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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ohhhh okay, lets peel off a lil blog....

Suppose I can scrape together a few things to write about. First of all, my buddies at the website have reported some erroneous info. For starters, they mispelled Dwyte's last name. Its PILGRIM. Now, usually people mispell DWYTE, this was a first, seeing PILGRAM. Whoa. Secondly, never, ever did I mention that Dwyte and I had a 'piece' of each other. Not sure how that got bandied about. I had a piece of Christian Iacobellis...and Mike 'Carwash' Schneider. I paid one, and the other paid me. I came out slightly ahead on that deal. I wish like hell I had a piece of 'The Duke.' Oh and 'The Duke' is a nickname I tagged Dwyte with when we first met and hung out a little bit down in New Orleans two years ago. I felt like with a last name like Pilgrim, it was a natural. Now for those who are too young to remember John Wayne, forget you read this and just move on to the next topic.

Anyway, Christian took 10th. Lee Childs, another guy I am pretty friendly with and who I really like a lot, went out in 9th, so my only rooting interest left was 'The Duke.' Maybe that was the confusion...people thought when I said 'rooting interest' it meant I had a piece of him. Nope. Just wanted him to win cuz I like that fool.

I got knocked out when I got locked into one of those terrible 'under 10 bb' shoving situations. Where I screwed up was earlier...trying hard to make good folds, convinced that my big cards and big double ups were on the horizon. A guy with half my stack shoved on the button against my SB when I had KQ...I had 85k and he shoved 47k. I labored over it before folding. He told me he had 78d later. Damn! Then when the two maniacs at the table got into another shooting match, I folded AQ behind all their raise, re-raise action. Last year's Borgata champion, Olivier Busquet eventually (after the 4th re-raise) showed a QJ bluff (assuming the other guy had that beat!) before raking a huge pot...and I was kicking myself for not getting my stack in against the guy.

So I ended up shipping pocket 6's...and the guy in the SB...who was drinking with me, shoves all in...with KJ...and makes (not sure how) the guy in the BB fold AK suited. Wow. So, even if KJ guy had folded, I'm sure the BB would have called me. One of the two remaining Kings hit the flop...and I was out. But with the cameras running on us, I made sure to handle it with as much class as possible.

Speaking of drinking...this is something you will all be able to share in my anger over. You all know that when I make the money its what? You got it. Red Snapper time! Correct? So when I get the waitress' attention (finally) when we got inside of 100 players, I requested 3 red snappers for me and two other players at the table. Turns out, as she told me 20 minutes later...they didn't have amaretto and thus couldn't make them.

We have crossed this little path once before. In New Orleans 3 years ago. It doesnt happen anymore down there. Its kind of a systematic thing that is usually easy to repair. Its like this:

The poker tournament bar is set up with a limited menu of items. Fair enough. We get that. If you want something outside of that menu, you are either (a) fucked, (b) forced to go onto the gaming floor, or (c) needing to be in possession of a 7-Star card if you are at a Harrah's property. But as someone who worked in the beverage industry, as well as the restaraunt industry, I have insider knowledge. First, I know that a bottle of Amaretto di Saronno is around $30 a bottle. And we call that a call brand, or even a premium. However, a bottle of well amaretto, tends to go for about $6.50. Sometimes even less. This is not a liquor cost-killer.

So in past experiences with casinos that didn't happen to be carrying any amaretto in their 'poker room setup' I usually just ask for the beverage manager. And they always seem to pop right out. And when I calmly and politely explain the importance of the amaretto to the situation, and its bearing on my ability to win, and the abundance of gratuities about to come the way of their staff...they are usually only too pleased to make a bottle of amaretto appear. A lot of the time, the missing ingredient has been Crown Royal. The same speech has usually resulted in the same outcome when its the Crown, also. I all seems so simple, right?

Well, apparantly, the guy from The Borgata was inpenetrable. I hope I spelled that right, and if not...I don't care. he could NOT be penetrated! I made my presentation, very calm, cool and collected-like...and he looks me in the face and tells me:

"I am sorry, but we are unable to accomodate you. We have a limited bar up here, and amaretto is not on it. We can offer you other items, but nothing with amaretto in it."

I was kind of stunned, but at the same time pissed. We had cameras all over our table watching this. I did an impromptu plug on camera for Crown Royal. I then politely, but sarcastically explained that I had been stymied in my attempts to get an 'in the money' Red Snapper.

It was at that time that I got a sinking feeling. Things just weren't going the way they were supposed to. No, I didn't let it get into my hold your comments...yes I'm talking to YOU John Abbondanza! But when things interrupt the flow of victory, you can't help but notice it. And to that guy who runs the Borgata beverage department? You're an imbecile. I tipped your waitstaff over $500 during the week...and here we are in the money of the Main Event...where the winner will pocket $750,000...and you can't make a freaking $5 bottle of well amaretto appear? Nice customer service pal! I guess they can't all be Robbie Oster (who used to be Bev Manager at Harrah's New Orleans) or Bruce McAllister (Beverage Manager at Beau Rivage) who just happen to GET IT!

In an effort to stave off the imminent disaster, Mike Hallen...from Houston and a regular reader and fellow 'deep runner' hustled downstairs and procurred two rounds of Snappers...the first one at his cost, which I had to inform him was much appreciated but stupid. Simply sit at a slot machine and 'go thru the motions' for a freebie, or slip $5 into a video poker game at the bar. At any rate...thanks for the attempted 'Mariano Rivera-like' save Mikey!

I also managed to figure out another huge reason for why the dealers at the Borgata suck so bad. Yeah...we investigated and discovered that the full-time dealers were making $16 an hour...and that the 'blue-shirt part timers' were making $10 an hour...and we all loved how they milked as many hours from them as possible, before a near revolt from the pro players resulted in nothing but brown-shirted dealers working Day 3 and beyond. Wow. That was maybe the longest sentence ever, right?

Last year, there was no 3% withheld. After a lot of lobbying, they got New Jersey Gaming to approve it this this year it represented $100,000 and change that was withheld, and on the payouts it said 'Dealer share' even though we know that the dealers didn't really get all of that. When you lost...they handed you a number...which you would take to the back counter...where they would fill out a form, and a tax statement...but not give you any money there. had to carry that all downstairs to the Main Cage...where THEY would pay you out. Never were we asked for a tip for the staff, not at the back desk where all the paperwork was done, or at the cage where we got paid. And from playing poker for 7 years now, I know that poker players are some of the cheapest bastards around. Most of them tip when confronted with it...more out of guilt than generosity. Granted, there are some who feel we are already getting raped with the rake and the automatic dealer 'appreciation tip' for extra playing chips and just WON'T tip anymore at payout...but the majority WILL tip if confronted with 'The Box!'

But at Borgata? No box. No confrontation. And most likely a big fat ZERO for the dealers...which, if you know anything about 'trickle-down' economics, results in nothing but a diminishing product, aka...good dealers. The less they make, the worse you get. The more they make, the better they get.

And in a last shot...I decided to play a farewell nightly tourney after getting busted, one in which I would put a bounty on myself, and take heads up last longers with 5 seperate players...two of whom I outlasted, and three of whom I paid. When I went to register, for a tourney that started at was 7:30 and there were exactly 36 people in line...and ONE woman working the registration desk. A near riot broke out...with screaming and yelling. I was just laughing at the ridiculousness. Finally, I went back to the back counter to talk to someone I knew, and tipped them off to the situation out there in the hall. They promised to get someone else out there...and after about 15 minutes, finally, someone did show up. So now there were 2 people. I finally got to my table in the middle of level 3. Fantastic.

Gosh...almost forgot this one. No wait. There is actually a lot more. How silly of me to forget. Carwash left the morning after I was put out. I gave him his piece he was due from me. But our room reservation was I had to go down and get it renewed for two more nights. Found out something pretty sick. For every day you stay there, they charge you $150 a DAY for what they call a 'security deposit' for a stay of 10 days...yeah, $1150 in advance. I have been home now for 4 days, that $300 is still not back in my account. Safe to say, these people are running a little money hedge scam...where they are using customers money the way banks do on 3 to 5 day holds on checks. Its bullshit. Its just another reason to hate New Jersey.

I was unable to find a reasonable flight out of Atlantic I started looking into flying out of Philly. Found a good fare and booked it. But I booked it only after asking the Concierge at Borgata how I go about getting to Philly airport.

"Oh, very simple. There is a van service (called TROPIANO...avoid them at all costs!) who you simply call and schedule your trip with. They require a 12-hour advance notice. Cost is $40."

So I was excited. The taxi to the airport in AC was $20...but to get to Phillly was only $40? Awesome.

Or was it? When I booked my plane ticket, I then called to book my shuttle. It was 18 hours prior to my flight. Some guido answers the phone and tells me:

"Uhhh...yeah, its kind of too late. And I don't have any other passengers going there, so its not possible for us to take you."

"I thought I only needed 12 hour notice? And how many people do you need to make it 'worth it' to you guys?"

"Yeah...I guess you are okay on the time...but we don't have anyone else going. We need to have at least 3 passengers to make that trip."

So I offered to pay for 3 tickets for the ride. Pretty common sense answer coming to that one, right? Nope. Wrong. He still refused. I couldn't believe this buffoon.

So how did I get to the airport? Well, I only had one option. Hire the Borgata's limo to take me. Cost? $217. Wonderful. It was kind of nice though, since the driver was an older gentleman, very cool guy...and after sleeping only three hours after staying out with the boys for drinks and then ordering enough room service to feed a family of 17 starving Ethiopians...I was dead tired. I laid out in the back seat and slept all the way to Philly. The flight to Atlanta SUCKED. Fucking Delta and their little sick joke on us passengers is about to make me lose my mind. I they think that all their passengers are 5'4 and 135 lbs? I shouldn't have to go to the chiropractor every time I de-board a Delta flight. Or have to go buy new luggage. But I do. I hate you Delta, I hate you...I hate you so much I imagine that if I ever end up going to hell when I die...there will be a Delta flight attendant there explaining to me where all the un-exitable exits are located.

I did get a really nice lady on my plane who was in the Air Force...who's husband had just suffered a heart attack and she was rushing home to see him. She ended up giving me a ride home from the airport, as Squirrel had to work that night. I paid for part of her parking and fillled her gas tank...yeah, it cost me more than a cab would have...but hell, I felt like helping out someone who obviously appreciated it. And I got to avoid another hellacious experience with a cab driver. Any of you who know me, know that I hate cabs. HATE THEM. Almost as much as flying Delta.

Hmmm...what else? Played some online poker this weekend. It did not go well. Why would it? Its amazing just how badly the players get it in online. And why I keep going back to keep trying. I play live tourneys for a month, and find success, and feel good about your game, and spend two or three weeks accepting praise from everyone...then you go online, lose all your confidence, and get rattled over what you know is probably a 15 year old telling you how bad you suck. Then those words from my wife start rattling around in my head:

"If it's so bad...why do you keep playing on there?"

And in one word...I respond to her. "The Value" and only that reason. And I don't care how much I win in live tourneys...I will NEVER take my limits to stupid heights online. I can't. I just have no faith in it. I then went and made a Facebook status update...that got quite a response from people.

"Playing online poker on Sunday is sort of like being invited out to a night of partying with your wife and her hot friends. You have all these dreams and expectations of where it might end up, but at the end its just one gigantic buzz kill."

I think, in my opinion, that we can almost all agree with this line, no?

Nice blown chip shot FG Garrett Hartley. I think your luster is beginning to wear off. Thanks Seahawks for not blowing another late lead. It feels good to see you in 1st place again. Thanks KC Chiefs for blasting the 49'ers and their asshole coach, Mike Singletary. Anyone see the interview with him last week? The interviewer ended up getting re-assigned over it. While doing nothing wrong. Singletary is just a prick, and I hope he loses every damn game this season! Great game between Bama and Arkansas yesterday, had Squirrel on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Thank you Arizona State for that late night, back-door cover too...can't tell you how much I appreciated that one!

I wasnt there to watch her freak out...because I decided to take up Mike Teller's offer and drive over to Pensacola and play their end of the month 20k Guarantee at the Pensacola Greyhound Track...which now has poker. The highlight of my trip was watching my first dog race. It was hilarious...watching them chase a sock around the track for one lap. The tourney? I was dedicated to trying to at least make it 6 levels...didn't want Mike to feel bad for deciding to stake me in the thing. Did I need a stake? No, obviously, but Mike has had a lousy year, getting ripped off by a guy and trying hard to recover from it, and nothing would have made me happier than snapping off a nice little score and handing him half of it. But things would not go my way. And honestly, after watching just 10 hands, I had a bad feeling that my fate was already decided when I got in my car back in Biloxi.

At 50/100...the normal play was to raise to anywhere from 600 to 1000 preflop and then check all the way to the river and still win with their AK. Ridiculous. So when I looked at AQ in the SB on a limped pot 6-ways, I figured raising would be stupid. The flop came A-3-Q. Nice flop. Decided to check raise one of the idiots. The last idiot bet. I raised. They all folded except him. The flop carried one spade. The turn was the 3 of spades. Well, if this guy called me with A3 he was getting all my chips. I now bet big. He just calls. Hmmm...lovely. River was the 5 of spades. I shipped my last 2500. (we started with 7500 chips). He called and turned over AJ. I thought I had just doubled up when I heard the dealer say "Flush" and did a double take. Oh fuck! Wow...backdoor flushed me. Awesome. And I was done.

Sat down at a 1/2 game, next to Ben Chan...and won enough to pay for my gas over there before I became so bored I couldn't stand it anymore. Saw a lot of guys over there I know...but, and not to sound like a jerk, most of them were people I remember for all the wrong reasons. I don't think I will be going back over there. Just makes no sense to make that drive to try and win a shade under 10k.

So I am in the parking lot, getting my laptop ready for the drive home...finding a college football game on XMRadio...and BOOM! I get knocked into my dash. What the fuck!

Oh...this older guy...African American...and appearing slightly drunk...thought he was going to make it into the parking spot, only he didnt. He took a chunk out of the back corner of my car. Seriously? Nice trip. We exchanged information...although his was a bit sketchy, and I totally expect none of it to check out when I call on it tomorrow or the next day. Whatever.

Went on a shopping spree Saturday...first to Wal-Mart for groceries (yeah...I went YARD!) and then to Best Buy. Got some goodies over there, both for me and the Squirrel. Let me just say...if I am smarter than most of the people who work there, why do they even bother trying to pretend they are offering people assistance? More than anything, they are just getting in the way.

I am very happy for my backer. Her faith in me is renewed. And when she is happy, I am happy! She has had a pretty rough year..dealing with lots of family crap. And my up and down bad year. So she is rewarding herself with a trip to Florence, Italy with her girlfriend for a month. Thats pretty awesome.

Okay...I think that is probably enough for now. We are over at Gabe and Claudia's right now, where Claudia made everyone dinner (and I must say, it was delicious) and now they are all playing cards while Gabe and I have been sitting on the couch watching the Jets beat Miami and dicking around on our computers. Yeah, we are the introverted ones at this party. It's 1am and I am ready to go home to my dogs. Good luck pulling Squirrel outa here!

Talk to y'all later!



KTeller Inc™ said...

Great blog and much appreciated the efforts. It meant a lot to a fellow friend that you made the drive over and the attempt to tame the donkeys.
Sorry to hear about the guy smacking the car, hope that works out.


GeneD said...

Yo...Sorry about the mistake on the news feed...My bad.

I spazzed out and somehow remembered you mentioning in your blog that you had "sweat"...or "piece of" Christian/Duke/Wash...not "rooting intrest"...and didnt double check your blog

Anyhow...just wanted to clarify that this was my mistake...Wild Bill fixed it.

Congrats on the recent success!!!!