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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Great E-Mail from a Reader!

With today's Supreme Court decision handed down, by a 5-4 margin...to uphold Obama's Health Care plan...it seemed like the PERFECT day to write my next blog post...titled 'I HATE POLITICIANS!' In fact, there really isn't a better day I can think of!

However...Squirrel just got home early from work....which, according to my calendar, provides me with the final opportunity to get over to Pensacola, finish up my pressure washing on the rental house that I did about 70% of the other day...and meet up with my handy man for the final time before heading off to Vegas on the 'big trip.'

But before I do that...and before I post my seething political rant...of which I'm sure will result in a multitude of feedback (which I love and welcome!)...I had to share with you all a great letter I got via email from a reader of my blog, and who also plays quite a bit of poker. I know who it is...but he wishes to remain anonymous...and I'm not throwing out any hints. But he made a lot of great points that I didn't even really think about...while showing a lot of support for me, which, less than a week before I start my WSOP experience is something that I was kind of seeking.

So...without further ado...here is the email.

"Great job Will, Great blog post!"

I hope the follow up one November 1st is even sweeter. Makes it easy to root for you when you share these parts of your life with the world.

Also, as far as the backing deal. I have some thoughts and as long as I remain anonymous you are welcome to share some of them if you want.

I can't stand that people are coming at you because you have a better backing deal then you are supposed to. Would anybody hassle you because your mortgage is two points better than theirs? These people are jealous hypocrites. You aren't scamming anybody you made a good faith negotiation. You set a price they accepted and it's over. Just because it's not standard in the Internet poker world doesn't mean it's not standard in the live poker world. Newsflash... live poker has far better deals for the players and a longer history of them for backing arrangements. I'm had better deals and I've returned the favor when I can. I know of better deals than what you are offering. It's live poker. Stakes are different.

A tiny reason for the disparity in the live deal is because they know where to find the piece of shit if they ever get cheated, and there are less cheating risks because of it. A bigger reason they don't have these backing consortium setting prices and a herd of lemmings suggesting that's the standardize price. Maybe these communists should mandate cars should only be sold at bluebook value, or perhaps the government should step in and back players and set the mark-up. Fuck them.

Like you, I've dealt with nonpoker friends wanting a piece of me forever. "Next time we go to the casino I'll just give you $400 to win me money on the poker table." Ummm, no, that's where I work. If I'm going to win money at a table it's going to be my money, and I'm on the clock. I've always viewed selling a piece of myself to friends, as finally giving these people a chance to invest in me. I'm grateful, I'm appreciative, but at the same time that's not the only way I'm going to get in the game, they really want me to try and win some money... here are the terms. Don't like 'em, no problem.

Truth is most of these guys are looking to put $100 to whatever they feel like risking to enjoy the ride. They are not professional backers looking to maximize profits. Comparing the two is a little bit like comparing the Lakers owner over the last thirty years to the Clippers owner. Jerry Buss is in it to win championships and splash money around on big risks and have fun (any wonder he plays poker?). The other dude has followed a bottom line rationale for most of his tenure and if he wins that's an added bonus. Neither is wrong, but I'd rather work with Buss than Sterling. Suggesting the baseline that backers by profession use is the universal guideline for a backing relationship ignores all the other aspects why somebody is backed.

It's absurd that because some stake dude sets a line somewhere, that you are scamming if you veer off of it. It's like saying because a big company has set a price everybody should follow suit. Horseshit. The first thing I tell anybody when they ask me to buy a piece of my action... "You will probably lose your stake." I'm a very bad salesman... like you I'm the opposite of some con artist trying to grift my friends. Last thing anybody wants to do is lose their friends money, there are many people that I know couldn't handle a loss and I won't do it with them. I'm sure the same is true for you if one of them stepped up and thought getting a piece of you was a guarantee of millions you'd probably decline their investment. I always say I'm only taking this if you are fine with the result which may be we lose this. Sure for the world series the upside is huge, but now I'm almost compelled to say there are far better deals and prices out there if you just want to back somebody. The difference is your backers want to back you not somebody. They understand they may be giving up a little bit, because you are telling them that, but they want to be along for the ride. It's a fun partnership for both parties.

The ratfaces bitching about your sweet deal can't even get a "standard' deal of their own. Fuck 'em. Though, I'm almost of the mindset you don't print this. Justifying your deal over and over again only makes it look you are up to no good even though you aren't. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. In life, you either protest too loudly or not enough... and it's never ever just the right amount.

...sorry, went on a rant there. Probably most of this is not fit for publishing, but remember most of those jokers harassing you are just that jokers

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Upcoming WSOP Experience...and My Inspiration.

Ready for a new blog? Good. I'm ready to write one! Got a lot on my mind!

There are a lot of problems with writing about and just, generally...airing your thoughts and views about politics and politicians. Mainly...you are up against two sides that are very galvanized in their way of thinking, politically anyway.

Before we get into that...I will talk a little bit about poker, I guess. I was on LOCK Sunday night...in a goofy $5 tourney...and with 18 players left, caught fire. Went to the final table with 35% of the chips. With 6 left I had half. It was one of the fastest final tables ever. (online anyway) I won. Yeah...chalk up another whopper of an online victory. (for you morons, that's me joking about the relative unimportance or significance of this win)

So...I decide to get on there last night. It was a display of the worst poker I've ever seen, combined with some of the nastiest, and most unrealistic suckouts I've witnessed in quite some time...since perhaps those Saturday afternoon bloodbaths on Poker Stars. I don't care what anyone says...the kind of beats you sit and watch online, and the frequency of them...just is NOT normal. But what is equally stunning is the horrendous plays you will see that will put people (aka idiots) in the position to even allow those suckouts to occur. And I really want to clarify something here...these were not just beats that were happening to ME...oh no...they were all over the table...in every tourney. It was like, all of a sudden, pigs and cows could fly...and that you could be sure their were those people sitting there (like those online poker pundits suggesting its all completely normal, the shit that happens there) enthusiastically explaining how it was completely within reason to see pigs and cows flying all over the place!

Then...in my last three tourneys...something very bizarre happened. I'm pretty sure it cost me at least two cashes. The software just quit working. Or something. One of them had 126 players ($10 MTT) and the other had 97 players ($20 MTT) and when you clicked on the tourney lobby it said there were 6 players remaining...and that it paid only 3 spots. Well...there were 7 players at MY TABLE. And when you looked on remaining players...the cutoff line was at 14 players remaining...then there were like 7 players listed...the other 7, including myself...nowhere to be found. Huh? So as I started blinding down...first to 20BB's...then to 15BB's...I was utterly confused, not knowing how many actually cashed. Or how many were really left. 

I am trying to get behind Lock Poker...I really am. And the numbers of players logged on is definitely increasing on a daily basis. And I have heard they are doing a good (or at least better) job of paying people out who are fortunate enough to run good and 'require' a cash out. But when goofy software things like this happen...its discouraging. And I STILL haven't heard back from their guy in the Affiliate department, telling me exactly what it is I am privy to with my 'deal.' Not sure what would be taking three weeks to respond to my two different emails. Whatever.

One thing that has me really excited about being gone from Biloxi for 12 days? I won't have to sit here and listen to this annoying damn Magnolia Federal commercial that seems to play 227 times a day.

My most recent post garnered quite a few comments. Thanks. I like comments. To the guy who called me a 'dolt' (pretty funny word when used in the proper place!) because I referred to 'raising light' as not over-betting on my raises, to encourage calls, building pots, and playing after the flop. He was quick to point out to me that 'raising light' means raising with a semi-weak starting hand. Okay...yeah, actually I know that the 'poker posse' has their dictionary...and the definitions contained within their manual clearly state that THEIR meaning IS the true meaning of certain expressions. Now some...like 'pot odds', or 'implied odds' or 'smooth calling' are pretty self-explanatory. Not many will argue the merits of there being one meaning. However...I prefer to call raising with a shitty hand...just that...raising with a shitty hand. And if it turns to a beautiful pile of deliciousness after the flop, so be it. And I prefer to call raising 2.25/2.50/2.75x 'raising light.' This is my prerogative...and I shall not be 'dolted' into changing my ways. So...there ya go.

Carley turned 2 months yesterday. I swear she just keeps getting cuter every damn day. And her personality is starting to develop. We've also discovered she loves taking baths...maybe as much as her mom and dad. I've had her in the bath with me twice...Cheryl once. She gets in there and just wants to swim. It's so cute. 


Regarding Vegas...all my shares are sold, and nearly all the money has been collected. I'm down to just a few people who owe...not including those I'm collecting from in Vegas. I'm starting to get that nervous excitement that comes before I go to play with other people's money. I think all the people who are on my bandwagon all realize just how MUCH I need to go out there and have a good two weeks. I've had the conversation with people in the past who want to debate whether they play better or worse when they are staked. It's an interesting question...and I think all players are different. After all, they are human, right? Some people pay their bills on time. Some pay them late. Some people are alcoholics. Some are non-drinkers. I mean...I don't think you can say it works one way or the other.

I do know that when I am staked, especially fully...and I'm playing for people I know I will continue to have a relationship with (one form or another) after the events are over I really try to get dialed in...and focused, and minimize my mistakes. I tend to not 'gamble' on draws as much...unless I am getting the right price, or its against a short stack when I'm sitting in healthy shape. I remember the first time I did this 'selling shares' thing back in 2007...and it was for the Caesar's Classic in Vegas. I had about 8 investors...and I wound up getting 5th I think in the $550 for about $15,000...so all my people got paid...and they were pretty excited about it. It set me up great for doing future events too.

I'm not going to lie...I've sat around the house fantasizing about what happens if I make the Final Table of the last $1k or even the Main Event. The paperwork involved with chopping up that prize money and doing tax forms for 30 different people. Honestly...I think it would be GREAT! The thought of flying each and every one of my investors out to Vegas for the Main Event final table in October? How great would that be? To be able to force all those 'poker experts' to eat crow who ran all over Vegas the last month mealy-mouthing me over the 'outrageous-ness' of my WSOP shares package. Oh, don't think I don't know about that...you back-stabbing a-holes that would never say to my face what you are saying behind me. Those 'friends' you are shooting your mouth off to? The ones you think would NEVER tell me what you said? Well...you should know better! But it's all good...I really don't care. Just do me a favor and do approach me while I'm in Vegas trying to be all buddy-buddy with me. I know who you are...and YOU know who you are. So just keep your distance.

I just can't imagine a better time...than to have those 30 people, as well as my wife and daughter and probably lots of friends and family...and having a couple of huge dinner parties leading up to the final table...and maybe even after. As much pain and suffering that I've suffered in this game...one thing I can promise, if/when my 'day' comes in poker, I am going to enjoy it. And do it the right way. And make sure those around me, who believed in me...get to come along for the ride with me. 

One guy I feel especially motivated to do well for is a guy named Graham Pugh. He isn't anyone any of you have ever heard of. Back when I was in junior high school, and living in Redmond, Washington...my best friend was a guy named Brandy Pugh. Short for Brandon. He was great in sports, and we played on a few teams together. His parents were the greatest. I spent most of my time at his house. His family were huge Washington Husky fans and supporters...and really turned me into a bigger fan than I already was. Brandy's Dad used to get us game tickets all the time. Graham was Brandy's little brother, and went to school with my brother Troy. I always liked him...he was a good kid. At one point in my life...I think it was 8th grade...my abusive step-father finally went too far...and Brandy's parents demanded that I come stay with them. They hated my step dad...and what he subjected me to. 

Apparently, protecting the children from abuse wasn't a system that was set up quite as well as it is these days. If it were, I might not have ended up so screwed up. I mean, I know it affects me, and always has...but I think I've done a good job of working through those painful experiences. And I have a wife who is as loving and nurturing as they come so at least I know my child will never have to experience that kind of BS as she grows up. I know that I will never lay a hostile hand on her. No matter what.

So anyway...I was living with the Pugh's for awhile...and they treated me just like one of their boys. I loved them. Sally and Pat...my unofficial adopted parents. 

Well...the years would pass...I went to Redmond High School...Brandy went to Lake Washington...had to do with where we lived. He played for the LW Kangaroos (yeah...that was really their nickname) and I played for the Mustangs. We rarely saw each other as much. College made the gap even wider. It's sad how you can just sometimes get pulled away like that from your friends. I started my life after school, and it ended up with me living in New York City and being mostly out of touch with all of my friends from high school and college.

In 1995...the UW Huskies traveled to Miami to take on the Hurricanes, who we had shared the 1990 National Title with. We hated them. They had a 58-game winning streak at home. I had moved to Atlanta a couple years before that. My roommate and I drove the 12 hours to Miami to meet Brandy and his family, and go to the game. It was a great memory. We beat Miami in their stadium...and beat them convincingly (38-20). That night we had steak and lobster on South Beach at the Clevelander...then hung out. Brandy never was a drinker...so there was no hardcore partying.

That was when the rift occurred between Brandy and I. And it was so weird. I was a supervisor for a landscape design company in Atlanta...and had to be at work Monday at 5am...like every day. So I had a choice to make; leave first thing in the morning...and get home with time to sleep a few hours before work...or stay all Sunday...drive all night...and go straight to work. My roommate from Atlanta worked for the Atlanta Falcons at the time...and also had to work Monday morning, so he was voting for leaving Sunday about 10am. So that was what we decided to do.

Well, Brandy had his flight back to Seattle at around 5pm. His parents were leaving first thing in the morning. So he would have no one to really hang out with that afternoon. And more importantly (to him) was that he was wanting a ride to the airport. So when I told him we were going to leave in the morning, he went mental on me. It was very strange...and was not like him at all. I felt really terrible. But at the same time...I didn't want to be responsible for a crew of 6 workers and operating dangerous machinery after driving all night and not sleeping a wink. So, reluctantly, we left. I even offered him cab fare...he scoffed at this. From that time on...he wouldn't talk to me. Wouldn't have anything to do with me. I kept sending Christmas cards...to him and his parents...but never got a response from him. It really, really hurt my feelings. I didn't know what to do to make things right between us.

In March of 1999...Brandy died. From leukemia. I never had a clue. I found out through a network of friends. I was devastated. I looked on the internet at all the forums and message boards and memorials that were set up for him. They were everywhere.  HERE is his obituary. They now have a baseball tournament every year named in his honor. Shortly after Brandy died...both of his parents passed away. Leaving just Graham. I couldn't even imagine what that must have been like for him. Graham was always 'Brandy's little brother' to me...just a kid that I would say 'hi' to or maybe let play with us sometimes. I had no idea what to say to him if I ever saw him. I think the way it happened was he saw one of the comments I left on one of the comment boards...and he reached out to me. 

Later on, he would visit Las Vegas...while I was there for the summer. He showed up at Venetian with his wife (who he currently is separated from) and watched me for awhile in a nightly tourney. (maybe it was a SNG?) As a matter of fact...him showing up seemed to turn my whole tourney around. I think when they walked up...and was letting them see my cards, I got KK and ended up doubling up. They left to go to dinner and see a show I think...and I'm pretty sure I won that nightly. Graham and I have stayed in touch over the last few years. He had a son...who he named after Brandy...and admits that his child is his whole world. Understandable. He was one of the first to congratulate me and Squirrel on our pregnancy, and then the birth of our daughter...who is currently asleep in the most awkward position on my chest/stomach.

Graham heard about my shares program...and was eager to buy a share. It's a funny thing...I want to win for people...especially those I care about. But at the same time...I'm also very afraid of disappointing those same people, by not winning. So selling shares to people is kind of a double-edged sword. I mean...I think they ALL know what goes into this stuff, and just how much luck at the right moments is involved...and don't honestly think I will have ONE of those 30 people cursing me if I come up short. But if I don't win for them...I know I will be beating myself up a little bit.  When Graham inquired I was pretty much sold out...but I had one guy who wanted three shares...who I was able to talk down to 2...so I could sell that last share to Graham. So he is now on board....and to a certain extent, I feel like I am bringing something very spiritual with me to Las Vegas.


Has Brandy forgiven me for what I didn't even think was a breach of our friendship? Did he have regrets for locking me out of his life? Is he maybe reaching out to me through his brother? Am I just being ridiculous and grasping at straws? Maybe. But while I have sold shares to all people I know through poker and my pools...this is a chance to include someone who is linked to my past, to my childhood...and to my best friend from 8th grade who is now with the Lord. This makes it even more special. To fly Graham and his boy Brandon to Vegas to hang out with me while I go and try to win us all a bunch of life-changing money would bring so much joy to my life. 

So yeah...not sure why I decided to share this story with you...but I did. And today I sat down with the intent to discuss all the reasons why I hate politicians! But I think that one will have to wait...perhaps till later today, maybe tomorrow. Maybe never. I have one more week here in Biloxi with Squirrel and Carley...I'm going to soak it in as much as I can...because I know I'm going to miss them SO much when I'm gone. 

One thing I fully intend to do while I'm in Vegas is keep every ONE of my investors totally in the loop...with daily reports...and hopefully all of them have me on their Twitter and/or Facebook...so they can follow all my updates during the tourneys. 

Alright...well, Carley is awake and crying for a bottle...so Daddy Monk has to cut this short!

Monkey


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

STYLES: NIT vs. MANIAC

Yeah...I got a sudden burst of energy to write back-to-back blogs. Chalk it up to either me being cut off in mid thoughts yesterday due to a major 'overrun' on my entry...or perhaps it was the case of VERVE! energy drink that showed up on my doorstep yesterday. Half diet, half regular. Man...I do not know WHAT it is going to take to get you people to buy in to this product...but it is T-H-E  S-H-I-T! I've been jamming down the little 5oz shots before doing the radio show, or going to run errands...or before going to grind cash game...and it really does energize me. Not BS'ing you. And the stuff is HEALTHY. For real.  Go read about it if you don't believe me. Click my link over there>>>>...ANYTIME...and order some. It arrives at your house in just a couple days. Stuff it in your refrigerator..and ENJOY!

I'm not lying...this stuff blows RED BULL away...and its not destroying your internal organs while you drink it like Red Bull does!
I managed to convince Carley Grace to let me go play some cash game at IP last night. I've actually booked 4 winning cash sessions in a row...so I've been kind of geeked to go keep trying to accumulate funds for the bills before I head to Vegas. Well, last night...I booked another winning session, but how I got there was a bit unusual. 

Within the first hour, and first buy in of $300 I was busto. Had a hand where I'd been trying to trap a couple of really aggressive players at the other side of the table...where I called a raise with 3d5d and caught a flop of 2d5c6d. I checked the flop hoping to check raise. Nothing. I turned the 7 of diamonds, giving me a flush WITH a straight flush draw (needing the 4 of diamonds for the nuts). The first bettor led out for 35. Hmmm. The kid next to me flats. Double Hmmm. I make it 85. The first guy folds. The guy beside me tanks a bit...hmmmmssss a bit more...then flats. The river was a damn 5...giving me useless trip fives...but more dangerously pairing the board. He goes all in, and there was just too much in there for me to fold for my last 100. Set of 7's...or boat on the river. Shitballs. Rebuy.

[dear readers. See these words in red? That are underlined? Those are links. I did not put them there. I don't know where they come from or how they get there. But I see them now everywhere, not just on my blog. Who are these pirates? It pisses me off. Just don't want anyone thinking that I've laid this shit in here!]

I spent, literally...the next FOUR hours stuck in neutral...hovering between 250 and 350. And getting very bored. Then our table broke. Finally...a full table. Well..this little Hispanic angel came flying down from heaven with $550 in his stack...and decided to make my night. I called the first time with 5h7h on a $12 raise...and caught a flop of Q-7-7. Well player number one had KQ. Player number two (my angel from above) had QJ. #1 leads out for 20. #2 calls. I make it $65. They both call. Turn is...bingo...a jack. It all gets in. I hold. Nice pot. On the next meaningful hand...I raise behind a bunch of limpers with 10-10 to $17...and get called by not only my whole table...but the other three tables in the room. (j/k) The flop comes A-9-10. Rainbow. I check. First guy bets $55. The 'angel' calls. I raise to $120. I figure I'm up against, most likely...A9....or QJ...or a set of nines. Thank god it wasn't that...since a nine hit the turn. Well...the first guy tanks forever...and finally folds A9. Good lay down sir. The 'angel' however...shoves all in for more than what I had....with ACE DEUCE!

The turn was a deuce...the river was a nine...and for a second he thought he won..as did the guy who folded A9...before he realized what really had happened was he had saved his remaining 180, cuz had I played that a little slower, I probably get doubled up by BOTH of them. But I wasn't complaining. I won a few more hands, lost a few more hands (on horrible coolers) and after Squirrel sent me a video of Carley asking me when I was coming home (I'm a sucker for that kid already) I racked up my $1200 chips and headed home with a nice profit for the night.

Looks like Miami and their 'Big Three,' that being Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and whoever has the whistle in their mouth...are going to win the NBA title. No way Miami loses three in a row. I told anyone who would listen to me...and I'm sure you can search on my blog posts last fall and discover it for yourself...that when Miami got off to that slow start....I still thought they would win the title. Some teams just need a little kick in the ass to get going. And for as much as a shitbird that Lebron was for how he handled his exit from Cleveland? The guy is an awesome freaking basketball player. Closest thing to Jordan I've ever seen. I like OKC's players...but the thought of Clay Bennett (that M#$&( F9873q4'er) getting to enjoy a championship with the team he ripped from Seattle? I couldn't stand to think about that.

Okay...to the subject line of this blog post. Nit vs. Maniac. And yes...I'm sick of the word 'nit' as it applies to supposedly super-tight poker players. You can lump that word in with a variety of other words you hear around the poker room, usually from guys between the ages of 21-31...words like 'spewey' or 'donkaments' or 'binked' or 'aggro' or....you get the picture. Bottom line...having a conversation with players who use these euphemisms is f-u-c-k-i-n-g   a-n-n-o-y-i-n-g!!!!

So...I have been accused numerous times of 'being too tight for my own good.' Whatever. Is it true? Some may say yes, some may think like I do. Let them think whatever they want to think. As long as you get results, who cares? Right? Well...yes and no. I'll be honest, there is something to say for beating the shit out of your table and piling up chips. For one...as long as you have your table covered, you never have to worry about any ONE person knocking you out on a hand that goes askew. And that is a nice luxury.

It is also a benefit to have your table terrified of you. Having a big stack also means your blinds aren't preyed on as much. It also means the guys from Poker News like to hover around your table more often if you are playing in a big event. If you're single...and playing in the WSOP...you might even attract some chip whores to the rail to sweat you...thinking you are about to be a big shot millionaire in the next day or so. Oh....there are lots of benefits to accumulating a big stack early or mid way through a tourney. In fact...there really aren't ANY bad things about having a big stack ever! 

The point that I would like to emphasize...is that having a big stack is completely NOT necessary when it comes to winning a tournament. And to a lot of guys who 'get it' this is really just Poker 101 shit I am throwing at you. But surprisingly, a lot of people might actually read this and say to themselves, "wow...that guy Monkey is really brilliant, what a great point he makes." And the fact that their are those of you out there who come away with that reaction? Frightens and alarms me.

I think men in general...have a problem with ego interfering in their game. Not quite as much with women. How many times do you see a guy limp in...or even raise...and refuse to fold to a much bigger bet? Even though he KNOWS the guy who raised (probably a tight player who you can put on one of three hands with his raise) has him totally dominated? To me...that is ego. I mean, what else would YOU call it? You know you are behind. You know you aren't getting a good price to call. You know your odds to make a better hand are bad. But yet...they still call. Some might call this a 'spite call.' I myself have been guilty of the 'spite call' many times. I might not like the guy. I might hate his outfit, or his hair, or his mannerisms. Or maybe he showed me a bluff earlier for a huge pot...and now I'm willing to call his huge raise with my pocket threes...and go set mining to ruin his tourney. We've all done it. But something about men...they do it more. And they generally are made to suffer because of it.

Back to my point. (uh oh...Carley is waking up...the crying has started...its 'bottle time' for the princess. Then diaper time. Then hold me cuz my tummy hurts time. It might be awhile before I finish this! Whoa...wait...I think she fell back asleep!)

Big Stack...vs I Don't Care How Big Stack tourney strategy:  The bottom line is this. Say you start out with 10,000 chips at 25/50? You have 200 bb's. Or 133 rounds worth of chips. You have NO reason to ever panic...for a LONG time. Why guys decide to raise anywhere from 4 to 8 times the big blind in these levels is beyond me. It's just fucking stupid. You will see the good players raising 2.25x or maybe 2.5x. Why? They want to play flops. They want to build pots. They want to get to know the other players at the table...to see how they play after the flop. Its what I like to call...laying the foundation. Bad players...they just bomb away with bets no one is going to call...except the guy who has their JJ crushed with QQ's or better. Then they never get away from their hand on a 10-high flop and go broke before the blinds even get to 50/100.

So...in my world? Anytime I play a tourney with 10k or more in chips...I love to see a LOT of hands in the first 2 or 3 levels. I mean...I'm talking, probably 20-25% of the dealt hands. And I do very little raising. If I do raise, I'm raising light. I prefer to do a lot of limp/calling though...which is great for masking the  strength of your hand. While also finding out who your super-aggressive players are post flop. Some of you might notice (those who pay attention) that I seldom wear my headphones and dilly-dally on my iPad in the first 5 or 6 levels, because I am busy studying the table. Everything about the table. And once I have committed all of their habits, patterns and tells to memory, thats when I usually escape to my own private mental resort.

If during these first few levels, I manage to catch some good flops, I try to maximize whatever value may exist in that hand. Bad players? They tend to run off their customers because they are 'scared' of getting drawn out on. I admit, I lose a lot of big pots early sometimes because I gamble on getting that max value...but end up letting guys suck out on me. I don't mind having this happen early in a tourney...since I've invested the least amount of time possible to that point. I will tend to protect my hand later in the tourney...with larger bets on all streets, to avoid the suckouts...and take down pots when I know I have them...because at that stage of the tourney? All pots are nice pots. The other nice thing about starting with 10k or more...and raising light....or limping and calling reasonable raises...is it makes it so much easier to get away from hands if you think you are beat.

How many times do you see shitty players commit so much to the pot preflop...or preflop and then after the flop...that once the turn arrives they just can't separate themselves from the hand? It happens a lot...and its where good players look to exploit the bad players.

So...moving on. Occasionally, this plan to accumulate chips through a fairly well mapped out strategy fails. And you miss EVERY flop. Or you miss every damn draw. Things...basically...just go like shit. You get to the 2nd break after level 6...and you have half, maybe even less than half...of your starting stack. Meanwhile, that annoying little German asshole with the skinny arms and the horrible hairdo is sitting on a stack that is 4 or 5 times the average...and you are hating his guts. But being on life tilt, and being on poker tilt...are two completely different animals. I go on life tilt a lot...and I credit my mental condition for that. My obsessive compulsiveness, my slight anxiety disorder...where little things about people that I find annoying will grow and grow and manifest.

Personally, I don't think its a bad thing to form a slight amount of hatred for your opposition. Often...guys who KNOW I hate them will sit over there accusing me of tilting. Hey...that's fine. I know I'm not. Not poker-wise anyway. And if they think I'm poker tilting...then they are liable to make a critical mistake when they think my raise (with KK) is me steam-raising...when they call me with KJ...and double my ass up when a flop of J-9-3 hits the board. Make sense? Thanks for the double up. Jerkoff.

So anyway...where was I? Yeah...your 'plan' for levels 1-6 didn't go as you had hoped it had. And now you are sitting on a small stack. But you, being a good player...who is patient, and has his eye on 'the prize' and not the cash tables 100 feet away...decides to regroup, to figure out where you are blinds wise. Okay...so you have about 15-20 BB's now. What you have is a great stack for 3-bet shoving all in. What you don't have a great stack for, is opening in lousy position with hands that aren't top ten or better. So you have to be a lot more careful, a lot more calculating, a lot more attentive. In short...you have to be a short-stack ninja! Which...through the years...I have earned a bit of a reputation for being. Do I like being in Short-Stack Ninja mode? Um...no not really. But I admit that sometimes I play some of my best poker when I'm short on chips.

Conversely, I also think I play pretty damn good when I am lucky enough to get a big stack. Why? Because I don't put my stack in peril. Which I happen to think is the downfall of a LOT of players who are good enough to pile up chips early in the tourney. They let their ego get in the way. Pure and simple. 6 to 10 levels of bullying the table and having their way with it...they can't allow themselves to slip into a gear that will see them protect that stack and pick people off when the chance arises, instead choosing to force the action, and often times spending a lot of time doubling up one short stack after another, until eventually they themselves get down to 20-30 big blinds and just start shoving every hand because they freak out at being so close to being short...and a lot of times will run smack into the guy with AA or KK and be gone. After having a huge stack all tourney...they are now OUT...often times not even making the money. I see this ALL the time.

Its a pretty simple formula. In levels 1-8...there really isn't that much to be gained from raising and stealing. Over and over and over. Other than the mental aspect you are gaining over some of the lesser experienced players. Personally? I could care less about the guy who wants to open 7 out of every 10 hands and win 60% of them. I used to. Now I don't. I could name 15 players who play with this style. Don't care. Get your chips early. You can't win in Levels 1-12. You can only survive. I might sit there and win 5 pots TOTAL in levels 1-10. My 10k might be only 12k when we get to 400-800. But guess what? When I look down at AKs at cutoff...and there is a limp for 800...another caller...and Mr. Late-Position-Limp-Punisher decides to make it 3000 on a total attempted theft of 3200 chips....as he's been doing all tourney long...what is he going to do when SUPER NIT over here (me) re-pops it...either shoving all in to pick up over 6k with 12k in my stack...or even wanting him to put me all in by merely re-raising it to 7500? I'm probably ahead of his hand 85% of the time there. If he 'gambles' like a lot of guys with big stacks who figure out the math and decide the math won't allow them to fold, and I win...I'm now well over 25k. Even if he folds...as do the other two...I've increased my stack by 50%.  

Know how long it would take me to get my stack from 12k to 25k in levels 1-5? Playing that same style of poker? Numerous hands.

The moral of the story? For those who like to accuse players like me of playing super tight...and just min-cashing? They just don't get it. Nobody is sitting there playing scared and folding their way to the money. I'll be honest, min-cashing rarely does me ANY good, since I am almost always backed, and min-cashing when backed is like almost not cashing at all. On the flip side, cashing at ALL...is always a better scenario than NOT cashing at all.  So when I am between 5 and 10 big blinds...and either in the money...or very close to the money? I am not going to shit the bed by moving in with some crap hand, just because I'm on the button and it folded around to me. If you play this game long enough...you will realize that you are NEVER out of it. Sure...with a small stack you might require a bit more luck. So be it.

Luck? If you took 18 players...paying 9 spots...gave them all the same stack...say 35 big blinds...I'm going to predict that the person who wins, is the one who simply got dealt the highest percentage of Top 10 hands...or who got luckiest. Skill will get you only so far in tournaments. I don't care what anyone says. Most of you agree with me. Granted, if you put a 'very good' player at a final table...against very inferior players...I think that good player has a decided edge. I think we have all been in those situations a few times...and it is a LOT of fun. But put 9 players at the table, all with equal skill levels...and I'd rather be lucky than good.

So...did I get my point across effectively? In regards to SUPER NIT style of play vs. SUPER AGGRO style of play? I think if I could choose one way to go about playing tourneys...I would play like the Dolan's/Smith's/Hallen's/Costner's/Taulley's of the poker world for the first 10-12 levels of every tourney...then switch into MY MODE the rest of the way. No one will ever be able to convince me that playing what I call a 15/15 method deep in a tourney is NOT the proper way to play tourneys. What is my 15/15 method?

Only open with Top 15 hands. And only make calls against short stacks with hands that are less than Top 5 hands...say something like 99....KQ...good, but not great...if the cost is LESS than 15% of my total stack. My feelings are that you have more to lose by losing that hand...and effectively doubling up a short stack...than if you win that hand and add a sliver to your stack. There are a lot of players who, if they have 3 times the average or more...will snap call any short stacks shove with a HUGE range of hands....for often-times up to 25-30% of their stack. I just can't convince myself that this is the way to win a tournament.

Okay...wow...this blog post is about the MOST poker-talk you will EVER get out of me. I welcome your feedback through comments. Please...if you want to leave some shitty comment...post your name. Otherwise, your comment means dick. Don't even waste your time posting it. 

Okay. Have a great day!

Monkey

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ohhh We Got Some Catching Up To Do!!!

Yes...I know...the silence has been deafening. Or golden, depending on your perspective. I am going to warn you...this could be a VERY long blog. Why don't I just break them up into several different blogs? Meh....why bother? You're still going to have to read them all, right?

I don't even know where to start. Suppose I will start by wishing David 'Lurky' Nicholson luck today as he goes back for the WSOP $1k...Event 33...with a lot of chips and only 14 remaining. It's amazing how many friends and acquaintances I have that are winning a ton of money and playing great out in Vegas this summer. Really happy for those guys!


My first day of playing Mr. Mom has been a complete success! Squirrel checked in once...and now just called, on her way from work. I'm sure she is speeding! She hated leaving this morning for her first day back at work since leaving to have Carley. But I think she knew I was capable. After she left, I turned on the TV and what was on HBO? 'Mr Mom!' Not kidding. The real old one...with Michael Keaton and Terri Garr.

I have a lot of political thoughts, theories and ideas bouncing around in my head...that have been fermenting over the past month. Not sure if I will get into them here or not. Sometimes, as I watch things occur, and I get all worked up about it...I need to vent, and think I will maybe do it here. But I have to constantly remind myself that this is supposed to be (at least sort of) a poker blog...and that delving into the political thoughts might result in losing half of my readers!


One thing I find particularly hilarious...and kind of just annoying...is watching Barack every time he boards Air Force One. Notice...how he tucks his arms in and kind of does a stairmaster-like jog up the steps and onto the plane? He even does it when he's leaving the plane. What message is he trying to send? That he's the 'healthy' president? Come on Barack! He smokes. I've never seen him out jogging. I think GWB jogged something like 10 miles a week...granted, I couldn't stand Bush...but when Bush boarded Air Force One...he gracefully boarded the plane. I just think Barack looks like a bonehead.

Oh...before I get too far into this blog entry...I want to announce that I have sold ALL 32 shares for the WSOP. And I sold them out in 5 days. I was pretty surprised...not that I sold them all, just that I sold them that fast. I've actually had to turn down 6 people so far. So to all you guys who called my package 'outrageous' or 'ridiculous' for the rate that I sold it at...well, I won't gloat...but I just hope I give you a reason to eat crow on my trip to Vegas in a couple weeks.

I got a call yesterday from a guy I've gotten to know real well the past few years. We've played together. We did volunteer work together in Tuscaloosa after the tornadoes. He used to be the guy who did all the website updates for the tourneys at the Beau Rivage. He had a buddy of mine back him last year in the Main Event in New Orleans and went on a real deep run, finishing 19th. He has recently gotten a full time job as a chef working in Orlando for Disney. But he still has the poker itch...which as we all know is hard to get rid of. He is a really good guy, very responsible, doesn't screw around with the other games in the casino besides poker.

Anyway, there are very FEW people I would ever want to spend money on in backing ventures. Not that I'm up to my eyeballs in disposable income right now, because I'm admittedly not. But even if I was, I'd like to think I would still use the same degree of discretion that I do when I'm counting all my pennies. Well, this guy is Brian Heptinstall. He is someone a lot of you probably know. He sent out an IM yesterday to a few of us...suggesting he wanted to take a 2-week trip to Vegas and see what he can do. I ended up calling him to see what he had in mind, and about half way through the conversation I was making recommendations to him...as far as what to sell, at what price, etc...and that I would try to help him. Why? Because I like how he plays. He's a very focused player. And for those of you who don't get to go to Vegas this year...or are just looking for a smaller-priced guy to invest in, then Brian might just be your guy.


He has no ego...so he isn't going out with the lofty promise of playing all the big glamor events. What he is looking to do is play a bunch of those $225 (or whatever they are with the juice) Deepstack events at 2pm at Rio that have been drawing nearly 1,000 every event. The one the other day paid $51,000 for first! Pretty sick value there. He would like to play a couple (if possible) $400 and/or $600 events at Venetian as well. And if he just happens to run good...of course, he will attempt to parlay it into something really huge...like satelliting into the Main. He has a good plan. And he isn't the guy who is going to go out and party it up and jerk around. He is a married guy, and very grounded. I am on his bandwagon. I think he decided he is going to sell a total of 20 shares (with each share worth 3% of his total action) for $200 a share. If you are interested in getting in on Brian's Las Vegas package...why don't you shoot him an email.  bheptin@gmail.com  or you can just as easily find him on Facebook.

I would ask...now that I have vouched for Brian...and tried to help him out with his plan...please don't bombard me with a bunch of requests to do the same for all of you. Trust me, I get a lot of people asking me to help them with their causes...and I try where I can...but its just too tough to take them all on...I'm sure you guys understand.

Sunday was our 7th show on the Radio Show with Scotty Clark. I have to say it went pretty well. My guest was Mark Rose...and I thought he was great. I am trying hard to ask questions I think all of our listeners will want to hear the answers to...so feel free, if you are listening, to let me know how you think I am doing on the show. One thing...I'm noticing...that as we go, its getting harder and harder to dig up guests for the show every week!!! It's really pretty hard too, with the WSOP going on...getting people that aren't busy playing on Sunday. Scotty and I are talking about a future segment...called something like "Monkey Vents!" or "15 Minutes of Monkey Rants!" Not really sure yet on the name...but it will be a great place for me to 'go off' and I suspect that once I get to Vegas, I will have plenty to fill that segment with. We are also working with the radio side of it...seeing if we can do pre-recorded interviews with our talent, so that we can get them when they are available, then play it on Sunday during the show. It would make things a lot smoother I think.


I have a deal of some sorts with Lock Poker. I say some sorts...because I really don't know what I'm getting back from them. I have now sent two emails to their two 'main people' who are supposed to answer all my affiliate-related questions...but have yet to hear back from them. I know I'm getting rakeback. Not sure how much. I think I'm getting rakeback on people I get to sign up. Again...no idea how much. And I also do not know if, or how much rakeback those people are getting. I DO know that they are getting a 200% signup deposit bonus...by signing up with my link then entering a special code 'thefuture' when they go to deposit. That much I know. Just so you know...that bonus doesn't pay immediately, you have to earn certain levels of points...and the bonus money gets released incrementally. If you played on Stars and/or Tilt you are familiar with how they do this.

IF you have already downloaded LOCK, but haven't played yet...click this link to join up and give me a referral and yourself a rakeback plan (of some kind!)

IF you haven't downloaded LOCK...or played yet either...click this link to download the software, join the site...give me a referral...and set yourself up with a plan of some kind.


Shout out to my little sister, who was named Co-Coach of the year at her college up in Wisconsin...she is her school's Athletic Director as well as Softball Coach. Very proud of her. And she was allowed to go on a 2-month leave of absence so she could go to Grad School at the University of Washington this summer, and spend time with my mother. Janae has always been a great sister, and never fails to amaze me with her drive, and her determination.

Frank Kassela, a good friend of mine...who appeared as my first guest on the radio show...and who's 4th of July party I will be attending in a couple of weeks hit a Royal Flush on a video poker machine the other day...for $100,000! Of course my first question, was 'how much went into the machine to win that?' He quickly responded...$1700. That my friends...is a pretty good ROI!

Saw an interview on Ellen the other day...where she had P.Diddy on her show. Now, I never used to be a real fan of Puffy, or Diddy, or P. Diddy, or Sean...but then after his appearance in the movie...oh wow, what was it? 'Get Him to the Greek' I think...he was awesome. Well, he was pretty cool on Ellen....but as I'm watching it, I'm like..."Holy shit...that is the SAME, almost EXACT voice, and even accent (Brooklyn in nature) as that of Dwyte Pilgrim....a.k.a. 'The Duke!' I mean...it was uncanny. Not sure if those of you who know Duke have noticed this or not. Next time you see or talk to him though....listen!

There are a couple of things....that when you have thrown out your back...things that you really kind of take for granted, that are very difficult to perform. Can you guess what just a few of them are?

Do I tell you about my return trip to the Pensacola Dog Track this past weekend first? Or do I share with...and break down...a couple of comments I received, but didn't publish...from our resident Mr. Anonymous? Hmmm. I am starting to think...through my incredible ability to break down writing styles and basic themes, that our Anonymous writer is the same person. I used to think I had a whole bunch of haters out there...but I think anyone who has played with me the past two years has realized I barely resemble my old self of a few years ago. And furthermore...those who even kind of know me a little bit understand I am not the hateful, berating smart ass I was either. Which makes it hard to believe there could really be that many players out there still clinging to their disdain for me. And if they still do? Dude...seriously, grow up and move on!
So...lets get into this.

First, our old buddy Chad Burns has resurfaced...crawling out of the gutter to wish death upon me and my newborn daughter. Yup. Classy, classy kid that Oompa Loompa from Spring, Texas....aka 'Outskirts of Houston.'

It started innocently enough. I was skimming through the daily lineup of people's wall posts, and I happened upon Michael Hallen's post. Something to the effect of running like crap and trying to make it all good by going and getting a full body massage. To which....we see a chime in by Chad, "Hey I saw that chick Amanda Musumeci just took down like 400k...why don't you go hit her up for some money!!??" And again, this might not be exact...since that post is now gone. But its very close.

Cue Kevin Helper...another player I am fond of, and friend of Hallen's who sees this and quips that Chad should try this himself, since it's worked out so well for him in his other ventures.

KABOOM!  The Burns Dynamite Keg goes off! Unfortunately, or fortunately I guess...Hallen deleted the next few exchanges of messages...so I can't post them here. Because if you are a human being with even KIND of a heart...it was utterly appalling. Chad went off on Kevin...and attacked his family, calling his daughter an ugly piece of shit...etc etc etc...in very typical Chad Burns fashion. Well...I saw this, and though hesitant to get even slightly involved, especially since the Troll had for the most part slithered out of my life the past 6 months or so...couldn't resist at least showing my support for Kevin. I think I said something to the effect of "Well, look who's back? I see somethings never change...wow. Kevin...you're daughter is adorable, don't listen to a word that clown is saying on here."

Time for Chad to tee off on me! I guess he was referencing a comment I left on Lauren Kling's Facebook...after some photographer out at the WSOP had posted some photos of a bunch of female players. I said she was, in my opinion, the most attractive female poker pro. Period. I have known Lauren since she first started playing. We met in Tunica...where she was with her Dad...a really nice guy. I have always thought she was a sweet girl, and a very good player. We see each other occasionally at events and chat...nothing too serious, just friendly conversation. She is dating (I think) a guy named Matt Marafioti...who I had at my table in a Venetian event last year. Nice guy. Great sense of humor. I kept calling him Toby Maguire...actually I was calling him Spiderman. It was a fun day of poker.

Okay...so Chad blasts me on Mike's wall...then...to confirm what he said, because Mike deleted his comments...after texting him telling him he was removing his comments AND him as a friend on Facebook...he turns around and messages me making sure I saw what he said about me.

  • Here's what i wrote just in case you missed it, FAGGOT!!! Lauren Kling does not like you, dumbass...get a clue!

    "Poker Monkey", no one gives a flyin' fuck about your opinion you pathetic piece of garbage! You giving anyone a compliment is a complete insult because everyone who knows you also knows that you simply don't have it in you to give ANYONE a compliment about ANYTHING unless it somehow benefits your worthless self! Sure Lauren is pretty, of course she is and of course she knows that...but rest assured that she definitely doesn't need (or want) to hear it from some washed up 46 year old poker player who is dead broke and mad at the world because he hates his life and himself! Nice job on creating fake Twitter accounts for Matt Marafioti by the way...same exact thing you did to me months ago and I've already told Matt it was you that did it...real cool buddy, how old are you again? Oh, 46? Awesome!! Now please go die in a fucking grease fire and make sure you are holding your newborn piece of shit daughter as you burn to death!!! And for those that don't know this piece of trash named "Poker Monkey", ask around in the poker community and see just how hated he really is...NO ONE likes or has an ounce of respect for this idiot! "

    TO WHICH I RESPOND:

     William PokerMonkey Souther
    • This is what you wrote where? And who is Matt Marafioti? Why are you blubbering about Lauren? I've known Lauren since she started playing, Chad. I have no interest in her romantically, just happen to think she's a nice girl and a great player. I really wish I knew what was at the root of your mental illness. I can't figure out who your more of a danger to, the community or yourself. Wishing death upon me is one thing, but my daughter? Wow. You got problems Chad. Btw for the record, it wasn't me who created that faux Facebook account of you, but Jeff Timms. You really should take a nice long look at yourself in the mirror and decide what kind of person you would like to be. You still have time to do something positive.

      Will Souther

Interestingly, he never replied to this comment. Is that perhaps a sign that he realizes just what an asshole he is...or was? That maybe he was reflecting on possibly changing his ways? I would like to think so. I mean...I simply have run out of energy or reason to engage this putz. When you see just how sick the guy is...the correct/proper reaction I think...should be to just keep as far away from him as possible. I'm just amazed that he has lived as long as he has. Because it isn't just me that he talks to like this. It's anyone who crosses him. Very bizarre.
So this is the screenshot Mike Hallen sent me in his exchange with Chad.


So that was a fun day. I sent a quick message to Matt letting him know my part in whatever this little 'deal' was...hoping he put zero amount of thought into it and just laughed at it. If not, I guess I will have to deal with it the next time I see him.

Wow...this blog is going to be so long. I have quite a little tale about Pensacola this past weekend.

First...and I'm not even going to that story next...is there anything more offensive as an intelligent person (I'm only speaking to those who are intelligent here) than when an idiot tries to convince you that something is the way it is...like a stupid rule...because its a STATE LAW!??? I mean...first of all, for them to assume that you will buy that, they have to be rather stupid to start with, right? And secondly, they have to think that the person they are telling this to is STUPIDER than THEY ARE! Now...that's a whole lotta stupid going around. But when that same person tries to sell that 'It's a State Law' bullshit to someone with an unusually high level of intelligence? Well...that's just some furniture-smashing brand of ridiculousness! I'm guessing at some point in your life...you have encountered this moron...answering your question with "Because it's a State Law...it's not me...it's them. I don't want to get in trouble."

Dude...how bout this? How about if I just kill you? Seriously. All you are is a roadblock in the way of smart people trying to get ahead in life. We will chalk it up to natural selection...you just weren't equipped to make it on this planet. Survival of the Fittest. Honestly, I'm doing you a favor. Now just stick your head in this guillotine and I will end your (and all of ours) suffering here on Earth. Bye Bye!

 Let me get to this guy's reader comment. Captain Anonymous. Not because it upsets me...as much as I kind of just want to point out just how pathetic and sad some people can be. Actually there is two of them...pretty similar in tone and theme.

SAYS ANONYMOUS HATER:

When you brag about all your tournment success to people, do you inform them that they are small tournments where the skill level is not that high. You min cash alot which is a sign of just playing tight not good. You claim that you would make millions if you were staked in big buyin events. you are delusional. Is that what you tell your wife that all you need is a shot and that is the only reason your not successful. Stop poping pills all the time. your brain is deff messed up from all the ativan/xanax.

MY REPLY (here, for the first time)

First let me say...you say a lot about your level of intelligence with all the spelling errors. It's hard for me to feel sufficiently 'beat down' verbally when the person doing it sounds like a moron. Next. Bragging about all my tournament success to people? Um...if you were capable of interpreting messages, you would understand that I was 'making light' of my success at the Dog Track. You ask if I inform them that they are a small tournament where the skill level is not that high? Now this really shows how defunct you are of an ounce of intelligence quotient whatsoever...since the THEME of my entry was just HOW bad the skill level there is...and that the field contained EXACTLY 72 players. Did you feel that somehow got left out? And if you knew ANYTHING about how badly they DO play over there, you would understand why I thought my victory there was SO shocking. Beating horrendous players is MUCH more difficult than beating what I would deem 'quality' poker players for reasons that if I had to explain to a simpleton like you would make me this blog read like 'War and Peace.' So I won't even try. "You min cash a lot which is a sign of just playing tight, not playing good." Oh yeah? Really? You're basing this on what exactly? Your in-depth experience of witnessing ALL of my tournaments? Or just other player's assessment of my play from your past experience? "Monkey is a total nit...who only ever raises with Top Five hands!" If this is what I have spent 7 years making other players believe? Then guess what? I have been successful, you joker. If you had a shred of common sense, you would be able to do a little deductive reasoning and figure out how a player is using that tight (alleged) image to his benefit against good players. But I am quite certain you don't...so wasting any more breath explaining early, middle and deep poker tournament strategy to an anonymous hater is really just a waste of time. So I will continue on.

I claim that I would make millions if I could find someone to stake me in all the 5k and 10k events? And that I'm delusional? Um..yes, I do, as a matter of fact. And no, it is YOU that is delusional...guy who won't even sign his name to his comment. If you understood anything about tournament poker...than you would understand just how realistic my statement is. Is that what I tell my wife? First...what does my wife have to do with it? Second...my wife has just as much confidence in my ability as I do. So you can kindly leave her out of your comment. And what would a comment be without a comment relating to popping pills, suggesting my head is 'deff' messed up from all the xanax/attivan. Well...gosh, you MUST be right...cuz that 3 or 4 attivan I take a month (prescribed by my physician) has GOT to be screwing me up. Xanax I do not take. Never have. You left out adderol...which I also take maybe three or four times a month. I literally use it for two things. Long road trips. And long poker tourneys. Or stud tourneys...where I need to be incredibly attentive and dialed in. I have a pretty healthy case of A.D.D...but instead of getting a full prescription to it...and taking it EVERY DAY...I simply use it when I think I will benefit most by using it. I realize that for haters like you its just a very convenient piece of ammunition to attempt to fire at me. Sorry pal, wide left!

End of Reply to Hater Comment Number One.

HATER COMMENT #2 SAYS: (in all caps for added effectiveness) This one I will respond to in a different shade of text...behind each comment. Since he was nice enough to number them.

#1. QUIT CALLING YOURSELF A PRO. YOU SUCK AT POKER!  (when all you do for a living is play poker...and have managed to pay your bills over the past 7 years doing it...wouldn't it make it your PROfession? If you file taxes as a PROfessional gambler...wouldn't that make you a PRO poker player? Whether I suck (in your opinion) or not...you can't argue with the fact that my profession is PROFESSIONAL POKER PLAYER.)#2. DONT GO TO VEGAS AND WASTE ANYONES HARD EARNED MONEY. WHAT IDIOT WOULD BACK YOU ANYWAY? (sorry to disappoint you, but I AM going to Vegas, and I will be going with the money of 32 different people, who all thought I was a worthwhile gamble to try to turn their investment into more money. If they feel they are wasting their hard earned money...well, its THEIR money to waste, isn't it? I hope that answers your second part of the question...which idiot would back me anyway?)  #3. DONT SAY"THE ONES OF US WHO GET DEEP IN EVERY TOURNEY" YOU BARLEY MAKE THE MONEY CAUSE YOU PLAY A TIGHT ASS MAKE IT IN THE MONEY WITH NO CHIPS SYLE. (It's this question that makes you sound a lot like the author of the first comment, or just a good buddy of that person. I say 'the ones of us who make it deep in every tourney' because, quite frankly...it IS the same group of us. Yeah...us! I play a 'tight ass barley(sic) make the money cause(sic) you play a tight ass make (some hyphens here would be helpful) the money with no chips syle (sic) [by the way...for the stupid...'sic' means 'spelling incorrect'] If you are referring to me being a patient player who doesn't panic as a result of looking at all the chip stacks around me being 3 or 4 times higher than mine...and shipping it with Q8 suited...instead waiting for an actual 'playable' hand...then yeah...I'm guilty. I've had a LOT of experience playing short stacks into wins...as have a lot of other very good players. You can't have a monster stack EVERY tourney...and so when you don't...the best way to get from the top of the mountain down to the base...isn't to just jump...but to take the long, meandering path. Yeah...the moral of that story? Don't 'shit the bed.') #4. DONT BE LEAVING HOME FOR LOG PERIODS OF TIME TO WASTE TIME AND MONEY AT SOMETHING THAT YOU SUCK AT, WHEN YOU HAVE A NICE WIFE AND NEW BABY.(again, I'm not sure what concern my wife and kid are to you. It's actually kind of creepy...and it feels like you are making a play for my wife. If I didn't have the support of my wife...trust me, I would never leave home.) #5.DONT GET MAD AT SOMEONE DOING YOU A FAVOR BY BEING HONEST AND TELLING YOU THIS. EVEN IF IT IS ANONYMOUS. IF SOMEONE IS TELLING THE TRUTH IT DOESNT MATTER IF ITS ANONYMOUS OR YOUR BEST FRIEND. JUST CAUSE YOU WANT TO FIND OUT AND BEAT THEM UP, THATS FUKIN STUPID! (this is where you, Mr Anonymous, really come across as a complete assclown. And a chicken shit. First of all...I'm not getting MAD at you. I'm laughing at you. You think you are 'doing me a favor by being honest....whoa whoa whoa...gotta stop there. Honest? You chicken shit loser...you can't even sign your fucking name to your comment...and you want to preach the merits of honesty? Seriously? Do you even KIND of realize how stupid that sounds? It doesn't matter whether it's anonymous or a friend if someone is telling the truth? Well, I would beg to differ. First of all...who is saying what you are telling me is the truth? YOU! No one else. And we don't even know who YOU are! If my friend tells me something...they are coming from a point of having qualified themselves as someone who actually DOES know me. Who represents themselves by taking responsibility for their statement.  So what? You aren't leaving your name because you are afraid I will hunt you down and beat the fuck out of you? Well...then once again...that just makes you THAT much more of a pussy. The best thing for you to do....seriously? Would be to just shut the fuck up. Pretty sure 99.9% of my readers will agree with me here.) #6. TAKE YOUR DUMB FUKIN LOUD MOUTH MONKEY LOVIN ASS AND GO GET A JOB. (NOT POKER PRO).(My monkey lovin ass? Um...for the record, I do not own any pet monkeys. So that comment makes no sense. And if you haven't played at my table since 2008...I guess you don't understand or realize that I barely talk at the table anymore. Not that I wont....especially if challenged by your stupid ass. And if I decide to go get a job...that isn't in the category of playing poker...I will do that because I want to...not because I am being advised by some internet message board tough guy hiding behind his keyboard.) #7. AND LAST OF ALL, ADMIT YOU STAGED (oh wow, really? We are back to THIS subject again? So all the posted police reports, the pictures of the perpetrators, the court dates, the detectives names and phone numbers....wow, none of that pounded it into your thick fucking head that we actually DID get robbed? And that my down payment for our future house in Biloxi was taken from us? Which is why we are still renting the same house) YOUR HOUSE GETTING ROBBED, PAY EVERONE BACK WHAT YOU TOOK (huh? Pay everyone back what I took? You have no idea what you are talking about. Who are you suggesting I pay back? There were NO victims of our home getting robbed other than my wife and I! Oh, I had to make up a shortfall of cash to cover all of my football pools...and I did that. By winning/chopping the last $550 Venetian tournament that February. Came home...and immediately paid EVERY single winner of my pools. There is a reason I have had the same group of people, and more every year, playing in my pools for 15 years. So....uh...go fuck yourself) AND WE WILL CALL IT EVEN FOR THE ADVICE. (call it even? Oh...okay thanks Doctor Phil) AND I GUESS YOU MAY AS WELL ADMIT WHAT YOU TOOK IN THE VEGAS (admit what I took in Vegas? What does that even mean or allude to? Are you referring to our rental house getting home-invaded while 5 of the 6 occupants were all out playing tourneys? The one person who was there had her purse emptied...and she pointed out where we hid the grocery money that we all chipped in on. I didn't have anything else taken. Nor did anyone else in the house. So what exactly you're alluding to...as 'admit what I took' makes no sense whatsoever. 

I don't know what made me post these messages...with my responses. I guess part of it is that over the past two months...I have really had the chance to discover a whole different side of life. The side where being a dad...and a partner with a woman I love in raising a child in this fucked up world...has made me see just how completely ridiculous and pointless all of this kind of shit talk is. I can only assume these are the comments of young, immature little assholes that are motivated by jealousy. Hey...I know I'm not THE greatest, let alone even ONE of the greatest players to ever live. I'm not an idiot. But hell, I'm in the top 100 players of ALL TIME in total cashes. And that feels pretty good. Like I've accomplished something somewhat meaningful. And I've made a lot of friends among the players, dealers and tournament staff. I've gone through the peaks and valleys. I've been kicked out of casinos...and worked on my attitude and personality and just kissed a few butts, to get back in. It's been a very interesting and colorful ride the past 7 or 8 years. I have a few regrets, but not many. I know I'm a pretty good player. I know because I will sit at a table and be able to dissect errors at a staggering rate. Its the same as when I played baseball. You know you are good because its easy to spot other players' weaknesses...except those who are better than you. And those are the ones you look up to with respect, and try to learn from. Its the same in poker. There are certain players whose skill I admire, and try to learn from them...by watching certain parts of their game.

But I think any of you who know me know that I am not one to go around bragging...ever...about anything I've ever achieved in poker. If anything, I'd like to think I'm pretty generous with the self-deprecating humor as it pertains to my poker playing experiences. I can now take comments like the two above with a grain of salt...whereas maybe a year or two ago it would really piss me off. I mean...if a GOOD friend of mine pulled me aside, and said all that to me? Oh...that would make a pretty major impact. But until that happens? These comments are just a place for me to work on my improv/comeback skills.

Ahhhh...a little update on the Event 33 $1k that Lurky is playing in....they started the day with 14 players...and now are down to 9. Nicholson is sitting 5th in chips. There aren't a lot of names I recognize at the table...included are a Canadian, a Swiss and a Russian...oh! But there is one guy who's name we all recognize...and that would be SUPER PRICK himself....MATT STOUT. I would say I would love to see Lurky get heads up with Stout trailing by a 10-1 chip deficit...and come back and smoke his ass for the bracelet. But I really don't want that to happen, because that would mean that Stout would win $273k for second. Naw...I'd like to see Lurky knock him out for 9th place ($32k) instead. Guess I have to fire up the live online feed now and watch. Maybe I will get lucky and see some Rio police dogs attack Stout for the bag of dope he has in his backpack...that would be awesome! Jeezuz...just got the live feed up...and Stout is wearing a damn NY Rangers jersey. WTF? Remember the scene in 'Wedding Singer' when Adam Sandler's character ordered his ex-psycho girlfriend to take off his Van Halen t-shirt before she cursed them and caused them to break up? This is what I am feeling right now.

Pensacola:

Went to my house again on Saturday to some work. The fleas...despite 4 treatments so far...are STILL present. Bad. How aggravating! So I did nothing but yard work. I talked to my friend who told me there was a $100 tourney at the dog track at 7pm. Sold! Got there at 6. Found someone with a ticket and bought it for $75. Then lost $120 in cash game. Played tourney.

Holy shit. Had the infamous 'Chuck' at my table. From my experience there last year. Chuck is this old, curmudgeonly asshole...who drove me bananas! He gets it in bad like getting it in bad is a cure for cancer.  He has no sense of pot control...or anything else. Just grabbing and throwing chips. Well he grabbed and threw me about 3/4 of his stack over three hands before donking off the rest of them a bit later.

I just sat there for 6 levels watching with complete astonishment at the horrendous play. I literally do not think I've ever seen anything like it. Raising...with any hand but AA was a waste of time. No one EVER folded...and if you tried to c-bet after flopping air, you almost always either get called or they just open shove. Three-betting is obviously against the law over there. Preflop raising anywhere from 6 to 10 times the blind is common place. What's most fun...is when 7 players limp for 200...and the guy in the big blind makes it 1500...and they ALL CALL. What's even more fun...is when the guy bets like 3k on the flop...and gets 4 callers. But wait...the turn sees them all check! And even greater...they all check the river!!! Poker!!! Like you'd never see anywhere else! So I just shifted my game completely...into a totally goofy mode. I was limping in with a lot of hands I'd ordinarily be raising with. AQ. 77. AJ suited. And it was nice because no one was raising. So if I actually hit a board, I could milk some value out of it...because there was/is always someone calling and paying you off. And if it checked on the flop and/or turn...I could almost always take down the pot with a decent bet on either the turn or the river.

So we got down to about 21 players remaining...out of 57...with first place paying $1450. I was above average and thinking about a repeat win in this Den of Mutants. And then I got the dreaded QQ. This guy who took about 4 minutes to act every damn hand raises to 3600 at 600/1200. Guy across from me flat calls the 3600 leaving 10,500 behind. Hmmm. A bit odd. I look down at QQ and make it 12,000 to go. Slow guy tanks and folds KQ (I'm told after the hand)...and the young guy across me starts agonizing...and counting his stack. I immediately put him on something like 88,99 or 1010. And its confirmed when he asks me if I have something like JJ or QQ. "Yep...good read." Because the way I run with QQ...and about 9k in the pot of other people's money...I'm okay with him folding. Especially if he has overs. But for some inexplicable reason...and he said it had to do with his remaining chips and how much was in the pot...he called anyway...for the remainder of his stack...with pocket 10's.

And once again...bad luck bit me in the ass...as the dealer put a ten on the flop. Fuck! And it held. I was left with 8k. And I did make a bit of a comeback...getting one idiot who limped for 1200 with J8 to call my all in from the BB with AKs. I hit nothing, but neither did he. Got really card dead...and didn't have any chances to steal a round of blinds either...and finally....with a guy limping UTG...I decided to ship 12BB's with QJd...only to get called by the guy with AQ. Ugh. He won. I lost. And I was out 17th I think. 

Went to the cash table. Didn't have any dust-ups with any of the players...but there was one with a dealer. This same dealer pulled some stupid shit here last year...and it was related to my iPad. He's one of those dealers...think his name is Gerry...who, even though there is something that NONE of the other dealers worry about, or have an inkling of a problem with...this guy makes it of epic importance to focus all of his attention on the most minute BS. That day with my iPad I wanted to smack him over the head with it. The floor guy finally told him it was fine if I used it....just so that I wasn't using it while in a hand...and slowing down the game. Obviously...the 'common sense' rule.

Well, this week...it was something even stupider. I was in the 4 seat. I didn't have anyone at the table that I had started disliking with any great degree of angst....yet. So a buddy of mine from over there comes over with his girlfriend to say hi...and basically, just being polite, I stand up from my seat, and take like one step back...to engage them in conversation. I happen to think its pretty annoying and rude when players stay in their seat and talk to their visiting friends there at the table. Sure most of you agree with me. So I am standing...literally two feet from my seat. The dealer goes to put out the next hand...and as I turn around I see him passing me. 

"Why did you decide not to deal me in?"

"Well, you weren't in your seat. And we aren't supposed to deal to a player if they aren't in their seat. It's a State Law!"

Yeah! The 'ol 'it's a State Law' comeback. Typically...I could care less about missing a hand, especially in cash game. But I will at least ask why the guy didn't deal me in. So when he responded with that answer...I went a little nuts.

"First of all, I was two feet away...and most dealers will ASK the player in that situation if they WANT a hand this time. You didn't. Secondly...you are claiming this is a STATE LAW!??? Really? I am going to go ahead and guess that there was NEVER a session in the State House of Representatives where a bill was presented to make it a LAW to not deal a poker player into a hand who isn't sitting in their seat. The fact is, you don't know what else to tell me without sounding like you know what your talking about...so you are telling me its a State Law...in hopes that I will just accept that and flutter off like a wayward butterfly. If its a house rule, FINE. But don't try to sell me this can of BS that its a State Law...because I know better!!!"

So, being a spineless dork...he snap calls the floor. And I think this is where a lot of players get nervous. Oh my god! The floor has been called! I'm in trouble now! That player is not me. Instead, I'm excited as hell to hear how he will spin this. And is it just me? Or is it almost 92.75% of the time where the dealer will almost ALWAYS embellish or completely change the story to benefit his/her position? Its so fucking irritating. And I know its coming. And of course...he didn't disappoint. I stated my case...the floor guy was real cool about it...and he left. 

It didn't end there. Now I was just wanting to win a shit ton of hands so I could stiff this asshole. Problem was, I didn't.  Dammit. But I had made allies with the kid in the ten seat...who thought I was pretty hilarious I think. Guys have this ability that most women don't have...wherein we can 'talk' to each other without ever saying a word. They call it non-verbal communication. I call it 'guy talk' because I've never been able to 'chat' that way with women, ever.  So dude over in the 10-seat and I are 'talking' about random shit at the table...some involving this dipshit dealer. Then I see him spit into an empty coke bottle.

"Ohhhh...now that right there has GOT to be against the law!" He looks back at me...and says...under his breath..."shit yeah it is...shut up!!!" and puts his bottle down with a grin on his face.

BOOM! Dipshit explodes! FLOOOOOORRRRR!!!!  What the fuck!??? Now, I can't WAIT to hear how this one gets explained. So as soon as that same floor guy returned I tried to take the bulls by the horns...kind of explaining to him what just happened...and sure enough...assclowns tries explaining it like I am fucking with him. (the dealer) And then dude in the 7-seat...who had a hair-do I'd been making fun of (looked like a waxy helmet) but hadn't started to dislike yet and hadn't said anything ugly to him (just the guy next to me) suddenly blurts out that I was directing comments to the dealer and being a smart ass. I go off on him...and then the floor guy pulled me from the table and asked for an explanation, telling me he knows of me...and honestly, he handled it perfectly, to his credit. After I explained myself, he totally understood, and then when we returned to the table the kid in the 10-seat also told him what had happened.

Nothing else happened after that. A couple dealers I know from there...who used to work at the Beau...came by and told me that the guy was a bit of a whack job. No!!!??? Really? Well...at any rate...I'm glad I didn't get the shit end of the stick on that deal.

No...that was the guy at the table behind us...who, after running OVER the 2/5 game...was forced to leave when he had words with one of the local players who he busted...and who then came back to the table to ask him 'what you said' before he walked away. That escalated into a war of words...and before we knew it the table was surrounded by security. Both players had to leave...and this guy, despite begging to be allowed to stay, had to rack up three racks of chips and cash out. Bad beat.

I got down $150 early...but worked my way back up to $680 before cashing out and driving home...so I would be home for my first Father's Day! It was a great one too. Squirrel gave me the sweetest card ever...and even custom made one from Carley. We all went to dinner that night and Carley behaved pretty well. That night...while playing with her on the bed...she had her first LOL. Yup...she laughed out loud...for both of us...not once but twice. It was just 'one of those moments' that had I been in Vegas right now, I would have missed. I love this kid so much...she is so beautiful, and amazing. And it has really made the bond between Squirrel and I that much stronger. These 12 days in Vegas coming up are going to be tough...being away from them...but for what's at stake...and what it could mean to our little family? It's very exciting.


This seems like a good place to end this marathon blog that has literally taken me 4 hours to write!!! Hope some of you made it this far!!!

MONKEY