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Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Donkey Stable

MONKEY'S DONKEY STABLE
Hi. My name Is Monkey. I am NOT a farmer. But I did spend some time in Montana as a kid. So I know what they look like. I am real good at keeping a barn clean and organized, and know how to feed the animals. That little 'philly' on my right is a little Alabama Hillbilly named 'Squirrel'...she is a lot of fun, but isn't much for long walks in the rain. In this photo we are both enjoying a delicious Absolute Mandarin and Red Bull, which we break down and drink maybe twice a year! (hahaha) In our spare time, okay...ALL OF MY TIME, some of her time...we like to dabble in Texas Hold 'em, a fun little poker game, which features some really GOOD players...and some NOT SO GOOD players.
As a service to my fellow players, some of whom are very 'good' I would like to let you take a peek inside of my barn, Monkey's Barn...to see a few donkey's that you might just want to avoid in upcoming events! I hope you enjoy!!!!

WE WILL START WITH THE
TUNICA STABLE.......

coming later, we will feature the BILOXI STABLE, to be followed by the NEW ORLEANS STABLE...and then the GLOBAL WORLDWIDE VEGAS STABLE...we will probably be needing a NEW BARN by then, maybe BARACK OBAMA can pass a bill in Congress to build us something that will fit all of these wonderful players in!!!!

HERE HE IS. Now it is tough to just call David "Freddy" Kruger a donkey, because pure and simple...he ISNT. The fact that this picture is blurry, is perfect, because when you are having a nightmare at night...isn't this REALLY how it would come to you? He won two events in Tunica, including the Main Event. He has a very fun personality. He is tough NOT to like. But to play against? He is a total freaking nightmare. He will hold you down, he will pull out the razor-sharp knife fingers, and he will destroy your hopes and dreams with hands like 22 vs your KK, with 46c vs. your AA. Prepare yourself for a very long, miserable day if you draw him at your table. If you raise early, he will make you DECIDE how much you like your hand when he shoves all in on you. I have to (want to) believe that he just ran good in Tunica...and that his reign of terror will soon end, that we will all WAKE up from this Nightmare on EVERY STREET!!!!!

You have heard a LOT about this guy. I started out calling him PSYCHOBOY on my blog, and in fact starting calling him it during our Mega Satellite, which him and I both won. He actually likes it I think. I found something in common with him, we are both kind of nuts! I actually got him to smile. I think he is warming up to me, as I am to him. He's not a bad guy, and actually, he ISNT a donkey, well not TOTALLY. He will, however go on tilt, at the drop of a hat. If he is card dead for more than three orbits, he will start to berate the dealer, throwing his cards. Calling clock on any player after mere seconds if he starts getting low on chips. HE FREAKS OUT! He can often be heard mumbling under his breath, no one at the table can every hear him, thus, everyone is kind of afraid of him, similar to that homeless guy outside the grocery store who rambles about things that make you just scratch your head over. Pssst, rumor has it though (from some dealers who had him in the 1 or 10 seat) that some of those ramblings are actually hilarious, so I think maybe I will start liking this guy more and more in the future. Jury is still out!

This clown...was the ONE guy who almost made me do something to get kicked out of the GoldStrike. Yes, that is a peach melba hat and a badly pressed Polo shirt. Great poker gear, goes well with his great poker game. (picture me placing finger down throat here) In a Mega, this guy liked to raise EVERY time more than one person limped in. And he didn't just raise, he OVER raised. I laid down the winner twice. On those two occasions he produced 4-8h, and 6-7d. I finally decided to call his move with KQ. Along with another donkey...who had busted my QQ with 3-4off a few hands prior. The flop came out....oh, just 9-10-J, rainbow. Only the nuts. At the time. Super Donk had AQ. Okay, this time he HAD an actual reason for raising preflop. and okay, he WAS open ended on the flop with an over. But this next move should firmly mark him for MONKEY BARN-ness. He leads out for 500...into a 2000 chip pot. The guy behind me, who claims he had QQ (find that pretty hard to believe since BOTH the other Q's were out) raises to 2000. Monkey has 2400 total chips left. I MOVE ALL IN. This clown INSTACALLS! And before the guy behind me can get his chips in (which I thought was an after thought) I announce that I have the nuts and am stopped by the dealer before I can turn over my hand, not realizing the guy behind me might actually fold for another 400 chips. (????) Really? HE DOES FOLD! Wow. Well, our dealer manages to deliver this joker a K on the river for the higher straight. I credit him for his 'excellent play' and he subsequently goes on to tell me how BAD I play, how bad I played THAT hand! (????) What? Then goes on to talk about how much better he is, that I can only hope to be as good as he is. Anyone ever seen this guy at a Final Table? ANYONE? All I hear is crickets and the occasional coyote howling. Oh, incidentally, this was a two table Satellite. This joke didn't even make it down to ONE table. Yeah man...you'z got da skilllllllllz!

Oh this guy. And so many just like him. Sunburn, I'm guessing from the morning session of tilling the crops on the tractor. Hat featuring his favorite race car accessories. This is our favorite kind of Donkey. The one who wakes up in early position with a hand like 88/99/1010 and has NO IDEA what to do with it. In fact, its almost like he is holding a grenade that has a 4 second timer on it. OMG OMG....uhhhh.uhhhhh lets see, I have 2900 chips...the blinds are 100-200....ughhhhhh....OMG OMG...grenade about to blow up.....ahhhhhh I raise!!!! 1700!!!!! Um...gee, and I just happened to look down at QQ. Kind of screws up how I or anyone else is going to play back at him, isnt it? Well, he only has 1200 left, not likely to fold EVEN if an A or a K do hit, are we? Guess we are raising all in here. Guy in BB wakes up with a hand...and literally says "is JJ good here?" to which I reply..."Well, honestly, I kind of think that is what HE has...or tens. So if you have JJ, no, you may be drawing dead!" This information doesn't phase him. In fact, not even sure it registered...cuz dammit, he has 10-10! And it looks good! And it is, as the dealer slides him a 10 on the flop! This was only the hand that stood out. Watch out for this guy! If he has raised first, no one is getting him off a hand. And oh yeah, if you raise UTG with something like AA/KK/QQ/AK/JJ.....it doesn't slow him down from calling on the button with K10/QJ/A10.....doesn't matter! He's in there with anything that looks 'purty!

This guy turned out to be pretty funny. If anyone watches "Yes Dear" which Im pretty sure is on about 8 hrs a day on TBS this guy kind of looks like, and talks JUST LIKE Mr. Savitzki, Greg's boss. Him and I started out on the wrong foot. Big time. Pretty sure he called clock on me first. Then I think there was an attempt to get me penalized for talking too much. He is really not a good player. But I have to admit, he's pretty funny, once he allows himself to 'get in the spirit' of being at Monkey's table! His claim to fame comes on a hand where I had raised early with A9c...not sure why I picked this hand to raise with, but that doesn't really matter, since he thought calling with A6 offsuit was a good hand to play back at me with. When the flop comes 6c-7c-8h...I excitedly announce that I will be "check-raising" and do just that. I check. Two others check...and he bets out 250 (blinds are 25/50). It comes back around to me and I raise it to 750, leaving myself 450 chips left. Everyone folds, but not him...he's all in. The table looks at me like I just got caught! Caught? Yeah...whatever, I Call! He turns over his hand, and I can't lie, I had to laugh. Bottom pair. No re draw. Ace is dead. Wow. Lets see, I had...mmmm...3 nines, 4 fives, 4 tens, 7 other clubs...what's that? 18 outs? Yeah, I like my chances here. I hit none of them, and he has his moment of glory! Well done sir. He would demonstrate on numerous occasions throughout the week that he is a player NOT to TRY to bluff, and NOT to even TRY putting on a hand. But he still has that cool, gravelly voice!

WOW! I can't believe I somehow let this guy fall this far down the page! This is HIM! Without a doubt the HUGEST donkey I saw in Tunica! In fact, if you look REALLY close you can just make out the big long, gray ears pinned behind his head. Only thing about this guy...he could have literally been the President of my Fan Club, if I had one. (I will NEVER have one, BTW) So based on that, I couldn't find it in myself to hate the guy. But hate his game? Oh yeah! The one that made me want to kill him was AQ raise in UTG+1...he calls, like he did about 75% of the time after his luckbox run that had him sitting on a huge stack. FLOP ACE. BET BIG. CALLS. TURN FLUSH DRAW, BET BIGGER, CALLS. RIVERS 7. CHECK because I'm totally confused.
Call his meager bet. He turns over A7. (*!@#(&! Calls decent sized all ins from other players on the table with beauties like A8, A10, K8! That's right...KING 8. Hey, 'It was suited!" Isolating in early middle position when a guy raises half his stack (so obvious he had AA/KK) with a HUGE overbet holding A10....only to double THAT guy up. This guy is TRULY AWFUL! I boldly predicted, when he had enough chips to make the final table if he didn't play another hand (this was in the $550 tourney BTW) that he would not only NOT make the Final Table, but he wouldn't even cash! Paying 18, I went out 36th, he went out 44th. Unreal.
I would have paid $1000 to trade stacks with him. If he works for a demolition company, its perfectly fitting because I have never seen any ONE person blow up a stack like this guy. In between hands he was running over to the bulletin board that had all of the weeks winners photos posted. You know how those guys who have never had a ton of chips act and talk when they do? He was this guy. And he was right in my left ear. And my iPod was dead! A bad beat for sure! I know we are going to see this guy in Biloxi. My advice? Gamble early on a shot to whack this guy. YOU DO NOT WANT HIM HAVING CHIPS!!!!!! Because as he told me on numerous occassions "I dont care, I just came to gamble!" We LOVE that guy, don't we?

MAIN EVENT. Not sure how this guy got in. $2600 donation. My first table, total nightmare.Ton of quality hands. Very few wins. But the most frustrating loss came at the hands of this guy. And maybe the funniest moment of the tourney. I was doing something I do a lot of in Main Events, I was charting all my hands that I was playing. In my Black Book. This guy would raise, no no..check that, he would MIN RAISE. UGhhhhh. For what would be about the fifth time already. And he was rarely showing down much when he did that, so when I saw AQ suited I felt like I could take a shot at him. We get heads up. The flop comes Q-9-7, rainbow. A pretty good flop for me. He checks to me, and I bet about 3/4th of the pot. Now, me...I think if I am holding KJ there I probably fold my GUTSHOT. Oh..with an over. But...maybe I play way too tight. Not this guy. CALL! Next card out is a K. Of course. He checks? Yeah. Which freezes me. I check. River is a blank. He checks AGAIN! I mean...what is he calling 3/4 of the pot with if he isn't willing to bet it when he DOES hit it? I'm not touching that river. I check. I get the bad news, and there goes another large chunk of my stack. When I go to write in my book, he asks "Hey Monkey, do you write down the names of all the Donkeys who suck out on you in your book!?" I don't respond while I am writing because that is just how I am...one thing at a time please. But upon completion, I reply "No sir, I don't, but I do take their picture and put them on my Website!" To which the whole table erupted in laughter! He took it like a good sport. Hope he likes seeing himself on here, too!

I wish I had a better picture of this guy. But if you look to his right here, you will see our Favorite Nightmare, that is Mr. Kruger himself, and this is from the 2nd chance tourney that I should have won, but alas, got coolered in. This guy, who looks, well...I'm not going to go there, lets just say, if you asked someone you knew to have a third grade education to work out a calculus equation, that facial expression that they would hit you with, is pretty much the look this guy has on his face at all times. And you get into enough hands with him, and you start thinking that maybe calculus equations are way, way far up the totem pole in things necessary to bring about that look of confusion. All week long, whether it was tourneys or SNGs this guy was one of my worst nightmares. He is just BAD! Any Two Cards are his motto. My favorite hand against this guy goes like this. I get in on the button for 100 with K10c....yeah yeah the hand I hate the most. Whatever. It was cheap and there were six callers. So with a pot of 600, the flop comes K-8-2...one...that's ONE...heart. He bets out 200. Yeah. TWO HUNDRED! Everyone folds to me. I raise it to 800. He calls. Turn is the 10 of hearts. He bets...oh yeah...200 again. And based on what I have seen all week, I know he is betting a weak King. So now, with two pair...and not really worried about him having, say 888, or 222...I make it 2000! Oh, he calls. The river? The 4 of hearts. NOW HE CHECKS? CHECK? I am either going to win a nice pot here, or I am going to elect NOT TO LOSE any more. I have ZERO bet equity on the river. I check. He turns over.....K5 of hearts....for the runner runner flush! I go on super tilt for the next half hour...running my stack back up to over 7k before they mercifully break our table! But they bring him to my new table, where I watch him get abused for an hour before finally busting. This guy is maybe one of the most horrendous players in the Tunica Stable, I wouldn't even worry about feeding him. Maybe we will get lucky, and on the first stormy night he will break free and run away!

NOW OCCASSIONALLY I WILL ALLOW MY FELLOW PLAYERS TO NOMINATE PLAYERS THAT THEY FEEL NEED TO BE IN MONKEY'S BARN! I may not have any knowledge of them, or played with them at any time...but if I trust the game of the player telling me about them, and the story sounds legit, and quite possibly is even VERIFIED by the ACCUSED, then and only then will they be considered for their own stall! Case in point, the two following players.

Now this guy...basically owned up to his moronic play. And he was cool in doing so, so while I may NEVER want to see this joker at my table in a poker game, I would probably be okay with sharing a drink or a shot with him...though I doubt very seriously that it will be a Final Table Snap Monkey or even an 'In The Money Red Snapper!' He was seen sitting on a very large pile of chips in the $330 that I would eventually cash, and that he would not. How did he get there? With this beautiful play. Blinds 50/100. Limp. Limp. Limp. Limp. Memphis jersey guy makes it 1100 on the button. Okay, your classic squeeze play. He is holding 78off. So far, this story is okay. This is where it gets a little nuts. Fold, Fold, original limper makes it...ahem, FIVE THOUSAND! BTW, this was the deepstack tourney, where we started with 10k. Fold, Fold, Fold...and a SMOOTH CALL! By our hero up there. The flop comes 3-7-8. First guy (holding KK) goes ALL IN. Our boy calls, of course...and it holds, Ship him 12K. This type of play was overly prevalent all week in Tunica. Welcome to the Barn, sir!

This guy would actually get very deep in one of the $330's I cashed. I was told about this story...AFTER I had actually witnessed it. So it really didn't require any confirmation. This guy, in a AUBURN HAT ( I already know Squirrel hates him now!) was the master of the resteal. He had pulled the move numerous times. But this time, he runs into...TIGHTEST GUY AT THE TABLE...and oh yeah...he wasn't exactly RESTEALING. This was just a STUPID ASS PLAY that just happened to work out wonderfully for him. With the blinds at 500/1000 and about 2 or 3 from the money...he limps in for 1000. It folds all the way around to the old guy in the BB who is sitting on QQ. Well, he probably is thinking that raising to 3 or 4k will just entice this guy to re-pop him to about 12K...which will mean he is married to the hand, as he is sitting on 22K. So what does he do? He takes the easy way out, and raises to a whopping 16k! Wow, talk about being afraid of a flop! Not that I dont understand...what with the way I run with QQ, that and players like this who never fold. Seems like a good time to just take down a 3000+ pot close to the money. Hold up...the 16K raise is met by a SMOOTH CALL by Auburn Hat guy! Granted, he has a lot of chips...but not THAT many, we will call it 55K. So he flats a third of his stack with 55. Good play. Looks genius though when the flop rolls out 2-5-J and the old guy moves all in. It holds, and the old man misses the money, and this guy picks up a monster pot! Sickening. Bad play rewarded once more by the Poker Gods. So...if you see this guy....tread lightly!


I had a few other pictures, but after thinking back on them and their antics, I just don't think they warrant inclusion. I have also taken some hits from some of my readers who have taken me to task for the way I have been playing some of my hands of late. Big Slam #1 was how I played my 10 BB stack....raising big and leaving little behind. I know most of you +EV players all play their 10 BB hands about the same. That is where we differ. We can agree to disagree. I will say this, I find the ALL IN (especially on my button) to be a tremendously weak play, and I am a lot more tempted to call an ALL IN than I am a strong raise, especially when they leave a small amount behind. It's a play I have had a lot of success with. That and the way it is verbally presented results in about a 90% walk rate. So again, you guys can dish on it all you want. If you are at my table...and its late, and you JAM your 10 BB stack into me in the BB and I have at least 25BBs in my stack...and I look down at ANY HAND in the TOP 40...you are very likely to get a call. You all think I am so ULTRA TIGHT! Don't you? Well, find out JUST HOW TIGHT I AM next week and try shoving on me. I am ready to start giving you guys your just rewards! LETS GET IT ON!!!!!!!

MONKEY











Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Beau Final Table, and Random Thoughts

ONCE THIS YEAR LET ME WIN WITH THE BEST HAND!

We are getting very close (three days) to the event where I basically had my coming out party last year. 6 cashes, 4 final tables, back-t0-back 2nd places...a great week that catapulted me into 'real tournament player' mode for 2008. Topping that will be very hard. I ran very good that week. But right now....I need something good to happen.

Thought that was exactly what I was about to have happen on Saturday at the Beau in their 15K guarantee tourney. Got there on time (well, ten minutes late, which for me is on time!). Had a good seat, seat 4. Had one of those days where I got NO CARDS but somehow managed to stay around. Got up to about 8k then ran AQh into AA...a guy who I had just seen limp then shove with AJ a while before. That hurt. Took me to 2500. But then moved in with AQ again, ran into a guy's AK..and spiked a Q. Little later, Shawnda served me KK and got doubled up by a guy wtih AQ. Then just kind of bobbed and weaved my way to the final table.

Down to about three tables and John Riola sends me a Red Snapper. Hmmm...wondering, was this a devious attempt to put the 'Snapper Hex' on me? Knowing that I usually (typically) do NOT drink the Snapper until we are in the money? Whatever, I drank it anyway...and the next four of five that followed, and suddenly I was in my zone. We have 10 left.....

We have already agreed to give 10th place $250. Big deal. I have managed to climb back to a respectable 3rd in chips. Diana comes to deal our table. I don't know Diana's deal, I really don't. I WANT to like her...I really do. I try very hard. But man, she is just SO grouchy when she deals. Mainly with the whole "I NEED EVERYONE'S ANTE!!!!" Well, she almost cost me $400.

I am on the button. I have NOT gotten AA all day. And I keep telling everyone 'they are coming...they have to be coming' and as I look at my first card and see the A of spades, I go into my act. "Ah ha! The first one is the NUTS! I wont even look at the 2nd one...it will be the mystery card...but the first one is THERE!" It folds to me. I look down and see the A of hearts! OH HELL YES! And I announce..."well, its about time!" Blinds are 1500/3000. I will not EVER min raise, and say as much...so I make it 7000. The kid in the small blind, who I know has me covered or is close anyway....moves all in. Music to my ears...I think.

He turns over JJ. Ugh..hate seeing a pair. Only takes one card to kill me...and THERE IT IS...right on the flop. A MOTHER(*@#&#&(!*@ JACK. I don't catch an ace. I want to puke. Well, Diana just grabs my stack and goes to shove it all over there..when I stop her. "Diana, please count my stack, I am not positive here but I think I may have about 2 or 3k left." To which she says "I don't think so, I think he has you covered." "Well, he just might...but I would feel a lot better if you would at least CONFIRM that." So she does, and low and behold, I have 3000 chips left. Hmmmm.....

The next hand I fold (lose 500 ante). Well, as fate would have it, the blinds mix it up and one of them goes out! Monkey makes $650 instead of $250! On the very next hand...and with a guy behind me who only has 6k (I could have maybe held on and made another $300, but I am there to try and win!) I pick up AK. Not folding this. Forget it. I'm all in and the guy behind me makes a convenience call of 3K holding 4d8d. Gee, want me OUT much? Here is your board..... 5-A-7-6-9.....he bets the river. I say "oh great...show me your stinking 8" expecting to see, you know...something kind of decent....but 4-8? Whatever. If I win that hand there I am back up to around 12K and maybe have a prayer. But that whacks me...and all I can think about is those ACES getting cracked, and how nice a deep run and a shot at $4500 would have been, especially as bad as this year has been going.

My March Madness brackets ALL have gone in the crapper. I mean...27 brackets and I can't even get a sniff of the money? Unreal! Then my Huskies make a big comeback against Purdue (Pur-who>?) and they are OUT of the tourney. I DO have my Sweet 16 pool starting up tomorrow, which I came one MEMPHIS flameout away from winning last year. Maybe I will get lucky there!

Saw 'ol Wild Bill at Saturday's tourney. Not sure how or when he went out...but he did, since I failed to meet up with him at the Final Table. Asked him how my feature on MONKEY'S BARN is progressing. Not sure he had checked it out yet. Think he did last night though...I expect to see it up very soon, hopefully at LEAST before the B.R. tourneys start this weekend. I sat down and did it on Thursday, took me about 3 hours. I am hopeful that you will all find it hilarious. I did. And isn't that REALLY the most important thing? Being able to make MYSELF laugh?

Played last night. Managed to very methodically chip up from 10k to 22k then we get to 200/400 and I pick up 10-10 which I have been running very badly with. I raise...but screw up...I drop one of the purple (500) chips on my way out to bet and instead of raising to 1300, make it only 800. A MIN RAISE! Both blinds call. The flop comes 7 high. They both check. I bet out 2500. There are two clubs. The SB smooth calls. Huh? Flush draw? Set? No...set would raise there...as there are 2 clubs and maybe a straight draw out there. I would THINK, anyway? Turn is 8 of hearts. He checks AGAIN! Now I am a little confused, but certain he is on a flush draw. After all, he is OLD. This guy has gotten AA 4 times already, and gotten paid off with them twice for a huge stack each time, both by absolute morons who should have never been in the hands in the first place. I am trying real hard not to become another one of his victims. I push all in. He calls. He turns over.....QUEENS! Whoa.....I did NOT see THAT coming. Well, losing to a better hand never upsets me too much. I tell everyone good game, good luck, shake the old man's hand...and boogie.

I come home, get online, and decide to play like that guy. I get AA 5 times throughout the night. Three times I get them behind an aggressive player who raises a lot, and simply FLAT the raise. All three times, I LOSE! Once to AQ when he rivers a flush. Once to 55...when he rivers a 5. And once to JJ...when he turns a JJ after betting huge on the Q-high flop and calling my all in. That was my favorite. Yeah...that plan went well. I went back to playing them the 'old way' and had much better success...making a final table and finishing 4th before calling it a night at 2am.

RANDOM THOUGHTS.....from SENOR MONKEY......

-When you are driving on the highway, and the speed limit is 70, why when a cop has someone pulled over (already) does everyone SLAM on their brakes and slow to about 45-50 mph, nearly causing a 108 car pileup? That is so stupid.

-Have you all seen that idiot (usually a redneck) who tries to secure a piece (or pieces) of plywood, or even a mattress to the top of his (usually a piece of shit) car and drive it home, usually on a road where he has to go in excess of 50 mph? He has essentially turned his pile of crap into a piece of crap AIRPLANE...and one of two things is going to happen, he is either going to TAKE OFF...or his 'wings' are about to become dislodged from the fuselage. MORON.

-Ambulances. How many times have you seen it coming in your rearview mirror...but then amazingly, it takes forever to catch up to you? Because it is only going about 72 mph. My question. IF the lights are flashing, wouldn't that indicate that someone is in DIRE need of medical attention? Where is the sense of urgency? I just saw that Travis Kvapil lost his job driving the #28 car in NASCAR. Maybe he should consider a career change. They could use him apparantly.

-You are in a restaurant. Suddenly you hear dishes crashing/breaking. You turn to look and you see a waiter/waitress standing there with 'that look' on his/her face. Everyone breaks out in applause. WHY? Here is a guy/gal who is probably about to get fired now, and you all start clapping for him/her. Real nice. That is just rude.

-If you live in a nice neighborhood...and everyone keeps their lawn nicely cut and manicured...how can you come home every day, pull your car into your driveway, get out of your car, walk to your mailbox...and then into your house...with 4 or 5 of your neighbors looking/scowling at you...every day with that RIDICULOUS YARD OF YOURS!??? Know what I do? I just go CUT their yard FOR THEM, and leave a bill on their front door! $45.50...services rendered.

-How long will it be before RED BOX puts BLOCKBUSTER out of business? Nothing like losing all your business to a freaking vending machine!

-I am about sick of this Obama/Special Olympics crap. Dude goes on a show, which I thought was pretty cool, and makes a remark that was clowning himself, and gets skewered. Well, if you notice...the polls seem to go something like this "BIG DEAL?" 55% say NO. 45% say YES. Hmmm...seems to me that if you look at how the voting went, that was about the same ratio wasnt it? So basically, for the next 4 years...we get to see the same poll results on every issue probably. Those who voted Republican....will vote one way, and those who voted Democrat will vote the other. People are idiots. And by the way, I HAVE a brother with Down's Syndrome, who competed in Special Olympics, and I was a volunteer for them...I am NOT offended by his comment.

-The highway project that has been going on in Pensacola since before I moved there (2003) is ALMOST done. 6 years? Incredible. When I lived in Atlanta...they would put down highways in three days. The weed in Pensacola must be amazing.

-The one piece of machinery that every man should own is a pressure washer. Those things are incredible. Oh...and if its a sunny day...you get a great tan while using them. Something about the constant mist in the air reflecting the rays onto your chalky-white skin!

I will be rooting now for Syracuse in the tourney? Why? Because I found a new handyman, after my previous one completely disappeared from the planet. This guy went to Syracuse in the 60's and played Lacrosse there with ERNIE DAVIS and JOHN MACKEY. He met Jim Brown as well. Served 30 years in the Navy. This guy is my new hero...and now he is my new handyman. What a life this guy has lived. I love it when I meet older people like this guy. Makes me ALMOST want to get old, too. Go Orangemen!

Okay..that concludes today's exciting blog. Hopefully the next one will be my BARN feature. Then it will be two weeks of (I hope) exciting reports from the Beau Rivage.

TAKE CARE

MONKEY

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

NIGHTMARE IN TUNICA...."FREDDY WINS"

It's official.

I am taking up professional hopscotch.

If you read my last entry you will remember how I went out of the main event. Who put me out. How he put me out. And the others he dispatched along the way.

I have to now admit...I have no clue what I am doing playing poker. You all think I am kidding don't you?

Text messages and Facebook messages from Tunica have confirmed it. David Kruger, AKA "Freddy Kruger" has won the Main Event. This after winning another earlier event that he Donk-Zapped me out of (when I finished 15th). Quite a run for the John Deere (e on the end or not? I'm not sure and don't feel like researching it) Tractor-driving nightmare on every street who orders me to 'get out of his pot.'

So I ask myself, and those of you who THINK you are a good player. "What is the secret?" Am I missing something? Is there a gigantic grand canyon-sized hole in my game?

I left Tunica last night about 8. I got a call back from hotel management. They got my bill all squared away. I thought they would. Thanks again Goldstrike, and thanks Ken Lambert. I can't call the trip a disaster. I did chop a Second Chance, cashed twice, got deep in almost everything I played, and admittedly had fun. Just sucks that I LOST money for the trip. But poker is a tough, tough business.

The drive home was decent. Decided to try out the long way. Meaning, I didnt turn left at Jackson and go through Hattiesburg. Why? I will tell you why. I like to play online poker while I drive...and/or watch movies on my stereo. I didn't have any movies so I played poker the whole way.

It was also a very successful poker trip. I played 4 games at a time. 3 seperate sessions. Session A...I cashed twice. One final table in a $12/180pp, 8th place, and a 6th place in a $12/45pp. In Session B, my best, I got 2nd in a $12/45pp for $110, then a 1st place in a $11/45 for $139. In Session C, I only had one cash...for a mere $51. Nonetheless, a profit of $200 for my 5.5 hour drive! And the desire to get back online and play some more. During this time, I was reminded once more just HOW BAD the play online is!

Not having to deal with 2-lane roads and a small town every 15 miles that force you to slow down to 45 mph proved to be a great decision. It took me exactly the same amount of time. Having the cruise control stuck on 82 the whole way home was a treat. I also turned my stereo to its highest setting and sang at the top of my lungs. Just about every song. Another good thing about driving alone! No one there to offend!

Something dawned on me. There are a lot of very impressive people in this world. Far more impressive than me. I wonder, if I ever get on TV and win a couple million bucks playing this stupid game...will any of THOSE people who I think are amazing think I am amazing? Or is that just silly to think like that?

First one that I think about...guys who can sit and play the piano (that alone I wish I could do) amazingly WHILE singing amazingly. Wouldnt that be sweet? Fighter pilots. I know its tough, because I've tried it on PS3. And when I die, I get to start over. Not them. One mistake, its lights out. Tiger Woods. Ever sit and watch this guy? Its purely disgusting. Who the hell can consistently smack a ball with a stick and make it land so close to the pin as often as this guy? Firefighters. I can't stand it when I get a little hot. These dudes walk into 200+ degree heat, with shit falling all around them, burning shit...just so they can save someone who should have never been in there in the first place. Or someone's dog...which I appreciate, because I love dogs. Politicians (magicians). How a guy who almost always has a terrible hair do, and dresses like a schlub can get people to fork over cash to him, while he constantly two-face lectures opposing constituents, gets himself elected and manages to somehow dodge criminal convictions while lying, cheating and stealing all throughout his term is simply...AMAZING to me. Who else amazes me? Oh...those guys who do traffic reports from helicopters, while FLYING the helicopter. First of all, things look a lot different from the sky. Much smaller. And how do they know all those streets? And then they have to come off in a way that sounds good on the radio. Doctors amaze me. Had a couple of experiences in the last few months to come to this conclusion. My Mother's surgery out in Seattle and me and Squirrel's interaction with her doctor when we almost had a baby. They are so smart. And they know just how to talk to their patients. And the things they do when its crunch time....wow, I could never do that. They deserve whatever they make. And it's a lot.

It might be more fun to discuss the people who DONT amaze me. But I'm not sure there is enough blog space on the webserver to allow for that!

Have you ever been driving on a long road trip...stop at a gas station off of some remote exit, and when you walk in (usually in pursuit of, lets say, some coffee) you immediately feel like the person behind the counter thinks you are about to rob the place? You start over-compensating and trying to be overly nice...only to watch their face grow more and more suspicious? How are you supposed to combat that situation? It happened last night. I freaked out and just left the store.

Squirrel has her brother and sister in law down with their kids, so of course she likes to do her little clean up BlitzKrieg before they arrive....which means every little thing that I have placed in its 'special place' has now been relocated. Carpets have been cleaned, which means my buddies (Jasper and Molly) are not allowed in the house. While I love that she is like that (as opposed to the opposite...I'm talking to YOU Claudia Crawford!) I also hate that when I come home its like walking into a strangers home. Oh...hey, I finally found the TV remote!

Congratulations to Freddy Kruger on his big victory. I think I heard him threaten me before I left...."Hey Monkey, it was good playing with you...I wasn't going to come play in Biloxi, but now because of you...I think I might go down there now." Fabulous, can't wait. You have ALL been warned!

MONKEY

Monday, March 16, 2009

MAIN EVENT down to 21, No Monkeys to be seen!

It's Monday.

Buzz Kill Monday.

I am laying in my room...my room that I was supposed to be paying $70 a night for. Went to check out, was presented a bill for $1753. Reached for heart pills. After a lenthy negotiation with the assistant manager, and pending discussions with the actual manager who is currently in a meeting, I have agreed to NOT go ballistic on them in this report until everything has been resolved first, so I will refrain. For now.

Simply put, we were granted a complimentary upgrade to a 2-br suite, at the same cost we were paying (the poker rate). We were not told we would be charged for both rooms (which are adjoining). After Brandon left on Wednesday I would have immediately had them check that one out if I had known that. Even funnier I was charged for movies that had time codes on them from when I was IN THE POKER TOURNEY! Wow, I have a ghost in my room watching porn. They called it a 'glitch' in their system. I'm going with ghost!

Well, lets hope it all works out. I have faith in the good folks at MGM Goldstrike. Maybe Ken Lambert and Beth Blevins will take pity on my soul and work it down to a number that allows me to sleep tonight when I get home! I played in EVERY tourney up here, about half of the 2nd chances, and about 40 SNGs! I think the juice I paid about covers my whole room charge! However, we poker players just don't command the same kind of respect/regard when it comes to getting our rooms comped like those $100 a hand blackjack players, or the big craps players. Look, I'm okay with that! I pride myself on my ability to 'fade' those money pits! And when I DO win a big tourney, I always take care of the floor staff and poker dealers, and don't say BOO! about my room charge. But after a trip like this, where I got hunted down, and SNIPED by the local Donkey Assassins, I would like to apply for some room relief! At least in Biloxi I will have all the niceties of home...a true homecourt advantage!

Well, I am ready to get out of here. Nothing has died yet. The dogs are in good health. Squirrel is headed over to Pensacola with her brother, his wife and their nephews for a couple days. My backer hasnt fired me. My Mom and Dad still love me (I think).

It's always kind of sad on getaway day. You see all the players in the lobby, most with glum looks on their faces. Tournies are like a convention. Everyone converges, we have our fun, we take our shots, we make our presentations (me mostly!) to the masses, then we leave...until we see each other again at the next venue.

Yesterday was a nightmare. BJ McBrayer thought the tourney started at noon, not 2...so he needed a place to chill for a couple hours. So he came up here. I end up getting him at my table. Not cool. I had three very tough players, three nobody's and three total jackasses. Nice combo. We started with 10K in chips and 117 players, a HUGE field. (drip drip) In the first two levels, I literally had 17 good/decent/great hands. I know because I was writing them down, complete with the results of each. I could list them all but why bother? 10-10 twice. AK/AQ/AJ/A10d/KQ/KJ/K10c/22 THREE TIMES/77.....out of those 17 hands...I won TWO POTS! TWO! It was a complete trainwreck. I was on the verge of throwing furniture. FINALLY our table breaks.

I draw table 30....seat 6...my favorite seat. As I come up on the table...there is my buddy, DAVID KRUGER...who I have now labeled with the nickname of "Freddy Kruger...a NIGHTMARE on EVERY STREET!" The table howled at that one. It sticks. Everyone is now calling him Freddy. And he IS a nightmare, on EVERY street, the FLOP, THE TURN and THE RIVER. He sees me and greets me with "Hey Monkey, come to give me your chips!?" To which I groan and respond...."Probably, but I dont have much to give you...so you might want to wait for me to double a couple times first." To which he agrees would be a good idea. Isn't it funny sometimes just how prophetic things can play out?

On literally the FIRST hand I play, I pick up KK. Kruger limps for 100. I limp behind him. Another limper...and sitting on the BB and raising to 750 is my buddy/roomie/fellow blogger Kai Landry, who I also have a 10% 'save' share with. Another awkward/uncomfortable arrangement. Wishing like hell he isnt at my table. Well our John Deere hat wearing, tractor driving, any two cards are good playing friend calls the 750. I hope you all know what I did here. I would assume you all know by now that 2150 chips went into the center of the arena...hoping to be joined by 2150 more from Donkey Boy back there. Kai folded immediately (told me later he had JJ, I don't doubt that at all). The 2150 I was waiting on failed to show up to meet my friends. Dammit. But I did pick up 1600 in a virtual double up...without having to sweat out another stupid beat at the hands of Knife Fingers over there.

A little while later I will win my biggest hand thus far. Sitting in the SB with 22 (for the 5th time already) The Nightmare limps in for 300 (150/300). I call. The BB makes it 750! No. Well of course "She thinks my Tractor's Sexy" calls. So I think..."hmmm...wonder how many times I can catch 22 without flopping a set?" I ask Tamara (Big & Tasty to those of you who know her...and that is NOT from personal experience) if she is going to 'bring it' for me one time. I am pretty sure I caught her wink at me. So I called. Flop comes..............A-10-2! Rainbow. I check. BB bets out 1200. John Deere folds. I raise to 2500. He puts me all in with his AK. I fade the necessary suckout required to lose and now am up over 13K. Wow, maybe I actually have a chance to win this thing now.

I later limp in behind Freddy with AK. We get 6 calls. No one will raise him without AA/KK/QQ....they know its a bad play. Better to flop perfect, perfect and let him pay you off, or suck out on you and make you want to cry. Or kill yourself, if you are off of your meds.

I flop a nice little gutshot with overs. Q-10-7. Our boy bets. I call. Everyone else folds. Turn is a brick. He checks now. Now against MOST players I would bet half the pot here and take it down. Not against this guy. NO WAY. I check behind. River? J. Sweet. I immediately say "you got me" which cues him to bet out 1000. I min raise to 2000 and he pays me off. Touche! Up to 16K.

Then I may or may NOT have misplayed this hand. Kai raises to 700. Kruger calls the 700. I look down at JJ in the BB. Kai said he had AK. Kruger claims to have had ...ya ready? 3-9. I think its bullshit. The flop comes out 3-5-9...two spades. I lead out for 1500. Kai mucks. Everyone's favorite teenage mutilator looks at me, tells me to 'get outa my pot Monkey' and goes all in. Yeah. ALL IN! Then looks at me, saying..."whatya got? 10's or J's?" which...yeah! Is what I got! So this is where poker is tricky. But poker against a psycho? Even trickier. Is he telling me that because that is what he HOPES I DONT HAVE? He is bouncing that signal off me to see how I respond? I mean...if I am right, and I call...I might double up to over 35K...and cripple that nemesis. If I am wrong, I am OUT. Had I just SHOVED all in FIRST...it would have taken away his position entirely. I just dont know what to do. I finally fold. And I think I hate that fold.

We almost lose him. Our #2 seat, who mixed it up with Tractor Fun several times....almost had him out the door. He held KK. He raised UTG. Zippy calls him with A3d. You heard me. The flop came 7 high, but with 2 diamonds. 2-seat bets out pretty large. Our boy calls of course. The turn is a blank. 2-seat does the right thing and moves all in. Tractor tanks...for a good while...and finally calls, asking the dealer for an Ace or a diamond. Damn ace of clubs on the river. You could feel the entire table sink about 9 inches in their seats. I might have actually slid right onto the floor. Like in that Bugs Bunny episode, where he is flying that plane..and it goes out of control...and as its plummeting to Earth Bugs goes sliding down the seat...remember that one?

This kid in the #1 seat had this thing about raising my BB. The few times he got called by others, we see beauties like A7s, A8h, K10 off, 44....must have been that he just liked stealing my blinds from early position. This information would be instrumental in my eventual demise.

I do manage to make a play against the nemesis that gets the attention of the table. Sitting in the BB with J10c....There is a 4-way limp for 400. I check. The flop comes 10-7-9...two spades. Pretty good flop for me. I am sitting on 11K now. I check with every intention of moving in if Kruger bets it behind three checks. Which is exactly what happens. He bets out 2000. I immediately shove all in. He tanks. Asks if I would like my courtesy double up. I reply "I very much would sir." He folds. And shows, for once. J-10. Nice!

We are now down to 60 players. I have 10k now. Blinds are about to go to 300/600. I need to win a good pot. That little jackass in the 1 seat raises my blinds AGAIN...to 1200. Our friend from Elm Street calls yet again. Now here is my read. Every time this kid raises my blinds...he could have ANYTHING...and NOTHING. He just thinks (I think) that I am an easy mark when it comes to swiping blinds, because I am percieved as very tight. Well, ever since the blinds went to 100/200...whenever Kruger has a REAL hand...he always either raises or just moves all in behind a raiser. He has done it to KAI already, three times. With AK/QQ/and AA. So when he flats it for 1200, and I look down at AQs...I have to THINK I have the best hand. Or at least a hand strong enough to move in and get two folds, while picking up another 3500 chips. I now have the kid covered by about 3000, so even if he does call...and I can get Tractor Tilter to call, I can take a good side pot. Or if #1 calls and Im ahead, and Knucklehead folds, I stand to drag a real nice pot.

I dont take too long (not wanting to give information about my hand by delaying too much) I just ask the kid for a count on his stack, count mine...and move all in. He folds instantly. I KNEW it! Rat thief! Well, Kruger really tanks this one. He has himself convinced that I either have AK or AA. As it turns out, it wouldn't have mattered if I DID have AA. Its 10K for him to call...with him having 35K in his stack. This is where most GOOD players...will fold his hand. But this guy doesn't play by the same rules as most of us. If he has chips, and it won't felt him, he generally calls. And honestly, I think I WANTED him to call, because when he tells me he thinks he might be down to just two outs...I have a strange feeling that he might have AJ or A10...but more likely a small pair. At any rate, I don't really care what happens. I know for sure that my A and my Q are either alive or dominant.

He finally calls. He turns over 10's. Ugh. Not exactly what I wanted to see. I get NOTHING on the flop. Dammit. Nothing on the turn...and he rivers a useless 10 for the set...and I very professionally shake his hand, tell him nice hand...wish the others luck, and walk out the door...where I went to find a chair and cry. Just kidding, I didn't cry. Okay maybe I did. No no, I didn't.

Lurking around in the hallway was Dena and Dave. Before Dave could even get it out of his mouth how bad he wants to kill me I informed him that I already apologized to him in yesterday's blog entry. Then I reinforced it in person. We talked about the situation, shook hands, and now things between us are all good. (I think) He is a good guy, and a good player. It sucks that he didn't play the Main Event. But I know the feeling, only too well. That has been me a lot of times. Its the worst thing in the world when you don't make the Main Event, and you KNOW that you are as good or better than 90% of the field. It's a very empty, lonely feeling looking into that room.

Against my better judgement, and probably only because I have 10% with Kai Landry and Kyle Milam, who are both still in, I decide to stick around and play the $200 Second Chance tourney....which a whopping 24 players decide to play. Lets call it a 3-table SNG. I actually play really well. Make three dead-on reads, where they show me the hand after I call it. Out play two guys who have min-riased my BB. I am kind of cruising right along. I raise 1200 with A-10c. I leave 2200 behind. I elect not to move all in because mainly, I hate that play. Dude in the SB...from Finland, and VERY, VERY loose and crazy like most Scandanavian players (get ready for THOSE guys with the WSOP summer blog reports!) announces "loose call" and does call...to which I announce "I fully expect him to go all in on the flop, whatever it is." The flop comes 10-5-6. To which he responds "You're right...
and moves all in.....I call. He turns over 6-7 offsuit. Turn is a 3, river is a 4....yep...runner runner straight! I am out! Awesome!

Lets go play cash game for the first time on this trip! Why not! Look in my wallet. OMG! I have $100. I refuse to use the ATM machine. I buy in for $100. 2nd hand I get AA. I raise $10. One caller. Flop comes Q-10-7. I check . Guy bets $30. I raise to $60. He goes all in, I call. He has QJ. DOES NOT suck out. Double up. By the end of one hour...I would be sitting on $525. I ran off 6 players. It is as powerful and scary as I have maybe EVER felt in a cash game. Not going to lie, it felt good. BulletProof Monk!

But we know how these stories typically go in my world, dont we? Our table breaks, mostly because they all give up and leave. I am forced to move to a table with 4 drunks, and one old guy who smells so bad, I swear he had a dead animal in his coat pocket. The first two hours are spent getting rivered. Losing 250 of my stack. The next two hours are spent catching no hands, no flops and no luck. The lesbian in the 10 seat is drinking Jagerbombs and playing like she has one day to live and a million dollars to get rid of. I lose another 180 to her when, holding Ac2s...the flop comes 2-5c-4c. Not bad. I bet out. Two callers. She just calls. Turn brings the 2 of clubs. Wow. Trips. Straight draw. Nut flush draw. I bet out 50. Folds to her. She goes all in. I cant fold. I know she has a flush. She has to. But I have....wow, how many outs? 15? Sound about right? Brick the river. She has Qc10c. I'm broke. Visit the machine that always wins. Take out my first Tunica withdrawal. Buy in for $200 more. Cash out three hours later with $200. I lost $100 on the night. But oh what might have been. Leave with $550? Nawww...I just couldn't do THAT, could I!??? Oh...incidentally, drunk lesbo would eventually implode, turning $900+ chips into $0 in about one hour. Her Waterloo comes on this beauty.

Ugly, short, big glasses-wearing Asian guy (who is Gawd Awful) likes to min raise behind raisers, a great play...especially when he gives up on the hand after he misses the flop. So UTG makes it $15. Gets two calls. Ramen Noodle Brain makes it $30. EVERRRRRY one calls, including Jager Bomb Baby. Here is our flop. Qc-10s-9c. Its five way action. Lets make it simple. THEY ALL GET IT ALL IN ON THAT FLOP. The guy to my left has Q-10. And on that board thinks its worth $450! The scrawny lesbian is holding (I'm not kidding here) 7-8, no flush draw. And Kid Rising Sun has AcKc...clearly a good flop for him. Oh...the box-cutter has put in her last $550 chips on this flop. Turn is a J...which causes her to slam the table and celebrate. River is a 4. She is reaching for the chips when someone has to explain to her that an A-high straight beats a J-high straight. Oh...if only they could ALL be this bad. Oh wait, I'm in Tunica arent I? Yeah....they ARE...for the most part. Where do these people get their money? That is my real question? Do they grow it? Like they do Cotton?

My last hand at the cash game ends in very poetic fashion. And so fitting. I raise on the button with 99. Kid in the BB, who follows and hounds me all the way to the elevator after we all cash out...calls me (fair enough) wiht J10 offsuit (Squirrel's favorite hand). The flop comes 4-7-8...a very good flop for his hand. (????) He has $58 chips left. I bet $30. "I'll go all in" Well, alright man...I just have nines, I tell him. "You're good" Oh lord...I fully expect to see me hit a set and give him a gutshot straight, like everyone else in this place seems to catch on me, but instead he keeps it simple and merely rivers a 10. I just shake my head. Tunica.

I go to my room, where Kai and Kyle are both hanging out talking about tomorrow, where Kyle goes back with 21 left. And 3rd in chips. And Kai and I both very excited about the possibility of splitting up 10% of something very decent. Kai gets me to read his last entry of his Main Event story...I do, and am howling. Some of the funniest shit I have ever read. Its so weird, I am reading his story, and its like "This guy has the SAME shit running through his head at the table as I do!" I never, ever thought there was anyone even CLOSE to as mentally deranged as myself. I now know otherwise. Me, Kai and Brandon really are similar in a lot of ways. And throw my boy Allie Prescott in there, and I just dont think ANY of us are capable of functioning in what society would deem as a 'natural workplace.' I don't know, but I think we are all fairly evolved intellectually to a point where we just can't see eye-to-eye with those we come into contact with on a daily basis, so we gravitate to each other for comfort and understanding.

I wake up at noon. I decide to NOT go down and start sweating Kyle for awhile. I always feel very vulture-like when I do that. I think I will go down around 3 or so, and just check on him...maybe find Ken and see if he can help me defray some of the cost of my room. But before I can put that plan into motion...Kyle comes walking through the door, telling me he is out, and how it happened. SHIT! But honestly, after listening to him...and watching his face, I don't even really care about the 10% I missed out on. I'm just bummed for him, because I have been there, and I know how it feels. It sucks. But yeah....10% of 100k would have been nice too. Kyle is a good kid, and a good player. He won an event up here this week for $16k, so he had a good trip. OBVIOUSLY he's a good player, you all think I would have been letting a lousy player shack up in my room and infect us with his DONKNESS? Thats just silly.

Okay...thats it. Tunica is a wrap! Time to get my shit together, get in the car, fire up some Pokerstars...and drive home to see my dogs, play some PS3/XBOX360, mow the lawn...and get ready for Biloxi in 10 days. Ya'all as excited as I am? I am already OVER Tunica!

MONKEY

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Let the Main Event begin!!!

Sweeeeeeet!

I don't know what it is with me and last second performances, but I have managed to once again pull one out of my ass!

Fresh off my previous night's bubble in the 2nd chance, I played the noon tourney yesterday, which was a $550. There was a pretty good field of 197, with a first prize of $39,000. They played it all out, so no one would be locked out of todays Main Event. Things started pretty slow. I sat around with about an average stack for the first three levels. I got AA, KK and AK and won with them all, not a lot...but enough to stay healthy. Then I flop a set of 8's and get a little bit.

The other day my glasses either got stolen or lost. Pretty sure of where they fell off my necklace, but of course, getting people to turn in Ray Bans to lost and found is akin to getting someone to turn in someone's wallet containing money. It just doesnt happen. So the last couple days without my glasses I have felt 'naked' while at the table. Tracked down a couple pair of the same shades in Vegas...so went ahead and got them all...they are being sent to my home.

I get moved to a new table, with about 8k. Sitting on my left is a guy who knows ME but I have no clue who he is. He has aparantly gone on some ridiculous run that saw him go from 800 chips to where he now has over 15K. He is catching cards like we all dream about. He is giving me the 'verbal handjob' for about the first hour that I am sitting there. So, to myself, I am thinking "maybe, if I get lucky, this clown won't donk out on me." Well, that was wrong!

This guy goes on to make some of THE STUPIDEST plays I have EVER witnessed in a poker tourney, ANYWHERE! Here are a couple of his beautiful plays.

- Short stack goes all in in 3rd position for 2100 with the blinds at 200/400. Genius picks up A10 in 5th position, he is now sitting on 35K or so. A10 offsuit. With 5 still to act behind him...he raises it 5K. Yeah. No one calls. All in guy has AK. It holds. He says to me "I just wanted everyone else out...figured I had the best hand." What a clown. Yeah, when someone downstream wakes up with a REAL hand you will find out just how clever that raise was!

-This one is my favorite. Fairly tight player limps UTG (150/300) with AA. This older guy, who had played pretty well all game calls, holding 109...then our hero raises it to 1100. He is holding K8d. Thats right. It gets better. Back to UTG, who raises it to 5k. Yep. FIVE THOUSAND! The first guy CALLS! And then our boy flats the 5K. With, again...K8! Suiiiiiited. The flop comes 10d-7d-7h. AA checks. Good check in my opinion. The old guy with 10-9 moves all in for 7k. I guess if he was going to play that shit, he might as well go broke with it, right? Well the brain surgeon has hit his flush draw...so he just MOVES IN! AA calls, of course. The board bricks out and he takes down a huge pot. Dumb dumb has now donked off half his stack.

- This one he was nice enough to donate me about 6K in chips. I limp with 44 for 300. He limps, along with 5 others. THe flop comes Ah-4c-Qd. Nice. No one bets, I check too. Damn. Turn is the 6c. First guy bets 700. I raise to 2200. Knucklehead calls. First guy folds. What does this clown have this time? He says he had a club draw AND a straight draw. The river is the A of hearts...blank. I bet 750, he folds. Whew.....donkey!

- This one makes me want to kill him. By the way, I DID manage to take a picture of this joker! I am UTG with AQs, and the blinds 150/300. I have started raising more than usual because of this moron. I raise to 1400. He calls. Ugh. Here we go again. The flop comes Ah-8s-10h. I bet out 1800. He calls. Hmmm. Turn is the 3s...giving me top pair, good kicker with a nut flush draw. I bet 3500 now. He calls again! WTF!?? River is the 7 of diamonds. I am now beyond frustrated and have no idea where he, or I am....I decide to just check call. He bets 500. 500??? Whatever man, I call. What does he have? ACE SEVEN OFFSUIT! Yeah. Anyone got a gun? So for about an hour I go into Silent Monkey I Want To Kill You mode!

- I am being a total dick to this guy. He tries to apologize for that last play. I don't want to hear it. Tells me "Its just poker man, I'm just gambling." To which I tell him, "Dude, thats NOT poker. It is GAMBLING...and I'm sorry, but I am a poker player, this is what I do for a living, so when I get beat, I like to lose to someone who is playing a quality hand and just either out plays me or outflops me. That doesnt bother me, but the way you play, dude....you might as well not even look at your fucking cards!"

He goes on to play about every hand. Raising incredibly stupid amounts preflop and showing junk hands. He calls guys' all ins with shit like A8off, K10off...and wins some, loses most. Someone says to me, when he was away from the table "Monkey ya think this guy is going to win the tourney? I think he does, he is up there looking at the bulletin board with the pictures...making room for his mug shot!" To which I reply..."mark my words, not only will this guy not win, not only will he not make the final table, I predict he wont even cash!" Another incredibly bold prediction by Senor Monkey that would come true.

Our table finally breaks. I move to a new table with only about 8k and needing a double up very badly. We are down to about 48 now, I have a shot but I NEED to pick up some hands. I get 99 and raise with no action behind and take down the blinds. But then I go through two damn dealers without getting ANYTHING playable. We go to dinner break with 36 left, paying 18. I have a whopping 5800 chips. Blinds are 600/1200 when we come back.

I look over to see bozo busting out. Too funny. On about the fourth hand back I get 10-10. Uh oh. Deja Vu! I move all in and no one calls. Probably good. Win a 3600 pot. Then I get a walk in the BB. Nice. Now I am over 10K...but still needing to win a big pot to have a decent chance.

With 33 left, I am in the SB with 66. Old guy from middle position puts 2 yellow chips out there. It was a call. But no one knew he was trying to raise. Might have affected how I played this hand. If I had known he was raising I would probably have just completed the call. But the button also calls for 1200, and I saw a really nice opportunity to pick up a 6000 chip pot there without seeing a flop. I move all in from the SB with the sixes. Old man insta-calls. He has AA! Oh nooooooo. I do not improve. I am left with 1500 chips. Dammit. I wait for two or three hands before I pick up 89 suited. Figure thats as good as any to get it in with, hoping they would be live. I move it in and David ("Lefty") re-raises to isolate and I am up against his....drum roll please....KING TEN. Always K10 isnt it? Nothing hits for either one of us on the board, and I am out. Damn. It's now 7:45pm.

Starting in 15 minutes is the $300 Mega Satellite. I get in. I have a pretty good starting table. Fairly early I riase 150 with 55. I get 3 calls. Flop comes A-5-10, two hearts. Lady bets 250, dude behind calls, and calls FAST..hmmm...feels like 'ol dude there has a flush draw. I think I raise too much here. I raise to 1500. She folds (AQ) and he calls. Lovely. The turn is the Qc and she jumps up and reacts like she had KJ. Whewww..I think, but when she tells me later she had AQ I realize I could have stacked her. This time I bet 2200. He goes all in. He has Q8h....so he picked up the Q to go with his flush draw. I hit quad 5's on the river to zap him. Nice.

I sit around and dont do much for an hour or so. Lose some, win some..stay around ten k. Then it happens. Guy on my right min riases from 150/300 to 600. Hmmm...min raise? I have those troublesome 10's again. I call the min raise. No one else does. The flop comes 7 high. He bets 400. FOUR HUNDRED? What is THAT? Taking a stab? With nothing? Well, I am either going to be good, or very very bad. I move in for 9500. He calls. He rolls over AA. Oh my god. On the river, I spike a TEN! I nearly felt the guy. Now I have a decent stack.

Cut to the chase here, because I have to get ready for this tourney. We are down to about 12 with 8 winning. Dave, who is married to Dena...has a decent stack. I have about 20K. I've decided 40K will get it done. We sort of agree to try and leave each other alone. Well, I pick up 55 again, in middle position. I need to take down a pot to maintain some momentum. I raise. Well, he calls. And I think, from varying reports that he has AJ. The flop comes Q-J-x. He checks and I move in, and somehow convince him that I have flopped top set. Hell, the only way I could WIN right there was to move in. I had too much invested at that point to give up on it. He demands to see the hand if he folds. Well, okay. I relent. And when he sees it he goes nuts. I know he wants to kill me. I feel bad. I mean, his wife DID just whack me out of a SNG the day before with 79 off when she didnt have to. But this WAS kind of different. I guess in the grand scheme of things, he had NO reason to call me preflop with AJ.

He would end up moving all in with A9c....and his shitty luck would have him run into the BB holding AA. Oh man. He went out 11th. I felt bad for him. I would raise, riase, riase and raise some more and start stacking chips until I was in no danger of NOT winning the thing. With the last person needing to lose, I had Ac2h and the BB had 7k in front of him with the blinds 2k/4k. I took one for the team and limped in. Button did the same. He put his last three in there and we both called. We checked it all the way down. Dude had AA! He flopped the case ace. But the board would bring 4 clubs...and when he thought he had tripled up, I showed him the bad news. Nut flush. We all win! Monkey wins. It was 4am. Yikes.

Me and a few others retreated to Waffle House for a glorious celebratory feast! Got back here and crashed. So...here we go, in the Main Event, with a final Tunica shot at some real money. I hope I can make it happen! But at least I made it, and I'm not in my car driving home all bummed out.

MONKEY

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Barn is ALMOST full/sold out!

Another day in Paradise!

I am in my room now at 2am looking for the silver lining to this trip. I think I have found it, and that silver lining would be the incredible service I will be doing for my fellow poker players (the good ones) when I finish with the task of filling up the Barn (Monkey's Barn-new feature, coming soon) with Tunica's finest (big, big play on words there) in this endeavor I have taken on.

Today, we enjoyed another remarkable day of rounding up donkeys, photographing them (finally figured out how to turn the flash off of my camera phone, thus enabling me to 'stealthily' snap their photo) and preparing to assemble the Tunica Stable at the conclusion of this trip. I would assume that we can expect to see some, if not a majority, of these bozos come two weeks from now in Biloxi.

I continue to love my room. I continue to want to hunt down and kill the person responsible for the temperature in the room where everyone assembles every day to play poker. I find great pleasure in tossing extra complicated words at people whom I know to have the equivalence of a 3rd grade education. And again, I thoroughly enjoy the thoughts that cross my mind as I work up the profile for each one of these donkeys that will be soon appearing.

Lets talk about today. Briefly, though please...because anything too detailed might result in my tossing my laptop in the bathtub, along with myself, where I will then be electrocuted. Sparing me a certain cooler beat tomorrow, but creating an awful mess for the maids. Poor ladies. I wonder how many times they have wandered in for their morning chores to find someone dead in their room. Pretty creepy thought!

You know what is weird? Despite now being down about a grand or so on this trip...I really, truly feel SO dialed in right now. I have been making such good reads, making good calls...putting 95% of my opponents on the right hand. It is what makes this 'gig' so hard though, because as good as I might think I am playing, inevitably it comes down to some clown making a retarded play and getting lucky, and watching all of your hard work go right down the mother(*@#*&(#! toilet in one fell swoop. I think most of you prescribe to this point of view and really understand where I am coming from. Mental discipline. That is the key. And I am really trying, I really am. I am 25x more level-headed than I was two years ago at this time.

I suppose a great reason for this has to do with having a such a supportive backer in my corner. She really is amazing. When I am running bad she offers me very encouraging thoughts, to kind of bring me down from the ledge. It makes it a lot better after a couple of days from hell, knowing that as bad as it gets, she will be there when things turn back around for the good, and we will drink wine, eat steak...and celebrate!

So...today. Ugh. Show up close to on time for the noon tourney. Win the first hand I play. AQ out of the SB against a Button raise. Flop A. Get no action. It would be the last hand I win. NOTHING, I mean NOTHING was going my way. Had a guy who pretty much got whatever he needed. He limps in with AQ with the blinds 100/200. I am in the BB with 94s. Flop comes AA7...two spades. Not bad. But nothing to get into too deep. Checks around. Turn is a 9. Wow, okay, two pair now..with the spade draw. Interesting. Check. Now the guy bets out. I raise him 3x. He tanks. Finally, he moves all in. Whatever, how bad could I be here? Oh....bad, my friends. BAD. He just happens to have AQ....can a monkey catch a spade on the river please? No? Lovely....thanks, I will be leaving now.

I play a $125 SNG. Holding a HUGE chiplead with 4 left, and me and Mr. Muscles (think his name is Ken) have all the chips. Dopey UTG has 2200 and cant decide how much he wants to raise. I look at my hand and see AA. He raises 800. Huh? Whatever, I grab 2500 and raise. Mr. Muscles goes into this "ohhhh, Monkey, Monkey, Monkey....dude, I cant fold this" I tell him he might want to reconsider this decision. He doesnt. He moves all in. He has QQ. Other fool has QJ. Thats right. QJ. You heard me. Not a big deal though....Q on the turn. I am now crippled. I struggle to stick around til we get to 3. They offer to chop 3 ways. I TAKE THE DEAL! $300. Need it.

I play another SNG...this one after taking a death march to the Buffet with a couple of other players, Kai Landry, Kyle Milam and Scott Beck...where I am pretty sure I faded the 33% odds on me getting food poisoning after sweating a meal at the Buffet, ANY Buffet. I run bad in those damn botulism factories. Always have. The food was pretty disgusting, nonetheless. I didnt touch the meat, but according to the Food Critics I dined with it was easily comparable to shoe leather. The quote of the day goes to Kai Landry...who when the waiter asked us how everything was (for about the 8th freaking time)...replied "I think this meat came from an Old Milk cow who passed away from natural causes." Classic. I made a ill-advised stop by the "Asian Cuisine" counter and rolled the dice with a few pieces of sushi. Yikes. One of the pieces, no idea what it was...made me almost throw up...had to get it out of my mouth...ASAP...and found a garbage can. I will NOT be revisiting the buffet. At least the servers were nice though. Not their fault the food is shitty.

This SNG gos a bit better. No details here. But I get down to 3 and we are all anxious to play the 7pm 2nd chance tourney, so we chop it 3 ways again. Good...hey any profit now is welcomed!

Get into the 2nd chance. Things couldnt start any better. Sitting with 66...I limp for 50. Four callers find the button raising to 350. Ahhhh for the love of Tunica and the Barn full of Donkeys....must EVERYONE overbet every GoshDang hand? Whatever! I decide I am calling. Well so do 4 other players. Perfect. About a 1600 pot preflop. The flop comes....ya ready? 6-9-5, rainbow. First dude checks. Quoi? (thats French, my friends...for WHAT? Just keeping ya'all on your toes) I check, of course (duh, you all KNOW I am the King 'o the Check raise). And our raiser affectionately makes it $750. Well, first guy goes all in. Obviously, I am not folding, even if the guy SHOWS me 7-8. If he called 350 with 7-8 he deserves to win. Plus, I plan to fill up. I package up my belongings and Fed Ex them to the center of the ring as well. GodSpeed chips! Other dude calls as well. I am up against JJ (second guy) and KK (original raiser). Somehow....I manage to fade the 4 outer (two J's, two K's) and we are sitting on $13k now! Sweet.

I get moved to another table. Not long after, I lose with QQ vs. 1010. I have taken this guys picture. You will see it later. Lets call him, redfaced redneck with racing hat who thought raising 1700 (with 150/300 blinds) UTG with 1010 would be a good play, leaving himself with 1600 behind, and effectively ZERO fold equity. Well done you jackass. So of course he DOESNT fold to my re raise...and he promptly flops a ten. Sweet! So instead of having 18K, I now have closer to 6K.

I double up with 99 vs. AK. Then later I make a pretty big play with 88 in the BB, behind a raise UTG, from a guy who thinks the UTG is the new button. You know that guy. (he folds, turns out he had 66....the NUTS on this night. Pretty much EVERYONE who had 66 flopped a set. It was sick, and kind of creepy considering its Friday the 13th. Whoa!) Well, the dude in the SB had smooth called with AKc. Huh? Well, he calls, and bricks the entire board, and now...Monkey has a lot of chips, and is starting to dream about a final table wtih many Snappers and $4500 waiting at the end of the rainbow.

Cue to the outhand. I blind down and get the inevitable situtation where you raise with K10d, or some shit like that...and have to fold to an all in behind your raise (hate that!) so I am hanging around with 22K...blinds are now 800/1600, and realistically, with 11 left, I have enough to make the final table by just folding. But you know what? I see 9th place/$340 and I think..."what a joke"...compared to 1st place $4500. Well, this guy behind me raises to 4000. I look down at 10-10, which has kind of been 'my hand' this week. Hmmmm. This guy is incredibly tight. And has already made some huge folds. I kind of think I might just fold this hand. Then I also think "I know this guy doesnt want to bubble, and picking up 10K in chips here would be pretty nice for my stack...I dont REALLY want to just flat call here (which...had I done, would have bore out the same result, incidently)...so its either all or nothing." What do I do? I move in, and PRAY that he folds. He insta-calls. SHIT! Show me your AA/KK buddy. He does. Dammit. And I fail to hit a 10. At least he was a nice guy. I very graciously shake his hand, tell him nice hand...wish every one good luck...then go out into the hall, rip off my hat, kick it all over the hallway...and tell myself how unbelievably STUPID that was of me to call there. The flop came all rags, as I mentioned, so had I flatted it, it was going in anyway most likely. DAMMIT though....why? THE BUBBLE! Then of course you get to watch them all get settled in for the Final Table, which they ended up chopping not long after I was eliminated. Some times I get the feeling these people just wait until they have whacked ME, and then they all chop. Weird. Happens all the time. Especially at the Beau and in the 2nd chance tourneys. Cowards!

But hold up. The fun isnt over yet for me on this glorious day.

But before I get there....I dont want to forget this. I would just HOPE that I dont have ANY of YOU people who read this pulling this stunt. I like to think all of my blog readers are of the classy ilk.

When I go to the mens room on a tourney break...and open a stall door, and look down at the toilet seat, and it appears as if someone intentionally went in there with the goal of putting as much urine as possible on there...it makes me want to punch someone in the face. Please...CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES you jerkoffs. Or hey, how about just LIFTING UP THE FREAKING TOILET SEAT you troclodytes! (another fancy word there heathens, means CAVEMAN!) Another thing I find joy (or disgust) in is standing and watching people come out of bathroom stalls and walk right on by the water and soap. DUDDDDDE! Then I see them at my table and bring it up. Hey buddy...before I have to touch the cards and chips that you just rubbed your feces all over, ya think maybe you could swap them out for me? You pig!

So, I bubble the 7pm. Nikki is shouting for ONE MORE SEAT on a $280. I really, truly do NOT want to play this. But then it dawns on me...you know, I'm looking at the players, and they all pretty much suck balls. How bout winning this, for $2500, and ending the day on a great note!?? Why not? So I grab a card. Five seat. In the 4 seat is that Norman Bates-like psychopath from the big fracas at the Horseshoe in September. He is card dead early...can't catch anything, and is mumbling under his breath and shoootin evil glares at our dealer, Heather (yeah, you got it...HEATHER....of Heather and George "we cooler Monkey" Inc.).

Early on, after winning a couple small pots, I limp with Q10c. Several others limp. Button makes it 175. Of course. EVERYONE calls. Of course. Its Tunica after all. Well, here comes our dream flop (I thought)....10s-9c-8c. Wow. Lets see, top pair. Straight draw, flush straw, STRAIGHT FREAKING FLUSH DRAW! Hmmm...yeah, I am in bad shape here. Check. I check. Next guy GOES ALL IN behind me for 1700. Original raiser goes all in (he has AA)...and the next guy goes all in. Wow. No way in hell I am folding this hand. I call. FOUR WAY ALL IN! Dude behind me (clearly retarded, but who's picture I forgot to snap) has 7-8, no club! AA for the other guy. And the last one has QJ. Damn. One of my outs gone. NO ONE has a flush draw. TURN? 4 of hearts. RIVER? 4 of Spades! COME ON!

I win a very small side pot, and now have 425. SHIT! Well, take it easy monkey...double up with 1010, and then AK with another 4 way all in! Now have over 5k and now dreaming about winning this. Everything goes to shit. Dude...who's picture I DID take....with the Arkansas hat, the bad mustache and the vest that no one wears west of the Mississippi River since 1974....limps for 400. Two more limp. Here is the thinking here as I look down at AKd. This clown has called EVERY standard raise when he has limped. And once HE calls my raise, if I raise...the others will too. I think taking down 2200 here would be the right play. So I ship it. Anddddddd, he calls, all his chips...with 44. "I thought I was probably good." Good read sir. How are your pigs and chickens this week? I fear for their lives. (I dont know what that means either, just felt like injecting a farm animal reference) I manage to hit NOTHING. And now....again...I am back down to a shitty 1300 chips.

Daddy-o doubles me up on the very next hand with my 1010 (again!) vs his J-9. Thanks. 2800 now. I win a couple more pots...to get to 3500, and now think maybe I can actually do it. I know Heather is PRAYING that I win, and get off the DUO SCHNEID. Well...hereeee we go, Psycho Boy has been finally getting some cards and chipping up a little. He now has 3700. He raises on the button for 1300. I look at AQ and move all in. He groans. And calls. Turns over QJ. Well, about as much as I could hope for. Heather slaps a Q on the flop. Okay....would have preferred an Ace, but it beats the hell out of a Jack...which is what she delivers on the river....I just stare....at the table, and get that familar feeling we all know and love. You know the one, like someone just reached down your throat and ripped out your heart, lungs and snagged your balls from you while they were at it. Then make that slow, painful march back to your room...where everyone wants to add to the misery by discussing THEIR horrible day. Wow. This is...for real, the toughest job in America.

Left something out yesterday. Here is a really good idea for dealers who are looking to get fired. Lets just say you are a guy dealer, and you are dating a chick dealer. You are both off work, and decide to go play a $125 SNG. Lets say that the dude dealer is in the BB, with, lets call it 2100 chips...and you are the chick dealer and you have somewhere in the neighborhood of 3500 chips. You decide to raise 1200. With, oh yeah...AQ. Then when it comes around to the BB...you're buddy...he goes all in. What do you do there? Do you fold for 900? And basically let everyone with half a brain know that you are working together to chip him up? Or do you decide "Ya know, there are some full-time pro's at this table who probably are NOT going to let me get away with this bullshit" and make the call? I think MOST of you probably make the call. Instead of telling us all how you KNOW that you can't win because him going all in tells you that you are beat?

Some times it amazes me how others will totally discount your ability to use common sense to arrive at a conclusion. I am not going to mention any names here. Frankly there were plenty of witnesses, I don't feel I even need to. And in fact, I most likely wouldnt have even brought it up....if not for the fact that after I called attention to it, the comeback made me want to put my fist through a wall.

"At least I don't go write on 2+2 about how I cheat!" Which was broadcast over an area easily heard by 5 or 6 tables. Well, I believe she was using bits and pieces of information; the Beau Rivage blog episode, which most of you know about, and know it wasnt a 'cheating issue' but more just a lack of common sense, and information that was misconstrued for the most part and the 2+2 bullshit where I was asked to assist a friend of Jonathan Little's who allegedly got robbed at gunpoint in Peru, and needed emergency funds, which my sucker ass fell for and sent, only to have it turned around, using Shannon Shorr as the Middle Sucker, and implicating ME as the scam author. Yeah. That was a fun day. Thankfully, Poker Stars came out and completely cleared my name, and I was issued apologies from Shannon and Jonathan both...but I have to say, its always nice when a person who is completely uninformed likes to whip that information out in front of my peers. Someone who's job it is to deal to me at just about every tournament. Yeah. Good judgement. This dealer is effectively 'dead to me' now.

That concludes another extremely long Monkey Blog, one that I thankfully won't be struggling to write first thing in the morning. I have a $550 tomorrow, and would like to be fresh, and on time. I MUST cash this damn thing. I MUST! If I dont, I will play a mega, to try and make the Main Event (a $2700 buy in event). Should I fail in my efforts there, and should I not find someone willing to stake me in it...I will get in my 4runner, lick my wounds, and return to Biloxi...to see my sweetie and my awesome dogs! See, there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel! And it isnt ALWAYS a train! Just sometimes! :)

MONKEY

Friday, March 13, 2009

ANOTHER 'CASH' IN TUNICA....served with a dose of INSANITY!

My friends, it is very possible that Poker is going to land me in the funny farm.

In the two days that have gone by since my last post, there have been enough 'episodes' to qualify me for some serious mental evaluation.

I have some exciting news. There will be a new feature coming soon to the Monkey Blog. I have been hard at work at developing the content the last two days. Trust me, it hasnt been very difficult. Coming soon will be a new feature called "MONKEY'S BARN" and in this will be several stables, as all barns have. In our first segment I will feature Monkey's Barn-Tunica Stable. That stable is about full. Snap shots of said Donkey, and all of his/her qualifications that have earned them a place in Monkey's Barn. It should be very interesting, but more importantly, it should provide you, my valued reader, with INCREDIBLY important information about these jokers that should aid and/or assist you in your attempts to dodge these morons! Watch for it in the next couple days.

I simply don't have time to do it right now, as it is 11:17am, and I only have about 15 minutes to fire off an update before having to play at noon. I fell asleep around 1 a.m. last night...yeah, 8+ hours of sleep, unheard of for me!

Wednesday was one of those days where you wish you had stayed in bed. I mean, it was the WORST. I was going to write about it, then I thought "You know, sometimes...when I have one of those days, it is often times followed up by one of those amazing days, where everything goes right, and I make the final table and/or WIN" So I held off, in hopes that this would be the case. I try hard NOT to come off TOO negative in these reports. Sometimes, though...ya just can't help it!

Wednesday? Noon tourney. One of those days where NOTHING went right. I make a flush on the turn. The other guy rivers a boat. I flop a set, opponent turns a straight. Put a guy on AK...I have 55...flop comes 3-4-6 all hearts. I have a straight draw AND straight flush draw...and think he has AK when he has KK. Still.....im almost a favorite to win there. I go blank-blank and am out of that one. I play the 4pm Mega Satellite. Havent played a SINGLE hand when at 25/50 I raise 250 with QQ behind two limpers. They both call (of course) and the flop comes 567. Never easy. The first guy checks. I bet 750. Next guy goes all in. First checker goes all in. MERCY. I fold face up. First guy has 777, okay I can accept that one. The next guy? THREE FOUR offsuit! Yeah. Called 250 with THAT. And flops the bottom straight. Took his snapshot! My out hand? Another fool who has been raising in late position EVERY time there are limpers...and with every range of hands...does it again. I have KQ suited and am NOT folding to this clown, especially since 2-3 boy has called.

You might like this flop. J-10-9, rainbow. MMMmmmmmhhhmmmmmm. Dillaird bets out 500. 2-3 Dodo makes it 2000. I move all in for 2400. Other guy BEATS me in there with an all in. I think the other guy has already called, thinknig that he is pot committed, and I utter (before I turn over my cards) "Well, I have the nuts...not sure how I'm losing THIS one" and the 2-3 donkey freezes...and finally decides to fold, for another 400! He tries to accuse me of unethical play. Huh? Exactly what he was driving at, I have no idea. Yeah...its pretty unethical when you screw up and let a guy SAVE his money. A guy I wanted nothing more than to get ALL his chips! Well, our buddy down there has AQ. Heather is dealing. She does the right thing...for him. She gives him the ONLY card in the deck that can beat me...a K (2 outer) for the miracle gut shot on the river. Awesome. I am out. But the best part was me getting to hear this guy brow beat me and tell me how bad I played. ???????????? It took all I could muster not to start repeatedly punching this guy. I have his picture.

I play two SNGs and finish 4th and 3rd. Sweet. No money. Decide to play the 7pm Second Chance. Start decent. Then get moved to another table, one that has the crazy John Deere hat-wearing, call ANYTHING with ANYTHING guy who WON the tourney the day before. Great! After I lose two pots in ways you can only imagine losing ONLINE...I go crazy. I turn it into a shove fest. I manage to use that NUTSO style to chip back up to over 7K...and then get moved to another table. I go back to playing normal. Then I start looking like I just might win this thing. We get down to two tables. Then IT HAPPENS! Dude who has raised my BB...I think...EVERY time he has had the chance...MIN RAISES me (600 to 1200). I look at 10h-7h and of course, make the call.

Flop comes 10-7-2. YAHTZEE! I thought! I check. He bets 2000. I make it 6000. He looks at me...kind of bizaare, then goes all in. I put him on an over pair...and move all in. He insta-calls and turns over 222. OMG! Wowwwww......I am out!

I retreat to my room, DONE with poker for the day. And about to break furniture. It is now 11:35 a.m.

Yesterday. $340 at noon. Get there 20 minutes late. Try to sit down and have (yet again) a very large guy on my left, who does NOT want to give up an inch. I ask several times for him to move over, and when I do, I get him to move about two inches. (!*&@##&*@!(# I am already having an anxiety attack. I would get an early courtesy double up. 50/100.....4 limpers, and Johnny Aggressive would make it 600 on the button. (his favorite move) The guy next to me (SB) calls! Calls? What is he flatting 600 with? No idea. But I look down at the recently lucky 10-10 and I too call. No other callers. Flop comes J-10-6. Sweet. Guy on my right checks. I of course check also. Button moron checks. Okay, he was CLEARLY making a button steal. Turn is a blank. SB bets out 1000. Button Boy folds. I raise to 2000. He calls. River is a 4. He bets 1500. I raise to 3000. He goes all in, I call. He has KK. Well played sir! If he had re-raised preflop I would have been gone. Thanks!

I sit on that 9k for awhile. Then I pick up 77. I limp. so do 6 others, including the guy next to me with the Rhino leg that continues to impede my free space! The flop comes 7-9-10. Two spades. Kind of a scary flop. So I decide to bet out at it, 900. Rhino Leg calls. Everyone else folds. Turn is....ding ding ding....a ten. This time I check. He bets big. I smooth call. River makes a flush. I move all in like I am 'bluff-stealing' and he calls, holding A10. See ya! And now I have leg room, along with 18K. A while later I get moved to another table.

I sit there for quite awhile, getting no cards. All I remember from that table is that a screw fell out of the bottom of the table and we almost had the damn thing collapse, which would have scattered everyone's chips, which would have resulted in God knows what. I honestly wonder what they would have done. I get away from that table, on the heals of raising with A10, having a guy shove all in, and being priced in to calling with me getting 3 to 1. He had JJ. I flopped an ace and it held for a nice 8K pot.

Get to a new table, and the only ones I recognize are Dena (again) and Mitch...a cool older guy most of you know (wears a cool fedora) who I play against a lot. My first big test comes when a guy who at the time has a lot of chips and has been raising a lot, raises my SB and I look down at AK. Hate this spot. One thing I will NOT allow myself to do is OVERPLAY AK against an opponent who has me covered. Its (in my opinion) a horrible play, one that you see over and over in poker. So I smooth call. Well, Mitch makes what he was hoping would be THE MOVE. And I have seen him do it before, which is what contributed to my doing what I did. He moves all in for 9K and some change. I had already called a 1500 raise. I am getting about 2 to 1 to make this call. But I also will be losing about 60% of my chips if I lose. Only thing is...as I think it out, is that I think I am way ahead. No way he is shoving with anything better than JJ. I finally make the call and Mitch groans...."Ahhhh Monkey, can't you just let me have this one....good call" and he turns over 89s. Ugh, scary. Feel better when a K hits the board. I win, and for the first time have got a LOT of chips.

A bit later, with 35K...I pick up AK and raise to 2400. The guy behind me goes into his whole "I have a big hand" routine...and to make a long story short he ends up shoving all in. Son of bitch! Its 18K to call. Not really wanting to lose half my stack here. I am kind of putting him on JJ/QQ and say as much. He tells me he has better. Doesnt make sense. If he had KK he would have insta shoved. Doenst make sense at all. I finally fold, very reluctantly. He shows me A JACK. ONE. >>>???? No one shows ONE jack if they only have ONE jack...they show them both. Then later on he told Dena he didnt have JJ. Ya no kidding. I completely read this whole thing wrong. I should have called his ass right there...with his AJ/KJ. I had him totally dominated, and would probably have chipped up to over 50K there! DAMMIT!

Dinner break we have 21 left, paying 18. I go take a hot bath. Come back feeling very fresh. I pick up 99 behind a limper. He is an older guy who I know will call any raise I put out there so I reluctantly just call. I get two more calls and the SB completes. An older lady (very nice) who got deep in a tourney at the Harrahs event last month. The lady who reminds me of my tenant in Pensacola, who by the way is moving out next month! I need a new tenant over there! The flop comes A high....ALL spades...but with a NINE. Tricky, very tricky. I decide to check it. I want to try and catch a free card to fill up. Or just NOT see another spade. Its tough to FLOP a flush. Old guy on the button leads out for 5K. The lady goes all in for about 3200. I have a decision. Call, and hope to fill up and get more from this guy who obviously had a weak ace and MAYBE a spade to go with it? Or raise big and get his drawing ass out of there? I do NOT want to go out two from the money. I raise it 15K more. He folds. The lady has K4s. Oh shit. Well, okay...I ask the dealer to pair the board, and she obeys. I win. Nice. More chips. Looking good.

Then...one from the money, it folds around to me in the SB and I look down at AA. Wow, first time all day (never did see KK or QQ or JJ yesterday). I make a good raise (no way I'm getting cute and bubbling) and the BB folds. I show AA. Not much long after that...we lose our 19th player...who bubbles with....ACES! Ouch.

Its Red Snapper time! Start drinking. Start dragging pots. UTG moves all in for 9k. I have 2400 up in the BB. I look at QJc. This guy has been card dead for 7 orbits, so he could have anthing. I make a semi loose call. He has 55. I ask for a Q in the window. I get a Q in the window. Looking good. Raise and win a couple more hands. Now have over 45K. Sweet! We are now down to 12. Looking VERY likely that I will FINALLY be making a Final Table up here.

THEN IT HAPPENS. Aggggggain. George is dealing. You know George. He of the Day 3 punch out in the WSOP Main Event this past year, when I flopped a Q for a set vs. Victor Ramdin's AA...only to see Victor turn an Ace after putting me all on the flop. George is a good guy, very nice. Him and his wife Heather sell candles and other stuff on the side. He sent me and Squirrel a nice package of them awhile back. He felt terrible about the WSOP. I told him it was all good, and it was. Just bad luck. Now though, i dont know, starting to wonder. They got me this cute little glass monkey, that I decided to use on that last trip to Harrahs Tunica. Every time I had it on the table I was taking a bad beat. Then, it was in my car (in the console) last week when Cheryl backed my car out of the driveway and into a neighbor's car! I'm starting to think that thing is cursing me. Remember that tribal pawn that showed up on Gilligan's Island that was making all that bad shit happen? Its kind of like that I think.

I decide to quit folding small suited ace hands in late position, now that I have a decent stack, and really want to start putting pressure on the smaller stacks and get this thing to a final table. Plus I am downing Snapper shots and have the whole table starting to get scared. I pick up A5d and raise. The BB, the ONLY good player at the table (besides me, duh) calls. Grrrrr....okay, I can easily get away from this hand if I have to. BUT NO! The flop comes A-9-A! He checks. I INSTA-CHECK! COME ON FIVE! COME ON ACE! Turn is the 10 of d....now I have TRIP ACES with a NUT FLUSH DRAW! He bets out. I raise. He moves all in. I can't even IMAGINE how I am losing this one...and I call. My opponent turns over 99. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! He flopped a BOAT! So forget about the flush draw. I need a 10, a 5 or an A on the river to avoid going out 12th. It doesn't come. OMG. I am sick. Literally want to throw up. I am out. I feel like I got kicked in the stomach.

As I get up, I hear "one seat open" on a $125 SNG and decide to take it. Big mistake. As were the two SNGs that came after that one. I was in NO FRAME of mind to be playing those. Even though I was running them over before getting coolered in 2 of the 3 of them too. The night ended horrifically. A kid (about 27 if I had to guess) who I have NEVER seen before, and who decides he thinks its a good idea to start patronizing me, and clowning me.....and did I mention, has a hairdo from the 80's (remember the part down the middle?) and more gums than teeth, one of the scariest things about a mouth...when they have the 'gum smile.' I flop a nut flush and announce that I am going to check raise. I check. Other guy bets. I raise all in. He calls. He has an open ended straight draw and a possible straight flush draw...which he hits of course. (*!@#(&!@*&(

This is where the kid elects to say something smart. To which I look at him, and with TK Miles standing behind me (he just got to town) I look at the kid and say "the best thing right now would be for you to not make the mistake of letting another word fall out of your ugly mouth" and before he could say another word someone told him he better listen to me, that I wasnt kidding. Like a smart little boy he DID actually STFU!

I decided this would be a sensational time for me to get the hell out of the poker room and retreat to my room. Before I DID do something I would regret. The last two hours I wanted to put in a large dumpster and forget about. It is now 12:12pm. Tourney started already. I must now go play and try to win this damn thing. Three cashes on this trip now. No noon tourney final tables. An unimpressive record in SNG's. With yesterday's $750 cash, I am still hovering at about even for the trip. I really need a big score in the next few days. Oh well, at least I am playing well. Simply can't do a damn thing about bad luck. And I am trying very hard not to kill myself! Or go crazy. But I think the latter may have already occurred!

MONKEY