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Friday, December 31, 2010

One Prayer Answered...One to Go!!!!


If I were to say I was happy last night...I would seriously be understating things. Seriously!

My day started with the arrival of a package on my front doorstep. Ahhhh....Brett Allelo, who finished 2nd to me in the Omaha tourney where I finally got my first WSOP circuit ring...and has become a good Facebook buddy, heeded my pleas for beef jerky in my life and sent me a BOX of it! Guess what the last 24 hrs of my life have consisted of? Yeah....you know it!


Watched a few games of college bowl action...then put on my Husky jersey and prepared for the Cornhusker beatdown that I was certain was coming. But wait. Something funny happened to my 14 pt underdog Washington Huskies. The defense showed up! And the whole team played inspired ball for 60 minutes...probably a lot of it having to do with it being Jake Locker's last college game and them wanting badly to send him out a winner. Well...I will tell you I sat here all night screaming and yelling and scaring my dogs! I was so happy, so proud of my dawgs! To go from 0-12 with Ty Willingham two years...to hiring Steve Sarkisian from USC...beating USC last year...and winning a few games...then making a bowl game for the first time in 8 years...wow! EIGHT YEARS! When I was growing up we were in a bowl game almost every year...and the Rose Bowl a ton. Times have really changed. Well, hopefully they are coming back! Great win! And a great win for the Pac-10! So it should make this Oregon/Auburn game even more compelling.


Now...it doesn't mean quite as much to me...as a Husky victory over Nebraska in a bowl game...considering we would be the first team in NFL history to win a division and make the playoffs with a losing record...but I will still root for it. Seahawks...please, can you find it in yourself to put together ONE solid game, win the division, and get into the postseason? Please? And if they do pull it off...hey, next week is a no-loser for us...as we would play New Orleans. I would be perfectly okay with getting beat by the Saints. How else is my New Orleans vs. New England Super Bowl going to happen!??


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New Year's Eve tonight! What to do what to do. The Claw just came by to borrow a purse from Squirrel and is cajolling me to meet her and Gabe and a bunch of others at Hard Rock tonight. Granted, I know the real reason she's doing it is because she knows that if I come, Cheryl will likely meet them all when she gets off work, and if I dont...she will probably be more inclined to just come home and get ready for tomorrow's Alabama/Michigan State game that starts at noon, and not be all hungover and tired. I guess I will decide later.


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Was driving around doing errands yesterday and see someone dump a bag of litter out of their driver's side window. I don't see this very often anymore...not as much as I did, say in the 80's. But when I do see it, it makes me nuts. I hate it. I don't think I am friends with, or even KNOW anyone who does this. I think it should be legal to get out of our car if we see someone do this...walk up to their car...and smash their windshield.


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If I had to start a list of the most annoying people who announce sports, I am afraid I would run out of paper and ink.


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One of my readers works in an oil field. He sends me some very entertaining emails once in awhile. Today he sent another one. He said, referring back to my blog a couple blogs ago...that it is totally normal for me to find myself loathing 75% of the people I encounter at my poker tables, cash game primarily. He included a couple of examples that he has to deal with in his job...calling the engineers 'know it alls' who he would like to punch in the face. I got a kick out of it. But then he referred to my mention of running my car into a tree as fast as I could to see if my air bag would deploy and save my life or not, and called that 'totally NOT normal.' I'm glad you folks are paying attention!

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Check this out! When I was visiting my sister in Milwaukee a few months back, I noticed the coolest painting in their house. Ah hell, I was going to post it...figuring she would have it on her Facebook page. Nope. Oh well...well, she has these four dogs, all great...and she sent numerous photos to this artist...and that artist did a mural/painting of them, taking into account all of their various 'personalities.' Well, I just loved it...and wanted one of our dogs. So, unbeknownst to me, Cheryl was doing that over the course of the last three months together with my Mom...and this is what we got from my Mother for Christmas....so cool!!








Jasper is, of course the one with the ball in his mouth...and Mollie is on the right. Here are the photos she modeled this on...pretty amazing! As I write this Jasper is in my lap...like a cat. There is a storm outside...and he gets scared. So cute...he is trying to duck his head under my arm.


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I just had to take Squirrel to work. This is a 7 year ritual now. Because its such a busy night...the Beau Rivage forbids their employees from parking in the 7 story parking deck...even posts a guy out front to check for them. If they are caught, I suspect they get fired. A couple years ago, I had a guy stop me, insisting that I worked there. He didn't want to let me park in the garage. How do you react to THAT one!?? Well, I am completely understanding of why they would ask the employees to park across the street in the employees parking lot.

However, I think its ridiculous for them to ask the waitresses to do that. Its not like there are 100's of them...and you are talking about two shifts. The last thing I want is the liability...not to mention just having a heart...and not wanting my cocktail waitresses having to walk out at night, into a poorly lit lot, carrying a good amount of money and risking getting robbed or worse. Seems utterly ridiculous to me. So every year, I drop her off at work and pick her up.


They got new uniforms that they unveil tonight. I like them. All black, short skirts. Show a lot of cleavage. Much classier, and much sexier. Maybe she will start making more money! Hope so, for her sake...she is about to lose her mind. This year for them has really sucked. Thanks BP!


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You know when you are driving, and you are going to merge onto the highway...and there is that retard who can't figure out the whole concept of 'merging' and just STOPS at the end of the exit? Just STOPS! That pretty much always comes close to causing an accident. I just don't understand how people in this world can be so dense!


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Georgia is about to lose to Central Florida. Wow. 10-6 with a minute to go. This after South Florida beat Clemson earlier today. So...lets see if I have this right. The two smaller schools in Florida have both won...over an ACC team, and a SEC team...and meanwhile, Miami got torched by Notre Dame...Florida State goes tonight against South Carolina...and then Florida plays Penn State tomrrow I think. Wait. FOUR Florida teams all played bowl games today? That's pretty wild. Uh oh...Georgia just completed a long pass. :30 seconds left. Murray for UGA just took a sack. No timeouts. Looking bad. 40 yard line. Fans on field. Should be 2 seconds left. Another mess. Wow...Georgia sucks. Here we go. 2 seconds. From 40 years. I'm calling this a One in 150 shot.


Ballgame. UCF wins. Too bad...in my bowl pool...if Georgia had won this game (and covered) my backer...who is in my bowl pool...would have won 10% of the prize money for being the leader after 20 games. Damn.


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Just talked to Shaun Johnston...no relation to my wife, and he brings up an interesting point about tonights tourneys online might be the right night to play online poker. Lots of guarantee prize payouts...but with a LOT of people OUT...equals a lot of overlays. Hmmmm....very enticing. Now, if we could just do something about the rest of the shitty players and the bad luck that I have when playing online! But honestly, I have no desire to leave my house! So maybe I will stay in and play on Tilt, both literally and figuritively!


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Well...this will FOR SURE be my last post of 2010! I hope you all have a great night...and a great New Year! Thanks to all of you for your support all throughout the year...through both thick and thin...as there has been a lot of both! I am really looking forward to 2011...and have a lot of goals I hope to accomplish. See you all at some point in the New Year!!!!


MONKEY

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Special Announcement...Monkey 'Busts' out!

That's right! I've been teasing you guys for a couple of months...dangling the carrot in front of you ever so teasingly. Well...I decided that I would forgo waiting on the new year to arrive and let the cat out of the bag early.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jeff Griffith in a poker tourney somewhere. It was established that I was good friends with Chad Brown. Well it just so happens that Jeff is the mind behind Bustout Poker apparel, which had just agreed to a deal with Chad where he represents them and wears their gear.

Gear. Poker gear. An interesting subject. We have seen a lot of new lines of 'poker related' items popping up the past couple of years. A handful of them travel to the poker tourneys and set up shop with the hopes of attracting customers. Seems like a pretty good place to set up shop, right?

Last fall, I was approached by a guy from a line called Ksino. They had just signed Lacy Jones to be their big 'face' to represent them. Well, he was impressed with my resume, and their clothes were kind of up my alley. I thought we had worked out a pretty decent arrangement...but things kind of fell apart. He sent me a box of clothing to wear...none of it fit. I sent it back to him...and he forgot to send me more. I tried to follow up with him...but I don't know what happened. Honestly, I think the guy's head and heart were in the right place, I think he might have just been a bit disorganized. He was a nice guy...and its too bad it didn't work out, but I think (and hope) that it was all for a good reason that it didn't work out.

I got to know Jeff pretty well, and Jeff's wonderful wife Nikki...and they have been very supportive of my efforts this fall, following me in my various runs. I wore their shirts and hats in a couple of events...(a) because I think they are pretty sharp...and (b) because they gave them to me for free and felt like it was the least I could do to show them my appreciation.

Well, Jeff has made me a full fledged member of Team Bustout...joining some pretty accomplished players like Chad Brown and Lee Childs. It's not anything that is going to make me rich and be able to quit poker...for sure. But that's not my motivation for jumping on board with Jeff and his Bustout Poker. The fact of the matter is...I really like their stuff...and I really like the people behind it. Pretty simple. And since I already dress in clothes similar to what they are selling, its not like I will have to change my look very much. I would never wear something for a commission if I didn't feel good wearing it.

So...here is where you guys all come in. I am pretty sure I am the ONLY one on Team Bustout who is able to offer you this deal...so pay attention! Just kidding. Its not a real tough one to remember. If you go to the website...and see something, or MANY things that you like...and decide to purchase something...you will see a BOX that says COUPON CODE. If you are sneaky enough to type in the word 'MONKEY' you will be recieving a 15% discount on whatever you buy.

I guess if I was a true salesman with half a marketing brain, I would have come out with this announcement BEFORE Christmas, right? Well...no one ever confused me for being a marketing genius!!!

You will see me at the Beau Rivage...and I hope to be sporting some of the gear from the store. We are having a couple of sizing issues because me and my fat GUT are having some problems getting into some of the stuff! So yeah...I guess WE aren't having sizing issues...I guess I am having sizing issues!!! I think Jeff and Nikki will be setting up a sales outlet at the event up in Tunica next month and into February...if you are up there and see something you like, simply tell them you would like the 'Monkey Discount' and they will accomodate you!

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I decided to make a night out of playing on Full Tilt Poker. Ouch. I didn't cash. Not once. I didn't think it was possible to run worse anywhere more than I run bad on Pokerstars. Pffft. Wrong! And some of the shit I was watching happen on there...its a good thing I wasnt in for more than $20 on the buy ins, I would have lost my mind. Guys raising UTG...another guy re-raises...and then someone named MONKEY re-raising significantly with KK....and getting SMOOTH called by the big blind...AND the other two! Flop comes out Q-J-4. Rainbow. Seems like a good flop. Big BLind shoves all in. Other two fold. I call. He has...ya ready? J-5. Suited! Of course. Turn? 5. River? 3. I'm out. That was probably my favorite 'shoot someone in the face' moment tonight.

Of course, there were more. I just don't get it. I don't understand how ANYONE runs good online unless they have a way of 'manipulating' the system. Because I have been at it for 7 years now...and nothing online ever changes. I don't just play good live and suddenly start playing like shit online. I go and defy the odds, and get deep in one of their big tourneys tonight...with a $24 buy in...and from 2035 players down to 400 or so, I get JJ and raise at cutoff. This clown who had been re-raising me every damn time I raised at cutoff does it again. I started the hand with 24k with the blinds at 300/600. He had 70k. I raised to 1800. He re-raises me to 5400. I was done fucking around with this jerk. I could have made it 12k I guess...but why? And leave half my stack behind. I shove. He snap calls with A10. Off suit. He turns a damn ace. Of course. Stupid.

Here is a scenario: I win a big poker tourney (live, of course) next year...for say, $4m. I decide to chill out, not play much anymore. Then...suddenly, I get some super fucked up disease that requires me to live in a bubble. Oh no. Awhile later, I get the urge back to play some poker. But I can only play ONLINE poker. I am pretty sure that within 3 months...I would be dead. In fact...I guarantee I would be dead.

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Minnesota just beat Philadelphia. Now, my partner who wanted to shoot himself on Sunday after changing his pick from Philly to San Diego can at least breathe easier knowing he would have lost anyway. Last week...when it looked like Joe Webb was going to start against Chicago...I guess I was in Atlantic City and some old dude at my table who looked like a buzzard, was talking about the game, trying to decide who to bet on. Joe Webb's name came up. Couple people were talking shit about him. I chimed in with this prophetic statement:

"I remember watching this Joe Webb guy in college, and in the preseason...and he is the nuts. Seriously, this guy is going to be very good...if given the chance to play."

I rest my case. Oh, and also...wait...oh no....here it comes.

I used to like Bob Costas...before he decided he was going to become the World Champion in Scrabble. Every time he gets behind the microphone, its like a contest to see how many big words he can string together to try and impress everyone with 'eloquence.' So ...oh never mind, it must have come at halftime, as they just signed off, thank god. Well, he does his little editorial rants...and as I listen to him babble, I want to puke all over the front of my TV...but I don't...but only because I love my 55' Samsung too much to ever do that. But if I ever see Costas in person, there is a very good chance I could be jamming a finger down my throat as I approach him!

Mike Vick...I think your MVP award just flew out the window and landed in Tom Brady's front yard; where it belongs anyway. If Vick goes down, Kevin Kolb is more than qualified to carry the load. If Brady goes down? Forget it! Patriots are toast. Which is one reason why Peyton Manning wins the MVP so much. That team is DEAD if Manning goes down. Brady has had a disgusting good season anyway, and just set an NFL record for most passes without an INT. Thats good for something. I am still sticking with my prediction that I made two weeks ago.

SUPER BOWL: New England vs. New Orleans. And yeah, I feel a lot better about that prediction after the Saints went into Atlanta last night and came out with a very hard-fought victory over a good Falcon team.

On an embarrassing note...I have to sit and root for my Seahawks to knock off the Rams at home this Sunday so we can backdoor out way into the playoffs as the first team in NFL history to win the division with a LOSING record! Yeah...win at home...over the Rams...to get to 7-9 and win the NFC West. Sick! I almost hope we lose. Except, I just got my customized Seahawk jersey in the mail with 'MONKEY' embroidered on the back...so who knows? Maybe they pull off some retardedly ridiculous run and give me a reason to wear it at the next event at the Beau!!!!

[and maybe Osama bin Laden shows up at the White House for a state dinner with the Obamas]

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I have two more special announcements coming within the next week or so. One involves a deal with an online poker site. The other involves a very good friend of mine who has finally gotten his custom design jewelry company off the ground and is asking me to help him out. Which I am gladly doing. I have added his logo to the front page already...and yes, you can click on it to see what he has to offer, but I will be talking about it a little bit more in a future blog post. My buddy, James Dunning...who we all call 'JD' is the famous JD of 'The JD Special' that I have mentioned many times at the poker table. Yes...that would be...Jack Nine suited! I knew he was working on this line for quite awhile, and Squirrel even decided to help him out and make a couple of purchases for Christmas, one for me and one for her...and they are really cool, and quite affordable. So I really hope JD does well with this...he has been really struggling the past couple of years...and to be able to help him out is a no-brainer for me!

I know I know...all I am doing is pimping stuff on here tonight, huh??? Well at least you voluntarily clicked on this and didn't have it show up in your email box!!!! Can't beat me up for Spamming your ass!

Oh! Good timing...I hear the garage door opening...and there go both dogs...like they have been shot out of a cannon!!! Squirrel is home early from work! Y'all have a good night!

Monkey

Monday, December 27, 2010

Depression vs. Simple Annoyance

It's kind of a touchy thing, I think. When is it classified as 'depression' when you have the feelings where you just can't seem to find the 'gear' where you can coast around feeling content?

I wonder...has our society fallen into a rut where doctors and TV commercials just hammer it into our brain that we are all suffering from some kind of malady? So we will buy their 'candy.'

I had kind of an interesting day yesterday. First, on Saturday night, something really strange happened. I logged on to an online poker for the first time in weeks...and in three sit n gos, booked a 4th (out of 45) a 5th (out of 45) and a 1st (out of 27)...sat staring at my computer in amazement, then turned it off. Figured, wow...quit on a good note and come back on Sunday and go for an actual successful Sunday. Yeah, well...that magic faded pretty quick on Sunday.

Sunday was a nightmare. Aside from winning the Championship matchup in my 'Big Money League' in fantasy football...my first ever fantasy championship of any kind, and against the biggest asshole in the league, who will never be allowed to play in any of my pools again, it was a disaster of a day. My partner who I teamed up with in the $100 Survivor Pool decides at the last minute when the Philly/Minn game got moved to Tuesday to switch his pick from Philly to San Diego. Oh boy. The Chargers got creamed by the Bengals...who seemed to have forgotten how much they suck and won their last two games. Then...on the wagering side of things...whatever COULD go wrong on Sunday....went wrong. Sunday was to football like the Titanic was to cruising. Think you all saw THAT movie.

I have a buddy who is an Army Ranger. Has been since I met him 7 or 8 years ago. He gets very little time off. Well, he called me up a week ago and told me he was on leave, and wanted to take his new girlfriend on a little trip, and maybe play some poker. So they went to New Orleans...and were scheduled to come through here, spend the night on Sunday...and go to dinner with Squirrel and I.

Well...Squirrel caught some kind of nasty stomach virus and spent all Saturday night and morning getting it on with the bathroom floor and the commode. Kind of cancelled out my buddy staying here and all of us going out. So I joined them myself instead.

He found himself a cutie. Nice girl too...kind of looked like Kate Hudson/Goldie Hawn. We went to Saki sushi...who Squirrel and I took off the boycott list a while back. Well...they came real close to getting back on. We sat down at 8:20pm. Our waiter was a young kid who was clearly not good at his craft. We finally got him to take our order...and decided to start with 5 rolls and hinted that we might add to our order later. This is when he tells us "we close at 9 and if you put in more later, it might not get made."

"Excuse me? I don't think so. We entered your establishment at 8:15. You don't just decide to stop making food at 9pm."

He thought otherwise. Then I suggested that he was new there. He strongly denies it. I ask him how long he has been working there. He tells me 8 months. I laugh...and tell him that yes...thats new! That I've been eating at that restaraunt for 4 years now and a few other choice words. Magically he shut up after that and served us everything we asked for from that point on. I have no idea if this is/was the reason why I had a strange dream last night (among about 10 others) that I was a waiter in a crowded restaraunt...and had this party of 8 that was ordering the strangest things, things that we either didn't have or I couldn't find. This lady orders something she said was like corn syrup...but was a liquor...and had some weird name. In the time I spend looking for a bartender who had heard of it...all my other tables were getting further and further behind. They all started getting super agitated, which in turn made me freak out...then the manager started hounding me...and finally, I took off my apron, laid it on the counter, and walked out of the restaurant. Forever. Nice dream. I actually pulled that move once as a waiter...I was about 28 I think. Just walked out in the middle of a shift.

So, after our meal...we decide to go play cash game at the I.P. He kind of wanted to go back and play at the Beau Rivage...where they are staying. But for two reasons I begged off of that option. Number 1...we have an event coming up at the Beau...one which I am pretty excited for, and the last thing I need is to go into the B.R. and do anything, say anything or have anything implied from my actions that could lead to me once again finding trouble in there. During the last event...after finding some Patron on the first night...I got into some 2/5 shenanigans, thankfully with a guy I am fairly good buddies with...but which had the cash room buzzing with possible 'Monkey Violations' that led to a little pow wow with one of the head guys over there and me agreeing to avoid the cash room the rest of the tourney....and to also fade the Patron for the rest of the event!

The other reason would be that with their unlimited buy in on their cash games...I just didn't really feel the need to go into that stressful environment when my main focus for the night was to simply enjoy the company of my friend and play some low-key poker.

Our dinner conversation was pretty stimulating and centered around the stuff going on in the Middle East and our (U.S.) role. I am pretty deep into that stuff, from the books I read to the documentaries I watch...and have managed to form quite a few opinions. Well, being friends with a guy who is immersed in that life and willing to open up about it is very intriguing. Granted, he isn't obviously allowed to discuss specific operations with me or anyone else...but the conversations we do have are very riveting. I really respect what him and guys like him do for our country. It is amazing the danger they put themselves in for our interests.

Well, we sit down at a 1/2 table that seems to be playing pretty tight. The largest stack on the table is only about $400. So we both buy in for $300. On about the 5th hand...on a limped pot, the flop comes J-9-5 rainbow. I am holding J-5. My buddy has 5-9. Annoying black guy in green shirt/green hat who talks like some weird cross between Sanford (of Sanford and Son) and Chris Rock...has J9. Guess who gets all my chips? Yep. Rebuy! And the 'tightness' of our table has suddenly flown out the window. It is now playing like a 1/2/15 game.

It becomes a tremendously annoying cash session...first for me...and then for my buddy. He ends up losing all of his second rebuy...for a total of $600...and decides it is time for him and his date to boogey back on over to the Beau Rivage. I was busy trying vigourously to turn my 2nd $300 buy in back into at least a break even session.

So...seated at this 1/2 table were some of the most ridiculously annoying people ever. The green shirt guy I literally started fantasizing about all the ways I would like to torture. He never shut up. And the things he was saying...stupid, pointless and just the height of irritating. $2 to go...

"Two dolllars? No raise? Just $2? Well...hell, I's gonna play anyting for $2! Two dollars? Two dollars? Really? Two dollars? Hell.....for two dollars I's gonna see any flop! Yeah....sheeeeeeit...two dollars.......come on....."

OMFG....someone kill me!

Then there was Mr. Woodcock in the four seat. With some weird growth on the middle of his nose. And his buzz cut hairdo. Reliving his past Air Force glory days as a mechanic by talking about his son...who just went in the Air Force to follow in his fathers memorable footsteps. Guy only played a hand if it contained an ace...and played the shit out of it. He was one of my favorite OCD violators...a straw chewer. Anytime he had to make a big decision for a large portion of his stack...it became lights, camera, action time. Rubbin his head...then verbally talking out the succession of betting...which is always funny with bad players because while doing that they are, unbeknownst to them, telling you exactly what you don't have to worry about THEM having. Oh...and he also was that guy who liked to turn over just ONE card after winning a pot...and never the card that had you beat. You all know THAT prick, right?

Then we had the guy in the 10 seat. Ever see the Country Bear Jamboree at Disney World? He was the bear who played that Jug with a string coming out of it...think it was the bass. Big bear with the big gut? Real mopey face. Know who I'm talking about? Not a rude guy by any means...but about 3 gears slower than everyone on a 5-speed engine. A receding hair line...and who, whenever faced with a big decision or a river beat...would, with both hands...start rubbing the top of his head. It was very bizarre.

Remember Droopy Dog the cartoon? Picture him.

"Hey Lippy....why did that guy call off 80% of his stack on the turn with a bad flush draw? Ohhhhh meeeee.....ohhhhhh myyyyyyyy"

Am I boring you guys? Do you need something exciting to happen to avoid you clicking somewhere else? Maybe...as I notice my total hits this month are down quite a bit. I guess maybe cuz its Christmas time and you all have more important things to do like go shopping and spend time with your families.

Okay..here is something exciting. With a live straddle on and two callers behind me I pick up 88 and make it $20. I get a few callers....we'll call it...the whole table...or 6. That's when the original straddler makes it $60. Hmmm...now something inside of me is telling me he is squeezing right there. But something is also reminding me that whenever I THINK I have made a good read in cash game...I seemed to always get a big fat bone in the ass. Also, he is sitting about 750 deep...and I am sitting at about 340. Not a great time to be wrong. The other thing swimming around in my head is that if I just call the $60...there is a good chance a few of these other clowns will also...and should I get lucky and flop an 8...well, I am going to be sitting on quite a nice stack. So I just call, and sure enough two other guys call also. I am watching the guy who made the original raise...and now he starts squirming a bit after the other callers.

I know that squirm. That is the squirm of "Oh great...I didn't mind one caller...but three? How the hell am I supposed to get this hand to hold up NOW!???"

That is when I started thinking he might have had AA or KK. Yikes. Well, the flop comes out Jh-4h-5h. I watch him look back down at his hand...hesitate, then bet out $125. That smells like two black aces. If he had the ace of hearts...I would have expected this guy to lead out about $50. I think my 8h is likely live. And I don't have much more to lose. So I jam all in. The other two piss and moan and fold. He starts groaning too....

"Jeezuz....you flop a set on me?" Which was when I KNEW he had AA or KK. He finally makes the call...and juat as I thought turned over two black aces. I didn't show yet...but when the river was the 4 of hearts...he utters, "Oh...well, I'm sure I'm dead now!" and I showed him my hand. He kind of lost it. Oooops. Sorry. I dragged a pretty huge pot...and now was back above even finally. I sat there for a couple more orbits and couldn't take any more of the table and cashed out for $740. Good enough.

At the cash out window...there was this guy who looked like a 'carnie.'

[carnie: Guy who works the carnival/amusement park circuit...generally the type of guy who was thrown around from foster home to foster home, is unusual-looking in appearance, and possesses the characteristics of a deranged postal worker]

I had never seen this guy before. In fact I wasn't even looking at his face yet...just watched him fumble over my chips...and then the money...until finally he started laying the bills on the counter...after having counted them out in his hands first, twice. It was like watching two monkeys fight over a coconut.

I first grabbed the $100 bills, because like most people I organize the bills in order in my wallet. Thats when he freaked out.

"Sir! Next time can you please wait until I have placed ALL of the money on the counter first before you take it off of there!!!???"

I look up at his face and......WHOA! What in the hell!!!??? I was frozen in my tracks by this guy's face...if I had to sit down with a cop and do a description for the sketch artist I could have nailed it. His image is burned into my soul now for all eternity. Pretty sure HE also appeared in one of my dreams last night.

Then I got back to his question: "Oh...um...yeahhhh....wait...for you to....put all the money....on the counter....there.....umm....yeah.....okay...sure thing carnie. I mean, sir. Wow!"

Then I walked out of the I.P. eyeing all of the extremely interesting people who had decided to go out on the night after Christmas. And ohhhh there were some real interesting characters. I guess a large percentage of these people are the ones without loved ones...without family to spend time with. It made sense. And it was depressing. I don't count myself among them...my situation was unique. As I had JUST returned home from my family get togethers. Yeah...I was just out meeting up with a good buddy. It was simply the timing that dropped me into that human circus.

So...uh...back on the subject of what I led off with. Depression vs. just simply being annoyed with 75% of the people you encounter. I find myself more and more just never wanting to leave my house. Most of the people I come across I just can't stand. I can't think this is normal. I don't think it can possibly be healthy, from a mental health point of view. Am I abnormal? Do other people, especially those who have chosen poker as their occupation find themselves falling into this, uh....mindset?

I mean...I don't WANT to feel like this. And in reality, it really seems to happen a lot more when I sit at a cash table then when I sit at a tourney table...although there are those times too, when I sit at a tourney table and simply want all of them to plunge over a cliff in a schoolbus that has caught fire on the way down, also. What causes this?

You might come up with some casual response like "You just think you are better than them...so everything they do bothers you." No...that's just too convenient. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with how they play poker. It could just be the stupid shit they are talking about. How they are dressed. Their voice. Their hair. There idiotic habits. Or it might have to do with how they play poker. Its a very large collection of things...that has pushed me to the precipice of wanting to destroy 2011...in a way that I will be able to have everything in life that I need and/or want for my wife and I...and then only leave my domain for poker reasons when it absolutely requires my presence.

I swear, if I have to sit through another 400-450 tourneys this year feeling the stuff I am feeling about my fellow human beings, I am going to end up in some looney bin mumbling about things that make no sense.

When was the last time you booked a winning cash session and on the drive home kept thinking about what would happen if you drove your car into a tree really fast...just to see if the air bag would save you?

Hmmmmm......Depression vs. Simple Annoyance. Tiz a slippery slope for debate, is it not?

Monkey

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Thoughts....

I hope, first, that you are all having a wonderful Christmas, and that this whole holiday season treats you well.

Squirrel and I left Florence last night at about 9pm and arrived home to our anxious dogs at 4am. We proceeded to sleep in until about 3pm! It is really great to be home.

I was very ready to get out of Atlantic City. The final 10 days there were really aggravating. It was pretty amusing though that the things that drove me nuts, and inspired me to blog (and later get a 'silent reprimand' from upstairs) ended up igniting a firestorm when the game's elite showed up for the 10k Main Event and started pitching a fit. Some of those players were asking me how I wasn't flipping out about some of the things.

"Well, I have already been here for two weeks...so I have been desensitized to it all!"

Since my plane left Atlantic City on Tuesday I have not played a single hand of poker, live or online. Can't lie...feels quite nice.

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When I go home with Squirrel for Christmas every year there are always three very eventful days. The first day is when we go to her brother's house and we exchange gifts with the kids and Scott's side of the family...and we spend the night there. It's usually pretty tame. The next night...at her Mother's house...her 2nd husband of many years has his side of the family invade. At one point I counted 17 kids, all under the age of 9. In this average sized home we had around 35 humans. That was the only 'adavan' night of the trip. It gets so loud, and so out of control at times...that if you are one of those people who are on the fence about having children...an experience like that could forever change your mind.

The 3rd day...is when we go to Cheryl's Aunt and Uncle's house...from her Mom's side for a breakfast that requires us to be up by 8am. I don't function well at 8am. I mostly sleep-walk my way through this thing. I think last year there were 77 people on hand. Two years ago...this was where I proposed to Cheryl and made all the women (and Cheryl) cry. Another very special thing happened this year.

This past Easter, her other Aunt and Uncle...Dennis and Deborah, nearly lost their life when their home caught on fire. The house and all their cars and other belongings were destroyed...and they barely escaped death. They also lost their family dog. Their son and daughter-in-law...who at the time were living with them...would have likely been killed had they not been away on spring break vacation. It was a tragic event...and the whole family bonded together in support. Well, every Christmas...we do a huge gift swap game...where everyone brings a boy and a girl gift and then we draw a number. Its called the 'Take Away Game' and its always provided a lot of wonderful memories.

Well, this year...once we got assembled in the living room...the eldest of the home's children, announced to everyone that all the gifts this year would be given to Dennis and his wife. Everyone clapped. And then the two of them both were overcome with emotion...with Deborah wiping away tears while opening all the gifts. Then she went around the room and hugged and thanked each and every family member. It was so moving. And as I sat there reflecting back on the past few days and the visions of all the kids devouring wrapped presents...it finally provided me with a 'real' Christmas 'moment' where we got to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas and the holidays.

I am so lucky to be part of such an incredibly loving family. Having witnessed watching my wife do so much for MY family to get them all gifts while I was out of town...then seeing how much these people care about each other...it just really made me feel a sense of pride that I married into such a wonderful group of people.

Then...as we were driving away from there, my mother called...and Cheryl talked to her for about 20 minutes...and it dawned on me how thrilled I am that the two of them have developed such an amazing relationship. I know about all the horror stories about in-laws and the relationships that exist between them...and I am just so proud that we don't have any of that animosity.

Christmas has always kind of annoyed me because it gets so overblown with the pressure put on gift-giving and not enough emphasis put on just sharing each others company. But I have to say...this year provided a nice balance of both. Cheryl got to spend almost a full week with her family...which is the most she has gotten to see them at Christmas in years...so I know she was very content. It was a great Christmas. I hope that even 20% of you were able to have as wonderful of a holiday as I had.

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I am watching all these NBA games. Ya know, I just can't find the interest to sit through an entire NBA game. I'm just not that entertained. And two things that I have had my fill of...guys slapping fives with each other after missing a free throw (why? you MISSED a free throw!) and the chest bump...or running/flying chest bump. I am ready for this one to be over. Time to invent something new. Perhaps something involving the feet? Don't think they have 'gone there' yet, right?

*****************************************************************

When you own a car...you get to know that car pretty well. For this reason, I am now ready to announce to the world that the oil companies are totally manipulating the product they sell to us. What I haven't quite figured out yet...is what their model of manipulation is based on. But I am 99.9% certain of my conclusions.

My car has a 20-21 gallon tank. The first 2 or 3 years that I owned my car...a 2005 Toyota 4Runner Limited V8...I would get between 275-290 miles per tank. Then...when gas got super expensive...until about 6 months ago...I was averaging between 320-350 per tank. I started convincing myself that my engine has just gotten 'broken in' and was now getting better mileage. Strike that!

For whatever reason, oil prices are spiking again...up over $91 a barrel...and this is a peak travel time, over the holidays, and now...suddenly, I am only getting between 250-275 miles per tank! The lowest I have ever averaged! Explain that one!??

Now I have read consumer reports that suggest that automakers have the technology to design engines that will get 30-40% better gas mileage than the ones they engineer, but that they just havent been. Why do you think that is? Perhaps the petroleum industry has been heavily lobbying them not to?

Well, now I am pretty positive that there is something in the way that they produce gasoline where they determine at the refinery how much mileage you are going to get. So...if its a peak travel period...keep the price down per gallon, but send them the 'bad product' thus ensuring that everyone has to fill up 25% sooner than normal. And assume that 95% of the public won't notice. I would have to assume that I am in the 5% who pays very close attention to my mileage.

I mean...we already know that their are 3 or sometimes 4 different 'grades' of fuel you can buy that assure better mileage or performance of your engine, right? So I think this is right on target. And I am really sick of being ripped off by the big oil corporations. It sucks!

*************************************************************

Two weeks to do just about NOTHING...as I wait on the event at the Beau Rivage to arrive. I am hearing from a lot of players who are coming and really think its going to be a big event. That would be a nice way to start off the new year...with a good event here at home...and maybe make a couple of good licks.

Squirrel just got a call from 'The Claw' telling her that Gabe and Claudia are engaged. Well, this is their 2nd shot at this...hopefully this one goes the distance.

Noticed Tyler Smith bought his girlfriend....Nikki Longoria, a new SUV for Christmas. Whoa. Thats a pretty nice Christmas gift, right? I just got Squirrel a nice diamond necklace, and thought I was doing good. Thanks for raising the bar, Tyler!

Okay...well, wanted to holler at y'all real quick. My Mom keeps calling asking us if we opened her gift yet...and we haven't, so I have to get to that so she will quit waiting on us.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Monkey

Sunday, December 19, 2010

And......Splat!

This year, which I was really hoping was going to end on a really positive note...has done just the opposite. I guess the good news is that I didn't do any physical harm to myself or anyone else.

I am laying in my hotel room, a place I havent left in 12 hours...my own little personal cave to hide away in...while the 'real' players are downstairs playing in the Main Event. And predictably, the field is small, and comprised mainly of the household names. I've been checking the updates periodically out of habit.

Spent all day watching football. The Giants just turned a 24-3 lead...later 31-14 lead...into a 38-31 loss to the Eagles. Pretty safe to say Mike Vick is the frontrunner for league MVP isn't it? Any my pick in the $100 Survivor Pool, Dallas, tried to give me a reason to shoot myself but pulled it out. Now hoping my Seahawks can pull the upset at home and take over sole possession of the NFC Worst.

Ordered room service again at 3am...and am now henpecking at the cold leftovers. They don't have microwaves in this hotel, citing them as a fire hazard. So I wonder how they explain having them in several of their other properties. I have tripped over so many contradictory statements this week that it has me on life tilt.

One that nearly sent me into orbit happened last night. Remember my reference to the elf-like dude who lectured me about the NEED for my bag to be relocated to UNDER my chair the night before because SOMEONE (meaning his awkward, uncoordinated ass) might trip over it and hurt themselves? Even though it was in an area where nobody like a waitress or other player would ever be walking? Well, he was at it again last night.

Before I even sat down for the midnight tourney to take another crushing two-outer. I had been playing stupid $1/$2 NL cash game prior to that tourney. Let me set this up by saying that on the previous night's 8pm tourney...seated in the 5 seat...before my KK ran into Damien's AA, was a guy who had a chiprack of $300 in red sitting right there on the rail (bumper)...from the time he sat down, til the time I got busted, a time period of about 2.5 hours.

So I have my chip rack, with $250 in reds...sitting on the bumper...and am in the big blind. When along comes the Floor Troll.

"Sir...you have to remove those from the table. Right now. You can't play the tournament with them on the table."

So what do I do? I don't argue with him. I take them off the table, and I put them on one of those little drink tables on wheels that they have in poker rooms, that is sitting beside me. He has a problem with this for some reason.

"No! You have to go cash them in before you can play! You can't have them anywhere near the table!"

This is when I almost came unglued.

"Okay, first...last night you busted my chops over my bag. Which was kind of ridiculous. Since I have this bag with me at EVERY event I play, and you are the first floor person to reprimand me over it, EVER...and now...you are on me about my chips!?? Well, last night...a guy had his chips on the table for the ENTIRE tournament! Give me a break! I will play my two blinds...and then I will walk over to the window and cash them. Okay!!!???"

He walks away. A couple players at the table comment about his pettiness...and I say to them...."Yeah, I don't know what that guy's problem is...I guess he's just a loser!"

This is where the dealer flips out. It was as if they were lovers or something. He completely freaks out...hollers for the floor. Here comes the troll again. Squealy gives his version of what I said, adding in a couple of choice words that I never said...not that I cared. I had already made my way to the podium to talk to the one actual man in the place who isnt a complete incomp idiot. Fortunately, he is the poker room manager. I simply walked over, relayed the entire situation to him and everything was fine. He told me the guy was a bit of an 'overreactor' a lot of the time. Told me to just not worry about the guy, but to go cash my chips in 'when I got a chance.' Which I did. And there was never another problem.

It just amazes me how a couple of clowns with their little power trips can upset the balance of a whole room with their idiotic behaviour. And yeah, I know...it goes both ways. It can be either a player...or a floor person. But infuse the presence of one good mediator...whether it be a player or a good floor person...and the problem is just as easily resolved.

In that nightly affair, we got down to 2 tables when I raised under the gun with QQ. I was called by the button. Flop came J-10-4. I went ahead and led out. He goes all in. From his past plays...he likely has AJ or KJ right there...but I was wrong. Nope, he just flopped a set of 10's, thats all. And I was busto. That was the final nail in my heart/coffin for the day.

There were earlier disasters/heartbreakers...as well as other personality clashes. Before I played the midnight tourney I was toiling in $1/$2 and just listening to music and lamenting my Mega #2 badbeat...when this guy in seat 7 started to rankle me. He was this...how do I explain this guy? Okay, grab an image, because I've pretty much quit taking pictures of people in casinos. About 5'11. Maybe 30-40 lbs overweight. Man boobs to go with his spare tire. Wearing awful sweat pants with a shirt, matching gray...that was too short and no way hiding his awful physique. And he had one of those beards where he clearly spends a large percentage of his freetime crafting the shape and design of. You've seen these guys...I know you have. Where its almost not even a beard anymore, but more like face art. But bad face art. You with me?

Well...he has these doe-like eyes...and everytime he is involved in a big hand (using the term BIG very loosely, to indicate that 20% or more of his stack was about to be involved in his decision process) he sits there, perplexed...and starts hypothesizing about all the various hands his opponent might have...all while letting his opponent in on what HE doesn't have. Always love the 'chatters' who don't realize how bad they are at 'chatting' while giving away any and sometimes ALL valuable information about their hand.

Well, this guy was beyond ridiculous. You know in those movies...where the actor is trying to defuse a highly explosive device? Sweat is running down his forehead...dripping off the tip of his nose? OMG OMG...time is running down....blue wire? Red wire? Clip this one? Snip that one? Holy shit....which one? Red crosses blue, under the two, snip the one...clip the two. We've all seen this scene in a movie right?

That was this jackasses performance on just about every hand that he was involved in. At first I felt sorry for the guy...picturing him as some City Parks employee, making $379 a week...where that $150 in front of him constituted half his weekly take home pay. I was trying to feel his pain, his tension and stress...rooting for him to capture a big victory. (in his world) Reflecting back on the days when I would sit with $300 in front of me and it represented a large percentage of my personal self-worth.

But then it just became annoying, stupid and ridiculous. Then...it happened. Why? Why do I become the target in these acts of the foolish? I limp into a hand with 56h. Two more call. And 'The Baller' makes it $17 with his $140 chip stack. Two fold...and I call. We get heads up. The flop comes K-Q-8. Rainbow. He leads out $25 or $30. I insta-muck. And what does he do? He exposes his cards, flicking them in my direction. 10-5 offsuit. And gets a little smirk on his face.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I look at two other players. Nothing. I am searching all available corners of my mind, wondering what would have prompted this amazing bluff play. I couldn't figure it out. I'd had NO history with the guy yet. So finally, I just asked him:

"Um...just curious...why did you show me the 10-5 there?"

"I don't know. No reason. I felt like it."

To which I sat and pondered for a second or two. And continued looking at him...trying to climb into his soul and figure out what exactly had inspired such a stupid maneuver. Then I asked him:

"You do realize, right...that this is a $1/$2 game? And you are sitting there with $150 in front of you?"

There was no getting through to this guy. He was just a stupid chump. I was done wasting my time talking to this freak. Instead, I went back to my music. And spent some more time studying him...by carefully watching him. I am just fascinated by some of my fellow humans. To the point where I find myself staring at them, trying to learn more. I really think, sometimes, that I missed my calling in life and perhaps should have gone into the field of clinical psychology. After about 20 minutes, he made his best play of the night...he racked up his chips and got the hell outa there. I guess my staring at him must have creeped him out. Maybe thought I was a serial killer or something, plotting the ways I was going to finish him off. Who knows!

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A little reflection back on my Saturday from Hell. There was a statement made by me earlier that went a little something like this:

"I don't expect a very big field in this Main event...and since I have been running bad all week, I really only see myself playing ONE mega satellite."

Wasn't real crazy about the fact they were charging $100 juice on a mega, for starters. Also, they didn't get a huge turnout for either one of them. Well, I showed up, on time...and ready to knock the thing out. What I saw for the first three levels just killed my spirits, though.

First of all, we were only playing with 25 minute levels. That's a new one. And then...we didn't have a tourney clock, again. Irritating. A lot of players who had just gotten into town and weren't aware of this...were freaking out about it. Hell, I had already gotten my indoctrination to that two weeks ago. It was like looking into a mirror two weeks ago. Then the play started. And at 25/50 I have guys raising to 600 and getting called in three places. Huh? Not the way you want to see things begin.

I couldn't hit a flop to save my life. Then I get KK...raise. Get three calls. Flop comes Q-10-5. This guy checks. I bet 1200. He calls. Turn is a Q...and he goes all in. What the hell? AQ? QJ? Total bluff? Why all in? Do I want to make another good read...call, and get, once again...fucked? I just decide to fold...face up. And he throws J10 off in my face...and starts giggling. I swear to God...he giggled, like a little bitch. I felt my insides start to churn...and my blood start to boil...but I kept my cool on the outside.

The whole 5 levels I played were just a nightmare. Then with AJ suited at 150/300 I just decide to shove and not bother with raising....jamming 2200 and winning my first damn hand of the satellite. Then...not long later, I am in the BB...and 5 guys limp for 300. I look down at AQs. Nice. Or is it? I shove all in. I WANT a call...from someone. Not everyone. Well, guess who calls? Sammy the Snickerer...and turns over A9...tells me "oh, you're okay." When I reply with..."Oh...no, you don't understand, you have 3 outs, I'm dead."

The dealer flops him a 9. It holds. A few guys at the table groan...knowing how bad I've been running. I calmly get up...and leave.

The 2nd chance tourney has started half an hour ago. For $230 I get to go sit down and be annoyed with a whole new slew of idiots. And idiots they are. First thing I'm told by the guy on my right is that the black guy in seat 2 has YET to fold a hand preflop. I had the chance to watch him go from 13,000 to zero chips in .....mmm....we'll call it under an hour. Peace out sir.

Well, about the time he left, a different black guy I'd never seen before arrives in the 1 seat. This guy was calling raises, making raises...with hands like 4-8, 5-9....K6....oh, it didn't matter. Some of them he won, some he lost. But the point is, his table image was shit. I kept hoping I would get a top 5 hand in early position but never could. But finally...after watching this idiot play one crap hand after another...he raises to 550 when we were at 75/150. He got three calls. I am in the BB with JJ and just decide to stuff all in. Well...guess what the shitbag has THIS time? No...not aces! That's everyone else. No, just pocket kings. And I wasn't lucky enough to hit a jack...and was out. Lovely.

So now...I had to make the decision...do I take one more shot at the Main Event? For another $1100? I really hate being on the outside looking in...and even though my luck this past week and a half has been horrid, I still feel like I am playing well. And what better way to close out the year than to snap off the last Mega...then parlay that into a Final Table of the Regional Main Event? So I bought in.

Actually had a table of very good players. They were all playing well, too. I got some good hands, made some good pots...and was among the table leaders. Our table was also having a lot of fun, telling lots of funny stories. Then the floor girl decides to break our table...much to all of our digust. Why break out table? We were in the middle of the line. It was explained that they wanted to make space in between each table. Huh?

Well...that table move would signal my imminent demise. First things first. I arrive at the table...am supposed to be in seat 4...and who is sitting in seat 5? This little pip-squeak of a dude I encountered late Thursday night in the 2/5 game who they call, appropriately, 'Little Joe.'

Well, you all know of my penchant for personal space. And when it's being violated, I go a bit nutso. Well, 'Little Joe' is owning the space in and around seat 5 like a Bald Eagle owns the sky. He had his legs spread eagled in a way that for me to sit at the table was going to require me to go contortionist. I politely asked him to put his legs together.

Then it starts. This little clown had the same exact outfit he had on two nights ago. Wondering if he ever left the building to change and/or shower. Same camouflage shirt, same bright neon orange hunting hat...and that same 'Get er done' redneck accent. He is about 5 foot 3 and might weight 125. And he is spread out like he's at a Jane Fonda Pilates class. And won't move. I finally call the floor over. They acknowledge that he is ridiculously violating the airspace of seat 4 and ask him to 'tighten it up' and for both of us to 'cool it.' He starts crowing about being only 125 lbs and how could he possibly be taking up too much room. Blah blah blah. This guy was a peckerhead at the 2/5 game the other night and he was being a peckerhead again. Where do these dipshits come from?

Well, fuckstick would get the last laugh...which again, makes me wonder sometimes if there is truly a God up there.

52 players. Five people getting a seat. Everything going perfectly smooth. Down to 36 players. And a guy I have already figured out is the 'table psychopath' raises my big blind from 300/600 to 1800. I look down at pocket aces! First time all day. But knowing this guy is a spaz...I don't want to get too cute and screw myself. Mainly, because he has me more than covered. No need to take a bad beat here. So I make it 4200 to go. He smooth calls. I flop a set of aces. A-K-6. One heart. I check to the guy. He shoves all in! Yahtttttzeeee!!!! I am about to be chipleader at the table...and hopefully, probably....cruise to a seat...get into the Main Event with 136 other top-notch players...and end this year on a positive note. Right!??? Isn't that how this is going to end?

How about NOT! How about me calling, him falling out of his seat when he sees my hand...proclaiming that "I caught him"...look at his 5h8h...wonder what the hell he was thinking both pre-flop and post-flop...but before I can even process all that...the dealer puts out running hearts...OH MY GOD! NOOOOOOOO! Are you kidding me? Victor. The dealer. I just sit there....numb....staring at him.

"I am sorry, Mr. Monkey...." and shrugs his shoulders. I don't say anything. I didn't cuss him. I was just...yeah, numb. No fucking way. How? Why? Come on! Then I just collected my shit and slithered out of the tournament room for the final time. I wanted to throw up.

So instead I went downstairs and endured another 5 hours of unforgettable bullshit. I can't wait to leave this place. Tried to get an earlier flight outa here. Nothing doing.

Logged onto Pokerstars a little while to see if I could make something happen with a little dabble in my favorite online poker room. Yeah...that went well. Oh for five. Just got a note from Michael Hallen that my buddy Christian Iacobellis is down to 12 players out of like 17,000 or something crazy in some big event on Full Tilt. Wow! that is pretty sick, eh? And he told me Diaz is deep in something significant too.

Despite my pretty crappy last month and a half...I have to be pretty pleased with 2010 I suppose. And its wonderful that so many people that are close to me had such amazing years. I think its safe to say that a LOT of good players took a LOT of dead money off a LOT of bad players this year...and isn't that how it SHOULD be? So...I guess that's cool.

I'm really looking forward to getting together with Squirrel up in North Alabama...and spending the holidays with her and her family...then getting home and seeing my dogs, who I miss so damn much. Then spend the last week of the year chilling at home, playing Xbox, watching bowl games...and being a 'Dad' and 'Husband.'

If I don't write anything before Christmas...I wish each and everyone of you the greatest of holidays, and thank you so much for being such a big part of my life this year. I know I have a lot to be thankful for...and the relationships I have made through this blog are very special to me. I think a lot was accomplished this year...most importantly getting my behaviour under control and hopefully getting myself off of everyone's '86' list! And getting back into the World Series this summer at Rio.

Y'all take care...and be safe over the holidays!!

Monkey

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This is fantastic. $1000+100 mega. No tourney clock, and 25 min levels. I'm speechless.

Update from Bizarrrrro World....

Oh what the hell, why not shoot you folks a blog! Sure it's 2am..but who cares? Nothing to play til 1pm tomorrow anyway. Yup. One shot at the Main event...that is all we are taking. Would I have liked to have kept my bankroll hovering around a healthy figure so I could take the 2nd shot if the need arised by playing a handful of SNG's like usual? Sure I would. But since I have done nothing after my first cash in the first event besides run into aces over and over and head downstairs for the 8pm'er and sometimes the midnight funfest....I am slowly running out of money on this trip.

I have a very bad feeling that this Regional Main Event is going to draw about 110-125 players max. Compared to the 272 they drew in Chicago/Hammond. They held $550 satellites at 1pm and 7pm all week. Only problem? No one showed up for them, and they all got cancelled. Hate to say it, but the 20 to 1 shot never really attracts much of a field. What they should have had was 10-15 tables set up for SNG's...from $125/$180/$225/$525 and $1080 for people to do the 'work your way up to a Main Event seat' program that we have all partaked in since we started doing this circuit poker thing.

Coupled with the thing starting 5 days before Christmas...it could be a real bummer of a turnout. Which...if I happen to snap off the Mega tomorrow, wouldn't hate, actually. Be a lot easier to make the Final Table...which would end my year with a nice score, and clinch a spot in the National Freeroll.

Watching Inside Edition in my room after again ordering room service at the ridiculous hour of 2am. Deborah Norville is still hot. How old must she be?

There was some lady on there who got stabbed 23 times and didn't die. We got to see her testifying in court. Her obviously pre-rehearsed, rambling testimony to the judge got me to wondering: How do you stab someone 23 times and they live? I mean...how bad of a stabber are you? You gotta be the worse stabber in history. Guy deserved to spend the rest of his life in jail.

Mike Vick is excited to get a pet dog, so he can prove to everyone that he isnt a monster, I guess. Well...of course, PETA is having a conniption fit. Pretty sure I just mispelled that word, and I don't care. I am a huge dog lover as most of you know...and reference my labs pretty often. But sometimes, I have to say...PETA is over-the-top ridiculous. I mean...I get it if Ed Gein, Jeffery Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy want to move into that house for rent next to the 'Little Rascals' Daycare Center....and people freak out. I get that. But I'm pretty sure 'Ol Mike isn't about to fire back up the Bad Newz Fighting Kennel anytime soon.

Customer service. One of my favorite words. Step up to window. Put money on counter. "I need your ID" Present my backup liscense. Why? My original/current liscense was lost yesterday. Hassle ensues. Despite having played about every damn tourney in this casino the last two weeks. Lady won't register me. Find help in the tourney director. Go back to register. Lady at window apologizes for the misunderstanding. Old hag at back counter...making no attempt to be 'low key' serves up this gem:

"You dont have to apologize to him! You're just doing your job!"

Incredible. Some guy about 5 ft 6 walks behind our table. Our table is pushed up against a wall. Not a real heavy traffic area. He catches his foot on the strap of my 'man purse.' Makes a big production out of it. Asks the woman next to me if its hers. Nope. It's mine.

"Well, you are going to HAVE to put that UNDER YOUR CHAIR! That is a RULE at this casino...the last thing I need happening is someone tripping and killing themselves. So do it now, please!"

I just looked at him....realized how good my new medicine is working, and said "You got it, sir." Then when he left the rest of the table started clowning him.

I have been looking all over for Snookie and The Situation and have yet to find them. However, I haven't lost hope. I keep thinking I've found them...but its always just someone who looks and acts like them. I have 3 or 4 days left, don't give up on me yet.

It snowed here the other day. I thought that was pretty special. I went outside on the backside of the casino and did some snow angels on a 10-minute break. People laughed at me. Not because of the snow angels. Because I was wearing flip flops.

Today in the 8pm nightly...Damian...AKA the Crazy Serbian shows up...and needs a place to stay. My roomie for this trip, Jimmy, decided to go home early. I had a vacancy. Fine. You can stay with me. At 400/800 he raises under the gun. I wake up with AA on the button. I make it 3900...look at him and shake my head. Big blind almost calls or ships, but folds. Damian folds. Wisely. Three orbits later...I raise under the gun with KK and really needing a nice pot, as we were down to 15 players in a super fast structure. Guess what my new roomie wakes up with?

Do you remember the last blog? Old dork on the beach with the metal detector? Picture him again...cuz that old bastard just found AA again. Its becoming a joke.

So I came up to my room and started investigating upcoming tournaments. Started looking at the structures for the Beau Rivage events starting in January. Pretty sure they look better than the last event. I'm not wild about the Stud structure, but I do really like the Omaha 8 or better structure...a LOT. In fact, I'm pretty sure I will skip the first $550 and play the Omaha tourney at 4pm on that first day.

I kind of am expecting a decent turnout for the Beau Rivage event. Not sure why, just have that gut feeling. I hope I'm right. If I'm not, and the fields are small, I might have to bust a move and head to Choctah, Oklahoma. But I am really rooting for big fields on the home turf...and staying home with the Squirrel and my dogs.

What the hell is Tyler Smith eating? I need to find out and order a lifetime supply of whatever it is. Dude is out of control. Way to go Tyler. Now what I would like to see is him and I going out to Rio...me being allowed back in...and ripping up the World Series next summer.

In last night's nightly...there was this guy next to me...short dude, lots of angst. Generally a nice guy...but you could tell he had a very short fuse. Its so funny in Atlantic City...you just see shit here that you will never...I mean, ever see anywhere else. Well, this guy lost it. It started, well, in fairness, I should say the dealer kind of instigated it. I don't understand why some dealers have to be such absolute douchebags sometimes. And this guy...its bad enough that he looks like a big fish. Or one of those fat little gangster thugs from the Jimmy Cagney era. He is one of those dealers who lives to find a rule violator. You know that guy right?

So he is already snapping at a couple of other players at the table when the guy next to me decides to call someone's all-in. He takes his chips...like 5100 or something and fires them into the middle, but they skid and kind of collide with the pot...or, as some like to call it, 'Splashed the Pot.' So the dealer whigs. Now the little guy loses it. They get into a big shouting match. Floor comes over. And he handled it as well as he possibly could. But now the little dude was freaking out. Well, he ends up getting a 10 minute penalty. Freaks out some more. Goes outside into the snowy night air...figured that would cool him off.

Nope. He comes back from break...sits down, and...I can't make this up....fires off this one:

"Hey...table...who here doesn't think what that old piece of shit did was fucked up!!!???"

We all just looked at each other...as if to ask each other "Did that seriously just happen?"

It was akin to walking through the scanner at the TSA inspection area in the airport and hollering out....

"Today is the day I fuck up an airplane! I am carrying 14 grenades and am wired with dynamite! Who feels like screwing with me!!!????"

Anyone wanna guess what happened next? Oh yeah...you guessed it. Bye Bye little man. He was booted. I mean...how completely retarded can you possible be?

Wow. 3am and check this out...Jerry Springer is on. Awesome...cuz for a minute there I was starting to feel bad about my life.

About three days ago...I am exiting my elevator. There is a little kid about 4 or 5 wanting his mom to throw him this little jell ball. She wouldn't. I took a pass from him...and threw it back to him. Little boy smiled. Mom smiled. It was a special, happy moment. Made me feel good walking to the tourney.

I sit down at my table. About five minutes in I am listening to the stupidest armchair quarterback on the planet Earth talk about all the reasons why the Miami Heat won't compete for the NBA title this year. Setting the tone here...this guy was about 62 years old, severely overweight, white..and was clearly never a world-class athlete. But he seems to have the psychology of sports all figured out and how teammates work together. Yeah...aparantly, the Heat has too many players with big egos. I listened to this guy babble for about 7 minutes and 23 seconds and finally just snapped.

I didn't do or say anything inappropriate. I think I just conjured up something guaranteed to just shut the guy up but send him reeling trying to figure out what exactly I just said. One of those occasions when I just find a collection of big words and glue them together in the form of a sarcastically delivered tirade. Its my version of the long-range sniper hit with an infrared scope. They have no idea what hit them or where it came from.

About this time, the guy in the 7 seat...who knocked me out the other day with his 9-10 when I had the AQ and bet 3/4 of Mt. Everest at him before he gut shotted me on the river for the rest of my glacial till....shoots this one at me:

"Without a doubt you are the most miserable mother fuc*** I have ever seen in my life."

Several things dawned on me after he said that. I had no witty comeback for him. Instead I just reflected on the statement. Hmmm. Then I just decided that either he didn't know very many people, or he was just very quick to come to conclusions. Ice slowly melted. We shared a break together outside on the dock. Discovered we have quite a bit in common...shared several cocktails together in the nightly...and now John McGuinness and I are like old college buddies. Pretty hilarious how almost all of my solid 'poker-buddy' experiences start out.

My bowl pool starts tomorrow. Right now I have 129 people with picks. Last year we got 139. Year before that we got 152. In 2008, the year I won...we got 122. I like breaking records. I have something to root for when I wake up I guess. I have 6 entries this year. What does that make my odds?

I am going to bed now. The tortellini was really good. The sweet potato fries were the most amazing damn sweet potato anything I've ever eaten. But there is still NOTHING on this planet better than beef jerky.

Good night.

MONKEY

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ice Cold in Atlantic City

Both literally and figuritively!!!!

Picture that old dude out on the beach with a metal detector...you know that guy, right? Suspenders connected to shorts...pulled up to his chest...along with a skinny black belt. Long black socks. White loafers. Big black glasses that look like a welders goggles. Comb-over hairdo flapping in the wind...and then...suddenly his 'device' starts beeping.

What could it be? Gold? Hell no! Buried not too far down in the sand is another set of aces! And that old bozo in the bad-times outfit is me! I am the KING of finding ACES this week. There is nowhere for them to hide. I will find them!

Cue the theme music from JAWS.....duh duh....duh duh....duh duh duh duh duhhhhhhhhh duh duh....>GOTCHA!

Pocket Tens! No good. Pocket 8's! No good! Pocket Q's! Get outaaa here. Pocket Jacks. Pfffft. Beat it Monkey!

The last three days have sucked holy hell...and now, with 21 minutes left until today's 3pm Consolation Contest...I am watching that C-*-*-* Nancy Grace in her 'Swift Justice' show...just to torture my inner being...and flippin you guys a quickie blog so the emails and text messages asking me how I'm doing will stop.

Quick rundown. Oh but wait...who IS it good to be this week? Jesus Cabrera. Y'all should know Jesus. He has been hanging around the circuit for quite a few years now. Making little pops here and there but never really making a breakthrough win. Well, he almost did yesterday. In fact...were it not for Max Waxman (yes, the same one who I ran Jacks into Aces the other day in the 1k) hitting a set of 3's against Jesus' pocket 6's...he would be running around today wearing a Main Event ring. But instead he took 2nd place. But he has also collected a number of scores this week...so he is having an extraordinary event up here and I would think is a lock or close to win the Casino Champion title. Happy for him...he's a good guy. A bit loud, a bit crazy....but look who's talking, right!???

Yes, rundown. Main event for me...shitstorm. Lost 6k right outa the gate when I turned a straight...and pretty much echoed to the other guy that we were chopping when I called his raise. Then just checked the river. He fires out a ridiculous bet...and I figure he is just trying to steal a shared pot, so I call. Then I see a flush. Wait, what? Oh man. Wow. Yeah...nice start. So I grind my way out of that 6k hole for 5 levels, and finally get back over the 20k starting stack. Get a double up with AQ vs. 10-10...then win another decent pot and seem to be on my way.

Then I get friggin 'El Diablo'd' for the millionth time in my poker life. At 500/1000 this guy shoves 14k. I find AK suited and call. K10...flops 10. !*(&#@U!@#*O*)(. Now I am short...and end up shipping on a guy with AJ after he raised my BB with 10's. I missed. And was out.

Then I go downstairs and play the 8pm poker tourney down there with 61 players. It was paying 5. And with 6 left I was 2nd in chips. I lost AK vs 99. then I lose AK vs. AQ. then I lose A5 suited to 44 to finish me off on the bubble. That was pretty kick ass.

Come back the next day and play the 3pm tourney for $230. Get about half way through it with a decent stack. This guy who claims to be friends with Dwyte Pilgrim (later disputed by Dwyte) and who smells like he rolled around in a barn before coming to my table...limps on the button for 500. I raise out of the SB to 2400 with AQ. Flop comes J-7-5. I lead out 3000. He calls. I turn a Q. Whew. Now I bet 7500. He CALLS AGAIN! What the hell? I will tell you what he has now.....9-10. Yeah...the board is now J-7-5-Q. I have left 2800 chips in my stack. What would the river be? Why not an 8 for the straight? Unreal. And I was out of that.

There has been a lot of that crap this week. Its either someone making a retarded play against me and getting lucky...or me just finding AA like its my mission in life. This week, it fully sucks to be Monkey...but I am keeping my head up. The only solace is that I am only losing $200 here, $300 there...instead of $500 here, $1000 there. And I have managed to book a couple of winning cash game sessions, not a lot, but enough to keep me from losing my mind completely.

My roomate situation up here turned out to be a really good experience. This guy Jimmy that I met down in Biloxi is a really good dude. Only thing is, he hasn't won anything yet. He did win a satellite to get into the Main Event, but that doesnt count. Everyone that I've roomed with this year has made a big score. Maybe he's saving it up for the Big Main Event this Sunday! Hope so for his sake.

Cliff Lee shocked the sporting world and signed with the Phillies...which has this place abuzz. Lots of Philly fans around here. Also a lot of Yankees fans....so while they are all pissed...the Phillies fans are already talking about winning the World Series next season. That is some SICK pitching staff they have now. Wow! The other team kicking ass in free agency is Boston. Looking like those two are the favorites going into preseason.

Would like to thank the New York Jets for knocking me out of Jason Young's $100 Survivor Pool. I don't think I have seen a team look that bad on offense in awhile. There goes another $14k I won't be winning. Last week I was getting knocked out of the Loser Pool this other guy runs...that was good for $4k, when Oakland forgot to lose in San Diego. Well, I am still in my $100 Survivor Pool with 9 left...but I'm sure I'll find a way to donk that one off too somehow. My Bowl pool is now up to 117 entries with 4 days left to get in it. Looks like we might be heading for a record number in that deal. Here comes my fearless prediction for this year's Super Bowl. Y'all ready? And dont forget, I predicted last year's Super Bowl and almost nailed the final score.

NEW ENGLAND vs. NEW ORLEANS. Not predicting the winner or the score yet. But both teams are peaking right now. New England...once they got rid of Randy Moss, its like the whole team just came together like they do when they have always been successful, and with everyone on the NYJets bandwagon this season, I think for the first time this decade they have come out with a chip on their shoulder with something to prove. And in New Orleans...you can feel things starting to click, if they can get healthy on defense...and to a degree, on offense, and can maybe make up that one game gap on Atlanta to take the division title and the home field advantage, they could cruise to another NFC title. Atlanta keeps trying to lose but keeps getting let off the hook. There is nothing about that team that scares me.

Pretty sure I have given up on PCA this year. For a couple reasons. But mainly I just don't feel like being away from my wife and 'kids' for two weeks after having been gone a lot this fall. And since there is an event going on in my own backyard, what's wrong with just staying home? And it's real expensive down there in the Bahamas. Not real psyched about going off and spending a lot of money to kick off the year. So I think I will just play the event at the Beau Rivage. Was thinking about playing the first half of it then shooting up to Choctah in Durant, Oklahoma and playing the last week of that WSOP circuit event...but not sure about that right now.

Okay...its 3:02 now...that 2nd chance event is starting...and they give away chips early and often, so I don't wanna miss out on that, but I felt like I owed some of you an update so there it is. Really appreciate all of you who come up to me and tell me you read this and enjoy it. See ya on the felt!

Monkey