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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 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 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 $2000-$ 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love how the idiots at the WSOP use Imperial Palace on all their literature. I know the IP must be thrilled considering their rebranding attempt.