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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Okay...I Know, Long OverDue

The only reason I'm doing a blog today is because I've gotten about 10 or 11 of you badgering me to do a post. Fine. And it's not that I DON'T have anything to talk about, I do. I'm just feeling really, really lazy, and tired and don't want to do anything lately.

I'm watching 'Game Changer' on HBO right now. About Sarah Palin and her campaign. Starring Ed Harris and Julianne Moore. Dead ringers both of them. Nice little look behind the scenes during the Presidential run, how McCain's advisers were trying to wise up Palin and make her more presentable to the press. Wow! If any of this is even remotely accurate, we came pretty close to being one heart attack away from having a total dipshit (with a massive ego) as our Commander-in-Chief.

They came to replace our floors today. At 8am. That would be like someone showing up to do you all of your floors at 3am. Once you wake up...its pretty hard to get back to sleep. Especially with the sounds of saws and hammers all throughout the house. So when they finished for the noon (??) they had just about finished with the wood laminate, that they put in the living room only. The rest gets carpet. I get up to feed the dogs. And they both sat the edge of the living room...and wouldn't move! Haaa! They were afraid of it. It's too slippery. But once the food hit their bowls...they couldn't resist. It was like watching someone tip toe through a minefield. Carpets come tomorrow...again, at 8am.

March Madness has arrived. My UW Huskies got fucked. Sure..that might just be my opinion. But we did win our damn conference. The Pac-12! No one that won the Pac-12 (or Pac-10) or any OTHER major conference, had failed to make the tournament since 1944. We barely lost to Duke (#2 seed) and Marquette (#3 seed) both on the road. Our non-conference losses came against nearly ALL tourney teams.  S.Dakota State, St. Louis University, Duke and Marquette. In conference we only lost 4 times, twice vs. Cal and Colorado, both tourney teams. We have two players, the Freshman of the Year in the Pac-12, and a sophomore, who will both be likely 1st round draft picks in the NBA. I don't think there is a team we couldn't compete with. But instead, we get to go play in the NIT, as a #1 seed. I kind of hope we don't win that...because it will give Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross exposure that might convince them to leave for the NBA. So secretly, I am rooting for us to bust out of that in the first round.  :)

My March Madness pool last year got over 525 entries or so. As I write this...a full two days before the deadline for this years...I'm already at 157 entries. Got a feeling we might break last year's record. I've been playing March Madness pools now for 17 years...and have never even finished in the money. Hopefully, this is my year! With Carley Grace on the way...the timing could NOT be better!

I missed out on West Palm Beach. I missed out on Chicago. And now that I have lined up a backer for Council Bluffs, Squirrel is pressuring me to stay home...fearing that even though the event would wrap up a full three weeks before our due date, that she could have her early...and I would be trapped too far away from home to attend her birth. And of course, I do NOT want to be away from home when my first (and probably only) child is born. What sucks is that Council Bluffs is one of the lowest attended events on the calendar. I have 30 pts right now with 4 cashes, towards the WSOP freeroll. Right now...someone with 77 pts has qualified. A single win counts for 50 points. And as it turns out...the Freeroll has seen a couple of really nice changes. First...not only do the 100 qualifiers get in...but another 100 players who earned their way in via WSOP cashes either at Rio or in Europe, have the option of buying in for $10,000.

The other cool thing they did was move the event from the first one on the schedule in the very end. It will start the same day as the WSOP Main Event. The first two days...will get it down to 9. That way, the players can go play Day 1C of the  Main Event...and on that 'rest day' that separates Day 1 and Day 2 for the WSOP, they will play the Final Table for that Freeroll...which will certainly be worth a LOT more than just $1m. I would imagine about 65-70% of those 100 eligible players will make the $10,000 investment, especially since most of those 100 have deep pockets in the first place.

So's a shitty spot. Having a 100% backer at 50/50 for all those Iowa events is tough to say no to. To get myself into a position to win an amount of money that could keep me at home (and happy and unstressed) for at least a year...would be tremendous. Instead, I'm sitting at home, slowly running out of Carley gets closer and closer to being here.

Of course there is the New Orleans event...which will be right after the baby is born. And with my mom, her mom, and all her friends around, and her off work for 12 weeks...I'm sure I will get to play some of those events. As long as I agree to drive home every night...which isn't a big deal. If you hadn't noticed, I really want to get into that freeroll. 

Someone posted a message on here...not sure who, another 'Anonymous' signing...that suggested I might have a gambling addiction, and asked if I have considered giving up poker and getting a job. I read that and laughed my ass off. Why? Because any of you out there who know me...who don't just know of me what you read here or what you hear people talking about on the outside, know that I am anything but an addict. In fact, I'm the guy who has been ragging on players who I always see dumping all their winnings, or chasing all their losses, at the blackjack table, or craps pit, or slot machines. I completely avoid the pits. And if I do play, its usually blackjack, and no more than $10 a hand...and just a couple hundred dollar 'sessions' where I am usually just sitting and blowing off steam from a bad poker tourney.

Those close to me know how I have been slowly losing my passion for poker over the past year or two. Sitting there for 10-12 hours only to go out to some jackass who never should have even made it that deep, who puts A3 and A8 in the same category as KK and QQ. Plying away for hours upon hours...playing down to the top 15% of nearly every event...and finding yourself up only a couple buy ins at the end of the week....because you weren't able to crack the top three. Yeah, boy...that is VERY addicting. I don't know anyone out there who wouldn't buy in for $ from noon til 1am, and bust out with KK to a guy with J9, collecting your $825...yeah! A profit of $275, which just goes back into the next day's buy in of $350...leaving you up a whopping $75 if you should happen to bust that one out of the money., that's like CRACK!

Let's see. I barely drink, at the poker table and even less away from the table. I don't use drugs. And the ones I may have recreationally used in the past I don't use at all anymore. I don't bet on sports, aside from the occasional Super Bowl wager. So I laugh...yeah, chuckle, at someone's suggestion that I might have a gambling addiction. I can't WAIT to NEVER have to EVER play a hand of poker long as I live. What would do that? A huge win. Or another opportunity in life that provides me with the kind of money that would make an appearance at a poker table more of a vacation than a day at the office. got it ALL wrong there sir (or ma'am). I have gotten to the point that I don't even LIKE poker anymore. I play because I happen to think (and maybe I'm delusional) that I am better than most at the game, and it affords me an opportunity to make a living and provide for my family.

There are a couple things on the horizon that I am thinking about. Two of them involve multi-level marketing products. One, our relatives in North Alabama are currently involved with, and doing great. It's called LIMU.(click here to learn more about LIMU) I've researched it. Sounds like a great product. Another is a product called Zija.(Click to learn more about Zija) It was introduced to me by a guy I met in poker a few years ago...and who lives in Kentucky I think. I researched that product as well. They both have the same basic set up. They both sound like great products. Both are kind of pricey. Both revolve around an exotic plant as their singular source. LIMU is derived from a rare form of seaweed. Zija comes from the Moringa tree. They both have been reviewed and endorsed by a guy named Darren Little, (click his name to see what I'm talking about) who kind of seems to be the MLM guy with some kind of vested angle.

Not really sure how to approach this marketing opportunity. I've never really been one to get into sales. Granted, my last job was as a liquor salesman in Pensacola...and I did pretty well. But it was more of an order taking job. I mean, how hard is selling alcohol?? I've always had an underlying insecurity when it comes to selling something, to anyone. Like, there have been times when I'm trying to get a table full of people to buy into a simple last longer (where everyone puts up $20 or more in what amounts to a side bet) where I felt like I was 'pushing something' on them they didn't want. Like they all thought I was raking a commission on it or something. Seeing those cold icy stares from the people who don't play poker on a regular basis...and knowing what was behind those eyes. "Who is this jerk, and what the f*** is he trying to swindle us out of??" 

So...with that in mind, and my already insecure outlook on my ability to succeed in something like an MLM...its with hesitation and caution that I wander into this area. One thing that might help is having Squirrel as a 'teammate' on something like this. I know I probably have a sizable advantage over most that are thinking about getting into something like this. With a Facebook friend list of 1200+, with 1800+ people on my email distribution list for pools, and with an average of 6500 hits a month on this blog...I'm sure there is some kind of strategy I could be taught to take advantage of that. You hear all these success stories about people earning up to $15k a month, who started out with almost no connections outside of their immediate friends and family. That, of course...gets my attention.

So...what to do? Don't know. Almost feels like I'm deciding on a college. LIMU or ZIJA? Wonder if one of them is willing to buy me a car or even a house!!!?? (yes, I'm kidding) I'm thinking maybe the correct course of action is to acquire some of each product...use both for 30-45 days...then decide which one we most 'believe in' enough to get behind enthusiastically and start selling to friends, family and acquaintances. So that is most likely what I will do. After all, what's more annoying then trying to buy something from someone and come to find out they haven't even tried it?? I want to be at least kind of passionate about whatever it is I'm selling.

Moving on. 

Epic Poker announced it was going bankrupt. The kind (Chapter 11) where they re-organize and try to get outside funding. Will they make it? Who knows. There was an equal amount of opinions that came out after the news was released. Some bashing them and acting happy about the news. Others expressing regret. To me...I can understand both sides' feelings. The one situation that bothered me the most was the case of Michael J DiVita. So last week, I reached out to the guy. And surprisingly, he answered me back within a day. He has the email address of ClassClownofPoker...which I found equally interesting. But I basically told him who I am, what I do, and what I write about. That I like, whenever possible (without imperiling myself) to take up for those who have been wrongly punished.

Well, if you didn't hear about this guy...he won an entry into one of EPIC poker league's $20k events, via a satellite of some sort. He got deep into that event, and suddenly...someone (not sure who) managed to unearth some 'dirt' on Michael, something from long ago in his past...and he was asked to leave. And wasn't offered a refund on his buy in. It was talked about a LOT. There were rumors about what it involved. And since I haven't called Michael back yet...which I will be sure to do, I won't discuss those rumors here. But this was his response to my email:

Hello Mr. Souther,
Actually, the EPIC Poker situation has been resolved for the most part. On February 07, 2012 I was paid the balance of $18,500.00 that I had claimed was owed to me by Federated Sports & Gaming and the EPIC Poker League. Unfortunately, it was necessary to get a third party involved, which led to a fourth party getting involved before the monetary issue was finally resolved. 
Now, I understand that Federated (the parent company of EPIC) has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. I really (sincerely) do feel bad about that. Although I don't necessarily agree with the way that they have handled business at times, I like Federated and EPIC, and I really wanted them to be successful in their business and in their television ventures. Besides being a player, I am a huge fan of Poker, and I enjoy every moment of my time, when I am playing at a table full of pros that I have come to respect and admire over the years.
When my phone rings and I get a call or an e-mail from a Poker pro, a celebrity, or a professional athlete that I had met at a Charity Poker Tournament, I'm get nervous just like a kid who gets to meet his heroes. When people like Mike Sexton, Phil Helmuth, Linda Johnson, Annie Duke, Dutch Boyd, and "The Grinder" know you by name, it's a real honor when they see you, and they greet you like you're an old friend.
Anyway, as for giving you my side of the story, I have no problem with that. I have nothing to hide at all, and I'm pretty open about my past, as well as being pretty optimistic about my future, both on and off the felt. With that in mind, please feel free to call or text me at any time. My cell/text number is listed below.
Until then, I'll be waiting for you at the Final Table....

Michael J. DiVita
Now...if that sounds like a guy who is bitter and hostile, as most would be if they endured what he went through...then I must be missing something. I was told by others who were there, that when he was asked to leave the tourney he never created a scene or caused a commotion of any sort. Seems like a pretty straight shooter to me. (sorry, every time I write that expression now I can't help but think of the boys out in the desert in 'The Hangover' talking about the guy they scored the ecstasy from!) I think if I ever found myself in that spot, I would have went ballistic. Well, I'm assuming a good lot of you would like to hear his side of the story on the allegations that led to his getting DQ'd and banned from Epic. So I will get after it.

As for the Epic League itself? I think the chance to play in a tourney where corporate money has gone to fund the prize pool is a wet dream. The chance to sit at a table with players who all know each other, who respect each others game...who bring out the best in each others game...that is something I would love to have been a part of. What bothers me, is some of their exclusionary policies. And the people who were in charge of those decisions. Granted...their board consists of some of pokers most respected players. But it also consists of some of pokers more questionable ones as well. Some of the rules they had seemed insane. Dress codes. Code of conduct. I mean...they were beyond some of America's finest country clubs. And we are talking about....ahem, poker. I don't know...I suppose you could make an argument for both sides if you wanted to bad enough. Let's just say I don't lean too far in either direction of the subject. But bankruptcy is never a good thing, or matter how much you might dislike someone or something.
I think one of the greatest inventions of our time is the garbage bag that is scented. I think this started a couple years ago...and every time I take out the garbage, it's never an unpleasant experience.
 I'm now watching 'Your Highness.' Danny 'Kenny Powers' McBride in a movie where they are talking like they talk in Robin Hood...but with him incorporating the F-bomb into every other sentence like he typically does no matter what the movie is...dude is just hilarious. And oh yeah...there is Natalie Portman (monkey crush for over 10 years now) nearly naked. Ship!
Okay. I'm tired. Wanted to write about my previous cash session at IP. It had a few notorious moments. I will hit that in my next entry. Also wanted to talk about Lock Poker...which is also Felt Stars, they share the same network. They have a thing going on right now called Poker Maximus...which is a 2-week series of events. I cashed the first one, min cash, then lost the next two. The beats are brutal. Getting money on there even harder. Not impressed. Nor do I feel very protected on their site. Can't wait until they get poker fully legalized and legislated throughout the country. I have to assume that when that happens it will be very safe, secure and legitimate. 
Good night.

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