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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bad Beat? This One is the Worst!

The worst day of my life was November 26, 2009. That was the day I woke up to a pain in my back I had never before experienced. I had no idea what was going on. That night I ended up in the emergency room in the most agonizing pain I had ever experienced. What I had just lived through was the passing of a kidney stone. The only good part of that experience was the mixture of pain killers the doctor fired into me while I waited on the stone to pass.

Leading up to this wonderful experience, I had encountered the same thing, only in milder form, in the tournament I won at Venetian in the summer, the one where I had Amarillo Slim at my table most of Day 1...and then again at the Final Table. The pain in my lower back came in waves....hurting for 30 minutes...then going away...coming back...back and forth for most of the night. When I returned on the 2nd day, it was still there but not as bad. Finally it stopped. What I think happened that first time is that I passed a very small stone.


So what the hell happened to me yesterday? I finished my blog...got on the bus, and headed for Caesar's to try one more time to win a ring and some National Freeroll points. I arrive in Level 2...and immediately noticed my lower right back hurting. Decided to take a pain killer, hoping it was just a sore back. Started chipping up, at a table of terrible players. If there was going to be a chance to win another ring, this was a very good table to be at. I picked up AA and flatted in middle position behind an early raiser, taking a gamble on someone re-raising or shoving all in behind me. Didn't happen. Instead we got three callers. No sweat...I flopped a set of aces. First guy bet. I called. Third guy called. Turn was nothing too worrisome, first guy bet, this time I raised...and the guy behind me re-raises big. Nice! First guy folds, I shove all in, and he does the Phil Helmuthian move of leaping out of his seat and shoving his chips forward, turning over A-10d...with two diamonds on the board. Uh oh.

No problem, I held. And now had a decent stack. 236 players...$17,000 for first. Let's go! Um. Never mind! False alarm. A little while later...dude raises my BB (again) from the button. The guy in the SB just calls. I call the min raise with 6-7. Flop comes 6-7-J. We both check to him. He bets 1100. SB calls. I sense that button has zilch, and SB has 45. So I re-raise it big. Button folds. SB shoves all in. Huh? Oh boy. Can't fold. He has JJ. Yeah. Jacks! And never re-raised pre-flop. Strange. Lovely, so now I am down to just 5000 at 400/800.

Spend a couple orbits getting no cards and no spot to pick up a round of blinds and antes. Finally get A10 in early position and shove. Getting a walk and picking up a much needed round.

Then this suck-the-life-out-of-me hand happens. Dude who loves to min raise does it again in early position. I look down at AJ and am getting ready to shove...when the guy behind me in SB re-raises it 3x. Son of a ......no way AJ is good here.

First guy calls...holding 88. An ace flops...and this guy in the SB (who it turns out has AQ) doesn't bet. He checks. The turn is nothing, he checks again! What the.....??? Finally, a jack hits the river. Dammit, there goes my triple up! Checks again! Then takes down MY pot!!!

I don't even get done punching myself in the face...when on the very next hand...I get AQ, with the queen of diamonds. Same guy raises again. This time I shove all in. He calls with his AJ. Okay, nice. Got him dominated. Three rag cards, ALL diamonds hit the flop. I glance at my queen of diamonds and am feeling pretty good, until I notice that he has the ace of diamonds. Oh noooooo!!! No more diamonds! Turn is a 2 of spades. Hold baby. Hold!!!!  Nope. 6 of diamonds on the river and I was gone. Shit!

On the way out of Caesar's I noticed my back hurting more and more. Damn...should I go to the hospital? At least, having gone through the experience, there is no mystery as to what is ailling me at least. I know what is going on...just wondering how extreme it is and how long I can expect the pain to last.

Why I decided to hobble over to Venetian and play the 3pm $150 Big Bounty tourney I have no freaking idea. But I did. Won my first couple of hands. Table broke...and I get moved to a table with...who else? Gary Bolden. Delightful. And on one of the first couple of orbits he raises on the button into my BB...at 200/400 makes it 1600. I call with K10. To which he immediately starts chirping.

"Nice call sir. Great call." I miss the flop. Check he bets. I fold. "Nice call...nice call."

Normally I might let this bother me...but being in the clutches of kidney stone hell, it was not even registering. I had already made some phone calls, one to a nurse here in Las Vegas, who got me in touch with a doctor. Another to my insurance company...to try and see if I could avoid the astronomical cost of the emergency room, if it came to that. Every time the button would pass me, I would go find a spot to lay down and try to will the pain away.

On one trip to the floor, something very peculiar happens. Gary 'The Terrible' comes over and checks on me, to see if I am okay. Now...talk about your mixed messages. What is he doing? Doesn't he KNOW we are sworn rivals? He so much as told me the day before that he can't stand me...and now here he is coming to check on me. Why? Dammit, why do people have to be so freaking hard to figure out sometimes? Well, I must admit, it did hit a nerve, and told me that maybe underneath all that hatefullness, there is a decent human being in there. Maybe. Or maybe it was just one of those deals where he was hoping to see me dead on the ground and wanted to be the first one to witness it.

I was now getting cold sweats, along with the back pain...and was on the verge of vomiting. Something about the human body, I've learned, you can only endure a certain amount of pain...then the body starts to convulse and then seems to resort to vomiting as some kind of self defense mechanism. Now I had security swarming me...thinking probably that I was some drunk guy passed out and needing to be evicted. I calmly explained to them my condition, that there was nothing anyone could do to help me. Then I crawled over to a garbage can and hurled. Shit!

I finally return to the table. The whole table has a look on their face of sympathy...as they all know now that I am experience the murderous pain of a kidney stone trying to pass. Some have been there, others have just heard about it.

Some dope in a Montana sweatshirt kept pushing all in, for no good reason. 600 in the pot...all in for 12k. He did this about 5 times. I was looking for any good situation to try and gamble with this guy...to either double up to a big stack...or get knocked out, so I could retreat to my hotel room, load up on pain killers, pound liter upon liter of water (to flush out the kidney stone) and crawl into my bed.

So, idiot raises to 2000 (blinds at 300/600) and I call in the SB with A9d. The lady in the BB also calls. The flop comes 9-8-5 rainbow. Perfect. I shove all in for 7200. The lady folds. And dopey insta calls, and turns over A9c. Grrr...guess its a chop...and as I am pulling my chips back from the middle, what happens? Dealer turns a club...then rivers another one...flush! And I am eliminated. Did not even flinch. In fact, I may have done a Tiger Woods-esque fist pump, excited to get out of there and get to my mancave. I made my way to the front of Palazzo, snagged a cab, and was in bed in 10 minutes. Loaded up on Vicodin, drank two liters of water...and passed out.

When I woke up at 10pm...I felt better. No pain. But after getting out of bed and walking around for awhile...I could feel that it was still there. Took another pain killer and decided to finally watch these movies I picked up from RedBox three days ago. First one...'The Ides of March' with George Clooney and that kid who is in every movie these days. Wasn't very impressed. But kind of fun to watch with the Presidential campaigns going on right now. Next up was 'Rise of Planet of the Apes.' That was a good one. Of course I love animals, so it was a bit depressing. The last one was 'The Debt' with Helen Mirren. I thought this looked really good in the trailers...and it might have been, but I kept falling in and out of sleep. It was kind of hard to keep up with. Maybe I just have too short of an attention span, or just aren't smart enough to follow it.

Just got my massive 1800+ person email out for more Super Bowl Squares....got a feeling we are going to set a record this year. Its now 12pm and I have no idea what I want to play today. Maybe that thing they run at the Wynn. I think it's $150 with $100 rebuys till the break. I like the Wynn. And its close by. The Venetian has a $440 tourney called Big Bounty. I'm not really a player who benefits from those, because I rarely bust people. I don't know, might call down and see how many players they have in that...if it's over 200 then I will likely go play that one.

I woke up this morning, and there aren't any signs of pain. Which is good, but also kind of making me nervous...because I know the pain can come and go. And in all the trips I took to the bathroom, not once did I see a stone laying in the bottom of the toilet, which tells me it is still in me somewhere...hopefully having made its way down the urethra and now sitting in my bladder, posing no threat, just waiting to be expelled. So with all that in mind...I'd maybe rather play a smaller buy in in case I have to bolt for the hospital or something. Eating a $450 buy in is a little silly.

Okay...that's all I have for you today. Three blogs in two days? You kidding me? You guys are getting spoiled. But yesterday was the biggest number of hits in one day this month....so I see you guys are paying attention at least! With one day left in the month this blog is at 5,604 hits. Do I hear 6000!??? Unlikely....but crazier things have happened.

Have a Nice Day!

MONKEY



Monday, January 30, 2012

I've Been Twit-Ripped!

What an utterly bizarre, long, annoying...stupid day today was. The best part about today, is that it's now tomorrow.

I've been motivated by three things today that having me blogging twice within a 24-hour period. The problem is that I don't know where to start.

My computer is driving me nuts. Battery won't charge. Call Dell, they take control of it...tell me everything is fine. Hang up with Dell...battery is charging. Hmmm. Okay. Later that night...stops charging. Again. WTF? Same phone call. Different outcome. They hook me for a new battery. $175. Ouch. Still waiting on battery.

Ever walk alone at night...down a dark sidewalk, and practice fight moves for when someone tries to mug you? If you don't I think you should. Always good to be prepared for the expected.

Just walked into the lobby of my hotel, the fabulous Riviera (don't laugh, the rooms are cheap and very very acceptable) and notice TBC...aka, Captain Caveman, sitting at a table. Hey now! I know half of you are dying for me to go back down there and post up. I might. But I need to get some shit off my mind first.

I did NOT win today's Omaha 8 or Better tourney. In fact, I didn't cash. About half way through it I was all in with my small blind...and made a monster come back...only to be dispatched when...as seems to happen a lot, the same dealer (Vitaly in this case) pushed in...fed me three awesome starting hands...dropped me flops like 'Top Pair with nut flush and nut low draw' that all ended in brick-brick disaster/stack killers. Three hands like that in a row and I was close to dead. 

Rewind to the start of the tourney. There is a black guy...his name is Gary Bolden. Here is a photo of Gary. Gary and I don't like each other. At all. I pretty much can't stand his smug table mannerisms, how he's always chewing on a straw...that he wears sunglasses in a limit tournament (why??) and am pretty sure he hates white people. If I'm wrong about that...I'd be shocked...and would happily apologize for the insinuation. But I am pretty sure I'm not.

Seeing that I had drawn Gary at my table was my first bad beat of the day. I am well aware that he won two rings at Caesar's during the circuit event, and acknowledge that he is a fine poker player. But it doesn't mean he's a good human being. A couple years ago, late in a $550 tourney, I get moved to the 4-seat at his table. He is in the 5-seat. For those who have been reading this blog for 3 years...you might recall this episode. Most of you know that I have space issues. I hate crowded places, and I hate having my personal space invaded. The medication I'm on helps deal with it...but it still looms. And why Venetian insists on forcing us to play 10-handed is beyond me. Especially when about a third of the tables are those little short ones. Its brutal.

So I get to that new table..and Mr. Bigshot, is sprawled out...into about half of my workable space. I ask the dealer to square the table before I attempt to sit down. I do this a lot, and not sure why...but it always seems to annoy the other player. Why? Because I want to sit in my space and want you to move into your own? So he shoots me a dirty look, and moves over about 4 of the required 12 inches. I ask him to please move. He refuses. I ask the dealer to have him move. Dealer does. He wont move. I try to deal with it. It gets worse. It finally got to the point where the floor was called. I explain my situation. Floor asks Gary to move over. He feigns like he just moved by popping straight up out of his chair...but never actually moves over. That was when I snapped. Can't remember what happened or what was said after that...but it wasn't pleasant.

A couple hands later, he coolers my ass...knocking me out of the tournament close to the money, runs his face as I'm leaving...and a new player had entered my Hall of Hated Poker Players. There have been incidents at other events, other venues...and its always the same...this guy loves to talk shit. He has a very high opinion of himself...and loves to share it with everyone.

So today...we had a couple of players who weren't experienced at all...and made a couple of amateurish blunders during the action. Gary decides to clown on them. Which wasn't very cool, considering they had admitted to not really having a clue what they were doing. Well...then he targeted me...when after a hand...I questioned what the other guy was calling the turn with...thinking he didn't have anything, and when the player pointed it out, I realized I had missed that particular draw that he had. Well, this is when Gary the Jerkoff makes his little quip about "having all these players at the table who don't know how to play Omaha." Which pissed me off.

"Hey Gary. I know you. I know what you've done. And you know I've won a ring in this game. So...I would appreciate you not sitting over there disrespecting me in front of my fellow players with your disparaging remarks."

Well...that ignited Gary. He starts blurting out how he 'don't like me' and if I don't like how he's talking about me, maybe I should do something about it. Started suggesting he would 'have me taken care of' and that I didn't know who and what I was dealing with. Basically, he went tough guy on me. 

"Gary...I don't like you either...frankly, but I don't sit here calling you names either, or disrespecting you. Furthermore, I don't think its too cool that you are blasting the other players either. Who do you think you are, anyway?"

Now the floor was called. He immediately heard only that him and I were getting into it verbally and issued us a warning. But I asked the floorman, to please talk to his dealer and ask HIM about the conversation before he issued me a warning. Which...to his credit, he did. He took the dealer aside. Then he took Gary aside. And on break, I was told that the dealer completely backed me, that I never lost my cool, never used profanity, and never made any threats, while Gary fully had done all of those. I'm not going to lie...I wasn't too used to being on the good side of that mess, but I have really worked on my temperament the past few years...and I was pretty proud of my ability to pull it back when I needed to. So he got the warning. I got on my iPad and started watching 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' until our table finally broke. 

So apparently before our table broke, there was a certain player a lot of you know...and who (pretty obvious now) reads this blog, blasting me on Twitter, as though I wouldn't find out. I don't know what some of you think I am. Those who DO know me...are pretty positive that if I hear you talking shit about me...that I AM coming to confront you about it. Right?

Eric, as I picture him taking to his 'smart phone' to fire up his Twitter account and drop a little venom on the Monkey!
This is Eric 'Basebaldy' Baldwin...a very accomplished poker player, with a lot of money in career winnings. Eric also, like myself, used to play baseball. Last week, I think Barth was seated next to him in the $550 at Caesar's and had a lot of nice things to say about the guy. Personally, I don't think I've had a lot of interaction with the guy. I have nothing positive nor anything negative to say about him. Kai has had him at his table a lot, and considers him to have the personality of a rubber house plant. But that's Kai...he has high expectations of people's personalities. Pretty sure he compares me to a coffee table.

So...one of my loyal Facebooker's shoots me a message that Eric is ripping me on Twitter. Basically, he posted that "Monkey went 'I've got a ring' on a guy who was giving him shit for reading a hand wrong." Then follows up with "Now he's reading his own blog and laughing/nodding to himself." Well...to the casual eye, I can see both of these things being interpreted that way. For starters, I didn't think Eric Baldwin was the 'kind of guy' who would go posting some shit like that. Guess I was wrong. Secondly...I wasn't using my ring-winning status to prop myself up. I was using it in a conversation with a fellow player to illustrate my point as to why I didn't appreciate his disparaging remarks about me. Period.

As far as reading my blog and laughing? Well...I am flattered that he knew I was reading my blog...he must recognize the layout, since he was not seated next to me or even very close. I will be honest, on this particular occasion, I wasn't reading my blog...as I had JUST written it an hour ago. What I was reading, were a bunch of comments that I hadn't read yet. However...I won't lie...there have been blog entries where I will write them the day before, usually when really tired, maybe even on a 'fall asleep pill' and the next day when I read it for the sake of proofreading and making necessary corrections, I find myself laughing at some of the shit I wrote...not remembering even writing some of it. If that makes me...well, I don't even KNOW what that makes me. But whatever it is, I guess I'm guilty.

So...fast forward. I get rivered...AGAIN...and am left with 300 effing chips. And they break our table. And I had JUST gotten this message about Baldwin trashing me...and what happens? Of course, folks...I get moved to his table! Perfect! I waste no time in confronting him.

Basically told him I heard about his comments, as they were relayed to me by others, and then I went and just looked to verify it for myself, and that as a fellow professional in this field of idiots, I felt pretty offended. Told him I have never had anything but the utmost respect for him...and didn't know what I had ever done to him that would result in his blasting me like that.

I think I caught him off guard a little bit. But to his credit, at least he responded. He asked me to clarify, then...what exactly happened in the hand in question, and what I was reading if I wasn't reading my blog. I answered him. But to me...that wasn't the point, and I told him as much. He understood my point of view, but then challenged me with his own question:

"Don't you think there is a little bit of a double standard, Monkey? Where you rip on people on your blog all the time, but then get upset when someone rips you?"

Okay. Fair enough. Sure. I supposed to a certain extent that there is some merit to that. But what I told him, I think, was a pretty effective reply. I don't ever rip on people that are well-established pros. Or friends. Or even people I semi-respect. I just don't. The people I rip on, are usually weekend warriors, the donkeys who come out every so often to hit that little lucky streak and wreak havoc on us regulars' hopes and dreams. Or there might be the occasional semi-full time player...who I just decide I can't stand. But hold the phone! Here is the difference! I don't sit there plain faced, taking it all in...then destroy the guy on my blog. Nope. No one gets ripped on my blog who wasn't first ripped at the table.

His case in point...and this was evidence he read today's blog...was telling me that he was friends with the guy I featured in today's earlier blog...the dude who looked a bit like (and seemed to imitate with much aplomb) Ben Affleck. Ahhh...now it becomes a bit clearer. Okay then....so he was acting maybe a bit out of spite. Again...I see, I see. But what Eric doesn't know...is that a pretty long conversation had transpired between me and Wanna-Be-Ben...and that I literally told the guy that I had arrived at the conclusion that he was an absolute fool, lacking in any abilities to make a rationale point on any subject. I told him he was about to become Blog Fodder for me...which merely prompted him to start denigrating my blog...which never bothers me. Ever. I just sat there, watching his stupid aviator glasses come off, go back on, off again...back on...all while remembering to purse his lips at the right time...to effectively remember the Tom Dwan style of delivering his chips to the pot...that slow, methodical...almost robotic like trademarked move...complete with the lazy drop on the felt. Watch that twenty times in a row....I dare you! Do it and tell me you don't want to smack the guy in the face with a two by four with nails hammered through the other side! So, on top of his poor ability to counter-attack my powerful one-liners...offering up pathetically sad comebacks, there were the stupid poker mannerisms.

If this guy is Eric's friend, hey, great. Hope you guys live happily ever after. Not at my picnic. Nope. And would we maybe get along in a different setting? Maybe? But doubtful. A lot of guys I am friends with now in the poker world, we got off on the wrong foot. But to their credit, they were all very effective debaters...which was one of the reason I hated them...but at the same time respected them...because they were excellent counter punchers in a sarcastic, comedic way. This dude? Pfft...he was dying on stage, getting pelted by every vegetable in the garden. You can have him, Eric. 

So...I busted on the next hand, collected my shit...and walked the nearly one mile to my hotel room. Its a nice walk. I've rather enjoyed these walks, as a result of not renting a car here for the first time ever. My diet is going great. Pretty sure I've dropped at least 5-10 pounds. But not positive.

As for Eric Baldwin? I don't harbor any ill feelings towards the guy. Simply put, I don't have enough to go on. I'm not one to drive the bus over someone over something as relatively petty as a Twitter blast. Perhaps he will apologize. If not...whatever. We run in different circles anyway...so I'm not gonna sweat it.

Some other wacky shit was going on today. And it involved Jimmy Fricke. Before I tell you this...its merely irony that I did a little piece in the previous entry about obese poker players. All of us that know Jimmy know he is battling with his weight. I also hear from a lot of people that Jimmy is a swell guy. We all know that he is an excellent poker player. That is NOT in dispute at all. And I've never really had any interaction with the kid other than a few tables together in tourneys.

But I get moved to his table...and I instantly notice...that he is being joined...by his dog. Yup. Sitting in his lap!


My initial feeling was envy...as being away from Mollie and Jasper really wears on me when I'm away from home. The second feeling I had was....huh? I'm looking at this dog, and its wearing a vest that proclaims it to be a service dog. Come on! A couple years ago...and with a few drinks in me...and not even sure where I was, a lady had the same thing going on with her dog...and it was OBVIOUS she had no medical condition that required a service dog. So I brazenly asked her why she had the service dog in her company. Did she answer me? Nope, instead she got hostile...which just told me I was right. She was a poser. A service-dog-needing poser. And it got me to thinking...."Hmm...I wonder if Jimmy is pulling the service dog poser move?"

I asked one of the players at the table what the deal was with the dog. He told me another player had asked him and he said that he would prefer not to talk about it. Hmmm??? Just leads to more curiosity and skepticism, right? So now my curiosity was getting the best of me...to the point of obsession. WHY DOES HE HAVE A DOG!???

On tournament break I approach a floor guy. "Why does Jimmy have the dog?" Floor guy: "Not sure"  Monkey: "Does he have some kind of condition that you guys are aware of?"  Floor guy:  "No...no idea. Suspect he doesn't have any condition at all."  Monkey:  "Really, so why doesn't someone confront him about it? Ask him what requires him to have a dog at the table with him...on his lap!?"
Floor guy:  "Honestly? Venetian is paranoid about getting sued. I guess they think they can get sued if we question someone with a possible disability...so we just ignore it."

Okay...and you all know where this led me!!!!

Monkey:  "So, seriously? You're saying that if I show up with my black lab, Jasper tomorrow, sporting a service dog vest...that you guys aren't going to be busting my balls the minute I walk in the door? Come on man...you KNOW you are!!!"

Floor Guy: "Yeah, you're probably right."

Hey! What's with the damn double standard????

Well, I post this picture on my Facebook, and seriously am just on a fact-finding mission to find out why he has this critter in his lap, figuring one of my Facebook buddies would have an answer. And from out of the mist...came a message, which I wouldn't share....out of respect to Jimmy, except that he posted it himself on a public poker forum, so apparently, its not all that private.

Online forum quote from Jimmy regarding "Oscar"...his service dog.

"I feel kinda weird saying this considering I don't post too much here, but Oscar started his service dog training yesterday. I have some anxiety/depression issues and my psychiatrist wrote me a letter of necessity since Oscar is usually the only thing that can calm me down instantly during a panic attack. Yesterday was kind of a trial run, so 8 weeks more to go. Wish us luck"

Now hold the phone!!! I am literally ON MEDICATION for my depression/anxiety issues. And there is nothing on Earth that offers me the calming effect that being with my dogs does. So I am pretty sure that it's time to call up the doctor, get me a note...get Mollie and Jasper fitted for their own service vests...and start bringing them to poker tourneys with me. That could lead to a lot more wins. And a lot less 'freak outs' at the table. Hmmm. And as far as 'service dog training?' What could that possibly entail? Training this dog to make someone feel happy and calm? Um...yeah pretty sure Jasper just needs to sit there and let me pet his head to have it work its magic on me. No fancy tricks. No help crossing streets, or picking off sick reads against my opponents. Nope, just be there for your daddy.
Touche Jimmy Fricke! You have pulled off the move of the year, sir. My hat is off to you! And I hope you find an answer to your depression issues. It is a legitimate nightmare ailment to wrestle with...and frankly, I've been predicting outbreaks of depression to hit the poker world for quite awhile now. I have no clue how you are supposed to play this effing game and NOT want to kill yourself at least 3 or 4 times a week.

Yeah...pretty sure I am done now. Just got a text message from my Riviera friend/host telling me I am likely S.O.L. for a room on Friday and Saturday night of Super Bowl weekend. Not good news. Especially considering I had no such issues LAST year during the same period of time at this same hotel. 

Speaking of Super Bowl...my $100 board just filled today. That is the fastest ever...so fast, I am contemplating a second one. The $50 board has just 8 squares left on it...the 2nd $25 board is 3/4th full. I foresee a possible record year for square sales. I always drop some money on the Super Bowl at the window...having cashed in big two years ago with New Orleans...and last year with Green Bay. Not feeling as confident this year. New York just kind of has that 'Team of Destiny' feeling about it. But I also think Tom Brady is hungry as hell for another championship, and to shut up the critics who think he is over-the-hill. I will be rooting for New England. That over/under of 55 is pretty hard to bet on. Scary line. The 3 point spread is also pretty hairy. I think if I bet the game, I will just take New England on the money line. We'll see. 

I'm going to sleep. Forget about going downstairs to play cash game with Captain Caveman. I think one Twitter blast in one day is enough. Don't need to be showing up in TBC's little diary/blog today.

Monkey

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Up, Down, Up, Down...Ughhhhh!

This has been a very unusual week. And I know, I am really, really behind on my content. Which is kind of stupid on my part. On Wednesday, I was asked by Bryan Micon to appear on their radio show, Donk Down Radio. I knew he was going to ask me about my 'plight' with the Beau Rivage and MGM properties as a whole.


 So, I bought into the 7pm at Caesar's...knowing they were going to call between 7:30 and 8pm. I played super aggressive and turned my 10k starting stack into 24k when they called. These guys ended up calling the Beau...and talking to Cincere Mason, who is one of my favorite people in poker. I was like the guy on the back of a motorcycle who was helpless to the driver who was jumping off cliffs, riding over fire and flying off of ramps over shark infested waters. With clenched teeth I listened as they pressed for a response from them.

In the back of my head, I'm hearing myself utter the phrase "oh boy...this is NOT helping my situation...if anything, it's hurting it. Shit."  While I am kind of appreciative to Bryan to take up my cause, and give me an open forum to air 'my side' of things, I also know the way these people at 'corporatee' MGM operate, and any negative publicity for them just further damages my chances to get reinstated.

But then if you are a person with common sense...you ask yourself "Yo! Self! What the hell? Why the f*** should I be having to 'watch what I do and say' anyway? I mean...I didn't do ANYTHING wrong in the first place! It's so effing ridiculous knowing that if a person who works for a casino happens to have a problem with you...for ANY reason...all they have to do is go to their casino's head of security, spin his tale...and that security man will simply put a little note in their system-side computer database that you are 'TRESPASSED ON ALL PROPERTIES.' And what are your rights? What can you do to dispute it? The answer is zippo! All of this because I started a Facebook group titled "Boycott the Beau until Grooms is Toast." 

My wife listened to the interview the other day. She hated it. Of course. She is a big advocate of letting sleeping dogs lie. And I respect that. She hated that Cincere was pulled into the interview process and put on the spot. I did too. Admittedly. Squirrel's big point of contention was that I was only doing myself further harm. That the Beau Rivage knew about and heard the interview and was 'pissed!' THEY are pissed? Why would THEY be pissed? They have 86'd for me for no damn reason at all...not just from there, but from EVERY one of MGM's properties...and its THEM who is pissed? Gee...I wonder what their next move will be? Strip me of all of my past victories in their casino? Make me give back my Beau Rivage 'sailboat' trophy? I don't think these guys understand that it's ME who is pissed. 

This all goes back to Johnny Grooms being thin-skinned, egotistical, and two-faced to the core. Then there are the allegations against him and his closest associates, who have been implicated multiple times for mis-allocation of player tips. I have heard so many 'eye-opening' stories from dealers, floor people and fellow players...that I got to the point, with my long struggle to convey my desire for better structures at his events, that I just decided I no longer wanted to contribute my funds to any poker event that he had anything to do with. Period. I am amazed that him and his little sock-puppet assistant who inhabits his basement at home are able to continue to operate at such a once-proud poker room.


Here is a picture of 'Frick' and 'Frack' posing with a friend and fellow respected poker player, John Dolan, who just won last week's Main Event there. John and my wife's friend (who she used to work with) Ashley (who we all call Taco) had a baby recently...so, with our own baby on the way...I have to kind of root for those with newborns in their lives. Congrats to John. I hope in Box #1 (dealer tips) he left a hefty tip and in Box #2 (staff tips...but in reality the Tournament Director box) he left a tissue with some of his nasal remains.

Sights and Sounds of Vegas:  Yes...these are things I have really witnessed and/or been a part of this week.



I have no idea who this guy is. But Barth and I had a table last weekend at PURE, and this dude was wandering around inside, with a shit ton of hot women...and it mystified us. Then we saw him wandering around on the casino floor and just HAD to have a picture with him. He surprised us by pulling this move. Okay then!




See this guy? I hate him. He kind of looks a bit like Ben Affleck...and I'm almost positive that he thinks so too, as he has taken on his facial mannerisms. He came to our table during the six-handed event, which I had been cruising through all day. He came with the eventual winner, who would end up knocking me out...me with aces, him with KQ. Me and the Affleck-wanna-be would have a few verbal tete-a-tetes before that occurred. He had every little annoying 'thing' about him you could ask for. The long, drawn-out Durr-like theatrics before every bet. The slow pick up and drop of the chips. The glasses would go off and on in between every hand. He was just nauseating...the kind of player you want to get hit by a log like in that Snickers commercial when Roseanne gets owned by the tree!


So a few nights ago, I played...oh I'm pretty sure I played in the nooner, lost, then every other tourney that day, culminating with the 10pm $85 tourney....which was the last shot at getting all the buy-ins back for the day. I started out pretty good...then hovered for a while. Then got moved to Mark Kroon's table. A lot of you might know Mark...his nickname is 'The Poker Ho.'


Mark is, well...kind of crazy! And him and I have always gotten along really well. So he is at the next table over...mocking me and my chip stack, since his is about the size of the Empire State Building. He is playing like a maniac...not caring one iota about winning or losing. Which is, admittedly, kind of a great strategy for those nightly tourneys. So we get down to 18 players (paying 9) and I get moved to his table. It's on! He creates a policy that every time we both survive a full orbit, that he is buying us a shot of chilled Patron. I lost count at 4. But I raised with A9d...he called...and when I flopped a nine with two diamonds, I thought I would for sure be doubling up against his...mmmm, think it was Q10. But he would hit one of those two cards, and I would fail to improve...and I was busted 16th.

Yeah...not cashing sucked, and added to my day of misery...but what was hilarious, and what I didn't find out until the following day...was that Mark failed to even cash! In fact, he bubbled! Holy......crap! He could have literally went out and played craps until it got down to four, then played for the win.


The following night, in that same 10pm tourney...there were 71 players, with $1533 for first place. 2nd was $850. I was in for $1100 in buyins for the day...so the only thing that was going to bring me ANY shred of satisfaction was a first place finish. The final table took forever...we literally played til 5am. There was a guy who was playing his first tourney ever...and it was obvious. But he was also nearly impossible to get a read on. Then this other guy...who sat there folding his way down to nearly nothing, before picking up a top 5 hand and getting doubled back up. Over and over. We played 4-handed for an eternity. Finally, I picked up AA...UTG raised, next guy shipped, I just flatted, and the first raiser, with AK...shoved. Thank you! And mysteriously, the AA held.

We got to three-handed finally...and I lost a huge pot, and was down to just 3 big blinds...and seemed destined to finish an annoying third. But then magic happened. And I can't really go into detail other than to say I got lucky a few times, limp trapped a few others...and got heads up with 'guy who never played before' and pretty much destroyed him...despite one hand where I limped with AA, only to see him flop a damn straight and get things nearly back to dead even. I know it wasn't a huge win...but dammit, it was a win...to go with my 2nd place in the 5pm tourney at Caesar's last week...and a 12th place in the Ante-Only tourney. Not a terrible week, overall. And I got one of the Caesar's medallions given out to winners of their tourneys. Sweet. A medallion!

This is something that is really 'getting my goat.' Now, for the record, I want to state that I am totally in support of the American Disabilities Act, which provides for certain rights to the disabled. Bob Talbot, who has gotten to be a pretty good buddy of mine, is a wheelchair bound player who is almost always afforded the 8-seat wherever he plays, and parks in his wheelchair at the table. No problem. And there are several other players I am friendly with, including Jon Holloway, who now is pretty active in my pools and fantasy leagues...and whom I just traded Derrick Rose since it's his all-time favorite player (and I needed rebounds on my roster!). Jon is joined by his tremendously loyal and committed mother, who assists him in making his bets and what not. 

I would never want ANYONE thinking I am not sympathetic to their desires to play poker, and their special needs. Because I am. Totally. Here is the problem I have.

Some of these players are taking it too far! Being morbidly obese...to the point that they have given up on even trying to walk...and jamming around on their hove-a-rounds...some of them a speeds that endanger the other casino guests...is just ridiculous. But now, whereas in the past they were forced to park their 'fat car' on the side somewhere and sit in their chair like everyone else...they are being allowed to drive their sports car right up next to the table, and parking it there. Which, in essence, is taking up nearly two 'player spaces' and forcing the players on either side of them to be incredibly inconvenienced.

On top of that...we had this guy...most of you know him, he is one of the most obnoxious players on the circuit, and on top of it, he weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 650 lbs. Now...if this guy were just fat...but had one of those loveable personalities that so many fat guys seem to have, he might be tolerable. But he doesn't. He is a prick. Has always been a prick. And to top it off, he is married (I think) to this scrawny little Asian woman who loves him to death, and finds his fatness to be 'sexy.' Yes, you heard me. I can't make that up. So guess how much motivation he has to lose weight? Answer: Zilch! So when he piles into seat 3...and consumes most of seat 2 and 4...sits there blathering on about how good he is, and how many tourneys he's won (very few just for the record, one day at Borgata I just had to go and look up his results, and there were pathetic) he is doing this while continuously eating. And eating....and eating some more.


It conjures up images of Mr Creasote in Monty Python's Meaning of Life...eating until he finally explodes. Watch the clip...this guy looks almost identical to this dude. So about the time he comes back with a double scoop waffle cone...and just sits there with this smug look on his face scarfing down his ice cream...the whole table collectively forms an alliance to do whatever it takes to eradicate his presence from the table.


Yes...hiding under the hood, and shrouded in darkness is your hero...Lord Monkey of the Dark Side! I don't remember what night I slipped into this altar ego...or why I thought emulating Dwyte "The Duke" Pilgrim would be a cool idea...but the bottom line is, I am pretty sure I was scaring some of the old people, and that gave me a reason to snicker to myself.


While cruising around the casino one night, I was stopped dead in my tracks when this beauty and her superfly boyfriend ambled by me. You....have....got....to....be....kidding....me! So, seriously, how did this conversation go before they decided to leave the house?  "Baby, how do I look?" Ohhhh damn girl, you look tight! That is the shit! And off they went, to scare small children all over Las Vegas and send single straight men right to the other side! And she could not have been any prouder of herself. You know when you observe someone and you can kind of detect a bit of insecurity in their appearance? Not so with this hottie. She was sexy...and she KNEW it! Thank god she didn't treat us all to the 'wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle!'


Yesterday, since I never managed to satellite my way into the $1600 Main Event at Caesar's, and just didn't feel like coughing up $1600 only to take another stupid beat and being mad at myself for taking that big swing...I instead went and played the $350 Deepstacks event at Venetian. I arrived at the break, valuing sleep over timeliness. And besides, when you arrive and see that you have outlasted 70 of the 231 already by not being there...its kind of a cool feeling. Then I start out getting AA on my fourth hand and getting the guy with AK to re-raise me not once but twice, before he finally got the message and folded to my 3rd raise. Nice little 11k pot to start the day with. Then rivered a full house to felt a guy who bluffed the flop against my trips, only to go runner runner nut flush (no good) and bust himself. Thanks for the chips. I never had a small stack all day.

We get down to 15...and played that way forever...after an already marathon bubble at 28 players. That's when the same old malady that seems to never stop plaguing me reared its ugly head again. Now...we have been playing (well some of us!) for 12 hours now...so when you hear that guy utter the phrase "I was ready to go to bed" you just shake your head and wonder what the guy's IQ is. But that is what this yo-yo says when he raises to 12k on the button...leaving 55k behind...and I re-raise him all in, holding AQ in the BB and 125k in my stack. He snap calls...with J10 offsuit, claiming his desire to go to bed. As soon as I hear that I know I'm dead. Flops a jack, it holds. I fume. Put on my headphones and fire up a song.

I go on a nice little run...sucking out with A6c vs. AQ (deserved that one) then check-raising a flop of 5-6-k and holding 4-7c in a hand where the guy limped with 66 and I got a free look in the BB. He bet, I moved in...he snap called and I turned an 8 for the straight...and it held. Nice. Now I was back in the saddle and ready to go deep. 185k. Blinds at 4k/8k.  Down to 14 players...and on the second to last hand of the night. The ugly troll sitting next to me, who I'm sure has played no more than 10 tourneys in his life, and who's leg wouldn't stop rubbing against me....@*(&#&^!&#(*....raises my BB for about the 7th time in a row. I look down at AQ again...and I raise him, from his 25k raise to 100k. And does he fold? Or even...shove all in for his 135k? No. Why would he do something that makes sense? He calls! Just calls! Leaving 32k behind. I have now only 34k behind. The flop comes Q-10-10. He moves in. Of course I call. What does dipshit have? Ad7h. He groans...but then...as every imbecile seems to do lately...turns a diamond and rivers a diamond...for, what else? I flush.

I throw up in my hand...and put half of it in my left hand...throwing the left hand contents at the Mr. J10...and the second half at A7 idiot...causing everyone to laugh like hyenas! Okay...that only happened in my imagination. I was all in on the next hand...and of course 'woke up' with 2-7...and was up against AK. Shockingly I lost...thank god! Having to come back with one big blind at 2pm today would have been about the most annoying thing ever. Collected my $1070...tipped out $70...took a walk up Las Vegas Blvd, won $187 playing blackjack, bought a veggie patty sandwich at Subway...then went to bed. I have yet to surpass 2100 calories in a day now for almost two weeks. My jeans are fitting a bit looser, so I am hopeful that I have actually lost a little weight.

Want to know why I didn't play the Main Event? Well this little fat hick pictured down below is one of the primary reasons.



Caesar's didn't have a Mega satellite that was reasonable. Your choices were either the $200 rebuy...or the $240...which also was a re-entry. In both you got a ridiculous 3000 starting chips...and started at 25-50. They were shove fests by level 3. I would have loved to have skipped those tardfests and just played SNG's....but guess what? Those weren't taking place either. After three days at Caesar's I had what I thought was a really good conversation with Poker Room Manager Andy Rich's associate...who promised to share my ideas with Andy...and get things running like a 'real' circuit event. Like adding some chips to the 1000 starting chips they were giving us in the $80 AND $120 sngs. Never happened. Like setting up a designated area, posting dealers there, and putting out 10 chip stacks with seat cards...which is how EVERY circuit event does it...which works remarkably well.

See what I think the suits don't realize, is that us poker players...we are like trained animals. Or zombies. Take your pick. But we stumble into the tourney area...and we scan the area looking for "SNG Land" which is easily identified by the dealer with chips in front of him and seat cards ready to be claimed. This system ALWAYS works. Always has, for over 8 years now. But instead, you have some places that want to use the system of keeping a handheld list for 'interest' instead. Then when they get ten players, they try to call them for the SNG...only to find out half of those players have either left, or decided to play cash game. Then they sum it up to 'there just not being much interest in SNG's.' Wrong! Totally wrong. It's just the way you are running the damn things. It's not that hard. I swear a monkey could run SNG-Land seamlessly. No...this is not me lobbying for the title of SNG LAND Coordinator.

So, due to the lack of SNG's being offered...I was forced to try and play these damn shove fest Main Event satellites. I sit down. I fold under the gun. Guy on my left raises it to 200. Blinds 25/50. The hillbilly in the SB, pictured above, makes it 500. Then the BB shoves all in...for 3000. First raiser folds. Redneck Robby snap calls with 88. BB has QQ. Guess who wins? Yep. He makes the same similar move with 88 again...this time against 10-10. Wins. Beats 77 with KJc...on a shove and a call. I am realizing that if I get in a hand against this guy I'm likely going out. True story. I raise in early position with AK. He calls...with what turns out to be 2-3. Flop comes A-Q-5. He leads for 500. I feel content to call, and hope he bets more on the turn so I can shove. The turn is....ding ding ding..a king. He bets 800. I shove all in. And he snap calls...with a gutshot. No problem...dealer flips over a damn four. The dealer and I just stare at each other in disbelief. Busto. Rebuy!

Go to new table. More super annoying people. I win a big hand. Now have turned my 3k into 6500. That wouldn't last long. Short stack limps. I raise with QQ. He goes all in. Sigh...I call. He has KK. It holds. Grrr. Very next hand! He limps again! I raise again...this time with AK...folds back to him. He shoves. This time he has QQ...and of course, his QQ is good. Now I'm short. I lost..and don't even remember how. I re-bought one more time after that...and lost again...for a $600 punch in the face.

Incidentally, that little gremlin who was shove, shove, shoving like he had no care in the world? He wouldn't win his seat, of course. Those players never do. They just take out a bunch of good players in the beginning...then donk off all their ill-gotten gains.

I've been playing an unusual amount of cash game on this trip. And not running especially well. Have a few winning sessions, but for the most part, its been a hockey stick upside the head. One night at the Venetian, I had this trippy dude at the table, and though he looked like an associate at Victoria's Secret who all the girls 'loved' because he's just one of the girls, this guy was actually straight. I'm almost positive. He was from Utah, as was the other very hetero guy at the table. Apparently they worked together. Well, this guy was what we call...a mobile ATM. He re-bought at least 6 times...for $300 every time, in just a two hour period. I was the beneficiary of one of them...when he shoved on a J-5-5 flop and me holding AA.


Pink shirt. Pink pants. Pink tie. Pink jacket...that was very ruffled and dirty. Now...I gotta say, if you are going to 'be the guy in pink' and want to pull it off, I think you need to focus on the quality of the garment and the cleanliness of said outfit. This guy looked like he slept in an alley in his outfit. And his hair was outrageous. He was fighting baldness. Like...like the war on terror. And when you see a guy with just a few strands on his head...who insists on using gel, its comical, because all he is doing is putting a gelatinous shine on his head. We give him an F- for, well...everything.

What else? Today was one of two final ring events at Caesar's...a $350 at noon. The other one, and final one of the event, is tomorrow, a $350 turbo. I was thinking about playing that...but the need for sleep and the long overdue need for a blog entry caused me to pass on today's $350. Venetian had a $550 at noon, that I also didn't feel like playing. Nope, I will go drop $350 at 3pm at Venetian and play the always mind numbingly boring Omaha 8 or better tourney. It's always nice to get four cards instead of two! Just breaks up the monotony of hold em.

It's 2:30 now. Perfect timing. I am going to wrap it up...and take a nice leisurely stroll down to Venetian for today's Omaha tourney. Which is actually being played at Palazzo. They have relocated the tournament area for this Deepstacks events...to give the construction crew the opportunity to keep working on their renovation of the Venetian back entrance and poker room. It's funny, one of the interesting things about playing at the Deepstacks is the flow of traffic that happens by. I've noticed that at Venetian its more of a 25-35 crowd...a lot of girls on their way to Tao. And at Palazzo you get more of a 30-45 crowd, most of them on their way to and from dinner, or shows...or shopping in the afternoon. Not as many club hoppers passing by. Fun if you are into people watching like I am.  Okay...I'm outa here.

MONKEY

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Live On the Air in 30 minutes!

DonkDown Radio with Bryan Micon on Wednesday at 7:30 Pst.

Trying to post this on my iPad and have a feeling it isn't working too well.
Bryan Micon, fresh off a 2nd place finish in the Ante-Only tourney, has invited me on tonight for their weekly show...to discuss a variety of issues...one being 'why I am banned from MGM properties.'

I'm going to walk in now, buy into the 7pm at caesar's and see if I can stacked off by yet another idiot. Shouldn't take much...just put my chips in play. Going to wait til Bryan calls me, then step away from the tourney and do the show.

Monkey

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Heating Up in Frigid Las Vegas

I have little to no time to blog today, but felt compelled to give you a quick update. Spent the day playing with some excellent players yesterday (for a change) and played well enough to pull a 12th place finish out of 203 players in the first Ante-Only WSOP ring event. 12th paid $1100, which was certainly not the $15k score I was looking for (for 1st) but I had no regrets, really.

Spent a majority of my day with longtime acquaintance Bryan Micon, who has promoted and sold a thing called the Micon System for years...and now is the mastermind behind Donk Down, and has his own Poker Radio show...which, after hearing my story about the Beau Rivage...and Johnny Grooms' little scheme to get me trespassed from all MGM Properties, has invited me to appear on their radio show this week if time permits.

Ive always had a lot of respect for Bryan, both as a poker player and a person. He is one of those guys who (like me, I think) has one of those sense of humors that you need an IQ over 100 to fully appreciate. I am excited to do their show.

A couple days ago...I played the 2nd run of the $350 two-entry tourney, that ended up attracting an impressive 887 players. My day ended the first time around when I ran into Idiot Face with Q-7 after I three-bet raised him with AA, had him call, flop top pair and put me all in, only to turn a damn 9. In my second run...I flopped a straight flush draw against a board of J-J-9 and holding Q8d....check raised all in with a relatively small stack...turned the 7 of diamonds, only to lose to the guy with AJ when the river brought an ace. Booooo!!!!

So I bought into the 5pm Super Turbo Double Deepstacks with Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce and Dirty Chip Crumblings. Total players: 145. Place of Finish for Monkey: 2nd place. Total Winnings: $2400. Pretty fun night. Lost to a guy who had me 4-1 when we got heads up, him having busted the douchebag of the table...who I spent most of the day and night loathing. So finishing 2nd to that guy didn't sting too bad, he was actually a pretty solid player, and a nice guy.

Have been getting a lot of sleep, and eating well. Barth got here on Friday night...and has been getting deep in most everything he's played, coming off a pretty impressive run at the Beau Rivage. I think he is leaving town in the next day or so. Wish he'd stay longer...but he has a business to run back home.

I will hold off on my prediction until Friday before the Big Game!

Super Bowl? New England vs. New York Giants, in a rematch of a few years ago. Should be a good game. Vegas book has it at NE-3...guess that's about right. NYG beat NE earlier this season...24-20. No idea who is going to win this game. My Super Bowl Squares boards are on sale and filling up fast as usual. If you are interested in getting a square...or a bunch of em, shoot me an email at ThePoolMonkey@aol.com and I will send you the link.

Okay...that's your quickie update. Gotta run...today is the $350 6-Handed event, which I have bubbled and finished ten out of the money in my last two efforts.
MONKEY


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cash Game is Stupid and Boring...but Funny!

Hi it's Monday. Monday night. I haven't left my room one time today. Not once. I have been here for four days now and have yet to have a maid visit my room. Good thing I re-used my towel twice and brought my Glade Air Freshening Plug In...and don't smoke dope...or they might think someone was dead in here. Today I discovered there is a safe in my room. Maybe I will do something about getting something that I can put in there this upcoming week.

When we last left, the Saints were taking a 1-point lead with a little over a minute left in the game. I think we all know how that one ended. Gregg Williams? It was nice knowing ya pal, now take your act to St. Louis to join your boy Jeff Fisher..and lets find someone who can figure out how to give up less than 400 yards per game, shall we?

Wonder how many wives and girlfriends in the Green Bay area got a beatdown from the grumpy man of the house after the ball game on Sunday???

As if the Saints' loss wasn't hard enough to stomach...my 3rd favorite NFL team (partially cuz I liked them when I was a wee tike living in Montana when they featured the likes of Bart Starr, Terdell Middleton and really cool green uniforms) and my pick in the $25 Survivor Pool (with only 5 out of 225 remaining entries left) AND the $50 MidSeason Survivor Pool (which was down to just 12 of 91) decided to let the NYGiants come into Lambeau Field and do to the Green Crew what they did back in 2008, on their way to beating the undefeated NE Patriots. Only this time it was worse. The Packer's defense looked worse than the Saints. I just sat here in my room, staring at the TV in disbelief.

All these other people wanted to desperately do a deal, any kind of deal...to guarantee some kind of money...the suggestion was $2000 each and play it out for the final $3000 or so. But stupid, 'No Chops in 2012' me...I resisted. And as fate always seems to do to the guy who doesn't want to chop...I got my AA cracked by J10 suited. And I'm sure those other 4 people were laughing at me like a pack of hyenas. Come on 2012...I thank you for 'Bama's win over LSU...okay? I do. Seriously. But this past week? Let's go now...you can do better. I expect to be impressed this week. I'm not going to dwell over this forever. Maybe one more day.

I watched a lot of TV today, and saw a lot of disturbing things on my tellie. First, who decided it would be a good idea to give Anderson Cooper, that little ferret, his own daytime talk show? Why? As if I wasn't already suffering from AC-Overload...now this garbage? Don't we already have too many of these crap daytime talk shows? It would be one thing if he came onto the scene with some new, eye-opening topics...but he isn't. Today's feature? Stupid ass Moms who decide to turn their little princesses into Pageant Babies. We have seen this tired topic already...and it never does anything but make us wanna smash the TV, right? Well, today's featured a mother whose voice made you want to peel the skin off of your arms! Don't believe me? I dare you to watch.


Here is another thing that keeps popping up on my TV in my room...not just today, but every time I am in Vegas. It prompts a few questions.  (1) Do people really hire this guy to be their lawyer?  (2) Is this guy for real?  (3) Do judges take this guy seriously?  (4) Pretty sure this guy isn't straight...but I need to know, what gay man would have this twerp? (5) Is it possible that this commercial, and all of his others, are merely spoofs? You be the judge.



And what the hell is the deal with lawyers and the number '4?' The injury lawyer in Pensacola also has the number 444-4444...this assclown has 434-444 and the other bozo here in Vegas, Richard Harris...has (702) 444-4444. There has to be something to this.

The poll over there on the right margin is now closed. The Saints were the overwhelming favorite to win the Super Bowl...not surprising considering 50-60% of my 'fan base' is located within 300 miles of the Superdome. But Green Bay was #2 at 27%...followed by...well, who cares. The season is officially over for me now. Nothing to really root for, since I am also mathematically eliminated from my NFL Playoff Pool, despite entering a record 6 entries this year. Ahhh but yes, I guess there are the Super Bowl Squares to look forward to. Last year I kicked ass. But I just got shut out in the two BCS boards...so who knows???

I am pretty displeased with the amount of comments I get. I like getting comments. I know this site makes it kind of a pain in the ass to leave comments. Some of these other blog servers have a space right below the post where you can post comments. I spend a lot of time interacting with jokers on ESPN, Yahoo and Huffington Post, leaving one comment after another. Yes, I do realize, of course...that this is a huge waste of time, and that I am contributing very little to the advancement of mankind. Or myself.

Right now, and for the past 6 hours...I have raging heartburn, and I am out of my new 'candy' Tums...the flavored kind, that I eat like Mentos. My gift shop doesn't carry them, I won't 'do' Rolaids, and I'm too lazy to walk to Wal Green.

Are you guys ready for another season of American Idol? I personally am over ALL the singing and dancing shows. I watched 'X-Factor' until I got sick of it....which I think was Week 3 or 4...then never watched again. Don't even know who won, and don't care. I have elected to stay on the consumer side of the music industry...whoever wins, and puts out an album...if I like it, I will buy it. It will change my life very little. All those 'flash in the pan' performers 'who got screwed by America not voting for them?' I will never get to know them...therefore, I will not care. If I gotta listen to one more crying, sobbing 16 year old lament their life being over 'because this is the only thing I have to live for, and now that I've been voted off, I don't know what I'm going to do!!!' I swear to God I was going to shoot my TV.

I have a new favorite TV commercial. Wanna see it? Good....cuz here it is.


I think the first time I saw this, I laughed my guts out for about 15 minutes. Now, every time I see it, I just want to go out and get an eye patch.

I played cash game two nights in a row. Once, on Saturday, after hanging out with Omar Hikary at his place watching New England destroy God's favorite team, the Denver Tebows. And again last night. Last night was much more pleasant than Saturday night. For one reason and one reason alone. See this prick below?


Its kind of hard to make out his face. Imagine a guy who either (a) has worked on a fishing boat or a garbage barge for 20 years (b) smokes ten packs of Winston's a day, and who's teeth look like fading kernels of corn (c) has the adulterated, patronizing laugh of Tom Franklin (d) commentates on EVERY SINGLE FUCKING hand he plays...to the dismay of everyone at the table (e) offers explanation AFTER every single fucking hand as to why he played the hand the way he did (f) stands 30 feet from the table, so he can smoke, after straddling...only to raise his straddle blind...get his 20 raise re-raised (by me, to 50 with KK) then walks over to the table...looks down at pocket AA and shoving all in...which looks nothing to the astute observer as anything more than a classic 're-steal' with arrogance....and gets the call of course, then takes all of my stack. 

You know that guy? I sat down very eager to be left the fuck alone. Every player at the table....Oh, sorry, yeah, I was playing at Riviera...where I am staying...every player was, um...what's the right word here? Let's just say they were people who I would never WANT to get to know. For whatever reason. Not saying they were terrible people...well, except for this raging asshole...they just weren't anyone who figure into the next 30-40 years of my life. So I wasn't talking to anyone. But this jackhole kept trying to engage me in conversation. "Hey...Cowboy! Nice hand! I'm gonna go ahead and letcha have this one, Cowboy!"

"Dude...why do you keep calling me Cowboy? My name isn't Cowboy. In fact I'm 1/8th Sioux Indian, and frankly I'm offended."

Well, your shirt looks like a shirt a cowboy would wear? Huh? It looks NOTHING like a shirt Kenny Milam would wear! What an asshole! So what did I do? I left the table, went to my room, changed into jeans, a packers t-shirt, a sweatshirt...a Bama hat, and got my iPad and headphones....and returned. When I left I was up about $100. It took about half an hour before the KK vs. AA debacle occurred, and I just couldn't stomach the time and effort it was going to take to reclaim those lost chips. And as I had sat and watched him run off not one, not two, but three players with his drunken, chain-smoking chortling every hand...I just decided to join the exodus.

I seem to notice something. There seems to be a massive abundance of assholes who play cash game. A lot, more so than who play tournaments. Is this a fluke? Am I just getting a bad sample size? All I know, is that it takes a whole different mind set for me to sit down and play cash game than it does to play cash. I have a feeling that after our baby arrives, and I am unable to hit the road to play tourneys as I have for the past 6 years...that I will have to start treating poker like a job, logging 4-5 sessions at IP to make ends meet. And that freaks me out.

The next night I played at Venetian. In for $300 out for $640. But this was over a 9-hour period. And it was so annoying. I was shooting for $1000...or a $700 profit...and every time I would get to around $800 in my stack...I would lose a couple big pots. Stumble back down to $350-$400....build it all the way back up....boom, slide back down. The good part was that I had a relatively good group of people at my table, and ate some very diet-friendly meals, including a big bowl of blueberries, and a bowl of sliced cucumbers. No alcohol was consumed, just Perrier...so I have been sticking to my 'Lose 30 by 4/30' diet plan!

I find it fascinating that when you are playing cash game...there always seems to be a situation develop where 'your side' of the table declares war on the other side of the table. It always makes it kind of entertaining. And it was no different last night...and this morning, as I played until 8am. We took to labeling these guys with nicknames. At some point, a guy in the 8-seat, who I'm almost positive was a closet homo....at first thought he was a proud gay maybe, but that all went by the wayside when he shouted at the guy next to me in the 3-seat that he 'was a fag!'

I'm not kidding. And this guy was easily 40 years old or older. And trying to pass himself off once as an 'owner of a broadcasting company' to one player in the ten-seat...then later on presenting himself as a Full Tilt Pro. He was killing us. But calling the guy a fag was just hilarious. What made it so funny...was about 10 minutes earlier... the floor had to be called when these two got into it, with the guy next to me telling him to shut the fuck up after he kept inserting himself into a discussion in a hand he had nothing to do with. The guy was a complete jerkoff. Floor gave them both a warning, and told the dealer to let him know if anything else went down.  But who called the floor?  This twerpy little closet dwelling bald guy. Who just ten minutes later calls the guy a fag.

Me: "Oh my God...did you just call him a fag? What grade are you in!????"

Yes, the whole table was now laughing at this guy. I made the guy next to him my target to bust...with him as the second target. The guy I was targeting looked like a vampire, straight out of the show Twilight...and was trying to show off to his vampiress sitting behind him.

This is the closest I could find, except the real guy looked like Meatloaf if he was 20 years younger and 150 lbs lighter. But this is rather close.

Well I would realize my fantasy...when with 77 I checked in the BB. The flop was 6-7-8. Not bad...and he claims to have flopped a straight, though we never saw that hand...or any other hand. Similar to never seeing him between the hours of 6am and 5pm. I turned a 6 to ruin his day. And take all the rest of his chips. And him and Elvira, Mistress of the Night departed.

The moron, the bald guy, who we were calling all sorts of nicknames, including Magneto...which was later corrected to Professor Xavier. Then he was whoever that captain on the new Star Trek was that was played by Patrick something or other. I started calling him Jeff Garcia after he decided to call the guy 'on my end' a fag. The guy on our end of the table...who was wearing a leather jacket, had a fully sculpted facial hair design...we were calling Wolverine...we liked him. He had a good, dark, sarcastic sense of humor. It was a very entertaining night.

To sum it up...cash game is really pretty stupid. And boring. But it can be funny, if you have just the right mix of people at the table, and the dealers are cool. We had one dealer who was actually piling on a couple of times...and that made it even funnier. The occasional shit-faced guy would stumble by for 20 or 30 minutes, buy in for $80 or $100 which is always comical...and the whole table would clown him...on our fleeting moment of complete table solidarity. In a way, I guess cash game IS kind of like tourneys...in that new players are always coming and going, running out of money. And I guess in tourneys there is also a rake...they just punch you in the face all at once in tourneys...when you buy in.

The circuit event starts at Caesar's starts in a couple days. Thursday is the first event. I hope, I really hope...that they get a good turnout. I really need to come home with $50-$100k...so that when Carley Grace arrives, I can be at peace with everything and not stressing out. It only takes two night hits...and there will sure be a lot of shots...with 12 days at Caesar's followed by a month at Venetian.

Kai has made a pact of sorts with Bill and GeneD to start blogging a lot more often. Which we are all happy about. I guess the deal is that he will blog every Sunday. Just read his latest post...pretty good. I encourage you to check out the freaks ramblings.  CLICK HERE to go read his latest diatribe.

Before I leave you...I must say that I am very, very proud of one of my good friends, who first apologized for crossing the picket line and going to play the stupidest named tourney to ever exist, The Million Dollar Heater....ridiculous. Now there were a lot of you out there who I sort of count as friends who decided to contribute to Johnny Grooms' gigantic ego and pocketbook these past couple of weeks, and while I am happy for those of you who enjoyed success at this event, I will be getting back at each and every one of you in my own creative (yet legal) sneaky way.  

But to my one STAND UP....LOYAL...friend...who made a final table...cashed very handsomely...and left a personal message to His Royal Highness...I say...."THANK YOU SIR."  It's nice to know there are still some out there who aren't afraid to send a message. And to the jagoffs who leave snarky messages on here that I'm just jealous because I can't play at the Beau? Seriously? Have you NOT been following along? If I WAS allowed to play at the Beau, I would STILL be out west. I do not, and will not...ever contribute one DOLLAR of my money to any poker operation that Grooms is a part of. When he is gone...then I will make a couple of calls, get myself back into the Beau Rivage...and start promoting their casino and their poker room like I had done for years before the egomaniac decided to declare war on me.



I do believe I am done here for the day. Ahhhh yeah...that felt good!

WAIT!!! NO! I am not done! This is TOO FUNNY! It's like two ships passing in the night...which might not be such a good analogy given that ship that is laying on it's side in the Mediterranean...but whatever! I just went to post this blog to my Facebook page...as I always do...and my Facebook account wouldn't let me log in without doing a bunch of security checks...then informs me that a certain PICTURE....hahahahaha THIS ONE....has been REMOVED! For violating some kind of 'conduct policy' of some kind! NO EFFING WAY! I love it. This picture is not even featured on my wall. It appears, and was made by one of my group members...in the GROUP that I created on Facebook called "Boycott the Beau until Grooms is Toast"....and was posted like 6 months ago.  [ membership is still open to those wanting to join the group!!! ]

Photoshop is hilarious! I wish I knew how to use it!
This little group I created was what, I'm 99.9% positive, led to His Royal Highness going to MGM/Beau Rivage security and concocting a mission to get me 86'd from EVERY MGM property around the globe. So now that this picture has been forcibly removed by Facebook, this tells me it obviously bothered him enough to have to go through quite a process to get it removed. GOOD! Do I care that this troll had me evicted from a place where I am dependent on making a living? Over what? A grudge? What a child. Oh it annoys me...but I know enough about this guy to know that he won't keep that job forever...so in the mean time...I will just gleefully play at all the other places.

MONKEY