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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Close...but no cigar.

Okay...I have come out of my cave. I decided to spend all day yesterday hibernating. Licking my wounds. And in the process came dangerously close to winning the $3 rebuy on Pokerstars. Yeah...after taking a bitter cooler, probably the worst idea on the planet would be logging on to an online poker site and seeing if I could make myself feel worse...but that is just what I did. But after the 3897 players were whittled down to just 63...and I picked up 99 and shoved with it...I ran into KK in the big blind. And it was over. Thanks for the $65. Bye now.

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.

Monkey





2 comments:

Matthew said...

I've been following your blog for a couple years. Congrats on you recent success! I was pulling for you in this tourney. Me and the wife know you're going to score big someday soon!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your compliments and I did not say how long I would not play in Jimmy's tourneys and I did keep my word and did not play in another one that day. Jimmy and I both live in Tunica and know each other away from tourneys. Bob