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Friday, February 19, 2010

Fun Day....and some money finally!

Okay lets get this going.

We are on break of the 7pm...I have an obscene amount of chips, 26k...after busting a ladie's AA with my KK. She raised UTG. I re-raised her and she flatted. I flopped K-2-3. Check raised her all in. Wow. A good turnout too...this would be a really nice score. But disaster is always just around the corner.

So. Yesterday. Im on a 10 minute break and my battery is about to die, so I doubt I will finish this here in this sitting. I show up...wait. Honestly, oh yeah thats right...I was only 20 mins late yesterday. And I got a great table. Table 56, seat 6. A table that never breaks. And a good seat. Had a weird table. 4 solid players. 3 complete psychos. And 3 wild cards. And a guy next to me, who spoke some other language...never could figure it out...and for the first half of the day his SON was in the 1 seat. Every time his son won a hand there was this long gleaming look in his eye towards his father, seeking out acceptance. It was touching...but also kind of creepy. And dear old Dad had the WORST breath on the planet. Horrible. So bad that I had my whole end of the table taking shots at busting him just to spare me the misery. Thanks guys! But somehow he just refused to lose. Every time he doubled up it was like a Mega Bad Beat!

I would hover around the average all day for 4 levels, then came the big hand that catapulted me into contention. 423 players started...the biggest field since I got here. at 200/400, three players limped and I picked up QQ. The nasty QQ. I raised to 2200. First two guys folded. And this twerp who was at my table the previous day...I'm calling him a twerp now because of  how he played this hand...nearly whacking me from the tournament again in pure donkey-rific style like all these other assholes. He calls my raise with 6c9c. Yeah. 2200. The flop comes 6s-7c-10c. Not the worst flop for him. On a previous hand he had tried to 'outplay' me by betting 3k into a hand where I had A10 on a 7-9-6 board and I just shipped in his face. To which he folded. Punkass bitch.

So this time...he shoves all in for 15k. Fuck it. Im not folding to this clown. I called. Saw his hand...was incredulous, then turned my attention to the dealer and begged him not to fuck me. He didn't, shockingly...and I now had over 35k. Awesome. I would hover around 35k-55k for a long time....then we went to dinner. Joe Cutler, my buddy had managed to get to 90k after a sick heater...and then...got moved to MY TABLE! Wow, nice situation there. Plus we have never played a tourney table together...so it was just shaping up to be a lot of fun.

We went to dinner, hung out in his room, and discussed the makeup of the table. I was confident...but always a bit nervous at this stage. I have seen so many disasters late in these Deepstacks events. But one good thing I had going for me was with Joe on the button, there wouldn't be someone else stealing my BB, and if he did raise me and I had crap I would just dump it...but if I had a big hand, I was fairly confident he would fold to a re-raise. We didnt trade a percentage, so there was no 'deal' that would keep him from whacking me...and he is partially backed, so he wasnt going to lay down AA or KK probably...but we are friends, and somethings are more important in life than putting a buddy on the rail...and Joe is one of those guys who thinks like I do.

Well, one of those moments arrived, twice actually, after dinner. He raised me on the button and I looked down at 77. Now against another player, would I have re-raised here? I don't know. Maybe. But maybe not. Can't really say. So I just flatted. And when the flop came K-10-7...I was pretty happy. I wasn't about to check raise Joe. So I led out a healthy amount. He called. Oh boy. He has a K. And I don't really want to cripple him. But at the same time...if he has QJ...I really dont want to set myself up to get busted either...so when the turn produced an 8 I think I just grabbed a large stack of red chips (5k each) and hurled them....

"Ohhhh Monkey!!!!" And tells me he has a King. Is that it? Okay...well good then, you can fold. Which he did and showed the K. Glad that didnt get messy.

A little while later he lost a big hand to a guy who hit a one outer gutshot. It was sickening. Then he lost another race and was getting down around my stack. When the guy on his right raised...into two small stacks in the blinds, which he had been doing a lot of, Joe looked down at 88 and moved all in for like 80k. The guy tanked and finally called with KK. Holy shit. Well, just like Joe had been doing all day (having already snapped AA with KK earlier with a K on the river) he turned an 8...sick, again, a one outer, as the other 8 had been mucked by someone. And now he was back to over 150k. Sweet.

A bit later he raises in early position and I look down at KK. Wow. Well, I can't smooth call. And I just hope Joe doesnt have AA. I take his 12k raise and make it 45k. Everyone folds around to him, and he mucks quickly. Whew. He now had 140k and I had around 100k...and we were only about 6 from the money. Looking good!

I would find QQ 5 from the money. Oh God! Not this again. I raise...and luckily everyone folded. And then we got right down to the bubble pretty fast. We had this guy from, I think France, who was tanking every freaking hand...until it started to piss off the whole table. He was doing the 'stall to cash' manuever, and it was getting stupid. Joe finally called the floor to bitch about it. Someone had to. So he was now given a minute to act on EVERY hand...which he took his watch out and started timing himself. Pathetic. And while he was in the midst of one of his 'tank jobs' he lucked out...as the bubble bursted. Yeah...'Aqua-man' was in the money. You can climb out of your tank now, you FISH!

So the money was finally reached on this trip. I ordered up a round of red snappers, but the reception was lukewarm from the others. Whatever. I felt good. Relieved. But was also focused to get after it and try to grow a stack that I could come back to the next day and make a deep run with.

It was a pretty good money field. Dwight "The Duke" Pilgrim, just in from Foxwoods, where I think he won something else...was making a big run. He had only 27k at the dinner break when Joe and I talked to him...but like he's been doing all year, he went on a huge run. When we re-drew all the tables after getting in the money, he was at 250k. The guy is sick.

Another solid player from the Gulf area, Josh Palmer, was also in the money with a decent stack. He would eventually finish 10th, which he was upset about...after having just missed out on a botched chop deal.

Joe and I would get placed at the same table again. Not sure how I felt about that...but whatever, if nothing else, we were having a great time. I got this kid on my right, named Hayden, who claims to be a dealer in town. He was very nutso, calling with a lot of goofy hands...but getting very lucky at least three times, until he had around 300k. But he was being very careless...and I was hoping to go shopping at his chipstore in the future. He was also drinking Snappers with me...and they were having the opposite effect for him that they do for me. I play better, get sharper...more confident. This kid was falling apart. Playing every hand. Making loose calls in bad spots. But luck kept saving him. I have no idea where he finished overall, I'm very curious. He was not a good player. Nice kid. Bit of a spaz...but not a good player.

We quickly went from 45 down to 38, and the payline went up a small notch. Meanwhile, this guy in the 1 seat was raising my BB every time he had the opportunity, and it was getting old. I started feeling like if I didn't put my foot on his neck, it would never end. So at 3k/6k...he raises me to 18k. Crazy boy on my right flats. Hmm...checking out that pot....over 40k. I have 85k in my stack. And I look down at As10s. I hadn't played back at anyone once since the redraw. And I figured if the kid behind me was just calling, he couldnt be strong enough to call another 75k or so. And furthermore, if I could stick my stack in this guys face in the 1-seat, he might just quit raising me so much. Solve two problems. And who knows...if he calls light, I might just be ahead and win for a double up.

So I moved in. This guy tanked for over 5 minutes. I really felt like he was going to fold...which, honestly...as long as he was taking, I didn't care either way. The more he stalled, the better I felt about my hand. So when he finally DID call, he turned over 99. Hmmm...big call there for half his stack. And I don't mind the call, holding two overs and being suited. I feel awesome when the flop comes J-10-8...but not great, as he's open ended. When a 10 of clubs hits the turn...I now have trip tens...he still has his open ended straight draw...and now, he has added a damn flush draw to the mix. Shit. Fade it, fade it...hell PAIR THE BOARD! But Austin (the dealer, who has worked his way onto my shit list this trip for reasons I won't get into) puts a damn 4 of clubs on the river...for the sick river beat. Oh I just felt my innards leave my body. Tim Burt had just gotten there, as had McLean Karr...and the few people I was friendly with at the table all let out a collective gasp, and made that all-too-familiar face...the "Oh dude...that fucking sucks man!" face.

I went and got my payout. Wished Joe luck...and wormed my way over to the 1/2 game to decompress. Joe would come to visit me with bad news within half an hour. As he was now out! Oh jeeezuz, what? He had two big hands go wrong...and then jammed 4-5 shortstack into the BB's AJ...the same guy who whacked me with his 99...and the AJ was good. So Joe and I both failed to reach the final table. Sucks. NO idea who won the event. I know Dwight had a big chiplead going to the Final Table...and I heard they might have done a 4-way chop...but in talking to Dwight, I know he was wanting to win...as he has a good shot at taking over the #1 spot on the Cardplayer POY leaderboard...so I would assume he either demanded to play it out, or negotiated to sign for first. Well, good for him...he's having an awesome year.

I booked a little 1 hour profitable cash session, then walked back to Bally's.

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

Joe made a pretty astute observation during the tourney that I hadn't really thought about, but which really hit home. About how circumstantial things can be sometimes. If I had rented that car...and drove to LA, and played there? Chances are I would have NEVER been back here on Tuesday night. I would have never played in that SNG with Lance Funston. I would have never gotten staked in the 5k...and right now, instead of laying in bed chilling out writing this...I would be at the Venetian, grinding, all stressed out...in the Mega Satellite, trying to get into the Main Event.

And then the next tourney I would again play well, and this time avoid landmines (like that putz' 69) and make the money, to restore a little confidence. Not getting deep was a bummer...but hey, bad beats happen.

But Joe was right, things could have been a whole lot different if I had gone to LA. One thing I do have to apologize for. To Lance. I probably should NOT have told so many people that he is staking me in the 5k. Why? Pretty simply. Poker players (a lot of them) tend to be pretty desperate. I only told a few people because I was excited. I had been running really unlucky all trip, and to have that happen was just very uplifting. But in telling people, I opened the door to some to approach him about staking THEM...even though they have NO relationship at all with the guy. I've already had a couple guys ask me if I could 'put in a good word for them and see if he would think about staking them.' Ugh. All I did by telling these people was endanger any possible future arrangement with Lance. So when I see him tomorrow, it will be the first thing I do...to apologize for opening the door to that crap.

I shared this with my current backer, and as always, she is 100% supportive of me on it. And to reward her for sticking by me through thick and thin...I am giving her half of my action. No matter how you slice it...this field will be huge, if I can cash...everyone wins. One thing I didn't discuss with Lance is if my take is after the buyin is pulled out...or just 60/40 on the total won. If its the former, and I cash light...well, I won't win much. Probably about $1000 or so. But hey...whatever, if it means I line myself up for more future buyins into big events...great! After all, that is my goal...to be playing all the 5k and 10k events in my pursuit of a 1million dollar score, a score that will allow Squirrel and I to have a 'real' life that doesnt involve me being gone 40 weeks of the year.

I love poker. But I love Squirrel more. And I want to get back to doing things that I miss, like going to races, and ball games and concerts with my wife. Getting back into coaching a little league team. Maybe playing on a co-ed softball team with Squirrel. Cut back to playing about a 1/3rd as much. It would surely make me enjoy it more. Right now I am finding little joy when I play. And that sucks. I still enjoy the human intereaction, and its always nice to see a lot of the people I really do like...but for the most part, its really making me crazy. And I just turned 43. Squirrel is coming up on 38...and if we are going to have a baby...we need to get after it. I do not want to have visited this planet and not procreated while I was here. Plus...I just really want to have a little SquirrelMonkey running around the house. And I want to be there to see him/her grow up.

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

The 7pm nightly that I was writing about when I started this? It ended badly. A guy in the 10 seat who kept shove, shove shoving over and over....I would have taken out two different times if I had just clicked on CALL! But I folded....and kept getting blinded down. Then I raise with 55. 3500 on the raise. Lady moves in for less, and the BB moves in for another 3700. Damn. I had to call. I flopped a set of fives! Awesome. The lady had AQ. The BB had KK. The board goes runner runner...river was a K....I went in 3rd....was 1st on the flop...then 3rd after the river. She had a straight. Damn. That hurt...and it was all downhill from there. Got down to 28....paying 18...and I had to get it in with 10 BB's, holding Ad3d. Ran into the BB's AQ. Ouch. He hit the Q...didnt matter...I was out. Bummer.

But then I went and sat down in a $130 sng. Had a $100 last longer with two other guys. And a $25 last longer with 8 others. I started slow. But I am very patient in these. Then got a double up. Then got hit with the deck. Then lost a bunch. But hung around while the other two guys made bad shoves at 200/400 and got caught....and knocked out...and when the smoke cleared, it was me and the other guy left standing. A nice little $800 victory to end the night! Woo hooo!

From there it was off to Bally's to change, then quickly back to Venetian, where I went to Tao to meet Joe and McLean. It was typically crowded, packed with America's hottest females, all 20 years younger than me and with that 'I'm way hotter than you' attitude. I've kind of come to terms with the fact that I am now offcially TOO OLD to even talk to these broads anymore. Which is just fine. I was there to hang with my boys, anyway. We had a little fun, I stayed put at our table, had a couple cocktails...and around 4, called it a night. I think the only thing watching all these tight-bodied girls does is inspire me to get back to the gym. I guess the only thing I was wishing for was that my lovely wife was there. When she is in Vegas, and gets all dressed up for the clubs...she looks every bit as hot as these chicks...and she is 15 years older than most of them. I always feel very proud when I am out with her.  :)


So wow, I think I have finally caught up on everything. I am now laying here in my bed...at 4:42pm, plotting my next move today. Not sure if there is a 7pm tourney tonight. Wouldnt mind maybe playing that. Or a couple of SNG's. Or hell, maybe go hang out at O'Sheas...have a Subway sandwich, and play some sidewalk poker on a Vegas Friday night. Might be kind of fun and stressfree. Just want to make sure I am in bed by 1am...get my solid 8 hours of sleep, and come in tomorrow ready to play my 'A' game in the Main Event. The structure looks really nice. 30k in starting chips. Hour levels. Kind of weird...their is no 100/200 levels, but instead, a 150/300 followed by a 150/300 with 25...which I guess is just fine. There should be a LOT of pros...I am hoping to get Daniel Negreanu at my table. He is one guy I have never played at the table with. I'm pretty excited for tomorrow to get here. I will try to post live updates as often as possible.

Hope you all have a great weekend, wherever and whatever your doing!!!!

MONKEY

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