Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Then my Seahawks...jeezuz...ever heard of defending your home soil? They used to be almost automatic at home. Not so much this year. One week they look great (Chicago!) the next they look pathetic...see last week's loss to Arizona, who, if you watched MNF last night you will understand my angst! Does ANYONE want to win that division? I have a feeling its going to be the Rams who are forced to take the 6th and final playoff spot in the NFC.
Well ONE of my teams did manage to win a MUST WIN game...not that I am THAT fired up about it...but it has been an awful long time since my Washington Huskies made it to a bowl game, and at 4-6 they needed win their last two games, against up and down Cal and only down Washington State to become bowl eligible. And while I just nonchalantly dismissed their chances to win this past weekend, they went down and did just that. Now if they can really blow it...and lose to a horrible WSU team next week, then they will have completed this nightmare of season for Jack Locker, the guy everyone had pegged for the #1 pick in the NFL draft had he come out last year. I already KNEW he was way overrated, and some listened to me, but most thought I was nuts. Well...it didn't help that his offensive line was garbage, but he has now slipped to about #16-21 on Mel Kiper's board. But if they can make a bowl game, which would likely be the high-profile Holiday Bowl...against a decent team like Missouri...they could actually go out on a really high note...and with 5 or 6 ESPN Top 150 recruits in the San Diego area undecided, maybe add to our already above average recruiting class for 2011. So go Huskies this weekend!
I finally broke down and bought the iPad. It is expensive, yes. And I know, they are talking about the new generation model coming out in April. So if it is that wonderful....and I can afford it, maybe I will get it, and pass my iPad to Squirrel. Instead of just settling for AT&T's 3G service though...as I know it can be spotty in a lot of places, I am taking their light plan...at $10 a month...and then I went to Verizon and picked up their 'Five Spot MiFi' modem...that can shoot wifi signal to up to 5 laptops, including the iPad. So basically, I will have two forms of wi-fi to connect to...and I already had Verizon's wireless coverage for my computer, using a USB modem...so it just takes the place of that, for the same price. And I got grandfathered in with my Unlimited price plan at $59.00 a month, which they don't even offer anymore, so I really kind of came out ahead. Okay, tired of that technical jibber jabber? Me too.
I'm not sure, but I think I have almost completed the campaign on the new 'Call of Duty: Black Ops.' Pretty addictive game. Stayed up til 7:30am playing it the other day. Yikes. In between that one I have been playing Tom Clancy's air combat game HAWX-2...which is also pretty kickass. Hard as hell.
I leave this Friday for Atlantic City and what I hope will be a solid showing up there. Mission number one of course is to win some money. Mission number two is to cash 5 or 6 times...take over 2nd place in WSOP all-time circuit cashes...and inch my way up the leaderboard in the chase for the National Championship freeroll, where I am currently sitting in 5th.
Recently announced, was that Harrah's has added two stops to the poker schedule this year, one in Pennsylvania and one in Florida, somewhere near West Palm Beach. Not sure how, exactly, that is going to affect the freeroll...since they say it is for 100 players, and 100 only. They have outlined it as such: 4 regional 10k events. All 9 players of each final table make the freeroll. So there is 36 players. There are now 15 events instead of 13....and each event promises a seat to (a) the $1600 Main Event winner and (b) the Casino Champion for each event...or leader in total pts for each location. So instead of 26...that now rises to 30. Unless they are counting on a couple of players to repeat as Final Tablists at one of the 4 regional main events...or that some of the $1600 Main Event winners also win the Casino Champion for that location...its going to get muddy. Because they are promising that the TOP 36 in points will qualify. So...if my math is correct, and I'm pretty sure it is, it breaks down like this potentially:
4 Regional Final Tables = 36 players
15 Circuit Main Event winners= 15 players
15 Circuit Casino Champions= 15 players
That brings us to 66 players right there. Which leaves only 34 spots left.
Hmmmm....what happens if....well, okay you see where I am going here, there is potentially 2 people who get screwed. Or they have to go with 102. Could get dicey. But I think we will see some people double up in some areas and there will just be more openings for people through the Top 36 category.
The longer I am home, the harder it is to leave. My dogs are just the greatest animals I've ever owned. I love them so much that it just kills me to leave them for 15-20 days at a time. And yes...I also miss that furry creature named Squirrel who sleeps wayyyyy over on the other side of our bed. Not that it matters, Jasper and Mollie insist on being in the middle of us anyway...pretty happy I opted for the California King 5 years ago! Or one of us would be sleeping on the floor! Pretty sure it would be me!
I have some big news coming in the new year...or maybe just after I return from Atlantic City. I am about to hatch a deal with an online poker site. Right now I am just going over all the details and trying to make sure that it is a good deal for me...and that I am able to live up to my end of the bargain for them. Figure both sides need to be happy, and since they have approached me in about the nicest way possible, I want to be sure I handle it the right way. That is all I will tell you for now, other than to say I am excited about the opportunity!
There has been all kinds of industry people that seem to like coming to me with juicy gossip. While I do indeed love it, I also hate it, because as someone who is so under the microscope, its hard for me to really go public with a lot of it. I wish someone would start an anonymous blog on this site or even another site...where they take submissions anonymously, and if they check out, post them for all the poker world to see. There is some really crazy shit that happens in this industry, some that the players really should know about. As it affects them a lot of times.
Speaking of taking anonymous submissions...I got to checking out WikiLeaks last night, if for no other reason I was just kind of curious. As a former Journalism major, and a guy who dabbled in the media for a bit, I find it alarming whenever our government starts doing their little gestapo thing on certain elements of the media. It always signals to me that there must be a rat worth sniffing out. So I started reading. Wow! I just got done watching a documentary on NetFlix last week about the number of journalists killed while in the line of duty...it was incredible.
Just when I thought that it was unfair how I am treated, or have been in the past, for the things I write about on my blog, holy shit, I see how many journalists have been kidnapped, tortured, and even KILLED over things that they write about. Hey...when you start messing with people's reputations, their livelihoods and their illegal operations...someone is going down, and a lot of times, its the journalist. Well...its a pretty slippery slope, because on one hand, I am very patriotic and incredibliy supportive of our military. Always have been. Probably always will be. But all you need to do is open your eyes and ears to see what is going on right now.
Just sit down and watch a few documentaries...about the companies like Haliburton and Blackwater, how much money they making off the Iraq and Afghanistan wars...how much American taxpayers are being overbilled by these profiteers. Watch and see how the war against Iraq was perpetrated by Bush and his closest advisors, and how all information from the CIA and NSA were completely discredited leading up to that war. Look at all the troops who are coming home from battle a total head case because of what they are being subjected to overseas. How many murders and suicides there have been among returning troops. George Bush and his administration...and what they did with these two wars, have changed an entire generation in our country. It is absolutely disgusting what has happened to our country.
And now, Obama has taken the reins to a runaway horse and wagon that no one would ever be able to stop on their own. Is he a bit of a clueless soul cast as the hero who would come save the Democratic party? Yes...he certainly is. I like the guy personally, I think he communicates well, is very likeable, and gets his points across well. I just think he is completely overmatched. And now, after the fall elections....his Democratic party has now lost control of the house and to a certain degree, the Senate.
And now...to make everything even worse, and yes, this is kind of a sidebar that is more or less unrelated, I sat down and watched Sarah Palin's Alaska the other night...and as much as I have disliked everything about her the last two or three years? I actually found myself beginning to like her. I found her a bit funny. I identified with her in certain ways. And I really don't find her to be a 'wilderness phony' at all. I think she is legit. The key to her political future is the Republicans lining up people to work with her who actually know what the hell they are doing. Which these days, is a reach. I am still pissed about the whole Bristol Palin thing on 'Dancing with the Stars' because (a) when did Bristol become a STAR??? and (b) how could she have possibly gotten as far as she did without some political heat/pressure being put on the execs at ABC? There is no way. And because of that, I remain a little cynical of Sarah and how she gets things done.
Sorry, this was never supposed to delve into a political diatribe today. I just was discussing things that need discussing, that often times don't get discussed, and often times get sensored when we are supposed to live in a country that encourages free speech and the right to free assembly. But more and more we seem to be losing not just one of those freedoms, but a lot of them. It scares me.
And for my final topic today, another thing that scares me...LAUREN FIALLA. Yes, she is the gal who founded and leads the Ladies High Heels Poker Tour. And at first glance, I would have thought she might have been the sister or even wife of my buddy Will 'The Thrill' Failla's who also lives in the NY/NJ area...as does Ms. Lauren. But when asking Will this question...he replied via text message with 'I heard she got killed or something.' So when I investigated that...found that a Lauren Failla had, in fact, been killed...last year. But it was again, a different Lauren. Nope, this was a 25 year old girl who had just graduated and taken a trip to India...where, while snorkeling, she was eaten by an alligator. You heard me...eaten by an alligator!
And if that wasn't bad enough...her older sister was rock climbing in Washington State two years earlier and was killed in a fall. Ouch...pretty rough beat for Mom and Dad in that story, eh?
So...the story with this Lauren is that she has made some threats against me. Without me even knowing her. Never met her. As far as I know. Never talked to her. Nothing. Looked her up, hmmm...she's actually quite attractive. Too bad. So...people in poker talk...and I don't know how many times, exactly this made its way around the barber shop before it fell on my front door, but when I heard about it from some dealer, or maybe it was another player...not positive, but the message and the deliverer of the message was pretty bold, and clear.
"That guy Monkey is a prick! I will ruin that guy. If he had gotten to play that event I would have done everything in my power to blacklist him from every single event that I know ANYONE at!!!"
When told that Kai and I were playing it with no intention to leave with a single dollar of prize money...that we were playing with the intention of raising money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation...that we had already, in fact, taken donations from other male players...that we had been approved to play by not only the tournament director but also the IP's poker operations manager, that we were playing it in honor or local poker room supervisor Sincere Mason, who is battling with cancer as we speak...and that deep down, we both would have much rather been out with friends watching the football game between Alabama and LSU...I guess her reaction was something to the tune of (and of course, as the King of being misquoted, I'm sure there could be some differentiation in what the actual statement was....but)
"Oh bullshit! He is nothing but a self-promoting, attention hungry asshole trying to further his own cause. I swear to God...he is damn lucky they DIDN'T let him play, or I would have ruined him! And if he tries that shit again...I will make sure I make his life miserable!!!!" And I think there was the mention of a bounty on me...and similar treatment for anyone else 'thinking about pulling that stunt' of playing in a ladies event.
Wow! I heard that and was more or less speechless. I mean, in one sense, you kind of don't want anyone talking about you like that right? Threatening to ruin you? To go to every avenue possible to have you blacklisted? But on the other hand...it says something about her confidence level to react like that. Here we are playing in a measly $100 event that a LOT of women supported us playing...some just for the gesture of doing it for a noble cause...and some who we have played with for a lot of years and just thought it would be a lot of fun. But you would think we were tearing food from the mouths of starving citizens in Darfur!
After talking with some people I actually respect in poker...including a couple dealers, a tourney director, and a couple players a little further, as they tried hard to see Lauren's reason for acting in such a hostile fashion, we all pretty much agreed on a lot of the same things. Wild Bill actually wrote a pretty nice piece in his blog where he championed the cause of both sides...not that my side is really a 'side' per se, but the side of guys who think they should be allowed to play women's events. See, I have watched those events..and I wouldn't stake my own WIFE to play in them. Because they are crazy tournaments. Most solid female players who I respect as poker players won't go near them. Now if it was, say a $500-$1000 Main Event...and the ladies were battling for a great payout and the necklace and all that...sure I could understand why they wouldn't want an accomplished male player or two interferring with their event. Totally understand. And I would never do that. I had nothing but 100% good intentions for this effort, as did Kai Landry, I promise you.
One of the reasons I am such good buddies with Kai is because of his spontaneous personality, his ability to just get crazy and do whatever seems like a good time at the moment. We share a lot of views on things as well...and we both adore Cincere Mason...so it was a slam dunk of an idea.
So thank god it didn't happen I guess, because if it had, I suppose Lauren Failla would have had me looking for another job right about now. Maybe someday I will actually meet this angry woman, and after speaking with me, she might actually figure out that I am not this attention-seeking, publicity-hungry asshole she has me pegged for. I did this in my own backyard, Lauren...where I knew a very high percentage of the ladies that were playing. It was a $100 event. We had already raised a hefty sum and would have probably raised another two or three thousand bucks that day. But thank god it didn't happen. Thank god that money won't have to be used for research, with the result being a few hundred more women dying this week because of breast cancer. See, I don't have to worry about that being on my conscience...because I tried to make a difference.
Seems like a good place to wrap up today's blog. Plus....Tosh.O just came on!
Catch up with me in Atlantic City in a few days!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
NASCAR jackets. NFL jerseys (all with the number 00 on the back with the last name "Pittsburgh" or "Green Bay" or whoever the team was. There were fake leather NFL jackets for $45. Hats...mostly SEC or NASCAR-related...but even saw a Buffalo Bills hat. ???? Every kind of peanut variety imagineable. CB radios. Die Cast 18-wheelers. Wind socks. Even Snuggies (as seen on TV!!! claims the sign on the shelf). After getting lost in the wondrament of it all, Squirrel finally staggers into the store wondering what the hell happened to me. She quickly falls into the same pit I have. We ended up doing all our Christmas shopping in there. (to family members reading this...that was a stab at humor)
Walking around the casino floor...regretting this trip north, where I was currently stuck about $2400 on this trip. Where to next? My room to play online? Grrrrr. Just then I notice an open seat on a $10 blackjack game. I sit. I am approached by Will Smith....aka "The Fresh Prince of Southaven." Yes...he was white. Asked for my player's card. There you go. I am in a very sullen mood, quiet, removed...anti-social. Just looking for a place to 'recover.' Place 2 black chips above the betting line, in a show of 'how about making me change for 200 chips.' Not sure what other message I could have been sending.
Then it begins. Eric, a very tall dealer...who is black, is being defiant. Why? I have no idea. Since I JUST sat down. Quite often when I am in Tunica...there seems to be a wall that is immediately put up between white folks and black folks...and I'll be honest...it is getting really annoying, almost intolerable. Where did MLK get killed? In Memphis? Is that right? I think so...and maybe there has been some carryover from that. Just outside the casino parking lot there are fields and fields of cotton, which for decades was harvested by slaves, who were brought to our country in boats from Africa. It was a sad chapter in our countries history. One that Abraham Lincoln and his crew went to great extremes to erradicate from our existence.
Sprung from the freeing of the slaves was another century of civil rights movement. The right to vote. The right to basically exist in the company of whites. To me...this was just stupid. See, I am from the Pacific Northwest. And spent 8 years in Montana with another 13 in Seattle. I never experienced racial tension growing up as a kid or a young adult. In college I got my first real exposure to blacks, where a lot of them were my teammates, and was very fond of most of them. To this day, I am pretty good buddies with 3 or 4 of the top black poker players on the circuit. I don't base my opinions of people on their color, period. What I use to color my opinion of people is their personality, their character...and often times, their ability to make me laugh...or just not make me cry.
This isn't a complicated method of choosing friends in life. And deciding who my nemesis's are? Pretty much the same rating system. Act like a jackass, screw people over, talk about nothing interesting, in fact...just pretty much annoy me with everything you talk about....uh, demonstrate that you are self-centered, or disrespect everyone else's point of view on things...and guess what? You are likely to NEVER be someone I will be friends with.
Living in the south can be a real pain in the ass just for that reason. Everyone is so 'careful' about what they say...how they say it, so as not to offend anyone. It gets tiring sometimes. I watch people in the media lose their jobs or get suspended all the time, 98% of the time they are white...because of comments they made that were viewed as being 'insensitive' or 'offensive' to blacks...or African Americans, as the press is obligated to refer to them this decade. (since I was born in 1967, they have changed the classification four times. Started as 'coloreds' then it became 'negroes' and in the late 70s, early 80's it was pretty much 'blacks' and then along came 'African American' in the 90's. Not sure what is left) Who knows what it will be next decade. Of all the friends I have that are black...I know of ONE of them who has actually ever been to Africa, or can trace ancestors to the Dark Continent. (thats not my term, incomps...that is actually what they call Africa)
However...when I come to Tunica...it always seems to me that I am the one who is being persecuted. Or judged. Or inconvenienced. Like...there should be a motto..."Come to Tunica whitey...where payback is Mission #1!!!" Hell, I don't know...I see the BS that some of my black friends have to put up with sometimes...and maybe it is kind of just a way of leveling the playing field. Maybe it is fair. Or...and this is an idea I doubt will EVER catch on...maybe everyone can just fucking COOL IT, and not get around to judging each other UNTIL they actually get to know the person. Or, if they don't have time to really get to know them, at least wait 3 or 4 minutes to see if they fall into the stereotype you have immediately decided to cast them in?
Why am I telling you all this? It kind of has to do with what happened at the blackjack table the other night. And the magical transformation that occurred prior to my being asked, or rather, ORDERED to leave the casino by a little white troll with allligator arms and a little too much love for the power they had bestowed upon her as 'Shift Supervisor of Security.'
Eric refused to 'color up' my chips, instead started dealing another hand to the other players. I glanced at Mr. Smith, wondering why I wasn't being dealt in. Asked if it was because they were mid-shoe. Was told that wasn't the reason. So he asked Eric why he wasn't accomodating me. Eric fired back with some ridiculous verbiage having to do with the actual location that I had placed the chips. Huh? Something about needing to be 'across the line' to get changed up. Sigh. Okay. I push them about two inches from where they are. He makes me change. Time to play.
Four hands in...I'm sitting on a '19' with him showing a 6. He stands there, waiting for me to wave him off. I just look at him. He just looks back. I ask him what he is waiting for?
"You need to act on your hand."
"Are you kidding? You think I'm hitting a 19 against a 6? Really?"
"Well, you have to make a motion for the camera!"
Okay. I wave it off. I win the hand. My irritation for Eric grows. We all know the 'rules' of blackjack. Right? Blah blah blah...cameras need to see your intended action. Yeah, yeah...we all get that. But any dealer in the world, after you have been sitting there for more than 15 seconds knows when he is dealing with a player who 'gets it' and is able to just pass him on certain situations. Having a dealer sit there waiting for you to 'hit' or 'stay' on a '20' is kind of like the lady asking you for ID at the grocery store when you buy a 6-pack of beer. Well, or ME. Not sure how old you are (particular reader).
Not even sure what his third thing was that pissed me off, but all I did was call over Will Smith and ask if I could have a comment card. I was going to blast this guy. He returned with a comment card, and a pen. I returned the pen...telling him I would fill it out later. Will then begins offering me food comps if I am hungry.
"Thanks sir, but I just ate an hour ago."
Now...I know where you THINK this heading...most of you know that I was tossed from the Horseshoe on this night...and after reading this first part, you probably think you can finish the rest of this story, dont you? Well...that is where you would be wrong.
Wife walks into Grandma's house in Florence, Alabama on Sunday morning. Has not been on a computer in the last 24 hours. Is greeted by her father...who lives on Grandma's property.
"Hey I see on Facebook that Will got thrown out of Horseshoe last night. Him and some girl. Is that his backer? What was that all about?"
Of course, my wife had NO KNOWLEDGE of this yet. Thanks Dad.
It didn't end there. Other people, players mostly...had one version, than another...and still, there were more. Good gawd. And in my head...all I could think was....'here we go!!!! Another one of THESE deals!' Thank GOD that I was in the company of Jennifer Gay from Ante Up Magazine most of the night.
I am in for $200...and it is dwindling. Eric and I are now playing heads up...as the other two people have busted and left. In the middle of a 6-deck shuffle I decide to engage him in a meaningful conversation. I formally introduce myself and give him my qualifying attributes, then launch my diatribe. My key points being...that despite probably bored to tears with his job after working there for 3 years (established by asking), he really only has to make ONE good impression on his players...then can pretty much be a robot from there on out. And that would be when the player sits down. And that he had majorly botched his one chance with me. He pretty much agreed with most of what I said. I let him get to know me a bit...and I asked questions about him and got to know him a little bit. I openly suggested to him that he might have treated me the way he did due to me being white...and he insisted that wasn't the case. But he did understand my point of view on that, after I explained it to him...and agreed that he does see a lot of that in Tunica.
Play continued. Other players would eventually come and go. Eric and I started actually getting along. I then started tipping him. After the first tip, I jokingly say "I have no idea why I am tipping you, sir!" To which he responds, "I have no clue why either!!!!"
Then Jennifer Gay arrives...having gotten off work and come down to hang out. She walks in on Eric and I as we are now arriving at 'good buddy' status. When he would bust us, I would cheer for him. When I would win, I would tip him...telling him, 'there you go Eric...still hate ya!' To which he would respond..."hate you too, Monkey!"
Meanwhile, Will Smith...the floor guy working behind in the pit...had pretty much stopped hovering over our table, since it was obvious that Eric and I had worked out our diffferences. I had taken to shooting Eric's tips to him through his upturned fingers, or 'goal posts' as we had started referring to them. On one such occassion, one of my kicks sailed wide right, and rolled into the pit, near 'Fresh Prince's' shoe...to which he annoying glanced over at our table.
Eric: "Oh its all good Will...that was Monkey's tip going wide right.!"
He then returned it to our dealer, but not before shooting us a bit of a look. Now while we were playing...we were drinking Jack and Cokes...excuse me, PEPSI's! Ughhhh...hate Pepsi. With an occassional Red Snapper. Players kept coming and going....all of whom we were getting along with great. This one black kid sat down with $20...and was clearly terrified of playing. He told me he had just turned 21. It took about half an hour before he asks me...."How much do beers cost?"
"Dude! Are you kidding???? They are free man! Well...they are complimentary! But don't forget to give the girl a $1 or $2!"
I took this kid under my wing, and turned his $20 into over $200. The joy on this guy's face...was awesome. I have to think it was one of the funnest nights of his life. He kept counting his chips. If he lost 2 or 3 hands in a row he would start to panic. It was pretty funny. But his girlfriend would eventually come along, see how much he had won, and demand that he leave. He was a good kid...I was sorry to see him leave.
Well, about this time...Jennifer and I start going on a tear. I would get into these little patterns...where if I lost 3 or 4 hands in a row, I would make a ridiculously inconsistent bet....like I was losing $15, $15, $10, $15...and then just say screw it and bet $50. And win. Or another time...I was just getting fed up, so I put my whole stack on there...it was like $118...and won. I did lose my first $200 before Jen got there...and told Eric...."Alright Eric...what do YOU think? Should I just leave? Or should I come back in for $500 and really get after it!???"
Eric: "Go for it man!"
So I did. My sick pattern continued, and I kept hitting the big bets. Or I would just sit there, betting $20 a hand...for 45 minutes...winning a little, losing a little.
Then I don't know what happened. I just went on a streak like I'd never gone on in blackjack in my life. I couldn't lose. Neither could Jen. If she had a marginal double down or split opportunity and didn't know what to do, I would cover the bet myself...and either she would win, I would win...or we both would. Almost never did they both lose.
Before I knew it...I was up to about $1500. Whoa. Then came 'THE HAND!' I can't quite remember if this came on the heels of a long losing streak...or the heels of a winning streak where I just wanted to press it...but I do remember Jenn gasping when she saw me place $125 on three different betting circles.
"Noooooo Monkey...don't do it!!!"
But something was telling me to go for it! So I did. On the first one I get 2-6...second one I get 6-5...third one I get 2-2. And the dealer is showing a 6. So on the 2-6...I double down and spike a King. On the 6-5 I double down and hit a 10. Then I split the 2-2...getting an 8 on one followed by a 7...and a J on the next one for a 12...which I sat on. He turned over a 10...followed by a Q...to bust...and I won $750 on that hand! I flipped Eric $25.
Holy shit! What a roll! Jenn was laughing her ass off. I was just happy...amazed at winning that much in one hand in blackjack. Then...on the next few hands...they started assembling. The early shift had just started...and they had been filtering in...with the late shift still there. And now, they were all huddled around the little podium in the middle of the pit.
About this time Jenn pointed out that we hadn't seen a cocktail waitress in a while. Now...it was getting really late, and I usually quit drinking at a certain hour...and that hour had come and gone...so I honestly didn't really notice or care. But she did, and wanted another drink. So when she asked for a cocktail waitress...they all just had kind of a blank look on their faces.
A few more hands went by. More people were at the podium now. There was obviously chatter concerning us taking place. What were they talking about? I had no idea. I mean...I couldn't even start to imagine. Then...boom! Here comes three security 'team' members...oh no wait...there is two more...and an EMT guy!???? Is someone about to get shot or tasered here? What the fuck is going on???
Jen and I start preparing...knowing something is obviously about to go down. The ringleader is this girl...maybe 25-28...incredibly unattractive...about 4'10...thick glasses...bad curly hair, and ridiculously short arms. Jen was calling her 'Treasure Trove Troll' later on. She comes up to me and tells me I have to leave. As does Jenn.
"Because I said so."
"Yeah, I heard that...but that isn't really a reason. I have been here for 7 hours, have been taking care of Eric, have been getting along with all the other players...why am I being asked to leave? I would like to know..."
We were given no answer. Not even a clue. But we were told that if we didn't hurry up and get our stuff and let them escort us out we were going to get arrested. I didn't even bother to ask what we would be arrested for. At this point...I wasn't even pissed. I was actually pretty happy that they had decided to make us leave. I know how my runs go...had I stayed there...there is no way in hell I would have cashed out $2550. No way.
We leave the Horseshoe...with the Troll and her 6 henchmen in tow. Upon walking out the door, and with her watching us...I got down on my knees and started doing that little Beavis and Butthead move...pumping each arm while simulating hitting it doggie-style. Yeah...that went over pretty well! Maybe I could have left that out...but I was just too wound up now. It was SO fucking stupid, and this troll bitch was such a human-hating, irrational thinking loser in life...that I had to make my exit memorable. So she comes flying out the door...demanding me to 'get off MY property now before I call the police!!!!!' Her property? I like that.
"Um, sorry, thought I WAS off your YOUR property! Can you please tell me where the property line ends?"
"On the other side of this road!"
Okay. So what do I do? I walk across the street...with her still watching...and planted on the side of the grassy hill is a stop sign...and I start pretending to hump the stop sign. Jenn is laughing til her eyes teared over. The Trolll is losing her mind...face bright red...and she is talking, rather, screaming...into her walkie-talkie. We walk towards Goldstrike...howling.
Walk into Goldstrike...on my way to my hotel room...but we don't make it. We are stopped. By that person who usually just stands there doing nothing.
"Hold it sir! I need you to wait right here."
He tells me just to wait...and Jenn too. Oh...here comes another plum coated guy...who demands my ID. For what, I ask? Because I dont think you are allowed to game in here, he tells me. Really? Well...thats fine, because I am going to my hotel room. He then tells me I am going to have to wait, to be escorted to my room. No thanks. I just walk out the door with Jenn...and we walk to the front entrance...where I say good night to her...and I go to my room. And that was the end of my very exciting night.
So? Conclusion? Why was I asked to leave? Neither one of us knew. They wouldn't tell us anything. I can only assume its because I kind of went 'RainMan' on them with my sick blackjack winning streak. And due to the completely bizaare way I was betting...and the fact that I kept winning those bets...must have led them to think that I was some kind of genius card counter or something. Now...this is funny to me, because I know, of course....that I have ZERO ability to do this...but if I DID have this ability...why wouldn't I play blackjack every damn day of the week? Instead of once every two months on average? So stupid!
Now what DID piss me off...was the next night...when I went to my dinner at Binions...with the world's most clueless waiter, MENG....and after getting our bill, found out that I had $10 worth of pts on my Player's card...which is exactly what I had on it when I left Biloxi three days before. So...despite all of my play...and it was pretty significant, the guy working the pit denied me ALL of my play for the 8 hour session. Do I care? Mmmm...kind of, yeah. Not a whole lot...but yeah...I kind of do...because that's almost like being stolen from. And considering the fact that I tipped Eric somewhere between $150 to $200...I think I certainly deserve whatever my play warranted. Maybe I willl contact their head of table games up there, who I actually met while playing that night.
So there ya go...conspiracy theorists. Hope that was worth the wait.
"I heard Monkey got thrown out for throwing his chips at the dealer!!!!"
Yeah, heard that one. I'm sure there were more. It just amazes me how no matter what I do...whether it be something where I am jubilant, miserable or just somewhere in between, I am never immune to finding some kind of bullshit to fall into!
Fortunately, the folks who run the poker room had my back 100%. And fortunately, I was Jenn gay...who knows everyone up there and was there to back up my account. I fear that if I had been alone...who knows?
Got something in the mail today from Nationwide Insurance...needing to talk to me about the 'incident with their insured on Nov 15th.' Well, at least I found out that crazy bitch's name who tried to frame me with an accident that never happened. Clare Blair. That in itself is kind of funny. Say that to yourselves 12 times....clareblairclareblairclareblairclareblair....okay that only took four times for me!!! I called the person from Nationwide...got voice mail, never heard back from her. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe she's out for Thanksgiving. She works in Gainesville...Miss Pettit. She actually sounds cute. Then again...she lives in GatorLand. Nope...she is the enemy!
I think we are all caught up. I know there were a lot of other 'moments' from Tunica this weekend that I didn't mean to forget about. There are always a barrelfull of moments to blog about whenever I travel to Tunica...but at some point...you just forget some of them, or maybe it's my brain subconsciously blocking them out of necessity.
Goodbye for now. If you don't hear from me again this week...Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!!!
Right now, all I care about is that before I hit ONE keystroke I was treated to that nightmare of a commercial where all those idiots are leaning out their window screaming about it being their money and wanting it now! JG Wentworth and Associates.
Why can't every commercial be funny? The Allstate commercials are my favorite right now. "I'm a tree limb...in a storm...shaky shaky!!!!" Or there's "I'm a satellite dish, and today I'm a little fuzzy, so you try to fix me...uh oh, but now I'm loose!"
By the way...if you are one of the 4% of my readers who are logging in to see if I've won anything lately, I guess we could first cover that before we get to the amazing story of me going 'Rain Man' on the Blackjack tables at Horseshoe in Tunica. (I say that, by the way, with dripping sarcasm!)
Arrived Thursday night, late. Slept. Friday, played the $350. Turnout was 71 I think. So at least it was P.O.Y. eligible. I got knocked out around 6pm. Then I played the 7pm $160. I lost that also. Can't remember how. Decided to play cash game. Big mistake should have just gone to my favorite online poker room. Bought in for $300. Four times. Went to bed...pretty late.
Showed up for the $560 Main Event on time. Immediately noticed that I had lost my $100 prop bet (with two different guys) on the over/under number I had set for entries. I put it at 63. We got 111. whoops. Didn't miss by too much. Good structure. 20k starting chips. Had a relatively decent table, by Tunica standards. 3 guys at my table who were to be feared...and by feared, I am speaking of the 10x preflop raises, the calling any random raise with hands like K10, A3 thru A9...you know those guys. So the cooler beat is always looming. 'Keep the pots small, keep them small.....'
Fluctuated between 14k and 30k for the first 6 levels. Got AA once and actually made something off of it. Got AA again and got nothing. But I was getting a LOT MORE action on my raises than I typically get. Why? Easy...I was in Tunica. Respect in Tunica is a word reserved for the local Justice of the Peace. I lose with AK vs. a guy shoving KQ...flops a Q...perfect. Now down to 16k at 300/600. Pick up AJ at cutoff. Raise to 1800. Button calls. He likes calling. BB completes. Flop comes 8-2-6, rainbow. BB checks. I would usually bet here...and would have, were it not for the guy on the button. I check. He also checks. I turn a J. Nice. BB checks. I bet 3500. Button folds. BB calls. ???
River is a 5. BB checks again. I bet 7000. Leaving 6k behind. He tanks...then goes all in. Nothing makes sense. I finally call. He turns over 55. For a set. On the river. You gotta be kidding. I just stand there...looking at the board, and him...shaking my head....
When he says..."What? I'm sorry...I put you on AK or AQ!" I should add we both had close to the same amount of chips. How he made that call on the turn, I have no clue...but I am use to this in Tunica. I left...and retreated to my hotel room.
Came back and played that night's $160. It started out good. Then ended bad. Another loss. That was when I got up...and needing a place to decompress, made my way to the $10 blackjack table. Which is where that story will start.
But first...I played again on Sunday...in Kenny Piel and Mike Woods' cash blast tourney that they started there last year. You buy in for $300 +$40 juice, and you get $300 in chips to play with. Blinds start out at $5 and $5 and go up from there. At any point in the tourney...you can opt out and cash out whatever you have at the time in chips. They added a $1600 Main Event seat for the January event at Harrah's for the overall winner, so there was more incentive to play it out. (Unless you consider coming back to Tunica for any reason the opposite of an incentive, then it could be considered a deterrent instead)
I would say it was fun...but I would be lying. I was still kind of hurtin from the night before, and I had a lady at my table who had decided when she sat down at my table Friday night that she hated me. Yeah, that wasn't a typo, I said FRIDAY...and yes, this was Sunday.
She was from West Virginia...and everytime a rule at the table turned out to be something she disagreed with, it was met with..."well they don't have that rule where I'm from." Rules like, antes in tourneys. Like the new player from another table being able to assume the big blind. I think she must be a veteran of the VFW circuit up in fabulous WV. Her secret strategy was to try and befriend each dealer that pushed in, as she was in the 1-seat, then wait for a moment to cause tension. Once I was having a conversation with another player in the 8 and 10 seat...and a guy had missed that there had been a raise...and she starts popping off that "because of all the other noise at the table, he probably couldn't hear the dealer say raise!!!" Mmmmmmm....yeaaaaaaaah. There ya go!
I had kids like that in school. Usually though that crap stopped after 8th grade. But then...I kind of started just having fun with her presence. See, she is one of those people who potentially can make big problems for me...but not in this place. No way. I had too many allies behind me up there. But nonetheless...I wasn't going to give her ANYTHING she could use against me. So I just started using stealthy ways to antagonize her. If you were at the table...you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you weren't, which most of you obviously weren't, you will sit there wondering what I did. Sorry. That's all you get. But she got busted before I did, and that was my victory.
Shortly after that...and after that table busted, I limped with QJ suited. Got raised by the guy in the BB...who had a massive chiplead...so I figured it was likely he was just pushing the table around. I had about 400 chips at that point. I called his raise. The flop came Q-J-7. Pretty nice flop. He led out. I re-raised him. We got it all in. He had 77. Of course he did. I laughed. Told him nice hand. Shook a few players hands...went and found Dale Carden, the tourney director...thanked him for having me. And that was it for my poker trip to Tunica...except for a late night cash session with some folks from Ante Up magazine after our memorable dinner at Binions steakhouse...in which I managed to profit $259 to cut into my deficit for the trip.
Now...good lord, can we get to the Dream Session I had at the blackjack table? Or should I string you guys on a little more? Ohhhh...that is awfully tantalizing, that potential option.
Did I tell you about my spider bite? I am told that the average human swallows 7 spiders a year in their sleep! That freaks me out. Well, Cheryl washes our sheets quite regularly, and our bed sits pretty high off the ground...so how spiders would get into our bed I have no idea...but after reading that stat I feel compelled to start wearing SARS masks to bed. Well last week, I woke up...got naked, and went to take a shower...and have two almost identical marks on my right side. One right below my armpit, on my side...and the other on the side of my right buttock. (Ive always thought BUTTOCK is a funny word...and now it always reminds me of Forrest Gump!).
Tosh.O is starting. New episode. Oh yeahhhhhh its the episode with Miss South Carolina doing her web redemption! And it started with one of the ugliest kids I've ever seen doing a video where he is pounding soda. I'm fired up...been waiting for this episode for weeks!
Watched movies in the car on the drive home from Tunica with Squirrel yesterday. Ready for a movie that will have you begging for two hours of your life back? Well, in your defense, there is no way on Earth you will make it to the end, why? Because you will be in a better place than I was. See...in a car...your only other option if its your last movie, is to listen to static-laden radio from the country....or nothing.
The movie you ask? You may have never even heard of this nightmare that someone talked SOMEONE into producing. "The First Daughter" starring Katie Holmes...and Michael Keaton, as the President of these United States. Bad writing, bad acting, bad plot, bad soundtrack...just awful. Squirrel put in earplugs...put two pillows over her head in the passenger seat...and hid from it!
Today we had our carpets shampooed, got a new garbage disposal put in...she bathed the dogs, and is now putting up Christmas decorations. I am blogging. Oh...I guess I did book my airfare to Atlantic City for the Harrah's WSOP event.
Wow...this might be the greatest Tosh.O ever!
Okay...I AM going to string you along longer. By the time you finally read the story...it might just be ONE BIG LETDOWN.
What? You think I'm kidding? Just ask Will "Fresh Prince of Southaven" Smith...a floor guy at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica.
Yes...this weekend was chock full of 'bloggable' moments...and we will truly get to them over the course of the next three or four days. But if I had to do a Top Ten list and work my way down...I think this is where we have to start.
Not with the maid walking in on me naked after having showered, with me looking blankly at her and saying "Hi, how are you?" And her simply responding back with..."I show you checking out today. Are you not checking out today?" Not darting out of the room. Not expressing shock. Nope.
Not the waiter at Binion's Steakhouse...who, when asking what kind of oysters on the half shell they were featuring that night, told me "Six." When I clarified myself, he came back with..."from Seattle." For the record, Seattle sits on a sound. Puget Sound. There are NO oysters in Puget Sound. On his last attempt, he tried telling us he had a special oyster called a 'Mahi Mahi.' Oh no! "Yeah um...that would be a FISH! Of the swordfish variety. You know what? I will skip the oysters."
He only got worse. When we asked him how long he had worked there...he told us 9 years. NINE YEARS! The height of ridiculousness had been achieved.
So...here we go.
First, let me explain something. I am a professional poker player. I am committed to that trade. When things don't go right, I tend to go straight home, or to my room. 99.7% of the time I walk right past all of the other various gambling opportunities that exist in the casino. In this profession, there are other guys who don't possess that power. Their rate of passing those areas without stopping in for a visit is significantly lower than 99.7%.
I survive by fighting the temptation to chase a bad day's deficit then just making it worse. I also am smart enough to know that the odds on ALL these games are stacked against me. I find that being smart and not having an addictive behaviour are two very important qualities when trying to play poker professionally.
Get to it, you're saying, right? Okay.
RAIN MAN GOES TO VEGAS
You are asking..."Monkey, why did you manage to embed the video of Ray and Charlie up top there, but here you just provided a link?" Right? Pretty simple answer. I'm stupid. Couldn't figure out any possible way to embed two videos in one post. Sorry. Deal with it.
Okay...I rarely do this to you guys...but I am today. I am so tired I can't keep my eyes open. I am going to leave you all hangin! To be continued tomorrow after I wake up!!!!
Monday, November 15, 2010
It is really picking up steam and momentum. I hope to have run Delta into bankruptcy by sometime in the middle of 2012. And not Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy...but the real kind, the kind where they come and take away all your airplanes and order you to leave.
Kudos to Adam Nash and his site...You Deserve to be Punched in the Face. I spend day and night looking for new additions to it...and even emailed him THREE candidates, and now just sit back waiting for him to make them come to life. Come on Adam....DO IT!
I have purchased KINECT for XBOX360...and my life shall never be the same again. After watching Squirrel nab a nearly perfect score in her debut in DANCE CENTRAL...I was hooked. Now, the goal is to get her to do her next one topless. Last night we did 1 on 1 sports challenges together. Never thought a video game could help keep a marriage fresh and exciting? I give you.........KINECT! And oh yeah, I also bought 12 freaking games at Game Stop...thats right...GameStop. I have decided to boycott Best Buy...forever. Them and their ignoramus idiot sales people who all have the collective IQ of my fireplace mantle, and their 'sliding' interest rate that tends to sky rocket the higher your balance gets can suck my balls for all eternity. Game Stop has a neat little incentive program, one that actually pays dividends, unlike Best Buy and their stupid Rewards Zone smokescreen of a discount program.
Just being asked by that zit-faced little bitch at the register..."Are you a Rewards Zone member!???"
"Go to hell!"
"I'm sorry sir? Can I have your phone number?"
"Maybe I can look it up by your address."
"Maybe I can pour gasoline on you and light you on fire!"
"Bag up my shit lady, and let me slide my debit card through your damn machine. NO! I don't need cash back! NO! I don't want to buy your useless warranty on that $120 piece of electronics I just bought! And if you ask me one more question I am going to pick you up and throw you at that retard at the front of the store who you pay to sit there and say 'Hi' and 'Goodbye' to me!!!"
Yeah...so uh....Delta? And Best Buy? I love you. Pffffft.
Uh....there is 5:02 left in the FIRST QUARTER and Philly is leading the Redskins 21-0. Here come all the annoying Eagle bandwagon fans out of the woodwork. I can literally hear them coming. Oh...and even better news, I will be in Atlantic City in a couple weeks...only a stone's throw from Philly. Can't wait. I hate Philly fans. Sport not relevant.
I was tipped off by another reader of my blog tonight to a series of entries Wild Bill made regarding the attempt by Kai and your's truly to play in the Ladies Event at IP last week. The buy in was $100. But...with the fanfare it generated, you would have thought it was a $10k buy in. Bill wrote a great segment on it. He took a nice perspective from both sides of the aisle, and I have to commend him for his ability to balance both sides and give a pretty credible look at it. I really had a hard time disagreeing with anything he had to say on it. Its for sure worth checking out.
I am being 'urged' by the nice folks at Ante Up magazine...who I probably need to post a little splash ad for on here at some point...to make the 5 hour drive up to Tunica and make an appearance in this weekend's events at the Magnolia State Poker Championship. Well...it might actually happen. Was going to shut it down for the rest of the month, and just chill out at home, play online poker, play with my dogs, and humor my wife...but since Squirrel has decided to attend her nephew's birthday party Friday and her 25 year (or maybe its 20 yr) class reunion on Saturday with about 15-20 people from her graduating class of 76...most of them bible thumpers and scrap bookers (I have been excused from attending this thrill-fest!) I may just drive her and I up to Tunica Thurday night...sleep 5 hrs, give her my keys to go to Florence, Alabama...and sit and play Friday in the $3** (whatever their juice is) the Saturday Main Event for $5** (juice on $500) and Kenny 'Bad Hat' Piels (and Mike...not to leave him out, just cant remember his last name...might be Woods) Sunday tourney that is pretty cool. They started it last year. You buy in for $300. You get 300 chips. Its cash for cash. At any point in the tourney you can take your chips and cash out. So I guess the idea is to chip up like a gangsta and bust a move! To not...would be the actions of a chump!
OH....Philly just scored again. Oh! And guess who just picked up James Harrison last week on his fantasy team!!!!??? Sweet. That was just a...what? 60-something yard TD scamper.
So this could end up being a pretty interesting weekend. Meanwhile, my buddy keeps texting me from Tulsa telling me there are more hot women there than any poker tourney he has EVER been to. Great. Well, I'm married...so I am really, really glad I'm not there! But to my buddy...happy hunting sir!!!
Wanna hear about my exciting trip to the bank? Too bad. I'm telling you anyway. In gym shorts and t-shirt, I ask the dogs if they want to go for a ride.
"bark bark bark......barkkkkkkkkk"
Okay. We'll take that as a yes. Lets go then. Pile them into the car. Go to the bank. Make deposit. Okay...so far, so good. Next stop. Office Depot. For ink. For the printer. Can't remember what type I need. Call Squirrel's Dad at home. Slowly walk him through the process of figuring it out. Suddenly there is that goofy retard in the suspenders and weight belt....weight belt? These guys are lifting pens and paper all day and they need a weight belt? He is trying to 'assist me' in walking Sonny through the search for the right color code...and what he is accomplishing is annoying the fuck out of me.
"tell him to look for the........."
I just put my finger up in the air and gave him a:
"Sir! Please! I got this!!!"
Of course, what I REALLY wanted to say was:
"Hey! Dipshit...do me a favor...FUCK OFF!!!"
But I'm being nice to people these days. Softer, kinder, gentler Monkey. So I was as polite as I could be.
We figure it out. I work my way to the register, and then out the door. But not before saying "NO! I don't want cash back! NO, I am not a member of whatever stupid club you guys offer. NO, you cant have my email address and/or phone number!!!!" My gawd...these people never stop! Does anyone wonder why I have fallen in love with shopping online???
Next stop. The gym. No, silly...not to work out. To get my 'tan on!' That goes off without a hitch. Here is where the story gets good!
I pull out of the parking lot. Its around 6pm. Lots of traffic. Start down Popps Ferry Road. Come to a light. I'm stopped. Something on the front seat has captured my attention...and I miss the gap between me and the car in front of me growing...just then, a white car passes me on the shoulder and plants itself in front of me. And doesnt move. WTF? One of Squirrel's friend's playing a silly game with me? I move up to it...get very close...trying to look in the back window....
When out from the car springs this black lady about late 30's early 40's. Huh? And this is important for later...she doesnt get out and LOOK AT HER BACK END...no, no...she gets out and storms back to my car. And starts shouting at me.
[why this is important, class...is because if I HAD IN FACT hit her car...don't 99.9% of people who's car was hit, get out of their car...and immediately look at the part of their car that just got hit!??? yeahhhhhhh....exacccccctly!]
But instead of making something up...I won't, because I honestly don't know what she was saying...something about being 'close to her bumper.'
"Lady...you passed me on the shoulder!!! For what reason? Cuz you were in a hurry to get to the next red light? Are you insane? Go get back in your car lady and drive home and take your medicine!!!"
This is where I am pretty sure she said she was calling the police. Um...okay. I guess calling the police and asking them to come take you away to an insane asylum is probably a pretty good idea.
Light turns green. Cars move. Hers doesn't. She just sits there. Cars start honking. I back up about a foot. And go around her. As does the large truck behind me. I figure this is over. Whatever this was. Oh no...in my rearview mirror I see her pass the truck on the shoulder!!! Wow. Now I start wondering if this lady is packing a gun. I think about calling the police myself...and after 7 minutes wish like hell I had.
We get to the bridge...and now I watch in my rearview mirror as she passes a CAR ON THE BRIDGE!!! Which is a very strict no passing zone. Now I am starting to get a bit nervous. This lady is NUTS!
Oh...but hold on. It gets better.
Another car pulls in to the flow so I think I might be okay. But wait...why am I even worried? What have I done? Not a damn thing. Now I think I am just fearing for my safety. Then she almost kills someone, and/or herself. Imagine a two-lane road...then imagine the oncoming lane with a left turn lane breaking off from it. She attempts to pass another car...and there is just one problem. There is a car entering that turn lane from the other direction. And there is no room for another car...its her and the oncoming car...and she just avoids a head-on collision...pulling in front of the other car...nearly ripping their bumper off, and just missing the other car. Holy shit.
Now this is where I picked up my phone and started preparing to call 911. And as I was reaching for my phone...I see police lights. Oh...okay, well...thats good. At least I'm probably not getting shot. I have to assume they are after her, for her reckless driving skills displayed in the last 3 miles. But as I pull into my driveway...I find out otherwise.
Oh yeah. This went on for about an hour. And it wasn't just one cop. Oh no...half the Biloxi on-duty police department must have been dispatched to my house. I gave them my liscence and insurance stuff. A very gruff, tough sounding patrolman... J. Morgan, starts telling me I have been held for questioning due to an alleged 'accident' that took place. That I supposedly hit this lady's car. HUH!??? That is when I kind of went berserk. This is when he started threatening to 'take me to jail if I didn't shut my mouth.' I was literally told three different times that if I said another word I was getting arrested for 'disorderly conduct.'
Ever been in a situation where you KNOW you didn't do a fucking thing wrong...but also happen to know that you are up against a guy who has ALL the power, and is dying to use it? Kind of a shitty spot, huh? So what did I do? Just sat there. Fuming. But then I did another thing. I went to look at this lady's car..after they told me they found two 'scratches' on her bumper.
Yeah, I had to see this! So when I go and look at her bumper...that is when I about lost it! Two scrapes. Like the kind made from a rock hitting it. Both less than two feet off the ground. On the front of my 4Runner I have a big brush guard. Two things...it arches...and where the scratches are on her bumper...my front end wouldn't have been able to even make contact! Two...if it DID make contact...my brush guard is coated in rubber, and smooth...it would have been physically impossible for it to make scratches. This lady was nothing but a fucking liar. I am guessing she is one of these pieces of shit who drives around all day attempting to stage accidents.
Oh, at one point one of the other cops walks over and starts out the conversation with this gem:
"Well, unlike you sir, she is being very calm and not using any profanity at all....so, you can understand why we..."
That is where I stopped listening to genious. Are you kidding me? OF COURSE SHE IS BEING FUCKING CALM COOL AND COLLECTED you dumbass!!! She is perpetrating a fucking fraud! Now, if you were a guy who was being falsely accused of something you KNEW you were innocent of...would YOU be acting calm, cool, and collected? HIGHLY unlikely. If you were trying to pull a scam...would you be cursing and freaking out and looking like the criminal you are? No...duh! You would be acting exactly like this broad was.
Then I somehow managed to mention getting robbed in January, and reflecting back on how those two fucktards who came to 'assist' us in our time of need instead twisted everything that we said around, and tried to insinuate that my wife and I had 'staged' the crime. How the cops here seem to like looking for the nefarious instead of the fucking obvious! It was later told to us by our friend at the department who SAW those guys' police report and acknowledged that they wrote it up with a lot of cynicism towards us. He felt embarrassed by it. I am not including his name here. For obvious reasons. But I did tell the cops his name...and one of them decides to 'look me up' and call the guy to see if I really know him. Nice move pal. Yeah, that move backfired. Pretty sure most of you know that I never lie about my hand!
After that they did start to soften up a little bit. Then Patrolman Morgan tells me that the guy who doubted that I knew their fellow officer is trained and served for 15 years or so JUST investigating accidents. Really? Then this one should be a slam dunk! You kidding me? I offered to pull my car up to the back end of her car and let THEM decide if there was ANY WAY possible that my car could have made those 'mysterious' scratches on her bumper. They declined. Wow. Oh, but I did recieve another invitation to say ONE MORE WORD and go to jail!
Finally they left. And I went back into my house. Shaking my head. Its nice to know that this is where our local tax money is going. It sucks too, because I really like a few of those Biloxi cops. But how many times am I going to be treated like a fucking criminal in this town by the local fuzz before I finally just say fuck it and move? Whatever. Made for a pretty interesting night.
Philly is now leading 42-14. And its still the first half. Good gawd. Not sure why they let the Skins score twice. I guess the offense needed some rest...so the defense decided to let them catch a breather.
Squirrel just got home from work. Early again. Loving this new schedule they are running so everyone can make their budget numbers and management can get their Christmas bonuses. She has worked about 3 complete shifts in the last two weeks. Oh...and we got our letter today from BP. Seems everyone on the coast got money from BP...except us. And by us...I mean...the casino employees. See, somehow, they arrived at the conclusion that in times of crisis, like the BP oil spill, people turn to gambling as a form of coping. Really? I didn't notice that this summer. Did you guys? So while seemingly everyone bathed in that 20 billion bones that BP agreed to settle with our government for...the casino workers have once again gotten a big stiff DI** in the A**. Thanks BP. You too can suck my ballz! All those nice things I said about you clowns trying to do the right thing...about making things right? You can forget them. I now hate you. And will never get gas at your station for the rest of my life. YOU SUCK! And I urge ALL casino employees to do the same. CHEVRON...that is who I am down to now. EXXON, wont buy their gas because of what they did to Alaska. Shell...can't buy from them because they buy from that whack job in Venezuela. Chevron....yup...that's who I am buying from. Unless my oil field working buddy in Texas who reads this blog can point me in another direction. Sir?
Okay...there is thunder outside now. I am scared...finishing this and going to my room to hide under the covers!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Okay...by now most of you know that I finished 12th in the Main Event at the IP. Poker News has been doing an excellent job of providing updates for everyone to follow along with. So I will go ahead and congratulate Travis Lutes for winning. He played very well. And Farid...Mr. Aggressive, Mr. Never Fold to a Raise...congrats on 2nd place. A very nice guy with a pleasant demeanor, who is obsessed with the idea of owning pawn shops in Las Vegas. I ran into him with the wrong hand at the very, very wrong time. Thought I was finally going to catch him, and double up to become a huge chipleader with 12 left...instead, after raising with AK...and again getting re-raised by him...I jammed all in on him only to find that he had AA this time. And what followed was that kick in the stomach feeling we all get when we see that scenario.
So, while all I had to do was wait on three more guys to ride off into the sunset with their shortstacks...it was me who got clipped. We had 4 very large stacks, all at my table...and 8 very small stacks. And all I needed to do to wrap up the Casino Champion title, and clinch a spot in the National Championship freeroll, was to finish 8th or higher. And it all went up in smoke. That title, instead goes to Bobby Talbot, a nice old guy who used to just play cash game. He started playing tourneys this year, and is doing quite well for himself.
Earlier in this event, he got screwed on a hand that pretty much cost him the tourney. It was in the $550. He was next to me...and on a hand that he had intended to raise on, he threw out a yellow chip and said raise. But the dealer didn't hear him and ruled it a call. Another player called behind...and he started asking why they only put 300 chips out. All hell broke loose. Floor was called. I told the floor guy I heard him say raise when he made his bet...but that didn't seem to be enough to make it a raise. So he went with the dealer's version and made it a call. Bob had JJ on that hand. He got outflopped, and lost a good portion of his chips. Now fuming, he tilted off the remainder of his chips..and went nutso. Started telling people he should get his buy in back. That he would never play in another 'Sommerfeld' tournament.
I tried to talk him down from the rooftop. Told him that I did think he was right, that he got a bad ruling, but that the floor was just going by what his dealer was telling him. I told him if I won the event, I would give him back his buy in. Well, that didn't happen. But then...the following day, there he was...in his motorized wheel chair, with gold rings on every finger...and that familiar hat of his. He seemed to have cooled off. He recently requested me to be his friend on Facebook. Of course I accepted. And now he is in the Big Freeroll, and took home 3rd place money in the Main Event. So everything worked out for 'ol Bobby! Good to see.
My Day 2 started very smooth. I played 4 hands in the first two levels. AK three times, and AJ once. I won all four hands...and kept my stack right around the 140k I came into the day with. And the 60 we started with were quickly dropping off. Claudia got clipped by Garrett Jones...who limped with KK. I almost completed in the SB with Js6s...which would have gotten me into a world of hurt. Claudia checked Qs10s. The flop came down 9s-8s-5h. Gross. Claudia flopped the world, as did I if I had played the hand...and I might have lost a TON of chips right there. Claudia did..in fact, all of hers. She check-raised him. And after saying the word 'raise' he flies out of his chair and hollers 'All In!'...before she could even announce her raise amount.
As reported on Poker News...her following line was soon to become an instant classic.
"Hold on there Chicken Dick! I didn't say how much I was raising yet!!!"
The whole table, and most of the room started howling. Well, she put out enough to indicate that she was never folding. And Garrett still jammed. 'The Claw' bricked out and was out of the tourney.
Then it was Dan Walsh's turn. He had a very rough day. But he was about to be back into the thick of things...he raised my good buddy 'The Asian Sprinkler' with AQ...and dude ships on Dan. Now...you have to understand how this clown plays. He has no real ability to play poker...he is almost as bad at Hold Em as he was at Omaha the other day...but amazingly he seems to get deep a lot. Why? Maybe because he likes to stick his whole stack in there and dare you to call. Well, Dan finally did call. And was up against A3 offsuit. Flop produces three diamonds...Dan has the Q of diamonds...Sprinkler has no diamond. But he does have a 3...which flopped. Brick turn, brick river...and Dan was back to being short again.
On either the next hand...or a couple after that...he moves all in behind a raiser...and finds that he is up against AK with KK in his hand. And does the guy hit an ace? No. He just flops a royal flush draw...and then hits the diamond on the river to whack Dan. Gross.
Moving along. I would raise under the gun with AQ. Sprinkler moves all in. I sit there, seething. Hmmm. My raise was 18k. His all in was 85k. In my stack lived 150k. Didn't seem like a good time to call. But I was also growing more and more sick of this guy...and my desire to bust him was building by the second. But I decided to wait.
A few orbits later, with 28 players remaining...and 27 getting paid...I raised UTG again...this time with 99. The guy on the button flatted my raise. And then 'Kamikaze Face' did it again...jamming all in. I had already decided I wasn't folding if he did it again, so I wasted no time in calling him. The button folded. I was up against AJ. I held. And I let out a rare show of emotion after whacking an opponent. I am usually super subdued after eliminating someone, especially on the bubble, but I was so happy to punch this guy out. Snnnnnnap!
So, we were in the money. Time for a re-draw. On the day, we re-drew for seats three times. I never left my table...and on two of them, never left my seat. Pretty whacky.
The next hand worth noting was when I busted TJ Cloutier, sort of a long-time dream of mine. He raised UTG...and I look down at AA on the button. Now TJ played with me all day the day before, and I know that if I had re-raised him right there...I had a very good chance of watching him fold, which would bring me no joy at all. So I decided to go into sniper mode. I smooth called. We went to the flop heads up. Flop comes K-Q-4. He bets out 90k. And leaves 280 behind. I decide with the straight draw out there and two spades...I better not get too cute, and raised to 200k. He snap calls. Hmmm. The turn brought a 4...and I knew that was good news for me, especially if he flopped two pair with KQ. He moved his final 80k into the pot and I called. He turned over KJ...and nodded as he saw my AA and commended my play. Thank you sir. Good game.
The other one I was trying pretty hard to knock out was Garrett Jones. This guy is...well, its hard to explain. He has been dropping messages on my Facebook now for months, without ever knowing who he is...it got damn annoying. He posts no picture on his profile. But then people would send me emails telling me things about him...who he is, what they know about him, etc. And then finally, Michael Hallen posted his picture on my Facebook wall. Ahhh ha! Busted. And this whole event he keeps popping up at my tables. Always making me the one guy who he seems to have to 'out-do' for some damn reason. He busted me out of a $180 sng to lock up my seat in the first week when my AA went down to his Q10...and didn't stop yapping about it.
It's one of those weird situations where you feel like you arent SUPPOSED to dislike the guy for some reason? But sitting at his table was sheer torture. Pretty sure everyone at the table was holding an imaginery effigy of him in their mind that they were doing things to...lighting it on fire, slicing it with knives, running it over with a car...they had to be. I could just look around the table and guage everyone's feelings by the looks on their faces everytime he was yammering. Even my iTouch couldn't save me from him. He was doing a LOT of raising on the bubble. And he was doing a LOT of showing bluffs to the table...all things that were doing anything but endearing him to his tablemates.
A couple of times...in an attempt to just slow him down...I shoved all in over the top of his raises...to which he folded after a pre-planned period of tanking that was all too predicatable and obviously rehearsed. He has a few very distinct tells that I won't reveal here...but lets just say, I knew when I could and couldn't take a pot away from him.
I will give him credit though, he is fairly effective at switching his game up...keeping his opponents on their toes. Limping with big hands a lot, though I'm not sure he has the ability to get away from those hands if they blow up on him post-flop. And he has got some impressive results in the past...so he is no jackass that needs to be summarily dismissed. But he is incredibly annoying to listen to at the table. I think he would make a psychologist a lot of money. If I had to pick one field to go into other than this gig, I think that would be one of the professions I would look at. I find humans and the way they behave to be quite fascinating. And feel like I have gotten pretty good at being able to pinpoint a lot of the reasons why they are the way they are. Occasionally I will openly diagnose a fellow player at the table...and find them looking back at me, blinking...with a bit of shock on their face, followed by something like:
"holy shit Monkey...how did you know all that?"
People have windows, windows into their souls...and sometimes I like to crawl into them...and check out what's inside. A lot of times, just to see what cards they are holding...but other times, to see what they are, who they are...and what makes them tick.
Yeah, well...back to Garrett. No sooner did he look up at payouts and notice that if one more person went out we would all make another $700...and utter the phrase, "Okay, I am going to just sit back and chill until one person goes out" then he limped in with K10...or maybe he raised very light...I know that I almost called with K9d. Travis Lutes called in the BB with J8. The flop came down 9-8-8 and if I had played the hand...after Travis checked...and Garrett bet, I would have surely raised right there...so thank god I didn't.
But...it didn't quite go down that way anyway. Travis checked to him...and he shoved all in...for about 350k! Why? No clue...but Travis simply said call...and it was all over for Garrett.
Now the rest of the tourney is pretty meaningless, because you know how I went out. I really, really wanted to make that Final Table...for a lot of reasons. It would have been back to back final tables in circuit events. It would have been 3 out of my last 4 main event final tables. It would have been 4 cashes out of the last 5 mains. And of course...I would have locked up that National Title thing. It would have also gotten us some more money for the down payment on a house that Squirrel so desperately wants...as do I. And after how Kai and I were treated on Saturday...it would have felt nice to go out a big winner.
But, it wasn't meant to be. Not this time anyway. But I did move up to 6th overall in the chase that has the top 36 clinching a seat. I was looking on the WSOP site a little while ago..and found something I found to be shocking to me. CLICK HERE and check out where I am in All Time WSOP circuit cashes. Holy smoke! So now I am motivated to play every single event!!!
Watched the final table of the WSOP Main in Vegas. Really hoped Dolan could finish higher than he did..but still, 1.8 million is nothing to sneeze at. Wasn't crazy about how he played the JJ hand...not sure if his intention there was to check-raise Cheong on the flop. But as aggressively as the guy was playing, I could see just flatting with JJ...but when the flop came 10-high, there is no way I'm not firing out a huge bet on the flop. And if Cheong folds there...or to his all in on the turn...things may have turned in a different direction for John. But Cheong certainly did a remarkable job of donking off those chips with his A7 move against Duhammel's QQ. It was a pretty good final table...all good players...a definite sign that the better structures are assuring us of seeing better players getting deep now.
Okay...I know you all wanted to see these pictures...and Eric Butler from Image Masters has sent me over the whole folder of pictures from this past event...and here for you all to see, and make fun of me later, are the pictures from our 'dress up day' at the IP. Enjoy!
Kai Landry, in his LSU jogging suit...and 'too-many-bloody-mary's' facial expression after just having stepped away from his wife-beating redneck husband down at the Windy Lane Trailer Park.
Yes, that is me. Yes, Squirrel did do my nails. And my toe-nails. And yes...to the people who blew up my Facebook saying I look a bit like Annette Obrestad...I can't totally disagree, though I would say I have much fuller, sexier lips!
A lot of people were lining up to take our picture...so I understand, there will be NO HIDING from this day!!! Hey, it's all good!
After being denied entry into the Ladies Event...Kai-eisha and I decided to sit down and play a $180 SNG together. I went out early...then sat and watched LSU beat Bama...while Kaieisha ended up winning/chopping it with two other boys.
Thanks to everyone who turned out for the event at IP. The fields were much better than those in the past three years. I think the IP has now finally got something to build on...and hope the WSOP gives them another event next year.
I don't know what my plans are right now. Maybe sit and home and chill for the rest of the month, try and win the PCA trip...go out and buy 'Call of Duty: Black Ops' and make love to my couch all month. Maybe actually go buy a new couch...as the one we have makes my whole back and neck hurt.
I think its going to be hard to go over and play the event in New Orleans when there is so much riding on this WSOP thing, and Harrah's Atlantic City has a big event at the same time. And apparantly, I haven't quite proven to the 'powers that be' that I can be trusted to be allowed back into the World Series at Rio yet. Its my ongoing struggle...and frankly, its gotten real irritating. But it is what it is...and while I know that I am fine...there is that dark element that wont seem to just go away...it lays, waiting to strike. Waiting to be the guy who 'got Monkey busted' again. For good maybe. I never thought, in a million years...that I would ever face such scrutiny, such pressure, in a game. A game where I and all my other fellow players provide the money that creates the very jobs that are held by the people who seem to go out of their way to create, or at least perpetuate, controversy. To sit and really break it down...and analyze the lunacy of it, will drive a sane man crazy.
But...I will continue to be a good little lemming. Walking in my zombie-like state...to each event...plunking down my buy in, with 20-30% juice attached...pay my 'dealer appreciation' add on on top of it...and try to keep beating the variance. Marching towards that ultimate goal...of finally being allowed back into a place (Rio) that I was never thrown out of in the first place...to achieve my one goal in poker...to win a bracelet, to win the kind of money that will allow me to make money AWAY from the table...to achieve something few can say they achieved, to make my family proud, to only play 20% as much as I play now...and to not have to worry about the snipers who are out there trying to assissinate me every time I step foot in a casino. (figuritively, not literally....I hope!)
Okay...this ridiculously long blog entry is now over.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Okay, first of all, I wish to thank all of you for your tremendous support and feedback regarding the failed attempt by Kai and I to play the ladies event and raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. And for those of you wondering 'where are the pictures?' yes, yes...I hear your pleas, and Eric from Image Masters has quite a collection of photos of that. Along with many others. So when the event is over...and he sends me a bunch of them...I will post a lot of them on here.
Yesterday was Day 1 of the Main Event. I was very surprised and pleased with the turnout. 270 players teed it up. I had a very decent table. My buddy Don Norman was in seat 1. Chip Irvin was in 2. Adam West...a kid who final tabled the first event here was in 3. George Bronstein was in 4. Seat five would be occupied by several players...including BJ McBrayer, 1st event winner Aaron Brant but which started with Damjon, a.k.a 'The Crazy Serbian' or TCS for short. Doc Stukes was in the 6 seat. In the 7-hole was TJ Cloutier. I was in 8...and the guy in 9 immediately gave his whole stack to Chip with a preflop all in holding KK to Chip's AA.
Starting out with 40k should have ensured Chip a long day at our table...but he would end up being the 2nd player out. After that early double up, he kind of endured a shitstorm...but then got in a pretty big stack still with JJ against Doc's AA when it should have been obvious that JJ's were no good. I personally folded JJ twice yesterday preflop...once when a Jack hit the flop and I would have felted two players...but hey, you have to fold when you KNOW you are behind and its your whole stack on the line.
I've been very critical of TJ Cloutier in the past as most of you know, for a variety of reasons. One being that in the three tourneys I had played with him he had been very mean to me...as well as to other players. I just didn't think the man was deserving of any respect that I had to offer. Well, in fairness, TJ was actually very classy yesterday...and treated me with a lot of respect. If that is because of my recent run, I'm not sure. I do notice though...throughout the entire poker 'circle' that when I am running good its like night and day how the other players act towards me. I can't tell you how many more laydowns I am getting from other players right now after they say something like "Okay Monkey...I am only laying this down because its you." I like that.
So yeah...not that its probably the #1 thing on his bucket list of things to get done in this lifetime, but TJ earned quite a bit of respect from me yesterday. As a person.
The Crazy Serbian would hit me for a couple of suckouts in big pots. And I would hit him a couple times. We had a pretty solid table all day long. I managed to hover around the starting stack of 20k for most of the day. It was an extremely long day...one of those days where a lot of mental work was required, so at the end of the night I was pretty exhausted. It kind of sucks, but they have us coming back at noon today. Not sure why, since its a 3-day tourney and we only have 60 players left. With the blinds at 1500/3000 it's not going to take us very long to get down to the Final Table I wouldn't think...getting to the money should only take an hour or two I imagine.
1st place for this Main Event is $95k. Cashing 27th is good for $3200. Clearly not my goal here. My goal is to Final Table this thing...I'm not sure where I need to finish to lock up the 'Casino Champion' thing for IP...and lock up a seat into the National Freeroll...but I know that Aaron Brant has 77.5 pts. So I need at least 27.5. I got 40 for 6th in Chicago. So there is a chance that 8th place would get it done. But in reality, I am not going to be happy with anything but first place. Period.
I head back with 140k. You can click HERE for chip counts heading back to Day 2...as well as finding tournament live updates. Its on Poker News. They do a really nice job with their updates. I've got a couple good players on my table...and I am the chipleader at my table...which is nice. Dan Walsh is at my table.
Before my initial table broke yesterday, I got into a monster hand with this kid Adam West...no not the Mayor of Quahog on Family Guy...and no, not the actor who plays Batman. Just a 25 year old kid with lots of internet experience, not much live game time, and a ton of attitude. Him and Doc mixed it up several times...and he also had TJ on edge a few times. Well, he found the wrong time to get cocky with me.
I raised in early position with AK. He called from the SB. I had been on a bit of a nice run. Coming back from dinner break sitting on 25k...I found AA and KK, both times behind raisers...and picked up nice pots when both folded to my re-raises. I got it up to about 38k...then on a limped pot started by Don Norman...I checked the 500/1000 blinds in the BB with 66. The flop came 6-10-Q. I checked. Don bet out 5k. The 2nd guy called. I raised to 15k. Don folded, the other guy moved all in for another 2500. He turned over 10's. Shit. That hurt.
That same guy would later show me a bluff in a hand where the pot had gotten pretty big. He is now on my radar of people I most want to bust. Preferrably right near the bubble.
Well, I recovered from the set over set hand...getting my stack back up to around 60k. So when the flop came out A-4-5...and the kid checked to me, I bet 8500 into a 12,500 pot. He starts asking me 'how much you playin behind?' I have started to really hate that question. I think it started with that punk up in Chicago, who would ask this after EVERY DAMN person bet into him. Or was that in Atlantic City? I don't know, but I remember that kids face. I know that 90% of the time its just an angle shoot, to see how uneasy you are supposed to get at the question. But to me, its a joke.
I suppose another reason it irritates me is that due to my raging OCD and ADD....I always know almost exactly what every player has in their stack. I think you should always TRY to know, ballpark, where everyone is at with their chip count. It helps you to play better against them, as far as what you bet against them...how much value you give to their bets, etc.
So this kid...ugh...when he asks what I am playing behind, I just look down at my beautifully lined up chips, which I had been working on for some time now...and sighed, and just told him "A lot, okay?" To which TJ kind of snickered. He persisted. So finally...I started stacking the chips up and giving him an idea of what I had. Somewhere around 58k. And upon concluding with my counting he says..."Okay, I'm all in."
No way in hell I was giving him credit for anything better than AQ. Maybe AJ. No way he had two pair, or a set. I had no problem snap calling him. And he did, in fact turn over AQ. The ran out clean...and I just got up, asked the dealer to do the math for me...and went to the bathroom. When I got back they were still making the transfer so I missed nothing. That got me up to around 110k...and I was feeling damn good!
It wasn't long after that when they broke our table. The kid came over and attempted to make nice with me. And in fairness, we had gotten along all day. I just told him, as we were leaving our table...that I think he is a talented player...but that his cockiness is going to maybe work against him, especially against the older players. I told him to trust me...I knew from experience that acting cocky just makes people unnecessarily gun for you...and that isn't always a good thing. He took it well, and thanked me for the advice, and asked if we might sit down some time and talk some more. I was happy to oblige. Wished him luck and went to my new table. He would bust out shortly after moving.
My new table? Oh boy. Remember the Asian Sprinkler? From the Omaha tourney? Guess who was in the 5 seat with me in the 6 seat? You got it. And he had a ton of chips. In fact, there were a LOT of chips on the whole table...and now, suddenly my 105k didn't feel so good. And then...after sitting down I pick up QQ on the 3rd hand. Sprinkler limps in for 1600. I raise to 6000...knowing that this clown will call a lot of raises...I want to make this one sting. Well, then this lady just shoves 38k. WTF???
Doesn't re-raise...like a lot of 'good' players would do with AA or KK...just jams. Sprinkler folds. And I am left with a decision. Hmmm. Damn. That shove feels like either JJ or AK. And I don't want to see AK. I finally decide to call. And she has KK. Shit. The board runs out all rags...so I would have been good against AK. Now I was down to 70k. But I wasn't panicking. I would whack a guy with AQ vs. his AJ. Then I picked off a couple more players.
Then the guy on my left...who might be one of the worst players I have ever seen get this deep in a Main...donks off about 35k to me when he limps utg for the 100th time...and lets me see a free flop with 9c7c. I flop a flush draw and a gut shot...and lead out. He calls. I turn a Kh. And check. He checks, giving me a free river....5 of clubs. Zing! I bet out 10k. He calls. I win.
Now he is steaming...and suddenly becomes overly annoyed with me pecking away on my iTouch. Which...is me searching for music mostly. He asks the dealer to call the floor. He does. He tells the floor he is 'uncomfortable' with me typing on my device. That he wants me stop.
FLOOR: "Sir, if he is not in a hand...he is perfectly entitled to be surfing the internet or text messaging. And if he wants to make a phone call he has to step away from the table." And he left. I didn't say a word to the guy. What a crybaby.
The Sprinkler...this guy is a trip. Watched him build a pretty big pot then bluff the river all in....and show 3-6 off...which was total air. I guess he likes to gamble. I mean...I can't stand the guy...and his face freaks me out...he reminds me of those kamikaze pilots in WWII who know they are going off to die...don't care, and have that look of sheer determination on their face. But I have to hand it to him a little...he's pretty balsy. And I am guessing he didn't just build up that chip stack being a total donk. He is 2nd in chips coming back today. But I do know this; guys who play like him don't usually make it to the final table. Because its not in their repetoire to change gears. And when you are getting into big hands late in a tourney...the other guy almost ALWAYS has a top ten hand...and you aren't usually going to bluff that guy out of a hand with crazy moves.
Yeah I was happy to get the night over and get the hell away from that last table. It was full of mutants. To bag up 140k I felt pretty good. I head back today with a good seat draw....table 22, seat 5. Chipleader at my table. Couple players there I am pretty familiar with, Dan Walsh, Kevin Calenzo, and Bridget Fredericks.
It also felt good to go to Waffle House with my buddies Charlie 'Smoke' Oliver and Tim Hebert...before coming home to my anxiously awaiting dogs...and sleeping in my own bed with my wife by my side. So much better than being out on the road.
Guess that is it. Time to go get after it again.