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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today I wish I was bald.....

Because then I wouldn't have to worry about pulling all my hair out!!!!

That is what I am very close to doing. Why? Ohhhhh because I am once again experiencing that "the whole world takes me for a sucker" syndrome that seems to overwhelm us on a daily basis.

I am currently on hold, with the Hilton in New Orleans. The little scrub that is 'helping' me is currently checking with a manager, who is about to tell him, under no circumstances is he to reveal to me the answer to my question. Just watch. I am good at this kind of shit. Its easier than calling the hand of a lady's 5x utg raise holding JJ.

Oh...here he is, John...a Supervisor. This should be good. Buckle up.

Well, hmmm...interesting response and results.

First, let me share with you the last couple of days with trying to secure a place out in Vegas.  We have entered into the 'Supply and Demand, Bait and Switch' zone of vacation rentals. One day, the price is this. The next day, it switches to THAT. One day...it's YOURS...the next day...someone else came in and took out from under your nose. It's a joke. And due to the housing market in Vegas being SO bad, you literally have homeowners out there moving out of their homes and INTO apartments for 3 or 4 months so they can rent out their homes for $4k a month, or sometimes more. So the rental market out there is exploding. The smart money would be on buying a house out there, furnishing it, and staying in it with friends and family those 13-16 weeks a year you out there...and having a leasing company rent it out the rest of the time. You would make money on it. Instead, we are now all at the mercy of the predators who are renting those houses out. And when you could start looking for houses in May as little as a year or two ago...they are now going fast in December! So May rolls around, and you don't have a place locked up...you're pretty much hosed!

Our little deal at the Meridian went from $1600 a month....to $3000. And frankly, the way I'm running this year...I am not in a good spot right now to be dumping $2000 on housing this summer. It sucks..but it is what it is. So I am trying like hell to get Joe, my roomie to be a little more flexible about being so close to the venues. But he doesnt appear to be budging much. I mean...this could all be remedied by me destroying the IP this week and next...then going to New Orleans and doing what I have done the last two springs there. That would be nice....but the way my year is going, I just cant 'count' on that.

Speaking of how this year is going. Wow...my friends seem like they are ALL having killer years. McLean started the year with a huge basket of scores online...the wins almost a million in the Bay 101 Shooting Star. Joe Cutler wins a big Borgata event...has won the TLB on Stars...and nearly final tabled the NAPT at Venetian. Liv Boeree, who I've become pretty good buddies with through her relationship with my bud Allie Prescott, was sitting at the final table of the EPT San Remo last night. No idea how that turned out. Other buddies like Pat Fogelman, Darryl Fish, BJ McBrayer, Tyler Smith (okay, almost a buddy, we have each others phone number and are Facebook buddies!) Michael Hallen, Brandon Jarrett, Jason Young (final tabled at Borgata yesterday) and others are just knocking shit out. And I am admittedly struggling.  But ya know, its funny how poker kind of works in cycles. Last year when I was on fire a lot of my friends were all hurting. So things kind of just seem to trade hands in this game.

[ Ughhh this just in....from Banger up in Canada who just called to tell me, Liv just won that shit! No chop. Biggest EPT field ever...it was a 5k buyin...and she took down 1.2 million Euros...which is...I don't know how much. Lets just call it a LOT! When I see the word MILLION I get a woody]

It just sucks that I had to get robbed. Had I not gotten robbed, and had all of my 2009 profit stolen, I wouldn't be feeling anywhere near the pressure I am feeling right now to succeed. It's incredibly stressful. Both within the poker realm, and within my relationship with my wife. I've tried very, very hard to keep a calm demeanor and a level head, but sometimes its almost impossible. And now, when I finish with this...I will sit and do my spreadsheet from the STL debacle and figure out if I need to hit my backer up for a contribution for the first time in over a year. I hope not.

Back to this New Orleans situation. The end result was that John booked me for the whole ten days at the website, poker player discount of $89. Prior to talking to him, the first guy told me I could only get 6 of the 12 days at that rate...the other nights would be around $225 to $300 a night. Ridiculous. So I am not sure what magic lever got pulled in between talking to the first guy and talking to 'John' but I told him that I appreciated the rate, but that it really didn't solve the problem. That being, that for every New Orleans event...they tell us on the Harrah's website that you can get a 'special rate' of $89 a night by mentioning the poker code HWS. They have been doing this for 3 or 4 years now. Then you get there...and VOILA!

"Sorry sir, that rate is unavailable for those nights you have requested." Or sometimes you get...."Oh...yeah it looks like that block of rooms has been sold out." Its just an annual thing...kind of like the pollen that coats your car every spring. Or the tax bill that arrives on your house. You can just count on it. This generally has occurred to most players when trying to book their room as far as two weeks in advance.

I mean, what poker player do YOU know who has their plans all mapped out more than two weeks in advance? And who books their hotel room that far in advance? The answer is: Virtually no one.

So when I tried to explain this issue to John, and explain it in a way as though to convey to him my appreciation for getting ME a room booked, but that it wasn't really addressing the problem, I could sense the lack of empathy in his tone. I told him that I write this blog, that I try to get players...OTHER players...besides myself, good rates at the various events so that it might encourage them to come and play. And that New Orleans Hilton for years now has been pulling this little 'room rate disappearing act' on all of us. So I asked him....bottom line, this question...and yes, I am feeling a bit like Mike Wallace today.

"We are told, by Harrah's and by the Hilton, as players...that a certain number, or BLOCK...of rooms has been procurred...and that once those are sold out...we are charged the usual rate. If that is the case...I would like to know HOW MANY rooms that is? Because I know how poker players operate...and there is no way that 21 days in advance of an event you would be sold out if that number were even somewhat substantial. So....what is that number?"

And guess what? I got a legitimate response. I think that John figured out that I was not a moron who he could fawn off the status quo answer to and have me accept it like a Kool-Aid for the soul remedy. So he gave me the right answer. Thank you John.

"Its not so much that there is a set number of rooms being held. What it is, is a rate that we are able to honor if our hotel is at a certain occupancy rate. So if we are over 90% on any of those days, the poker rate won't be available."

Y'all get that? Basically what he's saying is that its like Russian Roulettte. You come without a reservation...and they start punching numbers...and if you land on a certain number...your fucked! There is no set number of rooms. There is no 'the block of rooms has been sold out' that they adhere to. It's simply based on supply and demand and their ability to make the most money possible. Which...as an American who believes in capitalism, I cannot FAULT, per se. But what I do fault, is Harrah's casino trying to make the poker players think that they can arrive, and book a room at the special rate. Then they get here and the first impression they have after getting here, is one of disappointment, anger and frustration. Who wants to start a trip like that? No one! So what do they have to do to remedy this? No idea. All I can say is that if you are a regular poker 'roadie' like me...don't come into the New Orleans events thinking you can show up and get a good room rate. Because you CANT! Book early. And perhaps...request a supervisor when calling in.

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Brandon Jarrett is at my house. With his ridiculously gigantic 27' Mac monitor and portable keyboard that he hasn't shut up about in 4 months. He draggged 'The Claw' with him...who he is now sharing DNA with. Interestng little couple there. For all you guys who like prop bets as much as I do...this one might be a fun bet. How long do these two last? Let the oddsmakers get started.......NOW!

I sat and watched him play 5/10 heads up last night for about 3 hours...listening to him break down and analyze every hand...even break off the occassional phone call to Tyler Smith to compare notes...and it dawned on me; I simply do NOT have the passion for poker that Brandon does. I mean...if poker were a pizza...there would be no more poker left for us all.

Well, he talked me into getting an early jump today on the online nightmare that is online poker. So I buy into the $24 tourney on Tilt and the $11 ($40kGuarantee) on Stars. I am out of both in within half an hour. On Tilt....I almost double on the first hand with AK out of the BB...just call a raise....flop A-4-7 and get the guy to almost stack off with A10. But then I proceed to lose with AA-KK-and JJ...and go broke...all, of course to stupid opponent hands. No one folds on that effing site. EVER. I experimented last night and played a whole session on there and agree with everyone who keeps telling me I should play on Tilt because the players are 'horrible.' But once again...I will scream this from the mountaintops.....I HATE BAD PLAYERS! I CANT BEAT BAD PLAYERS! POKER IS A GAME OF SKILL! AND THESE CLOWNS REMOVE THAT FROM THE EQUATION!!!!

So in the Pokerstars one? Oh that ended well. Explain what this mutant is thinking. Please.

Blinds are 25/50. Table has been playing very aggressively...doing lots of calling. I pick up AK behind to limpers...I raise it to 200. I get only 6 calls. Only 6.

The flop comes out.... 3s-Ah-7c.  Nice flop, right? You would think. Regardless, 6 in the hand...I am going to find out real quickly if someone flopped a set. I lead out for $450. Dipshit to my right calls. Everyone else folds. Set? Or just a lousy ace? One of those. Turn is a 5. I bet 650. He goes all in. Its only another 450 to call. Wonderful. I call expecting to see 333 or 777. Instead....what do I see? How about 555? Huh? Really? So...this guy called 450...on the flop....why exactly?

This....right here....is where I think cheating online is rampant. Nobody...I mean NOBODY...okay maybe a few players from STL and/or Tunica...make this play in a live setting. No way. So...you tell me there arent those who KNOW what is coming? So many times this past weekend, I had guys calling my huge c-bets, when I would flop top pair...or be holding an overpair to the board...get called by guys with AIR....and watching them go runner runner, perfect perfect to whack me. And come on...how is a normal/sane person supposed to react to that?  By breaking something, right?

I'm not sure why Brandon and Claudia spent the night here last night...as Claudia's house is right by the casinos....and I don't know how long they are staying. Not that I mind, I'm just curious. And confused.

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Playboy magazine, in their preseason preview has picked my Seattle Mariners to win the AL WEST this year. We are currently 8-7...after starting 2-4....and sitting 1 game out of first. I would like to get excited about this, and yes...we have Cliff Lee coming off the DL this week, but they also picked the NYYankees to completely miss the playoffs. So, you might understand my refusal to get too wrapped up in their predictions.

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I am a lifelong Seattle Supersonics fan. They are currently playing in the sheeps clothing of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Its hurts me to watch. Because I knew after they drafted Kevin Durant, that they would be good in a couple of years....and of course, I was right. They almost beat LA on the Lakers home court last night. I was looking through my Facebook stuff last night and was looking at Mark Cuban's wall...and he had something on there about my Sonics getting sniped by that son of a bitch in Oklahoma...its a documentary that was made. Its pretty good. And its free to watch. If you like watching stories about greed...and scumbags like David Stern...check it out.

www.sonicsgate.org/movie

GO LAKERS!

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Tuned into the ESPN2 coverage of the NAPT from Venetian that I played in this February. I was expecting to see coverage of the 5k event..but instead was greeted by coverage of the $25k high roller event. I guess they are doing the 5k next week. A couple of things caught my attention.

(a) how do you get turned away from that event? They did a 7-table format. With 7 players at each table. 49 players. I happen to know...well, because he picked me up on the side of the road...that Chad 'Lil holdem' Batista was walking up to the counter to BUY in...direct, for $25k...into that event and there was some kind of hang up that I didn't know either way if it was sorted out. Well...I found out by watching that it didn't get sorted out. Now this guy is one of THE BEST online players in the world...and a damn fine live tourney player, when he manages to peel himself off his couch..and 'ol boy IS a homeslice. And he was just coming off a 200k score in one of the big online tourneys that week. So...um...how does he get froze out and some of these other guys I saw on there get in?

(b) what kind of a horrible blind structure were they playing where guys were getting it in preflop with K7 and getting called by J4?

(c) I watched some of the worst plays I have ever seen...three of them by Daniel Negreanu...who, I think you all know, I realllllly like and respect a lot. But wow, some of these plays...its like....you know when you go to a family reunion? And they decide, 'hey lets play some poker!' and that drunk uncle of yours, who has never played poker...decides he's just going to call every raise and ship all in when and if he connects with the flop? You know that guy right? That is how Negreanu was playing in this thing. And he was the first one busted from his table.  But one of the worst plays I saw...that Joe disagrees with me on...not surprising...we disagree a lot on how hands are played...fair enough.

Phil Galfond (spelling might be wrong there) raises with AJ. Danny decides to go ahead and call the raise with Q3. Oh wait...check that. He doesnt call. He RE-raises. And Phil calls. The flop comes Jack high. With no flush draw. Danny fires out a rather large bet. Cue the noise of cars slamming on breaks...screaching....and slamming into a wall!!!!!

Okay poker friends....what are YOU doing if you are Phil here?

Joe....is smooth calling, just like Phil did. He thinks...hmmm...might as well extract as much value as possible. After all, not too many cards coming out can beat you. Oh no? Only a king or a queen. Yeah. And gee...I notice that there is now a pot that represents over HALF my stack out there.

Okay. Fine...to those of you who don't mind seeing all five cards come out..and getting handed your walking papers...I can see why you would go that way.

But me? Um...no! I see a pot that sizeable...and I flop top pair top kicker...against a guy who is reknowned for applying a lot of pressure both preflop and postflop with what could be a huge hand or absolutely NOTHING? And how seldom likes to surrender if he is on a draw of some kind? In this case...a PAIR DRAW? Oh noooo nooooo. Senor Monkey will be raising Kid Poker when he fires out a c-bet here. And raising a lot. So much so that Danny Boy has no choice but to fold. And he would have. And Phil might have won that table.

Another clever play...or plays...I saw were made by that poker icon, Jennifer Tilly. Oh...I'm sorry, I know a few of you might like this ...ahem, lady...but watching her makes me hate poker. Her facial expressions mostly. I think that SHE thinks that she is reallly good at poker. She isn't. In fact, from what I have watched...she is quite dreadful. And her dreadfullness was put on display in this event. She managed to luck box her way to a double up early...cracking a guys AA with her 45 ...but then donked them off in amazing lightning-fast time. Raising with some great hands (k7) and then refusing to let go of them. Whatever...it just hurts me to watch bad poker.

Then we were treated to the 'new Phil Hellmuth' and his attempts to be likeable. Ummm....I will try to be nice here. Fine, if he is truly trying to not be such a douchebag...if watching himself on TV has finally convinced him that he is easily the most 'I want to punch you in the face' player in the game...and wants to do something about it, cool. But as long as he rolls around with that stupid, smug look on his face all the time, I'm sorry I just can't help it...I can't NOT dislike him. Me being shallow. Possible. I'm sorry. But yes...I hope all that...'not so douchey' stuff works out for him in 2010.

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Started doing the P90x workout with my wife. You may have seen it advertised on TV. Uhhh...lets see how do I explain this? If you like torture? This is right up your alley. I mean, I have been going to the gym...and doing 20 mins on the bike, followed by a 15 station circuit workout..and finished up with 20 mins on the treadmill...and it feels great. So why, when after doing the FIRST day of the P90x workout...was I unable to MOVE for three days? My hamstrings...my ass...hell I couldnt even sit down without pain. Wow! But it has to happen. Poker is turning me, slowly...into Jabba the Hut! Plus...its kind of fun working out at home with the Squirrel. I tried to make things more interesting by getting her to do the workout topless! She wouldn't go for it! Doh!!!!!

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Today is my Mom's birthday! Happy Birthday Mom!!!! I love you!!!!

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Okay...time to go do my backer's spreadsheet now...and find out where we are after STL. Ughhhh this could get scary!

Good luck to all of you...and I hope to see SOMEONE show up for the IP event that starts tonight with their 7pm tourney. If the poker gods are on my side...Allen won't be there working on the microphone...but if they hate me, as I feel they have much of this year...I fully expect to hear the strip club DJ-like Allen selling that finaaaaaal seattttttt on a $25 sit n gooooooooooooooooooooooo.

HEY! I have an idea I almost forgot to pitch. Towards the end of this event...there is going to be a THREE MAN TEAM tourney. Not sure how that works on winning the thing...but I came up with a KILLER IDEA for a last longer.....any one that wants to do it, LET ME KNOW!  Here is what I am thinking.

Its a $120 buy in tourney I believe. Per person? I think so. Well...all three guys in your team put up $100 each. So $300 a team. Say we get 4 teams in this last longer...that is $1200 total. The team...the first team....to have 2 of the 3 remaining....at the END OF A BLIND LEVEL....are the winners of the last longer. Now say you get to the end of level 5...and 2 of the teams have 2 players left. Okay...you keep going, until ONE of those guys loses. But....you have to play to the end of the level! If the other team also loses another guy....thus leaving all teams with 1 player left...you keep going. Make sense? This could be really kick ass...especially if we get like 5 or 6 teams to do it. Hell we could win more for the last longer bet than the actual tournament!!!!! IF interested, let me know!

Okay I'm done.

MONKEY

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

are we name dropping? how many of those "friends" would loan you $, or pledged to you're robbery/bounty fund?
Check the EGO dude; that head looks big enough as it is.
Anyway, g/l at the IP tournament; hope you beat everyone but me.