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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Let it snow, let it snow...let it snow!

I thought living in Montana for 8 years as a kid took all the 'snow thrill' out of me. Wrong. It's done nothing but snow since I got here, and I love it. Something about standing outside and having snowflakes land on your head that is invigorating. Got a picture from my Mother yesterday in Washington State...and her front yard has about two feet of snow on it. It's just dawning on me that its almost March...pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training...and its snowing all over the place. Global warming? Hmmmm....."hi, I'm calling for Al Gore? Al Gore, please?"

Day 1 in Chicago...despite showing a deficit of slightly over $1000, was a success. How is that possible? Let me explain.

Don and I arrived at the Horseshoe at about 12:15pm...not too bad. Then we walk into a line about 80 deep. Oh crap. Then we hear the news. Alternates. Double crap. I end up being alternate #194. Whoops. I never played a hand til the 3rd hand of Level 4. But I got off to a good start. Turned my 10k stack into 18k by level 7. Last year here...when I chose instead to go to Reno...which had very small fields, I was getting texts from my buddy Banger...who ended up making the money in Event 1...that was attended by over 800 players, which made me envious.

Yesterday...1206 players showed up for the first event...a $240 buy in. I can't even imagine how many will show up for today's $350...but I'm going to guess its going to be between 1200 and 1500. I was smart this time and bought in for today's tourney yesterday.

Somewhere in level 7 I raised UTG with QQ. One caller...another caller...here we go again; then the guy in the BB re-raises. Sigh. Queens...ugh. Should I just fold? I decide to just flat and see a flop. Big mistake. I should know better than to keep letting myself bust out of tourneys with QQ. Of course the flop comes J-high. With two hearts. Guy hems and haws...then bets out half his stack. Weird. My instincts are telling me he either has AA/KK or AKh. Back and forth, back and forth....fold? Or shove? Grrrr....we all know that shitty decision there right? I wanted to fold, I really did. But didn't. And of course, he had AA. And my day was over. If I had been right...I would have went to 37k at 200/400. That wouldn't have sucked.

I then walked out and registered for the 7pm tourney AND the nooner on Saturday (today). Then...as I was walking downstairs to play some cash game...I ran into Jason, the fella who runs the poker room here. We end up having a pretty long conversation that covered a lot of topics. He's a cool guy...really enjoyed talking to him. And in the course of talking to him...he convinced me that I was a dumbass if I went and played cash game and NOT the super satellite that started in 15 minutes. Why? Well...they are adding THREE $3125 seats to EVERY $240 mega with $100 rebuy satellites. That's a pretty sick incentive. So with that in mind...I turned around and went back in and signed up for it.

Thanks Jason!!!!!

I had guys at my table who were rebuying left and right...I avoided that horror until the middle of the last rebuy level...when I got my aces cracked by not only 66 but 2-4. Yeah...2-4. Yes, smart asses, I RAISED with AA...in fact...overbet....from 100/200 and three limpers...I raised from the SB to 800. I had three guys at the table were complete maniacs. They STILL called. Flop came 6-6-3. Bet 1200. First guy (66) calls (obviously)...next guy calls as well (with his gutshot, idiot). Turn is a 5...and I now have the 3rd best hand. But I didn't lose another penny. I checked and watched them both get it all in. REBUY FOR THE IDIOT! (not me, the one with the 2-4, I would get mine a few hands later)

I took a double rebuy...and turned that 4000 into 9000 by the end of rebuy...then took a double addon...so I was in for a total of $640. I won't bore you with the rest. Bottom line...with 46 players...we ended up playing for 12 seats...yeah! 12! I never had a lot of chips until we got down to 4 from the seat. Pretty much grinded my way through the whole thing. Meanwhile I was scampering back and forth in the 7pm trying to not let that $130 buyin end up being a total waste. Hung on for quite awhile there...and since there were 280 players in the nightly, I really was hoping to cash deep in that. Didn't happen. Ended up getting it all in with 6 BB's with AK...in a 4-way all in...against another AK, an AQ and JJ. Like my chances? Yah, me either. Guy with JJ flopped a set. See ya!

The bubble didn't last very long in the Mega. And with a late heater I put myself into position to not have to worry about blowing it. I wrapped it up around 11pm, and had my seat for the $3125 Main Event locked up on Day 1...which is about as good as it gets when you go on a trip like this and really want to play the Main. So now...all I need to do is pull down another seat or two and I will cover all my tourney buy ins, and my travel costs. This could end up being a really good trip.

I couldn't be happier with the set up. The floor staff here is great. Steve Frezer, Charlie Ceresi and Kurt Dau are super nice guys...their dealers all like them tremendously...and they are very organized. We didn't have a misdeal at any of my tables all day. And that is really saying a lot. The cocktail girls ALL remembered me from October. I had to inform them that their 'cashcow' had bad news for them! When I told them I no longer drank booze in poker, they pretended not to be upset. Hahahah! In case anyone thinks not drinking at the table has been a challenge, it hasn't. Not even a little bit. One good thing that has come of it...is that my wife is VERY happy that I'm not drinking. So that makes it worth it right there.

I had a lot of really nice guys at all my tables yesterday, and actually really enjoyed myself at the table. Didn't have to escape to my iPad too much at all. I like the people up here...they are pretty entertaining.

They have the BMW 650i convertible that we are playing for in the All Around Points Champion parked right in the middle of the poker room. It is gorgeous. I want that thing so bad. And that was my biggest disappointment at losing yesterday. I figure with this many players up here, its likely going to take two Top 5 finishes to have a shot at it. So I got my work cut out for me.

On another subject: What is the most annoying relationship on the planet? I have a candidate. The relationship between you and a taxi driver. Know what I'm talking about? Don was already back at the hotel, and I didn't want to burden him by making him come get me...plus I could tell he was asleep, well on his way to driving me to the cusp of insanity with his Keith Ezykowitch-like snorefest...claiming his sinuses were/are backed up and warning me to be ready for snoring. He has delivered on his promise...two nights in a row now. Fuck!

Oh, so yeah...I told him not to worry about coming to get me. And I climb into this guy's taxi. For a 4 mile 'journey' to my hotel. What is it with cab drivers and them wanting to ask you a million and one questions about yourself? What are you here for? What do you do for a living? Oh whats it like playing poker for a living? Do you have kids? Does your wife go Brazilian or Commando? Wait....what?

You get the point. Dude...I just climbed in your car for one thing and one thing only. I need a fucking ride to my hotel. This relationship between you and I? Its going to last about 12 minutes. TWELVE MINUTES! And then...unless I do the unthinkable and decide to swap numbers with you and make you my Facebook buddy, I will never, EVER see you again. So...why can't I just climb in a cab...say hello, give my destination, and ride there in peace? It just NEVER happens. Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, Atlantic City, Atlanta....doesnt matter where you are. Same shit.

I wake up at 7am. After sleeping off and on for about 4 or 5 hours. And on TBS is one of the worst movies I have ever watched in my life. 'I Think I Love My Wife' with Chris Rock. Its annoying, the writing is horrible, the acting sucks...and the girl who plays the 'temptress' is so irritating. I hate her. I hate this movie. I hope after TBS is done airing this movie...they blow it up, and it disappears forever. Kill it...Kill it dead!

My good buddy and possible New Orleans roommate Tim Burt did it again. Playing down in West Palm Beach...which btw, Ive heard some pretty interesting stories about...he won another ring, his third in the past 6 months...in, I think, Omaha. Talked to him a little bit afterwards, he was pretty excited. Congrats to Tim. Solid player, nice kid.

I am up to 97 players now in the Pokerstars Private Homegame club called Monkey's Red Snapper Club...three openings remain. Sat in my hotel room here the first night, got into a little online poker room for a session...and actually had a decent turnout for a few events in our little club. One of the guys playing was telling us how frustrated he was when he went to play at the WSOP-CE in West Palm. Said he walked in and was immediately accosted by some mutant demanding to see his players card and ID before he would let him go another foot...then pointing him in the direction he needed to go to start the registration process...which he said is like a ridiculous 4-step process. Did I mention...he wasn't even there to register for a tourney? He had just got there and was just checking out the room.

I can only imagine what its like. As soon as I heard 'Dog Track' I immediately thought of my experience when I drove over to Pensacola a few months back to play their end of the month tourney over there. Holy shit. I walked into that place and it was just freaky. A couple of Cletus's at the front, poised to do, well...nothing. A wild goose chase to figure out how and where to register. Tourney chips that had more in common with stale english muffins than poker chips. Then while leaving the place...some old black guy who was either half drunk or half asleep plowed into the back of my 4Runner...and didn't even REALIZE he had drilled my car. If it hadn't been so utterly hilarious how oblivious he was, I would have been pissed.

Yeah...that whole dog track experience kind of scared me off of going to West Palm. That and a few other reasons that I don't feel are necessary to discuss on this, uh....blog.

Here is some interesting news. And I will let you folks come to your own conclusion about the reasoning behind it. In Oklahoma, there is a casino named Win-Star. Its about 45 minutes north of Dallas...and, well...I've never played there. They have one big tourney a year...'The River' which happens just after the WSOP.

The WSOP circuit events now number 13 and pretty much consume the entire calendar between Sept-May. These events are run by individual tournament directors. You would think they would try to kind of evenly split them up between the two or three talented, qualified people they have working for them. But instead, there is one guy going out of his way to land them all. I don't need to mention his name...you all know who it is. I don't get it. The players don't get it. And the dealers are frustrated by it. One of their biggest complaints, is that they are threatened with never being used again for his events if they dare go and work for one of the other tournaments. How fair is that?

Well, its one thing to put dealers in a spot like that. But to put the people who hire him in the same spot? Now that is just, well stupid. You know the expression "Don't bite the hand that feeds you?" If I am Harrah's, and the WSOP specifically, and I have 'the other guy' running the event in New Orleans...which should once again be a phenomenal event with a huge turnout...and the 'primary' guy, in a bit of a defiant act...goes and puts together a last minute event 300 miles or so up the road at Win-Star...and goes telling everyone he is going to offer them cheap hotel rooms and free food as an incentive to get them to choose that event over Harrah's New Orleans...well, I think I'd come unglued.

Can someone explain that to me? In a way that it makes sense? It's bad enough that our 'not-as-big-as-they-think-it-is' player pool is pulled in all different directions with casinos and tourney directors scheduling way too many tourneys all at the same time...which has diluted the numbers at all the tourneys. But then to just blatantly sabotage an event by running an event at the same exact time as a another event with a good track record and good reputation? Just up the road? What kind of message is that sending? If I'm Harrah's I would be PISSED at this guy...who doesn't happen to be an employee of Harrah's, but an independent contractor...who's company is hired to stage tourneys FOR Harrah's. But when Harrah's constitutes about 85% of your business...doesn't it seem like it would be a real bad move to go head-to-head with them?

Hell, what do I know? I'm just a stupid poker player. Gosh...wonder who this startling revelation will piss off today? Seems like everytime I sit down and write a blog I set phones off all over the country...emails flying, rumors swarming. And for what? Pointing out the obvious to those who live with their head in the sand and need a little clarity in their poker life?
The good news is that I don't care anymore. I'm sick of being screwed, I'm sick of watching other people get screwed, and I'm sick of sneaky, conniving con artists who go around ripping people off. This shit is going to change...and I predict it's going to change pretty quick. Players are getting smarter. Dealers are getting fed up. And if there are still morons out there who think 'dealers should quit their whining...they are lucky to have jobs...they have no leverage...they should just shut up and do their job' then you are all in for a big, eye-opening wake up call.

Hell, if you are that much of an idiot...I will simply invite you to spend a week playing poker in Atlantic City...take your pick of casinos...and consider that a glimpse into your future of sitting at a tournament table ANYWHERE in America if certain tourney directors are allowed to continue doing business they way they are. There is a HUGE difference between a GOOD dealer and a SHITTY dealer. And I don't know about you folks...but when I am paying $500 to $10,000 to play in a poker tourney, I take who is dealing to me pretty seriously. Its my job. If you get on a plane...do you want your pilot to tell you he got his training playing XBox360? Yeah...me either!

I don't think its even possible to sit down at poker tourney and have that dealer who informs you that he just got done taking 13 weeks of dealing school, and despite having NEVER played a hand of poker in their life, claim to have poker mastered....without standing up...walking outside, putting three bullets in a pistol, pointing it at your head...and pulling the trigger as many times as it takes before you fall on the ground and bleed all over their nice polished granite.

I rest my case. Moral of the story: Please start treating the dealers with respect. Please pay them what they are worth. Please quit lying to them about whatever you are lying to them about so you can squeeze a few extra bucks for yourself. Because if you don't...and I mean NO disrespect here to myself...we are going to be looking at a bunch of monkeys dealing to us in a year or so.

I'm almost exhausted after that rant. Whewwwwwwww.

10:12am. 1 hour and 48 minutes til kickoff. Time to go get my game-face on. Oh...by the way...how bout that Charlie Sheen!!!!

Monkey

1 comment:

Eric T said...

Once again thank you very much for standing up for the dealers and staff that actually enjoy their jobs and try to give the very best service possible. There's another reason there were no misdeals in Chicago, the dealers and staff were happy to be there!