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Monday, October 25, 2010

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!!!!

Monkey

1 comment:

anchordraw said...

in a tourney at Foxwoods, I saw two different people expose their hands in allin pots with action pending. a one round penalty was given. That dude was so pissed, he just left and didn't come back. I think his M was about 1.5 One round seems pretty standard in other events although I've also seen many more cases where only a warning was given.