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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Done at I.P. on to Las Vegas

Currently descending into the Houston area, where I will be switching planes, for a flight to San Francisco, where I will again change planes, then fly to Vegas. Yes, Las Vegas.

The bad news? Well, there is lots of bad news, actually. This plane is ridiculously narrow and the air conditioning is blowing warm air. I'm about to go 'John McClain' on one of these windows. I got the last seat in the back of the plane, which means I have the honor of being next to the only bathroom on this piece of aviation shamefullness.

More bad news, I won't have a layover in Houston long enough to hop on over to Spring, knock on Chad Burn's door, smash him in the mouth, then hop back in my cab and be whisked back to HobNobby, HandJobby, or whatever that airport in Houston is called.

For the first time in a long time, I am flying Continental. Which is kind of trying to call itself United, also. They have discovered a fun new way to gouge the passenger. Being 6'3 and about 255, I fancy a little extra leg room for my flying adventures. The brilliant minds at Continental have taken to charging you for it. Yup! For $49 I got to 'upgrade' to an emergency exit row. Now, should the plane go down, I am also expected to save people. If that should occur, I will be demanding a $49 refund. My heroism comes with a price.

My bags cost an additional $60. I attempted to pay for them using Trident Layers. I was turned down. What the......????

Okay, so yeah...LSU beat Alabama. Great game, lousy result. Squirrel and I got our own table at 'Chill' nightclub at the IP (her friend is the manager) to watch the game. On either side of us were loud, obnoxious LSU fans. I could babble on and on about the game, but why bother? We all watched the game. We all know who should have won. And for that reason the BCS poll only dropped 'Bama to 3rd. So, with an Oklahoma win over Oklahoma State and an Oregon win over Stanford....and with LSU and Bama both winning out, we could very well see a rematch in New Orleans. Maybe then, 'Bama fans can show Tiger fans what it means to win with a little class.

With everything that has happened to Tuscaloosa this year, this was not how I envisioned this transpiring this weekend. But you know what? Maybe the man upstairs has a better plan for the Crimson Tide. I mean, after all...the past 9 months have been all about rebuilding and overcoming adversity, right? So this might just be another obstacle, a test. That's how I'm choosing to look at it anyway. And maybe by January Nick can find a kicker...because that guy sucks, and has sucked all year!

Me and the Squirrel, hanging out at our table at 'Chill' while being 'honey badgered' to death by annoying and classless LSU fans

Just exited my flight in Houston. Ever check your extra bag in the jetway because they don't have room on the plane? I had to do that. Even put a tag on it. Waited 20 mins. No bag. Inform lady. She inquires. They have one bag left over. Oh! It's mine. Thank God! Wait. What? I cant have it because it doesn't have a tag. It's RIGHT THERE I'm looking at it!!! "TSA WON'T ALLOW US TO GIVE IT TO YOU WITHOUT A TAG." And the tag I put on it? Nowhere to be found. I'm about to completely lose my shit when the 8th grade educated baggage handler finds the tag. Wonderful, life is good again.

I've now re-boarded in Houston bound for SF. Packed plane. Once again, last seat in very back. Took an adavan to ward off the anxiety attacks, it's turned me into a zombie, but now my stiff legs and back are driving me nuts.

Can anyone give me one good damn reason, why, if you are in the last row of the plane, it's so incredibly important for your seat back to be all the way forward. One of the things I find more and more difficult about living on this planet every day is the constant exposure to moments and people who lack all logic whatsoever in their reasoning.

So, on that Houston to SF leg, this guy seated across from me had a little dog that he claimed was a service dog. I've noticed an increase in people claiming their pets as being 'service dogs' when clearly they aren't. So...after de-planing, I was walking about 30 feet behind them when all of a sudden I hear the master holler out "Roscoe!!! Oh no, no Roscoe!!!!" 'Ol Roscoe was taking a dump right there on the terminal carpet. I clenched my teeth and stormed ahead, peeking back about 50 feet later to see him still walking...having decided to not clean up after his dog. A handful of people were chastising him...with others clearly upset. Well done, sir. Keepin it classy!!!

Thinking about this horrendous flight got me back to thinking (dreaming) about having my own personal jet. Which got me to thinking about Hess, and when they plan to start drilling on our damn property in North Dakota! Which then took me to thinking about Pius Heinz and wondering what kind of night he had on Tuesday. Now $8.7m is a lot of money. I'm not sure I could justify buying or even leasing my own G4 with that much coin...but I certainly could assure myself of never flying coach again the rest of my life. And that! Would not suck!

Did you all watch that heads up match the other night? I usually don't find a lot of joy watching other players gunning for million(s) in poker tourneys...but having the benefit of seeing the hole cards really adds an element to the game that made it worth watching, even if it was at the conclusion of the hand. I can honestly say that I might have learned a bit watching them play the 100+ hands they logged heads up. The commentary was great, was great with Antonio Esfandiari, speaking in a language that all of us experienced players could understand and appreciate. His insight was for the most part, spot on. Of course...there never seems to be any way to escape the annoying Norman Chad and his incessant desire to annoy and irritate with ill-timed and badly delivered jokes. As much as I loathe Phil Hellmuth, he was also pretty good when they had him in the commentary booth. So...we've had a German, a Canadian, and a guy from Denmark win the WSOP the last three years. It truly is the WORLD series of Poker. 

So, on my last leg of my trip, I swiped my debit card to watch Direct TV, so I could catch the second half of Temple vs. Miami (OH), but instead got to watch all the fallout over Penn State and the child molestation scandal. Which I guess is a lot more important than a simple football game. Now...the Board of Trustees have come out and fired Joe Paterno...bringing to a close the legendary career of College Football's all-time leader in wins with 409 at a school he made famous. The only coach Penn State has had in 46 years.

Why was he fired? After all, after being told by graduate assistant Mike McQueary that he had witnessed Sandusky performing anal sex on a minor in the shower, he immediately reported it to his department heads, as he is required to do. It was also reported that he shared this information with Penn State campus police. What more was he required to do? Sure, you could argue that it happened ten years ago...that Sandusky continued to be granted access to the football program's facilities, that reports of his disgusting behavior persisted...and that any responsible adult would have pursued some kind of justice for those kids.

I think it's pretty clear that Paterno being canned was more about Penn State saving face and salvaging its reputation. The rioting that took place all night on campus definitely cries out that not all in Happy Valley were in agreement with the decision by the board. I think the pressure, however, on the Board was intense, and they felt like they needed to do what they did. But my question is...why is Mike McQueary allowed to remain on the staff coaching? I mean, he is the one who saw the act take place! Isn't this a bit hypocritical? Wouldn't that keep him awake at night? Ten years goes by and this disgusting pig is allowed to still use the facilities, and run his foundation that works primarily with underage boys?

Deep in the heart of this mystery, is the case of 'What happened to Ray Gricar?' This is the man who was district attorney of Centre County in Pennsylvania for over 20 years, who just one day took a drive to the Susquehanna River, parked his car...which was found with cigarette ashes in it (despite his being a non-smoker who was adamant about not letting cigarette smoking to take place in his car) and him missing. His body was never found. At the time of his disappearance, he was working on two major cases. One...the case of Jerry Sandusky, and the rumors of him being a pedophiliac. The other, a major heroine ring within the county he oversaw. At his home, on his desktop computer...they were able to find numerous searches made by him on how to damage a hard drive, and the effects of water on a computer. Found in the river downstream was his laptop computer...corrupted and inaccessible. What was on that hard drive? Was it drug-related? Or a major coverup designed to spare one of college football's biggest and most storied programs? What happened to Ray Gricar? His body was never found. Here are a couple of links on the story of Ray Gricar.

Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar
 This case is a tragedy. I've never told too many people this story, mainly because everyone I grew up with experienced it together, and it was just one of those things no one ever wanted to talk about. It was just creepy, and unbelievable. When the news broke, we were all completely shocked. Back in 1987, (click to read the link) two years after I graduated from Redmond High School in the State of Washington...our basketball coach, Al Williams, who all the moms had a crush on, who had resurrected our basketball program, by rebuilding it from the ground up...establishing traveling teams from the 6th grade on up...was charged with numerous counts of sexual rape and molestation of his players. Some of these players we knew. Some we didn't. He ended up doing five years. It shocked the whole community. I will never forget it, because he seemed like the last person who would ever be guilty of such a thing. So when I heard about all this with Sandusky, it kind of brought back those memories. It's sad, sad that any adult would subject an immature, impressionable child to such acts. I can't even begin to imagine the damage that has been done to the future mental state of these kids. It actually pisses me off.  And I'm not even their father. Whoaaaaa!

Here is Jerry Sandusky...from the glory handcuffs. Hope you get what's coming to you, ya sick bastard!

Guess this ride was more thrilling for Jerry than any would have imagined.

Sadly, this is not a joke that someone came up with. He actually wrote a book with this title. 

Bye Bye Jerry...have fun in prison you sick old man!, the I.P.'s WSOP-C event has just concluded. I would like to congratulate a couple guys who have had my back for the three years now that I have been blogging on their website Bill Phillips and Gene Dudek. Gene, on the strength of four final tables...including a heart-breaking 2nd place, won the Casino Champion title for I.P. and locked up a spot in the National Freeroll. And Bill final tabled the $1k before also final tabling the Main Event...and nearly won, losing a coinflip with AQ vs. 99 for the over 100k, the ring, and the spot in the National Freeroll to finish 2nd. I know he had to be awfully disappointed, but hey...its nice to see these guys both run there aren't two nicer guys in poker. And Bill just had his second I'm sure that extra money HAS to help in a lot of ways.

As for me? Pffft...the only thing I managed to do for those 12 days of Hell was to play comfortably. Calling a day before the event to make sure bringing my own comfortable office chair from home wouldn't be a problem, my chair got more attention than my play at the table. I didn't play fact, I got deep a LOT...made a total of six dinner breaks, and made it back for Day 2 of the Main Event. Even bubbled the H.O.R.S.E. tourney. I don't have the answers. I just can't seem to run good when I need to run good. And I must have run smack into AA about five times in the last three days. It was downright irritating. Especially coming at a place that I usually dominate.

Quick recap: I came back for Day 2 of the Main Event. I sit down in seat 5. I notice, sitting in seat 1...Captain Tom Franklin. Great. Now, how we went from arch enemies to guys who swapped 10% in a few events, BACK to arch enemies again is beyond me. He just suddenly started being Captain A-Hole almost overnight. So now when I see him at my table, I cringe. The first orbit, I didn't get anything worth playing.

Then Kathy Liebert...the sexiest woman in poker...sits down on my left. Sporting her velour jogging suit and patented fanny pack...her and Tom launched into a conversation about their day's football wagers. Being someone who is well-versed in the sports betting arena, this conversation quickly turned to 'FUCKING NAUSEATING' in about 3 minutes. But it didn't end. 

If you don't know Tom Franklin...well, you're lucky. But if you don't know him...and want to understand this story, I might have to explain. Tom has a very, very...extremely HIGH opinion of himself. A friend of mine recently told me that Tom referred to this guy (who has TWICE as many tourney cashes as Tom the past three years) as a Grade B player, compared to Tom...who is a Grade A player. If you have a story at the table, Tom always has a better one. If you have an iPad 1 that you are fond of, he will quickly put you to shame with his iPad 2. Then there is the condescending laugh...which usually follows everything out of his mouth. You can't miss it. It is easily heard from 3 or 4 tables away. Tom wears a jacket, trumpeting himself as a WSOP CHAMPION. Now...I don't know two people in my circle of friends who, had they ever WON a WSOP championship, would ever wear such a jacket, but if I did have that friend, it would at least be from winning THE WSOP Main Event...not some circuit event somewhere, or a prelim event from the World Series. I mean...who wears that?

Tom is one of those guys who won't ever say shit to your face...ever. Oh he will make snide little remarks, followed up by his insidious laugh (or chuckle)...but to pin him down on something he said about you behind your back? Forget it. It just won't happen. Lucky (or unlucky) for me...I have a lot of people who either are friends of mine, or just like to stir up shit...that report things to me on a frequent basis. I don't really let most of it bother me...I mean, why would I? Here is a guy who is still playing the same game of poker he played 20 years ago, and yet regards himself as 'The Best NL player on the Gulf Coast.' Sorry, but I will put my money on Tyler Smith and maybe three or four others long before I would ever go with 'Da Captain.' The only thing that would make Captain Tom cool, is if he started drinking Captain and cokes. Don't see it happening. yeah...these two are bantering back and forth, Tom trying to explain half time lines to Kathy, Kathy trying to understand why her bookie is offering her back 10% of her losses. (can you say "FISH!??" Your bookie obviously loves your action!) And Kathy, God Love Her...has this voice that...well, if you have ever sat next to her...look, I like Kathy, she has never been mean to me, nor have I witnessed her being mean to anyone else, but, well who cares, I haven't really said anything overly critical of her have I? Just that she keeps the fanny pack business operating and is the fuzziest snuggler of all poker players?

Some guy at cutoff, who had been pretty active early, raises to 2500. Now, I suppose I could have played this hand a little more conservatively, but I had a pretty good feeling that three betting with 20 BB's was going to end up running into a 4-bet that I would  have not liked to deal I just shoved all in to pick up a pot of around 5500 at a time when I really needed it. Only one problem. Kathy...while still chatting with Tom...shoves all in over the top of me. The first guy snap folds. Great. She has AA. And that was the end of my Main Event. Awesome.

Took my chair, put it in storage, and went home to chill out and watch football. Then I went back at 5pm to play that last $355 tourney. It started well. I had a great table. Then I called the raise of a guy who had been raising quite a holding A6h. The flop came ace high with two hearts. I think you know where this one is going? He had AK. I couldn't hit a flush or a six. And I was gone.

Time to play one more final event...the 7pm tourney...which was a collection of players licking their wounds from losing. This time I started out very card dead. Won a couple pots to keep me around...then at 100/200 and playing on an aggressive table, I pick up KK utg. Sweet. I limp for 200. It folds around to Ricky Kesten...a guy I know and like who I've been playing with for a long time. He raises to 700. Oh boy. The small blind flat calls. Well, they only give us 3000 chips in this damn thing...and I only have 2200 left. No way in hell I am folding KK there. If he has aces, he has aces. He had aces. That was it. I was out. Done. Gonzo. Me and my chair waved goodbye to everyone and left the premises. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pretty dejected.

After the devastating loss on Saturday night to LSU...Squirrel and I...along with about five guys who were watching the game with us...headed upstairs to the tournament room to try to get a SNG going with a bunch of friends who had been drinking and just wanted to have fun. Well, we managed to pull it off. (thanks to floor guy Adrian for making that one happen!!!) 

We had Gene D, and Josh Palmer, along with his drunk and fiesty girlfriend Julie. I bought in Squirrel. We had Ross Leitz, David 'Lurker' Nicholson either played or was just lurking around...can't recall which. Cameron Ainsworth was there, and Kristen Deardorf also. It was a fun game. It was a good way to end the trip. And even better was my lovely wife pulling the upset and winning the SNG!!!! 

Way to go sweetie! As I head off to Las Vegas for two weeks of play at Venetian, and possibly, if things go decent here...a road trip up to Tahoe to play the WSOP-C Main Event up there...we are at about 16 weeks now with our growing SquirrelMonkey. Two weeks after I return home, we get to go in and find out whether we will be having a girl or a boy. I would say I am excited to find out...but the levels of excitement by my Mother and Mother-in-Law make my own enthusiasm pale by comparison. we go! Time to go win some money!!!!


1 comment:

SpamBx392 said...

Not only did "The Squirrel" get her money in good AIPF 3 way, she hit the elusive 1 outer with 22 vs 24dd vs Jeremy's two overs on a 2-4-6 Rainbow. Squirrel is solid & one of the sweetest most kind- hearted woman I have ever met & on that note Will you are Blessed. On to the last subject. As a die hard LSU fan I would have to agree that there are quite a few that represent our colors & school with no class. There are so many fair whether LSU fans out there. I wonder where most of them were when we were getting our teeth kicked in in the Curley Hallman & Gerry DiNardo Days? Good Game Alabama.

Will & Cheryl & to those at the table for the entertainment. It which was greatly needed right after busting out of the main. Best wishes for the remainder of 2011...RUN only takes one to get started.