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Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9...the day we turn the corner!

Yes. A Royal Flush. No...there was no bad beat administered on this one...though it was certainly a juicy board for one. But the in-house promotion paid a nice little $500 bonus. It was the fourth live Royal Flush I have had in my 7 years of live poker.

I know a lot has gone on since I've last blogged. I can tell by the hits I am getting every day that I have to be better about updating this damn thing. But its so hard when all I do is play poker, then sleep, then play again....wash, rinse, wash, rinse...repeat.

I am not going to do a lot of whining...but the first 13 days in Vegas have been truly hellacious. In 12 SNG's played, I have no finished 3rd five times. It happened again last night...and by the same dealer, Ralph (good dealer, super nice guy) who got me the other night when I flopped top two...only to have this punk kid go runner runner nines to knock me out third. 

Last night...three handed with...well, some of you know her...and I am not posting photos of players on my blog right now, as this is a public domain. I will, however, post the crap out of them on my Facebook. Her name is Rachel. She is one of the least attractive female players you will ever see at the poker table. Gigantic nose, unkempt hair, weird open sores and blotches all over her skin...and to top it all off...she has the personality of Woody Allen, only more neurotic and annoying. And...she plays absolutely horrible.

By now, most of you know J.R. from New Orleans...or 'Sam Bailey' as the poker reporters refer to him. He was in this $240 SNG with me, which also carried $320 in last longer money. A win in that represented $1370 each. 

'The Troll' had already lucked out when...with the blinds at only 100/200 she shoves all in heads up in the blinds...with A4...for the third time now, only to finally be called by the kid in the big blind who was just sick of the stupid shoves. He had A7. She got lucky to get a chop out of it...the starts babbling in her Woody Allen-esque way..."Oh...that was, I was really praying for a four there...but the chop was lucky too...oh...I got really lucky huh? Well, you know sometimes in poker you have to get lucky....." ad nauseum....kill me, kill me, please kill me!!!! And her! I look at the kid and he is rolling his eyes, obviously wishing he could snap his fingers and make her vanish back under the bridge that she came from.

So now it was JR's turn to run into the Keebler Bad Beat Machine. Knowing that this broad likes to shove her stack whenever a lot of people limp...he decides to limp with JJ. She does it again...shoving 2300  into a 500 pot. With Q9. She turns a Q...and it holds. JR just looks down at me in obvious misery. I just shake my head. Then she gets hit with the deck, and somehow gets everyone to fall into her trap. How? How does this happen to shit players so much?

Then...we are three handed. Here we go again. And on the with 5500, the other guy with 5500, and her with 9000....I raise to 1200 with AA. She gets all fidgety...and weird...yes, more weird than usual, which, I KNOW...seems impossible. She just calls. The flop comes K-2-7. She checks. I bet out 2200. I now have just 2100 left. She that Phil Hellmuthian snowplow style...that most of us 'normal' people loathe. She immediately turns over her set of Kings. You have GOT to be shitting me? No ace on the turn or river for me...and BOOM! Once again...I was out 3rd! That one REALLY hurt.

The only thing that made me feel better about now being down over $10k on this trip...was when a couple of buddies happened by my table and told me they were down way guy around $40k...the other close to $30k. Wow...well, okay...that certainly made me feel a lot better. Ive been talking to a lot of people I know who are running really bad out here. Not playing bad...just getting a lot of really sick beats laid on them.

I hate going into individual hands...I find it to be just boring and depressing for you people to have to slog through. Plus, I try to sleep most of them off if I can and forget they ever happened. The bottom line in my that I am consistently playing into the top 15% of almost everything I'm playing in, only to be run down by 2 and 3 outers constantly...and that shit really fucks with your head after awhile.

Found out Monday morning that my wife's ring that when into the bottom of the Gulf was not covered by our homeowners insurance...or any other policy. That is just making me sick...and making Squirrel depressed.

My little party on Monday Night was a ton of fun. At the Hustler club with some friends last weekend, I met former Porn Star Cytherea, who was working there. We talked for about an hour. She was really cool, and a lot brighter than I would ever have expected a 'woman of porn' to be. She is married now, with kids...but still looks great. Well...she thought it would be fun to come play my poker tourney...and brought her husband, Tim...who was really excited about playing.

A lot of my good buddies made it for the 1st Midnight Party of the Summer. Guys like Kai, of course...James Dunning (who later got booted, for I don't know what!) Mitch Dietze from Caeser's Palace, Charlie Townsend...Kristen Deardorff, Aaron Lashlee, a dealer...and a handful of other fun people. We had two tables running...though I had hoped for 3 or 4 tables...but maybe it will just have to be one of those things that collects momentum as the summer progresses. 

Despite telling Riviera management that we were going to bring it hard, rough and wild...the scouting report that came back from management the next day indicated they weren't overly pleased by the feedback they got, feeling it got a little out of hand. That in future events, we would need to tone things down, especially the language. Not sure why they were so disturbed by it...we DID tell them our shouldn't have come as a big shocker. The waitresses probably made more on a Monday night than they have in that bartender must have made close to 150 Red Snappers, and everyone else was double fisting cocktails.

When the action started...I had Omar at my table who decided to initiate the act of 'stradling'...a cash game tactic which we agreed to implement...since we were (after all) playing with no TDA rules whatsoever. Things briefly got a bit out of control, when Omar decides to swap cards with a guy on his right...which led to that player beating me in a hand I had him otherwise beaten in. That was just plain CHEATING...and I quickly put him in his place on that deal.

Right off the bat I got AA and KK with action. it has all happened. Omar was stradling on the button for 300. The kid in the big blind....just shoves all in for 11k. I have him covered by 3k and snap call with KK.

"Really!!!???" he asks. "Um...yeah, really!!!"  Omar folds. Kid turns over JJ. And of course, dealer flops him a jack. FML.

A little while later, Cytherea flops a set of 2's against my 6's and I was out...and paying her my $100 bounty. But the group all voted to let me buy back in...which I did. I got up to another big stack...then took a succession of suck out beats...and ended up losing around 5th or 6th. When they all got to 4 or 5 they decided to chop the total prize pool. I think the choppers were Kai, Cytherea, and her husband Tim...and I'm not sure who else.

But on the strength of her winning some money...and just having fun...I think she really enjoyed the company too. No one was doing or saying anything gross or inappropriate, which she probably isn't use to...and it was a chance for her to just step out and doing something halfway 'normal' for a change. She texted me yesterday, vowing to show up again next Monday.

So hopefully this coming Monday we attract a few more players...keep things a little bit more civilized...and everyone leaves happy. I know that for the people who did come was a really nice way to unwind and just have one night of fun. I drank my face off...and when I woke up to my ringing telephone at 1:18pm the next Christian Iacobellis telling me there were over 800 players at Venetian and where the hell was I? I had to rally myself for that bad as my head hurt...800 players in a $340 was something that simply could NOT be ignored.

So I arrived. Played on hand in an hour...which produced a 4800 chip pot...which was more than enough to sit around playing super tight for 4 more levels. Then picked up KK in the big blind against a 4x raiser, and caller (the calling station clown) before re-raising all in for not too much more...and getting them both to folk. That put me in another stack size where I could sit patiently for 2 or 3 levels. Level 10, pretty tight players raises UTG...I decide to simply flat with AQs. The calling station, who's stack had been up and down like an elevator all day....he calls. The flop comes Q-Q-4...two hearts. Nice! First guy bets out. I raise. Idiot boy...who is sitting over there with 5-7h....calls. WTF?  The first guy...who has KK....shoves all in. Well, I'm certainly not folding. Dork calls with his bad flush draw on a paired board...and calls for a LOT. No sweat! Dealer gives him a damn heart on the river. I'm out. And miserable again. Wishing I had now stayed in bed.

I don't know if this video down below loaded or not. Everytime I shoot video on my iPhone, it comes out sideways...not sure why? Guess I need to be holding my phone sideways when I am filming in video. Well, last night at O'Sheas...which by the where I always go when I am feeling super low, super defeated and just overly depressed...about poker. Well, so after another brutalizing day at Venetian...I went over there. No need to get into the any hands. But it had its usual cast of characters. The drunks. The guy and his girlfriend trying hard to collude but not really knowing how. The idiot who talks like he's an expert on all things poker. The floor guy who has no clue how to make a proper floor call.

Everything. Chaos right out on the street. Gorgeous girls half my age parading by constantly. Repugnant girls parading outfits that any decent friend would have eagerly dissuaded them from every trying to slip into. And all the while I was dragging pot after pot and reclaiming some of that confidence in my game that had all but left my world. Then I hit the Royal Flush...and no I didn't win much of a pot with that...maybe $25-$30...but the $500 felt did just hitting the 4th Royal Flush of my live poker life. And I took it as a sign that maybe, just maybe...things on this trip were/are beginning to turn around, finally.

Add to that the text message I just got from Tim Mix about an hour ago...from the Venetian, that iPad's are now officially ALLOWED at the Venetian!!!! The folks in surveillance finally pulled their heads out. That is awesome news. So I feel things are starting to maybe start to come around now. Won a little me some sleep...drank NOTHING last night...booked Squirrel's airline ticket for her to come visit next week, for our anniversary. So it would be nice to knock down something substantial before she arrives so I can at least show her a good time while she is here, without being all stressed out.

Oh so what is this video? Last summer...while playing at O'Sheas...the sun came up, as it did last night. And with the sunrise...comes the joggers. You know? Those people who get up early...who care about their body and their health...and have to rub our noses in it? So I started chasing after them...with drink in hand...while a couple of other players would video tape it. It was pretty funny...and became a bit of a video sensation. So here came the joggers this morning...and this old guy was just a crack up. Now...don't get me no way am I making fun off this guy. I admire his tenacity and dedication to get out there every morning and exercise. I need to be following his example. But what WAS funny was the speed at which he was traveling. I'm not even sure what you would call what he was doing. He was going through the motions of a jog...but moving slower than someone just walking. Does that make sense? I hope you are able to see this video.

Desert nose continues to kick my ass. I can't ever breathe clearly through my nose...its bleeding all the time, and just making my life hell. I don't get it. Why won't it stop?

Dallas and Miami are tied at 2 games apiece in a series I was almost positive would go 7 games. People are yapping about LeBron having 'given up' in Game 4. I think the 'experts' are a little too insightful about most things involving pro athletes. I still see him collecting his first ring this season. I have been saying all season long...I don't see ANYONE in the NBA beating those guys in a 7-game series...and as much as I would love to see the geezers on the Mav's finally win a ring...I just don't see it happening. Heat in 7.

My Mariners are still hovering around first place...which has me very excited. 2nd place now...just 2.5 games behind the Texas Rangers. We need some offense. And we need it NOW....just like those people from JG Wentworth want their damn money!

The weather out here has been just beautiful. Hot but not too hot...and breezy to WINDY almost every day. I've managed to hit the pool once or stave off my caveman, ghostly poker appearance.

I have only played the one event at Rio....that first $1k event...and a couple of the 2pm $235 tourneys...the first one that I final tabled...then another one last week that didn't turn out so well. I think today's field in that is going to be potentially huge...with Venetian being a $1590 today and nothing at WSOP to really appeal to the masses. Only problem is its now 2:30pm...I'm still in my bed...still feeling really tired, still blogging for you folks...and not feeling much motivation to head over there.

I'm really not thrilled with the SnG situation, anywhere. I like the structures at far as how many chips you get to play with. But since they moved SNG land to a place way out of the main flow of things...they are having an extremely difficult time getting them to fill up, as they usually do. That and the two-winner system on all of them really sucks. I prefer the one winner...where we can decide who to orchestrate any inevitable chop deal at the end. I almost always am in favor of 3rd place getting their buy in back...then playing out for the rest...on a 70/30 split...that way you are actually playing for some significant payout. 50/50 just blows.

Over at the Rio...the lines are long and the SNG's are getting off with much efficiency. The only problem with that you only get 1000 starting chips to play with. Granted, they do start out at 25/25...but you know that very few players are raising to 75. So once you either raise a couple times, or call a couple raises...and either miss and have to fold...or and have to fold to a are pretty much short stacked really fast. It makes it really hard to win those. Especially if you are getting shit cards. I just wish they would add about 500 chips to their starting stack in those...if they would, I think I would just be over there grinding SNG's for several days in a row to try and resurrect my anemic bankroll.

Kai left to go home for a week or tend to work and family issues. So I guess I have the little castle here all to myself for a few days. Kai is a really good roomie, and his being here or being gone are pretty much one in the same. Just means I can lay around naked when he's gone!

My little episode with Verizon appears to be the brand new Samsung WiFi unit they sent me arrived at my hotel yesterday. And is working far. Of course...the hotels have this nice little scam they run...where they charge you ($12 in my case) to receive mail on your behalf. Can't lie...I found that to be a little annoying.

Tony Dick drove up here from Phoenix yesterday to play the Omaha/Stud H/L split tourney at The Golden Nugget. I would lose in Level 18. He would go longer...and finish on the absolute bubble. Poor guy. Also...on his way up here...his car, which he just bought...broke down just outside of town! He got a rental car to continue his trip. Then Bubbles. Sick game. At least after he came to meet me at O'Sheas...and bought in for $200...he cashed out for $700 when I did. Glad he had at least ONE thing go right yesterday.

A long time reader/follower of my blog...Stephen Baze...of Houston, had his two dogs get out during a bad storm last week. One of them returned home...but the other, his longtime buddy Rocky...was found on the nearby highway...where he had been hit by a car and killed.

Rocky looks like he was an awesome dog! I know the heartbreaking sadness that comes with losing your best buddy...and my condolences go out to Steve...who I know has to be losing a lot of sleep this week. I don't think there are any words that can truly eradicate the pain you feel when you lose your best buddy in the I won't even try...but just know that all of our little beasts go to heaven...and as long as we live a good life ourselves...we will get to see them all again some day! I've got four up there I can't wait to see again!!!!  RIP Rocky...and enjoy dog heaven!

Just realized it's Thursday...and today is my buddy Charlie 'Smoke' Oliver's birthday. I know he has some big, blowout party planned for maybe its a good thing I didn't make it to go play in anything today. Maybe I will just finish this blog...go grab an hour at the pool...then go play some SNG's until its time to go wherever we are going tonight. I know Jason Young is running as bad as me...and was hitting me up last night wanting to do something fun...maybe I will get him to join us tonight.

Finally learned how to use SKYPE...and Cheryl and I both got it set up on our computers so we could have more pleasant conversations when I am away from home. It's nice to be able to see her face when we are talking...and to be able to see my dogs, too. Although they make no connection whatsoever to seeing me on the computer monitor. But they do respond to my voice. I miss my dogs so much.

Does anyone REALLY know how many different flavors of Pringles there are?

I am working on a special segment for either this blog...or maybe on a sort of Anonymous blog...penned by 'who knows' at the end of the summer...and featuring these frog-eyed, slo-mo acting idiots known as Tom Durrrrrr Wannabes. It only works on those who are about 22-31, lanky, scrawny, long bony fingers, unattractive...cold, dead eyes...and the ability to blink as little as possible. These guys are single-handedly making my Summer 2011 very, very annoying. It seems likes it every hand...where they sit there posturing....doing their 'deer in the headlights' stare down of their opponent...trying to hop into their make that one HUGE read, that will lead to ultimate victory, to fame, and fortune...and their picture on every magazine in the world.

Oh...did I mention that the action to them was in Level 1 at 25/50 when someone has raised their big blind to 150? Yeah....well...that is how it is out here since 'Durrr' decided to make 'The Iguana Pose' the new fad. And if merely watching these assclowns isn't enough to make you want to stick a little C4 under their chair during the next also have the incredible opportunity to follow them outside...and hover nearby during a break and hear what these dorks discuss during the breaks. There is absolutely NO DOUBT in my head that 92% of these Durrr-Wannabes were Dungeons and Dragons Disciples...or World of Warcraft...or whatever the name of the latest "Dork who never leaves his basement on his computer" that these zit-faced, mussed-hair, backpack toting Harry Potters are playing these days.

It's gotten so bad...that I think we should be able to reduce their time bank, just like online. After about the 3rd orbit of a tourney...they would all be down to about 7 seconds to act on their hand.  BEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEP!!!!!

Chris Reedy, a floor guy at the Venetian keeps asking me to mention him in my blog. Not exactly sure what he wants me to say about him....but here ya go Chris.You have been mentioned! And please...keep up the good work over there!!!

Okay...there goes two hours of my life. We are sorta/kinda caught up I guess. I need to get out there and start knocking down some wins. So I will have something more positive to report back to y'all.

I hope more of you are able to make it by Monday night for my 2nd installment of Monkey's Midnight Madness at the Riviera Poker Room....$125 buy in. $100 bounty on ME! No TDA rules at all. Winner take all format...which is negotiable, of course. Lots and lots of Red Snappers! $10k chips. 15 minute levels. And Cytheria claims she is coming again this week. So it should be fun...mark it on your calendar!!!


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