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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Heading Back to my Roots....IOWA!!!

Yeah. You heard me. Iowa. Roots, he says? Yes...roots. My family all came from Iowa. And the Native American in me...Sioux...comes from that area as well. As a kid, our family, while living in Kalispell, Montana, used to fly in my Grandfathers single-engine plane to Northwest Iowa...and spent a couple weeks with our relatives in Lake Okoboji...which sat next to Spirit Lake. I remember we were there during the 1976 Olympics...and my fondest memory was of Bruce Jenner winning the Decathlon and Sugar Ray Leonard the Gold Medal in boxing. Some of you are reading this and can't believe I'm that old. But what's weird? Is it doesn't seem that long ago.

So I haven't been to Iowa in a long time. A really long time. But on Wednesday morning...I will climb into Kai Landry's Toyota Whatch-a-ma-callit and head off on a 15-18 hour odyssey to try and win money and secure points towards the National Freeroll in Las Vegas this summer. We go expecting the fields to be small, which will afford us a much better chance of making Final Tables. I was fortunate enough to receive an offer from a good player and good friend to back me for all the events up there...but the most important obstacle was getting permission from my boss. Oh..that would be the wife...A.K.A. Squirrel.

Permission came in the form of our baby doctor giving me (more or less) the green light to make the trip...thinking that being home a full 3 weeks before the expectancy date for Miss Carley Grace will be sufficient time. And if something wild should occur, and she comes way early...well, there are 8 flights a day out of Omaha that all arrive in Gulfport in 4-5 hours from departure. So...I can't see myself missing my 1st child's birth for any reason. I did have a dream the other night...where I was chipleader at the final table of a $355 tourney...and I got the call that she was going into labor. It was a pretty exciting dream, that involved leaving the tourney...and having them pay me for whatever spot I got blinded down to, and then getting into a fight with the assholes at the airport working for Delta...who nearly had me arrested by the local fuzz. Why do I have an eerie feeling that this could come true?

Life has been a little wacky lately. I've managed to squeeze in a few cash sessions...all BAD. I still haven't done my income taxes for last year. Not that I'm stressing about it...as crappy of a year as I had, I fully expect to get a refund. They came and spent three days putting in new floors in our house. They look great. And our house smells like a new home. Carley's room is all completely done. The guy who finished 2nd to me when I won my Omaha H/L WSOP ring (in late 2010), Brett Allelo, has some electrician skills, and came by this weekend with his wife (they came down from Baton Rouge for their anniversary) to visit and bring us a baby gift for Carley. While he was here, he put up the chandelier that Claudia got us for the room. It looks great. Her room is perfect. I find myself going back there sometimes late at night...sitting in the rocking chair...and just reflecting on what its going to be like in just a few weeks. Wow!

March Madness is down to the Final Four...and just like every season for almost 20 years now...all of my brackets are dead. You would think that with four pretty good teams making it, I might have had ONE bracket (out of over 20) have at least a chance. Nope. Not even close. 

After watching my UW Huskies get snubbed for the NCAA tourney...we had to settle for the NIT.  And I have to admit, beating our hated rivals, the Oregon Ducks...to advance to NYC and Madison Square Garden was awfully delightful. Speaking of delightful...noticed something scampering around on the sideline...then had to do a little research on the topic. I might hate Oregon...but there is ONE good thing about Oregon...and their fans.

Way to go Oregon. Finally...one GOOD thing that I can say about the Ducks!
 Well, they have made it down to the Final Four of that tourney, along with fellow Pac-12 members Stanford. In addition to that, the Washington St Cougars (also of the Pac-12) have made the Championship game (which is a best of three series) in the CBI tourney. And NO...I can NOT tell you what CBI stands for. But WSU won Game 1 last night 67-66. Sorry, but my Pac-12 pride was greatly damaged when we got shunned for the Big Dance...so I am looking for anything to make me feel better.

Kentucky Freshman All-American...Anthony Davis, who will surely be a 1-and-Done NBA lottery pick this season... will certainly be able to buy a grooming kit to get after that nasty Uni-Brow!

Hmmm...separated at birth, I ask? They sure do look a lot a like, don't they???

So...the Final Four comes to New Orleans. Somehow, I don't really think the Gulf Coasters are all that excited. It's a lot different than the excitement (my opinion at least) of the BCS Title Game and/or the Super Bowl, which will be here in January of 2013. I think the most exciting part of the Final Four for me, especially since I will be in Council Bluffs, Iowa...will be rooting for my lucky numbers to hit on one of the many boards I expect to fill for the Title Game. Last year we sold 5 boards...at $25 per square...and I won around $2000 on the game. Wouldn't mind a repeat of that feat!

Oh boy. Speaking of Super Bowl, and New Orleans. What the hell just happened to the Saints? OMG! I honestly think the people of New Orleans are still kind of in shock. I mean...Roger Goodell has just kind of decided he is the GOD of the NFL, hasn't he? Bounties? Now...y'all know that I've had a colorful experience myself with bounties! I used to love droppin' a bounty on my fellow players for a variety of reasons. Granted, I wasn't in the business of having them 'bounticized' so I could see them wheeled off the table! But hey! Who are we kidding? Ever since us little boys started putting on a helmet and shoulder pads, our coaches have always screamed bloody murder at us to hit the other guy so hard you sent him home crying to his mama. Football is a violent game. Who are we trying to kid? I think this has a lot more to do with the pending lawsuit that the former players have brought against the league...and the NFL is trying to use this as evidence that they are proactive when it comes to 'protecting the players.' What a joke. 

This guy might want to avoid any immediate travel plans that include the Crescent City!

I have to wonder if Roger Goodell even played football in his life? It started with all the fines he has been passing out to mainly defensive players, for hits deemed 'excessive.' I don't know a single fan who doesn't go to a football game and get excited when a defensive player flattens a guy after a catch, or during a run. Or on a kickoff return. It's bullshit. They are ruining the game. And I don't know what the hell the Saints are going to do about this coming season. They haven't even handed out the penalties yet for the individual players involved. I mean...wow, they could be in a situation where they have to score 60 pts a game to win. 

A full year ban from coaching. $5.8m down the tubes. That's a lot to think about for Coach Payton. Rumors have him working for FOX-TV during his season away from the sidelines.

 All this...without their head coach, their assistant coach...and General Manager. Gross. If there is one thing I believe, knowing what I know about football...there should be a decided edge for the Saints from a psychological standpoint...sort of an 'Us Against the World' mentality, that could result in an amazing season. I mean...if they go 2-14...will anyone really be critical? Shit...maybe they should just go 0-16...secure the #1 draft pick (a major necessity, since Mr. Asshole stole away their 2nd round pick!) and come back with guns blazing in 2013!!!

BountyGate! All started by this guy, Gregg Williams, who received an Indefinite Suspension from His Highness, Lord Goodell.
While we are still on the subject...if there is one tragedy that our media has created and refused to let go of, its the overuse of the word 'Gate' as it relates to ANY scandal that has surfaced in the last 35 years. Ever since Nixon and his boys got popped during illegal tape recordings and break-ins at the Watergate Hotel in D.C. every freaking scandal that has occurred since has been labeled 'Whatever-Gate.' It's fucking stupid. Want to read a LIST of stupid scandals that have had the 'GATE' affixed to them? Do you? Seriously? Wow...then you really have TOO much time on your hand. CLICKHERE to see this stupid list.

Is there anything more delicious than a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Especially late at night? The milk...at the conclusion of the feast? Simply amazing.

Squirrel and I managed to get into the TV show (on AMC) 'Mad Men' and were bummed when it went on hiatus. Well, happy to announce its back. Featuring Christina Hendricks and her fabulous rack...as well as January Jones...who is very sexy...its a cool show about NYC in the 60's...and they do an astoundingly accurate job with portraying all the fashions and styles of the times.


So, oh...yeah...my last few cash sessions have totally sucked. Three at the I.P. followed by one at Harrah's last Friday night. Got a call from Barth asking me if I wanted to go check out some MMA fights at Harrah's. Sure. Why not. Drove over...and took our seats, three rows back...and watched as the average fight went about 1 minute and 4 seconds. It was your typical crowd, lots of fake boobs, lots of tattoos, lots of little short guys wearing 'Tap Out' shirts. One fight almost broke out in the crowd...but sadly, it never materialized.

When the fights ended, I secretly wanted to get the hell out of there...knowing how a cash game session at that place usually ends. But Barth had the itch. So we had to go scratch it. Seated at my table were the usual cast of mutants who you either lick your chops when you see (as I did) or hold your breath and hope you can fade the ridiculousness of their play (which I couldn't). It started bad...and it ended worse. I think the one that defined the session was losing to the middle-aged freak with the rat tail. Yes, apparently, someone brought that super-cool 80's look back and forget to tell me.

The guy at our table wasn't nearly as HIP as this guy seems to be!
Do you even care what the hand was? Why would you? Lets just say that behind a limp of $5 (on a straddle) I made it $30 with 99...prompting 4 callers, including ratboy with 10-5...suited of course. And never finding the reason to ever fold after the flop...which of course, DID produce a ten-high flop...not for $45. Not for $65 after a king hit the turn....or $140 when an ace hit the river. He would make another couple of 'huge' plays that would leave him broke...only to buy back in for $60 (same amount he originally bought in for) again...running it up to $300, and letting his wife (her critique is coming) talk him into leaving. His wife. Wow. You have seen those before/after pictures right? I looked for one on Yahoo AND Google just now..and came up empty! But the one where they are embarrassed by their hideous yearbook photo from the 80's? The over-permed 'big hair', the jacked up teeth, the thick glasses with the big frames? You've seen that picture, right? That was this guy's wife. God love 'em!

I lost $500 in that session. The one before that, at the I.P. I lost $1100. That was one of those nights where no matter what you did, no matter what you flopped, no matter what you bet to get that old guy with the rickety jawbone to fold...they just weren't ever folding. And getting a hand to hold up? Forget it! Wasn't happening. There were two separate beats where after seeing the river I had to get up...walk out of the poker room, and do a total lap of the casino. 

This whole 'Playing Cash Game for a Living' idea that I had isn't going too well so far. And frankly, I just don't think I have the determination to see it through. I hate cash game. I hate the people (for the most part) who play cash game. I hate how it becomes more about gambling than about the game of skill I prefer to think poker should be. I just sit there seething most of the time. And there is no way that can be considered healthy, on any planet, or in any civilization! How crazy did that last session make me? The one at the I.P? Well...this was the little movie I made...as I drove home in what closely resembled a Category 2 hurricane. 

Yeah...its safe to say that I was, indeed, a little bit on 'Life Tilt' that night. But hey...thank god for the Attivan prescription my doctor wrote for me earlier that week.

What else is going on? Oh...yeah...this little scam that our country likes to call an energy crisis? Yeah...that isn't pissing people off too much is it?

I've been pissed off about gas prices for years. I tried to combat it a few years ago by investing in the oil market. Figured, if I can't beat 'em, I'll join 'em. Yeah, sure....right. So I bought a bunch of shares of USO (United States Oil Fund) and watched a very interesting thing happen. It adjusted, to fuck the shareholder. See, it used to almost mirror the price of the barrel. When I was looking at it...it was priced at $110 a share when the barrel price reached an ungodly $135 per barrel back in the summer of 2008. Oh...but then oil prices plummeted. So I pounced, at $28 a share...when oil was down to $40 a barrel. So what happens? Oil goes up...and up...and up. But what did USO do? Not much. In fact, the barrel cost was going up at about a 3 to 1 ration vs. the share price of USO. Ridiculous. Well, guess what? The greedy scumbags who run the oil corporations are doing the same exact thing to the American consumers.

It is the biggest ripoff, I think...in the history of the modern world. There is NO shortage of oil. At all! Quite simply, it is a conspiracy by the CEO's of the oil industry to keep the supply levels low, so that the demand always far outweighs what supplies appear to be on hand. Last year...oil was almost exactly the same price...right around $104 a barrel. Only difference? Gas prices were about .40 cents cheaper per gallon. Why? I don't know, you tell me! It hasn't gotten any more expensive to source, or ship, or refine. And shockingly, the big corporations like Chevron, BP, Texaco, and Shell have all reported multi-billion dollar profits for each quarter for the last five years. 

Yeah, great...I am all about capitalism, I'm all about making a buck. But for chrissakes, these son of a bitches are killing the American economy with their greed...and Obama, the various departments who oversee the petroleum industry, the congressman, the various lobbyists who are in bed with the oil business, they don't do a damn thing to influence some kind of relief to the American economy. Why? Is it because there is a secret mission within our government to eliminate the middle class? Am I getting too political today? Am I losing some of you?  Sorry...but I am sitting here watching as our gap between the ultra-rich and the middle class gets wider and wider. It's freaking me out. While also pissing me off. Because I just picture these fat fuckers sitting around in their board rooms, laughing their balls off at how stupid society is, how easy it is to manipulate the market to earn whatever profits it is they decide they are going to make. I mean...what is anyone going to do to stop them? Nothing! So they just keep on keeping on! 

What I would like...is to see a fucking leader...who gets into office, calls the heads of BIG OIL into the Oval Office and gives these assholes a little speech. Here is how my speech to these pricks would go:

"Hi guys. Nice to meet you. There will be no expensive lunch today. I won't be offering you cigars or fancy bourbon. And I won't be accepting any of your over-priced and under-used gifts either. Why? Because the days of buying influence on Capitol Hill ends today. The days of you and your shithead cronies holding the American economy hostage are over. I know what you buy your oil for. I know why you keep shutting down perfectly operational oil refineries. To manipulate the supply and demand ratios. Well...guess what? Those billions that you are making every quarter? You are going to start using that money to construct new strategically located refineries. You are going to bring the ones you closed up to EPA standards, and reopen them.  I'm going to give the order to start drilling ASAP in the Arctic oil fields of Alaska. That pipeline? The Keystone one that has all the environmentalists up in arms? We are going to find a safe path for it...and it's going to get built! And doing the building will be American construction companies. I need to have trucks that can afford to transports goods and services in this nation. I need to have trains that can operate at a profit. I need to have airplanes flying at an acceptable rate, and without declaring bankruptcy every 5 years, and needing a government bailout. See, your greed has led to far too many economic hardships in this country and it's going to stop. And when you decide you are going to start exporting your oil that has been domestically tapped, to countries that are killing us in the trade markets? Like China for example? With the one simple purpose of continuing to keep your domestic supply levels low? I will slap you with a fine. Those tax breaks that we have been giving you? Those are going to end. As a matter of fact...I am going to introduce a sliding scale of pricing that you won't have the option of ignoring. Simply put...the barrel cost will be reflected in the price per gallon for fuel. And when it breaks from that scale, there will be a similar tax which will be enforced against you. The days of sucking our nation dry are over, boys! I hope you all have a pleasant trip back to your offices on your private jets. Perhaps on your next trip to Washington, I will have the privilege of having someone pick you up at the airport...after flying on one of our many commercial airlines!"

President Monkey

I want to talk about this ridiculous situation in Florida...the one where Trayvon Martin (young black kid) was gunned down by George Zimmerman (uh...white? Latino?) while walking back from a convenience store, where he went to retrieve Skittles and a can of Ice Tea. When this first happened, it seemed like the story centered on what a bunch of bungling fools their police department in Sanford was. All we heard for the first week was that there were racial 'issues' that went back for years in Sanford. 

I know that when I first heard the story...I didn't see any photos, I just assumed with a name like George Zimmerman...that it was some ignorant redneck who got a little trigger happy and fired a shot at this kid, who, as the story went...was harmlessly walking back to his Mom's house. But then it got a little interesting. Turns out...this Zimmerman guy is actually half Latino, and half? What? Jewish? Who knows? But next thing you know...the whole community down there is blowing up, with hundreds of blacks in hooded sweatshirts protesting and demanding that Zimmerman be arrested immediately. Then last night, I see where the 'New' Black Panthers (not to be confused with the 'Old' Black Panthers) had put a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman...demanding his 'capture' but insisting he be captured ALIVE. On top of that, they were suggesting that they were attempting to raise $1m from athletes and celebrities to help with this bounty. Wow. So they are collecting (or attempting to collect) a million dollars...so that they can pay out $10,000! That is some serious administrative overhead, eh?

So...basically, this group is advocating the committing of a felony. The kidnap of an individual who has yet to be charged with a crime. This is how you deal with a situation that you object to? Here is a question: If the kid who had been shot down holding the bag of Skittles had been white...what would the end result have been? Here is another question: If the kid were black, like he was...and he was gunned down by another man who was also black...would we be seeing all of the outrage? Would Al Sharpton be camping out on Mrs. Martin's front yard? Do people realize how many times a day a black man shoots another black man in Detroit? Or Oakland? Or just about 100 other places in this country...for similar reasons to this one (perhaps) and it doesn't even make the news!!??

The common sense side to me wants to know who is perpetuating this constant battle between the races? Is it the media? Is it just a deep-seated bitterness that exists between the two sides that will never, ever go away? Does each side just go looking for these 'episodes' to use to drive their cause? I was reading the message boards all weekend on Yahoo and Huffington Post, and I saw some utterly alarming comments. From the racists cutting on every element of the black existence, and calling for a race war...to blacks demanding the heads of any and all white person that ever commits a wrong against an African American. I just sat, reading all these comments, and wondering...how in the hell do you fix this problem?

And where in the world is Barack Obama in all this? I mean...you have a tinderbox down there in Sanford, Florida, threatening to blow up into a major race riot...and what does he say? Oh...he comments that 'if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.' Gee, thanks Barack! That's exactly what we needed to hear in a moment of crisis. Way to diffuse the situation. Don't worry Barack...as long as your March Madness Bracket is going well for you...after all, you've been using tax payer dollars to fly around the country with England's David Cameron on Air Force One so you can watch a basketball game! Seriously? Nice President. And what's even worse? The idiots that are trying to end his run as president? The Republicans? They are an even bigger bunch of morons.

I don't know...as far as I can see...this country is SCREWED!!!! I'm going to bed. Count on an epic blog while driving/riding with Kai from Biloxi to Council Bluffs.

Monkey

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

obama said the kid looked just like a his son if he had one...bottom line there are two factions in this country... and it hasn't changed since the civil war. if your daddy or mommy was black you are black and god help you, it doesn't matter if you have a degree from havard, the good ol boys see you as the same nigga that robbed the 7/11 store last week.. we all make judgements ... i have a store in the french quarter, when a black guy walks in, im on him like white on rice, but i hope to address him in a non confrontational manner and at least give him the opportunity to be a customer not a theif... its tough... we all come with some kind of baggage that influences are perspective...i had an armed robbery where the black guy tied up my employee and put a gun to her head... would i blow that MF away if i had the chance? absolutely, but in the 10 years since, i have i had hundreds of black customers who spent their hard erarned money supporting me and my store, so now i'd rather go down as being open to everyone that walks in my store...TRY to give them the benefit of the doubt... look to their soul, not the color of their skin...but like any poker player, i win some and i lose some.. linda keenan california drawstrings 812 royal st new orleans la