Saturday, October 30, 2010

BILOXI Update from the I.P.

I am very tired. It is Saturday morning. Got in at 2am. Took a hot bath to soak the ugliness off of me.

I am going to be brief today. I think so anyway. Just finished making my 'Confidence Pool' picks...last minute again. Missed winning the pool ($300 weekly prize) last week on the basis of Tony Romo getting killed and Dallas losing. Tony also cost me my Fantasy Football matchup by getting injured. It was a fabulous week for all things monkey-related in football. NOT!

We have two days in the books at the IP. A few observations:

The tournament room and final table area looks great.

They have assembled a nice crew of dealers and floor people.

The tournament structures for the nooners are fantastic.

The chips are still the same set of 'bad times' IP chips that all look
white...that they have been telling us they are going to replace, going on four years now. Figured they would for this event, since it's a WSOP circuit event. But...nope.

We are playing 10-handed, despite an abundance of tables and dealers. Hate 10-handed. Especially in the south...where 35% of the players are fat, 25% of them stink like shit, and 20% of them sit and chew tobacco...which always illicits a gag reflex in me. By the way...its supposed to be against the rules to dip at the table. Maybe they could start enforcing that before I throw up on one of my fellow players, or the table.

The SNG's are very, very strange. They are only spreading 4 categories...and three of them are a joke.

$45, $65, and $125....and in all of them...you get a total of 1000 in starting chips with which to play with. This is like back to 3 or 4 years ago. I don't get it. No one gets it. No good players are winning those, they take a ton of juice...and by level 3 they are a crapshoot. Why even play them?

In the 4th...it's a $180. And you get...ready? 5000 chips! Huh? And 20 minute levels. The catch? Its a one-winner, must-take seat into the Main. Ahhhh...I see...its a creation to ramp up entries in the Main. So this is a great play if you win one early, get your seat out of the way...then you can play them for $1600 in chips from then on.

Yeah, I should have won my first yesterday. But Garrett Jones...he of the mysterious no face on Facebook, and the constant wall posts that run on for hours sometimes...who likes to tell me and the world everything he has won...well, he was discovered this week. Credit goes to Michael Hallen. He decides he needs to be in a $200 last longer with me. So in this SNG I have a $100 last longer with the table and $200 with him. With 5 left...and me sitting on a decent stack I raise with AA utg. He calls in the BB with Q-10. He check raises me all in on a flop of Q-J-7. And of course, he rivers a Q. Lovely. So instead of crippling him...and having a massive chip lead...I was out.

It's kind of been like that the first two days. In the first nightly...a $225 to win $2000 in buy-in chips. I raised with AQd....got min-raised by AA...and flopped Q-7-6. Went broke.

In the nooner yesterday...a guy limps in with QQ. I raise on the button with 77. He flats my raise. The flop comes Q-7-Q. Neither of us bet it until the river...then it got nasty...and it all got in. And I went bye bye. Nice cooler. But also a nice play by my opponent. Credit to him.

In another sit n go, Mitch, and older guy who always wears a cool fedora, and who I like a lot...decides to push over my button raise...me with A10, him with A5. Dealer gives him a five. I left that one.

In the nightly last night...Neal, I think its Neal Hunt...who used to be my good luck dealer...once upon a time, cracks my QQ against 10-10...flops him a 10. But that didn't kill me. I went on a bit of a heater, raising incessantly on the bubble, and making the money...before cutoff raised with 68off...to 5100...and couldnt seem to fold to my 14,600 all in with A10 suited on the button...gives him an 8 and I was out...winning a whopping $259 on my $125 buy in.

I did manage to win my final SNG of the night...a $65 job, with a $20 last longer. It was a collection of some of the weirdest guys I've seen in awhile, and in the middle of it, I caught myself texting Kai Landry looking for some point of reality. He just made it worse...as I'm pretty sure I caught him in one of his Ambien induced mind-melds. By the way Kai...total money spent on hotel in Chicago was $908. Not sure what the car cost...but there is my side. Was going to repeat some of what he said...but notice I just deleted it.

Basically, I took a picture of these two guys at my table...sent it to him...and listened to him ramble on about what he saw. No...I am not going to post it here. I like my freedom at I.P. But one of them had NO NECK at all...weighed about 420 I think. Sporting a Bama t-shirt...he played maybe three hands...all of which he raised 8x the BB...all but one of which...he missed his AK/AQ and folded after the flop.

The other guy...he was a real honey. Wearing a t-shirt that said "Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? Super Bowl blah blah blah....Final Score 31-17" One of those shirts that has way too much going on. Hate shirts like that. And this guy....whew...you know when you try to talk to your dog...and they just sit there looking back at you, head cocked to the side? Confused? That was this guy. Except he was also kind of like a deer in the headlights. You would raise...and he would sit there perplexed, before acting on his hand.

The $65 SNG's are hilarious. I don't play them thinking I am going to win. I play them out of sheer boredom, lack of anything else to do...and as a case study on the human condition. Oh...and to give you guys something to laugh about. Whenever I do manage to win one of them...no one is more surprised than I am.

One thing we have been blessed with. Allen isn't working the SNG area...so we don't have to listen to his 'frustrated strip club DJ' voice on the microphone. No sooner do I say this than I expect to see him there today.

Big day today in college football. We still need some things to shake out for Bama to get back into title contention. And here is what we need today...though I won't make any bold predictions like I did last week. Going 3-0 last week is going to make this week pretty tough to try and duplicate. We need Oregon to lose to USC. We need Nebraska to beat unbeaten Missouri at home...who was nice enough to beat Oklahoma for us last week. Thanks Mizzou. Then, we need Iowa...coming off a tough loss to Wisconsin last week...to knock off unbeaten Michigan State...who SHOULD have lost last week, but pulled off a miraculous come from behind win. And it wouldn't hurt if Utah lost to Air Force...and then go and beat TCU next week or whenever they play them. So then hopefully, when the Tide rolls down to Baton Rouge next week...they should just need to batter the Tigers...and set up what could be a #1 vs. #2 battle between the Tide and Auburn. Yep...I got this all figured out!!!

I got a new iTouch the day before the IP event began to replace the iPod I either lost or had stolen. Oh boy...what a fun little toy this thing is! I guess its just like an iPhone but without the phone feature. If you are in a place that has free wi-fi...like the IP does...you can sit at the table and really entertain yourself. I've been watching movies on NetFlix, accessing my Facebook, watching YouTube videos, today I will monitor all the scores. What a great piece of technology this thing is. Wow! I wonder if there is a way to subscribe to some form of internet access on it when you arent in a free wi-fi accessible area?

Oh...pretty sure I got a valet guy fired. Or rather, pretty sure he got himself fired. I got a call from some lady in management yesterday, who I never got back to...cuz I was in a hand when she called and forgot to call her back. For starters, I should have never parked in I.P.'s valet. For all the things about I.P. that I do like...they have got, hands down, the WORST valet in America...maybe the world. I walk up to hand the guy my ticket, and he is macking on this girl...this was a black on black affair, so clearly, I was going to have to wait til he was done dropping his smack on this 'shorty' before I got to give him my ticket.

He tells her 'I will have yo car down to you in 5 minutes or so.' Then he takes my ticket, tells me..."it will be about the same on yours....10 minutes.' Huh? I remind him that he just told her it would be about 5 minutes...then told me it would be 'about the same' on mine.

"Oh...well, you know...maybe it will be 15." WTF? Hey, pal...not sure what your problem is, but lets not play a game of chicken with my car okay? I've had a long day, and just want to go home. Didn't mean to break up your epidode of the 'Dating Game' but it IS your job to retrieve my car. And in return for that I usually leave an above average tip.

We had words. He calls security, and tries talking all tough. Only one problem. It wasn't security. It was his boss. Another problem. I wasn't saying anything to inflame matters. He was. He was rambling on like a crackhead. And at one point, offered to 'take his lunch break' and meet me outside. I just stood there, kind of in astonishment, and kind of laughing. Then I asked him if he would like a shovel. He didn't get it. For once, I felt like society finally was functioning properly, because seated in the waiting area were four other people....ALL black. And guess what? They all had my back! Yeah! I know! A couple of them told the valet manager that the guy was totally out of line...and that I had not said ANYTHING inappropriate.

It felt pretty good to FINALLY have things go the way they are supposed to go when something like this happens. I really didn't think this idiot thought he could lose. It gets so bad, and so stupid, in the south sometimes...that I really think that as long as its two opposite races in a dispute, the white guy always loses, due to the politicizing of everything now. I don't know, could things be changing? Or were the planets just lined up correctly that night? We can hope. I also hope that jackass loses his job.

I played some cash game the first night after losing early in that first tourney. I lasted about 42 minutes before boredom and complete disdain for my table mates set in. Then I left.

I really want to win a ring. And this is a good event to make it happen. The fields are going to be a lot smaller than Chicago. Yesterday we got 288. I kind of expected more. No telling what we will get today. Luckily I already bought in...so no lines to fight with.

Think I'm done for today. Thanks for another good month. With today and tomorrow still to go, you have all probably made this the 2nd best month as far as total hits go on this blog in 2+ years. Gonna be tough to top last month. Tomorrow is Halloween....also known as my brother's birthday. Also known as the anniversary of my first OUTRIGHT win...when, wearing a gorilla costume, I won the $50k Guarantee here at IP...was that last year? Or the year before? Must have been the year before I guess. I don't know...I'm getting old, and seem to forget more than I can remember these days. I just know that I will probably go visit that costume shop down the street from the I.P. and show up in something 'festive' tomorrow on Halloween. And maybe even bring a bucket of candy for you trick-or-treaters that should come by my table.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Out of Event 1. Guy limps with QQ. Flats my 77 raise. Flop comes Q-7-Q. How nice. NEXT!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chicago Wrap-up...Out Takes

Today is Tuesday. I have just survived the 'Chi-Clone' which is what they were calling this 'Greatest Storm in 70 years' that kept all the Main Event bustees grounded here in Chicago for another day, despite wanting to get the hell outa Dodge. Flights were cancelled by the 100's.

So once it got started around 7am, I opened the hotel window and took in the show, staying on the lookout for a tornado. Tornado warnings kept going out over the TV on the Emergency Broadcast System...and I have an ongoing duel with tornadoes in my dreams...so I naturally assumed I was heading for a date with destiny. No such luck. There was some wind...there was some rain...and then it was over. And then Kai woke up and started mocking the ChiClone.

I booked a flight out of here, out of Midway airport...which is about half an hour closer than O'Hare, which I was supposed to leave from on Thursday...tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11am. Pretty excited to get home.

I have not left my room all day. While Kai is at the casino chasing his Hammond-trip deficit by trying to extract money from the local cash-game playing dipshits...which he has ranted on and on about since we have been here, but seems to keep falling victim to their hair-brained moves that keep paying off for them while costing Senor Landry his stack chunk by chunk, which is EXACTLY why I loathe cash game despite not just feeling but KNOWING I am 20x the player than anyone at the table.

Because cash game is about 25% skill and 75% luck, prayer, and stupidity. I don't do well against that mixture. And my mental state can't put up with it. Even though my Celexa is working wonders for my demeanor and how it relates to my ability to deal with stupid suckouts and bad beats...it has its limits. And to sit in a cash game for 4-5 hours and take the number of them you can count on taking against shitbox poker players...I think I usually reach my maximum at about 11 before I have to destroy something. So...whenever possible, I avoid it, and shall continue to avoid it, at all costs. I mean...I just made a $40,000 profit on this trip. What do I possibly have to gain by going to play $1/$2 or even $2/$5 on my last day here? Even if I have a 'great' session and win $2000-$3000...is that going to really make me feel 'complete' for this trip? Hell no. I have been doing something MUCH more enjoyable.

Perhaps you live somewhere other than the Biloxi/Gulfport area and arent stuck with CableOne...who refuses to carry certain channels, for some damn reason. One of those channels is Spike TV. The other day Kai and I happened upon quite possibly the greatest show ever....

1000 Ways to Die!!!! click this link and you are NEVER coming back for the rest of today's blog...I promise! bye bye now!

And quite coincidentally, they happen to be running what seems to be a 24-hour marathon of the show today...oh, and as I say this I see in a very low-key shadowey graphic in the top left corner of the screen, the word 'marathon' so that explains it. They are!

What happened to me in the Main Event you ask? Well, I think a good portion of you already know. I have finally 'arrived' in the poker world...at least as far as the media freaks are concerned. My tweets finally show up on PokerNews' poker tweeting players roster, and my name finally shows up on the Live Reporting updates...so a lot of you were following on there. No escaping a misplayed hand when that is going on! But what I did see happen yesterday was the reporting of a hand where the reporter left out some important details. And now I understand how a lot of 'comments' made by a subject can be completely misinterpreted or misconstrued and upon being repeated, come across a totally different way. Annoying. But now that I am probably going to have that 'pressure' on me now, I have to be careful of what I say. Or not!

I had been telling my table all day that I never lie about my hand. It had kind of set a tone, or a theme for my table image. On one hand, a guy had min-raised me. I called with with J3c and told him I call all min raises, and that I was suited, at least. Well, I flopped four to the flush...checked, and called his bet. He asked if that was my suit. "Yep" and a couple other players smiled. Turn was not a club but gave me a gutshot. He bet again. I called again. He was pretty short on chips, and I had no doubt he had AA or KK...so no bluff raise was going to get him to fold, so I just hoped to suck out on the river and teach him a lesson about min raising. I didn't. River was a total brick, so I just open mucked the river. Couple guys started cracking up. And he asks me if I 'really' had a flush draw. Another guy...pretty sure it was Dan O'Brian answered for me:

"No man, he just told you he had a flush draw....called your flop bet, your turn bet, and open mucked with total air!!!"

It was pretty funny. And kind of set up the hand that PokerNews reported and kind of made me look like a retard.

Tom Koral raises my big blind...small raise...as he always does. I look at A10d and call the raise. Flop comes K-X-X two diamonds. In part because of where his stack was, I chose not to make a check-raise play, although, looking back on it now...it might have been the way to go. But I elected to bet out instead. We were at 300-600 and he had raised 1600 preflop. I fired out 2200. He flatted. Grrr. The turn didn't help me again. But I wasn't about to check and let him bet too much for me to call. So I bet 3500...still trying to rep the king...and again he calls. Shit! Then on the river I catch a 10. Wow...that might just be good. Maybe he was on a worse flush draw? I bet out 6500 this time. Now he tanks. And starts running through all the various hands.

After he has named about 7 hands...I told him "well, you seemed to have just about covered all of them, any more you can think of?" And at that point I was starting to feel like I had him beat. Then he asks me "What do you have? Do you have ANYTHING?" To which I respond...and this is in the most sarcastic tone imagineable:

"No man, I have total air!"

And that is what the PokerNews guy heard, and puts in the report...as if I was telling him that and being serious, asking him to call like a wounded soldier would ask his good buddy to put one last merciful bullet in his skull to end it all.

Well, this sent young Tom into a mental malestrom...not knowing WHAT to do.

"Ohhhh man...this is the moment you've been waiting for all day, isn't it? Telling me the truth? Or lying to me to get me to call and then revealing that you WILL actually lie!!???" See, the thing is...he obviously wasn't brilliant enough to decipher sincerity from sarcasm....so when he finally called with JJ, and it was good, he felt like a hero, and I felt...well, disappointed. I was pretty sure I had done everything right on the hand. Not sure how he kept calling with that K out there, but...well...that's poker I guess. That hand really hurt, and cost me a lot of chips. Had I check raised his ass on the flop, it would have probably ended there.

On another hand...I raised to 1600 (at 300/600) in early position with Qd-Jd (and 30,000 chips) and Jason DeWitt moved all in for about 8200. It folded around to me. Typically this would be an insta-fold. But this was a guy who had made it pretty clear that he has been cleaning up online...thus giving me the impression that he didn't really care if he lost this 10k event, but that he didn't want to sit around hovering at 10 BB's. A couple orbits before he got into a raising war with Kevin Shultz...when Shultz raised on the button into his BB. DeWitt re-raised, Shultz re-raised him....DeWitt then raised AGAIN...and Shultz shoved...which DeWitt snap called with AA. Shultz had JJ...and not only flopped a jack but turned one too. Gross. So I think DeWitt was kind of flustered, needless to say.

I had managed to convince myself that he could be doing this with a small pair 5's through 9's....or maybe just a bad suited ace. And if I won...I would be close to 40k and could cruise for the rest of the night. If I lost, I would be back down to 22k...which wouldn't be the end of the world, as I think I play pretty okay with a shortstack. So...not being able to decide which way to go, I decided to flip the 'ol coin for the 2nd time that day. The first coin flip went pretty well, calling a cutoff shovers all in for 5200 with Qc10c when we were at 200/400 and I had close to 30k. The other guy had AJ. I won with a queen. So I flip the coin...and it comes up heads...meaning 'call.'

He turns over AA. Oh...boy. But I flop a Q...giving me some hope...and then turn a diamond draw....come on dealer...come on!!!! River....BRICK. dammit. There goes 8k. And now it was back to the drawing board.

A bit later, I raise in early position with 10-10. I get one call behind me, and then the guy on the button shoves for 17k...or just about what I had in my stack. Shit! Now this older guy in the 2 seat starts contemplating calling him. He finally folds. I decide to wait another hand...after all, this guy hadn't played much at all since he'd been at our table. The guy behind me calls...with 8's! And the shover? He had 3's. SHIT! The flop comes 10-3-4. And I just sink in my chair. It would have held too...I would have tripled up there. But now...the old guy starts telling the table he folded 10-10. WTF? Ironic? Yeah...and ironic because the guy with the 33 who hit a set to double up and survive? He had JUST been telling a story about a past tourney where a guy said he folded 99 after two all ins turned over KK and 99...so that when a 9 hit the board he was exposed as an idiot.

So I am listening to this guy say he folded 10's and wondering if it was a full moon. After that hand we went on break...and I walked over and told that guy with the 3's that I actually folded 10's. He had a hard time believing me...so I told him what suits I had...and told him to ask the old guy what suits he had. But he said he didn't want to start a whole scene at the table. Understandable. But I was still pissed for folding that.

I was slowly running out of chips. The night was getting close to an end. I try to limp in with A10 UTG...but it gets to the BB, and the guy raises huge...and since its a guy I know really well I knew he was sending me the 'ol 'get the fuck out of this hand Monkey' and I folded. He showed me KK. YIKES! I have been finding KK the last couple days like a dog catcher finds stray mutts.

So I blind down a little more...and now we're on the last level of the night, and at 400/800. And in late position I pick up AJ. I need badly to at least pick up a round of blinds and antes...and think about shoving, but I don't want to look like I'm shoving light, so I raise to 2500 instead. Well here is my good buddy Jason DeWitt again...now asking how many chips I have. Great. 12,500 total.

He puts me all in. I should have folded. I knew I should have folded. But something told me to call. And I did....and he turned over QQ. Shit. I flopped a jack...but couldn't improve. And for the second Main Event in a row, I was out with AJ...except in this one, I didn't walk over to the payout table to collect $47,000. This time I just got a 'good game' from everyone and took off.

This shirt you see was bought for me by my little sister, in Milwaukee...I guess they have a bar up there called Monkey Bar...and I think its a monkey laid over the Brewers old logo. Pretty cool shirt...and I got a lot of compliments on it. Thanks, Janae!

And so, my Main Event was over. On to the next event...which I am pretty excited about. However...a disturbing piece of information has emerged that has me worried about the turnout at this next event.

There is an I.P. in Las Vegas. And there is an I.P. in Biloxi. They both used to be called Imperial Palace. The IP in Las Vegas is kind of looked down on. It's definitely not the jewel of the strip. Anyone who knows both properties knows that the IP in Biloxi has put a lot of effort into renovating that casino, mainly after Hurricane Katrina. It has the nicest suites in town...and probably nicer than most in Vegas. And the poker room is great, as is the tourney room. They have the coolest final table set up of anywhere we play. But...and I hate to say this, there is a stigma that comes with the I.P., and its the fault of the property in Las Vegas. A lot of the top players won't even give it a chance...because when they hear 'WSOP circuit event at I.P. Biloxi' all they picture is the dingier, more dilapidated casino in Vegas. And that sucks...because they are missing a good event.

Granted, I do think its for sure that they will draw a LOT better than they did the last two or three events. And with 40 pts on the board now after getting 6th in the Mini Main Event up here...the chase has begun for the entry into the WSOP Million Dollar Freeroll in May at Ceasers Las Vegas that will have 100 players. So I hope I run good in Biloxi.

As for the next stops after Biloxi? I am really undecided. There is the Los Angeles option, and the LA Poker Open at Commerce and the NAPT at The Bicycle Club. Or there is Venetian Deepstacks for the two weeks in Vegas. Or I could go to Lake Tahoe...which I haven't been to in awhile, a beautiful place, for another WSOP circuit event. And if those decisions aren't hard enough...December is just as hard. There is the Steve Frezer-run New Orleans Bayou classic in early December...or the WSOP circuit event in Atlantic City at Ceasers. I do have a goal of winning the Pokerstars PCA trip still, and I also have the goal of making sure I am 100% around for Cheryl over the holidays. So...I guess I will just have to play it by ear.

Speaking of the wife. Want to hear something really stupid? If you are still reading this saga? Just realized how freaking long this has gotten. Oh well. This is actually pretty stupid. And a good reason that I am glad I am no longer employed in Corporate America.

Those of you who know me really well, know how much I hate things that make no sense. Like rules that have no reason for existing. Or company policies.

Well, Cheryl is a cocktail waitress at the Beau Rivage...which is owned by MGM-Mirage. How many of you have had a pleasant experience and then go home and go through the hassle of finding that casino's website, then locating the place where you leave a nice comment? Maybe...uh...1 or 2% of you right? But if you have an experience that pisses you off? You might be a little more motivated right? Lets say there is a certain department at your workplace who's job it is to monitor these responses. Pretty good bet that the bad reports are going to out number the good ones, agreed?

So, one day a couple months ago, Squirrel comes home and tells me that their 'scores' in this department were too low, and that starting immediately, they wouldn't be letting girls off early when business was slow...keeping them on to make sure no one had to wait an extra minute or two to get that all important free drink that half of them don't tip for anyway. So, instead of a couple girls getting cut early, and the other girls getting to actually make 'some' money...they all had to stay, and make 'no' money. Super. So not only did I not get to see my wife as much, I also had to deal with her being broke most of the time...and having to share the wealth of my good run. (which by the way is fine...just saying!)

Well, fast forward two months. A new report has come out. Uh oh...shockingly, the payroll and hours worked has now skyrocketed out of control! So the beverage department is NOW being ordered to cut back everyone's hours drastically. But wait...what about those customers who are going to have to wait 4 minutes for their freebie, instead of 3 minutes? What about that wonderful service we were demanding our waitstaff to provide at all costs? What happens now when those assholes run home and log onto their 1995 CompaQ Presario with 500 MB of RAM...dial up America Online on that phone modem and spend 20 minutes connecting to the internet...greeted by that old friendly sound...weeeeeeeeekkkkkaaaaaaaaaagiiiiiiiiii.......and leaving a snotty message with the customer service department at the Beau Rivage? Their dirty work done, they sit back and hope for some freeplay to come in the mail, or a free hotel room for Red Neckerson and his wife Beckey Lou Trashington-Neckerson to get their schwerve on some weekend when the kids are locked up in Juvie and they want to see if they can get lucky playing nickel slots and filling up the bin with entries into the free give-a-way for the Ford F-250.

Now what? We just going to go without waitresses after these losers win the war of service over practicality? This is why I hate corporate America. Because it is run by morons. Or, its just a matter of one department wielding more power than another department. Because what I suspect is at the root of all this, some higher-ups are dependant upon end of the year bonuses, and to earn those bonuses, they have to make certain numbers. And when the budget for a year goes over? Ohhhh all hell breaks loose. So screw good service! What's more important is shaving that payroll! And when you have gorgeous girls running around in short skirts making $2 or $3 an hour...there is a limit to what customers can take. That little old man and his wife who just came down from the Shady Breeze Retirement home in Gautier? They can't be expected to handle those large breasts being thrust in their face once every 4 or 5 minutes offering a cold, refreshing beverage, or a piping hot cup of coffee! No way, 'ol Harold will surely drop dead from a heart attack!

Yeah, I think you get my drift. Corporate hypocrisy has once again reared its ugly, ridiculous head. And please...don't think I am slamming the Beau Rivage. Because I'm not. It's not them. It's their home office. It's just a trickle down effect. They are just taking orders, everyone is trying to just keep their job in a shitty economy. It sucks. Because we have a LOT of good friends who work there. We have a lot of good friends who USED to work there, and have been laid off...because of the orders that come down from Vegas. It's just stupid. And I am so glad I don't have to work in the corporate world, because 100% its not just in the casino industry. It's our whole country. Our economy SUCKS...and the people who are in top positions don't see the whole picture, or the framework of their organization. They all run their companies according to a blue print, or a pre-drafted model that they are ordered to follow. I just hope to god that there are some brilliant students in America's finest business schools that will rise through the ashes of this countries current dreary existence and resurrect our whole way of doing business. For the sake of my children and their children.

Wow, that was quite a rant. And now it is 1am. Holy cow. I have taken about 12 naps of 15 to 30 minutes today. And the '1000 Ways to Die' marathon has just ended! I wonder how many of you made it this far.

See ya in Biloxi!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Going into final level of Day 1. Last level SUCKED! Now at 16k goin to 400/800. A little last level heater needed!
Dinner break of Main. 6 levels in the books. Almost got back to 30k starting stack. Mmm steak at Binions.
End of 2nd level. From 30k down to 27k. Won some, lost some. Still feelin out the table. 212pp so far.
Table 4 seat 5. Sweet! 208pp so far. Pretty solid table, large internet-pro presence. Well-rested, and CLEAN shaven!

Here We Go Again.....

I don't even have time to sit down and write today. Because it's 11:07 and the BIG ONE starts in just 53 minutes. Nobody 'stepped up' and offered to 'stake a Monkey' for a 55% interest, so with the blessing of my backer, I did as advised...I got to bed early, got some sleep, and will buying in directly for the first time EVER for $10,000 into today's big Regional Main Event...the first of 4 WSOP Regional Main Events...the other three in New Orleans, Atlantic City and San Diego. All four final table will be televised. All four offer the chance to make the Final Table and clinch a spot in the National Championship freeroll for a million bucks. Granted, I took my first big step towards qualifying for that with a 6th place finish in yesterday's $1600 Main Event; earning 45 points and getting myself in the race.

But this is huge. Typically we would NEVER, EVER plop down $10,000 for a tourney. But my backer is really starting to get how this business works. She knows this will be a big tourney, with a big turnout. That we have final tabled 2 of our last 3 Main Events...and cashed all three, the last two with fields of 1042 (Borgata) and 872 (Chicago) so I am obviously doing something right. I am grateful for her faith in my ability to make this happen.

Yesterday came with a bit of disappointment, a frustration born from one big flaw that turned the momentum against me. It was something that has a lot of the 'haters' out there talking about me with a smirk on their face, and ridicule in their tone. It never fails...the pricks of the world just sit and wait for a reason, ANY reason...to talk shit about you. And its always those losers who will NEVER put themselves in position to be where I was yesterday...a chance to win life-changing money, and achieve a level of respect in the poker community that we all strive for. Nope...they just flounder in the murky depths of poker mediocrity and take their shots at us players who actually MAKE final tables and commit a big mistake. Why? Because, I suppose, it makes them feel better about their own miserable existence. Well...thats fine, we need those jacktards to keep showing up with their donations to every tourney...so I will take their jabs with a grain of salt.

This is what happened. Sitting 3rd in chips...and cruising right along, I look down at AA on the button. William Reynolds raises to 90k in early position. Kurt Jewell, the chipleader, and eventual winner, calls. Wow...a shot to really get into both players' stacks. Hmmm....how much do I raise here? Would like to get ONE of them in at least. I decide to make it 250k.

This is when Casey Hayes in the 9 seat starts getting squirrely (with apologies to my wife) and staring me down....making love to his chips...staring some more, and I am just doing that thing we all do with AA when we see an opponent going through this act when he is about to attempt the 'The Big Move' ....whispering in my head:

"do it....DO IT! Come on man.....come on....push all in fucker....DOOOOO ITTTTT...........do it dammit!!!!"

I see him lean over to the dealer, Adam Nash...mumble something...and push forward a stack of the silver chips, or whatever the fuck color those things were...and Adam announces..."600 Thousand"....not raise, not all in....just 600k.

This is when my brain does the thing that Robocop's brain did when he was getting blasted with gunfire by all those gangsters...remember? When it started short-circuiting and shit? I watch Reynolds fold, then Jewell follow suit...and whether it was due in part to the unfamiliarity with the larger units we were playing with, or that I just completely 'bricked it' mentally, I was led to believe that he had shoved all in. So what do I do?

"I call" and turn over my aces. Adam's eyes grow as big as baseballs...as he tells me "Monkey, he's NOT all in!!!!" It was just a raise. WHAT!!!??? Then I look at the stack, and look at his remaining chips....OH SHIT. Almost makes you prefer to play online poker.

Casey Hayes: "Oh my God...wow...AA...I think I just got saved...I'm still going to have $600k left. Now I have to win this tourney, right?"

Floor! Okay, hand is going to play out.

Hayes: "Sure hope I hit a lucky flop here"

Of course I never see his hand, he later claimed to have KK...which I think was bullshit. As did everyone else. But if he did...and the flop came out 9-high, I would have surely seen him shove after that flop. Granted, if I had identified his bet as a re-raise instead of an all in, I would have just re-popped him all in anyway...so while I think he was just making a 4-bet steal attempt, since that is what his 'resume' says about him...I think there is a better than average chance that he would have tanked for about 13 hrs and then finally mucked preflop.

He sees the flop and just checks out. I drag the 'decent pot' and then get assessed a one ROUND penalty. Which I thought was absolute absurdity. Why? Well, just TWO NIGHTS before, I am laying in my hotel watching coverage from the WSOP Main Event this YEAR....and what do I see? The exact...I mean E-X-A-C-T situation happen and the player who did what I did got a ONE HAND penalty. Thats ONE. Not a 1-round, nine hand penalty. For exposing my hand with action pending.

I understand rules, and am happy to play by them. But on a rule of this magnitude, where the only one who was penalized was ME...and the other player was offered a virtual '2nd chance' at survival, me getting a 1-round penalty was the ultimate kick in the balls. And the fact that I just WATCHED another player, in the biggest tourney on the planet, on worldwide TELEVISION...in the same spot, in a tourney with the same brand on it as the one I was playing in (WSOP) get a 1-hand penalty...why was I getting a 1 ROUND penalty?

"That's their rule here in Chicago."

I didn't protest. I didn't argue. But yes, I was extremely disappointed. I was urged by everyone to just 'let it go, not let it affect me' and to return from my penalty and get back to work. All I am asking for, and wishing we could get in this game...is a little 'across-the-board' consistency in this game. It is so irritating. And in the biggest spot of my poker life.

And I never did completely let it go...because it changed everything. The momemtum, the cycle of cards. Everything. With the blinds at 15k/30k, and then moving to 20k/40k in the middle of my penalty with 5k antes, I lost a pretty sizeable chunk of my stack in that one round. And then that player still remained at the table...which affected the cards.

So when I came back and lost with KK to the guy on my right...with MAYBE AJ like he was selling me on an A-2-5-2-A board....and lost JJ with an under the gun raise against a small stack on the button who later told me had AA and was trying to slow play a monster for a double up, but to whom I checked a Q-high flop to and folded to his big bet...things just changed. It was like a 1.5 million chip swing...that I never fully recovered from.

I have no regrets. I know I played well. I also know I made one critical mistake. And people will talk about it. And that's fine. Fuck those clowns. I finished 6th. I won $47,000. I am having a great fall. My backer loves me. My wife loves me. My family loves me. My good friends care about me. My dogs think I'm God! That is all that matters.

And to those of you who follow me and support me, your support the last three days have meant the world to me. Your text messages, your emails, your Facebook shoutouts...it was awesome, I enjoyed the ride. It allows me to walk with my head held high, with confidence...and with a smile on my face. Thank you!

Y'all ready to do it again? I am....lets go!!!!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

We just went to Final Table. The new updates site for Final table is now www.cardplayer.com. I have 2m now.
And we have arrived at the Final Table! Well, 10 players, so not official yet. Here we go. Me...1.7m. Avg is 1.6m.

In the Money...and driving for the Final Table!

Wow! What a day! What a month! What a fall...what a life!

These are the days when I love poker! The rush of going deep, the excitement of being on the precipice of winning 'life changing' money. The text messages, the well-wishes of the dealers and fellow players, the Facebook shout outs...the excitement in the voice of my wife. The sick feeling in your stomach that you feel when your AA goes down, or you make a 'hero' call against a 'button maniac' shove...only to lose as an 80/20 favorite, and feel your tourney slipping away. Then the complete opposite feeling as you make your opponent fold JJ to your 99 for a 250,000 pot when you use the ace on the board as your friend. Flat calling a raiser in the blind with AA and having him hit the flop and doubling up through him...as all your hair on your arm stands at attention.

These are the reasons we play. These are the things that keep us coming back for more after we bubble a tourney 11 hours in.

Yesterday was an absolute gem of a poker day. From the great play exhibited by nearly every player at my table...to the incredibly entertaining conversations we all had, to meeting some great new people while learning their style of play. Sometimes, and it seems to happen mainly in Main Events, these almost become 'poker workshops' where you go to practice your 'trade' with the industry's finest.

My little sister made it down from Milwaukee for the day and was on hand to watch and to give me support. Near the end of the night I was hating my outfit, was really uncomfortable, and she literally drove to my hotel and got me a complete wardrobe change. She is awesome!

After the night ended...and I was among the 16 remaining players...I left with Janae and went in search of Kai. We found him in the cash room...and decided to spend a little 'quality time' playing some 1/2 together. I rarely get to see my sister, and the last time we played poker, she was beating my butt in a heads up match for $100 when our whole family was in Maui two years ago. I wasnt all that tired...and needed something to help me wind down from a long, long day. It was perfect. So we played together for maybe an hour and a half, and I was finally feeling ready to call it a night. Kai and I left...and after winning a couple of big pots, she had the 'fever' back, and decided to stay to play some more. I hope she cleaned up...the table was ridiculously bad.

Before leaving for Day 2 yesterday, Kai and I started watching a show on SPIKE TV called '1000 Ways to Die' and I have to tell you...it was killer! One of the funniest shows I have ever watched. I had to peel myself away from it...and was almost late. But then, after arriving, the start was delayed, as there was a huge accident on the Chicago Skyway...a road that leads from downtown Chicago to the casino...and nearly 25% of the field wasnt there yet.

One person who WAS there...but who was flipping out because she claimed to have raced at over 100 mph to get there on time...was Nadia Magnuss...who was seated on my left most of the day. If you watch the Big Game sponsored by Pokerstars...and featuring 'The Loose Cannon' Nadia was that Loose Cannon in one of the episodes. She is Russian, 34 years old...and incredibly beautiful. She is also very intelligient, and a very competent poker player. She joined my sister and I...as well as another table mate, John Cohen...an older gentleman from the area who is incredibly entertaining, and who thought I was hilarious...on the dinner break at the buffet. [don't worry, Sweetie, she has a very handsome boyfriend!]

I won't go into a lot of hands that were played yesterday...I think you all know I'm not really into that too much...plus, I suspect a lot of my competitors might be reading this, and I really don't want to give away a lot as it relates to how I play, or how I intend to play as we go back today at 2pm for the restart...in my quest for $242,909...and a win that could finally change the lives of my wife and I. When it is all over with I will get a little into some hands, how they were played...and why I did what I did when I did it. But for now...I have to go back today knowing that there will be some critical spots against some guys who haven't ever played against me, and there is no need to give them any free information.

I had a hard time sleeping last night, I guess because of the anticipation that comes with going back for a Final Table...or close to a final table anyway.

Interesting follow up for y'all. If you read my blog the last two days you will remember my predictions for Saturday.

Predicted that Alabama would crush Tennessee. Final Score: 41-10. Roll Tide!

Predicted that my Huskies would get crushed in Tucson. Yup! Crushed.

Predicted that Auburn would beat LSU 24-20. Final Score: 24-17. Down goes LSU.

Pretty powerful stuff!!!!

Squirrel's best friend is dating a guy who manages a radio station in Biloxi/Gulfport...and now whenever there is a concert in town they have a better than average shot at getting tickets with the VIP treatment...and last night she got to go to a 'Meet and Greet' with Maroon 5. She was so excited for it...and sent me a picture of what she was going out in. After seeing it I started hoping that all the guys in the band are gay...cuz she looked HOT!

She called me when she got home...and it was pretty obvious she had a great time. I'm glad...always happy when she is able to go out with her friends and have a good time when I am out of town. Look at this picture...how in the hell did a schlub like me get a hottie like that? I DO run good, don't I!???

Well, hopefully today I go win us enough money to get us out of our rental house...buy our own...and get started on filling it up with little SquirrelMonkeys! That is pretty much all I have been obsessed with for the last year or so. That and getting her out of her job before it kills her.

It's kind of funny...the exact 'situation' that I described as being a possibility the other day...but which I knew realistically might not happen...as I would have to plow my way through 872 other players...has indeed happened. Today is the last day for Mega Satellites into the $10k Main Event that starts tomorrow...and if I DO make the Final Table...there is a very good chance that I will get shut out of all the Megas...the last one being at 7pm. The winner of this $1600 Main Event gets a seat into the Regional Main Event...so I guess I will have to just win this damn thing!

Thanks again to ALL OF YOU for your tremendous support and well wishes...I can't tell you how much it really means to me. I now feel like I have an army behind me when I go back for big tourney!

Y'all ready? Lets do this!!!!!!!


Another break. Down to 19. Up and down but back to healthy! Feeeeling it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just won a huge 4-way pot with QQ. Flop 9-7-4. Perfect! 110k pot! Badly needed too!
Okay. In the money. Time to do work!
On break. Now sittin on 202,500 with 95 players left, 5 from the money. Having a real good day!!!
Wow! Droppin like flies! From 162 to 126 in one level! 36 from money. I'm up to 125k from 51k.

Main Event....Day 1 Survival.

Before I go any further....this just has to be watched.

Ladies and gentleman...how proud are YOU to be an American?
This was taken from the news in Huntsville, Alabama...and oh yeah, I should let you know, it is the NUMBER ONE Halloween costume right now.....called: BEDROOM INTRUDER......

And then fish around on YouTube a little more and you will find the song that someone made off of it. Dig a little deeper and you will find the interview, a follow up, with 'ol Antoine...and see just how idiotic a human being can actually sink to. I am amazed that I live among these people.

Moving on. If you are at all interested/curious to follow along with the
LIVE REPORTING of the WSOP Main Event in CHICAGO...click this big ass sentence. I have aparantly finally arrived in the poker mainstream...since they have got my name on the chipcounts...as they have only listed about 30 players among the remaining 162 going back for Day 2 today. (paying 90) Granted they have me only having 29,000. I surely thought they would have updated with all the chipcounts as well as seat assignments...but they havent.

Day 1 was pretty exciting. I walked in about 11:15am...and there was the 'line from hell' about 125 deep. Luckily I was already registered, and had a great seat draw....table 46, seat 6. Right in the middle of the massive 'Venue.' I went and met Frank and Piper Kasella for breakfast and was introduced to Frank's cousin, who I think was named Brian. Turns out his seat was right next to mine.

I get to my table...and there is only 4 of us. We take turns stealing the dead stacks' money. After about 30 minutes we had a full table. And I noticed immediately that my table sucked. Then I noticed Frank's cousin was completely clueless...so much so that it was painful to watch. He checked OUT of the big blind on three seperate occasions when people limped into his blind. Had to constantly be reminded that it was his turn...not knowing the one chip rule on raises...one thing after another. Misplaying one hand after another. It sucked too, cuz he was a really nice guy...and a fireman up here in Chicago, which I really respect a lot. I wanted to help him, and coach him up a little...and I did try to when he got down below 10 BB's and was no longer a threat to kill my stack...but he still persisted in sticking to his habits...once limping on the button for 500 with only 4000 in his stack, with 55. He happened to catch a flop of A-5-4...so it worked out pretty well for him.....but, well, I think you all know what kind of a shitshow I am painting for you. He got knocked out around Level 8.

I got a lot of good hands early. Did a lot of raising, and a lot of bluffing. I got from 20k up to 40k pretty quickly. Then...with a very aggressive guy at my table raising my BB, which he seemed to do about 75% of the time...and another aggressive player calling him...I decided to flat with KK. The flop came 10-8-6. I decide to try and check raise. Only they both check behind. A five hits the turn. I bet out. First guy folds. Second guy calls. Hmmm. River was a 3. I bet again. A decent amount. He just calls again...and turns over 55. For a set. Shit!

Then I limp with QJ. A shorter stack raises a little bit. I call. Flop comes 10-9-6. Nice. And since he only had 5100 remaining...check raising wasn't really an option, since he would likely bet so much he would pot commit himself, or he would just shove...so I did the betting for him...putting him all in. He calls of course and shows A10. Great. But I was liking my 14 outs...all of which I missed, and there went another 6k.

Then I had two great suckouts. Guy to my right...a nice guy from Belarus named Max...raised at cutoff, and I re-raised him on the button with AJ. He just called. The flop came K-Q-5. He checked. I checked. Turn was a 3. He bet....but not much. I called. I river a 10, for the nuts. He bets 3000. I raise to 6500. He calls, and turns over a set of K's. Wow. Nice pot. Now I was back up over 40k and chipleader at my table.

Enter....'The Donkey'

The guy in the 4 seat...who had been playing pretty tight all day. He suddenly decided to rear his donkey head around Level 8. Sitting on 8200 chips with the blinds at 200/400 with a 50 ante...he limps in for 400. This guy is a limping FOOL...limping with almost EVERYTHING...including 88, AQ, AK, 1010, JJ, 55.....and on this occasion KQ. Offsuit. Guy to my right, who was probably the 2nd or 3rd best player on the table...also calls. I look down at AA...and decide I am going to raise, but not too much...as I have a big stack, and want to put myself in position to maybe get into someone. So I only raise it to 1500...which is still quite a bit. It folds around to Donkey Boy...who makes the call. Max folds.

The flop comes K-9-2. He checks. I look at his stack and bet 80% of it...which is akin to me putting him all in. He probably fails to put this together in his brain and was only focused on check-raising me all in...because that was what he did. Of course I called...and watched him turn over KQ...just happy that it wasn't K10...but when the dealer laid a Q on the river...I just sank in my chair...and watched 8k go the other way. I could feel about 3 or 4 of the players just watching me...waiting for the meltdown...but I never said anything.

But what happened in the next three hours just made me sick. This guy went on to put on a masterful display of 'How to Get It In Bad Over and Over, Keep Winning, By Virtue of the Ugly Suckout, and Sending One Player after Another to the Bathroom to Throw Up,' sure to be a poker movie one day. He limps with Q9. Guy raises with KK. He calls. Flops trip 9s. Guy raises in Early position with AJ. He calls with A9. Flop comes J99. Think you know how that one ends. And it was just over, and over. He had the whole table just shaking their heads in disgust.

When you sit and watch that...you start to feel hopeless, like its only a matter of time before he does it to you. Well...this guy in the 2 seat lost a huge pot to this clown...and on the very next hand...just shoves 18k when we were at 400/800. I have 45k...and look down at 10-10. Oh no! He then tells us he is on tilt...which translates to either "I'm on tilt and just steam shoved with two face cards" or "I'm pretending to be on tilt and just picked up a huge hand and how great will this look to the rest of the table!???" Well, I decided to make the call...and he turns over....ya ready???

Drum roll please..............................

Oh you know this one...........................

E-L D-I-A-B-L-O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KING TEN!!!! SATAN!!!! THE BLACK CLOUD!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Arrrrgggghhhhh!!!

And just as in the movie "To Kill A MonkeyBird" the dealer puts out a flop of A-Q-J....HOLY SHIT! But as I pick myself up off the floor, I see a K hit the river for a chopped pot!!!! Woooo-hoooooooooooo!!!! Hey, maybe I am not done here!!! Boy did that feel great!

Then about 5 hands later, that table broke, and I was ecstatic! Getting away from DonkZilla was just what the PokerGods had ordered.

But now I get moved to a table that is overflowing with chips. And filled with the largest collection of zero-personality players I think I have sat with in ....well, maybe ever. I mean, these guys were just complete DUDS! And sitting at the top of the food chain was this little 21 year old twerp named Ryan...who's M.O. (thats modus operandi for you stupid people) was to ask each and every player who raised behind him..."How much are you playing behind?"

After awhile I finally started busting his balls...requesting him to put his large colored chips out front for starters.

"Why? Why do I have to do that?"

Yeah, I know because on the internet they don't make you do that. Also on the internet they tell you EXACTLY how many chips everyone has...and I don't think the shock of sitting at the table and NOT having that information immediately available had worn off for 'Scooter' over there. I tried really hard to befriend the little punk...but it just wasn't possible. Don't get me wrong, I didn't berate the little guy or argue with him...I just made his life as difficult as I could. And when he did finally get around to giving me a much needed double up...when his 6c9c failed to connect with one of 12 outs...when I flopped top pair top kicker and he flopped four to the flush with a gutshot after calling my raise holding that gem...I thanked him for his much-needed call and subsequent double up, and was on to the next table after that one broke.

The next table wasn't quite as boring, and actually had the current chipleader at it, sitting to my immediate left. I picked up a couple pots in the last level, but mostly sat there folding for an hour and enjoying a couple of frosty MGD's which I was paying $3 a pop for. This on the heels of the 17 bottles of water I drank all day long...which had me running back and forth to the bathroom all day. But water is good for you right? And I am back on my 'Super Killer Acai Diet Plan' that is cleansing my system and hopefully going to lead to me losing about 25-30 lbs in the next month or two.

We bagged our chips...I found Kai...chatted with some buddies in the poker room, entertained thoughts of playing a SNG...changed my mind on that one...and finally left with Kai back to the hotel. Started to write this last night...but was just too tired, and passed out.

Once again, playing Main Events...is extremely exhausting, both mentally and physically...and I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. By the way, I have to say, the folks here at the Ramada are really treating us great. I love the room, they pretty much give us everything we need, its just a short 4 mile drive to the casino, and the price is right. I couldn't be happier with the accomodations.

Big day today in college football...with undefeated Auburn and LSU taking on each other. The barbs are flying all over my Facebook. As for what Alabama needs/wants to happen today? I am not sure it really matters...I think it would serve them best though if the game was close...a blowout lowers the value on a win against one of the two teams. So you want Monkey's bold prediction? First, I predict Alabama avenges Tennessee's near upset last year by blasting the Vols. Then...I think Auburn will beat LSU by a score of about 24-20. As for my Huskies today? I fully expect them to go down to Tucson and get killed by Arizona. Go ahead Dawgs, surprise me, I dare ya!!!!

My little sister is coming down from Milwaukee today to play some satellites. In fact, she should just about be here I think...might have to go grab some lunch with her. How sweet would it be if she somehow won her way into the 10k event? Wouldn't be too sweet if she does and I dont! My worst nightmare is making the Final Table tomorrow...then only getting 7th-9th...missing out on all the 10k Mega satellites, and having to decide what to do about playing Monday...as a straight buy in would eat up most of what I just won. I guess I will worry about that little problem if it happens, right? Who knows, I could be out today in the first hour and it will be a moot point.

Does that cover everything? I think probably. Kai is out of the main. Dan Walsh is out. Smiling Don is still in. Gabe is out. Claudia is still in...she lost a big pot near the end of the night with AK against AQ...but still has a big stack, but of course, she's pissed because she would have been in the Top 5. Lots of good players still remain...and a lot of players were knocked out, including Chad Brown...who just got in yesterday. Frank also got knocked out...with KK...but his wife Piper is still alive! Should be an interesting Day 2.

I'm out!


Friday, October 22, 2010

325 left after 12 levels and still in. About 40k or so. Avg is 53k. 4 levels to go tonite. Got moved to table with lotsa chips.
Quote of Day: Pat Fogleman to scrubby looking black fella in a ski jacket guy who approached us rapidly on casino floor:

After handing the guy a cigarette when he was in the process of making his presentation/pitch....

"Yo man, how did yu know I wuz gonna axe you for a cigarette man!!??"

Pat: "That is the only thing you COULD have asked me for that I would have given you..."

Priceless. I laughed for about ten minutes. And homey got his smoke.
At dinner break. AA got cracked. More misery. Have 34k. 505 left. Avg is 34k. Real work begins now.
End of Level 6. Stupid 30 min breaks are brutal. Sitting on just over 40k. Rollin along...
867 players in Chicago WSOP Main. $1600. End of 3 levels and I'm cruising. Great table draw. Seat 6. I'm in heaven.

Friday...Day 6 in Chicago...Main Event time.

Hi people. It's Friday morning. I intended to blog last night, but was really tired. Kai has been snoring all night off and on, and I've gotten about 3 hours of sleep. That and I need a Prilosec really bad because of some out of control heartburn that I am attributing to the buffet I enjoyed (wrong word there) last night with Dan Walsh, after the two of us finally won our entry in today's $1600 Main Event via the $150 Mega with $100 rebuys. (I was in for a total of $550...and with the Noon $250 Mega flameout, I'm now into the Main for half price)

And while this is going on I have what I believe to be a developing medical condition...and if there are any doctors out there reading this who can make a diagnosis based on what I am about to write...please email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com.

Last week, in fact, last Thursday specifically, I slid into 2nd base to break up a double play. I irritated my left knee, which caused a bit of swelling. The next day, I dove for a grounder in the gap while playing 2nd base...and irritated that same knee even more. By the end of the day my left knee was swollen, and a lot of my lower leg as well. As the last 7 days have gone by the swelling has moved down my leg...and now most of the swelling is in my feet. If I look at the bottom of my feet they are red...as if I am looking at internal bleeding possibly. My leg from the knee down feels kind of numb and tingly. I have iced it several times...and kept it elevated at night. I have no idea what the problem is. And do not want to go to a doctor up here out of network. Unless someone tells me I am about to lose my leg. Please help!

Who wants to see some funny photos? I know how much you guys like funny pictures. The first one is of a guy....a complete tool...who was in my $210 Sit N Go the other night. Oh...and BTW, I should say...I am not the photographer in ANY of these photos...they have all been either emailed to me or text messaged to me by friends and/or fellow players. I have been 'disciplined' before for 'taking photos' in the casino...and have strictly sworn off of it...but if people want to send me photos, hell, I'll use em!

Back to 'crop circles on head' guy. Oh, at some point in the table conversation he revealed to everyone that he 'owns a strip club' and other juicy information that you would love to hear if your daughter brought him home one night. What got me wanting to see him attacked by an angry pack of dogs, was during this particular SNG with a $100 last longer, 7 players in that, and another $20 last longer with 9....and me needing/wanting a win to get my trip back on course. I raised in early position with JJ...and of course got called by half the table.

The flop comes K-Q-J. Rainbow. He bets out 250. There was over 1000 in the pot. It came to me and I raised to 850. Everyone folded to him. He moved all in. Well... I wasn't folding....just couldnt put him on A-10 or 9-10 and if he did have that...sure hope I paired the board. Oh no, he turns over Q-8 offsuit. Yep. Called the preflop raise with it....then the re-raise after the flop...but didn't just call the re-raise, shoved. So what does the dealer do for me? Well, duh....goes 9-10 runner runner, giving idiot boy the straight. It's safe to say I was pissed. And then...as I was sitting there looking at him, and his ridiculous hair...it dawned on me: I'm not him!

I then went and played a $130 SNG...which...eventually, I would win...also with $100 last longer and 5 players. So that was good for a $1000 hit. Needed it! After that...Jason Young, on his last night in Chicago, not sure why exactly...I know partially because he was running bad...but, leaving the day of Megas for the Main? Weird. Well, he puts together a little $70 SNG...with no T.D.A. rules, and turns it into a drinking contest...and we get a whole table full of buddies, except for this one old guy, who I guess got the last seat. Well, we drove him nuts, and he ended up going on tilt, and I think I busted him. We were showing cards, Kai at one point ended up ripping the 8 of clubs in half and eating half of it. A new dealer shoved in and started to freak out...calling the floor over, only to be told that "anything goes with these guys" except of course killing each other. That was strictly forbidden, although I did threaten the life of one of the guys who kept calling me 'Buddy.' I hate that. Okay, I'm sort of kidding there.

I don't know what we were drinking...but we drank a lot of them...and after running it three times and me still losing with K10 against the other guys' AA....I was out...and Kai and I left in our rental car....at one point driving the wrong way down a street, at least that is what my wife told me she heard some angry motorist yelling at us as she and I were talking on my cell phone to her. No, I was not the driver....Kai was, and in his defense, I drove the wrong way out of the parking deck last night myself, and was sober as a judge. It's just a confusing parking deck.

Yesterday was a grind...a very long ass grind. And after coming back from dinner break...I was in pretty good shape. I pick up JJ on the first hand...and though I was in the middle of looking for Adam Nash's blog on my Blackberry, titled YOU DESERVE TO BE PUNCHED IN THE FACE....
which I highly recommend you check out...I feel it necesary to play the hand. So I raise to 2700 from 400/800.

Then Ed Corrado goes into his Oscar performance in the SB...pausing,thinking,pondering...hmmm....what do I do with pocket aces? Do I call? Do I raise? Should I shove....is Monkey buying that I have a middle pair here? How long should I milk it for? Then he finally shoves all in.

Fuck it. I call. Its another 5200 on top...and will leave me with 5500...which isn't exactly where I wanted to be. Yeah great...nice hand Ed. I dont get a jack. And now I am in bad shape.

I get into even worse shape. Falling to 3200. Then Frank and Piper Kasella show up. Frank came by to visit me earlier, in the noon mega. I guess he must be starting to get famous probably because as soon as he left, about 6 players at the table started talking about him, and wondering how I knew him.

"Oh, Frank used to cut my hair back when he was a hair stylist in Memphis."

Well, he showed up this time with Piper, who is a very good buddy of mine, but only on Facebook! We like to trade witty barbs all the time. About 3 seconds after they arrive I get raised by a guy with about 90 million chips and AKh...and me and my four big blinds move all in with 77. I flop a 7 and I was on my way. In fact...I won't even bore you with the rest. There were 18 winners. And with 20 left, the guy who had been driving me crazy all day decides after some hesitation to jam on me from the SB into my BB with J3h. I had 'El Diablo' It was roughly 28% of my stack to call him. I made the call...and K10 held up. 1 left. Didn't take long before KQ shoved into AK on the other table...with AK holding, and we were there. Finally. Sweet. And my Mega success in 2010 continues.

It is now 9:27am, and I have promised to meet Frank and Piper for breakfast at 11am, so I must hurry. But I really do have a lot to tell you guys about. Why are my hits down so much this month? Only 3200 right now...compared to almost 8,000 last month. Guess I need to win something, huh? The nightly's don't really count do they? Not anymore especially, after my last two big Main Event hits. You know what's weird? I haven't been able to do shit in noon tourneys lately, UNLESS they are Main Events...which, quite frankly, I am perfectly okay with!

Yes, on Sunday night...I staked my lovely wife and I to play in the nightly with 185 of Chicago's finest. And when we made the final table (we NOT including the Squirrel) I had the chiplead. And probably should have won. The top two finishers also recieved an entry into the $1600 Main Event, which would have been nice. The structure got out of control, at 10k/20k...so I decide to make a huge gamble, based on a couple of factors. (a) I was running like God that night (b) I wanted to get heads up with the other guy holding a 3-1 chip lead (c) I wanted to take out the two shorter stacks and lock up the Main seat....and (d) I was drunk!

So when shorty raised, and even shorter shoved...and I looked at 3c6c...a.k.a. 'The Mafia' also known as 'The Jimmy Sommerfeld' I decided after some trepidation to go for the kill. I knew these two guys' range, and put them both on a big ace. I was dead on...up against AK and AQ. I flop open ended...then turn a flush....holy shit! How do I miss this? Well, I did. And it crippled me. And I would go out 4th not too long after that for $1700. But at least it paid for our wonderful day at the football game. And started out the trip with a cash in my first ever tourney.

I told you there was some shenanigans with 'The Claw' in the 6-handed tourney. There was. But I have decided to leave the details in the clubhouse. Out of respect to a lot of various people. There was just something that happened at the table that I was not just pissed about, but disappointed in her over. Claudia is too good of a friend to my wife to completely shut her out of my life, I guess...but right now, I just don't want to be around her. I suppose I might get over it...but its just going to take me awhile. Saw her in the cash room last night when I was getting the car keys from Kai to get out of there...and I have to admit, she looked pretty amazing. And she did come try to talk to me...and I just have a hard time being an asshole to her. Dammit.

So...then I was having a nice conversation with Adam Nash...a really good dealer, and a funny motherF(*@#^ in general...and along comes this piece of work. We both see her, and her boots get our attention, because quite frankly, almost ANY girl wearing the boots that go up to their knees are afforded an instant 3 pt addition to any girls overall score/ranking. But then we check out the rest of her. She has a very long horse face...and she was with her guido boyfriend, who looks like he might deliver sausage to pizzerias around Chicago, maybe. Then she walks by us...and the laughter begins. She is wearing a shirt that ends about 5 inches before her jeans. Thus revealing the creepiest muffin top of all time. And this look might be okay if she was hauling around some big cans...but she wasn't. In fact, she had those nasty pancake tata's that gross most of us out. But the tramp stamp across the back was the deal sealer. And as bad as I wanted to take a photo...I simply refused...but another player who happened along and heard me say this...decides to get brave...and walked over and captured this magic on film for you all to enjoy. So...without further ado...here she is....DIG IN! And please...no throwing up on my blog page

I realize there are a few of you fellas out there who might actually be saying to yourself...."what is Monkey talking about? That bitch is fine!" Well, okay red, that is ALL YOU buddy!

I like Tosh.O as you all know, and have been clamouring to get home to see the episode where he has former Miss Teen South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton on his show for a 'Web Redemption.' Well, I got to searching for it...and not only found IT...but a nice little clip of when she was on the TODAY SHOW with Ann Curry and Matt Lauer after all of that went down. Its pretty priceless...so I have added it here for you to watch. What the hell is it with all of these young girls now days with the word ACTUALLY? It used to be a good word...they have killed it. And I don't care how nervous this ditz says she was...she is just pure and simple...a box of rocks. Is she cute? Sure...but how much use could she possibly be to anyone once the sex gets old?

MISS SOUTH CAROLINA>>>> in appearance on Today Show.

TOSH.O's Web Redemption>>>>>in appearance on Tosh.O

So...I'm not sure if I wrote about it yet...but I got a total shocker of a phone call from the Days Inn in Bridgeview two days ago...while I was in the noon fiasco they decided to call the STIMULUS tourney. If I heard "okay, players in the Stimulus tourney...blinds are going up" one more time, I was going to stab my inner ear drum with an ice pick! They found my stuff. All of it! Except....for my iPod. Why would they turn in my pills...my headphones...but open up the case and swipe my iPod? So stupid. Whatever, I still left them a reward/tip.

Just means when I get home I have to go buy a new iPod and just synch it to my Itunes library. But I won't have tunes for the rest of this trip...and that sucks ass.

I have been contemplating the purchase of an iPad...and everyone raves about it. But I have also got people telling me to hold out for the G2...or next generation of iPad, which is scheduled to come out in two months or so. Not sure I can make it that long. And watching these guys that have them at the table...they seem SO entertained. And whats great...is they seem to have avoided falling onto the poker dictators radar so far...so they are still LEGAL to use at the table. Of course, a week after I buy mine I'm sure they will immediately get banned by the Poker Monsters.

I have a major dilemna. And what's funny, is that my sister, who isn't even an experienced poker player...asked me the question that has me in a funk after I got done winning that mega last night.

"How are you going to satellite into the $10k Main Event on Monday if you are still playing in the $1600 Main Event?"

Excellent question little sister. And a topic of conversation that I was having with Kai earlier. See, this circuit event has TWO Main Events...I know, kind of weird right? But still...very cool. Only the scheduling has a few problems. Namely, if I make the Final Table of the $1600 'event Main Event'...it will keep me from playing the $550 Mega Satellites on Sunday for the 'Regional' Main Event that starts on Monday. And since my game plan as a poker player with my backer...is to NOT ever buy directly into 10k Main Events. Its just a bad investment idea. So I am kind of not knowing what to do.

So...here ya go blog readers. I am offering anyone the opportunity to stake the Monkey in the $10,000 Regional Main Event...for a 55% stake. I will then give my backer 10% of my 45%. I don't think I need to market myself...if you read my blog, you know how I am running in Main Events this fall. And I really don't want to miss out on this Main Event...as it will be televised, and also go a long way in qualifying for the end-of-year National Championship freeroll at Ceasers Palace Las Vegas. If you are interested, you know how to find me.

What else? It is now 9:56am. I know I am forgetting something. Its been a very entertaining week. There were two really stupid things that happened that I want to tell you about, and maybe I will later...but now I'm in a hurry, and plus this entry has gotten really long.

Oh! My roomie from Vegas...Don Norman....also won his seat last night along with Dan and I? And to do it...he had to fold KK preflop! A huge fold...and was shown AA by the other guy! Nice fold Smilin Don! See...that was how he kept going out all summer in Vegas...guess he learned his lesson about KK on the bubble!!!!!

Oh...one little note about today's Main Event. There will be all kinds of shit bag, dead money players in this event. How do I know? Am I just saying this to be ugly? No...not at all. Its official. Its confirmed. Its a 100% bonafide statement. For months...they have been giving away seats to this event...but virtue of drawing names out of a tub....or walking over to a 1/2 table...or 3/6 limit table...literally high carding people for a seat! Are those the people you want at YOUR table for a Main Event where you're playing for half a million to a million bucks? I would say yes...and no! I want them to pay me off on a 'nut hand' but I sure won't be trying to bluff them. I will be working hard to identify these clowns right away today!!!!

I will try to keep you all updated with mobile blogs throughout this weekends event. Have a great Friday!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

End of 3pm mega, finally. 18 winners. I got it done. Yay! Noon tomorrow, $1600 Main Event.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chicago. Madness. Blog Warring with Kai at 2am...

You got it. This is history. This is....truly, a first.

Will "the Poker Monkey" Souther vs. Kai "The A-Train riding Maniac" Landry.......

In a blog contest to end all blog contests.

This day...October 19th, 2010...has been efffectively erased from the calender by both Kai'ster and Senor Monkey...for a varity of reasons.

I am now laying in my bed...alone, as Squirrel returned home today, to where people are much easier to fool, and sandwiches are rarely served without mustard and mayonaisse.

I have my knee propped up on a pillow and covered in ice. After having dove for that ground ball in Phoenix, coming up short...waking up the next day with a ridiculously swollen knee and shin, it has really not improved. I am getting very close to a trip to the local doctor.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I had a fun little thing happen on Sunday night. While playing in my first 'contest' of this trip...and while I was in the bathroom on break, some scum-sucking assclown thought it would be a clever idea to sneak over to my leather fossil bag...AKA...Monkey Purse, and dive in there and steal my Ipod, my BOSE headphones...and the bottle containing ALL of my various 'scrip meds. ALL OF THEM. Which I am very, very good about stringing out over long periods of time and using on a need basis only. Lets click them off....Adderal. Vicodin. Percocet. Skelaxin. Ambien. Flexoril. Narco. Thats about all of them. All gone. No tunes. No pain remedy. No anxiety remedy.

I'm watching Johnny Knoxville on George Lopez right now. I have a feeling, a feeling I'm not sure will be very popular...but a feeling, that Johnny Knoxville is 100% gay.

Wanna hear about Monday? Kai and I made the mistake of booking a room in Bridgeview...which on a map looked relatively close to Hammond and the Horseshoe Casino. WRONG! Not even SORT OF close. So on Monday, me, Kai and Squirrel drove all over Chicago Southland looking for a hotel. There was nothing. Anywhere. We called them all. Then...on a whim, I walked into Ramada...and KAPOW, my charming smile, my sparkling personality, and the $20 tip I dropped on the desk and the lady on the other side who likely only gets tipped when one of her old, toothless, Uncle's calls to tell her she should invest in pork bellies...had us hooked up for the week. FINALLY! I have never felt happier about a room that just two weeks ago I would be cringing over. Funny how your standards go down when there is NOTHING to choose from. It was to the point that I was about to set up camp with a tent on someone's lawn.

Sunday I took Squirrel to the Seahawks game with my sister and her friend Karen for my sister Janae's birthday. It was my first time at Soldier Field. Our tickets were great. It was a sunny, gorgeous day. The field and stadium are just incredible. And to top it off, my Seahawks played great and won the game 23-20. Afterwards, we went downtown to Rush Street and had pizza at some famous pizza joint.

I am laying here and just wondering what is rolling off of Kai's fingertips over there in the next bed!

On the trip to the bathroom...Squirrel passed some Bears fan...a girl, who says..."Ugh...Seahawks jersey? Fucccck Youuuuu!" Cheryl turns around...scoffs, looks at the girl, who is waiting for her comeback and just says..."Ummm...ya, no...ya know, you aren't even worth it. Never mind." And kept walking. Nice.

Later on...still wearing her Shaun Alexander jersey...we were at the casino...and some random black guy walks up to her and tells her...."Yo,...wassup shattty (a version of the word shorty)...I was gonna holla at ya, till I saw ya wearing that Seahawks jersey."

"Oh....really? Yeah, like that probably mattered."

It was amazing how high the percentage of fans were that were wearing Bears garb. Truly a football city. And the amount of tailgaters were astounding. And before and after the game, their fans were actually pretty classy. Granted, its not like we were acting like a bunch of douchebags...which will usually result in getting your ass kicked.

I love the Bing commercials, about the Search Engine overload!
Theeee Dip! "You put your hand up on my hip, when I dip, you dip, we dip...."

Remember how much I loved St.Louis? One of the reasons I hated St. Louis was that they make you pay for the drinks. Oh...its the same deal in Chicago. Only worse. Because they are holding the tourney in a part of the casino called 'The Venue'...which is where they host musical acts, comedians...etc. So...the prices they charge there are significantly more than 'downstairs' in the casino. So even though we are poker players, and we are GAMING....we are being charged for drinks as though we are up there watching some elaborate performance by the amazing _____ (enter the name of your favorite poker player here.

Okay thats it. I'm not talking about poker tonight...or why Claudia "The Claw" Crawford is now dead to me...and will have a very hard time getting me to ever talk to her again...let alone ever be allowed into my house again. What she pulled on me today in the 6-handed event, I am still not ready to share with y'all. I am just not ready to talk about it here. But I know I owed you guys some kind of blog since I have been here now for four days. But lets just say...I was FUCKING FURIOUS.

Played the Omaha jokefest. Limit 8 or better with 176 players. Somehow I got rivered 16 times and was still around with 75 players left...when the 17th river finally knocked me out...at 1:14am...in a mood where all I wanted to do was punch something...anything, super hard, and not get in trouble for it. I am really tired. And can no longer stay awake. And have to play again at noon. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh its days like this that I hate this job/life.
I have lots more to say, trust me. But Im out of gas.

Bye bye now folks.

Monkey Chow

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm out! The Claw is no longer welcome in my house. Details to follow. F*** this day and these jackasses.
Haa! My table just broke. I got moved next to Claw!
322 in todays $560 6-handed in WSOP Chicago. 252 left. Have 31k. Started with 12k.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What a day! Soldier Field with my wife, my sister and Karen for a sweet Seahawks victory!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vanessa arrives, and Monkey is now S-C-R-E-W-E-D!!!

The gauntlet has been lowered. And its been lowered by this little chick pictured above. Yep, she finallly arrived today, and did her GoDaddy.com commercial or promo or whatever, then boogied over to the stadium for our game. We were playing a good team, so I knew I wouldn't get to play much. So it became a fun little night of goofing around with 'Nessa on the bench while also supporting my new buddies...and some of my old buddies.

We got out to an early lead...things were looking good...but then the wheels fell off. Lotsa walks. And lots of hard hit balls later, and it was 10-3. Yikes. But that also meant Senor Monkey had a realistic shot at playing. After all, we start the playoff round tomorrow, so might as well rest our 'good' players for that, right? Stick the Monkey in there.

SO...the moment arrived. Coach Rick decided to put me in at 2nd base. Really? Second base? Well...okay. And on the first of my three innings, a grounder was hit between 1st and 2nd...and I made a diving attempt at it, just missing, and once again blowing up my knee. Yeah...its about three times the size of my right knee as I lay here...but I'll live, no big deal. Vanessa looked at it and says "Monkey, are you one of those guys who just ignores injury? That looks terrrible!" Ahhh...it looks a lot worse than it is.

Then....it happened. The BET! Which, yes....is captured on videotape and is currently uploading here...hoping it makes it. I was feeling especially confident tonight. Had a good round of swings in the cage pre-game with Chad. Have been making good contact all week. Was wearing my new glasses and really seeing well. And I historically hit well at night. So I told Vanessa I was going to get a hit for her. Promised it.

"If I get a chance to play in this game Vanessa...I will, I repeat...WILL, get a hit just for you!"

So...my chance arrived. If I DID get a hit, she was going to have to wear my 'MONKEY' Pokerstars jersey to the 1st day of the WSOP next summer. And if I did NOT get a hit? A little worse. I would be forced to wear a dress...with "Vanessa Rousso's #1 Fan/Stalker". Yes. I agreed to this.

First pitch...outside fastball. I swing, I miss. Second pitch...I swing, I pull the ball, hard grounder...down the 3rd base line....FOUL BALL! Dammit. Third pitch...high, and outside, ball one. Fourth pitch...fastball, chest high....I swing....I MISS! Ohhhhh noooooooooooooooo!!!!! I took it like a good sport. If this video ever loads you can watch for yourself. Another blonde moment for Vanessa, even thought she isn't a 'real' blonde...she was completely convinced that no matter which direction she turns the camera, that it will always be playing in the UPRIGHT position. Well...she was wrong. So...enjoy watching this action sideways.

So..yeah, assuming (or hoping?) Jack Effel takes me off the Physically Unable to Perform (P.U.P.) list next summer, and my Monkey ass is allowed to walk into the Rio...plunk down $10,000 hard won dollars, and play in the world's biggest poker tourney...you will see me stroll in looking fabulous, decked out in a dress, with the afformentioned title posted on the back. I can't promise that I will be looking fierce...but I will give it a full effort. I also plan to burn about 50 c.d.'s to hand out to people when they approach me with the inevitable WTF request.

"Yeah...um...just watch this. Gotta g0! [as I hand them a disk]"

Not sure who left the message on here about Matt Hillis...but I took another excellent video featuring Matt, and he is hilarious. He is also a helluva ballplayer. I would post the video but it is extremely long...and thus, too big to upload.

Our next loss will be our last, and this will be over. But we had some pitchers fly in today who, after warming them up in the bullpen during the game...have me feeling like something special might just happen tomorrow...and we could find ourselves in the Championship game Saturday morning. I hope so, that would be a lot of fun. And my plane leaves for Chicago at 3:30pm...so it would be perfect. Even if I never play another inning on this trip, it was worth it. It was great to see a lot of these guys again. And a nice little wake up call physically...and more motivation to get myself back in good shape, and maybe even find a team to play on next season.

As for the comments from the person about the new layout...and the font. Here's the problem, the font in the text is the same font as that in the title that you see on the monkey logo on top...and that color for that is perfect. I don't know...I aim to please y'all...so I will tinker with it some more. What do you all think of the new picture of the 3 monkeys? Better than the monkey and the other animals assembled around the poker table from before?

Part of me wants to play a couple SNG's in my favorite online poker room before I fall asleep, however, I took a pain killer and then a flexoril, the muscle relaxer that also makes you very sleepy. So I might be out any second. I know its working cuz the throbbing in my knee has stopped.

Okay...big day tomorrow. And in 14h37m I find out if I won my eBay bidding war for the 4 tickets for the Seahawks/Bears game that I am bidding on for me, my lovely wife...and my sister and her friend that are coming down from Milwaukee. I tradionally run very bad in these bidding wars...so I fully expect to lead an army of about 15 of you to Soldier Field on game day, where we will find some 'street brokers' to provide us with an entertaining experience!

And don't forget....at 10pm'ish, I will be coming to check out the Horseshoe in Hammond with Squirrel and Kai Landry...and we will be taking whoever wants to join us down to Rush Street for a hardcore night of Chicago partying to kick off MonkToberFest! And of course...if you're coming to the football game in the morning...even better!

the Desert Scorpion Monkey