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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday's Monkey Recap...Xanax Please!


Forty years ago...this place was THE shit on the strip. And if you are wandering out by the pool, you can tell why. It's the only hotel I've stayed in Las Vegas that has actual GRASS around the pool. If by now you aren't aware...I like grass. It makes me happy. 

I came to a decision while showering four days ago. Some of my most amazing thoughts/ideas come when I am in the shower. Not sure why. Maybe I should start playing poker in the shower...I might fare better.

By the way...this post is going to be long. For your standard reason. It's Vegas. It's summer, and I haven't blogged in several days. And as you know...when I am out here, or when ANYONE for that matter is out here...things are going 106 mph every day...and it doesn't take very long to fall behind on stuff. 

Quick little side note. Though June 4, 2011 will go down in my roomie's day of highlights...his first WSOP Final Table, in the Stud tourney...where he finished 6th for around $20k (despite his feeling miserable about not finishing higher; as we ALL do when we don't WIN...another reason this game is so fu**ing depressing) it is a day that I would like to shoot full of holes with the most powerful semi-automatic machine gun ever made. I would like it to crawl into a fu**ing hole so I can fill it with concrete and watch it die a slow, agonizing death. June 4th.....I HATE YOU!

First the conclusion of my exciting news...which, if you are a follower on my Facebook and/or Twitter you already know about and have already RSVP'd for. Starting tomorrow night...and continuing throughout the summer on EVERY Monday night...is MONKEY'S MIDNIGHT MADNESS at the Riviera Poker Room. Ready for the details?

Time of tourney:  12:00 midnight.
Entry Fee:  $125.  $10 add on gets you $2000...all $10 of those dollars WILL go to the dealers.
Bounty:  Whack the Monkey...win $100.
Structure:  $12,000 chips (with add on) 15 minute levels. Very few levels left out.
Expected time needed to Win:  4 to 5 hours, max.
Rules:  NO RULES! I have arranged to have ZERO rules enforced. Showing cards, talking in the hand, offensive language (within reason)...anything goes. 
Prize Payout: A very unique 'Winner Take All' format. However...the players will have the right to chop the money any way they can all agree to.
High Hand Drinking Torture: Every orbit...the person with the highest hand...will be required to pound a red snapper (or shot of their choice). A few excuses will be accepted to avoid this. A membership card in AA. The presence of a glucometer (diabetes) or a table side liver dialysis machine (liver failure) would be good examples.
STRIPPERS:  The ladies of Vegas who earn their living slip sliding their way up and down poles and not on the felt, will be afforded a complimentary entry. We already have two confirmed entries, as well as one from a porn star. Yup...Kai Landry and I have gone the full distance to make sure all of you late night, poker drunks have everything to make your experience at Monkey's Drunkfest a night to remember.

Its important to me that I have at least ONE NIGHT a week to actually enjoy the game I used to love...back before I vowed to quit drinking in poker...as a tactic to avoid having too much fun and getting myself into a pickle in the casinos I need to enter to maintain my ability to earn a living. So this shall serve as my 'escape' from the daily mental apocalypse.

So there you go! Every Monday night...if everything in your life sucks...poker, job...wife left you...whatever...you have a place to go now...to get away from it all, for ONE DAMN NIGHT of FUN! They have a pretty small poker room, only 6 tables, which I expect we will fill. There is a special bonus play in effect for this Fabulous Event. If you come by and register in person, early...up to 24 hours before the event...you will enter with $2000 more chips than everyone else. Once we have all tables full, any late comers will be offered alternate status. 

Customer Service...as we all know by now, if we have been breathing oxygen and living on this planet for more than 48 days, is an OXYMORON.  Today, I give you....Verizon Wireless:


This is a picture of a Verizon Wireless store. Not THE Wireless store, mind you...I couldn't find a picture of THAT one. But it is located on 3825 South Maryland Parkway in Las Vegas. It is called the Katy Store. I will rename it for the interest of my loyal readers.  SATAN'S STORE. While sitting in the 1k yesterday...which was a total fiasco, and I am borderline thinking I will just purge all memories of it from my cerebrum cortex...I sat staring at my Verizon WiFi card...which, despite being fully charged last night...kept turning itself off. I have other friends and readers who own this same Samsung product, and are experiencing the same problems. 

As I continued to lose hands, misplay hands, fold hands I wanted to call, only to see me flop the nuts had I played them...and watching this motherf**ing device turn itself off...I started to slowly unravel. I am obsessive compulsive. I am on medication for it. So when the guy sitting next to me in the nightly at Venetian last night kept rubbing his grey long sleeved arm against my left arm...over, and over, and over again...and my brain was feeding me the solution, despite my ability or desire (coated with Celexa) to smash his elbow into a million pieces with a mallet...wait...somehow I just side barred my way right off topic, holy shit.

So yeah, I busted out of the heavily attended $1k. Next on my list...other than driving around aimlessly in search of an In-N-Out burger joint...where I would again get to test my unbridled anxiety by waiting in a line 27 1/2 cars long. Yep, half. 


With double double in hand I went in search of the local Verizon store...manned by what I am also POSITIVE were secret, under cover agents from either AT&T or T-Mobile, which, if I'm not mistaken, are in agreement of some kind to merge...right? Has anyone even thought of this as a possibility? When you go into a store, and they seem about as fully committed to NOT helping you in any way possible...getting you right to that point where you threaten them with the 'ol "Hey...if you don't this, that, and the other...I am going to march right over to ______(insert cell phone company of choice) and give them my business" (followed, potentially by a variety of explicatives) and then they respond with "Okay sir...whatever you think you need to do."

What? That is your response asshole? No! No! Nooooooo! That is unacceptable! Well...maybe there is a reason for that! They are spies! Secretly infiltrating the enemies stores to covertly drive customers away from that store (Verizon in this case) to their handler's store. Yea.....brilliant!

So without getting into too much detail, and risking losing you to another exciting poker blogger's daily report...which will no doubt encompass lots of ways to combat the dreaded two-bet, three-bet, triple barrel c-bet re-raise, all in, with lots of M, tons of variance and bad EV references throughout...I will give you the brief, all encompassing conclusion to my experience that nearly led to me going McDonalds San Ysidro on these son of a bitches! (click here if you are either stupid, don't watch the news...or are younger than 15. SAN YSIDRO MASSACRE)

Fat, bitch-like associate takes on my issues. She gives me a long, drawn-out response that makes me request a manager. Manager arrives. He gives me the same long, drawn-out rambling speech...only he dresses it up a little, spicing up some of the words to make it sound 'more managerial' and 'official.' But I have an IQ over 31...which I am guessing they aren't accustomed to; that their typical reaction to their 'we aren't going to do anything to help you if we can help it' speech is silent acceptance and an empty, defeated look from their victims before they slink out of the store, having been crushed, deflated and sent packing. And still holding their malfunctioning device in their hand.

I merely fantasized about grabbing this prick by his tie, dragging him across the counter...stepping on his face about 67 times with my flip-flops...then smashing my Samsung WiFi piece of shit device all over his face...and leaving. 

CELEXA CELEXA CELEXA...to the rescue. Deep sigh. Text wife, tell her of my situation. Get the all important message back....'breathe sweetie...just breathe...go outside...walk up and down the sidewalk for a few minutes...then go back in and try again."

Did that. Still failed to succeed. Fought the urge to pour gasoline all throughout the store and lighting it as I exited. Instead...just left. Spent 1 hour and 27 minutes in that fucking store. I will ever forget those two faces. 

Upon leaving...I watch the device as it switches from ON...to OFF. This while being plugged into my power outlet. I take another deep breath...and dial up Verizon. Within 22 minutes, I had a very helpful rep who has agreed to send me a brand new device...straight to my hotel here in Vegas...and in two days. Really? It was just THAT easy? Those 87 minutes of my life? Those are gone forever. Those two people OWE me those 87 minutes back. I wonder: can you sue someone for lost quality time?

Next: I travel to Wal Mart. For two reasons, really. Kai was at the Final Table of the Stud tourney...and while fighting with the assholes at Verizon...I was shooting him my (though late) pre-Final Table rant that him and I have become famous for. I have to admit...I was pretty proud of the final product. Lets see if I can copy/paste it here...this blog editor is pretty testy. I posted it to Kai's Facebook wall.
  • Dear Kai. 
    Sorry if this is reaching you late. I had to spend a little time finding a car wash with a high pressure sprayer that I could shove up my ass and purge all the 'run bad' demons. My bad. So, with a tremendous obligation to propel you to victory, I begin.

    You sit upon the precipice of something we all dream about. And when I say dream I am not referring to the insane kangaroos hopping around in your ambien-fueled slumber. No I'm talking about something that will finally make people take notice of you for something other than your 'fresh from the blender' hairdo and/or your Elton John meets Liz Taylor glam shades. Are you kidding? what's next? Top hat adorned with gold Christmas wrap?

    Look we get it. After an illustrious career of carrying trays and floating false wine info to the uppercrust of Biloxi (tsk tsk) at your little burger joint this could represent a total lifestyle change for you, one that might require you to actually come off sounding clever.

    Hey seriously though. No pressure here. It's not like your kids will think less of you if you blow it. I mean, can you sink lower than Daddy the Clown status? Just make up a story for them, similar to the one involving Santa getting kidnapped last Christmas when things 'just weren't going right'

    Have fun on that stupid disco table. Knowing you you'll start making animal shapes to the hole cam while dancing in between hands. Great, and with my 'questionable' status with Harrahs being what it is, and them all knowing we are friends (or whatever!) your antics alone should likely seal my fate. Thanks. Asshole.

    So just hurry up and lose so you can come back to the hotel and help me finish conducting this "I wonder if I will die if I jump from the third floor" experiment.

    Love,

    Monkey
Wow it actually worked. Yay. So the reason for me driving over to Wal Mart...not just to get a new case for my iPhone, to replace the one that has developed a very long crack after having dropped it on the ground about 13 times...but to sit in my car, in the parking lot...watching people go in and out of the store and slowly begin to rebuild my self-esteem. You will find, that when things are running bad, not just in life...but indeed, in poker? This is a fantastic confidence-building excercise. And after about 22 minutes of just sitting out there, wolfing down my In-N-Out burger and watching God's sad little jokes to the rest of the world waddle in and out of 'The Mart' I felt ready to enter the store.

7 minutes after entering Wal Mart...my beautiful wife, Squirrel calls. She is listening to me babble (annoyingly I'm sure) about my experience in both the $1k and next at Verizon...when suddenly...she breaks down, crying and speaking incoherently. 

WTF....huh? What? What are you saying!!!??? I can't understand a single word she is saying. And all I can think is that she is telling me that something happened to one of our dogs, or both. It's the only thing I can think of that would make her break down and freak out like she was doing. I am immediately scared and shocked. I can't understand anything she is saying between the crying.

Well...good news. My dogs are safe. Our house is in one piece. No one died. Unless you consider jewelry to be an object to be treated with the respect afforded to a living being.

This is a close replica to the ring I presented to my wife three years ago before asking her to marry me after 7 years together. I was very proud of it. I learned a lot about diamonds that I never knew in the 5 months leading up to this purchase. It was important to me that I NOT be one of those guys who...when the other girls at work looked at the ring on my lady's hand...was dismissed as one of those guy's who just didn't quite 'bring it' when it came time to pop the question. I've heard them tell the stories...and some of them are painful. Squirrel comes home every night from work with stories from the crypt...or that place she goes all week to deliver 'hot tea with lemon' to nice old people for .15 cent tips. So when it came to 'putting my brand' on my lady...I made it count. 

Well...to anyone who is an avid scuba diver...get a hold of me and I will see if I can find you the coordinates in the Gulf of Mexico where this ring now resides. Yeah. It's gone. Forever. While conducting a skin cancer prevention activity her ring just slipped off her finger and slid off the bow of the boat and into the Gulf of Mexico while out with friends in Pensacola yesterday. Hearing this news...and hearing her sobs...I fear I failed as a man. I had no idea what to say or how to respond. 

I honestly wasn't mad. I'm sure some men would be. This sucker wasn't cheap. I was more saddened by her obvious pain. I told her what I thought were all the right things to say. "It's okay sweetie. I'm not upset. It was just an accident. No one was hurt. It's just a piece of jewelry. We will get you a new one. Don't worry about it." And in between her sobs...as I sat on the floor of the electronics department at Wal Mart running my hands through my hair and undoubtedly looking like an investor who had just received a late-Friday call from his broker telling him that he had just lost everything that day...I said nothing. I fear that I missed an opportunity to say something magical that would bring her out of her doldrums and elevate myself to 'Super Husband' status somehow.

Anyway...it may or may not have been covered by my home-owners policy. I have a bad feeling it wasn't on there. I will find that out tomorrow.

Omar Hikary...who now lives here, and who I went to Larry Flynt's new Hustler club out here with the other night...to meet my good buddy Christian Iacobellis and some of his friends...just called me to go to the ENCORE casino pool party today. NO WAY! I went to BARE the other day at Mirage...and got my fill of the over-crowded, over-drugged, over-alcohol'd crowd flopping around in the too-small and too-pissed in swimming pool. Add to that my week of running bad and my desperate need/desire to produce a victory..and any thoughts of going to something like that are foolish.  




Omar, by the way...who used to be dating, and was in love with a girl we all know pretty well, and who later dumped him to take up stakes with a friend of his who made the Final Table of the Main Event last year...seems to have recovered quite nicely. A lot of us felt really bad for him when all that went down last fall, and I made sure to give him as much moral support as possible. He drove that night...because I was fuuuhhhhhhhh-ked up. Good decision. He is driving this sweet, really sweet, tricked out BMW 6-series car that smelled like cherry coke on the inside!

You may have noticed I have done very little talking about poker in here. Why? Why bother. I'm running like shit. Everyone knows it. The dealers are all talking about it. I even have dealers joking about it as they slide in...telling the players who bad they fucked me up on their previous appearance...and how they wonder what they are going to do to me next. 'Thanks buddy.'

Last night...after having busted out of the nightly at Venetian...I thought..."Ah what the hell...lets go try to win a SNG or two...end my night with a shred of happiness."

Arrive in SNG-Land...where I see the final two in the Omaha tourney from yesterday. That's when I throw up in my mouth.



See this guy? His name is Chris. Last name? Don't know. Don't care. Can't stand him. Absolutely loathe him, in fact. Have now...for 6 years. I am not alone. This is the picture I took of him after he had rivered me for the SECOND time...with me having him all in in the Omaha tourney...which I would play for 11 and a half hours...only to flop a set and get rivered by another guy, who gut-shotted a straight on me...losing in almost the same, identical fashion that I recently played 12 hours down in South Florida only to fall just short of the money. There is nothing MORE mentally exhausting them to sit through that bullshit. 

So...having this jerk on the rocks in back to back hands only to see him luckbox his way back into the tourney...it was bad enough that I ended up departing before him. But then to walk into the Final Table area and see this jackass heads up for the win? There are very few things in poker that are quite as disturbing. 

One of the other players who was sitting around waiting for this damn SNG to fill up with me...which would take OVER AN HOUR to fill, commented that he looked like a human bowling pin. Oh wait...no, check that...that comment came from a dealer! My bad. 

Look at this clown.





Every thing he does at the table annoys me. His face annoys me. He always has his stupid hat turned 'askew' to suggest what? That he is....I don't know. You tell ME! He walks...with this...its like a gay prance. But I know...or think at least...that he's hetero. But if you ever saw 'Birdcage' you would consider him perfect for the role of Club Choreographer. He was heads up with an Asian man who barely spoke English and all throughout play kept trying to angle shoot his way to a better deal than he was deserving of...as the Asian guy held a significant advantage over him. 

They kept stopping play so he could go off and consult with one of his many advisers. It was nauseating. And while he was doing this, you could see the floor guy getting more and more irritated. Then the Asian guy finally realized he was being fleeced...and finally just said NO! And they played it out. We were STILL waiting for this damn $130 SNG to fill. So I had nothing better to do than sit and watch this baboon with his stupid facial expressions, his obnoxious way of flicking out his bets....(*!*(&!!)(*&!@#^&....literally, WATCHING this guy puts me on life tilt. Finally the Asian guy won. Took the picture with the cheesecake-like trophy, and the two-legged Snuffaluffagus finally left the area. Sigh.

Ipads are STILL not allowed in the Venetian tournament area. My disdain is known by all. The 'nice folks' who work in Surveillance just can't quite seem to be able to pull the trigger on 'clearing' them for use. I feel I need to say no more on this topic. iPad? iPod? iPhone? The difference in user-ability? Zip. Nada. None. Only difference? Size. Period. Common sense in not allowing the iPad? Zero. None. Niente. Zilch.

Ah, yes...so finally, the SNG filled up. I lost half my stack early...and sat there pondering my immediate future...wondering if it would result in me finally admitting that I had arrived at 'lets go to O'sheas sidewalk 1/2 game...put on the headphones...escape from the world, watch the circus out front and inside of the place...while only hearing music in my ears...while waiting for drunken fools either suck out on me with their $43 deep stack...or simply letting the dealer push me their chips' bottom rung. Yeah...that did make sense...it was just a really, really long run on sentence. I don't profess to always adhering to my skills obtained while acquiring a degree in communications!

But did O'Sheas happen? Nope. Why? Because...I dedicated myself to being patient...looking for spots...and winning this damn SNG...and the lost longer bet...and going to bed with a wonderful $670 victory to propel me into the new week on a high note. Sounds like a good plan, for the most part, right?

Remember in my previous post or two when I was lamenting my horrendous recent history in sit n go's in which I seem to have formed an amazing propensity for finishing third? Yeah...well...there ya go.

Once again...I get down to three. Only this time...I have a significant chiplead. Seated at my table is 'that kid.' And if you don't know who 'that kid' is...then you need to merely leave your house and go sit down at any live game to know who I am talking about. 'That kid' is the snot-nose, internet-trained punk...who thinks everything he does it 'cute' or 'cool.' Who has no ability to raise without going all in...because that just 'aint how we do things online.'

We are three-handed...with two winners...forever. I have such a good lead that I am desperately trying to NOT double either one of these guys up...and folding stuff like A2, Q10 and A8 to this twerp...who's only move is to stack all of his chips in one stack...and slowly slide it in. Just annoying. Then when we both fold...starts snickering. It got worse when his friends arrived to watch over his shoulder. I believe it was then that he started feeling like a performer on stage. Then he starts showing me bluffs. I try to trap him by limping in SB vs BB with QQ. That failed to work. Then the other guy doubles him up. Shit.

Blinds become 500/1000. Yeah...this was a ridiculously long SNG...kind of like this current blog entry.

I am in the SB with KJ and move all in for 4500. He calls with his 5500 with Q9. The flop comes K-J-8. Yes! Please...let me win this hand and leave this punk with one big blind! Why would that happen? Instead...my dealer puts a NINE on the turn...followed by another NINE on the river!!!!! I sat there in utter shock and disbelief. Just sat there. You GOTTA be kidding me. Then watched these two get paid out. Then watched that freckle-faced, mop-of-a-hairdo, overly bushy uni-browed mini prick...strut around in front of his friends like he was the greatest ever. I just sat there stewing, lamenting my day...lamenting this summer so far. But saying nothing. Cyndie...who runs the Sit N Go's was aware of what happened, and after everyone left...sat with me and we talked about that and a bunch of other things for about half an hour. I guess it helped, maybe a little bit.

Days like yesterday...they just leave you feeling indescribably lousy. And there is nothing you can do about it...except return and try again. 

I really, truly could have continued this blog for another hour...but at some point, I have to cut you guys some slack!

Hope you all come to see me tomorrow night at the Riviera Poker Room for my MONDAY MIDNIGHT MADNESS tourney. It will be a good time. I'm ready to have a good time. 

MONKEY

3 comments:

Paul said...

Love the pic of the "mouth breather"....what a dork!

Why do the cards always favor these sub-humans? Why????

So glad I do not play this game for a living.

Anonymous said...

That tourney sure sounds as if it would make women players feel super comfortable.

*cough*

Anonymous said...

Monkey,
if the boat driver isn't a complete idiot, he has the GPS coordinates, and if a fish didn't hit it on the way down, that ring could be found with underwater metal detector.

cheers