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Monday, June 27, 2011

Time To Get Hot....

OR ELSE!!!!!

No pressure or anything...but I have been here for 30 days now...and I am running out of chances to take home enough money to calm my nerves, my wife's nerves, my dogs appetite for skoobie snacks, my backer's confidence in me, and my ability to continue thumbing my nose at the prospect of that thing we professional poker players fear the most....'GETTING A REAL JOB!!!!!!'


Yeah...this is what I have waiting for me on the horizon if I continue to get my AA cracked by stupid assholes who think KJ offsuit is a hand that is perfectly acceptable for calling 4x re-raises with.

 There was a tiny bit of good news today, received while painfully being subjected to Mark 'No Neck' McGrath and his 'Don't Forget the Lyrics' while trying to wake up this morning. I can't think of one show on TV that is more annoying than that pile of shit. It's funny to go watch Karaoke...and watch people make complete jagoffs of themselves. What's even funnier...is when you see those people who you KNOW are taking it really, super seriously...actually making it a 'career' almost. Those are the ones you go to see because you need someone to hate on. And then...once they feel they have conquered everything there is to conquer in the world of Karaoke...they take their 'skillz' to a broader audience...a.k.a. Mr. No Necks pile of shit game show.

Today...and, don't get me wrong...I know I have the option of 'turning the channel' on my TV here in the Riviera that likes to mysteriously shut itself off every 1 hour and 23 minutes. No idea why. And no...I know what some of you are thinking and about to leave as a comment...it is NOT set to 'sleep timer' mode. Already checked that out. My channel options are very limited...pretty sure that is on purpose, to keep us OUT of our rooms and gambling, as much as possible. Pretty sure I am sidebarring again. Might not even write about poker today at ALL...as I need to get to Rio for what promises to be another huge mutant field of close to 1000 idiots in the 2pm Deepstack.

Where was I? Oh...yeah...about to bitch about the most annoying woman I have ever seen. More annoying than that mumbling, Upper-Michigan dwelling C-word from my table in the 10pm at Rio the other night...the day I lost 5 tourneys in one day...tying a record previously set a couple weeks ago. At least I had the pleasure of watching that irritating, chain-smoking who** get her set busted and put on the rail before I was. I paid the guy who busted her $20 for making my life better. No...it was NOT a bounty...and NO...no one knew I was going to pay him. It just seemed like a good time to tip the waiter...I mean, bitch killer.

So this lady today on 'The Show?' Everything she said was followed by...."Whooooooooo!!!! Yeahhhhhhhhh" And a big cheerleader leg kick. I'm not kidding. If she locked in the lyrics and they were right? Which she only did twice...she did a big spin move, leg kick followed by the splits on the stage. I shit you not. If I could have killed her with my eyes...or made a piano fall from the sky and land on her....she would have been dead. When they cut away to her 'awesomest boyfriend ever' you could tell that it was as good as she would EVER do. This guy was bald, dumpy and clearly a brow-beaten fool. And the girl...was actually attractive, with a nice body...but just...well, you guys don't need more of an explanation do you? No normal, handsome, half way cool man is EVER going to hook up with THAT girl. No way. This poor sap has to actually go out in public with this freaky bitch and introduce to his friends (if he even has any) to her...talk about a deal killer!

Next:

Rod Badhair-o-vich has been re-tried, and found guilty! AMEN. Finally, someone in this country has gotten what they deserve! Now if we could just put the oil executives on trial and watch those fu**ers being led away in shackles...I think we could all have a 'flash mob' celebration in unison, in say...Times Square in NYC.



Bye Bye Rod...sorry, but you AREN'T above the law, pal. Enjoy those fake mashed potatoes and your slice of bologna that will come your way on a daily basis you clown. And don't hesitate to let them kennel your ferret while you're away!

 The other day...when I was losing five tourneys...I was in...Mmmmm, I believe it was the 6pm at Rio...which had backed up to 7pm...which allowed me to get in, after busting the 2pm that had been delayed to 4pm. Yeah...don't even try to stay with me here. Despite the Rio having something like 4,873,204 tables this year...they are drawing such HUGE turnouts that the later tourneys are STILL having to be backed up and delayed due to a lack of tables. Which I don't mind...since I am almost ALWAYS late to every tourney...either by design, or by accident...it works out pretty good for me. I actually end up being on time once in awhile. 

So in this 7pm'er...I get moved to a table...into the 6 seat, and when I look over to the ten seat, I literally started laughing! I'm sorry, I couldn't help it. This guy was completely going for the Sammy Farha table look. I mean...it was almost perfect. Same hair do. Same glasses. Even sat the same way. Same facial expressions. And of course, the retarded cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Yes...I took his picture. No, I will not post it here. You will have to settle for the real Sammy. I posted on my Facebook the hilarity, and invited people to come by my table to check out the Sammy Poser. I had, what? Three guys come by to check him out? And of course, they laughed as hard as I did. 

At some point I started calling him 'Little Sammy' and had the whole table in stitches...I mean, they were ALL thinking it...and it always cracks me up when people WANT to say something....so bad, but just won't. But these are the same people who, if they were playing online poker...would never hesitate to type into the chat bar whatever they were/are thinking. Right? Sorry, but I have no problem saying what's on my mind, especially if its said in a non-hostile fashion. This clown LOVED IT when I started calling him Little Sammy. Why? Because, duh...obvious answer here...the guy was a fucking toolshed. And a lousy poker player. 



Sammy...we found your illegitimate son. Please collect him from our table, and while you're at it...teach him how to play poker. Hey Sammy, its okay to tip your dealer and stop throwing your cards at them too. Have a nice day. Still hate you.


You all know I go by the moniker "The Monkey" obviously, right? Well, guess who, at the same table was seated in the two seat? Out of guesses? Good, cuz I am now running out of time. It was...the actual...MONKEY! I did NOT take this guy's photo, mainly because I could never get the proper angle. But if you look at the cartoon below, it will pretty much suffice as the same thing.


Just because they LOOK like a cute loveable Monkey does NOT mean they aren't a complete douchebag. No...I am not talking about myself...for I am a completely loveable Monkey.


Now, in my attempts to be a softer, kinder, more caring Monkey...I have tried to put myself in spots where I might feel a little empathy. I am looking at this....this....well, Monkey Boy...in the two seat, and he is making all these goofy facial expressions, like a Monkey. He raises, someone goes all in...and his face, ears and eyes start contorting. Holy shit! This guy belongs in a zoo. He was about 5'5 too. Which didn't help. I kept imagining him sitting on my shoulder as we played some street corner for buy ins. Then I started feeling sorry for him. 

"Imagine going through life looking like this poor guy. I bet he's actually a really sweet guy...wouldn't he HAVE to be? I'm not going to make fun of him. In fact...if given the chance, I am going to befriend him."

Forget that. It only took two statements coming from his face before I decided instead of being warm and fuzzy that I instead wanted to Tazer his ass. It became very apparent that he was a product of internet poker. Making stupid overshoves...then defending them with logic that made no sense. He uttered about three or four of the most arrogant statements I'd heard this week...not to me, as I was firmly locked into a fierce battle of 'Words With Friends' while listening to B.oB. on Pandora...but another guy at the table. But after his last statement...he just morphed into the Evil Little Monkey who I am almost positive is either IN the closet...or will be coming out very soon.

Okay quick poker wrap up...then I have to go.

I now have a total of 7 cashes.

VENETIAN NIGHTLY:  2nd place, 6th place, 13th place
RIO 2PM:  9th place
CAESERS OMAHA:  13th place
CAESERS 4pm TURBO:  13th Place

and somewhere in there I'm forgetting one...but who cares?

Two days ago...in the 2pm at Rio...with 915 players...we get down to 130...or 35 from the money. I had not had AA or KK all day...and was just winning with skill and savvy. I finally get KK. Two hands after shoving my 12 BB's all in with AJ...and taking the pot to get up to 85k (at 3k/6k) I get KK and raise to 20k. Anyone? Hello? I'm just raising. Not shoving. Red flag? Probably a monster right? Okay...so man who looks like a Duckbill Platypus in the SB flats me with AQ. Fair enough. He had 120k to start the hand. But when the flop comes J-6-2 rainbow...and he insta-shoves...I certainly wasn't folding...and of course, when the dealer rattled off the Ace of Spades on the turn...followed by nothing on the river...instead of sitting at around 190k and coasting into the money after a treacherous 8 hour grind, I was instead collecting my shit and lining up for the 10pm tourney...which would result in me hating everything about Philadelphia.

Now...don't you think that idiot might have just put out a bet of...oh I don't know...say 25k? Maybe 30k? To see if he could just make me fold? Maybe fold behind my shove like the guy at Ceaser's yesterday who kept trying to lead out on every flop after I'd raised preflop...only to fold after I either jammed on him or re-raised? Naw...he is a Duckbilled Platypus...and they don't operate like that...they just close their eyes, hold their beak, shove in their chips, and pray.

PRAYER ANSWERED DIPSHIT. $39,000 for first place in that one. 

In the next one, I get Mr Philly Guido on my right. Bad hair, bad jewelry, bad accent, bad poker game. Buddy loses his phone...or, OMG...had it stolen maybe...during the 1st break. And this clown starts calling everyone a 'fag' for stealing his buddy's phone. 

"People are fags! Just fags!"

Really? I'm wondering...hmm...wonder how many gay people are sitting here at this table wanting to watch this guy's flesh melt off of his bones while being attacked by a pack of vicious wolves? Sure at least a couple.

So I had just finished working over this guy with a set of Queens...getting all but his remaining 700 chips and working my 7500 starting stack up to a quick 21k when knucklehead from Philly decides to take it from 75/150 to 700 at cutoff. Huh? Smells like Jacks to me? And so when I look down at AK suited...a hand I am never folding there...not in a $125 tourney, no way....I also notice that he has left only 3200 behind his raise. Nice play sir. So what do I do? 

"Well, based on your raise, I think I know what you have...and with my hand, you have created a real situation for me....hmmm....so I guess I will raise to 2200 and let you do what you're gonna do."

Now this is usually where a player either just folds, or ships all in. What does Phillytard do? He smooth calls. I breathe a sigh of relief when the flop comes K-7-2. The players in the 1 and 2-seats both give me that "Way to hit your King" look...and then....wait...huh? Dummy moves all in?

"Um...okay...I will call your all in with pocket jacks, right?" and turn over my AK...only to see, what else? Oh! Pocket Jacks...duh. 

No sweat...dealer turns him a Jack...he does the South Philly fist pump...with some kind of Pauly D/The Situation grunt...and I entered the 'Beginning of The End' zone in that tourney. And watched the idiot make one lousy play after another that somehow kept working out for him.

This is when you start totally losing your faith in poker.

Yesterday...after busting out of the Venetian nooner with a flop where I hit top set...got the bottom set guy to get it in with me...only to watch him river quads...I went over to Caeser's to play the 4pm turbo...with Justin 'Choctaw' Kruger in tow...who had also just busted...right after having just busted the Rio $1000...yes, he is running ALMOST as bad and unlucky as I am this summer...only he is the one who got fleeced for around 2k in a game of 3-card monty on the skybridge between Caesers and Bellagio. Don't be too hard on the kid...he's only 22 and hasn't figured out that most of society is participating in one big, gigantic angle shoot!

So we both play that. We both get chips early. We start Twittering and Facebooking about our hopes to 'Take It Down' together. It almost happens. We get moved to the same table when we get down to 24 from the original 188. He gets caught jamming Q10 into AK...and leaves 4 from the money. Bummer.

I raise with AA when we make the money...and get a guy to shove all in on me with 99. My aces held...I was up to 600k...and really started thinking I was going to maybe win this Super Psycho Turbo Shove Fest for $4195....and getting some pride, joy and money back in my bankroll.

We had all the chips on my table...the other table was almost all shortstacks...and almost all of them just kept sucking out on each other...we were stuck on 13 forever. And with the blinds at 30k/60k....600k soon became 500k...then 400k....shit...then this guy in the SB...hems, haws...and shoves on my BB....and I look down at 55. Time to take a stand...and try to get back up to around a million, with a chance. I call.

He flips over A7 off. Okay, I knew he was weak...good read...but I hate the two overs. I fade the flop. Okay...cool, cool....fade the turn....yeah baby...come on dealer....one more time....put a 2 out there.....and the river....

SEVEN!!!! Shit....SHIT SHIT SHIT....son of a......NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

MOTHERFU***ER....not again! Christ almighty! And I was out. 13th. For another damn min cash...this one for a mighty $365. Oh boy!

Poker is driving me crazy. It really is. I have a female alter ego by the way. Her name....well, her REAL name...is Weronika Brill....now its Starr...but when I met her 3 years ago, it was Veronica Brill. She has since moved from Canada to San Antonio, where she now lives with her fighter pilot (F-15s) husband Mark and drives herself insane playing poker. I've taken to calling her Wonky. Why? I don't know...just came to me. In the past two days...we are having almost the same exact experience everywhere we go to play. Only, I have yet to see her...we simply communicate by Facebook. And her rants are almost identical to mine. In a sick way...she is keeping me optimistic, and entertained at the same time. Some of her comments are so funny...I almost think its really Kai Landry on the other end of them. 

There is plenty more to rant about...oh...oh...so much to rant about. But talking about poker? It's just effing boring. I gotta go now...its 2:15...time to go play at the Rio....can't wait to see the turnout. Wonder if it's 129 degrees outside? Sure it must be. The right side of my nostril is just about to split in half I think...soon to fall off into the desert sand...leaving me looking very unusual. This might need to be an adderal day. Maybe xanax. I bought an $8 bag of beef jerky yesterday. I'm a fool. But it was delicious. Go Mariners. I love you Squirrel. I miss you Mollie and Jasper. I am on Day 34 without a Whopper Jr....and hating it. Housekeeping has ignored me now for 3 days in a row. I'm on my last towel...as well as my last pair of clean boxer shorts. 

Bye Bye now.

Monkey

Friday, June 24, 2011

End of The Insanity?

N.O.P.E.

Close...but no cigar! Before I go deeper:

Squirrel is safely home now, with our lovable critters who miss us and are running low on Skoobie Snacks. (make some money Dad...make it NOW! No pressure)

Jason Derulo sings songs that I almost WANT to enjoy. However, when everyone of his songs starts with him crooning..."Jasssssson Derullllllo" it just makes me want to cringe. All I want is an explanation as to WHY this is happening.

Once your hotel refrigerator becomes coated with too much ice, it stops being cold. Apparently. This is where I am today...and at this moment, all contents are on the counter, the refrigerator door is wide open...and it is defrosting.

Our six-day cycle is up. Last six...on Kai...next six, on me. What does this mean? Generally it means a 20 minute wait in line to swap out credit card info and get new room keys. That and some lady with a clipboard knocking on my door every 12 minutes to ask if we are checking out today.

Its 12:30. I have a secret plan today. Its Omaha H/L limit at Nugget today. Showing up on time means nothing. Sit there and play, play play all the hands...and either get a little ahead of starting stack, or a little behind. In the process be slowly driven nuts by one river suckout after another. So why subject myself to that? Just skip it ALL. Show up around the end of Level 3...with a starting stack...and start from there. 

Two weeks ago, it was the convention for what seemed like ALL of Scotland. This week...its a Geriatric Convention of some sort. Droves of elders everywhere. Scooters looming around every corner...waiting to run you down. 

A few apologies are in order:

(1) To TBC...or Tony Big Charles...the guy who I admittedly made fun of on here a couple posts ago. Truth of the matter was...and its been confirmed by a lot of you readers...the guy kind of brings it upon himself. But we had an exchange via my Facebook, turns out he was born autistic...and he made a point of letting me know he was operating with a bit of a 'underdog' status when it came to locking horns with me. Well, obviously...its not like people sit down at the table with signs around their neck telling us they have a disability...if they did it would be a little easier to be sensitive to their condition. But honestly...when you sit down at the poker table...and decide to start shit-talking, unless you're in a wheelchair sucking oxygen out of a tube...then generally 'It's On!' Am I right? And then...if you are that guy in a wheelchair talking smack and being a prick...well, then you're just that asshole in a wheelchair. But you just try to bite your tongue and ignore the guy.

If you all remember a guy name Randall...a player who used to show up at a lot of the circuit events and WSOP, who often times wore a Tennessee Titans jersey...he was a guy I tried very hard to be nice to, but who was just ALWAYS a douchebag. I don't know if he is still around, and I certainly hope he is...but I'm honestly glad I haven't had to see him at the poker table lately.

In TBC's case...I just could see through our exchange of messages that he really doesn't mean to come off the way he does. I don't think. And he came off pretty sympathetic, so I told him I would lay off of him. 

(2)  A guy named John Cranston. He owns and operates the Office Football website that I have an ad banner for up top. He also is, or has been...a big supporter of mine the past few years...always reading my blog, occasionally sharing his poker stories and asking me for advice on certain poker related issues. John is a super nice guy...and I've only seen him in person a couple times...usually at the Venetian. Well, after one of my posts he sent me a one word reply...'REMOVE.' He gets my blog forwarded via email every time I post. I thought there must have been a mistake. Or some misunderstanding. And after he explained it to me...I think I figured out the deal. He came by to see me at Rio about 10 days ago...with a buddy he wanted to introduce me to, and maybe have a drink. I was short with him apparently, and made him feel like I was blowing him off. I had to rewind my brain to try and recall the situation. Well...if you will all remember...I was in a $275 SNG...with a total of $700 in the last longer...was heads up for the win with a guy who didn't want to chop...and was almost dead even...when he shoved AQ into my AK and ran out a straight on me...and won $3400. That money would have basically turned my whole miserable summer around. 

So, coupled with being pissed about losing that SNG...and the huge negative swing to my bankroll, I was just hell bent on getting the FU** out of Rio that night...and I believe that was about the time that John ran into me. Yikes!

I think a lot of you know that when you approach me at events and introduce yourself as a reader of my blog, I try very, very hard to be cordial...that I know how bad it can be if you are a jackass to just ONE person...and they start telling everyone they know that "that guy Monkey is a total jerkoff." Now...if I am coming off of a major 'situation' that I just need to find a place to go and hide...and then run into someone that wants to just say 'HI' or something...well, I'm sorry, but I am human...and sometimes I misfire. And for that...I APOLOGIZE. 100%

To John: I am really sorry pal. Did not mean to cut you off, or make you feel ignored. My bad. 

Who else do I owe an apology? mmmm....I think that's it. Maybe that guy I cut off for the last parking space at Rio last night.

Something really awesome almost happened yesterday. I had mentally convinced myself that once Squirrel left...I was going to go on a tear, similar to the one I went on in 2009 after we got married and she went home...when I won TWO Venetian events in the same week. 

The day started at the Golden Nugget...in the $230 PLO H/L game. I took a hit right away. Then doubled up...then added more. Their was a lady at our table...heavy, leather-like skin, about 63...wearing a cheezy Jimmy Buffet-looking cowboy hat...that liked to see flops, and turns, and rivers. For any price. I watched her call this guy's flop bet...a huge one....when he flopped middle set, and she merely had a gut shot, with NO low draw...then on the turn he potted it, to which she called again...and got there. We all groaned one of those groans that says "Oh shit...please don't let me be THAT guy!"

Well, guess what? I became that guy. Yeah. I flopped top two, with a good low draw...and a flush draw...and decided to check raise. We were at 150/300. The first guy...who loved to say the word "POT!!!" (hate those tools) said it again...and the bet was 5500...leather face cowboy hate smooth calls, and I re-potted...which constituted an all in. They both call. And all they had was a low draw. She was on a bad draw. His was a bit better. I had the high pretty much locked up...until she goes runner, runner...counterfeits MY low...and makes a fucking wheel...knocking me AND the other guy out. Jeezuz. My time at the Nugget was over.

The good news? It was 3:10pm. And yes...the valet at Nugget is a nightmare. And it was 109 degrees...with no cool place to wait for your car...so I stood in the service hallway...as large carts and racks went flying by. The thought occurred to me to maybe try and get run over by one of them...and land myself a quickie out-of-court settlement that might get me out of the summer-long hole I've dug for myself. Then my car arrived...

Get to Caeser's in time for the BIG O tourney which is Omaha H/L...pot limit...in which you get dealt FIVE cards instead of FOUR. Fun times. $350 buy in. If you bust...you can re-enter for up to four levels. We started with 25k. By the end of one level...I had 42k. Then Jeremy...aka 'Destructo Dealer' arrived. Six hands later...and 4 painful and unbelievable river beats later...I was broke. I was left staggering to the registration counter...feeling like I'd just been in the ring for :47 with the Mike Tyson from 1989. REBUY!

Go to a different table. BOOM! Go on a tear. Notice the guy in the #1 seat...his name is Casey. He had 180k. He was the guy who was at my Final Table in Hammond...when I got 6th. He was the guy who I thought was all in after he 4-bet my raise (me with AA) and I turned over my hand after saying "I call"....whoops...won the hand, but incurred a very painful, and momentum-killing 10 hand penalty for revealing my hand with action pending.

He was raising a lot. I mean...a LOT. Making very loose calls. Getting lucky. Then he got cocky. Trash talking guys he was knocking out. Then...after one altercation...where the other player actually pulled an attempted angle shoot...he proclaims "I don't even care! I'm winning this tourney! You are all going down!"

As soon as I heard that...I knew he was doomed. He was actually real pleasant to me...and we had some nice conversation, but I knew his over confidence was likely going to bite him in the ass. And it did. He went out well out of the money.

166 played. 18 cashed. I pretty much coasted into the money. With 16 left I was close to chipleader with 410k...with the average at 230k...and I was really feeling like the $14k for first was within reach...that this summer was about to finally turn the corner.

CUE THE STANDARD DISASTER: I raise UTG with A-4-3-9. I get called by a guy with A-2-2-10. Flop comes 9-9-2. We like that flop don't we? Um...yeahhhhh...not so much, unless, after getting his 240k in the middle, and needing to hit either another 9...and ace, a four, a three...or any running pair...we brick the turn and the river...immediately plummeting to way below average. I wanted to puke. I had long time buddy Leif Force on my right...who I had been at the same table with for about three hours. And who was rooting for me to make a comeback. I kept folding decent hands to his raises...and finally, I was getting too low, and had to take a shot. He raised, and I shoved all in with KK774...double suited. He had A-2-Q-X-X....I was good on the flop...then he turns a 3 and rivers a 5...making a wheel...and instead of a HUGE, much-needed double up to climb right back into things....I was again slaughtered by another murderous river card. 

POW! the punch in the gut! And I was out 13th. For $750 whopping bucks. Which meant I was -$250 for the day. And I think we ALL know how much that sucks.

So what to do next? No one wants to call it a day after that crap, right? Looked around the Ceaser's cash room? Mmmmm...naw, better not. Called Venetian. Nope, SNG-Land is dead over there. Get a text from 'The Prescott'...he's on his way to Rio. Decide to go meet him to play SNG's. I play four of them. I get 3rd place...TWICE. Then a fourth. Annoyance meter booming. In the last one...I get 7 of the friendliest players at my table...and one complete ASSHOLE. From Canada. Who could have possibly led to me getting into trouble...but I kept reminding myself...'Self, its Rio. It's Harrah's. You are back in after 3 years. Ignore him. Ignore him. Bite your tongue. Shhhhhhhhhh'

So I let the other players get onto him. Put on my BOSE...drowned him out...and tried to win the damn sit n go and dig out of my now growing hole. I get three-handed...with him, and a delightful girl from Equador. Ecuador? Anyway...if we busted this guy...we were going to chop it. Didn't happen. I shove on his BB with AJ...he snap calls with 99...and of course...I miss everything...and then get to listen to him gloat and talk more shit, having knocked me out. I hate that guy. And what's weird is that he was friends with this guy named Kaylen...who could NOT have possibly been a nice guy. Made no sense to me, and never will. 

Allie and I get into the last one of the night. A $125...with a $200 last longer. I won't bore you. I lost. Then went to play 2/5 while waiting on Allie. He also lost. And while he was losing I was getting my ass handed to me by a tourist who kept announcing that he was on vacation and didn't care if he lost. So when he was raising his $10 straddle to $50...and I was waking up with QQ once...and KK the other time...and re-raising him to $150...with him shoving all in with....ready? J7 the first time...and FOUR NINE offsuit the other time...he was hitting them both...and I was down $1000! After the 4-9 debacle I realized it was time for me to get the HELL OUT OF THERE! 

Sometimes poker just makes you want to kill yourself. Or someone else. And since murder is illegal, and suicide voids any life insurance claim for your loved ones...the only thing you are really left with as an option is to sneak off to your hotel, eat an Ambien or five...and just slip off into a land where the boogey man can't get you.

So on a day when everything was supposed to turn around...the hole just got deeper. The emotions more damaged. And now...as I lay here...and think about JUST how much I don't think I can handle being tortured again by old people calling everything to the river...the more I think I will go over to Rio and play the 2pm Deepstacks they have over there. 


Okay I think that is enough for today. Wish I had more time to talk about light blue headphones, yellow stupid glasses guy from Switzerland at our table who was the ultimate human-rain-delay SLASH Dwannabe...tanking nearly 1:26 on average on every freaking hand in the Omaha tourney. I was the first to notice of course...then slowly, one by one...the whole table started to go on tilt. Leif Force got to the table...and after about three orbits looks at me, and asks..."Monkey Boy...is this typical for this guy?"  Uh...yeah buddy. And then some. Finally I had the pleasure of busting him...and the whole table breathed a deep....holy-shit-now-we-are-going-to-see-at-LEAST- five-more-hands-a-level sigh of relief. This is an epidemic that needs an immediate cure. 14 second folks. FOURTEEN SECONDS! If you can't look at your hand and make some decision in FOURTEEN SECONDS or less...you need to be beaten about the face and body with a sock full of nickels until you learn to speed it the fu** up!!!!! That might just solve this growing issue in poker.

THWACK-POW-THUD-CRACKKKK- KERSNAP-GUHHHH!!!!

MONKEY

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Partying like It's.....FRIDAY????

You be the judge....playa's!





OR:



Yeah....partyin partyin partyin.......FUN!  That is what happens when The Squirrel rolls up into this desert outpost. I made a decision for this trip of hers. I was not going to let my 'bad run' in poker affect her visit. Period.

Also, I was able to mentally psyche myself into thinking that maybe I would get lucky like I did in 2009 when she came out to visit, when we got married, and I proceeded to go on a Mega Tear at Venetian. So naturally, after I drop her off at the airport late Wednesday night...I fully expect to go apeshit, no pun intended.

Where to start? Well, not really too much I can say about poker. On Friday I played the nooner at Venetian, which I thought was a $550, but which was a $340. I lost pretty early...with AA of course. Then I went over to Rio to play their 2pm tourney...which was backed up to 4pm...which was then locked to any more players. So while standing in line...I decided I might as well buy into the next day's $1500. I have a very loyal blog reader who was itching to stake me in something with some value...and that sure as hell was a good choice, as 2800+ players showed up.

I let my backer know what was up...and she thought it sounded like a good opportunity...so we went after it. I could NOT have started any better. My table was super soft, I was getting a lot of good cards...bluffing wasn't too difficult. By the end of the first two levels, I had reached my goal of 7500 chips. By the end of Level 4 I was hovering around 13k...which was perfect. 

People gripe a little bit about the WSOP only giving 3k chips on the $1k and 4500 chips on the $1500...but I'll be honest...the structure is so good, and the levels so long...that if you are a good, patient SNG-type player...its perfect. If you can manage to control the size of most pots, and pick up a few decent pots along the way...you are able to position yourself to really lean on your table in the Levels 3-5...when a lot of impatience and shoving begin among the short stacks...or what they have convinced themselves are short stacks.

Testimony to that would be that by the end of Level 4 the field had already been whittled down to around 1500...nearly half the field was gone! Which meant the average stack was about 8000. I think that once you get to about 800 players...things really flatten out and it becomes a really good tourney. Of course this only comes from speculation...because my day ended in the middle of Level 5.

This old guy on my left...who was really kind of a bizarre dude, one of those guys who has no idea why he is being asked to put his large denomination chips out front...and who never knows it's his turn to act. Kind of the last guy we want to lose to. Well, it was either really happening or was just my imagination...but every time I would limp, he would raise, if I raised, he would re-raise. He was what my buddy Kai Landry (who by the way has a new HILARIOUS blog just up) calls the chronic leg-humper. My own personal dog in heat.

Well...I get AQh. I raise to 475 (at 100/200 w-25) UTG...to which, oh...I didn't mention this...the guy ALWAYS raised 6 or 7 times the big blind...which is also incredibly annoying. So this time he raises to 1400. Sigh.

I had folded almost all the previous times...but now I was starting to think this guy was just using me as a chip depot...knowing he could just keep snagging one pot after another from me...pushing me off hands whenever he wanted to, so I looked him up. The flop comes...magically...A-10-3...rainbow.

I check...with the full intention of check raising...but he fails to bet. Dammit. The the turn produces a KING. I check again. Now he bets 3000. Huh? None of this is making sense. I decide to flat...to see what he does on the river...or hope for a jack to hit, giving me the nuts. Instead a useless 4 hits the river. I check again. He bets 700. Yeah...700. Whatever, I call. He turns over a set of kings. Jeezuz. 

And from there it became one of those scenes from a movie where you keep thinking the good guy is about to triumph over evil...but one villain's ouster just leads to another one taking his place. Calling raises...missing flops. Limping with 44...which I must have gotten about 5 freaking times without winning with once. Nothing was going my way now...and about this time...the 3rd German guy of the day sits down in Seat 8...which served as our table's ejection seat. He had a decent stack...and I am watching him peruse the table and can read his thoughts....

"Ahhhh, a table of shortstacks...seems like a good time and place for me to start pillaging the less fortunate."

So he goes to work...raise, raise, raise, raise, raise, raise......ad nauseum.

So...on a hand I wish I could get a mulligan on...he raises...yet again...when we are at 150/300....to 750. I look down at 88. I am in major need to win a hand...any hand...to regain some momentum. My stack has now dwindled down to 5500. I make the call.

That's when the guy in the BB makes one of the stupidest plays I've ever seen, especially in a event this big. He is sitting on 1300 chips. And he has Q10 offsuit...and he decides to shove all in. Which sucks...because its just enough of a raise to re-open the betting for the German guy.

Why do I think it's one of the stupidest plays I've ever seen? Well...it's pretty clear that neither one of us was going to fold preflop to his massive re-raise of 600'ish, and not only does he have a SHIT hand there, but why not just call the raise and hope for a miraculous flop where he can double or triple up maybe? Just idiotic. And yeah...I'm kind of bitter because the flop came K-K-4...there is a pretty good chance that things would have gone MUCH differently if he hadn't shipped.

And as I am watching the German guy...I know what he's thinking. Getting me out of the hand...like most good players. But as he looks down my way...and asks how many chips I am playing total...I think, or THOUGHT...I saw weakness in him. And I kept thinking back to last week at Venetian, when I had a small stack shove all in...a guy with a stack similar to mine smooth call...and my stupid ass folding 10-10...only to find the other two with 5's and 6's...a hand that would have given me a HUGE stack.

So with that in my mind...and this guy re-raising to 5000...I kept thinking that I probably have the best hand...and if nothing else, if the SB wins with a big hand...I will still make a substantial amount on the hand with a nice side pot.

All of this, of course...went up in smoke...when I shoved all in, he snap called...and turned over QQ. Oh man! Bad read. Bad move. And bad result. With Brian Hepinstall watching over my shoulder...I packed up my stuff..and very disgustedly (in myself mostly) left the playing area.

Brian, on the other hand...who is always on a shoestring budget, and who is one of the nicest guys in the poker world, went over to Venetian and played the $340 yesterday...sends me a text message this morning that he was going back as the chipleader today. Later on I heard back from him that he finished 7th....which I know isn't what he was hoping for, but still...great job to Brian!

Couple that with fellow Tuscaloosan BJ McBrayer winning the 1k at Venetian, and then again cashing in the $1500 event that I bricked...and its been a really solid summer for a lot of my good buddies. 

I decided after losing that $1500, that I would take the rest of Squirrel's trip here OFF from poker and just spent time with her. 

The management at The Venetian's poker room got Squirrel and I two tickets to see the critically acclaimed show, 'Jersey Boys' at the theater there (Palazzo actually). I simply asked them if they could 'get me some kind of deal' on tickets...and they got them fully comped. Very, very cool of them! Squirrel is really excited to see the show, as am I. Tomorrow is our anniversary, and I am sure that our dinner and show date will be fantastic. Probably spend the day tomorrow at the pool together. 

So a quick social recap:

Saturday night: We pick up 'The Claw' from Rio...and go to visit my buddy Smoke at Palms Place...as well as JD, Mr. Jewelry! We went to the lobby, to Rojo Lounge...and met Jason Young and Ben Klier for a cocktail...then it was off to Nove...a really nice restaurant at The Palms that Cheryl's good friend Christina manages. She ended up sitting and eating with us. It was a great dinner...and we had 3 excellent bottles of Pinot Noir. Our servers...Ryan and Alex, were awesome.

The lovely Christina...who gave us the VIP treatment..and later hung out with us. She used to work with Squirrel at the Beau Rivage a few years back. 

My boys Smoke and JD...this was the second FUN weekend of the year with these two cats. Last weekend it was a table at 'Surrender' for Smoke's birthday party.

My sexy wife...who never seems to age...and the infamous 'Claw' enjoying the great food at Nove


After that, we went up the back stairwell to the Playboy Club...which I had never been to. It was pretty cool. Nothing outrageous. High limit gambling with girls in Bunny outfits dealing. Great view of the city. Expensive cocktails...which we had a lot of!

After that we called it a night.

Sunday: We all got together and about 1:30 went over to Omar Hickary's kickass condo at the Turnberry...where he had assembled an amazing spread of every kind of BBQ item you could ever want from a picnic. The pool was beautiful, the food and beverages were plentiful...and it was a nice turnout. At some point I was sitting at the table trying to figure out a ballpark number on total career winnings that were seated there:  Me, Gabe Costner, The Claw, David 'Lefty' Diaz, Tim 'TK' Miles, Kai Landry, Oren Zweig and Omar....the latter being cash game demons as most of you know.

Diaz...sporting his 'Hangover' baby shirt...and TK fresh off the third or fourth trip to the 'food counter'

The Claw...with her 'Oh So Fabulous' Pool look for the day's posh extravaganza!

The view of the pool at Turnberry, with its two cascading waterfalls and the Las Vegas skyline in the background...really a nice, relaxing (and much needed!) day!

My gorgeous Squirrel...ten years together and two years married. She is my best friend and the best thing that ever happened to me.  :)


Well, we finally left around 7pm...following Kai and his brand spanking new (previously owned- I think) Toyota FJ Cruiser...which he was very proud of...and which he will be transporting his recently purchased Sahara Casino (now closed) poker table (for $357 at their clearance auction) back to Biloxi on it's roof! Grabbed a change of clothes from my room at the Riviera...home of the now defunct Monkey's Midnight Madness, and was off to Rio to drop off Gabe and Claudia. A quick change and shower later...and we were back on the road...to meet everyone at Hard Rock Casino for a night of partying at the club Vanity.

It was Squirrel, Claudia, Kai, Smoke and Wally...another good poker player from Baton Rouge...who's last name I always forget. Quiet guy...but really cool. He was wearing a ball cap...which cost Charlie a fat tip to get him in. On the way into the casino...driving through the valet lane...this punk valet guy...who was actually about 35, punches my car. Literally PUNCHED my car...claiming I 'almost ran over his foot.' This from a guy who is accustomed to having cars constantly passing through the valet lanes, right? The girls thought our car was hit by another car. The thing is...I completely saw the clown...passing in between cars..and I was going no faster than 10 mph. No...this guy's problem...was that he was just an asshole. So I demanded to see a manager...which resulted in security arriving.

The security guy could not have been any cooler. And it didn't hurt that I had Squirrel and Claw both telling him the same thing I did. I don't know what ended up happening to 'Dean' the valet jerkoff...but I hope he was reprimanded. 

We arrive to the club. Minus Gabe...who couldn't be prodded out of his nap. We had reserved the table with a 3 bottle minimum. Now here is where it got fun. And by fun...I mean REALLY irritating. Now this is where the night almost took a bad turn...with everyone thinking I was MAD and upset about the amount of money...when that wasn't the issue at all. I already knew the night was going to get expensive...that wasn't the issue. I collected cash from everyone and gave the girl my credit card. So we were properly informed that there would be a $1500 minimum. Okay...fair enough. With the three bottles we ordered, it still left a balance. Or did it?

Well...here is the slick little trick they pull. The bottles cost $425 for each bottle of Grey Goose we ordered (total $850) and $375 for the bottle of Captain Morgan. On the Goose...she tried to up-sell us to the 'magnum' which is really just a 1.5L bottle. From my days in the liquor business, I knew that a 1.5 is just a 750ml twice (yeah yeah common sense there, I know!). There aren't any clubs that sell bottles as 1 liters. So basically...with the magnum costing $900...they were looking to hook us for another $50 while getting nothing for it in return...other than a big, impressive bottle. No thanks...I will take the two bottles and be charged $50 less, thanks.

So this total should be $1225, right?  Guess again. With my bill...comes $64 for 7 bottles of water, $65 for 'carafe' which was god knows what...and then a charge for $421...which I was told was for TAX and TIP. Huh? TAX? Oh...and on top of that...a separate charge...called 'SERVICE CHARGE' of another $48. Which...I never was given a reason for. No...what I was pissed about was that the tax wasn't part of the $1500 minimum. The tip...sure, I could understand that...so we get charged $1500...then leave a tip of $250 or so. But the TAX???? How in the F*** is THAT not part of the total charge? That just put me in an irritated mood, because I felt like we were being taken advantage of. But I know that it wasn't just us...it's everyone who goes in there. I think its pretty damn shady and just shitty. I can't remember if some of the other clubs I frequent like Tao at Venetian pulls that shit or not.

This is last week's Go Go Dancers, performing on a stage in the middle of a pool at Encore...very impressive!

At any rate...Smoke got me out of my mood...and the fun times were on. Having a table in a Vegas club is simply a MUST. You just can't even try to move around in those places without a place to park it. And I really like parking it. One of my favorite things to do in the clubs is to people watch. And...apologies to my super hot wife...watching those Go-Go dancers on the speakers and/or stages...is one of my favorite 'peoples' to watch.


My sweetie with The Kai-ster

Mr. Diaz surprised us with a late appearance! And yes...I am aware of how crappy I look.
 It was a great night. It's always a good night when Squirrel and I go out and have a good time...it doesn't happen often enough. And its great to see my good buddies somewhere other than a poker table. 

I hope you all had a good weekend. I hope to have some happy poker stories here in the next few weeks.


Monkey

Don't forget...when you are in Las Vegas...always make sure you have the free app downloaded to your phone from my boy Smoke's THE LIST....click here for details....its a MUST HAVE for visitors to Sin City!

Friday, June 17, 2011

NO! I am not DEAD!


This is what we call a SUPER FAST blog update. Its about Day 22. The wife flew in last night. We have gotten a separate room at Treasure Island. Its pretty nice. I was able to check us in early (before she arrived) yesterday because after this French, Harry Potter look alike who was raising in the noon Venetian tourney about 80% of the time...once again raised (to 700 at 100/200 w-25) and was called by a tool shed from Arizona...I looked down at AA and made it 2300 to go. The Frog folded, but cold, dead eyes from Arizona had no problem calling the tightest guy at the table's raise with KJ. Dealer promptly serves up a K-J-3 flop and Monkey was history. 


So yeah...I strolled over in the 328 degree heat and got our room taken care of. Then walked to Fashion Show Mall and did a little shopping. Send my Dad his Father's Day card...the last one he will ever receive while a guest of the State of Washington. Then picked up my lovely wife...and took her to Kaizen for sushi. Then we called it a night.

I had pretty much planned to spend the next five days entertaining her. But then Claudia, her new best friend, decided to show up with Gabe. Which now means they will be spending time together doing girl things during the day...which means I am freed up to go try to make her some money to shop and party with. Today...since it's a $3k PLO at Rio and a $2100 at Venetian...I expect the 2pm $235 at Rio to draw near 800. I will be one of those donkeys.

There is a guy roaming the planet who has a name that sounds like a combination between a bag of beef jerky and a brand of cigarettes. Shortened to TBC...I think its like Tony Big Charles or something. He has a very large, misshaped head. He pulls his pants up to his chest like an old man playing shuffleboard in Boca Raton. And he talks like Elmer Fudd...forgetting that 'S' is a letter in the alphabet. Now, I wouldn't be trashing this clown...were he now so abundantly arrogant, for no apparent reason whatsoever. I was warned about his presence by a loyal blog reader in Texas.

And then...he appeared, right in front of my face at my cash table at Riviera on Monday night...the night Monkey's Midnight Madness died on the operating table due to a lack of interest. Charlie Townsend and I got to witness this freak of nature for about two hours...and it was one of the more humorous things Ive ever been a part of. Charlie has been crank calling the guy for the past three guys.

At one point in the 'experience' he says something like "Well, maybe if you had your own poker blog you would understand what I'm talking about."  I looked at Charlie, and just grinned. This guy doesn't exactly have a blog. He has an account on a poker site...and makes blithering posts on a daily basis. He lives on a shoestring budget...currently residing at 4-Queens Hotel after having just vacated Circus Circus after using up his Video Poker-earned comps there. 

CLICK HERE to get a peek at this dipshit. If you dig around further you can see what he had to say about me. Please, please, please...watching this interview this guy did with the Geico Caveman...I'm pretty sure they are spoofing him. If not...I need to find a new planet to live on!!!!


HERE were his comments about ME....CLICK HERE!!!!

Okay...I have to hurry up...and get going, or I will be fighting with the wife on her first day here! Don't need that. But I also am sick of all of you texting me and emailing me demanding an update!!! Not sure which is worse!

Two days ago, I had my best day in Vegas so far. After getting 2nd in the nightly...I took a day off. Came back and played the nightly two nights later...and made that Final Table again...finishing 6th...for $850. But that was a tease. I walked over to SNG Land and discovered it was open. And flourishing. Nice!

I enter into a $80 SNG and a $130 SNG at the SAME time...never ran back and forth...but could feel myself running into a conundrum as we got down to 4 in one and 5 in the other. Long story short because I don't have enough time to get into detail...I won them both! Not sure I have ever pulled that feat. I lost the next one after that...5-handed with AK vs. 77 and bricking the flop...but then played one more and won that one too! So it was without a doubt my best day since I got here...and restored a lot of confidence...as well as a shot in the arm to my bankroll.

I bricked the $550 'Position Poker' tourney at Venetian the other day...a very unusual format that mostly just confused everyone. I played that for 8 hours before losing. 

Big, huge shout-out to my buddy BJ McBrayer from Tuscaloosa...who played, and WON...the $1k at Venetian yesterday on the 3rd day of the event. Awesome!!!! 

Okay...there ya go! Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there! Probably going to play the $1500 at Rio tomorrow. Bout time I get my feet wet with a big-time event, after bonking the $1000 Rio event two weeks ago.

MONKEY

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

30 minutes before M.M.M.M. II


 Yeah. Here we are 30 minutes before the second run of Monkey's Monday Midnight Madness. I just spent the last 5 hours downstairs frolicking in the 1/2 game...after spending 5 hours today at the pool...where we were invaded today, by SCOTLAND!




Yeah...the world's largest collection of Ginger Folk were gathered around the pool. I got there at 11:15am...which usually is 'early' especially on a Monday. But apparently, the football club, Celtic something or other...has a 1-week convention scheduled here...so I will be inundated with the presence of short, fat, pale, hollering, song-bellowing fools from Scotland for the rest of the week.

There were no chairs to be had. They were even short on towels. The kid from Flamingo Kid with the mullet tried to talk me down to taking just one towel. Sorry kid...Monkey is a 54-day guest at this shack...give me two towels you punk! I got my two towels...and my piece of terra firma 40 yards from the pool.


See this clown? He just plops down on this girl's chair. See her texting someone? Or maybe just pretending to? She never broke stride.

"Hi there girls (there were two of them)...I wonder if I could borrow a match (wonder when they could expect to get that match back?) from you? So...how's it going today? Gettin some color?"

And it just got worse from there. I was loving it...and immediately thought only of you people. So I whipped out my camera and took his picture. See him looking my way? Guess why? 

"Hey buddy...are you taking my picture?"

Monkey: "first of all, my name isn't buddy...and secondly, yes...I am taking your picture. Any more questions?"

He said goodbye to the girls and slithered away. The girls started laughing. Nice outfit buddy. Was that 'Ducky' from 'Sixteen Candles?' Nice pickup act. Holy shit...where am I?

Meanwhile...during my little 5-hour cash session...I got to encounter these two peckerheads who were a combination of Justin Beiber (hair) and Tom Dwan. Yes...we have yet another Durrrrrrrrrrrrrr-wanabes on our table. I have pictures...but they are on my iPad..and I don't have the time. But after about the 19th episode of Durrr-irrtation....I finally snapped on this dipshit.

"Hey kid. Memo to you. Stop watching so much TV. Your hand? Doesn't matter what you bet there, how quick you bet, how slow you bet...nothing...nothing mattered. All your hiding under your stupid hoodie? Pointless. The slow moving fingers? Nothing. All you're little act is doing...is making you look like a goddamn fool...and annoying the whole table. Just play the game."

He was stunned. My end of the table clapped. The dealer grinned. I played two more hands...and racked up my profit. +342. 

Okay. I have a real spooky feeling tonight's crowd is going to be scant. My two buddies...Josh Palmer, and Christian Iacobellis, who both made the final table at Venetian...one finishing 9th (Josh) and one getting in on a 5-way chop (Christian...aka 'Da Professional' on Full Tilt...remember that site?) are vowing to 'try' and make it over here.

Prescott is deep in 8-game, J Young is deep in the 10k Stud...Kai is somewhere in Texas driving back here...my little porn star has called and revealed that she has to do some event tonight...and may or may not make it a bit late. Others I expected to hear from I haven't. I just don't want to be embarrassed. Is there anything worse? I'm not going to lie...I'm a bit nervous. Well...oh well...here we go!


MONKEY






Monday, June 13, 2011

1/3rd of the way through Summer.....

I finally hit paydirt last night. No...it was not a WSOP event. Patience grasshoppers. Patience.

It was merely a nightly at the Venetian...and I managed to 'fade' 157 of natures scariest beasts to finish 2nd. Did I play marvelously? No. I got a guy to shove 22k back in my face when I raised 3500 with AA....used those chips to get deep....had QQ hold against AK and ended up at the Final Table...where I watched a lot of shortstacks lose...got heads up with an 8-1 deficit against an old guy who kept getting AA/KK and AK the whole time...and lost on the third hand when he flopped a full house on me. 

Earlier in the day...after busting the noon tourney...I won a SNG finally. With 3 left...it looked like I was about to get screwed again. Shorty was all in against tallee and rivered his card. Uh oh. Then he rivered me a little bit later. 

Here we go again....

But alas...it did NOT happen...and I had a nice little $675 pop that I really needed. In the next SNG...I once again get three-handed. And I have 8600 chips. This lady has 8200 chips. And the other guy has only 3200 at 400/800. So when she raised on the button...and I looked at JJ in the SB...I kind of shit the bed.

"All In!" Shortstack giggles and folds as the lady snap calls and turns over KK. Son of a ....

I did NOT improve. Was left with half a big blind...and was virtually dead. But I triple up on the next hand. Giggly starts getting nervous. Next hand...77. Nice. All in again. They check it down...the lady has J2. Rivers a Jack. Fuck! That would have been huge...two back to back SNG wins...then a 2nd in the nightly for $1850? It was my own damn fault though...I screwed up.

The fields not only at Venetian...but at WSOP as well...have been massive. Rio was really smart to sneak in that tourney at 2pm. Their numbers on that have been incredible. The one that I managed to Final Table in the first week I was here only had 124 players...but lately they are getting 700-800 every turnout. Its a great tourney until Level 10'ish...then it just falls off a cliff. Hate that. Especially because there are so many horrendous players in it. But then once you get deep, and the chip average is between 8-12 BB's...its just a coin flipping contest. And I hate that. There is nothing more fun in poker than making a final table and have everyone playing 20 BB's or more deep. You can actually 'play' poker.

Tim Mix text messaged me three days ago that 'effectively immediately the ban on iPads is rescinded.'  That was awesome news.

Had a dealer in today's tourney...who when I was on my iPhone (I had yet to pull the iPad out to start playing Words With Friends!) reading other guys' blogs on www.gulfcoastpoker.net he snaps at me:

"There is no texting allowed when you're in a hand!!!!"

Okay. Some of you know me pretty well. Some of you know the 'old Monkey' and some of you have been fortunate enough to meet the 'new Monkey.'

Possible Old Monkey responses:

"Hey Dealer! I'm not TEXTING! And I know the RULES! Why don't you spend more time trying to do your job well and quit worrying about what we are doing on our cell phones!"

"Excuse me, what? Texting? What is texting? I'm downloading porn! Leave me the hell alone!!!"

Okay I can't even think of any more. I was going to sit here and try to come up with 5 or 6 old one liners. I guess that's a good sign, right?

No, instead...I merely took a deep breath, turned my phone so that he could see what I was doing on it...and informed him that I am aware of the non-texting rule, and that I was browsing the internet. 

And that was that. Yes it was annoying. Yes he was probably over-managing the table. But...is it a reason to flip out and get all upset about? Of course not. And that, I think...is where I have changed a lot in the past year or so. 

Meanwhile...back in the desert...my nose is about to fall off I think! This air out here...ugh! I think every year my body reacts worse and worse to it. Every morning I wake up I am totally congested, can hardly breathe. Nose and lips both all dried up all the time. It's driving me nuts.

So four days ago I somehow managed to lose my new WiFi card...yeah, the one I haggled with Verizon over last week...only to have customer service Fed Ex me a new one...that I had to pay $12 to the 'Business Office' at my hotel to receive...even though FedEx delivered it on Verizon's dime. Stupid. No idea where it disappeared to...but frankly, I am glad to be rid of it. I've heard nothing but bad feedback about the Samsung device...even the guy in the Verizon store today (other side of town...not the nightmare store from last week!) said it sucked. So I got the newer device...for the full price (not eligible for the discount) of $302. Ouch. But I had to have it...and if you do the math...the hotel internet is $14 a day.  So I am back online and able to shoot y'all a message.

You would think I'd have gone and tried to defend in the nightly tonight...but after busting today's nooner and then running errands...pick up laundry, get new WiFi card, and go eat lunch at PF Chang's, I was just tired. Tomorrow is Monday. The 2nd installment of Monkey's Midnight Madness at Riviera Poker room is occurring, and I have already planned on spending tomorrow doing nothing but laying in the sun, reading my book, maybe working out...and mentally prepping myself for the verbal beatdown I am expecting from my 'buddies' tomorrow night.  :)

Just finished watching the Dallas Mavericks win their first NBA Championship. I could not be happier for Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, certain Hall of Famer's who have both had distinguished careers, both are quiet, camera-shy All Stars...who have never won a championship. And I know I have a lot of readers from the Dallas area...so for you guys...have a good time tonight. Additionally, it was kind of fun to see Lebron and his little 'taking my talents to South Beach' train get derailed. Watching him fizzle at crunch time kind of diminishes his image a bit, as far as conversation regarding who the greatest players of all-time are. Is he great? Sure. But he has yet to prove he can step up and deliver the goods. Not only that...I really am not that fond of the city of Miami. So as far as I'm concerned...the team I wanted to win, won.

Vancouver is one win away from it's first ever Stanley Cup. Their last chance came in 1994...when they faced the New York Rangers. That was a year AFTER I moved from NYC...where I had season tickets for 3 years in a row to the Rangers...to Atlanta. The Rangers won in Game 7 in one of the most memorable Stanley Cup Finals in memory. Well, this time Vancouver, who took a 2-0 lead then got destroyed in Boston...8-1 and 4-0...and looked like they were going to choke it all away...rebounded at home for a win and now just need to win once. It got me to thinking something...when, if ever...has ANY city won ALL FOUR major sports championships (Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey) in the same decade? Let alone...ever???  New England Patriots, Super Bowl Champs, Boston Red Sox, World Series Champs, Boston Celtics, NBA Champs....Boston Bruins? That would be a pretty sick accomplishment.

I need to come up with a new reader poll for the right hand side of this blog. I will try to come up with one when I finish this entry. But I was thrilled to see the amount of participation we had in last month's poll. And in a surprise to, I think, no one...the winner, by a pretty significant margin...was the commercial by JG Wentworth...with all those idiots leaning out of their windows hollering to no one in particular about it being 'their money, and wanting it now.' I confess, it was my number one choice. Well done folks. Let me see what I can come up with to top that one.

My wife...who's ring, I found out...was NOT insured...is coming out for a week this coming Thursday. I told her she better get after the cash game while she's here! Just kidding. But I was thinking...if ALL OF YOU would click on that Bustout Poker logo up there...visit the store, and BUY SOMETHING...using my discount code 'monkey' at the checkout...I could probably afford to buy Squirrel a new ring to replace the one that sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

My buddy James Dunning...who I have seen a couple of times while out here this summer...has been really pouring all of his efforts into launching his own line of designer jewelry, and admittedly, has really produced some nice stuff. I put his logo up there months ago...to try and help him get started. Well, today...he announced that he has finally gotten his website launched. So if you get a second...check out his stuff. If you end up buying something...let him know you saw his stuff on my blog...I'm sure he will cut you some kind of discount. I've linked his logo to the new web site...or you can CLICK HERE to check out his stuff.

My Seattle Mariners...fresh off a nice win against Detroit today, behind King Felix...are now just 1.5 games out of first place. This makes me very happy. Go M's.

I've noticed something this summer that is definitely on the rise. I know this, for sure...because my OCD/anxiety level would have been off the charts if it were ever any worse. My medication is being tested to the limits on this one. I think I've already mentioned I am contemplating doing a special little 'barn' on here at the end of the summer, featuring all the 'Dwan-a-bees' out here. Well...this might actually be a little cause and effect type deal. 

People are increasingly taking FOREVER to act on their hands. Why? And it seems to be the younger players doing it for the most part. Again...I ask...why? I mean...the internet got shut down...in the U.S. So I expected to see a lot more internet weasels hitting the felt out here this summer.  And I think I have. But here is my question...playing online...you are usually trained to make decisions pretty rapidly, if for any other reason, you have a limited time bank online, and most guys are usually multi-tabling and can't take all day to make a decision without getting their hand (potentially AA!!!) on another game folded. So...with that awesome skill having been developed, wouldn't you expect these little clowns to make up there mind within 45 seconds?

Well, sorry...it just ain't happening. And I am about to lose my mind! My favorite, is when they size the guy up who just made a raise...eyeball him, then his stack...then riffle his chips...then look at you some more...maybe even look downriver at the blinds...sometimes ask them how much THEY are playing behind...doing some more bullshit tanking...finally earning themselves a new nickname (AquaMan) until finally...they fucking fold. WTF?  And they don't just do it once. They do this constantly.

Another one I love...and by love, I mean (as if you didn't already know this) H-A-T-E is when...and it always seems to happen in low buy-in events...there is, say three players in a hand. Player #1 raises. Player #2 goes all in...which prompts Player #3 to spend what seems like an eternity to decide what he is going to do with his pocket jacks. So...as a savvy poker pro, you decide to start focusing on Player #1...to gauge his body language, his reactions...to use for future hands against him yourself. Because if you are even KIND of a decent player, you already know that Player #3 has close to what I said he has. 

So...what is Player #1 himself doing? Well...if it was ME...I would pretty much already have my mind made up when that guy shoved if I was going to call or fold. And certainly...and this IS a promise...by the time Player #3 spent 3 or 4 minutes trying to decide which agent to use for his life insurance policy, and how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop...I would CERTAINLY have it figured out by then, for chrissakes! So when Player #3 finally decides to fold...what does this clown do? 
Of course! He starts a whole new Tank Session. Kill me! Please Kill ME! And kill this guy! Then hide his body, so his family doesn't have to cough up money for his funeral. He doesn't deserve an honorable burial. These people are driving me bananas. But I haven't said a word about it. Not a peep. I just sit there taking one deep breath after another. And fantasizing about things I would like to do to them if it were legal. 

Big shout out to David Diaz for his victory in the WSOP! He becomes, I believe, the first of 'The Boys I Know' to snag a bracelet. Good for him. Nice guy, solid player...no ego. Well, at least...didn't have an ego! Way to go Lefty!

Just watched a pretty interesting show on ABC...think it was called "What Would You Do." It dealt with things that they staged...to see how people walking by would react. Girls bullying a girl out in public. A lady backing into a car, ripping its bumper off while trying to parallel park, others less interesting. I am amazed at how many people will just witness something that is clearly just WRONG and keep on going. I have never been that person. I just don't understand who would be. Weird world we live in. 


What else? Oh...my buddy Charlie 'Smoke' Oliver had his birthday party on Thursday night at Encore's 'Surrender,' a club that is around a pool. I over dressed, so went back to my hotel and changed...with swim trunks underneath. That casino, first of all...is so beautiful. And its funny...the difference between walking around in a casino that nice...and one like the I.P. I don't care what you say....'all men are created equal' is a lot of bullshit. Some of these women who stroll by me...just make me feel like some homeless guy living under an overpass. It was a really fun night, I think we plowed through about 8 or 9 bottles of Grey Goose. I posted a couple of funny videos on my Facebook from that night. I would post them here but they are on my phone...and I'm too lazy to transfer them.

Did I mention I hit a Royal Flush the other night? Yeah...was at O'Shea's after hitting rock bottom, and by rock bottom, I mean....well, pretty much was ready to shoot myself after another day of 2 and 3-outers. It's where I always go when I'm out here and I'm running bad and want to feel better about myself and my life. While maybe winning some loot. So I went. Stayed sober. Took money from morons. And then...at about 5am...hit a royal flush with Q10s in my hand. Turns out they had a nice little in-house promotion at O'Shea's and 15 minutes later I signed for $500...gave the dealer $25...and played for another hour or so...cashing out with a nice profit on the night. It was my fourth Royal Flush in live play. I have had more than that online...but those don't feel as spectacular. 

Is that enough for this entry? Can I leave now? I'm giving some thought to going downstairs here and abusing some of these locals here. I played here the other night for an hour or so and was giggling to myself at how easy it was to win money...but I was so tired, and then after busting a guy...the game broke. And it was the only table going. Bummer. 

Tomorrow night! If you are in Vegas...I hope to see you at the Riviera Poker Room for Monkey's Midnight Madness. Cytherea has texted me that she intends to attend again. She had a really good time last week...and was in on the chop, so that makes sense I guess.

CYA.

MONKEY