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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Gettin' itchy for New Orleans!!! Hey ESPN! YOU SUCK!!!

Greetings! And happy weekend to everyone!

Just got a Facebook invitation from the infamous Linda Keenan from New Orleans to watch today's Kentucky Derby at her Derby Party. Sounds fun. And festive. Honestly...I hate horse racing. Not that I hate horses. I love them. As I do most animals. I hate when horses die. And they die a lot in racing. Both on the track and behind the scenes. I couldn't name one horse in this year's field. As is usually the case until about an hour before they run. But this is an annual rite of spring, it seems. Whoever wins the Derby...you then have to follow that horse, becoming it's fan...and hoping it wins the next two legs of the Triple Crown...giving us our first Triple Crown winner since 1977 and 1978 when Seattle Slew and Affirmed when back-to-back. Horse racing's Golden Era. Since then its just been a whole bunch of close calls. So...let the chase begin.

Cheryl's mother, who has been with us since last Tuesday night...and has been such a huge help with Carley, while also getting so attached to her, just left this morning. Cheryl is very close to her mom...and weeped when she left. I don't know how many married men can say they are crazy about their mother-in-laws. I feel blessed to have married into such a wonderful family. I was admittedly very sad to see her leave today also. But she had to race off to North Alabama to watch her grandsons' baseball games later today. She's quite the 'Mimi!

Last night on Lock Poker...I booked ANOTHER 2nd place finish. That's now two nights in a row...after two 1st places last week. And in both I had my opponent drawing so thin...only to get rivered in both, and settle for 2nd. Both fields were over 225 players, so while the buy ins were small, $5 in both...and the payouts small...it still feels really good with New Orleans WSOP-C coming up to be having these results. Obviously, I am doing something right...especially to do be doing that online...where I've never run good.



Lock Poker is sponsoring Scotty Clark's new poker radio show...which kicks off May 6th, this Sunday at 3pm. I am flattered to have been asked by Scott to appear on the show. I'm not sure how many guests he is having, but I am coming on at 3:30, right after Steve Dannenman. What the topics will be, I am not really sure. There certainly is no shortage of things to talk about in the poker world, that's for sure. Here is a LINK to Scotty's Show.

Been watching a lot of playoffs this week, both NHL and a little bit of NBA. A couple of commercials keep appearing on TV. One that I find tremendously baffling is one touting the field of internet security...and offering online college courses in a school called, ya ready? University of Maryland University College. I'm not kidding. CLICK HERE if you don't believe me. 


 I would just liked to have been in on the brainstorming session that took place when coming up with the repetitive, redundant name for a learning institution.

The other commercial that has me on life tilt every time it comes on is one that is local. It's for Magnolia Federal...which I believe is a credit union. They have this jingle...it is like a woodpecker on my brain. Every time it comes on...and there is the line of them clapping, almost all of them off beat...to this stupid jingle. I searched for it on YouTube...but the new ad, which I'm apparently being driven crazy by, is nowhere to be found. What I DID locate, was their older ad. Oh God...there is more than just THAT one!??? I am particularly annoyed by this older, overweight guy with this huge bulbous nose who stands in the middle of them...and claps like that white guy on Soul Train. Here ya go, treat yourself!


If you are one of those people who enjoys the 'girl parade wave' then you will enjoy the girl at the end of the clip.  If you live in the South Mississippi area, I'm sure you have seen their new commercial...now hopefully it will aggravate you as much as it annoys me! Now that I have planted the seed in your brain!

Does anyone watch Poker After Dark? I try. Sometimes. I just can't stomach it. I think one of the main reasons, is because I know most of them, have played with them...and while watching them, it's just stupid watching them TRY to manufacture interesting conversation. Taking unsuccessful stabs at being funny and/or entertaining. And it's so forced and contrived that it just becomes irritating and ridiculous. I'm sorry, but you can't take a boring, conservative player...drop them on a TV show, and expect this amazing character to come blossoming out of them. So I'm watching the other night and they have Lederer and a couple other players there plastered in Full Tilt Poker patches. Dawned on me...this HAD to be a re-run from over a year ago, right? Would those guys even DARE pull that stunt today? At any rate...I hate that show, and most of them like it.

Something really, really sad happened this week. And it happened right on the heels of something that further angered local Saints fans...and those of us fans who are just getting a little sick of the seemingly abuse of power being demonstrated on a daily basis by Roger 'Ginger Kid' Goodell. Yeah, the Saints were slapped with more punishment...as individual players were suspended for their roles in the 'Bounty Scandal.' Yes...if you recall, I have called for an end to the use of the word 'Gate' as it applies to any kind of scandal. I will call scandals....scandals.

Well...as I am perusing the comment board on ESPN.com...which was only a couple of days before the ESPN censors would ban me from posting on there...someone posted a very simple comment:  Junior Seau dead. Suicide. RIP. Huh? What is this guy talking about, I wondered? Which caused me to frantically checking all my sports news sites...nothing. A mean, evil hoax? Why would someone just post that? Looked on Google, Yahoo and MSNBC...nothing. Strange. Then I went to my 'other' source for up-to-the-second news...my television. And there it was.

 
Oh wow. What the hell? Why? I grew up watching this guy for the past 20 years...and came to love how he played. That's a guy who went to USC...and as a Washington Husky...we are trained to hate USC players...like 'Bama hates Auburn. And I still loved the guy. He always played so hard...leaving everything on the field. I was so disappointed for him when, in his 2nd (and final) shot at a Super Bowl ring, the heavily favored Patriots, where were undefeated and about to supplant the '74 Miami Dolphins as the only team to go through a complete season unbeaten...fell to the NY Giants. Junior, who is a sure Hall of Famer...was deprived of that one thing that all the greats strive for; a ring. As was Randy Moss...who I feel quite a lot less sorry for.

As seems to be the case...the message boards became a place to see the best and worst in people. Some lauding him for his great career, and his sparkling personality. Then there were those calling him all the names they would NEVER in a million years say to his face, like coward, for committing suicide. Others wanted to bring up his past transgressions with his wife...which in my opinion was a private matter, and one which almost always has two sides to the story. Then there were the 'experts' on there who wanted to diagnose the reasons for his death. It had to be the concussions! Maybe it was the steroids! Steroids? Did I miss something? Was Seau ever banned for steroid use? I literally HATE the people who can't just respect the dead. Can't just honor the man for his accomplishments, and show some sympathy for a man who was obviously troubled by demons he couldn't find a way to defeat.

I find it comical when people call people who kill themselves a coward. Especially when someone blows themselves away with a gun. I don't know about you...but if I were to take a cowardly exit from this planet...it wouldn't be via a gunshot blast. It would likely be a fistful of pills and a bottle of Jack Daniels. I think it takes quite a bit of balls to lay on a shotgun and pull the trigger. But you have to consider the source when listening to people call other people (dead usually) cowards. They tend to be comments coming from spineless little worms.

I prefer to remember Junior as a great football player...a leader...a great teammate, a father...and a man who did great things for his community. I want to share this story with you, that I found on Deadspin.com which by the way is my absolute FAVORITE place to get my sports news...and doesn't have to work within the constraints of ESPN's 'Walt Disney Corporation guidelines.' They use a good amount of tastefully and well-timed profanity in their articles...and welcome comments that you don't have to enter with worrying about 'Big Brother Censors' being offended by your opinion and banning you from making future comments on their site. Yeah more about ESPN in a second. Dicks. Here is the story about Junior, that if you are, or were...a Junior fan...you should read. 


So what did ESPN pull on me? First let me say...I've had my share of chat bans in the past, all with Poker Stars. But those were all pretty deserved, me dousing my opponents with some pretty offensive rants for what I perceived to be bad plays. As I've mentioned, I like to read message boards on both ESPN, AOL and YAHOO...and have never gone on there to attack people. I literally try to do nothing but make witty, entertaining, and thought provoking comments. I've never had any kind of warning from any of the sites. I do however see an avalanche of comments on the ESPN site from other users calling attention to the number of comments they've had deleted or making mention to having had their profiles banned from making comments...only to create new profiles and return.


I always wonder..."What the fuck happened to freedom of speech in this country?" ESPN has employed....what they call 'monitors' that are nothing more than sensors, pure and simple. And their task is to remove any comment or ban any user they feel have made what they consider to be an offensive comment. And their 'range' for offensive is off the charts ridiculous. And what I found out...is once banned, they don't even tell you why. Just that 'it appears you have violated Walt Disney Corporations policies on commenting on the message boards and you're profile has been banned from making future comments.'  It doesn't tell you WHAT you said. And when I called ESPN..was told they sub-contract that 'department' out to a different company...who then decides who will be banned. Huh? So, ESPN takes zero accountability for cutting ties with their loyal users?

I shared with the phone robot who I was talking to that I've been subscribing to ESPN the Magazine now for 7 years...and that I almost never read it...but keep it so I can have Insider access on the site...which also lets me use the message boards. I told them if my profile wasn't 'UN'banned I would be cancelling my magazine subscription. I was then encouraged to send an email to this OTHER company...which I did yesterday. Still no word from them.


Honestly, I have no idea what led to my getting booted. Only thing that comes to mind is one of two things. A guy was commenting on football, and how Goodell is turning it into a joke...suggesting it would be touch football in a few years. Then compared it to cockfighting or dogfighting (don't ask how...it somehow deviated to that). But when he tried to write cockfighting...it came out #%&*fighting. Why? Because they have those stupid filters like all the poker sites have...where certain words are automatically replaced with symbols. You know? Words like shit, fuck, bitch....the dirty ones. So if you try to spell other words, like cocktail...this also happens. So I merely left a comment below his comment..."if you are trying to say the word cock fight...simply replace the 'O' with a zero, and it will appear as you wish."

The other comment...which I have a feeling might have offended one of the dorks sitting in the Censorship Cubicle of Doom...came as a reply to a guy who posted a question asking why ESPN keeps deleting his comments at a record pace. My reply: "Well, when Communism failed in Russia, where do you think all those writers and editors for Soviet Pravda went looking for work?"  Yeah? Was that the one that got me banned? Maybe. Another user posted below me..."Are you being dead serious?"...and thankfully another guy posted below him...."Dude, if you have to ask that question, please do us all a favor and do NOT reproduce!" Amen.

ESPN...The WorldWide Leader in Political Correctness. I used to love ESPN. But as they continue to pull bullshit like this...and my favorite, subjecting us to female commentators calling the action in male dominated sports...my disdain for that network just grows in volumes. Listening to that butch Doris Burke calling an NBA playoff game is about as unnatural as watching Stone Cold Steve Austin hosting a baby shower.

Okay...let's move on. Went to my bank, Wells Fargo the other day. To make a deposit. As I'm standing in line...I could swear I heard this guy at his desk say to two guys across from him something about renter's insurance. My ears perked up. So I investigated, and indeed, what I thought I heard was the real thing. Wow! We own my house in Pensacola...and have been renting it for the past three years (it will be vacant next month, renting for $900 a month, as my tenants are moving out), but the house in Biloxi we rent...for some dumb reason.  Well, Squirrel is panicking, thinking with the lack of winter that we are surely about to have a monster hurricane season.

I called 5 different insurance companies...trying to get renters insurance. Not one of them would cover us. Or anyone else living south of I-10. They just don't offer policies in our area. I had pretty much given up on trying.  But then boom! Out of nowhere...my bank...yeah, my BANK offers renters insurance. And the process for applying and getting coverage is a breeze. I guess Wells Fargo has a division that handles insurance. Cool. I signed up right away...and for $33 a month, we get coverage on $40,000 worth of stuff in our home...as well as $100,000 liability coverage. That certainly made Squirrel happy. If this is something you have been looking for, and not had any luck with...here ya go. And if maybe you never thought about it...and after reading this think maybe you SHOULD...I would ask that you contact this guy at my bank. For everyone that gets a policy, they are going to give us a $25 gift card to Target...which will help keep us in diapers...which are disappearing at a very alarming rate!!!

HOME RENTERS INSURANCE
DANIEL AZZOPARDI- Personal Banker
daniel.azzopardi@wellsfargo.com
228-385-7463

Tell him you were referred by Will Souther (please!!!)...pretty sure he won't know what you're talking about if you just say "Monkey told me about you!"

What do you guys think of this Secret Service scandal? It's kind of a topic that I guess can go either way. I know one thing for sure...if they thought there was a possible 'breach' in security because a few agents wanted to enjoy the local flavor...which by the way, is LEGAL down there, and one of their largest sources of tourism, how much of a security breach is there now that they have lost a huge number of longtime agents? Do people NOT think this has been going on for years? I'm getting so sick of the media conducting their little witch hunts and costing good people their careers in the interest of what? Social righteousness? In my opinion...its effing ridiculous. Personally...I think if a guy chooses a career that calls for him take a bullet for the people he's protecting...that when he is off the clock and trying to unwind, he SHOULD be getting himself a piece of ass to keep his head straight. 

Okay...I had this big checklist of things I wanted to talk about in my next blog post (this one) and I've nearly hit them all. I had the Ron Artest (sorry, I refuse to call any person Metta World Peace) suspension on there...but screw that guy. 


He keeps trying to convince us he's changed, that he's this wonderful new person. Bottom line...he isn't. He's a fucking punk. I can't wait til he retires so we can read about how he is broke, destitute, and begging for a spot on the next Celebrity Rehab or whatever the fuck they call that show where washed up has-beens appear.

I also wanted to comment on the gay female scoutmaster who was booted for being gay. It's a touchy subject. Saw the gal, and her lover, in an interview on TV. They both seemed like great parents. The other parents loved having them as their boy scout den leader. But you had to kind of respect the position of the Boy Scouts too...when they said they don't feel the forum for sharing views on sexual choice is amongst Boy Scouts. And I would certainly have to agree with that. I wouldn't want to know that my 12 year old son was going to his Cub Scout or Boy Scout meetings and being lectured by a gay scoutmaster on what was the correct path to travel down in life. But I don't think it can be proven that this is what was happening. Probably just a couple of heavily bigoted parents that went ballistic. Seems like all the kids really liked the gal. Pretty sticky situation. Glad I didn't have to make the call.

There is only one topic I didn't get into...and not sure if I will. It's a mess. And the guy who is involved is a player who has always been very nice to me whenever we play together. But oh well...here it goes. His name is Paul Gibbons. You might be able to look up the story somewhere. He is a part time player. At this year's Chicago Poker Classic, which takes place at the Horseshoe Casino (owned by Caesar's Entertainment, aka Harrah's) in Hammond...a situation arose in the race for the Best All Around Performance...which rewards that player with either a car or the cash equivalent.

Due to the way something was written on a structure sheet, or payout structure...Paul came away feeling he got screwed. Why it came to this was because he only needed a couple of points to win the All-Around. To get points, you have to cash in the event. Well...he played in the Heads Up tourney...and did NOT cash...but for some dumb reason, thought he should get points because of where he finished, even though it wasn't in the money. He has decided to sue Harrah's over it. For $50k. And what's odd, is he has been allowed to continue playing in their events...even though he has a case pending against them. I only say that this is weird because I've always been led to believe that once you file a lawsuit against a casino, you are never stepping foot in there again, at least until the suit is over.

Paul thinks he should have won the All Around. He is basically trying to expose a loophole in the wording in the paperwork to prove his case. Which...sorry, to me is just totally chickenshit. If that is the way you want to screw another player out of that victory...for your own selfish desire for that money...than that makes you, well...a weasel. And to make it worse, some really good people that work at that casino up there might end up losing their jobs over it...which, if that happens, I will go out of my way to make sure they get jobs somewhere else. I am SO FUCKING SICK of good people losing their jobs because of assholes in the world. There is a lot more to this story...obviously...but that is the nuts and bolts of it. Maybe Scott and I will talk about it some when I appear on his radio show tomorrow.

So hey...I think I pretty much hit EVERYTHING. Not sure how much I will post before Thursday gets here. But I will say...I am very excited for New Orleans. I have the same guy who backed me in Iowa backing me for this event. And I have a nice house to stay in over there with my buddy Barth...so that's great. Love not paying for hotels over there...you always pay a LOT more than what you get in return. Plus I will likely be coming home quite a bit to see my little princess, so I would hate paying for days I'm not even over there. I'm going to hopefully play every event...well, actually...hopefully not EVERY event, as I hope to be playing on the second day a few times!!!

Well...the 3rd period is now starting in Game 4 of my favorite hockey team..the New York Rangers...matchup in Round 2 with the Washington Capitals...who played an amazing 3 OT game on Wednesday night...won finally by the Rangers. We are tied here 2-2...and a win would put them in GREAT shape heading home up 3 games to 1. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!!!

MONKEY

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