HELP SAVE a KITTY!

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

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Saturday, June 25, 2016

300! AND WE ARE SENDING SIX!!!

I am often amazed at the power that networking combined with a little integrity and reputation are able to produce! Two days ago, we were stuck on 237 shares sold, but I hadn't really been very aggressive (this month) about drumming up support for this summers Vegas Grinders. 

One blog post and one email to my 2000+ list of people I've built up over the past 15-20 years...and here, at 10pm on Saturday night, I just sold my 300th share! At 50 shares needed per player...we have now raised the full $60,000 needed to send SIX players to shoot for the $10,000,000 first prize! As well as a ton of other cash prizes just to get deep! I'm feeling pretty damn satisfied, sitting here knowing the hard part is now DONE...a full two weeks before the tournament kicks off. 

And with the shares about 80-85% paid for...I likely don't even have to worry about that, either. But just to be safe, I will take names, put them on a wait list...and anyone who doesn't pay by the set deadline, or maybe someone decides to give up a share for whatever reason...I will get them a spot on the investment team. As it stands, we will have a record number of investors this summer...with 107 people purchasing one or more shares. Now THAT...will make for one hell of a rooting section in the Penn & Teller theater should one or more of our players reach the Final Table in November! That would be truly awesome. 

Oh, and PS: to the couple of guys lacking the testicular fortitude to sign your names to your shitty comments? You know, you Captain Anonymous winners you!!!! There is nothing, absolutely NOTHING you can say that is going to cast any kind of a negative shadow on this whole experience. As long as you litter your comments with redundant foolishness, its impossible to take you seriously. IN fact, really...anyone who can't 'man up' and sign their name to a comment...really doesn't even deserve to have it read in the first place. I know how much it must hurt...being one of those people who never has anything good happen to or for you in your life. The bitterness and envy you experience on a daily basis must really be tough to endure. I don't profess to comprehend what your goal is in sending me your shitty comments. It's just ...well...pointless. I would like to say though...that even though I don't know who you are, and I'm sure you will never show your face...should one of these six players...and god forbid the one you won't shut up about...happen to simply cash-let alone run deep...please be sure to revisit my comments section, and offer up your apology for being such a classless piece of shit. Yeah...I know...I won't hold my breath! Instead, you can just curl back up into the fetal position, and slither back down into your feces-infested hole that you reside in a majority of the time. 

MONKEY


Friday, June 24, 2016

The Main Event Draws Near!

I'm back from Wisconsin! And I have to say...if there was a way to pack more into 5 days I do not know HOW it could be done. We went to do two or three things and ended up doing about 5 or 6 things. Great trip! The weather was amazing. Didn't even KNOW there was a Kenny Chesney/Miranda Lambert concert at the baseball stadium there...saw it on my Facebook newsfeed, and immediately checked for tickets. BOOM! Front row! $165 per ticket. Dirt cheap by Southern Country concert standards. We took Carley...her first concert ever, and she loved it! Since the show started at 5...we thought it might be worth giving a shot. As always, the concert was fantastic. The ball park up there is beautiful. 

We went to a farm on Sunday, where the kids get to hold and feed various animals. Carley got to milk a cow! On Friday night we saw my sister's 8 year old perform in his dance recital. It was 2.5 hours long...but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the whole show, not just his parts. During the weekend my sister pulled out the slip and slide...and I got to be 12 again! As did Squirrel. It was a blast. Rode my sister's ATV (first time on a 4-wheeler) around her 10-acre property...that was cool. It was the first time seeing her new house out in the country outside of Milwaukee...wow! Have to say, I'm jealous of all the space in the house as well as the land. Before leaving, I pitched batting practice to the two boys to get them ready for their game later that day. The front yard is basically as big as a ball field.  Our flight home...well, of course, what would a trip on Delta that connects through Atlanta be without some kind of delay? We got it. Didn't get home Monday night until around midnight. But at least they didn't beat my brand new luggage to shit. Sure that will probably happen on our upcoming trip to Vegas. 

So, with all the travel, and various other 'stuff' going on, I've kind of hit a lull in the whole 'Selling of the Minions' operation. Until last night. I got the merchandise order finalized and turned into our lady who is handling that. I ordered a couple extra in each size category for people who decide later they would like a t-shirt or a hat. And then today around noon, I sent out an update to our present investment group, as well as all the people who have invested at some point in the past. And just like THAT....BOOM! We were sold out! Even OVER SOLD. 250 shares was what we needed to hit to send all five players to Vegas. So that is DONE. Oh! You are asking, "Monkey, who are the OTHER TWO Minions? Did I miss something???" No, no you didn't. My bad. I did announce it on the Facebook Group Page, as well as via email to the investment group...so they know. But this blog will basically serve as the unveiling of our Minions #4 and #5...and who our ON DECK Minion is anxiously hoping I can now propel us to 300 shares sold, and 6 players sent to play in the Main Event!

As I have the first two years I did this, I have gotten the usual snarky emails/comments from the typical assholes. One thing about an asshole behind a keyboard, they never sign their name to anything they write. I wonder why that is? I don't think I have ever left an anonymous comment in my life, anywhere. I feel good about that. And that is probably the reason I don't let comments from anonymous people get me to worked up. I suspect some of the people who criticize the process, are people who wish themselves that they could be going to play in the Main Event. So I chalk that up to bitterness. Then you have some who want to poke fun at the players who are going. That's fine. Don't care. I'm not trying to assemble an All-Star team. I want great players, don't get me wrong. But I'm not going out of my way to just offer up free buy ins for players who I KNOW have the ability to sell their own package. Plus...there are a lot of great players who wouldn't want to play for only 35% of themselves. They don't need or want to. I mean...if your bankroll for poker is $75-$100k...why would you EVER play for only 35% in a $10k, the biggest $10k, in poker? It would be dumb. Well...there are a lot of really good players who just don't HAVE that kind of bankroll, or network of poker acquaintances, to make it happen. And that is where I come in.

One person commented that I only do this because I can't play at the WSOP myself. Um...well, that is no mystery. At least I didn't think it was! I consider that tournament to be the best tournament, structure-wise and prize pool-wise, on Earth, so of course I wish I was able to play. And yeah...being a part of someone who DID win...would give me a tremendous thrill. Why should that come as a shock? I'm always kind of amazed at the collective IQ that some of these people have who leave comments on my blog. To be totally honest? If I found out tomorrow that I am getting my ridiculous 86 lifted at Hammond Indiana, and subsequently at all other Caesar's properties, and was now allowed to play all WSOP events? I would in fact play. But I would ALSO continue putting as many people into it as I could. Why? Well...a couple reasons. I am and have always been, someone who really likes to pull for the underdog. And that is what my team is...a bunch of underdogs. So hell, I would just be taking up another spot on the team! 

I have a pretty extensive list of people who play in my various pools, and have for almost 20 years now. They've even been around staking some of my packages in the past decade. The ones I got massacred for on 2+2 by those losers who think they are the Department of Finance in the poker industry. What they seem to not comprehend...is that some people? They actually have followings...followings that were developed through years of networking, and years of demonstrating integrity and credibility through other ventures. They have experienced the excitement of getting paid just DAYS after something ends, whether it be the March Madness Pool, a football survivor pool, or a poker tournament. So for me to sell poker packages, the way I do? It's really not that difficult. So sure, I would love to be able to play the Main again. But until that happens? I will continue to give myself, and a whole bunch of other people, a chance to observe the action, with a rooting interest! These people don't care about 'markup' and all the +EV, -EV bullshit talk that seems to consume a lot of poker dorks. They don't care. I don't care. I take NOTHING in the way of a fee for doing this, and never will. Currently, I am the biggest investor...at 15 shares currently. A total of $3000. So if you want to say I am 'ripping off my investors' like a dipshit? Hey! Just know then that means I am ripping MYSELF off!!!! 

For those who like to sit there, look up the players in Hendon Mob, then weigh in with your opinion of my selections? Do me a favor? Don't waste your time. I'm quite aware of each players' accomplishments, contrary to what you might think. Like I've said before....this isn't a collection of the Top Ten in the Cardplayer Points that you will see playing for TEAM MONKEY! This is a lot of people with real lives. With jobs. With families. With limited bank rolls to play the bigger buy ins. But they all have a high degree of talent. They are all more than capable of cashing, and even running deep in the biggest, baddest poker tournament on the planet. So save your criticisms. No one, aside from you, and maybe your dork friends, are interested. The only opinions I care about? Are the people who are putting up $200 a share. So if NONE OF THEM echo concern? Why should I give two shits about your worthless comments?

Okay...I feel like I've been rambling long enough...and I have no idea how much more time I have before Carley (who has stayed home from daycare/school for a 5th day in a row!) has one of her epic meltdowns brought on by the lack of a nap. In addition to that looming threat, I am taking the Squirrel to dinner at BR Prime tonight (where I have requested Kai to be our server) followed by a show at IP featuring one of my favorite comedians, Brian Regan. So I want to get this 'in the can' and keep this ball rolling in my mAxImUm EfFoRtS to get to 300 shares sold, so we/I can send SIX players to Vegas to try and snag that paltry sum of $10,000,000!!!!!

2016 TEAM MONKEY GRINDERS!!!!!

#1  STEVEN PIQUE. I have already given you the lo-down on Steven...who is currently hard at work running the poker room at Aria, a place I truly love! He is married to the omnipresent Jennifer Gay...who done a tremendous job of promoting him and the whole process! Steven has a great set of poker skills that are perfectly suited to the structure of the Main Event. He is very quiet, unassuming, and humble...which makes him a really good guy to root for to succeed. I mean...lets face it, when watching a show like American Idol, don't you always tend to root for that sweet kid from middle America from a good family, who has no idea just HOW good he or she is? This guy Steven? He's like one of 'them!'

#2  WILD BILL PHILLIPS!  Due to popular demand...and due even more to his two consecutive years of being the 'Most Successful Minion in the History of the Minions' Bill is back for his third trip to the Main Event carrying our banner! He didn't cash the first year, but made it the longest out of the four we sent. Then last year...he DID break through, finishing 223rd for around $45,000. Had his KK managed to beat JJ...he would have doubled up BIG...and most likely finished in the top 100 with ease. It was a bad beat I am ALL TOO familiar with, personally! Some of you know what I'm referring to. It hurts too much to even type! Bill is one of my favorite guys in poker. A tremendous family man with a whole gaggle of kids! He, like Steven is very low-key and mellow. But before you try to figure out how Bill and a guy like me could EVER have become friends? We have a very similar sense of humor, which as far as I'm concerned is the best quality a person I decide to be friends with can possess. The ability to 'get' me!!!! He is brilliant, if you've never read his blog...you should. Some of the stuff he comes up with is simply fantastic! Monkey likes intelligent people. And Bill is a smart cookie! Oh...and he's a pretty good poker player too!

#3  DR. LAURA LANGLEY-CRAFTON.  Now if there IS a wild card on this team, this is her! I can't sit here and tell you about all of Laura's qualities, either as a person, or a card player. Because I just don't KNOW! And I don't like to make things up! But hey! She sent in her application for consideration a couple months ago. I'll be honest, she wrote a GREAT cover letter! Enough so, that when we decided to hold our special 'play in' Wild Card tournament at Sir Kai's house last month, she was one of the 20 invited to play. Eventually, we got a total of 11 players, who each ponied up $400 each...which made them ALL the holders of 2 shares of the eventual team right off the bat...but would ALSO award the 3rd spot to the winner of the tournament. And with all the well-known talent that we had playing in that tourney? She bested all of them. So she earned her spot fair and square! And beating that field was no easy task...so she is clearly doing something right! And its great to have a woman representing the team for the second year in a row. You might be surprised at just HOW much support we get from investors for the simple fact that we have a lady participating! So whatever it takes to get a well-rounded team with a full compliment of investors, I'm committed to making it happen!

#4 ROBERT HARWELL.  Robert is a guy who I have known, from playing poker, for over a decade. Like the others, he isn't flamboyant at all. Very quiet, Very stealthy...is the way I've always considered him at the table. Hidden behind his glasses, giving away very little...a difficult player to get an effective read on. Another family man...who like me, has taken his tournament play down a notch to be at home with his family more. Also like me, Robert has wrestled with terrible back pain over the years, his much more severe than mine...and mine is bad. He has endured a lot of surgeries to try and overcome his pain. In the recent tourney at Kai's place...he was cruising along, looking like he would win the tourney, but then took two incredibly brutal beats that derailed him. I know just HOW deflated he was, he had come in very confident, and very excited to represent my investment group. But he handled his defeat so professionally, just like I've watched him handle every rough beat as long as I've ever known and played with him. I know that he will represent us well in Vegas...and I am excited to see just how deep of a run he can put together. 

And our final player......

#5 CHRISTIAN IACOBELLIS.  If you played on Full Tilt back in the heyday of online poker, you may remember the player known as 'DaProfessional.' It's funny how we met. I was playing a slate of tourneys on Sunday like I used to always do back in the mid-2000's...and one day, this guy won THREE big tourneys, in ONE day! It was sick. It was crazy. It was, simply...unbelievable! And I was of the opinion that whoever it was HAD to be cheating somehow. I wrote a blog about it, even. Well...a couple years later, that 'guy' just happened to be sitting on a barstool behind me at the center bar at Rio, where I was currently playing the WSOP back when I was allowed to play there. Whoever I was talking to says: "Hey Monkey...remember that guy you accused of cheating on Full Tilt in your blog? He's sitting right behind you!" Huh!??? But I didn't act like a weasel and flee. Or try to back out of my comments. I turned around in my stool, introduced myself, and we have been friends ever since. He has gone through a LOT since then. One of the highlights was the year we both played the Main Event at Borgata and swapped a piece with each other, the year Dwight Pilgrim won the thing. I finished 45th, and Christian made the 10 person final table...which they played for something like 3 long hours before losing their first player...who unfortunately, WAS Christian. But it was still a really nice score for him.

Since then he has had a massive issue with Full Tilt, who was holding a rather large amount of his money when Black Friday hit. He has continued to fight back and forth with them and with banks ever since. I do NOT envy that complete shitstorm that he has had to endure. I met him in Vegas last summer...while I was playing at Venetian, and he had brought his new girlfriend with him, who he credits with helping to change his life for the better. He is still with her...which makes me very happy for him. Though he is an East Coast guy...he has been living in Pasadena for the past year or so. Once a pretty great ice hockey player, he has continued playing hockey...which I DO envy! There is literally NOWHERE down here in South Mississippi to play recreational hockey, and I really miss playing a lot! The final hurdle in naming Christian to the team, after he'd been applying to be on the team for the first two years, was getting the stamp of approval from his girlfriend. She gave the green light last week finally, and I was happy to welcome him to our team.  

I don't remember what year it was, but it was a year that I was running pretty good at Venetian. Christian was in the midst of a deep run in the Main Event. We went out one night to celebrate his good run...as he had a day off in between days. I either had already bought a piece of his action, or he just gave me a piece, I don't even remember...but the point is, he cashed. So he HAS been to this rodeo before, and has results to show. In fact...as results go...this guy is definitely our 'go to guy' if you are a Hendon Mob junkie! More than anything...I am pulling for him to do well because I know what it would do for his life! I find it really hard to root for people who are already either rich, or who will never run out of people to back them. It was one of the reasons I really enjoyed my time as Mike Bratovich's primary backer. Because he had been let go from his job, and had an uncertain future, with a wife and kids. I like knowing that if I can help them realize success that makes it possible for them to have a better life? That almost makes me happier than from whatever money they have won for me. 

SO THAT IS OUR CURRENT GANG OF FIVE! And...in the on-deck circle...and who I've just notified a short time ago that he was my final cut...but who there may be a shot at getting on the team if we can get to 300 shares sold:

POTENTIAL #6.  GENE DUDEK!  Gene is a pretty trippy guy! I've known him and Wild Bill for an equal amount of time, as they are the co-owners of the website that I post my blog on...www.GulfCoastPoker.net. I've had some pretty memorable experiences with Gene, both at the table and away from the table. He comes off as a guy who says very little. But get a few drinks in him...and OHHHH how the colorful personality come out!!! But where the important thing comes in to play...the poker? He is a bit of a genius. I've had him at my table enough times to recognize his ability to exercise incredible pot control, who has a full comprehension of position in hands...and who can make great laydowns at the most critical times. Don't quote me but I'm pretty sure he won the overall casino championship at a WSOP circuit event at IP a couple or few years ago and punched a ticket in the WSOP National Championship. I remember that during that week he was just on a massive tear like I hadn't seen too many times before. We have similar styles, and that makes me realize that in a long, drawn out structure like the one at the WSOP Main Event? Which JUST this year has increased the starting chip stack from 30k to 50k???!!!! This has GENE DUDEK written all over it! I can't lie...I went back and forth for two weeks on my final two picks on this team...with Gene being right there. If I can't sell the shares to get Gene on this year's squad...he is for sure going to play on our team NEXT summer. But I am hopeful that we can get him on this summer!

Alright! So...there you go! Your long-over-due blog post giving you all the details of our FINALIZED roster of FIVE! With one on deck eagerly awaiting your support to get him on the squad! If you want a piece of this team...in a year the Chinese have deemed THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY...then all you need to do is shoot me an email at ThePokerMonkey1 at AOL. The cost per share is $200. The player/investor split is 35/65. It's a very easy formula for how both get paid out. I've detailed it in past blog posts...and Jenn Gay has laid it out as well. I'm not going to regurgitate all that info here...this post has been long enough already! Just come find me if you are interested...otherwise, just sit back, wait for July to arrive...and watch the magic unfold!!!! Because I have no doubt...this summer is going to be memorable...and Carley is going to get that boat she keeps hounding me for!!!!!

MONKEY


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

AND THEN WE HAD THREE! (MINIONS)

Yeah, I know...get OFF me! It's been 8 days since this was determined. Hey! The people who absolutely wanted to know-KNOW! The rest of you curiosity seekers just aren't very good at digging, obviously.

I've been busy. Yesterday, in fact, I was getting an eye exam, my eyes dilated; to see if I am a candidate for Lasik surgery. Had that done? It's very aggravating, as you walk around for 24 hours unable to focus on anything, nor able to go into the bright light. So we'll consider yesterday a lost day.

Hillary, or Killary as I call her (Yes, I have a special group page on Facebook, dedicated solely to ripping Cruela Deville II. It's called KILLARY WEARS PRADA-feel free to request inclusion, it's really quite fun) has apparently clinched the nomination overnight. Over night? This is where I giggle at how stupid, and manipulative our politicians are. Anyone realize that the final primaries just happen to be, ahem, TODAY? With the largest, and perhaps most influential being held in California? And with Bernie Sanders surging in popularity, and the rumors of a big win in the Golden State being talked about as a crippling loss for Killary heading into November, is it really any HUGE mystery as to how this transpired???

Okay. I will spell it out for those of you who are THAT stupid. See, the people with the power to do it, release a statement saying Killary has Klinched. Therefore, they hope (and pray) that a bunch of voters who had intended to vote for Bernie, are deflated, and choose to stay home. What this results in, hopefully for the Wicked Witch of The White House, a victory in California for her...avoiding political embarrassment. It's really not that hard. This whole game...it's so easy to understand, if you just try. (PS: Anyone seen Ted Cruz lately?)

The Gorilla is dead. That all seems to have calmed down. Next hot topic, the swimmer from Stanford. With the delusional father who seems to think his kid, and his future, are more important than the entire life of a girl who his sweet little boy decided to make his fuck doll for the night, hoping no one would notice them behind a dumpster. I mean...when I harken back to my sexual conquests in my younger years...none stand out quite as glamorously as the ones that took place next to a garbage bin. This world...good gawd.

So yeah. We have reached THREE Grinders, AKA Minions in the March to WSOP 2016. And by the end of this week...I will have named the final two...bringing us to 5. The only thing left to do then...is sell out the rest of the shares (currently at 190 of 250 needed to sell) and order all the players' schwag...which I initiated this week. Just need to get all the proper sizing now. Which requires all five players. Funny, how that works, right??

CLICK TO JOIN WITH MONKEY

Okay look. I do not usually do this. And I am NOT hard up for money. I promise! But I said, that if I tried this, and it actually worked, then I would mention something about it...and invite people to get into the program under me...which in turn would place them in the 'downstream' of someone I would really like to help out! So...well, its been 4 months now, since I started using products from Le-Vel, with the main one being THRIVE! I'm sure a lot of you have heard about Thrive. The patches are popping up on everyone, lately. So, I will keep it brief. Someone read here (or maybe on Facebook) that I was trying to "get down to my former playing weight" and no, not playing poker! But sports! Which would be 225-230. I somehow...no idea how, really, managed to balloon up to 275 this spring, though I've never really had anyone (except a few haters, but never to my face, of course) call me 'fat' per se. But I know that 275 on a 6'3 frame is not healthy...no matter HOW wide my frame is! So I immediately got started, and a week later, heard from a good friend who was on the program, encouraging me to give it a try. I was told after my first order, that I could become a Promoter, get just two people under me, and never have to pay for my products.

CLICK TO SIGN UP WITH MONKEY

Nope! I refused to do that. Why? Because over the years, I've had a LOT of people approach me about getting into their 'downstream' in an obvious attempt to tap into my network of people. I've tried several of them...without any success at all. I've formed a pretty cynical opinion about most of them. So I told this friend, let me try it for 2 or 3 months first, and see what I think. Well, I've lost 20 lbs so far, and am shooting for 20 more to reach my goal. But in addition to the weight loss...I just feel better. More energy, sharper mentally, sleep better at night, and its caused me to eat a lot healthier...mainly because I am just focused on my diet and well-being. Okay...so I want to make this quick and easy. They have many products. You can go look at them. I take the morning pills, two of them. Then I apply my new daily patch...or DFT (derma-fusion technology) to my chosen area that day. Then half an hour later, I rip open my packet of either vanilla, chocolate or strawberry powdered mix, and either make it with milk...or I whip up a smoothie. I've gotten almost addicted to the morning smoothies. Go to Wal-Mart...and in the frozen section, they sell bags of frozen assorted fruit. Very affordable. Much cheaper than buying actual fresh fruit weekly. In fact, in an article my wife found, frozen fruit is reported to actually be healthier, believe it or not! And that is it! Nothing to do later in the day! The patch works to curb your appetite during the day. You can also drink the mixed drink in the afternoon too, if you want. Whatever your schedule dictates.

JOIN MONKEY'S THRIVE TEAM TODAY!!!!

Hey! This is all about YOU! No pressure! What's in it for me? Honestly? I do not even know! For real. I guess I will just watch and either say "Hmm..meh!" or "Wow...for real???" Either way? I don't care. The finances are great right now! Knock on wood! I am actually just thinking..."Hmm...mostly poker players read this. I know a lot of FAT and UNHEALTHY poker players. Know what would make me feel pretty good? Helping someone that later comes up and thanks me for the tip! Or? Maybe someone who is struggling financially...and having this serve as a way to open up a solid revenue stream to help them make ends meet. Bottom line? I have used it, I like it, and I think and believe that is IS a legit product. That's it. WARNING: This product is NOT cheap! I spend $200 a month...for a month's worth of morning pills, DFT patches and shake/smoothie mix packets. HOWEVER...once you get just TWO people to join under you? All your products are free! I haven't realized that goal yet! I've paid $200 three times. Because I wanted to trust it before I tried to sell it. 

MOVING ON! And I apologize for that little commercial break...but I've intended to write that for a couple weeks now...and with the summer arriving...the timing is perfect! No one wants to go to the beach looking 'not so hot!'

So yeah...we had a 'gathering' at Lord Puddingworth's Manor last Sunday night. We had a grand total of 11 players. They were:

TAYLOR BLACK
SCOTT WEINBERG
KENNY MILAM
ROBERT HARWELL
CHRIS CANAN
CHARLES GELVIN
DAVID CHOCHELES
LAURA LANGLEY-CRAFTON
JAY MARTIN
STEVE BIERMAN
WAYNE SOLAR

The structure, I am told, was great. The action started at 7:30 and took about 7 or 8 hours before we had arrived at a winner. Along the way, we had numerous chip leaders. There was a lot of very good play. I served as the Tournament Director, and fortunately only had to make about two or three judgement calls, and none were very difficult. We did have one player call clock! And it was on a hand where there was a 4-bet followed by a 5-bet...turned out to be AA vs KK...and the guy with KK folded preflop. Pretty sick fold. Another pretty sick play was when one player simply called the river bet...with a FULL HOUSE...on a not-so-obvious spot not to raise. I certainly raised my eyebrows at that one! We didn't even lose a player until (I believe) the 4th level. It might even have been Level 5. 

Kai and I had originally planned to make it typical of a poker tourney at Kai's house...with strobe light/dry ice intros, and pies in the face to the people who busted. But right away, you could sense that this was NOT the proper time for those shenanigans.  I mean...these folks were each paying $400 to try and win a $10,000 seat to the biggest tournament on the planet. It kind of called for a little more professional decorum, and we both mutually discovered that pretty early. So we kept it pretty clean. 
Your hosts for the evening affair!

I would love to tell you lots of stories about how crazy and out of hand things got. But they just simply didn't. About the only real excitement for me came when Barth Melius and I decided to play heads up with blinds of $25/$50 and starting stacks of $1250. Barth is a crafty Mo-Fo. I had him three to one twice...only to end up losing. I managed to beat only once in four games...so took it on the chin for $2500. Ugh. 

During the grind...we had chipleads by Kenny 'Trucker' Milam first. Then things shifted over to Scott Weinberg for awhile. Then it was Robert Harwell and Steve Bierman holding big leads. While all this was going on...Laura Langley-Crofton was just kind of hanging out in the weeds. But I wouldn't want that to paint the image of a squeaky tight player waiting on aces or kings. She opened a LOT of pots..as was confirmed for me by several players. She never had a massive stack...but never really got short either. 
Local Fan Favorite, Kenny 'Trucker' Milam

Wayne Solar...also known in the Facebook community as Louisiana Limit King...was also very quietly holding his own. Honestly....it was just a really well-played table. Now, understand, to those readers outside of the Gulf Coast area, you might not have heard of a lot of these players. That's fair. Most of them do most of their grinding locally....either at the Beau Rivage tourneys, or those in New Orleans at Harrah's...with some other things sprinkled in, like Coushatta, Tunica, and some of the dog tracks. I've known practically ALL of these players for quite some time...or at least known about their game and/or results. It wasn't like anyone just wandered in off the street! 

The Silent Assassin, Robert Harwell...with his early massive stack

The deal...was that our winner...so long as we had over 8 players...would clinch a spot on TEAM MONKEY this summer. So once we started with 11...it was on...and very intense! 
Laura Crafton...sizing up and Jedi Mind-tricking the guys out of their chips

Down to three-handed...Robert Harwell took an incredibly brutal beat...when his two pair were counterfeited, and he lost the biggest pot of the tourney to that point, to Steve Bierman. Robert concedes that this was the hand that really undid him. He, of course, took it like a champ, like he always has in the 10+ years that I've played with him. So now we were heads up with Steve and Laura...and I won't lie...I didn't watch much of the action. I know- that sounds horrible huh? But I was too busy trying to dig out of the hole I'd crafted playing heads up vs. Barth. 

Our Champion, and Winner of Kai's...uh...Trophy! Unique, indeed!

The action ended around 3am when Laura beat Steve Bierman to clinch the spot on the team. Congratulations again to Laura. So for the 2nd year in a row, we will have a woman representing us in Vegas. She joins returning 'veteran' Wild Bill Phillips, and Steven Pique, who's wife Jennifer Gay has been doing an incredible job of not just marketing her man...but getting others interested and coming on board as investors! They live in Las Vegas...so she has been adding a bit of a West Coast flavor to the team...which is fantastic! Now...for the final two players...I am currently mulling over the candidates...and spoken to a few of them to pick their brains a little. I feel compelled to come up with a couple players that carry with them some 'Carte Blanche' or name recognition, and with accomplishments that some of the more cynical investors can 'look up on Hendon Mob' and feel confident about investing in. 
Was it the Pinot Noir?? Or just a lack of skill? I'm going to blame the wine!

While my primary objective in starting this project up three years ago, was to give an opportunity to players who wouldn't otherwise get a chance to compete, albeit, players who in my heart and mind I felt actually had a chance to make a deep run...I am also not so naive to think that I am dealing with results-oriented 'buyers' on the investment end of things...and that if I am to get over the top of shares that I need to sell to send five players to Vegas, I might just have to reach into my bag of tricks and pull out what some might deem a 'ringer.' But hey! Don't think there aren't some struggling 'ringers' out there too who aren't anywhere close to being able to come up with $10k for the chance to win $10m! Because there are! Lots of them, in fact!

So...we are heading into the home stretch! 60 more shares to sell, and my work...the main part anyway, is DONE! My wife just booked us (through her work at a nice discount!) for four days/nights at Mandalay Bay...where they have an AWESOME kid-friendly pool...and an aquarium and other neat stuff. It's connected by a sky bridge to Luxor and Excalibur...who also have some really fun things to entertain the kids. So all of us are going out for 4 days...NO POKER for me! But we will have our TEAM DAY on Friday, the day before the event starts! Disbursement of funds, signing of player/investor contracts, handing out of T-shirts, hats and hoodies, taking of the Team Photo in front of the snazzzy WSOP lighted sign...then a trek over to Maggiano's for a Team Dinner. I had so much fun doing that last year...I can't wait for it again. Then, I may or may not hang out until the end of the first 9 days of WSOP play...while playing in some tourneys myself at places like Aria, Venetian and The Wynn. Hopefully I can play the $5k Main at Venetian again this summer. I really wish Squirrel and Carley could stay the whole time...but she just doesn't have that many vacation days from the Beau. Plus we are traveling to Wisconsin for 5 days next week to visit my sister and mom in the new house they moved into last fall. We haven't been up there since 2010...the week after I won/chopped the Main Event at the Beau Rivage. That was a GREAT trip! The first time I ever took the necessary time OFF from poker after a big win...to actually enjoy it!!!

I miss playing big tournaments. I miss the thrill and exhilaration of competing against what is perceived to be the best players in the world. To play against those kind of players...and make final tables? That is what fuels my competitive fires. Squirrel can't quite understand it...especially since we aren't hurting for money anymore. But it's not so much about the money...although a big score is still something that I would relish. It's just the feeling of being at the Final Table. I love it. I crave it. And to win? Which is tough...wow. To just be sitting there, at the end, with ALL the chips? There just really isn't anything like it. I miss that. And I hope I get that chance this summer...at least for a week or so. 

Okay...that's a WRAP! If you are interested in joining the team of investors for this summer's team of Grinders...shoot me an email at ThePokerMonkey1 at AOL. The deal is this: Each share cost $200. When you invest in one, you invest in ALL of them. So any one cashes, you cash. The split is 65/35 in favor of the investor. The 10K buy in is REFUNDED to the investors from whatever winnings there are. So, player wins 35% of total left AFTER the buy in is taken out. The pay out process is as SIMPLE as PI. If we sell 250 shares...and send 5 players...then whatever is won...dollar amount? Is divided by 250. Whatever that number is? Is what EACH SHARE is worth. Doesn't get any less complicated than that! 100% transparency! I take not a nickel for doing this. In fact, my current pledged commitment is for 15 shares...for $3000. If no one cashes? I lose $3000. Plus whatever I come out of pocket for all the schwag!  There is a Facebook Group Page for all investors and players to chime in with whatever they want to share. If you want in on this annual shot at the BIG PRIZE...better hit me up quick...because we are about to put the bow on this year's package!

MONKEY

Sunday, May 29, 2016

SCANDAL ROCKS THE POKER WORLD!!!!

I do not say this in a self-serving way, I promise. But to post a blog, about scandal in the poker world, and having it NOT involve myself, is well, refreshing to a degree.

Now, on the other hand, the fact it involves a guy who I have admired for over a decade, and been friends with...saddens me. I've basically labeled Nolan Dalla the 'Greatest Blogger in the History of Mankind' on numerous occasions, and its pretty effed up that his blog (ironically) is being used AGAINST him, by the girl who is accusing him of wrongdoing. It all makes me sick, for a variety of reasons.

The 2+2 trolls, those pack wolves of the poker world, have been frantically and enthusiastically weighing in with their self-professed 'expert' analysis the last 3 days on the whole situation. I think any of you who have read my blog over the past 8 years are acutely aware of my disdain for the weasels and fucktards who call 2+2 their home. Bottom line, I simply have no use for humans who feel they are qualified to weigh in on the character of a fellow human they have never met or interacted with...or to make judgments on a situation they are 100% NOT involved with. Who simply arrive at their conclusion based on nothing but hearsay and conjecture. [in the comments section below I respond to a reader's comment wherein I'm accused of being a hypocrite here]

Are you living under a rock? Are you unaware of the scandal? I'm trying to give you the best crib notes without having to give you the whole nuts and bolts...since my purpose for writing today isn't to explain what happened, but to give you my opinion of the whole mess, since I DO happen to know Nolan quite well...as well as the scenario in which the allegation was rumored to have taken place.

Let's do it like this: Here is a link to Jaclynn...I'm sorry, DOCTOR (though she isn't a practicing doctor, choosing instead to bypass the medical profession for a life of reliable, steady income in the lucrative field of cash game poker) Jaclynn Moskow.  Just click her name there...and it will take you directly to her blog, where she drops the hammer on not just Nolan Dalla, but three other industry professionals, I'm sorry, make it FOUR...she also includes Shaun Deeb in her diatribe. 

Fast forward a couple days...to where she goes on a live podcast with Joe Ingram. I wasn't familiar with Joe..but have to say...despite him talking just a little too fast for my liking, he does conduct a very good interview, and asks excellent questions. In no way was he pandering to her. 

The contrast we see, is him talking very fast, and her talking verrrrry slow, almost like she was encouraged by someone to take a couple downers before the interview, so as to come off sounding calm, cool, and collected. Beware, and this is simply a warning...the interview is extremely hard to get through all 90 minutes of. For me...her whiny, nasally voice did things to me that can really only be found when I watch and hear Hillary Clinton speak. It was rough. And...as one of these 20's and 30's-somethings...the word 'like' and 'actually' are featured prominently in her vocabulary which drive me insane...no matter who it is. If she were to eliminate the word 'like' from her arsenal, this interview would have easily been 20-30 minutes shorter. 

Now, in an attempt to give you all sides of this mess...before rendering my opinion on the matter, I must give you Nolan's official response to the shit storm. Let me try to see if I can relocate that...as I've been taken all over the map trying to see everyone's two cents on this matter.

NOLAN'S OFFICIAL RESPONSE...and the 2+2 THREAD

Now...I understand that some of you may click on that...and NEVER RETURN to my blog here...and might actually miss my 'take' on the whole mess. I guess I can live with that. It's fine.  After all, I didn't even mention that today is THE BIG DAY in the world of 10-14 Wanna-be Grinders/Minions, as tonight, they tee it up to become the 3rd official member of the team...in an event at Kai Landry's crib. Just found out last night...that Lord Puddingsworth (alter ego) will be awarding the winner...in addition to a $10k seat to the WSOP (which, frankly, should suffice) the big, ridiculously gaudy trophy that he has been working on for months....that was SUPPOSED to go to the winner of his 3rd tournament with the name that is so long I can't even begin to try to repeat it. I won the first one...and proceeded to streak through his neighborhood with the 'Hubcap Trophy' as promised. Danielle Stewart, who angrily chimed in on Facebook yesterday as I did when we found out the trophy and title would be doled out tonight in a tourney we don't even get to play in....won it the following year, losing my respect when she refused (not adamantly though, we'll call it hesitatingly) to repeat my feat of the prior year...streaking through the neighborhood with the newest HubCap Trophy. She lost a little bit of my respect and admiration, I can't lie. Well....anyway, someone...probably in the wee hours of Memorial Day...since I have created an AWESOME structure (with 20 minute levels and 20k starting stack) is going to walk way with this new trophy. I will be sure to post lots of fun photos from the event. I am then planning on (if they aren't sold out) procuring a cabana at the Golden Nugget for Memorial Day for the moms and their kids and myself. Squirrel should be getting home from Baton Rouge around noon...after being gone all weekend participating in that country music fest thing up in Tiger Stadium...her and her three friends...all recently divorced...in an RV. Needless to say...they are having what we will just call F-U-N.

Lets get back to the story. Are you ready for the link to the podcast? Now..if you didn't already vanish from this post...this will definitely probably spell your goodbye...because this thing is 90 minutes long. But its important for you to watch if you want my full assessment to really count.

JACLYNN  MOSKOW podcast interview with JOE INGRAM

Now if you are still with us...me more precisely...I would like to start out my 'assessment' of this situation, by giving you my somewhat humorous assessment of Miss Doctor herself. Pretty sure we all watch Family Guy, right? Or have at some point in our lives. And do we all not find Stewey to be the most amusing character on the show? Of course we do. Are we all familiar with Brian....and his past relationship with Jillian? The ditzy blonde? If not...then click this link below..because this is my impression of Nurse Jackie here.



Are you still here? Because you are dying to hear my 'take' on this shitstorm? Well...then wow, I am shocked and surprised, and frankly...honored! So then...lets get into it. The good thing for me...is I basically am retired, have no job where I answer to anyone, have nothing that can really be ruined...like so many others in this PC world of ours, and have crafted a life where my opinion can't destroy me. That feels good. That being said...I DO actually care what those I respect and admire think about me, and to an extent...my opinions on matters like these. So...with that being said, let me just be perfectly clear on one very important point:

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are VERY VERY serious allegations...and are never, or should never be...laughed at, made a joke of, and certainly never should be ignored. Women who I am close friends with certainly know my stance on this subject. I've always regarded a woman as someone who should garner the utmost respect, never to be struck, never to be objectified, and certainly never to be touched in an inappropriate way that isn't welcomed. It's a problem in today's society...I think we all recognize that. And as it is at the heart of this scandal...it must be taken seriously. Conversely, and to the point of why it has erupted as such a scandal, is the unfortunate scenario in which 'some' women have used this delicate subject to manipulate a situation for monetary gain. Or to essentially ruin someone's career, marriage, or reputation. Or all of them, in some cases. That is why this is such a touchy situation. Those of us who care mightily about the plight of women trying to be treated equally and fairly...don't want to risk alienating them by throwing this woman under the bus and siding with Nolan. And there are surely those who find themselves wanting to believe the woman in this tale, but not wanting to see Nolan's career ruined. Like I said...its a really really rough and touchy subject to deal with.

People, quite a few, asked me what my take was. Asked me if I was going to blog about it. I guess my opinion is valued by a handful of people. Not sure I want that dumped on my plate. And my immediate response was that I was going to kind of let it cool down first, and gather as much info as I possibly could before making any opinions public. Well...I think I've seen and heard about all I need to now. Again, my opinion could be dead wrong. But it's just my opinion. But as someone who thinks I've got a pretty fair ability to read other humans, I tend to go with my gut reaction. And my gut reaction is such:

Jaclynn Moskow is a woman who is without a doubt intelligent. But she is very mediocre at everything she has ever tried to accomplish. While she is a doctor, there is no proof that she ever passed her boards or got a residency at her very mediocre and shady medical school. About the only thing she has to show for her time in medical school is the claim of $200k in student loan debts. She flounders around in South Florida, calling herself a 'professional cash game player' which to me is as glamorous and legitimate as the old lady with the slot glove who calls herself a slot pro. It's laughable. Her claim that she passed on a medical career to be a poker player instead is pretty interesting, I'd say. I'll just leave that one there.


HAPPIER TIMES

So let me tell you how I think this all went down. First of all...I like everything about Nolan's response except for one thing...and I will tell Nolan this face-to-face as I would ANY friend of mine; the claim that he wasn't familiar with the term 'motorboating' struck me as a little hard to believe. Like me, Nolan is a bit of a wordsmith, and furthermore, is very in touch with the current trends and buzzwords/buzz phrases. His dripping sarcasm and dry sense of humor and wit...is what makes us friends. I just can't convince myself that he doesn't know what 'motorboating' is and wish it hadn't been part of his response...because some of us who really know him had to have kind of cringed a little bit when we read that. And for some less willing to hear him out, it might have just flipped their on/off switch to the off position as it pertained to hearing him out. 

Then again...I could be wrong....maybe he DIDN'T know the expression! In which case...wow...that's a shocker! Personally, I've never motorboated any woman...nor do I find it something I have ever wanted to perform on a woman. I just think it's kind of stupid. It's right up there with that stupid finger-lizard-tongue thing that some guys do to a woman that I guess is supposed to signal a desire on their part to perform fellatio on her. Ridiculous and sophomoric. I've always been very blunt, refusing to beat around the bush (no pun intended) so if I wanted to perform such an act...I would tend to just tell her point blank..."you know what? I bet you have a fantastic pussy! I would love the chance to circumnavigate it some time!!" Finger-lizard? Get the fuck outa here.

Sorry...got a little side-tracked there. But back to the 'motorboating' thing..because I just feel like talking about it some more. I just realized...I have not done it TO a woman...but have had it done TO me. At a strip club. Where the girl, usually after you've tipped her (or in the effort to garner one), comes up, tells you her name...and then sandwiches your face between her tits, as a way to show her gratitude I guess. I've concluded there are two basic reactions to this act by men: (a) the guy, like me, who looks completely uncomfortable, embarrassed even...and sits there, very stiff and upright and awkward...waiting for it to end...then looking around to see if anyone he knows was watching. Or (b) the guy who soaks up every second of it...even tries to slip in a little nipple lick...moving his head back and forth...probably even doing the little motorboating thing with his lips...which I am going to imagine cause the stripper to think to herself  "My gawd, what a creepy little pervert this schmuck is!!!!" before his 'time in heaven' is over and he rewards her with a crisp one dollar bill. That's all I've got now, on the 'fine art' of motorboating. 

So back to what I think happened. And again...this is ONLY my opinion, I have NO PROOF to support my opinion. NONE. So please don't judge me. This is ONLY my OPINION! And its based on my history with poker players, with TV production crews, and 'wrap' parties (gatherings that take place after a show has finished taping, yes...I was an actor in my previous life!). Mixed with a little common sense in dealing with fellow human beings.

I think that 'it' totally did happen. But that it went down this way: A bunch of drunk people at a bar, people are doing shots through their nose (which I wasn't even aware people were doing these days!) and getting even MORE fucked up than usual. Her boyfriend is there with her. Its nearing closing time. Nolan drunkenly compliments her on her ample bosom, her boyfriend giggles in agreement, she laughs along with his comment. Nolan then recklessly, but playfully...buries his face in them. Who knows, maybe he even did a shot with her breasts serving as a support structure for the shot glass. Everyone gets a good laugh out of it...a little cheering ensues. Everyone leaves in a jovial mood. The next day...they are buddies. The following week they go paint balling together. Next month...still cool, exchanging friendly emails. But whoa...wait...

Suddenly, her use of the contacts she had made through him aren't paying off. She's not being invited back to the show by the powers-that-be. All of a sudden, after starting to feel jilted, she starts feeling now that the whole scene in the bar might not have been as fun as she thought it was. Instead...she starts feeling like maybe she was being clowned. Maybe just maybe...she was being harassed. Sexually. This is something relatively new in our society, something the experts label 'withdrawal of consent' which we can thank the feminists for. Basically, it means "we get a little drunk, then we fuck, and its all good and fun until two weeks later where I realize I felt pressured or that I was slightly intoxicated and therefore couldn't POSSIBLY have given consent...hence, I was, ahem...RAPED!" Completely insane...but something which now has legal precedence. It is what has me really, really fearing for my friend Nolan. Because I've been a part of scenes like that in the past...maybe not as the central character, but definitely a person in the room. It's a chilling scenario, and always a possibility as something that can happen to you if you are dealing with someone who isn't wired like the rest of us. (or more accurately, those with whom's views I identify with)

To make myself the person in this story...and lets just say I was with my wife, who also happens to have a pretty amazing chest on her...it would likely go something like this: We are all out...drinking, having a good time. Someone like Nolan or another one of our drunk friends...says something silly in nature and maybe cops a feel on one of her boobs. I am annoyed, but I realize its harmless and let it go. (it has actually happened in the past) Besides, my wife knows when enough if enough. She can fight her own battles on that turf. It would be irrelevant, probably not even discussed on the drive home. Its just a symptom of being in a bar at 2am where everyone is comfortable with each other, and with the assistance of copious amounts of booze, feeling a little free with their actions! People at those hours tend to get a little frisky. I sure as shit know I do! And I'll be honest, I've done and said some things in that state that came back later to bite me in the ass a little bit. So I try to (a) not drink too much and (b) be respectful to my wife in the company of her friends and/or co-workers! 

So if you are in that bar at 2am? And someone grabs you, pulls you into a broom closet, and forces you to give them head, or lifts your skirt and tags you from behind? That? Is fucking rape...sexual assault...and whoever does it...needs to not only be fired from their job...but to see the inside of a jail cell for a long time. But motorboating a gal who has been drinking with you all night? In front of the whole world to see? That just makes you a drunken fool...who might need to just apologize the next day if the 'victim' seems like she was bothered by it. Period. End of story. Again...my opinion. At some point, a woman has to accept a little responsibility, I think. If you are in a bar, shit faced, or even a little more than slightly drunk...at 2 or 3am, doing shots...and you are offended by ANYTHING? You need to get the fuck out. Like, immediately. But by staying? And participating in the 'madness' then you are making yourself liable for whatever shenanigans might transpire. Within reason, of course. Now...for you hardcore feminists...I can already hear you saying "But wait, Monkey...you're just shaming the victim, because shouldn't a woman be able to drink in a bar without the fear of someone assaulting them?" Save it. Sure...sure they do. And you know what else? I should be able to drink in a bar without worrying about two guys busting in wearing ski masks, robbing the place...and shooting me when they mistakenly thought I was reaching for a gun when I was just reaching for my cell phone to call 911. 

So...nearing conclusion...I merely suggest that 'something' definitely happened in that bar that night. I just can't bring myself to think that this girl is anything other than a woman who didn't get her way, wanting to be included on future episodes of the poker show, and after getting shunned, retaliated in the way she did. As far as her accusations against the other men...all in about a 24 hour period...I literally felt like I was watching the movie 'Gone Girl' where a psychotic female gifted with a very creative imagination and a way above average intellect, crafted a whole scenario designed to make herself look like a huge sympathetic figure in all of this. I mean...seriously? The Jew comment? Then Nolan's alleged blacks comment? A random, inappropriate ass grab by a staff cameraman? Topped off by a 'passing comment' in the hallway by a poker player (Shaun Deeb) with a good name and reputation, where he is alleged to tell her why women will never succeed in poker? Yeah...sure...that is something I often hear players doing while passing other players in the hallway or lobby of hotels, the 'ol 'Drive By Mini-Seminar!' Its like she sat down at the kitchen table, with her notepad, and decided which men were going to star in her dramatic production, and gave each of them their individual role in shaming her. 

Bottom line: I don't buy it. I think she is full of shit. A corporate lawyer for the show...who caught wind of the whole mess...allegedly tried to make it all go away by offering her $15,000 for her silence. She contends she turned it down because of her desire to be some kind of voice of the oppressed. Horseshit. She turned it down because she is smart, because she knew if they were willing to throw $15k at her...that it was their lowest possible offer. So she is playing the game. Which, if you read her blog...is pretty much verified by the closing line of her post...where she tells Nolan..."You're Move!" It's rumored that she countered with a request for $100k. I can't confirm that. [Matt Glanz has publicly posted an email sent from Moskow to Rush Street Productions where she specifically counters with a 100k offer]

But it fits the narrative. I see her as a nobody, trying hard to be a somebody...and in the process destroying careers that have been built over decades of actual performance, production, and earned respect. To attempt to use extortion to pad her stats in the poker world while maybe wiping out her mountain of debt from medical school is disgusting. IF..in fact, that IS what she is doing. Again...these are only my opinions. 

IF you check out Twitter, or the 2+2 thread...she is actually garnering a lot of support, driving a massive divide, a wedge, between the two sides of this scandal. The ones that take her side...are incredibly angry about it. Those who aren't buying her story are a little more chill about it...choosing to sit back, view it all with more common sense. It's truly been a very polarizing scandal. It kind of reminds me a bit of the current presidential race. Both sides are easy to dislike or be mad at. But both sides also seem to be sympathetic figures. Its confusing, and mysterious. Exactly, I guess, what the poker world was hungry for. Because, God forbid...we didn't have the occasional scandal to keep the goobers on 2+2 entertained, and with something to do to drag them away from their Open Faced Chinese, or their online session made possible by an illegal internet connection established through a foreign server. 

I don't know how this will all turn out. As my friend, I hope Nolan escapes it relatively unscathed. But I worry for him, because he works for one of the most 'corporatee' companies I've ever known...where any semblance of 'egg on the face' almost always leads to a washing of the hands by them. It's the society we now live in. There is no longer a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. That's a joke that died a long time ago. Now? You are basically FUCKED and good luck undoing the FUCKERY of what just happened to you. It makes me sick. It makes me thankful...beyond belief...that I no longer work for a company that can toy with my career and my life like a cat with a ball of yarn. That I now have things that can't be taken away from me because of some accusation that is lobbed my way. I am not the person who, in a way I deem to be nothing more than cliche, sends 'thoughts and prayers' to people to make-believe convey my concerns for them. Instead...I just try to offer something sincere and thoughtful when they are faced with a massive amount of adversity.

Before I conclude, I would like to point you (those of you who are still on board and not off reading the marathon thread on 2+2) in the direction of my fellow GulfCoastPoker blogger, Jennifer Gay-Pique, who happens also to be the wife of our 2016 Team Grinder member Steven. She has offered up her take on this situation as well...and from more of a female's perspective.  I admit, I share a bit of the same views as Jenn...with politics NOT being one of them. 100% anyway. We agree to disagree on some things. Like Donald Trump, for example. Not going any further into that, however. But you might want to check out her blog on this subject at BELLA DONKEY. Enjoy!

And with that...and I'm sure I could have probably written a LOT more about this subject, but I was trying to keep it as brief as possible. Plus...me and Carley need to make a run to Wal Mart in preparation for tonight's gala event at Sir Puddingworth's Estate. Bye for now.

MONKEY

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