Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday...4-day run on the couch is over!!!

Okay...that is not totally the case. I still have the Steelers vs. Chiefs game to watch, and root for Antonio Brown to rack up some Fantasy Points for me!

Then, there is a threat out of Kaiville of a trip to New Orleans tomorrow night for Monday Night Football in the Dome between the Saints and the Giants. Obviously I'm rooting for that one to go down!

Here is a question. You have a TV in your living room and one in your bedroom, right? Like most normal humans? So if both TV's are connected to DVR's...why does this happen? You are watching the same channel on both...but on one there is about a one or two second delay...so you hear something on TV #1 first...then hear it again on TV #2? Why??? Until eventually, you get off your lazy ass and go into the other room and either turn the volume down, or just turn it off. But I still want to know why this happens?

My wife put up the Christmas tree while I was in Vegas...with help from 'The Claw.' I'm not going to lie, I was thrilled. Two years ago, she tried to do it on her own...and while getting the decorations out of the attic, fell through the ceiling...literally landing on and destroying the garage door.

Last year she waited til I got home from Vegas to do it. But this year, she did it with Claw. Thanks! A couple days later a package arrived from my mother. Contained in the box was a torture kit. Also know as 'Christmas outfits for our dogs.' And of course she wanted us to drop everything we were doing (which in all honesty was nothing) and dress up the kids and send pictures. It's hard to see, but there are little ankle booties with bells on them. Within 5 minutes, Mollie had chewed all the bells off of hers.

Mollie Claus and Jasper the Reindeer....

I have read that something like $11b in total sales were conducted on Black Friday this year. Is that a lot?

I have good news. We still have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. And here to share in that good news...is Kate Upton, hard at work milking the family cow.

I invite you to take a gander...and see if you are in agreement with the folks that put this little TOP 100 together. Personally, I have some major differences of opinion on this Top 100 list. There are some obvious omissions, and some that got on this list through some obvious form of blackmail. Or just had a really, really good agent!

Am I the only one who is sick and tired of watching the wide receiver who, every time he either misses the ball or has it overshoot him, comes up flailing his arms and begging for a pass interference call? The rules for corners and safeties have gotten so tight, I don't know how QB's aren't passing for 500 yards every game. It's a joke.

And to every asshole WR who scores and feels like he has to put on a 2 1/2 minute show in the end zone after he scores (most of the time on teams with losing records who are losing the game by a couple of TD's or more)...I would like to ask you: When a guy gets a ridiculous penalty after scoring a HUGE TD in a HUGE game and 'excessively celebrates' do you think that maybe its your idiotic display that is to blame for this OTHER player getting penalized?

Here is a controversial statement. If you know me, you know I'm not racist. But the hair thing...it's out of control. Last week, however...I watched a player (who I think was black...thank god) tackle another player by his ridiculously long hair. Literally grabbed it and wrestled his ass to the ground. It was awesome.

This wasn't the same clip I saw...but its the same premise. Bottom line? The NFL has deemed that the player's hair is 'part of the uniform' and not off limits to being used as a way to bring them down. So my question is...why isn't everyone doing it? Some of these guys' hair has gotten so long it's a joke.

Now here is my question. We all know that in the days of Bear Bryant, and Vince Lombardi...of Joe Paterno, Tom Landry and Bud Grant...there is NO WAY you would EVER see players on their teams sporting that stupid looking hairdo under a football helmet.

"Who you calling a BITCH??? BITCH!!!!!"

So, here is my question. Is it possible, maybe...that nothing has been done to curtail the out-of-control hair thing because the Commissioner, team owners and front office personnel are scared of the possible 'racial' implications that might be raised? Has our society become so paranoid about committing career suicide by doing or saying something that might result in him or her being branded a sexist, or a racist that certain things just get overlooked? I feel pretty strongly that if the majority of the players with the ultra-long hair were white, (take for example AJ Hawk and Clay Matthews of Green Bay) that Goodell would have already done something about it. I mean...this guy has shown ZERO hesitation when it comes to handing out fines for just about everything. A fine gets doled out when a player wears his socks to high, or too low. Or wearing shoes that are a shade too one way or the other. Really? But running around with hair falling out of your helmet and obscuring nearly ALL of your uniform is okay?

Why don't they just admit it? They are afraid to do anything about it. True or False? I would like to hear your opinions on this. And I wish I could ask Roger Goodell myself. Ah...then again, no I don't, I'm sure he would just answer with some prepared statement to come off sounding like it was written by a politician.

Oh. Wow. Speaking of politicians. What in the hell is going on in the Republican party? You do ALL realize, don't you...that Obama is going to get re-elected next year? That it won't even be close? Look at what the GOP is doing. It's comical. And after dialing up my HULU+ lately at a tourney and catching up on all the missed Jon Stewart and The Daily Show's...I was able to more or less confirm for myself what I already knew...that the current crop of GOP candidates is a JJJJJJJJJJoke.

First Michelle Bachmann wins the Iowa Straw Poll. Which is hilarious. It's a bunch of people you pay $30 to show up, eat your free food, and vote for you. So Michelle outspent everyone. Michelle appeared on Jimmy Fallon's show this week, to the entry song of 'Lyin Ass Bitch' which...after it was told to her later, she freaked out about. Hilarious. Michelle is currently listed in about 8th place among all candidates. The guy who was listed in last place 6 months ago? Newt Gingrich? He of the various corruption scandals? He is now considered your leader!

Mr. Pizza? Who had everyone excited with his '9-9-9' plan and 'tell it like it is' approach? After watching about 6 shows worth of clips from Stewart, and hearing simple common sense at play, I came away wondering how in the hell this guy is even being taken seriously. He was asked about Libya, and takes a huge, deep sigh...and noticeably grasps for anything he can come up with that will look credible. Holy fuh-reaking cow. In debates, he defers to 'the other guy' to go first because he has no clue how to answer the question. Forget about the whole 'sexual harassment' scandal...not that I doubt that it happened, I just don't think I care that much about it in a political sense. What I DO care about, is having a president who is a fucking idiot. And this guy Cain? Is a fucking idiot.

But the idiocy isn't limited to race or sex. Oh no. I give you...Governor Rick Perry of Texas. If you didn't think it was possible for a dumber politician to come from the State of Texas than GWB...well, sorry to burst your bubble, but they have topped him. This is a country of what? 300 million Americans? And these are the best candidates the GOP can throw out there? I am disgusted. I literally get angry when I tune in to one of these stupid debates. The best candidate, in my opinion, is Ron Paul. The problem? He is about as presidential as my dog Jasper.(no offense to Jasper) I just think its easy to see....we are doomed.

What I am almost fully expecting, and might as well go ahead and predict now...hell, she already spent a damn fortune on the tour bus...is that this is exactly how it was all supposed to play out for her, and riding in on what she thinks will be a white horse...will be Sarah Palin, to declare herself a candidate. After all, it seems to be as much about timing as anything. Remember when Rick Perry was teasing us with his hedging back and forth on whether to run...and then when he finally did, he was the overwhelming favorite? For what? About two weeks? Figure 'ol Sarah to stick her big fat head into this GOP mess in about March.

Oh boy. It's halftime of the Steelers-Chiefs game...time to listen to Bob Costas and his halftime diatribe, where he tries to make us all realize how much bigger his vocabulary is than yours. He makes me want to punch him in the face. Granted, his topic on tonight's rant is something I just covered...the asshole endzone acts by today's stupid football players.

Today's notable act was Stevie Johnson of the Bills, who scored against the Jets and went into an act that concluded with him pretending to shoot himself accidentally in the thigh...taking a shot at the Jets' Plaxico Burress. Well, dipshit cost his team 15 yards...which gave the Jets a short field...and guess who scored a go-ahead touchdown moments later? Yeah. Plax. And guess who had the game-winning touchdown pass go right through his hands to end the game? Yup. Little Stevie. Way to do work there, playa!

Little Stevie...who clearly puts more emphasis on being noticed than playing winning football.
But there is something to smile about in football. And some of you might hate the guy. Whatever...if you hate him, you probably hate yourself. Tim Tebow. Definitely not the smoothest of NFL QB's. Doesn't have even DECENT stats. In fact, his stats SUCK. But guess what? Since he took over the starting QB job in Denver, they are 5-1. They sit one game out of first place.

And when the Broncos are down in the 4th quarter...and he has the ball...there is a certain aura about him that few players in the past have had. Something almost magical. The guy is a born leader. He says all the right things in interviews. He praises his teammates. He isn't a hotdog. He isn't self-centered. He is everything that is right with sports. And though I hate the Florida Gators...and grew up hating the Denver Broncos (as a Seahawk's fan in the old AFC West) I love what this guy is doing. And between you and me...who doesn't think there is a slight possibility that God is a Denver Broncos fan?

Oh and for those of you...and inevitably there are a handful...that like to follow up their Tebow-hating chants with verbiage like 'Tebow's a fag!!!' I give you either his current g/f or one of his exes....yeah...this guy is a real fag.

Sign me up for some FAGDOM!!!!

Oh...if you really want to talk about a guy who is averse to having a normal life with a well-adjusted woman...we can talk about Jerry Sandusky..who recently sat down at home...and answered a call from good 'ol Bob Costas...and conducted one of (if not THE most) the most pathetic interviews I think I've ever watched in my life. It's the only time I can remember when I wanted to slap the person Costas was interviewing MORE than Costas himself. For those who are child predators...who get arrested, charged, and decide to try to exonerate yourself on national TV...here is the proper way NOT to act and/or sound in an interview!!! Holy SH**!!!!

And now on the heels of the Penn State scandal...comes new information in the Syracuse bombshelll that surfaced two weeks ago. In what looked like a possible situation where a couple of guys were trying to capitalize on the Penn State mess, things intensified this weekend, when Bernie Fine's wife acknowledged thinking that there was something 'not right' with her husband, or the 'relationship' he had with the two boys (now men) that were named in the current scandal. So after Jim Boeheim went to bat for this guy, and vehemently denied any knowledge of the allegations against Fine...this mess in Syracuse is about to get worse.

My question? What the F-U-*-* is going on in this world? Where do these scum bags come from? How do they look themselves in the mirror and not just go to the local police and ask them to please remove them from the streets? How do these guys not just do the world a favor and kill themselves? I am about to bring (knock on wood) a child into this world...and so help me God...if my kid EVER has to go through something even remotely resembling this kind of thing...that person will die. And I will hold absolutely no regrets about having to spend the rest of my life behind bars. I know there are those who say 'it's not worth it' or 'two wrongs don't make a right' and all that.

You know...we are all entitled to our opinions, and I certainly try not to disagree (or pass judgement) with those who live their lives that way. But I just don't place enough value on my own personal freedom I guess to think that I would ever be able to live with myself if I allowed myself to condone that kind of thing without there being some kind of ultimate repercussion for the culprit. For me, it's pretty cut and dried. If any one ever seriously hurts my wife or child...they have about a 97% chance of dying a very painful death.

Where was I? Oh...you didn't think this was a poker blog did you? Hahahah! For those of you stopping by my blog for the first time because someone told you to check it out...and you expected to see some awesome poker references...well, sorry! Not today! And since we no longer are allowed to play online poker in the good 'ol US of A...there are no horror stories to share about my weekend 'online session from hell.' Boy...I sure do not miss those!

Football! More football! Yes,..this was a tremendously exciting weekend. Taking second fiddle in the Squirrel-Monkey household was my Washington Huskies winning the 104th Apple Cup by smashing the hated WSU Cougars..and finishing up the season 7-5, continuing the rebuilding job by Steve Sarkisian. Looks like a Holiday Bowl berth for us again...against probably Baylor or Oklahoma. Nice matchup.

Chris Polk continued with his great season at running back, finishing with 100 yards and boosting his season total to 1,341 yards...3rd in the Pac-12 and 13th in the nation.

The Huskies hoist the Apple Cup trophy for the 3rd year in a row!!!

But earlier in the day...the 'real game' as most of you would agree down here in the south, was played in Auburn. The 76th Iron Bowl had about as much at stake as it's had in the past three years. We watched last year as Alabama owned Auburn and Cam Newton in the first half...and appeared headed to a rout, while derailing Auburn's run for a National Title.

But then Bama blew it. In one of the most gut-wrenching choke jobs of all time...the Tide allowed Auburn to rally, and eventually win the game, propelling Cam Newton to the Heisman Trophy, and a National Title...with a win over Oregon. That loss hung in the air like the putrid stench of a rotting carcass. So with so much on the line yesterday...despite being 21 point favorites, there was a desire among most Bama fans to see a convincing win delivered. And a new phrase was born...'NEVER AGAIN.'

The Defense was suffocating...limiting Auburn to 44 total yards of offense before a 4th quarter drive got them to just over 100 for the game. Auburn had 1 first down in the 1st half!!!

After 3 quarters full of 6-12 yard gains...Trent Richardson finally busted off a long run, narrowly missing getting into the end zone for 2nd time on the day.

Enjoying a career high 203 yards...the Bama junior now has an excellent chance of being the second tailback from Tuscaloosa to bring home the Heisman in the last three years.

Squirrel and I went to Hi-Lights at the I.P. to meet Gabe and Claudia and watch the game. Claudia is always fun to watch 'Bama games with, and she treats every play like it's the final play of the game...and loves to talk shit to anyone around her that isn't pulling for the Crimson Tide. With the exception of a sack at the 5 that led to a fumble and touchdown...and a kickoff return for a TD as a result of having the WORST kicker in college football, who seems to never be able to get it any deeper than the 10 yard line...the Tigers would never see the end zone.

Their offense was totally shut down. Bama's offense outgained them 4 to 1. It was the perfect way to close out the season. Now it just becomes a question of 'can I get tickets to the BCS title game for a decent price?' Because there is nothing I would like to treat Cheryl to more than a chance to see 'Bama play in the Championship game. I can't even imagine the look on her face as we walked into the Superdome. She might just faint.

BOOK IT! LSU and BAMA will lock horns again....JAN 9th, in the Crescent City...to decide who is the NUMBER ONE team in the nation!!!!
 I do know one thing for sure! The city of New Orleans is going to be ONE FUN PLACE to be on January 9th. Holy shit.

When this Dome's a Rockin...don't bother knockin...you will NOT get in!!!

 Is there a downside to maybe going to the BCS title game with my wife, and watching the Crimson Tide beat LSU and stake claim to their 2nd National Title in three years? Well...not much, no. But having a wife who will be 5 1/2 months pregnant when the game takes place...means we will have to avoid this mob scene...which, on the heels of a Bama win might have actually been fun, as much as I hate crowds, and crowds of drunks especially!!!

The other down side...is that I just made plans, and booked myself a one-way flight to L.A. for the night of January 1st (cheap fares when flying on New Year's Day!) to get to the Bike in time for the WSOP-C event there that runs to the 18th. If we somehow luck into tickets, well...it's going to mean I have to hop on a plane the day before the 9th...fly home, go to the game, then turn around the next day and shoot back to L.A. Hey! Whatever! This games don't come around very often now, do they!???

Alright...so, here we are with :39 seconds left...and KC trailing Pittsburgh 13-9. I have Pittsburgh in several of my survivor pools, however, I also have a serious rooting interest in KC covering the 10 pts they are getting. Okay...Pittsburgh just intercepted KC to end the game. There is bliss in MonkeyVille tonight!!!!

Oh in case no one has figured this out, and trust me, I have my grammatically-challenged wife to remind me of this every day...I struggle mightily with these three words and how to properly use them:

I am well aware.

My perfect (almost perfect, nice choke job today by my stupid Seahawks) weekend is now over...I am going to treat myself to a nice, long, hot bath!!!


PS: HEY! When I do up a poll...which is always over there on the left...I would appreciate a little feedback. Won't take you but a second. This week's poll centers around who should be winning the Heisman. And if you want to follow it up with a comment on here, please do...I will be sure to post it to the comment board. Personally, I am of course 'rooting' for Trent Richardson to win, but in actuality think the winner should be Montee Ball of Wisconsin. Or Case Keenum of Houston. Although between those two...and all the other candidates, I firmly believe Trent Richardson is going to have the best NFL career. And wouldn't it be nice to have a Heisman Trophy winner who actually goes on to have a decent NFL career?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Home is where the Sleep is!!

There is nothing like getting home after a two-week poker trip, climbing into your ridiculously comfortable bed next to your wife...having your two dogs crawl in with you...and sleep until the next day! That was my Wednesday. 

Took the red-eye out of Vegas. Left at 1am and got in at 9am. Along the way I developed a new-found hatred for an airline other than Delta. And the problem is, I don't even know what to call it. I'm not even sure they know what to call it themselves. United? Continental? How bout UConstiPated? Works for me. 

So, on the way out I told you how these jerkoffs have not only maxed out on the baggage fees, but now have figured out another way to gouge their passengers, who OH! they don't even call passengers, they refer to them as 'customers.' 

By charging $45-$60 for the exit rows. Which...I guess is almost acceptable if a plane is full. But how about when you are flying late at night and the plane is half empty...and someone tries to go move into one of those empty seats?

Snarky Flight Attendant:  "Excuse me sir, did you pay for this seat?"

Passenger: "This seat specifically? No, but I did pay $687 for this flight...is there a problem with me sitting in a seat where I am comfortable?"

Snotty Flight Whore:  "Sir...these are reserved for passengers who want to pay the upgrade fee to sit in them! If they aren't purchased, then they sit empty! Now please go back to your assigned seat!!!"

Its my opinion that this should be borderline illegal. Oh, and for the record? That passenger? Wasn't me. No...see, I'm smart enough to lie to the stupid bitch...who, when she asked if I had paid for this seat I just forcibly smiled and answered with a "Yes Maam."

I swear there was a time in air travel when flight attendants would say "excuse me" when walking by and smashing your elbow, running over your foot or slamming their drink cart into your knee. Those days, apparently are gone. On my particular flight...there was this short, stumpy waitress who had the hips and thighs of an NFL fullback, and every time she bulled her way up the aisle would practically knock me out of my seat. She had to be half Honey Badger for sure. She clearly did NOT give a shit.

On top of it all...they don't even have inflight internet access. How 2000-late are they???

So...I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. And actually dined on turkey dinner. I was not so lucky. My wife works at the Beau Rivage...and we haven't had a Thanksgiving together in ten years. Instead she gets to spend that wonderful holiday doling out beverages to the degenerates that have no family to report to. Pretty sad.

So what did my Thanksgiving consist of? What else? Watching football, both college and pro. For the first time in decades the Lions actually played in a meaningful game on Turkey Day. But it was the Packers doing all the gobbling. Green Bay...11-0, and looking every bit like the World Champs. While watching football, and watching that asshole defensive lineman out of Nebraska once again make a fool out of himself for the Lions, it dawned on me that John Clayton is pulling off the heist of the decade. This dude has somehow managed to get himself hired by ESPN to function as an 'NFL Insider.' Which is to suggest he is some kind of expert. John 'Pencil Neck' Clayton. If this choad ever played a down of football in his life, I would be shocked. Then I started looking at him....closer, and closer...and then it hit me! Wow! This guy is a dead ringer for Mr. Hand...or...a TURKEY!

Speaking of Honey Badger...LSU looked...in a word, A-W-E-S-O-M-E today against Arkansas. I hope Alabama looks even half as good tomorrow at Auburn. I just can't imagine the Tide going into Auburn and blowing that game tomorrow. If they do, I might not be able to get Squirrel to talk for a week.

That hillbilly gangster Carl Adkins has been leaving all kinds of messages on my message board. Referring to me as a slowly aging turd (fact) insinuating that I am self-absorbed (fact, if you consider my total lack of interest in ANYone's bad beat stories) and wishing me (sarcastically) 'well' in my marriage. Thanks? He also mentioned that I could expect a throat strike (to the trachea) if I were ever to 'talk to him like that again' after requesting my chair back. Let me explain. Carl is a guy who dresses very unusually. Hillbilly hat....oh hell, I think I have a picture here somewhere, hold on.

Yes...that's him...posing, in fact, for this photo. And yes, that is my friend BJ McBrayer on his right. This dude comes off as very eccentric, which is why I have always found him to be so interesting. I pretty much like anything that is 'against the grain' or goes against what most perceive to be 'the norm' in poker and every other walk of life. And if you spend even five minutes talking to this guy or listening to him...its pretty clear that he is very intelligent. Well, he happened to get caught up in my Monkey Crossfire and didn't like how I handled it. And in retrospect, I might have gone a little nuts. 

I had just taken some ridiculous beat, in...I think, a nightly at the IP in that recent event. He was at my table. I got up...rolled my chair over to the wall, parked it there, and did a little decompression walk, cooling my brain, while deciding what to play next. A few minutes later, a SNG was starting up, and they needed another player or two, so I grabbed a seat card. That was when I was alerted by someone (via text message) to 'look at the guy in your chair.' I looked over and here was Carl darting around and doing circles in my chair...which, yeah...is kind of important to me. And it wasn't a cheap chair. And I thought it was a bit disrespectful. I know Carl probably thought it was cute, and a bit funny...and maybe it was. But at that moment, I really didn't feel like watching someone clown around in my chair. So I went and took it away from him. And addressed him with something while doing it (that I can't recall) that he didn't obviously appreciate.

Carl...if you are reading this...I would like to 'sort of' apologize. And yes, this dirty hobo did decide to shave while I was in Vegas. It didn't help much. Though my face did manage to break out in a very annoying rash. Thanks.

The NBA players are still on strike? Really? I hadn't noticed. When will their commercial endorsers finally figure out that no one cares to see them in advertisements either and quit airing those? I dream about the day that I pull up to valet parking at some fancy restaurant and have the 3rd string guard for the Hornets park my car for me. Memo to NBA players: if you think that YOU are bigger than the game of basketball, you are sadly mistaken. Or wonderful...I shit you not, as I finish writing this, ESPN is airing a story that a 'handshake agreement' between the owners and the players has been ironed out, and that the overpaid prima donas will be back on the court by Christmas. Looks like my dream might be dead.

My poker plans after Vegas have been somewhat finalized. Instead of going to Atlantic City for the Harrah's circuit event like I did last year, I decided instead to stay home, chill out for a week, get caught up on all my little 'at home' stuff, spend time with my wife and dogs (kids) then go over to New Orleans and play that event that runs from Dec 8th-18th.  Also, we have a doctor appointment on the 7th to find out what we have growing in Squirrel's belly...a girl or a boy. I kind of wanted to be there for that news.

Even though I finished 2nd in an event at Venetian for $15k and made three final tables in nightly's there for a 2nd, 4th and 5th...I still (with travel, food and expenses) only broke even for the trip. Why? How is that possible? Playing on my own dime for the first week, I pretty much got slaughtered. Then I picked up a backer for the last five events...and that cost me $7500 of that score. Nice timing. Oh well...at least it felt good to get back to a final table and make a 5-figure score for a change this year. 

January offers some conflicts. Especially if Bama beats Auburn tomorrow and concretes a spot in the BCS title game against LSU in New Orleans on January 9th. I'm fairly confident that I can find a way to take Squirrel to that game. But I was planning on being in L.A. for the first two weeks of January for the recently announced circuit event at The Bike, followed by the last two weeks in Vegas for the Circuit event at Caesar's Palace. Then Venetian comes around again in February. My wife pretty much understands that I am going to be taking my shots at everything I can until our baby arrives. And if that means being gone most of the time...well, then so be it. Once my baby shows up, I am not going to EVER want to be gone. Especially on account of poker. So I am really, really hoping I can put away some money.

I know, I still owe you guys a synopsis of the tourney where I had a nice score. And I will bring it. It was a pretty great day. Or two days actually. I just hate making these entries too long. Trust me, I'm not trying to tease you!

A big thank you needs to go out to Christina Sharkady, who once again booked me into the Riviera for my visit to Las Vegas...and I couldn't have enjoyed better accommodations. My king size bed was great, and I got maid service every day. My refridge was cold! And my water was hot! After moving out of Omar's palace on the 36th floor, it was a smooth transition.

Also, thanks to the guys and ladies at the Venetian...for making me feel so welcome. The daily buffet between 2-2:30pm was a very nice touch. The dealers all did a great job. The floor staff were organized and professional as always. The Venetian always does a great job at their events, and I am rarely disappointed when I play there, even when I run bad. The only...ONLY thing I wish they would change...is in the tourneys that utilize the smaller tables (stud tables almost)...which is almost always the nightly tourney and sometimes the 3pm or 5pm tourneys...is STOP making us play 10-handed. It is almost a form of torture. And if there were a way to wrap those posts on the table in foam!!!! That would be great! I must have 'knee-capped' myself at least 8 times in my two weeks there. And it never doesn't hurt like hell!

Okay, its 2:30 am. The wife is home from work. Time to go to bed. 



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Last Day In Vegas...What a Week!!!

Okay, finally I have gotten a moment to breathe. This past week has been a whirlwind. I am always amazed how, after a long stretch of poker tourneys...I can lay down in my hotel room bed, rent a movie...this time 'The Hangover II' (finally!) and fall asleep less than halfway through it...and wake up the next day at 1pm. Wow.

My plan tonight is to go back and play the nightly at Venetian, like I did last night, after losing the 2pm $235 and the 3pm $70 at Caesar's. Boy were those two events a joke. I'm not sure what the deal is with the players they get at Caesar's but they are very distinctive in their abilities, a clear style that is defined by showing you things in poker you never imagined you would see. In the 2pm, I got off to a very good start, taking advantage of guys who were excellent at paying off. But then I watched this moron from Idaho...who had his stupid dog (Maltese I think) with him under the table in a dog carrier...make one stupid play after another and winning, of course.

"Not sure why I played this hand in the first place, but I guess it worked out." This uttered after he busted a guy's AA with 4-7. At one point he claimed "Don't worry, I will give them away just as quick as I got them." Really? He might have...but it was after he busted me with 3-7. Me with Q-10 on a flop of J-9-10. Yeah...he check raised me. Went runner-runner 7-7 when he was going for a lousy bottom straight. Nice play jacktard.  Then in the 3pm deal...which I only played because it was there...I got $3000 in chips, with the blinds at 200/400. I doubled up with AK vs AJ. Then lost half of it with A7 vs. 67. Then got it back with AQ vs. K7. It was just a shovefest...it was pretty hilarious actually. So when this doofus didn't shove...and just raised...I looked at 10-10 in the BB...and I shoved. He called with A8. He turned an ace (obviously) and I was done at Caesar's. Bye guys.

Hopped in the rental car and went shopping at the Outlet mall. Had very little success. Why? Because I have the body of a freak. Ever go shopping looking for jeans in size 40/34? Try it. You will fail. Ever look for the size 3X-Long? Good luck. Walking around that mall did managed to cause a terrible pain to develop in the middle of my back, however. And right about that time...I start passing all those little temporary massage kiosks they have set up, with the dude or chick barking at you about the wonderful benefits of their massage station. The little tanning bed-looking thing you lay in and let water pelt the shit out of you. The chair you sit in and and let massage you. The dudes with their electrodes-styled massage device that I already bought this summer at Rio and discovered it was more annoying than anything. The dude with the massage table/chair thing with the hole you put your face in. I passed on all of them.

The only thing I purchased was a new pair of boxer shorts and a couple pair of new flip flops. Then today...laying here in the wonderful comfort of my hotel room bed, I got online and ordered 4 new pair of jeans and 3 new shirts from Buckle.com. I know my wife will bristle at this latest purchase, but it simply had to be done. Sick of sitting for countless hours at the poker table being uncomfortable as hell because my jeans are too damn tight.

Walking around that mall was good for another thing. Loving my life. As depressed as I get sometimes, as down in the dumps as running bad in poker can get...I was observing these people who work at the mall and I just wanted to cry. For them. Those kiosk mutants have it the worst, by far. Waiting for someone to establish momentary eye contact with them so they can pounce. "Sir! (ha ha caught you looking my way!!!) can I show you this....blah blah blah" whatever the rest of the presentation is. Or walking into any store and getting that patronizing "How are you today sir!?? What can I help you find!?? I have to let you know, we are running a special promotion today that.......blah blah blah." It's both annoying and depressing. And you can't just tell them to fuck off. That wouldn't be very nice. I mean, you WANT to, right? Of course you do. And do they REALLY care what kind of day I'm having? 

Sometimes it would be fun to just TELL THEM what kind of day I'm having, and see how they respond. Yeah..betcha you hadn't asked me how my day is going now, don't you? Shop monkey? (no offense to myself)

After shopping I went to Outback Steakhouse. I hate that they don't have Sweet Ice Tea west of the Mississippi River. So I went with Coke. Bad, bad, Monkey. Ordered their chicken and artichoke flatbread. It was burnt. I could tell by the look on the bartender's face when I asked if it was supposed to be this dark and taste so smoky that she KNEW it was burnt and was trying to sneak it by me. It got replaced. Next, my ribeye, which I had ordered MR, but asked for it on the rare side...since the last few times I have ordered a steak MR it always comes out over cooked. Well this one came out almost raw. Well, at least it can be fixed. It went back. Came back perfect, and was really good. About that time, they tell me they're comping my whole meal!! Really? I didn't think that was necessary, at all. Actually felt a little guilty. Left a $10 tip and headed for Venetian.

It was a relatively small field. Only 79 players. I got off to a decent start. And then, I finally got my chance to set up the guy I will simply call..."Mr Annoying." This guy has been bugging me all week. His play is very erratic. And he is guaranteed to raise if a bunch of people limp. But the one thing he does that really drives me crazy...is that he qualifies as one of my least favorite players at a table on the basis of being one thing...THE GUM CHEWER. Here you go.

So I look down at pocket aces under the gun with the blinds at 100/200. This is a nightly. There is no other play here other than limping in and hoping for a raise by someone. I limped for 200. I get 5 other limpers. Uh-Oh! Well, my little gum-chewing friend helped me out, he raised it. How much? Oh...just made it 1200. I love it. I gambled. Any re-raise by me here would have shaken him off the limb, so I played it coy and smooth called, which resulted in two other clowns calling. We have been seeing a ton of this here this week. Yesterday at Caesar's I limped with KK utg...then; when a guy went all in for 1900 (blinds at 100/200) I re-raised it to 3575...only to have this idiot who had limped for 200 smooth call the 3575. Fortunately he didn't hit whatever miracle he needed to hit and I whacked the guy who shoved with J10 offsuit.

So yeah...we take four to the flop at 1200 per. It comes J-9-4. Dingleberry checks. I lead for 2200. First guy folds. Guy on button calls. Dingleberry calls. Turn is a 3. Checks to me, I bet 3500. Button calls. Dingleberry finally folds. River is another 9. At this point I am putting the knothead on the button on KJ. So I decided to make a nice little value bet...putting 4400 on the river. He calls. Sees my AA and gives that reaction that people give when they feel like they got caught jerking off by their grandparents. I love handing that feeling off to people.

I will just cut to the chase on the nightly...since, well, it was a nightly. We got to the Final Table...and people started whining for the $20-to-the-bubble donation. I have become very 'anti-pay the bubble' lately, but I wasn't going to be the one to harp on it. Leave it to the pompous little Seth Green-looking asshole on my left...who completely turned the whole table against him with his whole presentation on why he wouldn't be a part of such a 'scheme' to pay the bubble. When it comes to 'eloquently stating your case' this guy could take a few lessons from....well, anyone! He was overly enamored with his current chip lead...which would evaporate, and he would eventually be eliminated 5th...which caused the other 4 players (including myself) to smirk.

The final four players were all pretty nice guys, and relatively decent players. This old guy on my right was being a little too liberal with his thieving of my big blind...but I kept waking up with non-defendable hands so it was kind of a moot point. Finally though, I caught him...or thought I had. He raised me again. And I re-raised what I thought was enough to put him all in with 88. But it was actually about 17k short. So it created an awkward situation when I turned over my hand thinking he was all in. The flop came J-10-10. I wasn't folding to his bet...since there was about 160k in the pot. He checks, I put him all in...and he calls with A6. Did I fade the ace? Did I eliminate him and take over the chiplead 3-handed? No. To both. He rivers a jack, to counterfeit my pair. You gotta be kidding me.

I would double on the next hand with just a little over 2 BB's....then jam with A4 and A10 on back-to-back hands to get back to 80k...and started thinking I might be okay. Well, old dude raised me again in the BB...and I shoved on him with A7d. Shit! This time he had something....pocket jacks. And they held. I was out 4th...picking up $1069. Oh well.

And damn...just like that, its 20 till 7pm and I have to get over to Venetian. I was trying to upload the video of that schmuck but the upload time is really slow on my Verizon wireless card. So I will have to add it later. 

Oh...I have a TON of shit to share with you guys. It's been a pretty comical week. And yes, I am tremendously fired up...as is my wife, over the events of this past college football weekend. When 'Bama lost to LSU, and she was depressed for three days, I tried to tell her that all hope was not lost. I furthered that by telling her that I thought there was a little challenge being issued by a higher power. It just wouldn't make sense for that LSU loss to spell the end of what I think will go down as a magical year for Alabama. The city of Tuscaloosa has had to overcome so much since April. It just couldn't end like that. So when Stanford lost to Oregon, then Oregon lost to USC...when Oklahoma State lost on the road at Iowa State...and Oklahoma got beat by Baylor...well, we are left with LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas as the top three teams in the SEC West...AND in the BCS rankings, virtually guaranteeing a BCS title game matchup of 2 of those three teams.

Even though Bama lost to LSU and beat Arkansas...I still hope Bama gets another shot at LSU...in the Superdome, on January 9th...for all the marbles. Only one team stands in the way...pesky and annoying Auburn, whom I hope Bama remembers what happened to them last year. Destroyed Auburn and (S)Cam Newton in the first half...only to fall asleep in the 2nd half and let them escape with a win, en route to the National Title. Not again...NOT AGAIN!

This buddy of mine had me put in a $100 money-line parlay bet for him out here at the Sportsbook. Virgina (who upset Florida State) and Kansas State (who upset Texas)...it was a $100 wager to win $2710. How sick is that? Wish I had piggybacked a hundo on that one, too. 

I still plan on giving you guys a whole rundown on that 2nd place finish in the $350 a few days ago...it really was pretty entertaining, and I have some good photos from it, too. But be patient. In another day or two...I will have a solid week to get totally caught up on everything. 


Friday, November 18, 2011


A lot of you already know...some of you don't. And I have been going 120mph the past five days and just have not had a good chance to bust out a fresh update. And now...as I sit here in SNG-land...two things are happening. (a) My battery on this damn laptop is about to go dead. And this asshole in the 2 seat has mealy mouthed to the dealer about me using my laptop.

Claims...when pressed for a reason why he's bitching that 'it's annoying him.' No, not that I'm slowing down the game or anything. He's just bothered by it. These are the people in the world who are just begging to be doused in gasoline and set on fire.

Meanwhile, the floor came over and told him there is no problem with me being on it as long as I am not slowing down the game. Thanks!!!

Tomorrow is the mega's for the Main Event, which is a $2500 buy in. I hope to get in. Yesterday...I finished 2nd in the $350 event with 376 players...good for $15,680. Finally, a good day in 2011. I have a LOT to share about that whole experience...and promise to later. Suffice to say, a heavy burden was lifted off of my shoulders yesterday. As much as I hate 2nd place...its about the most pleased I've ever been with a 2nd place finish.

Okay...I will catch up later!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Almost a Win...Almost a Double Hat Trick

I'm so tired it hurts. My eyes are burning. But damn, what are you supposed to do when you wake up to empty the bladder and notice, whoa...there are NFL games on already? Yeah...life on the west coast is a little bizarre.

My life at the Omar palace ends today. 36 floors over Las Vegas from the luxurious digs at Turnberry Towers has been a real treat for the last 4 days. But Omar has his family arriving tomorrow and I have to relocate to the Riviera...my new favorite place to set up camp while on poker trips. Can't beat the price...and it's close to Venetian.

Every morning I have been waking up and staring out my bedroom window at the Stratosphere and its assortment of thrill rides established to challenge the inner-self who is afraid of heights...and contemplating heading over there to 'shake things up' a little bit with a death defying leap from the top, attached by a bungee cord.

What in the hell is 'The Big Bang Theory' on TBS supposed to be, aside from straight up annoying? It feels like it's trying to be 'That 70's Show' but with dorks. And help me here...but has the 'Dork Demographic' become so pronounced in our country that it now warrants its own show?

With all the creatures out there capable of killing us...I am just glad that I wasn't living in the age of the dinosaurs. Can you imagine trying to dodge a hungry Stegosaurus?

I would like everyone to stop wearing ugly-ass uniforms and helmets in college AND pro football. Yes, Maryland...I'm talking to YOU guys!

Dear Oregon: Thanks for beating Stanford last night. 
Dear TCU: Thanks for beating Boise State yesterday.
Dear Oklahoma: Please beat Oklahoma State....



Las Vegas is the only city I know of where the banks are open on Saturday. Hmmm...is there any real 'mystery' there?

Tony Sirugusa is my second-most favorite sideline reporter in football...I think you ALL know who #1 is. (rhymes with Snarin Mansnooze)

I got 2nd place last night in the very under attended $120 tourney that Venetian is now running at 10pm. There were only 30 players. And when we got 3-handed the average was 25 BB's...so we actually got to play some poker. I had a blast...its so nice to play 3-handed for 2 hours while sharpening your final table, 3-handed skills. We were only paying 5 players...and the last 10 players were all good players for the most part. The kid I got heads up with was an excellent player...and we played back and forth for over an hour...before I finally got it in with him holding AJ. He had AK...and I lost fair and square. It was nice to finally lose to a guy who was ahead of me preflop.

My night ended the night before in that same tourney...when, three from the money...and me holding AA on the button at 600/1200, I raised to 3500...with 37,000 behind, only to have him shove 45k all in with 10-10 (nice play idiot) and hit a ten on the flop. Yeah...that was pretty annoying. 

I am now 0h for three in nooners...having lost in the exact same fashion the last two tourneys...in level 7...holding a decent stack, then getting run down and/or coolered in 1, then 2...and finally 3 hands in the same orbit to be bounced. There is nothing worse.

I have yet to win a SNG...which is very unlike me. Thankfully I have only played 5 so far. And with a 5th in the 7pm on my first night, and a 2nd last night...I am at least not committing bankroll suicide yet. 

A buddy of mine happened by my final table last night...and asked if I was playing the $1k today at Venetian. I told him I wasn't...due to my four days of 'run bad' in nooners so far this trip...and my desire to not put a major dent in the bankroll this early in my trip. That and I had no problem with sleeping in...watching some football, then playing the $150 Bounty tourney that they have been running at 3pm and getting a great turnout for. But he insisted on staking me in the 1k...literally handing me the dough and setting the terms. How could I say no? So that is what I will be doing at noon today.

I don't think there is anything more aggravating than sitting at a poker table for 10 hours or more in jeans that are just barely too tight. When that button on the front starts to slowly dig into your stomach...becoming more and more noticeable and irritating. Til finally you just unbutton the damn thing. This extra 20 lbs of mine is like an anchor I am dragging around.

Oh. Jezuzzzz...not sure who you are DeloflatsJim...but that comment you sent me the other day? Bro...seriously? I appreciate your support, and you reading my blog...and rooting for me to win and all. But honestly?  I think you are going a little overboard with your advice. Here is what he has 'suggested' to me:

"Okay, I watch you at the IP, hoping that you would score. Early in the tournament, you look rough, and I think you may have been boozing the previous night. So, for you to get back on the winning track do this:  No more drinking -non, even stop during the tournament-completely {not sure what that last sentence was supposed to mean, weird grammatical phrasing there}get lots of rest. Most of all, stop all table talk, leave all distractions behind, computer, iPads, and throw those damn headphones into the garbage. In SHORT, concentrate on poker- I want to see you win-DeloFlatsJim"

Um...okay. Again. Thanks for your 'well wishes' and your continued support. Early in the tournament...that 'rough look' you describe had nothing to do with a previous night of 'boozing' as you suggest. It had everything to do with 12 days of grinding up in Hammond...and an entire day of flying. As far as 'getting back on the winning track' I'm sure that getting one-outed probably has NOTHING to do with me chatting with other players at the table or entertaining myself by listening to music, watching videos, or following football scores on my iPad. Suggesting I throw my $300 BOSE headphones into the garbage isn't dawning on me as a fabulous idea. I think if you quit your job...decide to play poker full time, sit at a table with some of God's most annoying human beings for 10 hours at a time...for 300 days a year...for 6 straight years...you may arrive at the decision to manufacture a few 'distractions' to help you deal with the idiotic daily occurrences at the poker table.

I think you may confuse my ability to 'concentrate' on poker with my ability to multitask effectively. I think to be a successful poker player, you need the special skill of possessing an acute awareness of everything going on around you, of dialing in to the most minute of details. You are talking to the guy who used to drive cross country while playing online poker, watching a movie and talking on the phone while texting my wife. I can be at the poker table talking to the guy next to me, digging for a tip for the waitress (for my CRANBERRY JUICE with extra lime and light ice!!!) while forwarding to the next song on my iPod as I contemplate how much I want to three-bet the guy who just raised my big blind from cutoff for the 5th time in the last 7 orbits.

Do you feel me? I don't get 'distracted' very easily, if at all. My iPad has become my best friend, in concert with my BOSE. And oh yea...my prescription to Celexa, thanks to my doctor and wife for getting me on that stuff! And my table talk? Huh? Not sure if you realize this, but I rarely (if ever, anymore) talk to people at my table these days. And if I do...it's because I have had that rarest of situations where I actually ENJOY the players at my table, and feel like having a friendly conversation with all of them. I struggle to find how you consider this 'social interaction' to be a negative contributing factor to 'running bad' in poker.

I'm going to share a not-so-shocking secret with you. This game I play? It's not that difficult. It's pretty standard. You learn the game. You tweak it a little. You have a few different varieties of strategy, ones you afford to different regions, or casinos. Or people. Yes I'm talking about the OMRG's (Old Man Run Goods) the women who like any two face cards, and the internet twerps who like to gaze into the sunset for a minute and 45 seconds before finally moving their spindly fingers up and down in slow motion and merely checking. It's kind of like that loser at the bottle factory who goes into work every day on the assembly line and fills his spot. Probably the guy who makes sure the bottle caps stay filled in their Pez-Dispenser-like machine. I'm just a cog in the machine man.

Dealer...give me something to work with. A few decent hands. Give me a few players...who after observing for 3 or 4 orbits, I know are capable of dumping me their whole stacks with top pair. Let me put in the 1 or 2 hours max that it requires for me to know who will and who won't fold to a 3 or 4-bet re-raise. Or who will raise preflop, only to give up after the flop after he/she misses their flop. Allow me to figure out who raises preflop...then never quits betting post flop no matter what the board brings. Knowing who I can effectively trap, and who I don't want to let 'get there' if I can help it. This isn't rocket science my friend, or maybe it is...and I have just gotten really used to the day-to-day operation of building rockets to the point that its mind-numbingly boring at times. As a matter of fact, Tyler Smith and I kind of had a conversation at a recent tournament about this very topic.

Said Tyler, verbatim...when I told him I still found him to be amazing at tourney poker..."I just wish I cared, Monkey...you know what I mean?" Yeah dude, I know exactly what you mean. Sitting in a cash game...or for that matter, a tourney...and winning 88% of the hands you play...but on the 12% you lose, losing your whole stack to some chump who couldn't get it into his thick head just how far behind he was going to the river, or getting your KK snapped off by Super-Aggro-Any-Ace-Is-Good-Guy to send you to the bathroom to smash the toilet paper holder in privacy. 

Okay. I'm done here. I think you get my point. Could I use more rest? Sure. And exercise while I'm at it. Drinking is NOT an issue. I never drink before 5pm if I drink at all. I have nearly eliminated drinking while playing poker AT ALL...with an infrequent exception being a late night cash game session among friends, or possibly a nightly tourney when I just want to relax, kick back, and have some fun in a casual tournament setting among friends. Pretty sure I should be allowed that once in awhile without being scrutinized for making 'bad decisions' or using 'bad judgement.' I mean...is there something wrong with trying to have FUN every once in awhile in this game that is literally designed to drive you insane? I should hope not.

Now...with that being said, I am going to go out to Omar's kitchen, do three shots of warm vodka...smoke some crack...try to find a vein for that hit of heroin its going to take to get me through the day...then pass on a shower, forget to brush my teeth, throw on the same underwear and jeans I wore yesterday, then hitchhike over to the Venetian, try to be three hours late...and get it in bad in the $1k while talking my face off to the table behind me...all while playing Ms. Pac Man on my iPad and screaming about what a bad  free agent pickup that receiver for the Panthers was last week on my fantasy team!!!!