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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A little down-time update...with news from the Beau Rivage

Well somethings DO never change.

Its always been said that Death and Taxes are the two things you can't avoid, right?

Add to that the Beau Rivage not being able to .... you know what? Screw it, why even give them the time of day?

This has been a very productive week so far. I came home from that brutal 7-week trip with a lot to get caught up on...and have been doing just that.

Spent all weekend watching March Madness and playing online poker. Got deep in some things...actually turned a small profit...but never took down anything major. Same 'ol crap on there. Just gotta learn to not let it getcha down.

The last two days I have been getting caught up with 'life shit.'  Paid my property taxes on the house in Pensacola finally. After finally getting a tenant in there. Then renewed the Homeowners Insurance on it. Didn't even know it had lapsed. Ooops. Then...these damn doctor bills? OMG. How confusing. You get a bill from the doctor. Then you get a statement from your insurance company telling you what they are covering. Then you get ANOTHER bill from the doctor AFTER the insurance has been paid. I took about 4 trips to the doctor in 3 months too....Kidney Stones ordeal, and a few MRI trips...that by the time they all got their cut...there was like 8 bills that I owed. Jeez. Well, they are all finally taken care of, I THINK!

Been working on adding up all my buyins for 2009...and getting ready to finally do my taxes. Might not have to do the HR Block fiasco again this year. One of our readers on here has tipped me off to someone who really knows whats up...so I am crossing my fingers!

Bout to get outside and get this damn yard mowed. Then I have to go buy about a pallet of sod, which Home Depot finally has again...and get this backyard fixed that Mollie has been destroying. That will be a major project.

Played good husband yesterday for Squirrel and did all the laundry and dishes. She had her girls over the night before for a ridiculously loud viewing of that movie NEW MOON. Now...whats funny, is when the guys are here and we are watching...well, anything...and its too loud, she freaks out. But man...it was like...ten times louder than a movie theatre in here Sunday night!

I've been looking at upcoming tourneys and schedules and what not. Some interesting things brewing. The only one I can see that has me REALLY excited, from a standpoint of structures and expected turnout, is New Orleans and the WSOP in Vegas. I got the ball rolling with Jack Effel of Harrah's before I left for Vegas two months ago...just to try and make sure this summer goes off without a hitch. I never heard back from him. But then Jimmy Somerfeld got in touch with him while I was in Reno...and was pretty supportive of my cause, I think. I emailed Jack this morning...and he responded right away...telling me there were just a couple things he needed to check on before he could give me any definitive answer. So I am hopeful that everything will be smooth sailing on the Harrah's highway from here on out. Sure hope so, because they are now putting out about the best structures out there...unless your at a Matt Savage-run tourney. It's really nice to see. I mean...the WSOP structures this summer are looking better than the Venetians even! And that is saying something.

I looked at the structure for this upcoming IP event...sheesh. Not very good. I was pretty disappointed, to be honest. For as much as they have been really trying to put out a good product lately, I was shocked when I downloaded the structures. There is no difference at all between the structure for their $220 tourney and their $1,000 tourney...and I find that mind boggling. I do know this, and I discussed it with Squirrel this morning...if they don't get a decent turnout...I will be getting on a plane and flying straight to Atlantic City to meet up with my boys at Borgata and play those events. Those fields will be HUGE and the structures up there are very nice as well. Sorry IP...I love ya guys...and wanted to help you guys succeed...but those structures are tough to swallow.

Yeah so...getting all kinds of pressure from the wife to stay home...so to be a good husband, and at least TRY to accomodate her, something I wasnt even going to entertain doing, I went ahead and texted the head guy at the Beau Rivage today to see if they would let me play this next event. Its either that or stick to my plan of going up to St. Louis to play up there. So what do they say? "The answer is the same as before."

The last time we talked, I was told there was some time that needed to pass to 'work on the relationship' however I was invited to go up to Tunica to play at the Goldstrike. So...I'm just curious...in the three months that have passed, in which I haven't even muttered their name...what exactly did I do to NOT improve the relationship? Ya know what? To hell with those guys. I am sick of trying. And big deal, what exactly am I missing out on? I looked at their lineup, and their structure. I was only making the attempt for my wife. I could honestly care less.

So it looks like a week here to get on top of everything and then we load up the 4-runner, pick up some movies to watch on the way there...and drive the 687 miles to St.Louis to see what goes on up there! Never been there. Should be interesting.

Got a safety deposit box yesterday at my bank. That felt kind of good. So...anyone thinking about robbing my house now? You have a few obstacles. (1) There is no money here to rob. (2) We now have a home security system. Enjoy.

Talked to the investigator yesterday who has been handling my case. Apparantly, the girl who set me up...who of course tried to convince me she was totally innocent, is refusing to roll over on the guy who did the deed. So its making it hard for them. But not impossible. They have a lot of evidence that directly ties her into the crime. And she is just sitting up in Birmingham rotting in jail...with no chance of ever getting out probably. I've been told not to give up hope...but...honestly, I pretty much have. If I can get a deduction for this on my taxes...which I've discovered is possible, that would be some semblance of a 'save' I guess. I just really wish when I found out who did this to me, I had never gone to the cops. I wish I had gotten three of my 'guys' together and made the drive up to Birmingham...found this guy...and went to work on him. Old school justice system. Whatever...the thing to do now is learn from my stupidity, not let it happen again, and just go make that money back.

Well, I would be pretty excited about my Washington Huskies being in the Sweet 16...if they werent facing such a brutal road to make the Final Four. It just doesnt look very likely. Having to face a tough West Virginia team..and then if they pull that out...most likely Kentucky...who has just looked ridiculously good. Still...it was nice to get this far after nobody had us even making the tournament! Should help a bit in recruiting anyway.

In all 16 of my March Madness brackets I thought I was dead...but alas! Today I find one that actually has a shot. I need Kentucky to beat either Mich St or Kansas St...and a couple of other things to happen, and I might just have a shot at winning! We had 418 entries this year...so 1st place would be SWEET! My Sweet 16 pool starts this Thursday. At $25 an entry I had 111 entries last year. I just submitted 10 brackets in that one! Man....I need to win SOMEthing! The pools right now are just blowing up...every day the mailbox is just jammed with checks/envelopes. Its a good thing I am home right now!

Thats about it I suppose. Time to go tackle this lawn! Yikes!

MONKEY

Monday, March 15, 2010

Falling Short in Reno and a trip to Disney World....

Fighting a trend is a bitch!

That trend that I speak of is my ability to accumulate chips early in almost every noon tourney on this trip, only to run into bad luck or some form of disaster and fail to cash.

It happened again Saturday, much to my chagrine.

One GOOOD thing happened Saturday: My Washington Huskies defeated Cal in the Pac-10 Championship game, thus earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament for the 2nd year in a row.

It took me a day and a half to write this basically because I wasn't ready to talk about it yet. There was a silver lining. I took a 5% with 3 players. 2 of them made the Final Table...finishing 7th and 4th, which resulted in me getting a decent little refund on my buyin. And then, in the 7pm tourney that night, I staked a player for $120...someone I thought has some holes in their game, but who has demonstrated an ability to get deep a lot. They didn't disappoint. With 5 left, the same guy who busted me the other night raised with A3...and my horse woke up with JJ. Nice. Horsey went all in, got called and "Any Ace is Good" guy hits an ace on the damn river. That sucked. First was $2k...would have been nice to have scooped another 1k there!

Its Monday morning. 3:30am. I fly out of here at 6:25am. I slept in yesterday til 2pm. Then went downstairs and collected my various pieces. Then figured out how much in comp dollars Joe and I had accumulated. Then talked to Charles Williams about maybe getting a few days shaved from our 15 days on our room. A couple years ago, Charles and I had an 'incident' at the table up in Tunica...that resulted in some bad blood between us. Charles was, as still is, a good buddy of Jimmy Sommerfeld, and when the spat occurred, I kind of became the victim of their friendship, getting a tourney-costing two-round penalty for something that was clearly very unfair. I was bitter about it for a long time. But through time, Jimmy and I have developed a strong relationship...and I have kind of toned down my 'act' a little bit. So when I got up here and saw Charles was back running this poker room, I was hesitant.

But he was very nice to me from the outset...so I took that as a good sign. And when he got them to shave 3 days off of our bill? Well, that just really put a good taste in my mouth. On this little 6 week western poker trip, my cost on hotels ended up being really, really cheap. And that is HUGE in this business of being a full time poker pro. Not only that, I spent very little on food up here. I think these guys really did a magnificent job with this tourney. And then...right on cue...that dopey dealer, the son of another dealer up here, approached me as I was cashing in chips and extended his hand to me.

"Mr Monkey...hey, I just wanted to tell you that I am sorry about what I did at the table that one day. I am new and just didn't know what the rules were about that. I felt bad. But also, thanks for not trying to get me fired. I know a lot of people probably would have."

Wow, well, not sure but he might have been encouraged by his Dad to do that. I told his Dad on one dealer down that I would completely let it go if he would just apologize for it. I am big on people apologizing for things. I am not one to hold a grudge unless you give me reason to.

So I told him "You know Chuck, I appreciate you doing this. I wish you would have done it 10 days ago, but hey...I understand you probably felt uncomfortable. And no, I do NOT ever try to cost people their job. I know times are tough. And I can only assume you will get better at dealing. Good luck to you in the future, bud."

And that was that.

So....what happened to me in the Main Event?  Ugh.

The day started very, very well. I had a good table to start, but with 4 horrible players. One such horrible player was seated to my left in Seat 2. He admitted to me that "I haven't even played poker in 3 years. This is just an excuse for me to get away from my wife for the day." Great. And if you had seen him play...you would never have doubted his story! On an early hand...I raise on the button with A9...which is about the bottom of my range to raise on the button with. He calls in the SB with A4. The flop comes A-9-2. He checks. I bet. He calls. Turn is a 8. He checks I bet bigger. He calls. River is a J. He checks...and feeling like a milk cow by this point...I just check behind. Oh. A-4. Guess I missed a bet on the river. No biggie.

He would get into some other hands with some absolute awful hands...and get into showdowns against other players where he would end up calling at the river with ace-high! And winning! And you would maybe think..."wow this guy is good! And making straight up soul reads!" unless you really were watching him play. He was just terrible.

Well, I had managed to chip up from the starting stack of 15k to around 35k through a series of hitting flops, or just outplaying people after the flop. I threw a couple of nifty bluffs to take down nice pots. Then...on a hand right after this guy busted Shawn Van Asdale, who had the day from hell!!!! with 66 vs Shawn's KK....having flopped a set on an 8-high board...I pick up 66 myself. I limp and call this guy's light raise. The flop comes K high, ALL clubs. Ugh. I'm done with this flop. I check. Old guy checks. Hmmm. I turn a 6. Nice. And I have the 6 of clubs. I check again. He checks again. The ace hits on the river. Perfect. And a non-club.

I do something I did TWICE in this tourney...something I almost never do! Earlier, against a guy who was so easy to read, he might as well have been playing his cards face up....I min-plus raised in early position with KJ. This guy calls, along with 4 others. The flop came K-J-9. Two diamonds. I led, he called. The others folded. The turn was a non diamond 6. I bet relatively light...knowing this guy was on a diamond draw...and knowing he would call a large bet. I didn't want to get myself into a pot that I couldn't get away from on the river if I had to. Well, the river was the 'ol Yahtzee card...the Jack of diamonds. Now, the old me would probably have bet the river here. But I am entering a new age of playing better. If I bet there, chances are...if he is even KIND of decent, he might fear that I filled up...and just call. Or maybe not even call at all. But if I check...I have a shot at making him think his flush is good. Or plant a seed in his mind that I might have just been open-ended there with Q10 maybe. So I CHECKED to him on the river. And he fires out a big bet. I tank for a bit...knowing full well that he has a flush. Obviously there is NOTHING beating me, I have THE nuts. I raise him...not too much...just a little over a min-raise. To his credit, he actually let it go. Damn. I asked him how high his flush was. Queen high, he told me.

"Good lay down sir."

So with this other guy...knowing he hit that ace...I checked to him as well, and predictably he put out a pot sized bet. I raised him...and he called. When he saw my set of 6's he cringed. After having just busted the other guy with 6's....yeah, I said to him..."sucks doesnt it?"

Cue the matchup vs. the fish in seat 2. I get Ac9c under the gun. I am contemplating a min/plus raise from 200/400 to like 950...but I see him grabbing chips. He is coming in. There is no reason to raise here. If this guy decides he is going to play a hand...he doesnt fold.

Earlier...when I had 17k, and he was sitting on 6k...he limped UTG...and got a caller in late position. Blinds were 150/300. I had seen him call raises...example, he had limped for 200 TWICE and then called raises to 1200! With junk. And got there, and left the other player shaking their head and rubbing their temples incessisantly. I had decided I was not going to let this bozo put an ugly beat on me. So when I saw AK suited in the BB...I just made a decision...if this guy is going to keep calling big raises, I will just let him play for his stack. I moved all in. And he actually moaned and groaned before folding what he said was J10. I was perfectly fine to take an 800 pot an avoid this freak.

So when I pick up the Ac9c...and know he is coming in...I decided there was NO reason to raise here. I would kick this hand to the curb if I didn't hit anything. I call. He calls. No one else but the blinds call. 1425 in the pot. The flop comes 8-high, with two clubs. Nice. I decide to play this with an eye on trapping him. I check. He bets out 600. By the way, he has J9, of hearts. He has flopped pretty much nothing. I decide to just call. I turn a gutshot...but still have my flush draw. Here I decide to check and see what he does. He bets 1200. Hmmm. Now its interesting. I can't really check-raise him now...as he now has just 7500 after that bet...and has displayed NO ability to fold once he has chips in a pot for any reasonable bet. So I decide to gamble. I think if I shove on the guy, he MIGHT just fold...and if he DOES call, I obviously have outs. Of course, I would prefer him to fold if I shove on him.

So I announce 'raise' and...taking some advice I gleened from Joe on this trip...after he shared with me some potential holes in my game...one of which involved the amount of time I take to act, and how I bet...something I won't get too in depth on here, since I don't want ALL of you getting too into my game...I announce a $6000 re-raise.

It stops him in his tracks. "Wow...that pretty much puts me all in. Gee....whoa.....well, I have outs (which is music to my ears) so just in case....I guess I'll go all in (which threw me for a loop, since I thought his earlier statement meant he would fold!) and hope I get lucky!" Wow. He turns over his J9h...which is kind  of scary...as he has a flush draw now with the hearts...AND a straight draw. Of course, his nine is dead. Dealer puts an Ace of spades on the river! Sweet! And I kill two birds with one stone...I erradicate the dangerous donkey from the table...and I chip up big. I could feel the air leave the lungs from most of the guys at the table...hating to see ME get all of the fish's chips. But they have to be a little relieved that he is gone.

We would have our table break in Level 8...at I think 400/800. I get moved to a table that is very tough. Captain Tom Franklin and this guy whose name on Pokerstars is, I think...Retchy...and is very, very tough. I played with him down at Commerce a couple weeks ago. He would lock horns with Tom...after Tom limped in UTG with QQ...I limped behind with KJ suited. Retchy makes a 3x raise on the button. Back to Tom...he re-raises him to 10k. Wow. Uh...I'm gone! Obviously. Retchy tanks....stares....and SHOVES. Tom calls. Dude has AQ hearts. Ooooof. And misses the Ace. And Tom chips up huge.

A couple hands later, Tom riases early again. I look down at AA. Ya know, the blinds must have been 600/1200, because Tom raised to 3500. I re-raised to 7500. The shortstack behind me goes all in for 9200. Which closed off the betting...which didn't do me much of a favor. So knowing this...Tom calls with his smaller pair. And I complete. The flop comes Ace high...awesome. Tom checks...I decide to play it safe and throw a bet out there. He folds. All in guy has AK...still outs...with a Q out there...but on the turn he was drawing dead...and I pull in a pot of over 30k and am NOW in really, really good shape!

On the very next hand...I pick up AdQs UTG and raise to 3500. Retchy goes all in for 18,500. Oh boy. Hate this. Right after winning a huge pot...it seems like the poker gods always give you something to take a bunch back, doesnt it? It folds back to me...shit. I decide to count my chips. I've got him telling me I HAVE TO CALL...geezuz, how strong IS this guy? Damn...Tom is telling me I have to call. Ugh...come on guys. I count up my stack...68k. I guess I kind of do probably do have to call. So I do. He has 99. Nice hand. The flop produces TWO aces....great. But he still just needs that one nine to kill me. It doesnt come. Now I have around 95k and am coasting. And feeling REALLY good...and liking my chances now to win this thing!

Shit! Alarms just went off. Joe has found a flight half an hour earlier than mine...so I have to get ready, get packed and get to the airport. I will continue this from the plane probably. But I will tell you this...its ALL downhill from here!

Monkey

**********************************************
 CONCLUSION TO MAIN EVENT DEMISE:

Okay, so its been a few days. I am now home from Reno. With a two-day stopover, followed by an 8-hour drive home from Orlando...where I met my Mom, sister and her softball team...for a little Disney World action. Some thoughts on that in a while.

Back to Reno, and the Main Event....

Right after chipping up huge, and having everyone's attention as maybe the 'one to beat' I got moved from the BB to a table right behind me...and smack into the BB. Seated at this table were a bunch of freaks I had NEVER seen before. Always scary. The blinds were 800/1600.

The minute I sit down, the button raises me. The SB squirms in his seat and calls the 4000 raise. I look down at As10s. Ughhhh, great. Have no idea what this guy's raise means. As I would later learn...it meant nothing. Other than...he is the cutoff or button and that means he HAS to raise. Had I known then what I knew later, I would have re-popped this clown to like 15k. They would have both folded...and I would have (a) set the tone and (b) had another 11k in chips, and been well over 100k. But not knowing this, I elected to play it safe and see a flop, hoping to flop gin. Did not flop gin. Simply wasted 4k in chips.

Very next hand, in SB...I pick up 57. Suited. Irrelelevant. 5 players limped. Yeah! Limpfest at 800/1600. Only a retard=o folds there. The flop comes....ta-da! K-5-5. How nice. I check of course. As does everyone except the last guy...who decides to bet 4500, I guess because he thought he could steal it there. I look at his stack. He has about 27k more. I start thinking it would be nice to get clever and try to get them all. The turn is a Q. I check, intending to raise this time. But he fails to bet. The river is an Ace. Hmmm...I am now hoping he has an ace...but not A5, of course. I decide to bet now...betting 5k. And he does this stupid body language that I never did figure out...and just shoves all in. WTF? For another 27k. Yeah. I start running the hands through my head that he might have. J-10? Really? And if so, why all in? I mean...what if I have a boat? Not leaving himself much room to get out alive is he? All in because he thinks that is the only bet that will make me fold?

I am so close to folding. But it just feels like a bluff. I count my stack if I call and lose. 49k. I count it if I call and win...around 145k. I could simply cruise to the Final Table if I win this hand. I call. The fucker has J10. I get out of my seat and walk over to the rail, cursing myself for playing it the way I did. For callling that shove. And just then...this idiot, who has been wearing a stuffed frog around his neck all day...and who is friends with that clown I talked about the other day, that KIMO guy? He suddenly starts hoopin and hollering and celebrating as though he were the one in the hand. What the hell? I had yet to have ONE word with this guy. Ever. Yet...here he is openly rooting against me. Um.....yeah, okay.

So now I am fuming. Cue the very NEXT hand. The guy who loves to raise, raises again. I call the 4k raise with 77. Flop comes 7-5-2. And I officially hate the way I play this...now, at least. I suppose I was partially kicking myself for allowing that doofus to suck out a few hands earlier. So when the guy fires out 7k on that flop...instead of just calling and allowing him to hit one of his face cards...I decide to convince myself that he has an overpair and simply WONT fold to me. Especially since I think the whole table THINKS I'm on tilt. So I raise it another 10k. He thinks for about 7 seconds and folds. Dammit. But I do pick up a nice pot and get it back to around 74k.

Then we go to dinner. Joe is asleep in the room. I end up eating at the steak house with a bunch of relative strangers. The meal is excellent. The company was good.

We go back. Time to get after this. Things go badly. First, I raise with KK at cutoff and get called by this total assclown, in the SB...with 10-8. Flop comes Q-4-8. He checks, I bet 3/4 of the pot. He calls. Great...now I'm sniffing out a set of 8's or something. Turn is a 2. No flush draw out there. He checks again. I bet again. He calls again. What the hell!??? The river is a 10. He leads out....like half the pot. It really feels like a set...but I can't fold for that price. Then I see his hand. You gotta be kidding me. I just look at him...and he is smirking. I hate this guy.

This is the same prick who spent the first 17 minutes after the dinner break freaking out and accusing the floor guys of ripping him off. He bought up the green chips during the color up, then left. Most people stick around and make sure they got their correct change after they finish. But he left. Then comes back and starts trying to claim that they stiffed him on the 6500 chips they owed him. I don't really know one way or the other...but I find it highly improbable. Jason and Bruce handled it pretty well...but after about 5 minutes of it, I was just annoyed as fuck over it, as was most of the table I think.

So this shitbird takes about a quarter of my chips on this one hand. Maybe more. Then a few hands later...remember the Old Clown guy from about 4 entries ago? He was back. And at my table. And when I raised from cutoff with KcQc...his stupid ass does the 'ahhh shit, I'm ready go...I'm all in!' Hmmm..yeah, the 'ol, "Im ready to go" BS line. yeah....its the Main Event, we are playing for 57k and you're ready to go. Right. I had raised from 600/1200 to 5100. He was all in for 17k. The simple fact of the matter was, there was too much in the pot now to fold. And of course...he had AA. Of course he did. I did flop 10-9-9. How bout a Jack dealer? No? Okay.

The stack continued to plummet. Raise with AQ. Get a call. Bet the King-high flop. Guy moves all in. Sigh. Raise frog-boy in the BB from the SB with K10. Flop comes K-8-4. I bet. He shoves all in for 40k. Come on! Everything was going wrong. Call a raise holding 88. Flop comes A-K-3. Guy bets out. Bye bye. More chips leave my stack. This continued until...all of a sudden, I had 16k. Yeah, ten big blinds. I pick up Ah9h on the button and shove. No callers. Up to 20k. Then I get JJ. at 1k/2k. Do I bother raising to 5500? Or just jam it? Lets just jam it. I get called by SB...who only has 9500...but also has AA. Lovely. But on the river I spike a JACK! Really? Maybe this isnt over quite yet! Back up to 39k.

Then everyone limps for 2k...like....5 limpers...including the 10-8 jagoff. I shove all in with a pair of 5's. They all fold. Nice. 12k more. Up to over 50k. Frog boy thinks he's raising UTG...or maybe it was a move, not sure...but he then has a call in play, the SB completes, and I have 10-10. I raise to 6k. Froggy insta-folds, as does the SB. Now almost back to 70k.

Then we break the table as we get down to 27 players. At the new table...on the 3rd hand, I pick up A-K. I raise. Only caller is the BB. The flop comes A-4-K. Sweet. He checks. I bet light. He calls. Hmm...weaker ace? I should be okay here I think. Turn is a 10...making a flush draw and a straight draw....really don't want to mess around here and get sucked out on. He checks again. I move in for 42k. Which...now that I know his hand...was stupid! But this was a bi-product of that earlier 5-7 debacle...because this guy just happened to be sitting on a set of 4's. And I was pretty much fucked. When he said..."I call" my stomach fell out of my body, knowing what I had run into.  And then...that horrible feeling that overcomes you when you are leaving a Main Event. On a good note, that kid at least was one of the remaining three players. And I know when they got 3-handed they did a $30,000 save...so he had a good weekend thanks in part to me!

That was my tourney. A lot of things I wish I had done different, looking back on it. But I was very pleased that the two guys I swapped 5% with both Final Tabled the thing. Coming home with more money than I left with was a great thing. And I had a good time for the most part. I'm glad Joe decided to come to Reno with me. I bet he is too...having made a nice score while he was there. Not just for the entertainment aspect...but I just enjoy being around good players, as I feel like I am always growing as a player when I surround myself with quality players. Plus, Joe is just a funny guy.

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

My flight out of Reno was nice. In fact my flight from Salt Lake to Orlando was about the same. On both flights I got the front bulkhead seat...nice legroom. Flying over Nevada and Utah...the view of the snowcapped mountains is just amazing. I can't ever get over how incredibly beautiful our country is. And evertime I start thinking we are over-populated, I fly or drive across this country and realize just how much land we have that is just sitting there, unused or unoccupied.

I got to Orlando...and there was Squirrel waiting on me. With my smiling Mom. She has lost all this weight, gotten a new knee...and is generally just so much happier. Its really nice to see. And the relationship she has with my wife makes me feel good too. They talk about everything. Sometimes when I need to know whats going on with my Mom now, I just ask Squirrel. And sometimes, even vice versa!

Well I was pretty tired from flying all day...and obviously was excited to spend some alone time with Squirrel, after not having seen her in 7 weeks. So we turned in early.

Up at 8am...we got ready for the day's nightmare. Some people call it the Happiest Place on Earth. Pffft! Good one! Yeah...I'm guessing if you work in the accounting office and get a piece of the action...then YEAH...that place IS the happiest place on Earth! Without a doubt!

But if not? That place is hell on Earth! $14 to park your car. Get on a long shuttle train...after being herded by a guy who's job it is to make you feel inferior to him. Take that to a monorail, or a ferry, if you like really taking a long time to get to the front gate. Purchase your day pass. $78! Yeah. Proceed through the gates. Prepare for the biggest mob scene you have ever seen.

What I saw I was honestly not prepared for. I was last at an amusement park...mmm..probably 15 or 20 years ago, I think. I think I took my girlfriend at the time...Monica Bechtold to Disneyland the year the Huskies played Michigan in the Rose Bowl for the National Title...back in 1991. I cant decide which was better, but I'm pretty sure Disneyland is way better. But not sure. You know how things just change from a point of perspective the older you get? It might just be a case of that.

This place was PACKED. Every ride took over 45 minutes of waiting in line. After the 2nd ride though, I started figuring out who to 'work' the 'Fast Pass' line. This is a line they have set up where you get a ticket for a time in the future....usually 2 to 5 hours...and when you return...you go in the express line. Well, if you pitch your case, or just make small talk with attendant...they often times just slip you passes for that time. We did that the last 3 rides we took. Thank GOD! Or we would have only done about 3 rides in the 9 hours we were there.

Everywhere you looked there were people I can only describe as...well, fun to look at! Some of the outfits we saw people wearing, the hairdos....its like they were from another planet. The longer I live on this planet, the harder I am finding it to believe that I am the same species as some of these mutants.

Everything inside of that park costs an arm and a leg. I don't have any idea how your average family visits that place without taking out a  second mortgage on their house first. Its borderline criminal. I can't see how they justify what they charge people to visit that place.

I am trying, all day...to figure out what it is that people find entertaining about the place. Am I just a fuddy-duddy? I don't want to think I am. I really don't. And when/if Squirrel and I have kids...I just KNOW she is going to want to take them to that place. I can't do it. I can't bear to live that experience again. Ever, if I can help it. I started wondering to myself...hmmm "if I vow to take the kids hunting, and camping...and fishing...and stuff she might not want to do, is it possible to get HER to take them to this human shit storm?" Squirrel is pretty reasonable, I suppose through proper channels of communication and reasoning, anything is possible. She was pretty well aware of just how miserable I was. But two things kept me from completely losing my shit.

I was in the throes of medication...which, had I not thought to take 20 minutes before arriving through the gates of the most 'Ridiculous Place on Earth' I would have never made it.

And I was there for my sister's adopted kid Chase...who I had earlier in the week discovered was in awe of me, ME! Uncle Will. Yeah. So I had to suck it up...and take one for the team. Which I think I did. Later, on the ride home...the kid fell in love with my little blue Pokerstars Monkey, which has made some final table appearances with me...and been seen taking a shot once or twice, and even pounding a bloody mary one day. Well, Squirrel suggested I let him have it. It was hard to part with. I let him have it. And reports from the home front say the monkey hasn't left his side. That's pretty cute. The morning we left...yes, I drove that whole damn thing...popped an aderol...and BOOM! 8 hours straight...no stops! Squirrel slept the whole way. But anyway...the kid was crying when he woke up and we were gone...so I had to call him and give him a little pep talk. Sister thanked me later...saying it was just what the doctor ordered.

See, I'm not such a bad guy!!!!

So yeah...we are home. I am unpacked! I have reunited with my dogs...I love them so much. And they will not leave me alone!

And today is Day 1 of March Madness...and already we have upsets!  Old Dominion, who I actually liked, and picked in a few of my 25 total brackets...yeah...I kind of over-did it this year...knocked off Notre Dame in the first game. Then Villanova had to fight like hell to hold off Robert Morris. Man, how much would THAT have screwed up everyone's brackets!?? And in this game I'm watching right now...Murray State is making Vandy look very ordinary. Could be a pretty exciting tourney. My Huskies play later tonight...against Marquette. I think Isiaih Thomas, our starting point guard is banged up. That isn't good news. But I still have high hopes.

My March Madness Pool has broken another record. 417 total entries. Beat last year's record of 384. Crazy! And my squares grid...at $25 a square...for the title game? FULL! I will be doing a second board...this one for $50 a square, I think. And last night I decided to do a Fantasy Baseball League...havent participated in one of those in several years. I think I am ready to try one again!

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As far as the next two weeks go...going to get on top of a few things. Like all these hospital bills I have piling up...from the Kidney Stone thing, and the MRI's for my knees...its so hard to figure out what exactly I owe. All these different bills, some covered by insurance, some not. Ugh! I hate that whole industry!

My taxes need to get done. I am really not looking forward to that. At all! I have to pay my property taxes on the Pensacola house still. The house that finally got rented last week. And yet...for some reason, I am not recieving any of the money until the middle of next month? From the leasing company. How does THAT make sense? Whatever. I'm just glad that house is rented finally.

I suppose I will find sometime to play online. Maybe I will get lucky and actually win something.

As far as future poker tourneys? I feel myself leaning towards going to St. Louis. It just sounds like those fields are going to be really good. The $300 tourneys are the only ones that are going to have lousy structures. The $500, $1000 and Main Events are all going to have awesome structures. That is April 1st to the 15th. Then I will come home and play the IP event from the 18th to the 5th I think. I really hope they attract some players from that event. They have really been doing a great job lately over there...just missing the player fields. Then after a week off, I will head over to New Orleans and play what promises to be another great event over there. The last couple years I have had a history of making good scores over there before heading out to Vegas for the summer and all the World Series events, and Venetian Deepstack events.

I am about to get started with looking for a house in Vegas to rent, with 5 of my good poker buddies. McLean Karr was originally going to be one of the guys in the house with us...but due to his recent success, and a blossoming relationship with a girl who lives out there (name not being revealed here!) I think we are going to lose him! Oh well...we understand!

So...I have a very busy couple of months coming up. But I think I will just lay here and do absolutely NOTHING but watch hoops, and love on my dogs and my wife!

MONKEY

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yeahhh!!! UW Huskies Pac-10 Champs! And I have 48k in the Main. 300/600

Main Event on Tap for tomorrow....and MCLEAN WINS!!!!!!

Its Friday night. (well, now Saturday Morning...and my boy McLean Karr just shipped the Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event for $878k!!!!!)

I just got done winning the 7pm Mega. Buy in $350. 47 players. 7 winners. Early I got AA and got a guy to stuff with AK. I never had fewer than 25 BB's all night...nothing like a smooth cruise in a Mega. We were done by 11pm.

In the earlier Mega...with 312 players...that was a $100 rebuy job...I had a roller coaster ride. I sat down and got AJd. Ended up hitting broadway on the turn when the other guy turned a set of 10's. Double up. Proceeded to give them back a couple hands later.


This guy...I am told his name is Kemo...is quite possibly the biggest moron I have ever seen at the poker table. He raises me. Not much. I call in the BB with 79s. The flop comes 10s-9h-6s. Nice. I check. He bets 550. I raise to 1200. He calls. Turn is nothing helpful. I shove all in for 2200. He calls. Turns over 98. Yeah...he is still ahead. Then it starts.

Let me describe this fool. About 6'2". Maybe 185lbs. Seems hispanic maybe. Could be in the military. Obviously works out a lot. Hes one of those guys who poses as much as possible. When riffling chips. When drinking his soda. Probably when he's brushing his teeth. Wearing a bandana around his head...and...a baseball hat. And glasses that are so dark he needs to take them off to see his hand and the flop. Ridiculous.

"What chu got? Ohhh no wayyyy...you got nothing man! Nothing! You try to raise me with that? You aint playing with kids here man! Noooo. No you aint! You know who I am!???"

I miss the flush and the straight on the river.....

"Whoooooooooo! (standing up and doing the Rick Flair, swiping the belt move) Whud I tell you boy!!!! Cant beat me! Whooooooooooo! Yeahhhhhhh!"

By now the whole back of the poker room is staring at this clown.

Of the 10 players at my table, 7 of them were between the ages of 50 and 70...and all of them had that look on their face...mouth agape...eyes wide open....just...I don't know, STUNNED at what a fucking idiot this guy is. I simply laugh at him. He asks me how long I've been playing, why I don't know who he is. "Im sorry, dude, I have no idea who you are. And I probably would know you if I'd played longer. Silly me!"

About this time the dealer tells him I've won two tournaments that week, and made 4 Final Tables. (yes...last night I took 3rd in the nightly- more about that later). So he whips out his coin that he got for aparantly winning the tourney here last Sunday. Throws it at me...well, in my direction. "Great...you won a tournament."

"Well, if you really won one...you would have one! Where is it.....boyyyyyy?"

I won nightly's sir. Go ahead, say it....they don't count. I know, I know.

I elected to put on my Bose and just tune this prick out. Then something funny started happening. He started trying to make moves on everyone, and got caught...over and over and over. He would rebuy once, twice...three times....four...and then a fifth time. Every time he would bust a handful of the old guys at the table would look in my direction smiling. I admit, it was funny. Meanwhile, I would double up with AK vs. AJ....then give them all back with QQ  vs. KK. I was in for 4 rebuys....then our table broke.

At the new table we had a guy who when I sat down had 33k in chips when the blinds were 100/200 with an ante. And he started spewing like a leaky faucet on a cold winter day. His really fun play was when he raised to 3000 (at just 200/400)...gets flat called by this old guy (who had AA, nice play actually) and when he flopped a flush draw he bets out like 5000. Old man goes all in for 12000. He calls. And misses his flush.

I say to the guy next to me..."this clown isn't even going to survive this level the way he blasting that stack."

I was right. He bombed out.

Meanwhile I was floating around 16k in chips for a long time. Then Joe gets moved to my table. A little about Joe Cutler. He arrived yesterday at 10am. He played the 1k. He got heads up in the 1k. We had a little 5% save. While that was going on...I was busy running over the nightly tourney again. He would end up doing a chop deal when he got heads up and pocketed $21k. Awesome. And me? I got what amounted to my buy in back.

So Joe shows up at my table with about 18k himself. He starts doing what he does...and unfortunately was up against the crazy Asian guy...the one who loves to 4-bet people, and actually is a very, very tough opponent. He is also friends with that son of a bitch who whacked me from the 1k with his stupid J6 yesterday. Good news on that. The donkey made it to the Final Table....played for 10 hours....and with it paying only 6 and no deal in place for 7th-10th...got busted in 8th....for a prize of $0! I was very pleased with that outcome!

And to take it up a notch...early in my nightly tourney...I had another pissing match, with another Asian. This guy got his  panties in a bunch when...sitting in the BB with 33....the flop came 2-3-5. Five players in the hand. Checks around. Turn....5! Nice. I check again. And this guy bets 400. It was early. 50/100. I decide I will make a little min raise...to 800...to see what kind of reaction that gets. He starts babbling about how lucky I am to have hit the 5. I tell him..."Dude, I do NOT have a 5. I promise you. But I am quite certain that I AM going to hit the flush!" There were two hearts and two spades on the board.

He asks how many chips I have. (Oh yeah...here we go!) Then I go to make that move... the 'ol reverse pychology move where you are trying to goad them into acting...pretending like you are about to muck your cards. You all know the move, right? Well, he thinks I am tipping my cards to show them to the players behind me...which, of course, I'm not! But who cares. He starts pitching a fit. Okay. Not sure what he is trying to accomplish. (a) I didnt show anyone my cards and (b) what do you think is going to happen when you whine to the floor about it?

I tell him..."Dude, are you calling, folding or raising? If you want to know what I have I will tell you!" He folds. I tell him I had 33. He is still pissed. And now he starts steam raising. A lot. hahahahah. I call behind him one time with K10d. Flop comes K high. He checks. I lead. He raises big. I fold and show him a K. He makes some remark...and I tell him..."dont worry, sir, you will get your chance to get it all in against me...we'll get our stacks in there, I promise!"

Well, you can call me Monk-stro-freaking-damus! FOUR hands later...he raises to 400 (from 50/100) and I look him up with 99. The flop comes A-K-8 rainbow. He checks. Okay, I check. Turn is a 10. He checks again. I'm not betting your hand! Then....BOOM! River....NINER!

He checks AGAIN!!! And now I'm thinking I am about to win a nothing pot. I am sitting on 11k by now, he has 9k. There is about 1100 in the pot. I bet 600. What does he do? HE SHIPS ALL IN!!!!!

I take a second...look at the board. Hmmm.....QJ? Naw...no way he raises with that. Not THAT much. And why would he go all in. No, he is going all in because hes (a) pissed at me (b) on tilt (c) a bad player and (d) knows its the only way he can win the hand. Nope, makes no sense....I call! He turns over AJ...and says..."I have ACE!" Then I slow roll him...."yeah? An ace? And you never bet it until the river? Why? Trying to trap me bud? Well....gosh....hate if for ya...but all that trapping just got you broke! I have a set of nines! Bye now!"

He freaked out a little bit...and then, left! Most of the table was howling...and a guy in the 10 seat remarked..."dude! Sick...you JUST told him you guys would get it in against each other...and then BAM...you took him out! Gross!"  I agree. Gross.

I would do a LOT of drinking. And make a bunch of new friends. Today before the Mega, this old guy who I barely remember approaches me and tells me "Hey Monkey...how did you end up last night? (I got 3rd sir) I just wanted to tell you that I have never had so much fun in a poker tourney as I did last night. And I wanted to thank you for all the free tips you handed out. I think I learned more last night than I have in ten years of playing poker! Thanks!"  Wow. That was pretty flattering. I was actually doing a lot of 'sharing' of poker advice last night? Why? Well, I guess instead of berating and making fun of people...because out here it is SO easy to do...I thought I would take a smoother approach and just offer tips to people. And I think because I was in such a friendly mood, they all appreciated it, and even used it quite a bit.

So...long story short on that deal...I would basically steam roll my way to the Final Table...then...with a medium sized stack and 5 players left...I pick up AA for the first time all night. This guy limps in for 4k. I literally announce..."Well I have aces, so I will raise to 9500." It folds around to him. He sits there....looks at me....looks at his stack....looks at mine....and moves all in! hahahahahhaha. When will these people learn? Ummmmm I calllllllll!  He has 8-9 offsuit. He wouldn't get lucky. He would make me chipleader. Thank you sir.

We get to three. Stacks move up and down, back and forth...we are all fairly even. Then....at 4k/8k....I raise on the button with Ac5c. The guy in the BB...who I have a pretty good line on....tanks for a bit...then moves all in in a fashion where I can tell he doesn't want a call. I do some math...compare stacks. Think about where I will be if I fold. Then think about where I will be if I win. 3 to 1 edge and heads up...against a lousy player. You can mail that one in. And I have a feeling I am ahead. So I decide to call. He turns over A4 off! Wow! Nice call. Probably be a chop.....but no! Trish...this older dealer who has been just abusing me all week, nice lady...but killing me on this trip.....does the unthinkable, she delivers a 4. Son of a bitch! The guy has me covered by a miniscule 3k. And I am OUT! 3rd. Shit! For $1250. First was $2900. 91 played. Yeah I was pretty irritated. I got my money and stomped up to my room. Grrrrrrrr!

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This just in. My good buddy, who I wrote about a lot while in Vegas...McLean Karr is currently heads up at the Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event against Andy Seth...another very good player. We have been following him now for the last three days. He came back yesterday with 27 players as the low-stack...sitting on less than 6 BB's. He worked his way back into it...and made it back today for the TV Final Table. We are so fired up about it, Joe and I. Phil Helmuth was the first one out. Hahah! Then McLean got heads up with Seth...and had a 4.5-1 chip lead. He dominated early...the first 25 hands...and had him 5,000,000 to 1,000,000 roughly when I started writing this entry. And now when I just looked on the updates....they are now back to even. 3.4m to 3.2m for McLean. Looks like its going to be a long grind...the structure is awesome....the blinds right now are only 40k/80k. I really hope McLean wins....1st is $878k...2nd $521k...wow! I mean...either way hes gonna win half a MILLION BUCKS! Man I can't wait for that day. And what is really cool, is that McLean is the kind of guy that will not change one stitch. Hell, he has been hanging out with celebs for the last few years. He was Michael Phelps' roomie in college. Nothing fazes him. Not a pretentious bone in his body. Go McLEAN!!!!!!

(on the 59th hand...while I was proofreading this...and just out of break...McLean raised with 88...got re-raised by Seth with 44....moved all in, and got called. The 8s held and McLean just became a virtual millionaire! Holy shit! How cool!!!!!)

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I kind of forgot where I left off, but I think we are pretty much up to date on the poker stuff. I am IN the Main Event tomorrow, a 2k buy in...that cost me basically $1200. So I guess I saved $900 by winning the Mega tonight. I think my backer will be happy with that.

Oh I guess I left you hanging (if you cared) on the outcome of the Noon $100 rebuy Mega. Lets just say it ended badly. I hovered around 11k/15k for about 3 levels. The biggest hand I won was a total bluff. The human pez/chip dispenser limped for 300...another guy limped...I raised on the button with KQ suited, to 1200..and Mr. Spewey called, with, I suspect, a weak ace. The other guy folded. Flop came A-8-3. He checked. I bet 1500. He called. Uh oh. Shit. Turn was a 10. Ha! Outs! He checked. I checked also. Come on jack! River? A 10. Hmmmm. He checks. I am almost positive he has an ace. A shitty one. I can only win this pot one way. I jam it all in! He thinks...asks for a count.....7200 sir....and finally folds! Phewwwww!

I would then go totally card dead for three levels. At 400/800 I had 11,500 chips and raised UTG with AK...to 2500. The Asian nuisance asked how much I had behind. I showed him. And in my head...there was no way I was folding to this twit. He calls. Then the guy in the SB...who is actually a fairly tight player...goes all in for 4500. Shit. I have to isolate. I move all in. The kid tanks...then gives the 'ol...."well, okay, I gamble with you." Lovely.

He turns over 77. Okay. The other guy has QQ. Yikes. At least I have those two overs. Mmmm..flop comes Q-10-4. Shit. Only a J can save me. I don't get there. Dammit. I was out. Went directly to my room and took a nap! And that was it for the nooner. Again...no luck in nooners on this trip.

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Today my UW Huskies whacked Stanford...who I was delighted to see upset Arizona State...because we match up horribly with ASU. Stanford we dominated in the regular season...and we owned them today too. So we may already have done enough to get ourselves into the Big Dance...but if not, I would love to see us just go out and beat CAL in the Pac-10 Championship game! Go Dawgs!!!!

And I am NOT into horse racing...at all! But a guy who reads my blog and knows I am out here called me today with a hot tip on a horse tomorrow. Hmmm....so I will take a shot at it. Walk my money up the window tomorrow and see what happens. I will be sure to let you all know if it comes in a winner!!!!

Well I was hoping this Final Table would be over soon...but it appears to be a battle for the ages. McLean got the lead back...but then Seth won another big pot. They are on break...having played nearly 60 hands heads up...and McLean holds a slight lead. Should be an exciting finish. I would say they must be tired...but dude...when you are playing for almost a million bucks...are you really getting tired??????

MONKEY

Thursday, March 11, 2010

SMASHING FURNITURE! (and a tribute to Corey Haim)

I've almost had it with this damn place!

My last blog came on the heals of a couple of nice scores in the nightly tourneys, but still craving a nooner cash.

I continued with my efforts, but kept running into the same clowns I've been running into all week up here, guys who simply WON'T fold if they have overs, bottom pair, or any semblance of a draw. Or...if they just have CHIPS in the pot.

I am literally about to lose my mind. It all just came to a boiling point, downstairs in the 1k, which I came in very well prepared for. Got a good night of sleep, ate well. And we actually had 62 players show up. 25k for 1st. $4k for 6th.

My table draw was pretty decent. Had 4 good players at my table. Then two complete tards. One of those tards is an Asian guy who is buddy buddy with the Asian guy up here who has been driving me nuts all damn week.

Early in the first level, I would get KK utg and raise to 175 (from 25/50). I get two callers. Thats fine. I want SOME action with a big hand like Kings.  Flop comes 10-high with two clubs. I lead out 450. 1st caller folds. Asian guy calls. Turn is the 4 of clubs. Ugh. I have no club in my hand. But if I bet and he just calls...well, hard to put him on a flush. Kind of. Unless its a BIG flush. So I bet 600. He calls again. Lovely. River is a damn ace. I give up. I check. And he doesnt even bet. He checks. A-10. Awesome!

A little bit after that...this female dealer pushed in. I have had the misfortune of drawing the 9 seat. Which I HATE! This gal has been making me crazy all week. She is in her 60's I think...and its like she's hopped up on something. If she came with a dial to turn her down...I would dial her down about 4 or 5 notches. Sitting next to her nearly puts me in anxiety mode. She is nice enough...but her rapid-fire EVERYTHING just makes me crazy!

We started with 10k in chips. I got as low as 7200...as high as 11,000. But mostly hovered around 8500 for the first three levels. This Asian jackass was raising about 4 out of every 7 hands. And it seemed like everytime I was in the BB or SB I would pick up hands like AJ, KQs, 77....and instead of 3-betting him, which maybe I should have been doing...I was flatting him, hoping to pop his ass. I did get him once. With QJ I flop broadway, and only raise his flop bet due to the two spades out there. He called too, but dumped his hand on the turn...much to my dismay, I guess.

Well, guess we might as well fast forward to the disgusting conclusion, the one that has me up here in my room on the verge of smashing lamps. This is the feeling in poker that I absolutely effing HATE...the feeling that makes me wish I would just find 5 million dollars in my checking account, and quit this damn game...go make babies, play with my dogs, go to the gym every day....and play video games. Maybe take a vacation or 30.

Very last hand of the 3rd level. Half the table folds and walks away. Fucking Asian guy raises...AGAIN. I look down, in the SB...at two red ACES! HaHa! Now...something in me is telling me "just call, trap his ass...get all his chips...." and then I remember how many times I have been caught getting cute with aces...and since I really do NOT want to be leaving this tourney early, and need to cash a damn nooner....and know how I run against Asians...especially with an Asian dealer sitting in the box!!!!!!  I decide to play it, ahem....correctly!

He raised to 550. Blinds at 100/200. In middle position. Which to him is irrelevant...since he raises anywhere with anything!

I make a reraise to 1200. No problem. He calls. Here we go. The flop comes:

J-8-3. Rainbow. I bet out roughly the pot. 2200.

He doesn't think about it very long. He grabs all his colored chips and raises. I put him on AJ, maybe KJ...and KNOW I have him. I call.

His head jerks back to my area....I turn over AA...he shakes his head...as if to say "Oh...whoops, guess I was wrong." And I see his hand...and at first think its J8..and am like..."You gotta be kidding me" until I see that the other card is a 6. Whew...okay, dont fuck me here dealer.

Turn? A mother effing 6 of clubs. No way. Right about this time Joe Cutler, who flew in early this morning to play this tourney and the Main Event Saturday, came up behind me to see what was going down. I don't know what his reaction was...because as the river gave me no help, and my whole damn stack went to this fool, I was off tossing my hat somewhere mumbling to myself...and just hating this week, and these jackasses that keep stuffing me on the rail with their bullshit hands and their bullshit plays that keep getting rewarded.

I walk back over to collect my shit and just look at the guy with disgust. "Hey man...sorry, thats just poker!"

Really? Thats poker? Really? Thats what you call that? Maybe I have lost something in translation about this game.

Then I hear Captain Tom Franklin, who just arrived last night, and I saw and spoke to briefly...muttering one table over about me 'needing to handle my bad beats better.'

Okay you know what, from an observers point of view...FINE...you are entitled to that opinion I suppose. But do me a favor...sit up here for TWO WEEKS, and take these bullshit beats EVERY damn day...hands where you have done everything to represent a big hand, and yet they STILL won't fold...and somehow, pull a magic rabbit out of their ass. Go through that...and in the tourney that REALLY counts for something? That matters? That can give me a reason to go home feeling relieved, and calm, and pleasant so my wife doesnt have to go crazy too. No...why would that happen? Just keep the bullshit coming my way.

So here we are. And I guess writing about it always makes me feel a little better. Not a lot, but a tiny bit, I guess. What's so disgusting, is you see this shit online, and wonder..."what is going on in this stupid asshole's head that is making him (a) call the preflop raise and (b) play it that aggressively after the flop...and constantly get rewardded? Its like everyONE wants to put the other guy on AK. Right?"

Then you see it happen in LIVE tourney play. Which defeats the whole theory in your head/mind that 'they know what's coming' and 'they can see my cards.' Online, you are SO often feeling like its a setup, like its genuinely rigged. And then you sit down agaisnt some of these fucksticks...and you realize..."wow, these people ACTUALLY DO EXIST." And I just seem to have a propensity for finding them.

I run so good.

And yesterday, I did NOT get my two free bottles of Fiji water when they did my room!

Yesterday in the nooner, I finished 21st. After having just doubled up with AJ vs. KJ...to get above 10 BB's finally, I am in the SB...its folded around to us. I look down at AJ suited. The BB has only 3 BB's. I am not just going to raise the guy. Stupid. I move in. He SNAP calls. With 33. Interesting. I flop Q-K-2. Hmmm. Not TOO many outs here. Turn? Another 2. That helps a lot. NOT! River? No help. Jeezuz. Back down to 6 BBs. The guy I doubled up? He would go from 4200 before my hand...to SEVENTY K in just four hands! Raises with 10-10...and snap calls a guys huge all in....that guy had KQ. He missed too. Then he raises with KK...guy OVERships with JJ...he calls, BOOM...and just like that, he was chipleader.

Easy game, huh?

I was out shortly after that...button raised, I had Ad7d...a hand that I would have tripled up with if I had moved in with it about 3 orbits earlier. But this time I ran into KK...and why would I hit an ace?

WHY?

The fact that I am about even on this trip is a small miracle. Joe and I were talking on the way down this morning about how amazingly brutal these local players are. I mean...to have a handful of GOOD players at my table was and is, encouraging. But its those local pyschopaths...that we all worry about. And it seems they are the ones who keep taking me out.

In last night's nightly tourney...I arrived on time. I went from 3k to 9k in ONE level. Was hitting every flop. Was getting paid off. Was raising with KK, getting called by AJ...and watching the guy ship all in on the J-high flop and leave.

Funny thing about these bozo's that I was discussing with a guy named Al from Chicago who seems to keep getting placed next to me:  There is absolutely NO pot control with these clowns. They have no concept of small pot poker. And they never leave themselves any room to get away from a hand. Which creates a lot of bad spots for you, especially deep in a tourney.

These guys will raise 5 to 10 times the BB...and you know they have something like 10's or J's...and you look at AK suited. What do you do? Or what if you look at AA or KK? You KNOW you're ahead....but how do you play it? Flat the dipshit and let him fuck himself on a rag flop? Or flat it and let him flop a set, hence, fucking YOU? Re-raise him? I mean...he has a third or more of his chips in there. Chances of him folding are slim to none. So you are at the mercy, most times...of the flop. And the dealer, with his magical ability (I know-they don't control the cards....or DO THEY!????) to fuck you with the other guys' much needed two-outer.

Its NOT poker. Sorry. Its almost more like roulette...that game, that stupid game...where you put your money on a specific number...then pray, and watch as a little white plastic ball rolls around and around on a wooden wheel....and eventually, after bouncing around, up and down...lands in a hole. A hole with a number. A number you hope matches YOUR number. That is what playing up here in Reno...and also, not to let them feel left out...TUNICA...is like. Its like playing Roulette. There is no playing a hand right, or wrong. There is no good re-raise amount. Position is irrelevant. They might as well just give us all a seat, put a blindfold on us...deal out cards just as a formality...and everyone just bets whatever they are 'feeling' at the time.
Then the dealer puts out the cards...you don't know who the winner is...it doesn't matter. The dealer either slides you the pot, or doesn't.

I have never felt like skill mattered less, than I do in this place. If just once I would get knocked out of a tourney up here after getting 'outplayed' by a superior player, I would actually feel GOOD about it. I would. I promise.

Joe just texted me "dude that was sick, Im sorry. I have your glasses. I'm rolling along with 20k. Hopefully I can get you your buy-in back."

Wow. I had no idea that my glasses went flying off. Glad Joe is cruising along. But I assure you, he isn't even beginning to feel comfortable. Not here. He KNOWS what I know. That he could be walking through this door at any time..after some retard hits whatever out he needs to beat a set, or a flush, or two pair, or whatever it is. These jackasses just DONT fold. I really hoped all the mutants would fail to come up with the required $1080 to play this event. But, alas, a few of them scrounged up the dime to get into it.

Joe and I agreed to swap 5% in all these events. I got him one time on one of my wins...so yeah...I sure hope he wins. And one thing about Joe...there will NOT be a chop. So I guess if he wins, I would get $1250. Do it!

I'm not going back down there til the 7pm.

Oh...yeah, the 7pm. Last night. Got sidetracked. Was looking like I was heading for another final table there for awhile...and then...here he comes. Quite possibly the goofiest looking poker player I have ever seen. And that is saying a LOT.

Don't get me wrong, in my head, I am saying to myself..."Monkey...come on man, he can't help it that he looks like Mr. Potatohead. There but for the Grace of God go I." All that stuff where I am trying not to be critical. Because I know its wrong. People, please...don't think that I wake up every day WANTING to dislike everyone. Cuz I don't. There are a lot of poker players who I like, and enjoy hanging out with. And even admire and/or respect.

Okay...maybe not a LOT. Point is...I don't go looking for people to clown, they just seem to always present themselves to me for clowning.

Case in point...Mr. Potatohead. This kid...wow, I wanted to take his picture and post it on here, but I am looking to NOT do anything to get in trouble these days. So I refrained. Okay...I DID take his picture with my camera phone....but if you want to see it, you will have to ask me in person to show it to you. I promise you will laugh. Maybe 23 to 27 yrs old. About 5'10, weighing in at about 280-320 somewhere. Big round head, with a double, maybe triple chin. Round beady eyes. Big, block shaped eyebrows that sit right on top of his eyes. Like, no seperation at all. Very weird. Remember 'PONG' on Atari? His eyebrows looked like the two sliding 'paddles' used to return volley! Only thicker!  A nose that looked, quite simply...like a triangle, like it was drawn on his face, or plugged in...like, well, Mr Potatohead's nose. And then...of course, the dead-ringer ears, big, round and protruding, just Senor Potatohead's ears. I  mean...the similarity was UNCANNY!

Well, he came to our table with a triple stack. I was told by another player who came from his table that he whacked two players early when he flopped a set of 4's against KK and JJ. Perfect. So I had about 8500 now and he had around 11k.

A player limps UTG for 50. I call with As5s. It gets to him. He raises to 300! Yeah! You heard that right. Hmmm. Lets see....so thats 6x. He has almost 4 times the average. And he now is afraid to play a pot against a table full of people, none of whom can bust him. He is raising to pick up a grand total of 200 chips. How will those chips look in his 11k stack? Rather insignificant I would say, right? I giggle and fold, as the other guy does as well.

Awhile later, I pick up QQ at cutoff. Blinds 50/100. I make it 250. See...I am not afraid to play after the flop. I have triple the average. I wouldn't mind a little action. Is that crazy? Well, Potatohead re-raises me to 600. Hmmm great. Here we go again with QQ. I am clearly NOT folding preflop. Especially to this fish. I call. The flop comes K-high. Perfect. Does he check raise me? Nawwwww...why would he do that? He leads out for 3k! Hahahahaha. Come on dude.

Whatever, I fold the bitches face up.

Then...I play this fun hand:

One of the local yocals limps on the button. Yep, just limps for 200. Always an interesting and fun play. I look at 89d and check. The flop comes A-6-9. I decide to lead out...hard to put him on an ace...limping on the button, but ya never know. I bet out 450. He thinks...well, that may be giving him too much credit. We'll just say he paused for about 2 seconds (maybe not that long) and calls. Hmmm. The turn is the 7 of diamonds. Oh...I now have a flush draw...AND a straight draw to go along with my pair. I bet 600 now. He calls again. WTF? River is a K of clubs. Whatever...I check. What does he have? Well...I won't sit here waiting to die of old age while you all try to figure this one out...so I will just tell you:

KING SEVEN OF HEARTS!

Yepppppppppp. Why did he call the flop? Um.....not sure. That turn call? Perplexing as well...although he DID finally make a pair. But I think the best part was when he makes two pair on the river...and then DOESNT bet behind my check. Unreal.

I would raise with 88 a bit later...from 100/200 to 600...and get re-raised by the Potato again...this time to 2k. Ugh....sigh....this is getting irritating now. I fold that one.

Then....oh, the QUEENS again. I raise, again...in early position, for 600. And AGAIN...the Potato re-raises me. This time to 1500. I now have 6500 behind. And I am sick of folding to this retard. So I re-raise his 1500 to 4500. He puts me all in. Yep, I call, show me your AA or KK. Oh...no, just AK. Gee...why would he EVER fold that? Dealer gave him what he needed, a KING right on the flop. I was out.

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Turn on the TV last night and see that Corey Haim bought the farm. Hmmm. Then see all the clips on him from the last couple years. "Oh yeah, I've got a couple of projects in the works, couple production deals, lots of stuff going on, very exciting...blah blah blah." Uh huh.

Translation: Hollywood is done with me. My 15 minutes of fame expired 10 years ago. I am living off residuals. No one wants to hang out with me. I am leaning on drugs as a crutch to escape the painful reality that is my life.

Some of you may or may not know this. My given name is William Souther. William is my middle name. My first name? Corey. Back in the late 80's I was sick of all the Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Corey Hart jokes...and just decided that it was a gay name...and started going with William. Its stuck pretty well, with everyone but my Mother and my wife when she is pissed at me. Oh yeah...and Tim Mix, tourney director at the Venetian. He has 3 levels, or DEFCONS...when I am there. If he calls me Monkey, its all good, if he calls me William, its DEFCON 2...or there is cause for some concern...and if he calls me COREY...well, I am in some kind of hot water!  Oh...if you think you can just come up and call me Corey to put me on tilt? You can't. I'm not that prone! I will just laugh at you probably.

So this guy Haim is dead. And if you have caught Feldman's act lately, you can only wonder when God will punch his ticket, too. Guy is a mess. A hot mess. Corey Hart? No idea. Haven't seen or heard from him in years. But he's Canadien...those guys seem to be a little more suited to life after fleeting fame has passed them by. (see Brian Adams and Richard Dean Anderson)  Probably up there living in the woods, hunting deer and elk and singing to the Mooses. Meese?

I don't think it's ever cool, hip, or right to joke about someone's passing. And I am not doing that. I actually find it tragic what happens to some of these young people. And it always seems to be actors, and sometimes musicians. The human psyche is so delicate, isn't it? I mean...I guess it's best to just go through life experiencing little joys and victories here and there, small periods of recognition and what not. Mixed in with some setbacks and defeats to keep us balanced, and grounded. Get married, have kids, struggle at times with your loved ones, working through life's little crisis', experiencing the highs and lows of having a family. But discovering, through those trials and tribulations, the good times and bad...what life is truly all about. And dealing with it.

You feel me?

So when these young people discover fame at an early age, make money hand over fist, have everyone wanting a piece of them...they suddenly become, for lack of a better word; WARPED. And once you are warped, it is very hard to get straightened out. And how could you expect them to? Money? Not an issue. Getting work? Not a problem. Finding partners for sex? They're lined up waiting. Pretty much anything you want...there it is. Waiting for you.

And then one day...it's all gone. All of it. Oh sure...you have enough money to get by...with your residuals still arriving in the form of a monthly check. But it's nothing like what you were once accustomed to. And now that your friends have disappeared, proving to you what you always suspected, that they weren't actually friends, but mere leaches...you are left alone, looking for someone or something to fall back on. And that answer is often times, drugs. Which..in the hands of an addictive behavioral type..can result in a whole new set of problems. Which...I think, is a large majority of these people.

So I don't think Corey Haim's death...or Michael Jackson's death...or any other celebrity's death that is related to this kind of demise is funny. In fact, its very, very sad. Who I really feel sorry for though, isn't them...its the ones who DID love them. Their family usually. I actually think dying is an escape for them. One they are okay with.

R.I.P. Corey.

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The NFL draft is on April 22nd.
Today is March 10th. According to my calculations...the draft is in a MONTH AND HALF! Everytime I turn on ESPN...its like the #1 topic of conversation.
I am more than sick of hearing about who Mel Kiper likes in the first three rounds.
For me...when the last minute runs off the clock in the Super Bowl, and I have cashed in my winning sports bet tickets...football season is OVER...until the end of August. Sorry.

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I kind of miss American Idol. Having been on the road now since February 2nd, I have not seen ONE episode since the first two weeks. I hear they are down to 8 guys and 8 girls. I hope my wife hasn't been deleting each episode after she watches them...like I would lean about 84% towards saying she has been.

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There is a C-130 Military transport plane that is buzzing my hotel, banking left right at my tower...and almost making me think its coming in my window. Pretty freaky.

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My sister lives in Milwaukee. She is an Athletic Director at an all women's college, and coaches their softball team. She has adopted a young boy who has all kinds of issues with his diet and his behavior. She has done amazing things with the kid. We saw him on our trip to Seattle in January. I didn't spend much time with him. Cheryl did. Outside on a cold rainy day smacking rocks with a stick. She always does. She's very active, and caring like that. I'm not mean to the kid, I just don't really give him much attention. Well, Janae's ball team is travelling to Cocoa Beach, Florida next week to play a tourney. Her little boy Chase is coming with. My mother has decided to go there as well. Cheryl made plans to drive down too. I wasn't planning to go. Well, when my sister told Chase that 'Aunt Cheryl' might come down...he kept saying..."And!???" Finally Janae says...."and WHAT?"  To which he responds..."what about Uncle Will?!!" Whoa, what? Really?

Turns out, I guess the kid does nothing but talk about me and emulate me since he got home from Seattle. Really? Wow. I'm a role model? Thats a trip! This kid, who I barely gave the time of day? I mean...I don't know what to say. Well, my Mom heard this...and insisted I come to Orlando (near where they are playing) to be with everyone. So she goes and buys me a ticket, to fly from Reno (I was scheduled to fly out of Vegas on the 15th) directly (well, with stops) to Orlando. To meet them. For two days. So yeah...after I finish playing this Main Event...which is on Saturday and would finish on Sunday, if God forbid I get that far...I will fly out of here at 6am on Monday morning...and meet them in Orlando! I won't be tired I'm sure!

Then we stay there for two days only, and make the 9 hour drive back to Biloxi, because Cheryl has to work on Wednesday. And then...I will finally get to see my dogs, who I miss SO much! I guess we are going to Disney World. I would like to go see that Shamu show. Cheryl loves Mickey Mouse...and was just down there with her nephews a few months ago. I've been to Disneyland...but never Disney World. I hate crowds. I will attempt to be on my best behaviour. Medication may be required. Or Mickey might go down!

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I guess that's about enough. Im gonna hang out in my room til the nightly, watch some college hoops and maybe play online a little bit. And root for Joe to do well down there. My March Madness pool is going to be gigantic! I've already got over 100 people registered, and they havent even announced the seeds! And my Title Game squares board? Wow! Already filled 70 of the 100 squares! Looking like I will get 2 or 3 of those filled! This is going to be a really fun March Madness I think. Thank god, because I need SOMETHING to get excited about.

MONKEY

Monday, March 8, 2010

Runnin Cold in Nooners, but HOT in the nightly's in Reno

Okay, I'm sorry. I have been slacking. Bad. Real bad! My excuse? Hmmm. Don't really have one. I am usually good for about a blog every three days when I am on a trip. I guess I have just been really lazy.

Maybe its because the bed in my room is so comfortable...that when I am not at a poker table, I come up to my room and just crash.

Couple observations about this place:

They have put together a room rate which should greatly encourage players to show up and play this event. (unfortunately, not enough to attract the types of fields I'd have hoped for) They have two different types of rooms here. The standard room, which is going for only $35 a night. And the 'Summit' rooms, which are an upgraded suite-type room, with microvave, refridgerator and a little den area...and that is only $65 a night. That is what I have. And they are nice. Also included in our room is free internet, use of the gym, and two bottles of Fiji everyday! Hey nowwwwww!

They allow dogs in this hotel. Which is odd. But really cool. I see little dogs, medium size dogs and big dogs parading through the casino every day. Thats pretty cool.

The place is bustling on the weekends...or actually Thursday through Saturday. The rest of the time, it is a total morgue. Which is depressing.

The cash game here is soft. Soft like...like, a goose down pillow. Like butter left out on the kitchen counter. Like yarn spun on the wheel of a heavenly angel. You know that when I, Will Souther...sit down at a cash game, 5 times....in 8 days, and show a profit in 4 of those 5 sessions....and GOOD profits....+180/+320/-60/+720/+500...that the cash game HAS to be soft. Makes it hard to leave the table...but alas, I eventually get bored out of my mind, and grow tired of the ridiculous banter from the locals.

They have a situation here with the cocktail waitresses that they have at places like Ceasers Palace. They are union. And so what you get is some of the freakiest looking women you have ever seen. I just don't understand how that works. Why do you want to have a casino, where you have spent all this money on renovations...and then you have these scary women schlepping drinks?

Every night at around 8pm, during the tournament and from what I'm told, every other night too...they bring out this nice spread...buffet-style, for the poker room. Its always really good. And a nice gesture. I know all the players appreciate it.

My good buddy James Dunning, who I hadn't seen in awhile, is up here, residing here and the GM of the sports bar/night club Extreme...which on the weekends is full of what has to be Reno's hottest females...all between the ages of 18 and 23. He claims to NOT be 'hitting' any of it. Sure, buddy. And I never chat people up at the poker table!

My buddy Joe Cutler, like myself...has gone Oh-fer on the noon tourneys so far. But on the night that I won the first of two nightly's, he finished 5th. He should have done better...as he had a mountain of chips all night. This kid ran 10-8 into Joe's AK suited...hit the 8...and crippled Joe. Thats the only thing he has cashed...but hes been doing great online...up in the room! But then he took off for Vegas yesterday, to take care of some business for 4 days. He might be back to play the Main Event here on Saturday.

Comps. This place is great for comps. You have it all building up on your card...then you go to eat at one of the restaraunts or buy some stuff in the gift shop..and just present your players card. I have no idea how much I have earned...but I do know that they give you a hefty credit for every tourney buy in...so I guess I have more than I thought I might have. They have a nice steakhouse here called Charlie Palmer's that I had been wanting to try since I got here. So after busting early in the 7pm last night...I sat at the bar, watching the Oscars and chatting with some bartender who was very pleasant. I had a sushi roll, a ceaser salad, and a KC Ribeye, which was cooked perfect and tasted great! My total bill was $68. Boom! Comped. Nice! Left the guy $20 and retired to my room.

I have yet to visit, or use the gym. I find myself getting fatter and fatter and more unhealthy. Its making me nuts. I have GOT to get on top of that.

I am down to 2 pair of clean boxers. There is a laundro-mat somewhere near here, that also has an arcade and lots of other entertaining features. Think I am going to have to find this place. I still have a full week here.

My mother wanted for Squirrel and I to go to Orlando so bad, to meet up with her and my sister...who is going down there with the softball team she coaches...and taking her adopted boy Chase (who unbeknownst to me previously, is obsessed with 'Uncle Will')...that she bought me a plane ticket from Reno to Orlando. So instead of trying to figure out how to get back to Vegas...where my plane reservation had me flying out of to get home to Biloxi...I now will be flying out of here next Monday at 6am...bypassing Biloxi, and going straight to Orlando...where Squirrel will be driving to. We will only be there for two days...then get to make that 9-hour drive back to Biloxi. Wow.

Poker has been pretty hot and cold since Ive been here. I have YET to cash a noon tourney here...but keep getting deep. In the last two that I have played...one with 99 players on Friday and the other with 102 on Saturday, I finished 23rd in both. In the one...I lost over half my chips with AK vs. JJ...then after coming back after dinner with 8 BB's had to get it in with SOMETHING..so I chose J10...the wife's favorite hand, and ran into KK. Whooops. Then two days ago...I lost with AK vs. KQ. That one sucked.

The good news is that I'm tearing up the 7pm $120 tourneys. Two outright wins and a 4th place finish two nights ago. I won't go into a lot of details...mainly since I can't really remember them all. But I will say that to get through these fields is the ultimate mine field navigation. Some of the hands I have seen play out are laughable. Whats funny, is that the play here is so bad its perplexing. 95% of the time you think you know what they have...and then you get so shocked when you see what they actually DO have.

The difference between playing in those Main Events at the Venetian and later at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles is like day and night. It is two completely different styles of play. It goes to show just how different this game can be at times.



Here are the two victory shots..one with 91 players, the other with 105. I am now in the black for this trip...which feels very good. I would just like to cash a doggone nooner before this trip is over. And this week's bigger buy in tourneys should be interesting. On Thursday there is a $1k buy in...with $10k added! I am kind of almost expecting there to be like 22 players...which, with that added money...is just FINE with me! So while a win won't amount to any  POY points...I'll take the solid payout! This has been a pretty bizarre year so far. 3 wins at IP in January. 2 wins here. 1 win at Venetian. 6 wins in two months? And I have a grand total of 122 POY points for the year! Pretty funny I think. I am wondering how many players will show up for Saturday's $2k Main Event. No idea at all. I just know that I want to make a nice lick before I leave.

You may notice...or not, from this picture in the second one, that I wasn't wearing my wedding band. Squirrel sure did. Took a shower in between the nooner flameout and the 7pm tourney and left it on the bathroom sink when I was rushing to get back downstairs. That was the first thing Squirrel noticed! Sorry dear.


Just got off the phone with her. She spent the day doing her taxes. Did them herself, using Turbo Tax. Shes all excited to have it done. I'm jealous, its one of the pressing things I have to take care of when I get home to Biloxi, and after last year's tax debacle, I am really NOT looking forward to it, AT ALL! I have no idea where I am going to come out on oweing money. I do have a ton of tourney buy in reciepts, and with the robbery, and finding out there is a casualty form you can get and apply to your tax situation, I might come out of it okay. I sure hope so. If I end up having to pay the damn IRS a bunch of money, that is going to be one big kick in the ass. Especially since I am just getting back on my feet.

So I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I might be ready to talk about who robbed us. I was asked by investigators to keep a lid on things. To not talk about it on Facebook and on here, especially. So I didn't, out of respect to their investigation. But now several weeks have gone by, and nothing has been done to help me. And now the police havent been responding to my inquiries as to what is going on, exactly.

Here is what is happening. And I will be very vague. I know who robbed me. How? A certain person, posing as my friend...who I knew and met through Rounder Magazine...spent the night at our house one night in late December. Claiming she couldn't get a hotel and needed a place to stay. Squirrel and I are very accomodating to people. Big mistake. While we slept, we were being 'cased.' Working with this girl were a team of 3 others...who at the time were staying at a nearby hotel.

These people had been, and are still are I suspect...under Federal surveillance for several weeks, as they have been terrorizing the entire Southeast pulling identity theft crimes. This girl got popped, and has been sitting in jail up in Birmingham for weeks. Well that was about the time she tried playing the 'innocent victim' card, having her girlfriend contact me...asking me to accept a call from this girl, who was in jail. I did. She gave me a big story about trying to warn me that I was going to get robbed. Mmmhmmm. Yeah, I'm just that stupid to believe this story. Basically she was trying to save her own skin. I was later told that she was heard telling her 'team' over a cell phone converstation as she left my house that there was a 'job' that needed to be completed at my house. Lovely.

The big picture, is that my case is very insignificant to the whole case against these clowns. And my chances of recouping what they stole from me is very slim. If and when they do finally move in on these pricks...and stick their asses in jail, then maybe, after they are convicted, I can file a thing called Victim's Restitution against them in civil court. The bad part, is that there is no way to prove how much was in the safe they stole. I could say there was a million bucks in there, right? I mean...my wife and I know how much is in there. Or was. I have also gotten reports that the scumbag drove up to Tennessee and paid cash for a semi-used black Tahoe. Gee...wonder where that cash came from.

I have this guy's name, his address and his phone number. I sent him a message on his Facebook, telling him I know all. I sent him a text message, too. He's smart. He never responds. He probably knows his phones are all tapped. He has a father who owns a big construction company...so I know there is money in his family. Why he would elect to go the 'Scumbag Crook' route in life is beyond me. What really pisses me off, is that I have a handful of buddies that live in Columbus, Ga...and are either current or former Army Rangers...and would storm this guy's house tomorrow if I asked them to, and get this guy. But with him and his buddies under constant surveillance, it would just put my guy's legal situation in jeopardy too. You can't just go nab the guy and torture him until he coughs up my money. Just doesnt work that easy.

So where am I? Sitting here watching nothing happen! Think maybe that is a little bit frustrating? So the solution is to just keep playing poker, winning that money back...plus some, I hope...and wait for the day when I can make something happen to get some kind of payback against this douchebag. Like a civil suit. Or testifying against him in court. Something, at least...that will make me feel better about the pain and suffering that he brought down on me and my wife.

There is a lot of buzz about the upcoming tournament that will be taking place at Harrah's in St. Louis. I think the dates are April 1st to the 15th. The whole region is really fired up about it. And the staff that is working here will be working that event. Jimmy Somerfeld is taking the killer structure they had up in Tunica last month to St. Louis. I was bummed that I wasnt able to play those tourneys up there...but (a) I promised I would go to Seattle and (b) I am done with Tunica forever! But going with him is Bill Bruce, who always does a great job...and guys like Chris Spears and Jason "Bozz" Boslough...two of my favorite floor guys. Jason, on his night off two nights ago....played the 7pm tourney, and with 4 left him and I had all the chips. It looked like we were going to get heads up, which would have been awesome..but then I ran my A5 suited into AA, held by one of the shorter stacks...and it crippled me. I was out two hands later, in 4th. Booooo!!! But Bozz ended up winning the thing! Nice!

Anyway, so I am pretty fired up for that St Louis event. It sounds like they are going to get a huge field for it. I've never been to St Louis, let alone play poker there. I just hope the rooms are affordable. I might drive over there...I don't think its too far of a drive from Biloxi. I'll have to look at it to be sure.

Today was a $350 at noon. I elected to sleep in. Anticipated a very small field. And plus, at 4pm is a pot limit Omaha hi/lo tourney...which I really want to play! The other night on Pokerstars...while Joe was finishing 2nd in the nightly $55 MTT with 1 rebuy and 1 add on, I played in this dinky little $3.30 PLO h/l MTT on Stars with 518 players. After being the low stack, with 3 BB's, with 27 players left...I ended up going on a late charge...and won the thing! For a whopping $392! That ended at 5 in the morning! But hey...it was fun, and it always feels good to win! Especially on Pokerstars!!!!!

That is all for now....I think. Just spent all morning sending out the announcements for my upcoming March Madness Bracket Pool, as well as the Squares Board for the NCAA Title Game, which was a real hit last year in the first year of doing it. I got 534 entries in my March Madness pool last year...at $25 per entry. Huge! I just doubled my distro list...so I think we might hit around 800 to 900 entries this year! Should be fun pulling all those checks out of my mailbox when I get home! Yikes! Of primary concern to me right now is whether my Washington Huskies are going to make it into the tourney or not. I see we finally showed up on ESPN's Joe Lunardi's Bracketology radar...as we closed out the season with 4 straight wins and now sit at 21-9. The problem is that the Pac-10 has just been so weak this year! I think if we make it to the Pac-10 Conference championship game we should have a decent shot of getting in. How bout just win the damn thing!??? Go Huskies! If any readers are interested in getting on my distro list for my pools, just shoot me an email at ThePoolMonkey@aol.com to request that!

Have a great week everyone!

MONKEY

Monday, March 1, 2010

I CANNOT make this UP!!!!

Remember when Shaggy and Scoob would run around and around...trying to escape the scary monster...and it was really just that creepy Inn keeper wearing a mask?

Thats how I feel right now.

Remember in the Twilight Zone when dude looks out his window and there is that scary skinny freak sittin on the wing grinning at him?

I feel like I just played poker against that guy all day.

Once upon a time I sat down and everything I never thought I would see happen....

HAPPENED.

That would be today.

Today is February 28th. It might as well be April 1st. This month is over. Am I glad? Mmmmm...I think so. In fact, sure, we will just go with YES.

Lets share with you some little tidbits from the last day or so...and some gentle observations that have me questioning my role in the universe.

Today...I actually had a GOOD airport/airline experience. I know! Who would have thought, right? First...we both get up on time. I call for a cab. It arrives, ON TIME. We have a cool driver. There is NO traffic. In LA! Its a beautiful sunny day. The guy at curbside check in could NOT have been cooler. The security check line was a bit long and unnecessarily manned by just ONE person...which was odd...but no biggie. We had plenty of time. The cab ride cost half as much as we expected, so the baggage fee didn't sting quite as bad.

I paid $10 for a glass of milk and a yogurt cup with fruit. Too much. We boarded. The plane was a little more than half empty. Joe and I had the Emergency Exit row. Awesome. Not ONE person on the plane was without their own row. And yet...here were these two guys...both at least 225 lbs each...seated next to one another. Joe and I both scratched our heads...scratched again...then just gave up trying to figure it out.

Flying over the Sierra Nevada and San Gabriel Mountains...and LA, and Malibu...I realized just how beautiful California really is.

A little something weird about L.A. During the Mega the other night...I was the ONLY Non-Asian at my table for over two hours. Yeah...me and 7 or 8 Asians. Felt like I was in Macau. Then the next day, Joe and I went to lunch at Panda Express...and again...we were on our own. All Mexicans. All of them. Like over 25 people in there. Then at the airport...same deal. It's like...when I used to visit Miami, I felt like I was in another country. Its now like that in L.A. I don't hate it, its just bizarre.

Two violations in two days...and still a huge pet peeve of mine...when the clerk hands you back your change and puts the loose change on TOP of the dollar bills. Why does this bother me so much? Not sure, but I've had others tell me it bugs them too. Joe tells me I'm being silly. I think its because I am ultra organized. My bills go in my wallet, my change goes in my pocket. Hand them to me seperate please! I regard it as an act of blatant laziness.

This morning on the way to the bathroom I see the hotel bill under the door. My intial reaction is one of feeling dirty. Like...okay, you were great...time to go! Or like at Waffle House, when you have ordered your waffle and maybe some hash browns..and BOOM! She drops the bill? Like...maybe I was thinking about some pie. But now I feel like I'm being pushed out. Again...Joe debates me on this...finding it to be convenient for them to do that. I guess I see both sides to it.

Can anyone tell me why there is a charge to use the safe in your room? Is there some kind of cost to the hotel to maintain the operation of the safe? Seems like a scam to me.

Im curious...why does TNT insist on playing movies back to back? And why do I actually watch them not once...but then again?

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Today's tourney:  Got to hotel at 10:30am. Room wasn't ready for us. So we played an $80 SNG. Started well. Ended bad. Joe went out 8th. I went out 5th. Down to 2 in the last longer, and guy who looks like he had another person growing out of the left side of his face wouldn't chop the last longer with me. Karma was supposed to make that work out. It didnt.

Went over to my starting table for the $340. I fully expected 300 or so for this tourney. Instead? 97. Yeah. 97. Wow.

Discovered a few things right away. The players were bad. Very bad. Like...the kind of bad where you can't believe you are seeing what you are seeing. And as I am trying hard not to belittle and berate anymore, it took everything within my soul to avoid doing just that. So I merely sat there smiling inside. And getting that deep, sickening feeling you get when you know its going to take a miracle to win. No matter how well you play, its not going to matter. Because they will keep on getting it in bad, and you will keep on getting outdrawn.

I was right. I managed to get my 8k starting stack up to about 16k. Then the fun would start. I would raise with AQ suited. Short'ish stack shoves with A10. I call. Flops a 10, it holds. Sigh. I would raise with AK. Shortstack moves all in with A6. He makes a straight. Short stack goes all in for 8 BB's. SB calls. Yeah, just calls. There was a lot of that going on. I get AQ suited again...and I iso-raise all in. SB folds. All-in guy has A5. Flops 5-3-3. Yeah, it holds. Then I win some back...survive a while longer...

Then it happened. The calamity. All day long there was this ...well, we shall call it Clown's Corner. I was in the 1 seat, and in the 3 seat there was the 'Young Clown' and in the 4 seat, the 'Old Clown.' He's a guy I used to play with a lot. And when he saw me earlier he was feigning excitement to see me. But by midday he had taken to uttering his favorite line..."how much are lessons?" No matter what I said...he retorted with "how much are lessons?" Hey dealer...I can't see down there...whats the raise? "How much are lessons?" I would have called you there but I have a feeling I only had one live card. "How much are lessons?"

Okay pal, we get it. You're an idiot. And the young clown was worse. He was the guy who has played maybe 5 tourneys in his life...but he is acting like he is Phil Ivey. He knows all the rules. And he wants to show us...over and over. It started in level 5. I am joking around with the dealer, who I know real well. He has failed to help me on any of my hands up til then, and I get JJ...and say to him "okay man, here's another good hand you can fuck up for me!" and I raise.

Old clown sits there staring coldly...then blurts out "I'm thinking of asking for a penalty for him swearing." Huh? The dealer asks him why. He seems to think I was abusing the dealer. Then the guy, Young Clown, next to him chimes in..."well you sure must have thicker skin than I do!" The dealer tells them both..."Hey guys, he wasn't using it offensively, there is no problem." Ridiculous. I do end up winning that hand actually.

Then the shit hits the fan. I am in the BB at 600/1200 and 12,700 chips. The button raises to 5000. I look down at 66. Damn. Sticky situation. The guy on the button has played pretty much quality hands all day. Pretty sure he isnt 'stealing' but I'm also pretty sure I am running out of time to chip up. And in the 1.5 minutes that I was using to think this out and see where I was in chips, the dealer...who I have never seen before, suddenly looks at me and, no shit....says "You know, you're going to have to do something here. He just raised you, and I'm not sure how long its been but its been quite a while."

WTF? I just looked at him...kind of in shock. I asked him if he was going to put me on the clock himself. Jokingly. To which he responds..."well, I mean...is this like the Final Table or something?" WOW! So now, not only is he ignorant...but now he's a smartass too? Incredible. I call the floor over. He comes. I explain what is going on. And now...at THIS point, that asshole in seat 3 decides to call clock. You gotta be kidding me.

Floor asks how long I've had to act on my hand...and the 10 seat tells him "about two minutes." The floor asks the dealer if he said what I just said he did...and he admits to it! Now the floor guy was in shock. If I hadn't been so pissed, it would have been hilarious...so instead, I was just kind of...I don't know...stupidfied.

At this point I was just ready to either double up or go. I called. He had AJ. He flopped an Ace. And it held. And I was out...in 27th place. As I was leaving, the dealer was being replaced by another dealer. I went to a nearby empty table to chill out. Then the floor guy came over to apologize profusely, which I appreciated. He explained that the guy was brand new and had no idea what he was doing. Great.

Then it got good.

I go sit at a table, not all that upset. The guy who beat me came over to shake my hand, very classy. I was cool with it. The whole dealer thing was just weird. The idiot in Seat 3 was just annoying...and while I am watching the table from 50 feet away...I see the guy in the 10 seat, who had been defending me, and the retard in seat 3 almost come to blows. The floor came over, as did security, and they both recieved a penalty. During the penalty, they almost threw down again. But security arrived again. Wow. I left a bit later...went upstairs and took a nap.

When I went back down with Joe to find food I saw the guy from Seat 10 at the Final Table. His name is Mike, hes from the Sacramento area...a good guy I met out here 2 or 3 years ago. No sight of the other idiot. Stunning.

We ate at Johnny Rockets. Bad experience. Stupid waitress, subpar food, milkshake that sat on top of the heat lamp for 5 minutes and turned into a glass of milk. Nothing like a waitress destroying your hopes and dreams of a good meal.

Back at it tomorrow. Hope someone shows up to play.

Monkey