Thursday, April 28, 2011

Forget Poker...this is Life and Death

On April 26th, I woke up at 10am. At 10pm the previous night...in the $1k Mega Satellite to hopefully get into the $10k WPT Main Event in Hollywood, Florida at the Hard Rock Casino...I woke up with AA, and with Andrew Liporace sitting on my left, and a super aggressive Asian guy raising 3000 at 300/600, while leaving only 3200 behind (obviously pot committed)...it dawned on me that my little comeback from only 1500 chips...up to 7200...were about to receive a huge shot in the arm, and likely lead to me pulling off another one of my 'last minute mega wins' and getting a shot at $1.1 million for first place this weekend.

That's when the guy behind him re-raised to 7000. So much for getting creative in the SB and flatting the 3000. I shoved all in for 7500 and called by both. The Asian guy had 99. The second guy holding 77. It didn't take long for the stomach punch...as the dealer put out a 9-9-8 flop. Now effing way! And just in case I had another short stack miracle still on my mind with a miniscule 'side pot' still in play...he put a 7 on the river. Kaboom! Out! No Main Event.

I slipped over and played a $235 SNG...with a $200 last longer...and just when it looked like I had a good chance to win close to $2500...with 5 left, and beginning to surge, I ran AQ into a guy who was big on three-betting...with KK...and was out, with zilch. That was how my trip ended, poker wise. There was another $1080 mega, two actually...one at 11pm, and one at 8am...both terrible start times for me...and both Super Turbos...aka, CRAP SHOOTS. I didn't feel like wasting my backer's money in either of those. When I bubbled that Super Satellite last week, with 'The Known Colluder' getting a seat, I kind of felt at that moment that it was my lost opportunity that night that sealed my fate for this trip.

What a frustrating trip. Two final tables...one that I surely should have won going away for $14k....the other that I could have gotten much deeper with my stack, but flopped the world and couldn't improve, which would have made me chipleader with 8 left....were nice, but when you don't finish in the Top 3 in this game, it's pretty pointless. Then to finish within 5 of the money SIX times...all in one event? That is almost unheard of. In the Omaha Hi/Lo I really thought I was going to come back and make the final table...then on two horrendous river beats...I never quite recovered, and finished 12th, again, 5 from the money.

I could have easily won $20-$30k on the trip, and been sitting in the Main Event right now striding towards $1.1 million and a whole new life. For me, for my wife, for my family. For my backer. For my peace of mind. And instead...I sat in my car yesterday, driving that long ass 12-hour drive. Stopping every 4 hours to put $80 worth of gas into my car. Renting another 3 movies from Red Box at Wal-Mart to get me through the boring drive.

12 hour drives give you a lot of time to think about a lot of things. Like what is important in life. What you cherish. What you loathe. What you want to improve on. Who you would like to make amends with. Who you would like to remove from your life...people you thought were friends, only to discover they are more concerned about their own lives and not yours, in the least.

My wife did something that again has absolutely amazed me, and made me realize what a wonderful woman I married. After another horrible chain of emails from Mr. Burns in Houston...I forwarded them to her. She insisted that I completely STOP with the communication back and forth with him. That it was utterly childish, pointless...and bringing myself to his level. I think I mentioned this already. Well, she sent him a pretty long message. And when I read it I was very proud of her. Turns out, he actually responded to her...with a large degree of humility. He was actually apologetic in his tone. He apologized for the awful names he called her. At first his message that he sent to her was designed as an attempt to inflict damage on my marriage. But she is above that. And her response to him made that clear.

The things he said to me, the stupid accusations he tried to offend me with...were just comical. And I guess responding to him was nothing but a form of entertainment for me. But my wife is right...it was stupid. So, for those of you were loving the ongoing rhetoric between Chad and I...I am sorry to inform you that I have turned the page on my open conflict with The Orange Beast from Houston. Squirrel wins again...and I am only to happy to lay down my arms.

I walked in the door of my home at 5:25am. Waiting there at the kitchen/garage door were my two dogs, Jasper (7 year old Black Lab) and Mollie (3 year old We're not sure!) anxious to welcome me home. Mollie is like a jumping bean...and can reach 5 to 6 feet sometimes in her leaps...and she was bouncing all over the place...little tail wagging. Jasper, for once, didn't have his ball in his mouth...just wanted to lick my face...which seldom happens with him. He usually just wants you to throw him the ball. After a disappointing poker trip...and a brutal 12 hr drive...this was just what the doctor ordered. Squirrel was sound asleep, and I tried hard not to wake her...but as both dogs climbed into bed with me...and started to attack me, it was impossible for her not to be waken up. We both fell asleep shortly after that.

Then I woke up. I logged on to Facebook. And that was when I saw the news. Oh My God! We had a lot of tornadoes in the midwest last week...and they were terrible. So when at first, I heard 'violent tornadoes across the south' I figured it was just a follow up to those storms. But when Cheryl came in telling me about her sister-in-law's Grandmother, who's house was completely wiped off of its foundation in North Alabama...that's when I realized this was a new outbreak of tornadoes.

So...me being the information whore...I turned to CNN, and logged on to my news sites...and that's when I was hit by the absolutely tragedy that has fallen on Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and other states as well. Over 285 people are dead today. DEAD. Others have lost everything. EVERYTHING. And while I am sure a lot, hopefully a majority, of them have/had homeowners insurance, and will be able to at least get back on their feet...I think of those who either died, or who lost a loved one or friend. I think of those who lost those things they spent a lifetime accumulating, photos, mementos...things that make up who they are....I don't care what anyone says: They are just fortunate to be alive? Sure. I guess so. But at what cost? Everything they have is gone.

What must it be like for that husband and wife and their 8 year old kid...who hid in the basement under a steel workbench...only to come upstairs after three hours...to see what looked like Japan after the Tsunami hit last month? To see their entire house gone? Perhaps they had pets...who too are gone. Their cars are destroyed. Their neighbors are either missing or dead. Their phones are dead, with no way to get information.

Cheryl and I have both lived through a natural disaster...having witnessed Hurricane Ivan from 1 mile from the eye of the storm...in what was maybe the most exhilarating, yet frightening nights of my life. Then came Katrina...which a lot of us lived through. Either during or after. The thing about a hurricane, is that we know its coming. We had time to prepare, to take precaution. In the case of tornadoes...the warning is very brief, sometimes not at all. There certainly is no chance to pack up and get out. If anything, the warning is enough to allow people to get to a tornado shelter and pray that it does its job.

Any feelings of disappointment and sadness at my recent poker trip...and the ensuing bullshit that is going on with the Poker Mafia and Harrah's have been nearly forgotten, as I am sitting here watching...as my friend's and family's communities have been ravaged...devastated by a record setting rash of tornadoes that spent the night wreaking havoc on the entire southeast. All while I was driving home. My heart is breaking for these people. I called each and everyone that I know in those areas...to make sure they were safe, and thank god, no one close to us are known to have been killed or injured. But knowing that 280 people (and counting) have lost their lives today...does little to ease my heartbreak.

I am sitting here in my home...all safe and sound, on a beautiful sunny day here in Biloxi, and to be honest, I feel guilty. So I just called the City of Tuscaloosa's Mayor's office, Walter Maddox (click here for info on his office) and spoke to Vicki. I told her I write a blog that a lot of people read, and have 1000+ people on my Facebook page...and do not have a job that I have to report to everyday...and that I am only 4 hours away. I told her I want to do anything I can to help...as Mayor Maddox suggested there was an immediate need for men, materials and money. I felt like I could maybe lead a contingent of people to the Tuscaloosa area to put on our boots, slip on our gloves and go to work helping out our friends any way possible.

Vicki expressed her appreciation, told me that all phone lines are down right now, making attempts to organize relief efforts very difficult. In fact, she says that the American Red Cross's office in Tuscaloosa has lost phone service also. She asked for my name and number...to pass along to the Mayor...and said that if there was anything I can do to help, that I would be contacted. I pray that they call back, and tell me "Bring anyone you can...report to _____ location at ______ and prepare to spend 5 days or more helping out." I feel totally useless sitting around my house doing nothing. And watching the news and looking at the photos of something that is occurring just up the road from us is killing me. There is a magnetic pull drawing me....

It was different with Japan. That was half a world away. All we could really do to show our support was to raise money, which I did, along with a lot of wonderful poker players and pool participants. Getting on a plane to head for Japan, to a country where they don't speak our language just didn't make much sense. But this is happening right here...at home. I could care less about poker right now. Or really anything else. I'm almost glad I didn't make it into the Main Event down at Hard Rock, now.

Everyone...please pray tonight for everyone affected by these storms. Continue to pray for those in Japan. And say your prayers for those folks living along the Mississippi River who are about to lose everything as the River is about to crest to epic heights, already closing casinos along its shores and putting those we all know and work or play with out of work for what is being rumored at a month or longer. The world, and mother nature...is going crazy right now. We are not the most powerful inhabitants of this planet...by now it should be pretty obvious, we are merely inferior guests.

Maybe people like professional athletes in sports like football and basketball, who are sitting in legal offices right now fighting over how to split up billions of dollars in revenue will sit in front of their TV set today...watch the news, see what kind of hardship people are experiencing, and realize what in life is actually IMPORTANT...and feel embarrassed by their ridiculous bickering.

Maybe the assholes who run companies like Exxon, who just reported (as I predicted two weeks ago) a record 11 billion dollars in profit in Quarter 2, will figure out their place in the human race...and stop ripping everyone off, and making the resources that fuel our entire existence affordable to everyone, not just the wealthy. It's bad enough that Mother Nature is kicking our ass, without having our nations business and political leaders punching us in the face in the same time.

April 27, 2011 is a real lousy day. May God take mercy on all of us. Dead or Alive.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!!

This is one of those holidays that would obviously be a lot more special if I had some children to celebrate it with. Waking up to their faces when they discover their Easter basket that Squirrel had created...and then watch them scurry all over the house searching for the eggs they had painted the night before. Then taking them to church later so they could also grow up understanding the meaning of Easter. But unfortunately, we don't have that in our world yet. So for all of you who DO...I am both envious, and happy for you...and hope you all have a wonderful day!

I am holed up in my hotel room right now at 6pm. I slept til 4 today. Why? Because I was busy having one of my best cash sessions of all time. Well, in a $1/$2 game. I have had a couple of $2/$5 sessions where I won between two and three thousand...but to cash out of a 1/2 game with $1986 after buying in for $200...was pretty incredible. I got on one of those two-hour heaters where you just never miss a board. Where every bluff makes everyone fold...with them assuming that 'I must have it...since I always have it.' Every time I would raise...they would ALL call, trying to get into my stack. It was incredible.

It's a good thing I had that great cash game run...because my tourney day SUCKED. I played the first event in the big Hard Rock Live concert venue, that the WPT crew showed up and got running. The first event was a $560 buy in...and attracted 362 players...a nice turnout, with $44,000 for first. I had a miserable tourney. I got AK five times in the first three levels, and never won with it. Had a table with 5 very good players, and 4 horrendous players. I kept losing to those guys.

So when we reached level 4...at 100/200...and my 10k starting stack sitting at 5500...I wasn't panicking or anything, but was certainly ready to find someone nice/generous enough to shoot me a little 'CDU' to get me healthy. So when this kid raised under the gun to 600 and I looked at AA...I decided this was my chance to get that double up I'd been looking for. I flatted the raise. In retrospect, it wouldn't have mattered if I had raised to say 1500-1800'ish...the kid would have called me anyway with QJs. There was a girl in the big blind who was very short...and she called the raise too. The flop came Q-J-5 and she moved all in for about 1600. The kid called. And I moved all in for my whole stack. He snap called and I saw the bad news. Damn! And of course, why would I improve? So gross. If I win that hand...I'm in pretty good shape, and cashing that tourney wasn't going to be too difficult. When I went out...half the field was already out...that's how bad they play down here. No way there should have even been 60 players out in Level 4...but these clowns love to go broke with top pair...or bluff off all their chips after missing their draw. So yeah, I was pretty bummed.

So what to play? There was a $1080 event...that I think they must have added to the schedule. It consisted mostly of some really good players like Matt Brady, Allie Prescott and some others, or guys who had busted the $560 from earlier. There were only 46 players. I liked my chances. It was the same excellent structure. So I bought in. I got off to a pretty good start...winning more than losing.

We got to the 150/300 level..and a guy who raised my blind nearly ALWAYS...did so again, and I called with A9c. The flop came 9-6-2 rainbow. I checked the flop, attempting to check raise...and he checked as well. Damn. The turn was an ace and I had to assume I was good there. I bet out 1500. He raised me to 4200. I re-raised all in..and he snap called...turning over his set. Ugh. Punch in the gut. Damn.

"Nice hand, man...good luck guys...." and I slinked out of there. The bad news was that I was 10 minutes too late to get into the 8pm $30k guarantee $125 buy-in that had another huge field. Or was it? I might have played that for 5 hours and bubbled, or min cashed. Instead I left the Hard Rock Live, went back over to the poker room, chatted with Allie and Mike Beasley, where I found out the plans to go to Scarlett's had been scrubbed (much to my dismay) and sat down at the $1/$2 table next to them and got to work. And by now you know how that story ended.

Had another delightful exchange of emails yesterday with Chad Burns. And by delightful, I mean ridiculous. He has taken to calling my wife a big, fat ugly gorilla. Yeah. Says she is the ugliest piece of shit he has ever seen. This is how I know that this dweeb has to have mental issues, now. At first I just thought he was a short prick. But now, its pretty clear that he is just insane. For those of you who have seen or met my wife...you are laughing along with me. I am way over my pay grade when it comes to landing a hot wife. To listen to him...well, I know how 'good of a hand I have!'

It was the source of a bit of a hostile rant by my wife yesterday, and not towards him. Towards ME! She suggested that any further waste of 1 ounce of energy with this orange troll is just foolish, and makes me look bad, kind of lowering myself to his level. As always, I have to admit that my wife is right. She usually is. But its just so hard to resist the temptation to respond to the utterly moronic shit that he spews. But I guess I will take her advice.

I am, however, going to keep my word on one thing. If I do ever see this scrub, and we AREN'T in a casino (where I wouldn't want to deal with the repercussions) I am going to just walk up to him and smash him in the mouth. Without saying a word to him. I know my wife might frown on that...but sorry, no one is going to say the things this twit has said, especially about my family, and escape without some kind of repercussion. Maybe he will just manage to avoid me. Or hell, I don't know, maybe someone else gets to him first. I would love to know how this psychopath made it to the age he has made it to.

My fantasy baseball team SUCKS! And I can't figure out why. Maybe because none of them are hitting. Its getting pretty annoying.

I keep having dreams about my dogs. Squirrel tells me Mollie, the little one...keeps turning up missing. She keeps finding her all balled up in the back of the closet where my clothes are. Ahhh....she misses her Daddy! I had a dream the other night that we were out in the yard and she ran in front of a car and got hit...oh man, I freaked out...and it caused me to wake up thank god.

Ive been here, in sunny South Florida for two weeks almost. I arrived tan. I am now pale. Whats up? That is stupid.

I am getting more and more addicted to Whopper Jr's with cheese. This can't be a good thing. But they are so freaking good. Dammit!

I am trying to finalize this deal I have with an internet site. I figure with the 100 people in my Homegame, the 6500-8000 hits from you people I get on here every month...and my deal with Bustout Poker and the folks who access that site, as well as the close to 2000 people on my pool distribution list that I have...and with the three poker giants being shut down in the US...I have a golden opportunity to attract a nice, healthy throng of players to their site.

I have been getting beat up by people's emails lately asking me where they can play, well...if I can get things finalized with these guys, I will have a major announcement hopefully in the next couple of days. The big hangup for me right now isn't even in the terms of the deal, they basically offered me a pretty nice deal last fall after my 45 days of kickass poker success...I was just wanting to wait on a few things first. The big hangup for me is making sure that if I send out a massive e-vite to everyone, and to you readers on this blog, with a fat deposit bonus, and a possible juicy rakeback deal...that you can all be given a nice, easy way to fund your account...and can be assured of a smooth transaction when it comes time to cash out.

I just want to make sure that my affiliation with an online poker site is one that doesn't lead to a lot of you being pissed off at me if something should go wrong. Ya know what I mean? So stay tuned for this potentially great news.

When is the NFL draft? How awkward. Are these guys going to show up for it or not? Can't wait to see how this all transpires. And once they are drafted, then what? They can't be signed without a collective bargaining agreement, right? Weird.

This place, Hard Rock...is really nice. If you have never been here...you should definitely check it out. All kinds of great restaurants and shops are spread out over an outdoor plaza...with the casino in the middle of it all. Whoever built/designed the place really did a good job.

Its also a great place to people watch. Sure there are gorgeous women everywhere, but there are also those freaky people that are so fun to watch, too. I love it. But honestly...after two weeks, I am getting a little homesick, missing my wife and dogs. I am ready to make a big hit of 10k or more...then getting home for a month before leaving for Las Vegas.

A place where...dammit...I STILL have not figured out where I am staying for the 7 weeks. I thought I had it all figured out...with a guy I thought was totally on top of everything. But now he has virtually vanished, hasn't told me anything...and I have no idea what the hell is going on with him. And the realtor I was working with out there just keeps coming back with stuff that is WAYYYY to expensive. I'm trying to get a place for me, Kai Landry, Don Norman, Jason Young and Christian Iacobellis...five of us. For like $5500-$7000 for the period of May 25th-July 15th. A place with a pool/hot tub, preferably a garage, and 4 or 5 bedrooms. I mean, it can't be THAT hard, can it??? I just really, REALLY don't want to spend another summer in a freaking hotel!

If you have a line on a rental property out there...holler at me! ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com

Okay...I am going to get ready now and head over for tonight's $30k guarantee. I need to play a 1k Mega satellite, just cant figure out when its going to be...because tomorrow at 5pm I'm playing the Omaha 8 or better and Tuesday at noon is a $550 that should have a huge field...then the Main Event starts on Wednesday. Guess I will just play it by ear!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

A 'lil South Florida 'ScrapBookin' with Jackholes!

(the thoughts and opinions on this post are those of Senor Monkey's alone. Images have been altered to protect the guilty. Any similarity to any actual poker player is purely coincidental)

Hi! My name is Senor Monkey. I would like to say that April 22nd, 2011 is a day that I wish with every fiber in my body that I had either gone to the beach, went and checked a double or triple feature at the local theater, or just taken 5 Ambien's and stayed in bed!

What's interesting about all that, is that I only logged about a total of 2 hours at the poker table. I am now laying in bed at 3am, having slept from 8pm to 1am, before being woken up by a bunch of spring-breakers in the room next to me, who like to leave that metal latch open so the door doesn't lock, you got me? So every time one of them comes in and out I get to hear that loud THUNK! Add to that the screaming of the girls anytime one of their friends walks in the room...."Oh my God!!!! Whatssss upppp girlfriend!!!!! ARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!"

I am currently watching 'Rainman' and the scene where they are driving in the middle of nowhere, and Raymond is freaking out about his underwear...which is causing Charlie to lose his mind, interestingly similar to how I felt at the poker table a good part of the last three days.

This is a photo taken from the 7th floor of the parking deck at the lovely Seminole Hard Rock Casino....and, uh, resort? Seems like a good place to go stand when you are losing your mind? Right? It was...until I got cornered by some vagrant...asking me at least 23 questions before finally I just looked at the guy and said....

"Look, dude...here is the deal. I am actually a pretty generous guy. But I like to CHOOSE my charities, not have them thrust on me with some snappy sales presentation. I give money to hungry children causes, I donated a nice chunk of change to the victims of Haiti and Japan, and I always help the local neighborhood kids with their Little League, Girl Scouts or book club stuff. I help friends who are in need. See, I don't know you. And I also am not buying your story, and I also see that you can walk, talk and breathe...which makes you a strong candidate for a lot of jobs. So if you aren't already tired of me blowing you off yet...you can safely conclude that I am not going to give you a penny. Now please go away and leave me alone."

He actually walked away...without a word. I am pretty sure he had no idea how to respond. Probably a first for him.

Okay, lets get to the photo gallery...as I attempt to make you feel like you are here with me in totally predictable South Florida, where every day is just like any other day on the planet. Pffffft. Yeah!

Remember the final table the other day? The one where I got 4th? Not 8th? That lady? Who looks like the avatar lady on Full Tilt? Here she is. I have added a little something to her glasses you may need to click on and blow up. It reads...aptly I must add..."Seniors Champ" as I not only had to sit and listen to her beat us up with that whole day...but which I have since then had to hear her tell other tables in other tourneys in the same fashion. Wow. For the record...the Seniors Tourney was on the Monday that I was driving here. There were very few players...and it ended up being like a 5-way chop. So her title is somewhat stigmatized.

So...yesterday was magnificent. I decide to play the 4pm $350 becuase everyone thought it would outdraw the 12pm $350. That and I was tired and needed some sleep. They were wrong. And I can't even tell you how I lost. I just know that I was out before 7pm, because I was able to get into the 6:30 pm Rebuy Mega for the $10k Main Event here that starts on the 27th.

Oh! I started great. Went from $2000 to $9000 fast. Basically had people just giving me chips. Then our table breaks. And we get moved to a table with a guy who enjoys saying the word "All In" and is making sure that he removes all value from his journey to secure a $10k seat....rebuying like 11 times at 200 a pop. You heard me. Well, I am the victim on one of his tardshoves...as another guy raised from 100/200 to 600, only to see him shove with 2-8 offsuit....I shove all in with AKd. Other guy calls with KQ. But only has 1600. Dumbass has 2200. Dumbass hits a 2 and it holds.

We went on break. I put a $100 bounty on the guy. I mean...it was ridiculous the shit he was doing...and the whole table wanted him to go. Oh...and every hand was like a 5 minute task to get him to act on his hand. "Its your turn sir."
"Oh its my turn?" "Yes, its your turn." "Has anyone bet yet?" "No sir, you are the first to act." "What should I do with this hand? What do you guys think? Maybe I will go all in?"

"Maybe someone will hand me a fully loaded Glock and I will shoot this guy?"

With the bounty in play...and the rebuy period over...dipshit moves all in again....I happen to look down at AA. "Yeah, I call." No one else does. He has...I don't know...something bad...and fails to crack my aces. I save $100. And rid myself of the headache. And everyone else.

Fast forward. With four tables left...I have what we will call 'annoying episode number 1' with this clown down below, the guy with the skittle hanging off the end of his nose. Every tourney here, when they get to 6 tables, they have been going 9-handed. So when we were at 36 and playing 9-handed...and brushed to three tables, I just had to naturally assume they were sticking with the norm. So I sit in the 6 seat, and invite the guy in the 5 seat to square up. He bristles, thinking we still might get a 10th player brought to our table.

"I don't think so, we have been playing 9-handed every tourney when under 54 players. I will go ahead and get the empty 4 seat out of the way." And I moved the chair. The guy still refused to move over. Sigh. Attractive girl to my left, girlfriend of one of the two eventual winners, remarks: "why in the hell won't this asshole move over? I mean...if they bring another player we will just adjust, right?"

"Its refreshing to see that you are both attractive and also have been gifted with common sense. Tell your parents I said thank you."

Then it happens. Why I have no idea...probably because the woman they had running the tourney wasn't a standard tourney person. At 20 players she decides to make us 10 handed on 2 tables. That's when 'Mr. Coco Puff on the nose with Fish covered shirt' guy decides to do one of my favorite things. Make the comment of a 7 year old, although he lives inside the body of a 50+ year old man.

"Hey, I'm just curious...you said you would be willing to bet that we would remain 9-handed the rest of the way....how much you would have bet?"

Now...for those of you out there who (a) have a modicum of common sense (b) are fellow smart asses and/or (c) love to one-up a simpleton...this would seem to present a golden opportunity at a verbal reprisal, right?

Okay. First of all...those fantastically studly glasses were a creation of Monkey's Photo Lab! The perma-booger is God's gift to this buffoon. I found myself in one of those spots. Hmmm...how to respond to this kid who mom dropped on his head over and over as a kid...and somehow made it this far in life so he could put on his fake Tommy Bahama shirt with fish or ships or something stupid like that, and wander down to the place I call my office, to pretend like they know what they fuck they are doing there.

So I decide to choose my words very carefully, while at the same time wanting dearly to make this guy feel about 2 inches tall.

So I just sit there for about 7 seconds...which, if someone is staring into your soul while not talking, is a surprisingly long period of time...and then I begin:
"Sir...I'm curious, how long have you been diagramming that rhetorical question? And how exactly did you hope that I would respond? Did you think I would answer you by stating a certain dollar amount? Or did you think I would be stumped by your magical ability to 'burn me' and just shrivel up and evaporate into a mist of shame? Seriously? What was your intention of blurting out that little puddle of stupidity? And how old are you? Nine? Who asks that kind of question?"

I know you want to know how he responded...but honestly, look at the guy? And shading out his cold, dead eyes really takes away from what a lifeless, non-charismatic shlub this guy is, but in the interest of not 'offending' anyone or 'getting in trouble' I must. The point is...is there anything you can imagine this guy saying that you would find to be either (a) funny, (b) entertaining or (c) useful in any way?

At some point he mentioned something about me not having a life, or getting a life or something to that slant. To which I believe I took credit for having a great life...a beautiful wife, two wonderful dogs, money in the bank, and a nose that is free of large circular shapes...that if someone HAD a good life, you would think might have had that 'thing' removed a LONG time ago. Okay, I admittedly left that last part out. But I was thinking it, of course.

When we made it the Final Table...he was seated directly on my right. Arriving as the chipleader, he sat there and watched his stack slowly dwindle way to dust...as he is one of those people who have no clue how to play that deep in a tourney. Also...he started figuring out that I am a lot cooler than he initially must have thought I was...and was making little attempts to get me to 'warm up' to him. I had no interest. He took a bad beat and was punched out in 5th place. Peace out.

Oh, but before he got punched out, he almost got disqualified. Along with the guy who knocked me out and ended up winning the seat. I posted on my Facebook about this but didn't give you the details...so I know there are a lot of you anxiously awaiting the story. Well, here it is. He was in the big blind. Local Cuban dude raises on the button. At the time he was short on chips. This guy calls with A4. He flops bottom pair. Checks. Button bets. He calls. Turn is I dont know? Check. Check. River is a 4. The nose check. The Cuban bets. The nose hesitates, then calls...the Cuban shows his hand...then the Nose quickly mucks. Well, the guy in the 1-seat sensed something weird was going on.

He asks to see the guys cards. Dealer tried to resist by telling him the guy folded. Both players try defending the dealer. Player persists...insisting that because it went to showdown, that he has a right to ask. He wins. Dealer turns over 'The Nose's' cards...exposing trip 4's. Or...the winning hand. Heated discussion ensues. It would seem to be a chip dump. Play continued. I went back to my music. Two orbits later, the floor guy comes over, stops play, reviews what occurred and says he is going to surveillance to review the play, and that if he sees what it sounds like was blatant collusion, which from what I hear..occurs down here a LOT...that both players are going to be disqualified. Well, he returned about 15-20 minutes later and announced that they weren't going to be disqualified, but sternly warned. Had they been DQ'd, I probably win easily. Not that this is how I wanted to win...but if guys are cheating, then I don't mind.

While the investigation was going on...I was listening to both of them talk about it...and if you are even kind of intuitive, you could sense that something just didn't sound right. Nobody is anywhere near as stupid as this guy was coming off.

Do you even care what happened in the Mega? Well, for you haters who like to tune into my blog to see how I'm doing (or NOT doing...yes YOU Chad Burns) I will give you the painful outcome. We were 4-handed. 3rd place got $1400 and the other two won a $10k entry into next week's WPT Main Event down here. We were all pretty even in chips. In a blind vs. blind hand I have KJ to a guy's K8...on a flop of K-10-4. He bets, I raise, he ships. He was Russian. I call. Nice call. 8 on the turn. Fuck me. Chopped me way down. Make big comeback. Get them all back. Big hand:

Flop comes three clubs. I am open ended with a small flush draw. SB checks. I bet out 5500 (blinds were 1k/2k) next guy raises to 12k. SB goes all in. Shit! I fold. Guy next to me flopped a straight with a gutter straight flush draw..the other guy had QJc...flopped flush. If it holds, I lock up 3rd at least. Guy hits the gutshot straight flush. Shit. Other guy now short. He comes back. Damn. Then the KillShot!

Check check preflop in the blinds. I have garbage. I flop a straight. Dude shoves all in and has me barely covered. I call...he has a flush draw. He turns the flush. I throw up in my mouth. I die a little inside. I painfully remove myself from the table...and did the worm all the way downstairs. When is the last time you saw that? Speaking of 'The Worm'...last Friday or Saturday night when I was out with Allie Prescott, Mike Beasley and few other guys....they have a little courtyard where live musicians perform on in the middle of the shops and casino. Dennis Rodman....aka 'The Worm' was invited onstage to contribute his musical stylings...which were horrible and pathetic. Beasley bemoaned his presence before we even had a chance to hear Senor Worm. At first I thought maybe Mike was being unfair. He wasn't. Rodman should stay as far away from a microphone as possible, and his stage presence was extremely awkward and unimpressive. NBA Hall of Fame!?? Sure..no problem. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Not gonna happen.

No 10k seat for me yet. So close. I could have slept well last night having taken a 4th place, an 8th place and locking up a 10k seat. So instead I decide to go play a little $1/$2 to soothe my ruffled feathers and tortured soul.

Joining me at the table is a couple of people I know, Steve Garrett, and this girl Pauly I met playing in there the other night and is pretty funny...with a dark, sick sense of humor. My favorite kind of people. Her and Steve were both seated on my side of the table.

I fire up my iPad...and we start playing 'The Family Feud.' Then it begins. See the guy down below? We shall call him....'The Small Stakes Cash Game Demon.' He is that old guy who's life has pretty much sucked for...well, most of his life. He wears his history on his face. Initially he kept trying to be 'the cute little old guy' by pandering to Pauly. She wasn't buying. She was clearly more interested in everything else going on at the table, mainly my iPad.

Cue the iPad envy...and I find this is becoming a bit of an issue. Where I USED to get in trouble for being too social, too talkative...now that I have reversed field and become a total introvert, summarily ignoring all human contact whatsoever while playing poker...we have now run into the guy...mostly old guys who don't even know or understand what it is I have in front of me. But they don't have one. And they can tell I am enjoying it. So suddenly its something for them to bitch about.

He begins by asking the dealer if I am allowed to have it at the table. Dealer tells him its fine, so long as I am not slowing down the game, which of course I'm not. That pisses him off...I guess, because now he starts whining about the sound. Its too loud for him. Understand something. We are in a poker room that contains like 40 tables downstairs and 10 tables upstairs. Its a Thursday night, and the poker room is packed, and very noisy, he is in the 5 seat, we are in the 7,8 and 9 seat...and somehow the sound from 'The Family Feud' is upsetting him.

This guy was utterly pathetic. Floor comes over and asks me if I would just turn down the volume. Sure thing...which means we can't play Family Feud. So I decide to play Pac Man...by myself. Uh oh. He can hear the sound. He freaks out again. You gotta be kidding me. By now the dealer is snickering at what a clown this guy is. And the floor is tired of coming over. I was told later on by one of the dealers that this guy comes in all the time, and is constantly whining about EVERYTHING. Great, and I had to get him at MY table?

So now we aren't playing games. I decide to fire up 'Beavis and Butthead' on Netflix. The volume on the iPad is pretty shitty. I'm hoping the iPad2 has a much better integrated speaker. We could barely hear it...but if you ever used to watch Beavis and his buddy, just watching them is almost as funny as being able to hear them. That lasted about 20 minutes before he started belly-aching about that too. Finally, I just shut it down. And then...after about 15 more minutes, I had lost all desire to continue sitting at this table. I packed it up and headed out. And after I got about 20 steps out the door, the damn leather strap on my fairly new FOSSIL bag just snapped. Yeah. I was pissed.

Spend about 1 hour driving around looking for shoe repair places to try and stitch fix it today after busting both tourneys. Found two places, both closed. Standard. Will try again tomorrow. My bag is a very vital tool in my poker life.

Back to the Old Devil. What is wrong with these pricks? I mean, I am going out of my way to stay out of trouble. I mean...wouldn't you think being a hermit who never even talks to people would be able to avoid their scrutiny? Why do they care if I am entertaining myself? Again...that same damn thing that seems to love rearing its ugly head. JEALOUSY. If I could give everyone an iPad like I was Oprah, I would. But dude, just because I am over here keeping myself from going completely insane...is no reason for you to fuck with me. I swear, for every cool old person I meet, there seems to be 4 I would like to run my 4Runner over.

By the way...I am told that Mike Judge is bring back the loveable Beavis and Butthead with more episodes with more of a modern feel, this summer I believe. I personally cannot wait!

Also seated at my table, I had the black kid who every time I have seen him is wearing one of those hair nets on his head. Yet he's bald. Why? I don't get it. Would one of my fellow black players who I am friends with please explain this look, or what its purpose is? Two nights ago, I was crushing him and the rest of the table for about a stretch of 40 minutes...to the point that he suggested our game was somehow rigged, or that the dealer was pulling an Edward Norton (from Rounders) on them. Just to show him I wasn't just winning with good hands...since he was convinced I was getting all the great cards and he was getting all the shitty ones, I decided to build a pot with 48 offsuit...and then blast the river...getting him to fold top pair and showing him a total bluff.

"See...good cards are completely unnecessary sir. Its just how you play them."

I think the funniest guy at my table was this guy. He didn't really do anything wrong. Nor did he really do anything to piss me off. But he was so 'Mr Intensity' which is what I have playfully written on his forehead here...that you just had to watch him and giggle to yourself. Every time he would make a raise, he would pull the lid of his hat down really low, bow his head...and tighten up his lips...which were already incredibly non-existent to start with...so watching him slip into his Mr. Intensity role was just pretty hilarious....this being a $1/$2 table, which made it even funnier!

See this place down below? That is a restaurant. I'm not kidding. I know I know...its looks like you are walking into a training facility for the MMA folks, right? Its not. Its an Italian joint...and one that is seriously expensive. I'm sorry, but I know what the food cost is on any pasta dish...and if you think I am going to come sit down in your place and plop down $30 or more for any pasta dish...well, there better be half naked round girls walking around with the numbers 1 through 4 to indicate which course is arriving next.

I mean...how did the planning session go when they were deciding what they would do for signage? I know...we will find that old washed up bouncer with all the tattoos and the skin that has been kissed by a tanning bed that has logged more hours than a 35 year veteran for American Airlines and throw his guido ass up on our billboard. Good call. I'm sure scores of people have been photographed with 'Vinny' in the backdrop. Who wouldn't want that picture adorning their walls at home!??

Oh my God I am getting so tired now. And I really want to finish....but don't know if I am going to make it. See Monkey up there jamming on the plunger? That was my mindset today. If I could have gotten up from Seat 6, table 33....and completely blown it up...I swear, I would have.

Yeah...that was the tourney that was supposed to start at 4pm. A $125 buy in with a $30k guarantee...which meant a line out the door into the courtyard. I arrived late for the noon tourney....very late...and missed just about every flop I tried to get lucky on. And don't try bluffing a pot against these freaks. They will either call you with bottom pair or float you with overs. Makes it a bit difficult to come with your 'A' game, because your 'A' game (if your even half decent as a player) is useless against most of these goofballs.

So when Manny Minaya limped utg for $400....and I was down to 3400...I felt like shoving with AQ was a pretty good play. He called with 44...turned our hands over, and that's when zippy in that 1-seat does that thing we all love so much.

"Oh wow, I folded an ace! You're probably okay!!!"

Thanks buddy, loved hearing that. Anything other annoying comments you want to throw out at me?

I flopped an ace, miraculously apparently. But hold the phone...dealer slaps a 4 on the river and my time there was over. SIGH.

I go to sign up for the 4pm $125 tourney...which ends up being a debacle. There is a line going out the building. They are having a problem with their printer. I hate lines. I hate waiting. I hate standing for long periods of time. I find one of the guys who works there...who knows I have been here playing all week, and I ask if he can help 'expedite' my entry, as I hand him $20 and my entry fee and players card. He is happy to help me. Thank god, or I would have left I think. As it turns out...I should have left. The start was delayed. So alas...here I am getting into a tourney on time. For once. I end up at the table from hell. I mean, literally....FROM HELL! Playing 10-handed, I situate myself in the 5 seat, splitting the box accordingly. The 6 seat is the last to arrive.

First up...we have the old lady in the pseudo Cowboy hat...who I didn't feel the need to disguise since that could actually BE a disguise. Who knows for sure that this isn't Kai Landry with a wig, big glasses and having sprayed glue on his hands and arms to make them look like lizard skin? In fact...I think it might have been Kai. Nice job of disguising the voice if it was. But this old gal was playing the stereotype of an old lady at the poker table that it was almost TOO convincing. "Is it my turn?" "How much is the bet?" "What are the blinds?" On and on....taking too long to act on her hand. Or his (Kai!). Then she has all these various patches splattered all over her hat and shirt trying to indicate what? That she is some pro or something? It was pretty humorous.

See this guy? With the knife in his eyeball? And the patch on the other eye? I convinced myself that someone else stabbed him in the eye, costing him THAT eye...and then I plunged a dagger in the other one. This guy is "Captain Angle Shoot Toothpick Eater." One of my least favorite players at any table. Well, for about the fifth time on this trip, he was guilty of the 'ol calling the bet when there had been a raise behind him...and getting to take his 'call' amount back because he 'didn't hear the dealer announce raise.' We all know the deal with that. We all know that money stays. That its the players responsibility to follow the action. They have let players take their money back in those spots about 5 times this week because the players just overpower the dealers...and none of them want to be 'the bad guy' so they just let the player get away with it. Its pretty stupid. So I am under my BOSE...and not really sure what I just saw happen...so I pull off an ear and ask "what just happened there?"

Well this jackass knows I'm a regular player, and also knows that I know he just got over on the dealer...so he gets all defensive and starts taking jabs at me. "What? What's your problem? You wanna call the floor and make a big deal about it? Huh? It was an accident...that's all. Why do you have to make a big deal about it!" While he is talking all I can do is fixate on him spinning that damn toothpick around in his mouth...and think of ways to kill him...before deciding on the knife into the eye......

"Sir, all I did was ask a simple question, because something looked wrong and I wasn't listening to the action. Am I allowed to do that without you jumping down my throat? Honestly, I could care less if no one here follows the rules, or enforces them. I'm going to go back to my music, and you can return to your angle-shooting. Good bye" And I put my BOSE back on and continued losing my mind.

This guy is a real prince. He was that guy who wanted everyone at the table to know that he is some kind of local bigshot...dropping names left and right. Suggesting to his friend that he was getting his $3 beers for free 'as long as he tipped the girl $1 each time'....whoa, yeah...a buck. He ridiculed his buddy for 'paying for his beers.' There were about three times when a questionable play would occur, and he would end every discussion with "I know I'm right, I'm always right. Anyone that tries to have a debate with me is going to lose!"

Watching him play, listening to him talk...him and his beady eyes and his pencil thin lips...ugh...the disdain kept growing and growing. And every beer he consumed he just became more and more annoying.

This guy....grrrr....he established right off the bat that he was going to be the guy to steal every pot with a bluff. I figured out his deal right off the bat, and had decided I was going to do a TON of limping and try to catch this guy...then snap him. The big gigantic sunglasses, the massage girl that he called on in the middle of level 1...one of those guys most of us just loathe...ever time he steals a pot, starts smacking his gum. Well, he managed to violate my number one pet peeve...when after I had already surrendered 25% of my stack early...I limped for 100 with JJ. Two calllers...then he makes it 450. Another bullshit steal attempt. The Cowboy Hat granny calls...she was calling a LOT of three bet raises...then falling asleep post-flop...good strategy.

I make it 2200. He really didn't think too long before smooth calling. Grandma folded. The flop came King high. Jeezuz. I probably should have bet there, but I checked, and he fired out 5000. Huh? I'm thinking that just felt wrong. Why would he bet so much with AK or even KQ? It smelled like a bluff, and I almost jammed my 7k in there...but it would leave him with no fold equity...and knowing my luck he had like AQ or something and would hit the over after having to fold. Or he might actually have a K. I frustratingly fold face up. And what does he do? Shows A10. Air. Then chuckles. I didn't show any emotion whatsoever...but inside the furnaces I was dumping 100 pounds of coal onto the fires.

Then along came the stinky Arab. He was the late arrival to the table in Seat 6. First thing he does it start wriggling around and making me feel like I need to move over. Then he asks me to move over. "Sorry champ, I am right where I'm supposed to be...splitting the box. We are 10-handed, its a little tight." He seems to be upset by my response. Oh well.

So he starts doing this thing with his arms...fanning them as wide as possible every time he goes to look at his cards or make a wager. I am increasingly wishing he had been racially profiled on a flight sometime in the last ten years and sent to Guantanamo Bay to be forgotten about. Then I spelled it. Oh My God....what is that? He smelled like a dirty diaper. And it kept getting worse. And then...in between hands...he started holding his hands behind his head...so that I was first recipient of his under arm B.O. Are you kidding me? What did I do to deserve this table?

Then it gets worse. I guess he decided I was enjoying some kind of disadvantage over the others...because he goes to the floor and complains about my iPad...claiming that I have an advantage over the other players. Huh? The floor guy asks me to keep it off the table, that I can use it if I keep it in my lap. Fine. I ask the guy to explain what he decided to make a big deal about it. His response was almost classic. He tries to use an analogy, which is something I happen to consider myself quite good at.

"I will use an analogy! If you are at the airport and everyone at the table has to go through security...but you don't, is that fair to the other players?"

Are you kidding? You are using this as your analogy? Have you ever seen ANYONE not get screened at security at the airport? And where did you come up with that stupid analogy? The two have nothing in common, and to use it to compare to me using an iPad to avoid having to listen to all of your conversations, or to keep myself from dying of boredom...to skipping the security line at the airport is retarded. Try another analogy. Please...for the sake of your dignity. He just sat there and kept babbling annoyingly. I kept listening to my music...and dodging his elbows. I am amazed at how calm I have become in the past year. Last year and before...I would have flipped out on this guy. Now I just keep it buried....

I got lucky. I got knocked out early. Toothpick limped in and I just called on the button with Q10. I flopped two pair and raised his bet of 300 to 1300. He stuck around with a gutshot draw...and flush draw. Turn was a blank...he checked. I bet 2000. He went all in. I called...he rivered a straight. Of course. And I was out...and honestly glad. Gathered my stuff and went looking for a shoe repair joint...then...as I mentioned earlier...fell asleep. I just woke up at 10:32am...and finished the rest of this and now have 20 minutes to get to the casino for today's $560 in the bigger venue...which should attract a really good crowd. I intend to run well and play well today and win about $20,000. That's the plan anyway.

If I should happen to get unlucky enough to get any of these clowns at my table...I will...uh...take a deep breath, pray for patience, and continue in my goal.

Allie Prescott claims that tonight is the night we are going to the Club that Mike Beasley owns down here, called Scarlett's, which I hear is really a nice place, like a night club with strippers. Sounds delightful. I have yet to visit the beach, or even the swimming pool...and am again approaching ghostly and zombie-like...never a good thing. Maybe I will just win this damn tournament today. Yeah...think that is exactly what I will do. After two days of torture I think I have earned that.

Okay...I'm outa here. Finally. I'm hungry.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Birthday!!!!!

I want to take today to wish my Mother a very happy birthday! She reads my blog...in fact, looks forward to them now. I just want to tell her how much I love her...and how much I appreciate everything she does for Cheryl and I...as well as the rest of us 'kids.' She has developed a wonderful relationship with my wife that I absolutely cherish. This is a picture taken of Cheryl and I, along with my sister and her friend and the boy they adopted, Chase...when we were out in Seattle on a recent visit. We love you Mom!!!!

I am in a mega rush today because I slept all afternoon with the idea of playing the $350 at 4pm instead of the one at noon, rumors have it the field will be bigger, and I needed some sleep. This is the 'ever-elusive' trophy I have now become obsessed with! It escaped me on Sunday by 3 spots...and in yesterday's $350, I started by losing 60% of my stack in the first half hour...but rebounded to make the Final Table...and my roomie Josh JUST missed the final table, running AK into 10-10 and flopping a king but seeing the other guy hit a 10. Buzz kill for Mr Palmer.

I got a huge double up with AJ vs. 1010 and was cruising right along with a top 3 stack and 3 other shortstacks, with $11,000 for first being within my grasp. But...then it happened. One of those hands you just CAN'T fold. The chipleader limped in from UTG+1 as he'd been doing a lot. SB called. And I checked with A3h. The flop came As-2h-4h. Wow! SB bet out 30k. I raised to 75k. And the original limper shoves. Whoa. I had 190k left in my stack...but I just decided right then and there that this was where I would take over this tourney or go out trying.

I called. He had flopped a set of deuces. Shit. I needed a 5 or a heart. Thats it. I didn't catch either. And I was out...in 8th, for a meager $1025. But hey, at least it was another Final Table on this trip, my 2nd...with a full week of tourneys left. Matt Savage and the WPT crew showed up today to get things set up for their big week ahead...bigger buy ins, actual sng satellites, and a bigger poker room, the theater here called Hard Rock Live. Matt informed me of the news about Pokerstars and Full Tilt announcing that they were going to be paying everyone very soon. Wow...awesome! Bet that puts a lot of your minds at ease, right!

Okay I really got to run.

This is me in happier times....when I still had chips at the Final Table. Yes...that is me sporting the Bustout Poker gear...the latest, 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' t-shirt. If anyone is interested in buying some Bustout gear...click on the logo to the right...and check out the store. Anyone putting the word 'monkey' in the discount/coupon space at checkout gets 20% off their purchase!!!!!

Okay...I'm off...hope you all have a great day!!!!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Poker Holocaust! Or is it???

First things first. Take a good hard look at this mushroom cloud. Do you see it? Do you? Do you see that face of what appears to be a clown...laughing hysterically? Or is it just my imagination? As I sit here thinking about the guys who pull all the magic levers at Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker and all the other 'Fantasy Poker' sites who decide who is and isn't going to win and who now will sit there giggling to themselves as they decide to fuck over every American poker player with money still sitting on their accounts?

First it was Pokerstars deciding to screw me out of $300 because the 'process used' to transfer money from one player to another was deemed 'fraudulent' by them...the same guys who have been committing fraud, money laundering and a number of other felonies the past five years. Now its a crazy little situation that unfolded at approximately 12:39pm this past Friday as I sat in the $560 'freakfest' at the Isle at Pompano Park racetrack. That's where 'I was' when that fateful news hit the poker world like an atomic bomb. Will it end up being a 'where were you when' moment like 9/11? Or JFK being shot? Or the Space Shuttle blowing up? Or the first time you got laid? Maybe.

The first three hours could not have been any more annoying. Everyone was posting shit to my Facebook, or sending me emails and/or text messages. I have to say, I am a bit of an information whore. At the first indication of a problem, I dive deep into the issue...searching on everything. Reading up on anything I can get my face into. So anything that anyone had to tell me was already old news. Then I found myself having to correct half the people who were babbling at the poker table. Later that day, my wife's Dad calls..."Hey Will, not sure what's going on but when I logged onto Pokerstars...its saying something about not being able to play because I'm a US customer. Whats that mean?" Sigh.

Quick: What's better? Cocoa Krispies or Cocoa Puffs? Keep in mind...there are various qualifiers here...like the quality of the milk left over after all of the cereal has been consumed.

The initial panic seemed to originate not from the "oh my God where am I going to get my poker fix when I'm at home bored" sector...but from the "holy shit, how the fu** am I going to get my money out of my account and into my hands?" Now, you never know exactly how much people actually have in their accounts, and how much they are claiming to have. At my table there were two guys claiming to have over 150k online.

Now...first of all, I'm a bit cynical about that. But secondly...if you do have 150k online, how stupid are you? I mean...its not like this came out of nowhere. Plus...with the US Government on the brink of financial default, wouldn't your little alarms be going off, telling you that 'desperate days' by Obama's boys may be on the horizon? Not only that...these accounts are controlled by people who operate offshore, outside of US banking laws. Why would you EVER keep that kind of money online? Not that I've ever been one to book $25k wins and larger online...but I've never been one to keep more than $3k online...for the sole purpose of not wanting to be in a position to have them just seize my money. 'Get it off while I can' has always been my motto!

Quick: Anyone seen the new Direct TV commercial featuring A-Rod hitting a home run and running the bases, which through the magic of computers is actually A-Rod running through streets and parks with a big, goofy ass grin on his face? And the running...which is actually him running on a treadmill...I know this because back in 1992 when I was living in NYC, I did a commercial/in house video for Drug company Norvasc...where I did the same thing. Gotta say, as gay as mine was....A-Rod's was more ridiculous.

Currently watching Conan. A gaggle of females...I guess a choir? Are singing the song I don't know the name of...."what the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here...cuz I'm a freak....." you know the one. Half the girls were attractive, half looked like circus freaks...and the whole time they were singing I kept waiting for something funny to happen, like it was a spoof skit of some kind...and then...it just ended. It was serious. Wow. They got me!

Back to this poker mess. What does it mean? Am I happy? Sad? Miserable? Honestly...I think, if I really have to find an emotion to express how I feel...I don't care. I do care about the $1800 between the two accounts that I will probably never see again. But I know that I am in a lot better shape than a lot of other players. If I'm some of these guys with $100k or more online...I think I am flying to the Isle of Man with an entire arsenal of weapons...driving to the corporate offices of Pokerstars...and demanding my money before I go John Rambo on everyone.

There are some who think there is an above average chance that Full Tilt and Pokerstars might just say goodbye to the US market. And if that is the case...why would they give all of us our money back? What interest would there be in it for them? Who is going to sue them? They can't. And this prick from Australia? The guy who was finagling it for the online poker companies to get monies from the consumer to their site without running afoul of the American banking laws? Who then got into a shoving match with the online companies before screwing them out of millions and pulling up stakes? The online companies tipped off the authorities about him, and that he would be in Las Vegas...where they then swooped in and popped his ass, only to have him turn on the online companies, and rat them out to save his own ass?

Yes...there is a movie plot developing here kids. Well, now this is the guy being
credited with 'bringing down' online poker. (click to read the story about Daniel Tzvetkoff) I would also have to say that he might be the guy who has the hardest time staying alive...cue the Bee Gees hit from 'Saturday Night Fever.' If you participate in a 'Dead Pool' I would make this guy one of my Top Five picks next season, for sure.

What I found interesting was that last night...when I got back to my hotel room after finishing 4th in Sunday's WPT event down here...yes, I finally made a Final Table...details later, this is much more important...I decided to log onto Stars, which you can still do...and play for fake money...I looked at all the results of Sunday's tourneys...to see how large the fields were. First thing I noticed was that all the guarantees had immediately been reduced, which I feel is fucked up. I mean...to the people who satellited into tourneys like the Sunday million on Monday through Friday...they qualified for the 1.5m Sunday Guarantee. So when they lowered it to 1m...they are basically guilty of breach of contract, right?

Whatever, I think we all know that these clowns make their own rules, set their own policies and don't give a shit about anyone but themselves. And in looking at the field sizes, the Sunday Million had about 6700 players...and the rest of them had big fields as usual, so I have to really wonder just how much they care about losing the American market place. At first when this happened, I didn't think there was anyway the big poker companies could survive without the US market. Now I wonder if that is really the case. Whether or not the Big 3 or 4 companies will return to the US will depend a lot, I think, on what kind of pressure the US Government puts on them.

You have to think that the arrests that were made were made for one reason and one reason only. If anyone thinks any of the guys who got popped are going to see any real jail time, they are delusional. Those busts and the charges against them were made for one reason...to use as leverage when it comes time to negotiate the terms that will be set in how the US regulates and taxes the companies that offer online poker in our country. I would have to think that Barack's posse will be sitting there feeling like they have pocket aces...and will never fold to these guys pre-flop...that its going to take them convincing them after the flop that they have something that might convince the US of folding. This isn't going to happen overnight. In my opinion...there will be a full two or three months of posturing between the two sides before anything approaching negotiations actually happens.

Who stands to gain right now? Pretty easy answer to that one I think. First...can anyone tell me how in the HELL Ultimate Bet didn't get shutdown? The guys who were literally caught red-handed cheating their customers? They don't get named in the indictment? The indictment that I just spent twenty minutes digging for to slap on here for all of you to read...which I found and read on Friday...but didn't save, and now can't find it again. It's almost written in a language that the average uneducated moron can understand, which makes for very good reading by the average online poker player.

So...how many online pro's will decide to kill themselves? How many 16-21 year old squirts...the ones who sit there on their computer calling guys like me names because my ROI% online suggests to them that I have no clue how to play poker...what are they going to do now? Who are they going to talk shit to? Will they just end it all? Will there be a mass spate of suicides in the next 30 days? Unable to wait till they are 21 to step foot in a 'real' poker room...and unable to get their hands on their poker money...what options will they have? I get to walk into a casino, sit down with real people...the kind who won't open their yap and talk shit to me about my ROI or brag about their 'killer EV' and other terms they read in some book...and play for money!

How many established online pros who can't stand playing in just ONE tourney at a time...and have to actually leave their house to do it...will simply pack up their shit and move to a foreign country? You know that has to be going through some of their minds.

Another question. Barack Obama ran for President and talked about all the 'Change' we going to see, right? How we were going to 'Get Americans working again' right? So, unemployment is at about what, 9%? And I can't be sure of the number of full-time poker players who consider poker their living, but I know the number is at LEAST 1 million. So...how many people did we just throw into the chaotic world of 'looking for a job' in a time when there just aren't any? Instead of having 5-10 million Americans vying everyday for money that comes from the pockets of people all over the world, and using those winnings to keep our economy going...Barack and his gestapo decide to just cut that flow of income off? So...not only does he render a whole demographic unemployed, but he cuts off the flow of income from global financial sources and further hinders our economy.

WHAT THE FUCK is the goal of this administration? We are spending BILLIONS....yeah....BILLIONS...of dollars to fight cavemen in Afghanistan and religious zealots in Iraq, then dump another billion in support of a bunch of rebels, most of whom are obviously getting their weapons directly from Iran, and are rumored to be Hezbollah and Al Quaeda....to oust Moammar Quadaffi, who is a total insane maniac...but who has managed to provide stability to Libya over the last 30 years. Much the same way Saddam Hussein did in Iraq. Hate to say it...but our sweet little way of running a government here in the US of A just doesn't seem to be too effective in the Middle East...and dictators seem to be the only way to keep people in line over there.

So...hey, lets keep sending our 18-30 year old men and women over there to get either killed, maimed or mentally screwed up while bankrupting our country. And while we are at it...lets make sure we slowly take away the simple freedoms of our own citizens at the same time.

Slowly, wait check that. Not slowly at all...as the change seems to be pretty damn rapid, I see this country changing...for the worse. Yeah I'm loving this new CHANGE that Barack has brought us. Here is a question:

Back in 2008...when gas prices reached $4.00 a gallon, do you remember how much oil cost per barrel? Let me help you. It was at $145 a barrel when gas reached a high of $4.25 a gallon. That is just about what the national average is right now...and do you know how much oil costs today? $105 a barrel. That's a $40 disparity. Yet the gas prices are equal. And today, OPEC comes out and states that there is TOO MUCH supply on the market...that they are going to CUT production. Huh? Guess who is going to end up reporting another record sales quarter in a couple weeks? You know it....Exxon, Chevron, and BP. Watch.

What is Barack doing about any of this shit? Nothing! Does anyone see what is happening in this country? We are eliminating the middle class...in our slow road to Third World status...where we will be like Mexico...the ultra rich...and everyone else, who is dirt poor.

This is not my father's America. This country is slowly becoming a JOKE! You know what I hope to God happens? As much as I think he is an egotistical slime...I hope to holy hell that Donald Trump runs for President. Because I honestly think he gives a shit about our country...and he won't use the office for personal gain. He will get tough on a lot of issues, and won't be influenced by special interest groups like most of our scumbag politicians. You might be detecting that I am pissed off. Hell yes I am...the banning of online poker is just another in a long line of freedoms that we are having stripped from us.

Explain to me h0w people in nearly EVERY country in the world can log onto their computers and play online poker, but in the UNITED EFFING STATES OF AMERICA...the land of the free, home of the brave...its ILLEGAL????? When we have casinos now in just about every damn state....we can't stay at home and play online? I don't know...maybe it IS time to move to another country. I just can't think of any I would rather live in. I'm just going to bite the bullet and hope Barack is toast in another year. I mean...I'm pretty sure that all the blacks in this country...after getting so excited to have one of their own elected to the highest office in the country...have realized that they are no better off today than they were 3 years ago, that having Obama in office has done nothing to change their lives. If anyone thinks he is going to win in 2012, they are retarded.

I took today off. I needed to pay every single person who won money in the March Madness Pool, the Sweet 16 Pool, the Title Game squares, and the Masters Pool. It sucked, and took me all day, and after $24,000 left my account...and I got to see for the first time how much money I actually have to my name, it made me REALLY lament finishing 4th yesterday.

Yesterday was a $350 tourney. On Saturday, I got deep again..but it was a bit of a blur, since I was more card dead than I think I have been in a tourney all year. 276 players started. I got AA on my 5th hand, after arriving an hour late. I raise from 50/100 to 250. It folds to the guy in the BB, who looks just like one of the characters from that cheesy XBox360 version of WSOP poker. The latin guy, with short-cropped silver hair, and the mirrored glasses. Medallion, the works. He had just loose called a guy short stack shipping 3k holding KJ...and lost. So he was on tilt. He shoves all in on me...for 7800. I have 10,500 chips. Holy shit. Oh...sorry, pretty sure I need to call here. He has 22. Yeah...deuces. Do I win? Of course not. Does he hit a 2? No. He makes a flush. Of course. And now I'm on tilt. Not really, honestly.

I had spent the first five days here getting acclimated to the ridiculousness with which these people play poker down here. On the way back to the hotel the other night...in a discouraged tone while talking to Squirrel I managed to find the Nostradamus in me to tell her..."Sweetie, I know it sucks...but the structures are really good, and these people are so bad...that I know I will make at least one final table before I leave this place." So I have just readjusted my thinking to expect the worst from these clowns.

I scraped and clawed my way back into that one Saturday. Then, when I managed to get back to over 10k...this dude ships all in at 200/400 for 3200...with 55. I look down, again...at pocket aces. Oh boy. I flat call...everyone else folds...and he turns a five. Jeezuz. I then spent the next four levels hovering between 8-12 big blinds...card dead as shit. With 55 players left...paying 27....I finally get QJh...which looked like QQ after the hands I had been seeing...and shoved all in, getting called by 88. Could I win a coin flip? Double up...and be back in contention? Nope. I lost.

I went with Allie Prescott and a bunch of us ate dinner and had some drinks on the property. It was very crowded everywhere. While we were at this place called Murphy's Law...a fight broke out. We all stand on our stools to get a better look, and all of a sudden we see these two huge guys fighting...one guy picks up a stool, and starts beating this other guy in the head. That guy's girlfriend then jumps on that guy's back...and starts punching him in the head. When the dust settled, both guys were bleeding profusely from their heads...the one guy looked like he had been attacked by a chainsaw. It was pretty bad. Both were taken away in stretchers with cops in tow. Unreal. Welcome to Miami.

I went and played cash game. I sit down at a table full of drunk guys, making just stupid plays. Cool...figure I will make at least $1000 at this table. Flopping sets, turning flushes, making straights...but guess what? I was losing. Everything. I won't even bother going into detail. You have all been there. You know how those things go. Didn't matter what I did. What I bet. Slow play, over bet...nothing was working. 6 of the most annoying human beings ever. And the table talk was the kind that made you want to kill yourself. Ever been at a family picnic...and the people want to play poker...and the stuff they are talking about is like, lower than Poker 101? Where you find yourself asking yourself about 12 times..."Did I really just hear that?" That was this table. And yet...they were taking all my money!

I lost $600 before I finally just realized I was up against the Matrix of poker...and just got up and left. So...I am on my way to my car...which required me to walk across an elevated walkway, go up an elevator and then walk to my car. Only one problem. Another fight had broken out. This one between a scrawny looking punk of a guy about 26 years old and his attractive, yet obviously shit-faced girlfriend. I can only imagine how the first 15 minutes of this spat went. Well, cops and paramedics were refusing to let anyone go by...so I had to sit there for about 20 minutes, before finally, one of the cops let me go by. Welcome to Miami.

I had bought into Sunday's tourney before I left...because I had a feeling I was going to want to sleep in...and down here they only let you register for up to an hour after the tourney starts. So I went to my room and immediately crashed. I woke up around 12:30 feeling okay. Josh left about that time, asking if I was playing. "Yep, already bought in...see you in about an hour."

Josh calls me 30 minutes later. "Dude, I just got here and the blinds are 150/300. Did you know it was a turbo?" Fuck. No...I didn't. So then I scrambled into the bathroom to get ready. By the time I got there...they were on the first break. Blinds were about to go to 400/800 and my 15k was now 12k...and I was too late to buy the dealer add on of 3k extra chips. Wonderful. Felt like I was just donating $350.

I was wrong. 6th hand in I pick up QQ. Raise. No action. This after the kid next to me informs me that "you really missed some crazy shit man!" Yeah kind of like when the lady on his right limped in with K6...he shoved for 12k...with 77, and she calls because 'she is tired and kind of wanting to leave.' No king hit and she was off to take a nap. Lucky for me, because her seat was taken by a guy who though QJ was AA...twice getting it all in against me, once wtih KK the other time with QQ...and he left, having made me chipleader. Thanks bud.

I won't bore you with everything that happened between that time and the time we made the final table. Lets just say I found the right people to make well timed all in plays against, and managed to have my hands hold up when I needed to. We made the money at 18...and were at the Final Table about 30 minutes later.

First place was 14k. And they had this almost cool trophy that would look good in my little poker trophy room. But more importantly...14k. Since there aren't any SNG's being run down here...its become very important to book a 10k score or more to assure this trip is a positive one. So winning yesterday would have pretty much guaranteed that.

I was the chipleader with 650k and 8 players left...when this aggressive asian guy raises my button, AGAIN. I decide to smooth call with KQh, since he had about 480k and was in 2nd place. The flop comes K-Q-2. Perfect hand to check raise and hope he bets big. Bets big? The idiot ships all in. What the fuck? I'm think AK...maybe even AA? But why all in? J10? Draw? I can't fold there...no way...I call. He has A2. Yep. Bottom pair. Turn was an 8...one more card and I'm over 1 million and can pretty much cruise. River....A! Noooo! Felt just like I'd been kicked in the stomach! Knocks me down to 275k.

Back to work. I manage to work that 275k back up to 750k. Then this black lady...who was without a doubt one of the most annoying players I've ever had at a table, and also looked like the black lady avatar on Full Tilt...with the big afro, finally drove me to put on my iPod after not using it all day. Her favorite thing to say was...

"you know, I am the seniors champion." Someone would raise her blind..."You know, that's MY blind you are raising, right...you do KNOW that I won the seniors event, don't you?" This and other varieties of "I'm the seniors poker champ" had me about to kill myself. We came back from a break, 6 handed...and she starts chirping about a possible deal. With the shortest stack, and clearly, the worst talent level. I pretty much ignored her. So did everyone else.

She got down to about 3 big blinds...and pushes all in on me. The guy in the SB calls. I just call with J10. He checks in the dark. The flop comes JJ9...two hearts, and I do the right thing and bet out. He shoots me a nasty look, folds, then nods when he sees my hand. She starts shrieking that she is staying...huh? She turns over J-9. Come on!!! I don't pick up a ten.

On the next hand, she shoves all in again...for 158k. Blinds are 30k/60k...I have 580k...and hold A3c. Hmm...definitely an in betweener right? You could make an argument for folding or calling there...but my desire to get rid of her made me call I think. She had KJh. Ugh...hate that race. I flop an ace...turn a club..giving me a flush draw...then the 9 of diamonds on the river gave her a damn gut shot straight. Son of a ........

Finally, she got knocked out by one of the other players and we were down to 4. Or real money. I then proceeded to get drilled with the deck, but couldn't get a call. I am raising to 150k every hand with.....AKd, 88, 1010, AJ, KQ...and getting no action...but reassuming the chiplead. Then it happens.

The other Asian kid...who apparently had NO ability to play after the flop and had just one move...all in...kept doing it over and over...and it didn't really faze me because I didn't ever have much of anything. But now he shoves again, and I look down at A10. I ask the snotty dealer how much he has...

"he has you covered!"

Really? This is the same dealer, who, when she tried to push in with 1:06 showing in the level...snaps "NO!!!" when I asked the floor guy if we could have the current dealer get out the last hand before the blinds go up. When that happened, I just looked at her and told her that I was asking the floor guy, not her. The floor guy happily complied, and the guy dealt out the last hand of the level. It wasn't even me who was about to take the increase. Its just kind of a pet peeve of mine when they push out with under a minute left.

Well, I was almost positive that the kid did NOT have me covered...so when I ask her if she is sure, she just looks at me and says...."I don't know...its close."

Again....welcome to Miami. I finally ask her to count the guys chips. She sighs that sigh of 'how dare you inconvenience me' and got me a count. Oh...he had 795K? Interesting...and I have 875k. I guess that means I have HIM covered. Wow.

I can't decide what to do, so I flip a coin. It comes up heads. I call. He has...what else? El Diablo. K10.

"Oh wow, you have me dommmmmminated." yeah whatever, scrubby, what you don't know is that you couldn't possibly be in better shape...since you have the dreaded El Diablo. And just like every other dipshit who overplays K10...he flops a king...then rivers another one. FML.

Now its him with a shit ton of chips...the other Asian with a massive stack...and me and this old guy with about the same stack...and the difference in 3rd and 4th about $1300. Just my luck, I pick up A6 on the button and have to shove. Old man wakes up with A10. Asian in BB calls with Q8. He wins with a Q. We are both punched out. The bad news...the old guy had me covered by only 20k. Which means he backed into 3rd place for $4800 while I had to settle for $3500 and 4th place. I should have won that damn tourney going away. $3500 never felt so shitty. Oh well.

I didn't play today's $230 for obvious reasons. Monday...small field (ended up being only 76...Josh Palmer, my roomie, finished 4 from the money) and too much to do on my computer.

Well at least I followed up on my promise/prediction to my wife that I would eventually make a final table down here. Just wish I had closed that bitch out and managed to fade the two and three outers when I needed to. Would have been a nice feeling to have my bankroll down here over 20k. But thatttttt's poker, right?

Tomorrow is a $350 double stacks...which I expect they will only get about 125 for. The Isle at Pompano Park has been outdrawing them in a lot of the events. Truth is, its a really nice casino, with a very large poker room. But one thing they have is really uncomfortable chairs.

I had to get a chair massage while playing cash game there the other night because of what the damn chair did to my neck and shoulders. Its those chairs that kind of pitch your body forward...where you feel like you are about to slide out of your seat. Know what I mean? I hate those.

Josh is talking about playing there tomorrow because its a $200k guarantee...but from what I saw up there...I am terrified to play there. I was seeing the most ridiculous shit up there, and just am not in the mood to endure another day of that. Plus their structures are a little too speedy. The one at Hard Rock is a lot better...and if I win $15k instead of $25k that's fine. Plus I would like to take one of those trophies home with me!

I had a lot of other stupid shit to talk about...as its been a few days since I've blogged, but now this blog has gotten really long and I'm getting a bit tired...so it will have to wait until next time.

Hi Mom...I know its not until Thursday...but in case I don't blog before then....HAPPY BIRTHDAY....I LOVE YOU!!!!