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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Overdue? I know! Lay Off!

As most of you longtime readers are aware, every time I am in Vegas...things just run out of control and get away from me. It's not like Tunica...where all you have to worry and/or fret over is your latest bad beat, or housekeeping once again forgetting to make up your room. Where a memorable moment is valet bringing your car around in under 15 minutes.

Yeah. This is Vegas. Shit is happening...constantly. Just the walk from my hotel room to the casino is a constant adventure. Depending on how your day is going...you allow yourself the opportunity to really delve into the mindset of the people you pass on the sidewalk. 'Where is this guy from?' ' What does this guy do for a living?' 'Who told that woman she should wear that hideous outfit?'

Yesterday I was walking, face buried in my iPhone, searching for the next good song, and inadvertently kicked this guy's handiwork into a million pieces. Yeah..this dirty, scruffy-faced hippie-looking dude was sitting in the middle of the sidewalk out front of Harrah's and was taking palm tree fronds and turning them into flowers or something. Then trying to sell them.  So his shit went everywhere...and I got screamed at, not knowing what I had done. Whoops. Fortunately a riot was avoided when I merely apologized to the guy.

So much has happened out here on the felt its literally a nightmare to keep up with. Last night...I played the 7pm $175 tourney. I think there was 82 players. We got down to 4-handed at 2am. We played two hours without losing a single person. Jeezuz. A chop was never discussed. Old guy shoves with Q10, gets called by young kid who looks like Worm (Ed Norton) from 'Rounders' with 88....and rivers a damn 10. If he doesn't hit that river...he busts in 4th...which was a difference of $500. But if we'd gotten 3-handed, I'm almost positive we would have done a 3-way chop for about $3k each and called it a night.

But why would anything every go 'right' on this effing trip? How is it that I now have 14 cashes on this trip out west...and am down overall? Pretty simple. I keep making the money but not finishing in the top three. Except for those two nightly's at Caesar's...but who cares? Well last night would end the same way. I had a dealer push in who spent 30 long minutes giving me nothing...I mean NOTHING...like 2-8, 3-9, J-2, 4-9...over and over and over....and my stack went from formidable, to pathetic. He left. I got a hand to 3-bet...and climbed back into contention. Then 'Worm' raises me...with Q-8. I shove all in with A-4. He calls. Feeling pot committed, which I thought was kind of a joke...but whatever. Everything was groovy on the flop and turn...but the Q on the river put me on spin cycle. Oh...$1097 for that 9 hours of grinding? Marvelous.

Went back to hotel. Slept 4 hours. Packed up shit. Taxied it to Venetian. Left bags with concierge. With the plan to either win the mega and get a room...or lose the mega...go collect my bags...and head to the airport for my 11:30pm flight home. Things got a little turned around. Why? Two reasons. (a) I'm stubborn as shit. (b) I was pissed off as hell and (c) I wasn't going home a quitter.

Need clarity? Of course you do. The first mega ended badly. Today was so long I honestly don't even remember how I lost. So I wander over to Venetian (the tourneys are all being held at Palazzo) to find a possible SNG. Ah ha! Found one. But its a pricey one. A $540. For two entries into the main event. I entered. Struck up a $100 last longer with 6 players. Won a couple of hands early. Stuck to my 'system' in deep structured SNG's (5,000 starting chips, 20 minute levels) of sitting around folding...only playing top 10 hands...and letting the shit players bleed away all their chips playing garbage hands.

That is precisely what occurred. Then when we got to 4 handed, I started putting my foot on the gas...and pretty soon I was 2nd in chips. We got to 3-handed. Could smell the win. And a night of doing nothing involving poker. Maybe a good dinner. A good night of sleep for sure. Seat in the main locked up. You know? The dream scenario. Scratch that.  Douchebag guy who had the chiplead had no interest in doing any kind of deal. Me and the other lady...who I had covered by 2k, wanted to just give him $2500...while her and I split up the rest. No big deal. But he was being a typical jerkoff...not realizing that we were offering him exactly what he was going to win anyway. 

So what happens? Obviously...he fucks me up. I raise in the SB with A3s. He calls with QJc..admittedly a decent hand. The flop comes 2c-4h-6c. Pretty nice flop. But I know if I check, he will shove. Its one thing to check, thinking a guy will just bet...so you can shove on him and induce him to fold. But when the guy just blasts his whole stack...it kind of stifles your options, now you have to decide whether to call and hope you either 'get there' or are already good and need to fade something. So what did I do? I shoved all in. He thinks about it...and calls with his club draw. 

He turns a damn Q. Shit...so I need a 5 or an ace. I do get an ace on the river. The ace of clubs. FUCK ME! Busto. I got up. Walked outside. And went mental. Throwing my hat, kicking it all over the courtyard out there while tourists were watching the crazy guy flipping out. I entertained thoughts of swan diving into the moat and just drowning myself. Yeah...it's safe to say I was just a bit pissed off.

I gathered myself...went back inside, collected my shit...and made my way back to the Palazzo side to play the 4pm mega. Things started well. Only problem...I kept getting moved. Three times in 2 levels. A hand here, a hand there...managing to cling to the average. Then with a limper, a raiser, and me shoving all in with 99...I run into AK..and actually beat it, for a double up. We got down to 12 away from the seat...and I was really starting to think I was going to knock this thing down.

Then two things happened. Understand...I was just moved to this table...so when this joker went all in for 2800 (at 200/400) under the gun, and I looked down at A10d...I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. I mean A10 is far from a power house hand...especially in middle position. So I folded. the big blind goes ahead and calls with KQ. Wanna guess the other guy's hand? He had kings. Good fold, right? Guess what the flop was? 10-A-10. No bullshit. And yeah, I told them my folded hand before the flop...so half the table turned in my direction and kind of mocked me. Fuckers. A jack on the river made the guy with the KK a bad beat loser to the KQ. And my potential monster pot never happened.

New guy comes to table. He looks like Evil Santa. No...seriously. Imagine if Santa decided to quit being Santa. Stopped bathing. Forgot about grooming his beard and hair. Quit letting Mrs. Claus clean his clothes. Started drinking heavily...walking around with a chewed up straw hanging out of his mouth. This was the new guy in seat 4. Asian lady limps in for 1200. She did that a lot. I already hated this lady...from a hand earlier, where she limped in UTG with fucking K7 offsuit...and on a flop of 9-4-2 (all diamonds) and me holding 9-4 in the BB...I check, she bets 1500...I decide NOT to raise...just to get a look at the turn (fading another diamond, hoping for a 9 or a 4) and call. The turn was a 7. Not a diamond. I bet 3500. She calls. River is a non-diamond King. I check, she bets 4k. I call. FUCK ME.

So yeah...she limps again...for 1200 again. I look down at 10-10 and make it 5000. I have 15,000 behind...and the blinds are about to go to 800/1600. It was the last hand before break. It folds to Evil Santa...and he INSTANTLY shoves all in for 22,000. It was one of those 'Oh, I think he has AK' shoves. Or 'maybe' pocket jacks. So I sat there...thinking...and the whole time...Evil Santa was staring at me...with this sinister glare...refusing to blink. Or avert his gaze. Just staring at me. What the fuck. Does he WANT a call? Is he trying to scare me into folding? Is it AK? Is it JJ? Could it be 99? Shit. Do I want to fold, and come back from break with 10 BB's? Or do I want to gamble that I'm good...and double up...and coast to the seat? I decide to call.

Fuck! He has jacks. Dammit. And I get zero help from the dealer. In fact...with three clubs on the turn...I only had ONE out going to the river...since he had a club. Marvelous. I lose. Shit. What to do. What to do? Its now 8:30pm. I have a flight at 11:30. The last mega just started at 8pm. There is 110 players. I'm starving. I'm depressed. And pissed. And lonely...and missing my wife and dogs. But I also feel like I can't leave now. I can't NOT take that final shot. Because I got a baby...Miss Carley Grace on the way...who is going to change my life. I need to put myself in position to make enough money so I can not be mentally tormented by financial needs. Squirrel is going to be out of work for 10 weeks after we have the baby. Someone has to pay the bills. I feel like I've been playing some of my best poker of my career. I have more cashes at this point of the year as I ever have in my career. And I expect a solid turnout of 200-250 for the Main at Venetian...and not playing it would really stick in my craw.

So I walked over...and bought in. Then I went to Grand Luxe and ordered the super-healthy Wild Mushroom Veggie burger...that I've had about 12 times on this trip...and went to my seat. You only get 5000 chips to start.

(super kick ass diet update! On January 9th, I stepped on Barth Melius' scale in his bathroom after the BCS title game and read 265 lbs! Two days ago...I stepped on scale and looked down at 245! Holy freaking cow! I've lost 20 lbs in 5 weeks??? Sweet! My goal was 35 lbs by April 26th when Carley arrives. I might just make it! Feels good, really good!)

On the first hand...cutoff raises to 325 (at 50/100). The SB calls, and I call with A3. the flop comes 2-4-6. Wow. There are two diamonds. I have the ace of diamonds. Now, early in a tourney...I often times elect NOT to get after pots too much...not if its going to cost a large percentage of my stack. It's easier, I find...to get into pots on the cheap, and hope to flop big, then manipulate weaker opponents into juicing the pot for me. Small ball. But for some reason...probably the fact that we didn't have a lot of chips to fuck around with....I decided I was going for the jugular early in this tournament. I check the flop...and the original raiser makes it 750. Wow. So we already have 1725 in the pot...before I even act. The SB folds. Hmm...what to do, what to do. Can't really re-raise to 2100...that would be stupid, and leave me with just 2600. And if I do re-pop it and he shoves...what do I do then?

So I spent quite a lot of time doing some Jedi mind-fucking of this guy...counting my chips, analyzing his stack...gazing at the pot. Then finally I ship all in. He hesitates, then shrugs and calls. Turns over KQd. Ah. Flush draw. But hey! I'm ahead. Turn, brick. River, brick! Monkey has chips. Very next hand...idiot from the $550 SNG...who was easily the worst player I have ever seen get to four-handed in a SNG...had somehow managed to accumulate a lot of chips early.  Well I knew this guy sucked...so calling his bets didn't require a lot of effort. I get into a hand 6-handed with A8. The flop comes 8-6-4. SB bets 300. Doofus calls 300. I raise it to 1200. Everyone folds around to doofus, who calls. The turn is a 7. Ugh. He checks. I bet 1800. He flats. Hmmm. The river is a 4. Now he fires out 3000. That makes no sense. I mean if he had 3-5...then he played it pretty good. But I just don't feel that. I call. He turns over fucking K-7. Huh? People at the table are making that face...you know the one? That...."did that really just happen?" face! I gratefully raked another huge pot...and now, suddenly I had over 16k. Sweet. 

Two hands later...there is a limp for 200. Followed by 6 calls. Yeah. SIX! I look down at 10-10 in the BB...and seeing that 3 of the callers are fucking maniacs I'm familiar with, who will never fold to any raise under 1000 right here...and since I have everyone covered 3 times over...I just decide to shove it. No one calls. Check that...one guy was already all in for 300 I guess. He had 2-7s. Nice hand. I flop a set. He loses. I continue to stack chips.

Honestly, I never really got in trouble during the entire satellite/tournament. And those make for really nice experiences. I had JJ Liu at my table most of the night...and we both know each other well, so there is a lot of mutual respect between the two of us. And since it was a Mega...which always plays a bit differently, we kind of stayed out of trouble with each other. She really played well...getting short a few times, but clawing back in. Then Kenna James came to our table...and Kenna and I have always gotten a long really well. I like Kenna, he is a nice guy with a colorful personality. He made one pretty big fold to me, when I raised UTG with 10-10 and he found AdQd in the SB...and just decided to fold. I'm glad. Hate that race. He would end up winning a seat. As would JJ.

In a interesting twist...the pain in the ass who had been bullying our first table with his constant 6x raises and over-shoves against other raisers....and who used to be married to JJ (his name is Dan something) would end up bubbling...losing with A8s vs. KQ. So yeah...sometime around 2am we were finally done. Seat, locked up. And once again...not sure why I always run so effing bad when it comes to seat assignments, I managed to procure seat 1. I hate seat 1. But at least I have a seat...right?

So I am shacked up in a room at Venetian...and excited as I always am the night before a Main Event...with the anticipation of what lies ahead. It's been a weird trip. Lots and lots of deep runs...that almost all have ended in some brutal suckout right before the money started to get what we determine to be 'good' in this 'poker for a living' lifestyle of ours. I just hope I can run good tomorrow, get to Day 2...and put myself into position for a decent finish. Can go home with my head held high. Can go to the bank and make a damn DEPOSIT for a change!

I know this blog post was mostly poker-related...and that is out of the ordinary. Sorry. I really have a ton of funny pictures and videos and stories saved up...but I have to get to sleep...and I don't want this to drag on too long. I celebrated my 45th birthday on Thursday night...and it was a fun night, I have to admit. Tequila was involved, and yes...the next day I was told of things I didn't recall. The good news was that I called Kathy Raymond, the poker room manager and informed her that people were sending me shots of tequila for my birthday. She expressed gratitude that I was 'keeping her in the loop' since I have voluntarily agreed not to consume alcohol while playing at Venetian events. She wished me a Happy Birthday...and it kind of made me feel like I could have a good time without having to look over my shoulder all night. 

I received an amazing amount of Facebook birthday greetings, and I sat and responded to every single one of them. That kind of made my day. Hell...once I turned 40, birthdays kind of became more of a 'count-down-to-death' event every year....rather than something to celebrate and party over.

If you would like to know what exactly I was doing to these things, I can't tell you.
Ever have a thought that you are about to share? But then something happens, like your phone rings? Or someone asks you a question? And suddenly, it breaks your train of thought...and you just lose it? Well, that is what just happened to me right here. I had something very profound and/or succinct to share with you...and now, suddenly, NOTHING. And it's pissing me off. Kind of.

Wanna see a funny video? About a guy who made a video about stupid things you see at the poker table? Well good...I am going to share it with you here. Wanna know what is about to be coming your way? A video of my own. Along the same lines...but what I think will be even more funny. And creative. And crude. With plenty of berating of imaginary players. For those familiar with me...you can only imagine how sweet this video will turn out. One of the things I have been entertaining is doing Vblogs...or 'Video Blogs'...wherein, I somehow record little mini-rants...or mini-diatribes about certain topics...and then attempt to edit them down...and include them on my blog. Problem is, I have no idea how to do this so that it appears to be even kind of presentable. But oh...yeah...check this out. It's pretty hilarious...and so true in a lot of cases.


Like this video? Well, then you will love this one...shot by me. During a break. The FIRST break...yeah, two hours into the tournament. Were people laughing? Uh...well, yeah. Of course they were. But more importantly, they were asking each other...."what the fuck is that guy doing!????" It's the perfect video for a caption contest.


Okay...that's all folks. No comments about Jeremy Lin...and ESPN's witty 'Chink In The Armour' comment. No thoughts on the funeral of Whitney Houston...or Bobby Brown getting run from the procession. Not gonna climb up on my soapbox about Syria...and the madness on that side of the world, including Iran's joke of a Navy trying to flex it's muscles in the Mediterranean. Not gonna bitch and moan about my NBA fantasy team going to shit since Zach Randolph and Andrea Bargnani of Toronto went down with injuries. No more political thoughts on why we seem to have a new 'frontrunner' in the Republican race every month. I guess this month its now Rick Santorum. Are these guys fully aware that they have almost NO chance of unseating Barack this fall? Its almost laughable that they are raising all this money just so they can lose.

GOOD NIGHT BOYS AND GIRLS.

MONKEY

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you heading to Hamond for the Chicago Poker Classic after Vegas?