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Friday, January 30, 2009

Well, that was a good start.

A smaller field than I expected as 363 started in Wednesday's $340.
Brandon gets a courtesy double up on the fourth hand of the tourney when a donk/bozo thought his 10-10 would hold up against B.J.'s AK AFTER an ACE hit the flop. Interesting....and a gift.

I played the first two levels on two different tables. Won a bunch of small pots to stay around 12k to 17k early on. I got AA twice and never got much for it. From level 4-6 I managed to pick up enough to stay at or around average. But now average was getting around 23K.

On level 7 I got my standard 'courtesy double up.' Well sort of a courtesy. I sort of made a loose call preflop with A10d. The flop came Jh-9d-2d. Initial raiser bet out 3000. (blinds 300/600) He had 20K behind. I had 15K behind. I made a decision to commit myself to the hand by raising to 10K. He tanks forever and finally moves in. I call....and am looking at AJ. Hmmm...okay....so I pretty much HAVE to hit a diamond, and I do...and now have 35K.

A while later at 400/800 dude who would become my Red Snapper buddy later on raises to 2100. Weird number. Button calls him. Hell I have 800 up in the big blind and am looking at A9c. Sure, I guess I will take a look. Flop comes Ah-3d-9h. Yahtzeee! Decide to check raise. First guy bets out 8K. Nice. Second guy tanks.....then SMOOTH calls!!!?? WTF!?? What are y'all putting that guy on? Flush draw? Has to be. Not dicking around here. Was going to raise the first guy to 20K...but with both of them in there...and the pot at 23K...and me sitting on 32K behind....I felt like the right thing to do there was to hammer them with my whole stack and see what happens. First guy thought for about 3 minutes and folded. Next guy tanked for about 4 minutes...which wasn't unusual for him. I was calling him the Human Rain Delay after about his third tank job. He finally folds, and I was up to 60K.

OH! This day marked my debut of ADEROL XR! XR stands for extended release. And it was AS ADVERTISED! WOW! Great stuff! One pill lasted ALL DAY! I was totally dialed in and focused as hell! I think I just discovered the answer to my antsy-ness. Maybe. Whatever.....I vote YES for Pedro, and I vote YES for Aderol!

Hung at around 60K to 85K for the next three levels.....couldn't ever get to 100K. The last three levels I just couldn't get ANY cards. One dude at my table got aces 6 times. SIX! He ended up being the bubble boy. Sort of. Jimmy Sommerfeld has this very strange rule in play. When we get down to 37 (paying 36)...they first go hand for hand...which is normal. But then when one person loses...they COMPLETE THE ROUND...to the button...so like, 8 more hands...and if ANYONE else loses/busts.....they figure out who had the smallest stack, and that person is the bubble. HUH? So AA boy ends up cashing! Very strange. I really got pretty lucky to finish 22nd. I think the last 6 times I moved in I got walks. ANYONE calls and I am probably out. I finally get it in with 77. Funny story here.

Once we made the money, I started (of course) drinking Red Snappers. When we were down to 27 Cub shows up. Sporting a new hairdo, a new hat and looking very metro sexual! He spends some time chatting it up with Tyler Smith and Brandon before he graces me with his presence. I announce that I am about to turn 60K into 180k. Me and Cub make a side bet...for $100, with me getting 2-1 odds...that I can get to 180 by the end of the current blind level. He accepts...and starts hounding me. I pick up 77 at cutoff...and announce to CUB...."Here we go CUB!" I move in 54K. The guy in the BB starts scratching his head and chin. I basically goad the guy into calling. I NEED A CALL! And if he's thinking that means he has like Q10, K10 maybe....and I tell him that. Finally he calls with QJ. Yep, pretty close. He flops two pair. FUCK! I don't hit a 7. And its over. I give Cub his $100. Dammit. Cub wins again! Peckerhead! I go collect my $1320 and find a sit n go.

In this $230 SNG...on the FIRST HAND.....5 limpers...I pick up 77....yeah......77! First hand. I raise from 25 to 125. Three callers. Flop comes 4-5-8. Gut shot. But still most likely the best hand. First guy (donkey) checks. Second guy bets 200. Whatever. I raise to 575. The first guy (donkey) CALLS! Just freaking calls! Second guy folds. Next card is a 2. Donkey checks. I MOVE ALL IN for 875. HE CALLS! I figure he has A8 and I'm fucked. He turns over....ya ready? Drum roll please.........QUEEN FOUR! Are you kidding me!?? River? FOUR! C'monnnnnnnnnn! I get up laughing...everyone comes over and looks, and are laughing too! WHAT THE HELL!???

I take a steam walk. Get Brandon some cigarettes....and come back to give them to him and discover that he has busted out. Oh. Shit. Me, him and Tyler had made a deal earlier...where we would all put 15% into a pot from what we won....and then divide what's in there by three. Well, I won $1300. Tyler won $1300 and Brandon won $1500. So it was a wash. Pretty good though that we all cashed. Tyler...Mr. Stack Variance himself...had 300K in his stack at one point and looked like the favorite to steamroll the thing. But as he typically does, he aggressively tries to destroy his table and gets butchered up. I cant tell people how to play....but dammit, when you have 6x the average stack....TAKE IT DOWN A NOTCH...and find places to pick people off, don't try to FORCE the action all the time.

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seattle to Biloxi to Tunica

Yep.

They got me again!

After October I said I wasn't coming back here again. But alas, three or four phone calls from some of my boys and I couldn't resist. The structures are great, the fields have been huge, and they have altered the payouts to where they are not so damn top heavy.

I was set to come home from Seattle...sit there in Biloxi for a week, hang out with Squirrel for a while...try to train that damn dog Molly to chill the hell out, then leave for Vegas on Monday. Had Allie Prescott all ready to pick me up and get going on the Venetian Deepstacks and drive over with him and Brady to play some L.A.P.C. events.

But, no no! All that has changed. Instead, I decided...hmmmm...I will drive to Tunica, play the last week of those events, try to satellite into the Main Event that starts on Tuesday, a $5K event...and if I don't play it...go home, chill with Squirrel, go with her to our next Baby Doctor Appt, where we get to see another sonogram. The only way I wont make that appt, is if I am sitting at the Final Table on Friday of the Main Event. She can deal with that!

So I am sitting here in my hotel room, which I am sharing with Brandon Jarrett, who busted out earlier in the Main Event at Borgata...zipped down here...got us a room while I was driving up here...and now is sitting here 5-tabling 10/20 cash play on Full Tilt and giving me a rambling play-by-play as I attempt to make this entry. Good luck. I finally have met my match in the rambling play-by-play department! Tomorrow's event is a $340 buy in...which I think should be a big field. I will just buy in direct. After I get done ripping this thing off...I am going to dive into my current novel, "THE ASSASSIN" which comes on the heals of my recently concluded "THE TRAITOR" by Stephen Coonts. No poker for me tonight....I actually got my fill driving up here. That's right. Some people find that scary. Some think its hilarious. Some people understand its great for killing time on a long boring ass drive. Final Tabled a $12/180 on Stars and pulled another $225 on two .25/.50 cash games. A profitable drive north. Loving the VERIZON wireless Internet card!

Well, my 14 days in Seattle was relatively pleasant. Drank all but two of those bottles of Pinot Noir. Saved the best and brought them home. Helped my Mother around her house a lot. She is in pretty good shape after the surgery. I felt bad leaving her...I know she is going to get pretty lonely all alone up there. I finally discovered the poker room at the local casino. Things started great the first time I went there. Ran 300 up to 1200....before the damn wheels fell off. Had a couple of freaks at my table. This old guy they called Smokey...who was sporting about 3 and a half teeth...never missed a flop or failed to suck out. One very huge loss for me came on a multiple called $10 hand. I had KQ. The flop? What else? A-10-J. Rainbow. By the time we got to the river....'Ol Smokey and I would manage to get about $425 of our chips in the middle with another $120 from other players. The last two cards were A-J. Smokey's cards? A-Q. Perfect. It ended in me leaving with $3, enough to tip the valet.

My next session there was a rollercoaster ride. In for $300. BOOM! In the first 20 minutes I flop a set of 3s. Yeah...it all gets in there against the guy who flopped a set of 8's. Nice. Put in another $300. Run that to $750. Drop to $400. Up down, up down....until finally I run it up to $900. Look at my watch and it is freaking 6:30am. Jeezuz. I leave. As I crawl into bed...the girl who has come to stay with us...happened to bring her dog, PACO....who was apparently previously owned by an abusive male, because every time I walked in the door, he would start barking incessantly. So much for trying to sneak in! Well, then she goes out to the garage at 8am, with my Mom, and starts re-arranging everything in the garage! My bedroom? On the other side of the garage wall. Awesome. My punishment for coming in late I guess.

Never mind that I took this dog jogging with me twice. And that he even came and climbed in my bed one night. Okay, granted, part of the reason was that I was holding FOOD! Still...the bonding efforts were there and should have gotten me excused from the FREAK OUT BARKING episodes every day! NOPE! So yeah... one really good thing about this trip was that I started running again. FOUR TIMES! Wow, to feel the blood flowing through my body again, to feel SWEAT...actual SWEAT..rolling down my face, was pretty invigorating! Need to do more of this. So I don't keel over from a heart attack at a poker table!!!

ON DAY FIVE in SEATTLE (Snoqualmie, specifically) I finally got my Mother to QUIT forcing me to watch NANCY FREAKING GRACE every night!

Never quite made it on getting her to quit forcing me to watch the lineup of JUDGE SHOWS! Do you people realize that their are somewhere in the neighborhood of 38 Judge Shows on television now? Its out of control!

So I got home on Sunday night late. "Caught up" with Squirrel and called it a night. We slept in til 3 the next day...awesome! Sleep! Then we decided to go see the movie "MARLEY AND ME." Wow...great movie. Sort of. It was sad. If you have ever owned a dog, especially a lab...this movie is for you. Of course, a lot of you have probably lived this movie. I know we have. We both cried for the last half hour. It touched a lot of nerves. Made me really anxious to go home and hug my own dogs. Suddenly it got us to feeling like Molly really wasn't such a bad dog after all. Earlier in the day I had gone and run some errands, including taking her to the vet to get those CLAWS of hers clipped. It was a nightmare. They had to get two 'techs' in there to hold her down. But we finally got them!!! Jasper...he's awesome...got in my bed with me this morning and didn't move for three hours. He is so sweet. I love my dogs. I miss them so bad when I am on the road. But I am glad they are at home to give Squirrel their affection. Dogs are great!

The Super Bowl is coming, the Super Bowl is coming. Look, here it is. Monkey's prediction. ARIZONA 27- PITTSBURGH 16. I have been doing these Super Bowl Squares for 6 years now. So much for a bad economy. I have sold a record number this year...and am still filling boards. 4 separate $25 boards, 2 $50 boards, a $100 board. Going to be giving away a LOT of money this year!!!!! I cant wait for the game to get here!!!

Well...that's about it. I'm tired now. Its 2am, and I want to read a little. Hope you all are having a great year so far. I really, really hope I make a final table or two while I am up here! I'll keep ya'all posted!

Oh by the way...my Monkey arrived in the mail, that one that is from Pokerstars, and has the FLAT STANLEY-like promotion attached to it. I will be looking to get the Monkey into some cool photo-ops while I am here!!!!

MONKEY

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Monkey Musings

Just read Daniel Negreanus' blog on CardPlayer. Funny shit. I have a feeling that if/when I win a big event finally, me and Danny are gonna end up being good buddies. I'm already pretty good friends with one of his buds, Kirk Morrison. That is one cool, laid back dude. He was going off about this chick who is selling her virginity..bids are now up to 3.8 million bucks.

It was a funny take, and one that I completely mirrored. How funny. This chick is going to prostitute herself for ONE NIGHT...and make more money in that ONE night than every hooker in that Bunny Ranch will make in a lifetime of whoreing! Pretty sad.

This girl was trying to raise money to go to law school. Law school? 3.8 million? Why bother? I promise you...that skank is NOT going to law school. She will be following the path of other great Americanistas like Paris Hilton. Lovely. She's not even good looking. Yep, just like Paris! Spare us all, please.

Me and Squirrel have discovered new technology. I bought her a new laptop for Christmas. Her first that isn't a hand me down from me. And it has a webcam. If you open up AIM...and initiate a chat conversation with someone on your buddy list...and you BOTH have a webcam...you simply click on VIDEO and BOOM, you can both see each other. Pretty cool. Good for those long road trips when um....well, you know. And bad for those cheating husbands whose wife wants to see who is in his bed with him!!!! Technology is amazing.

TUNICA. Who is going? I wonder what kind of field they will get. I am guessing not very big. Not with Borgata going on, and Venetian and LAPC coming up, and not just NOT very much to do up there. And its so damn cold up there. I have no desire to go up there. That and I'm stuck here in Seattle for another ten days. But to those of you going up there , good luck to ya!

Eventually I am going to get over to the new casino and try out their poker room. They don't spread 1-2 no limit. But they do spread 2-5. Kind of strange. They spread 2/5 nl, and 2-4 LIMIT. Hmmm. The bring on the 2/5 is $100 min, $300 max. Interesting. Could make for an interesting session. They don't run any tourneys worth a crap, so I will be playing online mostly.

Oil has been getting clobbered again. Never thought I would see the day when I was mad to see gas prices going down. I wish when my stock spiked to $37 last week, that I had sold it all...then turned around and bought it back this week at $30 where it is now. Would have made a quick dime. Oh well, no biggie...it cant stay this low for long. My question...why is gas still $1.65? And why is it $2.10 out here in Seattle? Stupid. Should be $1.00 based on the oil price.

Brandon Jarrett. I have no idea how we became buddies. All of a sudden he is blowing up my Facebook. Then we start talking at the IP event. Now, all of sudden, I am his chief counsel! He had a great weekend at the Beau...and wasn't going to play the Main Event. Drove back to Atlanta. Calls me on the way home...wants to talk about the virtues of having a backer.

We talk about a lot of the other players who have backers. About a few of the players that people are talking about...who rumor has it, are broke, or going broke. It was a good conversation. Interesting. He went to his desk at work Monday. At his very good job. And felt empty. And completely detached. I understand that. He wants to play full time. But has a wife and three kids, and a great job. Its definitely a real choice. When the passion is there to play poker full time, it is very hard to push that to the back burner. But there is a lot to be said, too, for stability, especially with a family, and especially in this horrible economy.

He ended up caving in and driving back to Biloxi to play the Main Event. Called me right after he busted. Said he didn't like how he played. Said he had some holes in his game. I already look at that response by him as a sign that he is potentially going to be great. If you can find your mistakes, you can improve. And in most cases WILL. He is a good player. He never even PLAYED tourneys until August, and has been tearing it up.

Its very hard to make that transition though, from cash game player, to tourney player. I firmly believe that you cant do both and be good at either. I think you have to commit yourself to one or the other. Gabe Costner...another buddy of mine who I think has a LOT in common with Brandon, is a guy I think should decide WHAT he wants to be in poker. If you want to be recognized as a great poker player, a great tourney player...then I think you have to just QUIT playing cash game....commit yourself to tourneys. Make a schedule of what you plan to play, and stick to it.

It is impossible to have any point of relevance when you are buying into a $300-$500 tourney to try and win $20k to $50K when on a daily basis you are buying into $10-$20 games and higher with $5k to $10K to try and win that same amount. I sit down in tourneys and spend my time determining which players at my table are cash game players. Why? Because I know their level of patience and discipline, and will therefore know just how to play certain hands against them.

We talked about backers. He thinks he wants a backer. But he tells me he has 100K in his poker bankroll. And to that...I said, "why in the hell do you want a backer!?" He doesn't NEED a backer! Not if he is a good money manager, which I think he probably is. ON the other hand...if he could find a backer for JUST 10K events...that would be perfect.

Pull off of the big cash game. Dedicate yourself to playing $300/$500/$1000 tourneys...trying to satellite into the $1500/$2000/$2500/$5000 events...buying in relatively small, to win decent prize pools. Letting a big staker put you in 10K events for a 60% take. Very good way to go for a guy with 100K in his bankroll.

Brandon is a good guy, a really good guy. Very entertaining too. I like him, and think we will be friends for a long time. I hope he decides to do whatever is best for him and his family, and that if its poker, that his wife supports him. I think he could be one of the best. But if he keeps his job, and just plays once in awhile, I respect that decision too.

If you are a guy out there with a LOT of money to invest in 10K event players....I think Brandon is a good guy for you to put your money on. Well, that's if you don't put it on ME! I, of course, am always shopping for 10K backers! And my current backer knows it! She gets 10% of anything I get backed in that she's not in on. Monkey shares the wealth!

This whole cash game deal...mmmm. There is a good damn reason why I totally shy away from it when I am in the middle of a tournament run. Because it fucks with your game. And a lot of it I think....is that it becomes this big ego thing. The other night when I made the final table of the 2nd chance...we are playing for $11k for first.

ON a break I walk over to say hi to Clint Shafer, who is playing a big omaha game. At the table is some cocky little prick from I dont know where. And that old, tall skinny crazy guy from Tunica, who I busted after he had moved in on me three times. Remember reading about that crazy old loon? Well he was there. I was into about my 5th Snapper...and while talking to Clint...this old guy and then the young asshole, try to shoo me away, as if I am some piece of lint that has gotten stuck on his shirt.

I see that a lot, guys get into these big cash games, have 5 to 20K in front of them...and suddenly they think they are gods gift to poker. At what point does it become a battle of WHO HAS MORE MONEY vs. WHO IS A GOOD POKER PLAYER? I used to get intimidated by these guys. Not any more. Those guys are mostly miserable. And if they win that night...who knows? Who cares?

We just look at poker differently I guess. I want to be successful for a lot different reasons than
just to make money. I think guys like to play the high dollar cash game when there is a big-name player at the table so he can tell everyone he beat so and so. Who cares? Make a final table and beat that player. That is impressive.

Getting your 3-3 to beat someone's AA for their whole stack isn't impressive. You were just willing to gamble and get lucky and not care if you lost. Because you can rebuy if you lose. Can't rebuy in a tourney when you make that stupid play and lose like you are supposed to do! So what? We are all supposed to worship you because you managed to felt a big time pro with your stupid call and subsequent suck out?

Another reason....for why, when/if I win my first MILLION DOLLAR tourney...you will NOT see me in a big cash game. So these pricks can go run around telling all their buddies and putting it on these stupid forums about how they stacked The Monkey in a 5/10, 10/20 game? Screw that. When I play cash game...its 1/2 or 2/5 and with a very limited cap on my losses.

I wonder how many of you are reading this and saying..."Monkey is a fucking idiot" and what percentage are saying "Monkey is totally right." I wish I knew. It would be interesting. Another reason I LOVE POKER....so many opinions! Well, hope you enjoyed mine!

I'm going to go eat now...and get online and try to steal some dead money!

MONKEY
http://www.gulfcoastpoker.net/

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

FLAT STANLEY

I left Biloxi on Monday morning...or tried to. Same ol shit at the Gulfport airport. Get there half an hour before my flight. The agents work the ticket counter...then half an hour before the flight, they go to the gate, leaving no one at the ticket counter. Which means...no way to get a boarding pass. Which means...no way to get through security. And those TSA assholes couldn't be ANY LESS helpful if they tried.

I can see my gate, see my plane. All they need to do is walk over there and ask someone to print me a boarding pass. Nope, wont do it. Then the bitch threatens to have me arrested for 'getting loud' with her. Ugh. Please let me win about 5 million this year so I can get in on a lease deal with some other rich businessmen on a plane. PLEASE! Not a lot of things I want. A lease on a jet is one of those things. And a sweet-ass RV to pile 5 of my poker buddies in, my Squirrel, and my new Lil Monkey...and go traveling and playing! That's all a gangsta Monkey is looking for!

So I sleep on the floor for 4 hours, since I was working on two hours of sleep from the night before. Take the 11am flight to Dallas. Get there, and find the gate agents there to be....drumroll....shocking.....VERY NICE, and VERY HELPFUL! huh? Really? Yeah, for real. Direct me to the proper gate, where I go on standby for the next flight in FOUR hours! I get the last seat! Thank god. Get sandwiched in between two guys about my size. SHIT!

Read the rest of my book, "The Traitor". Didn't carry on my other book. Damn. Watch a movie on my laptop..."The Heartbreak Kid"...pretty funny, then the battery goes dead. DAMMIT! Still another hour to kill. Play BrickBreaker on my cell phone...until we have to turn off our electronic devices. DAMMIT. We circle the airport for 45 minutes. COME ON! We finally land. Its raining. I'm so stiff I can barely walk. I had this flight attendant, a bit older. Really pretty, sexy lips, and long beautiful hair. And she was a total BITCH! What a waste. Its time like that, I wish I had the nerve/balls to say..."you know lady, I'm engaged and not interested or anything, but I thought I should tell you...you are really quite hot, and its a damn shame that you have to be such a raging bitch!"

Mom was there to get me. Very happy to see me. We got home around 10. Went to enjoy her FINAL MEAL...a trip to the new Snoqualmie Casino buffet. It was okay. The crab...wow. What a difference between the crab we get on our buffets at the Beau and the crab on the buffets up here. It actually had FLAVOR! I know,weird huh? I don't know why they even MESS with crab down south. its been frozen so many times that by the time it gets there it tastes like.....nothing. This crab was awesome. But I'm afraid the amount I ate may have led to the next 24 hours of misery...as I made approximately 17 trips to the bathroom.

We had to wake up at 5am...FIVE AM...to take her to the hospital. Then we sit around from 5:30am til 7:30am before they took her in. Then I slept on the couch in the waiting room....til 10am when a nurse came out and said everything went great and that she was in recovery. Cool. I got over there to see her around 11. She stayed there for a couple days and now is home. I am now the nurse/house maid/gopher for the next ten days.

I visited the local QFC (grocery chain) last night and got all my local favorites. A dozen pacific oysters, some smoked salmon and 6 bottles of killer pinot noir that you just CANT get in the south. NUTHOUSE Reserve (oregon) ARGYLE Reserve (oregon) Panther Creek (amazing!) two new ones I haven't tried...Left Coast Cellars, and LANGE ...all of these are from Willamette Valley in Oregon. They really grow super pinot noir there. I'm just curious...how many of you reading this give a rats ass about my wine fetish?

I have been playing those $104 Double or Nothing 10-handed SNGs...played 14 in the last two days and won 11 of them. I think it was Mark Wilds who approached me early in the event at the Beau Rivage and told me he saw something in Atlanta on the news about not being able to get money off of Pokerstars after January 14th. Wow, I checked into it and didn't find anything like that. Sure hope its not true...if it is, I am screwed. Cuz this is the most money I have had on Stars in a couple years.

Not sure exactly why I am not cashing out some of it. I guess I am a retard. Speaking of Pokerstars. I log on yesterday, and there is this thing called the POKER MONKEY promotion!??? WHAT!??? I finally made it big!??? Nope. Anyone with kids knows about FLAT STANLEY. That thing your kid brings home (I only know of this because of Cheryl's nephews BTW) that you take to strange, crazy places, and take a picture with...and the kid takes it to class to impress everyone.

Well, this is the same concept. You take this damn Monkey (which you have to buy for 1000 FPPS from the store, which of course I did) and take pictures of it in strange places and email the photo to Stars' support. I am already working on this. Crazy ideas is how I roll! I can already promise a picture of the Monkey getting a lapdance at the Rhino from Cherokee.

I hope to see him posing with a large chip stack and two winning cards at a final table. I picture him slinging poo at the tigers at the Mirage. A picture of him smoking a bowl outside of Venetian. Oh the ideas are flowing....that Monkey will be with me everywhere I go. I WILL WIN THAT DAMN CONTEST! I have to! I AM the MONKEY! All ideas are welcome!!!!
www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Friday, January 16, 2009

Monkey Business,--Beau Review

I figured it was about time for a blog entry. Glad I didn't write it after the last day of my Beau Rivage tourney. Yikes. Glad I let the smoke clear a little bit.

As I write this they are down to 27 in the Main Event. 1st place, a cool million. Mmmmm.......millionnnnnnnn. I got a text this morning from Jena, that's JENA...Cardplayer keeps wanting to call her JENNA...whatever....she tells me she has a half million chips and a shot to win. I would love it for her. Hell, anyone that I am close with I would love it for. Because I know if she wins, she is taking me and Squirrel on a cruise, right Jena!?? Ha. Good luck Jena.

Gabe texted me a short while later to tell me the same. And tell me about Jena's stack, as well as his bad beat exit. Holy crap. FOURTH hand of the damn tourney...and dude, when you start with 30K...the last damn thing you expect to be...is OUT on the fourth hand. But what are you supposed to do when you pick up KK....raise, get a call from some lady (guessing one of those ladies who had a lot of chips after day 2) and the flop comes K-5-4?

Are you going to fold to ANY bet? including an all in? She leads out, he raises....she goes all in. Or maybe she just open shoved on the flop. At any rate...it ALL got in on the flop. She has AK. 2 on the turn, 3 on the river..wheel. Are you kidding me? About how my whole week went at the Beau Rivage.

Look, I had a crappy week. At one point though, I was 19 for 38 in SNGs, so was clipping SNGs at a nice rate. But then my last two days I go 1 for 8...getting one-outed THREE times in one day, 2-outed twice, and 3-outed 6 times. I lost $120's like that, $230's like that, and even two $540's like that.

FUN hands: Donkey who likes to min raise, min raises again....I have 10-10...and knowing it will take a lot for me to fold to this clown after the flop...and running bad with 10-10 anyway..I smooth call. The biggest clown at the table moves all in behind me. This is a $230 btw.

I know this guy is making a move. First idiot goes all in. Im in there. Screw it. Donkey A has A-7 offsuit. Donkey B has 7-7. Hmmm okay, let me fade the ACE. Not even thinking about the 7. Till it comes flying out on the flop. Give me a break. OUT!

FUN hands: In a $540. Late night. Lots of drunks. Lots of women. Horror show. Pick up KQh. Raise UTG. Get called by Miss "any ace is worth calling with" A3h. Flop comes AKQ, one heart. Think about a check raise. But don't. Bet 750. (blinds 50/100) She calls. Mmmmhmmmm. 4 of hearts on turn. I shove 1300. She calls. And yep....slap us another heart on the river dealer. You rock! OUT.

FUN hands: In a $230. Down to 3. This guy has button raised the last 5 times. I have folded one good hand after another. This time I have AJs...and CALL this time. He has me covered by a mere 200. He flips over A7. Nice. Yeah....nice...seven on the river. FUCK! OUT.

FUN hands: IN the $1000 tourney...the one I REALLY, REALLY wanted to cash/make the final table in....to get (a) some early season POY points (b) some respect (c)some Rounder points and (d) some DAMN MONEY! Had literally played like a pussy all day. At the first break I had the same 6K I started with. Should have had 18K. UTG raises. Middle RE-raises. And I muck AK. WHAT? yeah...I muck AK, in the SB.

Flop comes A high. Second guy had QQ. So I started drinking bloody mary's and started playing like I had some balls. Rula the dealer pushed in and I offered him a deal. I was sitting on 2250 chips. Told him if I had 3x that by the time he pushed out I would pay him $50. I go on a tear! I get up to 8500. Last hand before the break, and his down...and I get 88 UTG. I raise. Shortstack goes all in. Shit! I have to call. he has QQ. And it holds. Leaves me with 5200. Rula gets hosed. Sorry bro. I tried.

I manage to chip up to about 9K. Then it happens. Guy in early position, who I have never seen/played against before, limps in for 200. It folds around to me in the SB...with, again...AK. Time to play like a NINJA MONKEY. I raise...to 700. THE BB CALLS (he has AQ I learn later) and....our hero calls. The flop comes A-4-J. I lead out for 1200. They BOTH call. WTF>??? Set of 4's? AJ? My gawd. Turn was nothing. I bet the only bet I can make...all of it. The first guy folds.

The moron....calls...and rolls over ACE FOUR! COME ON! Are you kidding me?

Dealer...please....put a K or a J on the river please. NO? DAMMIT! OUT! Guys sees me later, in
a SNG...taps my shoulder and says "I hope you aren't upset about that Monkey." I don't remember what I said...but I think it was something like "No I'm not upset, I'm playing for 100K, have only showed top 10 hands all day, and I get knocked out by a guy calling a big raise with A4 and flopping perfect? No, I'm not upset. I would much rather be playing this SNG."

Anyway...I think you all know this song and dance. Bad Beats. Period. Took a LOT of them. Didn't make a SINGLE damn DINNER break the whole week. But I feel like I played good all week. Avoided playing ANY cash game. Final tabled a 2nd chance, and won a bunch of SNGs, and should have won more.

Got to see a LOT of people I hadnt seen in a long time. It was fun. I have nothing to feel terrible about. I would have liked to get out to a good start to the year...but hey, lots of poker to play. My outlook for the year is positive. I am anxious to get out to Vegas and play ALL the Deepstack events and hopefully cash about 8 of them and final table 4 or 5. That is my goal.

On the last day, I did a lot of losing. But Frank Kasella showed up and we ended up having a great day. We played a couple sit n gos together. Then he got hungry. Well, I had already bought into a $230 SNG....and refused to walk away from my stack for the $300 he was offering me to go eat. Finally, I look down at QQ...hmmm, another chance to lose with QQ...I move in for $1100 (blinds 200/400) and run into two other all ins. AA and AK.

Nice. They flop the ACE! Of course. Whatever. We leave to go eat...and decide on B.R. Prime, my 2nd experience dining there this week. But this time instead of eating at the bar, we get a table. Cub ends up being sat next to us 15 minutes after we get started eating. He is with some young thing, didn't remember her name. Nothing special.

Frank is like me, LOVES the KOBE steak medium rare. So we both had one, some sides, I had some great oysters, and another bottle of the fabulous BINK pinot noir, which he LOVED as much as I do. Our service was great. Great meal. And he comped it. My favorite part of the meal! Frank is hilarious, lots of fun to hang out with. Cant wait to get out to Vegas and hang out with him and Allie Prescott. The three of us will probably shoot over to L.A. together and play some of the LA poker classic.

Again...I want to thank Johnny Groomes and Ken Lambert for letting me come back. I also want to thank all of you who supported me in my time away from there. For those who came up to me and welcomed me back, it meant a lot to me. It was great to see all the dealers again, too. 85 to 90% of you I really, really care about and regard very highly and appreciate all the nice things you guys say.

The other 10 to 15% who dont like me, or who I just tolerate (barely, in some cases), well...I'm back, deal with me! It was a great event for the Beau. Big fields. Great looking room. Good dealers. I just wish that it would have been longer and entailed more events. And that there would have been a cool 'shwag stand' out front like the one two years ago. And that I didn't have to leave early, and could have played the Main Event. But...you only have one Mother...and I made a pledge 5 months ago.

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Thursday, January 8, 2009

HOME SWEET HOME!

Ahhhhhhhh......

Nice to see you again, FINAL TABLE!

And upon arrival, I kissed the sacred felt!

Decided, after a horrendous Monday which saw me play the $550 noon tourney, and exit badly...then lose three SNGs, followed by the 7pm tourney....followed by a SNG in which we got to 300/600 with 6 players left...and with the button raising 2000, the SB moving all in and me seeing QQ (the nightmare hand this week) in the BB calling, and subsequently losing to his AJ...to go home, get a long night sleep, chill out Tuesday afternoon...then go back and play the 7pm 2nd chance tourney.

Which is exactly what I did. Slept until 2pm. Had a nice early dinner with Squirrel. Played with my dogs. Took a nice long hot bath. Read 5 chapters in my current book, "THE TRAITOR", by Stephen Coonts....and headed for the Beau.

I had one of those tourneys where I was on fire early. Turned 4000 into 12000 quickly. Then lost about 4000 of it the conventional way. Then got some back. Then my KK gets trampled by 66 when the guy makes quads. How nice. Not again! Hovered around 6000 for the next three levels, and with 36 left (paying 18 on a night where only 182 played...lowest of the tourney so far, bummer) it was starting to look like another one of these damn 'play for 6 or 7 hours and get nothing out of it' kind of nights.

But, then...alas, I got my courtesy double up that always seems to happen at the right time whenever I DO make a final table. Moved my 6100 in with 600/1200 blinds in the SB with KJ and got a semi-loose call from the BB with A9. I hit the K and we were back in business. Then picked up AK/AQ and JJ to improve my stack to 25K. A little later my 10-10 held up against 88 (finally) and I was sitting on close to 40K and on my way. Getting through the bubble was a long, tedious affair. Three tables played 7/6/6 forever! Our new blogger Matt Bryant got moved to my table and we had a chance to get to know each other a bit. He was on my right. He gave me a lot of walks in the BB which really helped me maintain my average stack. In fact our whole table was really pretty kind to each other. We all pretty much swapped chips for about two levels.

Meanwhile on the other table...there was a guy...who's name I would discover was 'FRED JONES'....how is that for bland? He was anything but. Young kid, black...well, sort of, kind of had a Tiger Woods thing going on...student from LSU...and VERY intoxicated. I had enjoyed a very mellow, relaxing day...and thus, was in a very subdued mood on this occasion. So, really, this kid was taking over for me! He was loud, and basically...never shut up. I asked several players "is this what I am like when I'm slamming Red Snappers? I sure as hell hope not" and to a man, they all insisted that NO, this was not ME in another sheeps clothing! Thank God!

It was funny. I mean, yeah it was annoying at times, but it was also kind of entertaining. He should have bubbled about three times...but he kept surviving. He would eventually go out when I called his all in out of the SB with J10, Squirrel's favorite hand...and my BB flatted it too. I would have checked it down...but...well, the flop came J-J-10. Kind of had to bet something there. ON another hand...I called his all in with K-10....I hit the 10. He had A-8. The board made a straight and he didn't even see it. The dealer did. When we got to 2 tables Matt assumed the exact position on my right.

The final table took forever. Actually, this whole tourney took forever! I walked out of there at 5:30 am. Yikes! Needless to say, 'ol Fred managed to inspire me to finally start drinking Red Snappers. Must have slammed close to 10-12. Got Matt drinking with me. He just lost a race...and then was low and lost a coin flip to go out...I think, 10th. That sucks. The money from 10-18 sucked balls.

At the final table we had probably 7 or 8 really solid players. I love that. It means I might have a shot at winning. Our boy FRED JONES had a guy take over for him. In the drunk category. An older guy wearing Texas Longhorn gear was barely able to talk. He pulled a nice little bluff, moving all in on my A5...and showing 5/7 offsuit. Hmmmm...uh huh. He then started donking off chips. With him holding a pretty sizeable chiplead...and 8 left, I predicted, quite boldly...to the table that I didn't see him finishing higher than 6th.

I enjoyed this hand. In the BB with 89h....crazy old Texas guy raised the 5k/10k blinds to 30K. I thought about this for some time. Then BJ MCBRAYER...who I will give a little run here in a second...decides to call clock on me. BJ BJ BJ....come on now man! Well, I call. After showing that end of the table my cards (on accident)...I guess he thought I was Hollywood'ing, that I would NEVER call with that hand there. Well, he was wrong! I thought I could either (a) outflop the old coot or (b) outplay his stupid drunk ass! The flop came out J-7-5. A double gutter. I didn't waste much time moving all in for 48K. And I swear I heard the guy say call (oh shit!) and turned up my cards as he was mucking??? HUH? Apparently, his "call" and his "fold" sounded very similar...he had said fold! Whew. Good!

Old guy would end up going out 7th. MonkeyDamus strikes again! We would get to 5 and we started talking about doing a possible 'save' on the money. I was proposing we all take $4000 and play for the rest. But BJ was in the process of accumulating a lot of chips and starting to get to where he wanted to zap at least one more player. I had to kind of agree...so we kept on keeping on. We would finally get to 4...but when we got there, I was getting very low stacked. So again....I needed to double up to have a chance to get in on a $4000 save. I could not get a damn hand to save my life...and BJ...he is like a piranha...when there is blood in the water he is in full-on attack mode. Give him credit. Hell, to get INTO the money...he moved all in on his button with A6....getting a call from the BB with AK...and promptly flopping two sixes! Well done BJ.

So sitting in the BB, he raises me again. I have 16K out front and 18K behind. Ridiculous. I look down at 5-8, my bud Allie Prescott's favorite hand. Figured I would honor him, and attempt my comeback with a hand I knew pretty confidently would be live. I was right. BJ showed KQ. He made Broadway (of course) and I was out in 4th. Good for $2400. I couldn't hang my head though. I really played a good tourney. I was up, down, up again, down again. I made some very good laydowns, made some very good calls, and made some very good bluffs. Can't think of too many mistakes I made, unlike the day before where I played really shitty, and got pretty damn unlucky. Not a good combination. Gave $100 to the floor, $100 to the dealers and got my ass home!

Little something about BJ MCBRAYER. At 26, this kid is a fucking machine when it comes to cashing in tourneys. I met BJ a few years ago. Through my good buddy Charlie Oliver. This is a guy I would love to sit in with during an online session to just see how he plays at every level of a tourney. I might learn something. I am always open to learning. I do not know HOW this kid isn't a household name yet. I swear to God...every damn time I am at a tourney...it seems like....there is BJ...and BJ has chips! He ALWAYS has chips! As these events at the Beau have been running all week, and I have been walking over to see who is at the final two tables...its consistently been guys who I know and see a lot of. I like to see that. But at the same time...it is making me feel...well, I don't know what the proper word is. Envious? Embarrassed? Sad? I feel like...I am SUPPOSED to make the money. And when I don't...it sucks! I guess its good to feel like that. Three years ago, I was happy WHEN I made the money. Final Tables were like a dream. Hell, not anymore. When a tourney starts...I EXPECT to make the final table. That might not be good. Anyway....friggin BJ MCBRAYER is a damn machine. He is making me feel like....mmmmm.....shit! Like I suck! Guess that's good motivation! Watch out for this kid...I promise you...he's a millionaire by 2010. I better be too dammit. 'Ol BJ and I might buy us a boat. Or an RV or something! Go on the road....BJ and the Monkey! Remember BJ and the Bear? You old guys do, I'm sure!

Anyway...I'm sick of writing. And my battery is about to go dead. Dogs are hungry. And I think I am ready to go play some sit n go's. Today was a limit tourney. Screw that. I will play SNG's today, tomorrow....both 7pm tourneys....and then Friday play the $550 which should have a HUGE field, and the $1050 on Saturday that should be gigantic, and hope I can make a REAL final table before this week is over.

Not sure if I told you guys in my last post....but I talked to Jason Lipscomb the other night about structures at the next event in New Orleans. He has basically told me, and I quote "Monkey, you TELL ME what the structures should be on all tourneys and SNG's...and I will make it happen!" Whoa! Kind of similar to what Ronnie did at the I.P. before they ran that event. And they did a KILLER job with that tourney! You know...its about gosh dang time these guys finally started LISTENING to 'Ol Monk instead of just telling me to shut the hell up! No seriously, I am flattered that these guys value my opinion. The fact that they are listening to the players, and giving us what we want to make an event well-attended and enjoyable for all the players is a very good sign that they are starting to figure it out! I think its awesome! I told Jason "I will tell you this, you do this structure, and I can promise you that EVERYONE will come and play the next New Orleans event." But keep things as they were for that December event....wheeeewww and you can forget it! I know one thing, I will promote the HELL out of it! And I have a big mouth, and a big pen!

Y'all have a great week!

MONK

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back at the Beau

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE ZOO!

whatdy'a get when you cross a Monkey with a Squirrel?
That seems to be the million dollar question!
Cant wait to see the answer.

I notice my front page column/blog thing keeps falling further and further down the page...wow, I guess the pressure is REALLY on to win something pretty soon to keep from slipping right off the bottom!!! Well, the Gulf Coast Poker Championship has begun...and the year has gotten off to a very inauspicious beginning for Senor Monkey.

Should start by saying I failed to lock up a seat into the PCA tourney in Atlantis. A 2nd ($2100) and a 3rd ($1600) in Step 6 softened the blow and gave me a nice bankroll on Stars, but its another year of failing to win that damn trip. Had several top 30 finishes on Stars in the last week but couldn't make a final table (the REAL money) as I kept getting rivered and getting clipped before I could revel in the glory of a big score...but I have that balance around 5K as I take a time out to try and rack up some early final tables and make an appearance in the TOP 10 list on CardPlayers Player of the Year standings.

Making final tables in January is HUGE...to get that recognition at the start of the year can be very beneficial in securing a lot of things. Respect, notoriety, possible 10K backing, possible deals somewhere. Its just a GOOD month to do GREAT things. So I was/am REALLY looking forward to this event at the Beau Rivage.

I found out in the first two days how many people read this blog. Wow! I must have had at LEAST 20 of you come up to me and comment about stuff I've written on here. That's really cool. I mean, for me...really (and honestly) this is just a healthy outlet for me to vent usually. And today's entry I hope is somewhat therapeutic, before I go back tonight (SUNDAY) and play the 2nd chance tourney at 7pm. A lot of you ask me "what do those guys pay you to blog," and of course my answer is always..."PAY ME???!!!? I should pay THEM for letting me write there!

I love it. Except of course when my stupid mouth/pen/keypad gets me kicked out of casinos for a few months for choosing the incorrect usage of words! (stupid monkey) I know there are a bunch of guys (bigshots) who get PAID by CardPlayer and some other sites to blog on their sites. If I ever break through to the BIGTIME and get a deal like that...well, that will just be like 'stealing the pooty' (JERRY MAGUIRE reference) for me!!!!

Where do I start? With today's horrid cooler? Or just start from the top? Lets start with some GOOD NEWS first.

I think I gave you all the heads up on my first big no-brainer investment of the year. FREAKING OIL. Instead of bitching and complaining all the time about gas prices, I decided to do something about it. From the school of 'if you cant beat 'em, invest in em' thinking...I loaded up on 235 shares of USO, getting in at around $27.50 a share. USO (United States Oil Fund) is an ETF(exchange traded fund) that basically mirrors the price of the barrel cost. With a very slight differentiation.

I am not a big time investor, never have been. But common sense was telling me that oil could NOT possibly go much lower. Then the Israeli's started fighting with Hamas. And Russia and Ukraine are going at it. While Russia and those OPEC scumbags are plotting together to drive oil production down. Also, you have Russia getting buddy-buddy with Venezuela...so you know THEY will be working to drive oil costs up again. Why Russia, who has also been running military op's with Cuba and Venezuela down in the Caribbean, refuses to let go of Cold War ideals is beyond me.

Wouldn't it be so much wiser for them to be our friend? Some old habits never die, it seems. Our military is so superior to theirs, and everyone else's for that matter....Russia is just asking for an ass kicking if they start fucking with us. Good luck you assclowns. So anyway, my little 235 shares of USO is now trading at $35 in just a week since I've held it....making me a cool little $900 profit so far. I envision it getting to around $75-$80 within the next few months....maybe higher if the shit really hits the fan over there....at any rate...I will immediately sell it if it should get as high as $100 a share.

More good news. Ya'all know I run these pools. Some of you have started playing in them. In 13 years, I have been the winner of these pools VERY infrequently. Last year I won the bowl pool, and $2500. It was awesome. Kicked off my new year, and subsequent AWESOME 2008 in grand fashion. Well I was leading the Bowl Pool again with about 8 games left...until the wheels just fell off. I have a shot at 3rd now (out of 153 entries). Whatever. But....in my Survivor Pools....whoa! I have a $100 (one time rebuy) pool, a $25 (one time rebuy) pool and a $50 (one time rebuy) MidSeason Survivor Pool....I'm alive in ALL of them. In the $25 pool, we went into yesterday with 11. First place...$6500.

I took SD. Only one to take them. Several took INDY and ATL. See ya! In the MidSeason I took ARIZONA! No one else did. We started the day with 52. Ten went out with ATL and INDY. First place? $9500. In the $100 I gambled and took MINN (the only one). Six remain. One guy took ARZ yesterday. First place? $15,000. EVERYONE in both pools has either BALT or PHILLY today. So conceivably, if MIAMI (not gonna happen, they just got creamed by Baltimore) wins, and MINN wins...I could WIN the $25 Pool AND the MIDSEASON POOL outright! How sick! And be heads up with the other guy in the $100. Yeah Miami just wrecked that dream...and the Philly/Minn game has just started. GO VIKINGS!!!!!

I did make a nice little insurance alliance though...with 3 guys in the $100 (out of 6) and 4 guys in the $25 (out of 11) so no matter what happens, I should win SOMETHING at least! I'm not sure how good it would be for my Pool Business were I to win all of my own pools!!!!!

Okay. Shall we talk poker?
Or shall we first discuss some FRESH IDEAS FOR THE NEW YEAR......????

FRESH IDEAS FOR THE NEW YEAR #1
Can we maybe get someone to put Nancy Grace on "The View" and let all of those crazy bitches just KILL each other? That is my own personal wet dream. I would watch it EVERY freaking day! Can you imagine being Nancy Grace's husband? Whoa...and you think YOU got a bad beat today!!!!!???

FRESH IDEA #2
Can everyone please come up with some new 'catch phrases' for those moments after they win a big pot? SHIP IT? DEAD! Pass the (______) whatever your gay-ass word is there.....DEAD! "One time baby" Gotta go! "THATS WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT!" Please put that one in deep freeze. I promise to commit to this effort if you all will!

FRESH IDEA #3
When you are driving around town...and you see someone trying to pull out of, say...the bank, Wal Mart, a video story, a fast food joint....and you aren't in a hurry to get anywhere...especially to that light 200 yards away that you can see is RED anyway? How about this.....how about letting that person into traffic? Instead of being a dickhead and speeding up and making them sit at that damn spot!??? Can you ALL please get on board on that one?

FRESH IDEA #4
Its January folks! Lets not leave our Christmas lights and decorations up/out until May this year, okay? Either get off your ass and get it done, or give that little kid who comes around knocking on your door soliciting for errand work a couple bucks to do it for you!

FRESH IDEA #5
Girls do it. Boy do they do it. Baby showers! And wedding showers! Why cant guys? Fellas....dammit.....Ive been holding out for over 40 years before getting married and having a kid. I want a DAMN WEDDING/BABY SHOWER! At a strip club! A nice strip club! MAKE IT HAPPEN!

[Adrian Peterson is down on the field, appearing to be injured, in a game they are trailing 3-0. This could be very bad for Senor Monkey!]

FRESH IDEA #6
Before I die of a heart attack, or my back just completely goes out one day and renders me virtually paralyzed...would someone please appoint themselves my personal drill seargeant, and come to my house every day at, say...1:10pm, KIDNAP me...and take me to the gym, and whip my ass into shape? From the time of this writing til, say...DEC 30th, 2009? Thanks.

I had a whole bevy of fresh ideas the other day. They were coming to me like crazy. I have forgotten a bunch of them. I will get to the poker stuff...if a fresh idea comes to me...I will just drop it in spontaneously!

Spent New Years Eve playing cash game at Hard Rock. Bought in with $400. The room was FULL! Weird. Almost took a picture. Saw lots of fellow players I hadn't seen in awhile. It was pretty fun. For awhile. Stack went from $400...to as low as $180, and as high as $650 over an 8 hour period. Then it happened. A couple new players showed up. And proceeded to somehow piss me off. One was an old guy who decided it would be fun to start showing me bluffs after I folded the best hand. I love it (as you all know) when people show me bluffs. Then this little asshole Asian kid showed up and decided it would be fun to start raising $30 to $50 bucks every time there was a raise of $10 or $15 followed by two calls or more. So...what did I do? I made things personal.

Where did that get me? Broke. And in my car at 5am..driving home...getting as high as I possibly could before I got home and had to deal with Squirrel asking why staying at a piece of shit cash game on New Years Eve was more important than coming home and spending the rest of New Years Eve with HER after she had gotten off at 1am. High seemed like the best solution because clearly, I did not have a reasonable answer to that question. Lucky for me she was asleep when I got home. Wheeeeewwwwwww!!!!

DAY ONE of the BEAU RIVAGE.

Friday. My day to go back. Jan 2nd. Room opened at 6pm. I didn't know there was a 7pm tourney. Wish I had. There were over 300 players....first place was $15k! SHIT! Instead I sat on my couch til 10:30 watching Alabama get the crap kicked out of them by Utah. Thanks Andre! Not sure how a team who so heavily relies on their offensive line to protect their 'barely above average QB' can be expected to play well after losing their best player and having to move three of their players to other positions. Answer? THEY DONT. UTAH KILLED THEM.

I get to the Beau Rivage. Go find Squirrel. Give her a "boy your team looked terrible" hug...and go to the poker room. I walk in and WOW...the room is HUGE! And looks awesome! Huge ass TV screens in every corner. Gigantic tournament clock for us guys who have almost lost ALL of our vision. About 70 to 80 tables. And the room was PACKED. Cash game was blowing UP! I cant wait to find some action.

I get into a SNG immediately. And on the first hand of the year....my first hand BACK at the BEAU....sitting in fourth position...behind a guy who has limped in for 50...I look down at AA. No way! Wow. And I say..."wow! really? First hand!?? Am I going to take a bad beat on my first hand back!???" The answer? Of course....is YES. I raise to 175. Other guy calls. Flop comes 299, two clubs. Seems like a good flop. He checks. I bet 450. He calls. Lovely. 222? 9-something? Calling a 175 raise? Flush draw? Turn is the J of clubs. UGH. Flush? A nine still? He checks.
Checks? WTF? Do we bet there? Do YOU!??? And if so...how much? We started with 2000 chips. I already have 625 in there. I check. River....FIVE. He bets 375. Value bet? Jeezuz. Whatever. I call. He has.....pocket fives! Ta-da! WELCOME TO 2009! I go out of that one a short time later.

I will spare you all the various SNG details from the next two days. But the long and short of it is this. The players are really shitty. I have played 16 sngs so far. I have won/chopped or cashed in 6 of them. My buyins are $2150 so far. My winnings are $2600. So I am about $500 in that department so far. Of the SNGs I have lost I have run QQ into A10. Ace on the turn. This was a guy who raised UTG, got RERAISED by a guy with 99..and called my ALL IN...with A10. Sweet. Lost another with JJ vs. 88 when the clown rivered an 8. Lost another with AA vs. 77. Realistically, I should be about 10 for 16, which would be a great clip. But whatever, you are always going to face SOME bad luck. But I have been seeing a LOT of it early. Which is why I am at the house right now, chilling out...writing this.

In the tourneys so far....good gawd. Saturday's tourney. First of all....let me say a few things about the Beau Rivage. NUMBER ONE. Thank you very much Ken Lambert and Johnny Groomes for finally deciding to let me return. Ken came and talked to me in between hands. Was very nice. Told me they all discussed it at pretty great length and decided it was the right thing to do, and the right time. I was very gracious, and WILL go to great lengths to keep things 'in check' to avoid a repeat incident.

The room, looks awesome. The structures....mmmm okay, I guess? Not too thrilled about going straight from 100-200 to 150-300 with a 25 ante. I really find the 100/200 with 25 ante to be the best round in poker. Then go to 150/300. And if you are going to have a 150/300 round...then why no 75/150? There are a couple more rounds later that get omitted. It is a structure that requires you to chip up early. The first event attracted a WHOPPING 1005 entries. By the dinner break at 6:30 it has dwindled to 180. WHAT??? Yeah! That is a structure issue there, folks. We started with 5000 chips, which I think is FINE/PERFECT!

[ADRIAN PETERSON JUST RAN ABOUT 40 YARDS FOR A TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!! VIKINGS UP NOW 7-6!!!!!!!! HELL YES!!!! ]

There is no gift/souvenir stand set up like there was for the event last year. I thought that was very classy, and actually was looking forward to seeing it. Mainly because I am still smarting from losing my cool hat, which I flung in the air in New Orleans after ANOTHER river beat...and it didn't come back down! People still talk about that. Not sure what they talk about more....the HAT IN THE RAFTERS AT HARRAHS story, or the one about when I SMASHED ALL THE NERVES in the TOP OF MY FOOT after I kicked a chair (WITH MY BOOTS ON, NO LESS!) at the IP event a few years ago....which sent me to the floor in the perhaps the worst pain I have ever felt in my life! You would think there were 10,000 people in the room that night!

The other thing that bugs me...and again, that IP did a really nice job with, is the food situation. I like it when casinos treat us like guests...and not CUSTOMERS. IP was bring food in for all the players. I thought that was very classy, and a nice gesture. I think all the players really appreciated it. At this event, and in past events at the Beau, there is a food bar set up outside the poker room...where we all have the option of paying WAY TOO MUCH for food that we could get for free downstairs.

Even at the World Series this year, the food that was offered out in the tent was a LOT less than what they are selling it for at this event. That bothers me. Makes me feel like the players are being taken advantage of a little bit. Whatever...I'm just choosing to eat NOTHING, and lose some much needed weight!

I registered early to avoid the lines. THE LINES. Ugh. Why? The night before they closed registration at 9pm. NINE PM. Why? You KNOW you are going to get PUMMELLED the next day. One thing the IP really did right at their last event was to leave registration open til midnight. That was a very smart move, and one that I would think the BEAU would have done without even thinking twice about it. But they didn't, and the line the next morning was disgusting.

They had alternates still coming in at LEVEL FOUR! Which I thought was retarded of those players. Call it a day man, get your money back..and try tomorrow! They were using the tables downstairs in the poker room for overflow. I drew one of those tables, even though I got out of bed and drove down at 8am to register early. Because of having to enter all my NFL PLAYOFF POOL picks into a spreadsheet, I arrived about 20 minutes late. When I got to my table, there was a dude in my seat. What the hell? We had both been given the same seat. Lovely. So I had to wait about 15 MORE minutes for them to get it figured out and me a new seat.

Once seated I noticed a disturbing thing taking place....right about the time Gabe Costner was busting out in seat 3. I guess a few hands earlier he had run JJ into KK with a rag flop...and left him shortstacked; they were using the AUTOMATIC SHUFFLER. Gabe hates that damn thing. Well, I have started to as well. I really am starting to think there is something to the notion that those things aren't TOTALLY random at all. Well, upstairs...there are NO shufflers on ANY of the tables. They were NOT supposed to be using them downstairs. I know that for a fact. But they were anyway. So I'm not sure seeing 30% more hands helped or hurt me, but it just wasn't very consistent.

The prize pool was massive. No one really knew how many spots it would pay, or what first would be...but the guess was about 90 spots, and $75-$80K for first place. When it finally got posted, it was paying only 63 spots. SIXTY THREE? That had everyone talking. I mean that was great if you had a big stack...because the money line was $850 (on a $340 buy in)...a great opening pay line...but hurting those who had labored for ten hours and could really use ANY cash.

First place was only $65K. That also had everyone talking. I have no idea what percentage they were basing the payouts on. But it looked like the money was kind of bottom heavy...which, in my opinion...is a good thing. I have always felt (especially online) that the prize money is always way too top heavy. You play THAT long...and seemingly ALWAYS take a horrid beat to go out way earlier than you should/deserve I think you should make a decent amount of money for your ridiculously long day of work. So if that is the case on the payouts....GOOD!

The dealers they have assembled are pretty good. Didn't notice too many rookies. Cocktail service is pretty solid. Nikki, Peggy and Danielle are doing a great job running the satellites. How they are doing as many as they are doing without a list and/or a line is beyond me, but they are. Not a single fight or dispute yet among anyone. Maybe its because they just have so many tables and dealers.

At any rate...a lot of money can be made in SNGs if things go right...and I LIKE THAT! Its been confirmed that I will NOT be able to play the Main Event...that sucks. But I only have one MOM, and she needs me out in Seattle to help her recover from surgery...and so I will fly out of here on Monday to take care of her for a couple of weeks. Then my next action will be in February at the Venetian.

[PHILLY JUST TOOK A 9-7 lead with ANOTHER FIELD GOAL. LOTS OF FIELD GOALS...MUCH BETTER THAN LOTS OF TDS!!!!! ]

TOURNEY 1. I was pretty card dead all day. I had a couple of maniacs at my table. One guy admitted he was playing his first tournament. He was in the risk analysis business, so he had a firm belief that "there is no such thing as a good or bad hand." One of those guys. And he played that way. So playing back at him was very scary.

[ INTERCEPTION....ASANTE SAMUEL....TOUCHDOWN EAGLES....FUCK! 16-7 PHILLY. NICE PASS TAVARIS YOU CLOWN! BTW.... NICE NAME! ]

I hovered around 5000-7000 for the first two levels. Both decent hands/pots that I won I bluffed to win. Always scary. Our table finally broke, and I get moved to a table with my buddy Tim Hebert, and this black dude in a VELVET track suit...who somehow has managed to chip up to over EIGHTY THOUSAND in the first three levels. Keith the dealer tells me (on the break) that the guy is a total fish...who just hasn't missed ANYTHING he has played. Great...one of THOSE guys. Perfect. Well...I sat there and blinded down to about 3400. Tim raises from 200/400 to 1300 UTG...and I look down at JJ on the button. I go all in. Tim tells me "You got me Monkey, I don't have anything" as he turns over A6 clubs. Board comes K-2-3-4-5.....for a straight. AWESOME! IM OUT!

I go play some SNGs...win 2 out of 3...got my confidence back, and buy into the 7pm tourney, which again has over 300 players. We get to level 2, my table SUCKS. I mean.....REALLY BAD! So I have decided to play relatively tight...to weed through some of the assclowns. Cant help it though when I pick up KK behind two callers of 100. I make it 425. The first guy calls. The other folds. Flop comes 10-10-2. He bets 1200. Huh? What are you guys thinking? Same thing I was? He's putting me on AK...and he has like a pair? Of probably something between 4's or 9's? I raise him enough to commit myself. We get it all in. The moron has Q10 offsuit. Have a nice day Senor Monkey. I'm out early.

TOURNEY 2. Sunday....$550 buy in. See Jim "Smokey" at the table next to mine. As well as Brandon Jarrett, my new buddy and recent successful tourney player and fellow blogger? Is that what I heard? Maybe? Anyway...he tells me about an amazing cash session he had last night. Me, him and Jim decide to do a $200 last longer. I have a great draw...table 71, seat 6. A very late breaking table, good seat, right in front of the big screen. This could be a GREAT day! Right? Brandon loses a big chunk early with KK vs. AA. Then he gets clipped for the rest with AA vs. 33. Stupid 3 on the turn. He's out.

Jim has about 3400 of his original 6000 starting chips. After evaluating my table it is decided (by me) that I am easily the best player at the table and that their are maybe two other worth a shit. Could be, indeed...a great day. Things start suddenly looking VERY rosy...when after limping in for 100 with QJs...and talking to Brandon (who just busted out) I flop As-10s-6s! WHoA! Second nut flush with a ROYAL FLUSH DRAW. First guy (loosest guy at the table) bets out 600. QUICK NOTE:

Three hands before, I took a bit of a gamble. Figured...early...a good time to do it. Loose boy down there raised to 400. He has done this SEVERAL times already...so his credibility is questionable.

[ADRIAN PETERSON....TOUCHDOWN! GREAT DRIVE AFTER THE PICK-SIX THAT JUST HAPPENED. PHILLY 16-MINN 14. GO VIKES!!!! ]

I call the 400 with 99, one of my favorite hands. Lately though...I have been KILLING EVERYONE with 55. At Hard Rock the other night....I picked up 55 six times...flopped a set with it FIVE TIMES! UNREAL! Anyway....sorry.....I call the 400. The next guy re-raises to 1200. OH SHIT. ACES OR KINGS! Has to be. First clown calls! Oh wow. Decision time. 800 to call a 2950 pot. A chance to catch lightening in a bottle and maybe be sitting on around 12 to 15k early...if things go right...like....I FLOP A NINE! Do you guys make that call? KNOWING you are behind? Or do you gamble? I gamble. I call. The flop comes 8-2-3. Rainbow. Ughhhh......that's a bit of a tease flop, wouldn't you say!??? Well, I KNOW I'm no good still. Dipshit bets out 2200. I instantly fold. The original raiser goes all in. Jackass calls...with 77. OH WHY OH WHY couldn't that second guy be short stacked preflop? I would have won a HUGE side pot!

[ INTERCEPTION on 3rd and 1, strange play call, BY THE VIKINGS WITH THE EAGLES IN SCORING TERRITORY! SWEEEET!!!! CHANCE TO TAKE THE LEAD BEFORE THE HALF! ]

So the guy with KK doubles up through our neighborhood donkfish...and he is left with...well, 325 more chips than I have. How do I know this? lets continue the story.....

I call the 600 with my flush. The next player ALSO calls. Sweet. The turn is a harmless 4 of diamonds. He bets 1200 now. I raise this time...with Brandon watching (and approving, I know this cuz he has that goofy smirk on his face) to 2800, thus sending him the message I want to be all in. I only have 675 left. He moves all in and says "well if you have the flush you got me"....music to my ears...as I was only fearing the King high flush there...but was 95% sure he didn't have that....was putting him on the ACE with a worse spade for a kicker. NO spade....he has A10.

The dealer is Larry, and older guy who I am very chummy with. The thing about Larry though? He is prone to cooler my ass. In fact....he almost leads the league in that category. Well, his history adds another chapter to the already jam-packed novel, when he slips the 10 of diamonds on the river...giving the villain (VILLAIN! THATS FOR YOU ALLIE PRESCOTT you bitch!) the full house....and sending me writhing in pain on the floor. Larry gives me that "I know you aren't going to talk to me for days" look and I just sit there feeling like I have just been shot. About this time I hear the guy in the One seat...who is missing a hand (LITERALLY missing a hand, not a reference to cards there!)...say "at least it will be quiet around here now"...and I start to think of ways to fuck with this guy. But as I look down at my 325 remaining chips...I realize this is going to be pretty hard...unless I figure out a way to chip up pretty damn quick.

What is the deal with people who like a 'nice, quiet poker table?' I don't get it. What is so bad about talking with your fellow players? About having fun while you are playing? Why does it annoy people when I am chatty? I think I keep things fun. I get a LOT of players telling me I make it so much more fun. And at times I see tables around my table always looking over, and you can see the looks on their faces. They are jealous...because they can see how much fun our table is having. And they aren't having ANY at ALL!

FRESH IDEA #7
Players who are intentionally trying to kill my buzz...by being grumpy...or pissing me off for no reason? New TDA rule for 2009...THEY get a penalty! Until they can come back to the table and be pleasant, and have some damn fun...they will sit out!

Back to me and my 325 chips. Jim...now seeing a chance to scoop up $600 of last longer money.....FUCK!!!!....comes over and puts a $50 bounty on me with my table. A good move. I had already put a $40 bounty on Brandon at HIS table...which I had to pay! Which Sucks! Jim should have had to be in for half of that! When I made the offer, Jim wasn't in the last longer yet. Another bad beat! Should say this....the dealer, a gal I had never seen before, suspect she is new maybe...heard us talking about the bounty and last longer and decides to interject her opinion on it. "I think the last longer bet is okay, but I think it might be a Gaming Commission violation to do a bounty on another player."

I tell her. First of all, we are all good buddies, so the bounty, isn't us being ugly, or trying to put that player at an unfair disadvantage, and everyone at both tables realizes this. I isn't a TDA rule, or a Gaming violation...to my knowledge, and this HAS been covered in the past....but it is an etiquette issue. You're half right. A lot, maybe MOST...casinos/poker rooms will NOT allow you to put a bounty on another player. If you do, you MIGHT incur a penalty. But given the circumstances, I think this one will be just fine. If you don't THINK so...you are welcome to call the floor over and find out. I am not about to get back INTO the Beau only to get into trouble for something as trivial and stupid as a $50 bounty against one of my good friends in a $550 tourney where we are all playing for over $50,000!!!!!! She let's it go. Then she gets pushed by Larry.......ahhhhh Larrrryyyyyyy!!!!!

With 325....and sitting in second position, and the blinds 50/100...I pick up 22. I move all in. Everyone folds around to the annoying lady in the BB...who starts chirping about the last longer. Great...I feel like a guy laying in the desert...with his arms bound behind his back...and his legs in shackles...as the buzzards circle overhead. I feel a little (heavy emphasis on the word little) better as I flop a TWO! But it is LARRY THE HUMAN REFRIGERATOR...and I completely expect, in fact, I believe I SAY "no problem, I'm sure there is an 8 coming" as an 8 hits the turn. Then you hear that sound...you know the one......ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.....yeah. No 2 on the river. IM OUT! I slither out of there...head to valet, and get the hell home! Where I now sit. Squirrel just tried the 'ol 'wanna come to Wal-Mart with me' move again. You know that move right? It should be called the...."please come to Wal Mart with me so you can pay for everything" move! I have made four trips to Wal Mart with her in the last 21 days...and I have spent OVER a GRAND! AT FREAKING WAL MART! Yeah...no thanks sweetie...I'm good!

I'm pretty sure this has become another very long entry. To all of you playing at the Beau right now...I am sincere when I say...it is GREAT to see all of you again! I am SO happy to be back in at the Beau Rivage. I really, really missed it. I love this life I have, and not getting to play there was really a bummer. Cheryl is a lot happier because of it too. Now I just need to keep my nose clean! I will. I will still talk a lot, and I will still have fun...I am not going to change who I am, or how I play...but I will do it all within the rules, and between the lines of right and wrong. I love you players who 'give it back' to 'ol Monk...it makes it a lot more fun! Don't take my shit...GIVE IT RIGHT BACK! I like it! We will probably become good buddies in the end! GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU THIS WEEK, I hope I can get lucky and snap SOMETHING off before I head out to Seattle on Monday!

TAKE CARE!

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