HELP SAVE a KITTY!

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

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lost todays noon tourney but played the 4pm omaha tourney and Final Tabled again,and almost won! Got rivered for a huggggge pot! Got 3rd place for $1500.

Victory is mineeeeeeee!




Ahhhhhhh....the sweet taste of victory has returned to Monkey Central. And not a moment too soon, as I was about to lose my mind. I slept very well last night, as it rained all freaking night and turned my backyard, once again...into a swamp!

Day 1 of the IP ended with me Final Table'ing the 7pm tourney but then screwing up huge and going out 10th, depriving myself an entry in the WSOP Freeroll. Then Day 2 was absolute abortion. I played ALL THREE tourneys, the Nooner, the 4pm HORSE, and then the 7pm $230...and air-balled all of them. Yes, I pulled the much-mentioned 'hat trick' that I was so looking to avoid on this trip. Granted, I did run off 3 wins in SnG's out of 4...and had pulled almost even on the day before losing my final 3 SNGs to end the day on a real downer. The shitty part was that in every one of those, I was doubling up on the first level to take an early chip lead...only to go out with hands where I was ahead every time preflop. But I handled it well, as I have been pretty much everywhere I've played since the summer. Ya lose, just smile, shake your hand in disappointment and go try again. It looks so much better to everyone!

Even while I had been getting pounded I have been having so much fun. Everyone has been great. I'm loving this event. Just yesterday...one day after I asked Jim Sterling "hey, a couple years ago you guys had food services in here...that seems to be the only thing you guys DIDNT do this year.....was it just too expensive to do?" and then VOILA...yesterday....THAT shows up. These guys are doing SUCH a great job running this tourney. And they are so open to every suggestion from players. I arrived yesterday only 5 minutes late...and then stopped to chat with a few players on the way to my table, and in doing so arrived to my seat with the small blind being on me. Well they are using that rule we all think is just retarded, that they have been doing at the Rio since last year...where you have to wait until you are the BB to play a hand. I HATE it. As does every other player. And I told Jimmy as much...and don't be surprised to see that go away. I'm just really proud of the guys at the I.P. for doing everything to make this a great event. They are really excited about their April event coming up in the spring. I am a bit disappointed that we are having semi-light turnouts. The first night, for the 7pm $120 we got 179 players...and thats the most we have seen. 150 on Thursday's $240 and then 160 for Friday's $340. I would liked to have seen around 300 at least. The first event at the Venetian drew 507 yesterday...ouch! That kind of stung to read!

So yesterday was a $340 at noon. I arrived and started winning hands. Almost every one I played. Went from 8k starting stack up to 12k rather effortlessly. Was flopping sets, turning straights, getting people to pay off...it was going great. I had a pretty soft table too. Was chatting with everyone...making buddies...it was going SO perfect. Then...BOOM! I get AA...UTG+1. I raise (from 100/200) to 550, and get called 4 times. Now, I was playing a very effecient brand of poker all day, raising light...like 2.5x...a LOT...encouraging action..and still having everyone fold to me a lot. Fear? Not sure. But funny, I get AA and they ALL call, and you get that sick feeling where you KNOW you are about to get assraped. Cue the ass raping. On a flop of 3-4-9....two diamonds....and 2400 in the pot...and me having all four players more than covered, I bet out 2200. When the guy behind me goes all in for 6300, and everyone else folds....I'm left sitting there wondering....SHIT! Does this guy have a set? Or is he just aggressively shoving on a flush draw? In which case I'm sure he will hit like they all do! Or maybe he has an overpair to that board and is putting ME on AK? I can't convince myself to fold and make the call. 444. Dammit. Now I'm down to 4k. But I quickly work that back up to 8k again.

Then...in the BB and the blinds at 200/400...a guy raises to 1000 from cutoff. I look down at 44 in the BB. Hmmmm.......okay, I call. Flop comes 2-3-6. I consider it a pretty good flop. He has 4100 behind. Now if I am correct and he has a big ace...he should fold to an all in. I don't want to check raise him...because he is going to be pot committed to anything he bets with his stack....so I fire my whole stack at him. He tanks! Sweet! I must have him.Then finally...he calls, and turns over 1010! WTF? Jeezuz. Bad read. I pick of an A on the turn...come on!!!! FIVE!!!!! or 4! Nope. Nothing. Dammit. Now down to 1200. Ugh. I sit around and wait for something to shove with. A guy limps for 400 and I look down at AJ. Perfect. ALL IN! He really wants to fold...and this guy has been a really nice guy all day, and I have offered him some valuable tips that he has already used a couple times...I really like the kid, but he finally calls with 33. Okay, I can live with that, right? Flop? 3-6-6. Wow. Really? Ladies and Gentleman....Monkey has now left the building!

Good news? It was 3:30. Starting at 4pm was a tourney I really was wanting to play....as is TODAY's 4pm, which would really lead one to ask..."why am I playing the noon $340 today?" Today's event is Pot Limit Omaha H/L. Love that game. Been smashing it online. Well yesterday's event was a $240 LIMIT Omaha h/l, which I like...just not as much. Not crazy about the limit aspect of it. Well, I draw a table with 3 little old ladies at it. Im dead! Try to haphazardly request a table change. Not happening Monkey, Bill Bruce tells me. "You're just gonna have to play well, sir!" Great.

Things dont start so hot. Mama calling station flops QUADS on me once to beat my flush...and me not having any low. Then she rivers me a few times. I kind of give and take for 5 levels...not ever getting over 7k. We only started with 44 players...it was paying just 4 spots. But if you MADE the Final Table...you MAKE the WSOP Freeroll tourney at the end. So that was Mission #1. Well, I get into a three way pot...that ends up being about a 15k pot. Flop the nut low...holding A2JJ....flop comes 678. Nice. Turn a J for a set. Awesome....then, with both of them calling, raising....and calling some more....the river is the ace of clubs...completing a flush and potentially destroying my low. Which is exactly what it did.....son of a bitttttch! I lose it ALL. Now I am sitting with 3500. And our table breaks...down to 3 tables. That 3500 would become 2500. Blinds went up to 500/1000 and with the clock showing 8pm, I was at least not going to have to worry about pulling another hat trick, as I was too late to get into the 7pm tourney. Things were looking bleak! SNG LAND was only moments away.

Then it happened. Guy behind me raises and I find As4sJsJc....and move it in. Preston (last name escaping me) hesitates....then looks at me...and taking note of our mutual friendship and respect of each other...decides to fold, what would have been the eventual winner. The other guy was raising with a ridiculous hand...AcKcQc10c. Yeah, all clubs. No low draw. And I've got him pretty well locked out with two of the jacks he needs for a straight. Now I just need to fade the three overs....or at least hit a low. He hits nothing and I get a clean double up! Sweet! Preston would have flopped QUADS! I thank him. Literally walked over and kissed him! It was funny. And I said, "Look guys, when your married to a beautiful woman, you can do that and not get questioned!!!!"

About this time the critical moment occurred. Or at least I am chalking it up to this moment. I asked Stephanie the dealer if my hair looked okay today. I hadnt been wearing a hat all day. She says "no different than it always looks." Huh? That can't be good. Okay, then...I'm putting on a hat! Then it was a question of WHICH hat? My GCP hat that I am growing ever increasingly fond of? Or my Aruba UB visor? Now the day before I was trying it on before leaving for the day and Squirrel started clowning me about it. "Wheeeel? (thats Alabama redneck for Will) What is THAT? You're gonna wear a freaking visor in the dang winter?! Thats just stupid!" Well sweety....so is being a pothole and doing Geico commercials, but I don't make fun of you!  :)

So, realizing that NONE of you have much fashion sense...and that wearing white after Labor Day doesnt really apply to US...I reach into my bag and slap on my visor. And guess what happens? It was like when Jim Carrey put on the MASK in that movie and just went bananas. The minute that damn visor went on....I start getting shit like AA2K....AK23 double suited....QQA2...flopping boats....I mean ONE monster after another...and the sweetest guy in the 6 seat who literally went from about 40k to NOTHING in little under an hour...most of them going into MY stack. I couldn't miss! It was the most meteoric rise I have EVER encountered in tournament poker. And I was drinking margaritas again like they were the cure for cancer!

So now it just became a 'just how many chips can I possibly get' contest! Oh...somewhere along the way...Tim Burt...who was still in the noon tourney with a pretty decent stack, decided to trade a percentage. I gave him 10% of mine for 5% of his...since his 1st place was for $12k and mine was only for $3500. Well, he would lose a big hand and get shortstacked about the time I was sitting on 2500. I was feeling kind of bad before that...like maybe I had duped him when we made the deal. But I honestly never felt like I didn't have a shot to comeback and win.

I might as well cut to the chase...because this final table was about as comical as the one here last Halloween when I just DESTROYED all nine players in like an hour. Oh shit...wow, HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone! Almost forgot! And its my little brother's birthday too! He doesnt read my blog I don't think. Too busy with his job and all his kids!

We get to the Final Table and I have now got the overall chiplead....by quite a bit. Its at this time that I put on the Final Table Monkey Beads. And then formally request the SNAP MONKEY shots! I only get ONE person to drink with me! ONE! And he is the shortstack, nice guy in the 2 seat, me in the 8. And I tell him...."Sir! Mark my word....because you are drinking with me...guess what? You are about to go on the heater from hell...and you and I will get heads up! Just watch!"

Guess what? Me and that guy got heads up! It was great. With 7 players left...and 215k in play...I had 124k. It was awesome. The greatest hand came with me holding JJA3...raising and getting called in three places. Flopping JJ8...and getting raised and re-raised. It was a gigantic pot and I felted two players and crippled the third. We got down to 5....and they wanted to GIVE ME first place money...and take like $900 each. I didnt take it. I know, you are all calling me crazy, and yeah...that WAS crazy! But you know what? I was having SO much fun...and it wasn't like we were playing for that much money anyway...and I just really wanted to WIN! Outright! I wanted to feel that feeling you get when you have won ALL THE CHIPS! That feeling can't be matched.

But at least I DID do something kind of cool. They were proposing taking out $50 each for the bubble guy. And I said..."NO!" They all kind of looked at me weird...and I said...."If we are going to do that, can we please at least make it so that they get their buy in back and then a little over that? Can we make it $75!???" That put a smile on their faces. So thats what we did...and when I whacked the 5th place finisher he shook my hand and left a little happier.

I would dispatch the last 4 players very quickly. Once we were heads up, I think I had this guy out in 5 hands. For Preston making that life-saving fold when he did, I gave him 5% of my winnings. I gave Tim his 10%...or I will when I see him today. He ended up cashing, but for just a little, so I don't owe him too much. I left the dealers a very nice tip...and jussssst as I was about to escape the building to go down to Chill and hang out with some of the tournament staff members, I got conned into taking the last seat in a $125 SNG. Ahhhhhhh mannnnn.

Well, I'm glad I did. For two reasons. (1) It contained a lot of my good buddies, who were all drinking...and all congratulating me for my win, thus making the win feel even better...and (2) With a $20 bounty, a $20 last longer (with 8 players) and  $100 last longer (6 players) I would end up winning/chopping it!!!! Freaking NICE. So me and the guy who got heads up chopped the $600. We gave the $160 last longer to the 3rd place guy...and we played heads up for $100. He would end up rivereing me to actually WIN...and that was just fine! I'd had a great day already. We both tipped the dealer $40 I think (dealer if that is wrong please tell me and I will remedy it...but I THINK that is what we left you!) and I called it a night!

Went downstairs and met up with Jason Boz......Booozzzzz how do you spell his last name? Boslough? Bozlow? Whatever. We all call him Boz! Him and Jim Sterling. We sat and chatted for a bit, goofed on each other...talked about the tourney, talked about the Harrah's mess a bit...and what Jim could do to help clear that up...then finally I decided to go home and see my wife. And my dogs! Who are ALWAYS happy when daddy gets home.

It was a great freaking day! And while I didn't win a MOUNTAIN of money...hey...I won! And that, more than anything in poker...felt AWESOME! Now then...its 11:33....lets go do it AGAIN!

MONKEY

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I.P. has begun, Great room, good turnout...and a Final Table

This is going to be rather brief because I am SO tired, and because I have to get to the IP by 11.

The one thing that they are doing that I DO NOT like at all, that I hope they change immediately, and am sure they will if they get anywhere near the crowds I THINK they are going to get....is not closing registration the night before events at 7pm. And then not opening until 10am? I predict a huge cluster fuck today.

Oh, lest I forget, the turnout for the (I get a kick out of this name) 'Magnolia' State championships up in Tunica were just as I predicted they would be...for anyone who contacted me about wondering if they should attend. Paltry. Its very entertaining to me how they make NO attempt to market those tourneys up there. The averaged well under 100 for every event. Thats just pathetic. I remember a couple falls ago when I went up there, when I asked why they didnt advertise the event in any trade mags or on cardplayer's website their response was "We are really just trying to promote it to the local players." Huh? Go figure. Hey lets run an event, and ONLY market it to those who live within 20 miles of us, and only then through the use of billboards. So stupid.

My day started with a trip to the chiropractor. Whoa. First time ever for that. Guy did X-rays. Asked me if I was hit with a baseball bat when I was younger. Um....really? Are you implying that I am stupid? No? Okay good. Well, yes...I was actually. He told me it was obviously a long time ago, that my vertebrae was all smashed on one side. Wow. Couldn't believe I hadnt had more trouble with my neck. Well he did a bunch of adjustments to me...and then I went and played poker for 10 hours...but you know what? I just woke up, and my neck feels 100 times better today. Thats awesome!

So then I headed straight for the I.P. Walked through the second floor and headed toward the convention room where they are holding the event. Wow! First, I didn't know they had done all that renovation up there. That whole floor looks killer. And TIEN, the restaraut? What a cool looking place! I can't wait to try it out with Squirrel.

Well, when I walked into the poker tournament room, I was shocked. Wow! 40 tables, all nicely spaced apart from each other. Big huge screens, 2 on one wall, and 2 on the other. TV's up and down the walls, about 5 of them. And a kickass Final Table area complete with bleachers that looks just like a WPT Final Table area. Got me pretty fired up to make it up there.

Then I saw a ton of dealers who I know to be very good dealers. Wow...I liked how this was starting. So I decide to play a SNG. Well, there were only 3 tables worth of players there, as it was early...and they were only running $45 SNGS. Yikes! Get into one and can't get ONE player to do a last longer. You gotta be kidding me. About 5 hands in I flop a set of 5's and with a board of Q-5-3-Q-2 get this old guy to completely pay me off holding AK. What? Yeah. I manage to keep those chips...and build a chiplead until we get 3 handed. Its a one winner SNG. Then I go card dead and start to blind down. Probably should have been pushing the button a few times, but folded. Then the ONE time I decide to make a 'play', I shove with 56 and get snap called by KJ...and it holds up. Shit! Out, 3rd and no money.

So I find another one, and talk them into making it a $65 SNG. They all agree, and we have a $20 last longer with 5 players. Okay, things were looking up. Then...about 15 minutes in, I raise with 10-10. This fat guy wearing an Alabama jersey looks me up. Flop comes 9-9-7. With two clubs. Gross. I bet the pot. He flats. Oh great. The turn makes a flush. I just check to see what he does. He checks. Thats strange. The river is a J. I have no idea where this guy is but Im almost positive I'm fucked. I check and he fires out $500. Jeezuz, I fold 1010 face up. And what does this asshole do? My favorite little move. He shows me a bluff! Yeah...shows me 56. A GUTSHOT, is what he called me with on the flop. Then shows it to me. I went into "I want to kill you" mode ....just seething!

Well, I would go card dead and sit there waiting, waiting, waiting for a good hand. So when the button limped for 200, the SB calls and I look down at AK...it all goes in there. Both the button and SB (shortstacked) both call...and I am up against AJ off and A4 off. AJ would hit a four card flush, on the river of course...to beat me. And now I was mumbling to myself off in the corner.

As this is happening they are trying to start another $45 SNG. Please! And I ask the two players there if they would be willing to do a $65 at least. Kid sitting there tells me he can't afford it. Lovely. But then as I was bitching about my AK debacle, he overhears me and starts in with "can I ask you a question? Do you feel like you could have played it any different? It doesnt sound like it...so you shouldn't let it bother you." Um....excuse me...who the fuck are you? Mr, "I cant afford to play a $65 SNG?" Please, do me a favor, save me the feel good lecture. I was probably rude, but oh well, this guy was a retard.

I decide I am not going to sit there and drive myself  nuts dicking around with $45 SNGS, so I go play cash game. And had it not been for flopping a straight and the guy next to me (who was actually a very nice guy, so I wasnt THAT upset about it) flopping a BIGGER straight, I would have actually cashed out +425 for only 2 hours played, but instead I had a relatively decent profit of $165. While I was playing in there Johnny Grooms and Ken Lambert happened by to, I don't know...check out the competition I suppose. I have no further comment on that.

But then Larry Barnett from New Orleans Harrah's also happened by, and we had a pretty constructive conversation regarding that BS over there. He was very understanding of my position, didn't know a couple other things I told him, and pledged to help get me back in there for the December event, so that was cool.

I would cash out at 7pm and go play the first event, a $120 NL tourney. When I walked back into the Tourney room I was delighted to see a nice field...it drew 179 players. Outstanding. I had earlier predicted only 88, since it was early and no one seemed to have arrived yet. I was way off. And glad!

I had decided to turn this into a drinking affair. And usually when I do that I play well and get deep. Well that occur. And I wont get into a bunch of hands, but lets just say I flopped sets three times and got paid off on every one of them by bad players...which is always our wish, right?

Late in the tourney I had Wild Bill at my table...and he was doing pretty good. I was just kind of hovering around the average. We would get deep...and then he ran AK into KK. Bummer. And of course, the kings held. Then I would get a nice double up...with AQ in the BB...guy shipped on me, had me covered...and I called. Him holding tens. On the river I needed an A, a Q or a 3 for a gutshot straight. I got the 3. Sweet.

I would then turn into a bubble bastard when we got to 22, raising about every 4th hand...and running my chips up to well over 80k. I was in good shape. When we finally got into the money I ordered the ceremonial Red Snappers, got 7 to drink them....tipped the waitress $20...and continued on.

With 11 left, I made a stupid play. Holding J10 at cutoff (Squirrel's favorite hand) I decide to honor my wife and try a raise here. Well, I made it 17k to go. (at 2500/5000) And just like always when I try to take blinds with a marginal hand...I get caught! Guy shoves. Dammit. But its 19k to call....and I am getting a little better than 2 to 1 to call, plus as I am looking at him...and thinking about how he made the move, I am putting him on either Ax or a middle pair. I had already made some very sick reads early in the night...and frankly, a lot of the players were freaking out at how dead on I was...so I was really kind of trusting all my reads last night. So I make the call...just hoping to be live.

I was. But he nowhere close to what I thought he had. He turns over A8 offsuit. Wow, the guy has 33k at 2500/5000 and he decides, 2 from the money...to make a move with THAT? Weird! Incidentally, this guy...who's name was Wayne Burnett, and is a friend of a guy, Kevin Veach...from Destin, who plays in all my pools...was actually a really nice guy. I just hate how he played this hand.

Well, I felt better when the flop came J-10-8. Nice! Now hold. Will it hold? Will I become a huge chipleader? Hell no. And ace hit the damn river and I got knocked down pretty big.

Well, two more would lose, I would pick up a couple more pots by shoving A9c and KJs...and I was back to semi-healthy but needing one more big pot to really be a factor. 1st place was going to be $4700 and I wanted it. And wanted it ALL!

Then we go on break. And one of the funniest things I've ever seen (or just fucking weird) happens on my way back from the bathroom. This older black guy...maybe mid-fifties, and short...like say 5'8...come walking in my direction. Well...most of us, when someone is walking on a path directly for us, we tend to kind of vear to the right, correct? Which is what I did. And I was listening to my iPod. Well as I veer to avoid him, I feel something jab me in the side. What the fuck was THAT? I turn around, and the guy is just stopped, turned around and glaring at me. I pull off one of my earphones and say to the guy...."Did you just elbow me?" "YEAH! I did! You were about to run into me!!!!" "Oh my God, pal...no I wasn't! In fact, I veered to avoid you! What is wrong with you!??" And he starts telling me he is going to kick my ass! I was just standing there, jaw agape....just kind of in shock! I mean...what in the hell do you do here? What exactly are the options? I just looked at him...and said "sir, you clearly have mental issues man...really, find some help pal..." and walked away. I told a security guy what happened and asked him what I should have done. "Well, really the guy assaulted you...and if you want we can run back the surveillance and have him arrested." Wow. Really? Well, I didn't pursue it. Why bother...the guy clearly has big enough problems in life. But how weird was THAT?

I go back for the final table...which was up on the cool final table stage. So nice...first event, and I made it to the promised land. Well, I wouldn't last very long. When I got there, these guys were all chirping to do a chop. I had no interest. I didn't play 8 hours to get to the Final Table...and then quit and take $1500. Screw that. I wanted it all! And felt like I was the best player at the table...so I was willing to go for it.

Stupid decision. Shortly after putting on the Final Table Monkey beads, and ordering a round of SNAP MONKEYS...the ceremonial FINAL TABLE shot...for the table...and watching another player (very cool move) get the $20 tip this time I decide to so something really assinine. I decide to play the devil....K10. In bad position. UTG+1...and I thought about raising, but it would be 75% of my stack. Nope, if I'm gonna play it, I gotta jam it...for 43k. Blinds were now 4k/8k...so picking up a pot right here of 17k would REALLY help me out. So I shove all in. Oh...and I get looked up...by the one guy at the table who is going to fold to me about 97.5% of the time...so I KNOW I am fucked. Just hoping I have live cards. I have live CARD. A 10. He has AK of course. And it holds. And I am out. 10th. For a whopping $354. Nice play Monkey. Retard. And as soon as they get me out...what do they do? A nine-way chop, of course. For like $1600 each. Wonderful. And of course...as every Final Table player at this event wins a seat into the WSOP freeroll they are holding at the end...I missed out on that as well. Shit!

Very bad way to end the night. But...on the bright side...I started out the tourney with a Final Table...well sort of. I have a hard time counting 10th place as a Final Table...but I guess I WAS sitting up there! And I did play very well all night, up until that J10 and K10 hand. Dammit. Oh well...my neck feels better, I got some sleep, and I am ready to go kick some ass at noon today.

I expect a big field. Saw a lot of the old faces last night. And though I started getting a little boisterous and had to be shushed a couple times by Chris Sparks, I had a great time, and I know a lot of the other players had a lot of fun last night too. It was a great time...and I really look forward to having a great week! They have some of the best dealers working this event so it should run very smooth! I hope to see all of you! If you are a reader, and come by to play...make sure to come by and say hi! I had one guy who reads this regularly watching us for a couple hours...and one point defended my ability to write. Not sure how that came in to play....but it was nice of him to have my back!!!!!

Good luck to all of you....YOUR GONNA NEED IT!!!!!!

MONKEY

Monday, October 26, 2009

I.P. Biloxi...starts WEDNESDAY....who's pumped?




Well, its here. One more day. And I am really fired up! Mainly because I am sick of playing online. But additionally because I am excited to get out and play against human beings, see everyone that I haven't seen in the last couple months, and to try and win some money.

Looks like we have a great staff awaiting us at the IP, with Jim Sterling running the operations, Jimmy Sommerfeld (hope I spelled that right!) coordinating all the tournaments and guys like Bill Bruce running the floor on a daily basis. I expect and assume that they will also be bringing in some great dealers. I already know the structures are going to kick ass...so I am really excited. The buy ins are all really low, so I know I will be playing ALL the events! And then if I (and you guys) happen to get knocked out before 4pm, there is a backup event to fall back on....including a bunch of Omaha and Stud tourneys, and a H.O.R.S.E......definitely a nice variety of events for everyone. Then of course...if you go oh for two...you have a shot at a tripleheader flameout with the nightly $200. I think we ALL have pulled this feat once or twice! Its for sure nothing to be proud of, however, by the time we get there we are usually into our 5th or 6th shot or drink and have stopped letting the bad beats and/or suckouts sour our mood!

I am sitting here getting ready for Monday Night Football with a fresh bucket of original recipe KFC. I have to kind of root for the Redskins tonight, as I grew up a Seahawks fan and I really feel bad for what Jim Zorn is going through up there. Zorn is such a great guy...and I think he is just in an awful situation. And they bring in Sherman Lewis from a retirement home, where he was pulling ping pong balls out of a bingo hopper to call their plays. WTF? But if you're Zorn...you deal with it. Quitting means not getting any more of Daniel "The Kid Genius" Snyder's paychecks. You're freerollin Jimmy....don't kill the golden goose!

On the way home I saw something that aggravates me to no end. Anyone know where you merge from I-110 to I-10 heading west towards Gulfport....and those lanes kind of come together weird? It seems like on a regular basis I will see a car just STOPPED there at the merge...waiting for  a hole....while the cars pile up behind it. Usually its an elderly person, or...sorry gals, a woman. Sometimes an older Asian...for the bonus points. Then there is this moron. When you are turning right...and there is literally a complete lane dedicated for the traffic turning right...and yet...that person will sit in front of you...NOT TURNING...waiting...for what? A chance to get into the next lane over? Just leaving that merge lane alone...empty....waiting for a car....and me honking like a maniac at the idiot in front of me. Moments like these...and guys calling me on the river after I bet the flop, hammered the turn...and bet the pot on the river....and called with ACE HIGH....these moments make me feel two things. (1) This world I live in is clearly filled with humans completely lacking ANY smarts and (2) Thank god this world is filled with so many idiots...thus giving me such an advantage over them!

After the I.P. I am heading straight to Vegas for Venetian. I've lost my 'housing deal' with Allie Prescott. If anyone has a place out there, and we like each other...I'd be willing to hear offers to stay for two weeks. Or if any of you are high rollers with mucho comps and wants to hook me up with a room somewhere, I am willing to throw you a 5% tourney sweat on all my action while I'm there. I'm not being cheap, and I'm not broke...I just absolutely HATE paying full price for hotels when I am at an event playing tourneys. Hate it.

Interesting question. At I.P.s tourney that is about to start, if I should happen to play that freeroll for a seat into the WSOP this coming summer, and I win...will I be allowed to play? Will this Harrah's crap be resolved by then? Will I get $10,000 refunded to me instead? Its amazing how I really don't care about NOT playing the WSOP events. I just really hate their structures, and the collection of complete money-hating retards that come out there to play in the summer. The ONLY upside to those tourneys is the exposure you get if you win. Thats it. Don't even care about the bracelet. I would NEVER wear it. I see guys wearing those and I giggle. They just look so stupid. And I feel like wearing it is a form of "look everyone...I want, I mean DEMAND that you fear me because LOOK! I am wearing a bracelet that says I won a tournament!!!" So stupid. I would much rather have people sit down at my table, and be like..."hey, didnt you win such and such tourney last year?" Ya, I did. Its like being the running back who scores and hands the ref the ball.

Wow, I am watching an episode of Family Guy that I have NEVER seen! I didn't even think that was possible.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.youtube.com%252Fwatch%253Fv%253DLf6ms7acur0%2526feature%253Dplayer_detailpage%2522%253E%253Cparam&h=f78b1e1cf7748bc06799b499e72271ed&ref=mf

THAT UP THERE may or may NOT have come through correctly. For those who do not know my wife Squirrel, there is currently a commercial running for Geico, featuring, YES...a pothole. And it talks pretty much just like my lovely wife. Its very funny. Every time it comes on. This might come across as a picture or a link. No idea. Enjoy.

Okay I think I am done with this brief blog. I'm 700 FPPS away from reaching GOLD for the month on Pokernightmares...and since I won't play at ALL in November online...I want to at least accomplish SOMETHING this month!!!!

MONKEY

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bad Beat Jackpot anyone? Yes Pleaseeeeeee!!!!

SWEET!

On the eve of the WSOP satellite event at the I.P., which I have decided to commit 100% to all the events and delay my return to Las Vegas and the Venetian fall Deepstacks event....I decided to get out of my house last night and go interact with some humans.

Not sure if it was the fact that online poker was making me completely crazy...or if my trip to the Wal-Mart to do my month 'power shop' got me motivated to get out and see the people.

[in between watching football, a commercial comes on, featuring Jillian Michaels and her amazing weight loss-workout formula or whatever, what we get is her in her workout uniform hollering and pointing her finger in our face. She scares me. She really scares me. Never have I been so turned off by a woman that you would think people might line up to take a shot with. yikes!]

So anyway. I've not had such a hot week online.

[Okay, like this commercial a lot better. Bud Light commercial. Guy and girl riding in car. Two ways to respond to guy asking girl if "you're breaking up with me?" Second way is her pushing the guy completely out of the car on a highway. Awesome. Closing scene...guy all fucked up from hitting the road..."I'll Facebook you!" I love it.]

Yeah so online has been  your standard variance-fest this week. Lose 6 in a row. Win a SNG to pull even....back and forth. Ugh. The only thing I've been crushing with any regularity is PLO H/L. Whether its the $16/18pp Sngs or the various MTTS, I've made like 3 final tables in PLO. I am really anxious to play the IP tourney featuring that. I played it last year and made the final table of it. In fact, last year's IP event I had a really kick ass week, making 5 final tables and winning on Halloween to break my streak of 2nd place finishes. I would love to have a week next week like that. I just really, really hope we get a good turnout for this upcoming event. I can't see any reason why they won't. The new poker room there is great. They have the convention room, the good one...for this event, so tables should be plentiful, and nice and spaced out. The event list is nice, and the structures look awesome. We just need the people to show up.

Oh on another note...New Orleans Harrah's announced their schedule. Dec 8th-20th. And yeah, the structures should be excellent again. At issue is my status over there. After a series of emails between me, a buddy of mine who runs tourneys for Harrah's, and Jim Padullah, here is what was determined. Padullah send my friend an email stating that 'I did not 86 Mr. Souther from any property other than Ceasers, if he was 86'd from any other properties, you might need to talk to Jeffery Pollack.' That was exactly what his email said. So why did I get 86'd again from Harrah's New Orleans? Well, due to the fact that things happened in the past...and I mean...PAST...like 3 years now...and some asshole writing a letter to Harrah's New Orleans suggesting that I SHOULD be 86'd there since I am from ALL OF HARRAHS...which as we now know is total horseshit...that New Orleans Harrahs' security guy just decided to look in his notes on me...and self-impose the '86 himself. It really is turning into a cluster fuck. But my friend thinks that all he has to do is talk to the GM over there and tell him he wants me to be allowed to play there. I hope that IS all it takes. But you talk about a stupid shitstorm. I mean...when it comes to biting the hand that feeds them, this takes the cake. I worked with those guys over there on an attractive structure that would bring in a big field....and then promoted the hell out of it on here and on my Facebook...and what happens? They turn out a record field, and had nothing but happy players. And now they are threatening to keep me out? After I have been over there playing in their last 5 events? And done well, and taken care of everyone? And been in ZERO issue/situations? Ridiculous.

And again...to that asshole who wrote the letter to Larry over there, suggesting that I shouldn't be allowed in that casino...I hope you get swine flu you miserable piece of shit.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Yesterday. Have a major issue right now with my neck...and shoulders, and pretty much my whole back. Not sure what the deal is. But I had my friend who is also a massage therapist come over to the house with her table yesterday. She worked on me for 90 minutes. After it was over, I felt great. And to you sick bastards out there, yes...Squirrel was here.

Took a 1 hour bath, finished my lastest Vince Flynn book, 'Transfer of Power' another awesome book...and started the next one, 'The Third Option.' When I got out I was ready to go play cash game.

Arrived at IP at 10pm. Kai called. Decided to head over. Brandon Jarrett is in town. Let him know I was there. He didn't show up. Guess he was dialed into his game at the Beau. Fair enough. At some point in the night 'The Angle' would mosey by with his wife....they had just had dinner at that Japanese place at IP, 'Tien' I think its called. Said it was great. As he was sitting there pestering me (by pulling a large clump of hair off my arm, that I am certain he thinks was hilarious, but which almost got him punched in the eye) I was taking my second ridiculous beat in the last 20 minutes.

I sat down with $300. I turned $300 into $550 in about an hour. Then I get 22. Older, super tight guy makes it $12. Yes, I am playing $1/$2. I call with any pair right there. Flop comes 10-2-3...two hearts. I check. Next guy makes it $20. The original raiser just calls. Hmmm. Couple ways to play this...but I decide to just call and see if I fade the flush on the turn...then make it really expensive on the turn if its not a heart. Its not a heart. In fact, its a 10. Boat. How nice. Wonder if one of these clowns has K10...the devil, and will subsequently hit a K on the river to fuck me? Probably. Well I check again. 1st guy checks also. Hmmm. The original raiser now bets it hard. $50. Well, I'm quite sure I am good now, so I raise it another $65. First guy folds. He goes all in. I insta-call and flip over my 22. He groans...thats good news, but doesnt turn over his hand. I ask if he has K10 or A10....'No...but I did just beat you..." he says...as another 10 hits the river....and he turns over AA. Oh fuck! Come on dealer! Are you kidding me? $350 goes the other way. Shit. Leaves me with $200. I get that back up to $300.

Then, with 'The Angle' sitting behind me...I limp in with 44. Four handed to the flop and it comes Q-4-9. Guy bets 10. Fold, Fold..I make it $20. He calls. I say something stupid...like "wow, you must really hate money" to the guy who has done nothing but play super aggressive since he came over to our table from another table with too many chips for our table. He smirks at me. The turn is another Q. He bets $50. I go all in for another $150 or something like that. He snap calls. Huh? He turns over Q9. I'm drawing to a 4. I miss of course. FUCK! He says something like "You must hate money!" To which I say something like "Fuck You pal!" Yeah...it was a tense moment. When I left a few hours later, we were good buddies and shook hands. Pretty standard relationship building process for Monkey.

I rebuy for $300. Now I am in for $600. I will only bore you with one hand, because is was hilarious. I would get AKs. I raise and get called in 5 places. Big shock. This cute little old man who was sitting there all night with his wife...makes a play that sends him to the parking lot. He claims to have misread his hand...and I can't doubt it..when I tell you the hand.

Flop comes Q-9-3...two spades. They all check to me and I bet about the pot. No one calls except the old guy. I turn the 7 of spades...for the nut flush. He fires out $90. Hmmm...well I guess he must have a set. I am NOT folding. Just hope I can fade his boat. I re-raise him another $100. He just shoves all in. Wow. Okay, I call. And he turns over....ya ready? KING EIGHT of diamonds. Ummm....yeah, he is drawing dead. We all like THAT feeling, right? He goes into this downward spiral of self-loathing....insisting that he thought he had spades. Poor guy. But I am keeping his money. Now I have $650. Yah! Back in the black.

Then it happened. Kai, who was getting tired, and complaining about his eyes burning...decides to pack up and head home. Which made me feel like either putting on my iPod and playing in my own little world for awhile or going home myself. But before I could even get to that...I limp in for $2 with 44 and call a $12 raise. The flop comes A-10-10. I check. First guy bets $10. Next guy calls. I fold.

Next card is an A. Small bet. Small call. River is another ACE! Guy bets $18...other guy JUST calls, with KK. The first guy has A10. QUADS. I am sitting there...just thinking....wow...nice hands. Bummer for you KK guy, but you didn't lose much. When all of a sudden...someone mutters something about Jackpot...and the dealer says it too. And I look at the board, look at the hands...and say, "wow, holy shit...I think we just won the badbeat jackpot." We did. And not ONE person on our table jumped up, hooped, hollered, or freaked out. Which I thought was (a) pretty funny and (b) pretty cool. Like the guy who scores the game winning TD in OT and just casually hands the ball to the referree. Our table was too cool for school. So no one in the room really knew what had happended until all the floor people started gathering around our table. I was told it was a table share...and not a room share...and kind of started getting a little curiuos.

Well, the number was $37,000. Hmmm. So after the guy with KK got $19,000, and the guy with A10 got $9500....the five guys at the table each got $1900. Really? How nice. While we sat waiting for our money, I would take a couple more bad beats...but for small pots. Then, I don't know what the hell I was thinking on THIS one...I limp with KK hoping for that raise that kept coming from 'new found money guy' in the 6 seat. Nope. Playing KK 7 handed is fun. Flop comes Kc-10c-7h. Nice. I bet out $15. I get two callers. Hmmm QJ out there? Flush draw. Next card is the 9h. Ugh. I bet $15. Guy next to me raises it to $30. >???? Dammit. I call and hope to fill up on the river. River is a 3. Whatever. I check, the guy bets $25..and like a retard I fold. Face up. He says NOTHING...which I take to mean I just got bluffed. Which he later confirmed, telling me he had 44. Nice. No idea how I didn't call there.

So then I start thinking about how bad I feel for Kai...having JUST left like 10 minutes before we hit that bad beat jackpot. That same thing has happended to me twice. It sucks. I hope he isnt too upset. The last time I was part of a bad beat was at the Beau last fall, when someone at another table hit one. It was the last time they did an entire room share. I won only like $245. And in the time it took to get paid out...over 2 hours...I lost at least that much. It was not a happy bad beat experience. To their credit, the staff at the IP had us paid out within 45 minutes. And I made damn sure everyone took care of Troy, our dealer. Of my $1900, I gave him $140...or 6.5%...which is really good. I saw three of the other guys give at least $100. Then the first bad beat guy gave him $450, and the guy who won the lions share gave him $500, which was almost 3%...which was fine I guess.

While this was going on I was eyeballing the little weasel in the 2 seat...who had $140 sitting there in front of him. Why? What was doing? Why wasnt he just giving it to the dealer? What was he waiting for? It was like he was waiting for some kind of distraction so he could pocket it. Wow...is this guy really pulling this shit? Well, finally he gives the dealer $120 when its obvious he isnt going to escape tipping the guy. I think, all told...that Troy ended up getting about $1500. I was real happy for him. The floor guy gave him the option to EO (early out) when he finished at our table...and he accepted. Good night for him!

Well, listen to what weasel boy pulls next. One of the things I love about live poker is how easy it is (after years of experience I suppose) to read people. During the payout process..which was in cash...he managed to remove all of his hundreds from the table....he had 600 in paper money, and 300 in chips. Now he had $300 on the table. He raises preflop to $15. BB calls. The flop comes Q high with two clubs. BB checks. And as I am watching...I literally say in my head "this guy has NOTHING...." and its so obvious, the way he is assembling his bet...how he moves it out...I knew 99% this guy had NOTHING. I was thinking he had AK or AJ....which gave him nothing but a gutshot. Or maybe a live ace. Well, when the BB insta-flatted I watched his face and knew then I was dead on. SO the turn comes...and its a brick, clearly. The BB checks. And then...this gem falls out of his mouth...after he was observing his stack and realizing (my read here) that he didn't probably have enough chips in front of him to bluff this pot (with now only about $125 in front of him) ...."hey um...I had $600 in hundreds in front of me, but I accidentally put them in my pocket when they paid us for the bad beat...do you guys remember? Am I allowed to bring those back out?"

Now why do you guys think he was doing this? How many total assclown retards are reading this that aren't getting what BS this guy is pulling? Well, it became a 'should we let him or not let him bring it out on the table' when I spoke.  "Dude, so you are in the MIDDLE of a hand...which is BTW, five hands after the resume of play after we got paid out...and now you are bringing this up? I mean...if the only way you can WIN the hand is by bluffing at it...I guess thats a damn good reason to pull this crap, right?" He just sat there with a stupid look on his face...and the other player said "No, you can bring it out after this hand is over." Well, a King hits the river...the BB bets out a $100 and this guy insta calls...well, duh...since he just hit his gutshot straight. Not sure why he didn't go all in for the other $25...that was pretty stupid. But regardless...it was just like a Pokerstars moment...when that stupid fucker plays a hand about as BAD as a hand can be played...but somehow gets the miracle bailout on the river. It pissed me off how lucky he got. What a fucking weasel. He even kind of looked like a weasel. Wish I would have taken his picture.

Well, this blog has gotten long again. I made some changes to it the other day..color, font...added some shit to the side...now when you guys makes comments they will show up on the side of the page. Hope everyone digs it. I guess I'm done talking. Now to enjoy this Saturday of college football. Hope you all have a great weekend!!!!


MONKEY

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Morning...and its Sunny in Biloxi. (and a NEW RESTAURANT REVIEW!!!!)

....you know what THAT means!!???

That means my lawn, after three days now without rain, has finally gotten to the point where a mower can be pushed across it without disappearing into the depths of its murky morasse...I don't even know if that sentence just made sense. What I am saying is that its time for me to get off my ass and cut the grass, which has taken on a 'redneck living in the neighborhood' feel.

Yeah it's Monday. It was quite a weekend. Squirrel has a new schedule now at work, she is now OFF on Saturday and Sunday...which is kind of good, kind of bad, mostly good. Good, in a sense that I get to see her now more on the 'good' days. Bad, in that when I am dialed into football, and she wants attention...it just doesn't work. We'll figure it out.

Today is my little sister's 33rd birthday. She lives up in Wisconsin and is the Athletic Director at St. Mary's College. I am very proud of her. She also coaches softball. I was there the day she was born...and I can't believe how fast the years go by!

Me and Joe Cutler have been having some fun little 'lets sit down and play in MTTs on Stars together, trade 10% and see how it goes' sessions in the last week.

[in proofreading this saw the potential for some haters to spout off about that last comment. I should add that Joe is in the STATE OF NEW YORK, and I am sitting on my computer in the STATE OF MISSISSIPPI!!!!! Now, we are not colluding against the universe in MTT tourneys on 'Stars!!!!]

The other night we both nearly made the Final Table of the $11 one rebuy/one add on tourney with 1089 players. My AA got snapped, then 99 lost to AQ and I went out 11th. Sucked. He made the final table and got 7th, when his KK got coolered by AA. Ouch. But we both final tabled a $12/180 the same day. I had a $700 Friday, he had a $1200 day. Then he had a good Saturday too, while mine was so-so. I pulled an o-fer on a light Sunday yesterday. Haven't come close to locking up a PCA seat yet. A trip I really, really want to win...so I can be long gone and out of town when the next event is here at the Beau Rivage. Don't even want to be around. Then we are going to Seattle in the last week of January for a family get together and a possible trip north to Vancouver for the Winter Olympics.

Saturday night was date night for me and the missus. Usually we do something like a dinner and a movie and I had been wanting to try out this place for awhile...and as its close to our old standby, Outback...she was a little skeptical about it (she's addicted to Outback!)...but Squirrel is a team player and went along with it. So at halftime of the Alabama-S.Carolina game we headed on over to the High Cotton Grill.....http://www.highcottongrill.com/ over in D'Iberville. We walk in and its pretty full...we always like sitting in or near the bar...because that is where the TV is. Well, these guys have a big drop down screen...NICE! So we decide to sit at the bar. Good decision. We had a bartender named Jason, very cool guy. Very attentive, and made some great recommendations. The manager even came over to offer us a nearby booth when it opened. Nice start. I opened the menu and was totally blown away! Southern inspired menu...with everything I crave...oysters this, shrimp that...great po'boys, great salads, steak, seafood, pasta...everything. The music they play is off of a satellite radio station, and is southern classic rock mostly. Perfect for the laid back, intimate surroundings that make you realize exactly where you are. A semi-small place with about 30 tables maybe...really quite perfect. They have a waiter for about each 3 or 4 tables...so the level of service was great.

Well, I was deciding between the Buffalo Oysters or the Sauteed Oysters app. Squirrel was getting the Comeback Shrimp..which were very similar to the awesome Bang Bang Shrimp that the Bonefish Grill serves, only BETTER! Yeah! Well, Jason recommended I do the sauteed oysters app...and am I glad I did. Incredible, and the broth they came in got devoured after the oysters retired to my stomach! Then we feasted on a plate of Seafood Pasta with a little bit of everything in it...and a filet, with a side order of fried oysters...that turned out being a ridiculous portion of about 12 oysters! I was in heaven. She got Okra and Fries for side dishes, both which were really freaking good. The steak was cooked a PERFECT M-R, which is rare (no pun intended!) for us these days not to have our steak screwed up. Ruth Chris can't figure out how to NOT screw up my steak but these guys nailed it! I love it! And at a third of the cost!

The crowd in there was really nice. White folks, black folks...with and without kids. Just a very nice place, and setting. The manager worked the room but not in the obnoxious way that most managers do...you know the way? With their stupid manager keys always hanging around their waste and jingling as they walk? Wanting the world to know that HE IS THE MANAGER!!!! His were tucked into his back pocket. And the table-side conversation was genuine, not that contrived, patronizing babble that most managers throw at you when they come to your table.

Squirrel and I both LOVED this place. Everything about it was perfect. And the final bill? That was good news too. Only $75 and we ate our face off! We tipped the guy $20 and left feeling great and anxious to return! We had thought about going to see the new movie 'Couples Retreat' with my clone, Vince Vaughn...but watching the last few minutes of the Bama game made us late for that...so we made our way over to the Hard Rock to play some cash game. Tried to get Kai away from the table at the Beau Rivage to come join us...but he never would.

Later on, 'The Claw' would meet us over there and we ended up having a great little $1/$2 table. Through 4 hours I was down about $150. Didn't even care, we had a fun table, everyone was friendly, we were all drinking a lot. I think for the first time, Squirrel realized that I could actually go out, play cash game...lose money, not care, not freak out, not piss her off...that my demeanor really has/had changed. In fact I never got even slightly annoyed until SHE pissed me off. Holding 99 I had raised preflop, and she called me with what she tried to tell me later (after changing her story twice!) that she had my favorite hand K9...on a flop of 9-k-Q...I bet into the flop. She raises the crap out of it...and every else folded. I give her the stink eye. She mutters..."what if I have my favorite hand?" which is J-10....."oh okay sweetie, then you would have the nuts right now, but I have outs!" And it WOULD be like her to call a raise with J10. Her excuse for calling was that she was 'offering me protection'! Yeah whatever dear. She loves to use MY expressions to defend her plays. Well, I called to see the turn. One thing about the two of us in cash game. We will NOT hesitate to felt the other one.

The turn is a 10, further complicating my hand. I check. And she fires out this ridiculous bet. WTF? Now I am glaring at her. I finally fold. She won't show. But now changes her story and tells me she had K9. Whatever. I got over it. But that was really the only time I got irritated the whole night....well, til Omar Hickary showed up. Omar...that little bastard.

He is now dating one of Squirrel's friends, Ashley 'Taco' Longoria. When Omar shows up, its always with much fanfare. He always presents me with the 'special embrace' that only Omar can provide. Now Omar has this thing he does that I hate. Let me preface this by saying this....I love Omar. I like hanging OUT with Omar. We had some fun times in Vegas this summer. And he is just the nicest kid. Serves his country well in the Air Force. Lots of reasons to love the kid. When it comes to cash game however? I hate Omar. You all KNOW this guy.

There is only one other person on the planet who compares to Omar...and a lot of you know THIS guy too...and feel the same way about him as I do. Terry Lake Garner. If you read the Monkey Blog...you know the role he played in my life about a year ago at the Beau. You also saw him make an appearance in this year's Main Event in Vegas on ESPN recently, in his ultra annoying typical fashion. These are guys who like to sit down at a 1/2 table..and despite that the table has been playing very conservatively (for hours sometimes) and having fun with each other...and not playing huge pots...drop as much money on the table as they can get their hands around (often times 2k or more) and start terrorizing the table.

Well, Omar pulled this shit. And it immediately polarized the table. When, on his 3rd hand he decides to play 'powerball' with the tightest kid at the table, a young kid who was obviously on a fixed budget...and holding KK...Omar keeps firing...preflop raise, re-raise, fire, re-pop post flop...he would get all the kids money in the middle and gutshot his ass on the river....holding 2-7 offsuit. The look on the kids face said it all. And I really became pretty furious. Before that had happened, another kid that liked to raise with good face cards...had raised to $10 on a $5 straddle hand. Well, I looked down at AcQc and said that I was going to raise...but wouldn't probably now. Well, Omar starts looking at Claudia's hand...this was before he had even sat down at our table. He talks her into making a $50 raise. I know from just Omar's presence that he has coached her into a squeeze raise...and its pissing me off, because I am NOT folding, but the fact that I have to call $50 just to see a flop has me fucking irritated. Well, the first kid...he shoves all in! Great. Thanks Omar. Fucker. Claudia gives off that face...you know the one? The "Whoops, bad time to squeeze raise, can I please get away from this (take your pick of garbage hands here) hand now!??" face. She folds.

So where does that leave me? Anyone remember that hand down in Aruba? Almost the same situation? Where I folded AQ? Suited? And made two pair on the river? And would have dragged over $1100? Well, now there is even money odds to call. And I am thinking that he must have KK. Almost 99% certain of it. I ask him if he has KK? He as much as says yes. I had already called this kids hand three other times. He thought that was pretty impressive. I told him I had to call now. The flop came Q high, so either way, he was going to get paid off. He did, in fact have KK. And it held, and I shipped him $120 more. Whatever. Fucking Omar.

So now, Omar has just felted that kid. With 2-7. Omar raises in early position for $17. Sigh. I look at 2c7c and almost make a spite call, just for the chance to beat him with his own piece of shit hand. But I dont. Two others do. The flop comes 10-2-7 rainbow. And he fires out for $30. Shit. That would have been fun! So now I am a bit more tilted towards him.

He continues pestering the table with his stupid overbets. The tension is growing. Our fun little table on 'date night' is turning into a nightmare. Then it happens.....

With a live straddle of $5....Omar makes it $25 in late position. Of course he does. And I look down at AK. Oh, I forgot to mention that I had reloaded. Why? Because when I DID hit something, I wanted a full payoff. I had $625 in front of me now. So what do you people who know me well think I did next? You already know the answer.

After Omar gave me that "wow, Monkey, you're gonna hate me" facial expression, and muttered those two words that you either LOVE or HATE.....( "I call" )....the dealer put an ACE on the flop....and I watched him melt in his chair...knowing he had KK....and seeing him flash KK to Claudia...and pushing $625 into the middle. I didn't gloat. I didn't even feel bad, really. I told him he deserved it. That he has been deserving that for a long time. Which Squirrel thought was fucked up of me to say to him. But she doesn't 'get it' when it comes to my argument on that matter. She might now, after it all shook out. Well,what happened next was very uncool, and actually DID piss Omar off. A guy down the table, who wasn't even in the hand...gets all stupid and demands to see his hand, because he flashed it to Claudia. Omar reached into the muck to get them and angrily turn them over for the guy. Like what? The guy thought Omar was dumping me $600!??? Very uncool. Omar lost it...he had $45 remaining in his stack..and he just flung it all at the dealer and told him to keep it, and bolted out of there.

I felt a little bad about the whole thing...but on a limited level. Then Omar would text me later and explain that he wasnt mad at me or about the hand...but at the guy for demanding to see his cards. Was glad to hear that from him. Omar is a really decent kid. But his cash game bullshit? I hate it. I think if you want to play THAT game...take it to the 2/5 or the 5/10 game. If you come up on a table of people who are obviously just wanting to have a little fun, not lose too much money and just play some fun poker...well, you leave them the hell alone. Let them play their small pot poker with the occassional decent pot now and then. Don't come in and destroy their game by acting like a bigshot or a high roller. No one likes that.

We ended up playing till about 6am. Yeah, it was a late one. I cashed out for $1500. But I was into the game for $900. So a $600 profit. But Squirrel was in for $600 and only had $250 when she cashed out. So I refunded her back up to $600...which meant for the 8+ hours we played I booked a total profit of $250, which when you took out dinner...I made $150 on the night. Hey! I'll take it! Then we went home and pretended to love each other! Just kidding, we really do!

Some of you may notice the little pissing match that is taking place on the message boards here between Brandon Jarrett and some of my loyal readers. A lot of you are emailing me asking my opinion of the things that are being said. Its kind of a testy situation guys. Brandon is my friend. Granted there are some things about him that drive me nuts. He knows that. He is definitely a guy who likes to sprinkle the names of people we have all heard of around the water-cooler conversations that take place on blogs and Facebook. And he is a master in the art of self promotion. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing is it? Just depends on your point of view I guess.

Me? I've just never been one to 'blow myself up' to others. It just feels awkward. If someone asks me if I am a good poker player (usually asked by people who don't play) my typical response is that "I win just enough to keep my backer happy and continue to play without having to get a job! I'm not the guy you see winning a million bucks on ESPN...but I feel good about my game, and am lucky enough to get to keep playing!" And that is about as much in the way of 'bragging' that you will EVER hear from me. Poker has an incredible ability to humble even the most confident/cocky people in the world, and if it DOESNT? Well, then they are just incorrigible. (sic?) On days when I am lucky enough to have all my cards hold up, and am able to somehow pull a few bluffs without getting looked up, and win a couple coin flips...to take down a tourney, I am just happy as hell to be sitting there, looking at all the chips in play, sighing that wonderful sigh of relief and happiness that comes after you have won a tournament...basking in it, and hoping that day comes again sooner rather than much later! To me, its just NOT a reason to go around peacocking to others.

Watched football all day yesterday and monitored my various fantasy teams and pools. The upsets by Oakland and Buffalo knocked a quarter of the pool entries from my $25 and $100 Survivor Pools...but this is the LAST week of rebuys...which means we just juiced the prize pool a little more! Good for the game when everyone loses! Meanwhile, I made the stupid play of the year...when I saw the snow in Foxboro, and recalled that Tom Brady hadn't been exactly lighting it up lately, I gambled and replaced him in my lineup with Matt Hasselbeck, who had flung 4 TD's last week, and was home against a pretty pourous pass defense in Arizona. Good move Monkey. Yeah, Brady only threw 6 Tds, 5 for an NFL record in the 2nd quarter alone...before coming out of the game in the 3rd quarter early. Yeah...the 35 pts that I trail the guy Im up against? Brady covered that single-handedly by 10 pts. Clever move. And oh yeah...Hasselbeck gets killed and plays his worst game in three years. Stellar fantasy day!

So what else? Played some of the big tourneys on Stars yesterday. Got a lot of chips in several of them early. But alas, the Pokerstars weekend jinx would strike. My AA vs. KK to be chipleader in the $11 MTT with 25,000 players in Level 5? That would have put me up to over 26,000 chips? Guy hits a king on me. Of course he did. Nothing went right. I would cash nothing. Ended my last session at 7pm, and just decided to watch football. Had a lot at stake on the Atlanta-Chicago game last night....so sat and rooted for the under...which hit. Thanks boys!

Seems like a good place to wrap this up! Gotta get out and get this lawn mowed. Its out of control. Either that or start parking our cars in the lawn and grow a mullet!

MONKEY

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guest Blog today

I am having an abnormally annoying day, but don't feel like venting about it. Instead...I am posting a fun little email I got from a guy about a month or two ago. Kept asking for him to post it, he kept not responding to my emails request. So, withholding his name...and once again enjoying his 'freak out' I've decided to share it with all of you.....

oh Brad Lidge just DIDNT blow a save...and PHILLY leads LAD 1-0.
here then...with tonights Guest Rant...is.....mmm...Mr. Anonymous funny guy!

Monkey, This was a good entry...funny. Agree with your frustration.The whole freaking US is becoming a place where Jerry Springer isnormal. Entitlements are expected. The white guy/people are evil.Double standards, cheap products, poor service, bad attitudes,narcisism, self-importantance.........

Couple of random, run-on comments.

Agree the dealers at BR, with 1,2 exceptions -- very dry, boring,almost catotonic. I primarily play Blackjack but the play(ers) areexactly the same. Dumb players just don't get it.

People - People generally suck. Not just at poker rooms and casinos -everywhere. I work at a software company and it sucks bigtime. TheIndians (from india) are shysters. The techies are freaks. You have towalk on eggshells all the time because your affraid of offendingsomeone and getting called to HR for counseling....treehuggers,programmers, lesbians, religious zeolots, you name it.

Employees- Ever notice they have the right of way in therestores......NO one says excuse me, pardon me, can I help you. It'slike you are bothering them. Home Depot is a classic - 4 guys standingaround talking while customers are trying to buy stuff. They justdon't give a shit about anything, and it shows, but they don't care.

People - Since when do we have to wait at a green light waiting forsome asshole to finish typing a message. Or, how about this...yourwalking down a hallway, say from the parking deck to thelobby...somebody walks right in front of you, and then stops to lookaround. You stop and wonder "what the hell is this idiot doing", andpause to expect an "excuse me"...but no,,,,they think your in thereway. Completely clueless.

Online - I've been getting reamed also. I think they tweak the RNG atvarious times. Right now, Pokerstars has there reload bonus goingon....how better to attract more deposits that to make players gobroke, and then entice them with a "deposit bonus".

ProFootball - I think everyone is getting sick of the announcers, theplayers, the game. Your right...that Tony guy...I never understood howhe got that job. He's got nothing. He looks and acts like he's in the10 step program fixing to fall off the wagon at any moment.

Commercials - Amstel Light- A 5 year old commercial with that oldfucker screaming some shit. Geico- I just don't get it..the apes orthe eyes/money stack.

iPhone - "got an app for that"...enough already.AT&T - Rollever minutes...talk about freaking stupid.

Rename the Beau Rivage = Brun Rivière = Brown River

What bar did you own in Buckhead??? That area has really changed.About 5-10 years ago, the urban crowd took over, so the merchantsended up just shutting down- no more bars....just shops, condos, andchain restaurants. Although with the economy the whole area is kindavacant.

Sushi - That place at the corner of Eishenhower Drive and Pass Road(The road to Edgewater Mall.) claims to have been rated the bestsushi. Never been so I can't comment. Yuki's (in the Walmart parkinglot) is pretty good/decent. Fairly plain jane interior and the sushibar is right by the front door, but otherwise okay.

Thats all...hang in there.

Thanks...uh....Mr....uh not gonna reveal your name guy!

MONK

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day of Customer Dis-Service....

You know what sucks?

When I am in a backwards ass 3rd world country...and keep thinking to myself "God I love living in the USA. Man, I can't wait to get home!"

Then...when I get home...I am literally 41 minutes on home turf before I am looking at the face of a police officer who is telling me I have 2 options, one of which involves getting in the back of his police car and going to jail.

Hmmmm...maybe I'm not loving the USA as much at that moment. Then, 24 hours later, I spend the day getting the total runaround by jackasses posing as Customer Service reps as I attempt to clean up my personal BS in my life that we all deal with.

First, I will start by saying am sitting here, safely, on my couch...not my bedroom, watching TV. Not my bedroom, because when I went to Cable One today to replace our piece-of-shit cable box that has decided to stop performing the tasks that we require of it, the woman forgot to give me the power cord that plugs into the back of the unit. Hey! Awesome! I get to go back there tomorrow, and stand in that fucked up line...AGAIN!

There is currently a blogger/comment exploding on my blog deal here. Nice. Hadn't had one of those in a while. It involves Brandon Jarrett and some of those infamous 'anonymous' readers. Brandon is allowing himself to get way to worked up over this one. Regardless, it involves issues that I have no information on, nor choose to get involved with...and when that is the situation, I tend to do the smart thing, and say nothing.

Did anyone see this thing on either YouTube or the CBS Morning Show about this 14 year old black kid who lost his eyesight to cancer when he was a small child? Simply amazing. He uses echo-technology to figure out his surroundings. Using these clicking noises he is able to identify everything around him. His mother is equally inspiring with the way she has handled the whole thing. A really great story. Stories like this make me feel pretty insignificant, yet wanting to do something really cool.

Then I see this kid, this running back for USC...who was working out and dropped a weight bar on his throat, crushing his larynx...whoa! Could have, and probably should have...killed him, but today he left the hospital. Awesome! Heres to hoping that guy recovers fully and comes back to play ball again!

So. Back to shitsville. Prior to flying to Aruba, I go buy two nice new nylon duffle-like bags that will allow me to pack enough for two weeks but still come in under 50 lbs at the Delta baggage check in. They have gotten so effin ridiculous with this baggage bullshit. Here gas is hovering at around $2.20 a gallon, lower than 5 years ago..yet this stupid bag fee they instituted when gas prices skyrocketed to $4+ a gallon LAST summer...is still in place. Why? Because its a racket. So I check in, my bags both weigh only 40 lbs, due in part because the bag itself is only 2 lbs empty, whereas a piece of standard luggage weighs about 7 lbs emtpy. I get to Aruba, both of the metallic labels on the side of the bags have been completely sheared off. Whatever...same 'ol shit, Delta just abuses luggage.

Well, then I get home. I am already in the midst of a HUGE war with T-Mobile, as to why I havent recieved a single phone call or text message in over 7 days. Even after I got into Atlanta, for a 3 hour layover...still nothing! I was freaking out! Well, Squirrel arrives at the airport at 10:55pm...a full 35 minutes after my plane landed at Gulfport/Biloxi airport....which is right on their typical time to get us our baggage. I've been ranting on this fucking airport now for about 3 years. All the passengers are just pacing around...getting that super-irritated look on their face. Not me. I know better. I expect it. GPT=Ridiculous wait times. In fact, its almost become a source of amusement for me. I already have this little pet peeve regarding passengers who always BOLT out of their seat as soon as the plane hits the gate, only to find themselves standing their like retarded statues for the next 4-7 minutes as they wait for the planes' door to open. So stupid. So I am the guy who always gets off the plane LAST! Because at a lot of places, by the time I get to baggage claim, my shit is just arriving. People crack me up. So at GPT its even greater...they are in such a rush...to get to the baggage claim...where they are automatically going to sit there and wait for at LEAST 25 minutes guaranteed!!!!

I interrupt this blog to let you know I just was forced to mute my TV. Are you kidding me? Great game too, Boise State and Tulsa...but Lou FUCKING Holtz doing the play by play with Reece Davis? What? Daffy Duck was off tonight? Elmer Fudd not available? Its bad enough having to listen to this babbling fool in the studio during pregame and halftime, but I always thought that once we got to the stadium we were safe. Not anymore! Son of a .......

Back to baggage. First two bags come out...unscathed. Take them out to the car. Kiss Squirrel. Hug my dogs, who have made the trip from home. Go back for the 3rd and final bag. There it is! Oh no. What is THAT? My boxers!?? Hanging out the top? And...oh you have to be kidding me...everything else. I think I know now why the bags took so long. They were out on the tarmac playing a game of soccer with it. My bag is completely trashed, the zipper completely torn off the bag.

I could make this a really long story here. But in the interest of your life I won't. Lets just say I tried to get the problem fixed by going to the ticket counter. The guy behind the counter? 5'5 tall. Beard, shaggy hair, glasses. Cross between Harry Potter, Richard Dreyfuss, and a troll. Total asshole. Unhelpful, condescending...I wanted to kill him. At some point I threaten his job with future phone calls. At some point he radios for 'someone' who turn out to be the Gulfport police. At some point cop decides to let me leave without arresting me for 'creating a public disturbance' even though the only one within 50 yards of the ticket counter was yours truly. I called Delta to explain my situation. I was instructed to go back there the next day before 5pm and my problem would be resolved then.

Think it was resolved? Nope. Despite describing my bag to the 'baggage supervisor' in Atlanta, and being told I would be reimbursed, upon arriving at the GPT airport today, and the doofus looking at my bag, I was told that Delta doesnt cover anything involving zippers, handles or wheels. Well, hey now...isnt that a little TOO convenient for Delta? I mean...what is a piece of luggage anyway? Pretty much a case that involves a handle, a zipper and usually wheels, right? Fucking amazing. And before I drove the 20 miles to and from the airport this asshole on the phone in Atlanta couldn't tell me this? I was ready to punch this guy in the face. But instead I just laughed. FUCK YOU DELTA AIRLINES! AND FUCK YOU GULFORT/BILOXI AIRPORT! Touchdown Boise State! Hey Jasper want a skoobie snack? Yes, I am randomly shouting at you now!

So then I decide to get creative. Hmmm...I have the reciept from buying this bag just 13 days ago. I go over to the outlet stores where I got it. I go to exchange it. The manager tries to deny the exchange because she thinks I flew with it. "We don't do exchanges on damages resulting from airlines." Airlines? Who said I flew anywhere? I took a trip to the beach for the weekend! "Oh, well it sure looks beat up!" Yes ma'am it sure does, doesnt it? And that folks is good 'ol Delta Airlines for you. If you pay more than $100 for a piece of luggage, and fly Delta...you are a fucking moron! Oh, I got my bag exchanged for a new one! Monkey wins that battle.

I would lose the next one. It took place at T-Mobile. They cannot figure out...and this took a full hour and a half at their tiny, over-packed office for them to arrive at this conclusion...how to fix my problem with my phone. So I am now stuck trying to decide whether or not to switch carriers.

Had a very interesting exchange of text messages today with a guy who works for the WSOP and other poker events and is someone I count as a friend in poker. First I should say this. On the last day in Atlantic City I decided to try and get right with some people and broke off some emails, one to Jim Pedullah at Ceasers Palace. A week went by without an answer from him. Finally I emailed him asking for a simple acknowledgement that he had recieved my email. He responded with a one sentence reply..."I got your email." Um. Oh. Thanks? Well, this friend I mentioned asked if I am going to be playing in New Orleans at the upcoming Harrah's event. Told him about the recent mess. So he emails Pedullah yesterday. Pedullah tells him that I am ONLY 86'd at Ceasers. Period. What? So these guys at Harrah's New Orleans are keeping an 86 on me for what? The letter from their Director of Security stated that 'based on notes found in our database regarding you dating back to 2005 we have determined that it is not in our or your interest that we allow you back on our property until further notice." Huh? So, the fact that I have played there the last 3 years with no incidents to speak of, and several high dollar cashes that resulted in me tipping the staff very generously...and then promoting the SHIT out of the last event...to where it produced a record number of players, seems to provide an environment that I CLEARLY should not be allowed to play there right?

I kind of think this little shit storm was started by the asshole who reads my blog and decided to write a little email to the poker room manager at Harrah's, Larry Barnett...telling him that I should NOT be allowed there...since I have been '86'd from all Harrah's properties across the country' when in fact, just as I had stated earlier...my ban was limited to only Ceasers. So...to that asshole out there....FUCK YOU! Don't worry you prick, I kind of think that the people I have working on my behalf to get everything cleared up are stronger than you and your attempts to wage war on me by sending emails like a fucking weasel! Why don't you find a life pal, maybe look in a gutter somewhere, think I saw one there the other day. I would love it if you would come up to me one day...right in front of my face...and tell me "Hey Monkey, I'm the loser who shot that email to Harrah's, doing everything I could do to get you banned from there." You ever seen someone have their hand seperated from their arm? I would volunteer to give you a free demonstration. From what I understand...it's very painful. And it makes it hard to write too.

USA just tied Costa Rica late in the game in their final World Cup qualifier, thus locking up the #1 seed in their region. I don't play soccer, but I think based on the excitement of the players, fans and people in the studio, that this was a good thing.

If you owe me money, please do not utter this phrase to me..."Hey I don't know why you haven't gotten the check yet. I mailed it last week." FUCK YOU! This is 2009. Get PayPal like everyone else! Or walk into your local branch and simply transfer it into my account. Or send me money on a poker site. Or go to freaking Wal Mart and Money Gram that shit. "Checks in the Mail!" Blow me. Pretty funny, while watching TV last night...'To Live and Die in LA' comes on...from like 1985. And one of the classic lines in the movie, uttered by John Turturro to Willem Dafoe, was "yeah yeah...don't lie to me man! Checks in the mail....I love you....I won't cum in your mouth!"

Its almost time for the NBA season to start. Does anyone care>? Oh, and...the NHL season already started. Did anyone catch that? NASCAR is coming down the stretch. The old man, Mark Martin is trying like hell to win his first ever Cup Championship before he dies...but Jimmy Johnson looks like he is going to win his fourth in a row. How good is this guy? Meanwhile, on the other side of the garage at Hendricks...Dale Jr continues to suck. At least D.E.I. isnt missing him...they've been totally dominant since Jr. left! Good job Theresa.

Things are back to normal on Pokerstars. Even gave Full Tilt a little spin last night. Went 0 for 3 on tilt. Then was 0 for freaking 16 on Stars in MTTs/SNGs until cashing three times to end the night and bring me down off the ledge. About to get after it again here....granted its 9:30pm...but thats about standard. Can't believe that lady didn't give me a power cord. Dammit!

Okay. I think thats it. Who is coming to play at the IP event? I hope everyone. I hope this event is huge! I hate Delta airlines. T-Mobile sucks. I love my dogs. Why can't the whole world be...just...dogs? Grrrrrr.......

MONKEY

Monday, October 12, 2009

First ever Blog from MIDAIR!!!!

This was written from 30,000 feet and is being posted! Nice! Technology RULES!

“The cool kids club” Who wants to ‘really’ be a member? It’s a funny thing about human beings. Success tends to breed a sense of entitlement in people. The more people succeed in a particular field the more they feel they are entitled to certain things. One of those things, I suppose is a different brand of people.

I notice a trend developing among the people I tend to associate with. I can’t decide if I think its disturbing or not. I was forced to address once again on our last night in Aruba. Joe and I, along with his buddy Steve decided to hit a little Italian joint along the beach for a late dinner. About the time we were finished eating we got a text from Dave Fox, asking where we were and what we were doing. Told him. He let us know he was at this place called the Screaming Eagle on Eagle Beach…which as it would turn out was a very cool restaurant. Nice décor, good wine list, really nice. Well, there was a large group of poker players and some wives over there.

We arrived, and their table was right smack in the middle of the dining room. About 18 of them. And there was my friend Allie Prescott, along with Liv. Others present included Matt Brady, Matt Bryant, Layne Flack and others you may or may not know. What happened next caused me to start thinking to myself….”Hmmm…what the fuck! Should this be pissing me off?”

Couple things here. At the risk of sounding petty, sometimes its best to just say nothing. I mean, how do I come off on this type of topic? Does it matter? I don’t know. I just find humans to be incredibly ridiculous sometimes, and I guess when I am done with this it will start to make a little more sense.

Now 24 hours prior to this I sat at the bar at the UB party talking with Allie. One of his quotes was “Gosh Monkey, its nice to finally sit and hang out and talk to you. We didn’t get to spend any time together on this trip.” Really? Didn’t GET to? Okay, well, I specifically recall NOT playing poker for 3 entire days on this trip. And my whereabouts were very well documented. I was very much available to ‘hang out’ with friends on this trip. So I guess walking into this dinner party and seeing him there with all these ‘friends’ was kind of irritating. When the dinner plans were being made, I guess the thought never crossed his mind to ‘call Monkey and see if he wants to join us’ for dinner. After all, he DID manage to snap off a call to me a couple months ago for me and Squirrel to drive over to New Orleans to join to him and Liv for a night of dinner and drinks to celebrate her ‘Tour of America.’ So that was rolling around in the back of my head as the three of us sat down at the bar and looked at the people at the table, including Allie. Two seconds later I see him peer over at us. Okay, acknowledgment of our presence.

Then I sat there and grew more and more incensed as 17 minutes elapsed. Joe could tell I was kind of pissed. He, in fact, nailed it on the head. One of things I like a lot about Joe Cutler. He is very intuitive and picks up on the simple shit. He made a quip like ‘Oh gosh, I guess we fall short in the bracelet category to get invited to this dinner party, Monkey.” And yeah, that pretty much summed up what I was feeling.
Well when Allie did finally make his way over to the bar, I was kind of at my ‘ready to get the fuck outa here’ point, and Joe knew it, and had no problem complying. So I literally addressed Allie with “Well, hello Mr. Prescott, that only took ya 17 minutes.”

Now does this make me a bit of a prick? I don’t know. Maybe. But you know what? I don’t give a shit how many fucking bracelets you win. How much money you win. None of that counts for shit with me. If you are my friend, then you know what? You are my friend and deserve to get treated with respect and how I would want YOU to treat ME. So, had the shoe been on the other foot…had I been out with 18 people, say with Squirrel, and Allie and a couple of guys ambled in and sat at the bar…it would have taken me a maximum of 3 minutes to get up from the table and walk over to greet him. But that’s me. And I am trying not to believe that Allie isn’t the same way.

I just know that when I am in Vegas during WSOP…and at some other bigger events, and the ‘cool’ group of players who have made some major scores lately are around, my roster spot on the depth chart seems to be affected accordingly. And frankly, its bullshit.

Back in high school and I guess even before that, it was unfortunate, but your ‘coolness rating’ was often times determined by your scoring average or how many times you scored a TD. Having a hot cheerleader girlfriend didn’t hurt. To a certain degree, this still exists. And on some levels, its pathetic. We are poker players, and a lot of us were also good athletes when we were younger…so from a natural standpoint that we are super competitive, there is going to still be some of that pecking order bullshit.

However, maybe its because I have matured…or just figured out what REAL friends truly are all about. I know what I look for in a friend. I don’t like a person who kisses my ass and tells me I’m wonderful. IN fact, I hate those people. (well not hate….that’s silly. But they annoy the shit out of me) No quite the contrary, I prefer being around people who tell me how stupid I am. How bad of a player I am. How ugly I am. How fat I am. How nothing I say is intelligent. Yeah, and the types of friends I have…I tell them the same shit. If you can TELL me that, and it flies, then you are my friend. If it doenst fly, then you will know you aren’t. Period. If you are talking, talking, talking…and I never say anything back, in fact, I just look at you like a lion sits looking at a gazelle right before tearing its neck apart and devouring it…its probably because nothing you are saying is remotely funny, interesting, or useful. You should quit talking to me. Immediately, if not sooner. And go away.

Couple observations. Guys like Matt Brady…I don’t know. I like Matt. Not sure if he ‘likes’ me or not. I know we get along good. Dave Fox. I like Dave. He is one of the most likeable guys I know. And I don’t think there is one ounce of ‘uppity’ in him. I think I could win 10 bracelets in the next 5 years and he would treat me exactly the same way. A lot of people mumble a lot of shit about how certain players act after making a huge score. Some of it is just simply that, shit. When I hear rumors, and they involve my friends, I really don’t put a lot of stock into them, until I have a chance to make the personal assessment myself, or question them about it. Too many people like ‘taking shots’ at people for no other reason than that their own lives are fucking boring and they need to stir up some shit to give their lives more meaning or excitement. I wish those people would all just suck a big garden hose full of shit. I really do.

Let me bottom line this. When Monkey here finally wins something that the whole world knows about…and I will, I can make you a couple promises. (1) The friends who were my friends BEFORE I won…will still be there, if not more than before. (2) Taking on new friends will become very difficult, as my paranoid nature will constantly be telling me they are only interested in befriending me because it either makes them look better or they want something from me. (3) I will probably become a lot more reclusive. (4) I will definitely spend a lot more time with my wife and even go visit my family a lot more, and play a lot less poker. (5) There will probably be a lot more people calling me an asshole than there is today. Why? Because I am not real good at dealing with fake people. And I am not good at being fake. My wife? She is a lot better at it than most. She can charm the skin off a snake. I don’t know how she does it. She is amazing. Sometimes I just sit there and watch her operate and say to myself…”wow, that guy is the biggest fucking prick, and such a douchebag…and she HATES him…yet she is probably making him think she wants to leave me for him….incredible!”

I think I am done on this topic. I am actually writing this on my flight home. Why? Well, I was going to play some online poker…as they now have this wonderful wi-fi as you fly technology on board….or do they? Yeah, well, it didn’t work on the way down and its not working now…so I thought I would write a little bit about ‘friendship in life, and poker’ so there ya go. Hope you enjoyed that little story. Meanwhile…I’m hungry.

MONKEY

And BOOM! Flight attendant comes ripping up the aisle with that metal box of terror…the beverage cart…and my elbow just becomes another unwilling victim….thanks ladies! Nice pink sweatshirt. Lose a breast, take an elbow!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Final day in Aruba

6pm and I am sitting at the gazebo near the pool, having just spent all afternoon laying in the pool, finishing my most recent Vince Flynn novel "Term Limits." Another 600 page thriller, DONE! That makes 2 600 page books I have read while ON a poker trip, the last one at Borgata, and now this one in Aruba. Not sure if that makes me the most boring human being on the planet or what? Surely not what you people have come to expect from Senor Monkey. Sorry....

The last few days have been kind of odd. Twice I was prepared to sit down and peck out an entry and something came up that prevented me from doing so.

Lets see, today is Sunday. Been doing the pool and monitoring football scores. I am having an exceptionally good fantasy day. In my big money league I am playing Jason Young for first place...and looking like I have a good shot at blowing him out. All of my other 4 teams are winning as well. No idea what we are doing later.

My communications with the outside world are driving me nuts. As of Friday, my next blog entry was going to be titled, "Why I love living in the USA." I'm not saying it still shouldn't be that. I have no idea what the hell the deal is with T-Mobile. I have a good buddy that I do some business with up in Canada. My phone is equipped with a plan that allows for International calling, yet I am completely unable to get my phone to dial him. Additionally, I have International texting set up on my phone. The first 4 days here I was getting phone calls, as well as text messages from the US. Granted, I tried to NEVER answer the phone at $2 a minute, but was more than willing to take (for free) and return (for .35 a pop) text messages. But for the last 6 days I have not gotten ONE single phone call OR text message, which has provided for some tense moments between me and Squirrel. The last thing you want is your husband, who happens to be a poker player...frolicking all over Aruba with NO way to get in touch with him. Its just not cool. So to T-Mobile, I would like to say..."thanks, MotherF(mailto:*&@#(* !!!"

Saturday was a fun day. Sort of. I slept in. Would have done some fun in the sun, only it was raining. So instead I got online and played on Pokerstars all day. And something very, very unusual happened. I kicked ass. I literally had my best day of online poker in over a year.

And I think I have the answer. I think they are confused by the weird IP address. See, when I am at home, they recognize it, and know that they are supposed to constantly fuck me over. But see here, hiding in some weird Carribean island outpost....no idea! Hence...the rampant run of good results!

Joe C. was there sweating me for most of it...and it was fun. Always love getting a whole different, fresh perspective on poker while in the throes of competition. Well, I would WIN a $11/18 SNG, WIN a $11/27 SNG, WIN a $16/18 PLO h/l SNG, then cash in 7...thats right SEVEN 20 table MTTS. Final tabled 3 $12/180's and 1 $22/180. Then cashed in 3 other MTT's. Now as it was mostly a micro-stakes day, my take for the day was only (only!???) $700 for the day. But I was pleased. And it felt good to win! I should have WON the final $12/180...but couldn't get AA to hold up against 7-8...guy flopped 7-7-8. Hmmmm. This was after he had raised, been called, and then 4x re-raised by me before shoving all in over the top! What? Yeah. Whatever. So I took 4th in that one. Then 4 handed in another had this chump min raise my BB...only to have me shove all but 10k of my stack back at him with AK. He calls...yeah JUST CALLS! With Q-5 offsuit. No shit. Flops 10-5-9.....and when I go all in he calls...and it held up. Such a joke. Realistically I could have easily banked 2k yesterday.

While that was going on I was monitoring college football all day from my laptop. My Huskies put together a huge last minute comeback to beat Arizona. Nice! I will take 3-3 after six games....after having played USC, LSU, Notre Dame, Arizona and Stanford. Tough schedule! And we should have beaten ND and probably LSU. Could have easily been 5-1. But hey...our program was a mess thanks to Ty Willingham...and we are coming out of it. Feels good! I even ordered some new Husky t-shirts before I left the States to come down here! LSU/Florida was a helluva game...as was Michigan/Iowa last night. Michigan is another team that could easily be unbeaten after a horrible year last year. Great game too between GT and FSU...has to be a tough loss for Bobby Bowden to stomach after a week of getting bashed by everyone down there in Tallahassee. Feel bad for the old guy...he's such a cool old dude.

Last night me, Joe and his buddy Steve who flew in Friday night just to spend the weekend here...went to the wrap up party at the Radisson that UB threw. It started quite annoyingly. Upon entrance I was stopped by security. "Do you have a bracelet?" A bracelet? No. Where was I supposed to get a bracelet? "Did you play the Main Event?" Uh. Yeah, I sure did. Table 26, seat 9, was moved to table 24, where my QQ was cracked by one of your local broads' AJ on the river....you need me to provide you with dealers and fellow players as witnesses?" Were these assholes serious? "What is your last name?" I told him. He looks on some sheet...and can't find it! You gotta be kidding me. After 3 or 4 players saw me and asked what the problem was...the idiots finally let me in.

The party itself was pretty much a complete re-do of the kickoff party they had last week. Same people. Same food. Same bar set up. Same UB players throwing other players in the pool. I guess if you got thrown in it was supposed to brand you as being 'one of them.' I guess if you DIDNT get thrown in the pool, you were a few things. (a) Not one of the cool kids (b) Not dripping wet for the rest of the night and (c) Not getting your cell phone ruined, your wallet soaked and not ruining anything else of recreational value to you!

I was busy hanging out with Allie Prescott and he basically employed me to protect him from getting tossed, as he got dumped in last week and lost his cell phone to this act of stupidity. Back on that night I did my own form of swimming, but I did it on MY terms. I simply walked down to the ocean, took off all my clothes, and went skinny dipping in the ocean. It was wonderful.

Allie and I would make our way over to the bar where we watched football, talked about life, then fought off a pack of rabid housewives...who had ventured to the island for one of their birthdays, and I suspect to cheat on their husbands. No takers in my group. At some point Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke were gathered around us, as well as Jeff Madsen, who decided to lay down this impromptu rap for the married broads. It was....well....ahem, not meaning to sound crass, but I think Jeff should stick to poker.

The women recognized Annie from Trump's show that I can never remember the name of...oh! Apprentice, right? Yeah...well, so they wanted their pictures taken with her. They had no idea who Hellmuth was, and I think it offended him. Phil was actually being pretty cool last night, which kind of irritated me. I would have welcomed any kind of altercation with him. But it just wasn't happening. With 4 minutes left in the MICH/IOWA game, Allie wanted me to handicap the odds on Michigan winning the game...so after conferrring with Hellmuth, I laid the odds at 3.5 to 1. Michigan almost pulled it off. Nice INT there Forcier or whatever Michigan's QB's name is.

After that I led a large pack of people to this club across the street near the new Hard Rock Cafe called ....oh what the hell was it called? "Confessions" I think it was called.

Oh my God, I am sitting under this gazebo right? Just now a white speck lands on my hand. As I am trying to figure out what it is and where it came from a huge splat hits my keyboard. Fucking birdshit! From where? I can't see a bird, a nest...anything. Weird.

So yeah, we go to this club. $20 cover. Ugh. And jam packed. Double UGH. They have tables. Hmmm...must get one. Find a floor twerp. He agrees to stick us into one, I tip him $20. I go to the bar and arrange for bottle service. A bottle of Absolute, and mixers...y0u ready? $125! Yeah! I told Joe that and he started laughing. When you spend all summer in Vegas dishing out $450 a bottle then trying to collect from everyone...$125 is like almost free! Well, we were feeling pretty cozy...even as I watched a couple of freeloaders who had tagged along from the UB party start helping themselves to our booze. At some point I asked one of the guys, who was from England..."hey pal, this bottle is going pretty quick...you guys want to chip in about $20 each for another bottle?" Thats when I get the 'ol "Oh all my money is in my room." Yah, right bud...well, my bar is now closed to you and your friend. Nothing irritates me more than these pricks who (a) try to convince a person with a brain that they are OUT...at a CLUB...with NO money on them, and (b) who think they are going to take advantage of my generosity. Fucccccckkk you buddy! And I won't ever beat around the bush about it either. I will just tell them, straight up...."get the hell outa my booze, asshole!"

Well, 15 minutes after we got situated, the person who aparantly had reserved that table showed up. Chaos ensued. I tried to hold my ground. But to no avail. We had to surrender the booth. Shit. Found the kid who works at the place we have been staying, and placed our bottle on their table. But thats when I was treated to the 'Arubian Vulture Syndrome.' The locals down here appear to be pretty broke for the most part. So when they see a possible handout...they just swoooop! And that last half of the first bottle just got gobbled up. Whatever, I didn't want to be a douchebag...so I ordered another bottle. Two seconds after I dropped it, it vanished. WTF? Our little friend from the hotel had taken it on a Stanley Cup-like journey throughout the club...sharing it with all of his buddies. Upon the bottles return it was now half empty. And my patience was wearing thin. I decided to go out on the dance floor with some gaggle of girls who spoke NO english. Harmless. Well,this is when the Monkey almost got himself killed....

Thinking I was looking at the back of Joe's buddy Steve, I went and tipped my glass so that it spilled over the top of his head. When he turned to look at me, I discovered that it WAS NOT STEVE! Oh shit! I profusely apologized, but it didnt matter, he fired his beer at me but missed and hit one of the girls, who totally freaked out! I decided this would be an excellent time to get the fuck out of there. I went back to find our group. They were scattered all over the place. About this time I was getting bounced and jostled and was beginning to have an anxiety attack like I always get in these overpacked clubs. I finally couldnt stand it anymore and told Joe and Steve I was going over to another outdoor bar we had passed on the way in.

It is now dark and there is this freaky little bug racing all over my computer screen!

We joined up at this outdoor bar and managed to finagle us some food. It was just what the doctor ordered. We enjoyed our meal, then made our way back to our hotel.

Friday...what did I do Friday? Oh yeah...Friday pretty much sucked. I was going to spend the day sunning myself and then playing the final $530, which I found out only had 55 players. Allie had played the $2000 6-handed that day...and with it paying 7 players, went out 8th. Yeah, he was pretty happy about that. Well, it turned out to be a stupid day. I decided to bail on the 7pm tourney and instead go with a nameless 'buddy' and the guy who owns our resort to El Gaucho again for steak. Joining us were a bunch of people down for some big Remax convention or something. Among those people was this lady from NY. She was, in a word...well, maybe two or three words, an overly obnoxious (the word 'fuck' was like most people's 'hey' or 'anyway'), overly sloppy, and overly slutty...and hellbent on getting sexually assaulted. She made it pretty clear she wanted "nameless buddy" and I to make her our skank. Yeah...thats NOT happening. "Nameless buddy" knows me better than that. She was grossing me out all through dinner, and despite the meal being outstanding it really kind of killed my whole dining experience. Meanwhile the fellas in the group were all pretty cool. My favorite was this guy all the way at the end of the table who was monitoring the Yankees playoff game against Minnesota on his iphone....as in internet...as in, I hope he doesnt have a heart attack when he gets home and sees his phone bill for this trip. Its gonna be bad! He was like 75, but when A-Rod hit a 3 run bomb in the 9th, this guys face was priceless...holding his phone like a 7 year old kid in the 50's clutching a radio as Joe D went deep for a game winner...grinnning and shouting...it was pretty cute. I am not even a Yankee's fan, but I had to smile.

After dinner we went across the street to watch a friend of our host's sing. Well, "Captain Anonymous" was busy taking care of Sex-Zilla...and I was left in the corner...just sitting there, watching this lady butcher every American musical classic we have been raised to enjoy. At some point, I started playing Brick Breaker on my cell phone. Yeah...I was THAT bored. Finally, I'd had enough. All I wanted to do was go back to my hotel, wait for Squirrel to get home from work, and hopefully spend some time chatting with her online. So I bolted out of there. But not even my plan to chat with Squirrel worked out...as she went with her Father to the Beau after she got off work to play cash game. Dammit! I almost made an entry that night that would have been a little dark and depressing. Glad I slept that mood off!

And finally, I guess Thursday was my Waterloo as far as this trip is concerned. Yeah...we all went in to the Radisson to try and reclaim some final shred of respect and salvation to our bankroll. I rode in with Will the Thrill who was having a way worse trip than I was, which make this next tidbit almost forgiveable. Him and I enter a $240 SNG with a $40 last longer. After a couple monster bluffs early, and one actual showdown that I won (AJ vs. A7) I had a lot of chips and started fantasizing about actually satelliting my way into the upcoming $1k tourney. Well...fuck all that. We were 4-handed, and had pretty much decided to do a 3-way chop when we got 3-handed. Will moved all in on me at 200/400 for about 3800. I think I had 4200. I woke up with AK...and hating to bust Will after his shitty trip, I didn't really have a choice. I called. He opened up KJ. Do we ever feel THAT good there? You should. Right? But....naw! Jack on the flop...and it held. Shit. I was out a couple hands later. Feeling...well, irritated. Not at Will. Just at poker, in general.

So I had to buy in directly for $1090 or whatever the hell the juice was. Since its been 4 days now, I don't remember all the details of the tourney. There were 124 players though, kind of decent. It was paying 12. And 5 hours in things were getting interesting as we were down to 3 tables. But once again, I was getting very short on chips. Then I got KK. Ohhhhh! Can I get some action? Nope. Forget it. Raise, fold fold fold. Shit. We go on break. Come back. I get AA! Wow! For the first time since my plane landed LAST Friday, I look down at AA. Did someone raise behind me? Or God forbid, go all in? Could I get that lucky? Nope. Would anyone call my raise? Nope. Fold fold fold. FUCK! Then...again getting low...I find KK again. Do I get any action that time? Of course not. This was obviously not meant to be my day. We were down to 19 now.

Come on Poker gods. Please? Just let me cash this thing. Maybe even get deep. 1st place was $40k. This one kid at the table had managed to masterfully trap this guy with AA....flatting his raise...then when the first raiser hit his flop and moved all in for a ton...he felted him. He had a shit load of chips and was now opening a LOT of pots. Well, at 600/1200 and me sitting on 12k...he raises again, to 3600..and I look down at 99. This is it, gotta ship it. Which I do. And he calls me. With Ks4s. Yep. The 'ol King Four. Nice. And what does he flop? Just a flush. FLOPS A FLUSH! Great. And I was out! And bitter, sad and depressed. Later find out they got to 7 handed and did a $17,000 chop. *()!@*(!@ How nice would THAT have been? Finish the trip like that? Would have been very nice.

On a brighter note...Harold and Renea Mahafee..my little tattooed friends from South Carolina both made that final table, and BOTH took home $17,000...so in essence they pretty much won close to 1st place money. Good way for them to finish the trip. So yah! Someone I actually like winning some of my loot!

Well, things would...believe it or not, get worse. I decide to go play cash game. 2/5 game. Some guy just happened to be in the middle of tilting. Well, I became his victim. Losing twice to this guy. Then I lay down AQ to a guy who I think was pulling an isolation move to protect the Tilt-o-Saurus....as the flop comes Ace high....re-raise boy had AK...tilt-O-pottomus had 88. The river was a damn Q. That would have put me on about $1500. Shit ball. I then lose $400 on the very next hand...when tilt-boy with the one crazy eye claimed to be raising blind. Well, I would look down at JJ. Great. I raise. Everyone else folds. He calls. Flop comes 10 high. We get it in. He ends up turning over AA. Really? Dark huh? Unreal. I moved to a 1/2 table before I lose my mind. Play very well and turn 300 into 900. Then I get goat-fucked about 3 or 4 times to get down another 500. All told, I would end up tanking about 1400 on this night.

My final move was to snare $1000 out of my pocket and just declare war on the whole table. That $1000 would be $975 when I cashed out 6 hours later at 7am. All that happened during that time was me coming up with about 975 ways I wanted to kill this fat, sloppy latino bitch who plopped down at our table at about 2am. She really thought she was something else. Pretty much everything that came out of her mouth was nauseating. She had the stupidest outfit on. Like one of those satin-like material dresses, with way too many colors on it...but it wasnt a dress, they were like...I don't know, like shorts or something...in one piece. It was like someone thought it would be cute to dress up a Rhino in a colorful Nicole Miller outfit. But it was funny, she REALLY, TRULY thought she was sexy. Nothing worked against her. My iPod failed. Staring at her with complete disdain didn't work. Nothing. She was one of these beasts who thought she had the whole world figured out, and me figured out too, of course. "You know what your problem is Monkey Man?" Oh boy...can't wait for you to tell me.

I hated this girl. I hated this table. I hated this night. Anyone that sat down that I actually liked, would only stay briefly before leaving. Yah...that Thursday was one I would like to erase from human history.

Its my last night here in Aruba. We are about to go to dinner. I see my Seahawks blasted J'ville 41-0. Man, just HOW valuable is Matt Hasselbeck to the Hawks? So it was a perfect weekend in Seattle for football at least. It wasnt the greatest trip, thats for sure. But I had a lot of fun with a lot of my buddies, and honestly, I played well. I just got very unlucky at all the wrong times. I did manage to at least make one Final Table, and that was nice. And tearing up Stars on Saturday was pretty cool. And I am taking home with me a nice suntan! Thats always nice. I really, really miss my wife and my dogs. Can't wait to get home and see them. It was also nice to hang out and party with all the dealers, floor people and fellow players last night. I met a lot of really nice people down here. Even though I didn't 'break the bank' it was still a really nice trip that I have no regrets about. Now its time to go home, rest up, spend some quality time with my loved ones, make some trips to the gym...and then get fired up for the I.P. event which I am getting pretty excited about. I really anticipate them doing a great job for this thing. Its going to be very affordable buy ins, and a fantastic structure...so I just hope the players turn out for it.

Hope you all have a great rest of your weekend. I'll be flying all day tomorrow.

MONKEY