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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

End of the Month Update!!!

Greetings sports fans! So yeah...November has been one big, huge kick in the jimmy for Senor Monkey. All the games I needed my favorites to win, they basically lost. Alabama goes and loses to LSU in a must-win game...then...with Auburn looking like Vandy and trailing 24-0...I don't know WHAT in the hell happened this weekend. But I did get to enjoy about three hours of listening to BG Lanoix spout off about it. As much as I like that kid, he can really be annoying sometimes!

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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

MONKEY

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