Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!!!!

Hello again.

Still laying in bed at 1pm.

Was debating what to do today, either hit the pool and relax, or go downstairs and play the 1k. Really, the correct move would be to go downstairs and play the 1k, there are around 250 players right now. Still could, but really don't want to miss the whole first level. Although I think the levels are one hour.

I've put a few feelers out, one to one of the floor guys I'm friends with at Ceasers, and a pretty good buddy who was the Tourney Supervisor in New Orleans and a floor supervisor for the WSOP to get feedback on whether Padula the Terrible's actions are going to affect me for WSOP events or not. I got an overall report from what happened at Ceaser's yesterday after they evicted me.

One guy who reads my blog went over there to meet me. Asked where "pokermonkey" was...that he reads my blog, said he asked 'the poker room manager' and said the guy told him I finished 27th, then 'chuckled, and mumbled under his breath....pokermonkey!' Not sure what was so funny about that. Found out from a couple other players that Talibani boy arrived yesterday around noon, two hours before the tourney re-start and went to work on Padula, telling him that he was 'afraid for his safety' if I was allowed to play. I think its absolutely PATHETIC that a guy can just go in there and tell someone whatever he thinks will get another player DQ'ed. I mean, there was not ONE SINGLE floor person or dealer who witnessed me doing ANYTHING threatening to this shithead. NOT ONE. So this 'investigation' that Padula claims to have conducted is a fucking JOKE.

I will be calling the Gaming Commission tomorrow to file a major complaint against Ceaser's Palace and specifically Jim Padula. Then I will email Jeffrey Pollack and Howard Greenbaum from the WSOP. I am not sure what their level of oversight is regarding Ceaser's, but frankly, I don't care if I EVER step foot in Ceaser's again. I really don't. But if this clown makes it so that I can't play on ANY Harrah's property, then I will probably pursue a personal injury lawsuit against him personally. This is my job, my career, and while I can get a little nutso, I KNOW where the lines are, I KNOW what the rules are, and I KNOW when I am out of line. I KNOW when to shut it down or scale it back when things are getting heated too, which is EXACTLY what I did. If this Padula fool hinders my ability to win money and prosper in poker, I will do everything within my legal rights to ruin his career. He had absolutely NO GROUNDS to DQ me yesterday. NO warning from a floor, no penalty, NOTHING. I just show up and get booted? WHY? Everyone is pretty much wondering the same thing I am.

I will fight him. I won't just go down quietly. This guy has demonstrated over and over just how inept he is when it comes to running his poker room. He is kind of the subject of every bad joke among poker room managers and floor people. And if he has been sitting here all summer reading my blog and used yesterday to even the score against me, then he is completely lacking professional objectivity and needs to NOT be running one of the biggest poker rooms in Las Vegas.

I appreciate the supportive emails I got from all of you. Thanks. On a brighter note, Charlie Sewell's kid and I had a 5% save yesterday, and since they did a 5 way chop over there, and he was in on the chop/win, I will have a nice little chunk of additional money coming my way for that tourney. So that's cool. And on another brighter note yesterday, shot over to Wal-Mart and picked up a little money-gram from my tenant in Pensacola, who finally decided to pay her rent!

Oh shit, how did I almost forget this!?? Joe, Mike and I decide to go ahead and play the 7pm nightly at Venetian, and play it in "lets get drunk and have fun mode" so we arrive ON TIME!!!! But whooops, not only is there limited seating due to the big noon event field...but a HUGE fracas breaks out a table in the noon tourney and ALL the floor guys are all assembled at this table. A line, a HUGE line is in the lobby trying to get into the 7pm. We don't do lines. We either call ahead and get registered, or get them to take us when we arrive, always for a little 'house fund.' I'm not saying I'm special or anything....but since I come out here and play EVERY event, and pretty much play every tourney...they feel like its fair to grant me that ONE small favor. And I certainly appreciate it.

So the guy at the desk is hesitant to do it, not wanting to put his job in peril. Makes sense. Tells me to go find one of the floor supes. Well, this whole mess is going on. Jose, a regular player here and a good guy...has been wrapped up in a hand where the dealer wasn't paying attention and somehow mucked a hand on a huge pot with an all in and a call. Not completely SURE how it went down...but at the end of the fracas, Jose is told the decision is going against him...he stands up, takes not only HIS stack but the stacks on his right (one seat) and left (three seat) and pushes them ALL OVER the table. HOLY SHIT! Tim Mix immediately tells him he is 86'd for life! Calls security and he is tossed. His 75k remaining chips (holy shit! He had PLENTY of chips to make that dumb move) are taken out of play....and the players are put on an early dinner break so they can take the time necessary to reassemble all the chip stacks that have just been completely scattered. It was a total mess.

So we get into the tourney. Joe and I make it to the same table. Nice. We start drinking lemon drops like its our job. We are having a LOT of fun. I double up with AA. Then give some back with QQ vs AK. THen double up again when my A2 vs AQ finds a deuce. We all make a last longer bet. Your gonna love this one. The loser has to take one of those stupid boat rides, BY HIMSELF, while the other two get to stand on the bridge taking pictures and laughing at him!!!! On about level 7, Mike walks over to our table...and with a smirk on his face, does a salute and says..."Show me to my ship captain!" It was classic, hilarious. Joe would get it in with A10 and run into JJ. Ooops, but he flops an ace. Lady rivers a JACK. OUCH!

We get down to three tables. First place was about $5k. Would have been a nice little score. But more importantly, it would have been fun to win while having so much fun. Old man min raises for 4k UTG...I look down at 10-10. Again...the tens. I move all in on him for 13k. He calls, with Q9h. Wow. Nice call sir. I flop a set of tens. No straight outs for him. But a heart on the turn gives me that eery feeling....and when he rivers the 7 of hearts I just drop in my chair. Dammmit. Why does it always have to end like this? The bad player making the bad play and getting lucky....again? Grrrrr...whatever.

We go eat. I go to bed. Its now 1:22pm. Going to the pool. Get back after it tomorrow with a Venetian $340 journey!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Hi, are you Mr. Souther? I have good news, and bad news!"

It is 2:45pm. I am sitting at Table 61, seat 9. At the Venetian. You heard that right...the Venetian. Not that I have anything against the Venetian, mind you...its just that I am supposed to be currently sitting at Table 52, seat 8 at Ceaser's HalfWay House playing with 27 other mostly psychopaths trying to win $17,000.

So was that a good enough 'hook' for everyone?

Well I walk in at 1:55 and there is Jim "Napoleon" Padula standing there with two security guards. "Mr. Corey (shhh only my Mom calls me by my first name, yikes!) Souther? I'm Jim Padula, poker room manager at Ceasers Outhouse (did he REALLY call it that?) I would like to let you know that I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that you are our official 27th place finisher today and I have $876 here for you. The bad news is that after conducting an investigation (pfffft wish I had video footage from THAT meeting of the mental midgets!)it has been decided that you are being disqualified from the tournament and Trespassed from Ceasers Palace! These men will escort you off the property"

Mike stood there shocked. Honestly, I was actually almost expecting something like this. Not this EXTREME but SOMEthing that would cause me to feel that familiar "Fuck Harrah's" feeling that seems to make such a rampant appearance at poker events.

So in a very calm tone I said to Shorty, "uh if you wouldn't mind telling me why exactly it is that this is happening I would appreciate it."

So he tells me I'm being DQ'd for 'threatening another player' which clearly I never did. Granted, its ME...and I know the kind of attention I attract, and granted...at the end of the night when this little pecker came by me I could/should have just ignored him and let it go, that's not in my personality. This little asshole had called clock on me against a clock that wasn't even RUNNING (they freeze their clock and drain 2 min's per hand at Skeezers when they are hand-for-hand, which is actually a pretty good idea) on a decision that was huge. And he was just a punk in general. And rising up out of his chair in his own little threatening way to 'bow up on me' before finding out I had him crushed THERE too didn't help me understand how exactly I was the bad guy in this. I never said ONE single threatening thing to this weasel, whose name by the way is Maziar Keshavarzi (which sounds Persian, so Iranian terrorist is quite likely. Says he's from Austin, TX. Sure!)

All I did was ask him, point blank if he "would like to go outside, off the property to discuss our little situation." To which he reacted like a friggin cockroach when the lights come on. What a worm. So we left, without another word spoken.

And I walk into THAT!!?? An investigation was conducted? The weasel was squealing for Jim Padula last night. Is there a chance here that this is one of Jim's little butt buddies? Maybe a distant relative? Who knows? Or maybe Jimmy's been reading my blog all summer, how I've been slaughtering him and his hair-brained attempts at running a horrible tournament. That's probably a strong possibility.
So I get the walk out from security. God it must suck to do that job. $12 an hour to play Billy Bad Ass.

Make my way over to Venetian where they are on break and I have minutes to get in. So I do. I've been writing this since I sat down. Just lost about 75% of my stack on a bet that a GOOD player folds to on the river. Not this fool. Nope. Top pair is good. Ugggghhh!!! And there is a really nice 772 player field here today too. So with 570 players left and blinds about to go to 300/600 next hand I'm now sitting on 3000 chips! What are the odds on me!!??

Talked to the guys here from Venetian about what happened over there. They pretty much agree that its total bullshit what they did. They encouraged me to call the Gaming Commission on Monday. I will do that. I will also send an email to Jeffrey Pollack and Howard Greenbaum. No idea how or if this affects me on the Rio property. He told me I was being trespassed from Ceasers Palace, not Harrah's so I am assuming there is no issue there. But who knows.

I'm all in here in the BB with A5c. Up against 10-10 and AQ. Here we go. Not a good matchup. Flopped an ace with two clubs and just bricked the flush draw. I'm out. Perfect.

Well that seems like a good place to leave off. Not sure what to do now. Sometimes being me is so fun. And sometimes it just sucks. Today it pretty much sucks!

Busted Monkey

"The Face of Panic"

Why oh why didn't I take a picture of this joker?

You guys would surely love looking at the face of this jackass, which is exactly what I was about to call him when the floor showed up, and caught myself...saying "You little.....you little!"

Yeah, I just went Quentin Tarantino on you guys. Starting with the end of the night and working my way back.

12:56pm. Check out of the Amazing Bally's. Make way to Ceaser's Shanty. Buy into their $340 at 1:20. Just in time for the end of Level 2. Mike picks up AA and gets some fool to put his whole stack in preflop with AK. Nice. So he starts with 32k. I am chatting my face off. I have a Heidi Klum look-a-like from Canada, who we find out is dating the guy in Seat 3. We also find out she is jonesing bad for weed, claiming to have been out for 4 days and going through withdrawals. Not sure if that is sexy or not. Maybe so, maybe not. Depends on your zip code.

I win a couple, lose a couple. I have a fairly aggressive table so I am using a more conservative approach. Then I hit big. I limp in early with 88. Ends up being 6 in the hand. Flop comes J-5-6...two diamonds. I check. It checks around. Hmmmm. 8 of diamonds hits the turn. Wow. But so many draws out there. First guy bets out 1200. Fold, Fold...a CALL..(by Heidi's boyfriend) and folds to me. Hmmm. Player #1 has 12,000. Player #2 has 8900. I have 17,000. How to play this.......

I decide to go ahead and find out where I am and put pressure on someone with a draw. If the first guy folds, I don't care what the second guy does, I will call and have to live with the outcome. But if the first guy pushes I have a real decision. The first guy PUSHES all in. Ohhhhh boy. The second guy GOES ALL IN too! Shit. I have to put ONE of them on a made flush already. But now I am getting a ridiculous price to call, and if I can fill up maybe whack two players and get a huge pot. I make the call. Turns out I am up against 555 and 666. Wow. Sweet. It holds, I drag a gigantic pot, and become chipleader at the table.

Later I flop a set of 7's and totally misplay it, trying not to lose TOO much, keeping the pot small, and instead letting this guy suck out on me for a 7k pot. Hated that hand.

Limp with Q10d. Call a guys late raise. Flop comes Jd-7h-9d. Nice. Guy bets out. I raise. He re-raises, and I just shipped on him. He thought about it for a minute and finally folds. Nice pot.

The next big hand would come when I limp in for 400 with 22. Guy behind raises to 1500. Next guy smooth calls. Hmmm...obviously I'm behind! :) But what the hell, I have chips. Let's gamble. I call. Flop comes 10-2-7. Nice. I check. First guy bets out 2500. Next guy raises to 7500. Well, if he has 10's he has 10's. I go all in. First guy folds (QQ he told me later) and next guy calls with JJ. It holds. HUGE POT.

Cute little German chick shoves for 9800 with the blinds 400/800. I have over 100k and look down at AK. Shit. Whatever, I call. She has QQ. It holds. Damn.

Short while later, she shoves again, this time for 14k. I have 105k. This time the blinds are 600/1200. I look, again, at AK. I call again. She has Q2 this time. FLOPS THREE CLUBS! I have none, she has one. Great. Ah on the turn, Ks on the river. She leaves.

We go to dinner break. Mike makes it to a dinner break finally. Which increases his share from 5% to 10%. We go with another guy from our table (who would take the grossest beat when we got back from dinner, button limps. He has A2 in BB. Flop comes AA2. It all gets in with the guy in the SB who has A7. 7 on the river makes that guy chipleader and takes my buddy OUT), his friend, and Heidi (real name, Rose, from Vancouver, BC). We have great pinot noir, I have oysters and a Rib Eye, that was AGAIN over cooked, just like the last time Me, Allie Prescott and Joe Cutler ate here last year on a dinner break. That would be Nero's. At the conclusion of dinner we agree to play credit card roulette for the bill. I of course LOSE. Nice. The bill was, uh...ridiculous. I need to make it to the next payout level to cover that bill.

We go back. I just pretty much hover around 130 to 160 for three or four levels, always about 20 or 30k above the average. We are getting closer and closer to the money. Mike has busted out...seeing his AQ go down to 9d10d. So he is again relegated to 'sweat buzzard' for this tourney.

Then IT happens. Everything all day was going just fine. Then the twerp in the five seat, who I am quite certain is trying real hard to play Bubble Exploitation poker has raised my BB again, 2.5x. I look down and see QQ. Hahaha, gonna get this asshole. That's when the guy on the button moves all in, which he has done more than a few times. But something about this one...two from the money, and with about 5 short stacks living in my neighborhood, tells me that I may be in bad shape, up against either KK, or even AK...which I really don't want to be up against. I ask for a count. He has 152k. I have 167k. I ask the Pakistani-looking punk how many he has, he hesitates to tell me, then finally relents. I have him well covered, and judging by his body language, he isnt even THINKING about calling. Its pretty much all on me.

Its one of those that I just CAN'T decide what to do, and about two minutes into my thought process the little asshole calls clock on me. You all know my deal with that. Calling clock on a guy, two from the money, for 90% of his chips. I pretty much went off on the guy. He says "I have a date..." after I asked him what the big rush was. I ask him "With who? A hooker?" He goes into this whole diatribe about me "offending him, that I am attacking his credibility and morals" that he would NEVER go to a hooker. In other words, he took it a little personal. He then proceeds to say "Hurry up and act, this is only a $340 tourney and I have a life to get back to..." to which I respond "No, you don't"...which caused everyone within earshot to start laughing. I think that really pissed him off.

This is about the time that Mike, sitting behind me starts on his rant..."Sir, um..whats wrong with hookers? Why do you have to make fun of hookers? Some of them are very nice. You know, they have feelings too...why do you have to talk about them like you are better than them?" It was pretty funny, again..everyone was laughing.

At some point, the guy stands up to try and impose his physical dominance over me. That was funny. He might have been 6'0 190. Thats when I stood up, my 6'3 235 dwarfing him, and I just looked at him and asked him if there was something he wanted to say to me. He freaks out. Calls the floor. They come. He whines. They warn us both. The night ends about 15 minutes later with a nice guy getting busted out with the best hand (of course).

So we bag our chips. I am waiting for my buddies out by the front entrance. When who walks my way? Hadji. He sneers at me as he approaches me. I never even raise my voice. "Well, you again. Now that we are done with the tourney...did you maybe want to step outside of the casino and talk about whatever your issue is with me?" To which he got VERY defensive...and immediately goes looking for some floor person to rescue him. Mike shows up. Listens. Is laughing. Taliban-boy goes to floor guy number 1, "This guy is threatening me...is Jim Pedula here?" "Nope, sorry, he already went home." I tell the floor guy what is going on. He chuckles. Then he goes to the next guy...repeats his stupid story. I tell THAT floor guy whats going on too. "Uh, see this guy has an issue with me, and wants to threaten me, wants to call clock on me, wants to call the floor on me...but when I simply ask him if he wants to talk about it, civily, outside of the casino, him and his tough-guy act seem to fade, and he goes scurrying looking for protection. So, thats his problem. I can see he is just a coward, so I will go ahead and call it a night. See ya guys tomorrow" and with that I cruised.

I can't wait to see this little ferret today. I will definitely take his picture and get it on here. I love these little assholes who show up in Vegas for their ONE poker appearance of the year and want to try and act like they are a seasoned pro. Like anyone gives a shit about them. I am glad he starts at my table. I am going to definitely target his ass. But not in a way that will affect my outcome.

I go into today in worse shape than I would prefer. I have another one of those old guys who sees AK and needs C-4 or a nuclear device to get him off of it. With 175k late in the tourney and still 1 from the money...I raised UTG with JJ. Uncle Fester calls in the SB with AK. The flop comes 6-6-4. He checks. I lead out 35k. After having raised 25k preflop. He calls. K on the turn. He bets out 50k. Jeezuz christ! I literally say to him...."Did you seriously float my flop bet with AK?" He says YES. And I am absolutely certain he is being truthful. FUCK! I fold JJ face up. The other players at the table (who I like) all look at me and roll their eyes, we've all been THERE. Leaves me with around 110k. Average is now 165k.

So I come back today at 2pm a bit below average. For some reason, not really sure why...I am just NOT feeling like something good is going to happen today. I don't mean to sound negative, but sometimes, like the other day when I went back to the Venetian, I just feel like I am going to win. Today, I just don't feel it. Right now we are at $875, which on a $340 buy in is at LEAST worth having put in the time. Still wishing like hell that Venetian would fix their payouts. The money today won't get good until the Final Table. I need to pick up a couple big hands early to have a chance. And get action on those hands. In THREE DAYS NOW I have YET to see AA. Not once. IN fact, its kind of amazing that I made it THIS deep in this tourney. I never had a pair of AA or KK yesterday. And JJ lost the one time I had it, and QQ had to get mucked preflop the ONE time I had IT. So it can be argued that my good hands are yet to come. ???? I hope so.

Got some nice criticism from a fellow player and reader on here. I was encouraged NOT to report my 99 Final Table hand at Venetian the other day when I flatted a 240k raise holding 1.2 million and the blinds at 40k/80k...getting the whole "any good MTT player would never flat a raise with 13bB's in his stack...that was horrible, please dont post that on your blog." See, I guess you are all entitled to your opinion. And sometimes, I won't even say you are wrong. However, I had a certain power over this table that when you have...you can make certain plays. That was one of them. Had I had the inkling of a clue that I was dead (and of course NOT flopped a 9) I could have folded there very easily, still had over 800k, and got those chips back on a near-future hand by simply raising and dragging a pot.

People telling me the ONLY WAY TO PLAY 15BB's or less is to PUSH are players who operate on a completely different plane than me. And that is fine. It's just not how I play. I am a shortstack ninja. If I shortstack myself by taking a gamble and trying to either outflop someone, or making a read, trusting it, and hoping I am right...and have to subsequently play my stack back to average, I will do that. I think I am successful. I trust my game. I trust my reads. And I am patient.

I have to go. I have only half an hour now to get over there. Lets hope I put together a nice little run today and make another final table. Stay tuned.


Friday, June 26, 2009

"How Much Is That? How Much Do You Have? I Fold!"

If you see this guy at your table, there is something you should do. (a) Immediately put a bounty on him, and hope to God someone whacks him early (b) Prepare to beat yourself in the face with a sock full of nickels, repeatedly, for hours as he makes one RETARD call after another and somehow sucks out over and over and (c) Make sure you have a fully charged battery in your Bose headphones and/or your iPod is charged.

I know what you are saying. "But Monkey...you can't see his face, how am I supposed to know who this guy really is?" Good question. So I will help you. On any given hand, if a player, any player...should happen to raise, you can count on this fool to ask....every time (obvious tell coming here) "How much is that bet? How much do you have?" MUCK.

Let me also quickly address something. Some guy, with the name 'Anonymous' has decided to make some disparaging comments to and about me, then makes another today browbeating me because I wouldn't 'publish' them...saying I only post the GOOD ONES. Um...okay pal, there ya go, published them. Honestly, I don't even read those unless I accidentally click on that part of the layout editor. Um...I pretty much click on publish on EVERY comment, true there aren't a whole lot of 'bad' ones. But I don't give a rats ass if some a-hole with an anonymous name wants to take a shot at me. Why don't you get yourself an identity now, since you see fit to call me out! Oh and by the way...you want to criticize my game? Thats cool. But I will point to my results, take a deep breath, clear my throat...and say "Scoreboard bitch." Moving on....

Got perhaps the funniest, most inspirational pre-game pep talk EVER yesterday by Kai Landry, and then he followed it up with what amounted to a halftime locker room speech/email/text. Here, in its entirety...is the message:

Well, I'm sick of wishing you good luck, telling you to kick their teeth in, knock 'em dead, etc...only to see you land just inside the money and nothing big. So, I'm going to tell you something different today in a completely scientific experiment to turn things around for you. Ahem. You're a loser, you suck, you're half a fag, and I hope you get all 3 hepatitisis strains from an army of immigrant trannies. May you run into KTo all day long and have homeless people shit warm, liquid excrement in your mouth. Know who's not gonna win today? You. Knock, knock. Who's there? Nofy. Nofy who? No Final table's gonna have Monkey on it, that's fuckin who. Embrace defeat, asshole. Let it's cold arms wrap around you, sink in its teeth and drink the life giving blood from your veins with its sharp, crooked teeth. Visualize world Peace? Not you, motherfucker. Visualize KT. Visualize one last chip. Now visualize it gone. Now visualize the rail. Feel the rope wrap around your neck. Kick the chair out from underneath you. Embrace the sting of death as your body twitches, agonizing. Aw wait a second... is that the Seahawks game on over there on the TV? Aw shit, they're winning the Superbowl, and I'm hanging from this fucking rope... No, wait, they just lost to the Patriots. Their new kicker, Johnny Kingten, just made the winning fieldgoal. In overtime. How the hell did all the Seahawks players suddenly catch on fire anyway? Jesus, that's really gruesome. Isn't that really, really strange? AAARRRGGGGHHHH the rope's got me....it's got me..... my neck!!!....body stiffening...breath leaving body..... nnnngggghhh...

Now if that doesn't inspire someone to go on to do great things, they really need to re-examine how they are living their life!

Followed up with:

"Let me discourage u some more, it seems to be working in your favor" [text message]

Followed later with:

"You're an abject failure and your feet area too small. You suck. After you bust out next you're sure to get cock cancer and mop up at peep shows for the rest of your life. Die Monkey Die."

Classic. However, I kind of feel, also, that Kai is trying to horn in on Allie Prescott's strategy of inspiring and motivating me with deprecating abuse. Whatever the case, it made me howl with laughter and delight. Thanks Kai...you suck ass!

So, we went back at 4pm. With 47 players. I had 251k. After 5 orbits and no cards I had 175k. Lovely. Going to blind out of this thing? I get 10-10. Raise. All fold. Hmmm, okay. Then I get KK. Raise. All fold. Shit. Still hovering around 200k. But now down to 27. That was quick. Up to a whopping $1800 payout. Then I get KK again. For the tourney I would get KK 8 times. NEVER got AA once. Maybe that was a good thing. Not sure.

I raise with KK. Doofus up there is in the BB. "How much is that? How much do you have?" But this time he doenst muck. Nope, he re-raises me 120k. "I'm all in." He calls, with (what else) AK. I fade the Ace again and double up...nice! Now have around 350k. Sit there quiet for another hour or so. We get down to 22 and this is where the chop talk begins, initiated the first time by this clown, who had managed to get the chiplead. As soon as it looks like we are about to 'save' 10k for each player and leave 71k in the prize pool, he nixes it, or comes back with some weird, stupid proposal that makes no sense. Then tries to infer that I am stupid because I won't hear him out. Picture yourself on an ice shelf in Antarctica with 123,000 Penguins, all trying to tell you something at the same time...this is what it was like trying to decipher what this old moron was talking about.

"Now listen to me Monkey, you take the money that is in the pool from 9th to 22nd, add it up, divide it by this much, add in that much...then give them all the same amount....its a great idea." Um, no old man, its stupid. You are stupid. Hell, your kids are probably stupid.

I watch as all the guys I have a share with get whacked. Shit. Bad for Monkey. Kyle Milam is the last, as with 88 vs. AQ he gets rivered by a Q for a HUGE pot. Kyle and I at the Final Table would have been great. He is a really solid player, and of course there would have been a lot of good reasons for us to NOT try and whack each other, at least til we got down to about 5 or so. So what I had for the final 5 hours were my collection of rail bird/5%/15% share birds...which made for a very large contigent of 'sweaters.'

We get down to 12. We would stay on 12. FOREVER. Like two levels. We finally get the old retard to FINALLY do a save deal that benefits everyone. All 12 players are guranteed $8k, which is equal to 8th place money. You would think that would have sped up the action. Nope. Not at all. Dumb ass is on my right and is making brilliant plays, like calling in the dark on an 85k preflop raise. Calls a big raise by the chipleader (who has AQ) with A5. Flop comes A-K-3. Big bet. Calls. Turns the luckbox 5 and takes a HUGE stack of chips from the other guy, names Jamaal, who is a relatively decent player. The whole table puked I think when that hand went down.

There are SO many hands to write/talk about yesterday. But I always try very hard NOT to bore you people with hand play on here. We finally get to the Final Table, 10 of us. I order up the Ceremonial Snap Monkeys, reserved especially for the Final Table, and of course New Years Eve...and maybe for the after Wedding or Reception Ceremony. The Final Table Monkey Beads go on. Now, I went into yesterday with a very specific strategy. No drinking early. Why? Because there was no money at stake early. I wanted to ONLY play top 10 hands early. Get myself to the Final Table, when the money DID get good, then start drinking, slipping into my Confident Monkey Mode...the one who plays with total Ninja-Like disregard for all other players, making sick reads, sick calls and sick (did I just say 'sick' three times in a row? I apologize) laydowns when necessary.

So we make the Final Table. I am short stack. So? Who cares? Not me. Everyone is trying to save another $7k...which would STILL leave $29k on top. The floor is telling us "I have NEVER seen the structure get this high, this is insane." We play THREE levels without losing a player. Then, he says it. Old man: "I am NOT doing ANY deals until THAT GUY is knocked out. I refuse!" So this prick has basically put every player at the table at risk of losing out on another 7k solely based on his desire to see me get put out.

He almost gets his wish. Getting low, at 540k ( I know that SOUNDS like a lot but the average was 1.2 mil) I shove all in with 8s9s. Jamaal, who usually gives me a lot of respect on my raises...looks down at AQ, and I think, makes a good call. I think if I had JUST raised there he may have respected it more, but since I shoved, it was easy for him to put me on a small pair or a bad ace. Good call, sir. I even stood up and shook his hand. I flop four to the flush. Hmmmm. Nice. Turn the FLUSH! But now I am looking at his Qs. No spade, no spade. Jack on the river...and its black...NO!!!!! CLUB!!!!! Huge double up!!!!!!!!

Now of course, old man jackass is ALL excited to save another 7k. I am not going to be a douchebag. I take the deal. So now we all have 15k in our pocket, with another 29k on the table. So now I start dreaming about a fat 42k score! That dream is starting to look like a reality when with 99 I make maybe my best play of the tourney.

Guy behind me raises. I look down at 99. The raise is 240k, with the blinds at 40k/80k. I deliberate. I have a pretty good line on this player and suspect its very likely he is very strong. So Instead of re-raising him there, I decide that with 1.2 million I can flat the raise and see a flop. The table gasps when I JUST call that raise. We get heads up. The flop comes 9c7c3c. He moves all in. I instantly call. The whole table KNOWS I just flopped a set...he turns over JJ, and I fade the Jack. After the counting of the chips, he and I have the EXCEPT same number. Weird yeah? He was a very good sport, shook my hand, drank the shot of Patron he and I had ordered and left with 15k. Real nice guy. In fact, all the guys at the table with me were pretty cool. Some didn't start out cool, but they would become cool. All except the old guy. He was just a prick. Guy next to me, Chip, gave me mad props for how I played the 9's, and that always makes you feel good as a poker player.

Next comes the hand that should have made me a HUGE chipleader, and erradicated the old bastard from the table, finally. With 2.5 million, I raise with AK. He calls, as he almost always does now when I raise. He is holding Q10 offsuit. The flop comes K-J-5. Good flop for both of us. I bet out half a million. He smooth calls. Great, here we go again. I am kind of putting him on KQ there. So when the turn pairs a 5 I just move all in on him...its 700,000 for him to call. I win this hand and I am well over 5.5 million! HE CALLS! And he rivers a fucking 9 for the straight. The whole table sinks in their seats. It cripples me, bad...back down to 540k. Jeezuz.

On the VERY next hand, A guy shoves 580k into my BB, holding AKd. I call. He has my K9. I never saw guys shove with my favorite hand yesterday and have it win. Guess it only works for me. He lost. I was back.

I really can't tell you guys much more. We got down to 6. I went card dead...which at 60k/120k wasnt possible to do for very long before running out of chips. I finally moved all in on the old jerkoff with Q9 and he woke up with A9 and called. Whatever, nothing I could do about that. It held up, and I was out 6th. Had we not done a 'save deal' I would have ended up cashing $14,879 or something...so CardPlayer will report that I won pretty much what I won. I got with everyone I had shares with and watched $3400 leave my bankroll. OUCH! Exchanged text messages with Squirrel about it...listened to her tell me how bad that is, how I am always the one paying out. But in all honesty, I have had SEVERAL situations where I was the recipient of the nice, fat save payout. Its about 50/50 over the last two years, I would say. And you know...when a guy like my current roomie Mike is running horrible, and he spends all day there sweating me...NEEDING me to cash big so he can essentially STAY here and keep trying to get his train back on track...it doesn't make me feel bad to hand him $700 so he can stick with it. He is a good player, and he is just running into land mines everywhere he steps. Its not his fault. I have been in the same situation. And yeah...it stings to dole out 60% to my backer, then another $3400 to 'the guys' but what comes around goes around. And plus, my backer is tremendously supportive and to get her a nice pop again (after a couple in New Orleans when we had been running bad/unlucky all year and was close I think to losing her) felt great...especially since I was about to 'make the phone call' requesting more money. Good timing indeed.

Another thing I did was to take care of the floor and dealers, AGAIN. It was pretty funny, because I had promised the floor that if I were able to go on a heater and take down the WHOLE remaining $29,000 that they were going to get $1500 from me! They come over to me and tell me (jokingly, of course) "Hey Monkey, so and so said you now have permission to push the next bust out who only tips us $25 down the stairs!" Really!??? Sweet! I will do it with GLEE! So the next couple who bust out I kind of said something suggestive to them about it. Did it help? Nope. What assholes! I end up leaving $250 for the floor and $150 for the dealers. So what amounted basically to 10% of my own personal take. Thats right! I won $15,000 and I litereally got about $4000 of it. Thats fine though. I'm okay with it. Feels good to get everyone back in my corner!!!!

So...then we go to Tao. It was kind of lame. And frankly, I am getting pretty burnt out on the whole club thing. Really kind of missing Squirrel! We go play a little cash game. I plop a couple hundo on the table with Mike. Night ends there when this red-headed dealer whose name escapes me Raises me with KQ. I have A7. Flop comes 10-5-7. She bets out. I call. Turn is a 5. She bets 10. I raise her to 40. She insta calls. River is a K. She checks. I go all in, really the only play I think I can make there...other than check behind and hope I'm good, but I think I'm pretty much on a semi bluff. She calls. Ridiculous. Nice call on the turn there lady. Whatever, I don't say anything, nothing at all, just tell Mike I am ready to go.

Just woke up. Its noon. Today is a $2100 at Venetian. Not putting that much into a tourney right now. Thinking of (gasp) going over to Ceaser's and playing that $340 donkfest. We have to get out of this room (again) but Pat Fogleman (one of the guys in the share pool) managed somehow to score us a 3-night comp at Venetian, so NICE...we are heading over there...to be followed by another 3-night comp at MGM. So for this trip...which is now over a month old, I have managed STILL to pay for just TWO nights so far. Awesome!

SO thats it! Thanks to all of you who were supporting me yesterday! And thanks Wild Bill for the shout out on the front page regarding me and Squirrel locking it up! She's awesome, and it feels great to be married! Even greater to follow it up with a nice Vegas cash! Hey! Good luck to Fish too, man is HE running good!

Talk to you all soon! Hopefully with some MORE good news!!!!

Married Monkey (Day 4)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back in The Money, Heading back at 4 with 47 others.


Shaved off the goatee. Put on my lucky 'slump busting' T-shirt that Squirrel hates....the one with the 'Mad Monkey' on it. That shirt was actually given to me by a fellow poker player.

Got to the Venetian ALMOST on time...a little late. Faded the Table 60 draw. And sit down at a table of complete strangers. Yikes! Literally not ONE person I have ever seen in my life. Win the first hand I'm in, a decent one that got me up to about 15k...then it was all downhill from there...for about 7 hours!

It was one of those tables where every time you raised it was called in 5 or 6 places. So post flop, you were kind of just lettin her rip every time. If I hit the flop and bet...there was always a floater...floating SOMEthing...flush draw, straight draw, middle pair looking to improve. SOMETHING. Or miss the flop and try to C-bet in last position and get re-popped huge. It was a brutal 5 hours. And meanwhile, I am watching some of the stupidest plays taking place. People flopping the nuts, check-raising WAY too much, but STILL getting action. I had two or three players at my table who got stacked when they managed SOMEHOW to get all their chips in with (a)top pair with only a 'decent' kicker (b) middle pair! (c) over pair with a obvious flush and/or straight on the board.

Favorite hand of the day. I get moved (for the 3rd time) to this table of (again) total strangers. This lady has about 90k when the average was only 22k. The blinds are 600/1200. She raises to 3500. It comes around to the guy on my right, and he makes it 12,000. Back to her. She puts 1200 out. Dealer looks at her like, UM....Ma'am? Its 12k!!?? She flips out! "You said 1200!" Well, lets review here. Since her raise was 2300, the MINIMUM he could have put out there was 4800. So how 1200 is even possible is beyond anyone with half a brain, let alone a full one. So she insists on having the floor called. Floor comes over, it gets explained, floor does a fabulous job of NOT calling her a retard...then she has the option of either leaving the 1200 out and folding (best option for her at this juncture) or calling the remaining 10,800. So she tells the dealer "I am going to call, but only because I am mad at you!" Good reason lady. Very smart. I mean, we are only playing for $68,000 here. No biggie.

Flop comes all rags. And this guy to my left, I have to give him a lot of credit, he played three hands yesterday VERY well. Hands that saw him get chipped up BIG through bad players. On this flop he checks to her. She also checks. THe turn is an 8. Board is now 2-4-6-8, no flush draw. He says "ALL IN" for I shit you not, 32k! SHE SNAP CALLS. He turns over QQ...she has, ahem....ya ready? AJ offsuit. No ace on the river. She then donks off the rest of her chips with AQ vs. AA. And poof she was gone.

At level 7 I was sitting on 4500. It was looking like one of those days where I just sat there getting NO cards, and the ones I did get lose with. Then it started. I get AK, I have Glenn "Ratchet" on my right. UTG and with him in the BB I go all in with it and get no callers. Okay, that helps. Get a walk in my BB for a back to back pull. Then two orbits later, and with 5800 I get AK UTG again. This table is maniacal, so I figure a raise will be stupid. I would rather just shove and hope for only ONE caller max. I shove with it. Guy with 88 calls and another guy with 99 folds. (dammit) I turn a K and have my first double up of the day.

Later, at the 4th table of the day, a guy would shove all in for 9k and I would look down at KK. He had 99. I flop a K and somehow fade whatever outs he needed to clip me. Then with about 58k in chips I pick up KK UTG. Yeah, Kings were kind of 'my hand' yesterday. Sitting on my right, in the BB was a guy from Ireland who, if I'm not mistaken, would have liked to see me hanging from the doorway of the Venetian. I was about half way into my Aderol XR, chatting my brains out, and had this guy ready to claw my tongue out of my face and eat it. At one point he called the floor over. They arrived....

Yes sir what is it? "This guy will NOT stop talking! He's loud, and just nonstop and its driving me CRAZY!" Floor: Has he done anything offensive? Said anything offensive? Berated you in any way? "No, hes been perfectly fine, friendly in fact to everyone, but he just wont stop talking! Can't you make him be quiet?!!!" Floor: Sorry sir, unless he is breaking rules or offending people he is entitled to talk all he wants. Even after that I attempted to befriend him. We were both drinking Perrier, at one point I even got him to 'toast me' with our Perriers. I don't think the guy was a jerk at all, in fact we knew a lot of the same people and even discussed strategy at one juncture. Pretty sure he respected my game. He was just one of those players who was very easy to unnerve, and I decided it was a good ploy to get him rattled.

On an earlier hand this player who kept shoving all in would shove again...and I looked down at 10-10. Those damn tens again. I called his 14k shove, sitting on 38k in chips and the blinds at 500/1000 it seemed like an okay call there. I had earlier laid down A10 and KJ to the same clown, just not liking the price I was paying on a coinflip. This time he would turn over A3. Nothing on the flop. Nothing on the turn. And when a damn A hit the river I got a little silent and went into my Ipod wearing 'zone' to which the guy on my left accused me of going on tilt. Pffft. Not at all. In fact, I just re-centered myself and dug in for a comeback.

So when I raised to 5500 (from 800/1600) from UTG with KK, I got a re-raise to 15k from the guy in 4th Position, a guy who had been re-raising a lot with bad aces and middle pairs. My buddy in the BB, now sporting earplugs, went all in for his last 13k. Betting was still open, and I re-raised another 25k. Now this might have told this other guy I had AA or KK...but he didn't care, because he had the ALWAYS AUTOMATIC (online at least) AK. Offsuit. All in boy had A-10. I had to KIND of like my chances. This is where the ten seat announces "I folded a K." Thanks partner. Always love THAT. The flop produced no help. The turn actually gave me a CLUB draw...so no they were drawing to ONE out. NOPE! HUGE pot for the Monkey, put me up to around 100k.

The time it took to get from 100 players to 81 was long and excruciating, made all the more long and painful by one player in particular. This old guy who was doing the 'delay of game' tactic to attempt to get in the money. It was ridiculous. On the break I worked out various saves with guys, would end up having 5% with three guys, and then entered a 15% POOL save with a couple others. Could create a few headaches if I go back and win today, but I'm actually more excited about it since of the four in the 15% save pool I think we are ALL still alive, with me having the most chips.

This Human Rain Delay was making us ALL nuts. He makes perhaps the stupidest play I think I've ever seen, three from the money. Blinds are 2k/4k. He has like 22k. He raises to 12k. The BB calls him. The flop comes 10-high. BB bets out 10k. The guy folds! WTF? And here I am (and everyone else at the table) thinking he had AA. Nice play sir. We are hand-for-hand and he is about to be in the BB. I have already announced that I am raising him with ATC. But before I can do that, someone on another table busted out on the bubble. SHIT! So that signaled the re-draw. Old moron not only makes the money but is spared the Big Blind. What a joke. How do some people get SO lucky?

We re-draw. I get a pretty good table draw. I am on my 5th glass of Pinot Noir. I now order the ceremonial In the Money Red Snappers, about ten of them. I get the tip. The nice guys at Venetian let me do a little ceremonial toast on the microphone, where we drink our Red Snappers and wish everyone luck. It was pretty cool. And they got the recipe correct (of course I DID write it on the waitress' notepad!) so we were able to ENJOY them this time! Made a few new Snapper buddies I think! And the snappers were on, would end up having about 4 before we broke for the night. Towards the end of the night I would make a big play with 77. I noticed our table wasn't doing a lot of raising, just jamming. I am in 2nd position, and sitting there with 115k. The blinds were 5k/10k. The guy on the button had already made plays where he was re-popping early position raisers, so the last thing I wanted to do was raise to 30 or 35k and then have him drill me with a re-raise. So what? I fold and leave 75k behind?

The weird spot here is the money. They still haven't flattened out the payouts, so litereally, if you cashed ($340 buy in) you made $397. That is a joke. The next three pay tiers also sucked. You really have to make the Final Table to realize ANY kind of satisfaction in this tourney. I REALLY hope they get this fixed ASAP. All the players are disgusted about it. It continues to be THE ONLY bad thing about the Venetian tourneys. So I am in a spot where I really don't care if I bust, I mean I CARE...but if I have to bust, let it be last night, when I can come back and play at noon. I prefer to try and get a NICE stack so when I DO come back I actually have a legit chance at Final Tabling. So I make the decision to go ahead and shove it all in.

Well, re-raise boy decides to tank for awhile. I do a little posturing. He has around 475k. I am telling him he has to call. I really don't know if I want him to or not. But with as much time as he is taking I am now putting him on like AQ. He DOES finally call, and has, well AJ, off suit. Interesting call for a third of his stack. I manage to fade the overs, and now my railbird posse gets quite excited. I rake a huge pot. I win a couple small ones to close out the night with 251k in chips. We have 47 players remaining and the average is now around 213k, so I am in decent shape heading back.

I am going to go spend a few hours at the pool, read my almost concluded book, and head back at 4pm to hopefully finally make a decent score on this trip. I have to win something good! These Main Event megas are coming up, and I have to either win one of those or find someone who wants to put up 10k to back me in the Main Event. I HAVE GOT TO PLAY the Main Event. That structure is amazing. If it means playing for 30 or 35% through someone, so be it. But win today and I won't even have to worry about it.

Hopefully things break right for me today.

Married Monkey (Day 3)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Marriage Hasn't Changed Anything!

Well, any hopes I had of things changing when I got hitched went out the window at 4:43pm Tuesday.

Got Squirrel to the airport on time for her to catch her flight home. Arrived at Venetian at 5 minutes to noon. As soon as I arrive I see a massive line, then Dan telling me "Monkey, did you talk to Tim? You need to talk to Tim before you register." Wonderful.

I had talked to Anthony Chester two days before and had thought we had smoothed everthing out from the other day. We had. Everyone just hadn't gotten the memo. So I called Anthony, he had me pass the phone to Daniel, and everything was okay. I managed to miss the first four hands though, so any hopes of seeing my FIRST TWO hole cards went out the window.

Mike would bust in the first level. He continues to run bad. I would pick up AA, raise behind two limpers, get one call...flop Q-J-5....bet, and get a call. J on the turn. Guy checks. I just move in, with a paired board and two flush draws...and this guy calls with KQ, and misses the two-outer Q. Puts me over 20k.

But there were big issues working. They kept taking one alternate after another. We topped 950 players. But at the end of Level 5 we still had 800 players. So with the average barely inching up, the blinds were climbing rapidly. Meanwhile, this little bastard kept raising my BB from cutoff every time he had the chance. A couple times he was raising limpers with crap like Q8, K7 and J2. I was convinced that he was nothing but aggressive.

With the blinds 400/800, and the average 21k...it was quickly becoming a shove fest. This little punk raised my BB twice, with me folding. Then he does it again, and I look down at Ad10d. I am fed up, so I shove 28k on him. And he announces that "I'll gamble with you" and calls. ???? He turns over AK. Shit. I miss everything, and it leaves me shortstack. Dammit. I get it in a couple hands later with 89h on the button and get called by 102 off. Nice. He hits a 10. I'm out.

I did get a free book from Tony Korfman. Some of you may know this guy. He is old, maybe 70. Very tall, usually wears a very loud red sportscoat, sometimes a Tony Stewart/Home Depot racing jacket. For a couple years him and I have tangled verbally. I used to call him Colonel Sanders. Well, he comes to my table late. Turns out he chopped the 1k from Sunday with 6 other players. Nice little score. My buddy Maurice Hawkins has now won TWO Venetian events on this trip. Damn! I'm happy for him, but also envious, as I continue to hit nothing, and slowly run out of money. Grrrrrr!

So I start paging through this book. And what I discover is that its hilarious. If anyone is interested in checking it out, or buying it....go to his site at www.pokergas.com. I obviously have no vested interest in this project, but all profits go to some kind of scholarship fund he has set up. The bottom line is, its hilarious.

So with all the tables taken up, and no SNG's to be played, we decide to go to the Rio to play SNGs. Yikes. We agree that we will split 50/50 whatever profits we make in SNGs.

We play a $175 together. He takes a couple bad beats and loses. I stick around until we get 3-handed. I get a guy on my left who's breath could stop a clock. I keep trying to beat him and keep not accomplishing this. I have AK, raise him, he shoves, I call.....Flop a K...only to go runner runner J-10. (*&!@(*&#(!. We exchange chip leads back and forth. At one point I have around 7500 to both of their stacks under 1000 and still cant close the deal. It was very frustrating. We finally end up just chopping it 3-ways. And with my pre-arranged deal with Mike, I barely made shit, so I didn't take much joy out of that one.

We decide to go play the 7pm $340. Big mistake. As I'm sitting down I'm watching Doc (from Mississippi) getting his AA cracked by some clown in the 3 seat who has limped, then called a raise and a RE-RAISE with 10d7d then won with a flush. This same clown would raise UTG vs my SB AK, then call my 3x re-raise. The flop would come A-3-5. I lead out for a substantial amount. He puts me all, feeling chip drunk. I call, somewhat reluctantly...but not really having any odds to fold, and look at POCKET TWOS. He asks the dealer to 'let him get lucky.' Yeah, well, the dealer throws a four on the river. Thanks dealer. The guy smacks his hands together..."Yes!" I tell him what a great play he made, both preflop and after the flop...and he says "I know! It was a great play!" Then I ask him if he just won the Main Event with his stupid celebration.

I hate assclowns. I wish they would all crawl up, as a group, into a large ball, and roll themselves off the face of the Earth. They make good players doubt themselves, their abilities, their place on the planet. I hear this quote at least three times a day..."without assclowns, it would make it hard for us to make a living in poker." I totally disagree. I think they just make it that much harder.

I leave to go play a SNG, Mike is still in the $340. I buy into a $120 and what happens is one of those things we wish would happen EVERY TIME we sit down in a SNG or for that matter, a tournament. I win. In 57 minutes. I hit about every flop. Every big hand holds up. I have all the chips...from early til the end. No chops. No saves. No...I completely ran over this SNG. I felt invinceable. Granted, every player at this table was Gawd-awful...and that made it even more satisfying!

Flash to the next one. Same table. Same buy in. Samn lousy-ass players. But this time, I didn't win. I didn't win every hand. In fact, I was the FIRST player out. Lose two hands when ahead, and I am on the rail. Talk about a reversal of fortune. Another humbling experience to remind you of your place in the universe. You mean I can't just win two like that in a row? Of course not!

I go one to lose two more. And on the last one I get a bogus save for 3rd, my money back. I haven't even done the math to know if I won or lost money yesterday, if I lost, it wasn't much, if I won, it wasn't much either. Going to bed and getting some sleep seemed like the best option, so that's what I did.

For those of you spreading the rumor that I was 86'd from Venetian, STOP IT! Its simply NOT the case! I was simply booted from that SNG. Everything is fine. No reason for anyone to be UPSET with the Venetian. We are all good. I do wish they would get that damn perfume out of the ventilation system though!

Squirrel got home from here, checked the mail and I STILL haven't gotten my rent money from my Pensacola tenant. Lovely. Just spend 20 minutes on the phone listening to her panic-stricken voice construct a whole 'nother stream of excuses and lies to explain why I haven't gotten her money yet. Don't people realize that us poker players can see right through that shit? It irritates me to sit there and listen to her because I know she is full of crap. "look lady, just send me the money, all these stories mean nothing to me, and I have to go write a blog and get to today's tourney...so wrap it up!!!!"

Once again, I find myself wishing Gawd would turn everyone into Black Labradors! I miss my dogs.

I guess thats pretty much everything. I expect another whopper of a field at Venetian today. Ceasers only got around 250 yesterday. From what I hear they are even getten beaten by the tourneys that are running at BOTH Binions AND Golden Nugget, of all places! Thats bad! But hilarious.

I need to have a good day today.

Married Monkey (Day 2)

Monday, June 22, 2009


Thats right boys and girls! The Monkey has finally settled down! Not that anyone thought I would be stupid enough to let Squirrel EVER get away, but without those rings and that marriage contract...ya just never know!
Her friends left town on Saturday, I took another horrendous beat late Saturday..and we all decided to spend Sunday at the pool at The Venetian. Me, Squirrel, Mike the Fast Talker and Joe Cutler came over to join us. It was a fun day at the pool. Met a VERY bizaare family from Utah. Mom was raised by Mormons. Married to a guy 20 years older than her. Has three daughters. One is 18 and super hot...and it was fine, until we started watching the Dad feel her up. Whoa. Then the Mom kept trying to kiss Squirrel. Dad decides to start telling Squirrel how hot I AM! Umm....thinkin maybe these psychos were quite possibly swingers. They were nice...but come on!
We went back to our hotel and ordered room service. Then we all passed out! Whooops! Guess we arent going out tonight! Woke up at NOON today...another 14 hour sleep fest! Sweet!
Had to check out of the South Point. Oh, what a shame. Mike had lined us up 5 free days at Bally's. You heard me...Bally's. We arrive. We check in. The furniture is like something out of 1972. I didn't think this crap still lived ANYWHERE this side of West Virginia. I am obviously wrong. They have even BOLTED the table with the TV to the wall...a table you couldn't pay a person to take. But hey! Free is free!
Mike decided to go play SNG's at the Venetian. The reports coming in from his precinct have NOT been too good thus far.
Squirrel and I finally decide, hey lets go get married! So we start out at Fashion Show Mall, looking for wedding bands. Finally find something we both like. Ship it. Get in the 4-Runner and go looking for the place we get a marriage liscense. Thanks Garmin. Found it. $60 later, we are out the door with necessary paperwork.
We are both sporting, uh...very casual attire. Should we go to the hotel and change into something a bit more appropriate? Naw! We might just change our minds! Lets do this!

Stop by the Elvis place, Graceland. They want too much, and we would have to wait too long. No...we want this in the books! Lets keep looking. Pull into the Little White Chapel, the place Brittany went that one fatefull evening a few years ago. Everything comes together, monies are paid, photos are taken, tears are shed, vows are exchanged...and it was done!

Wow. I am a married man. She is Squirrel Souther. I like it! Mrs. Monkey Souther. Well, now all of you know too! Joe called and offered us our first wedding gift, tickets to tonights Mystere show at the T.I. but she isn't feeling too hot, and we don't have enought time to get ready. So we are just going to enjoy her last night in Vegas together. She flies out in the morning, then I will get back on my horse and try again, playing the $340 at Venetian at noon. I am hoping that this might just switch things up for me!
Hopefully my next update here is a good one!
Married Monkey

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bizaarrro World, Dateline Las Vegas 2009

This might possibly be the most difficult blog I ever write! And the longest.

Why? Well, this has been the most incredibly emotion-wrought 35 hours of my poker life. I am sitting here in my room, at some place called South Pointe casino, where the customers I passed on the way to the elevator are clearly people who got some kind of mail offer that propelled them to leave their trailer in East Bumble Fuck, Nevada to come and 'Let it Ride' for their chance at Fame and Fortune.

Okay. So I made it past the flood of subculture, survived the ride up the elevator that shakes as it rises. And now, with Squirrel laying here, shaking her head in disgust, at yet another 'Monkey Episode'...and knowing that sex with the woman I love and desire is once again going to elude me, after forking up $350 to change her flight until Tuesday while all her gaggle of friends left this morning (awoken at 8:36am by 'The Claw' in the bathroom giggling at God knows what) I wonder to myself....hmmm..."should I completely do a RIP job on the Venetian? Or should I take the high road, recognize them for doing whatever it is they felt they needed to do, and let it go?"

As my buddy (slash partner in crime) Mike insists that I completely throw them under the bus, I am feeling compelled to find a reason to 'let it go.'

Yes, this night ended badly. Very badly. In fact, this day is one I would love to sincerly wipe from the face of this planet's existence. But I can't. So what I will do is write about it. Because those of you who read this shit clamour for it.

So...where do I begin. First of all, I left off like two days ago, when my whole article got cut in half. We left off with that Asian guy, the jackass. Yeah well, he got busted after I put him on tilt. It was very satisfying. And then...mmm, see I don't even remember anymore what happened. That's whats so fucked up about Vegas in the summer. Or maybe its good. After a few days you completely forget about the fucked up shit that knocked you out of a tournament. I would have to consult with my little black book to remember. Lets just say I didnt win, and I didnt cash. And it was awfully painful. Just like almost every mother(@&*$*( tournament on this trip has been. So that one is dead and buried.

Guess that was Sunday. What is today? Holy crap. Saturday. Wow. I have all KINDS of shit to write about. Tomorrow for instance, is Father's Day. And what did I forget to do? Or simply not get around to? Thats right...send my Dad a letter or card. I officially SUCK ASS!

So without going into great detail...lets just say that this week has completely sucked royal ass. Here is the good news. Occassionally, people (like those who have backers) often times lie to people about how they lost. In my case, I have been taking PICTURES of these hands. The dealers and floor people are talking about the beats I'm taking like its some kind of episode on 'Ripley's Believe It or Not.'

I have just been thrown out of the Venetian. I am invited to come back tomorrow. Do I want to even bother? Well. That is where I am conflicted. This has been a classically shitty day.

Three days ago, Keith got banned from Harrah's for some weird shit that went down last SUnday when Keith got into it with some Craps floor guy. So I had to move rooms. I moved in with Mike "Fast Talker" Terril from St. Louis. His free room expired on Friday. So on Friday night...when all of us went to a club...Tao, where we had a table, and Brandon Jarrett and Tiffany Michelle showed up and, well, lets just say they managed to pretty much piss off everyone in our party (before finally leaving)...we went to the Palms to some dudes suite, where we played Big Deuce til 8 in the morning, then went back to our hotel...packed up all our shit, and went to the Mirage to stay with Squirrel and her friends.

We left it there and went to the Venetian to play the noon tournament. Only problem was, we didn't wake up till 2pm. We got there at Level 3. Mike managed to chip up big early. What happened to me? Well, I had a very aggressive table, so when I picked up AA in early position, I decided it would be a good idea t limp and look for the late position raiser. Nope. Didn't happen. Flop comes K-3-4. SB checks. I bet out the pot. BB raises. Huh? Flush draw? Straight draw? No way. I re-raise him all in. CALL!! He has....duh, K-3. Really? Nice!

Mike would end up turning 200k in chips near the dinner break into a catastrophic AA vs 99 disaster that saw him not cash. Meanwhile, while he was doing THAT I was over playing in SNG's getting my hopes and dreams crushed. In the first one I had Lance "Two purples and three yellows" Funston playing at my table. This is one of the nicest guys you will EVER meet at a poker table. Come to find out, all these years that Chad Brown (pretty good buddy of mine) has been 'staying at a buddy's condo, its been Lance's condo hes been staying at. Pretty strange. Lance puts a $100 bounty on himself in all SNG's. Not a bad idea really. Gets people gunning for you. And with his risky style of play, he is going to get a LOT of action. He also always tips the dealers $100, so win or lose, the dealers love seeing him at their table. Well, in that one...I would get down to 3. Two winners. This clown gets the chiplead and just starts moving all in every hand. I was going to have to take a stand since me and the other guy had about the same number of chips, so when the guy shoved and I looked at AJ in the BB I called. He turns over KJ. Well, at least I'm ahead, right? Flop comes J-Q-J. Hmmm...okay. 4 on the turn. And just as I think I am about to turn this fool into a 1500 shortstack vs my 8500 and the other guys 4500....the dealer slaps a K on the river...and I am out. With no money.

In the next one, someone raised in early position. I call with AQ. Another player calls. And this guy in the SB goes all in for another 100 more. We all call. The flop comes Q-10-3. Checks to me, I go all in. They both fold...All In boy turns over JACK DEUCE. I say "Hmm, wonder how YOUR gonna beat me here." And just as he claims to be drawing dead...the dealer throws out running twos! Shortstacks me, and I proceed to get knocked out a few hands later when I run 66 into 1010.

I would manage to win 2 of my next 4 to get back to almost even on the day, but it was once again a day of total frustration. Last night, I say last night...because I just closed the lid on my laptap three paragraphs ago and surrendered to fatigue. I've just awoken to some more fantastic news that Squirrel decided not to tell me last night. Claudia, who flew home yesterday morning, drove Cheryl's car from the airport to HER house to get her own car. On the way home from the airport she ran into the back of someone's car and smashed up Squirrel's car. Are you kidding me? How bad can this year possibly get for us? Oh and Aunt Flo showed up as well, so any affection I may have been planning on getting just went out the window as well. Sweet.

What's coming next? A phone call from our dogsitter that both our dogs just got hit by lightning and are dead? Maybe our house burns down? Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and both of my legs will have stopped working.

Lets talk about a little place called Table 60 at the Venetian. Otherwise known as the Bermuda Triangle. A place where Monkey's fly/sail in and never return from. On Thursday I got off to the hottest start EVER. I sat down in the middle of Level 3, very late, but not sweating it. Also seated at my table was good buddy Kevin O'Leary, who is without a doubt one of the FUNNIEST poker players I have ever met. He finds me just as funny. Kevin is Irish, dyes his hair various colors and has a giraffe as a card marker that changes colors on its own accord. We were having a lot of fun cutting up with each other. I sit down and with QQ flop a set. With KK I flop a set, turn a boat. And I am getting paid off. Then...sitting on 18k, I decide to limp in with 5d7d, kind of a fun little hand to play for 200 early. Guy two doors down makes it 650. Ugh. So much for playing THIS hand, right? Well, then he gets a caller, and ANOTHER caller. I announce "all right gang, this is officially the loosest call I will make all day."

The flop comes A-6-8. Hmmm, interesting! I check and dial in on the initial raiser. He seems troubled by the flop. Doesn't like that ace? He c-bets 1100. To which the other players insta-calls. Other player folds. Now the second snap call should have been some kind of signal to me that one of them had me crushed for sure. But it wasn't. I decide that if I were going to play this hand in the first place, that this was the kind of flop I was looking for. [think back to this hand when you read up on how I got whacked last night, its strangely ironic]

So I decide to 'make a move' on this board and just SHOVE all in. Not only does the first guy snap call, but the second as well. Holy shit! They turn over AA and 66. Whoa. No problem, turn card is a 4! Straight! And they dont fill up on the river, and like that I had a shitload of chips! Later I would take out a guy with QcJc vs his AK when I flopped 8-9-10. Then I raise with AK...a guy calls in the BB with 34off. The flop comes K-3-4. He check raises me all in. I river an ace. I would have AK 7 times in an hour and by the FIRST BREAK I was sitting on 102k. The average was 18k.

Thats when I make one mistake and have another one bestowed upon me. First, I post on my Facebook how good I am running, and text a bunch of people, excited at the early prospects of actually making a final table finally. This would, of course result in all these people wanting deeper follow up accounts for the next 24 hours. The next bit of bad fortune would come when our table broke and I was sent to.....duh duh duh duhhhhhh Table 60.

Cue: Shit hitting the fan.

Enter: BEN the dealer. Forked tail tucked into back of dealer vest, horns hiding under a tuft of black hair. Cold, steely, lifeless eyes staring listlessly into my soul. Let the slaughter begin.

With blinds 400/800, the button shoves all in for, 18k! I am in the SB with, oh! ACES. I guess I will call. He turns over KJ. The flop comes...A-Q-10. They call that a set. The also call it a straight. And I fail to fill up. Bye Bye 18k. Next? AQ. Raise. Get a call from the old scary looking bitch from Austria or something. Flop comes Qc-4c-3c. I have no clubs. I bet out a fair amount. She calls. Turn is the 7 of hearts. I bet out an even fairer amount. She calls again. The river is a 9 of clubs. Wonderful. I give up. Check. She goes all in! Now some of you might think that is the act of a deperate player and a bluff. Like, why would she go all in with a flush? Why? Because these people don't play like you and I. These people are from other planets. I knew for a FACT that she had a flush. So I fold, after losing another 20k of my chips.

It would only get more fun. I raise with KQs. I get a call from a shortstack. The flop comes K-10-5. Rainbow this time. I bet out 3/4 of the pot. Shortstack goes all in. Well, I can't put him on AK, he would have raised preflop. Could he have the devil? K10? It would certainly be fitting. Nope, Just KJ. Buts its all good when your at Table 60 and have Satan in the box, because here comes a Q followed by a 9 and once again, we shoot chips to another player.

I am sitting there, watching my chip stack get smaller and smaller...coming apart at the seams. Thinking to myself, "Who is EVER going to believe this?" The Austrian Phyllis Diller continues to raise my BB. Finally, with a buddy visiting me from another table, I tell the table "If she raises my BB again, I am probably going to push in on her without even looking!" So what happens? She raises me. I do look however, and what to my sheer delight do I see? KK. So what do I do? I move all in, as I promised her I would. She snap calls. Andddd turns over AA. You gotta be kidding me. I look into the eyes of Satan/Ben and with complete disdain in my heart imagine the fistfull of holy water I want to throw on him. You KNOW I am not hitting a K there. And now...I am sitting on 15k. With the average at 35k. I feel empty and dead inside.

When I had 102k, I literally almost left the table, to walk over to Mirage and spend the afternoon at the pool with Squirrel and her friends, but NO! That would be stupid right? To come back AFTER dinner break with still close to 75k and the average around 58k. No ONE does that. Now I wish I had!

I get down to 14k, and with the blinds at 600/1200 find AQ in 2nd position and move it all in. I get called by who else? Joan Rivers over there. The guy next to me predicts that she has JJ. I tell him, "Dude, I guarantee you the bitch has AJ, watch!" What does she have? AJ. One thing I HAVE been running good at all week and all month is calling people's hands. People are finding that part of my game pretty scary. Well, you would think I'd be feeling pretty good about my chances to get back up to 30k'ish right? Naw, I knew what was coming, Jack on the turn. And my complete and total devastation was complete. Then, I got to spend the next hour walking around in a daze, with people asking me "Monkey why the hell aren't you at your table? You have ALL those chips!" Um...yeah, I HAD all those chips. WHAT!???? Don't want to talk about it. Don't want to talk about it.

I go play sng's. Win 2 out of 4. Then later that night we went to Tao. It was kind of fun. Then the big deuce game followed later on.

Lets move on to yesterdays catastrophe. Finally find and get checked into a hotel, and on Day 23 I have finally paid for a room. I have managed to run good in THAT department also. The freeloading department. Get to the Venetian in the middle of Level 2. Get seated up on table 55, the feature table. Things start slow. But I find some good spots and when our table breaks I have about 18k. Not bad. Get moved to a new table, and to my left it Dwight "The Duke" Pilgrim, my new buddy that I met out in New Orleans. I am not even out of my chip rack when I look down at AA UTG. Whoa. Raise from 200/400 to 1200 and get no action.

A bit later UTG raises to 1100 and I see 99 in the SB. Flat call. Flop comes K-9-3. Rainbow. Nice. Check. No c-bet. Dammit. Turn is a 5. I bet 2k. He folds AQ face up. Damn. A while later a guy shoves 4900 and I look down at AA again. I call. He has 7h9h. He flops open ended. Oh no. WOW, Jimmy the dealer does NOT kill me, and I rake another pot. I would get AA again, and re-raise Preston from down South...who calls with KQ. Flop comes Q high and he bets 2500. I move in on him. He folds face up, and I show him AA. That table would go very well, when we broke I would have 43k and was starting to feel very good.

My new table was filled with absolutely HORRID players. I was scared. I had reason to be. SEAT ONE. Brazilian. Calling station. Has no love for the game. Seat 3. Asian. Absolute assclown. Seat 4. Out of position raise psycho. Seat 5, changed players about every two orbits. Seat 8, tightest player on the table. I could tell you so many bad plays these people made but why bother, lets just cut to the chase.

The Venetian floor guys, Tim Mix, Anthony Chester, Mark Goldsworthy...would all happen by my table, take looks at my chipstack and wonder/ask "Is this the day you finally break through, Monkey?" To which I would generally respond..."I'm sure its only a matter of time before one of these assclowns delivers me my daily bad beat." I would never make the mistake of getting excited. Not here. No way. So here we are, 5 minutes from the dinner break, sitting on 58k. Average is 52k. UTG+1 raises from 800/1600 to 4800. I look down at 10-10. Not really a good spot to re-raise, but sure wish now that I had. Pretty sure though that this guy has a top five hand. So I smooth call. Well, the joker from Brazil, in the 1 seat and the SB...decides to call with 47 offsuit.

I flop a SET OF TENS! But there are two diamonds out there, and this guy is a chaser. They both check to me. Now guessing the first raiser has AK. So I don't want to price him out. I bet 7500. Mr. Brazil Nut calls. Oh boy. What the hell is HE on? The next guy goes into a painful bout of suffering before making "The worst fold of the tournament" in his words. Not sure what to make of that. The turn is an 8 of spades. He checks again. I now am ready for this hand to be over. I bet 30,000! Leaving like 4500 behind. Thats when he delivers his line that will ring in my ears for hours....

"I don't want to give you a bad beat Mr. Monkey, but I also don't feel like coming back after the dinner break...so I will let you have my chips."

He turns over his hand...and I don't even know without looking at this picture that I took of the hand if he has a gutshot or is open ended, but he makes his move all in, and of course I call...and as the 3 hits the river, giving him a straight...and with all three floor guys watching, and waiting for me to probably pull out a shotgun and pull off the murder/suicide...I slither over to a dark corner somewhere and fall to the floor. I don't cry, but I want to. I don't kill myself. I simply sit there, asking "why?" Why does this keep happening to me over and over and over again? Why can't I just go to dinner break there with 105k in chips and reason to feel good?

So I make another bad decision. Instead of going to a place where cards and chips don't live I walk over and register in the 7pm $120 donkfest. And start drinking. I am going mental and have the table in stitches. Glad they were enjoying me, because I was in a place I can't even describe. I would go on a tear, doubling up with KK vs 88...and for a bit thought I might even have a chance to win. But a couple of bad sequences would leave me kind of short. A guy raises in early position..and I make a read that he is weak, so I shove on him with KQ suited. He has to call for half his raise, and he struggles to do that! Funny. He turns over KJ. Jack on the flop. And it holds. Lovely. And I am OUT.

Go to SNG land. Earlier in the tourney, I had Rob Eyler (spelling?) at my table, the kid who played Tony Soprano's kid on the show. He would move all in after two raises, one by the Brazillian idiot and another player calling. He had AK. Brazil-boy calls with QJ offsuit. He wins. Rob hadn't said a word all game. He flipped out on the guy and leaves. Pissed. We would end up chatting about it later. We exchange numbers. He's a pretty cool little dude. I think he is, or WAS going to join us today at TAO beach. I had decided to take today off, mainly because Joe Cutler, who just cashed (again, Shootout last week for 5th) 15k in the WSOP 2k the other day, was offereing to take us to Tao beach. But now I haven't heard a peep from Joe, and its 12:30. Squirrel is itching to go to the pool, so its looking like Tao Beach just became South Point Trailer Pool Party. Awesome! We are running so good.

The SNG's last night would turn into an unmitigated disaster. No hand would hold up for me. On one, I limp with 66. Bad player raises too much. THREE more players call. I come up with this prediction: "Well, I think you have AK...and three callers tells me that all the A's and maybe all the K's are used up, so I think you are drawing dead....so I'm all in!" I figure I got a good chance there to take down a nice 1200 chip pot early. But he calls, with, SURPRISE...AK. And what does he flop? An ace...followed by another ace. Wow, well that worked out good. OUT.

Play another one. Almost get in trouble for, ya ready? Sexual harrassment. Yeah. This is at a table that I was laughing and joking with a male dealer, who we were acting gay to the delight of the table. New dealer shows up, and has to sign her down card. This is not a dealer I'm familiar with. She is, well, lets just call her very unattractive. I jokingly place the down card on my lap and tell her to get it. She freaks out, telling me I'm harrassing her. "I can't deal THIS TABLE!" She goes and complains to the SNG coordinator. Oh my God. I walk over to Cyndi and explain the situation. I apologize. Really didn't see it being a big deal. Offer to show pictures of Squirrel to this frumpy beast, to ensure her that my sexy thoughts are not of the dealer. Why is it always the homely girls who are the first to flip out and cite sexual harrassment? Ridiculous.

So, on the final sit n go, me and Mike buy into a $240. There is a $100 last longer, with 9 players. VERY JUICY. And we both REALLY need a win. I have slipped into my serious zone, putting on my iPod and dialing in. A couple of tense moments arise with other players NOT named Monkey. Asshole in the 10 seat has called clock on three seperate players after they have taken under 30 seconds to act. I finally put a $100 bounty on the guy. Then the guy on my right starts acting like a jerk. So I put a $30 bounty on HIM. I go back to my music. Two other players are arguing. Next, the floor comes over AGAIN...after the asshole has called clock on Mike. She tells him "Sir that is the FOURTH time you have called clock, and you are abusing it...so I am giving YOU a penalty!" So then they argue. Then Anthony comes over...and with veins bugging out of his forehead and sweat pouring down his face he starts screaming at the whole table. It was getting very out of hand. And what's funny is, I was just sitting there feeling pretty mellow, and not really giving a shit anymore.

I am pretty certain the whole table was on warning. Then the idiot on my left comes out with this gem "This is crazy, this table is crazy, I want OUT of this SNG, just give me back my buy in so I can leave." To which the guy in the one seat asks for the same thing. HA! Nice try guys...and nice short stacks. Yeah, it doesn't really work that way. Then I lose a large percentage of my chips when on a 5 player limped pot I move all in with A10 and get called by one guy...the jackass with K6s. Yeah, KING SIX...for ALL his chips. He wins with a 6 on the turn...and I say..."Great call you Donkey."

FIVE HANDS LATER, the floor is called AGAIN, this time for something between Mike and the guy who looks like Sammy Farha if Sammy ever turned to crack. Pretty sure I was calling him Cracky Farha. The floor arrives in the form of Anthony, who's face is bright red now. I am listening to AC/DC. WIthout a care in the world, sitting there with my scant 600 chips and dreaming of a comeback. Then I see fingers pointing at me. HUH? Remove headphones. "Did you call that guy a fucking donkey, Monkey?" What? Thats why you are over here? I called him a donkey, yeah...FIVE HANDS AGO. SO Mike, who is sitting there with 4600 chips and a legitimate shot to win defends me. Then a war breaks out on the table, and again...I am saying NOTHING. Then Anthony suddenly announces that ME and MIKE are OUT of the SNG! Disqualified! WHAT THE FUCK! Mike goes crazy. Anthony orders them to give us back our $100 last longer bets. I pick up my $100 and $30 bounties and quietly walk away. Mike though is staying and protesting....

[Maria from Hard Rock just texted to Squirrel to let us know that the Bad Beat just hit at I.P., great..thanks for that uplifting news!]

I walk out to the tourney registration desk and begin talking to a couple guys back there. I tell my side of the story. I let them know how disappointed I am with their decision, that with the kind of day and week that I am having there, and with the support that I continue to give them on here and through word of mouth that I was shocked that they would do that to me. They tell me "Monkey, its not that we don't want you to come back, we do...but we had to do something and it looked like you were the cause." [even though, clearly, I wasn't...I just always seem to be a convenient fall guy]

Mike comes strolling along, with three security people surrounding him. Wonderful. He is freaking out. I am the calm, voice of reason. He can't beleive I am so calm. He almost becomes mad that I'm not mad. I'm telling him..."Dude, being pissed off isnt going to make it any better. You just gotta let it go." I think the poker room managers appreciated my demeanor. And I doubt very seriously that there will be any repercussions when I DO go back. But honestly, I am just really getting to the point where I am sick of it. For every 20 dealers they have in there who are just AWESOME in every way, there is that ONE who is a complete MORON. And when they go bitch about me for whatever reason, I get "The Talk."

I don't know, maybe I'm just getting sick of poker, period. And all the bullshit that surrounds it. And the bad beats. The suckouts. The horrible players that show up to this outpost every summer to put their horrendous skills on display. Killing us good players who do this to try and make a living. It drains you. And I am drained. And admittedly, I am disappointed to a certain degree with the Venetian and how they handle certain things.

Granted, I am a bit of a crazy maniac at times, and I know I attract a lot of attention, sometimes unintentionally. And these guys are tasked with essentially managing a fucking circus every day. So with me being one of the biggest clowns under the tent...I guess I understand when in a fit of frutstration I get asked to get the hell out of there for the night. So Anthony, if you are reading this...I forgive you. You did NOT make the right decision last night. You over-reacted. Clearly. And Mike probably got fucked out of a $1000 or more in winnings at a time when HE really needed a win, too. But all the elements added up to this result, so I will bite the bullet.

On another note, Tim Mix and Kathy Raymond are contemplating taking the ONE STEP that I think will finally put the last shovel of dirt on Ceasers Palace. I've talked with Tim about the payout structures. It is the ONLY bad part of this event. WAY too top heavy. And Ceasers' isnt. Its the only advantage they have over Venetian. I've expressed to him my desire (as well as EVERY player I have talked to) to see the payouts flatten out a little, like 6%. It would make the event great. No one wants to make the money and realize a $100 gain on their investment. Its a joke. Especially with a backer. Great, I cashed 28th today. Made $1100 on a $560 buy in, of which my backer gets 60% of. What did I make? $50? For 12 hours of play? Nice. So I really, really hope and kind of predict that by Monday we will see an adjustment there.

I have a litany of random notes here I wanted to get to, but this blog entry is wayyyyy too long. Kai Landry has a new blog up. Hilarious as always. Check it out.

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads out there.

Chicks with Sleeve tattoos? Why? First of all, it isnt very attractive to start with...but what happens in 5 to 10 years when the trend has died off, and these girls walk into a job interview? Do they even think about this? Tattoos are just everywhere. I have ZERO tattoos. I would like it to stay that way.

Interesting thing occurred at Tao the other night. We were out of booze. Four bottles had been consumed already. At $500 a pop. Some (most) had chipped in, others hadn't. Should we get one more? Should we not? Finally decided to. I collect a total of $500 from various people, maybe 6 total. I order a bottle of Grey Goose. IT arrives. Total, $538. My $100 becomes $138. Then I watch what can only be compared to a United Nations food drop in Ethiopia or Darfur. It was a mad swarm...and when the dust and buzzards cleared there was about 1/8th of an inch worth of vodka left in the bottle, with my glass still yet to be filled with a cocktail. WOW. That was a very wise decision. Las Vegas, land of mispent funds.

Mike and I have had a lot of fun making fun of morons who walk around taking pictures of the stupidest shit. This guy was literally standing in front of the horse in the fountain at Ceasers with a video camera...taping a horse that would surely never move or do anything interesting. We were laughin our asses off. People take pictures of the dumbest shit. And what do they do with them? So what does Mike do? He starts posing with the most ridiculous things he can find. Plants. Metal railings. Bushes. Other tourists (which tends to really freak out the tourista subject). Ducks. So in addition to the MANY donkey photos I have accumulated, we now have a nice collection of photos NO ONE in their RIGHT MIND would ever want to see.

I think I am done here. In summary, life right now can NOT possibly get any worse for Senor Monkey. I can not run any worse than I am running right now, so there is no where to go but up. I am playing good, making proper reads, calling people's damn hands....but for some reason, the Poker Gods have remained adamant about using 2009 as its personal anal probe regarding me. I have attempted to pray, asking for some relief. But the one and two outers just keep on coming. I am now going to go lay in the sun. Thats ONE area that I have been successful in at least, getting tan. That and consuming alcohol and getting into clubs for free are areas that I am running good in, so thats SOMEthing, I guess!

To all the readers who have come up and introduced yourselves to me, its been great meeting you. I am writing this because I now feel a certain sense of obligation to you all. Really, honestly...I didn't even want to write. I guess now I feel a bit better. After all, I don't get paid for this, its more for mental therapy. Y'all have a nice day!


I am attempting to upload a picture of the SET OF TENS tourney ending suckout...just in case ANY of you think I make this shit up!!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

sleep. I have had 3 levels of DREAM poker and with the avg stack at 19k am sitting on 85k! Kind of a nice start.
Not to again get you excited, but after a truly brutal and taxing week I come in to todays $550 at venetian (698 players and 94k for 1st!!!) On 14 hrs of

Tuesday Day 20. Sick as Hell...and tired of Bubbling.

I know its getting bad when the floor guy at Venetian comes by my table and tells me "Hey Monkey, whats the deal man? You haven't posted anything in four days! Come on!" Dammit. Okay, I will pull my shit together and give you something....

[Quick not here. VENETIAN? I LOVE YOU GUYS! But there is ONE thing I am simply BEGGIN you guys to FIX/CHANGE...if not IMMEDIATELY for this event, at the very least...for the next event. The TOP HEAVY payouts are a nightmare, good for only ONE thing, working out good Chop/Save deals when getting down to 6 handed. You are not making SHIT until you hit the 3rd tier in payouts. Yesterday there were 819 players, paying 74 spots...the payline was $406, on a $340 buy in. This is ridiculous! I mean even Harrah's of all casinos figured this one out. You cash at any of theirs and you at least double up. Come on Venetian...please fix this, guys.]

I am laid up in bed about to die. Thought I was on top of this cold, but it has wrapped its ugly grip around my throat and begun to choke the life out of me. I have always been the guy to say..."If you are sick and coughing, leave that shit at home, don't bring it in to my poker room, bitch!" So now, I am pressed into the unenviable spot of complying with my dictum. At a very bad time in the year, the World Series, and all that encompasses it.

The last three or four days have been very eventful. For a lot of reasons, some of which I simply cannot write about. Some things just have to stay in the clubhouse. Sorry.

Today is Tuesday. I did not cash today. I did not bubble either, finally! I actually went out at 6:30pm, BEFORE the dinner break. That's a switch.

Let's back it up. We will go to Saturday. My buddy Mike "Fast Talking" Terril arrived in town. We decided to play at Ceasers, giving them a chance after they changed their structure. I had a feeling they would attact a huge field. I was dead wrong. There were only 141 players, paying 9. The theme this trip has been very similar every tourney...the players SUCK. It is very easy to chip up early. Top pair is gold to them. Flush draws are something that must ALWAYS be chased. So on Saturday, I would chip up early and often. I had this scary looking German guy with these mirrored glasses like the ones Ponch wore in C.H.I.P.S. get moved to my table, and he would stare me down over and over, whether I was in the hand or not. It was freaking me out. Meanwhile there were other things to freak me out.

There is a waitress who buzzes around the room with this voice....whoa...like a damn cross between a troll and munchkin..."Beverages, cold drinks...." She makes the "Baaaaackk Maaassaaage" girl look almost normal and tolerable. Her voice and her face are about as much a match as Michelle Obama and Kim Jong-Il of North Korea. I like Michelle.

I would get my table broken...and moved to a new one, with 27 players remaining and me sitting on about 58K, with average now about 85K. Needing a double up. And who comes to my table with me? The freaky German, Ginger-kid grown up, Red Hair, no lips, and those horrible scary glasses. Calls every time I raise. Raises my BB every chance he gets. I pick up KK and raise 3x to 6000. He calls in the BB. He 'checks in the dark.' Ohhh the always mysterious 'check in the dark' that we all fear like a rabid monkey released into a room of banana-wielding babies. The flop comes 10-8-4. I bet out 20K. He stares back at me, and probably thinking I have AK like they all do, announces in his monotone, robotic way that he is "Ahhhhhhllllll in" I call fearing a set or worse, J9, 56...some weird combination cards requiring ONE card in the deck to arrive. Nope, just Q8 offsuit. Yep, he has an 8. And as the 2 hits the turn, and I am thinking I may just be about to double up, the dealer crushes my hopes and dreams of winning a massive $12,000 for first (thats a sick joke there, nice turnout Ceasers!) by slapping a Q on the river. Thanks Bud. 9:45pm. OUT. Awesome.

The day started quite ominously. Having been out the night before...at Sapphire, and feeling rather run down and not wanting to risk $1500 at Rio, I took the smaller buy in option instead. I actually showed up feeling quite good. I was very chatty and making fun conversation with the entire table. Somewhere about level 2 a new floor person there, Greg, shows up at my table and tells me "Excuse me sir, I would like to ask you to please hold down your voice a bit, there are complaints from other tables that you are being too loud!" I started looking around. I was sure someone had put him up to this. Hmm...no, this feels real. So, I decided to defend myself. "Um, yeah, hi Greg. I havent met you. First of all, I am being pretty mild by my usual standards. Second of all, I know the rules, and until I am breaking a rule, or offending someone, I will continue to talk as much, and as often as I want. I paid my $340 like all these other players, and I happen to enjoy talking. My table mates and I are getting along quite well. If someone at antoher table is 'annoyed' by me, that is their problem. And finally, maybe if you guys had some players show up for your events, and this place had more than 140 players sitting in it, it would be loud enough so that you couldn't hear every word coming out of my mouth. This must be what its like to play a poker tournament in a library!"

And that was that. Later I would see him trying to explain what he had told me to another floor guy, who I DID know. I could tell they were talking about me. So I walked over there. Confronted him. I was right. We worked things out. I think the other guy told young Greg that he needed to maybe leave Monkey the hell alone. Maybe not, but I think I am going with my theory on that one.

Sunday would roll around. We decide to go back to Ceasers. Why? Not sure. Again, expected a large crowd. Sunday was a $1500 at Venetian. And a $2k at WSOP, so I thought maybe Ceasers would get a big crowd. The previous night I was down at the Shutters/Hooker Bar talking to Matt Brady and E-Tay (she now refuses to be called Esther Taylor) about what to play the next day...right before Matt tried to 'hustle me' for $500. Apparantly he had researched ahead of time how many tourney cashes I had (which varies, according to what PokerPages and Cardplayer have decided to publish and omit from their reportings....its somewhere between 47 and 50) and made it a point to challenge me that I didn't have 49 cashes. I took the bet, having not looked up my stats in awhile and feeling 95% confident that I would have 49 reported on one of the two sites. Well, he already knew I guess, and when we looked on both one said 48, the other 47. FUCK. So, not one to be a weasel/welsch...I paid him the $500...hating life...and snuck off up to my room. Crawled into bed and prepared to slip into a coma.

Keith came in a short while later. He threw $500 at me, telling me that him and Brady had set me up. Jackasses. I fell asleep.

We get to Ceasers on Sunday. There are 225 players. Better, but still, not great. This time 1st place would be around $14k. Paying 18. $1150 to cash.

[I am watching Jimmy Kimmel right now, the Jonas Brothers are performing from their live concert in England. Excuse me for one second...but WHAT THE HELL is the allure with these twits? If any of these bozos EVER show up at my poker table they are getting hit with a BOUNTY!]

We arrived very late. I was in Seat 8. Seat 7 was vacant. For a good while. This would become a very, very bizarre day in poker. I order a pineapple juice. Its half empty. In comes overly cocky Asian guy, with his stupid designer shades, his expensive headphones, and his bad breath slipping into seat 7. He grabs my pineapple juice and puts it on the floor. "Excuse me, can I please have my pineapple juice?" He shoots me a dirty look and gives it back to me.

Then he starts riffling his chips. Constantly. Causing me to lose my mind. I finally freak out and grab my own overly expensive Bose headphones from my bag to compete with him. And to shut out the riffling.

Sitting in the 2 seat quite possible the worst player I have encountered on this trip. (and who's picture I have taken-of course) He has already made three or four of the most unbelievably bad plays I have ever seen. I am quite certain he has taken notice of me critiquing his amazing skills. So now, every time I raise, he insta-calls. I get into every hand he limps (as long as I have a 'playable' hand) into. Once I call 200 with 7h9h, with 5 other callers. The flop comes 6-7-9. He bets out 400. And with a pot now at 1400, I raise to 2200. No one else calls, except him. Moron. Turn brings a J, which also creates a double flush situation. Not hearts though. He checks. I bet 4000! He calls. River is a 5, and completes a possible flush. I am sure this doink was calling me with something like A8, and think FOR SURE he has hit a damn straight. He leads out for 7500. Son of a bitch! There is now no way I can call. I call him a few choice names and fire my cards to the muck. They catch a little air...may have nailed the dealer in the stomach. Whatever.

That's when our Asian buddy speaks up. "Too bad you can't buy class." Not to me. No, just one of those...'I think I'll make a statement and see how popular it is with the crowd.' I say NOTHING. Nope, instead I just start staring at the guy. I am glued on him for about 5 minutes, with my music blaring. He is saying something, I can't hear him. I don't care. I am trying to scare or freak him out. It's working. I see his lips move in what looks like an offensive statement. I pull away one earphone and ask him, in a very soft voice "I'm sorry, did you have something you want to say to me?" "Yeah, why don't you chill the fuck out man!" Ooooops! FLOOR!!!! Hollers the dealer.

Floor arrives. Dealer explains the situation. Floor tries to give us BOTH a warning. I calmly ask why I am getting a warning when all I did was ask the guy if he had something he wished to say to me. He ends up agreeing with me. So he gives ASO a warning. Which causes him to go nuts. He pulls the race card, suggesting he is getting a warning only because he is Asian. Thats a new one. Living in the south I'm kind of used to the race card coming out on Black/White situations...but never before on the Yellow/White field. Hmmm. Interesting. He gets a one round penalty. But insists on staying at the table. So I keep staring at him. He is coming apart at the seams. Finally, he can't take it anymore and goes to smoke a cigarette.

He comes back finally. On literally his 3rd hand, he raises from 200/400 to 1200. I look down at KK. I re-raise him to 3500. He calls. The flop comes Js-2s-2h. He checks. I bet 4000. He puts me all in. I call. He has 5s-6s. Oh, I almost forgot the best part. When the guy in the 2 seat, Mr Donkey...watched little buddy get a warning, then a penalty, he ran over to the floor, thus deeming himself the TABLE RAT...to give his version of the story. So with this jerkoff needing a spade to knock me out...the Rat down there is chanting for a spade. Sorry, turn is a K. Thanks for the double up, assclown. I ask the table "So, raise your hand if you WERENT rooting for a spade." To which the JapoDonk says "They were ALL rooting for a spade you fool! No one wants you to win! Are you that stupid!?"

"Yeah, I kind of got that ya moron, hence my rhetorical question, slash joke you simpleton!" Now please hurry up and donk off the rest of your chips. He would. Very quickly too. He raises in UTG+1 with, ahemm....34off. He gets re-raised by KK in the BB. He calls. BB catches a really bad flop....K-5-10. He checks and our Hero with the Zero goes all in. Drawing dead sir. Well, pretty much. And he storms out...another Monkey Antagonizer out the door. See ya!

OH MY GOD! So, this is about half way through the blog entry! I literally spent an additional hour writing this....little did I know I lost connection a long time ago, and EVERYTHING I wrote from this point on failed to be saved. So it only saved up to this point. Its now 3:40am, and thought I was done. There is no way I can bang all that out again. I am going to sleep, and just leaving you all hanging. Sorry. But I have to play at noon at Venetian. Wow...that pisses me off!