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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Scoopin a win at the I.P.

Last fall I did something I have never done before....I cashed in an Omaha tourney. And I did it twice. And honestly, I felt very good about it. On the first day, I played a Omaha Limit H/L game...and when I got down to 3 big blinds with 17 left thought I was dead. Then I went on the heater from hell...which took me to the Final Table with a massive chip lead, and never looked back in notching the win. The next day, I nearly repeated the feat in the Omaha Pot Limit tourney....but fell short finishing 3rd.

So when I busted out of Tuesday's noon event and got a chance to play the Omaha Limit tourney again, I was hoping for history to repeat itself. It didn't. But I did take 3rd place...which was pretty cool.

Yesterday I showed up for the noon $340 and was treated to some of the wackiest shit I have seen at a poker table in years...maybe ever. I had two or three of the most ridiculous players ever put on the planet Earth. When I tell you I arrived with 13 minutes left in Level 1...and never played a single hand until Level 3...I am not kidding?

Why? Well, partially because I didnt get even a 'playable' hand that whole time. But even with lousy cards I will typically get in there and try to do something early. No way. Not at this table. Not with raises anywhere from 6x to 20x going on. I had James Reed at my table again...who was on my left the day before and went out in overly frustrating fashion. Him and I were watching these plays and just kind of looking at each other faces and trying not to start laughing.

I could probably share with you about 15 hands that would make you fall out of your chair....but that would take too long. Most of them involved this guy who was, well...I would have to say, missing part of his brain. Almost nothing that he did make one lick of sense. I think this play was my favorite:

With the blinds 50/100....thats right....50 and 100, the field folded around to this clown in the SB...he decides to limp in for 100. The big blind, who was just as much a moron (if not more) than this guy....makes it 1000. You heard me....ONE THOUSAND to go! They both have about 8500 in their stacks mind you. 'Ricky the Rancher' decides....no problem, and calls! Calls 1000. Hey hey, lets see a flop, shall we?

Flop comes 4-7-Q....rainbow.

Small blind checks. And our over-bettor in the BB bets out....THREE THOUSAND! To which the guy in the SB announces all in! Another 5k. The big blind SNAP CALLS...and turns over, no BIG surprise...unless you consider calling off 8k in chips with a Q on the board, and yourself holding Jacks a surprise. Yup. Well, I guess if he didn't think the guy had a Q it was a good call (?????) right? Well, his 'read' was correct...as "Roger the Ranch hand" turns over 4-7 offsuit. Oh yeah baby....he called a 1k raise with 4-7 and then flopped two pair with it...AND got it to hold up.

After seeing that hand go down, and several just like it, I pretty much resigned my fate to needing a number of miracles to emerge from this field with a cash. When I finally got around to playing a hand, it was with AQh....raising and getting called by AJ...flopping Q-4-4 and taking down a pot finally.

I will just cut to the chase in the interest of going to the mall for some much needed items before today's tourney. I was limping into hands for 200...only to have nutbags raise to 900 or more down river. I had one where I limped in for 200 with 7c8c...had the psycho raise to 900 and decided to call and try to hit paydirt on him. Well when the flop came 9c-5c-4h I started drooling. I checked to him with the intention of raising any bet he made. But he checked. I was 100% certain there was NO WAY I wasn't going to hit either the straight or the flush....so when the 2 of spades hit the turn I decided to go ahead and check again and let the clown bet it. Again...he checks. Dammit. Then when Mark Cain...my little dealer of doom this spring delivers a non-club 3 on the river and I make the decision to bet out 1700....I suddenly look at the board....9-5-4-3-2.....and think to myself..."Oh shit! You KNOW this stupid fucker has AK or AQ....and there is no way in HELL he will convince himself that I have a 6 and fold" but it was too late. So when he starts this Hollywood 101 act...I know he is about to raise. "How much is that? 1700?"

Oh for chrissakes pal, just raise you idiot and hurry up with it. Which, honestly was pretty stupid, because if I have ANY ace right there we are just chopping it...but if I have a 6 the dumb fool is going to certainly double me up! Why couldn't I have had 67 there instead of 78!?? Well he is in the middle of doing his raise and I have already fired my cards into the much, the dealer is ready to move on to the next hand...and he is still in the process of assembling his bet.

Dealer: "um sir, the hand is over, he folded...."

That crippled me. Then I stopped caring. Started limping then with a lot of hands...missing most...then I'm in the BB with Qc10c and the guy UTG raises my BB...again, which is getting pretty old. I call. The flop comes 10-10-4...nice. I check. He bets about 80% of my stack...like 1500 or something. I'm all in, for 2200. He moans before calling with AK. Thank you sir. I win a few more hands and get back up to a starting stack of 8k.

Go card dead for 5 or 6 orbits...get down to 6k. Then with KQh I raise in early position and get called by the button. The flop comes J-10-7...two hearts. Wow. Nice. I decide there is no way in hell I am folding this hand. I go ahead and lead out for 1100. I had raised 525 preflop (100/200 with 25 ante). The guy raises to 2700. I re-raise him to 5000...yeah...duh....probably not folding here sir. He goes all in....I call and he tells me he has a set? Oh yeah? Perfect. Sevens. Well, okay, I have a 'few' outs here! Do I hit any of them? Um...well, no...I did turn a King...not that it helped any...and bricked the river and I was outtttttttta there! With nary a regret. It was 3pm. I had 1 hour to kill before the Pot Limit Omaha tourney started.

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

Ended up spending that entire time talking to a guy who I play with a lot and always see out in Vegas. A black guy who lives up in Huntsville, and is friends with another really good black player, Paris...who I like a lot. You know...there are starting to be some really, really outstanding black players on the circuit, and a lot of them are my buddies. Maurice Hawkins, Paris and Dwyte "The Duke" Pilgrim all come to mind. We talked about some of the frustrations he faces as a player who is African-American and some of the BS that goes with it. Jeezuz, with the issues I deal with as a friggin Monkey, I guess these guys have to deal with just as much crap as I do...most of it unfair. But to a man, I think they all really handle themselves very professionally. Well, I was wearing casual wear yesterday, sweatsuit with my Seattle Seahawks hat and t-shirt. Turns out this guy is the brother-in-law of Walter Jones, who was the stud O-lineman for the Seahawks for over 10 years. I knew that Walter lived up near Cheryl's brother in Athens, Alabama...which is just outside of Huntsville. What  a small world. So yeah, we talked a bit of football too.

Then the conversation turned to my mess with Rio...which shouldn't even BE a mess in the first place. I told him about the ridiculous 'frame job' that Jim Pedullah pulled on me at Ceaser's Palace last summer...and he almost freaked out. In reality, he kind of left me feeling like I'm stupid for letting it go the way I did. That I should have immediately asked to speak to whoever was above him.

"How in the hell could he justify disqualifying you from a tourney for something that happened AFTER the tournament had ended for the night, and had nothing to DO with the tournament? How could he 86 you from the casino after never taking a statement from either YOU or the 'alleged victim' who you had 'threatened?' There was not one piece of proof at all. And if he had reviewed the video tape, he would have seen the guy walk by you and give you the shoulder bump/shove and you could have actually pressed charges against HIM for assault! Ohhhh man, I would have told that guy....look, I have a lawyer who only charges me 'X' amount, but your lawyers for Harrah's charge about 5 times that amount per hour...and I'm pretty sure if I decide to sue you for this little charade, that you won't be working here too long! Or you can just get off your high horse, give me back my chips, pretend like this didn't happen and let me go try to win this damn tournament."

Wow...when he put it that way? I really started to feel stupid. Like I should have done more than what I did last summer. Because at the time...I had just won the previous day's Venetian event, and didn't want to do ANYTHING to endanger my status at the World Series. I basically just cut my losses and moved on. But when he decided to take it a step further and call over to Rio and 'suggest' to an official I am 95% certain was Jeffrey Pollack (who is no longer there) that I not be allowed to play any WSOP events due to my 'episode' at Ceasers (which again...I was completely innocent of) and 'past incidents' that he found by accessing the notes attached to my players card...incidents which happened FIVE YEARS AGO!!!!!!

So when I found out two days later from Steve Frazer that I had INDEED been 86'd from Rio...I was fuh-reaking out! And when I tried to get through to people in the Harrah's office about it, I was completely stone-walled.

So what this amounts to is a complete railroading. And what I told this guy was this:

"Dude, I just basically decided, what am I going to do? Sue the guy for a personal injury lawsuit, wherein his fraudulent activities have denied me the ability to earn a living doing what I do for a profession? And in doing so, guaranteeing myself that Harrah's will almost 100% slap me with a lifetime ban? Great! So maybe I beat the guy in court. Where am I then? Not being able to ever play another World Series event the rest of my life? It hardly seems like a fair trade off. Instead, I can just let them hit me in the stomach for a year or two...until they finally pound me into submission, and then one day call me and tell me, 'Okay Mr. Souther we have decided to let you come back to play in the World Series.' Its a pretty slippery slope. And whether or not I KNOW I have been screwed over, and whether I KNOW I am in the right...sometimes, it just doesn't matter, and you have to pick your battles very carefully."

He saw my point, and couldn't disagree with me on those merits. But then the conversation got a little deeper, as I shared with him my desire...my sincere desire, to capture a win of a million or two in this game and get out for good. Do something else. And he made another pretty astute point. How many wins do I have? How many cashes? What are my lifetime winnings? Could it be argued that by keeping me out of last years WSOP and this year's WSOP that they are potentially depriving me the chance to make between, potentially, $5 and $20 million dollars?

Hmm....well, of course. I have over 70 lifetime cashes. My lifetime earnings...at least what Cardplayer shows (they are more certainly) are around $400,000. I have made at least 25 Final Tables. So to go into the WSOP thinking I have a chance to make every Final Table I play, or at least have a 'fair' shot, is very reasonable. As we were saying this, a janitor happened by with one of those rolling dumpsters....and we used him as an example:

"Now if that guy was thrown out of the Rio...and tried to file a lawsuit for 10-15 million citing he was deprived the opportunity to earn a living, they would laugh right? Since that guy had never won anything or made a final table of any kind. The case would have no merit. Easy case! But in your case? I think you would find a lot of sympathetic jurors. Coupled with the fact that you were being permitted to still play in their OTHER properties? And on top of it all...you have dealers, floor people and tournament supervisors who ALL support and/or vouche for you? And you got tossed from a tournament for something that had absolutely nothing to do with the tournament, and were never even warned and/or penalized during the tournament? And which there was NO PROOF and NO WITNESSES that could support what the guy was tossing you for? Just his word against yours? From a guy who was clearly jaded and looking for revenge after you had been openly critical of his tournament? I mean...if you ask me, it's a slam dunk man. You go that route, and get a massive judgement against them...and they ban you then? Who cares!??? You got what you were after anyway...you never have to play another hand of poker. Go buy your wife a house, have kids...buy some little business, invest your money and have a nice life."

The guy made a lot of sense. And I'm sure if things don't shake out in my favor, and I have to sit at the Venetian all summer while people are talking about who is winning this bracelet and that bracelet all mother effing summer it's going to start to really pissing me off that I am not over there. And why? Because some little jerk with a vendetta against me for doing nothing but telling my fellow poker players the honest to God truth about a bad tournament, masterminds a little plot to keep me from realizing fame and fortune...and somehow gets others to buy into it.

But oh no...I'm sure I will just be a good little Monkey...like I have been for the last 3 or 4 years...bite the bullet, let these people bend me over...and just wait for them to let me back into their exclusive little club. Why? Not sure. I guess I have lost that fire that I used to have that made me more of a fighter. I don't like this about myself.

After hearing of my fate the other day, Jimmy Sommerfeld...who I have really grown to respect the last year...sent a VERY supportive (of me) email to Jack Effel at Harrah's telling him that he had learned of their decision to keep me out...and expressed disappointment at the decision. He shared with him the fact that I had been to his last 7 events and shown exemplary behavior. That he had sat me down a couple years ago and told me why there was bullseye on me, and what I had to do to lose it. And that I had. And that he didn't think I warranted being excluded from this year's WSOP. I really, really appreciate Jimmy doing that on my behalf. Even if nothing comes of it. Sometimes people do things for you that just give you hope. Neither of us has heard anything back from the 'Kingdom.'

I am done with this topic. There is nowhere to go now but forward. Do I hope they reconsider? Of course I do. But there is absolutely nothing I can do or say anymore. It will just be another little thing to drive me to succeed. I am so incredibly fired up for the event in New Orleans. What would be greater than going over there and winning two or three events...snag a couple of rings...and maybe even pop the Main Event...win a seat into the Main Event at Rio that they would have to, I guess, hand me the 10k for if they aren't letting me play there? Then...at Rio...in the hallway during the Series...where they have those monitors..with the faces of all the circuit event winners scrolling across...there is my face! Winner, New Orleans! But where is he? Oh...he isn't allowed to play here! Why? Oh...because he is considered a 'loose cannon' who 'might' do something that would be deemed 'inappropriate.' I can't think of a better way to respond to this. My whole life growing up...when people knocked me down, the only way to fight back was to get back up and prove them wrong.

That is my goal. That is my mission.

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

So, yeah...I got knocked out of the noon tourney at 3. Talked to this guy until 3:55...then went to my table to start the PLO tourney. There was a whopping field of 16 players. Sheesh. Thats a bummer. But hey...might as well beat those other 15 players right? Someone has to win, might as well be me!

At our table we had two truly horrendous players. One of them gave me almost his whole stack on the 2nd hand. Yep...I went from 5k to 11k in the first 3 hands. Then...with Ah3hKcJc....I raise light and get called by both clowns. The flop comes Kh-2h-4s. Wow. Flop the flush draw...with top pair, top kicker....and the nut low draw. Disgusting flop. I bet out very light. This guy quickly announces "POT!" Now...this is something, I find that newbies to the game...and generally, just idiots, love to do. I'm not sure exactly why...maybe it makes them feel powerful? No clue. But with 3 or more players in the hand...there is almost NEVER a reason to bet the pot after the flop. But these assclowns do it over and over and over. And usually....you are way ahead...and they end up hitting whatever miracle they need to fuck you...and by then the pot has gotten way out of control, so any chances of controlling the pot have now flown right out the window. Well, this shitbird was sitting there with 2-4-J-9. Yeah..he called the raise with that. He liked calling raises with these kind of hands.

I call his pot bet. The turn card is an ace. Shit. Yeah giving me top two...but surely giving him a low now...meaning all equity in this hand just flew out the window...but I am so deep into now I can't get out. I need an ace, a king or a heart on the river, I'm almost certain of it...just to share the pot. I get NONE of those....and this dipshit takes almost half my stack.

I didn't give up though. I knew that as bad as him and this other guy were...who I had started calling the Platypus...why? Ummm, well cuz he looked like a duck-billed platypus...as bad as they were, if I was just patient, I would get opportunities to get those chips back.

Then Tim Burt showed up at my table. My buddy Tim. And Tim is an excellent Omaha player...so I knew he wouldn't probably be giving me any stupid ass beats. Tim actually made 3 incredibly sick folds against me during the tourney....one of them when he had me killed, but the other two when I had him drawing dead. David Diaz also showed up at my table later...and I went from chipleader to lowstack against him in a hand where I really should have folded probably but the river made me 3 aces with a K kicker....making me think I would split it at worst. Wrong...David had a boat. Ouch!

It was a really good tourney actually. I did actually end up whacking both of the bozos eventually. When we got down to four, it was Me, Tim Burt, David Diaz...and this older gentleman, who is truly a gentleman...rolls around in a scooter, doesn't talk much...but has a lot of respect for me and my game, as I do his. His name is Bill Gladden...father of Jason Gladden. He played sensationally. At one point he was down to 300 chips and came all the way back to take the chiplead.

While this was going on I ran over and signed up for the nightly 7pm tourney, that had 60 some players in. I was going to attempt a rare WIN/WIN! After all, I had just locked up my 5th Final Table on this event...which isn't quite a record yet...I think I made 6 or 7 final tables at the IP event a couple springs ago. In between hands I ran over to play my big blind and look down at Ah10h....with a guy raising from 50/100 to 400 and getting 3 callers. Hell, I call! the flop comes K-10-3 with two clubs. Okay...I'm done with this hand. I check. It checks around! Huh! Hmmmm...interesting.

Turn card is a 10! Yahtzee!!!! Unless of course the guy is slowplaying KK. Which would suck. But I figured I better lead out here...so I bet 600. The initial raiser raises me to 2200. Next guy folds. Oh shit. I say....
"Wow man...I guess you must have Kings...that sucks for me...but it is what it is, I can't fold this hand...no way....I'm all in!"

To which he immediately mucked! Huh? Oh.......okay then.  He claimed KQ. He raised 400 with KQ? Well....alright then. I ran back to my final table. I end up knocking Tim out on the bubble in 4th. He was a little upset...but not too bad. I did feel kind of bad, but I would have felt bad bubbling Diaz too...since I bubbled him in something else not too long ago. Plus, David is just such a nice kid. Well, Tim is too...oh well, someone had to bubble, and I didn't want it to be ME!  I now had a sizeable chiplead and started pecking away at both players. I'm not sure who knocked David out...I think I did. But we got heads up and went on break...which allowed me to go play the nightly for 10 minutes and amass more chips. Things were looking good over there!

After the break ended I went back to work. It was looking like it was about to be over when I flopped top set and turned a boat...but the old guy rivered an emergency low to share the pot and we battled on.

Then came the game ending, winning hand. I limped in with Q-Q-2-5. Two spades. He checked. The flop came Q-9-4...two spades. Nice flop. He checked, I bet. He raised. I moved all in. He called. He was on an ace high flush draw...which he turned....damn...I needed to pair the board...I asked the dealer for a DEUCE...and BOOM! Duece on the river!!!! Game over! Monkey wins! Sweet! And yeah...it was only $1500 and the field was miniscule...but you know what? Wins always feel good, don't they?

And Mr. Hater? Are you happy you haven't had to be forced to look at any photos of me this week? With my Monkey beads on and my trinkets all over the table? Yeah....well...thats for you pal. And I know...all of my cashes this week only add up to $7300....but you know what? I'm okay with it bud.

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

I then went back to play the 7pm tourney and go for another win, or at least a 6th Final Table. I will keep this short. It was pretty fun for a while. I would get chips, then lose them....then get them back again. Up and down, back and forth. And then...we got to 10 players and moved up to the 'Big Boys Table'...the Final Table on the disco-floor! Yah! Love it up there. I was ready to make a deep run and take this one down too....for $2200. There was a guy who had just come back from a single black, $100 chip during the color up...so it must have been at the 400/800 level. Holy cow! I simply HAD to root for this guy to make the epic comeback. Only...it wasn't supposed to be at my expense. He went on a heater and got it up to about 12k.

Right about this time Squirrel texts me and asks whats going on. Oh no! There it is again...the Squirrel jinx text! Right about then...this guy, the LSU-hat-wearing underdog I was rooting for raises...and I look down at AcK.

"Ughhh...oh no! Sorry dude....I was rooting for you too! I raise!"

Back to him....and he shoves all in. Okay, I call...and when he turns over one ace I figure I have him dominated...then I see the other ace, and I experience that awkward, uneasy, embarrassing feeling we all feel when we think we have someone crushed, only to find out we are fucked! Well, I do flop a Q and a J...giving me the need for a 10 to knock him out. No dice. No I am short. I get a double up with JJ. Okay...here we go, lets do this. But then....with a raise UTG...and a re-raise by the craziest loosest player on the table, I look down at 99 and figure this is my chance to really get back into this. We have 8 players left...with 6 getting paid. I don't like the thoughts of folding to this guy...and I shove all in.

Guess what he has? How about aces, again! Boooooo!!! I just smile and tell him "nice hand" and watch as the dealer does nothing to help me. In fact, the flop produced three hearts...with him having the ace of hearts...so yeah, I was shooting for a one-outer. Yeah, good luck Monkey. Out, 8th.

I went home...and enjoyed the spoils of being married to my super-hot wife. And passed out. Holy crap...it is now 11:37am? Nice marathon blog, Monkey. Okay...lets get to the $440 today.

MONKEY

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your recent cashes at the IP, "Corey"? wtf?
Don't fret over the WSOP,or blame Jack, he was prob taking orders from above, if you were a "high profile" player that had ESPN value, such as Hellmuth or Scotty, which are two hella abusive players, the powers that be, would prob welcome you with open arms. Harrahs is selling the RIO, so the WSOP may move to Caesars next year, more possible bad news.