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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 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 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. 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. 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." 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 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. 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. it becomes a bit clearer. Okay he was acting maybe a bit out of spite. Again...I see, I see. But what Eric doesn't 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 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 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 his dog. Yup. Sitting in his lap!

My initial feeling was 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 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:  " 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 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 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 $100 board just filled today. That is the fastest 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.



Anonymous said...

Monkey say's "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."

Just a thought. These donkeys are the reason you can make money at poker. Most of them get knocked out early in a tournament and contribute to your prize fund. If they never hit, you would only be playing pro's and most the profitability would be gone. It's like your the house(casino) and occasionally donkeys need to win in order to get donkeys in the game.

I am SURE you get this ... so why all the hating. You should LOVE donkeys!

sevencard2003 said...

too bad u didnt come play, wouldve saved me from losing about $500 in the game. i got my free room over the superbowl weekend at the 4 queens, so i canceled my previous reservation for the $20 rate at the riviera id booked 2 weeks before.

Anonymous said...

Funny. Just think what poor Jasper will be exposed to. Your dog will soon need a prescription.

KD (Donkey in Cali)

Goondingy said...

Nice post! I'd like to meet this Gary Bolden guy. I am telling you now, Giants win by 3 and they stay under 55. Stay Frosty! Win Big!

Anonymous said...

You mad? You are literally the worst troll ive ever had the displeasure of reading. Keep hating on the best and youll always be the worst. Enjoy what im sure will be a miserable existence in 2012.

Poker Monkey said...

Yes, this IS an interesting point, and one that people make a lot of times. But I simply cannot agree with it. Where I would agree with it, is in cash game. Because eventually, they end up giving away all their chips. But in a tourney? you put your hard earned money into the buy in...get a set amount of chips...and are at the mercy of the fucking dipshit, who makes some hair brained call, takes you out..and then just goes and loses himself most of the time. No, I wish terrible players would just stay the hell OUT of tourneys. I would MUCH MUCH prefer to sit down in a tourney with nothing but excellent players. Seriously.

Poker Monkey said...

This message is from TBC I think. First of all, you didn't CANCEL your $20 rate at the Riviera over Super Bowl weekend. That rate isn't AVAILABLE for the Super Bowl Weekend. So don't try to pretend like you 'got a better deal.' Sorry you lost about $500 in the game..but not sure how my inability to show up cost you $500. Are you suggesting you would have won that off me? Unlikely. Good luck with your pursuit of pimps, video poker, and free hotel rooms.

Poker Monkey said...

Ahhh Jasper is pretty much impervious to all outside influences. But he might have to show his teeth to a couple of people, names withheld! (they know who they are!)

Poker Monkey said...

Not sure why you would like to meet Gary. But okay. As for your Super Bowl prediction...I can't argue with it, especially the under 55. But I still like the Patriots to win. But that boy Gronkowski NEEDS to be healthy.

Poker Monkey said...

There is nothing worse than a loser who posts a comment but won't sign his name to it. Notice I published it anyway? Because I have no reason to hide from idiots. I'm the worst 'troll' you've ever had the displeasure of reading? Yet you continue to read? What does that say about yourself? Not sure...but thanks for reading. Appreciate your well wishes for a miserable 2012. And may you step on an 'ANONYMOUS' landmine!!!

Anonymous said...

Now that I think about it more, I see your point here too. I also feel I do much better in tournaments that have better players in them. In fact, I have been in two tournaments with you and we both made the final table each time. You took first/second in the bigger one (approx 1000 people). But I am one of those donkeys you speak of. So it is hard for me to reconcile the two points. I have some game but I am no where near as good as the top players. Guess you just have to deal with it?

Good luck in future tourney's and keep blogging. Hope to see you at another final table in the future as you seem to bring out the best in me? (if we ever meet up again?)

Same Anonymous