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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Seattle...Sunny and Delicious. And some SCANDAL!!!

Before I get started...there are a couple of things I need to call attention to. First off, my 2010 Summer in Vegas Roomie 'Smilin Don' Norman from Somewhere Near St. Louis but not REALLY St. Louis so he IS allowed to be my friend....is all up in arms because he has been added to TEAM BUSTOUT and the only one who hasn't given him the big ass kissing welcome email to the team like all the other team members have done, is me.

Don got to know our team leader, Jeff Griffith a few months ago, and since they are both good guys, they obviously got along. Well Don took down the $200 rebuy up in Tunica sporting the Bustout Poker apparel (a word I never spell correctly) and was subsequently added to the team. Congratulations Don. Welcome to the Team. Now please...quit your whining...and go win something. (else)

Secondly...Kai Landry and his return to blogging is crushing. Or Pwning, if your still one of those dorks who thinks Pwn is a word and still cool to use. Its not, and you aren't. But Kai's blog is ridiculously funny...unless you have the IQ of a hamster and the sense of humor of a chair. The person in this post who IS stupid, is me...because I should be shooting you his link at the END of my post...since once you click on his you're pretty much GONE from mine. But that's fine. Your loss, because there is some incredibly fun (slang for controversial) shiite about to present itself here. Just hang out and wait for it!

I must also welcome a gal to GCP who I recently became friendly with. I can't say we know that much about each other, but in the couple of times I have talked to her, I can tell 'she gets it' and that her sense of humor is as warped and demented as mine. And, in a strange twist, when she first sat down at a poker table with me, she thought I was an arrogant prick! Aha! I won over another one!!!! So welcome, please...
Jennifer Gay to the GCP and check out her blog, its also pretty hilarious, and offers a much-needed 'chicks view' on the poker world!

A little follow up to a comment from the other day. The little guy who I thought had 'crossed over from the dark side' into the circle of 'coolness' has in fact, only delved deeper into the pit of douchbagginess. Mr. 'refuse to scoot over and get his elbows out of my personal space' from Wisconsin (Green Bay he claims, but why WOULDN'T he, since the Packers just won the Super Bowl...kind of like how Danny Dorcey claimed to be from N'Awlins even though research showed him to actually to be from Chalmette, which is New Orleans' little red-headed step bitch) has taken his lunacy to a credibility-crashing new level.

It would appear he opened an account on Facebook for the sole purpose of harrassing me and sending a nasty message to my wife. Because after reading his comment to me, and then the one he shot to Squirrel, we noticed he was no longer able to be found. He just needed to sneak in long enough to make some stupid little comment about her asking me about the new $1500 hooker club at Venetian, then dumping his account. Ahhh...I see, the 'ol attempted 'drive the wedge' between the husband and wife. What a loser. For the record, I'm pretty sure there isn't a $1500 Hooker Club at the Venetian...but if there IS one...someone give me the details, and I will be sure to blog about it for all my single, degenerate poker pals.

As for the little joker in Wisconsin...I hope I see you at Venetian this summer you little ingrate. You can say whatever you want to ME...I can take it, most of it just makes me chuckle. But you start involving my family, my wife specifically...and you have yourself a war you won't win, buddy. So I would advise you to steer clear of me if you see me. I remember what you look like...kind of a combination of Eminem and Ren from the Ren and Stimpy cartoon.

Here is your controversy today. Actually its not even really 'controversy' as much as it is someone getting a bit nervous apparantly and singling me out as the reason for the information. For the sake of clarity, I have never posted a 'MESSAGE' to my message board, other than the ones where I am replying to some of your messages. And if I DO post a message, it always has my NAME attached to it. I would never, nor do I feel the need or urge, to post an anonymous message. I think those of you who know me...know that if I have something to get off my chest, you won't see me hiding behind an anonymous tag.

There is a new post today in the comments...this from Anonymous user who addresses me as 'Primate' and since there is only one person I know who addresses me as such, we will assume that it is the Tournament Director from the Beau Rivage, Mr. G. In the past month...there have been several posts from readers who appear to be employees in the poker world who have alluded that Hoyt Corkins was duped by Beau Rivage staff when he went to leave a $50k tip after his big win there last year...and was sidetracked to the 'Staff' tip box instead of the dealer tip box. I was told about this by a few 'staff' members last year...but never wrote about it. Nor did I look into it too deeply.

As a matter of fact, I can't confirm or deny this rumor. And have never posted on here that this actually occurred. But there are readers who are adamant that this, in fact, did occur. Some have asked that I present this to the folks at 2+2, to Pocket Fives, and to Cardplayer magazine. Look guys, I am not an investigative journalist. Do I care about people getting screwed over? You bet I do. Especially people that I see and interact with on a regular basis.

But I have a very firm belief that if there are people who are 'misappropriating' company funds...as in, redirecting finances intended for one group but making their way to another...or even circumstances where certain amounts of income arent being reported to the proper authorities, such as the I.R.S., that eventually those situations will work themselves out.

Let's be real. You can only screw dealers over so many times before they STOP caring about being blacklisted anymore as the 'big threat' against them and start wanting revenge against those they feel are oppressing them. Hey, I don't know...maybe the revolution in Egypt has finally inspired people to pull their heads out of their collective asses and finally start fighting for what's right in the world. I know that I heard no less than 8 dealers freaking out because they had to wait for about a week AFTER the Beau Rivage event ended before they finally got a check. And there was rumblings about how they did the final payouts...regarding taxes and a bunch of other elements that didnt used to exist when they dealt an event at the Beau Rivage.

It sounds to me...and I didn't dig very deep because I have been busy traveling and generally just not focusing on anything else...that the dealers have finally just reached a level of frustration that has them voicing their angst. And a lot of them find my blog a convenient place to do it. That's fine with me. Post whatever comments you want. I won't censor you. I'm an American.

I have been told in this comment that I should 'fact check' things before I post them. That I should pull the comment down. That Hoyt is pissed off about it because it isnt true. Then 'stongly suggests' that I pull it down.

(Well, should I 'fact check' all the disparaging comments people make about me too, that I post on here and address? Pretty sure that when I read those, they are 15% bullshit...but whatever, I let them have their voice! I'm not afraid of criticism. If you are logging on here to bash me...I might not love it, but HEY! It means your reading my blog! Thanks!)

So...this is his reaction? Really? Why? I think its humorous that the guy can make up whatever tale he wants about me...tell fellow players whatever he thinks sounds good to disparage me and my image as a poker professional...and go the extra step by calling another VENUE and crafting a story that causes them to call me and 'disinvite' me for an event based on what? Personal vendetta? A string of events within a week that would be pretty solid grounds for a defamation lawsuit...one complete with witnesses willing to testify against him.

Yes, I find this DEMAND to be laughable. Afterall, if he is completely innocent of these 'rumors' that a lot of people are tossing around, then why would he be concerned about comments on some poker players' blog wall? This, I think is where that little saying about 'where there's smoke there's fire' came from, right? That and the quacking duck. Quack Quack!!!
I know that when I hear or see shit being said or written about me...and its totally bogus, I typically ignore it, and know that people I give a shit about will laugh it off too. So who cares?

People walk around babbling about their little theories, spreading their rumors, and it does nothing but grow and grow. I don't mealy mouth anyone. If anything, I am complimentary to a fault. If I decide to bitch about something on my blog, generally, its a point of view shared by the masses in poker. And I don't sugar coat shit or hide behind anonymity. Anything you read on here in the comment section that is posted, is posted by readers. And now Mr. G wants me to start censoring THEM too!??? Nice try. You managed to censor me so that I could be allowed to play your events....oh, until you again pushed me out for what was proven to be nothing. Censoring my readers? Yeah....that's not going to happen. Sorry. In the year that these rumors have been circulating, I have never once voiced my opinion on it. How could I make any kind of an educated comment about the subject? When it occurred I was sitting on the same couch I am sitting on now, 2200 miles away from Biloxi in Snoqualmie, Washington.

And just curious...if Hoyt didn't get bamboozled into tipping into the wrong box...if everything was on the up and up...then why would he ever be 'pissed' that people were suggesting that he got fleeced? Makes no sense. If anything...it's only making him look good as a player who tipped an astounding 10% to 'someone.' No...I can't for one second imagine that he would be pissed at a blogger or his readers for suggesting that he was duped. If anything, he would be pissed that he might have been taken advantage of by a tournament staff member. I mean...this is all assuming that he is a person with 1% of common sense, and since I have met Hoyt several times, and even enjoyed drinks with him...I can confidently say that he has at least 1% of common sense.


Yeah...I think we know which person is pissed. For those of us who took Psychology 101 and/or higher in college, we understand what type of behaviour this is. I think its called Cognitive Transference or something like that. All I can say to Mr. G is...I hope your record keeping is all in line...not for my sake, I could care less, since I'm just a lowly poker player who galivants around the continent trying to scrape out enough wins to pay the bills and keep my wife and dogs happy. Who pays his taxes every year. No...I'm talking about for those guys in the cheap suits who have their head office in Washington, D.C. I hear they are a real pain in the ass! Persistent as hell!

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The trip to Seattle so far has been wonderful. Our two legs on American were both jam packed. My luggage survived once more, a small victory for this traveler here. On Saturday, we went to Pike Place Market, Squirrel and I and my Mother. We got lots of fresh fruit and produce and I bought two dozen of Washington States finest oysters...which are out in the garage now soaking in ice water..waiting for me to shuck and devour later today.

Then we went to Kent and picked up my brother Jimmy, who is two years older than me and has Down's Syndrome. A year ago we picked him up and went to visit my father in prison. Jimmy fell in love with Squirrel...and was so happy to see her yesterday. He calls her Chipmunk. Well, my Mother came along this time...and though it was awkward...as her and my brother have never had a real solid relationship, they both worked through the tension, and we enjoyed a great afternoon. We took him to Wal Mart and bought him a new wardrobe basically. New sheets, pillow...Hannah Montana movies. He LOVES Miley Cyrus, and insists they will wed one day. So cute. He was like a kid in a candy store.

Then we took him to get a haircut. Jimmy has a thing about taking scissors to his own hair..and just massacres his 'look.' Well, we found this nice little Phillipino lady who was about to close up shop that took us in...and was so sweet to him while she was cutting his hair. Cheryl was also helping in the cutting phase...and keeping Jimmy from freaking out.

As I sit and watch my wife...how she is around special needs people, like my brother, and her Grandmother who is stricken with Alzheimers...I just realize how lucky I am to have found her. She is just, quite simply, the best human being I know. And I am married to her. There is no word to describe how lucky I feel to have her in my life. The amazing relationship that she has formulated with my Mom, my sister...and now even my Father...who is now just 5 months away from being released from prison, where he has been for 13 years. Now when his letters arrive, they are more directed to her than me. When he gets out...its going to be a happy day for our family, Jimmy will have his Dad back...finally. It falls around the time the World Series closes....so I am hopeful that I will just fly from Vegas to Seattle, meet everyone up there, and go see my Dad get out.

After he got his haircut we took him to Applebees...where he completely devoured his meal. Salad. GONE! Every bite! Ravioli with chicken. Poof! Might has well have licked the plate! Then had to have dessert, so it was a big bowl of ice cream.

But the biggest smile I saw on his face was after we took him back to his apartment, unloaded all his gifts...and when he sat down to watch his WWE Smackdown went on tilt when he discoverd his TV remote had dead batteries. Everything else stopped mattering. Even Cheryl's hug goodbye was lacking in sincerity. Wrestling was on...and this kid loves wrestling almost as much as he loves Hannah Montana! Then it dawned on me...I think I might have a couple batteries in my 'Man Bag' out in the car. I did! Two AA batteries...and when I came back into his apartment, and put them in his remote...he started to howl...unbridled glee! See...thats the thing with these 'kids' that are 'afflicted' with Downs. It doesn't take too much to make them smile. We should all be so lucky.

My Mom promised him that if he would stop taking the scissors and walloping his hair, that she would come pick him once a month or so and take him to get his hair cut...and maybe dinner and a movie. That made me and Squirrel so happy...because we are dying for her to be a bigger part of his life. Ever since Cheryl met Jimmy she has been sending him cards, and photos, and gifts, and money and letters. She talks about him all the time...about him being alone, and wishing my Mother would go spend time with him. So now...maybe we have crossed that barrier and she will start including him in her life.

It's the simple things in life, like family, that make you realize what is really important in this world. Being with Cheryl for ten years...and seeing the relationship that she has with her family...and how they have welcomed me into their lives...it has led to me having a better relationship with my own family. The older I get...and the less I care about things I thought were so important when I was in my 20's and 30's...the more I appreciate the things that are truly important.

I read a Facebook post from a dealer I know at the Beau Rivage...who Squirrel and I have known for years. She posted that she woke up to find negative $275 in her checking acccount this morning...but then went on to reflect on her wonderful husband, her beautiful child, and all her amazing friends...and talk about how 'lucky' she is. That really hit me. Yes...I'm talking about YOU Melinda Harvison...thanks for that inspiring post.

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I have just been blindsided by some very disturbing news. There is a guy that I have known for over 20 years now. Who I used to hang out with when I lived in NYC back in the early 90's. Who I played baseball with. And who now I see on frequent poker trips...and am a fellow member of TEAM BUSTOUT with. This guy is one of the most positive human beings I have ever known. Never says ugly things about people. Never stirs up controversy. He would be a fantastic politician. He has always taken care of himself immensely, so much so that being around him makes me feel like I am neglecting my own body everytime I'm in his presence.

So 20 minutes ago...a fellow baseball teammate just called me, and told me that this friend of mine had asked him to forward me his phone number in his hospital room. Then told me the rest of the news. My buddy was having pain in his back and side...and went to the doctor last week. This resulted in an MRI...which revealed a gigantic tumor 25'" in diameter and weighing 10 lbs.. WHAT!??? In his stomach! Which needed to be immediately removed. So a top surgeon who deals with these kind of things was whisked in and performed the surgery on Friday...removing the tumor...as well as a kidney, and laying the groundwork for the ensuing radiation treatment.

When I heard this news, I immediately thought of his wife...who has also become a relatively close friend of mine. I sent her a message right away. Letting her know that Squirrel and I are praying for her and her husband.

Then I called my buddy, and we talked for awhile. And in his typical fashion, he sounded like a guy who had just experienced a little heartburn and went in to have the doctor give him a couple of Tums. I expected nothing less from him. I didn't hear any fear in his voice, only optimism. I tried to keep it light, comparing the discovery in his stomach to some of those discoveries fisherman make when cutting open Great White sharks. That got a little laugh out of him. But more than anything...I offered my support to him in any way possible, as I am sure he would do for me. As we get older, and people that are close to us start dying, or being hit with life threatening conditions, it really broadens our awareness of our own mortality. Really makes you focus on what is important in life.

Poker? This is just a hobby, or an occupation for some of us. But it means nothing in the grand scheme of life. There is a relatively small circle of people in my world who 'matter' to me, who I will do anything for. Chad Brown is one of those guys. Squirrel and I will pray for Chad to recover from this alarming news...and to stay strong as I know he will. If I know anything about Chad...I know that he doesn't want anyone's sympathy. I just want you all to know that a very good friend of mine who I care about immensely is sick, and that...as sunny and beautiful as it is in Seattle today, I need the sun to shine brightest today in Los Angeles. We love you Chad...get well soon buddy.

Monkey

1 comment:

Michael said...

Thanks for the wonderfully inspirational post! You're perspective on what's important in life is spot on. Keep up the blogging and send my best to Chad. Although I've never met him he seems to be as great a guy as he is a player.