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Monday, May 10, 2010

Okayyyyyyy!!!! I'm sorrrrry! Here is your New Orleans update blog!!!!!!

Look, I'm sorry okay!??? This happens every time I come to New Orleans...I get really, really backed up on the content. Its not that I havent wanted to report in on my 'doings' in the Crescent City...I have...its just that a few factors have prevented me from getting y'all caught up. One of those reasons is that the doctor put me on Celexa, an anti-anxiety med...that for two weeks does nothing but interrupt your sleeping and make you feel like you are just stepping off a two-week cruise.

Last night was the first good night of sleep I have had since I got here. Squirrel came over last night...sat through the tail end of a 4th place finish in a sit n go...before we went to Rock Em Sake for some killer sushi and a night out with my beautiful wife. We should have been celebrating our first Mother's Day as a mom and dad...which would have been really special. But God had other plans for us last year and took our baby to a special place.

A few things of note on Mother's day. First...I sent my Mom a card and flowers and am so happy that I still have her in my life! Second...I loved watching Dallas Braden pitch a perfect game yesterday with his Grandmother in the stands. Watching them hug and cry after the game was really terrific. I also want to salute my sister and her partner, who adopted a severely challenged child a few years ago and have changed that childs life. They are truly amazing when it comes to being Mothers.

On a tragic note...Cheryl's Aunt and Uncle, who live in Florence, Alabama...were woken up in the middle of the night Sunday morning by an unusual sound of popping that at first sounded like a storm, but was actually their home engulfed in flames. They barely made it out of the house. The fire chief told them they probably had less than three minutes before they would have been killed. Thank God they got out alive. Their house burned completely to the ground...and their dog was killed...which has them feeling devastated. Trust me, I can understand that. I think most of us can. When I heard this news yesterday it made me tear up. These people are so wonderful and I feel so awful for them. But by the afternooon, no fewer than 100 cars had driven past their home, dropping off  'care baskets' and monetary gifts. The church they attended took up a collection as well. By night time Uncle Dennis was saying stuff like...."hey...we lost everything, but we have in a few months we will have a brand new house, new clothes, new cars....everyone will think we won the lottery!" Now THAT is a guy with a rosey disposition! Squirrel has the most amazing family on the planet. Those people up in Florence are truly fantastic, and just incredible people. I really feel like I married into royalty. They aspire me to be a better person, they really do!

Also...on another non-poker related matter...two of my favorite ladies in the world...who live over in Texas and play some pretty good poker, brought me another gift yesterday. A little squirrel, that I can keep on the table next to my I will always have a little squirrel with me when I'm playing! And this hilarious stuffed monkey...who is wearing a black cape and a mask...SUPER MONKEY...and works like a sling shot. You fire him across the room and he lets out a shriek as he flies through the air. Its awesome! I got the whole room laughing when I fired him over three tables. Debra and I were in a sit n go together when Cheryl showed up around 8pm. So she finally got to meet this 'mystery' lady in Texas who keeps giving me gifts!!!!!  They hit it off like long lost sisters!

Driving into New Orleans on Friday morning I could see guys on a scaffold doing something to the side of the Superdome...and as I was trying to figure out what they were doing, I almost plowed into the back of a line of cars....that had suddenly all stopped for some reason, while the other lane was still moving at about 50 mph. Scared the shit out of would have been my first accident of my life, and probably kept me out of the noon tourney, which in retrospect, would have been a good thing! With my heart racing, I got to the other side of the Superdome and saw what they were doing.

WOW! It looks simply beautiful! They either swapped out the panels or painted them...but the dome now looks incredible. The gleaming white dome on top and on the sides it is the gold in the Saints' uniforms. I like the Super Bowl...get your house painted! Its going to look really cool from arial shots when they show it on TV. In the 3 days that I have been here, it feels like the overall attitude in this city is different, like something like winning the Super Bowl has caused people here to hold their head up, to be proud, to carry themselves differently. Is that possible? It even smells better and feels cleaner. So just as I was feeling really good about New Orleans, after years of loathing this place...I come to my room last night, and on my bed is my pillow case. Just my case. With my pillow, my $120 pillow...missing. WTF? Still trying to get housekeeping to explain this one!

Lets talk about the job the staff is doing here. Steve Frezer is quickly becoming the best damn poker tournament director on the planet! When I arrived I noticed that the SNG structures were less than spectacular, with only 1500 starting chips, 15 minute levels and at least 3 vital levels missing. All it took was for me to mention this to Steve, and it was immdiately remedied! The $125 sngs went to 2000 chips, with 3 levels added...and I am telling you, this change alone was highly instrumental in 3 of the 5 sng's I won the other night. All the players I talked to were very pleased with the change too. Hey! Anything we can do to make things better, and Steve is always willing to listen to the players and give them what they want.  The tournament structures are killer. A lot of good players are getting deep, which is a sign of good structure. The dealers are mostly good. There are a few there always is in New Orleans...since its really hard to get liscensed in this state. Not like it could ever get as bad as Atlantic City!!!! At least the newbies usually KNOW they are new and try to get better by welcoming advice. The tourney room seems to fluctuate from sticky and humid to unbearably if you are coming down, make sure you bring a sweatshirt or a jacket.

The sizes of the fields have been impressive. I don't know what they were expecting...but I will say I expected them to be a bit larger. Not that I am complaining....I mean they got over 500 for the first event...and with the structures good, and the SNG's going off with regularity, things are great. The overall 'quality of player' is about average. There is a handful of mutants from St. Louis that have snuck down here and made their presence felt already. I have had at least 5 players come up to me and tell me they got "SAINT LEWIED!" by a donk at their table. Pretty funny!  If all of you could just please wear your St Louis identifier, in the form of a hat or shirt or something, so we can all identify you it would really help us dodge you and your horrible play. Thanks, thanks a lot!!!!, its now 15 minutes to noon. Shoot. Well.....I will just give you a quick rundown.

Event #1.  AK three times. In first damn level. I hit EVERY time. I lost every time. Once with trip Kings against a guy who had flopped a set of 8's. I got away from that one. Then I hit an A-2-3 board after having re-raised an UTG raiser. He folded. The guy with 22 didn't. Wow. deuces. I was out.

Event #2. $550. Good field. Level 2 early. A notoriously bad asian guy...who loves to overplay the shit out of AK...and who I've NEVER seen at a Final Table in about 5 years of playing with him...raises to 500 (50/100) UTG...and gets TWO callers. I look at KK and raise to 2100. He shoves all in. Yep...that is AK. Or QQ at best. No way he has AA. No way. The other two fold of course. I stand up and start pondering. Damn....if I call and lose, I have 425 chips. If I call and am correct, and win...Im sitting on about 22k chips and can pretty much coast for 6 levels. A crowd begins to assemble around our table. Three or four of the guys I know real well. They know my predicament. I make the call. He turns over AK. Of course. Flop comes 5-7-4. Hmm....okay....good so far....and as I am watching trying to fade an ace...the dealer goes runner runner.....2-3-.....for the damn wheel. I just sink in my chair. Everyone gives me that look you get when you've just been told you're getting laid off after a 24.5 year career with a company, and 6 months from retirement. Hating life...I manage to triple up my 425 before our table breaks. I get that to 3400. Hope floats. But it dies a short time later when my Ah10h runs into AQ and 77....with 77's winning out.

Event #3.  6-handed event. $550.  Start out bad....stayed bad....ended bad. Pretty much every time I made a hand....flush....lose to a boat. Boat, lose to a bigger boat. Straight, lose to a boat. Top two....lose to small set. It was ugly. Just ugly. And I was out in Level 4.

7pm nightly. The drinking started early. It was a blast. I was accumulating a lot of chips. Then I get moved to the table where the SHOVEMONSTER lived. After the second all in....which at 400-800...made no sense. This guy is shoving 30 to 40 big blinds every time. The table is telling me this is all he does. He limps or he shoves. Never raises. So I fantasize about a future moment when I can get all his chips. We get in the money. I am sitting on a nice stack of about 72k. I finally pick up AA. At 600/1200 I raise to 4500. Annnnnnd Shove-Zilla shoves all in! Yahtzeeeeeeeeeee! I find the energy to speak those two beautiful words we all love to say when we have AA against a re-raiser.....


He flips over KJ offsuit.  When the K hits the flop...we all...and I mean....WE ALL...everyone at the table wanted me to whack this bozo....give that sigh that comes with any 'sweat' which is what the flopped King provided. Then the buffoon turns another king and I was left praying for a damn ace on the river. Didnt come. Wonderful. Thanks. Now only have 12k. Which forced me to have to get it in with A8 to pull some blinds another orbit later. I ran into KK. Terrific. And was out in 14th place.

In SnG's, I am now 5 for 12 overall...which isn't too bad. What does really suck is that I have gotten 3rd place twice and 4th twice...hell, just win TWO of those and I am up about a dime on the trip...but as it sits now I am down about $700 or so. Which isn't disastrous or anything.

My roomie situation is great. BJ McBrayer is proving to be a great roomie. Doesnt talk too much (yes Tim I'm talking to you!) and doesn't snore (yes Keith I'm talking to you!) at all. Thought my BOSE headphones stopped working on audio coming from the right side...but after speaking to BOSE this morning...determined it was the connection cable...and since I have a spare...I am now back in business! Sweet! And...the pillow mystery was just solved. Found the pillow. They just changed the pillow case, leaving my pillow case. So I take it all back!!! Back to loving New Orleans again! Now dammit, lets go final table this tournament today!!!!!



Boonie said...

Hi Monkey. This is Boonie. I just caught up on the blog. I really am enjoying it. If you do hit this big score you talk about, will you end this blog? I hope not.

One thing I was wondering and please don't take it the wrong way because I'm somewhat new to the game of poker is why you took so long to call that Asian guy with KK? KK is a great hand, and you even said he was bad so when he moved all in shouldn't you be exited to call and fast call him. Is it ever correct to fold KK during the first round of betting?

I wish you all the best. Please keep the blogs coming. I would love more strategy discussion because I am learning and I find it helpful.



Anonymous said...

I'm no poker expert, just a casual folding KK preflop is probably not an option for me, but for the professional player (like monkey) yes, you can fold KK deepstacked to the right player and even be wrong about them having AA ocassionally and still show longterm profit. You have to trust your read and it's a hard laydown. Some ppl will actually show you what a nice fold you made which sure makes ya feel like a world class playa!!

Anonymous said...

I can understand how you feel about "anonymous". Sorry, it's just easier for most ppl in a hurry to click anonymous. I posted about being the casual player and probably not ever folding KK preflop and that a pro player like yourself could get away from a cooler like that (vs. AA) in the right situations. Also we have played together at Harrah's and IP. Best Regards and good luck in N.O. Danny Wade, Dual-Rate Poker Supervisor and TD. Coushatta Casino Resort. (aka...Lost in Kinder)