Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FINALLY....a NOONER cash!!!

Details to follow...as I just woke up and have to get to today's tourney...but yes....red snappers were ordered, a good time was had by all, and my streak of non-cashes in noon tourneys was snapped! Finally!

Now...off to take a shower and go back and do it again!


Monday, August 30, 2010

90 left in nooner. Avg stack is 30k. I'm sitting on 105k. One time in a nooner this year?
Off to a pretty good start today. Have 22k at break. A decent field of 257 on a monday. Let's see if we can finally have a nice, smooth, disaster-free day for once!!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reallllly Testing my Meds!

Uggghhhhh....Deep sigh.....breathe Monkey....breathe!!!!

I'm telling you, I am really, really being tested to the full limits of my tolerance this week.

Today is Sunday, and I will not be going to the Beau Rivage today. I have some tournaments at my favorite online poker room to play and I have two fantasy football drafts. That and I hope to clear my head from the brutal beatdowns I have been taking the last three days.

I really felt good going into this week...really did, and was confident that I would fatten up my bankroll. Wrong.

I was 0 for 8 in SNG's before I finally chopped one last night before the 7pm nightly tourney. I played 5 yesterday. In 3 of them I finished 4th. Irritating. And in two of them I was out on the first HAND! Once flopping trips only to be outkicked and once flopping top two (AJ on an AJ10 board, to a guy with AQ who rivered a K) only to lose to a straight.

Two nights ago, I admittedly made a bad play in the nightly. It was one of those deals where I was up and down all night...and at 300/600 and a guy raising UTG to 1800, I looked at JJ and totally misplayed it. I re-raised...to a number that was way too high, 5500...so that when the guy three seats down went all in, and I looked at 7500 left in my stack...and close to 20k in the pot...I was in a sticky spot. Shit. There was NO WAY I was good. I knew it. All I could hope for was that he had AK. No really a nice spot to be in. Had I raised to 3500 or 4000 and left myself 9k or so behind, it would have been a lot easier to fold. Or just freaking flatted...which is something I do a LOT with JJ vs. an early position raiser. But this guy raising had been very active...so I thought re-raising was the right move against him.

Well, I decided I didn't feel like going back to grinding a shortstack...and made a stupid call. He flipped over KK...yep, knew it. I did pick up an open ended draw on the turn...but I don't ever hit those, and wouldn't there. I was out. Booo! And went home.

My noon tourneys have been a joke. In the first one...I got chips early...then got blinded down to almost nothing (6500) before getting two huge double ups...and seemed to be coasting with 30k when we had gotten to 600/1200. Then I lose three hands in a row...all of them ahead preflop, got two outed on two of them, and rivered on the 3rd by a flush. The 3rd one put me out.

Yesterday, I sit down, have 3 maniacs at the table, including this guy from the day before who had taken a liking to me...but the feeling wasnt mutual, based solely on the simple fact that he is one of those guys who never folds. This guy put more stupid beats on people, it was just disgusting. Myself included. He told me he only played cash game...this it was the 4th tourney he had ever played. I didn't 'dislike' him per se...I just got sick of him beating my good hands with total garbage....like K8 vs. my QQ.

The tone was set early when this lady...who at first I thought was an older fella...but then discovered...whoops, not a fella; she starts the action by raising from 25/50 to 600! With just one limper in the hand. Then on the button, with NO action behind her...raises 500. Huh? Then after everyone folds says "I was hoping someone would play with me there." Really? Like who? The guy with AA? Cuz thats the ONLY action your getting there with that hairbrained raise.

I have had more players come up to me with "Monkey...dude...you are NOT going to believe this hand I just saw on my table!!!"

Um, folks...yes, yes I will! Because I have spent three days watching it over and over myself. There is nothing you can tell me that will shock me. In the nightly last night...which again I got deep in before this, ahem....g-e-n-t-l-e-m-a-n decides to call my flop bet (heads up in the blinds) with King high....I had top pair...then my all in (with two pair) when he picked up a flush draw....only to hit his flush on the river. Oh, he had just felted Dan Walsh on the previous hand so I think he was feeling chip drunk and just felt like he was bulletproof. So instead of have around 60k and being able to cruise to the 10% of the field finish line, pocketing $1800 and being back above even for the weekend, I was instead sitting out in the lobby, on that couch...alone, scratching my head.

Earlier in that nightly....at another table, again with Dan Walsh...he gets into a hand with this lady I have never seen before. Looked like an eagle kind of...with a sharp pointy nose and beady eyes. Dan flops top pair with a decent kicker...and after an exchange of earlier betting, decides the right move on this lady is to go all in. So he does. She calls. A huge all in. With....yeah....AIR. Nothing. No pair. No flush draw. One over to the board. She turns a straight draw....gutshot albeit...and rivers...tada, the straight. Dan handled it like a champ. Sitting there in silent astonishment. Four other guys at the table were also sitting there with their mouth agape...trying to figure out, "How in the hell did that lady call there?"

Yeah...we ALL wanted to know the answer to that one.

Oh but then Dan gets even MORE screwed on another hand. We had some very um.... i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g players at our table last night. Dan opens with A5d. Old guy who has something on his arm that kind of resembled a flesh eating disease...yeah I can't figure out what it was but it captured my attention and would not let go...I just sat there transfixed on this guy's arm all night. Oh...the hand..yeah...he calls with KJs. Fair enough. He bets out when he flops a flush draw. Dan had flopped an ace. With one diamond. He raises...to 4200. This guy SMOOTH CALLS...and leaves 575 behind. Yep!

Turn is the 4 of diamonds...pairing the board...and giving damn a flush draw to go with his aces up. Old guy stuffs his 575 in there, duh. Dan calls...old guy rivers the 5 of spades! Standard.

Back in the nooner...that lady who resembled a guy...was pissing off the table. At one point, she had, after an unbelievable suckout with a terrible hand...now had all the orange 1k chips on the table. They started us out with (1) 5k chip, and only about 3 or 4 1k chips. And since we didn't lose any players on our table...we had a shortage of 1k chips. So I needed to break up my 5k chip to make a BB and when I asked Danielle (the dealer) if she could ask that lady to give me change... Danielle did. Or tried to.


Yep. No explanation. Just "NO!!!" Danielle looks at me with the funniest look on here face. Now, I know I have a thing about making change..some of you know about it. But its mostly due to my O.C.D. situation and liking to keep my stacks relatively uniform in appearance. However, if there is a situation where I have all of, or the majority of...one particular color of chips...I will ALWAYS make change, especially if the dealer asks politely. Sometimes, there are those dealers who (especially when you are in the 1 or 10 seat) will just reach right into your stack and make change. I hate that. Its just rude. Anyway...this lady is adamant. And so when someone at the table told her she had all the orange chips and we wouldn't be able to play pretty soon if she didn't make change...she had a good comeback.

"I don't ever make change. I'm superstitious."

Who do you think busted me? You know it! I mean...what is up with 2010? Can't there ever be just one day when there is some poetic justice? I raise with AQ. The crazy guy from the day before...who is, again, sticking bad beats on people...calls me of course...and so she jumps in there too. Wonderful. This was at 300/600. I raised to 1800. Flop comes Q-J-4....two clubs. She checks. I bet 2200. He folds (thankfully!) and she thinks about it...and calls. Turn is the 6 of hearts. She checks again. I go all in. She tanks. I have NO CLUE what she has...but I am thinking KQ might be a possibility, in which case I hope she calls. She finally asks....."How much is it again?"

"$4275 maam"

"Ohhhhh......alright, I call"

And turns over......drum roll.... KING EIGHT....clubs.

WHAT????????? 1800 preflop raise? Come on.

River? Whatcha got for me Roz Jordan? Oh! The 5 of clubs? Sweet!

Goodbye folks!


Trip to lobby. Visit couch which is becoming a little too much my buddy this weekend.

No fewer than 12 people walk by...."Hey Monk...hows it going?" "You still in?" "No way...you can't be out already!" "What happened?" "Are you happy to be back at the Beau?"

From now on...after I lose, and bust out the way I keep busting out this year....I think I need to go to the bathroom, lock myself in a stall...and just sit in there. Because, a lot of those people who try to talk to me...and I know, make me feel better, are YOU GUYS who read this. And the last thing I want to do is be rude to you folks. I love that you guys read this crap I throw out at you...and it means a lot to me when you see me at tourneys and tell me you read this and enjoy it. So I try really hard not to do anything to alienate you guys or piss you off. So after I lose ugly, that situation is tested mightily. So if any of you happen to say hi to me, and you can kind of tell that I am looking 'not so pleased' about something...trust that it has nothing to do with YOU...and everything to do with one of these previously described situations.

Last thing I want is someone running around telling anyone who will listen to him that "Man, that guy Monkey is a total asshole! I used to read his blog, but I tried to talk to him and he just stormed right by me like I was nothing!"

So yeah...I think from now on...cooler beat, donkey suckout...whatever....I'm making a beeline for the head.

I've played three of those nightly survivors. I have won NONE of them. I should have won two of them...and maybe three if I don't make that assinine play with the Jacks. I should have won at LEAST two other SNG's. So instead of being down about 2k on this current event, I should be UP about 3k. Its amazing how a miracle river here and there for my opponents can make such an impact on my bankroll.

As far as the event itself goes...the room is great. Love that huge space they have with all the tables. They have once again brought in some great dealers. We had this guy I've never seen at ANY event complaining about the dealers last night and I just looked at him like he had 4 arms....

"You think the dealers are bad for this event? Where do you usually play?"

He literally told me "I usually just play poker at people's house."

Really? Wow. This guy needs to take a trip to Atlantic City one week and sit down at a table up there...I would pay money to watch that!

Actually, despite what this retard says...the dealers are very good. The floor people have been very attentive and lenient on stuff like texting at the table while NOT in the hand...and have even allowed us a little freedom with talking to our opponents while in the hand. I love that. My only gripe is having to play 10-handed. I just can't stand it. I just wish if we have to pay decent money to sit down for 12 hours or more and play a game that requires a lot of focus and concentration that we should be permitted to do it in relative comfort. A lot of people who play poker are, to be polite, a little heavier than they should be (myself included!). And to someone who is a bit of a 'space-a-phobe' like I am...its potentially really irritating. Primarily if you get one of those people who just flat refuses to move to where they are supposed to be...or 'squaring up' as directed by the dealers. I'm not sure why they make us play 10-handed. Maybe someday they will stop doing this...I will be thrilled when that day arrives. Thats one great thing about SNG's...you are only 10-handed for a few minutes usually.

Oh...man...got a buffet comp from the poker room the other night and went to the buffet with a friend. Hadn't been to the Beau Rivage buffet in quite a awhile. They changed some things. The one thing I really noticed was that instead of serving the food in those big metal chafing dishes, they are now using nice ceramic serving trays that are about a third of the size. A really nice touch. Why? Because it assures that the food stays fresh, and hot. And it just looks better. I was really impressed. And the guy who was taking care of our table was really attentive and helpful. The food was good. You all know I typically hate, and avoid the buffet usually...but I'm glad I decided to dine there Friday night. It was really good.

My lawn is literally underwater. Nice weather we're having! And here comes some hurricanes. Should be a fun month!!!!

All my fantasy teams are filled! Yah! And today I have two fantasy drafts. Pretty excited for that.

Ran into Captain Tom Franklin and he handed me the 5% save money I got from him for his final table cash up in Tunica. That was a nice little boost to the bankroll. Thanks Tom! For not being a welsh. Like SOME people out there!

A certain guy who has owed me $1000 for over a year, who promised on several occasions to 'get with me' but never did...managed to find $350 to play yesterday's tourney. Then completely avoided the topic when I attempted to talk to him about it. A guy I really thought was 'good people' when I was buddies with him. Is there anything worse than being screwed by someone you think, or thought...was a good guy? Its very disappointing.

I can't believe its been 5 years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Five years? Wow. Its amazing how the older I get the faster that time goes by. Best wishes to those who are still recovering from that disaster.

Well I think that is about it. Are you kidding me? My wife is calling me...no, no...not as in...shouting my name from the bedroom. She is CALLING ME ON MY PHONE! I am in the living room!

Bye guys!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Okay. New day. When it rains, and I wear this blue shirt, and I lose a button on my jeans...I never lose!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Busto in the nooner! Damn! Hopin for a good turnout in the nightly.
End of level 6. 290 left. Have 19k. Blinds 400/800. Some good hands requested!
Good turnout for todays 1st event. 439pp. I've got 12k at 1st break. Ya! I made the break!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Okay....here is Mollie, and a guest pose by Jasper!

Okay...I hear you guys...stop dangling the carrot and show us!

Let me say this, its pretty hard to hold the camera AND the 'crack light' at the same time while trying to track Mollie...but I kind of pulled it off.

Now for those asking yourself, "what the hell is Monkey talking about right now?"

I shall clarify. I have two dogs. One a purebred lab retriever who is just beautiful (we think) and one that was rescued by people who threw her in a ditch and is bits and pieces of several breeds...but just adorable. Well, Jasper is addicted to this damn ball. Even sleeps with it IN HIS MOUTH! And Mollie, well, though Jasper won't even acknowledge it, Mollie is like a crack addict when this laser light comes out. Jasper cant be bothered with it. She even knows the drawer we keep it in....if we get near that drawer...she freaks out.

Here, for your viewing pleasure....are my 'kids.'

While its still uploading I will continue to babble....hopefully it DOES fully upload.

Just finished all the chores around the house and cut the rest of the lawn. Just about ready to get things started tonight at the Beau Rivage. In checking out their website I just made a sort of interesting discovery. The nightly tourney starts at 6pm, not 7pm...as a lot of them often times do. That I like. And they are using that Survivor format that they used up in Tunica...where 10% of the field wins. Basically, you get 90 players....you play until you are left with 9. The new wrinkle that I noticed them throwing in, is that it will be a $100 rebuy tourney for the first 3 levels. Hmmm. Interesting. Now that could get costly huh? But what I'm thinking is this: I run pretty good in Megas, and this is essentially a mega. I won the last three in a row up in Tunica. Each for around $1500. Well, had those been REBUYS? How much would I have won then? Probably twice as much. Right? So....I think I like this. Just hope it doesnt discourage a large number of people from playing.

Had yet another disastrous night on Stars last night. Once again AA never held up. Had AA a total of 9 times...lost with it 6. Incredible. THREE more bubbles. Always with the best hand. Tried to pitch a deal with HoldEm Manager to save some money on their software. No dice. Grrrr.

Got a message from a reader here, 'Boonie' suggesting that maybe the reason I run bad is due to my 'tight aggressive' style of play. There are a couple things I would like to say here in addressing that. Or would I? Maybe I don't want all of you knowing just how much I have mixed up my game.

I have dramatically changed up my game both online AND live in the past year. I am 'playing more poker' than I ever used to. As opposed to just playing a game of 'catching cards.' I feel that my skill set has improved a lot. I know there are a lot of you out there who think I am too tight for my own good. I will admit, I used to be. Now there are times when I absolutely MUST get a cash to survive...when I will shift it into neutral, almost reverse, in order to just survive long enough to get some money back in my pocket, and then hope I get lucky and run deep once I get in the money.

Online though, oh...I am anything but tight. I play a ton of hands. Why? Because there are SO MANY horrible players online. And they are generally so easy to pick off. But for some reason, knowing what they have 92% of the time...doesnt seem to matter when everything just seems to work against you. You can have a guy drawing to 3 outs or less on there and its amazing how often they hit. My online game and my live game don't quite mirror each other...but the gap isn't that far. The thing about online play...is the structure is designed so that in the first 7 levels, you can play so many hands. I mean....SO many. And yeah, I realize that the more hands you play the more your chances exist to get a punishing beat. I can live with that. What peeves me is once you get to level 15 and beyond, you have guys...guys who are still firing back those one liners when they make these ridiculously retarded suckouts, like "Hey man...its a $20 tourney!"

When you are looking at a 1st prize of $7800 and you are in the top 20 in chips, that is not the quote you want to read from some jackass who you have no clue as to how he got that deep in the first place. To me...once I cross a certain line...that tourney is no longer valued at whatever the buy in was. It is now valued at whatever I am playing for. Isnt that just a common sense deduction?

Furthermore, Boonie...I have actually gone into little rinky-dink SNG's or MTT's with a Tyler Smithian attitude on how I intended to play that event. Raising 2.5 every chance I got. 3-betting raisers from MP and later just to see if I can get away with it. Oh, I know the 'system' that all these agro-aggressive players are utilizing, don't think I don't. But what we are up against, are complete idiots, who wouldn't KNOW that they are simply being outplayed. They just look at their two hole cards...and if they fall in love with them...they are never getting folded. Period. Tyler Smith, John Dolan, Gabe Costner to a degree....these guys and the style of play they employ...is far better suited to live game...and I am pretty certain they would agree with me there. Why? Because there is a certain amount of physical intimidation that comes with playing like that. There is a certain degree of 'do I want to grab these chips here, pick them up, and put them out there' in live game that doesnt exist in online poker. Online...its just...'Hmm, okay.' CLICK!

Hope that makes for a good reply to your question.

This thing says that video is STILL uploading. Damn!

Just recieved, like...my 3rd or 4th warning/reprimand/demand from the wife about my upcoming re-appearance at the Beau Rivage, her place of employment. She is, of course, nervous. Obviously, she hears EVERYTHING regarding me and whatever I say or do. So of course, I am getting the speech from her. "Now Will, please dont be doing anything out of line. You probably shouldn't drink anything." And more. And while yeah, its starting to annoy the shit out of me...I understand. She does have a right to be concerned. Just another challenge facing me in my road to complete my 'Monkey Makeover.'

HEY HEY the video finished uploading! Now....I just have to update my backer and I's spreadsheet (hopefully not too scary) and I will be ready to hit the Beau! Hope to see a lot of you down there tonight and the rest of the week!!!!!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back in the Saddle again.....Lets Ride!!!

Hell ya, its pretty damn easy to get excited about a live poker tourney after spending two days getting totally slaughtered on Pokerstars! I can't make this up...I had Pokerstars send me a printout of my last three days of play. I played 28 MTT's and 31 SNG's. I bubbled, literally BUBBLED...3 MTTs and 8 SNG's and failed to cash ONE TIME! In probably 1/3th of the SNG's, I was in the top 3 in chips for a good part of them.

Proof that my new medication is working? I only freaked out and hollered ONCE. And that was when...on the bubble and 4th in chips (paying 7) this clown raises me...with QJ...I shove...with QQ....and he SNAP calls. only to go 8-9-10 on me. Yeah, I went a bit nutso after that one!

Finally, last night...late, at 3:16am I popped the ugliest cherry ever by cashing in a $12/180...13th...as I took another bad beat. But whatever, I cashed! Then, at the same time I was getting deep in a $12/45 SNG...and with a huge chip lead my KK loses to A7 and I'm getting that feeling again. But I get heads up with the worst player in the SNG....and every time I have him down to one CARD...he nails it on the river. FOUR times I had him in that spot. All four he sucks out. I got 2nd, for $110. Then went to bed. Maybe tonight I will run good...the last night, or day that I will be online in quite awhile as we get the ball rolling at the Beau Rivage tomorrow.

Okay lets talk about the Beau. First, I hope we have a GREAT turnout. I was buzzing around their site getting specifics on everything. Noticed something their marketing department is doing. Very smart. Offering package deals, with airfare, room rezzies and other incentives out of Atlanta and Tampa Bay/St. Pete. Smart...since a lot of business has been leaving because of the poker laws now in Florida, and games and/or casinos seemingly popping up everywhere. And of course, the whole oil spill thing. Hopefully...as hurricane season heats up, we are seeing the end of the oil nightmare.

I've been looking over the tourney lineup. I was curious about the Sunday Charity tourney so I contacted one of the Beau's poker guys over there and was told it is a benefit to commemorate the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and to aid remaining victims of that disaster. Good touch. I hope they get a good turnout. I wont be able to make it because I have THREE fantasy football drafts that day! Plus a seat in four Sunday majors I kind of would like to play. I'm not too sure, after just being allowed back in, that the folks over there would be too thrilled with me sitting there with my laptop drafting my fantasy team while playing poker. Not a good idea. So I will have to take that day off.

One thing I am kind of bummed about is that there doesnt appear to be a $550 Mega Satellite into the Main Event. I wonder why? They have quite a few of those $230 deals with rebuys. Those scare me, because sometimes, if I'm running bad...but refuse to give up, they can get VERY expensive. But one strategy on those is to just wait till the end of Level 3...come in at the end, take your rebuy, and take the double add on. Gives you plenty of chips, and you avoid the early disasters. But still...I run about 75% in $550 Megas, so obviously I'm somewhat bummed by the absence of those. But hey, if I don't make into the Main...I don't. Right? Maybe I will just run great all week, make a few Final Tables and have enough to just buy in if I brick the megas!

Alright listen up!!!! Friday is the first noon event. I plan to arrive at 11am. One hour before the event. To avoid the line. And to get THIS set up. A fat....FAT!!!! last longer! To celebrate my return to the Beau, I thought it would be fun to add a little extra incentive to this first event! So I will be hanging out in the lobby with my little note pad and pen...if you would like to take part in a BIG $100 last longer side bet...come find me, and give me your $100. One event here at the Beau a couple years ago we got 17 players to do it! NiCE! I ended up chopping that with a guy from Atlanta. If I get knocked out early, I will simply pass the list and the cash along to someone else. These last longers can be a lot of fun...and really take the sting out of not cashing if you get lucky and everyone goes out early and you dont make the money but win the last longer!!!!

NO I WILL NOT BE DOING ANY BOUNTIES! Those days are over! Sorry. I know I became kind of famous for those...but part of my 'personality makeover' is the elimination of bounties and any kind of behaviour that is motivated by spite. Well, if I am hating myself, maybe I will put a bounty on ME!!!!

I'm real excited to get started! Spend all day yesterday over in Pensacola getting my taxes done (finally!), getting my car tuned up and the oil changed and went by my rental property and finally met my tenant face to face and inspected the lawn. It didn't look as bad as I expected. Got the sprinkler system corrected, and his promise that he would keep up the effort on the yard. Guy was actually okay. He was painted as a 'demon' by the leasing agent, but its actually HER that I am having my doubts about. Whatever. Just glad to get that worked out. Yard work over here is done. So I am all set to get going this week at the Beau.

What is going on with all these bed bugs? Its on the news every time I turn around...now I'm all paranoid about it.

I have 4 spots left on my Big Money Fantasy League...$300 to play. If interested email me at ThePoolMonkey@aol.com

I have been made to believe that I simply HAVE to get either Hold Em Manager or Poker Tracker. The consensus seems to think the first one is the better of the two. But then they have all these damn add ons too. The first one is $90. Then all the add ons are from $50 to $90 as well. A guy could spend $500 to get the goods on everyone at the table. People are telling me once they started using them, they feel naked not using them. Wow. Sounds pretty drastic. I just don't know if having a poker tracker though is going to help me avoid having my AA cracked 80% of the time. I really, really, truly wish I could be consistently profitable online. I love being at home. Love being with my dogs, and Squirrel, and just being able to multi-table, and lay around half naked...and comfortable. After a full month of playing online, at times 8 to 12 games at a time...and then going and playing ONE SnG or ONE MTT at a time in a live tourney....sometimes makes me mental.

Wow! You guys see this bitch in England who got caught on surveillance video taking that kitty and throwing it in a garbage can and scurrying away? Then when caught...and the furor that resulted, she says, "I don't see what the big deal is...its JUST a cat!" Whoaaaaa....really? It amazes me that human beings like that really exist. It also just made me hug Jasper.

Oh...I meant to do this earlier, but I will do it later. I simply have to share the video of Mollie chasing the red laser dot around the house. It is the funniest shit you will ever see. I first saw her do it when I got home from a poker trip. Squirrel had picked it up at the pet store...and spent hours entertaining herself with it before I got home. I laughed until I cried the first night I watched Mollie chase that damn thing. You will just have to wait for it. Sorry!!!! But it will be worth the wait, I promise!

Alright. Lets go play a session on 'Stars! Hope to see y'all really soon!!!!


Monday, August 23, 2010

ITS OFFICIAL...the doors to the Beau Rivage are OPEN TO MONKEY!!!!!

Wooooo hoooooo!!!!

Just got off the phone with one of the Poker Honchos at the Beau Rivage...and I am officially allowed to go play poker at the Beau Rivage again! I could not be more...wow, what is the word? Relieved? Happy? Ecstatic? Not sure...but I know I just ran out in the backyard and did a big fist pump, ala Tiger Woods...who I am sure is NOT doing any fist pumps TODAY!!!!! Yeah...the divorce is final...thought I was having a bad year??? I think Elin just became the worlds number 1 pursued Cougar!!!!

So my 'attitude' adjustment that I have been working on...and the trip I took to Tunica, with one goal in mind...to show the local folks around here that I have indeed 'changed my act' have apparantly paid off. So now...I will go play the Beau event, continue with my personality 'makeover' and hopefully post some good results so I can get this year turned around!

Last night...I really thought I was about to break though...again! While online yesterday...I literally had AA lose 12 out of 16 times. The final time was the most heartbreaking. In Stars' $300k guarantee, a $55 buy in...and over 6850 players...we were down to 122 players and with first place $40,000 I was really starting to get excited. Squirrel had all her friends over for their Sunday girls' night...and I had been exciled to the bedroom.

I thought...won't it be fun if I walk out there at about 3am and announce to her in front of her friends...."Sweetie, I'm taking a bath, I just won $40,000. Bye!"

Well, I did get to take the hot bath. :)

I was in the Top 5 in chips for several hours...so my excitement wasn't without good reason. Then I lost a couple of big coinflips...and had to lay down big hands....that left me short. But I got a double up, stole some blinds and was right back to healthy when this guy who had been opening a LOT raises when I have AA in the SB. The BB had a LOT of chips...so I kind of was hoping I could bring him along. Should I just complete and hope he calls? Should I go all in and just get it over with? Or should I re-raise light here and hope I get one of them to go all in? I opted to reraise from 8000 to 19000. The BB folded. The other guy flat called. The flop came J-8-4. I won't bore you. He had 88. I was out. 122nd. For $359. I was pretty bummed. For the day, after playing about 30 MTTs I ended up down $20! But I did manage to accumulate a ton of FPPs and WILL make GOLD for the month...so thats pretty great for all the freerolls I can get into...and oh yeah...I get those three impressive stars under my avatar! Just kidding. Sort of.

Okay...I had to share that exciting news with everyone. I really am very, very happy to be coming back to the Beau. And I really look forward to a great event. I know a lot of you are strung out between Council Bluffs, Iowa and over in Thackerville, Oklahoma for the Win Star 'The River' tourney....tourneys that I was eagerly encouraged to travel to and play with some of you; but I was holding out for word that would allow me to get back into my home casino here in Biloxi. So if you guys are at one of those places playing...I wish you the BEST OF LUCK!!!! But if you are going to be at the Beau Rivage this week...then I will see you there!!! With bells on!!!! Lets have some fun!!!!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Profession for Squirrel?

My wife has truly lost it.

We both woke up today at about 2pm. She was out at Venues celebrating her fellow employees' going away party, and I was on 'Stars trying to win the late-night $33 MTT. With 15 left, I made a 'I'm too tired to keep playing this damn tourney and will make a loose call' play that knocked me out. I then passed out.

I woke up. Fed the dogs. Made Squirrel coffee...and logged on to 'Stars. When the dust cleared, I had made a grand total on the day of $108. I played maybe 25 MTT's, cashed about 14 of them...but nothing more than a $100 score in something I can't remember. Yesterday, I started the day with a WIN in one of those $12/180pp deals for $596. Great way to start the day. But ended the day with a $480 profit total. Had another 14th place finish....ugh! And about two or three other deep runs. Today in my first $12/180 I got to the Final Table with the small stack...but doubled up with QQ vs. A9 then 77 vs. Q5 and thought I might just duplicate yesterday. Nope. Out 7th.

So...I am geeked for tomorrow. Going to play the Sunday Million for the 1st time in quite awhile. Have a seat in the Lamborghini Freerool too. And then I plan to get after just about every tounery in the online poker room under $100. I fell short of Top 100 this week...finishing 114th. Oh well, but on the Top 1000 for the month, which gets you into a $30k Freeroll...I've still got a good shot..sittin in 1035th right now. A strong day tomorrow could really help.

So, oh yeah. The wife. She wakes up....drinks her coffee...and it begins.

"Jasper, you want a haircut boy?"

To the garage...Jasper, a black lab with long hair (generally) is now in love with getting his hair cut (shaved) by Mamma. He used to fight it. Now he trots out to the garage...plops down...and you would think he was at the spa getting a massage. She spends about an hour with the clippers turning him into one of those fuzzy lint brushes.

Then its off to the backyard...which is now half brown and half green after I dropped two bags of weed & feed on it 4 days ago. Guess that means half of my golf course-like yard was actually some form of weeds. Nice. Time for the dogs to get baths. Another half hour. Jasper also now loves getting baths. Mollie still hates it.

Then she starts on the inside of the house. It is 12:55am as I type this...she is still walking around cleaning. Bed linens, pillow cases, duvet cover...cleaned. All laundry. Done. Floors, swept and mopped. All bathrooms cleaned. Ceiling fans, cleaned. Everything in the house dusted. I'm sure there is more...but I have just been watching with fascination as she has been gallavanting around the house....oh...there is that noise again right NOW...almost forget about the vaccuum. That too. Obviously.

Are we expecting guests? Not that I am aware of. Unless Smiling Don from....ahem, not supposed to label him as from St. Louis anymore...due to the connotation attached to anyone from STL and the fact he actually lives in Marion, Illinois. So...Smilin Don from Marion, if he chooses to come down here for the Beau Rivage event...which, at this moment, I still do not know if I am 'eligible' to participate in.

Going to Pensacola Tuesday to finally do my taxes. Found out my extension that was filed is good til October, so I am okay. Then in 4 months it will be time to do them again!

Probably go by my rental property over there too, to see just HOW dead my once beautiful yard over there is, after my recent tenant has been locked in a chicken match with me over the question...'have you been using the sprinkler system that I programmed?' or 'have you been ducking the expensive water bill by turning the shit off and lying about it?' It's been my favorite little game of the summer.

Anyone watch 'My Name is Earl' with Jamie Pressley? There is a lot of similarities with Squirrel there. And with Squirrel running around in my boxers and a wife-beater tank top...she looks just like 'Joy' on that show. Yes...some ideas are stirring in my head! However, I can't help but think maybe she should be going into business as a 'Personal Maid to the Stars'...except that we live in Biloxi...and, uh....well....nuff said.

I decided to watch the Bristol NASCAR race today. In between flip backs to Little League World Series...where my boys from Washington state were rallying to beat the bully kids from Minnesota. I sit through the first 487 laps...watching Kyle Busch continue to dominate the weekend, and then...right on cue, FALL ASLEEP for the last 13 laps. Perfect. The mole won again. Whatever you think of the twerp, he has WON 10 out of 20 freaking Busch...errrrr...scuse me, Nationwide...races that he has run this year. Insane. I miss driving NASCAR. Wait, what? Okay...I did the Richard Petty Driving Experience out in Vegas about 5 years ago...and it rocked. I want to do it again. But this time with other cars on the track, no speed limit...and a trophy to the winner, with that stupid girl from Sprint who stands there in the winners area after the race smiling that big, fake, stupid smile and laughing at everything I say to the reporter who comes over to ask silly questions and get splashed by the shaken up Gatorade that I spray all over my pit crew. Hmm...why do we shake up the Gatorade? Is it like champagne?

My Seahawks just lost in the final minute of their 2nd preseason game, at home, to the Packers. This is an all-too-familiar scenario for them the last few years. Lead all game...give away game late. Okay, its preseason, not gonna get too worked up about it.

Everybody is hyping my QB at Washington, Jake Locker to be the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft next year...and have him as the All-American QB. Feels curse-ish. I don't like it. I hate our schedule. Our defense is awful...unless something magical happens overnight. But I like our coach. I just don't see us winning more than 6 or 7 games. I am prepared to be surprised.

Hmmm....late night session on Stars tonight? Or a melatonin, 3 chapters of my latest book by David Baldacci, "The Winner"???? Thats the question. Probably should go with the latter. Get up by noon, and have a killer day online tomorrow. Oh yeah...started taking melatonin this week. Squirrel used to try and share her Ambien's with me...but I try real hard not to be TOO medicated. And isnt that stuff addictive? So I tried Melatonin. Wow! I have been sleeping like a log...or a bear...or a baby...or whatever the comparison is that works there...and having dreams that would freak out a lunatic. Today's dream had me playing tight end for Biloxi High School...and it was raining, and I couldn't figure out if we had a game or were rained out. I got the phone number of our athletic director, Les Myles...and was fervently trying to reach him to find out if we had a game or not. I was woken up by Squirrel telling me to stick the comforter back into the duvet cover. No word on whether I played that game or not.

Have a nice Sunday.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

P'Stars Grants me My Wish....

It's very strange the way things happen sometimes. Last week, in a post...I simply posted something that sounded like this:

"I just wish Pokerstars would let me win two tourneys....TWO...after two years of ridiculous deep runs that end with a bad beat. Just let me win two times and I will lay off."

Remember that? Here is my week. Sunday night, after getting the crap kicked out of me...I pull a 2nd place in something for $450. Can't remember what it was. I wasn't even upset. I got heads up with the guy...he had 1,000,000 to my 200,000. And I never got a damn thing that was playable. It ended quick.

Then on Monday...I win my way into the Sunday Million in a double shootout. Then I win a seat in the 100k monthly Freeroll. Then a seat in the Lamborghini weekly freeroll. And to cap it off I win the $11 cubed (2 rebuys, 1 add on)...that only had 95 players...but still was good for $755. A good day. On Tuesday, I play the late night $4.40 MTT along with 1440 or so players...and at 8:41am, finished, in 1st place...for $850.

There it was. My two wins that I asked for. Granted...I kind of had something better in mind...like, say...two wins that got me 10 to 15k maybe? Not a couple grand. I was looking like I was gonna snap off the $11 MTT two nights ago too, but with 14 left, I made a bad read on a notorious bluffer...making a hero call with 77 on a J-9-3 board...and watching him turn over 88. Ugh. Out...14th.

Then last night...after 6 hours...and 1483 other players had gone down....with $2400 for 1st on the line...I go out 13th (Yeah, another 13th!!!) with AK against AJ. I took it up a bit last night...playing in $33 MTT, $55 MTT...and a few $54 double or nothings. I have a shot at hitting the FPP level this month that will make me Gold, and get me into those freerolls. I am also getting very close to the Top 30 this week in TLB pts. I'm sitting 150th right now. And in the Monthly TLB I'm 1375th. If you get in the Top 1000 for the month you get to play another freeroll. So I am going to keep after it.

I know that if I want to win anything significant online I simply HAVE to pick up my limits. But I just do NOT trust online poker enough to allow myself to do it. I sit and watch the stupidest beats...and I just don't think I can bring myself to jam $100-$500 into buyins online. Plus...a year ago, I turned Joe Cutler on to the MicroWorld of online poker, and he says its changed his poker life. He went on to win the TLB one week this year. So I know it can be done.

Guess who hit ANOTHER score? This is getting insane! I didn't see or hear from him all summer. Nor did I see him cashing anything in Vegas...so I can assume he was enjoying his summer and playing sparingly. Then, my buddy calls me the other day to tell me..."Did you see your boy who won Bay 101 just won the big FTOPS event?" What? Sure enough...fucking McLean Karr struck again. Snapping off 471 in the Full Tilt FTOPS event. What's odd was just a week ago I get a message on my Facebook from McLean..."MONKEY! Whats up Bro! How ya been?" That's it. So I give him a pretty big reply...and hear nothing back. Oh...low and behold, he just texted me back as to why I didn't get a reply. "Sorry, was traveling, in LA now." So there ya go. Great year for McLean. happy for him.

Wow. Watching Tosh.O. There is a clip on there right now...of two chicks fighting. Listening to Tosh break down the fight is hilarious. The bitch who we thought was going to lose, put this tough bitch in a submission hold and dropped her on her face. I am still laughing. And the other girl (the victor) goes walking away, twisting her pig tails like some girl standing there waiting for the bus to arrive at a bus stop. Awesome!

So...you all keep asking me, "Have you heard from the Beau Rivage yet? Are you going to be there next week?" The answer is: No, I have not heard from them yet. Am I getting antsy or pensive? Hmmmm....I would say, not really. They tend to bring me their decisions fairly last minute...so I guess I will just sit by waiting on them to let me know. Meanwhile I have had a couple of invitations from Joe 'Luckbox' Groff and Mike 'Carwash' Schneider to join them in Oklahoma for the WinStar tourney there...which happens around the same time. I am holding out for the Beau. So if I get blown off by them, inexplicably, again...then I suppose I will be pretty disappointed then. The next event after that will be Borgata in September.

You all know I have labs. Always have. They are the light of my life basically. Everything they do makes me smile, well...once they get past the stage in their life (0-2 1/2 years old) where they like to destroy everything! Well, if you like dogs as much as I do...you gotta watch this clip! Its awesome. I think these people live out in the country somewhere, and a baby deer was either lost or orphaned, and found its way to these people's yard. And discovered the family lab...Buddy, the rest is classic. CLICK HERE!

Not sure how many of you actually clicked on the link that took you to the rest of my previous post....as I couldn't get this blog editor to clip/copy/paste it here...but it appears on Frank Kassela's blog at http://www.bigkickergear.com/ and in reading it just now again...I have to say, I personally think, or feel at least, like its one of my better posts in quite some time. I went on quite a rant about the Islamic mosque they are trying to build in downtown NYC. If you DIDNT check it out...maybe have a look.

Did the yard work yesterday. Did not, finally, experience all the side effects of heat exhaustion. Home Depot stopped selling sod about a month or so ago...so went with the topsoil/grass seed plan of filling all the new holes that Mollie has dug in the back yard. With me being home so much right now, it keeps her out of the back yard...so hopefully the seed will have time to start growing and take before she destroys it again. Crazy dog.

We watched the last episode of Grey's Anatomy. Wow. Some dude who had his wife die, and blamed the hospital, came in with guns blazing...shooting about 10-15 people, including Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Sheppard. It was pretty riveting. But what was stupid was that this one shooter is walking around the hospital...while S.W.A.T. guys were OUTSIDE the hospital? Oh...it was on lockdown. That means the cops can't come in? Please. Then this guy gets shot...Dr. Bailey is trying to drag him to safety...and the elevators are shut off. So she freaks out. Hey! How bout picking up one of the PHONES...calling someone....like 911...and telling them where you are. So someone can come save him? Nope, instead they just laid there in the hall til he died. Nice director. Nice writers. I'm guessing that actor who died must have had a contract they didn't want to renew. Granted, I didn't like the guy anyway...he was a weasel. He got Izzy (Kathryn Heigl) fired from the hospital. So when dude is standing on the SKYBRIDGE...confronting Dr. Sheppard...with his gun pointing at him...your telling me that not ONE sniper was in position...with the guy fully exposed, to take a shot at this prick? Please. Sometimes, TV and movies just piss me off. Other than that though...it was a great final episode, can't wait for the season premiere this fall. Another reason to love football season! Greatest month of the year....SEPTEMBER!

A guy who reads this a lot, and who works in the oil business...sent me a reply/follow up to my rant about that jerk who testified on the hill for TransOcean a month ago. I can't seem to find his email...but he went into some pretty specific shit, in which he made it VERY clear...like 100%, crystal clear...that BP is completely at fault for every thing that happened in that explosion. And I take his word for it, since he has been in the business for 15 years and knows a lot of those people. He also shared some things with me that you or anyone else never read about in the news. Pretty good stuff. I wish I could find that email.

That reader who wanted to know my favorite NFL team? I think changing my color scheme and putting a big logo on the right hand side here should answer that question right?

So here are my teams: ALL SEATTLE TEAMS! And of course I now, due to where I live, am a bit of a Saints fan of course. I lived in Atlanta for 10 years so I still pull for them a little bit. In hockey I like the NYRangers. In basketball? Well, they stole my Sonics...so now I really don't care about any of them. So I just root for my UW Huskies in hoops.

Asking when the 20 Questions with Monkey starts? Soon, folks. Very soon. I have some good players lined up too. Christian 'Da Professional' Iacobellis is confirmed. I heard back from John 'November Niner' Dolan, and he is locked up. He is just busy with traveling and playing in Cyprus this month. I have Gabe Costner scheduled. I will likely get something from Jason Young. Plan on hitting up Frank Kassela also, obviously. Maybe I can get McLean Karr, if I can ever get him to hold still for ten minutes. And I will work on others. Like Tyler Smith. Could be a really cool feature. Pressure is just on me, I guess to come up with some great questions!

Okay thats enough for today...I really have to go to Wal-Mart...I mean, we have NOTHING.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Some news...ALL GOOD!

Most of you know that I am pretty good friends with Frank Kassela. When I would mention his name here last year...it didn't get much attention. Some other names I would mention, however, would get the haters firing off 'name dropper' slams and other colorful terms. Always fun. Well, now that Frank has had his 'dream summer,' and is destined to become a household name once the Final Table of the November Nine hits the air and him and Grinder start being the focus of all the POY debate every online poker room will be after those two...I am sure that I will now start getting the hater comments..."Oh yeah, sure...you guys are friends, uh huh! Yeah...you loser!"

Trust me, I've had a major attitude adjustment this year...and I am now better equipped to deal with you folks. Honestly, the hater comments have really kind of vanished for the most part. Maybe my new attitude is starting to rub off on everyone. I sure hope so.

Anyway...about two weeks ago, Frank contacted me and asked me if I would consider blogging on his new site. He has had the line, Big Kicker Gear for a few years now. He has a whole closet full of shirts and hats in his house in Vegas. So I guess he finally got motivated to get his butt in gear and start trying to market it, so part of that plan was to get more bloggers on his site than just himself. So yeah, he asked, and I was only too happy to comply. I am sharing some of the posts here on his site, and giving him some original content as well...so feel free to check that site out too if you're bored! I've added a link to his site on the right over there.

I am now going to clip/paste what I just wrote for his site: What I do need to do...as this is a little more geared to our Gulf Coast readers, is provide you my 'review' that I came up with during our recent dining experience at 'Jia.' I will do that in the next post...because this one is pretty lengthy. I hope you enjoy.


DAMMIT>>>>> this stupid blog editor won't allow me to CLIP/PASTE stuff...and no way in hell am I writing all of that AGAIN!!!!...so please click on this link...and read the rest!!!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Day of Anomalies...Did I Spell That Right?

In my constant efforts to bring you completely NON-poker related material...today was a douzy.

First things first. My boy Charlie 'Smoke' Oliver has finally gotten his iPhone APP approved and launched. And its pretty kick ass. Granted, I don't have an iPhone, but if I did...this app of his would be an automatic. It's called TheListLV....or TheListLasVegas....which has basically listings of EVERYTHING and ANYTHING you could want to do in Las Vegas. Night clubs, casinos, strip joints, shows...with dates, venues, web site addresses, phone numbers, driving directions. I mean...its like having a tour guide in the palm of your hand. I guess he makes money by getting paid by the people who put their info on there...since its a free download. You're next question? "What's in it for you Monkey!?? I see you put a link to it on the right side of your blog. You must be getting some kind of kickback!" Well...if that is your question, the answer is...NOTHING! Not a cent. It's just one good friend using what I have available to me to help another good friend. I hope he kicks ass with it!

The other banner I put on here today was one for the site I have been using for my football pools now for about 7 or 8 years now. The guy who owns the site, John Cranston is also an avid reader of my blog...and has exchanges ideas and questions with me a lot in the past few years regarding poker. He does an awesome job on my football pools...and I just thought it would be nice to give him a little free run also. Granted, if more people play my pools, sure I will realize a modest increase on my commission payment...which isn't much anyway. Naw...it's not about me, again...just trying to help out the guys who have been good buddies or helped me out in the past.

I actually left the house today. Yep. Not making this up. Returned movies to Blockbuster. Tried to rent more from RedBox. Nothing I liked. Some almost-okay-looking lady in her 30's starting quizzing me as to why I didn't rent anything. Um...have a nice day.

Her liscense plate was a vanity plate. It said A-N-Y-W-A-Y-S. Did you know that 'anyways' is not a word? It's one of those you hear a lot, one where people will fight for...."NO! You're wrong! It IS a word." Um...no. It's not. It's 'ANYWAY' with no 'S'. Period. End of debate.

Returned that laptop chilling pad to Best Buy that I was obsessing about before I drove to Tunica. Yes...it was too small. And I bought a bigger one last week. Dude tried to sweat me about it. Best Buy can suck it. They, too just did the 'ol, drop your credit line to $20 above whatever your current balance is trick last week right after I made a miniscule $30 purchase. Chase did it. American Express did it. Home Depot did it. Now Best Buy. Honestly...let me clip something big, pay these balances off, and just never use them again. I hate creditors. Hate them. They charge you insane percentages...which you pay for months, even years...while your balance NEVER goes DOWN...then they have the audacity to drop your credit limit to a point to which you can't even use it. Then there are some like Chase...that just CLOSE your account. Unreal. Well, I am locked in a battle of "You aren't getting a red cent from me...EVER" with Chase. Their most recent call found me on the recieving end of an offer to pay them .35 on the dollar on the total debt. Hmmm. Getting warmer, boys. Only problem now is that I don't have the money to pay it off!

Driving back from Gulfport there is a very unusual picture in front of me. To the left, I see a big rainbow...but its only part of it. Looks like a spear stuck in the ground...with no arc to it. Then...directly to the right of it...a huge wall of storm clouds...and these incredible streaks of lightning. Marvelous.

I finally got off my lazy ass and went to the gym tonight. I was laying in bed either last night or today...and I could literally feel atrophy setting in. If you aren't familiar with that word...its when your muscles just completely stop functioning. So I had a wonderful 45 minutes on the treadmill...and didn't die. But while peddling on the bike for 30 minutes I managed to watch something that got me so wound up I almost came unglued.

Let me tell you something...since I've gone on this medication (Celexa) I have had very few episodes of losing it. I came pretty close tonight. So I'm watching C-SPAN. Yeah...I know, riveting. But as I was flipping through the channels on the workout machine I was stopped by it because it was a Senate Sub-Committee hearing (which actually took place on July 19th) on the DeepWater Horizon accident. They were questioning the Chief Engineer on the rig...a guy named Steve Bertone, and sitting next to him was his weasel-bag lawyer Steven London...who after every question, they would turn off their microphone...chit chat like two kids whispering secrets back and forth...and then turn on the speaker and say something like "I dont have any recollection of that" or "I can't say for sure." What a fucking douchebag! You have to read this article that the Washington Post wrote about this piece of shit. The more I hear about this case...and the more I think about those 11 men who died on that rig, due mostly to faulty maintenance and cost-cutting measures, the more I am starting to really think that most of the blame rests with TransOcean. But watching his lawyer bat down one question after another...and detecting the frustration in the tone of the people asking the questions...I don't know how one of them didn't finally just snap, and flip out on the guy.

"Hey ASSHOLE! Ordering a rig worker to 'just leave' an injured worker behind because you were scared to go after him...and ignoring all the issues that led up to this explosion...you ought to be BEGGING for us to understand how you and your band of idiots aren't responsible, instead of sitting here blowing us off like some neighborhood kid trying to sell you a .10 cup of lemonade!!!"

Just got done watching George Lopez. Not a bad show. He has WWE guys doing Karaoke this week. Pretty damn funny. These guys all obviously have some pretty good stage presence, since thats what they do for a living...perform. But their ability to sing? Simply attrocious. I mean...awful. Going to watch Karaoke is one of my favorite things to do...for the reason right there...watching people make complete fools of themselves. It's MEGA funny when they THINK they are good and just killin it!

Also on the show was Mark Walhberg. What a great career this guy has had. I really like him. He just seems like one very easy-going, real, down to earth guy. He'd probably be fun to play poker with. Rap-singer as a kid, actor for the last 20 years. Or so. Now a producer. Produced 'Entourage' on HBO...which is the longest running show ever on HBO...in for one more season. Good career. Good guy.

I really like watching HD. I was watching TBS on regular TV earlier...and then switched it to TBS-HD. I'm watching 'My Name is Earl.' The episode where Earl and Joy have a baby...except he's black. Oooops. Joy and Crab-man's kid. A lot of times when I watch Jamie Pressley she looks so much like Squirrel. Same southern accent too. This episode after it is where they keep crashing the news...going behind the lady and doing something funny. Freaking hilarious. I am wiping my eyes right now!

I sat behind the TV the other night beating my brains out trying to figure out why we were only getting volume out of 3 of 6 speakers. Dicked around with everything I could think of. Read the manual. Was about to lose my freaking mind...when I discovered...OH! Three of the speaker plugs are disconnected! You kidding!?? Guessing it happened on a couple of errant throws of Jasper's balls (yes we throw him the ball in the house) that went behind the TV and pulled the wires loose.

So now I am re-addicted to my kickass Samsung. Got dialed back into Xbox360 and PS3 yesterday. Its nice when I get to a point in the game where I am stumped...can't go forward another inch...and just find a couple of my gaming junkies who I know read this, and are on my Facebook, pose the problem to them, and its instantly remedied!


Oh...but on that note; I hate preseason football. To me, it cheapens the product. Like with college...there is no preseason games. The first games of the season are always GREAT! With the NFL though...they give you 4 weeks of shitty product...and then, finally...the real thing comes, and its like, I've been so bored with the Preseason games that I have to find the fire to get excited when the regular season starts. So I try real hard not to watch ANY preseason games if I can help it. I really do wish they would trim the preseason to 2 games, and extend the regular season to 18 games. That would also make the Fantasy season a lot better! Which...speaking of which...I have 3 leagues. They are almost completely full! I have about 5 spots left in the $100 leagues, and about 8 spots in my 'big money' $300 league. If interested, hit me with an email about it at ThePoolMonkey@aol.com.

Want to know how to make your car smell like shit? Have your wife drive your car to the store, with both dogs in back. Then leave them in the car...have a horrendous lightning storm start up...and get pelted by rain for an hour. See, my dogs are afraid of storms. And there is some kind of weird smell that dogs put off when they are scared. When they got done with the inside of my car...holy crap. Well, that was Sunday. Hadnt been in my car since then. I got in and almost choked to death. Went inside, grabbed a bottle of Lysol, and went to town. All the seats were trashed. Now...the smell is...well, not as bad, but still nasty.

Speaking of cars. This is kind of funny. Gabe has been driving this old-school Cadillac Escalade...the same one he's had since I met him. It has a cracked windshield...big crack! And it has all these little nuances that make it almost impossible to drive unless you 'know' the car. Squirrel once had to drive it somewhere and was given a list of instructions from Gabe first. So when we went to dinner the other night...I was almost expecting to see a shiny new car...you know, given the fact that Gabe had a 'pretty good' summer. I mean, if it was me...and this HAS been my goal a few times after having driven my car out there...that car would have STAYED in Vegas...and I would have been driving something kickass home. Granted, I love my 4runner. Its a 2005 and still has less than 80k miles on it, despite THREE Biloxi to Las Vegas back and forth trips. I mean...those trips right there account for 12,000 miles alone. If I went out there and won half a million, I would keep my car, I would just leave it out there I think. Since I am there so much, I would just park it at a casino maybe. Or at a friends house. Would be nice to have a car to use every time I went out there.

Then again...it might be nice to have an SUV to drive the dogs around in...and an SUV to have that the dogs arent allowed in. So I guess I would probably drive it home, then get the new wheels once I got home.

So yeah, Gabe is still driving that beat up Escalade. But props to him, I suppose for not putting too much importance on material things, right? I caught him eyeballing a Hummer, and was talking about wanting one. Oh no!!! I had to try and talk him out of it....since GM stopped making Hummer's last year...in fact, the dropped the whole program, and it was trying to be sold. Last I heard a company in China was thinking about buying the company. Ugh....bad investment. Good luck getting parts.

I am taking my first trip to Milwaukee next month. Right after the Beau Rivage event ends. Hopefully, I will be playing in that event. Borgatta starts Sept 8th. But goes all the way to the 23rd. My little sister is adopting the younger brother of the kid she adopted already. My sister is amazing. And she, along with my Mother, have developed an incredible relationship with Squirrel. They love her. So we have been invited up to Milwaukee for a party they are having to celebrate the new kid coming into the family. So we'll be going up there Sept 8th to the 12th or so. Should be nice to see family.

Squirrel continues to amaze me. On a recent trip to Florence to see her family, she cleaned out her Grandma's shed, which included a bunch of her ex-husbands personal stuff from his childhood that he had left in storage there. Well, this morning she was out there in the living room going through it all, cleaning it up, reorganizing it, repacking it all...and arranging to have it sent to him. So thoughtful. And no...never does a day go by when I am jealous or feel threatened by him. They have a good relationship. He is remarried. Happily. Just makes me know that if things between us ever go tremendously bad, she won't probably be one of these spiteful, hateful ex-wives. Then this morning, she gets up super-early to go babysit for one of the girls she works with so her and her husband could go do something. I try really hard to help people, and to act like I care when people have drama going on in their lives...but in actuality, I know that I am just, well...I'm not my wife. She's incredible.

I think I'm out of things to write about. And I am getting that itch to either watch a movie, get online and play poker...or both.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Dead of August....the doldrums!

OH MY GAWD!!! Football season...hurry up and get here! I am finding myself watching MLB games that dont matter, golf that puts me to sleep, Little League WS prelims, BOWLING!!!!! and I'm just about to watch the USA vs. Brazil in a soccer game that means what? No idea.

But on that note...isn't it fun to watch Tiger Woods play the worst golf of his life? Fires his swing coach..."I don't need a swing coach, I can find my flaws by watching video!" Hey Tiger....looking good brother!!!!

A little correction. Daniel Tosh...his show is called Tosh.O and does NOT appear on E! but on Comedy Central...which CableOne does gives us here in Biloxi. My bad. So I have now DVR'd every episode. And oh yeah...another little pet peeve of mine...can we ALL please LOSE the expression, "I TiVo'd that last night!" Really...WHO actually owns a TiVo? I mean, aren't we all using DVR's? I actually bought Squirrel a TiVo for her birthday several years ago...and getting it set up was a joke! Seems like you HAD to have a home phone line for one thing. And their customer service SUCKED. Okay...enough on that.

I have a question for everyone: Is it my imagination or are there a ridiculous number of church burnings in the south? Why? Not totally sure, other than I think they just take their religion a little more seriously down here than in the East, West, or North. So here is the question. And its motivated by an observation made at one of our local churches that burned to the ground 15 months ago.

'Knowing that churches get torched quite a bit...if someone burned down your church, and you decided to rebuild it...would you AGAIN construct it from wood!??'

I mean, at some point, wouldn't the thought of building a church from, say...bricks come into play? At least cross your mind? Maybe there is a racket going on between the people who run the church and insurance scams. Knowing they will probably get torched once every 5 years or so...they will make money off it, and get a new church. Make sense? I don't know...I just don't get it.

Sat down in a poker room Sunday. An online poker room! Decided to play all the Sunday majors. This after not playing a single hand of poker on Saturday. Wait...what? Yeah...you heard me. Trust me, I had reasons.

The lawn was getting out of control, and despite it being a million degrees, I got out there and got after it. I literally felt like I was going to war. Well, I was able to advance on the St. Augustine troops with a wicked frontal assault...led by the leading element of our force...a 17 inch metal blade spinning in a circular motion...which did suffer a setback after rolling over a large, exposed tree root. It did, however, manage to survive the battle.

And there was a slight delay in the fighting, as we had to stop and observe the Squirrel, who had decided to give 'the Jasper' a hair cut...then took to giving both of them a bath in the backyard. Topless! Heck, I was sweating profusely, and the troops were tired as well, so a break was much needed.

After finishing the lawn...I took a 2 hour cold bath...and finished reading my 3rd David Baldacci novel, 'Total Control', a 700-page thriller. A very exciting, didn't-see-it-coming conclusion. Next up: 'The Winner.'

Then it was off to dinner...at High Cotton Grill...where we met Gabe Costner and 'The Claw.' We had margaritas and ate our faces off. I love that place. And the menu is very diverse, and really affordable. 'Claw' picked up the check...claiming it was a birthday gift to Squirrel. Well, that was sweet. Then we went and watched the movie "The Other Guys" with Will Ferrel and Mark Wahlberg. Hilarious. But maybe it dragged on a little bit. As Will Ferrel movies rank...I'm not sure it was in my Top 5...but it was definitely funny. Oh...and just when I had convinced myself that I wasn't really that old, come to find out that Claudia had NO IDEA that Mark Wahlberg had another life before being an actor...that he was Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's front man. Wow. Suddenly feeling old again. What a fantastic career Mark has had, right?

Gabe shared with me the thrilling night he had the previous night...which involved a trip to New Orleans with Cub to play in some guys 'BIG' housegame. Sounds like some crazy shit goes down at that game. Not anything I want a part of. Especially after I heard about a hand where there were several raises, followed by a $400 re-raise by a guy with AA...only to have a guy with 5k in front of him raise to $2000....and then call a 4k all in by the guy with AA. What did the other guy have? 10-4. Yeah. You heard me. Flopped two pair. It held. 4k...down the tube...holding AA. Yeah...no thanks. This progress that I am making on my 'behaviour' would all be swept away in one second if I encountered that kind of shit.

Anybody hear about this one? Took place at the Astros vs. Atlanta baseball game this week. This little hottie, Sarah, was at the ball game with her WUSS of a boyfriend, Bo...who will be lucky if he ever hits that sweet ass again...check it out. This foul ball comes their way and he scrams...letting her get drilled. Then as the network's reporter, also a fairly attractive lady, went down and questioned him about it...its pretty clear that the guy is (1) a doofus (2) a Liar and (3) a coward. Time to move on Sarah!!!!

So yeah...I sat down Sunday and dialed up a LOT of MTT's...and very few SNG's. I was cashing at an alarming rate. Earlier in the week, I finished in the top 27 in one of those satellites for the Lamborghini on Pokerstars. So in THAT satellite, you had to finish in the top 2000 to make the final in October. I managed to accomplish that. But more importantly, 1st place was $5000. I was hungry for that. But I didn't get it. Went out 130th...out of something like 18,000 players. I won a double shootout into the Sunday Million, but then didn't play it. Bottom line...I kept cashing light. Friday night I made two Omaha H/L Final Tables...both as chipleader...and in both got hit with the stupidest beats like three hands in a row...and ended up finishing 8th and 7th. It was ridiculous. I should have won about 2k. Instead? $150.

I see these guys who win TWO big MTT's in one day and I just have to ask myself...how? I hear people talking about there being HOT IP addresses, and SUPER USER accounts...and all that. Then all the talk about hacking and cheat software. Who knows? I wouldn't even care if P'stars would just let me win ONE of these damn tourneys that I get deep in...JUST ONE....and I would go back to taking all my stupid 1 and 2 outers for another year or two before they let me win again. It just gets so fucking irritating to get it in good over and over and over and constantly get fucked. And when people give you that famous line...you know the one:

"If it's so bad, why do you even bother PLAYING online poker? Why???"

Why? I think most of us all KNOW why, right? I buy into a tourney for $3 to win $2000. I buy in for $5 to win $5000. I buy in for $10 to win $7500. I buy in for $50 to win $14,000. In a word>>> VALUE!!!! I can't even compute that kind of ROI (return on investment) but I know its ridiculous! So you play in hopes of scratching out a profit...while hoping to hit that one nice, fat score. And that makes you...or me...or us.....a....you got it.....a.....RAT...ON...A...WHEEL!!!!!

This soccer game is about to start. Hmmm...it's our first look at the new Giants/Jets football stadium...which looks shockingly like the old one. Interesting.

I still havent updated my spreadsheet for my backer since I got home from Vegas. If I ever win a big...hey wait a second, maybe I could get Squirrel to do it? Yeah...right.

And I still haven't done my taxes. Got in touch with this lady who came highly recommended by one of my readers and friend...was supposed to meet up, then went to Vegas...she filed an extension for me...got home, called her several times...to no avail. Hmmm. Wondering if my extension has expired. Anyone know how long an extension is good for? Taxes....ugh....hate them. But I really have to get it done.

Wow, in the 1st two minutes of this game, Landon Donovan almost just scored a goal. Almost. (in proofreading this 5 minutes later...Brazil tacked on 2...Brazil 2-0 at halftime)

After looking at my buddy Jason Young's blog...which appears on Cardplayer.com (yes I'm jealous) I have decided to steal an idea from him. A new feature called '20 Questions and Answers with the Monkey.' I've asked John Dolan to be my first 'victim'...we shall see what happens.

Responding to a reader's comment...about whether I think its true that what you have heard has any validity, as far as the online random generator shuffling non-stop as the hand is played out? In other words...in a live poker game...the deck remains stable, in its original form from the start of the hand til its conclusion. There are a lot of people who have suggested that online, it is always in a state of re-shuffling. Some think that acting on a hand quickly and/or slowly results in two different conclusions. The answer...or MY answer? Is that I don't have a clue. Do I think its possible? Sure.

I will say this...and it could be coming pretty soon...since our Congress, or maybe it was the House of Representatives, passed a bill last week that challenges the one passed two years ago making online poker 'illegal' as it was at least supposed to make people think. Really it was just a bill to punish bankers who did business with online poker sites. It's been pretty comical listening to those hicks from god-knows-where asking me at the poker table wherever I happen to be playing...."how do you play online poker? I thought they outlawed that stuff? Are you worried about going to jail?"

Sigh. Simpletons. I would like to thank my mother for not smoking crack while I was in the womb, or having sex with the guy who worked for a bug extermination company.

Back to my point. I was about to say that I think one day in the future we are going to find out that there was a lot of twisted, sick shit going on with internet poker during the last decade. And most of it won't shock any of us 'full-timers' one bit. Like when all that shit went down with Russ Hamilton and made it onto '60 Minutes?' Who found any of that to be shocking? I mean, most of us already knew about it MONTHS before it came out on '60 Minutes.'

So why do I think we are going to find out about it a lot sooner? Because of this bill. Here is what I think is going to happen. The lawmakers in this country are going to 'legalize' and 'regulate' online poker...making it a money-making venture for the US Government. Which, hey! I'm all for if we can get them to use that money for something useful. The poker companies (Party Poker, Paradise Poker, for example) that ceased operating in the US after that first 'law' was passed 3 or 4 years ago...will be seen as 'compliers' and get liscensed to operate in the continental U.S. while companies like Full Tilt and Pokerstars...who defied the ruling, could be in trouble. And it doesn't take much to block them...all they have to do is block the signal, the IP address, that U.S. users have to connect with to play on their sites. I think you will see the Harrah's, and the Wynn's, Boyd Gamings, and the MGM's of the gaming world start to bring online poker to U.S. customers...and while they make their small fortune, the U.S. government will also get theirs. What will also, hopefully, result from that action...is that tighter security measures will be put in place.

I honestly believe that if online poker were 100% legit and 100% secure, that I would EASILY be able to sit at home on my ass...play 10 tables at a time, and make over 200k a year. EASILY. I know how easy this game is when I am sitting in a live tourney against bad players...and the internet is overloaded with them. But online, they just seem to suckout ALL THE TIME! And it feels like they are being rewarded...to keep them around, pumping that rake. You know what I mean? It just doesn't resonate as reality when you sit there and watch it happen 100 times a day. As a good player, there are at least 50% of the outcomes where you feel you should have won, where instead you got fucked. Am I right?

Okay wow, this just became a very long post.

I also have not been to the gym since Vegas. This is my DOWNTIME! I should be at the gym every FREAKING DAY! I really need someone to light a fire under my ass.

How many days til football season starts?


Friday, August 6, 2010

Scandals...commercials, and oil.

Almost no poker to report on. Simply hiding at my house to play online poker. Its getting almost laughable. Get deep, bubble. Get deep bubble. Get deep in an MTT...light cash after a two-outer. Win a $12 SNG to get all the losses back. Go right back to the start....and do it all again. I have, I swear, finished 11th-14th in 2000+ MTT's in the last month...about ten times. I could easily be sitting on a 15k profit this month. Instead...I'm about +$500. Ridiculous.


I've been watching a LOT of TV and doing a lot of playing with my dogs. Jasper will bring me that damn ball no matter where I am. In bed. In the bathtub. Mowing the lawn. Washing my car. Vacuuming. During sex. And Mollie...she needs, must have...something to destroy. Squirrel has spent about $1000 in the last 12 months I would guess on those stuffed animals that squeak. She will play with them for about 3 days or so...then its time to die. She tears all the stuffing out of them...then locates the squeaker...and it dies too. Once they have been drained...she pretty much ignores them. We currently need a new batch of animals. And since we are out...she made my new flip flop her chew toy last night.

TV. Squirrel was staying up all night watching Grey's Anatomy the whole time I was gone, and telling me how great it was. So the other night I stayed up with her watching Season 5, til 7am the next day...and she was right. It's a great show. So I'm now hooked on that. While I was in Tunica I was watching USA Network, and this show kept coming on....Law & Order: Criminal Intent. After about three episodes I was ready to smash the TV. Vincent D'onofrio plays this character who stumbles around, babbles incoherantly at times...and looks every bit like a character who is emulating Monk. Only he is not convincing. And really annoying. I dare you to watch it.

Commercials. There are some really funny ones out there. The VW commercial where the husband and wife are out on a test drive...talking about how conservative they are...then, while behind two semis she starts screaming "oohhhh shoot the gap!!! Shooooooot the gap!!!!" And then two seconds later she's all calm again. Hilarious.

Anything with Betty White in it is now funny. Seen the commercial for Poly-Grip? Where the old lady makes the goofy ass face as she laments the 'goo' associated with most denture cream? Priceless.

All these FreeCreditScore.com commercials? With the new, auditioning singers/bands? Didn't they understand that we all hated that first band...like, it was a TV muter...why do they think we want another one? IF anyone out there liked the old band...or any of these new ones, and they are on my Facebook friends list? Please kick yourself off, NOW! Also that pale-faced Betty Boop wanna-be in those Progressive Insurance commercials? Another TV-muter.

"Do you have any accidents? No? DISCOUNT! Do you smoke? No? DISCCCOUNNNT! DISCOUNT DISCOUNT DISCOUNT!!!!!!!" Oh how Squirrel and I hate that broad!

There is more...but I am forgetting ....I will plug them in as I remember.


When you are woken up at 7am by people doing yard work...what is the proper way to respond to this? Further complicating this is the fact they are all non-English speaking laborers. Can anyone help me here?

Along those same lines...these door-to-door saleman that come at all hours of the day? And since all I do is play poker and lay around on my ass, I happen to be here when they knock on my door. How do you handle them? Newspaper? Do I want to buy the newspaper? They still print newspapers? Oh...do I want to get Satellite TV service? No. And could you be any less charismatic? Candy bar? For a school trip? Sure...I guess I'll buy a candy bar. How much? FIVE DOLLARS? Great. Okay kid, you got me, ya little rapist. Do I have a local church that I attend? Have I got a good relationship with God? Oh boy. They just keep coming and coming. And while I try really hard to be nice...it gets to the point...usually after saying No about 5 times, and having to support each NO with a long-winded essay on WHY...where you finally just lose it.

"LISTEN FUCKER...I SAID NO! I MEAN NO...NOW GET THE FUCK OFF MY FRONT PORCH! BEFORE I SIC MY DOGS (shhhh I know, thats a joke, right! Jasper? Mollie?) ON YOU!!!!"


Got started on all my football pools and fantasy league stuff today. Lots to do there...reactivating, emailing everyone. This should be a pretty fun season. I love football season. If anyone out there who reads my blogs wants info on how to get into my pools or fantasy leagues....just shoot me an email at ThePoolMonkey@aol.com

My buddy Charlie "Smoke" Oliver just got this APP he's been working on for Apple approved today. I know he's been working on it for months...and was pretty excited about it. Something called LasVegasList...which I think has to do with being a list of anything and everything you could want to do while in Vegas. I told him to send me something about it and I would add a link to it on this blog...so watch for it. I always try to help my buddies out wherever I can.


Ready for some scandal? First of all...WOW! Lots of reader comments this week. Thanks! The other day I reported that my, ahem...buddy Jim Pedullah was terminated from Ceaser's Palace in Las Vegas. It was confirmed by three sources. After someone, I don't know who...left a comment saying it was just a rumor, I did some follow up checking...and its completely legit. And...in a comment I was asked not to publish, for obvious reasons, it was shared with me that he was let go for two reasons: a) Not meeting his numbers and (b) Holding back a sexual harrassment claim. I have no idea if the claim was made against him personally, or another employee in the poker room. Regardless, in this corporate environment, I think we all know what a hot potato that topic is. I would wish him well, and hope he finds another job...but its just a little tough, given the damage he has done to me both personally and professionally.

On the same subject, but in a different forum, and I am going to keep this VERY vague, because I do NOT want it coming back to affect me; this summer, in a very large poker venue, a female dealer was being continually harrassed by a very senior floor person. She happens to be married. To another dealer. When she reported this to a superior, she was assured that it would be dealt with. But instead, she was forced to work worse shifts, as was her husband. She was then subjected to more ridicule over having made the claim. So instead of it getting resolved, it actually got worse. I recieved a whole account of the episode from a fellow dealer...and asked that I help them out. But the truth is, I have enough of my own problems to deal with...and there is NO WAY I am going to go '60 Minutes' in anyway and cost myself a chance at playing at another casino. Was the story credible? Oh yeah. Sure it was. As a result, the couple ended up quitting their jobs over it...and are now looking for employment elsewhere.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me furious. Mainly because apparantly its pretty rampant...and no one is able to seek help, because if they do, guess what happens? They get blacklisted. Just like if I try to help people, or help my fellow players by writing about things on here that players are talking about...it suddenly becomes MY issue...and I end up getting screwed over it. Poker is a very tight knit community, and it is also kind of a network that is controlled by a handful. So to find yourself in a bad spot with one of those people who control the network, you are pretty much screwed.

Why am I telling you this? Well, as a poker employee, I hope it serves as caution to know what you're up against, and use caution. As a poker player...I want to let you know that you are never bulletproof in this game. This comes from someone who has found out the hard way. And I am fighting to get myself back in the good graces of all of them. As a fan of poker who just reads my blog because you think its interesting? Well, I don't know what you will think of this...other than it probably makes poker more exciting somehow.

My secret desire in this game of poker is to win a HUGE event, sign a big deal with someone...and start a foundation of some kind that works to help dealers and/or players who have been screwed somehow. Set up a fund for dealers or other employees wrongfully terminated...that can't pay their bills...to help them out. Also be able to help them find work. Players who get hosed for one reason or another, work on their behalf to find a solution. I don't know...I guess the desire to do that stems from my wishing there had been someone there to help me when all this BS went down at Ceaser's last summer...that cost me both a chance to win that damn tourney ($17k for 1st) and every other tourney from that point on at Rio. With the right people in my corner, I think I could have avoided this ridiculous Rio ban that's been in place for the past two summers. And now, as this guy gets canned, and walked off the property...I'm supposed to feel better right? Like I've had some form of revenge? The thing about it, is that I really don't feel that way at all. I knew what kind of person this guy was, just in talking to him, and from accounts from people who have worked for him. But did it help me get my situation fixed? A situation that shouldnt have even BEEN a situation? Hell no. Because all he did was pick up his phone, call another casino 'guy', pitch his story...which was backed up by NOTHING...and have the other guy say 'okay' and click a little button that turned me from an active player to an '86'd' player. Just like that. Boom! OUT!

So no, as much as I would love to tell you all that I feel a lot better now that he got fired, I really don't. Because the fact that it was able to get as far as it did tells me there is REALLY something wrong with how they do business in the first place. And I feel like 14 months of being able to go after millions of dollars was stolen away from me by this guy. So yeah...I'm glad they finally figured out what a douchebag this guy is and fired his ass...but no, it doesn't make me feel all that much better. But to all of you who I have made friends with over the years that work at Ceasers...I am delighted for all of you!


So they finally capped this leaking oil well this week. Its about time. And 'ol dickface Tony Hayward was exiled off to Siberia to run some operation over there. Perfect. Just like out of a movie script. Now...it's been very popular to bash BP and call them every name in the book. However, I am kind of holding back because I have to admit, they have shown a lot of effort in resolving this disaster. They have thrown a LOT of money at the problem, both in the cleanup process and in the compensation of people that have been affected. And with 20b in the bank to deal with the long term effects, and that money being appropriated by a very credible administrator, I think we came out of this as good as we could have possibly hoped for. If you were around when the Exxon Valdex, with their drunken Captain Hazelwood at the helm, ran aground in Alaska and spilled raw crude all over their shores...you will know that it took a full decade before Exxon ever came off a damn penny. The cleanup there was led by the Coast Guard and the EPA. Exxon didnt do shit. To this day I will never put a drop of Exxon gasoline in my car. They only came off of money when a federal judge ordered them to. FUCK EXXON. But BP? They have managed to earn a shred of respect throughout all this. What I DO HOPE comes out of this, is that the government will develop a lot more stringent level of enforcement where the developement of new wells is concerned. It just kills me that a disaster of that magnitude could actually occur. Without a clue as to how to stop it. That was disturbing...I think maybe the most disturbing thing to everyone. I hope things get safer. I hope the companies spend the money to AVOID disasters in the future. I, for one, am willing to give BP a pass on the corporate hatred, for now anyway.


Okay...this rat has to get back on his wheel and start that thing spinning again. Hope you enjoyed this little deviation from the norm!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Awesome Wife.....

Pretty sure most of you already know "Squirrel" or Cheryl as her Mom still calls her. She has been the one stable thing in my life for the past 9 years. And last year she made me the luckiest, ugly 43 year old fat guy (okay, at least 20 lbs overweight) when she married me.

I don't know how she does it, I really don't. Having to deal with me being on the road as much as I am, as I chase 'the dream' of playing professional poker for living and chasing that one BIG SCORE that will allow us to do whatever, whenever, we want. But she does, and her support means the world to me.

I won't tell you how old she is...but is it just ME or does she still look about 25? Well, she isn't, but you'd never know. She works at the Beau Rivage...carrying trays full of drinks all night, five days a week. And how she does that without killing someone I will NEVER know. I've gone in and watched/followed her around sometimes, watching people give her nickels and dimes for a tip or many times nothing at all. And yet she keeps on smiling. Incredible.

This morning she had over 100 'Happy Birthday' greetings on her Facebook page, and I could tell, it made her very happy. She isn't big on expensive gifts or flashy 'stuff'...its the small things that bring her the most happiness, and seeing her smiling face when she was reading all of those was pretty special.

I am very lucky to have this woman in my life. As I have had to deal with my issues through the last nine years, including in poker...it has been her who has been there to counsel me and try to lead me down the right path. I don't know if I would have ever gotten this far without her. Granted, I know I have a long way to go...but I am sure glad I have her near my side to take me there.

So today....I share with you all...just how much I love my beautiful wife on her birthday. She is my anchor.



As if my week wasn't already going great despite not cashing the Main Event in Tunica...I just recieved a very exhilerating text message from a source out in Las Vegas telling me that Jim Pedullah, the poker room manager at Ceaser's Palace, the guy who had me DQ'd from a tourney last summer, then 86'd from Ceasers...and THEN concocted a story and got Jeffery Pollack from WSOP to buy it hook line and sinker and ban me from the remaining 2009 WSOP events...which also led to me NOT getting back in THIS summer...which obviously has had a major detrimental effect on my poker livelihood, was just FIRED from Ceaser's Palace and ESCORTED off the property.

For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you know the details of how all that went down, and what a shitstorm I have had to endure because of this guy's petty grudge against me for my criticism of his summer tourneys at Ceasers. When his own dealers and floor people defended me in both my assessment of the tourney, as well as the events of the night that he claimed the next day that I had 'threatened another player' even though there was NO report saying anything to support that from a night shift manager. And when asked if he had checked the video, which would have clearly observed the 'victim' approaching me from the opposite direction, and with my back turned, slammed into my shoulder in that sophomoric style of 'accidentally' bumping into someone. No...clear and simple, this guy FUCKED me because he didnt like my criticism of him. Literally told numerous people that he 'hated that guy Monkey!"

When I made an attempt to 'clear the air' with him last fall, and let bygones be bygones, he completely stonewalled me. I have had floor people from various Harrah's property approach me, as well as dealers and tell me more negative things about this guy...to the point that I just gave up on trying to make amends with the guy. I just became convinced that I would outlast him. That I would take the high road. I know my problems, and what I needed to change about myself...and I have been working on them. And then just hoped that I would manage to get myself back into good graces with MOST of the poker venues. And I feel like I'm gettting there.

Well this news just put the biggest smile on my face. I just opened the best bottle of pinot noir that I have, and am enjoying it while getting the shit kicked out of me on Pokerstars!



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Home from Tunica...some regrets, but mostly a positive experience.

I went back for Day 2 of the Main Event with 68,000 chips. The average was 51k. I was feeling pretty good. And I was lucky to have avoided drawing Tyler Smith's table. We had 36 players left. Seated to my right was Vanessa Rousso. The last time her and I played at a table before was when we met, back in 2006, up in Reno. A couple of months later, in Vegas, I would introduce her to Chad Brown...a good friend of mine, while talking in the hall at Rio. The rest, as they say, is history...where they are concerned. Also at my table were Kenny Milam, Captain Tom Franklin, Dwyte "The Duke" Pilgrim, Earl Barron (a member of the NBA title Miami Heat team) and a couple of other very good players.

Within the course of one level we were down to 27 players. Wow. I really found that pretty surprising. A couple of goofy things were going on at my table. The first was when Capt. Tom completed in the SB but the BB thought he had folded and turned over his hand....AK. Whooops! Awkward. Which led to some crazy shenanigans. A flop of 2-4-5 caused quite a stir. Tom checked. At one point in the hand...the other guy looks back at his cards, which by now he had turned back over, not sure why. A couple people at the table quipped "Did you forget what you had!???" Everyone laughed. The turn produced another 2. Now Tom bet 5k. The guy is now in an awkward spot. He has Tom covered by a lot. He calls, just thinking Tom is playing him. The river was something like a 9. Didn't matter when I tell you the hands. Tom goes all in for 15k. Into like a 35k pot. This guy tanked forever...and there was a lot of mind tricks being employed.

One thing to note, and this was very unusual. As much as us players love to be able to talk to each other about our hands, our personal life and the weather when we get heads up with each other...we are finding it harder and harder to do this, right? All these casinos like to put the total kaibosh on ANY table talk...heads up or otherwise. Well before we started back for Day 2...the floor person LITERALLY TOLD our table that if you were heads up, you could say whatever you wanted. WOW! Really!??? How awesome. And I will not lie, it made for some very entertaining hands. Including this one.

Well, we all know Captain Tom is a master at poker mind games. So was he just playing off the fact that we all knew what the other guy had? (AK) Or did he actually have something? This other guy could NOT decide what to do...finally he calls. Tom turns over the nuts! He flopped a damn straight! At least the other player had the class to laugh it off. We actually had a fantastic table, and it was a great day of poker. My 68k starting stack fluctuated between 30k and 75k most of the day.

One one hand...Vanessa raised behind me, and I found JJ and re-raised. She had been pretty active all day...but was usually folding to my re-pops. Well here is where Earl Barron earned himself an Oscar. Everything he did before he moved all in told me he had a pair like 99 or 10-10. He roped me in. I called. He turned over AA. Ohhhhhh man. What a sucker. And I didn't hit a 2-outer. I gave him credit for such a fine performance. That hit didn't sting for long.

Dwyte would raise my BB. Vanessa called and I completed with A4c. I flopped a wheel. It got checked on the flop...and again on the turn, until "The Duke" finally bet 7500. I min raised him to 16k....and he folded. I showed him the wheel. I won the next hand as well, another nice pot...and I was back up to around 70k.

On one hand, Vanessa got involved with another player on an all in pot that she had been the initial raiser on. And for about the third time on the day she started in with the talk....

"Lets see, if there is (amount) in the pot, and I have (amount) outs to improve against what I think is maybe a (whatever the hand was) then I am getting 2.25 to call into a pot that is" ........blah blah blah....lost me somewhere.....

She was hitting us with the verbal calculator. Now, I know Vanessa is a pretty smart cookie, and of course she is a hottie too. And she even managed to humor us all with a cute joke...but she was cracking a bunch of us up with all this banter. I couldn't be sure if she was seriously basing (baseing?) what she was going to do on all these variables she was throwing out, or if it was just to try and impress us all, you know, that her brain could throw out such remarkable equations and such. Do players honestly sit there and put this much thought, from a math perspective, into how they are going to play a hand? I know that I don't. I mean it's one thing to base your decisions on math, but I find that mostly to be in cash game. In a tourney, you have to always arrive at your decision with one common element in mind...or conclusion if you will: That if you make the wrong decision, and commit 'x' amount of your chips during that decision, those chips are GONE! In cash game, if you make a decision based on pot-size and odds, and you lose...you can feel okay that you made the right call from a math perspective, but lost...knowing that you can reach in your pocket and reload. There is no reloading when you are playing in a poker tourney.

So when she was in the middle of a long, drawn out...what-to-do moment...she says to Dwyte..."Gosh Dwyte, I am just wondering what YOU would do right here with this hand." To which The Duke laid out a classic, that made the whole table laugh:

"I can tell you one thing for sure...I would have done SOMETHING by now for sure!"

Well played, Dwyte.

We finally got down to 18 and it was time for a redraw. Oh boy...here we go, moment of truth. The redraw. Who gets sent to wrestle with the beast...Tyler Smith? And who gets sent to Fantasy Island...AKA, the table with no Tyler?

I was one of the lucky winners. Or at least I thought I was. Drawing Ken Milam, Dwyte, Kathy Lehne (from Houston...good looking gal who only shows up for Main Events and is, I'm prettty sure married to one rich son of a bitch, gathering from the Rock of Gibraltor that lives on her left hand!) Also Jacob Bazeley. So it was a pretty good table.

I would make it to the dinner break. The Duke challenged me to a shot of chilled Patron before dinner...and I was only too happy to comply, enjoying my first and only alcohol of the day. (Thanks to Shaun Johnston for BUYING it for us...as apparantly its a PAY FOR item in the poker tourney area...and not an item we could drink for free!) Then I went to my room and chilled out. Started focusing on what was at stake. A real shot at righting the ship...taking this lousy 2010 and making it something to remember.

I felt like the whole week up in Tunica had been pretty positive. Granted, I hadn't cashed in any noon tourneys, in fact only got deep in one...but I did win the last three nightly Survivor tourneys. Then won the Mega. Managed a couple of SNG wins...and really just had a great time. Met a lot of new players. Met a bunch of people who read my blog. Managed to control my emotions the entire time. Even squeezed in a little cash game and met some fun people there. All in all it was a very good trip. But the one thing that would close it out on a GREAT note, would be to cash this Main Event. And even if I went out 9th...hey! $12,000 would be nice to bring home right now. But I felt like if I made the final table, I would be more than happy to sit there and wait on AA or KK and sit idly while a few people went out ahead of me.

Sometimes you get in spots where you are playing to win the tourney...and playing to make a monetary score. And...last year, after winning a couple of Venetian events and having my bankroll in a place it had never been, I was playing every tourney to win! Taking gambles, making moves. Well, the way my year has been going, I felt it was more important to keep myself out of trouble. But still pick up a pot every so often. I didn't feel I needed to chase the chiplead. To get out of Tunica with about 25k would have been kick ass. And if I were to get 4 or 5 handed, then I would take off the brakes and let it fly...and try and take home the title and over 120k. And one of those cool Globe trophies they have up there. Always have wanted one of those!

I went back from dinner sitting on 60k. The average was 120k. But the blinds were still only 1200/2400 so I was just fine. Regardless, picking up a couple of big pots would be awfully nice. I would pick up AK and 99 early...raising once on the button (getting a walk) and once at cutoff (again a walk) and got my stack up around 75k. Things were feeling good. We lost a couple players...and now we were suddenly down to 14 and getting very close.

Then it happened. I raise from 1500/3000....to 7500, with 88. The guy to my left flats me. Hmmm. Then in the BB, Ken Milam re-raises...to 15,000. Hmmm. Interesting. Now Kenny is pretty crafty. I can put him on a LOT of hands right there. We have a lot of history together. And another thing is that we are pretty tight, and he has a decent stack now, well over 150k. So if I can convince him that I have him beat...or God forbid flop the world, I feel like I can get him to fold to me. So I feel its worth it to call his min raise. The other guy calls himself a "stupid donkey" and folds. When the flop comes out 5s-6h-7h I find myself feeling like I just flopped the nuts. Wow. And yeah, I have the 8 of hearts. Kenny bets out 15k.

Now I think if I had instantly shoved all in, it might have been a lot easier for Kenny to fold here. Putting me on a set. But I really am thinking 're-raise' to make the point more convincing...so I start counting my chips. And when I get to 47k and realize that any re-raise is going to look almost ridiculous...I tell him..."Yeah, Kenny I was gonna re-raise here but after counting my chips, I don't think its really possible. So I am all in I guess....47k total."

Another 32k to him. He got up and started pacing around. I honestly don't know if I want him to call or not. Then he gives me enough information to reveal to me that he DOES have an overpair.

"So Kenny, whatchu got man? KK or QQ?"

He gives me a look....pretty much tells me I am close. So now I kind of start rooting for him to fold. Plus...we're buddies, he has a lot of chips...folding here isn't going to really hurt him. But calling could KILL me. Or hurt him a lot and make me a huge stack....well over 160k. Getting into Tyler Smith territory.

He finally decides to call and turns over JJ. Ugh! Come on ZOE (the dealer) Ten outs here...I haven't sucked out all tourney yet....this would be the time....give me a 4 or a 9 or an 8. Come on! Turn blank. Please...come on!

River..........BRICK. My stomach hits the floor. I just walked from the table. Out into the hall. Sat in a chair. Covered my face. And let it sink in. No cash. No win. No turn-around to 2010. Oh.....damn. But I also didn't freak out. I didn't say anything ugly. I'm getting better. Nothing I could do. Kenny made a good call. Not mad at him. Show some class Monkey. Take it like a pro. Get back in there, gather up your shit, shake his hand, wish him well, and exit like a man. So I gathered myself...walked back in there, met Kenny, who was already out of his chair...and asked me if I was mad at him.

"No man, not at all. Did I want you to fold? Sure. But you made a good call. You had the best hand. I hope you win brother. Good luck."

Wished everyone else luck...and went upstairs to my room...where I broke out the chronic, filled myself with the medicine...and drifted off to sleep.

At 1am I woke up. For some reason got into an $11 MTT on Stars with 988 late night losers like myself. And proceeded to kill it. At 8am...and with 13 players left...as I was going for $1800....I raised with AA...got reraised all in by one of only 4 guys who had me covered, called of course...and found myself up against JJ to become chipleader. But once again...my luck in online poker tourneys continued like it has all year....get deep, be sitting on the doorstep to a nice score, and get two outed. Jack on the turn...and I was out. What did I win? $98! Yipppee.

I slept in til 1pm. Packed up my shit, got it down to my car. Then decided to go eat in the buffett. I had 3 comps...and saw a girl in her 30's sitting at a slot machine with her Grandma...asked if they would like some free buffet comps, that they expire today and I can't use them, and they acted like I just handed them each a $100 bill. Okay so I guess that constituted my one good deed for the day, at least.

Ate, went up to the poker room...observed the Final Table for a bit. Found myself shocked that Vanessa and Dwyte, despite big chipstacks when I got bounced failed to make the Final Table. Tyler still had a monster stack. Kenny was in pretty good shape. Kathy Lehne...who is SO FReAKING patient...managed to make it, good for her. Captain Tom had a decent stack...and for the 2nd time this year, I had a 5% swap sweat with Tom...after he made me $800 in Reno in that Main Event, I really wanted to get even with him...but it was him pulling the wagon again. I would later find out when Kenny called me that he went out in 6th. Which got me $1200. Hey...now that was a nice going away present, right? And yet another nice score for Tom...who is quietly having a great year.

Its funny, I used to not be able to stand the guy...and I'm pretty sure he thought I was a little shit head. But now he is one of my favorite guys. His humor is very similar to mine. And he is very intelligient. And frankly, he's a helluva poker player. Obviously. One of these days I will be giving him that money back, I'm sure. I did lose a $100 side bet to him. I set the over/under at 9:24pm on when I thought we would get down to 9 players. Well, the dinner break of 1.5 hours kind of killed me!

I walked over and shook the hands of Ken Lambert and Eric Comer and thanked them for having me, and for making my week pleasant. Eric said he'd see me in three weeks, and Ken said he would be in touch...so does that mean I am going to be back in the Beau Rivage and see all of you for the Gulf Coast Poker Championship? Well...lets just say maybe, and I hope so. I have learned not to expect anything these days, or to get too excited about anything. But I do know that I have been making a conscience effort to become a better guy, and do things the way people expect and/or want me to do things to be the kind of player that they would like to have around. If they say no, well...I will just continue to hold my head up and look for the next place that WILL have me and try to do my best there, without being ugly and negative.

To all of you who sent me your good luck shout outs, and to those who continue to reveal yourselves as blog readers...my thanks go out to all of you. I am being sincere when I tell you that my efforts tend to get a lot more focused when I feel all of your presence with me. Knowing I have so many people rooting for me really makes me try harder, and really makes me want so badly to make the Final Table. And yeah, when I lose, I do feel like I am kind of letting you all down a little bit. And to my haters...who get excited when I miss the Final Table and go home broke? Well...cool, I guess in a sick way, I am happy for you too.

I am home now. Yard work needs to be done. Bills need to be paid. Dogs need to be played with. Squirrel's birthday is tomorrow so I need to go out and find her a birthday present. Its so friggin hot out I just want to sit inside and hide! On the drive home, I downloaded and watched Daniel Tosh's standup act on NetFlix...you know, the guy from Talk Soup? Although we don't get the E! Channel here in Biloxi....fucking CableOne sucks! It was one of the funniest things I have watched in years. I was literally wiping tears from my eyes. In large part due to the fact that half of what he said I have either said before myself, or think it on a regular basis. If you get the chance...go watch it...its stupidly funny.

Oh yeah...I never really got a chance to elaborate about Tyler Smith, mainly because it was late, and I wanted to get you guys some news but without costing me all my sleep, or being late for Day 2.

Let me just say this: I really like Tyler. Have liked him since the first time we played that Heads-Up 1k tourney together in New Orleans three years ago. One regret I have is that when I busted him with my AAA against his 999 and left the table and allowed him to catch back up from a miniscule stack and eventually get heads up with me? I wish I had stayed at the table instead of taking a walk. I wish I had made a concerted effort to bust him. I think I cost myself that ring by not doing that.

This kid...is without a doubt, the one player I absolutely fear the most in poker. I have never seen someone exude the kind of confidence he does. He gives NOTHING in the way of tells. There is NO HAND he won't play. He will, absolutely, win 10 million dollars in his poker career. Will he win a WSOP Main Event like John Dolan has a chance to? Who knows? Those are such mine fields and crap shoots. Is he capable? 100%. I typically LOVE sitting at a table of solid, talented players. It gives me hope for winning. Good players generally do NOT make bad plays to beat you. I almost feel good when I lose to a good player after he either made a good play, a good call or just coolered me. Its like...if you're Kentucky...and you lose to North Carolina for the title...doesn't that feel better than losing to Delaware State, after they just kept fouling your big man every time down court and heaving 3 pointers all game and making 60% of them? It has a different feel, right?

Tyler Smith is an absolute beast of a poker player. I have written about it before. And I talked to him at length when we were seated together at the end of Day 1. He makes people crumble. Can I play like that? Doubtful. I think the only way I could do it...is if I didn't look at my cards. Just don't look, and if I have position to do it (like, no one has raised or gone all in behind me) just raise 2.25 the blinds. Every fucking hand. 7 out of 10 they fold. 2 out of 10 they call. And ONE time they either re-raise or go all in. So you look then. And probably usually fold. He has exposed the one thing, the one flaw...the easiest thing to figure out in poker, and made it work. Why isn't everyone else doing this? It's a legit question right? Something about when you look down at that 3-9 offsuit, you just cant find the balls to do it, huh? Not Tyler's problem. RAISE, RAISE, RAISE, RAISE, RAISE.......KEEP RAISING!!!!! FOLD, FOLD, FOLD, FOLD, FOLD....drag a pot, drag a pot, drag a pot.

The kid went from 55k when I got to his table the other night....to 125k...by doing JUST THAT. It's amazing. But there is no real shocking science to it. He is just willing to be that guy who is going to sit down, say FUCK YOU to the whole table, and challenge you to step up and shut him down. By raising about 85% of the time. It's awesome. So Tyler Smith...you have my 100% respect sir. And yeah...I was a jackass for not doing everything in power to whack you in New Orleans and get that ever-elusive ring!

Hope this wasn't too lengthy and a few of you made it this far!!!