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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

See Ya September....

It's been a pretty damn slow month. Usually, or well...back in the 'good ol days' when I wasn't on the road at a poker tourney, I could at least sit at home grinding online. Now...with that being a thing of the past...at least for now, there is XBox360, online TV shows with NetFlix and Hulu...and the dogs to play with.

I know, I know Joey 'Luckbox' Gross...you want me to go buy this new kickass game so you can get me online and use me as your personal whipping bitch. I get it. STFU already!!!!


On Sunday...in between NFL games...Squirrel and I took the dogs down to the backbay under the draw bridge on Popp's Ferry where the rednecks are always out fishing to let them play in the water for an hour. Jasper couldn't be pulled out of the water. We must have thrown him that ball 50 times.

It's Wednesday night. The Braves, Cardinals, Red Sox and Devil Rays...or Rays I guess they are just called now...are all tied for the Wild Card and playing for either a spot in a one-game playoff tomorrow, or the Wild Card playoff spot. And then Texas, Milwaukee, Detroit and Arizona are all playing for homefield advantage and the 2nd best records in their league. Quite a way, after 161 games...to end the regular season.

Things for TB have not gotten off to a very good start tonight, as Mark Teixeira has a solo home run and a grand slam to stake NYY to a 6-0 lead early.

If the Cardinals ever let this beast get away from STL they will regret it forever. All the dude does is show up and mash, game after game, season after season. Love this guy!!!

This is my absolute favorite time of the year. Baseball postseason, when the leaves are turning brown and orange...the air is getting cooler...and new memories are forged. Love it. And then the NFL and NCAA are a few weeks into their seasons...and things are starting to heat up and get interesting. NASCAR...if you like watching cars going around in circles (which I do) is into their Chase for the next two months. 

The SEC is where its AT! And with LSU sitting at #1 now, and Bama at #3...both teams have a field of landmines to get through before hooking up in Tuscaloosa next month for what is sure to be a war!!!!

And as tired as I am of the NBA and all their over-inflated egos, over-priced tickets and rap (not music) sheets as long as a 7 year-old's list to Santa, it gives me joy to dream about the possibility of these jerks NOT coming to an agreement, and missing the entire season...and forcing a lot of their players to go overseas and play, to keep paying for those houses and cars and jewelry they won't be able to afford if they miss one season. I will laugh my ass off as these pampered assholes are forced to play in shitty little arenas in Eastern Europe for a few months.

Do we need another season of THIS?

I think I'd rather spend my winter watching a season of THIS, instead!

Okay okay...I know why y'all are here! Just shut up already! Someone has told you that there is a new Chad Burns video floating around out there...right? Well, I can't deny the rumor. It does live...and some of you may have already seen it. I know my wife is sick of hearing about Chad...but gosh dang it, the little squirt is just so doggone irresistible when it comes to taking shots at. And for the guy who wrote in asking me why I can't/don't just block him from my Facebook? Ahem, stay with us there partner, I did, in fact announce on here a full 45 days ago that I changed the settings on my Facebook, so that now Chadwick has no ability to post on my wall or send me messages. Or even SEE my wall. I'm sure its driving him insane.

Two nights ago, one of my field reporters (also known as a fellow poker-playing, Facebook friend who reads this blog and follows the Troll Saga) weighed in with an Ooompa Loompa sighting at the $1/$2 table in Harrah's New Orleans. Ohhhh...so tempting. Well, it is nice to know that wherever he goes, he has eyes on him constantly. I sure as hell was looking for him in Shreveport...as I kept hearing he may be showing up for. But alas, common sense directed him to stay at home. Hell, that damn thing was on top of a boat. Couple things gone wrong...couple of things spoken the wrong way...and there is a good chance that punk could have been making the splash of a small stone into the Red River...getting no one alerted, but pissing off the other half of Houston who he still owes money to. So to those, who still think they have a chance of getting repaid, you're welcome.

Okay, before I drop this on you...I must confess, I have not created this latest masterpiece, as much as I want to take credit for it. I just am not a thief of artistic beauty. The problem? The director/producer of this badboy refuses to be acknowledged, in kind of an evil genius, lurking in the shadows kind of way. So...he shall remain anonymous, and we can only hope he continues to provide us poker heathens with delicious content for my little blog. Wheeeeeeeeee!!!!  ENJOY!


I hope you enjoyed Chad...in the kitchen at a place that was obviously NOT where he works, since we all know he doesn't have a job. Maybe next time our esteemed director can provide us with a little more realistic set!!!!

I would like to address another snid...mmmm, how do I spell this word? Root word, SNIDE. As in, he made a snide comment. I would like to call it a snidish comment. Are you on base with me? Okay...getting to my point. Another brave guy hiding behind the anonymous tag and refusing to leave his name, love those guys. A ton. In fact...if I were on a cruise ship, and 'that guy' were lurking around late one night...having consumed about 7 shots of tequila, and weaving back and forth walking in my direction? On say...a chilly night where the seas were a bit rough? Lets just say there is about a 59% to 83% that I might accidentally hip-check the guy over the rail. Whoops! Sorry! Hope you can swim!

So let me see if I can find this toolbag's comment. Hold Please. 

"You are just another guy who binked a couple tournaments and thinks he's God's gift to poker! You are always bitching about people playing random hands. Have you ever thought to adjust and that's how people play now!"

Yes, he ended that sentence with an exclamation point, when clearly it was a question. And no there was no comma between 'adjust' and 'and.' But more to the point of his rant.

Um...if you think...that I think...that I am God's gift to ANYTHING, poker notwithstanding, then you clearly have never met me. Assclown. For the record, I hate people who are still using the word 'bink' and wish anyone using it would fall into an active volcano. Bink...is a brand of wine, and makes perhaps the finest Pinot Noir I have ever consumed. The only time I EVER want to hear the word BINK...is if the waiter is opening THIS bottle of wine pictured below.

Furthermore...skidmark, I haven't won a 'couple' tourneys. I have won 7. Well, seven that are reported to Cardplayer.com. In actuality, I have probably won somewhere between 15-20. Do I think this is great? Hell no. Great would be winning ONE tourney...for 5 to 10 million bucks, and never have to sit down at a poker table, ever again. So, as bad as my year is going, as many close calls and tough breaks I have had in the last five years...for any moron to suggest that I think I am God's gift to poker? Its fucking comical. I have to imagine this is flowing from the thin boney fingers of a schmuck who has never won ANYthing in his life...not just poker. I'm talking...anything. Like that contest in 1st grade where you had to balance a damn Lincoln log on another Lincoln log as you raced 10 other idiots 50 yards to the finish line. Or a sack race. Spelling Bee. Soap box derby. Dude...I mean ANYTHING. 

I am a master at reading people...even through their slimy, anonymous comments. And you dude, are a fucking hobbit. Right? Well, I'm not done explaining myself. Or rather, addressing your comment. You know...it's guys like you who perk me up. When things are slow, when I'm in a rut...when I'm questioning my mission in life, wondering what's next, asking myself if I should just end it all....jeez, I read a comment like yours, and it reminds me just how full of idiots this world is. How much people really DO need me around to warn them of dart-targets like this guy.

Ah, but alas, he raises a very important question, doesn't he? Have I ever considered 'changing, or adjusting my game to incorporate more random hands' as he labels them? Well, I think any poker player worth a shit would admit that we all go through periods where we question everything we are doing as players, especially when we are running bad. We might play a small buy in tourney and try to employ a different strategy than usual. We might try out the 'ol move where we just start 4 and 5-betting the shit out of everyone...to stake your dominance on a table.

There is something you pick up when you are friends with excellent players. I first realized this, I think...when in 2008 I shared a house with 6 very fine players. At night, after we all came home from that days conquest/disaster we would sit down and present situational hands...and I shit you not, you generally got 5 or 6 different responses to each situation. Proof that there is no ONE WAY to play poker. No one is naive enough to think there is. Frankly, I don't think I do nearly as much bitching as I used to about people beating me with what most of us would regard as piece of shit hands. I actually admire, respect and fear that rare player who can put in a third or fourth raise with what most would consider garbage (with the utmost confidence while doing so)...and then outplay their opponent after the flop.

This is a strategy, that to me...is best used in cash game. And some of the best cash game players I know...do just that. I won't name them, as I don't want to blow their cover. But I will say that hanging out with, and talking to them about it...has really improved my cash game a lot this year. My problem, is that I just get bored shitless sitting at a cash game.

As it pertains to a tourney...the thing is, my mission is to put myself in position, the best position, to finish in the top 5% and better. And the best way to go about this, is to play a certain range of hands. Now, I will confess...as much as some of you think I am a damn 'nit' (another word I loathe) I play a shit-ton of off hands in the first four levels of most tourneys nowadays. The advent of deepstack structures affords a good player the luxury of doing that. I love to do a lot of limp calling when people raise in late position. Even with hands like AA and KK. Because if I limp with one of those hands...get raised by the button, then come over the top with a 3-bet...due to my table image, I'm almost never getting action there. I would rather disguise the strength of my hand, and take a shot at this guy's whole stack...than to merely take a small pot early. Granted, it doesn't always go according to plan, and I think (okay, I KNOW) that I am a good enough player to remove myself from a hand if I am pretty sure that my big pair is no longer any good.

A lot of players can't. In fact, some players are so bad...they put so many chips into the pot before they even see a flop...that they marry themselves to the hand. Oh! Shit. I have two black aces! But the flop is 5-6-7...all diamonds..and the guy just check raised me....dammit, I have half my stack in there now, and I hate playing with a short stack...fuck it, I'm all in. Yeah you are, stupid, and now you are drawing dead. Probably. Good game.

Here's the deal, guy who has no concept of tournament poker. If you are the jackass who thinks playing a hand like K7d....or J4h....or A8off...when the blinds are 300/600 and are sitting on between 20 and 30 BB's, and calling people when they raise you...with hands like AK, KK, JJ, whatever...and you think that this 'style' of adjusting your play is what is going to get you to the top 10% of the field? I have news for you assbandit, you are going to remain there in your cubicle at Dicker & Snatcher Collection Agency for the next ten years...sneaking peaks at the 2+2 Forums and making your occasional post, where you attempt to come off as a poker guru...and absorb all the crap that you read on there and somehow convince yourself that those of us who do this for a living, have no idea or clue what we are doing.

Who think, that after we, God forbid, do have a nice, successful run of a month or two...that we are running all over the country selling t-shirts and hats and signing autographs at malls while punching out paparazzi's who dare get within three feet of us when we are on our lunch date with the latest hot porn star or reality star, well...you live in a fucking cubicle, and your Mom's basement, so I guess it shouldn't really be much of a shock to my system, huh...should it?

See, I choose to play a select few hands when we get to 20-30 BB-land deep in a tourney, because I am not going to get caught dusting off all my chips with Q8 when I thought I could get away with stealing the blinds when stealing the blinds wasn't really tantamount to my tournament existence. A lot of guys sit there and don't see a hand for 3 or 4 orbits...and they still have over 15 BB's...but their inability to demonstrate any patience or discipline whatsoever, decide its time to shove their chips in to try and end the dry run. 

As tight as you guys who refuse to recognize that my game has evolved the past three years think I am? There is nothing I love more than snap calling an over shove from the cutoff or the button when I know they are just doing a move that I just described. And I will do it with a LOT of hands. Why? Because (a) I hate this guy for being such a dickhole (b) I want to send out the message that my blinds aren't out there waiting for a circle-jerk bukkake fest and (c) I'm usually about 85% certain that I have the best hand. So I call, and after busting them...whisper to myself as they get up...."Suck it, buddy!"

I've actually covered this topic in the past. Once when I was reflecting on a kid that I am pretty friendly with, despite having two complete opposite games, Tyler Smith. He was on a major heater...and I was wondering, "Hmmm...self, do I wish I could be the type of guy who plays like Tyler does?" And if you don't know what I am talking about...then you won't understand what the hell I'm talking about anyway...so just fast forward to the next paragraph. I will occasionally 'Go Tyler Smith' on people when playing in some $120 nightly tourneys...more for entertainment and research than anything. I've done some real cool 'read building' exercises, where I will find a cheapo SNG...and play it blind..never looking at my cards. Simply playing the player. And sure, I get caught in some spots where I have to really rely on my instincts, period. It's amazing. You should all try it at least once if you get the chance.

Okay...I am now really, really sick of talking about poker. Went to IP on Friday night. Or was it Saturday? Yeah, Friday. Met a guy there named Brett who lives near Baton Rouge...or maybe its Houma, can't remember. He finished second when I won my ring at WSOP IP last fall in Omaha H/L and is a big supporter of mine. He also is quite crazy! Which I just find amusing. He was seated at a 2/4 limit game when I arrived. Or 4/8 or whatever that game is that has all the white chips on it. And I took a seat at a 1/2 table...once again, no 2/5 running. Wow.

And within 10 minutes he is texting me horror stories from his table. This as I'm losing some hands I can't believe I'm losing. Won't get into details on them...lets just say that I was in for $300 and within 45 minutes was down to $55. Gutshots getting there, flush draws getting there, flopping two pair when other guy had bottom set...it was just nasty. But I stayed cool. Shit happens.

Then I had my OCD moment. Holy shit! There were about 10 full tables in the room, and it was pretty loud. Loud enough...so that I hadn't even notice....THE GUY!


I cannot lie. I had never, ever in my life donated the time, sorry, wasted the time...to sit and watch this televised abortion called "Storage Wars" in my life. But thanks to our dealer, Chris Pratt, who decides to utter this sentence:

"Man, I am so sick of that guy. Every night...he does the same thing, over and over and over. I swear, I want to kill myself!!!"

Huh? What? What are you talking about Chris? Do I watch Storage Wars? No. No I don't. Never heard of it, why? Oh...because there is a guy on the show...who is the 'Yep-ster' and thats when I heard it. Oh no! Oh my God. No! NOOOOOO!!!! Then the guy across from me heard it. Then the girl in the 4 seat. It was spreading like a pandemic now. How many of us poker players have raging OCD anyway? Is it that common? Apparently it must be.

A guy at the next table over...was YEP'ing with every one of his actions. A call. A raise. A fold. Anything. YEP!.......YEPPPPPP!........YEEEEP YEP YEP....

Hair...rising on back of neck....skin...beginning to crawl down my arms...chalkboard, nails...shreaking....stop!!! STOPPPPPPP!!!! Another five minutes go by. Yep, Yep, Yepyepyepyepyepyep!!!!!  Kill! Kill!!!! Other players start asking if there is ANYTHING the dealer can do about this guy. 

"I Wish!"  Wow, who in their right mind comes to work every night, sits down, and listens to this guy without paying someone to make him and his 'YEP' disappear forever?

I finally SNAP! I stand up...our table is in the middle of the poker room.

"DUDE! Seriously! I don't know what you have in storage that has you so excited, but I am going to ask you, sincerely, what it will cost...and I will take up a collection from the rest of the room, to make you STOP making that annoying sound every 3.57 seconds!!!???"

The room got quiet. A handful of people laughed. Others expressed elation that someone had FINALLY addressed this guy's annoying serenade. And he turns to me, and tells me that for $100 he will stop doing it. Seriously. Seems like a bargain.

I start working the room, starting it off with my own $10 donation...I get to $35 when the poker room manager goes over to him, pulls him from the table and orders him to stop making the sound or he was forcing him to leave. 

He came back, played for about 15 minutes, and left. I guess he just couldn't do it. I hope there isn't a woman at home having to deal with this guy. Holy shit. I have been watching the local nightly news the past few nights....just waiting for that random report about a black male in his late forties who was gunned down in his sleep, estranged wife being the leading suspect. Nothing yet.

Oh, in hour number 6...after having rebought 3 times already, a guy arrived, who looked a bit like a cross between a turtle and a bullfrog. He thought he would impress us by pulling out as many $100 bills as he could find. Wow. Scary. I abused him for about 4 orbits...taking my stack from a paltry $160 to $420...then I raised with KJh...called his min-raise...him holding A10...and flopped A-10-Q, rainbow. Yup....yep yep yep....Da Nuts. Bitch. Try as I did to keep the pot relatively manageable, he refused, going all in on me after I check raised the flop. Well, okay...guess we are in fade mode once more. And this time I did, for a change. And just like that I was up to $900 almost. Even steven. Time to leaven. Peace out turtle face. Go buy yourself a neck and a chin. 

That was my poker story for the week.

I have a new team to hate in the SEC it looks like. Texas A&M. Anyone I've ever met that has anything to do with that institution, I've pretty much wanted to dip in hot bacon grease. Can't wait to watch them come over and play .500 football every season. Hope Arkansas beats them by 40 this weekend.

Anyone watching the new show X-Factor on Fox? With Paula and Simon and LA Reid and that hottie from England, Cheryl Cole? Wow, she is smokin. Occasionally they slip in Nicole Sherzinwhatever her name is from the Pussy Cat Skanks...and her and Paula have taken to battling with Simon. Well, from a pure entertainment standpoint, I really like this show. The level of talent they are seeing is blowing American Idol away. LA Reid is fun to watch, beats the hell out of Randy Jackson and his ability to beat up your mind, soul and body with his "Yo! Yooo! Yo check it out, check it out man...yo...dude....check it out. Here's the thing, Dawg!!!" Ten years of that, and you have to ask yourself, 'Self, how much abuse am I capable of listening to?'

Then there is the absolute joy of not having to watch Ryan 'Oozeball Cheesefest' Seacrest hug the camera and stage all night long. God I can't stand that little ass maggot. The guy they have doing the job of Seacrust just stays in the background and speaks when spoken to. Perfect. And the production element of the whole thing is great. They make you really feel the joy of the kids who come with their parents, tell their little story then go on stage. And they get to bring music tracks with them...which makes it a lot easier to listen to.  Whatever, my point is...I'm a fan. So far. Let's see where things take us.

Went to the gym on Sunday. Did that ten-station workout thing. After 45 minutes on the exercise bike. After the ten station thing, I did one hour on the treadmill, watching football....walking fast, running, walking, back and forth. For the past two days, I have this pain in the very upper reaches of my neck, almost into my skull. I can't decide if its a headache or not. Two days. Its freaking me out. Whatever.

Okay. I'm sick of blogging, and feel I have given you people plenty for this entry. Next poker trip? I'm 92% bagging Southern Indiana unless Bob Talbott gets a hold of me and tells me that they are running a virtual SNG factory up there. Highly unlikely, especially since its being run by in-house staff dealers and floor. So I believe the itinerary looks like Chicago/Hammond next...for that kickass WSOP circuit event, followed by the IP...who's sale to the Boyd Gaming group was just approved by the Mississippi Gaming Commission this week, and is set to close on October 4th. Then after the IP I am all set to go to Vegas, stay with Omar the Magnificent, and play the Venetian Deepstacks, who have shaken up their schedule...and it looks great. Can't wait for that trip.

GOOD NIGHT!

MONKEY

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