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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Final Las Vegas Post...for real.

The template on my blog editor is all screwed up. And I don't know why...or how to fix it. I am unable to insert pictures...which is both good and bad. Good, in that it might keep me out of any trouble, bad in that I had some very funny/entertaining photos to share with you folks.

I am laying in my hotel room. It is 2:30pm. About two hours ago, my good buddy, Christian Iacobellis, who I hatched a % 'sweat fee' with while enjoying our first night out on the town this summer...has just busted out of the Main Event. His two 10's ran into a guy who couldn't lay down A10. Rivered an ace. How many times have I suffered THAT fate this summer? He still cashed for $27,500...not what he was looking for certainly, but more than this clown is going home with.

I was hoping that I would be staying here until Saturday morning...because that would have meant a SURE $50,000 for me. NICE would that have been? Not to mention the enjoyable day off tomorrow while sunning ourselves and enjoying libations in a cabana at 'Surrender' at Encore on his day off? But just as nearly all of 2010 has gone for me this year...a nasty ace hit the river...and instead of him having $225,000 in chips and a very realistic shot at a deep run (he is OVERLY capable of such a performance) I will be packing up my shit, loading up the 4RUnner...accepting a small contribution from him, probably thru Full Tilt (thats...ThePokerMonkey...biloxi....)and starting my 1863 mile odyssey east, to go see my wife, who I have missed immensely this summer...and my dogs, who I always miss so much I can't stand it.

Squirrel wasn't too pleased to hear that I was extending my visit predicated on Christian's ability to get deep in the Main...but she took it in stride. After all, if that was what was going to turn our year be it. But we fell short, again.

Yesterday, while following along with him online...since once again, the 'powers-that-be' at Harrah's, after a text message to their head honcho requesting the ability to come to the Rio and sit quietly offering support for my friend...was met with a return text message discouraging me from attending in person...I laid in my room all day, playing online. In a $11 MTT on P'Stars, the 20k Guarantee, with 2368 players...I cruised pretty much the whole tourney...then with 33 players left...I did the unthinkable. I posted on Facebook that I sure would like the trolls and switchmasters at PS to allow me to win for NOT feed me a cooler or bad beat. To let me finish up with a nice little $3700 score.

Maybe 3 minutes after posting that...sitting 10th in chips, I raise with AK. A notorious 3-bettor does just that. I flat him. Flop comes K-3-7...rainbow. Sweet. (or was it?) I check. He bets out. I re-raise him. He tanks...then moves all in. Can't really fold now. Plus I just can't put him on AA. I call. He has KK. OMG. Wow. And I was out. 32nd. Good for $61.25. In five hours of play. Those are the tourneys where you just want to kill yourself.

I went downstairs...found Subway...amidst a sea of drunken beer pongers...and got a sandwich. The first thing I'd eaten all day. Went back to room, talked to the wife, took an Ambien, read about two pages of my book and crashed for 10 hours. Wow. At least I am now in good driving condition.

WestSide Bobby (smith) from San about to be done for the day at WSOP from his floor gig and wants to take me to dinner...has been all summer...but hes been working a very odd schedule so we havent made it happen. I might go join him...once I have the Monk-mobile all loaded up and ready to split.

Got a call from a guy who is involved pretty heavily with Felt Stars...a new poker site that is operating on the Merge network. Ive heard a bit about it...seen guys like Tyler Smith sporting their hats at poker tables. And heard how Tyler ran a small amount of coin into a large bundle on there. So I was contacted about becoming an affiliate with them, and maybe a pro, later. Might be a good idea if I get my ass out there and win something first! But this guy sent me $50, I set up an account...and by the end of the day ran that up to $124 by winning the only SNG I played and taking $15 at a Omaha h/l table and running it up to $75. I put $25 on a little $.10/.20 Hold'em table and had a guy all in on a ten high flop...him JJ....and he spikes an Ace on the river...or I would have won a lot more. Pretty decent site. Not too many glitches that I can see. The players seem to be incredibly soft. I was pitched a nice little rakeback deal, so I will futz around with it in the next couple weeks and see if I can make something out of it. I will also continue to figure out what I can do for my readers where it would be a good deal for them to get on there and get playing too. Maybe some kind of deposit bonus deal or a rakeback deal or something. If you get on there...and come looking for username is BiloxiMonkey...tried all variations of ThePkrMnky, ThePokerMonkey....all of them were TAKEN! Who is out there stealing my mojo?


The World Cup is over. Spain wins. Yippee. Pretty boring game. Hope no one gets killed for not winning. They take that shit pretty seriously. Lebron is off to Miami. Big shocker there. Some of you know about this, some don't. During the Boston series, it was uncovered that teammate Delonte West was caught having an affair with LeBron's mom. It caused a huge rift among them...and if you recall, LeBron was very distanced those last three games and just didn't seem to have the same passion. I think he was ready to get the hell out of Cleveland, and start a new chapter in his life. He is taking a lot of heat (no pun intended)...and Cleveland's owner really showed a lack of maturity with his 'jilted high school lover-like' letter...but I think people need to understand, the guy is 25. He has been a winner in Cleveland for 5 years now. They made the Finals, lost. East finals three times and lost. He is buddies with Wade and Bosh...and you a former athlete, if I had a chance to join up with three of my buddies and try to have a dream season together, even if it meant making less in salary, I would have to do it. I think its going to make for a helluva fun season to watch. So you have MIAMI/BOSTON/ORLANDO/ATLANTA in the EAST.....and LALAKERS/SAN ANTONIO/ DALLAS/ PHOENIX in the WEST...with possible breakouts from Oklahoma City, Houston, Utah, Portland and Chicago...but doubtful. Should make for a pretty exciting season.


A while back I mentioned some 'juicy shit' from the WSOP. While I attended a 4th of July party at Frank Kassela's beautiful home...and later a get together at Allie Prescott and Shaun Deeb's apartment, I pretty much played the role of fly on the wall. Present at both gatherings were some pretty big hard hitters in the poker world, Frank...this years Player of the Year for the WSOP, of course. Brandon Cantu. Liv Boeree. David Fox. Allie Prescott. Jeff Madsen. Jeremy McLaughlin. Michael Binger. Frank just busted the Main...but Allie and Brandon are still alive as I write this. Anyway...I heard a lot of things...gripes mostly, that I wasn't even aware was happening. Mainly because I havent stepped foot in the Rio all summer. Not by my choice, of course.

The consensus is that the people running the WSOP care very little about what the players want. That whatever they can do to make things more convenient for them, they will do. A couple of these players were incensed that it is the players and their money who pay the salaries of these people in charge, that our money is what makes their positions even possible. That somehow this is of little concern or consequence to them. But I have been saying these kind of things for years. And the bottom line is that if players keep showing up, paying their money...and only protesting to a level that generally subsides after a few minutes, nothing will ever change...and will, in fact, just get worse.

There is really only one solution. You get a core of players...and when I say players, I don't mean ME and my buddies. I mean a core of guys like PHIL IVEY, ERIC LINDGREN, TOM DWAN, BARRY GREENSTEIN, PHIL HELLMUTH...etc, etc...guys with clout. Both results, and money in the bank. You get them to establish an organization, to develop a tournament hire effective staff...and you take on the WPT and WSOP head to head. You attract corporate sponshorship...who will add money to the prize pool. You set up tourneys as events that you have to qualify for by virtue of past results. Put an end to the 'anyone can plunk down money and play' world of tournament poker. Pay dealers a fair they arent pressed into that awkward give and take that happens with not being allowed to work overtime...or only getting a percentage of the players' tip out...which seems all too often to be getting divied up between the floor people and upper management. Players stop paying $550 for a tourney and watching only $475 of it make it into the prize pool. I could see a tourney where a buy in cost $500. And two big sponsors both add another $20,000 each to the prize pool. The dealers all make $20 per down. Everybody wins. The players. The dealers. The floor people, the management. And the sponsors. And you are likely to get good players winning the tourneys. Because you won't have so many jokers participating.

But will this dream scenario ever happen? Hell no it won't. Why? Because those guys I've mentioned? They are all doing quite well within the current framework. Why kill the golden goose? And what do they really have to gain? Other than the respect and admiration of the poker player community? And do they really care about that? Doubtful. There aren't enough players out there who are willing to put in the work necessary to bring about this change in the game. So they will keep showing up to events, bitching about the 'juice' while laying down their buy in money. Do some more bitching about having to pay for RedBull...complain about the fast structures....then finally, freak out when some idiot with a red-neck farmers tan cant get away from A7 (cuz it was suited!) and puts you and your AK suited on the rail when he rivers a 7 on you. But they say..."thatttttts poker!" Right? Pfffft. If you say so. Not in my world. Thats just part of the problem, when idiot assholes are allowed to sit down at the same table as us established players who DO know our asshole from our elbow, and who invest the 12 hours to winning enough to bring satisfaction to our lives for a month or two....only to be run down by some jackass who 'doesnt really care if I win or not, I just wanted to gamble and see if I get lucky!' Those are the guys who are ruining my passion for poker. Those are the guys who have KILLED my 2010 so far. And those are the guys who have driven my wife to get me on that wonderdrug, CELEXA...thank God...because it has saved me.

The ability to just sit there...unemotional, uninterested in anyone's lives at my table. Like a frog...waiting patiently for a fly to zap with my 9 inch tongue....ribit....ribit....stacking up chips.....ribit, ribit....just sitting there.....listening to music...observing, watching...trying to figure out which retard its going to be that will serve me my helping of 'get the fuck outa here Monkey' casserole. Occasionally changing a battery in my BOSE. "hey Monkey...whats your problem....You used to be so fun at the table, you depressed? Why aren't you chatting like always?" Sorry reason. I love you. I love all of you. I love poker. Greatest game on Earth. Ribit, ribit.......riiiiibbbbit. Miley signing in my ear...."movin my hips like yeaaaahhh....waving my arms like yeahhhhhh....its a party in the USAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" as I allow myself to almost sway in my seat. Then I see it, those pointed tips. Aces. Early position. Aggressive table. A guaranteed raiser in the BB. One limper behind me. Then another. One more. Lets not blow, no...we can do this...we can do this.....DO IT MONKEY, DO IT.....I too limp. Another call. And then HIM. MR PSYCHOPATH. thinks...thinks some more....come on it. DO IT you fucker!

"I raise."


$1200. (blinds 100/200)

Fold. Fold. Fold. ONE CALLER. Then ME. Ribbbbit, ribbiit............riiiiiiiiibbbbbbbbbiiiiiiit...a FLY.....thwwwwack! Got it. Mmmm...deliscious!

"RERAISE"....... "$3200"

Fold to the freak. Freak begins studying the frog. Ribit, Ribit. Good luck getting a read sir. I am nothing...nothing but an inanimate object to you. A house plant. A vase. A garden hose laying in the yard. Good luck reading me. This is the new monkey. The FrogMonkey.

"I'm All in!"

I don't even call. I just turn over my cards. And push my chips into the middle of the arena. They never come home. Because he has A8 off suit.


Freak proceeds to pound on the table, and holler...."Thats what I'm talking about! yeahhhhhh!!!! yeah baby! I knew I was good! I knew I was good! Ship those chips dealer!! Ship it!!!!!"

No one hears a word from me. Why? I have already left. Slithered, rather...from the area. This is the new Monkey. Do you like it? I hope so. Because it is what you will be getting from me from now on.

And oh...when I do WIN a big pot, or God forbid, even a tourney? You can expect nothing from me in the way of exuberance. I will merely sit back down on my lilly pad and assume my position. You will see no enthusiasm from me anymore. No desire to know anything about you new people at my table.

The people who run poker have stripped all of that out of me. I show any emotion, any happiness, I am always at risk of upsetting someone. I am watched by everyone...watched because they are sure if they look hard enough, I will do SOMETHING, or say SOMETHING that can be somehow used against me. So screw it. This isnt really as hard as I thought it might be. It just means that I have to grow a deeper and better relationship with myself...since that is who I now choose to spend most of my time with.

Maybe all these Monkey haters will let me come back to their casinos, and play in their poker tourneys. If so...wonderful. If not, life goes on. I like what Peter Eastgate did last week. Announced that he is DONE with poker. Just up and basically quit. Said there are other things he wants to do with his life. He had made the money to make those things possible. And now he is moving on. Good for him! I aspire to do the same thing. If anyone is under the impression that I do not possess either the desire or the ability to walk away from are terribly mistaken.

I just hope Jack Effel isn't jerking me around...when telling me that one year away from the WSOP (actually two now, but who besides ME is really counting)...and a year of 'keeping my nose clean' will result in me being allowed to return next summer. Because I will be coming in with a determination like no one has ever seen before. To do the kind of things in this game people will talk about for years...and then just vanish. Take my wife and dogs and disappear into a life of doing things WE want to do.

If I take my frog-like act to all these Harrah's circuit events in the next 9 months...and various WPT events...and my name is never even mentioned in the category of 'warning' or 'penalty' or 'expulsion' and I get turned away from the WSOP in Las Vegas again....well....I don't think I even need to finish that sentence. Do I?


I want to say something about the bullshit that is going on in the Gulf of Mexico, my home. I have a rental property in Pensacola, off of the beach...and Squirrel and I both live off of the water in Biloxi. It is no secret that the oil spill is severely affecting her ability to make money at work. It is no doubt affecting my property value on my home in Pensacola. But none of that means as much to me as what it is doing to the environment, and to the wildlife of our home. And then, I get a letter from one of my most loyal blog readers..and it really sank in. For repercussions sake, he asked that I not use his name if I posted this. I have exchanged messages with this guy over the last two years...and he is a very good guy. This letter broke my heart. And it follows:

As someone who has been in the oil field for 30 years I cannot begin to tell you how embarressed and outraged myself and my friends are over what fucking BP has done in the Gulf.

I have not talked to one person in the field who does not feel this way.

I'm am no drilling eng. but I know enough about drilling wells to see what happened. So many mistakes were made to cut costs (no matter what lies they say, this is a fact). It did NOT have to happen and now 12 men are gone and their wives are widows and their children have no father. These were VERY brave men who died trying to save the rig and the other lives on board. I have been on blowouts on land, and I can tell you it is a very scary thing. I cannot imagine it offshore dealing with the pressure they encountered.

It's just such a travesty and we all hope the Gulf and you folks that live there can recover!

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

PS: time for an updated blog!

PSS; you can post this but no names please.

I think we should all say a prayer for the families who lost their brave men on that oil rig. And make sure to hold BP accountable for everything they have done to destroy our local way of life.


Some of the bitching that was taking place around the house regarding WSOP were these issues:

For the first year ever...if you arrive at a tournament AFTER level 3...even if you paid in advance, they PICK UP YOUR are given a refund, THE FIRST TIME. The next time it happens, they pick up your are NOT given a refund...and you are NOT ALLOWED to play any more events. This actually happened to a handful of players. Why did they do this? I guess one reason was due to the large number of players in the fields, and the difficulty attached to having to track down a stack after a table breaks and that dead/unattended stack has to move to another table. Once that player decides to show do you tell him where his chips went? It's kind of a pain in the ass. I get that. But answer me this? When Phil Hellmuth shows up in Level 5 like he so often does...will he find out that his stack was taken out of play, and his money refunded to him? And oh...told that the next time it happens he will be DQ'd and not allowed to play any more events? You answer that one yourself.

Here's another one. If you arrive at Rio at 11:35am for a noon tourney...and are stuck in the line from hell? You finally get to the window and its 12:02pm. You buy into the $1500 tourney. You get an alternate seat and directed to an area...where you are forced to often times wait until 1pm before you can start playing. That was going on a lot. Register at 12:33pm. Gotta wait til 1pm. Register at 1:15pm...have to wait until 2pm.

One of the guys said, that in a direct conversation with a WSOP official, that he is trying to completely do away with late registration all together. Well, they are sure taking ways to implement that, arent they? I mean...a lot of us quit our regular jobs because we had a hard time getting to work on time? Right? So poker was/is perfect for us. Got a few errands to run today. Want to get them done so I can sit at my table for 12 hours and have nothing eating at me all day. Right? So instead...we get there late...and we get punished, have to sit around for up to an hour before we can play. Why? TO teach us a lesson? We are being punished by the people who a portion of our buyin goes to fund their mere existence. I find that almost comical. And yet, do the players fight back? Hell no. I find poker players to be the most lazy, uninspired bunch of people I've ever associated with.

Here is a floor call that happened during the WSOP this year. As witnessed by 'a very good player.' Ya ready? And NO...I am NOT making this up.

Player #1 raises from 200/400 to 1200. Player #2 re-raises to 3100. Before Player #1 can act...the dealer puts the flop out. Hmmmm. The usual craziness ensues. But we all know what is SUPPOSED to happen here, right? But guess what happens instead?

"FLOOR!" Floor arrives. Is explained the situation. Tells the dealer to pull back the flop, and the burn card. Allow the other player to call the reraise, fold, or reraise himself. Okay. Good so far, right? So Player #1 CALLS. Now then....the PROPER move after that the dealer is to reshuffle the deck, including the burn card (I think...almost 95% on that burn card) and the erroneously flopped cards, and then present a new flop. What happens instead?

The floor guy instructs the dealer to shuffle ONLY those FOUR cards! And then burn and flop the remaining three cards! No shit! This caused everyone as the table to freak out. Player #2 immediately lost his shit...and demanded another floor person be brought over before anything else happened. Another floor person arrived. The problem was fixed. Play continued.

There were about 4 stories like this one...but this one was the most unbelievable. On another one...a floor guy was going to let a player 'slide' on a hand where he had called what he thought was a calling of the blind, but was actually calling a raise he didn't see. When he pitched his case to the floor guy...the floor guy's 'take' was that no one at the table was going to seem to mind if he let him take his money back...when we ALL know that the rule clearly states that the money stays, no matter what. He had just decided to make an arbitrary thing. One player spoke up, and the rule was enforced, along with an apology from the floor guy to the affected player.

Nice. "I'm sorry sir. I tried to be a nice guy and let you break the rules, but one of the other players decided to be an asshole so I can't."

I also heard that there are things over there that are much better than in years past. But the sentiment that came with that...was that as much money as they are making off of my fellow poker players....MILLIONS...things SHOULD only get better. Not ever should things get worse.

Again...these aren't my gripes, and I wish none of this to reflect negatively on me. I am just reporting to you, my avid readers, what is being reported to me, from those who ARE allowed to walk into that poker paradise for degenerates and try their luck. I'm sure a lot of you have stories to share of your own. Feel free to post them here.


I am starting a new SEGMENT on my BLOG...effective...well, TODAY. It will be called....hmmmm...snappy name.....


One of those. THe premise? Ask me anything. Whether it be personal in nature. Or maybe you want to talk about a hand that you played...or that I played. Ask my my opionion on something, whether it be poker-based, or about something totally irrelevant. Try to prove that I am a fucking moron. Ask me a really tricky question...see how I respond. Anything. I like the intereaction with you people. And since I am now DONE talking up my table for the most part...I have to fall back on you folks. So from this point on...I am inviting you all to pick my brain! I promise to respond to ALL OF THEM!


Three cheers to all the valet parkers of Las Vegas this summer. And MOST of the dealers and almost ALL of the cocktail waitresses. They are the true winnners of the "Get Monkey's Money" contest this year. Vegas continues to have the greatest valets on Earth. Free valet is huge. I usually give a $1 on the way in and $2 to $4 on the way out...depending on the day I had. The cocktail girls never get less than $2 from me. In the looks category, The best-looking has to go, hands down to the new Aria. They are just amazing. And most of them are nice too and have funny personalities. The Wynn still has some of the finest as well. The girls at the home turf...were slightly around average. O'Sheas? Scary. Golden Nugget...not good. Binions? Not good. Venetian? Above average. Bellagio...slightly above average. Orleans? frightening. Not sure who I am leaving out...but I think you all get the idea. But there is NO FINER COCKTAIL waitress than that little hottie who carries the tray at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi...they call her Squirrel...and I love her!


SO what to do, what to do. I like driving at night...when there is less traffic, its not as hot outside, and I get better mileage, and can see the movies playing on my stereo screen a lot better. Plus...if I leave tonight around would get me home around Friday morning or I could spend a few hours with my sweetie before she goes to work. Then I think we might be spending either this coming weekend or next weekend at Orange Beach, Alabama with her family before I swallow my pride and go back up to Tunica to play at Goldstrike and work hard to get my image back in good enough standing to allow me the chance to come back and play at the Beau Rivage in the following event. That is becoming more and more important to me. I desire to spend more time at home with my wife and dogs. If I can just play the local events...I can at least scrape out a couple nightly wins every now and then and just focus on making enough to make a living. I do plan on hitting the Chicago event in late October. But as for other events...I will play the WSOP circuit event in Biloxi in OCT/NOV. And likely the New Orleans event in December. I want to try and stay close to home the rest of the year. I'm tired of being gone from home. And I'm tired of that feeling of loneliness that comes from being all alone, and running bad...which in turn makes me hide from even the people who DO want to hang out with me. Its a really sick game, and a brutal way to live. And such a 360 turn from last summer at this time.

Just ask Gabe Costner how sick this game can be. Last year at this time he was sitting in a hole even deeper than mine, both financially and emotionally. But he battled and fought...and didnt give up...and after a 3rd place finish early this summer that won him $278,000...he sits around 1 million chips now as of this the main event, as he goes for 8.9 million bucks. Good Luck to him.

While I have been writing this they have literally lost 200 players...including some very good players and some good buddies of mine. Frank Kassela is out. Dwight Pilgrim is out. Brandon Cantu, gone. Shannon Shorr...done. I see John Dolan is still in there. As is Allie Prescott...who I would love to see make the Final Table. Lot of good players left, for sure. One guy who is still in the Top 4....who I badly want to see take about 9 bad beats and min Duh Le. Ya'all who have been reading my blog for awhile, remember this little fucker.

Last summer...with me 2nd in chips at the Final Table at Venetian...2.2m compared to Duh's one else had more than 800k...we made a money deal...where he got 33k. I got 22k. The others each got 16k...and we left 10k on top to play for. Me and a guy from Macedonia...'Drags' ended up getting down to three with Duh...who had been an asshole the whole day. We finally managed to take him out...and watched in total shock when he left with the trophy. HUH? According to the floor guy, because he was signing for the most amount of money, he would be entitled to the trophy and would get 1st place points in the race for the All Around. WTF? What kind of shit was that? He became known as Duh-eeee the trophy thief for the rest of the summer. Who takes a trophy when they don't win? Well fortunately for me I got another chance in the $550 tourney, when I won it outright, no chops. But it still pisses me off that I didn't get that other one. And now he sits up near the top of the WSOP leaderboard. I am going to really be hating life if I have to watch that assclown on TV this fall. Ughhhhhh someone PLEASE knock him out!!!!!!

Alright...I think thats about it for me. I have got things to do, clearly!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey monk, better luck in Tunica and i'll say hey to you when i see ya. just a few thoughts though... 1)"when idiot assholes are allowed to sit down at the same table as us established players who DO know our asshole from our elbow"....plz remember us "idiot assholes" are the ones that give you "established players" your overall +EV. Just a thought. 2) In your WSOP premature action problem, the dealer should let the action be completed and then reshuffle the deck (without the initial burn card) and put out a new flop. I believe the floor got their call mistaken with another situation where the dealer puts out (4) cards on flop. The "new" floor call in this situation per Matt Savage and the TDA is to scramble the four cards face-down and pull one out to be the next burn and the other three are the flop. You would have a 25% chance of pulling out the correct card and putting the correct flop out there. It's a better alternative than putting out an entire new flop and players knowing 4 cards that are still "live" in the deck. 3) Stump the Monkey: Do you remember where Chris Chandler played high school football in Washington State?? D. Wade....Lost in Kinder