Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day Two.....ehhhhh!

Roses are Red...Violets are Blue...batting .500 is great in baseball, but sucks in Poker.

When I woke up today...and started switching through the channels...I stopped. On the in-house channel featuring this weeks performances at The Riviera Convention Center. Care to guess what incredible, entertainment is being featured here this weekend? I am NOT making this up. Midget Wrestling...featuring the Team Canada vs. Team USA matchup. And the following day...Las Vegas Roller Derby! Wow.

People who drive through the casino in scooters, or Hove-a-Rounds, or Rascals, or whatever you want to call them...need to be governed. And I mean NOW! There is an epidemic of fat people, old people, lazy people, and disabled people breaking out all over the place...and they mostly self-centered...because blazing around on those damn things at 25mph doesn't seem to be an issue with them at all. They're outa control.

Yesterday was another beautiful day in Vegas. It's Memorial Day weekend in case that escaped you. There are thousands of 'pretty people' here this weekend, so when I parked, and walked in...I had to walk past all the people waiting to get into Tao Beach. Reality check: I'm 44 now. And 20 lbs. overweight. Depressing.

I got to Venetian in the middle of level two. At my table was  nobody I had ever seen in my life. Oh wait...except Manny Minaya down there in seat 8..who was almost out of chips. I spent the first 15 minutes studying the table. The result? I merely became annoyed. This one kid's face looked like a pike. He liked to do a lot of 4 or 5x three-betting. Then we had the kid in the three seat, with his super dark glasses...who has been watching way too much of Tom Dwan...aka Durrrrrrrr, as I'm pretty sure most of these under-25 assholes have been doing. So they bring it to their game. Why? The...robotic...move like a slug as they make their wager? Are you familiar?

It's just stupid. Then you have dude in the 10-seat...who, anytime someone made a bet, would squint his eyes...furrow his brow...then take on a look of insane curiosity. "You are re-raising ME? What? How? Why?" Then spend a ridiculous amount of time tanking. Then folding. I wanted to take a fire iron and just lay it across his face.

Then there was the guy to my left...who had to be 40-45...but still thought he could pull off the internet clown look...you know, with the gray hoodie on...the stupid glasses...the headphones that had no music coming out of them, who had to pull his glasses down to peek at his cards every hand. What a tool. 

Then we had the guy a few seats away who thought he was the white Phil Ivey. The bug eyes...look this way, look that way...ponder...climb into your soul. Jackass. 

I sat at this table for 15 minutes and already hated it. Meanwhile I was looking at shit like 9-5, 10-2, J-3...and folding my way to a good, tight, table image. I literally never played a hand for the first hour. 

ATTENTION ALL AMERICAN PLAYERS:  We here in America...we are called Poker 'Players.' If I have to overhear one more conversation, or see one more Facebook post from someone referring to themselves as 'runners' like they do in Europe, I am going to find where you live...hope you have well water, and poison your water supply. How did this get started? And what has to happen for it to end? Why are you jokers trying to sound 'international??' You aren't! You're a damn American. Whats next? You gonna start calling soccer futbol? Maybe you will just take it up a notch and call Football soccer? Why the hell do the Euros call them 'runners' anyway? When have you ever seen a poker player running? Other than to go to the bathroom in between hands?

If you will study your history books...you will know that our ancestors all jammed into several boats, so they could cross the Atlantic to get away from those idiots over there. Then...when they thought they could bully us around...they sailed all the way over here just so we could kick the shit out of them. So again I ask...why are you bozos trying to emulate them?

IF YOU ARE ON MY FACEBOOK....and I see you use the reference 'runners' at anytime this summer...I am deleting you as a friend. No warning. No explanation. You're just GONE. We call this being 'JY'ed'...and expression made famous by Jason Young, who, incidentally arrives on Wednesday...and a large group of us will be going to dinner and then 'The Hangover 2' which I'm very excited about. Jason likes to whack people from his Facebook when they put what they think are quirky little remarks below his posts, when they are barely eligible to do so. Some of you get on our Facebook list as a mere formality. Know your place. That's all we ask. If we are having a bad day...play 12 hours...and 5 from the money get our AA gets cracked after having four-bet shoved, by a guy with a double chin from Estonia holding 3-4 because "it's my favorite hand" and one of puts some stupid comment below our dejected exit post...there is a very, very good chance that you will be getting 'JY'd' minutes after making your stupid post. 

I used to really enjoy watching the Indy 500 when I was a kid. I now find it extremely boring. And Danica Patrick to me is a joke. As are the stupid GoDaddy.com commercials. And GoDaddy's owner is a dick who likes to kill helpless elephants. One thing about Indy cars though...they have much more impressive crashes than NASCAR. Those shitty little Indy cars just disintegrate when they crash...I like that.

My Mariners won again last night...this time beating the All Time King of Closers...Mariano Rivera, in the bottom of the 12th. That's two in a row over the Yankees, 9 wins in the last 10 games...and we now sit just 1/2 a game out of first...and are over .500 finally! Today we go for the sweep with Jason Vargas taking the mound. Go Mariners!

So the tourney yesterday. We started with 12k. I was down to about 8k. I pick up good 'ol QQ under the gun. I raise to 550. Get a caller. Then another caller. Sigh. Then the BB makes it 2200. Great. Here we go again. I call. Other dude calls. Last guy folds. Flop comes 10-7-5 rainbow. Dude in BB leads out 2500. Something about the way he acted before he bet made me believe he was just c-betting that flop...that he might have had either a pair of 8's or 9's or maybe AK. So I re-raise him all in. Other guy folds, he calls...and turns over ACES. Perfect. Ahhhh lovely, and I was out.

I walk over to SNG-Land. I buy into an $80 sng because its the only thing about to start. Its a pretty lousy cast of characters, and I'm expecting nothing. On the fourth hand...and in the SB...it folds around to me. I look at KK. Hmmm. I raise to 125 (from 25-50). The BB re-raises me to 450. 

"I'm all in"

He snap calls. With pocket 6's. Hmmm. Interesting. Clean flop. He starts to get up to leave. Oh no. Why do they always do that? You know when they do that, it always ends badly for us. Right? Nothing on the turn. River? 6. Alayna...one of my favorite dealers, gives me the look of "Oh My God Monkey....I'm so, so sorry." It's all good. It happens. The guy was a fool for getting his whole stack in preflop with sixes. After busting me...he busted ANOTHER guy's KK about four hands later...this time with 5-6. Whatever. At least I didn't sit there for 2 hours so I could finish third again.

No...that would happen on the next SNG. A $130. This is getting a little bit old. In my last ten SNG's...I have 2 wins, 7 thirds..and that 9th in the previous SNG. In this one...I would get to three-handed. The short stack wanted to do a three-way chop. 

"No thanks! I'm already stuck 3k after two days here...I will play for the full $570 thanks. And if I lose, I lose."

I lost. With him sittin on just three BB's...Georgio...a pretty nice guy who seems to know a lot of people around here...and who liked to limp a lot...limps on the button with AK. For 800. SB shorty completes. I look down at JJ. I shove all in. Georgio calls. And the dealer flops him a King. Of course. And the shortstack backed into a $570 victory. And I had another third place finish. 

We'll try again. Another $130. Lost my first two hands and was immediately short. Long story short...I made a huge comeback. It all started, I think...when I put on my baseball hat...which I had yet to wear on this trip. No fewer than 17 people have said something that sounds like:

"Hey Monkey...I didn't even recognize you...you look like you're in disguise...no hat, no goatee (yeah I shaved) glasses...wow."

Well, it seemed to be interfering with my ability to win. So I put on a hat...and glued on a fake goatee...and with three players left...this guy shoves 6k on my BB when we were at 300/600. I call with AKh. He has AJs. And no...somehow he doesn't three-out me, or hit a flush, or a straight...or anything else. He just loses and leaves, and I finally have a damn win on this trip. $650. Cha Ching. Finally.

Just in time to play the nightly. Exact same number of players as the night before. 116. Strange. The previous night...I got 34th. Last night...I did better. I got 18th. It paid 13. Yes...annoying. But at least last night I never had to rebuy/re-enter. So I only lost $120. Small victory. 

Did a smart thing after that. Did NOT go play cash game. No idea what to do today. The $550 Main Event at Orleans is today. And I'm pretty sure they have a great structure for that. The only thing about the Orleans...that place freaks me out. It is kind of like New Orleans...in that when you walk out of there you just feel dirtier...and like a worse human being for the experience. Its dingy, and smoky, and the chips are gross. And there are lots of old people, and those damn scooter things everywhere. The only thing missing is the homeless musicians on every corner, and the hookers walking up and down the sidewalk. With their missing teeth and nylons filled with holes. I don't know though...I haven't been over there in a couple years... maybe they've added that.

Today's Venetian event is a $550 also. I figure if I'm going to spend $550 on anything it should be something that if I win will garner me a little poker cred. That would be the (cough cough) Orleans Main Event. 

On the other hand...Allie and I discussed taking today off and simply sitting around a pool somewhere gobbling down cocktails and food and playing like Simon and Randy Jackson. That does actually sound fun...but my buddy James Dunning...the guy who's line of cool jewelry I have been advertising (for free) on the right-hand side of this blog...has the hookup at BARE tomorrow, on Memorial Day...for FREE...to sit around, gobble food and drinks, and observe 'things' there too. I am leaning towards playing today and goofing off tomorrow. Plus, Allie is never really known to wake up before 2pm, so if I go play at Orleans...I could be out before 'The Prescott' even opens his eyes. Yeah...that might be the plan.

My refrigerator in my room is freaking tiny...so all this stuff I got at the store is unable to fit in there. Not cool. Not cool at all. 

I currently have 24 games of 'Words With Friends' going. I can't start any games on my end. A lot of the people I'm playing are cheaters. From now on...when I even THINK I'm playing a cheater...I am simply RESIGNING from the game...and never playing them again. Those people are stupid.

I hear 'Bridesmaids' is hilarious. From several people. I will be checking that out.

Ladies. Most of the hookers out here wear heals that are 6 inches or higher. If you do NOT want to be accidentally classified as a hooker when you are here getting your 'club on' with your girlfriends, I would suggest keeping your heels under 6 inches. Four is a pretty good number.

I am seeing a major decline in the number of girls wearing boots this summer. That's unfortunate.

We are still having to play 10-handed at Venetian...and the players have NOT gotten any skinnier this year. Myself included. Which is good for the people in the pharmaceutical business. Keep 'em coming boys.

Okay. I'm done here. I have to go to the front desk now and pull off some kind of haggle-magic regarding my room reservation. No details necessary. Hope you all have a nice day. Click the RED CROSS ICON up there in the top right corner and please donate some money today, if you can afford it.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rude Welcome...Day One Recap

So I'm not good at photoshop! Sue me! Better yet...if you are talented enough...and know what kind of a day I had, either good OR bad...feel free to creatively design some fun little pictures and email them to me...if I use them I will give you a photo credit as well as a delicious cookie when I see you next.

Currently it is 11:02am on Saturday. My day will consist of arriving at Venetian, late probably...which is not a big deal this year...since they have stopped doing the blind off when you arrive late, which means they are literally INVITING me to show up late. See, when you get there late, you get either seat 8 or 5...both seats I delight in sitting in. And with a full stack. Fantastic. Now if we could just do something about their refusing to let players play 9-handed...we would be approaching perfect. The other thing I found out yesterday which brought gloom and sadness to my day was that they are not letting us using iPad's at the table.

Why? I do not know. Back in February...Tim Mix told me they didn't allow them. However, the DO allow the iPhone...which, frankly is nothing but a mini-iPad...so if its because of its ability to browse the internet, send/recieve email, watch movies, play games that they don't allow the iPad...well, then it makes no sense. Additionally, I saw a person using a Kindle in February and asked Kathy Raymond myself about it...telling her that the Kindle was internet capable like the iPad...she asked Tim if that was the case...he wasn't familiar with it. So...I just kind of naturally assumed that through the process of evolution and information they would remedy the situation by the time I returned for summer. Well, I was wrong. 

I know that their initial reason...as told to me by Kathy herself...was that Commerce, in California...wasn't allowing them and a lot of players there were bitching that "they let us use them at Venetian!" (back when they DID allow them) and when the people from Commerce called Venetian to request they stop letting players using them...as casinos sometimes do with each other to kind of foster an air of cooperation (which I certainly respect) Venetian decided to follow suit. 

Here is my question. I am 97% sure they will be allowed at the WSOP. I'm assuming that because they have been allowed at all the WSOP circuit events...and they tend to apply their rules/policies across the board. So...since I really LOVE the Venetian...and want them to get the best P.R. available, and build their image...I know whats going to happen this summer. Players and their iPads will come over from the Rio...pull them out somewhere in the middle of Level 3...and be ordered to put them away...which will result in massive tilting and bitching. Ya hearing me? 

For me it really sucks because I have less than perfect eyes, and big fingers...which make using the iPhone instead of the iPad is just annoying. I was, however, permitted to use it to my heart's content last night while playing cash game (an unmitigated disaster, by the way)...which is funny. If you play in New Orleans at Harrah's you know that iPads and all other music devices are NOT allowed in their cash room...but ARE allowed in their tournament room. A total flipflop. And more of what drives us players crazy in the poker world...inconsistency. 

Okay whoa...I kind of got sidetracked there. But the iPad has become a big part of my life...and peace of mind. If you ever experience the kind of day I did yesterday...you would understand how important it is for me to be able to sit and watch the comedic stylings of Daniel Tosh while getting the crap kicked out of me all day!!!

I'm getting to Day 1. Today...I will be playing at Venetian in Day 1b of their opening event, a $340 buy in...that is featuring two Day 1's. If you enter on Day 1a and lose at some point...you may enter again today. They had 580 players yesterday...and are expecting around 1200. Holy schneikeees! That means we are looking at around $125k for first. Whoa! The bad news? If the play in this $340 is anything like the play in last night's 7pm $120...which now features unlimited RE-ENTRIES for the first four levels...yes, I rebought...twice...then I am scared shitless about today. I won't even get into the hands I watched last night...because I don't need to.  Just imagine the most effed up thing you have ever witnessed online, live or in jail...and multiply that by ten...and that is what I saw last night.  Yep. 


National Circuit Championship $1m Freeroll.  Winner:  NOT MONKEY

I arrived. On time. Met and shook hands with everyone. Finally met Ty Stewart...who is kind of 'the man' at Harrah's/Caeser's and had a LOT to do with me getting back in to the WSOP and making sure I got to play my Freeroll seat. He was very cool, and dressed really hip. Which I found ...mmm, word here, well lets just say I liked it. I went up and introduced myself, and thanked him for everything. 

"Well, you know...there is always two sides to every story, I had never met you...so in fairness, I thought it deserved checking out."

So...kudos to Mr. Stewart...and I look forward to a nice, long postive relationship there. Saw Nolan Dalla, who was also instrumental in getting me back in. Thanked him of course. Pretty much all the big whigs were there.

One of you posted a comment asking what the 'form' was that I had to sign before being allowed to play. For the record...I expected there to be something like that. I was called on Tuesday, a day before leaving...by Jack Effel. We discussed a few things, one of which was the 'conditions' of my return. He informed me that the third and final 'strike' would be administered by him. And only him. That if he were informed that I have done something that violates the terms of my re-admittance...that he will have the authority to zap me. 

Yeah...I know what you are all thinking. Don't think I'm not thinking the same thing a little bit. He tried to convince me that I have nothing to worry about...that there is no 'conspiracy' to 'get Monkey' and that I should just go on about my business and behave and everything will be just fine. What I would have liked to have happen was a set procedure for dealing with any 'issue' that may arise. Because as it is now...I could be playing, have some random dealer push in...deal me a succession of horrible beats in his 30 minutes. I might frustratingly muck my cards...one might skip up and land askew...and next thing you know, I'm being pulled away from the table by Jack the next day. 

"I was told that you were abusive to a dealer yesterday...and as per our conversation...this is going to result in you being 86'd"

No witness statements from other players. No reviewing of video surveillance to back up the story. Just a 'report from a dealer' and poof! Bye Bye Monkey. Which was very, very similar to what got me put out of Ceaser's three years ago. Am I a bit paranoid? Yes, hell yes I am. When it's 'his word against mine' I seem to lose every time. I just think when dealing with something as important as my poker career there should be a little better system in place than just a 'I heard through the grapevine that......' and I'm out! Am I being unreasonable here?

So yeah...it's something I am carrying around with me...and will be all summer.

The Freeroll:

I started great. Was getting great cards the first three levels. The bad part was that I wasn't getting a lot of action. We started with 20k in chips.  On the strength of KK, QQ twice, JJ once, AKh twice, flopping a boat with QJ on a limp...and a couple of pretty strong semi-bluffs...I was sitting on 29k in Level 4. I was really feeling good. Then my table broke. I got moved and everything went to shit. I kept getting good cards...but was now losing with them. I went from 29k all the way down to 19k...then it happened. Like it always does.

Oh real quick...thank you TO ALL OF YOU...for making this month my most viewed month ever...in three years! We are well over 8000 hits this month with a full three days remaining. This will be hard to top!

So...this guy with about 75k raises (at 200/400) to 1100. Other guy, who I have played against a lot...calls the 1100. And here I am with QQ in the SB. Do I re-raise? I know how QQ usually ends up when I re-raise with it. Someone inevitably moves all in and I'm in that 'here we go again with QQ' position that I hate. But re-raising would have surely gotten it heads up at the least. And with the guy who DIDN'T have AJ!

The flop comes K-Q-10. And I don't think I have give you the play-by-play from here. I busted. Somewhere around 70th...and 3 minutes after Allie had busted. It was a very sick, sad, lonely feeling...sitting out in the Sportsbook...thinking about all the promise that this event had held...thinking about the blown opportunity it represented to raise 10k through selling shares so I would have my Main Event locked up. Now I have to grind my ass off to get that taken care of. I mean, sure...had I made the Final Table it would have been a moot point...but I didn't, so that is, of course what I am fixated on. Whatever. It's over. A lot of real good players lost yesterday...and it didn't cost me anything. And it was a great experience, and it was wonderful to back at Caeser's Palace and see a lot of friends from there who I missed seeing. I just hate the way my day ended. Stupid damn Queens! Every big tourney I play in I seem to ALWAYS get beat with QQ. Sucks.

So I got in my car...drove to Kaizen, and ate a meal for the first time in over 40 hours. They have amazing sushi...and sitting at the counter alone gave me some time to refocus. And eat. And chill out. Mission accomplished.

Drove to Venetian. Bought into the nightly. And you know the rest there. 116 players. Most of them attrocious. Got down to 35..and was actually starting to think I might just pull it off. Then in a three way all in...me with AKs...I am up against AJ and 10-10. The tens held...and I was out. I lost to a cool dude so it wasn't as upsetting...I hope he ended up winning. 

Went to SNG Land...which BTW...if you are a veteran of the Venetian...has been moved. They now have 150 tables...which is awesome, and the SNG's are being played back where the high-limit slots usually are. Several people feel they should put a sign in the old area telling people where they are currently located...and maybe (hopefully) they will...but if not, I guess the players will just have to eventually figure it out on their own. 

I got into a $130. On the first orbit I called a cutoff's raise with Q10 and asked the dealer, John to please flop me the nuts. He complied. A-J-K. Rainbow. Cutoff check raises me all in. I call! He had AJ. Did not hit an ace or a jack...and I doubled up. And thanked John! Cruised to three handed. It was paying $570 to two players...plus there was another $140 in last longer money...with one of the guys not in it...so potentially I stood to win $710. Which would have been a nice way to close out the day. Nope. Didn't happen. Instead...I raise on the button with AQ...this guy jams A8...and hits an 8. That cuts me in half. Then the same guy...who WASNT in the last longer...raises my BB. I have KK this time. He has A3. Clean flop. Nothing on the turn. Ohhhhhh ace on the river...of course! And I was out...third! Again. If you're keeping score...in my last 9 SNG's now...I have two wins...and SEVEN third places...and most of them in disgusting fashion. 

I slithered away from the table...and decide...like a retard...to play cash game. To try to rekindle my losses for the day.

Bad idea. I can only describe my cash session by comparing it to standing in the street, with two 5-story buildings on each side of you...with about 20 people on each rooftop with slingshots. And yes...no matter how much you try to dodge the rocks...you couldn't. Dodge one...dodge another...starting to get a little confidence...oh no...here comes 5-9 offsuit....POW! Right off the forehead! Ouch! Bastard!

I rebought...not kidding...SEVEN FREAKING TIMES. Amazingly...I kept my cool the entire time. I finally left. Mainly because it was about 2am...and I wanted to be fresh for today. Also because it had become abundantly clear that this day was not meant to be. And at some point I had my wife accusing me of being drunk...drunk! Honestly...I WISH I was drunk! Because it might have meant I had woke up today forgetting what I had just experienced on my first day in Vegas. But I wasn't In fact...I felt almost...I don't know...woozy or something. Like a boxer who had been punched in the head about 99 times in a row. Maybe it was all the cranberry juices with 4 limes that did me in. Not sure. But I just decided my best course of action was to stop talking to her. So I did. She'll be okay...I just don't think she understands sometimes what this game does to our mental state.

Sweetie, if you are reading this...I am not mad at you. I love you. Have a nice day at the Hard Rock pool with your girlfriends. Yesterday is over. Thank God.

I am very fond of my room. The weather is perfect. I'm happy to be here. I'm still very optimistic. Just a really crappy start. It happens. Time to go kick ass!!!


Yeah...see...the KINDLE! Wi-fi capable...does almost everything the iPad does...and its only $114. Yeah! I have a feeling I will buying one of these in the next week.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Road Trip Blog...

Hi! First let me just say that I am in rush hour traffic in Lafayette, LA. Remember that place!!?? Yikes. Won't be stopping here! The blog editor is really a bitch to use on the iPad. Pictures might not happen here. Or maybe I will add them later. I kind of think I will just keep on, big rambling account of my entire trip.

I actually packed the night before I left. Almost positive that has never happened. Did four hours of yard work yesterday then spent another three hours washing my car. Did every single errand on the list. Nothing more satisfying than leaving and. Having taken care of all responsibilities on the home front first.

Actual time of departure was 2:36 pm. Got a chance to see some pretty substantial flooding between Baton Rouge and Lafayette, it's amazing just how much water the Mississippi River contains.

Rented 5 movies from the RedBox. Can't start watching them till after dusk, about 7pm. Just too much glare on the screen. I may or may not give reviews after watching.

There is zero doubting my mind, and this conclusion comes not just from today but countless experiences. Louisiana drivers have GOT to be the worst in America. I think if Joey 'Luckbox' Gross, Mr. XBox360 blow em up shoot em up himself were with me on this road trip, he'd have my 4Runner all loaded with 50mm guns where the sun roof is and T.O.W. Missiles mounted from the brush guards and you'd be hearing some 'Real Stories from the Highway Patrol.'

Originally I was a lot bigger fan of Slacker radio but now I'm really starting to like Pandora. Better content. But I like how Slacker gives you the lyrics, so you can sing along like a Karaoke dork!

Signing off: 5:21pm. 213 miles in the book.

DAY ONE FRIDAY...$1M National Freerool!!!

Well...that was pretty anticlimactic wasn't it?  I just woke up in my bed here in Las Vegas at 6am after getting in way ahead of schedule yesterday at around 8pm. Fell asleep around 9 without even eating dinner...so now, of course I'm starving. But my 30 hour drive...the 'Annual Marathon Run', followed by a 10 hour sleep fest, has me feeling totally back to normal...or as close to normal as I can get!

I've got plans to go meet Prescott for breakfast at The Wynn pretty soon. Watching Good Morning America right now...in anticipation of the appearance of Lady Gaga. They are doing cutaways to the people in the audience waiting for the 'Lady' to perform. Its amazing to me what losers people can be. And we are hearing about Sarah Palin, and her campaign which is about to launch. If this dumb broad wins the Presidency, I swear to God...I am getting Squirrel, my dogs...and we are moving to Europe. I promise!

My room here at the Riviera is great. Spacious, flat screen TV, safe in the room, refrigerator...comfortable beds, the A/C works like a champ (very important in Las Vegas!!!) and the pool here is surprisingly decent. I am fired up about this summer...I really am. And it all starts today! I'm not going to lie...I am actually somewhat nervous. Yeah...can't remember the last time I was 'nervous' heading into a poker tourney. I kind of like it.

Okay, well...that's all I got for you today. Sure in 12 hours I will have a LOT more!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Handicapping the WSOP...and lawn work. CHOCTAWWWWW!

Her name boys...is Brittney Palmer...she first appeared in FHM magazine, and now is a ring girl for MMA. What does she have to do with this blog post? ABSO-freaking-LUTELY nothing. But it got your attention didn't it? Now CLICK HERE to treat yourself to more deliciousness...and since you won't be back, I will thank you for stopping by!!!!

Good morning world. Just woke up to discover that when someone 'tags' you in a link on Facebook...and then goes on to  have a 50+ thread all throughout the night and early morning...that it ends up sending you a message every time...via email to your inbox and/or your phone if you have it set up that way. Tony Dick...you will officially be getting an elbow in the face when I get to Vegas. Jenn Gay and Christina Sharkady...you two ladies are excused, one for a certain 'favor' (no donkeys...not sexual, grow up!) and the other for another favor (again...same retort) that is today's motivation for this post.

Jenn Gay has wandered into the underbelly of the poker business. Well, check that...the actual UNDERBELLY is something much more unseemly, something that I will now be taking a prolonged hiatus from discussing or attempting to fix. No...we are talking about the fine art of 'wagering.' And in this case we are not talking about a football game, or a horse race...or for that matter...one of those dogs who chases a towel designed to look like a rabbit or something. Yes, 'Smoke' I know you love those stupid dog races.  By the way...road warrior...where ARE you today?

We are talking about...wagering on the WSOP! It started a couple days ago...when I received an email from Josh Brikis...who btw, its his birthday today. Happy Birthday Brik-dog! He is doing his annual dog and pony show...where you pick your ten players to accumulate the most amazing statistics at this years WSOP...it isn't cheap to play either. I believe this got started a couple years ago when I was at dinner with Matt Brady, Allie Prescott, Will Failla and others I can't remember...oh yeah, that dude they call Karate Mike...at some restaurant near Commerce casino...and they were all putting together 'fantasy teams' for the upcoming Main Event at Commerce. It made for somewhat entertaining dinner table fodder. I was not on the Fantasy Roster...and it made me sad. From that point on it became my mission in poker (and life) to be on someone's fantasy team for poker!

Ah ha! I've made it...sort of. Jenn Gay...in her most recent blog post...has named her favorites to final table the $1m National Freeroll....CLICK HERE for the list of all 100 players and what they did to qualify. Can't lie..feels FU***ng awesome to see my name on here. It really is kind of a humbling feeling. Jenn has put together a pretty respectable list...admittedly in 'homer' fashion as there are a lot of GCP'ers (www.gulfcoastpoker.net) on the list, as well as locals from Alabama and Mississippi...and hey, that's cool! I happen to think that a lot of the top players from the country come from right here in the south. To check out Jenn's picks....CLICK HERE.

One of the guy's she has picked is named Justin Kruger...who goes by the nickname CHOCTAW...carries around a silly looking alien doll for a card marker/cheerleader and babbles incoherently to know one in particular. Something tells me, Kai Landry and I may have just found us a third wheel this summer for Vegas...and that the possibly of finding the three of us holed up in the corner somewhere competing in a drinking contest while counting shoes could become a reality. Throw Allie Prescott into the mix and we have the perfect golf foursome of guys who will never leave the first tee!

I don't care what anyone says...those boots, especially the ones with fur on top of them...add at least 1 to 1.5 pts to any women's overall score. Period.

Look, I am well aware of my inability to always get the words YOUR and YOU'RE correct...sometimes it just comes down to laziness on my part. Just lay off! And that means you, too....wife! I could spell you under the table and you know it! Fourth Grade spelling bee champ in the HOUSSSSSSE!

Hey neighbor! The one who likes to strategicaly place your sprinkler so that my grass misses out on even ONE drop of your precious water...I know what your doing...and for your information, ROUNDUP is now on sale at Home Depot...and I'm pretty sure I still know how to spell the word 'DOUCHEBAG!!!'

I have a list of about 14 errands to run today in my last official day in Biloxi for 54 days. Anyone care to come over to my house and take on about half of them for me?

Is anyone watching the American Idol finale? I'm not. Like I said 147 days ago...when Pia left...so did I! I don't dislike the two who made it to the final...at all, but I'm a little surprised. And frankly...I just don't care. I find myself caring less and less about anything anymore that has to do with this kind of stuff.  I think once they get inside of ten...all the drama, and crying and false smiling crap just make me want to slap them all instead of 'texting in my pick.'

Nice choke job last night by the Oklahoma City Sonics. Up by 15 with 4 minutes left...and they shit the bed. Scott Brooks has to be one of the worst coaches when it comes to designing plays in the final minute. Hey lets just spend the next four minutes running the shot clock down to 6 seconds then heaving a three-point brick! Yep...good strategy. Game-set-match....Mavericks. Stay tuned for another Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks Finals rematch of 2006 when Shaq and D.Wade beat the Mavs 4 games to 2. I called this final at the start of the postseason...wish I'd have put it in writing...you'd all be calling me 'Monkey the Greek' like you do when I nailed my past two Super Bowls nearly dead on. Sorry Chicago fans...while I love what Derrick Rose brings and I love what that coach has done up there...I just don't think you can do enough to get by Lebron, DWade and that guy who looks like a friggin ant...Chris Bosh.

My Mariners are on a tear! Nice little comeback in the 9th and a win in extra innings last night...to win our 6th game in a row...and pull to within 1.5 games of first place! Can I see us going from worst (100 losses in 2010) to first this season? Sure! The AL West is up for grabs and the M's have one of, if not THE sickest starting staffs in the American League! I will be home in the last week of July...and going to see the 'first place Mariners' would be awesome!

Okay...I have to get out there and do the yardwork...so maybe this is what you have all been waiting for. My picks to make the Final Table of the National Freeroll that starts this Friday. Of course I have total confidence in my abilities...and think I have just as good a chance as anyone of making it...and sure hope I do...especially after the wife talked me out of (okay...ORDERED me, almost) selling off shares of myself! However, in the interest of being an objective 'journalist' I shall refrain from including myself in the list. Its early in the day...and I don't even know if that last sentence made sense...if it didn't I apologize, but I think you all know what I was driving at. And lets not fool ourselves...I know a lot of you who read my blog, and some of these 'big words' are going over your heads anyway, right!!???  ;)


Dwyte "The Duke" Pilgrim:  Not only is The Duke a good buddy of mine for going on three years now...but Dwyte just has something about his game that is magical. It's weird. I know he might have come off as kind of a douche on TV recently, and I told him that when I saw him in New Orleans...we had a good laugh over it...but Dwyte is an A+ classy guy...and I think when it comes to poker...he's the real deal.

Matt Waxman: Matt and I got to know each other a couple years ago when I was rooming with Joe Cutler down in Aruba at one of his friend's private resort. We had a good crew of guys there...me and Joe, Matt, Will Failla, Jonas Wexler and a couple other solid players. Matt is a really nice kid, and a super solid player...and right now there are few players as hot as he is.

Shannon Shorr: While I am not exactly wild about Shannon on a personal level...for a couple of reasons that don't need to be discussed here...I am a big fan of his game. It doesn't matter what he plays....he is always seeming to be in the top ten in chips at every stage of the tourney. You have to respect that. And when he loses on sick beats...to his credit, he really handles himself like a pro. He has managed to make poker work for him as an industry away from the table, too...which is a place I am trying to get to. Plus he is from Tuscaloosa...which right now has a special place in my heart...so might as well give T-Town someone/something to root for, right?

Brandon Adams:  I don't know Brandon at ALL. I have never even had him at my table. So why does he scare me? I don't know. Maybe its because his facial expression NEVER seems to change. Ever. My wife thinks he's hot...which doesn't help my case any! But the guy just plays solid, solid poker.

Allie Prescott:  No, this is not a 'homer' pick...and YES! I do hope I knock his ass out of this event. But Allie seems to have recaptured the focus in poker that he relinquished a couple years ago for other more important things like socializing, drinking, and hanging out with Liv Boeree...and when he is dialed into poker...he is a machine. The other 'x-factor' is that after New Orleans...he is ALMOST out of makeup...and like any good race horse who rounds that fourth corner post...he is hungry to cross the finish line ahead of the rest.

Allen Kessler:  Now we all know Allen is perhaps one of the whiniest, most annoying poker players on the planet. However...'Chainsaw' (how he got that nickname I will NEVER know) is also a very nice guy. I do know he has never said anything but nice things to my wife about me...and those people are RARE in this world! The thing about Allen is he might be the one player who I have more in common with (style of poker-wise) than any others in the field...and a 100-player event with a sick sick structure is right up Allen's alley. Plus, he knows all of the players...as I do...which is a huge bonus in an event like this. So I can't possibly leave Kessler out of my Top Ten.

Kevin Calenzo: In an interesting twist of fate...I used to loathe this guy. I mean...before I got on the Celexa medication...everything this guy did used to make me want to rip all my hair out. He still does kind of irritate me a bit when he is at my table...but in getting to know Kevin this past year...he's actually a really good guy. And he's a damn dangerous poker player. He had a shit load of cashes this year...though he didn't manage to take down a title, sucks for him. Trust me, with 4 second places in ring events...I know all about being the Buffalo Bills of Poker.

Chris Bell: One of the nicest guys in poker. Has never been anything other than respectable to me. And on top of it all...he is a GREAT poker player. I think the only reason he doesn't get more attention is because (a) he doesn't play enough and (b) he is just a silent type who doesn't seek attention. Not having Chris on my Top Ten list would be a joke!

Peter Mavro:  Okay, look...I don't know ANYTHING about this guy. You might as well call him a 'wild card' addition to my Top Ten list...but this dude had 11 cashes this season. ELEVEN! And he totaled only $16k in winnings. I am not even sure that is possible. All I know is...he must have light-cashed a lot. But he cashed...which tells me he must be super tight, and a grinder with huge patience...which is one thing you will need a lot of to cash this thing. I wonder how many events he played?

Brian Walsingham:  A Facebook friend, a blog reader...and a super nice guy who is also a true family man...Brian just destroyed NOLA...and had a good year all around. He also plays a very fearless brand of poker. And since it seems like poker is one of those weird games where, when you get on a hot streak it just seems to carry over...I have to go with the hot hand right now. 

Now...what I am secretly hoping for...is that I knock out about half of these guys early, and someone else knocks out the other half...that would sure make winning this thing a lot easier!!! This will be a really tough tourney...but I am really excited for the challenge.

Here are some guys who I consider to be just crazy enough, just dangerous enough...and just stupid enough....to either destroy/dominate/own this event...or be out front of Caeser's Palace trying to get a cab after just one hour of play.

Kurt Jewell: He will undoubtedly be wearing Kentucky Wildcat gear, sporting his gigantic dark shades...and coming off an all-night bender, where he probably lost a shit load playing roulette or blackjack or something...and needing to win this to break even for the week! Funny kid, became buddies with him in AC...after he won the Main Event in Chicago/Hammond for a quarter mill. Just a maniac! But a scary, scary player.

Jesus Cabrera:  Jesus hit his hot streak in the winter. We all know him. Tattoos, muscle shirt...very, very loud. Yes...this IS Monkey calling someone loud. I know! I think he also has about 6 or 7 other 'names' that people call him. I've known this fella for years now...and he is definitely PASSIONATE about the game of poker! He could be out QUICK...or he could be your chipleader after Day 1. It's just how he rolls!

The rest of these guys get honorable mention for one reason or another...some guys I didn't put in my Top Ten list simply because I didn't want to agree with Jenn Gay on hers!!!

Captain Tom Franklin (I got him to untuck the football jersey he has been starting to wear in poker tourneys last week in New Orleans. We all know tucking in a football jersey, unless you are playing in the NFL, is ridiculous. Well played CTF)

Kyle Cartwright.  We will find out if his shit don't stink this summer. He seems to think it doesn't. From what I hear. But hey, young, cocky and brash sometimes works. And he did Friend Request me on Facebook yesterday...so maybe there is a future MonkMate in the making there. Kind of hard to ignore his stats this year.

Blair Hinkle.  Always tough.
Charles 'Woody' Moore. An old-school grinder who knows how to win.
Jeremy 'The Chemist' Gaubert. From Baton Rouge area...an online whiz (whatever that's good for NOW!) Jeremy is a solid player and ultra capable of winning this.
Steve Brecher.  A solid professional
Tim West.  My old boss at my last job was named Tim West...and the first time I saw his name in the money...had to look to see if it was HIM. It wasn't. And since that day I see Tim's name pop up constantly. Dude is a balla!

Alright...that's it. And I would have provided pictures of all these guys...but (a) I don't have time today and (b) if you want to see what they look like...search on them yourselves!

Thanks to ALL OF YOU who immediately responded to my offer of shares yesterday! Wow. It's at least pretty cool knowing I would have sold those 40 shares out in about one DAY! Had the wife not stepped in and intervened like she did. Even though I had to cancel 'the sale' it does feel friggin awesome to know how many of you have confidence in me and my chances. That will kind of serve as some extra motivation to perform well this summer! Okay...off to mow the lawn!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Marriage+Debate= I Lose!

Well...that took all of what? Less than an hour? I clicked on PUBLISH...walked outside to throw Jasper the ball...looked at Squirrel sitting at the kitchen table reading my blog post on her computer...and KAPOW!

The debate started with..."as your wife...I kind of don't appreciate having any input on this idea of yours to sell off pieces of yourself in this Freeroll" and continued from there. 

Her points were supportive. She wasn't ugly about it. And as a guy who is becoming a better husband, I think...I let her win this battle. So...all of which you just read about selling off pieces of myself? Forget it. 

The sale is closed...to those three people who already ordered shares...I apologize. I will be going to Vegas...playing for 100% of myself in the Freeroll...and using other 'means' to get into the 10k Main Event at the Rio. 

Case Closed. Score one for Squirrel. Maybe she knows something I don't! Hope so!


NOW ON SALE: A slice of the Monkey

Yes! The 'sandwich board Monkey' is back with another exciting announcement!

 Yesterday on Facebook I posed the question to my legion of poker playing friends and acquaintances. If I were to sell a piece of myself in the Freeroll coming up this Friday...what would I charge per share? I got over 40 replies. And none of them that I would label 'bad.' I even had some respond who were also IN the $1m National Freeroll.

It's a very compelling question. How much is too much? How much is not enough? I mean, there are 100 players total. 9 will get paid. 1st will receive close to $280,000 and 9th goes home with $35,000'ish. If you simply go by the assumption that each spot is valued at $10,000...which in theory it is...you could simply assume that 1% is worth $100. But that would make no sense to me. Why? Well...if I sold 100 shares...for the Main Event...at $100 a share...and then went to play it for over a week, 12 hours at a time...and made the money, or even won....I would get ZERO dollars. So I'm sorry, but that line of thinking makes no sense to me.

I also understand that a lot of people make their decisions in backing poker players by including that dirty little word: VARIANCE...which might as well come with red horns and a pointy tail! Well, in my case...I already HAVE a poker backer...and the only time I would ever consider 'shopping myself' to investors would be in a case where the upside is so tremendous, while presenting an opportunity to head west on Wednesday knowing that I already have my Main Event entry locked up before I arrive in Las Vegas.

My backer and I have a long-standing agreement that we will NOT directly buy into events over $2500 wherever we can possibly help it. That in order to play in Main Events I either have to satellite my way in...or get outside backing. It's been a very successful game plan...as we are now on our third year together as backer/player.  I know there are a lot of those 'haters' out there who consider me a 'small stakes, mid level grinding chump afraid to take the big stabs at the big tourneys' and that is just fine with me. Those are usually the degenerates who don't know the first thing about long term survival in a game that requires incredible financial discipline and an amazing ability to effectively manage a poker bankroll. Those guys...when they make their stupid little comments, just make me snicker and wonder where they are when posting those comments. I like to believe they are making them from a 10 year old desktop computer, inside a 8x6 cubicle with walls lined with cheap carpet, answering 20-25 calls per hour for 8 hours with a 1 hour break for lunch...or smoking.

So...back to the question. How do you place the proper amount of value on your auction? First of all...to qualify for the $1M Freeroll, it took thousands of dollars invested in events which made it possible to even be playing it. Its not like my name was drawn from a hat...and Voila! You have qualified sir! That alone should drive up the cost at least 1.5% per share...in my eyes. 

Well, I have arrived at 'my price' or what I think I am 'willing' to sell a piece of my action for...and those who don't think its worth it, simply ignore it. For those who do...the line forms at the left. Ya ready?

I am going to sell a total....no more, preferably no less...of 40 shares. Each person may buy ONE share...or they may buy up to 5. In the interest of a nice rooting section, I really do not want to sell more than 5 to any one person. Each share will cost $250. Now hold on before you fall out of your chair laughing! 1%=$250? Nope. That is NOT what you are getting. You are getting MUCH better than that. Ready?

For $250 per share....you will get 1% of my action in the $1m National Freeroll....and 1.25% of my action in the WSOP Main Event. So in essence you are getting 2.25% for $250...or close to what some equate to 'dollar for dollar.' The truth of the matter is...there is so much more upside in the Main Event...with 1st place usually being for well over 5 million...that the value on the Main Event alone makes it a pretty killer deal. 

Why is this deal good for me? Well...I wouldn't say it IS 'good' for me at all. After all, I will only be playing for 60% of the prize pool in the Freeroll and 50% of it in the Main Event. But what it does mean...is that I can relax from the time I leave Biloxi on Wednesday until I arrive in Las Vegas...knowing that my ticket is punched already for the Main Event in July. What it also means...is that if I can make the Final Table in the Freeroll, my summer will be drastically effected immediately, and will mean I can start going after million dollar scores in a lot more WSOP events...rather than just play a handful of $1k's and $1500's along with nearly every Venetian event. I really, truly feel that this is the summer where I come home in July and buy my wife a new house, let her quit her job...and start making little monkeys...while cutting back significantly on my playing time throughout the year.

What does this mean for my backer? As in every event where I get outside backing...I always split 50/50 with her whatever my take is. If history is any indication of her reaction...she will try not to claim any of the Freeroll winnings, if I should be so fortunate, as she did when I won the money for the All-Around at Venetian two years ago. But I'm not letting her get away with that this time around. It was her buying me into all the WSOP events that made this possible. So we would be 30/30 on the Freeroll and 25/25 on the Main Event. Which is just fine with me. If I have success in either of those...other opportunities will manage to present themselves. 

Like they say...all good things come to those who wait. I agree. Like the situation that transpired this week with Harrahs/Caeser's. I got a lot of really incredible emails, text messages and Facebook posts from a lot of awesome people...and I want to thank ALL of you...so much. Most of all, I want to thank the people at Harrah's/Caeser's who work in Corporate/Legal...who finally took on my case and started digging, asking the questions of all the right people, that eventually led to me being allowed back in to participate in their events. Words just can't describe how great that phone call felt on Saturday.

IF: You are an interested buyer...please call me if you have my number....email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com or shoot me a message on Facebook. If you are NOT on my Facebook and want to be...search for me by entering William PokerMonkey Souther....and friend request me with a note attached. I need to make this happen FAST! If you have a XXXXXX account...that would be very helpful.  Once I arrive in Vegas...if I have sold the 40 shares...I will make my first stop at the registration desk at Rio...buy in to the Main Event...and post my seat assignment right on this blog with a picture of the receipt!

I am leaving Biloxi on Wednesday around noon. I had talked to a couple of guys about riding with me, and sharing the cost of gas (ugh!) and also providing some good company...but came up snake eyes so far due to job schedules and what not. I still have an open seat for someone I consider to be 'tolerable.' If you know that after more than 5 hours in a car with you that I would pour gasoline on you and light a match...don't even think about contacting me regarding this subject! I hope you KNOW who you are!

If you read my Pre-Game Rant (for good luck) that I sent to Allie Prescott before yesterday's Final Table...then you will know that it almost worked. Allie texted me that he thoroughly enjoyed it. I was checking in on him as we drove home from North Alabama yesterday. Then...as we pulled into the driveway...I see "Prescott eliminated in 4th place."  SHIT! I'm sure he was pretty disappointed, but hell...he had a fantastic week, finishing in a 4-way chop (2nd place money) in the $1k...holding the top 3 spot for most of the 2nd day in the $1500 Main before getting coolered with KK vs. AA and settling for 18th...and then final tabling the Regional Main Event...and qualifying for the Freeroll next week? Really a great week for a guy I really like spending time with. Proud of him. He needed a week like that.

And to whoever that was that posted your 'That was for Allie' comment, which, YES...I did post...let me share something with you...if you are going to DO posts like that...part of the fun of it, is not posting anonymously. You kind of defeat the purpose of the rant. How old are you, 7? You did know that what I said to Allie was something good friends with a 'unique' relationship do to/for one another right? So you can climb down off your little red fire engine and take a deep breath. Allie doesn't need you coming to the rescue on this one. At any rate...if that was the best you could do on your 'rant' I just have to tell you...you need a little work. That rant was pure and simply....just shitty. Try again. And try signing your name to this one...so that it officially counts!

Moving on. All that sod I laid last week? Yeah...well, what happens when we go out of town and leaves the dog home alone? (well actually...Miss Melissa Parker actually stays at our house with them) Of course. Mollie digs holes. She got after four different pieces of sod. Grrrrr. Funny, I don't even get mad at her anymore. Its just part of the deal. We leave. She pays us back. Thanks Mollie. 

Oh hell. Just remembered I took a picture of this asshole while driving home. Oh wait...I guess I CAN import it from my iPhone...hold on. Cuz this is too good to miss.

Catch me if you can!!!

See this car? How can you miss it? Bright yellow! Its a Honda. And if you look closely, you will see that it is covered with racing decals. You heard me...racing decals. Not only on the rear...but also on the ROOF...the HOOD and both DOORS. Tinted windows. Across the front it says www.indycar.com. Why? I don't know...just check out the website. Now, in case you didn't already hate the person driving the car...imagine that he is that guy who is driving right on your bumper...trying to coax you into getting out of his way. This after flying up out of nowhere. You know when you have someone on your ass...and then you try to get over...but he has already run out of patience and is attempting now to pass you on the right? Which leads to a near collision? Yeah...well, I didn't have that happen with this prick...but I watched him do it to not one, not two...but THREE other drivers. I had to see what this guy looked like.

I was already forming a vision in my mind of what this driver could possibly look like...and I'm not going to lie...it kind of was taking shape in my world of CGI as someone having a very small body, dark shaded glasses, and very orange skin. So I punched it on my V8 4Runner...and once beside him...caught a glimpse of the man with the small penis. (obviously) Yup...he pretty much looked as I'd imagined he would look. That was it, I was done. But before I could snap off his picture for you all to enjoy...he zoomed off into the distance, to cut off some more unsuspecting old people out for a Sunday drive. This was KING ASSHOLE #1 on our drive home yesterday. I wonder if he is from Houston?

More Sobering News Delivered from God:

While we are all extremely grateful to the Lord for not throwing planetary ruin our way on Saturday...you kind of have to ask yourself, especially if you are living in Missouri, if it didn't just come a day late?

While Squirrel and I were driving home yesterday, and passing through towns like Cullman and Birmingham...the evidence of the tornadoes last month was everywhere...wide swaths of destruction...where a tornado had passed right over the freeway, wiping out trees and even snapping those gigantic metal light poles in half, like they were toothpicks. You see stuff like that and it just makes you feel so small in the grand scheme of things. 

So this morning...I wake up, log onto Yahoo, and POW! Again! This time...Joplin, Missouri. A tornado not even as strong as the one that wiped out a good portion of downtown Tuscaloosa, but causing nearly the same identical amount of death and destruction. It just makes my heart hurt. Then you start reading the stories...children being buried out from under the rubble...dead. Whole families being killed. I just do NOT understand what God is doing to us this year. Or why. The earthquakes...in Haiti last year...then New Zealand this year...then Japan...which resulted in a disastrous tsunami. The fires in Texas. The floods in the Midwest and south. And all these tornadoes.

 Have we brought all of this onto ourselves somehow? Will it stop any time soon? What's next? They say tornado season is 'just getting started.' My goodness...please...everyone who lives in the path of these beasts...have somewhere planned out to go, please! These powerful storms are about the worst thing nature can throw at us.

While sitting around the recently constructed pool with my brother-in-law up in Athens, Alabama yesterday...we discussed how a monster twister passed just a mile and a half south of his house on April 27th. I asked him...knowing they don't have a basement...what their plan was in the event of a tornado. He just had a look of utter fear and helplessness on his face. 

"Well, I know a neighbor down the street has a basement...and I probably need to go and talk to him about a possible place to go if it ever comes up. Or I might just need to go ahead and have a tornado shelter build in the backyard."

Yeah, Scott...I would vote for option #2! Watching those three beautiful kids of his and Bridgett's playing in the pool...I just know what losing them would do to my wife. She worships not only her brother...but those kids. I know we would feel a lot better knowing they were hiding under ground in a shelter if a tornado warning were to go off in their area.

If you will all notice, I have a direct link to American Red Cross on my page here...right up there in the top right hand side. I will once again be making my own donation today...and would like to encourage you wonderful readers of mine to do the same. Even if its just $5. I know times are tough. But if you think your having a tough go of it...look at these pictures. It breaks my heart. Once again...we have hundreds of families who have just lost EVERYTHING...a lot of them their loved ones. Again...it makes me ashamed almost that my whole livelihood revolves around poker. Maybe this summer, I will win millions of dollars...and can go out in the community, and do something that really makes a difference to someone.

I know that bearing down on us now is hurricane season...and once again, those boys at the National Hurricane Center are predicting an 'above average season for activity' like they have the last four years. I will take the generator down to Shell and fill that sucker up, put air in the flat tires...and fire it up to make sure its still running good. I will lay out all the necessary extension cords that Squirrel will need if we get hit while I am out of town and she needs to use it to power all our appliances. You have to do whatever you can do to prepare for disaster. But most of all...I think you need to keep a healthy relationship with God, and pray to him...to protect you, and your loved ones...and all of those folks you live with and call friends.

For those of you living in Missouri...I pray for you today.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

The 'Ol Reverse Good Luck for Allie!

Admittedly...nobody, and I mean NOBODY is quite the master at this as Kai Landry is. I'm telling you...to even attempt this is almost embarrassing...but someone had to do it, and Kai doesn't know Allie well enough to even attempt it.

So...the wedding yesterday was lovely. Beautiful, all those words you hope to use in a wedding. While at the wedding I was repeatedly checking on the progress of my good/degenerate buddy Allie Prescott...who somehow (didn't Moses also part the Red Sea?) has managed to have a pretty impressive week in NOLA.

Well, Allie picked up AA with 10 players left...and Shannon Shorr...who about a year or two ago threw me under the bus...then after throwing me under the bus, took me off his Facebook...and ever since, well lets just say I don't root for him too much and just leave it at that; he happened upon KK. And he couldn't bring himself to fold...and did NOT hit a two outer...he simply left, which elevated Mr. Prescott to the 3rd largest stack of the remaining 9 players.

Now...only 8 players get paid. However, you can say that 9th is getting 10k...because that is what the value is on the entry into the National Freeroll next Friday at Caeser's Palace in Las Vegas. Unless of course your name is Matt Waxman...who I also count as a buddy...not a good buddy...but a buddy. Matt has already qualified...so if he somehow goes out 9th today...well, he leaves with zilch! That would suck.

Last night BG up in Baton Rouge was trying to get Allie's phone number, acting on behalf of Jeremy Gaubert...who BG insists on calling "The Chemist" which is okay I guess since some people just flat out refuse to call me anything but Monkey, right? I guess they were trying to work out some kind of a payout for 9th place. Not sure where that ended up. 

So...without further ado...I give you....my Dear Allie hope your fail miserably salute!!!!

Dear Allie:

Or as your Dad calls you...mooch. Today is a very important day. For 8 guys at the Final Table...all of whom have spent the evening sizing up the other 7 guys. If you played cards half as well as you ignore the fine art of shaving...you might actually win a tournament. Where did you sleep last night in preparation for this big final table? In the street, across from Harrah's, in that elevator vestibule? With the rest of the homeless guys? Where are we now on that green Tulane sweatshirt? Day 6? Have you earned a nickname yet from the NOLA street bums? Something like 'puddin cup' or 'memphis P'??? Now whatever you do...don't make your city proud of you. Go pull a Grizzlies act...make it to Game 7 and lose by 15. Might as well just shove it in there the first time you see 5-8, suited or otherwise. It will only hurt for a little while as Chainsaw drags all your chips into his hole with his possum-like paws. What time will you start drinking today? Or have you stopped from last night yet? Did you even sleep? Or did you and the 'boys' stand around a burning garbage can down on Canal Street roasting marshmellow-rat kebobs? Just do what you do best today...show up three hours late...then sit there with your cold, dead eyes...letting everyone know you would just as soon be at the Westminster Dog Show with your ex-roommates aunt. By the way...that guy was right...you are a douche...a huge douche...who thinks he's like...Brad Pitt or something. Why don't you just NOT show up today...and go shuffle off into the 9th Ward and do something useful for society like throw up a couple houses for that little charity? Seriously, I really don't hope you win today...I'm afraid getting out of makeup might cause you to finally crack a smile, which could in turn...result in the earth crumbling tremors we were told to fear yesterday. Just finish 7th...continue to mope around the planet...and I will see you next Friday in the Freeroll in Vegas...where I plan to whack you early, so you can hurry up and get started getting to know all the Vegas street people. Have a nice day...break a leg. No seriously....break a leg...or both of them. Nothing would make me smile like watching you cruise around Vegas in 110 degree heat in a wheelchair all summer!!!!!

Your Pal,

The Monkey 
Okay...I feel as if that should set young Prescott on about his way today in the finest of fashion! Good luck to everyone at the Final Table in NOLA...most of all, that dork up there. ^^^^^  
Hey...does this bother anyone nearly as much as it annoys me? Just curious. When you are sitting at a table...at like...mmmm a bar, or a club...or even...A WEDDING RECEPTION...and someone walks over to your table and drops something on it? Like an empty glass. A finished plate. Wrapping paper. An ashtray. Basically...anything!?? Is it just me? This drives me NUTS! I think its so freaking inconsiderate.

Or here is another one. When traffic is backed up for miles...as yes, it was the other day on I-65...and then there are those assholes who decide its within their right to drive up the right shoulder? Why? Are they somehow in a bigger hurry than the rest of us? And when all of a sudden there is a cop up ahead...and they try to pry themselves back into the lane...and no one wants to let them in, as they NEVER SHOULD...but then that one person finally does? Don't you just want to go fire an RPG at their car? I do. I hate those people.
Okay I have to go entertain my little nephews by letting them try to drown me in the pool. Oh in case I forgot to mention it...I sure am glad the world didn't end yesterday.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

FINALLY! WSOP...Million $$ Freeroll...Vegas....Here I Come!!!!

This will come as breaking news to EVERYONE....who isn't either on my Facebook, isn't a good/decent friend, family member, financial backer or Twitter follower. Because they all found out yesterday at about 3:47pm...when I received a phone call from a Harrah's rep (and all people in this will remain 'anonymous' at their request) in New Orleans, telling me that after a handful of phone exchanges between tournament personnel and Harrahs/Caeser's corporate/legal department...that my status for the upcoming WSOP...and $1M National Freeroll, has been updated to 'active.'

That's right. The 'Ban on Monkey' is hereby lifted!!!! I'm not going to sugarcoat it. I am F(*@#!()W@ psyched!!! We were on our way to North Alabama...where today we are attending a wedding. We had just hit a wall of cars...as a petroleum tanker had overturned on I-65...completely closing the highway in both directions for 5 miles. Yeah...it sucked...we sat there for four hours. But I was so enlightened by that phone call...that nothing was going to come close to dampening my mood.

I am in a bit of a hurry right now...as I have to get showered and get ready to leave..but I simply had to put SOMETHING up! As cool as everyone has been about taking up my cause...putting 'in good words' where you thought it would help. The fine folks who run New Orleans Harrah's who were really the ones who brought this to the attention of the 'higher ups' at Harrah's...which in the end resulted in the 'proper course of action' being followed.

Yes...there are conditions. Of course there are. Pretty predictable. I am now carrying around 2 strikes...and the third will spell doom. I have to sign something when I arrive at Caeser's Palace for the freeroll next Friday. Obviously I am nervous...as are others for me....that certain people will attempt to orchestrate some kind of 'situation' with me that warrants the assessment of that 'third' strike. I realize I am now a marked man. On the other hand...upper management now sees the effort to keep me out as a Herculean effort undertaken by one or two guys...without any knowledge of it themselves...and that any attempts to sabotage my return could blow up in their faces just as easily. 

So...I will continue to be the well behaved, non-drinking, non-berating (which I really haven't done in 2 or 3 years now, anyway) non....well...I really can't think of much I did that was so 'horrendous' other than just having a good time and being overly chatty. And since I have lost most of my zeal for the game...I really don't engage people all that much anymore. So...yeah, I don't see any problems. But I will, of course, be 'watching my back' at all times.

Jubilation doesn't even begin to describe how good I feel about this. I was already pretty pleased with the outcome of the week....I got to see my good buddy Allie take a 2nd place money chop in the 1k...then see him get deep in the $1500 Main before taking a cooler with KK against AA to min cash...and now he is back for Day 3 of the 10k Main Event.  I would love to see him make a huge score. I got to watch my other good buddies, both from Tuscaloosa...who I just stayed with up there, BJ McBrayer and Brian Hepinstall...make deep runs in the $1500 Main before coming up just short of solid scores. Brian was super nervous...as he'd never played a Main Event before...and was staked by a good buddy of mine. I told him to just relax and play good poker. Which he did. Very proud of him, and his effort.

And then....after winning just one sit n go on the trip....and finishing in third place SIX times....I'm not kidding...SIX times...I played the last $550 of the night on Tuesday...with a $500 last longer...and a lot of really solid players...and don't you know I won that sucker!??? I was ecstatic! It was a perfect thing to have happen to me heading into Vegas.

As far as accommodations go...I have settled on staying at the Riviera again...I have a friend who works there, plus I stayed there in February for three weeks...and they gave me a GREAT rate....its really close to Venetian...so its really a can't lose, since I wasn't able to find anything in the house category. I am really, really excited now for the summer! This 1,876 mile drive to Las Vegas now is really going to be pleasant.

As for the freeroll. There will be 100 total players. I figure 1st will win about $280,000 and 9th will score about $35,000 or so. What better way to start off the summer than to make that final table!???

Once again...I just wish to THANK ALL OF YOU for your unwavering support through these hard times. It has been a mental struggle for sure...but I feel (or hope anyway) that I have come out of this a much stronger person for it.

Take care and hope to see you all very soon!!!!