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Friday, December 18, 2009

Lots to say...LOTS to get excited about!

WOW! This could be really long! I've been awake since 7am. Its 9:35am right now, on Friday. Day 1 of the Main Event here in New Orleans starts in  2.5 hours. I'm not sure why I couldnt get a good night of sleep. Maybe it was the toilet in this hotel room that runs off and on all night. Or maybe its just that 'night before the Main Event' anxiety/excitement that always causes me to toss and turn.

On top of that I am dealing with a handful of guys who owe me money. I've heard more excuses in the last week. Its driving me completely nuts! It would be one thing if I was kicking ass down here, but I literally have had another horrible week, which came to a boil on Tuesday. Yep, we will officially call December 15, 2009 the 2nd worst day of poker in my life! Next to the WORST day of poker, which was November 17, 2006....both occurred here in New Orleans. Ironic, since 3 of my best days have happened here as well.

Tuesday completely SUCKED! I didn't even get STARTED until 6pm. Showed up for a pretty well-attended Mega. Got seated next to Kai. Started pretty well. AA held up. Got paid off on a set. Turned 4k into 7k. But we had two complete morons at our table who over-betting everything, making retard calls...and making everyone very nervous. Well, donkey #1 would whack me...when, I would raise from 50/100 to 325 with 99 and get called by his AdKs. Fair enough. The flop would come 5 high...but with 3 diamonds. He bets 1k. I totally put him on the Ace of diamonds and then something like an 8 or something. I have 6k behind. Knowing how this clown plays....I feel the only thing to do is either just fold...or shove. If I make it 3k he never folds. If I call, thats kind of stupid too. And I trust my read...so if hes going to call 6k on a draw....well, this IS New Orleans! He calls. And turns over his flush draw with overs. The turn is a NINE! Of diamonds. Ugh. And do I fill up on the river? Why would I? OUT!

Then it was off to SNG-Land....where I would begin a journey through hell. I would play 4 $230 SNGs...all with $40 or $50 last longers. I would play 2 $125 SNGs. And one $65 SNG. This was about $1800 in SNG's with last longers. I would win....exactly....ZERO dollars. I would finish either 3rd or 4th FIVE times. In the last $230, with 4 left, I had a nice chip lead. We had $350 in the last longer. A $1500-$2000 score here would actually get me to being ahead for the day. But oh no! Forget it. John "The TExas Troll" would shove all in, and I knew he didnt have shit. I call with AQ. He has 89. He flops two pair. Sigh. Then I double up someone else when ahead. And finally I ship AQ into 910 and the flop comes J-10-J...and I was out! I was fuming. Then I go to the cash room. That was fun. I win about 80% of all the hands that I play. But each pot I won was about an average of $32. THe average pot of the few I lost seemed to be about $500. So I got torched there too. It was an awful day. But somehow, someway, I managed to NOT lose my mind or freak out on anyone. I am definitely getting better at accepting these kind of nightmare days. Or maybe I am just getting numb to it.

Well, on Wednesday I decided to do something that may have been stupid. I was down to $1200 in my pocket. I came over here with about $6k. After cashing in the first two events...I was up to about $7500. Then the wheels just came off. So to put almost my last penny (well, without a trip to the ATM or cage) into the $1k on Wednesday was a little scary. But I did anyway...mainly due to the fact that they got over 100 players. It would turn out to be a pretty exciting day. Had a good time, and had a good table. Again...I won't get into too many hands. But I was pretty card dead early. I had Kenny Milam on my left. Kenny is one of the coolest dudes I know, and frankly he saved my life on one hand. Heads up and pretty short...I raised him in the SB with 99. He called me with KQ. The flop came Q high. I bet out. He called. Oh no. Then I bet the turn. He called. Oh shit. I was down to 10k...and knew I was going to have to move in on the river, hold my breath, and hope he folded. Kenny had about 80k at the time so he really didnt HAVE to call there? I DO move in on the river...and get him to believe that I have KK or AA. He shows. And out of respect I let him see my cards. He doesn't go NUTSO, which is a testimony to just how cool he is.




Kenny has earned a new nickname from me. The nickname is "CRASH." Why? Well, couple nights ago, Kenny decides to go with some people to the Hornets game. On the way there, in a cab, his car gets T-boned at an intersection! He gets out...shakes it off...and walks the rest of the way to the arena. Then...after the game...gets in ANOTHER cab....and on the way back to Harrah's....BOOM! Cabbie slams into the back of another car! Kenny just shakes his head...climbs out of the car...and again...walks it off! Hilarious! He likes the nickname..and by the end of the night had several people using it. A star is born! I am kind of the new king of passing out nicknames. Just ask Rooster!

Another fun thing was going on this day. I am pretty well known by most. And this isnt always a good thing. And since a few guys had to go to bat for me to get me back into this place...there are more eyes watching me than would typically be desired. So pretty much EVERY move I have made has been scrutinized by most. There are those handful of dealers who know how thick the ice is that I skate on...so some of them actually try to FIND something to fuck me with. It sucks...but its reality. I was intercepted on my way in Wednesday by Steve Frezer...given a mini-lecture...then given another one, the same one pretty much, by Troy when I got to my table. So we started a 'point system' based on Monkey's behaviour. For every dealer that came and went without ANY kind of transgression, I would earn a point. I would win bonus points for some things, and risk losing points for other things. By the end of the night, I would have 26 points.

I would also be the last one out. We were playing either to the money, or 2am, whichever came first. For the last two hours, I was shortstacked as shit. But the structure is SO good, that I was never desperate. I was incredibly patient...and finally...when a guy's JJ got cracked by AK on the other table, I had made the money, for $2100. Thank GOD!!!! We now had 18 left. The players remaining read like a who's who of all the good players on the Gulf Coast. Again...good structures equal good players. Tyler Smith, TK Miles, Kai Landry, and several other excellent players. I had my work cut out for me if I was going to make another 1k Final Table. But I sure was relieved to be in the money at least. Well, Tyler likes to raise a lot...and when I get AA UTG, I think, "hmm..pretty damn good place to limp for 1200 (with 13k behind) and hope someone raises or moves me in." However, these are almost ALL good players...and as soon as I limp in, its like they ALL knew I had AA. I couldn't even get the SB to complete! Then I go and flop a damn set. I got nothing from Tyler. Nothing. That hurt. I then proceed to go three orbits with nothing. 9500 left. Yikes. Tyler raises yet again and I have Ad8d. I KNOW I should have shipped there, but I don't.

Frenchy...who's real name I don't know...calls him (with 10-10). Long story short...I end up making a full house. And would have gotten tripled up. And had an ample shot at making the Final Table. So on the next hand when I go all in with KQ...I am lucky enough to run into KK. Oh...how nice. And didn't pick up anything to help me. I was out 18th....and it was 2am. They bagged their chips. I left to my hotel. Then I joined up with Kai and we went down to the Penthouse Club...which is really kind of a nice strip club. It was our second visit. Already there was Gabe Costner and some guys from Atlanta...as well as this girl Andrea who is either dating or just hanging out with Pasha...Antonio Esfandiari's brother, who I met in Aruba 4 years ago. Nice kid. Andrea lives in Cleveland. We hung out there til they closed at 5am.

Got up yesterday...and went down to play the noon Mega. It was one of those days when everything just went really, really smooth. I was never short. I never had a ton. But I always had enough. And I had a really good table. John Westra came to my table and got me drinking with him. Him and I totally stayed out of each other's way too. Meanwhile, Kai was busy going out 7th up on the 1k Final Table. Tyler would take out TK. By the time I won the Mega...I think they were down to 5 up there.

The hand that would end the Mega came when Captain Tom Franklin moved all in for 14k. I looked down at 66 in the BB. The blinds were 600/1200 I think. I had 45k. It was a tough call. But we had 7 left....if I called and won, it was over. If I doubled up Franklin....well, that would just be bad in every way. I was doing the math...and thinking it out...when he started yapping...and once that started, I knew he wanted me t fold. Then he does what he will probably regret doing...he calls CLOCK on me. Big mistake sir. I instantly call. He has KQ. He flops a Q. Dammit. But when a diamond on the turn makes 4...I look at my cards....see the 6 of diamonds, and quietly ask the dealer for a diamond on the river. 5 of diamonds! Yes! Game Over! We win. Very, very satisfying feeling. Didn't have to play the late-night Mega. Thank god!

So then me, Kai, John Westra...and later we were joined by Keith "The Angle" Ezykowich....went to Besh Steakhouse and just feasted. Oysters again...and I had a great filet! And a really good bottle of Pinot Noir. It was the perfect way to end the night. Got back to my room at a good hour. Didn't play ANY poker after the Mega win. Now I am just fully dialed in on playing well in today's Main Event. If I lose today, hey...not a big deal. I will get in the car, drive home...and be ready to head north to Florence, Alabama with Squirrel for Christmas with her family. I make it past today...well, I guess she will leave without me. ANd then I just have to make sure I make the Final Table on Sunday so she wont be too mad when I show up two days late in a seperate car.

Oh, in yesterday's Mega I finished with 9 'behavior points.' I am on FIRE! But 26 is going to be tough to beat. But with the Main, long blind levels....I got a shot at it.

A couple of really nice ladies who read my blog, and are on my Facebook came down for a few days. They made a final table...good for them!!! And they gave me a gift! Really nice! A big ol coffee mug that had a Monkey on it...the handle is the Monkey's arm. It was really nice of them. If you gals are reading this...thanks again!!!

What else? I know I had a LOT of things that I felt I needed to write about...but now, for the life of me I am forgetting a bunch of them.

Despite the four or five awful days I've had on this trip...I guess cashing three times and winning the Mega for the chance to play in the Main has to be looked at as positive. But like I have said before...you start winning, and you just expect to win even more. Makes it tough. High expectations. I really just want to have one GREAT day in a Main Event, like I almost had (AA cracked by KK) at Venetian last month...where I can win enough money to bring Squirrel and I everything we NEED...and give us some peace of mind. Plus, I would REALLY REALLY like to take her to that BCS Title Game in Pasadena. They said $275 tickets went on sale at 8am the other morning....and I was totally going to get on there and try to get 4...but then like a dumbass I didn't wake up and remember to do it. WHo knows? Might not have gotten through anyway. But now everything I am seeing on Ebay is through the roof.....like $900 a ticket. Jeeezuz. But if I can get a top 4 in this Main Event....I am taking her! It would be the experience of a lifetime for her.

I can't think of anything else right now. I need to go back to making notes on my Blackberry when I am going to write about something on here!

Well, time to take a shower and get ready for today. Lets have a GOOD ONE!!!!!!


MONKEY

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