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Sunday, January 10, 2010

1 for 1 in 2010. And did it without 'The Toys'


This is the first time I have ever won a tournament and then NOT blogged about it either that day or the next. What is wrong with me? Am I losing my passion? Or maybe the fact that I only beat 54 other players has me feeling like it wasn't much of an accomplishment? Not sure. Maybe its the fact that this other tournament is going on in my town, and because of the callousness of one tourney director who I expect to be looking for another job within 17 months...I am relegated to second-citizen status.

This is a year that I am planning on finally hitting a 6-figure score. I plan on making a million this year. I have been having less and less fun when I play. The 'antics' that everyone thinks I am famous for have been nearly absent for close to a year...and yet I hear rumors from people that I count as friends...like the one I heard centered around the Final Table in New Orleans.

Officially, Jim Pedullah sent an email to a 'high level poker representative' for Harrah's saying "I never 86'd Mr. Souther from anywhere but Ceasers," but for some unknown reason I was forbidden from playing at the Rio after the incident occurred. The Incident! Yeah...the one that never actually DID occur. The investigation that was conducted with NO statement being taken from me. With no report in the nightly Floor Person's paperwork regarding a fracas taking place involving me. Yeah...that one. No, it was just me getting 86'd from his casino because I had been overly critical of his structures at his event. Kind of similar to why the Dictator working at the Bad Times Resort and Casino won't let me practice my vocation among my peers at the place who pays his salary. Its cool. Everything has a way of working itself out.

I've developed this theory. 3 years ago, I made about $70,000 playing poker. 2 years ago, I made about $120,000. Last year I made about $220,000. I see a trend. I see myself winnning more and more. I see myself either 'calming down my antics' or just getting sick of the whole poker thing and slipping into a state of mild depression. Those two factors, have combined to make me (a) more profitable, (b) more visible in the poker world, for the 'right' reasons and (c) a lot easier to deal with as dealers and floor people. These guys who want to exclude me from their tourneys? I see a trend there too. They want to (a) keep persecuting me for things I haven't actually done in years, (b) they keep on making the same amount of money every year...if not less and (c) They refuse to change and evolve with the game...thus resulting in their numbers (attendance-wise) declining year after year. Instead of changing, and improving, they refuse. Why? Narrow-mindedness? Stubborness? I'll just call it plain stupid, because in my opinion, thats what it is.  So when their bosses, who sit in offices answering phones and putting together budgets and making bottom-line decisions...eventually they start to notice that their poker-business is not showing the returns it should, or NEEDS to be. And before long...a shocking news story comes out....'so and so has been fired and replaced by _________ at the Bad Times Resort and Casino, details to follow.'

And where am I? Well, I will just be trapesing all over the planet...playing at places that WILL have me. That don't mind when I have half the table drinking Red Snappers with me. Laughing and joking with the whole table. Winning the tourney...tipping out 10% of my winnings to the floor and dealers. Yeah, see...I know I have been guilty in the past of acting like a bit too much of an ass...but those times have long since past. These tourney directors who have in their head that I am this monster they have to keep their eye on...and wait for 'that moment' to happen? That feel the need to take me into a private room upon my arrival and read me the riot act before I ever play a tournament? Those guys need to worry about themselves. Don't worry about Monkey. Monkey is fine. Monkey is the one who has demonstrated an ability to 'get better' with time. To play better, to act better...to conduct myself like a professional.

So...back to New Orleans. Sorry for the slight deviation. I spoke with Nolan Dalla before the Final Table began. Asked...even though I was told..."Pedullah claims you are ONLY unable to play at Ceasers..." and thus eliminating my worries about playing this summers' events at the Rio, for the WSOP...."Hey Nolan, should I win this thing...I'm not going to have a problem playing the Main Event am I?"

To which he responded..."I am not sure if they have anything working against you being able to play out there...but I assure you that if you win this...you WILL get to play the Main Event."

Well, I find out three weeks later, from a dealer/floor person friend of mine...that in talking to the Tourney Supervisor the morning of the Final Table...that emails had been flying around...certain people at the office in Harrah's in Las Vegas were ENRAGED to find out that I had been allowed entrance back into New Orleans...even though, ahem...I hadn't DONE anything to NOT be allowed there. That they were DEMANDING that if I won the Main Event in New Orleans...that I would NOT be allowed to play the Main Event this summer. There is some guy out there who has a HUGE bug up his ass regarding me. Who is it? What is his problem? I have no earthly idea. And the decision was made by the guy in New Orleans to NOT tell me this before we started the Final Table. I thank him for that....because, uh...yeah! That might have affected how I played. He thought it would tilt me. So if showing up and seeing Erin Holt in the box didn't tilt me enuough...yeah...that would have surely put me right over the edge.

So now I am faced with the prospects of going out to Vegas this summer and NOT being able to play at the Rio? For what reason? What did I do now? Who is this mystery administrator? I am getting so tired of this shit. Defending myself against people who (a) don't even KNOW ME....other than what 'they've heard about' me from people with an axe to grind, who (b) I don't know...and have never had issue with. What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to say? It just gets damn exhausting. All I want to do is play poker, have a little fun, win once in awhile...get my wife pregnant...have a baby...and have a reason to live other than traveling to cities and trying to beat bad poker players at a game I think I'm better than most people in.

Then I find this out about my trip to New Orleans. One night...late at night...we were playing a SNG. Bunch of fun guys. We got this one guy to start drinking Snappers with us. We were either 4 handed or 5 handed...and I had NO kind of save or anything with any of the players. It was a stupid $125 sng. On a certain hand...not sure how it went down fully, other than me raising on the button with A10. The BB tells me, "I have a QUEEN!" To which I respond..."I have an ACE!" and kind of just laugh...cuz it was kind of funny. I mean...the second he said he had a queen, we all know he's folding there. Well, this guy, the one who had started drinking with us....FUH-REAKS out! I mean....goes NUTS! Claiming collusion and all kinds of shit. WHAT? I didn't really say anything because I was stunned. So when Shawn, the guy who was running the SNG was called over, he was forced to give me and the other player a one-round penalty. Wow. Okay. I didn't even balk at it. He was just doing his job. So I took the opportunity to go to the bathroom. The blinds were so high that it ended up pretty much costing me the SNG. But again. No big deal.

I lose, and get into the last one of the night. All of a sudden two Sheriff's arrive on the scene. Funny, I don't recall ever seeing Sheriff's in there. I ask them whats up? They don't respond. I ask Shawn...he just shrugs. Well, come to find out THREE WEEKS later....there were called in by this guy Charles...who is the nighttime security supervisor...who after seeing me get a penalty decides to get super aggressive. He asks Shawn..."Hey...that Monkey guy! What's his problem! What did he do now!?? You need me to put him out of here!??? I will do it right now!!!!"  To which Shawn told him to mellow out. That I was NOT a problem, that I hadn't acted bad in any way...and that if I did, he (Shawn) would handle it. That he needed to back off! So then this clown Charles calls the Sheriff to come by. For what? To scare me? Even though I'm not doing anything? After Shawn had TOLD HIM to back off?  Where the FUCK do these people come from? What is their reason for being such total assholes? Is it jealousy? I think maybe that is part of it. Some guy who does nothing but play poker for a living while he has to sit in his chair with his fake badge making $11.37 an hour, 5 days a week, 363 miserable days a year? Dude, I'm sorry that your life sucks ass....but don't make YOUR problems MY problems, okay?

So...here we are. I have a handful of poker management-type people who 'get me' and like me. Who know what my real thing is all about. Who have actually taken the chance to get to know me. They are people I call 'friends in poker' who I will do anything for. They are slowly climbing the ladder in the poker world. They are good at what they do. I will simply sit back...and be patient, because I know that within a few years, they will be running everything that is worth running in poker. And I will look back on all this bullshit and just smile at how petty and stupid it was.

2009 was a great year. I got married to my best friend. I scored several big wins. I have a backer who is awesome. I made lots of new friends in the poker world. I have a lot of reasons to love my life. The things that bum me out...like the 'haters' in the world, and online poker, and tenants who steal my appliances and stiff me on rent...those things I have to not let cause me such stress. I will work on that in 2010.

So yeah...Thursday night I didn't play at the IP because we were busy watching Alabama win an exciting Title Game over Texas. But when I showed up on Friday, granted, 28 minutes late...and Jimmy Sommerfeld telling me he was about to close registration...I was pleased to see 4 times the field they had the night before. I sat and played my first hand with 2 minutes left in the level.

I would love to tell you about the tourney...but the fact is...I don't remember much...becasue I sat down and started drinking Coors Lights...and just had fun. I think I won about 5 hands by bluffing. I remember that we started drinking Red Snappers before we made the money...why? Well, only 5 were going to cash out of 54. And by the time we made the money...it would almost be over! And we had a really fun table! So what the hell...we broke my own rules. I was tipping $10 a round...for anywhere from 3 to 8 shots at a time. It was dead in that room, but I know we must have made those waitresses at least $150! Guys finally started alternating tip rounds with me. We had a really fun table. With about 17 left I lost a 3rd of my chips when I knew the guy was shoving badly and I had AJ. I was right. He had K4. I flopped a Jack too...so when the K hit the turn...ahhhh hell. But I didn't get too upset. I had been announcing all night that I was going to win. Still felt like I was going to.

Ben Mintz and I were having a lot of fun drinking shots and stealing each others blinds! So when him and I got heads up it was kind of appropriate I think! The money was so well structured that it made no sense NOT to just chop the money. But we did have something to play for! A couple things actually. And thanks to Bill Bruce for letting us play it out. First was $4400 and 2nd was I think $2800. Something like that. So we both took $3600....were fairly even in chips...and we played for (a) Pride! Because that is what two players like us go for. Beating 'The Destroyer' heads up....or him 'Beating Monkey' had a lot of value. (b) That feeling of sitting there with all the chips in front of us and getting to take the cool photo! and (c) and most importantly...we put up a $500 night out in Vegas at either a club or a (most likely) Strip Club with the boys this summer that the loser would be on the hook for.

So we played for about 20 minutes I think. I would say I totally outplayed Ben heads-up but I don't think that was the case. I think I just got better cards. And didn't screw up and not play them wrong. Pretty simple. But when he shoved on me with only 3 BB's and I looked down at my 2nd favorite hand, 6-7 suited...I thought....yeah...lets do it. He had 68. Ouch! But I told him...not a big deal, "Im gonna hit a 7 on ya!" So what happened? I rivered a 7! Game over! Monkey wins, Monkey wins! Yay!

And yes...I did all this without my Final Table beads and/or crystal monkeys. I guess if I'd had all that I would have gone out 6th, right, haters? Ahhh whatever. They had been left at home. Ya know if I'd remembered to bring them I'd of had em there for the ride!

It was a really fun night. Everyone was really cool. And yeah, I won that shit. And that did feel pretty good to win my first tourney of 2010. Nice way to start. Things didn't go as good last night. About the same field too. But 3k was added instead of 2k. So first was a pretty robust $5100. But 2nd was like $3400...so had I gotten heads up, I would have definitely chopped, unless I had like a 10 to 1 lead and couldnt stand my opponent. But there are fewer and fewer people in this game that I don't like nowadays...so that wouldn't have been very likely. Yeah...last night I had AQ early...flopped an ace....had a little bet call, bet raise situation...and had to fold, fearing a flush or a set. Then shortstacked in Level 3...with a raiser behind me, I shipped it with AhQh...and got called by a guy with 99's for 1/3rd of his stack...okay. Then the original raiser told me he folded AQ. Ugghhh. Thats not music to my ears! I did flop two hearts though. But I whiffed. I told everyone good luck...shook a couple hands...and left like a good Monkey.

I actually decided to go play some 1/2 cuz I wasn't quite ready to go home yet. I sit down at a table of complete idiots. Oh boy. Bought in for $300. So when I got my QQ to hold up for a double up...and managed to flop AK5 with AK and not lose to two clowns who never folded...and looked down at $785...it was looking like the right thing to do might be to go home. After this bozo on my right raises on the button to $17, and I call with 99....the flop comes A-10-3...I check and he fires out $60. Whatever...I fold face up. He shows me 3-8 offsuit. Hmmm...yeah...you are the MAN sir. Then I watch him felt this kid, who had played super tight...with AA. Yeah...he raised 20 preflop behind 7 limpers. This asshole to my right calls with K7 off. Yeah, he flops two pair. I watch that...and again look at my stack...and look at this guy...I had already started hating him because every time he made a bet he would stack his chips in 25 increments...slowly...to the point I was about to lose it. And along with him...there were 3 other players taking an eternity to act every hand. Okay...thats it! I'm outa there! Racked up my chips and bolted! Good move, Monkey! A nice little profit of $300 on the night with my tourney buy in. I'll take it. Went home and got my brains beat in again on Pokerstars for 5 hours.

I think my favorite was this one. In the $3 MTT ( ya ya I know, fuck you guys!) with 2,836 players...we are down inside of 200...blinds 500/1000. Two hands before in the SB...with 5 limpers I make it 4500 with AA. I get one caller. Bet the flop, he folds...I SHOW aces. So two hands later...I have KK. Guy raises to 3k in MP...I am right behind him...and make it 9k to go. Folds back to him. He flats. Oh...we both started the hand with 34k and 35k respectively. The flop comes J-9-3. He checks, I bet 14k. He moves in. Whatever, I call. He turns over J-9 offsuit. Yeah. That hand is just a microcosm of everything damn day I play on that shit site. Its 1:37pm here on Sunday...I am sitting here watching New England get their asses handed to them by Baltimore....and haven't played a single hand on Jokerstars today. I feel like remaining in a good mood. Squirrel has just shuffled off to yet another baby shower. I swear, that girl must do about 40 of those a year.

You know....something dawned on me the other day. She is so amazing about putting together wedding and baby showers for everyone. And always gets so many damn gifts for everyone. She's just something else. So we were at her relatives for Christmas...and everyone was talking about who's getting married, who's having a baby. I'm looking at pictures of everyone's familys on the walls everywhere we went. All those wedding photos in their big fancy outfits. And it occurred to me, not ONE person sent us a wedding gift. Not one. And I am not really the big 'needing a gift' to be happy guy or anything. But I think about what she does for everyone...and it kind of pisses me off from that standpoint. And then I started thinking...and maybe it was just the meds that inspired this at the time...I think maybe her family is sort of ashamed of us as a married couple. Since we got married in Vegas, at one of those quicky wedding places. Since I am this 'gambler' who married one of their relatives. Like that makes me a bad person. They are all pretty religious, and all have good jobs. Actually I DID get a wedding gift. From my backer. On the big win in Vegas, she gave us 10% of her winnings as a wedding gift...and it was substantial, and very much appreciated. But because she let me keep ALL of the money I won for the Venetian All Around, when clearly she didn't HAVE to do that...I returned that 10%. Same difference, in fact...even more so! Yeah...that was our ONE wedding gift.  I guess if we had held the reception like we were planning to do, which I was going to do the week of the September event at the Bad Times Resort and Casino...but then got derailed when The Dictator over there wouldn't allow me to play...I guess then we might have had some people bring gifts. But then, you know...thats just like creating a forum, and putting people in that uncomfortable spot of feeling like they have to bring a gift. I hate that. Give us a gift because you want to. Or because Squirrel has done nothing but take care of all of you over and over and over. But she doesn't care, not one stitch. She isn't wired that way...and its another thing about her that I love. She doesn't clamour for attention or material shit. So when I do buy her something...I always know how much she appreciates it. In fact, I just put myself in the mood to go get her something nice.

I'll see some of you tonight at IP...see if I can get back on the winning track. Hope you made it this far...I think this entry got pretty long!

MONKEY

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, um for one, great picture. It's very consummate Will -- with the Alabama-Squirrel hat (representin' yo!) and the 67d. Pretty cool pic that somehow represents your whole family. Nice...even if on accident.

The other thing I'm hearing is that certain dealers aren't allowed to play at the Bad Times Casino because of their associations with YOU??? Really?!! If I'm cool with you I'll be asked to not play there anymore possibly. Really, really weird how they "fix" things over there.

Why don't they "fix" the structures into something more guest oriented, than bottom line oriented. That was always Steve Wynn's approach and -- guess how it always worked out for him -- if you focused on making the guests happy, the bottom line takes care of itself -- very well. Fixing your own $$$ problems BEGINS with making the guest happy. Built it and they will come. Build it so-so, and yeah, they'll still come. Some will be happy, some won't notice the difference, some will be really, really upset, and some won't come back. Period. Offer the guest the best! It's the 212th degree!!! As the tourney is thus far...meh.

E.S.