Shortly after making a 'move' on the guy who kept raising 5 times the bet in last position in the Main Event in New Orleans...and having him wake up with AA...and having it lead to my early exit...I went on a bit of a hiatus.
First of all, congrats to Fred Berger for winning over there. Fred is a helluva player and overall good guy. Another semi-buddy of mine Jake Naquin made the Final Table and had his highest finish ever...so props to him. This Indian dude who I met at IP and later played some SNG's with and got pretty chummy with, Chander...from Houston, also made the Final Table. Some good players made that final table and again, I point to the excellent structure laid out by Steve Frezer and the rest of his staff. It was a horrible tourney for me personally, but by no means was that a reflection on the event itself. It was a great event, was very well attended ...and even consisted of some good players. I just ran extremely bad and unlucky. Lucky for me, I have a supportive backer who understands 'running bad' and after doing my spreadsheet for the last few events...and submitting it to her, I took delivery this morning of the first check I've needed from her in over a year. Actually two. The first one I will cash...the second one, I've chosen to convince myself that I won't be needing to! Because the plan is to get to Vegas and start like a house on fire!
For the last week, I've been dicking around an online poker room or two. Last night, I actually won a $12/180 for $596...then almost won that $5.50 PLO H/L again...this time with 518 players. But I got swept out 24th..which was good for close to nothing. But it felt good to get online and do some winning a couple days before leaving for my annual summer odyssey in Vegas.
In addition to that I got my car all checked out, then went to the doctor to get my hand checked out. Found out I had a clean fracture of the 5th metacarpal (think thats what it was called) but that I didn't have to get a cast...which was great news. They gave me a brace to wear and told me it should heal in about a month. Cool. Then I went to the dentist...got a deep cleaning and an overall checkup. And some bleach! So...in my attempts to catch up to "Smilin Don Norman" of St. Louis in the 'Nice Freaking Teeth' department...I am getting after it! Incidently, Don will be my roomie in Vegas this summer.
After exhausting all efforts to make something happen with Joe Cutler...we just ran out of options and time. And since Joe is now engaged...you heard me....JOE CUTLER is now engaged, yes...the Red Sea DID just part...yes...that was a cold blast of air you felt, rising from the center of the Earth. Joe needed a bit of privacy for when his woman comes out to Vegas...so a 2-bed room wasn't cutting it. We got jammed up on everything else we looked at, and I just wasnt willing to fork over $2k for accomodations...not the way I've been running this year. So he took a 1 BR by himself. And I scrounged around until I found a very reasonable rate for 48 days at the Imperial Palace...which I know isn't going to impress anyone...but at roughly $22 a day, and only one block from Venetian, is kind of hard to feel bad about. And since this is a work trip...and I'm not really there to impress anyone...hey, it will do!
I am basically approaching this summer like I approached Vegas about three years ago. This is the first time in 3 years I didn't run like God in New Orleans and take a healthy bankroll with me to the Summer Poker Fest. So in a way, its kind of maybe a good thing that I am getting screwed by Harrah's and denied access to the WSOP. Granted, I'm sure its going to dig at me that I can't go over there. But at the same time...there were about $37,000 worth of tourneys I wanted to play there this summer. The total sum of EVERY single Venetian tourney this summer is only $32,000. And of course, there is no way I will play all of them. Tim Mix, who runs the tourneys there, has informed me that they added in a couple of vital levels in the tourneys...and the one thing I've been bitching about for the last few events...the SNG's...which had a structure that went 200/400 to 400/800 then just kept doubling? Those have been fixed now too, so I am actually looking forward to going out there and taking on my old image, of the grinder...nickel and diming my way into every tourney...and keeping a healthy bankroll without needing another 'contribution' from the boss.
I take with me the title of Defending Champion in the Venetian All Around from last summer. So I will be working my ass off to defend that. They have added tables...now up to 119 total tables. A LOT! And Caeser's finally wised up and cancelled their Mega Stacks event...so with the NAPT exposure that Venetian got and the overall momentum they have been building over the past few years...I expect all kinds of records to be set this summer in the Venetian Deepstacks. There will be plenty of money to be played for to make me and the Squirrel happy if I come this summer with another trophy or two. I really need to have a good summer. This year has been so terrible, in so many ways. And it all kind of started with us getting robbed. But every time I start to feel lousy about my life, I just click on that link to the Shelby County sheriff's office in Birmingham...and look up that skank who was part of the group who robbed us, sitting in that jail cell up there, and I feel better. Because I can walk outside my house, breathe fresh air. I can play with my dogs. I can hug my wife. I can go to the beach. I can eat whatever I want. And I have a family who loves me. Things can always be worse. And they may have really knocked us down...and crippled us...but I still have some fight left in me.
This past weekend, we were invited by James Ray and his girlfriend to join them in Pensacola at their beach house...to do some boating and just chilling out. Squirrel met his girlfriend at our Final Table together in April at the IP...and really liked her. But it was to be our last weekend together for a couple months and she just really wanted to be alone together. So I rented us a room at the Hilton Garden Inn on Pensacola Beach and we went over on Saturday. It was two days of perfect weather. We had a great meal at Flounders Saturday night and Sidelines on Sunday. I spent a lot of time in the water, which was perfect...about 75 degrees, and crystal clear. And then it got me to thinking about that oil spill, and how horrible it will be if they can't keep it off the shores. The people were having so much fun. I watched a Dad put his small child on the tip of his surfboard and then caught a wave and rode it all the way into the shore...and the kid never budged...and was laughing the whole time. It was so cool. Also got me to thinking about the baby we lost last February, and how much I want to be a Dad. I think I've run out of things to live for where it involves myself. I've pretty much done everything I ever wanted to do in life...with a handful of exceptions. I think now all I want to do is create a life and spend my waning years sharing all I have learned with that person...and experience all the wonderful things life has to offer between a father, a wife, and their child.
Poker is the one thing in my life that can make that dream a reality. I don't need a LOT of money to make all that happen. I don't have a lot of needs. We were almost there on our down payment for our house that Cheryl so desperately wants. They took that when they stole our safe. I am committed to getting us to a certain spot, where I can buy her that house. And pay off all my debt. And have some money in the bank to live off of, then just go play a handful of events, instead of being gone 40 weeks out of the year. I'm sick of being gone so much. I love being home with my wife, and with my dogs. I hate leaving them. But the reality is, this is my job. I am not maybe the best at it...but I'm one of the best. And therefore, to not be out there taking my shots is stupid. But boy oh boy...if I can have a summer better than or equal to last summer? It will be a really nice fall for us.
Okay...I can check 'Do New Blog' off of my pre-driving to Vegas checklist now! The big one today is mowing the lawn...as it is approaching 90 out there with ridiculous humidity. I will try to throw in some little updates as I drive out west. And hopefully, my engine doesn't blow up in New Mexico like it did two summers ago. Boy did that suck!
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