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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

OKAY OKAY...the A.C. wrap up finally!

Let's see if we can make this brief.

Doubtful!

I just got done playing the $3 rebuy on Stars. Dammit! 4519 suckers...and I finish 45th, for a whopping $80. Instead of $6143 for 1st. Whatever. One of these days. I just wonder...when I do finally win one of these damn things...what will that do to my 13% ROI? One of the main reasons I want to crush one of those low buy in, high cash out MTT's.

We went to Chef Scott's last night. Finally. It is located in the coolest part of Ocean Springs. It has the feel of The Hampton's on Long Island, NY. But without all the 75k cars rolling around! Just a quaint little neighborhood. And the restaurant itself was perfect. Understated, which is nice. Nothing worse than sushi places going over the top with their "Hey check us out, we're a SUSHI place!" decor. Very small, seating only about 50 to 60 I would say. It features a sushi counter though where you can come in and sit by yourself or a buddy to eat. Right up my alley for those nights when I'm craving sushi and Squirrel is working.

The meal was terrific. Tight rolls, which seems to be a forgotten aspect in sushi rolls these days. Some great 'signature' rolls too. The service was above average. Only thing that I found a little sketchy was when we asked the busgirl/foodrunner for some water to go with the wine we brought (its a BYOB place) and she brought us two bottles of water. At first I thought "wow, nice touch...they give away bottled water...maybe their tap water isn't consumable!??" But then..towards the end of the meal I asked our actual server for a refill and she brought me good 'ol fashioned H2O. Then on my bill, which is hand prepared in the style of Waffle House (hmmm...ducking the tax man here are we? Beware of scamming waiters on your nights off Chef Scotty!) I notice a charge for the water. Okay, whatever, if I am spending $80 I am not going to quibble about sneaking me a water charge. But there are those who will. So I hope they don't make a habit of that.

At any rate, the place was great. The sushi was fantastic, and I am certain we have found our replacement for SAKI! That place just a couple miles from Scott's, the place that SUCKS!!!! So, me and Squirrel give Chef Scott's two thumbs up!

Football in Seattle is back to normal again. Huskies crack the top 25 (gift) this week and go to Stanford and get slaughtered, and the Seahawks...after leading late against the Bears...choked away a sure victory to go to 1-2. Swell. I do get to root for my boy Felix Hernandez, who notched victory number 18 tonight against a meager 5 losses, and Ken 'the Kid' Griffey Jr, hit career homer #678...shoot for his 19th win on Sunday and hopefully a good shot at the Cy Young Award in what has been a damn good year for the Mariners when everyone picked us to finish last.

Now then. On to the tail end of the Atlantic City trip. Before I get to the last night there, I had a few other things happen while I was there that you may find entertaining, funny, stupid or just...I don't know...shit you can use against me later!

1) The cocktail waitresses in Atlantic City don't serve beverages. They serve "BAVARAGES"...its a South Jersey/Philly thing. If you arent from there or you have never been to A.C. you just won't understand. If you live there and your reading this...I hope your laughing.

2) Ceasers Palace Las Vegas. Ceasers Palace Atlantic City. Same decor. Same cocktail waitresses. And if you have been to either you know JUST what I am talking about. Who designed these outfits? And how solid is THAT union of theirs? Wow. I mean...eventually these women WILL pass away, right?

3) Found out from Jason Young...yeah, Jason...not Allie Prescott, my good (ahem) friend...that he had gotten rid of his house in Vegas to spend all fall and winter in Europe. When I inquired through Facebook, yes, he confirmed it. So now I am scrambling for accomodations on my next trip out to Vegas...in November, for the Deepstacks.

4) Prop Bets. Something I run hot and cold in. Not so hot in Atlantic City. The first one involved Jason Young. He won his first three matches in the Borgata's heads up tournament. In his fourth match he faced Matt Brady. I decided to set some ridiculous odds at 5/2 in favor of Brady. Why? No idea, figured since he is better known than Jason, even though Jason has won a WSOP bracelet...that he would be the favorite. I went to Gavin Smith, who will bet on almost ANYTHING. Figured I could get him to take Brady. I liked Jason's chances. And I liked the idea of winning $500. Well, Gavin wouldn't bite. In fact he took Jason. And I was stuck with Matt. Matt went out and promptly lost. Ouch! The next day I searched high and low til I finally found Gavin...and he did a very cool thing. He let me out for only $300, saying the odds were way bad. That was pretty effin cool of Gavin.

5) Next prop bet was hatched while watching girls slide up and down poles. One night me, Phil from Indiana, and Christian "da Professional" Iacobellis decided to try out an A.C. strip club. Believe the place was called 'Bare' and yeah...pretty much described the place. The management was pretty rough with the guests. Hardcore patdown at the door. Cells phones were treated like nuclear devices. Not allowed inside. They had lockers to pen them up. Inside, the talent was interesting. I would say on a 1-10 scale of 'attractive' the average was about a 7.25. In the department of breasts...wow, I was astonished. Almost NONE of them had any, and fake titties were nowhere to be found. Weird. Why? Can't they afford them? And they didn't seem shy about it. It was just odd. In Vegas you almost NEVER see that. Where they really shined was on the pole. Almost all of them had great legs and asses, and literally...EVERY one of them that got on the stage was an incredible dancer, and worked the pole like a Cirque du Soleil performer. I was impressed. Whenever I go to a club of this type with girls, like my wife...they tend to look for this type of talent. Well, I found it. They were very talented.

6) Oh yeah, the second prop bet was hatched here. Not sure how. But I must have been drinking too much. First one was me setting the number over/under for the next day's $550 tourney and its 1st place prize. I predicted $84,500. Christian took the under. It wasnt close. He destroyed me on that one. One left for me to square it up. Oh yeah...we were running these at $400 a pop. Prop bet #2. Over/under on NYYankee victories. When I made this number...there were 12 games left. They had 94 wins. I put the number at 102.5. He had the over. The following night we would watch Ichiro homer off of Mr. Automatic...Mariano Rivera...with 2 outs in the 9th. I had that....you know? Feeling? That everything would work out just fine? That is the last time they lost. Yeah. They won their 6th in a row tonight. With a 2 run rally vs. KC. They now have 102 wins. Their next win costs me $800. Ugh. Yeah I'm fucked.

7) Managed to finally check out a nightclub. The club that DJ AM used to spin at before he took to spinning in the ground...'Dusk'...in Ceasers Palace. Not bad. Really dark. Tiny dance floor. The one good thing was that it had LOTS of tables/booths to sit down at, which meant you were going to be selling a lot of bottles in that place. Which I investigated. Their minimum for bottle service was 1 bottle per 4 people. Wow. In Vegas, you can BARELY even THINK about getting a table without promising to buy 3 bottles, mimimum, at an average of $450 a bottle. Well, they were going for $350 in A.C....which is close to Vegas...but the minimum means you can take a group of 5 to 8 and get out without taking out a second mortgage the next morning.

8) And finallllly. The Taj Majal. That 'gem' on the Boardwalk owned by Donald Trump. Two words. WHAT-THE-FUCK!??? Oh, is that three? Well, after spending an evening in their poker room, I guess I forgot how to count! "The Angle" talked me into going down there and playing in their $100 7pm tourney on our last night there. Oh...what the hell. We walk in. I immediately smell mold. Wow. Thats nice. Oh shit, I need a players card? Fine...go to the line. There is this lady about 54...and I can tell she is dying to ask me if she can cut in front of me. I have no idea why she is so frantic. She has a bit of sweat on her forehead. She is talking really fast to whoever will listen to her. She is twitching. Moving her head all over the place. I am, uh...lets just say...feeling very sedated and mellow on this evening. And finally I can't take it anymore. "Ma'am would you like to go ahead of me?" "Oh! Really! You sure! You don't mind!!!?? Really? I can go ahead of you!!???" Please go now before I kill you lady!

I get into the tourney. I can't begin to describe the players. I am almost certain I made 5 bad laydowns. I was making folds like I would make vs. good players. I forgot, or hadn't quite figured out yet...that these people were literally torn out of comic strips. I was spending more time freaking out over the chips, which you could no longer make out ANYTHING on them that would indicate their value or where they are from. Just a dull color, and foreign matter stuck all over them. And that lingering smell of mold. Even the felt on the table itself felt...I don't know how to describe it...like a sponge that was used to clean up someone's vomit..and then had almost completely dried out...but not quite.

At some point I got excited when I heard they had COKE and not PEPSI, and decided to order one from the ....uh...what is THAT??? A walking couch? Looking at the cocktail waitress and not laughing was the #1 challenge at this moment. No no...I'm not being mean, this isnt even about the girl they had somehow managed to squeeze into this...this....this is what I am laughing at. I guess they call it a uniform. Brown, velour...and just...awful. It made every girl wearing it look like a fucking couch. A big, ugly, brown couch. I order my Coke. That is when I hear Keith over there bitching at some guy...then see him leaving the tournament area. Oh. Guess I can figure out what happened there. Meanwhile, I am losing ridiculously and not really caring. I know I have about as much chance of winning this tourney as Moses probably thought he had of parting the Red Sea. Well...at least, you know...before he actually pulled it off. No, I am not about to go Ten Commandments on you...I am NOT winning this thing.

But I do get moved to "The Angle's" seat that he just vacated. And maybe TWO minutes in I see what happened. Oh boy. Sitting in the 10 seat is this black guy. No, I have never seen him before. (for the record, if I ever DO see this guy again, I will most likely run like the wind to escape him!) In fact, I had never seen a single person in that poker room before. Well, this guy is talking. A lot. Like...endlessly. He never stopped. And nothing he is saying is interesting. In fact...everything he is saying is nails-on-the-chalkboard annoying. And he's an awful poker player. But he keeps telling the table he is the best. Kind of a poor man's Teddy "The Iceman" Monroe. I finally end up getting it in good...10-10..and get called by a guy with A9...and then our favorite retard announces he's all in 'dark' when three of us clearly saw him look at his cards. Whatever, he turns over AK. The guy with A9 was priced in. Flop comes Q-Q-5. Okay...where is the two outer? You KNOW its gonna be the ace...right? Turn? 9. River? 9. Too much. I'm out...and feel like I won!

I'm on the wait list to play 5/10 omaha hi/lo. So while waiting I go play 1/2. In 20 minutes I turn $300 into $520. Then they call my name. I should have stayed put. These people were horrid. I would end up playing omaha from 10pm til 6am. I think when it was all said and done I lost like $250 maybe. It was nothing but a roller coaster ride. The excitement came from the surroundings.

From midnight to 5am there was a solid rotation of hookers working the room. I saw some of the nastiest hooker outfits ever. And they all have those nasty tattoos all over their body. The classic 4 to 5 inch heels. And that walk...and attitude...talking like they are raised in a trailer park. Just cruising by my table...back and forth...I was like...'what friggin planet am I on?'

Then the fighting started. First a big blowup happens at Keith's table. And remarkably, he wasn't involved. Never actually found out what the deal was at that one. The next one involved a tall, skinny white guy who looked like he might be going down to unload boats at 5am on the docks...and had been drinking for the last 3 or 15 days. Not sure what he was pissed about...but he gets into it with this guy...and finally announces he is going to another table. Great.

Thats when the angry black man exploded at OUR table. From the moment I sat down I was watching this guy. Very normal looking guy. Had a golf windbreaker on, a NIKE hat...athletic looking. In his late 40's. You could almost see this guy having been a competitive athlete when he was younger. Well, I am watching him...and he is freaking out whenever he loses a hand. What's stupid is he always had a stack under $100 in front of him. And he would rebuy $100 at a time. Probably 6 times total. After every hand he would give his critical analysis of how badly each hand was played. Whenever he was clearly rivered he would angrily slam his cards down when he folded. "Of course you hit the flush, of COURSE YOU DID!!!!!!! Why WOULDNT you hit the flush!!!!!" Dude was coming unglued. He was in the 5 seat. I was in the 3. When the 8 opened up, I took it, to mainly get away from this guy. So much for that strategy. After losing two more buy ins he took over the 10 seat.

Right about the time that tall, drunk and skinny started getting into another huge scuffle at the other table he moved to...the Angry Black Man flips out! Starts when he goes to check a flop...by tapping two chips on the button, which aparantly at the Taj constitutes a bet. Well, the dealer (in his defense) was being nice and told the guy it would just be a warning, but that next time it would be a bet. Well, dude freaks out on him. So like a typical asshole, on the next hand...he goes to check and exaggerates his check...holding his hand like a kung fu chop and pounding it up and down...saying..."I CHECK!" yeah okay pal...we got it, your a fuckhead and your checking. Thanks. Well, on the NEXT hand...when it comes to him...he has his middle finger extended as he is checking. Which the dealer notices, and asks him to stop flipping him off. That its uncalled for. The dealer was completely right. And should have NEVER been put in this spot. The player was a fucking psychopath. I think maybe this guy might have been a good athlete, and guys like that are super competitive...and they can't ever get accustomed to losing. So when they do, they often times just unravel. And this guy had a major come apart. He starts yelling at the dealer, that he 'is just checking' and that the dealer is fucked up. The dealer calls the floor...angry boy yells..."Yeah..FLOOR!!!!" This should be good.

It wasnt. It was just a big shouting match. Black guy tells the floor, "Im not the problem here! You're problem is over THERE! (at the other table where tall,drunk and skinny was going ballistic on his table). See what he did was use that other disturbance as a smokescreen to act like a complete fucking jackass. I am just sitting there, amazed. I am looking for security. Oh, there they are, standing against the wall. Doing nothing. Huh? Like...what actually GETS their attention in this place? A guy standing up on top of the table...pulling out a machete and announcing he is about to start decapitating people!?? Yes? No? Who knows? Well, finally they decide to remove this guy. Then the other guy. And then it got pretty quiet. But at least the hookers were still trolling the aisles.

At one point this old geezer comes and sits at our table. He had no idea how to play the game. He also had Tourettes Syndrome. His 'tick' was that he had this little wheezing sound he made that sounded like that cartoon dog way back...can't remember his name. Snickering...but it was a tick, and not a snicker. So every time I would make a bet, he would let out that noise...and I thought he was laughing at me. It was a trip. He lost $80 and left.

The line of the night went to the new cocktail waitress, who came on at around 2am and had hair that she had clearly been growing for the whole decade, maybe longer. There is a point where hair just gets to be TOO long. She had arrived at this place. She was actually my favorite though. She was a good waitress, and she was a smartass...which I always enjoy. This guy kept hollering at her...."Waitress! Hey waitress!!!!.....WAITRESS!!!!" To which she finally responds...with...yeah, my line of the night. "CUSTOMER! Hey CUSTOMER! What do you need!???" Awesome.

The Taj Majal is a gigantic poker room, with over 80 tables. They are going to be hosting the U.S.Poker Championship again this year. I will not be there. In their defense, their dealers were actually very good. But the civil unrest in there made me ....yeah, I'll say it....scared. It was striking me as funny and ironic that as much problems as I allegedly cause with my 'behaviour' that I felt like a saint in this place. I mean...what would happen if this cast of miscreants were dropped into the Beau Rivage's poker room one night? Holy shit. I posted on Facebook that I was in there that night, and had legit players asking me..."Monkey, what in the HELL were you thinking walking into that place!??? Real players do NOT set foot in there!" Oh...sorry, I didn't know. I guess I do now. Hey if nothing else, I really feel a lot better about who I am and how I present myself when I go to play poker. So next time you go to A.C.....you should strap on your 9mm, slip into a bullet proof vest, and go check out the poker room at the Trump Taj Majal. Good stuff Donnie....YOU'RE FIRED!!!!

And there ya go. My Atlantic City wrap up! And now, I shall attempt to fall asleep before the sun comes up. Three days til I leave for Aruba.

MONKEY

Monday, September 28, 2009

Atlantic City follow up...and some other 'stuff'

Okay first of all....and this is kind of depressing...my hits are down. Way down. Like....almost 1,000. What does this mean? I think it means I need to hurry up and snap something off. Plus I did a little accounting today....yikes. It sure goes quick when there is NONE coming in!

Well, I almost had a GLORIOUS Sunday yesterday. I do not play much on Ultimate Bet. There is never anyone on there. And I was already committed to going to Aruba. Just figured I would get there and try to Mega Satellite my way in. I do seem to be running good in that department. Well, then I see a $5 rebuy on UB. That is 20 minutes in. With like 28 players. Its a satellite into their $109 tourney, which is a tourney into their $530 Mega at 8pm. Well...things went well. I took one rebuy...which came on the FIRST hand when I lost with JJ vs AA...and that was it. I took an add-on. So all told, I was in for $15 to win $8500. I would end up winning the $5 rebuy. Only one winner there.

Then I would play the $109. Somewhere around 150 there. 27 winners. I would win that one too. Whoa. This was getting almost interesting/exciting. Then I get in the bathtub at 8pm. I would not get out until I got put out. Early in the game, with Ad4d...I got a flop that was 4 to the flush and got Poker Ho (we all know that person) to bet rather large. I played it coy and flatted. Turned the flush. Nice. Gave him two pair. I checked again. He bet huge. I min raised. He shipped it. I faded the boat. The next 4 levels were frustrating. But then I got a double up with a AA vs AQ, a mini-double with JJ against 99 and managed to float around til we got to 30..then I started sweating.

While this was going on...I was watching TV. Watched a pretty interesting episode of 60 minutes, which featured General Stanley McChrystal...remember, that recent entry of mine about that guy? I was pleased to see that my points were pretty dead on. I was also surprised to see this guy profiled. I admire him. Well, after that ended...it was the season premier of...oh boy! Amazing Race. And guess who two of your contestants are? This was where I snickered...."professional" poker players Maria Ho and....tsk tsk....stop it....hahahahah...quit it....Tiffany Michelle! Ya, apparantly 2 career cashes will now win you title of 'POKER PRO' in this day and age. Thats so awesome. Well, she was pretty much as annoying on the show as she is in person. Here's to rooting for a crash sometime in a future episode.

Back to my plight. I look around at the other table..and oh...guess who the chipleader is? Just Mike Leah. Jeezuz. Everything I get deep in...live OR online...there he is...and always with more chips than me. I am assuming he 'got it done' as he had 20k more than the next closest player. Well, I had one of those moments we all hate. With 16 left...and me sitting on the 14th biggest stack...this guy who had been raising a lot...does it again. And he is one of these assholes who likes to raise stupid amounts. So at 500/1000 (me with 14,500) he raises to 2789. Now...when I look at 8-8 in my hand...I don't really know what to do. We all know this dilemna I think. Smooth call and see a flop? Root for an 8? Push over the top all in and hope no one behind me wakes up? Or that he actually has something this time? My first instinct was to fold. And fold would have been okay. But I also needed badly to get myself a nice pot...to give myself a chance...as only 10 people were going to win this thing. So I smooth call. As it turns out, it was the right thing to do other than folding (the PREFERRED option here!). The guy behind me also calls. Hmmmm. Weird. But he has a lot of chips too....so I don't know. Well, the flop comes Q-4-6 rainbow. The initial raiser checks. Hmmmm. A10? Worse? Check raising? No...not with two behind him. That makes no sense. I am torn. Check...or ship? I ship. Guy behind instacalls. OH FUCK! First guy folds. He has AQ. Ohhhhh nooooooo.........

I fail to hit an 8 and am OUT! Oh I wanted to just drown myself. Granted, a bit earlier...with 18k...this guy had shipped with 7k and I called holding KK. He had AA...I rivered a KING! So right there I would have been crippled. It just felt like I was about to have one of those days of glory in poker!

I had already agreed to buy one of our local online wizard's UB package for $4200...he has won 5 Ive been told, nice! That would save me $1300 over the full price. Nevertheless...to have won that yesterday would have been such a huge swing...a swing of $12,700. And it kept me up last night. Oh well. I played pretty good poker yesterday. Pretty much skipped all the Pokerstars crap. Got deep in the $55 MTT then got assraped about 20 from the money. Standard P.S. B.S.

Uh oh....Im getting the 'come on sweetie...get dressed....lets go!!!' from Squirrel. Just had a very productive day. Getting all the pool payments updated, SLEEPING (for a change) and getting the lawn mowed. We are planning to go check out the newest sushi restaurant that we havent been able to get to yet...CHEF SCOTTS in Ocean Springs. I guess I know him from playing poker with him...is what Squirrel tells me. I hope this is the place to replace SAKI as our old favorite. By the way...in case I haven't mentioned it lately...SAKI SUCKS!!!!

So I guess I need to keep the wife happy and cut this short....I will make another entry, maybe later tonight...with all the follow up to Atlantic City, and some other random shit...as well as a critique of Chef Scott's place!

MONKEY

Friday, September 25, 2009

COU-SPLATTTA!!!! Stupid Monkey!!!!

What the hell was I thinking!????

Oh people do I have a lot to tell you about regarding my last night in Atlantic City...and it involves the Taj Majal. But I cannot even BEGIN to get onto that topic.

WHY? Because I am raging right now. I just completed tearing up the parking lot...ahem, the World's largest most retarded parking lot in the world, at Coushatta...and now am in the motel room I rented so that I could destroy. Luckily I don't think I have done anything that will be billed to my credit card.

I plan next to get in my car and drive like a bat out of hell to my house, where I plan to hide under the covers, snuggle with my dogs, make love to my wife (if she'll have me) and sleep for the next four days!

I am so mad right now. All the indicator signs were lining up that I was about to end multiple curses and bad omens. Son of a (*@&!(&@!#!!!! I know I said on here last year that I was never coming back to Coushatta. And when I said it, I truly meant it.

But, here I am last night...sitting on a layover in Memphis, and I see that tomorrow (Friday) is the $1k Coushatta Main Event. Hmmmm. A simple left hand turn out of the New Orleans airport and 3 hour drive and I am there. Should I do it? First things first...I smell this amazing barbecue coming from around the corner....follow your nose monkey.....OH MY GOD! Wow! $18.82 later I am feasting on some killer barbecue...on the plane....listening to this almost-Keanu Reeves look-a-like babble his fucking face off to the lady next to him who may or may NOT have cared....for the entire 1 hour and 27 minutes it took to deplane. Literally, he talked the entire way, and very loud. Before we got to the gate, he says..."My wife tells me I talk to much...." and I say, rather loudly..."Noooooooo!" To which the entire three rows behind me start to laugh. He was oblivious.

[I am now watching Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian psychopath, talk to Larry King. Can someone PLEASE tell me why we arent having this piece of shit picked off while he is on American soil?]

Related, or kind of unrelated to this rant regarding my Coushatta Fuckbeat....I am driving up here last night, because Yeah...I decide, against the other option of going home and seeing my wife who misses me and my dogs who miss me...to take a shot at 70k...and I am listening to talk radio, some weasel bag idiot named...I think, Tommy Tucker out of New Orleans who has his ass twisted on backwards. He is repeatedly making this point on Afghanistan that is utterly ridiculous.

"General McCrystal ordered Air Force bombing be heavily reduced, to reduce civilian casualties on July 2nd...and what has resulted is reduced civilian deaths but heightened military deaths. This course of action shows that the military is more concerned with Afghanistan lives than American soldiers' lives, because they are depriving our troops of air support that will keep them from getting killed."

This absolute idiot kept drilling this statement at this listeners. I called in, was in the cue....was listening to one caller after another, and him...and getting totally hysterical, wanting to rip the steering wheel off the car. Liberal media, again...driving public support against a war he has NO IDEA about.

Why is it so hard for these peckerheads to see what this war is REALLY about? I hope some of you really care about this.

(a) GWBush totally fucked up in 2001! We waited 2 months before going into Afghanistan, thus allowing the Taliban to move elements of their core leadership out of the area, as well as Al-Queda leadership, including 'ol FuckFace himself, Osama Bin Laden.

(b) We invaded, and focused on Kandahar, instead of heading for the mountains right away. We established a presence, and a base of operations, and that was about it.

(c) Dum Dum then decides, along with Super Hawk Paul Wolfowitz to orchestrate their vendeta war on Iraq, claiming the presence of WMD's. There are none. We depose Saddam. We turn the country into a terrorist's Disneyland...a place to come and take potshots at Americans.

(d) Meanwhile, we almost completely ignore Afghanistan while the Taliban re-organize, and the Al-Queda return to the area. While this is going on...they begin to mobilize and assemble in Pakistan. Why? Because they are attempting to spread Islam and their political influence in the region.

(e) Obama takes office. Appoints new General to the region. Buys into the idea of increasing troops. Employs CIA assets in Pakistan to support the resistance to the Taliban, successfully so far.

(f) Random air attacks kills some civilians, very near the time of elections in Afghanistan. Bad timing. Bad PR. To win the hearts and minds of the Afghanis in the region who are not supporting the Taliban regime, it is important to TRY not to kill the innocent victims, hence McCrystal and the Defense Department issue a statement, appearing to be softening their campaign of bombing.

(g) In actuality, this is little more than a PR stunt. And totally necessary. There are, I guarantee, no situations where troops are being boxed in or flanked and NOT getting necessary air support. EVER! And what the Air Force is doing is putting more assets in the area involving UAV's (unmanned arial vehicles) to focus on specific attacks.

(h) Our current war in Afghanistan is not against the COUNTRY of Afghanistan. This isnt a question of valueing Afghani lives over American lives. This is a war on two specific fronts. ONE: Against the Taliban, who is attempting to spread their extremist Muslim influence over the region...which would include Pakistan, and their nuclear potential. TWO: Al-Queda, who with the help of the Taliban are able to reorganize openly on Afghani soil. The simple presence of these clowns there is enough reason to order thousands of American troops into the area to wipe them out.

(i) When did it become confusing as to why we are there in the first place? We are there to get them before they get us. Do you pacifistic liberals really think we should just LEAVE Afghanistan and everything will 'be cool!???' That they will just leave us alone? You are all delusional! They would LOVE IT if we would leave! Yeah...good idea, lets just leave! And in about 2 or 3 years, instead of our troops dying in fractional numbers over THERE...we will have HUNDREDS of civilians dying right here at home, on a regular basis.

(j) Should we get the hell out of Iraq? Almost definitely. That place is a joke. You have 4 seperate religious factions all fighting with each other. We should either turn brutal and wipe them all out and just RULE the place, which there is no doubt we COULD do if we chose to...take all their property and natural resources, and insert our own form of government and establish a police state. Or we can just bug out. And since we are a Christian-based society in general, option A is fairly untenable.

(k) Its pretty simple. Muslims hate us. They do NOT want to 'work with us.' They want to disrupt our way of life, and watch us suffer. They want to destroy our system of capitalism. They want to see us die. What we have in the Middle East are soldiers who 'get it' and are willing to make the sacrafices to slow these assholes down. To wound their infrastructure the only way we can. To leave, come home...and just wait for them to show up and start the killing here on American soil is hilarious to me. WAKE UP AMERICA!

(l) Last point. This radio show host was a complete assclown. Reading stats and basing his opinions on them. At one point...he is trying to compare last years deaths to this years deaths...and there is 25 seconds of dead air as he attempts to subtract the number from the first number...what a retard! Then mumbles..."I should have done the math first..." Duh! Ya think so you moron? Or maybe actually look into what the fuck you are talking about! I hope someone knows this bozo, and forwards this to him...and he responds to this. And maybe I won't lose my phone connection and not miss out on confronting him on the airwaves. Yah! I'm talking to YOU TOMMMY Freaking TUCKER you jackassss!

Wow...that was my biggest rant in a long time...and completely might have gotten me over this bad fucking beat I just took!

I show up...for their 10am start...ON TIME! The staff remembers me, greets me, which made me feel pretty good. I get to my seat, count out my 20k chips. I am so tired. But at least I slept last night with NO snoring! First hand....AsQs. Raise from 100/100 to 300. NO GREEN chips in play. That sucks. I get three calls. I flop A-Q-10. Bet 600, all fold. Hey now! Winning first hand is nice.

I get JJ. NO good. I have this Lao...uh oh...how do you spell this...a guy from Laos....Laotian? We will go with that. Sitting next to me...was the rest of the statement. He makes these noises...like...um...maybe R2D2. Or possible C3Po. He's rather annoying. He is also a calling station. We have 3 total morons at the table. I really don't want to get into individual hand play...because it will take too long. But the donkeys seem to be winning the hands that good players should be winning. AA gets cracked by, yep....46offsuit. Yes, it was raised preflop. KK goes down to QJoffsuit. Yes...it was raised..and HUGE, preflop. Pretty much every good hand was losing.

I had decided on the way here...that with this goofy structure...I was going to play a very bizaare strategy here. 100/100 1st level. 10 min break. 100/200 2nd level. THEN DINNER BREAK! Yeah. Strange. These guys laid out a really nice spread in the adjoining room. Lots of food and beverages, a really nice touch. I was hovering around 20k at the 2nd break, and having a good time. Seeing lots of people I knew, answering lots of questions like those having to do with the Beau Rivage. Ughhh. A tired subject. Was actually feeling like I might do something here. My strategy was to try and play a lot of hands at level 1, and some at level 2 and then just completely tighten up and play ONLY top 5-8 hands from there on out. I think with bad players...and there are a lot of them here...if you can hover around an average stack...until you get to 500/1000 with 100 antes...finally (first level of antes) then get into heads up showdowns...you can quickly get to 100k or more and make a deep run.

This was how I played. I lost a couple big hands, laid down a couple of big hands...and with AJ in the BB at 400/800 and 10,200 chips I was heads up with the BB, who was one of the aforementioned pyschos. No way in hell I was just going to raise this guy. So I just moved in. He snap calls! Fuck! I'm dead. Nope not really, he turns over 77. I flop an ace, it holds and I have doubled up to over 20k. Nice. We get to the end of the 5th level. One more level and we break for the night. Wow, I can do this.

Oh...I forgot to mention some things. This asshole in the 2 seat, who came over in level 3 after that poor old guy had his KK cracked by QJ donkey boy...has quickly established himself as ultra aggressive, the internet guy...the thief. The guy I most want to bust. Then he really does it. When it happens, he has over 40k in chips. A guy in the 1-seat...a really nice guy, who looks a lot like Drew Carey, and is likeable in the ways Drew Carey is...has raised from 400/800 to 5000! WHAT!??? And thats when I look down at QQ. Oh no! Not those bitches again. Well, I am putting Drew on AK or JJ. JJ, that would be fine. But AK and I know I will get fucked. I am not even 30 seconds into my thought process when 'too cool for school' over there calls clock on me! Oh nooooo you didnt motherfucker! I fold. Drew shows me ONE king. Maybe he had KK, but I think he had AK...and even then, I like my fold. But now I had a Monkey Voodoo Hex working on that 2-seat fuckbird. Well, I never had to lift a finger. He would completely blow up! He literally D-O-N-K-E-D off every last chip! My favorite was when he got caught with J-7...when a guy check-raised him with the nuts. Ha!!!!! Then...the kill shot, couldn't be ANY BETTER...was when he limped with K-10. Calls a 3x raise...then...when the other guy has flopped two pair....he calls the all in....FOR 23k!!!!!! with an open ended draw...and misses!!! And is OUT! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Thats what you get for fucking with the Monkey you son of a bitch!

On the last hand before the end of level 5 I raise another guy I have grown to like a bit....with AQ. He is thinking about it...uh oh....but then finally folds and shows me K10! I say "Whew....K10....my nemesis, thank you sir...." and show him AQ. We maintain our mutual respect for one another.

Level 6. Final level of the night. Lets do this. Lets have a good level. First damn hand. UTG...AQ suited. Raise to 3x. The twit...the Laotian twit...next to me...does his stupid "Hoo Hoo....call" bullshit...flop comes all rags. He checks. I'm not betting...forget it. This guy is a loose cannon. But the turn is a K...he checks again. I fire 6k into a 6500 pot. He calls!! Shit. I better see an ace on the river. I don't. He checks again! WTF? Well, I now have only 12k left, and no way am I trying to bluff an 18,000 pot with 12k. I check. He has JJ. Huh? Really? Well played sir. Don't bet the flop. Call 6000 on the King...and then check the river. Jeeezuz.

So...very next hand. I am in the BB. Button makes it 3600. C3Po next to me calls. Whistle, whistle...beep, beeep......you fucking freak. I have 10-10. "I'm all in! 12,800" The button folds. Hmmm..stealing at 500/1000. With a short stack. Good play. R2D2's best friend calls. Great. Lets see it. AhKh. Okay, at least its a good hand. I know I'm going to lose this fucking race...I get up out of my chair and start to gather my shit. I see a TEN IN THE WINDOW! Oh hell yes! Win this and I am up to almost 30k! He hits a King. Starts whoooping again...that stupid HOO HOOO thing hes doing. I am starting in my head to think "you're drawing dead you little freakaziod" when I realize he's not totally....the turn is a heart....oh God, oh God...nooooo....don't do it dealer...DO NOT DO IT......please.....I beg you.....asshole there..."hoo hooooo...hooo hoooo" dude SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!!.............come on dealer.....spare us the drama.....

FUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!! 8 of hearts on the river.
No goddamn way. I get up, calmly. Wish everyone luck. Then the next five minutes was sheer pandemonium, but outside, in the parking lot. It involved bushes, litter on the ground, my hat...my jacket....my bag....and I believe some tires that had never met me before.

Why.......why did I come here? Why? Now I get to drive home....5 hours. Pissed. Granted, at least the guy HAD SOMETHING. I can't be mad at him for getting lucky with the runner runner. I'm not. I'm mad at the poker gods. Why? We get the Monkey Clock Caller outa here. I get K10 to fold. I was so close to being out of day 1 in Coushatta....of all places....things were looking so good. And then POW! Right in the kisser! And out!

Yeah, this one hurt. It stung. Bad. Now I just wish I could snap my fingers, be in my driveway, see my happy dogs...and take my wife in my arms and just hold her....well, for awhile anyway! ;) But I can't because now I have to make this drive from hell.

This job I have...its so....grrrrrr...frustrating. I mean I love it, and I hate it. I really was having a fun day though. The staff was awesome, the dealers were a lot better than last year, the food was fantastic...it was a good turnout. Everyone for the most part enjoyed my humor, I think. It was shaping up as, potentially, a great day. Then....boom....runner runner and it was over. So bummed. Not your fault Coushatta....not your fault. Just another cruel twist to this game. Dammit.

I still have LOTS to tell you guys about the last day in Atlantic City, including a VERY exciting phone call with a guy in NYC that has resulted in my very first poker sponsor/endorsement deal since I started playing this game. I will give the details to all this later on. For now, I am going to drive home...and come to terms with this day. And this most recent trip.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

MONKEY

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Okay, I'm off the Ledge!

http://www.suicidemethods.net/pix/listpix.htm

WOW! I was going to start this blog with a cute, funny picture of some kind of suicide photo, to go with the feeling that I had as I was whacked from the Borgata Main Event...so I Googled 'suicide photos' and brought up this link. As I started clicking on them, I started getting queasy. Each picture brought me closer and closer to the bathroom. I finally decided, okay...you know suicide isn't a funny topic. And losing a stupid poker tournament is NO REASON to do to yourself what these unhappy folks did.

But I am finally ready to discuss what happened. Plus the things to write about were just piling up. I wasn't getting any sleep due to snoring Maximus over here. The last three days I have dragged my mattress into the bathroom, closed the door, turned on the shower and found some sleep. This takes me back to three or four years ago, when Smoke and I were in Reno I think...and we had this kid Ryan with us...who we called 'ManChild' for no apparant reason. He snored. Bad. Really bad. We stuck him in the bathroom. And ran the shower all night. Keith is pretty close to that guy. Whats funny though, is when he tries to deny snoring. Um. Yeah. Okay. You DONT snore.

Main Event. Showed up on time. Huge field. Where there was 350'ish the day before for Day 1...we had around 650! Bringing the total to over 1000. First place was going to be huge, around a cool million! I should have been nervous I guess, but I wasn't. I've got too much experience now in these deals. I was just excited. I had a great draw...seat 6, on a table that wouldnt break all day.

Things started great. We began with 30k in chips. NICE! 75 minute levels. And they actually were using most of their 'good' dealers. Not all of them. We still had a few who were pretty sketchy. But the good thing was that the bad ones at least knew they were bad. The whole table was very patient with them. We had a good table. A friendly table. I would get up to 37k early. Made a few hands. Made a few huge bluffs. Things were looking good. Then I would have a mini-disaster. This guy had just lost a big hand...where he had overbet, then overbluffed...and got caught. It left him with only 15,000 chips. He had been overraising a lot too. He raises UTG with the blinds at 100/200...to 1200. The girl next to me, who was not a very good player...calls. She had been flat calling a lot of raises with some pretty goofy hands. And she didn't play well after the flop. She was nice though. And I could tell on a given day...if things went her way, she might win sometimes. But she was out of her league here. I wake up with QQ.

Hmmmm. I have to assume this guy is steam raising. And I have to assume she has another AJ, A10 or small pair hand. I take a chance here. I decide to isolate in bad position and hope to God no one wakes up with AA/KK. I raise to 5500. It folds around to him. He frustratingly throws all his chips in there. She moans a bit and folds. Who knows what she had. She tries to claim as a 9 flops and a 7 turns...that she had two pair. She called 1200 with 9-7? Whatever. Well...I called his all in and prayed. He turned over AA. Shit. Nice read Monkey. But, had he not shoved preflop, or if I had just called the 1200...I think it would have gone down the same way since the board was all below a 10. So I guess I couldn't be too upset about it. I still had 19k.

Shortly after that, we go on break. We come back and I am in the SB. The BB isnt back yet. Thats when, at 100/200 with 25 ante...this guy raises to 800. Before I even look at my cards I feel like he is trying to steal the dead blind. But then I look down at AA. Wow. How to play this. Smooth call? Hope to get more? Raise? Last time I got cute with AA this week I got killed. Vowed to never do that again. And this guy has about 5k more than me...so he can put me out if things go wrong. I better just raise. But first I throw in this gem...."whatcha doing man? Trying to steal that dead money out there?" He blinks. Blinks again. I raise to 2000. He stares back at me. I give off the proper false tells that would suggest I am pulling a re-steal with junk. Start the fake nervous chatter with the girl next to me. Then he asks 'the question' we all love to hear when we have AA.

"How much do you have there?" Thats when I do the...."OMG, I just got caught" facial expression as I nervously fumble with my chips and tell him I have 18,400 behind. Then those other beautiful words roll off his lips...."I'll put you all in." I bet every single one of you know the next two words that were uttered. Duh.

Good news. I was NOT up against a pair...no need to sweat out a 2-0uter. Nope he turned over...A-Q offsuit. Perfect. He hit nothing. Even better. I stacked chips. Back to 40k! Awesome! I was back! I would sit around for an hour or so....till we get to 200/400 with 50 ante. By the way....before I get into this hand, I have to say something:

This is the greatest structured Main Event I have ever seen, neck and neck with the Rio Main Event the last two years. Just great.

25/50
50/100
75/150
100/200
100/200 with 25
150/300 with 25
200/400 with 50
250/500 wtih 50
300/600 with 75
400/800 with 75
500/1000 with 100
600/1200 with 200
800/1600 with 200

....and so on. Just a great structure. And starting with 30k in chips. To lose on Day 1 in this requires one of two things. A horrible player, or a horrible beat. Stay tuned.

I am sitting UTG+1 with JJ. I raise it to 1150 at 200/400. I get a call from this kid, "Joe"...nice, young Asian kid. We had been friendly all day. I would call his skill level average, maybe slightly above average. No one else calls. The flop comes J-10-6, rainbow. I like to bet into sets. People know I check raise a lot. So betting into sets, I tend to get action a lot. I am not really sure where to put him...but if he has KQ, I am certainly going to get a smooth call here. Any raise by him and I have to think I am probably good.

I lead out for 2400. Slightly less than the pot. He immediately raises it to 6000. Wow. I start clicking through the hands he has. KQ is definitely a possibility, but there is no way he raising that much on a draw. No way. I think if he had 10-10 he would have re-popped me preflop, as he is pretty aggressive that way. No, what really makes sense is that he has 66. So I literally tell him....I think you have 6's partner. And you must be thinking I have either AJ, or at best an over pair. If you have 66 you probably think you have me killed, but you don't. I like you. I am going to hopefully do you a favor here and let you get out of this still holding 25k in chips. I raise...to 20k. He goes into the usual ritual that a guy with that situation goes through...hands through hair....moaning and groaning....followed by "Man, I just don't think I can lay this down." "I know man...I understand...but you are drawing to a one-outer. And typically I would beg you to call here...but like I said, I like you...and would hate to see you go out here. I'm okay with this nice little 10k pot we have here."

Well, he finally calls. Turns over...surprise, 6's. The table all get up out of their chairs. Turn card is a Q. The river......BOOM! 6. The kid goes wild. But not too over the top. I can understand his elation. I just stand there...feeling completely numb. Staring at the board. Several players are also staring at the board, mouth open...looking at me with that face people have when you've just been told your loved one has been killed. I collect my stuff, tell everyone good luck...walk over to the kid...shake his hand. He tells me "sorry man...I feel bad...but I just didn't think you had it." "Its cool Joe...that's poker, it wasn't meant to be my tourney this time....I wish you luck." And I walked out into the hallway. I sat down along the wall...and just....I don't know...stared at the ceiling for awhile. I felt empty, and alone, and sad. I didn't know what to do. Where to go. It was 6:30pm. That was three days ago...and honestly, I can't remember what I did next, thats how stunned I was.

The next day I woke up to late to play the noon $440 that they were running. Arrived 18 minutes late. So I went downstairs and played Texas Hold Em Bonus Poker in the casino. In for $200 I cashed out for $550. Cool. Then I went into the cash room where they were running SNG's. Got into a $120, with a $20 last longer. I would end up getting heads up with this guy named Greyson, who turned out to be a really cool guy. He has his own business doing countertops and stuff like that, and wants to play poker full time. We got heads up, even in chips and decided to chop the $1000 but play heads up for the $120 last longer. I won. We both decided to go eat at Wolfgang Pucks and then play the 7pm second chance.

It was another great meal. At Borgata I ate at the Japaneese restaurant that I cant remember the name of. It was awesome. Then a few nights ago I ate at the chef's counter at Old Homestead and had a killer meal, and was joined by Jason Young...who I had a nice time talking to. I was wanting to hit Bobby Flay's Steakhouse too, but looks like I won't make that one. Well Wolfgang Pucks was terrific. I had a really good Rib Eye and Greyson and I split an entree order of crab and shrimp risotto that was amazing. It was another super meal. The service was decent. So while I didn't get any tourney cashes up here...I have to say...I ran good in the restaurant category, I did win back to back Mega's, won a few SNGs and ran good in the cash game.

We went and played the 2nd chance. I had another fun table. I was in a chatty mood. I run my 8k up to 15k then make a pretty bad call. The blinds were 400/800...five people limp, and I limp on the button with QJs....when the kid behind me goes all in for 5k. Nice play. It folds back around to me. I tell him, straight up....no idea what you have...but its a great play with any two cards. Hes all in for 5000 to win about 5000. Great play. I have to think I am live, and I like this kid and don't mind if I double him up. But more importantly, I think if I hit I have a nice stack now to run with. I call. He has JJ. Ouch! I miss the Q and the spades. And get punched in the face. I lose a couple more hands after that when I miss flops with good hands.

Then with 5800 and the blinds now at 500/1000 I look down at my favorite hand...K9! Suited, spades! Sweet! I shove it in. And the same kid calls me. Oh hell. He flips over QQ. Dammit. But I act confident. I even say before he turns it over..."Please have Queens!" and he looks at me like hes screwed. When he sees K9 he feels better...but I tell him I'm going to flop a King! That K9 always saves me when I'm shortstacked. I flop a KING! hehehehehehe sweeeet! But then he rivers a damn Queen. Come on! I take it well. Couple people at the table are disappointed that I lost. One of them says "Great...the table isnt going to be any fun now....damn." I always love it when people say that. I'm always glad when I can add a fun, entertaining element to a table. And these people were all really nice. I wasn't the least bit bitter about losing. I shook the kids hand, told him he deserved to win, since he had the best hand any way...and I went downstairs.

I decided to get into a $1/$2 game, since I had been literally killing the cash game here all week. Why not!??? Well, this session would go horribly. Couldnt get ANYTHING to hold up. Couldn't hit ANY draws. Couldnt bluff anyone. Just about as bad as a cash session could go. I think I lost about $900. oooof. But this is going to happen sometimes. I kept my head together. Still tried to have fun.

I have to say...I really enjoyed this trip. While I am not going to go home with a big score and a bundle of hundreds, I am going home with a renewed sense of excitement for poker. Saw a new beautiful casino, met some new cool poker players. It was a good experience. No regrets. And now I have Aruba to look forward to, with more really good structures. I am also thinking very seriously about hooking a left when I land in New Orleans tomorrow night and going to that scary place called Coushatta and play their Main Event there on Friday for $1k.

I really miss Squirrel and my dogs...as I've been gone for almost two weeks, but I also miss winning money! And its so close to New Orleans...its going to be hard to pass on. Pretty sure I am going to do it. Then go home...chill out for the last week of the month, do the yard work, catch up on bills and pool payments...then get ready for Aruba.

I spent all day in my hotel room yesterday. In the cash game the night before...some kid sneezed all over the table...and I literally said to him..."Dude! Come on man, you can't cover your mouth? You gotta shoot your germs all over everyone!?? Wow, if I wake up with Swine Flu I'm coming after you!" Well, guess what? I get that burning in the back of the throat that always precedes the common cold yesterday. And today, the burning is worse, the sniffles are here...and now I'm coughing. Thanks a lot jagoff! I swear...the ONLY time I ever get sick is when I go to a poker event. The worlds largest germ pool, and now I am sick. So I am holed up in my room, but catching up on a lot of stuff. So thats good. And I have almost finished this 675 page mega novel, 'Consent to Kill' by Vince Flynn.

There were a lot of little funny things that happened on this trip, but I've either forgotten about them, or this blog has gotten too long to start trying to insert them all. But I knew I had to get SOMEthing up on here...and this should pretty much cover everything.

If any of you reading this are in the Atlanta area, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. I sincerely hope you are all safe, as the flooding there appears to be horrendous. I used to live up there and have a lot of friends in the area, who I have thought about the last few days. Its weird how nature works. Lake Lanier was on the threat of completely drying up for the last few years...and now today, its practically FULL due to this weeks storms. But at the expense of massive flooding.

Shout outs to D.Fish and TK for their huge scores in the last week. Nice to see guys I know and like doing good. My buddy Maurice Hawkins, from Naples, Florida...who took second to me in the Venetian All Around..and who also won two events...and was there hanging out with me the night I won the $550, bagged up 1.9 million chips here last night at the Borgata, as they got down to 27. He is in really good shape to make a run at the Final Table today. He is about to get married in November...so I am really rooting hard for Crazy 'Ol Mo to take this down! Should be a pretty nice Final Table. Lot of good players still in it. And a good structure. God I hate that I am not there...but I can be happy for those guys I'm buddies with too. My day will come, and when it does, I know they will be there to support me too. It's all part of the deal in this game.

MONKEY

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a weekend!!!


I know I owe you all a blog. In fact, I have a TON to talk about. But I have to be honest with you. It is 3am. On Saturday night. Just spent two hours taking a long hot bath and reading 6 chapters of my latest Vince Flynn novel. Just took an Ambien and plan to sleep for at least 6 hours I hope before I go to Borgata in the morning and start my Day 1 feeling fresh.

To catch you all up with everything would really take me about two hours and I just really don't want to ruin myself for tomorrow. But I will give you the nuts and bolts.

I didn't cash ANY tourneys up here this week. But I was NOT getting discouraged, because I have been playing well, in my opinion. Things just havent broken my way at all. Not much you can do about that. I have had an awful good time, and met a lot of new people in the poker world. Its been a good trip despite not winning any money.

Well this weekend has been kickass. Yesterday (Friday) I played the $750 Mega Satellite for the Main Event. It started at 1pm. It was a ridiculously long 11 hour grind. And there is a lot to say about it. But for now...I will just let you know, I won! 42 winners out of 215 snagged a seat. We were on the bubble for three freaking hours! And I had my share of stressful moments. But when it was over, I felt damn good to have my seat locked up and not have to pay cash to get in.

Today, I decided to play another Mega...this one a $550, that awarded 1 in every 7 a seat. I started like a house on fire. Was literally running over my table. Started with 8k in chips and by Level 2 had 22k. I was getting good cards, and I was getting paid off. Then I got crunched. Real quick. AQ raise. Called twice. Flop A-7-10. Check. Tables biggest donkey checks, as does the other guy. Turn 7. I bet. Donkey calls. Other guy raises. This is where I should have just folded. But like a dumbass I didnt. I put him all in. Whoops. He had J7. I was crippled. But I recovered. I made a huge late run...and when it was down to 29....paying 27 seats...I was the overall chipleader with over 150k in chips...with the average about 55k. It was never in doubt...and at 9:45pm, it was over. I got paid in cash for this one. More on that later. (sat waiting for over an hour at the cage...paperwork snafu) So boom! $3500 in pocket. Pretty much covered all my losses for the week.

Went to the Old Homestead...sat at the Chef's Counter and orderd half a dozen Bluepoint oysters, some Crab Lobster Corn bisque, an 18oz Filet, some asparagus and a glass of Pinot Noir. Jason Young...who earlier nearly won the Heads Up tourney...but who finished 6th I think...went home to NYC for a couple days to spend with his family...then returned, joined me at the table for about an hour. Had a nice talk about a variety of things. Hes really a good guy, I met him in Vegas with Joe Cutler but never really got to know him very well. I've gotten a chance to get to know him a lot better on this trip. Good player. Good guy. Glad I've gotten to know him. Meanwhile, Joe has been a complete hermit...camping out in his room pretty much the whole time and jamming away online. Oh, and lest I forget to say it...the Old Homestead was a great place. The food was killer! Best meal I have had in weeks.

Found out Joe's Mom is a frequent reader of my blog! As well as Jason's blog. I am both surprised and flattered as well a bit embarrassed. Its funny that Cheryl asks me to keep things 'clean' as possible on here as her family might see it....and that doesnt seem to slow me down all that much, but the thought of 'Mrs. Cutler' reading it has me spooked and not wanting to offend her. Is that weird? Well...Mrs. Cutler, if you are reading this...thanks for checking me out here!

A very, very exciting thing happened today that I cannot stop thinking and smiling about. I think a lot of you know exactly what I am talking about.

WASHINGTON 16- SOUTHERN CAL 13

Oh yeahhhhhhhh. I had to watch this game in between trying to win this Mega today. Yeah, I noticed we were hanging around...staying close, even taking a lead. But I could never allow myself to get even slightly excited, or think we would pull off the upset.

I managed to reflect back on one of the most exciting days of my youth. It was November 24th, 1981. I was 14 years old. Me and my best friend, Brandy Pugh...who has since passed away from a bout with brain cancer...and who I thought of all day as I was watching this game today...went to see the Huskies at Husky Stadium on a cold, windy and rainy day with his parents. We had just been killed the week before at UCLA, 31-0, and fallen out of the Top 20. Even though we still had a record of 6-2, everyone was pretty deflated. And in came USC...with Marcus Allen at RB, and ranked #3 in the nation. Just like USC was today. Well, in one of the most inspired performances by our defense, we would upset USC that day 13-3. I lost my voice that day. It was such a great memory. The Huskies would win the Pac-10 title that year and go to Pasadena and destroy Iowa 28-0. It was a great year. My junior high and high school years were spent cheering on a lot of Husky victories.

Watching this game today just filled me with so much pride. What Ty Willingham managed to do in 4 years at the helm was all wiped away in one afternoon in Husky Stadium, as our new savior from Los Angeles, Steve Sarkisian led a rag tag team of players no one wanted...to upset the mighty Trojans, who came in a 20.5 favorite. With under 2 minutes, and us with possession, I STILL didn't think we could do it. Then Jake Locker ran for a first down on 3rd and 4. Getting us to near midfield. And he didn't 'slide' as he did it. He buried his shoulder and dove for it! Then on 3rd and long he found a reciever over the middle, for another first down. I was excited but still nervous, as our kicker is very inconsistent.

Everything looked great though when Jake faded back....scrambled...and found a reciever all the way down at the 10, who made the catch! Then with 7 seconds left....Nick Folk banged it through the uprights...and the party was on!!!!! In my 32 years of watching Husky Football not once have I ever seen fans on the field. Today....almost the entire field was covered. The hair on my arms was standing up. A chill was going up my back. A smile covered my face for about an hour. It is maybe the happiest I have felt about a sporting event in 10 years. This has been a great day, truly.

After nearly beating LSU...and probably...should have...we got our first win in two years vs. Idaho (big deal, I know) last week and now this! Wow. If we could have just kept it together and knocked off LSU...we would be 3-0 and certainly in the Top 20. But hey! No worries. We have a great new coach, a great QB for two more years and a new attitude! The future in Huskyville is bright!

Tomorrow I go in search of something that has eluded me for years. A Main Event cash, and financial security for me and my new wife. One great tourney....and our lives could change forever. I know I can do it. I know I can. I just need to stay focused, stay sharp, and catch a few breaks. I have no fear of anyone. Winning back-to-back Mega's was really good for my confidence going into this. So I am ready! Lets do this!!!!!!!

MONKEY

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another 10 hours. Oh for Two.

Hmmmm.

Today sucked. Arrive an hour late. No biggie, we started with 10k in chips. Have 'a very large man' in the 8 seat. I am in Seat 7. Good start. Guy on my right is a cigarette smoker. Very nice guy. But has that 'breath' that some smokers have. When he breathes on me I almost puke. This happened for 10 hours.

Our table would have 7 of the original 10 for ...well, until I busted out. Large man was one of the most annoying human beings I have ever played poker with. All these dealers are hopelessly awful. But 96% of them are really nice, so I am completely conflicted. The poker player in me is coming out of my skin. Slowly...I am coming completely unraveled. But the human being in me is trying so hard to put on a happy face.

Well 'His Largeness' had no problem offering his advice. In fact, from Level 3 to Level 9 I felt as though I was attending the Crescent School of Gaming. This one poor dealer had to listen to the putz correct him on probably 8 things during his down. I think my favorite was when we came back from dinner break. A dispute broke out as to where the button was supposed to be. Long story short....a full 6 minutes went by before we saw a damn hand. 11:28 seconds in our 2nd hand was finishing.

I got the worst cards today. How I made it to 10pm was somewhat mysterious. I had a grand total of 7 pairs all day. Deuces...FOUR TIMES. 4's once, which I had to fold preflop....as two guys got it in...one with AA, the other with AK. I flopped a 4 of course. Yay! Also had 66. Nothing. And then oh...in the BB...everyone folds to the SB, 'Smoky.'

We sort of playfully agree to check dark all the way to the river. The board had 4 diamonds, and an ace. He turns over 2-8, no diamond....but an 8. Hmmm...I turn mine over. One ace...oh, winner...and ANOTHER ACE! You kidding? Granted, any raiser would have probably crushed my set of aces with a flush. And that was at 150-300...could have been out SO much earlier.

But instead I would hover below average....get smaller, and smaller....watch as my 10-7 would have made a boat vs. AK and AQ. Watched as several other hands would have won. In fact...on the 2nd hand of the day...I was going to limp in with 3s5s. But Smokey raised to 300 behind me. So I folded. Flop? 2s-4c-6s. No efffing way. The first guy had a set. The 2nd I don't know, but I would have tripled up. Should have known there how this day was going to end up.

Whatever. I lost. Finally, at 500/1000 and sitting on 3600 chips, I had Ac8c UTG...and moved it in. Got called twice....the eventual winner had AQ....we both hit the A. I shook his hand and wished him luck. Then found a $280 SNG.

On the third hand I about killed the dealer. Same dealer from last night. Old guy, wearing ridiculous suspenders. Last night he tried to insist he wasn't new. Right. I was in the 10 seat last night. Which I hate. But when I'm there, I always lift my hands while they deal out the cards. This coot....tells me "you gotta move your hands when I'm dealing!" I am sir. In fact, I couldn't lift them any more. No, he wanted me completely out of the way. Strike one!

Well, tonight...on the 3rd hand...I'm in the BB with 33....three limpers for 50...and this lady makes it 300. Here we go. I fold. Middle position calls. Flop comes A-K-9. He checks. She bets 600. He makes it 1800. She shows the guy next to her the cards in her hand. The dealer is looking at her. She folds. I am waiting for him to turn the cards up. But he doesn't. I ask him..."Sir can we all please see the cards?" He looks at me and says "she folded. Her cards are in the muck." "Sir, her cards are not in the muck, they are right there! And not just that, when you see her show her cards to the person next to her, you are obligated to take the hand and turn it up." Well he freaked out. I said nothing. I just sat there, actually shocked that this guy was going off on me. I said nothing. Then he says to the effect of "If you're gonna tell me how to do my job, I will just call a supervisor over..." to which I said...'Sir, don't bother. You just keep dealing. No sense in upsetting everyone else's time. I will go find a Supervisor myself."

Which I did. I very calmly explained the situation. She was very understanding. She agreed with me. I told her my background, my reputation to attract trouble. That I came up here with the intent to avoid it at all costs. That instead of getting into with him, I elected to simply report the incident to a supervisor. I am getting smarter. I refuse to let this kind of crap get me in trouble anymore.

I go back to the table. Dealer is glaring at me. Lovely. I now have a strong desire to either win this thing or hurry up and bust out. I get my wish. I pick up KJc. I limp in. Middle guy makes it 200. Gets one call. I decide to call. Flop comes 8c-ks-10c. Nice. I check. Middle bets 500. Other guys calls. I raise all in. Middle calls, other guy folds. He has AA. Oooof. But no club. Just give me a K, a J or a club dealer. No? Fine. I tell the other guy "nice hand sir...good luck...see ya tomorrow" and leave.

Come back to my hotel and forget what room I'm in. Try three floors before I figure it out.

Squirrel starts texting me. She got off early, and decided to play cash game at the Beau. Big mistake. Now for you people who KNOW Squirrel you will know that she RARELY curses. She can't stand it when I do. Its one of her real 'things' about me. Well, to get her cursing takes a lot. I got 12 text messages from her. Whats that movie? Umm....can't think of it...where the guy leaves like 15 voice messages...and they start out all sweet and nice...and gradually get worse and worse and stalkerish...until he completely comes unglued by the last one? Well that was Squirrel's chain of text messages.

The final one? "I hate this guy. I want to stab this fucker in the eye!" Awesome. I laughed for about ten minutes. I LOVE IT when she gets worked up like that. I think it even turns me on. Too bad I'm 1200 miles away. Aparantly this guy was a real douche. Calling every raise....and never folding. She flopped a set of Kings, lost. She had AA.....lost. Pretty much every decent hand she had this clown busted. She just went home. Poor thing. I hope I win something up here decent so when I get home I can just plop a couple grand on her nightstand to ease her pain.

Its a real catch 22 up here. The structure is, truly, fantastic. The room is great...so spacious. But the bad and the ugly is just that; bad and ugly. The dealers are just so doggone bad...it really affects the play. We just aren't seeing any hands. And the constant mistakes make it so difficult. The floor people are never anywhere to be found. There is no real control being demonstrated. I have no idea who the actual tourney 'point man' is, ever. Its always someone else giving tourney info. They don't ever post the total players and remaining field. The payouts don't show up for 7 or 8 levels. At one point...a floor guy walks behind our table and fired this seat card at the dealer in the box. One of those laminated seat cards, 3x5 in size. The thing whizzed right by my left eye, missing me by inches. I was like..."Holy fucking shit dude...are you kidding me!!!!" Oh...I didn't SAY THIS....I was thinking it. I was actually stunned.

Just curious, that guy puts my eye out? Or just cuts my face...what happens next? Does anyone have that answer? I probably get 86'd for getting my face in the way of the flying seat card.

So I am oh for two. And have logged 20 hours. Tomorrow is a $1k. Bigger buy in. More chips, longer levels. Promising. There are better players up here than I have been seeing in places like Tunica. Which is nice. But there are also some real bad ones. But they are the good kind of bad, if that makes sense. The kind who have exactly what you THINK they have. I don't mean the guy who insists on chasing his flush draw, or his gutshot...those guys live in the South. No these are the bad kind who you know just have a single pair....when you have a set or a straight. The non-dangerous bad players. THe ones who double you up at will. The are the ones I need to hook up with for some nice double/triple ups. I haven't gotten that lucky yet. But I've watched it happen all around me. So I will remain hopeful.

Patrick Swayze passing away really made me sad. George W. Bush's former speech writer has written a book. Shocking. What's the over/under on this guy ending up in a river or a trunk somewhere? Oh and OJ's old girlfriend of 13 years shows up on a tell-all interview, about the abuse she endured. Come on! Oh...and Jessica Simpsons dog was 'scooped up by a wild coyote' and taken away. I love dogs. You all know I love dogs. Immensely. So why did I find this kind of funny? Is it because its Jessica Simpson? Must be. I heard that Chad Brown won the Main Event at the Beau. Thats great. He's quietly having a really good year. 4th in Tunica, winning the Omaha event down there...then winning the Main Event. Cool. He must be doing something right. Good job Downtown Marty Brown. [inside joke, sort of]

Still havent gotten my 5k from the Beau Rivage. Over/under bets now being taken. The number is 27 days. Closest to the number wins. What do you win? Good question.

The food here is pretty good. I mean, the food they are offering in the poker area. They give us all $10 food comps. Or maybe you have to make the dinner break to get one. Not sure...made them both so maybe thats why I got one. Relatively affordable. There is no dedicated area for the Final Tables, which is kind of surprising, given the size of the room. There is a lot of holes in this production. I think if they brought a really good poker person to run this tourney...it could be one of the best events in the world. Truly. So much potential. And the Borgata itself is just gorgeous. The casino staff itself is very friendly. Played some table games last night and all the dealers were really cool. As were the people in the pits.

I guess thats about it. I need a cash tomorrow. A good, deep one. Time to get me some East Coast Cred. No better way to do it than by Final Tabling the $1k right?

GOOD NIGHT

MONKEY

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day one in the books...sort of

This is going to be the shortest post of all time.

Okay.

#1. Sorry Giraffe girl. Reader comment called me immature for making fun of her. Wife called me mean. Okay. I lost that one. I don't know...maybe if ya'all saw her it would be different. No? Okay. Sorry, Giraffe girl.

#2. I have had two autograph requests in the last day. Both times I handled it wrong. Honestly, its embarrassing...I think I am in the middle of getting punked by a buddy, so I am looking around. Then practically refuse to do it. I am not trying to be a jerk. Its just a little bit unbelievable. To those who requested them...THANK YOU. You truly flatter me.

#3. Keith is still snoring. I don't know what to do. I am now on my third AAA battery for my BOSE.

#4. Pretty sure I will NEVER play a limit tourney ever again. Played yesterday's $400 that started at 1pm. Ended at 11:15 with me getting in half my stack with JJ against this prick who (yes...HE was the prick who the whole table hated) puts me all in with A8. Ace on the flop. Out 37th, 19 from the money. Awesome.

#5. Christian '3 tourney wins in one day on Tilt' Iocabellis showed up last night. Me, him and Cutler spend some time slicing up the WSOP Hold'em casino game before going to B-Bar and getting lit. Still nursing a major hangover with 18 minutes til todays tourney starts.

#6. Patrick Swayze died yesterday. Bummer. That was one really cool guy. And very dedicated to his wife of over 30 years. Just a very, very good man. The World is a worse place today...but heaven is a better place. Rest in peace PS....you ran good!

#7. Meanwhile, down here on Earth, that cocksucker Kanye West is still breathing air. Can someone please do something about that? Taylor...don't sweat it girl, unintentionally the prick probably actually HELPED your career. And props to Beyonce for handling the whole thing perfect. You go girl! Save us all the apologies too Kanye...they ring hollow.

#8. The dealers here at Borgata might be the worst I have ever seen. The floor people, on the other hand...are very nice. I am continuing to be nice to the bad dealers....somewhere though I have a feeling I am going to snap.

#9. Girls in Vegas...5 times hotter. Girls in Atlantic City...5 times the snotty attitude of the girls in Vegas. What's wrong with this picture?

#10. Lost my valet ticket last night. Probably a good thing. Kept me from making the .74 mile drive back to our hotel (as yet undisclosed)....just found it though.

#11. Of my fantasy teams...five of them...I won 3 and lost 2. One of the ones I lost I had a $50 heads up bet with the guy. He clipped me on MNF because of Tom Brady. Thanks Tom....

#12. I witnessed a miracle last night. Someone held the door for me leaving the casino. Coming into my hotel, someone actually stood out of the way while I exited the elevator. Did everyone read my blog yesterday?

Okay...I am going to try and go play this tourney. It would be so great if they made 'back up brains' that you could keep in cold storage. I would be pulling mine out right now.

MONKEY

Sunday, September 13, 2009

East Coassssstin!

20 years since I last set foot in this city; wow how this place has changed.

We went over to New Orleans on Saturday night, spent the night at The W, and flew out the next morning. Sucked that I only slept 3 hours before we left. Once again...we got that same valet 'experience' that makes New Orleans famous. They all have that nice little $30 or more deal to park your car overnight. Such a scam. For the life of me, I dont understand how you can be expected to stay at someone's hotel, spend around $150 and NOT be aggravated to have to spend a bunch of money to park your car there. So stupid. But what I love, is when you tell them you arent parking there and they give you total attitude. 'How DARE you park your car somewhere for FREE sir!'

Every time I sleep in an unfamiliar bed I get a kink in my neck, and it happened again. Woke up with that same deal. Great.

Get to airport and deal with my next little irritant. Baggage charges. Whats funny is that I called Delta on the way to the airport just to find out if they are still charging for baggage, despite the fact that gas prices are now lower than they were before the airlines all decided to start charging for baggage. The lady tells me, "Yes sir, it is $15 for the 1st bag, $25 for the second and $125 if you have a third!" Wow! You gotta be kidding me!?? So I ask them for a reason. And its like talking to a robotic manual reading zombie. How do these people go to work everyday, go through the motions, and not kill themselves?

So when we get to the airport, I'm told the charge is $20 and $30! Oh! If you PREPAY online its $40, but $50 if you pay at the airport. Um, excuse me.....WHY? Did your bag somehow become more of a burden from the time you left your house until you arrived at the airport? This might be the biggest scam going right now. I know one thing....their profitability factor right now is totally dependant on their ridiculous baggage fees. When I pay $175 for my actual airfare...but $50 for my baggage, thats a joke! I was thinking about it...I like to travel with a lot of clothes. If I were going somehwere for 3 weeks, there would be no way I could only take 2 bags. I would buy my 3rd suitcase an actual seat at a low fare, then let my bag bring a bag, for $15. I would then bring another two, giving me a total of FOUR bags, one of which would be sitting on the plane in its OWN seat! That would be pretty funny.

The flight to Detroit was half full, which was nice. What wasnt nice was that I get the two guys who decide they will be the only two on the plane who elect NOT to take their own row to themselves, and they sit right behind me! And they sit there and YAP the entire flight. From before we took off until we reached the gate in Detroit. And I had checked my BOSE into my luggage. SHIT! I was ready to kill these guys.

We fly from Detroit to Philly without any issues. Flying into Philly we went right over the sports complex...with all the new parks. Really cool stadiums, and there was a Phillie's game going on. I love that all of America's cities have been knocking down their old, archaic stadiums and building new baseball fields and football stadiums back-to-back on that same site. We seen it in Philly, Cincinnati, Seattle, and bunch of other cities. Its great for the fans, and it just really adds to a citys' identity I think.

Well, our limo ride to Atlantic City that I was expecting turned into "The Angle" instead opting for a rental car. Huh? I started drinking Jack and Cokes in anticipation of a nice relaxing limo ride to AC as promised by Keith. So he lost himself a possible driver. He rented something called an HHR...which looks a bit like a PT Cruiser on steroids. Its a pretty gay looking vehicle.

We arrive in A.C. We go to our hotel, which I am not revealing the name of. But we are on the 28th flor. And on the 28th floor, with a beautiful view of the city...I am unable to get a damn signal on my T-Mobile Blackberry. Yet, when we go downstairs, inside of the casino...I have no problem. Does that make ANY sense? I didn't think so.

We spend the evening watching some great football games and the last NASCAR race before the chase. Kyle Busch barely missed out on the chase...despite having won 4 races during the season...which I thought was great. Mainly cuz I think he is such a punk! Meanwhile, Michigan and Notre Dame played an awesome game, followed by a great game on both channels, with Georgia and S.Carolina battling it out and then USC breaking Ohio State's hearts with a last second win at the packed stadium in Ohio. Earlier in the day, Michigan State got upset by Central Michigan...and of the 80 people who started in my NCAA Survivor Pool, 25 were eliminated by picking MSU. Wow, first week and we lose 1/3rd of the field!

My Huskies finally won a game! Granted it was Idaho...but when you have gone two years without a win, it feels good to see a 'W' next to your teams name! Florida State almost lost to Jacksonville St (who may or may NOT have had that old LSU idiot Ryan Perriloux in their lineup) and Oklahoma State DID lose to Houston! Crazy day. On Sunday things have gone pretty standard I would say. Love seeing my Seahawks pitch a 28-0 shutout of the Rams while Arizona was losing their first game at home to SF. SF comes to Seattle next week to play my birds. For 1st place.

I am watching a commercial right now for Southwest Airlines. Perfect! Its whole theme is about NOT charging people up the ass for baggage! I love it. I wish I didn't have my frequent flyer miles with Delta. I am so sick of them.

Its halftime of the Bears-Packers Sunday night game, and what I am watching is perhaps the most awkward 3 minutes of TV that I have ever watched. First of all, I have never found Jay Leno to be funny. Secondly, I have always found Bob Costas to be about as (a) boring and (b) annoying with his attempts to always use the most witty collection of big words he can think of to say the most mundane things. So Bob is talking to Jay...about, of course, Jay's stupid new show that starts this week. Every thing Bob feeds him is followed by this awkward moment of silence when Jay responds with what is supposed to be a joke. See, there is no studio audience there responding to a flashing light that says "APPLAUSE APPLAUSE"...instead just Bob asking his pre-arranged stupid question, which then cues Jay to deliver his stupid one-liner...followed by Bob just sitting there...with that dopey, deer-in-the-headlights look....waiting, waiting...as the joke dies on the floor. Good stuff NBC, thanks for that scintillating halftime show.

Third Quarter, Chicago 12-Green Bay 10. MY fantasy kicker Robbie Gould just banged one through to pick me up some points. I have a total of 5 fantasy teams this years. I am crushing my opponent in EVERY single matchup today. In one of them, me and the other guy have a $50 side bet on our matchup. I am beating him by 40 pts. But he does have Tom Brady going tomorrow night.

Laying in the bed next to me...wait how did that sound? Not IN MY BED...laying NEXT to MY BED...in another bed...is 'The Angle' who is about to get the phone thrown at him. Snoring. Again. Already went through this with him before. And I am even wearing my BOSE. MY noise-cancelling (not really) BOSE. Dear God: Please let me Final Table this Main Event up here...so I can win about half a million dollars and just start staying alone everywhere I travel to for poker! Its hard to NOT stay with 'The Angle' though. He always pulls us a great room, gets it comped, and always manages to finagle himself/us a bunch of other freebies; all in exchange for a 2% sweat on my tournament action.

All I want is an RV...for driving to Vegas for the summers...and to concerts and races and ball games with my wife and friends...and a shared lease on a private jet...so I can completely STOP flying on the airlines. Oh...and that new Aston Martin. Thats ALL I want, materially. I don't thinks its asking for much.

At 11pm we finally headed over to Borgata to play some poker. I walk into the Borgata and immediately am impressed. Great looking place. The first thing that hits me is the women everywhere. I mean, it IS Saturday night, so thats normal. But what I noticed was pretty funny. Having spent the whole summer in Vegas, what I saw out there mostly was the 'West Coast' girls. Out here you get the 'East Coast' girls. And yes, there is a pretty big difference. The way they dress, the way they do their makeup, and their hair. Their shoes. The way they walk. The way they talk obviously. Its kind of a trip. I walk into the poker room and am amazed.

The room is huge. Verrry spacious. Lots of tables. I see the days' $1k event, that is down to about 70 players and is featuring a ton of guys I know. Mike Leah, Lou Esposito, Jeremy (who everyone calls 'Ears') Jason Young, and Dave Fox. And a few others I can't remember. But what I am saying...is that a lot of good players were deep, and that is again...a good sign that the structure is ideal. My boy Joe Cutler arrived...right about the time Dave Fox and Jason Young busted just shy of the money. I decided to get my hands dirty and got into a $280 SNG. Yeah. $280. They are taking a LOT of juice on these SNG's. Its a $250+30. THIRTY! Yeah! They are taking $300 on these deals.

Now, this is where the blog gets a little negative. I am trying really hard to NOT say negative things about the casinos that I play in, for obvious reasons (like getting 86'd when those casinos don't like what you are saying about them) of course. However, part of my duty in writing this blog is to give all of you either a heads up of what to prepare for if you are going to be playing here and other venues I travel to, or just to give you an accounting of what I experience when I am here.

[The Chicago Bears might have just pulled the stupidest thing I have ever seen in an NFL game. Leading by two points, and facing 4th down, punting from their OWN 30 yard line...they decide to try this goofy fake punt play...which fails to work, and turn the ball over to GB in the red zone! WTF are you thinking Lovey!????]

Okay. Like I said...Borgata is really nice. The poker room is really nice. The tournament structures are really good. So are the SNGs. In this $280 SNG, we started with 4000 chips. Okay. Now for the bad. First of all, upon arriving I ask if we need a player's card for SNG's? Find out we do. Here is their system for getting a players card. And it is retarded. Most casinos have a seperate desk set up for getting a players' card when you go to a poker event. Venetian, Ceasers Palace, Harrah's, Rio, Beau Rivage, IP, all of them. Its very efficient. Not Borgata. They are getting around 1000 players for each tourney, right? But when a player needs a players card, they send you downstairs, to a table game, to ask a pit supervisor to do it. You literally have to walk downstairs, sit at a blackjack table (or something similar) and hand your liscense to a floor person to get a players card. Then sit there and wait...and wait, and wait. As the dealer looks at you with that face that says "are you just gonna sit there and not bet, sir!???" Um...yes, ma'am, thats exactly what I am going to do. It is not going to cost me $100 to get a freaking players card!

Then I experience the next bit of complete and utter shock. I have already been warned about this one though so I was ready for it. In Atlantic City they do not bring in circuit dealers. They aren't allowed in New Jersey. Dealers here have to be residents. And getting a dealing badge is very difficult. So what do you get? Oh...you regular players already know the answer to this question. You get incredibly slow and incompetent dealers. Which is a nightmare when the blind levels are only 15 minutes. And they have antes on their SNGS....so we go 25/50, 50/100, 100/200 w-25, 200/400 w-50, 300/600 w-75, 400/800 w-100. I mean...within 45 minutes it was a shove fest, and we are seeing MAYBE 5 or 6 hands a level. A misdeal or mistake about every 7th hand. It was brutal. But I am trying really hard to be nice to the dealers. The other players were biting their heads off. I always feel really bad for these dealers, becuase its just NOT their faults. And bitching at them just makes them press even harder..which causes them to just make more mistakes. In fact, just the contrary, I try really hard to help them. To encourage them, to calm them down. But at some point you just finally come unglued. Watching pots getting pushed to the wrong player. Pots that involve multiple pots that they can't figure out. It's just a disaster.

Well, add to this the fact that Keith was playing in the same SNG I was. He is that guy who wants to always let the dealer know every little thing they are doing wrong. Well then things get worse. Someone in the days $1k event has decided they dont like the noise one of the other SNG tables is making so some security guard is sent over to the table to tell them they all have to 'hold it down.' Yeah! They were all having a lot of fun, like so many of my late night SNG's have gone in the past. And that is just one of those things that always pisses me off. Fortunately it wasn't our table. But nevertheless, I share their irritation. I just don't say anything about it. I've vowed that I am not going to call ANY attention to myself on this trip, that I am not going to 'start anything' with anyone.

My view on this is this: We all pay our buyins to play whatever it is we are playing. I think regardless of the stakes of the games you buy into, you should be allowed to have fun while doing so. To have someone tell you that you aren't allowed to whoop it up and have a little fun is RIDICULOUS!

Well, then something REALLY stupid happens. At a table next to us, a couple of their friends come by to watch them play. Now, there are about 15 tables in this area, and only 3 of them are currently playing SNG's. The rest are empty. These people are sitting at one of those tables. A security guard comes by and tells them they have to move. That they can't 'be in the tournament area.' OMG. For real? Now I know what has happened here. Someone told these security guards to keep the tournament area cleared of spectators. What they forgot to tell them was that this didn't apply to damn SNG's. But you know how rent-a-cops are. There is no reasoning with them. So the players' friends leave the area.

Cue the blowup. Keith is in my SNG I told you. Early on I would felt a guy with AA. Then I would feld another with KJh when I flopped open ended with a flush draw and he decided that a Q kicker with his J was a good enough hand to go broke with. So I had a lot of chips from the outset. Well, Keith was getting into it with this guy in the 1 seat pretty much from the outset. Now I had already been told how bad the players are up here, so I wasn't going to let anything shock me or get me upset. Keith on the other hand...he had a hand where he kept betting into this guy...and the guy kept calling. Calls a huge bet on the river with Ace high. Keith looks like he is going to throw up in his mouth. So we are 6 handed still, and at 200/400 he raises this guys' BB with what he says was KK. I guess I believe him. Maybe. Actually, he might have shown me this hand. Can't remember...whatever. Its about the 3rd time he has raised this guys BB and I am pretty much thinking he is just spite raising this guy. So when I look at AQ I figure I might just have the best hand. But I don't want to get into an ALL IN spot with Keith if I can help it, so I just flat the 1200 and leave about 8000 behind. The BB folds. Now Keith had already made two seperate comebacks from being shortstacked....so he had around 5k before the hand. The flop comes out Q-Q-7. He leads out 1500. I have no idea what Keith has...but I know I am good, duh...so to give him a chance to fold if he IS sitting there with AA/KK I move in. He freaks out a little bit. I don't really want to show my hand if I can help it. Obviously the correct play there is to smooth call and let him put the rest in on the turn. But hell, you never know. If he does have KK...he could just as easily hit a K on the turn. Its a bad spot for me. I don't WANT to bust him if I can help it...but I am also there to win $1500...so if he has to call he has to call. He finally folds.

He ends up getting knocked out 5th. Don't remember how. Maybe it was 6th. At any rate, this thing paid 3 spots. We had a $50 last longer...which up here has to be very hush hush. So I held the $300. We got down to 3. Me and Ian, whose last name I can't remember agree to split the last longer. Then the blowup occurs. Keith is sitting there, pretty much in the 6 seat, watching. Security comes over and tells him he has to leave. He freaks. It becomes a situation where he goes and finds the tourney director. He pleads his case and I guess he prevailed. But not before it got ugly. I was actually very nice in the whole affair. I was nice to the security guard, telling the lady tourney director that it wasnt his fault, he was just doing what he was told. I think the security guard really appreciated that move by me. Well, I know he did because he was real cool to me when I was leaving after that. And the lady was very pleasant too. I talked to her about the situation with the dealers. Telling her how I try to be supportive of them, as I know they are mostly inexperienced. But I also told her I think it would be very good idea to have 20 minute levels in SNG's if they are going to employ slow, inexperienced dealers. She pretty much agreed with me. Any way, she was very nice.

I would end up getting beaten by the 'bad player' who always seems to make it deep in a SNG. I raised when I should have just moved all in...with AJ. This clown calls me with 67. Later tells me, 'you only min raised me' when in fact I had made it 3700 with the blinds 600/1200. Whatever. The flop came A-6-7. I went all in on the flop. Lovely. caught a diamond on the turn...which gave me a flush draw...but bricked the river. I left with class. Getting paid out was a FUCKING joke. You have to first find the person who handles the payout. A guy takes out this huge form...takes about 10 minutes to fill it out. You have to show your ID and a players card. Then...you take that form, and walk 5 feet to a payout desk. You give this lady your form, and she then asks for...yeah, ID and your players card! Just like at the airport when they ask for your ID and boarding pass right after you walk through the scanner, even though you JUST showed it to the TSA person 5 feet earlier. UGH!

[Touchdown Packers! ON 3rd and 1 with 1:11 left...from the 40....long pass for 6! 19 to 15. Going for two here. And its good! 21 to 15! And Keith's snoring has reached an all time high crescendo. I don't think I can take 12 days of this shit! I am about to kill either him or myself!]

So yeah...getting paid out $400 for my 3rd place finish took about 25-30 minutes. Really ridiculous. And this was at 3am. What is it like in the afternoon when the room is busy!?? Getting INTO the game was almost as bad. A guy at a desk, taking peoples names and putting them on a screen similar to those used for cash game...which at first I thought was pretty cool. Well, once the game fills up...he tries to round these people up...and hand them all a seat ticket...which was a total cluster fuck. Well, then all of those 10 people have to go to that same desk, that does the payouts...to pay for their seat. This whole process took about 30 minutes also. It is really terrible. To have such a great casino, have such a great poker room..and then to be set up so poorly logistically is really a disappointment. When I see things this ass backwards it just makes me wonder if their people in upper management even KNOW just how effed up it is? It is 'EPICLY' effed up.

Well, I go to meet Joe Cutler and Jason Young at the 'B Bar' in the middle of the casino. We end up drinking cocktails for a a few hours with them. Then I do something I thought was pretty funny. There was this girl who looked like a giraffe. Very, very long legs. She was okay looking. But I have decided I can't watch her dance anymore. Her dancing is terrible. She is seated next to me, and I bump her and tell her...."if I tell you something will you promise not to get mad at me? I am married, happily...and am not hitting on you. Just so you know. But I just have to tell you someting!" Drunk Monkey....ugh....... I had to let her know that if she would go take some dance classes somewhere, she would really be sexy. But the fact that she dances like Elaine Bennis is a real disservice to her as a woman. She doesn't take it well. But she doesn't get mad either, since she promised not to! I guess I thought it was pretty funny.

Thats about the time I decided to go check out their cash game room at the Borgata, where Keith has gone a couple hours earlier. I walk in and WOW! This place has a cash room bigger than the Venetians! Huge! And they were spreading EVERYTHING. I find a $1/$2 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo game! Yes!!!! That IS my favorite game. At the perfect limit. I buy in for $500 and proceed to have what will become my favorite 8 hour cash session of all time.

In for 500 I take a terrible beat bout 1 hour in and get felted. Shit. But this table is SO BAD that I can't bring myself to leave. But I just lost all my profit from the earlier SNG. I rebuy for 500. Then I go on what will be known as 'The Tear!' Partially due to getting good hands, but mainly due to just outplaying the table over and over and over. These were quite possibly the biggest collection of horrible players I have ever seen, and I loved each and every one of them. I was actually having a very nice time with all but about three of them. I slapped nicknames on almost all of them. There was Ari Gold in seat 1. Junior Abe Lincoln in Seat 2. Lady Chatterly in Seat 3. Seat 4 changed a bunch of times. Seat 5 was a guy I was calling Steve Gates...because he was a cross between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Then the guys on my end of the table...I don't know ...they were just my drinking pals. And we did some drinking! Well, I was about half way into my 'tear' and was sitting on about 2200 when 'The Angle' decides to come sit at my table. Big mistake Mr. Angle. Becuase I was in this zone where I didn't care who got in my way. I wasn't soft playing ANYONE...not even my Mom! If I thought I was good I was blitzing it. If I thought I was in a situation where I may be splitting the pot, but could get someone off their so-so low by pounding the river with a huge bet, then I did. And often times they would fold.

I was terrorizing this table. And in turn, Keith. I could sense he was about to kill me. I got up to a high of 4200. I think. It might have been more actually. All I know is that we had all these people starting to congregate around our table around 10am...a bunch of them begging for a seat on our table. Around noon it looked like a Final Table. My stack was the center of attention. Well, that is when shit start happening that I have become all too familiar with. The bad beats started happening. And I started missing my 17-out draws. People started sucking out. I start losing chips. But luckily...at these stakes the losses were manageable. Until $200 became $400, and $400 became $800. Then 1pm rolled around...and the NFL games were starting. And my eyes were hard to keep open. And 'Angle,' who had long ago left my table after losing I dont know HOW much, comes over and starts dropping racks on my table...about 8 of them...and insisting that we leave. I didn't really WANT to leave...but I knew it was the right thing to do. So finally I racked up my chips. $3075 of them. And slithered out to the car. With my profit for the day at around $2400. Not a bad way to start the trip.

What I am now faced with, however...is the fact it is 12 midnight...'Snoring Boy' just woke up...and I am pretty awake now too. Damnit. I brought about 4 Ambien's with me from Squirrel...I have never really tried those. I see how Kai Landry is when he is on them, and it sort of frightens me to try one. But I think in order to get back on a normal routine, I may need to take one....and knock myself out..and sleep til 10am or so.

Not sure...but I think this may have just become a really long blog entry. Sorry.

Oh...I had all these little 'thoughts' that annoy me...that were piling up the last three days. Most of them occur to me when I am travelling it seems. One of them that really stands out is this one. Not sure if I have shared this one in the past or not.

When you are on a flight...and your plane lands...and people start clapping/cheering? What is THAT? Why are they cheering? First of all...is the pilot supposed to come out and take a bow? Were they not SUPPOSED to land the plane? Had we been involved in a crash landing...would these same people started boooing? So stupid.

And how about the idiots who...when the plane is pulling up to the gate...and that bell goes off that says, "we just arrived at the gate" and almost EVERYONE stands up in their seat and goes for their bags in the overhead? And then....inevitably, they end up just standing there...in one place...for what I have determined (based upon the size of the plane usually) is usually between 4 and 7 minutes...before they ever move an inch!?? What are they doing? They are all in this huge hurry to get their shit so they can go to baggage claim and then stand there for 10-15 minutes (unless they are in Biloxi/Gulfport, in which case its like 40!) waiting some more for their luggage? Sometimes I think the whole world is stupid. Although, I know this NOT to be true because slowly but surely I am bringing people around. More and more I am finding other passengers, who like myself...sit there on the plane...and get off last, after all of these other assclowns have left the plane. And we share in pleasant, relaxing conversation...and depart the plane in a peaceful fashion...walking through the aisles bumping into no one. Its really not that tough of a concept to embrace folks. Now maybe when you read this...I will bring you over to my way of thinking on this.

And while we are at it...at rehabbing society...lets cover another one, shall we?

[wow, holy shit...Angle just woke up, put on clothes, and is going to get us some food! Hey hey...he does have some redeeming value after all!!!]

[just noticed my boy Felix Hernandez pitched 7 shutout innings vs. Texas, and got the win, to move to 15-5 for the Mariners...as they moved to 4 games over .500 for the year. I would LOVE to see him win the Cy Young...but its going to be tough. But he's got to have a decent shot. I think if he can win his last three starts he might take it down.]

This comes, possibly, from my 'training' gained from living in NYC for 5 years back in the 90's and riding the subway every day. When you would ride the subway, it was common courtesy/common sense (take your pick) that when you were the one getting ON the subway, you would stand on the platform, out of the way of the departing passengers...and once they all were off the subway car, you would then enter. And conversely, if you were the passenger ON the train, you would quickly get off the train...with a clear path hopefully with which to depart the train. People in NYC had a pretty firm grasp on this concept. It was rare when you would have a chucklehead trying to push his/her way onto the train as you were trying to get off. Usually, it would be some idiot tourist if it DID happen, in which case fellow New Yorkers would collectively read them the riot act.

Well, this policy carries over to the shuttle trains at airports, as well as ELEVATORS! I don't get people. Look you stupid assholes, when you are waiting on an elevator, so that you can go up to your room...a lot of you standing there with luggage.....get T-H-E F-U-C-K out of the way and let the people who are ON THE ELEVATOR get OUT OF THE ELEVATOR before you decide to bum rush the damn thing! I don't know if people are just stupid, or just that inconsiderate! I really don't. And if you are in an elevator, and there are woman in there, guys...be a gentleman and LET THE LADIES OFF FIRST! Its not that hard of a concept. Its called being a gentleman.

Oh...and you assholes who come to visit Las Vegas, or Atlantic City, or Biloxi for the first time...and your just awestruck with the surroundings....can you do all of us regulars a favor when you are walking around the floor of the casino? Please? Can you please watch where the fuck you are walking? Keep your eyes looking ahead...pause when you come to blind corners...yeild to cocktail waitresses...its pretty simple you retards. You would think some of these fuckbirds were either blind or wearing a hood over their head when they are walking around in casinos. Or how about the late night gaggle of 20-something boys who are hammered beyond even their own ability to function...who come ambling along, zig-zagging their way up the aisle...paying NO attention to anyone standing in front of them. And that one kid always collides with you? You know that guy? I usually brace myself for this chump. I drop a shoulder, bend my knees slightly, and when they collide with me, i typically send them bouncing off me, sometimes knocking them over. Then I turn around and give them that...."geez guy, could ya watch where you're going please" glare...and actually cause them to say to me..."Sorry sir...." Hahahaha.

Food just arrived. And we are renting 'Transformers 2' which I never saw. Gonna try half an Ambien...see what happens. No tourney to play tomorrow. On Tuesday I might play the $400 Limit tourney at 1pm. The 11am is a $550 6-handed that I don't want to mess with. Lots of satellites every day too...so I will be trying to get into the Main Event on 'the cheap' if I can.

Oh and yeah...never did get the $5k from the Beau for my Main Event entry...but was assurred it was 'in the process' of getting taken care of. Wonderful. Does me a lot of good right now huh?

Talk later.

MONKEY