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Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Promising Day...down the tubes...

I am going to exercise the 'dangling carrot' theory on all of you today...wherein you tune in to find out just what in the hell happened with today's Ladies Event...that Kai Landry and I both pledged to play in. I will leave you hanging and discuss the last two days first.

This is really becoming a disappointing trip. Well, can't really call it a trip I guess since I live here. Okay, this is becoming a disappointing 'event' how's that?

I pulled the 'hat trick' yesterday...that is, playing all three of the tourneys on the daily slate. Nooner, $345....one of the most annoying tables of all time. Well, in fairness, it wasn't actually the whole table. Just one guy. And we were all equally annoyed by him.

He was that guy who thinks everything he says is witty or funny. Every third sentence was followed by a cheesy wink. Every hand was preceded by a tutorial on why or why he should or shouldn't play the hand. I've never been more grateful for BOSE and iPod. Picture a guy from Philly...Italian, short...wearing a skully that didn't match the rest of his outfit. This was our guy.

I lost that tourney. In level 9. Flopped top pair with a flush draw...and the original raiser calls my all in with AK. Just overs. But he'd hit. Why wouldn't he? And your asking if my all in was a considerable amount, right? Yes...yes it was. And no...no I didn't hit my draw. I've missed nearly every draw for the last four days.

One funny thing worth mentioning did occur at the table. I had a guy in the 1-seat...really nice guy, who used to be a pilot for United. We were discussing things we hated about flying...and he told us he once booted 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' and his skank of a wife off his plane one time. Apparantly, the flight attendant instructed 'Dog' to put his seat in the upright position prior to taking off...and his wife snapped at her:

"You don't talk to HIM! You talk to ME!!!!" Words were exchanged...Captain was alerted to the ruckus...and next thing you know...LAPD was swarming the airport and Dog and his lovely missus were being taken from the plane and arrested for Disturbing the Peace. Or Disorderly Conduct. Something like that. I thought that was pretty sweet. Who are these people...and where do they get off thinking they are anything special?

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Laying here checking the Live Updates from Rio to see how are boy John Dolan is doing in the Main Event. It's really looking like they are going to be playing all night. They lost the 9th guy pretty early...then the 8th guy about an hour or so later...but havent lost anyone in 2 or 3 hours now...dragging along with 7 players still left...and now Dolan is the shortstack...after starting the day 2nd in chips. Kind of have a feeling he must really be card dead. And with Grinder playing what seems to be super aggressive final table poker...he is probably not in any position to be trying to assert himself as the big dominator...and just content to lay back and wait for some hands to come his way, or situations to present themselves...like someone slamming a huge bet into him when he happens to wake up with AA or KK. Thats always a nice thing to happen at the final table!

A lot of people went out there with John...like Tyler Smith, Omar Hickary, David Diaz...and a bunch others. I hope they end up having a reason to REALLY celebrate!

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Pretty shitty day in college football, as Alabama had its title chances all but doused as they led LSU all day long...but a couple big plays by the Tigers put them up 10 with 5 minutes left...and the Tide couldn't catch back up. Sucks. Meanwhile, my Huskies were getting pounded by Oregon. Sigh. Texas is in danger of going from the BCS Title Game to not even making a bowl...as they fell to 4-5 with a crushing defeat by Kansas State. Auburn stayed unbeaten...thumping Chattanooga...and now, more and more its looking like an Auburn vs. Oregon title game...unless, of course Bama can ruin their season by beating them in Tuscaloosa. Then maybe you get an Oregon vs. TCU or Boise St. title game. Nice TV ratings with THOSE matchups, right?

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In yesterday's 4pm tourney...I bought in after busting the nooner...then had to sit and wait to be seated. As you walk into the tourney room at I.P. there is about 120 tables. But for some reason, there is only about 40 dealers or so...so with the decent turnout in yesterday's nooner, 377 I think....despite there only being 7 tables in the 4pm tourney, I went in as an alternate.

I waited, and waited some more...and finally got to play...with the blinds just going up to 100/200, and only 5000 chips. I lasted til about 6:45pm. I don't even remember how I lost. Who cares? I lost.

But now I was in time to get to the 7pm tourney...and ON time. I had 5 women on my table...and four guys whom I had never seen before. Ever. Oh boy. Within 5 minutes I had developed an intense dislike for my whole table. Three of the ladies were very nasty. One of them actually looked like a troll. Very unusual looking woman...short, dumpy looking...with this curly hair that looked like she was wearing a mop on her head...and she had the voice of a munchkin. It was totally freaking me out. And if you raised her BB...she would shoot you this icy glare.

About this time I started hitting EVERYTHING. Raise with 99, get min-re-raised by one of the grouchy ladies...call...flop 10-9-6...check, she checks....turn Q...bet out...she calls. River A...bet out big. She calls. Never see her hand. 10-10...guy raises utg. I flat in the SB. Flop comes 10-8-4. I check. He bets. I raise. He re-raises. I raise him AGAIN. He goes all in. He has 77. Good bye. I get AA at 100-200. Four limpers. I make it 525 on the button. Four of them call. Flop comes A-2-4. Rainbow. Okay. Doubt I was called by 3-5. I lead out. One guy calls. Turn is....mmm...don't remember. I bet. The guy goes all in. I show a set of aces, he mucks his card before the river hits...oh yeah, turn was a 5...so a 3 on the river and he would have chopped the pot with me. Whatever, his cards were buried deep in the muck. See ya. And no 3 on the river anyway.

By the end of Level 3...after starting with 3000 chips...I had 23,000. It was awesome. Running hot like that is such a rush. But things would flatten out. Still, I had enough chips to get deep...as I tend to sit on chips when I get them.

Made the money (paying 18 with a turnout of 169) and was really feeling like I was going to win the nightly again. But things would turn bad. Tried to steal on the button one time with J10...and ran into a 'priced in' situation against AA. Ooops. Got down to 11,500 at 1500-3000 and thought I was going to go out 16-18th somewhere..but then I started jamming a few times...and before I knew it I was back up over 30k.

We got down to 11. Two away from going over to the 'disco stage' for the Final Table. $4300 for first. I wanted this one! But then...I get derailed, by the shortbus guy.

Yeah...I called him 'the shortbus guy.' This bozo had just finished serving a one round penalty for not betting the nuts in last position on the river. Heads up in the blinds...the clown turns quad jacks...and simply calls the SB's bet. Which is fine, I guess if you are setting up a huge play on the river. But the SB checked the river...and he checked behind. Huh!??? His excuse, you are wondering?

"Ohhhh wow....I thought there was another card coming!!!"

Um....after the river? Yeah...I guess we can go ahead and put a 'Lake' out there for ya Sparky! WTF?

So this dillweed limps at 2000/4000 with 10-9 and 24,000 chips. It folds around to me in the SB...and I shove all in with A10 suited. BB folds. But shit for brains snap calls. Oh...by the way, I had him covered by 1200 chips. Despite being dominated as bad as possible, our dealer Matt did him the right way, slapping a nine on the flop....leaving me with just an ace to hit now. Which I wouldn't hit. Son of a bitch! And I had JUST ordered another round of Red Snappers. I was out on the next hand.

Went and got my huge payout of $311 and left with my buddy Charlie "Smoke" Oliver, who is down for the weekend...and currently out with my wife at 'Claw's' house playing big deuce and other 'things' I didn't feel like being a part of tonight. Smoke and I hit Waffle House after leaving...enjoying a nice WH experience, until this very large black woman with what looked like a pile of neon tubes shooting out of her head (very strange hair-do) started asking us our opinion about something involving her kid...or someone else's kid? I couldn't understand what she was saying...and Charlie was closer to her (thank god!) so he was the unfortunate recipient of this lady and her sob story.

I had no clue what she was after. A contribution? Compassion? Wisdom? Cigarette? No idea. And lucky for me....Charlie finally turns away from her...looks me in the eye and asks:

"Yo, big Willy, you really to cut?"

Hell yes!!!! Lets go!!!! And we did. Never did get the explanation on what exactly she was looking for.

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So. You made it this far like good little blog readers. Congratulations. I am now prepared to give you the much-coveted carrot you have been chasing.

I have had a very memorable year. In January my home got robbed, and with it almost ALL of my disposable income. The next 8 months were incredibly stressful, both in poker and on the home front. I kept getting deep in big tourneys, and kept not cashing anything decent. Was only winning nightly's, which really don't advance you much as a player.

The guys who robbed my house were finally arrested, some of them are still sitting in jail, and the others are awaiting trial. I will likely never get back what they stole from me...but what they will lose, their freedom...is far more than what they took from me. Money can be replaced, and finally...it has.

I have been very fortunate this fall. It started with a nice little run in Tunica, where I won 3 nightly survivor tourneys in a row...then the Mega into the Main Event...and missed the Final Table up there by 3 spots. Got back to Biloxi, was finally welcomed back to the Beau Rivage...and made the Main Event...got hot on Day 2...then made the Final Table and had a good showing there. Went to Borgata...and cashed up there in the Main Event as well. And then of course...went to Chicago...final tabled the first thing I played, a Sunday night nightly tourney...and then made the Final Table in the $1600 Main Event...finishing 6th.

Could things get any better? Well, sort of. Got home...started up at the I.P...and last Saturday won the nightly! Then on the next day, defending my Omaha H/L title from last year, when it was just the IP Classic...and it was the 4pm tourney (so no ring) I won the noon Omaha H/L tourney...winning my first WSOP ring, after 4 second place finishes in ring events.

Sure, the last 4 or 5 days have sucked. Getting deep a lot, getting run down. Or missing huge draws. Or getting sucked out on. Whatever...all I've wanted to do is make ONE MORE final table and try to lock up the All Around Casino points title for this event, and lock up a spot in that National Championship Freeroll that Harrahs is having in May at Ceasers before the WSOP starts.

So I started thinking about it. Hmmm...its November, and I really haven't done anything FOR anyone this year...well...in a charitable sense. And every year I always TRY to do something. So I was scrolling through my Facebook wall and reading everyone's posts...and happened upon Cincere Mason's. A lot of you may know Cincere. I have known her for a long time...I think as long as I've been playing poker...when she was at the Grand down the street when they had a poker room there.

Cincere has been battling...and battling hard...with cancer. Coming and going from work. But staying super positive. How much more can you respect someone who has cancer but keeps on fighting and keeping their head up and refusing to give in!?? I don't think you can respect anyone much more.

So I started thinking about what I could do...and it dawned on me that the Ladies Event was the day before the Main Event...and the only other tourneys on Saturday were Mega Satellites...and I already had my seat locked up. Hmmm.

So I talked to a few guys, including Kai Landry...about maybe dressing up as ladies, and playing the womens tourney. But all of us who played would give ANYTHING we won to the National Breast Cancer Foundation...and solicit donations from all the other players while playing. Now...understand...it is not my dream to be a woman! And I get no special thrill from dressing like one. In fact, I have never done it before.

But I have gotten to be pretty friendly with a LOT of you ladies out there who play poker...and many times in the past some of you have joked that you would love to see me play in your event. So I thought maybe a lot of those same ladies would get a kick out of seeing me in drag and playing in their event. So I decided to pursue it.

I wasn't about to ambush the tourney and just show up, blindsiding all the tourney people. Especially these days when I am trying very hard to improve my image in the poker community. So what did I do? I went straight to the guys who are running the tourney. One of them, the tourney director...the other, the poker room manager for the I.P. And I was given the green light to play the event.

I was pretty excited. Thought I had recruited 4 or 5 other guys...but in the end, it was only Kai who had the ....um....well, nerve we shall say, to transform himself into Kai-eisha for the day and join Willamena as we set out on our little 'mission.'

I met Squirrel at Wal-Mart two nights ago...and was later joined there by Kai...and we spent two hours trying on all kinds of outfits. I was tired and SO ready to leave...but she wanted to get it right. Then the next day she went and spent $60 on makeup. Kai picked me up a wig for $40, and a cool scarf with the Breast Cancer Awareness logo on it. We were all set to go.

I woke up today at 10am. She immediately started barking at me to get ready. Shave this, groom that! Come on Souther! She was all over me...getting me ready for this. She spent almost 3 hours getting me ready...and it was starting to look like I was going to be late...not real late...but a little bit. Before she painted my nails I ran around getting everything I would need, including a big manilla envelope that I addressed to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The plan was that Kai and I were both going to write checks for $200 each. Ken Milam, instead of dressing up and joining us playing, had decided to write a check for $600...which were bounties of $300 each on Kai and I's head. Both checks were to go to charity. And on the drive in I texted AND called both guys at the IP so I could tell them my plan and ask that they announce it to the players and help us to raise more money for the cause...and also to make sure the ladies who didnt already know were made aware that Kai and I weren't playing because we wanted to crash their party and/or win their money. That anything we won would be going to charity.

But neither of them answered my call. Or returned my text. That should have been my first 'sign' that something wasn't right.

I arrived at 2:15. Kai joined me on the 7th parking level at 2:20. We walked in to the poker room at 2:25. The first level in the tourney had 5 minutes left in it. The catcalls began...and the whistling...and the laughter. One of our buddies saw us coming in, loved it and wanted to walk us in, one on each arm. It was great. Everyone was having fun with it.

Then the shit hit the fan. We go to register. There are three ladies working at the desk. And all of them, almost in unison...all say:

"Oh sorry guys, registration is closed for the Ladies tourney."

What? How? It's only 25 after 2? Since when is registration not open for at least two levels?

I don't think they were 'playing dumb' I just think they were all told that for 'special reasons' they were being forced to close registration. It might have even happened the minute they saw us walk in. So with 3 minutes left in level 1...the floor guy working the tourney told us that "per Gaming regulations, the tourney director reserves the right to close registration as early as 1 level into the tourney" and despite the fact that not ONE single tourney at the IP has been closed to registration ONE level into play in the last FIVE years...for some reason, this one was.

So now...here comes one, then two....and a couple more....ladies, to register for the tourney. And they are turned away. Some of these ladies called from their hotels asking how much time they had to get into the tourney...and were told that they had an hour. Mmmm hmmmm.

It wouldn't take an IQ of more than, say....12 to figure out just what was going on. I asked one of the floor guys who I have a pretty good relationship with if what was going on was already pre-determined.

"My official response is no comment, Monkey. You know my position here, and you know what I can and can't say...but I know that you aren't stupid, either. That's all I have to say."

Yeah, in other words...we were told we could play...for all the right reasons...but then, after spending over $200 putting together an outfit...and 4 or 5 hours invested in making it happen, we arrive before Level 2 had even started, and get turned away.

There is a lot I could say. I could spew venomous words about how mad I was, about how much we feel like we got screwed. But why? Why bother? When one of them FINALLY conveyed to me that 'a few women had come to us and expressed outrage that you guys were going to be allowed to play' I was at least glad to see that he was at least taking SOME accountability for creating this artificial 'reason' for freezing us out.

Here is my best editorial take on this deal. As we all know, this country has become a little TOO politically correct. And there are people, also, who not a day goes by where they arent out there looking for something to whine and bitch about. Women can play in our events to their hearts delight. Right? But we try to play their event and its a big deal? Why? Granted..and I hope you believe me here...I have watched those all-women events...and you couldnt PAY ME to play one of those things on your typical day. I'm not the guy who is trying to go against the grain and piss people off by rocking the boat. Oh no. This wasn't like Shaun Deeb and those guys crashing the Ladies Event this summer at Rio just to prove that they could.

No, this was much different. This was something we were doing as a sincere gesture to the women who have suffered from the horrors of breast cancer. And having someone who is very dear to us that we were able to honor with our efforts made it all the more special for us. I had to take my 'bravery' pills before leaving the house...as did Kai, I was told...to muster up the courage to walk into that place decked out as a woman.

And when we arrived, we were very warmly greeted by almost everyone. After being turned away, we walked over to the area where they were playing the women's tourney...announced to them what we had intended to do, told them of our individual donations, and of Kenny Milam's planned bounties on us for charity...and that we were going to try and raise even more from the other players present today. They were all smiling...and close to 20 of them asked to take their pictures with Kai and I. They were also pissed that we weren't being allowed to play. Also anry were the women who were told they could get in for an hour and then COULDNT get in. So for them, Kai and I are very sorry, because I suppose its OUR fault that they didn't get to play.

So back to my editorial rant. So they approve us to play. Then a few women bitch about it. So they completely reverse course and find a way to block us at the front gate. So forget about the 93% of the women who supported it, the money we would raise, and the other women who got turned away. They don't matter right? Lets just address the concerns of those 7% who always seem to screw it all up for the rest of us! Right? Why? Why do those people always seem to win? Just like in past situations...like when we make the money in a nightly, and I am pounding red snappers...along with a bunch of other players...and there is that one dick who hates that we are having so much fun...who thinks we are a little too loud, maybe a little to rambunctuous...and decides to bitch about it.

And then...oh wow, guess who the bad guy is NOW? Yeah...and there you go. Welcome to life as the Monkey! Which is why...more and more I have gotten so much more withdrawn from my 'old self' and retracted my personality to fit what they are 'looking for' from their players. This game just depresses me more and more the longer I play it. Everyone is so concerned now with the 'political correctness' of everything. People who have known me now for 5 years or more...and know me to be the FUN MONKEY when they come to play tourneys...don't understand what they are watching now.

"Monkey, what is wrong with you now? You used to be so loud, and funny, and doing shots...and having fun. Now...its like, I don't even know you are here. Is everything okay?"

Yeah. Everything is great. Never been happier. Never been more in love with my wife. Never been happier at home. Never had more money in the bank. Yep. I'm great. Sorry...I guess I have just been slowly getting programmed by 'THEM' to be exactly what they want me to be so I can keep 'showing up for work' without having to worry about who I have offended.

Does any of this make sense?

So why bitch and cry and rant and rave and tell you I am going to do this and that and the other thing to get even with them? Why? I'm not. You know why? Because I don't have to. The good people out there...the ones I care about the most...they know what Kai and I tried to do today. And a lot of them came by to thank us for our intended efforts. We didn't lose. We lost nothing. We were coming to plunk down $100...and sit with the ladies, have a fun day of poker...last as long as we could...try to raise a little money in the meantime from our fellow players and deposit it in the envelope I brought...and if we should happened to have cashed, give whatever we won away. What did we lose? Besides our investment in our costumes, and our time spent on the project?

The answer is nothing. I am not mad. Just disappointed. Very disappointed. Now all I want to do is show up tomorrow with my 'A' game...and destroy this Main Event. Maybe even get heads up with Kai and chop the damn thing.

Yes...today was a disappointment. But I have NO regrets about what we tried to do. I hope you all either appreciated our intentions or at least got a kick out of Kai and I dressed up in drag. Now I am going to bed and getting ready for tomorrow's event...one which I am pretty sure I will be allowed to play. But just in case, I went ahead and registered early!!!

Monkey

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just one question Monk. When the registration ladies told you the tourney was closed with a few minutes left in level #1, why didn't you call Jimmy Sommerfield or the poker room manager to set them straight about your arrangement and make them say it to your face that "registration was closed"? Sounds to me like a classic case of "headline browsers" thinking they are SUPPOSED to be outraged about men playing in the ladies only event because they had read there was a bruhaha in vegas over the summer regarding the same thing. Keep your head up sir and good things will happen. peace. d. wade (aka...Lost in Kinder).

Stephanie said...

Hey Monkey,

As a woman, I think it is ridiculous that they wouldn't allow you to play in the tournament. I feel anyone who wants to plunk down their money should be able to play! As far as I know, there are no "guys only" tournaments? Sounds like discrimination to me, you should complain about that!! Those "few" women should be ashamed of themelves for complaining!!

Paul said...

Geez they didn't have the balls to say "no" when you asked days before the event.

What a joke!

I love poker but I am so glad I dont have to sit with these people and grind it out for a living.

It would make me sick.

Cincere' said...

Will, I thank you for everything ... your kind words ... your effort ... your drive to do something good ... your strength to walk in dressed as a woman to do all of this! ... thanks so much. You will be blessed because of your intent to do good although others struck you down. Peace.