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Sunday, February 13, 2011


Well, how about this. Never thought it would happen in 2011? Well, guess what? I was starting to wonder, myself! But finally...I am going back tomorrow, wait, check that, play a tournament that started YESTERDAY! Day 2 of the Venetian $550 starts at 4pm. I happen to have $346k in chips...which I am pretty certain is in the top 3 in chips.

Last year...I was out here for this same event...except that last year it had the NAPT tie in with Pokerstars...which culminated in their 5k Main Event...and then two add-on events at the end. I had a pretty lousy trip then too, with the exception of a ridiculously profitable Super Bowl. Then...after going out 15 from the money in the NAPT Main Event...I played the last event...a $550 with about 110 players while sweating my buddy Joe Cutler, who got deep and cashed in the Main.

I ended up chopping that event with the two guys pictured up above...and it saved my trip, restored a little faith in my poker world..and sent me to LA (for the LAPC Main Event) and Reno with a little wind in my sails. Its ironic that I have run like ass this whole trip, and 3 days from heading home I finally make it into the money, with a chance to pull down $25,000 today. Man, how nice would that be? Not that I am running out of money or anything, I mean...the fall treated me REAL nice...and I am pretty good about not blowing up my bankroll...but the LOSING is what was driving me bananas!

I won't say I did ANYTHING different yesterday than I have been doing all trip. Its just that my hands were holding up. Period. I am running short on time...because I am going to go play the noon tourney today, a $350 and try to pull off the 'ol back to back maneuver. We don't start til 4pm so its a nice amount of time to try and chip up before heading back to play out the $550. And I think it will be a pretty nice field too.

I've been getting a lot of feedback/reports from people in Tunica. I find it interesting that there as many of you as there are who seem to find so much happiness talking badly about me. I don't get it. But what is so ironic, is that you all know exactly where I am, what I am doing and how I am running. So even though you apparantly can't stand me, here you are reading my I guess I will just say thanks. On the flip side, I know I have a nice legion of followers who ARENT haters, who really DO want me to succeed, who share the joy when I'm running good (without the jealousy) and the pain when I am running bad (without the pleasure). I feel it in the Facebook wall posts, the phone text messages...the comments on here. And wow...its the coolest feeling when I wake up and look on there and see all the awesome messages from y'all! Thanks!!!!!

I will give a brief rundown of yesterday. I showed up with 20 minutes left in level 3. First hand, KJ, I raise...get a walk. Second hand...I pick up AJ...raise again. I see the guy in the SB making a long face. read? "This guy just shows up and because he is down about 1800 in his stack is just gonna start raising every hand. No way. I'll show him..."

And he re-raises me from 600 to 2200. I had already figured out what I was going to do as soon as I looked at his chipstack of about 5500. Not sure what happened, but obviously his day hadn't started real well. He raises...and I just moved all in. He tanks...makes a caucophony of stupid facial expressions, then folds. It was on!

That first table had some real idiots at it. The main idiot was the clown who was raising a stupid amount whenever too many people limped in. On two occasions...I watch this bozo raise to 4000 (at 100/200) behind 4-7 limpers. So...when I got AQh...and was the 7th limper on the button...asshole makes it 4000 again in the SB. Folds around to me and I just shove about 18k all in. Oooops.

"I guess I should look at my hand, huh?" chuckle chuckle chuckle.

He folds 3-7 offsuit face up. Nice waste of 4000 chips you dipshit.

We had another clown who was raising with 2-6, Q-8, J-7....nice stuff. I was calling him Stuey Unger with Nose. Same glasses, same jaw...just, he had a nose, whereas Stuey blasted his off his face with all his cocaine abuse. I wanted this guy...and I would eventually get a different table, when we were about 10 from the money...when my 66 held against his AQ. Peace out Stuey w/Nose.

Fat Turd 4k bet boy and I would get into it a little. I nearly fucked him up with a nut flush...but bricked the river...checked to him on an 8k pot...and he flicks 5k on the river. I actually misplayed that hand...really should have never gotten to the river, but I was certain I was going to get there and wanted to destroy this guy. Well after betting he does that stupid move people do where they simulate throwing their cards in after their opponent folds. Know the move? Well, for some annoyed me. So I just sat there. Doing nothing. Finally he starts chirping.

"I have all the time in the world pal," he says to me.

" THINK you have all the time in the world. You don't," I replied...which had a couple guys on my side of the table laughing.

He then calls clock. Floor arrives. I let him count me all the way down to 1 second then fold. Yeah, it was a bit of a dick move on my part, but something about this guy just made me sick...and I was going to try and get this guy on tilt as much possible, then hopefully set him up later, and drop him.

The one really nice guy at the table was seated on my left. Nice Canadian guy who lives in Boston, who actually came to check on me later in the tourney to see how I was doing after taking him out. Real classy. I was going to raise UTG with 88 but decided instead to limp for 300. Well he raised to 800. It folded around to me, and I called. See, the thing about middle pairs...its true you don't want to fold them...but its also true that its not always a good idea to raise with them...because when someone re-raises always seems to be an amount, that if you DO decide to call, you are really just calling for one reason. To go 'set mining.'

So yeah, I limp and call his raise. Flop comes 8-7-2. Yahtzee! I check. He bets 2500. I raise to 5100. He immediately goes all in. Guess he has an overpair. Yup. KK. No king shows up. He very classily shakes my hand and wishes me well. Felt bad. That was supposed to be one of the other three toads at the table I didn't like.

Our table would break a little while later. I would hover around 30k for a long time. Picking up a hand every once in awhile. I wore my Ray-Bans yesterday for the first time all year. I had kind of gotten away from wearing them. I don't know if there is anything to the theory that they help my table image...or if running good and making the money was just coincidence yesterday, but as a fairly superstitious player...I will be thinking hard about bringing them back out of retirement.

A very critical hand arrived when we were 5 from the money. With the previous night's 'out hand' still fresh in my head...also close to the KK running into AA...a guy with about the same stack as mine, 56k...with the average at 90k...limps UTG for 2400. The guy behind me calls. I look down...and OMG holy shit...there it is again. KK. Oh boy. I decide to raise to 10,000...with about that much in the pot. I really just want to take the hand down and be over with it.

Sorry Monkey, thats not going to happen. Limper dude ships all in. Fuck. Guy behind me folds. Mumbles something about this guy doing this move all day. Hmmm...really? But as he limped, I looked at his stack...and had my own 'mumble' when I said "limping? Utg, with that stack? This guy must have aces." And that is exactly what I was feeling. I really entertained thoughts of folding. But then...I decided that if I had any respect for myself as a poker player...I HAD to make the call. So I did. He turns over AK. Ohhhhh shit. Then the guy next to tells me he folded A10. Nooooooooo! Don't tell me THAT!

I hid behind the dealer...looking over his shoulder. Flop came...J-J-2. Okay...okay...good so far. Turn.......8! more to fade. Come on......river......YES YES YES...a 3. I quickly left the table...walked to a secluded area, thanked the poker gods...gathered myself....waited for my pulse to return...and went back to the table. I was now up to 120k. And feeling great!

Another key hand would come when I raised UTG+1 with AJ. This mousy little Russian chick, who spoke bad broken English and was literally here visiting from Moscow...decides to call my raise with Charlie "Smoke" Oliver's favorite hand...the 'Smokey Special'....10-8. Except her's wasn't suited. She only flops a full house. 8-8-10. She checks. I'm not betting. Turn is an ace. She checks again. I bet 12,000. She raises me to 25,000. Hmmmm. Better ace? Tens? I have the chips to make the call, with every intention of folding on the river if I have to. River is another ace....oh baby, thank you! She looks me in the eyes....and in this Russian accent tells me she is all in. I look at the board one more time...making sure I'm not missing something. Oh God...I sure hope she doesnt have quad 8's...that would SUCCCCCCCKKKKKKK!

But I honestly felt like either she had a better ace, or a worse ace...and one of us just got lucky and is going to split the pot now. So when I called, and she turned over 8-10...I was stunned. You know who was more stunned? Her! When the dealer pushed ME the pot. She thought she had won. The dealer had to explain to her that I had aces full of 8's...which beat her 8's full of aces. I don't know if she was tired...or what. I don't think she was a bad fact she was pretty decent. I think she just had a mental meltdown right there.

A few hands later...she would shove all in...for a lot, too much really...but called by a guy who had managed to get to 400k before I had arrived...a guy from Munich, Germany who I have played against a lot...and is very aggressive, and who (by the end of the night) would lose over 70% of his stack, mostly by making calls (when ahead) and getting 75/25'd and/or sucked out on. Well, he calls her with AK. She was sitting on 9-10 offsuit...and rivers a 9. She was back in it...and at the end of the night...she was still in the tourney, so she made a nice comeback.

My next big hand was only good for 43k but it was a nice hit, and knocked out another player when we were close to the money. At 1500/3000...and after having folded AQh two hands before that would have seen me knock out a guy with AK...when I'd have made a flush...I get it again. I start climbing into the guy's soul and determine that he doesn't feel all that strong about his hand. Really, the only hand I DONT want to be up against is AK...and he doesn't have the look of a guy who is shoving with AK. I am feeling something more like AJ or KQ. So I make the call. The others fold. And he turns over...voila, KQ. Perfect. I hold there, too. Another one busted.

Earlier, right before dinner break...and with me sitting on 54k...I picked up JJ...and raised to 2500. A guy with 11k shoves all in. Then the guy in the BB...who had been overplaying hands all game...shoves all in for 23k. Hmmm...sidepot implications here. Jacks really shrink up there though. But after thinking it out...I decide there is a good chance I can at least beat the second guy and break even on the play. So I call. First shover has KQ offsuit. Ugh...overs. The other guy has 10-10. I'll take that one. The flop comes J-7-4 rainbow. Nice! But just as someone says they are drawing dead...which I just hate! People are so stupid. Turn card...TEN! Giving the other guy a set...and life. But it also made KQ guy open-ended...and when the dealer peeled off a 9 on the river...I just walked away from the table...taking off my hat...mumbling to myself about this trip...this year...and running my hands through my hair. The floor guy, who was there watching...walked over to me and told me, "Monkey...that really sucked. You do know though, right...that you still have chips?"

"Oh yeah...I know, I know...I actually broke even on the play...I'm just really dejected by that river and needed to walk it off."

I would have had 88k after that hand if that river doesnt hit. In the end though, it didn't kill me. Thank God!

I think the last significant hand I won before we bagged up our chips and called it a night was when this lady Erica, who I had met in the nightly the previous day...and who was from Chicago, and like my sister played college softball and now coaches....made a very unusual play on the button. Now, Erica was a really nice lady...and I was rooting for her to do well the previous night in the 7pm tourney. She ended up chopping it four ways. Good for her.

Well, she was nursing a shortstack for the last 3 hours of the tourney. She would get a lucky double up with A8 against, again...the German guy who had AQ. So...with a decent stack...not a lot, but at least enough to 'do work' with...she limps on the button for 5,000. The guy in the SB completes. I look at KJ...and with a lot of chips...feel the proper play is to I make it 20, sole intent being to make her either fold or go all she is sitting on about 38k. So when she shoves all in...I decide I was being trapped. SB folds. I call because I have no choice...and turn my hand over....

"well, I got some catching up to do....." she states.

HUH>? Then I see her hand. 8d9d. What in the hell is she doing? Weird, weird play. It didn't go her way. I won the hand, knocked her out...and added to my stack.

I saw a lot of really bad play yesterday. Then again, I've seen a lot of bad play this whole tourney trip. What happened yesterday, was that I managed to somehow dodge all the landmines for a change. Now, if I can just run good today...I can get this year back on the right track! I won't be greedy, at this point, I really just want to make the Final Table, and then go from there.

Per my doctrine, I finally got to order a Red Snapper after we got in the money. Not multiple snappers...just one! I had been waiting two weeks for a Snapper! Finally! So what happens? I order it, waitress claims to know what it is...and when it shows up...I drink it...and...pffffft OMG! What is that!??? It was like, Jager, Cranberry, Peach Snapps...and something else. Gross. So I right down the recipe for the waitress...she takes it to the bartender...he remakes it...and when I drink it, its ALMOST correct, but for some damn reason, he put Peach Schnapps in it AGAIN. Whats up with this bartender and his peach schnapps? Oh well...whatever.

Bagged up my chips, actually put my raising monkey in the bag with my not sure what I am going to use today in the noon tourney that is now 36 minutes old (not that I care about being late...but not TOO late, since this is the time I am supposed to be using to chip up before the 4pm restart!) but I will figure it out when I get there!

Okay...there ya go. Time to catch a shower and get outa here!



Anonymous said...

Hey Primate,
You may need to fact check things before you post them. The "anonymous" comment you posted was pretty off base. I would imagine that Hoyt will be pretty upset that you or "whoever" posted that comment. Actually, I am absolutely positive tht he is pissed off about it, because it is unequivocally not true. I strongly suggest you pull it down.

Anonymous said...


I always enjoy your blogs. I find them quite entertaining. I have met a you a couple of times in tournaments in Biloxi. You might remember me, I am the little guy who had you autograph one of my books just after you won your Omaha ring. I am learning poker pretty quickly as I have cashed at a couple of events, The Gulf Coast Poker Championship and the WSOP at the IP. I have been cashing or winning small tournaments down in Florida. While I haven't had the opportunity to sit at a table with you, I am looking forward to it happening one day as I am sure it is going to come to fruition. I also respect your friend Kai who appears to be quite a gentleman. I have to admit I have been disappointed reading your blogs about Danny Dorcey as I played with Danny and thought him to be pretty OK fellow, actually likeable. Anyway, thanks for the blogging you provide as I always look forward to each new one. Don't change too much, you are truly one of a kind.....and a real good poker player I might add.