Monday, January 31, 2011

Responding to the Spineless Weasel

Oh...is there nothing greater than the asshole, spineless weasel who wants to have an open forum to throw daggers my way, but who...when push comes to shove, is too much of a coward to sign his name to his little diatribes?

Yeahhhhh.....in the spirit of KICKASS...a movie I watched last night, I bring you....MONK NINJA...who isn't quite as cool or freakishly sexy despite being only 14 as 'Hit Girl'...will still come up side your head if you get too close with yo bullshit!!!

Yes...today's cubicle hider has posted that I am screaming about censorship...yet won't post his stupid, baseless, snide, let us all know what a loser you are and how much you hate your life, ahhhhh pause to gather my breath......comment! No...you're right. My priority level on posting YOUR post...fell to the bottom of the food chain, based on some other more pressing and relavent items to talk about.

Hell, my dog being up in my bed snuggling with me and my wife right now seems a lot more interesting that trying to delve into the world of 'why Mr. Anonymous is such a hater.'

It's not that I am hiding your comments from the world. Trust me. Its just that I don't think anyone cares. And I am really big on being a MAN...something you obviously have no grasp of. Or is it just that you are terrified, because you know that I know who you are? And that I will go get in a phone booth and turn into Monk Ninja....and fuck you up??? Yeah...that has to be it.

And....you should be scared.

Today....we do little things...like go to the bank. Get a haircut. Go tanning. Work out. Charge all the electronic toys. Pack. Then...tomorrow morning...fly to Vegas. Arrive at 11:25. Rent car. Go straight to Venetian. Win the $340. Meet my buddy Charlie 'Smoke' Oliver afterwards...go get my 'Vegas' on...and then rinse, repeat, rinse for 12 more days.

While I am doing that...you will be sitting in your cubicle, at your $38,975 a year job...hating your life...wondering what you can come up with to throw at me that will make me want to trade places with you. Hahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahah.....good luck!!!!!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wow...now THAT was a trip!!!

Hahahahah...no that is NOT me hanging, dead, from my hallway...though I'm sure some of you got a little excited there for a second. At least two of you I know. I got two really...mmm, what should I label them? Snotty? Asshole'ish? Comments, anonymous actually (big shocker, as the people with backbone and character always sign their names to their shitty comments) posted that I am debating what to do with. I am tempted to post them and break them down point by point...and address each little snide remark that they made. But not today. Nope...today, I am in the middle of recovering from my trip to Lafayette...a place, that if I ever see it again, will be while driving by on my way to Las Vegas on I-10.

I am told that Lafayette is home to some of the most beautiful women in America, and that it is traditionally voted by Playboy magazine as one of the top 10 college party towns in the nation. Well...since I am now over 40...and married to what I consider to be a smokin hottie...neither of those is in my wheelhouse anymore. So...after last night's little experience in the 'CajunDome' I feel I have seen all I need to ever see in that little 'burg' in the swamp.

If you watch that show True Blood on HBO you will also know that the super creepy gay guy on there is named Lafayette, also. So....

I can't deny it...I was warned. By a lot of you. And I went in prepared. I have played at some pretty shoddy places in my life. I've done the bar poker nights. I've done the Elks club tournaments. Trust me...I've seen some shit. And after sitting through a two week stint in Atlantic City last month, not much could shock me.

Guess what? I was wrong. Totally wrong. Memo to self, and everyone else who considers themselves a 'professional poker player,' do NOT...EVER...think you can go into this kind of a situation thinking you can come out of it a better person, no matter how much good you are doing for humanity. It's just NOT possible.

Next year...if this same group of Charity Poker Tournament Carnies run this tournament...I think I will just take one of their 'Sponsor' programs on behalf of someone, maybe our website...and send in a contribution...because after last night, I am a worse poker player, and possibly human being...for that little 7 hours of driving, $120 in gas, and $320 in tourney fees I got beat up for.

I am very, very...sorry to dissappoint you with the announcement that I have no pictures to post. Because if I had taken even 10 photos, they would have been instant classics. I would likely have been contacted by TIME or LIFE magazine and offered a job as a full time staff photographer.

Now...I will try to describe this in a way that allows you to feel like you walked a mile, or at least 50 yards, in my shoes. I know for some of you it will just be impossible, since some of you who read this dont even PLAY poker...and some of you who read this really SHOULDNT be playing poker.

SIDEBAR: (and there might be a few of them here as we go) Kai Landry is back, blogging on GCP.net...and I'm very pleased. I even got a mention in his blog...."I don't have diarhhea of the fingertips like Monkey"...which left me beaming with pride. But honestly, if you check out Kai's current blog...it really underscores a lot of what us poker players go through, and what/how we feel on a regular basis. He really pinpoints a lot of things in his entry...things I've never really known how to breakdown and put in words. Good job, Kai...and welcome back to the bloggosphere!

SIDEBAR: I would like to thank the sons of bitches who run Poker Stars. I am pretty sure that due to having too little support people and too many customers, that a lot is just going right through that department. Two weeks ago, I decided to take advantage of their 'Online Blogger' Championship....which featured seven events, culminating with todays Main Event. I did everything they required. Sent them a URL of my site, and posted their stupid little logo on my page. And did I ever hear back? Hell no. So today, I email them...four hours before the Main (and final) Event was to start...detailing my concerns. I get an email back telling them it will be looked into. Oh! Thanks you jerkoffs. By the way...registration is NOW (obviously) closed for that event...and NO! I never heard back from those incomps!

Back to Lafayette. Back before I married Cheryl, I met a girl named Jill one time at some airport. She was from Lafayette. She was blonde, and had a great body. Actually, looked a lot like Squirrel. That shall be my one and only positive memory of Lafayette.

I park at the CajunDome. See lots of people wearing hockey jerseys? Hmm. Thats weird. No its not. There was a hockey game inside. Oh! I've parked 420 yards away from the correct place. The CajunDome Convention Center....an annex. Okay. I do my mini-marathon walk.

I walk in. There are five lines. All of them have one person in line. I went to the wrong line apparantly. I was in 'pre-registered online' line.' No, oops, not me, I'm the one who has to pay another $10. I am directed by the cheerful young lady to go to the other line...even though her and the other girl were standing right next to each other, and their was no one else in either line. Makes perfect sense, right?

I just realized that I probably can't share EVERYTHING I experienced that night...not sure my fingers can make it that far. I will try to focus on the major points.

The guy running the tourney was buzzing around in a hove-a-round. He knew about as much about poker as my dog. Maybe less. I had to take a phone call before I sat down, so I was polite and waited outside of the playing area...handling the call before going in to play. Well three of them were all looking at me like I was a 'scooby snack' and they were my dogs...I couldn't figure out why they were all salivating over my presence, while the gnome in the hove-a-round was knitting his brows and looking irritated with me. WTF?

Turns out, my table/seat number on my registration ticket were a farce. They were standing there, waiting to pounce...because they just sit you somewhere. Later on...when our first table broke, they had us all take a sticky pad piece of paper with a table/seat number on it...only 50% of us got to our new table and found those seats to be occupied. I literally went to four seats before I finally got one that was empty. Awesome.

The tables were basically those rectangular tables they use at arts and crafts fairs...only they customized them with poker tops. So at each table there was someone posted at the end of the table...it was weird.

The dealers? Now...this was so comical it was...well, there is no way to explain it. Of the four dealers I had...3 of them acknowledged it was the first time they had ever dealt poker in their life. THEIR LIFE! No practice. No house games. Nothing. They just volunteered. And yeah...it was obvious. And this is what sucks. As an experienced pro, obviously guys like me know all the rules and whatnot, right? Well, the trick, is to try super hard not to come off as one of those assholes who knows it all, and comes off sounding like a major prick when he is simply trying to be helpful. So I would delicately tell each dealer that I appreciated their volunteering for the event...and that I did this for a living, and would try to help them wherever possible. To not take anything personally that anyone says to them...blah blah blah. Right?

Well, here is the trouble with that. You have around 7 out of 10 morons at each table who either dont know SHIT about poker...and freely admit it, or who dont know SHIT about poker...and yet THINK they know everything about poker. Those are the ones we fear the most, right?

So...after about the first three or four times while trying to help the dealer in sticky spots...and having to battle it out with either the ones who are clueless, and think I am unnecessarily 'picking on' the dealers, or the complete assclowns who THINK they know something, but dont...and listening to them argue about something they are 100% wrong about. There is just no winning in that situation. You are simply a victim of your own experience and intelligience. Its like...how DARE you know so much about poker and try to assist some people who have admitted they don't know a THING about it.

I finally just gave up. I stuck to my vow of not drinking in poker...but...and this is a HUGE BUT...were there EVER an excuse to put it on hold...this would have been the time. Instead I took a 'happy pill' and just faded off into the background, becoming one with my chair and the green fuzz on the table.

The blind structure was an abomination. Starting with 16,000 chips was nice...with the blinds at 100/100. yeah...no green chips in play, so forget about 'switching up' your wagers. It was always a whole number...and the standard raise was about 1000. I sit down...and after playing two hands I was on spin cycle. On the first...I had 8h9h. The flop comes 10h-7h-5s. Yeah...we will call that a MONSTER flop! Open ended straight flush draw? Wow. I check with the intent to raise any bet. This guy...who, oh I wish I had taken a picture of this guy...leads out 1500. I raise it to 3500. He calls. I turn the 4 of hearts...completing my flush. He checks. I bet 6000. He just calls! I now only have about 5500 left. What in the hell. The river is ANOTHER heart...great. He checks! I can't bet now. And he turns over Jh-8c. He called me all the way down...with an EIGHT! And a gutshot. But runner runner's a better flush. Wow.

I hadn't even shaken that one off when on the very next hand...and after taking a double rebuy for $80...I pick up KK. Six people limp in for 100 and I make it 700 because is probably the smart thing to do with these mutants. I get three callers. Okay. Wow. The flop? 6s-8h-10s. Pretty good flop right? Checks to me. I bet 1500. One guy calls. Flush draw? I turn a KING...of diamonds. Nice. I bet 2000. This old guy shoves all in. Anybody folding here? Me either. What did he have? Oh just 7-9. Flopped the nut straight. Can I pair the board? Nope. Why would I? REBUY!!!!!!! And we were off!

Actually that was when I got up and did a little walk through the room. I should preface that by saying I was reaching down into my bag to retrieve my BOSE headphones...which just showed up on my doorstep three days prior (replacements)...and I had just put some new music on my iPod..and clearly I was going to need it. Right about that second, the gnome gets back on the microphone...which throughout the course of the night he was treating like a sailor treats a little 'sucky sucky 5-dollah' girl he meets on shore leave in Thailand.

"Attention all players...all headphones and music devices are not allowed in the playing area. And no cell phones either."

WHAT? I am at a charity tourney, basically being played in a barn...with dealers and floor people that don't even know the game...and their chief concern is phones and iPods? Really?

I ask the guy why they don't allow music. Ya ready?

Gnome: "Because it is a way for players to cheat! Its not my rule...its a STATE LAW...they just tell us we can't allow it."

Y'all remember when they used to try that little act in New Orleans at the Harrah's events? The 'ol 'its against the law' answer...that is sure to make EVERYONE (lemmings especially) back down at the mere mention? Until finally enough players got after them about it...going so far as to actually FIND OUT if it was (even though they knew the answer) indeed a 'law' as they were trying to insist. Pffft! Yeah...some dope from wherever their gaming regulation is comes by and decides to outlaw them in casinos because he is so stupid he thinks iPods are two-way communication devices. Yeah! No bullshit. And yeah...iPhones ARE...but contrary to their idiotic view of the technological universe...95% of the people listening to music aren't using iPhones to do it.

So now, finallly....we can use our iPods at New Orleans Harrahs. So when this guy goes into the 'Its a State Law' and 'if you ever play in New Orleans they don't allow them their either' speech...I just decided "you know what self? this isn't something I am going to win...so screw it, just move away from this gnome before you hotwire his hove-a-round and drive it off a cliff!' So...yeah, that is when I took a walk...in search of a coke...a coke that cost $3, but which the waitress didn't see fit in bringing me the whole can. Instead, I got a gigantic serving of ice cubes and just enough coke to color the cup brown. When I asked where the rest of the can was...she tells me "I guess the United Way has it." Really? Well, can I just buy a can...unopened...for $3? She 'went to find out' and comes back telling me they can only serve it this way.


I find the mobile bar in the back of the barn...which had a very nice gentleman working at it...who was only too happy to sell me a can of coke for $3. Ahhhhh...a semblance of sanity enters into the fray! Thank GOD! I tip him $2 for 'making my night.' Drank my coke, ate my pill...and was on my way to 'dealing with the madness.'

SIDEBAR: Some of you loyal blog followers might recalll the 'its a state law' bullshit I experienced at my gym in Biloxi, Planet Fitness...whenever I would go in to tan, and the new girl, full of sass and attitude, working the front desk would adamantly demand to see your goggles before she would let you tan...and if you didn't have any, INSIST that you MUST wear them...that its a STATE LAW! I am amazed by the large percentage of idiots who live among us...who, if you just tell them that something is a STATE LAW...will suddenly buckle in fear and surrender. Its hilarious!

Visit a restaurant. "Excuse me waitress, can I possibly inconvenience you by asking for a hot towel to wipe this barbecue sauce off my face and fingers?" I'm sorry sir...its a STATE LAW that we aren't allowed to provide customers with hot towels.

Just imagine the possibilities...how out of hand it can get. People are so stupid, and such followers (slang for lemmings) that you can almost get away with ANYTHING in our country just by convincing your unsuspecting victim that whatever you are doing...or trying to do...is against the STATE LAW!!!!!

Back to the Cajun Dome.

The blinds reach unbearable. We started with 300 players. And one hour after the rebuy period ended, we had 200. We went 100/100....t0 100/200.....to 200/500!!! Then 500/1000.....1k/2k.....2k/5k....5k/10k....thats as long as I lasted. Oh wait...no thats not true, I got knocked out at 10k/20k. When the average stack was 5bb's. Yes...it was the truest definition of a shovefest!

I'm in the BB with AK. First guy goes all in. Next guy goes all in. I call. I'm up against AJ and A7....and flop a king. I don't win. Nope...instead the board goes runner runner and it was a three way chop with a wheel. Unreal. That was a very large pot...although Im not sure it was going to matter. Not with that structure.

I actually started employing a pretty good strategy. We got down to 80 players. That was about the time I find out they are only paying 10 spots. But before that, the Gnome tried to convince me they were only paying 3 spots. THREE....yeah....with over 300+ players....paying three? I should have known he was wrong, after all...I'd asked him about 4 questions before that one...and he was wrong on all previous questions as well. Still...10 spots? And yeah...the payouts were top heavy as hell. 10th place paid $100. I was in for $320!!!! I needed to finish 6th or higher to pay for my trip over there.

Guys were limping for 10k...and leaving like 90-120k behind. Just stupid. Guys who wanted to see every flop. So you'd get like 4 limpers....55k in the pot! Twice I didn't even look at my cards in the SB...I just shoved. All three times I did that, they all folded. One of the times, I actually had an ace. I was starting to chip up pretty nicely...up to about 220k at one point.

On that one...where I had the ace...it was the last hand of the level...and I was all in...for another 120k to call. And thank god, I had the one and only competent dealer we had seen all night. Everyone folded. Everyone went on break. While we are on break...some 'volunteers' are swarming all over the tables and coloring up everyone's chips. Before I leave the table, I count my chips. I have 155k. When I come back from break...all my 5k chips are gone...replaced by 25k chips. And...hmmm..I'm missing 50k! Yeah. I have a mini-come-apart....and can't find a single floor person who either (a) knows what I'm talking about (b) knows how to fix the problem or (c) seems to really care.

I mean...come ON! Of all the stupid shit..you would think THAT would be one you're not going to experience. I finally...FINALLY find a guy who kind of gets it. But I have to somehow prove that I had 155k. Thank god I am smart enough to know that the dealer literally announced the amount to call my all in, he confirmed it, they gave me 50k in chips then suggested I calm down. Calm down? Hahahahah...yeapppp okay. I'll calm down, hayseed!

But then I lost 10-10 vs. A9...and then went out with AK against....an actual hand....QQ. No big deal. I was actually ecstatic to get out of there. At a time that was early enough (11pm) to allow me to get home at a decent hour.

I was almost glad I got knocked out...since on the break I heard some horror stories from past events. One of the guys I see on a lot of tourney stops...David...tells me three years ago...they still had 2 tables left at 11:30pm and the guy comes on the microphone and announces that:

"Ladies and gentleman, the state sheriff demands that we are off this property by midnight (and I found out that was STILL the case) or we get fined for every minute we are over. We still have two tables left...so we are going to skip the next two blind levels...and start making the blind levels just 5 minutes long. Good luck!"

No shit! In fact...I found out the hard way...that they were already doing declining blind levels. We went from 30 minute levels in the first four levels...to 25 minute levels...and on down. Craziest damn thing I've ever heard of. I mean...start at 10 minutes...and work your way UP if you have to! Lose all the players early...and then let the decent ones have at least a CHANCE later on!

Yeah...I did this for charity. I really did. And listening to Bill from the website talk about it...it really seemed like a great cause. So I really was being careful about not being too ugly about what I experienced. But honestly? I can see why they went from raising $67,000 two years ago to only raising $30,000 last year. It's the way they are running it. I mean, you would have to be stupid and/or at least have a money tree growing in your back yard to ever put yourself through that twice.

I was told that the guy who used to run the event....just up and DIED...two weeks before the event. And whoever they got to come in and take it over...was completely clueless. NO! I don't believe them! What was scary? That same person who told me this...also told me that this year was run a lot better than last year! Wowwww.....if I had attended last year? Without the medication I am now on? Whoaaaaaaaa.

I decided after finding out that these Acadiana folks are actually an organization that travels around the country, with their own ridiculous custom-crafted poker tables, that just round up volunteer dealers at each venue, who employs people with zero poker knowledge, then rents a venue for the bargain basement price...gets them in and out as quick as they can, cuts whatever local charity it was claimed to be for a check, and takes their carnie act back on the road....I decided after finding that out...that there has GOT to be a really good opportunity there for someone who wants to do the same thing, only do it right.

I mean, I have discovered that there are a lot of really good people in this world. I have done some fundraisers in the past, and have just been shocked out how generous people can be in a lot of various circumstances. If I took anything from this experience, it wasn't that the United Way was ripping people off. No way. In fact, that was the ONLY thing I felt good about. They had representatives there, and it was obvious they had no poker savvy among any of them. They were just there to help out, and were clearly jubilant at the turn out. I was happy for THEM. And for those who we hopefully helped out.

My bitch...is that if you are going to take on the responsibility of putting on an event...for charity...for a reputable charity, you should be held to a certain standard. I think it would be a really fun job, to get together a crew of about 10-15 people...and even sign on some of the dealers that I know...order some real, legitimate poker tables, and chips...and take to the road, doing nothing but putting on charity poker tournaments...for whatever the cause was. And really put on a great event. Really make people want to come back and play again the next year. Why put on some shabby shitshow that no one is going to come back for the next year? And in doing so, treat those people like they are unappreciated while they are there at the event?

I can't tell you how many frustrated conversations I heard players having with these 'floor' people that ended with the player being more upset. I mean...wow. You take something as easy as a poker game...and you complicate it to the point that some of these people who were just looking for a fun night out that would raise some money for the needy in their community, end up going home with a horrible taste in their mouth. And in a lot of cases, pissed off.

Well...I fully expected to leave in the frame of mind that I did. So it wasn't really all that upsetting. I was just happy that I was going to be getting home before 3am. And I had movies to watch...so I got on I-12 and just set my cruise control to 68mph. Speed limit was 70 for most of the way.

Then...as I am going across what I guess was a bridge? Traveling from Lafayette to Baton Rouge...I guess I was driving over swampland. I get pulled over! Huh! I was almost positive the guy was pulling me over for going too slow, since I was being passed by almost every car...and just didn't care. I stayed in the right lane. But it turns out...he was pulling me over for SPEEDING! Yeah! No shit! Tells me the speed limit on 'the bridge' is 60mph...and it is ZERO tolerance....no exception. No 5-10 mph leeway like most places. I apologized profusely, literally told him I was taking a nice, slow leasurely drive home...and had actually been getting lapped and was now about 5 laps down if were running a NASCAR race. He laughed at that...and ended up giving me a warning. I thanked him...and drove home...with the cruise control on 60mph!

SIDEBAR: (kind of) I don't know what to say about people from Louisiana. I know a lot of them/you read my blog...so I am careful to try not to offend. It might partially be that I am from the Pacific Northwest. I'm not sure. I sit, and with amazement, watch/observe these people and am just baffled. Half the time...they are talking and I have no idea what they are saying. I had this lady sitting next to me...probably in her late 50's? Who..if you just looked at her...she would be, well, fairly attractive for her age. Had those sexy librarian glasses that a lot of gals are wearing now. And I was hoping she would be pleasant. Well...as soon as she started talking...I was like, "What the fuck!!!! Is she talking about!!???" And when trying to engage her in conversation...I was finally able to conclude that she was just an utter moron. One of the stupidest human beings I had ever talked to. And the two guys on my right...not too much brighter. The guy next to me, he gets knocked out...and doesn't want to leave. He thinks he is supposed to sign something, or recieve something. And just sticks around....it was weird.

Remember my prediction about lots of camouflage and neon hunting hats? I wasn't disproved. Although there wasn't as much neon hunting hats as I would have expected. But camouflage? Oh hell yes! I don't get it? I mean...I get that a lot of these folks down here like to run around killing things....animals, fish, birds....each other. I get that. But dude...when you leave your house...and you know you are going to a casino, or a barn/convention center...to play poker, why the hunting outfit? Who are you trying to hide from? Are you expecting to encounter an 8-point buck at your table during the tournament? Wanna be ready to pounce without him noticing you? I'm wondering if I go play in Montana or Wyoming if the fly fisherman show up in waders to play poker?

So...here was a fun hand. And yes...my pill had kicked in. I wasn't talking to anyone at the table. And unlike most tourneys...where you always seem to find that ONE poker player that you can sort of buddy buddy up with? Confide in? That just didn't exist...so I was basically isolated, on an island...my own little private island of PLEASEKILLMENOW...surrounded by retarded sharks and donkfish. This shortstack goes all in. Mr. Camouflage smooth calls and leaves two bets behind...slick move. I am in the BB with KQ suited. I call. The blinds were 2k/5k. Guy was all in for 11k. Flop comes A-3-5. I check. He checks. The turn is a 4. I check. And he does that totally ridiculous, straight outa 'book of tells 101' move where they do the nonchalant shrug of the shoulders followed by the 'I guess I'm all in' move. I just start gently laughing to myself. And as I am folding...the hunter looks down at me and asks...."What is your problem! Why are you laughing at me! Are you mocking me!???"

Me: "I'm laughing sir, because you are funny. Thats all. I've folded now...so you can turn over your two now."

He turns over his pair of deuces...and he wins the hand. Don't even know what Mr. All In had. Didn't matter. Couple people look at me like I'm a genius for calling his hand. That almost made me laugh even harder. What's even more funny, is that the guy started being nice to me after that? Usually in that situation, the guy makes you his enemy...and it just gets worse. I think that alone had me so perplexed...it just added to the insanity. Maybe he was just embarrassed at how stupid his "I guess I'm all in" was. Who knows?

There were a few other hands that night where I made a hero call on the river...where it was so obvious the other clown was bluffing the pot on the river...that had me at least feeling kind of champion-like for a short little while, and the other players looking at me like I was Hellmuthian in stature. Yeah Yeah...I know...I know, trust me, I didn't, for a second....let it go to my head. But you know when you are at some shitty little cash game somewhere, playing with terrible players, and you get that feeling? That...what shall we call it? Confirmation? That after a few good plays...that leave the other players amazed, that you can at least hold your head up high and know that you are a player with superior skills to the people you are sitting with? That even if they end up getting all your money/chips you know in your heart and head at least, that you were the best player?

Not sure what that is worth exactly...but at the very least its good for a temporary 'good' feeling at least. And those moments in poker are so few and far between it seems like, that I will take the layups and the freebies where I can find them.

My gawd...how long is this blog entry? It has taken me two days to write. In between I went out to dinner and a 'night on the town' with the wife and her friends.

We went to a place in Gulfport called 'The Quarter' where a band was playing. This band was managed by the guy Cheryl's best friend is dating. We met the band...really a nice bunch of young guys...from Hurley, Mississippi...band called "Together, Tomorrow." They were good, and we really had a fun night out. I spent a good amount of time transfixed on the dynamics of certain people that were dancing in front of the stage.

One thing I will say...and I don't care how old I get...and how much things change. This will always hold true:

If you are an above average female, looks-wise...say, a '7' or higher...and you are a terrible dancer...you should NEVER dance. Just don't do it. Here is the litmus test for dancing. If you are watching someone dance...and you imagine that they are naked, would they look incredibly sexy while dancing? Or would they look like a complete fool? If they would look like a complete fool, then dancing in public is something they should refrain from doing. I know I know...there are those who will say "maybe they don't care what YOU or anyone else thinks about them...or how they dance! Maybe they just really enjoy dancing...and want to have fun!" Actually, my wife might be heard uttering that phrase.

Well....okay, if that is you? Have at it! Knock yourself out! If you don't care that you look like a fucking spastic, and are making your friends run away and hide from you...then I am way out of line talking about how stupid you look dancing like a one-legged ostrich.

There was a group of four people. Probably in their 40's. After each song...the man would holler out..."You Suck!" The first time I heard it...I thought I was imagining it. Then the second time he did it...the lady with him looks him in the face and I could see her mouth "stop saying that!" so now I knew he was doing it. Why? First of all, the band clearly didn't suck...they are really good. But secondly...this guy was...in a suit and tie...who does that? And I had just spent time getting to know the guys (in the band) on their last break...so I had taken a bit of a protective approach about it now.

Before I had heard him say that little tidbit, I had been fixated on the four of them, and how they were dancing. Of the two women...one was standing totally upright...tight little sweater tucked in...I guess she was sort of cute...but seemed super frigid, just based on watching her dance. Then the other gal...she was wearing looser fitting clothes...and was really getting into the music...and dancing her ass off. I decided she was probably the coolest of the group. The 'You Suck' guy danced like everyone's single uncle at a wedding. You know the guy. We all know the guy. The fourth guy...oh baby. This guy was a piece of work.

He had the whole place laughing. Doing these windmill moves, almost smacking a few of us in the process. Weird, weird dude. Kind of had a Cosmo Kramer thing going on.

One of my favorite things to do when I go to bars and/or clubs...and it needs to be, because I am finding bars and clubs to be more and more undesireable the older I get...is to just sit and observe people. I am fascinated by the creatures who live among me.

The third time this guy hollers out "You Suck" I finally call him out. But I did so in a very non-hostile fashion. In fact I never even raised my voice. Just asked him politely, why he was telling them they sucked. He asked if I knew them? Well, yes...my friend here manages them. But does that matter? Its just rude. And if you really think they suck...why are you continuing to stay here and dance while they perform?

Well, the lady that I thought would be cool? Ended up being cool. She steppped in...agreeing with me...and he goes into some cockamamie excuse about how 'when I say something sucks, it means its good' and when I say something is good, it really sucks. Mmmm yeah, I see. I bet NO ONE ever takes that the wrong way, huh?

Turns out...this lady and I end up chatting about it and him afterwards, that this clown is a local JUDGE! Yeah! A Judge! The two ladies worked under him...as a court reporter and a court clerk. She told me they get out about once a month, and every time the judge drinks he turns into a fool. Unreal. Imagine being that woman? And having to work for such a dumbass? Maybe the judge needs to stay out of public. I sure hope I never end up in front of that jackass needing a good judgement to go my way!

I think I am finally done with this post.

I think I am going to Vegas. Since a certain tourney director in Biloxi decided to call a certain tourney director in Tunica and openly lobby the guy to deny me entrance to their tournaments up there...why I have no idea? Just waiting for the dominos to fall....just waiting...patiently. Staying out of the way. Going to Vegas...playing Venetian, maybe skip on over to L.A. for a couple LAPC events. A little west coast flavor...Super Bowl in Vegas...always a good time. Just need to find a flight. For those of you up in Tunica...and I hear the first two tourneys have had big turnouts...I wish you well...seriously. For those of you who cash for a good amount...and think about tipping....might I suggest seeking out the dealers either on the side or when they are dealing cash game...and taking care of them there? Just saying, if you're anything like me, its nice to know that they will actually see your money.

Take care now!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh...it just keeps getting better and better!

Here is one that is sure to cause you to say something like.....

"Wow, Monkey...really? Again? Why? What'd you do this time!!!???"

And my response to you would be..."Uh...if I knew, I would tell you. Seriously."

Let's review...and this is going to be a quickie blog, as I have taken my dogs to the vet this morning, visited the bank, and rented movies from RedBox for this little trek to Lafayette, La to play what I am being told is about to be the biggest donkfest I have ever in my life participated in.

I'm being urged to hold off on my self-imposed ban on poker drinking until AFTER I play this event. However, my point of view on that take is: what an excellent testing ground for my new experiment? I mean...is this not the ultimate challenge that I am walking into to? Sounds like it.

All I am imagining is a sea of camouflage, neon-collored hunting hats, LSU clad varmints running this way and that way...and lots of conversations I can barely understand, as they will be mumbled through the lump of chewing tobacco stuffed in between 'der cheek n gum.'

Yeah, so...I am about t-minus 74 minutes and counting on my departure from this nice comfy leather couch.

So...ya ready for this one? As you all know, I played the Chicago WSOP circuit event. Did fairly well up there. Final Tabled the $1600 Main Event. Almost won a nightly. I played the Biloxi-IP WSOP event. Faired real well there. Won my first WSOP circuit ring. Cashed deep in the Main Event. Tried to do something real nice for Breast Cancer, along with Kai Landry...in honor of our good friend Cincere Mason at the Beau Rivage (who by the way, I saw and spoke with at the last event there...and she looked great, and is doing outstanding in her recovery phase!!!) and was originally green-lighted to play the ladies event in drag, all for charitable purposes, mind you...and which put Kai and out about $200 each for our outfits and whatnot. Then we show up and get bamboozled with some smoke and mirror excuses that 'registration was closed' even though Level 1 still had 4 minutes remaining in it. Fine. Whatever. Neither of us cared, for our own personal selves. What pissed us off was the time we wasted getting ready, the LSU-Alabama game we missed to do it, and the money that DIDN'T get raised by shutting us out.

What would have been interesting was if we had done the smart thing and registered the day before. What would they have resorted to then? Whatever, it was what it was...but it left a pretty bitter taste in both of our mouths.

I then went to Atlantic City to play online poker? No, for their WSOP event. Despite them really being off on a lot of things that we professional players who do this full time come to expect, and me writing about it...and basically getting a warning from 'the home office' to cool it with my criticism of the event or suffer the consequences; yeah, we can call it censorship I guess. But whatever, I did cool it...not that I was out of line with what I was saying, or that I was being overly critical or ugly towards any specific person...just expressed my level of frustration at coming to an event, paying exhorbitant registration fees, and get an inferior product for it in return. And when the 'big' pros showed up a week later, and encountered the same things I had...that I had written about...they went absolutely apeshit. Some blogged about it. Some spoke about it on their podcasts. It was the talk of the event. Pretty sure none of them got 'the warning' that I did.

See, I am special. For some reason. Not sure why. Will I be special in this way once I win a big million-dollar event? Who knows? Or will I then be untouchable? As in...good luck trying to tell me what I can and can't write about...or talk about. Guess time will tell. But I left Atlantic City on very nice terms with all of their managers and floor people and despite what ended up being a pretty crummy trip, left with a somewhat good flavor in my mouth.

Took about a month off for the holidays. Then this Beau Rivage event. And all the subsequent BS that has followed, which has left most to wonder to themselves 'just what to believe.' Well...maybe not most. We'll call it some. I think MOST of you KNOW the real deal.

So....I just got a phone call. From Bill Bruce. Who works for Jimmy Sommerfeld. Who is up in Tunica. I was half asleep when he called, so a lot of valuable questions that should have been asked, weren't asked. But...in a nutshell, I was told this:

"Mr. Souther. Sorry to have to be the one to bring you this news. Trust me, I didn't want to be the one to call you. (which I know to be true!) But I was told to call you...and hopefully save you the inconvenience of driving up here to Tunica only to be turned away. Apparantly, a 'handful' of poker folks had a conversation regarding you and it was decided that you were not going to be allowed to play in this event in Tunica. I can't really tell you much more than that...but that was what I was told to tell you."

And there you go. So...let me see if I have this right? I have played the last 3 circuit events. No issues. Won a ring. Currently sit 5th in the $1m National Championship standings...with the top 36 earning a spot. Anddddd.....then I get a phone call telling me I am not allowed to come up there and play? Why? Snifff snifffff...anyone smell that? What does it smell like to you? Well, after I woke up, cleared the cobwebs out of my brain...and tried to make some sense of it...I started making some calls.

"Did you get any kind of letter from the casino telling you that you had been 86'd?" No. I didn't.

"Have you ever gotten into any kind of trouble at Harrahs Tunica...or even the Grand when it was called the Grand?" No. Never. Not once.

"Do you think maybe the guys from the Beau Rivage called up there and conspired to get you banned from that event, as retaliation for telling everyone about what happened at the Beau? " Um...well, I don't know. I would like to think I am not dealing with people with that little amount of character. But this IS the poker world, and I do know that a lot of petty bullshit goes on quite frequently...so...maybe?

"Don't you kind of feel like they are now discriminating against you? That you are getting closer and closer to having bonafide grounds for a lawsuit against someone?" Well, I don't know if I would use the word 'discrimination' to describe some of what is being done to me. And I am not a big 'lawsuit' kind of guy...and a lawsuit against someone like Harrah's would certainly spell the end of my career playing in any Harrah's sponsored events, such as the World Series of Poker. And that is definitely not a road I am looking to travel down. Do I think I may be getting closer to some type of lawsuit against individual parties who may be acting to sabotage my poker career? Well...now that may be something that I am getting more and more willing to take a hard look at. Because...now? It is just getting ridiculous. I mean...anyone with a shred of intelligence and an ounce of common sense can see what these guys are pulling. And ...to be honest, I know a LOT of really, really good people that work for Harrahs and MGM...and this is not reflective of their corporate mission. I think that what I am facing now is a pretty obvious personal bias against me that originates and perpetuates within a very small handful of tournament personnel.

"What do you plan to do about it? Are you going to fight them?" To answer that question quite bluntly? No. I'm not. I am going to continue to go and play at the venues where I am welcome to play...and the list of those is plenty long. I feel quite strongly about certain things working themselves out...over the long run. If I clinch a spot in the $1m Freeroll...with 99 others...and 1st place being close to $300,000 and for some 'unusual' reason, the people at WSOP find some 'mystery' reason to disqualify me from that event? Well...then yeah...there will be plenty of noise to be heard. And it won't just be coming from me. But would they even think about doing that? Hey...who knows? I hope not, because that will be the last straw, for sure.

I sent an email to Jack Effel at the WSOP...who after talking with in Atlantic City...was pretty confident I had convinced him that I was coming along quite nicely in my 'road to WSOP recovery.' I conveyed to him the phone call that I recieved from Bill Bruce...telling me I had been 'uninvited' from attending the event in Tunica...and asked him if he could provide me with a valid reason as to why. Since I am 99.8% positive that no decision like that would have been made without him and Jimmy Sommerfeld discussing it first. I have yet to hear back from him. He is a busy guy...so maybe he just hasn't seen it yet.

I am telling you guys all this news for a couple reasons. (a) I am tired of people asking me if I am going to Tunica and then feeling like I have to either make up some lame quickie story....or take a deep breath and tell them the whole damn reason. Frankly, it gets old repeating over and over...so I figured, might as well just 'post up' and let you all know the reason I am not going up there! and (b) as this little situation with the WSOP plays out...I don't want there to be a whole lot of 'catching up' on the ins and outs and whys of how things went down. So I am trying to document things as they occur. And if there is to be legal ramifications later on down the road...I need to be preparing myself by building a case.

Hopefully, none of that will happen. Hopefully, I will play a couple of 'other' circuit events leading up to the World Series...I will clinch a spot in the National Championship, I will be welcomed to play (justifiably)...maybe even cash in it or win...and then go on to play in this summer's WSOP events, tear it up...and live happily ever after. I already got back my Venetian base to retreat to for when (if) I bust out early of a WSOP event and need something else to play with decent payouts...or to just have waiting for me in case I get the shaft for the third consecutive year by the folks at WSOP.

This little saga is slowly driving me insane. But my outlook is a lot brighter about it, because for the first time, maybe ever....I feel like I have all the right people in my corner for a change. So I will just go wherever I go, with my head held high...and try to stick to my game plan. I think as long as I do that...everything, and I mean EVERYTHING....will work out just fine!

Okay...off we go to Lafayette!!!!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

HEY! Who wants to come to Lafayette!!!???

Wow. Almost forgot about this. I have two options for the next two days...continue to sit at home, on my butt...and splash around playing online poker. Or...I can get in my car...and drive what? 3 hours? 4 maybe? Due west...and do something for charity. See some people I haven't seen a good long while...and frolic with a bunch of you blog readers?

Granted...my little Private poker room on Pokerstars has been quite a hit, and quite coincidentally the only place on 'Stars that I have been winning lately...we filled up the max 50 members on the RED SNAPPER POKER CLUB in less than a day....and the 2nd club, LUCKY MONKEY'S POKER CLUB has 33 of 50 spots filled. If you want one of those last 17 spots...go to HOME GAMES, click on JOIN A CLUB...enter the Invitation Code, which is 159398...my passcode, which is monkey123...and way for me to ACCEPT you into the club.

Last night, I got heads up with Tripp Donaldson, a real nice guy who sends me like 8-10 funny emails a DAY...and he was wanting to make a deal...as it was only paying one winner, $80. Well, I don't have chat functions on 'Stars for another 24 days (don't ask) so I couldn't respond to him. Granted, I had him by a 5 to 1 margin and to do a deal was pretty stupid. But I would have done something. Well, I had no way to talk to him...and after I beat him he demanded that I remove him from the club...ouch. Then he just removed himself. That sucks. I felt bad. But hey...what could I do!???

Anyway...Bill from the website asked me to write a little something about the Acadiana Poker tourney that is being in Lafayette...TOMORROW...thats Friday, the 28th...in Lafayette, at the CajunDome Convention Center. The tourney is $80...but features $40 rebuys for the first two hours. It runs from 6pm til midnight'ish. There is approxiamately 50% going into the player prize pool and 50% going into a fund for the United Way of Acadiana. Two years ago they raised $67,000. But then last year...they only raised $30,000...so it sounds like they need some help/support!

So...I will pry myself off the couch, fill up my empty gas tank...pick up a movie from the RedBox...and head west at around noon tomorrow and arrive just in time to do something good for someone in need. And heck, who knows...maybe I will run good and come home with some money in my pocket, too. Guess I will need a place to stay over there as well...so it looks like I have somethings to get after today.

If anyone that lives in the Gulfport/Biloxi area is interested in heading over there with me...either as a passenger or part of a road rally caravan...call me (if you have my number) or email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and we can get organized. Lets all see if we can get this thing back on track and raise these folks some money by showing up and doing what we do best...play like fools!!!!!!



You know what? I have been getting an avalanche of incredible emails, Facebook comments, and comments to this blog wall in the past week or so...not only in regards to the gigantic wall of ridiculousness that fell on top of me at the Beau...but in support of my decision to cut out the drinking altogether in my poker playing.

To the person who mentioned 'losing some weight' as a side effect....TRUE TRUE!! I have been battling this thing around my waist for over a year now...to the point that its now become my obsession...and as I was working out for 3 hours on Tuesday...it dawned on me that maybe the elimination of all those shots would help in that department ALSO...so yeah! I couldn't agree with you more.

I was right, the wife is tickled!

As some of you know...I had a little incident at the Venetian last summer...that really kind of mirrored what happened at the Beau Rivage this past week. I was a victim, basically, of people knowing who I am...knowing I have a 'past' and used it against me when I was drinking it up with some friends and started having a little TOO MUCH fun...to the point that the old bastard went and bitched to the night manager in the cash room. It was something I didn't really write too much about because honestly, I was SHOCKED...and fully expected it to get overturned...which it almost did, but then didn't. It really kind of destroyed my whole summer.

I still had a lot of friends at the Venetian...and was absolutely miserable about the decision they made...which came from upper management. But I knew I wasn't going to win...that all I could do was try to change my ways, and let some time pass. I've done both...and now with the decision to completely STOP drinking at the poker table, I am happy to announce that I have been welcomed back to the Venetian. Needless to say, I am ecstatic about that news. It certainly opens up a lot more options to me as a poker player...plus, I just really missed playing there. Its kind of been my home away from home for the past 5 or 6 years.

Just reading all these comments throughout the past week....wow! I try to respond to most of them, but I know I am missing some of you. I really, truly appreciate you all 'having my back' and understanding who I am, what I am all about, and what I try to be when I am in the trenches with you all grinding it out.
Honestly, for some of these people in the 'Poker Mafia' who just choose to look at me as the problem, to use my name in a negative way everytime they have one of their little meetings...and continue to keep me on the outside looking in, its you people who make me not want to to just give up. Not to surrender to them.

And like they say in life...what comes around, goes around. There are enough really GOOD people working in the poker industry, working their way up the ladder...who I have amazing relationships with...that I know will one day soon be running all of the major poker events. Some of these people in the Poker Mafia...and a lot of you know who they are...are doing things, bad things...that don't just affect me. They affect everyone in poker. And when the shit hits the fan...its going to cover a lot of those people. There will be a lot of turnover in the poker heirarchy...there might even be some convictions. So all I am going to do...is sit back, keep trying to improve myself as a person, and a player...and watch it unfold. And then enjoy the change. And be happy for a lot of good people that deserve a better place in the poker world.

It's a new year. My backer has shown me some unbelievable moral support, as well as committing anything it takes from a legal standpoint, to assure my future opportunities. My backer prefers to remain anonymous...for obvious reasons. She is an experienced trial attorney...and was a damn good one. She also has a very high standing as a 'casual gambler' with MGM and Harrahs...and has friends that are even higher than her. I know...in my heart, that if the BS continues the way it has been going, despite me not doing ANYTHING outside of the norm of expected behavior from casino guests, that I will have her in my corner fighting for me. That is something I can't even BEGIN to try to explain how good it makes me feel.

This is going to be an awesome year! I know it. I can feel it! I am doing, and going to do...everything...everyTHING...to make myself successful. These guys aren't going to be able to keep strong-arming me around. I am totally confident about that. I have avenues available to me if it continues, without any cause whatsoever.

But for now...I will go play poker. I will stick to my guns. I won't EVER drink at the poker table. I won't be engaging people in a lot of meaningless conversation. You won't see me blow up after bad beats. Or stupid ass plays by fishtard donkfreak mutant clowns. No sir. If a dealer two outs me on the river...I will simply say "Thank You Rocco....see you in the next one." I will continue to be the Apple Store's greatest new customer. Netflix will continue to feed me one movie after another. Its going to be a great 2011.

I just woke up this morning...started reading all of your comments...and just got excited. Yeah...I've been running pretty bad in poker for the last two months...but hell...I am really running pretty good in life! And have a lot, lot, LOT of really great people behind me...and that just feels kickass!!!

So thank you! To all of you!!!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jan 26, 2011...MARK IT...MONKEY QUITS!!!!

You heard me. I'm done. Finished. Kaput. Stick a fork in me! Yeah....whatcha think about that? Shocked? Amazed? Sad? Delighted?

Easy! Just when all you poker tournament directors and floor people were running to the phone to call your pharmacy and cancel your prescription of Xanax or Zoloft...I should encourage you to read the rest of this first.

I am not quitting poker. Pffft. That is just crazy. How dare you. But...the news I am about to drop on you...the bombshell I am about to unleash...is going to make SOME people very happy, is going to make some people VERY irate...and will leave some feeling somewhere in between.

As you all know...the Monkey and Red Snapper have kind of become synonymous with one another the past 5-8 years. In fact...had I won anything televised, I am quite certain that I would be a spokesMonkey for Crown Royal probably. And there have, of course been those tourneys...where once in the money, you will watch me toss down...mmmm, we'll just play it conservative and call it 'several' dirty, skanky, scuzzzzzzy, dirtier the better, martinis...on my way to a deep finish. Or if you catch me on the right day...and my kidney stones aren't flaring up...possibly a lemon drop or 12. And where would I be if I couldn't start out my early day with a coffee and Baileys? And on those 'light' days...where I don't mind making a trip to the restroom every 17 minutes, because I'm getting old...and my bladder isn't what it once was...a bevvy of Coors Lites?

Of the 100's of you who know me...I would say 96.5% of you would all agree that when I am drinking I am very pleasant, fun...a bit of a smartass, but overall...a pretty entertaining guy who keeps the table interesting. Yeah?

However...there are 3.5% of you out there...and those are the ones who are making my life hell. And I will NOT go into deep, dark, slimy detail here...other than to say, I hate it for you that your life is so devoid of joy, that you have to find your happiness bitching to people to ruin the joy of those who ARE happy. I hope you know...when you die, its going to be very embarrassing when their are only 3 people at your funeral, and two of them will be there only out of familial obligation.

Now before I tell you this...I will say that there are going to be some people who WILL be happy about this news. One of them is my wife. Which...if I can make my wife happy, it's always good news for me. Another would probably be my Mother, for somewhat obvious reasons. Now whether or not it will make the 'Poker Mafia' happy or not...it shall remain to be seen. Who this is NOT going to make happy are the cocktail waitresses of America. In fact, I am probably about to cut a few jobs and thus increase the unemployment rate with this breaking news. (sorry, Barack...and btw...'catchy' speech last night) The other people who aren't going to be happy with this news? Well, for me to list all of their names here would take...well, are you familiar with the list every year that rolls into Santa Claus' office up at the North Pole? Then you get the idea why I can't list them all.

Ya ready? Have you already figured it out? I am not an alcoholic. My father was. And my step father was. And they both paid the consequences for it, in many ways. I don't wake up craving booze. I rarely ever drink away from the table. I used to be a wine and liquor salesman (Yes, I was known as the Wine Monkey then) and still have a house FULL of the stuff, which I rarely touch. In fact, most of it is consumed by Cheryl's friends when they come over to play cards. About the only time I ever have a drink is when Squirrel and I are at dinner...or if I attend a nice dinner with friends...then its almost always wine.

I have spent the better part of a year trying desperately to jump through all the right hoops to please the 'Poker Mafia' as I try to circum-navigate my way back into the proper channels that will allow me to achieve poker greatness on the worlds largest stages....instead of catfishing my way round America picking up crumbs here and there. I have 'toned down' my act considerably. I have met, and fell in love with my iPad...who now has replaced all of my idle time to chit chat at the table with my fellow playmates. To the point that some of them now ridicule me for 'caving in to the man' and becoming something they don't recognize.

"Hey...gotta do whatcha gotta do...and frankly, I'm a bit tired of having to keep y'all entertained at every tournament...and there are some REALLY good movies and books out there I want to watch and read!"

This most recent 'episode' at the Beau Rivage...which...if you have been hanging around has produced more rumors, more 'he said this' and 'she said that' and 'I heard him say this, to him, about you....' and on and on...that its just left me feeling exhausted. Annoyed, frustrated, defeated, cynical...all of these words come to mind. One second someone says it had NOTHING to do with the last 'incident' at the last Survivor tourney....that it had to do with 'something that happened much earlier in the event' (of course this 'something' was never conveyed to me...simply added in to make the story more palpable later) then the next second I am told...that a 'tall, attractive floor guy with a wedding band' was quoted as saying (while standing next to Ken Lambert) that Monkey completely went off on the guy, attacked him verbally and threatened him...to which I just started howling. I have literally had FOUR players from that table approach either Ken and/or Johnny and tell them that I did absolutely NOTHING wrong at that table. That it was the other player who went verbally ballistic, while I sat and just listened to him.

One of the players told me he was shocked that I didn't do or say ANYTHING...that if it were him...he would have went over the table and strangled the guy. Hey....what else do I need to say about that stupid night? I'm done talking about it. The bottom line? There is a very clear and present conspiracy taking shape to do anything and everything to see that I am kept on the outside looking in.

So...what am I to do about it? What is the answer? I went to lunch yesterday with Frank Kassela and his wife Piper at the Beau Rivage. Piper seems to think its a condition that calls for a 're-branding' of my persona. That the name 'Monkey' is creating problems for me. Well, while Frank and I both got a good chuckle out of that...and perhaps there is a wee bit of something to her theory, I am way beyond a name change that will allow me to fly under the radar of the mafia. Hell...long before I was the Poker Monkey.....I was the Pool Monkey (for all the various not-for-profit sports pools I run) and after that the aforementioned Wine Monkey. I would say close to half of the dealers on the circuit who simply refer to me as Monkey have no idea that my real name is Corey William Souther....or Will for short. Yeah....Jason Young...that is directed at you, ya punk! ;)

So ixnay on the Monkey re-branding. Do I simply quit writing this blog? Which has been the source of so much upheaval in my poker career? But which is also my avenue to vent my pleasures and miseries in poker...and other little places in my life...that give me an outlet to basically decompress? Which a lot of people have told me is already the solid foundation for the basis of a future book or two? That has opened up other opportunities for me away from the poker table? Which has caused more than handful of sleepless nights for my own wife? Sure, there is some valid reasons you could present for why I shouldn't keep writing this blog. But...at the end of the day, my basic right to express my thoughts and opinions...without the risk of persecution, should be enough to motivate me to continue with one of the only things I truly enjoy doing in my life...WRITING.

The connections that I have made with you players...the relationships that I have built through this blog, which I whole-heartedly wish to thank Bill Phillips and Gene D for bringing me in and allowing me to present on their site, are invaluable. I have learned a lot about this business just by living it, and by sharing in the information that I have gleened from poker industry insiders, as well as players, dealers and floor staff. I will NOT quit writing this blog.

So...what is the ONE thing, the ONE excuse that these Poker Mafia people have to continue using against me? I think you know. Its one of history's greatest culprits used to attack people's characters, or their behaviour. Its that 'fall-guy' alcohol. Any time someone does something others deem to be 'out of line' or 'crazy' isnt there always a question asked?

"How much had he had to drink?????"

Right? Well, I have come to the conclusion...that with all the crazy shit I see go on at poker tourneys, the berating of dealers, the near fist fights I see break out...the swearing like sailors without ramifications (I use as a prime example, my lovely friend Claudia "The Claw" Crawford, who has sent many a 50+ year old man from the table looking like a little boy who has just wandered into the local Irish pub by accident) the players whipping their cards at dealers.....that I am no where near on the level of their insanity. So why do I keep getting 'in trouble?'

What else could there be? I have crawled into my shell with my iPad and my little entertainment venues to the point that people fear I have lapsed into a bout of depression. That I have had my soul torn from me by the very people who my 'entry fees' go to, to create a job for. I think of the crazy guy in the psycho ward who is constantly given that pill every day, until finally he is just...well, like a lizard, sitting there, on that rock...flicking his tongue out about once every 4 seconds. Occasionally, but not very often....blinking. That is what I imagine that if you let the 'Poker Mafia' condition you long enough...that this is what you turn into. I am not quite there YET...but oh....I am getting close.

So what is it that these people need from me before they will finally just back off and leave me the F*** alone? I think I've got it. I need to remove that convenient little crutch that they are able to fall back on. The 'ol alcohol crutch. Because without that...what do they have left? Nothing I can think of. Keep in mind...you won't ever (very rarely) see me drink in tourneys before 5pm...which coincidentally, is usually about the time the heads of the 'Poker Mafia' clock out and go home for the day. In fact, I really just drink when I am either close to, or in the money.

When I drink...I am a happy drunk. I am sociable. I engage anyone and everyone in conversation...and rarely does it have anything to do with poker. Could be politics. A show I saw. An interesting news item. The weather. Developing trends in International exchange rates. Hot new fashions. Randy Jackson's new hairdo on American Idol.

I am just genuinely enjoying myself at the table. A lot of times its in a late night sit n go. After just having lost a $500-$1000 tournament...I find the desire to 'cool off' and play a little $100 sit n go. And often times, I am surrounded by a lot of poker 'buddies' who just went through the same thing. We get together for a little 'decompression time' to play a sit n go, have some drinks...and attempt to ward off the evil we just experienced. And maybe, just maybe...win, and recoup a small portion of our earlier day's losses.

In the course of these experiences, we occasionally get a bit 'loud' as some would state. Need I remind you...we are in a casino. Not church. Not a library. But a CASINO! Ever been downstairs in the craps pit, or NEAR it...say, within 50 yards...when someone is on a long roll? Pretty sure they get a little LOUD as well. Ever sat at the blackjack table and listened to the guy cussing the dealer who is doing nothing but killling his 20's with 21's and his 19's with 20's? I have. And I always just playfully smile. Like it's somehow the dealer's fault. C'mon. So...it causes me to cringe when I find out I am in 'trouble' because a couple of players feel 'uncomfortable' or 'unusually irritated' when they have to play poker at my table...when I am drinking.

Because why? Because...OH MY GOD...I am having too much effing fun for their liking!!!!

Then...when asked by someone...of Johnny Grooms, 'What is your problem with Monkey? Do you not like him? Why do you make him leave?'

And his response was such:

"Don't get me wrong. I like Monkey. Always have. I think he's a good guy. But when I have players constantly coming to me, complaining about him...I just find that the easiest thing to do, instead of dealing with all those upset players...is to just ask Monkey to leave. I find eliminating the ONE problem is a lot easier...even if he really hasn't done anything that is really WRONG. I just have to keep my players happy."

Okay...we can examine that statement. First of all, I have always liked Johnny. For the most part. Have never trashed him personally. Ever. Either on here, or out in public. I have expressed disappointment with how he has handled me. Sure. And he knows it. And I will say, with absolute sincerity, that I can kind of see where he is coming from with that point of view. Do I think I deserve a higher level of consideration due to what I bring to the event? Like playing EVERY tourney? Like blogging incessantly about it on my site? Like answering 50-100 Facebook and email messages from players all across the nation asking me if I think they should make the trip to Biloxi for the event? And me telling them...YES, by all means...get down here! Structures are good again, dealers are good, the room looks great, weather is fantastic, and we can go get a bite to eat while you're here! COME ON DOWN!!!! Do I think that should warrant me a little bit of consideration when some guy who barely plays here, and who is clearly bitter and hates life...goes to him and whines and bitches about me? I suppose I feel that it might be nice, sure.

But...I also can kind of see where it also puts Ken and Johnny in a tough spot, too. Because they have jobs to protect. Others...and their own. And God forbid, the right asshole gets into the wrong person's ear in management...and they end up losing their job over something Monkey either DID or DIDN'T do, but which resulted in a shitstorm that they couldn't repair. I get that. Maybe moreso now...now that I've had a few days to mull it over....than I did right when this happened.

Look, I am not delusional. I know the haters are out there. And I know a lot of it has to do with me having some success in poker, and being a guy who commands a little attention. I am not looking to piss people off. Ever. I promise. And my table talk? Its not a weapon. Granted, my table talk has greatly diminished over the past year. But some think when I am talking I am plotting. I'm not. Trust me. I am just happy to be at a poker table. Happy to be among 'friends' and just making what I hope is considered interesting conversation. But to hear comments like this one, as shared with me by a good friend of mine whose name I won't publish for a variety of reasons:

He is at the table with this guy. My name comes up. "Oh that guy Monkey? I hate that guy. All he ever does is talk. Talk talk talk. Drives me crazy. One day, he was at my table...and I finally told him to shut the fuck up!"

To which my friend responds..."Really? You told Monkey to shut the fuck up? Yeah? I don't think so! I think you just want to sit here and make him look bad, and make yourself look cool. Did you REALLY tell him to shut the fuck up!???"

Guy looked like he just shit his pants. Looks at my buddy and says "What? Oh...you must be one of Monkey's friends or something!"

"Yes...I am his friend. And you're an asshole. And I know, as well as YOU DO, that you NEVER told him to shut the fuck up...because guys like you don't have the balls. Plus Monkey would take you outside, or at least invite you outside...and beat the crap out of you!"

Well...I certainly appreciated my buddy telling me that. But what I really enjoyed was when he told me that this same guy...two days later...when we all sat down for a sit n go together...he was there...and immediately starts talking to me like we are old friends. My friend told me he just wanted to puke. Then goes on to tell me how many of those guys are out there...that want to bash me at the table, but then I walk in the room and they are wanting to say hi to me. What does that tell you about people? I know that I am NOT like that. Never have been. So it's kind of hard to figure out. If I don't care for you....I just ignore you. Period. My wife...she is kind of one of those who will pretend to like anyone, just to maintain peace and tranquility. Just to keep everyone liking her. And I don't hate that about her...not at all. Is she a bit phony? Of course she is. And I'm not.

Well, maybe I could learn to be a bit more phony, and she could learn to be a bit more honest with people. Or not. I don't know. I just know that I hate people who are two-faced. And wish they would go crawl off into a hole and die. Don't worry...I am pretty sure I know who my REAL friends are.

Is this blog getting too long yet? If it is I'm sure Piper Kassela will let me know! Well, I am coming to my point.

I am about to take away the last bullet the 'Poker Mafia' has to use against me. I am hereby announcing me retirement from the consumption of alcohol at the poker table. You heard me. I know...Jason Young has probably just taken me off his Facebook page...as well as a few others. Duke Pilgrim? Sorry, pal...no more shots of Patron my brother. No more lemon drops, either. Maybe when we are out in Rincon, we can go to a club or something and live in the past. Kai? Sorry man...no more Goose and cranberries for the Monkey.

I will make one very small concession. If I ever make it into the money, which I certainly plan on doing several times this year...I WILL enjoy ONE ceremonial Red Snapper with as many people as would like one...and will continue to cover the tip for everyone that will be enjoying an 'In The Money Red Snapper' with the Monkey.

So...there ya go. Starting today...January 26th, 2011, you will not see me consume ONE SINGLE alcoholic beverage at the poker table...thats cash game, sit n gos, tournaments...anything...for the rest of this calendar year. And come December 31st...wait, is there 30 or 31 days in December? We will revisit this, and see what kind, if any, progress has been made.

There are some things that I have NO control over, and yet somethings that I DO have control over...and with all the progress I feel I have made, and all the changes I think I have carried out...the only one I HAVENT done for the 'Poker Mafia' is to stop drinking. I think that somehow they have it in their heads that one of the reasons for my 'unmanageable behaviour' is because I drink and get crazy. Well...there you go 'Mafia'...the Monkey just gave that up for ya, too.

Funny little story, as related to a friend of mine...from a 'hater.' On the 2nd night of the Beau Rivage event...at 8:20pm...and having had a grand total of 1 Coors Lites, my chair...snapped in half. Sending me tumbling to the floor. I did not manage to hurt myself. The table laughed. I am not below laughing along with them at myself...so I laughed too. In-house people scurried over to check on me, offering medical assistance...and presenting me with the famous 'Please dont sue us' incident report. Well, had I known then what I know now...maybe a bit of screaming and rolling around on the floor might have been a good idea. But...me being me...I am not the type to fabricate an injury to chase a big payout, I gleefully told the guy I would be okay...but that they really needed to do something about the chairs.

All throughout the event, I was getting chairs that were either real sturdy, or really flimsy, like the one that collapsed and broke on me. And when I got those, I would find another chair and switch them out.

So...this hater...goes on to tell a friend of mine that "Monkey was totally shit faced drunk...so drunk that he fell out of his chair and had to be helped to his feet!" Uhhhh huh! And so goes another 'story' that I find myself battling all the time. How do you even respond to that?

Well, I figure there are a lot of people out there who think I am a drunk, belligerent asshole when I am playing poker. Even though the grand majority of you know otherwise. I am going to give the 'Poker Mafia' the benefit of the doubt here...and just HOPE that MAYBE they think that is the reason, whatever reason they have...for why I am not FULLY welcome to their events. And quit....right now. Today.

So...there ya go! Face buried in iPad, watching movies, reading books (current book...'Dead or Alive' by Tom Clancy...a 964 page beast on iBooks!) or listening to music...drinking my Perrier with lime...or Cranberry juice with extra limes...or a big container of just water. What are you going to get me on now? A bad beat blow up? Nope sorry...Celexa has taken care of that one. Losing my mind at a guy who likes to show me bluffs? Naw...why bother? Look at him. Life could be worse, I could be THAT guy! Naw...I'll just blog about him. That will make me feel better, and a few of you folks laugh, too!

Batter up......


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday. Fun Stuff.

Thanks Pokerstars. I mean...well, kind of. The KK getting snapped 12 out of 15 times in earlier MTT's really sucked huge. But this new private Home Game poker feature is really kickass. What isn't kickass is that they are in BETA mode with it...and its really limited. Like...stakes of only $20 and less. And club size being limited to 50 players. I hit 50 in less than a day...and have a shit load of people on the wait list wanting to get in. I've requested Pokerstars to expand my club size.

We have had three tourneys so far. A $20 bounty tourney...where I got 4th, out of the money with 15 players....a $3 rebuy with only 8 players...that I won, and this afternoon another $20 bounty tourney...again with 8 players. I collected 4 bounties and beat Kerri Simmons heads up. Its really a cool setup, that promises to get cooler. I wish 'Stars would hurry up and expand my club so I could get more people in there. Realistically think I could hit over 200.

The Steelers...ugh...I mean...I'm hating this game. Needed the Steelers to either win by 10 or more...and come in under 38...or have the Jets cover the 4. SO Final score? 24-19. Worst case scenario. Nice goal line stand....score ends there...perfect world. Instead....FML. Well, J-E-T-S...thats two AFC Championship losses in a row. How's that feel? Green Bay vs. Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl....kind of have to call that a classic matchup. I am interested to see the early line on this one.

I never really got a chance to talk much about our dinner the other night at BR Prime. Was too busy gossipping. Well, don't let me let it go unmentioned. The dinner was kickass, just like it has been every time I have ever been to BR Prime. And our service, courtesy of Christian...AND Christian....was absolutely flawless. There is nothing nicer than going to a nice restaraunt, being served great food, and having fantastic service. We had two different bottles of Pinot Noir...one from Oregon, one from N. California...and both were just great. It couldn't have been a better dining experience.

Uhhhh....yeah....there are some rumblings going around. The boys who own and operate my website are gently hinting that it might be a good idea to remove my previous post. They suggested that I might not want to further 'ruffle' the feathers of the boys at the Beau. Well...as I mentioned before, I did, in fact consider just 'letting it go' and move on. But then, after hearing that Johnny Groomes was talking about me in front of other players...and talking about me in a way that was both very unprofessional, but also unsubstantiated. Personal injury? Slanderous? Those words come to mind.

So what? I decide to post what 'actually' happened, as it was explained to me, and then later revealed to me by people who are on the inside and know what 'really' happened...instead of just 'letting it go' why? I'll tell you why. Because its becoming very trendy, very popular...and very convenient, for people to take little snippets, little rumors about The Monkey and twisting, turning and manipulating them into something so beyond the reality that I am becoming a little fed up with it...and have decided, that where it calls for it, to defend myself against this BS.

I have done my part. I have married my iTouch, my iPad, dialed into music, movies, and books...hid from people on breaks...so as not to be lulled into some random conversation that later blows up in my face. All in an effort to make myself like the carpet...just another element in the room. Does it work? Aparantly not. Am I letting it get me down that some jerk with a predisposed opinion of me decides to 'NOIR CARD' me to people 'upstairs' at the Beau Rivage and have me 'dismissed' from further tourneys....well, I'm sorry, there is NOTHING I can do about that.

And what? I'm supposed to be nervous that they are going to go in and dream up some more BS to put in the players profile on me...so that when I go somewhere that is owned by MGM I am met with some more BS that I can't contend with?

Little story. Last summer...I was in Vegas. I go to play at Aria. In their computer...there is a note. A note from the Beau Rivage. A note, that said...and I saw it with my own two eyes..."Mr. Souther has been kicked out of the Beau Rivage poker room for CHEATING until further notice."

Yeah. CHEATING! I about lost my effing mind. I had been 86'd for writing disagreeable content on this blog! Cheating? I'm telling you...anyone know a good lawyer out there? But instead...I handled it calmly, I called up Ken Lambert, explained to him what their computer was telling them. Asked that he please tell their poker room manager the TRUTH, so I could be allowed to play there! Which...I guess he did, because I was then told I could play there....but that OH! I would be on a very short leash! Yeah, awesome! Well...I played there all summer long, made a lot of friends out there...and left behind a pretty solid reputation of who I am and what I am all about. After that happened, I asked Ken to please make sure someone changed that, and got it out of the MGM database.

When I checked with my now friend at Aria...at the end of the summer, if they had taken those notes out of the computer...do you think they had? Of course they hadn't. Welcome to my life!

So, exactly how much is at stake here with these guys? Oh I can see that my guys who run the website might feel nervous about them not buying any ad space in the site or the magazine as a retaliatory measure...and if they do that, well...what does that tell you about the integrity of these people?

Yeah...If you haven't figured it out...I'm getting pretty sick of getting screwed. Yeah, I made some mistakes in the past. THE PAST! I've changed. A lot! I don't break the rules. I don't berate other players. I don't disrespect anyone. There are players in these casinos who are absolute beasts...that never get so much as a penalty! Its the biggest bunch of hypocritical crap I've ever experienced in my life.

And by the way. This blog here? This is just that. A blog! A forum for me to express my thoughts, my opinions, and my feelings. As a member of the United States of America I have certain rights under the Constitution, things called Amendments. One of those...is Freedom of Speech...which assures citizens the right to express their views without the risk of prosecution and/or persecution. So when a person writes about something that he is well within his rights to talk about...and is then persecuted by the entity he is expressing his opinions about...well, that is a pretty dark day in the 'ol US of A isnt it?

Pull my last blog? Mmmm....naw, I don't think so.

"Monkey, you know these tourney directors talk to each other, right? Aren't you worried about them ganging up on you?"

Really? Am I really living in a vacuum here where that is my biggest fear? I go to events. I play every freaking event, sometimes up to three in a day. I pay their gigantic (and still growing it seems) rakes, generate more money for them than any other player on the planet...and they are going to decide to put their heads together, and collude to make sure Monkey isn't allowed to play ANY tournament because why? Because I have 'a reputation?' Because I am 'controversial?' Because I am a 'distraction?' Yeah...I don't think...or am choosing NOT to think anyway...that the whole poker world has decided to shift their focus from 'making money' to seeing how we can single out ONE player and dedicate all this attention to ruining his life.

And if I am wrong? Well...gosh, without a 'real' job or anything else I really want to do, or anywhere I want to go...I guess I would have a lot of time on my hands to galivant around and settle old scores. Wouldn't I?

Okay...now that I got alll that off my chest...I feel a lot better.