'd heard it was. To my surprise...there was a big 1-2 game going. Yes...I said 'A big 1-2 game going.' I know, some of you are snickering! Well...by the time I got into the game...bought up to the biggest stack ($1800) and played for about an hour...there had to be $15-$20k on that table. We had railbirds...probably 10-15 just sweating this game. It was nuts. Completely nuts. Had I caught even a couple of breaks, and had even a few hands hold up as they should have...I would most likely have cruised out of there with about a $3500-$4000 profit. Instead...I lost $2700. So...a nice little -$3800 road trip. Ugh. 

Next up on the poker agenda...was a trip to West Palm...aka Palm Beach Kennel Club. I flew down this time, instead of driving. And for the first time, I became a UBER user...which I was more or less impressed with. The one hiccup being the day I got a Cuban lady who spoke NO English at all and took me on a ridiculous maze-like adventure all over South Florida! If you follow me on Facebook...you might have enjoyed that exciting adventure! Well, I also decided to treat myself...since it was the week of my BIG FIVE OH...and booked myself at PGA National Country Club in Palm Gardens. It was incredible. Maybe not exactly worth what I paid for it...but it was peak season...and they did have the Honda Classic coming in the next week, so it was a very electric environment. While I was there I got a chance to play three rounds of golf and loved every second of it. Before I went down there...I got with a local golf pro to work on some of the holes in my game...mainly with my irons, and seemed to have worked through the major issues. Thank god...because the last thing I wanted to do was embarrass myself in such good 'golf company.' Turns out I played fairly well...well enough at least to convince my playing partners that I knew what I was doing!

The day I flew in, I got to the hotel, checked in, and returned to the Kennel Club to play that day's Omaha 8 or Better tourney. Getting there late was probably a good thing. I got deep...and then ran like crap. I don't remember exactly, but I think I busted about 15 from the money. I was just in time to hop into the 4pm Turbo tourney...and got deep in that one too....but busted 8 from the money in that one. Sigh.......

The next day I played the 6-max at noon...a tourney I've never cashed in my career. I've been close many many times...but never a single cash. Well...that ended, finally. 188 played...and I busted 11th...just missing the final table...but happy to finally have a 6-max cash on my resume. The only downside to that day...was that the 4pm tourney was an 8-max...which seemed to me to be the PERFECT tourney! The ideal amount of leg and elbow room...and not too speedy or geared for super-aggro players. So I didn't get to play that. 

That was the extent of my tourney play that week. I took the rest of the week off to focus on R&R at my resort and playing golf. On Thursday night...I went with Tim Burt to where he was staying, the Hard Rock...and played some cash game. It was my birthday...and it would only stand to reason that I would run like a....well, actually, I didn't really RUN GOOD....I just had all my hands hold up. And got paid off on them. I bought in for $300...and in only about 2 hours...cashed out with $2450. A very nice little session! Earlier that night...Tim and I had dinner in my hotel lobby...and they were having a big benefit raffle. We both bought a good amount of tickets, and I ended up winning the Grand Prize...which was a 3-day/3-night stay at PGA National along with golf for two on the Champions course ($420 value per round!). I don't think I've ever won a raffle in my life before that!  So yeah...my birthday was somewhat memorable!!!


I came home from South Florida...and got together with my best friend...who I've decided to enter into with as partners on a bar and restaurant in St Thomas, Virgin Islands. As we sat eating sushi, I forked over the second LARGE certified check in the last calendar year (the first being for our house!) for a major purchase/investment. I used to own a bar in Atlanta with, ahem...SIX other guys...big mistake, and I said I would never do a bar venture with multiple partners again. That bar was incredibly popular and successful...and I've always kind of missed that business. Well, my friend is the ONLY person I would EVER be partners with in this kind of thing again...and he's done an amazing job securing the location, the lease, and all the other components necessary to get a place like that opened. We look to open the place in about a month. So I will most likely be taking some trips down to St Thomas in the coming year. Hopefully I don't lose my shirt! But I feel good about it overall, and think we will be really successful! 

Finally...last week, I decided to play the Beau's Friday $130 tourney...my first tourney there (not counting the Million Dollar Heater) since I'd had my five-year ban lifted in January. It got a decent turnout of 54 players. The nice thing about playing a little hundred dollar tourney...is that there is very little that can happen that is going to get me irritated. So early in the game...when I was losing to some of the shittiest hands...I just bit my tongue and laughed. To myself, of course. Overall...it was a nice day of poker. And after my hands started holding up...I started building a pretty nice stack. It was only paying 9...and when we went from 34 down to 17 all of a sudden..I started thinking how nice it would be to win my first weekly tourney since I returned. But I've been in those spots so many times...and every time you start thinking you have a pretty good shot to win....something almost always seems to derail your plans! So I just kept waiting for it to happen.

We combined at 10 players...and they all started chirping about taking $15 out of pocket to pay the bubble. Well, I am now...at this stage in my poker career, heavily ANTI chop. And I don't give a crap about the bubble...whether its me, or someone else. I mean...seriously? Is that $150 really going to change your life that much? Luckily, there was another guy at the table who said 'No' so I didn't have to be the lone voice of dissent. Which was nice...I hate being the bad guy if I don't have to be. 

So we played on. Eventually we lost that 10th person. Then we got down to 6...I was still 1st or 2nd in chips. They started up with the chop talk again. I politely declined. They offered me 'a little more' than the others. Again...I told them, "Guys, no offense, I don't like to play all day so I can quit when we get down to 6, or 4, or 3, or 2. Sorry, I like playing final tables. It's not a money thing for me." And that was it. Well...we get four handed...the blinds are 6000/12000 and a very interesting play happens. This guy limps on the button with 9-10 off. The guy in the SB...who was extremely 'squirrely' all day...meaning...mmmm....I don't know how to explain it, very twitchy or something. Made very erratic plays. Well he completed for 12k with what turned out to be A10 off. Well, if I'm in the big blind with something like QJ suited? And they have both limped at THOSE levels? And I have them both covered by a good amount? To me...that's just them telling me..."Hey Monkey...you want this pot of $36,000??? (with antes)" And I'm like..."Of Course I do! I'm all in!" (for about 30 bb's) Well, before the button can act on his hand...the SB acts out of turn and stands up (like he'd been doing often) and declares he calls. In my mind I'm alternating between..."what the fuck?" and "whoops...fucked that one up, I guess" and ...."Sure hope I suck out!!!!" 

Well now the button limper...who actually had plenty of chips to just get out of the way...especially knowing that the SB had already announced his intention. Now...as a logical thinking human...I'm thinking...WOW...this guy just did me the biggest favor ever! Hopefully he can cripple Monkey...then we can finish him off...and do a three-way chop deal! Right? Nope. Not this guy. He stands up...and says..."Well, shit...since this guy isn't going to do a chop deal....I might as well just get it all in, what the hell...." Um...okay then! So we are all three all in...and the flop comes A-Q-7. Well...I got outs! The turn is an 8...giving this guy a straight draw...and killing my Jack as an out...shit. The river...BOOM! I spike a queen! And I take them both out!  Heads up!

Now this other guy starts asking about some kind of deal. I have him about 5 to 1. I repeat my speech....he respects it...and we prepare to play. At this point...his wife...who had been observing for awhile...situates herself right over his left shoulder. And he is showing her every hand.

Okay first of all? I've never seen that happen where the floor doesn't make that person leave. Frankly...I couldn't care less if someone wants their lady friend to sit and watch. In fact, I'm all for it...it certainly makes things more interesting for them! In such a boring game, otherwise. I just was surprised, that's all. 

Secondly? Boys and girls...word to the wise here: If you get heads up with a player that is above average in skill level? And has demonstrated an ability to pick up physical tells from other players over the past decade and a half? It is probably not in your best interest to have someone sitting over your shoulder, who's face is in clear view of your opponent, looking at your hole cards. Because what that does...well, I don't think I need to spell it out for you, right?

Lets just say...it was a nice advantage to have...when I would look at his wife's face after looking at his cards...and know if he had a big hand, or a shit hand. Because if I was on the button, and I was fairly certain he had a shit hand...I would just raise 2.5x and take down the pot.  Hopefully the guy I played against will read this, and not let that happen again. Not that I don't think I would have or could have beaten him anyway....it just might not have been quite so easy. 

He almost had me, actually. It was down to 4 to 1...and when I raised with AJ suited...only to have to call his all in with 99...I flopped two pair only to get turned by a nine and ship him a very large portion of my stack. Then he caught a bunch of good hands to get me down to where he had me now about 5 to 1. But I turned it around...and got super aggressive against him. Finally, I raised with A6 suited...and called his all in...with KQ. I caught a dream flop....a 6-5-4 flop with two spades. Nice. I held...and it was over. I don't usually ask for a 'Victory Shot' in a tourney like that (daily) but given the circumstances, I felt it was both necessary, and appropriate. It felt good to win again. Anything...but especially to win at the Beau Rivage. It had been a long time....on the outside looking in. It was a win for $1570...no big deal. It was a great feeling to just sit there...with all the chips. Its one of the very rare feelings in poker that still get me excited. Right up there with making that hero call...when you are counting on your reads to be right...and they are! 


I left a generous tip...and went to meet the girls who were already at Chili's. Carley gave me a card protector for my birthday, that has her picture on both sides of it. The first thing she asked me: "Daddy! Did you use your coin today for poker!???" I love it. "I sure did! Don't you know that's why Daddy won!!!???" 



That's the last poker I've played...last week. I don't have anything else planned right now. Me and Squirrel are taking a little 4 day/night trip to Punta Cana next week...her birthday gift to me. Carley is staying home with her Mimi...its an all-inclusive, adults-only resort...so it should be a nice weekend. Not something we get to do very often. She's been on a rampage lately in the gym and with her diet...trying to get down to her 'playing weight' for this summer! The Elliptical I bought her about 3 years ago...that she largely ignored and used for a place to stash the extra pillows from the bed...has finally been getting a great workout this month! After that? Well...as you know...I run sports pools...and here comes March Madness! I don't really follow or care that much about hoops...but March Madness is always pretty exciting. So that will keep me busy through April I guess. After that? Not sure! Guess we'll have to wait and see!!!! 

MONKEY