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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ahhhhh....home at last!

I don't know what it is about being in your own bed that always seems to make you sleep better. I pulled into Biloxi at 9am...33 hours of non-stop driving that saw me fill the tank 6 times, watch 7 1/2 movies and lose $450 playing online poker. On the trip out I won $900. So I almost covered the cost of my gas on the drive. Lets see if I can remember the movies:

1. "The Grand". Poker movie. Pretty funny. Sclakky (sic) poker-term references, but some funny, deadpan humor. Multiple characters that are intentionally mocking real life players. Watch it and see if you can pin the actual player on each one.

2. "She's Out of Your League." Kind of a feel-good movie about the dork who somehow gets the school's hottie to fall in love with him. Now if only stories like this one really happened, it would be even more enjoyable. But there was just NO WAY this pairing would ever happen. Not in this lifetime.

3. "Unthinkable." Movie about an American-turned-Muslim who plants 3 nukes around the country then makes demands, gets arrested, gets the shit tortured out of him by Samuel L. Jackson until he gives up the location. Mix in the socially and Constitutionally protecting Helen Brody and you have a movie to make yourself ask the important question: Is the safety of 5 million Americans more important than the brutal torture of one psychotic terrorist?

4. "Hachi" I think that's what it was called. Richard Gere and his family find a stray dog. The dog changes their lives. Richard Gere's character dies. Family is sad. I got home. Its still in my car stereo. Would have watched the rest but I was too excited to go inside and see my own dogs!

5. "The Men Who Stare at Goats." Hmmm...this movie was a trip. I think its one of those films that if you watched it over and over you would pick up more and more. A special branch of the military is developed to basically 'mind-fuck' the enemy. George Clooney was actually really, really good in this. I think that ever since the day my Actor-roomie Bill Buehmiller took me to his 'buddy' George Clooney's house up in the Hollywood hills back in 1997 to shoot hoops on Clooney's kickass basketball court that was lined with those misters along the top of the fence...before misters became standard in every hot place...ever since that day...I think Clooney has become a much better actor. I am taking full credit for that.

6. "The Bounty Hunter." Quite possibly the most boring movie I have seen all year. I wanted to go see this at the theatre with the wife so bad...so glad I didn't. Jen Aniston pretty much plays the same exact character in every movie shes in. And I guess, so does Gerard Butler.

7. "Chloe." Now this movie was actually pretty good. Good cast...Amanda Siefreid...who we get to see in a pretty hot lesbo scene with Julianne Moore, and Liam Neeson who gets set up as a cheating husband by the little scheming skank. I have to admit, I spotted the conspiracy early on. The daft might have a harder time figuring it out. Pretty good flick.

8. "Invictus." Morgan Freeman is once again playing the role of a President..which he seems to do very well, this time as Nelson Mandela. Matt Damon plays a rugby player, who has to fight through the upheaval that takes place in South Africa after the old regime ended, apartheid was undone, and Mandela was freed from prison and elected President. It centers around the inspiring performance of S.Africa's rugby team in the World Cup, and their ability to bring the whole country together. It was a damn fine movie. And Matt Damon actually pulled off the accent pretty well.

I would like to thank RedBox, for coming up with a genius idea a couple years ago, putting a crippling death grip around the neck of WalletBuster Video, and conveniently plopping those red vending machines in just about every Wal-Mart and Wal-Greens around the nation...making driving cross country a joy. I wish I knew just how much ONE of those boxes costs them to manufacture, and how much they pay in overhead with the cost associated with servicing them. For the most part they run themselves. $1 a day for movies? Beautiful concept.

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I finally just unpacked my car. Got home at 9am yesterday. Squirrel was still here. Found out just outside of Dallas that she was leaving for home in the morning and would miss me. Huh!!??? So I stepped on the gas and made 95 the whole way home and caught her! We spent about an hour 'catching up' and then she was off to Florence for the weekend. I cuddled with my dogs for awhile then passed out. Woke up to my phone constantly buzzing...people were texting me about Gabe Costner...including Claudia, who was there in person sweating him. At one point his stack hit 10,900,000 and was chipleader. Wow.

I started thinking back to 2008, when we shared a house together. When he had a sick ass summer, getting deep constantly, final tabling the $2000 event, before playing bully and blowing up his stack and going out 8th. But he still won a lot that summer...should have won more. But then what he did win he managed to cake off, mostly in the big 50/100 cash game at Rio. It was making me sick. And Claudia was helping him. So all I could do yesterday was imagine what would happen if Gabe made the Final Table...which guaranteed a million (okay 811k for 9th), would he somehow manage to spend all that on other ventures? Or did losing everything make him see the light? I've had a few dealers whispering in my ear that the two of them have been at it again...since Gabe took 3rd a month ago for $278k...putting in long hours in the big cash game. I mean...it's not my money, so some might say..."Hey Monkey, what do you care? Mind your own business! He can do whatever he wants with his money, he won it! Fuck off dude!" Right? And I suppose they would be right. I guess it comes from caring about Gabe. About caring about what a nice chunk of money like that can do for your life. About being responsible with it. And I guess that when you see a friend make that kind of score, you are naturally a bit envious...and when you see them blow that money, it kind of pisses you off because you just sit there and think about how YOU would have protected that money, and made it last. Make sense?

Well, things went from the Penthouse to the Outhouse pretty quickly for Gabe yesterday. He came back from the dinner break and was out in about an hour or two. Guys were raising into him with AK...he was jamming, getting called by JJ and not hitting. I think that scenario happened twice. Could he have helped what happened? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. Its a tough call. Sometimes when you get deep in a tourney you get wrapped up in the moment...relationships (both good and bad) develop between certain players. This is what I know about AK...when I am deep in a tourney. If a player is raising that late, he generally has a good hand. If he is one of the shorter stacks, and he is raising me, and I am the chipleader at the table...I immediately think he might just have a pretty good hand. And if he is raising the chipleader, he probably is not going to fold if I re-pop him. Sometimes, yes...but usually, no. So...if I am raised in that scenario...holding AK...I like to flat the raise. If I should hit the A or the K...I am about 85% certain to be good, and can check raise the guy and put him to a major decision...or get coolered by a set, and be grateful that I am still in the tourney. But if I miss the flop completely, check to the guy, and he goes all in or bets huge...its a real easy fold. And it didn't cost me much. And having a controlling stack in that situation, I feel like I can raise with pretty marginal hands a couple times after that and recoup what I just gave up by calling that raise...and regain any momentum that I lost.

I am sure that there are those will disagree with me here. Those who think that getting 25-30% of your stack into the middle with overs against a pair is just fine. I just don't think its the best strategy. But I've been watching Gabe play for a long time...and this is his style, and you can't argue with his results. Hell, I've been braggin on him for years now, even tried to get some big boys to stake him last summer when he was just about stone broke. So don't take it as me baggin Gabe. Just exploring the situation, and what he might have done different.

So Gabe was put out 35th. For $255k I think it was. So add it all up and Gabe made about half a million bucks this summer. WOW! How awesome is that? I just pray to God that he will take care of that money. Gabe, if you're reading this...and would like to give me about 150k of that to protect for you...I would be happy to! I will stick it in my new safety deposit box and hide the key from you!

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A guy I have played with for awhile and just joined my Facebook list...and played some tourneys with this summer at Aria...had a nice finish as well, finishing 77th for 95k. Congrats to Adam Etter.

Then we have another guy...who hangs out with a bunch of guys who all think I'm a fucking nit. Who think I play too tight. And yet...here we are...down to 19 players...and he has been grinding a shortstack now for three days...playing the Short Stack Ninja Monkey style that I have perfected! So its safe to say that I am living vicariously through John Dolan's stack right now! As I just look at the chipcounts, he appears to have just doubled up...as he now has 9 million, which is the most he has had all tourney. Man...this will be exciting as shit if he makes the November Nine.

Then there is a guy I desperately do NOT want to see make the November Nine. Duheeeeee the Trophy Theif...who refuses to go away. I guess at some point I have to give the prick some credit for being a pretty fair player. After all, he was chipleader at my final table of that $350 tourney at Venetian with 959 players...and had the lead all the way til we got three handed and me and 'Drags' from Macedonia sliced and diced his ass up. Regardless, he took the trophy when he finished 3rd...and I just can NEVER respect a guy like that. So I hope he flops quads and gets rivered by a straight flush by a guy who has him covered by ONE CHIP!

Another guy I know, but not too well, is John Racener. He is friends with Allie Prescott and some of those other guys I don't hang out with much. He is kind of a spooky dude. I met a girl last summer, she was a waitress at Sapphire, who dated him for awhile...and she had some bizarre stories. He seems kind of introverted whenever I see him. But I do know this...he is a ridiculously talented player. He definitely has a great chance to win this thing. He has a couple of great scores already to his credit.

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After my little nap yesterday I got online and played a session. I kept getting deep and getting fucked. Big shock. But then, in that $5.50 Omaha H/L tourney that I seem to keep making the final table on...I went on another tear. I registered for it about an hour in...and had already faded 50 players...all bad I'm sure. It is inconcievable how bad the players are in Omaha H/L. On that site I just got turned onto...FeltStars? I have been playing only that game...and have tripled my buyin already. Well in this tourney last night...I was in the top 5 most of the game...then we got down to 14 players. I was 4th. This guy at the table had 400k and was a massive chipleader. I then noticed a trend. This prick was potting almost every hand preflop. And no one would stand up to him. And if someone called his raise...he would fire POT after the flop regardless. Hmmm. I decided it was time to stand up to this fucker. To make a long story short...His 400k and my 88k just about flip-flopped. In fact...they did. When we were down to 12...and I had 300k and he had 140k I literally typed into the chat bar..."you know guys...this might be the first time we see a guy with 400k, and 5 from the final table...not even make the final table." Guess what? He went out 10th! It was amazing. When we got to the final table...I had 500k in chips. There were only 1.5 million in play. I never lost my chiplead.

I did make a couple of bad/stupid calls along the way...but most of them I was priced into and holding a high hand and a low hand...so I was gambling on a chop pot. I almost lost my chiplead once...but recovered quickly. When I got heads up, I had the guy 1m to 500k. He had a chance. But the guy was absolutely horrible heads up. He was going to need a miracle. He almost got it. We managed to get all our chips in on a hand where I had him all the way to the river, but he hit a two outer on me and now he had me 1m to 500k. The difference in money was only $130...but that wasnt the point. I really wanted to win this damn thing. I caught up quick. He was a folding machine. Rarely raised on the button. Folded to almost every min raise by me. And eventually I just wore him down and finally buried him.

It felt good to go to bed a winner. And I thought it was 1am when I finished. Then realized the clock on my computer and cell phone were still set to Las Vegas time. Whoa! So it was 3am! Damn! Fell asleep immediately and didnt wake up until 3pm today!

I just played a mini-session and didn't cash anything...so I will try again after posting this. I witnessed the typical Saturday online bullshit...guys calling raises...the calling the C-bet...with overs...calling again on the turn...and then sometimes even calling the river with Ace high...or god forbid, hitting their ace on the river. If I was incarcerated, and was able to play online poker while I was in there....and only online poker...I think after about a year...I would ask the warden to strap me into the electric chair and kill my ass!

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This seems like a good time to return the movies back to RedBox...thus avoiding another whopping $4 charge.

Getting home I was made immediately aware of the difference between 108 and dry...and 85 and humid. Holy shit!

My lawn is in desperate need of a mowing. I will attempt to find the motivation to do that tomorrow.

Today I tried to watch a 'friendly' match between some soccer team from England's Premier League and the MLS's San Jose Earthquakes...seeing if I could feed off of the excitement from the World Cup. I made it about 7 minutes. See ya in about 4 years, soccer. It was fun.

Who do you think would win in a catfight between Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus? I think its a pretty good question...one that I think about a lot.

My dog Jasper is still addicted to his ball...and chasing it and returning it. And my other dog Mollie is still addicted to playing with, then destroying, stuffed animals. Oh...and chasing that laser light all over the living room, determined to catch it and kill it. My money is on the laser light.

I spent 7 weeks in Vegas and never once got to take a hot bath while reading my book. I will be doing that tonight. Can't wait.

Is it just me, or does anyone else think Reba McIntyre looks like a frog? Ribbbit, ribbbit.

I think I'm done here.


Monkey

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