Sunday, July 29, 2012

Let the Run Good Continue....

Since I had been home from Vegas, I hadn't ventured out of the house once to play live game. I suppose a big reason for that is that we went to Auburn for 4 days to watch my nephew's All Star team to play a baseball tournament. And then, after getting knocked out early...their whole family came down and spent 3 days with us. Not really a good time to skip off to the local casino!

Two nights ago, I got on Lock to play some tourneys...this after picking up a couple hundred playing cash game the night before. In their $10 rebuy...I was in for a total of $30. We got down to 4-handed...and I thought I was about to catch 'Mr. 3-bet' with his hand in the cookie jar. When the first guy raised, and he re-raised, I shoved a decent amount with 10-10. Uh Oh...the first guy smooth called. That's never a good sign! Mr. 3-bet folded. I was up against AA. Yuck. And it held. Out in 4th. Oh well...not a bad score. $305. A few days ago...I was also able to deposit on Lock with NO problems at all. Used my debit card...and it went right through. And I think I've figured out what my rakeback deal is for people who sign up under my referral ID. Pretty sure anyone under me gets 36% rakeback. You also qualify for a 200% deposit bonus by entering 'thefuture' in the bonus code space.

So last night...I finally got out of the house to go play some cash game. First, I went to IP. There were only about 4 tables running...which I found odd for a Saturday night. And the casino was really full. Where were all the poker players last night? Don't worry...I found them later! So I sit down, and start with $500. I started out on fire. Within an hour I was up to $780. 
Then I started getting creamed. Tried to get cute with AA...as the really aggressive OMRG had raised to $7...and a relatively short stack made it $15...I just decided to flat the raise...hoping the first guy would re-pop it, maybe even putting that short stack all in for his $60 or so. Well...I let Mr. Q-10 off in (a guy I would later bust when I made a dead on read...calling his all in shove on a 10-9-9-5 board and two diamonds with me holding 77. I put him on a flush draw or QJ. I was right. Flush draw. And he missed thank god. Guy even complimented me on my call on his way out. That was classy of him. But on the Q-10 hand? He flopped trips. I figured that out right away...when the guy with KK check, and I bet $25 and he just flat called. As did the guy with KK. It wasn't until the turn when I bet $40 and he shoved all in that I got the picture. I folded...

Then on a live straddle I had J9s as the straddler...no one raised. The flop comes Q-10-8. Two hearts. Nice. I check..intending to probably check raise. No one bet. Turn is a 10 of spades. Shit. Always something to make it interesting, right? So I bet $25 here. OMRG...a guy I just could NOT seem to beat all night...re-raises to $50. Oh jeezuz. And I figured he had to be raising me with a 10. Oh...I was right. So the river is a 6 of hearts and I figure I have to be good. I bet $65. And he shoves for about $225. Son of a ..... I fold my straight face up. And he was nice enough to show me K10h. Flush. Jeez. Those were the two more memorable hands. Oh yeah, then there was 10-10 against AQ guy...who just conveniently flopped Q-Q-5...and allowed me to double up his shortstack. 

All told I went from $780 to $380 in about 40 minutes. I was getting super annoyed but managed to keep my emotions in check. And about this time...I decide to check my email and my fantasy baseball team. On my iPad. In between hands. And on one of those side tables. Basically...away from the game. As most of you may know...from either reading my blog, or playing there...back in June the IP decided to implement a new policy, wherein they know longer allow iPads, or even texting at the table. I'm told it was a function of their new management...which is Boyd Gaming. Now...I find this kind of peculiar, because at one of Boyd's other casinos...Borgatta in Atlantic City...they have no issues with players entertaining themselves at the table. But for some reason its a big deal in Biloxi, Mississippi?

I suspected it was a few of the older players who bellyached about it...and got someone to take up the cause for them. So on literally the first day of the policy, I had the floor guy/shift manager Michael immediately bust my balls about it. And coincidentally, I was just coming off a terrible orbit or two of hands. So it was magnified by that. 

As poker players...have you ever had that floor person, or dealer sometimes...explain a rule or house policy to you and always preface it with something like "thats just what THEY tell us." Or the "I don't like the rule...but I don't want THEM getting mad at me." It's never something they want to just take accountability for right? Its always...'Oh it's someone else's rule not mine' but they seem extraordinarily excited about enforcing it. Know what I mean? 

So I tell you this because I was close to never going back there to play because of that stupid rule. I mean...every other casino (practically) on the planet Earth is okay with iPads and iPhones...hell Harrah's New Orleans even FINALLY came out of the Dark Ages and started allowing them at the table...but for some reason IP has a big issue with it. Nonsense. But I was contacted by a few guys that work there on my Facebook. They told me they didn't want to lose me as a customer, and that it wasn't THAT big of a deal...that I just needed to keep it off the table, or on a side table, and as long as I wasn't slowing down the game...no one was going to make a big deal about it.

And they were right. I don't want to post the names of the other two or three shift managers, on the off chance I get them in trouble for NOT being hard asses about the rule...but none of them have been up my ass about it when I've been in there the past couple of months. And I've been respectful about it. Only using it for things that didn't require my full attention like word games and stuff. 

Oh but Michael seems to have made it his number one thing to harp on. Either that, or he just likes busting my balls about it. So of course last night...as I was in my $400 swoon, and decided to check my email and then my fantasy baseball team (looking for a reason to be happy!) here he comes...lurking behind me. I can feel him there...like when you are on the bus or a train and that person is trying to read the paper over your shoulder. I'm not in a hand. And I have my iPad on one of those little tables. And he is just hovering there. I finally turn around and ask him if he needs something.

"They (there it is...the 'ol THEY again) aren't going to let you use that in here." Really? They aren't? Who is THEY? No one else was there...and the other guys who are USUALLY there don't have a big problem with it. And I told him he is the ONLY one who makes a big deal out of it. "Really? I'm the only one?" "Yes...Michael...you are the ONLY one." And we left it at that. But he spent the rest of the night perched in his little hole in the corner spying on me. It was irritating and stupid. So I just put my iPad away. Fuck it. Meanwhile I ran my $380 back up to $920...which is what I cashed out for...because it was dying down and a little birdie told me there was juicy action going on at the Hard Rock.

So I headed over there. There was a guy in the 6-seat (I was taking the 5-seat) who had a ridiculously obnoxious stack...I wish I had taken a picture of it...but lets say it was about 12 stacks of 10 white chips..then a pyramid of red chips where each stack consisted of $50...all told it was a stack of about $2200 he told me. But I think it was more like $1600. At any rate...this guy was actually a pretty cool dude. We got pretty friendly. And on one huge hand...I shoved all in with about 700 in the pot...holding two pair...and knowing he was on a draw. Well he called my $805 all in...and thankfully missed his draw. And I was stacking. That caused him to go to the pocket and pull out about $2k. This guy was hilarious. When I sat down he was raising constantly. But I think my presence kind of slowed him down a little. But not totally. He really liked getting his chips in play...and it certainly opened up the table a ton. It was playing more like a 5/10 game. Which was fine with me...since no one but him and I had big stacks.

Yes I know...I am running the risk of being accused of 'The Burns Stack Pose!'
So...to make a long story just a little bit longer...I had one of my better cash sessions of all time. With my $420 profit at IP...I cashed out at Hard Rock $1900 and change...so a nice little $2300 night. Definitely covered the stop at Wal-Mart that I made on my way to IP for diapers, formula and dog food! I even gave Squirrel a little monetary gift this morning...since she has been having a LOUSY time at work. She switched to days (used to work swing shift 5-1) so that we would have a better 'Carley Schedule' and she has just been making NO money. We figured it would be worse...but not to this extent. So it makes me feel good when I can (a) come home from Vegas with some badly needed money and (b) to have a great night at the cash table. I've actually had quite a good run in cash this summer...having made a total profit in June of $2900...and now with last night, almost showing a $5k profit in a two month, limited playing schedule.

So back to this 'electronics rule' at the IP. Yeah...its really annoying. But my big question is this: With the WSOP-C coming here in 10 days or so...do they intend to enforce that rule during the tournament? And if so...are they prepared for the negative backlash that is going to come with it? I mean...I really like the IP. I like the manager over there, Jim Sterling...a LOT. And I've gone overboard trying to promote ALL of their past events. I really, really want them to keep building their tourneys. And frankly, I'm excited about this first event on the WSOP calendar and think they might really get a good turnout. But the thought of taking that HUGE step backwards...with something as ridiculous as not allowing players something they have really gotten accustomed to? Just seems very foolish. I guess we will just have to wait and see how they play it. Or...if I am able to get an answer from Jim Sterling about that topic, I will be sure to share it with you guys.

One other thing that I am hearing from other players...and it doesn't affect me, since I live here...is hotel room rates. Now, the IP has always (in the past) been really good to the players, and always offered them a decent poker rate. I want to say it was like $59 during the week and $79 or maybe $99 on the weekend. Which isn't too bad, especially if you are rooming with another player. But I'm being told by 4 or 5 players that they are being quoted a poker rate of $149 and up. Wow! As players...there is nothing we like more than being in the hotel where we are playing, for a lot of reasons. And to have to look outside of the property for something that fits into most players' budgets is just another factor that could cause a player to hold off on coming here and maybe waiting for a different tourney. 

Okay...moving right along. This is becoming a rather long blog, and I have the radio show to do today. We have a really good lineup today too. Joining us on the show is my good friend of over 20 years, Chad Brown. Yeah, one of the rare 'Chads' who can tolerate. Also, we have Sam Barnhardt, a really good guy who is as Southern as they get. Sam won the National Championship in its first year last year...and has had some other nice scores along the way, including last year's Main Event. And lastly, we have another good friend of mine...Annie LePage. Some of you might not know Annie. I used to kid around with her and call her Heidi all the time because I think she looks like my life-crush Heidi Klum. She is one of the best looking gals in poker...and is from Canada...and sports a French-Canadien accent. She recently got out of  a relationship with Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow...and you can be sure I will have some questions about that. My co-host, Scotty Clark...is recovering from...well, his WIFE is recovering actually...from totaling Scott's truck yesterday and breaking her wrist and ankle. 

Regarding the radio show? I think I've had about 3 or 4 really good shows...and a couple that sucked. Like last week, I was not in the zone at all. I sucked. I will try hard to bring my 'A' game today. Speaking of 'A' game....being played  tonight at Kai Landry's Chateau is the...how has he coined this? The World's Undisputed World Poker Champion of the World Championship.Yup...that's it. Coming to play will be a special group of people...some who have qualified through satellites the past two weekends, then a few of us who are getting in on 'special exemptions.' We might even have a seat or two open for 'the right player' should they contact Kai today sometime. Game time is 9pm'ish tonight! And this is what we are playing for!

The Claw is guaranteed to be on hand...and Squirrel might even come out of retirement to give it a shot! Should be a fun night...and seriously...I have NO idea what the hell I am going to do with 'The Hubcap Trophy'...which Kai has proclaimed in his blog to be 'The Greatest Trophy in the History of the World.' I have pledged, if I win it...to run in my boxers around his neighborhood, carrying that mammoth eyesore...screaming like an insane idiot. I would have done it naked...but I don't have the urge to visit Biloxi's jail tonight.

I have a few non-poker related things that have been piling up that I feel like sharing. Yes...call this segment...Monkey Vents. Oh...back to that point. I wish we would stop getting such good guests on the radio show every week...because I am very eager to open up the phone lines and interact with the listeners. If any of you have sat with me at the poker table when I was jawing with a fellow player, either in a playful fun way, or in a spiteful...wishing-pain-upon-them kind of way...you know I have some pretty decent improv skills. I am anxious to show them off...but that is Scotty's call to make. I'm just a lowly, unpaid intern on the show.  :)

Nicki Minaj. Ughhhh. I don't hate her. I don't know her. And to be fair...she seems kind of cool in her interviews. But her music? I HATE IT! Her voice...and that stupid thing she does with it? It drives me NUTS. I can't help but think she is one of those artists that in about 10-15 years...when people hear that crap...they will be like..."Holy shit...people actually listened to that garbage?" Yes...yes they did.

Has anyone seen the commercials being done by Natalie whats-her-face? Also know as Octo-Mom? If you haven't...you probably think I am making this up. I am not. She is the paid spokesperson for a company that is basically giving Shark loans. One of my Facebook guys told me they looked at the site...and they are charging 621% on a $100 loan! No bullshit. Wow. I just can't for the life me see how they were sitting around trying to decide who they should get to rep them, and that they came up with her! Really? This world just keeps getting more and more effed up every damn day.

What do you guys think of 'Flo' in the Progressive commercials? She has had a pretty good run....what? About 3 or 4 years now? What is the shelf life on her? How much does she have in the tank? Will she ever get another acting gig? Or is she branded/typecast for life now?

Y'all here about Fred Willard getting arrested in the porn theater for lude conduct? Why is 'lude' underlined by word check? Am I spelling that word wrong? Is my brain not picking that up? It's not giving me a good replacement? Maybe later in this paragraph the light will come on over my head. Lood? No. Lude. It doesn't even look right. Wait....AHHHHH yes...LEWD! Hellllo!

Okay, so yeah...back to the Fred thing. Okay...there is something I don't understand. First, why are there even STILL porn theaters in existence? I mean...with all the copious amounts of free porn online...why would anyone leave the privacy of their home to wander into a (typically, not from personal experience but from what I hear) dark, disgusting, funky-smelling theater to join four or five other strangers to watch and get off to some porn flick? And how do you get busted in one? I mean...isn't it kind of understood what you are there for? Who rats that person out? I mean...is someone actually THERE who finds it offensive? Makes no sense. And first it was Pee Wee Herman...sorry, Paul Reubens...and now Fred. If you are an actor, or ANY kind of public figure...why in the HELL would you ever step foot in one of those places?

It just goes to show you...no matter how much money someone has, how much fame...there just is NO cure for stupid. Stupid will find you....and it won't let go. You can't get away from it. It's like the Ebola virus. 

When did hotels start putting towels on a rack IN THE SHOWER? And why? I literally think that might be the stupidest thing I've ever seen in the hotel industry. They do understand, right...that we are taking a shower in there? Which involves lots of steam, and water splashing around? And the intent of towels is to DRY the water off of you AFTER the shower? And for tall guys like me...there is NO way in hell you are NOT splashing water all over those towels. Utterly ridiculous.

The movie 'Splash' is just coming on. Can anyone tell me what the hell ever became of Darryl Hannah?

Am I the only one who cringes every time those Cars.com commercials come on? With the person talking to the salesperson as their 'confidence' comes out of them? I think the worst is the black guy who has a worm like 'self' coming out of his back. I would like to think whoever came up with that ad campaign was in the middle of a monster mushroom session that inspired that idea. Had to be.

Okay...I could go on...but I have JUST enough time to POUND a couple of VERVE energy drinks in preparation for today's show. By the way...you can buy Verve directly through me! Just click that link up there in the corner...go to my page and order some. The 5oz shots are really kick ass, and the drink is a nice substitute for the organ-destroying Red Bull. They will ship the stuff to your front porch! I just got my second case delivered this week. Think I will bring some to Kai's tonight and see how many addicts I can create!

Oh...I would also like to thank the State of Washington for the Rainier cherries they've been delivering to us down here in the south. I know they are only in season for about two months...so I am getting my fill of them. They are SO SO damn good. I caught Phil Hellmuth on Facebook calling them Mount Rainer cherries...I felt compelled (and so did) to correct him. Anyone ever seen a cherry tree growing on a mountain? Yeah....uh...no!

All my fantasy leagues and Survivor Pools.....for the upcoming football season are UP and rolling. I can NOT wait for football season! If you want to get on my pool distro list...shoot me an email at ThePoolMonkey@aol.com and I will add you. I have 4 fantasy leagues (two separate $200 head-to-head league, a $400 Big Money head-to-head league and a $200 Rotisserie League...all run on Yahoo) and they all have limited openings in them. I've been doing these leagues now for about 10 years. I love it!

Okay 10 minutes til air time...gotta go!!!


Monday, July 23, 2012

"I'll Take My Ball and Go Home!!!"

Who remembers that kid growing up? That little asshole who, when he didn't get his way would end up killing the game by quitting, and/or taking the ball and leaving? Well, since my run in the Main Event...I seem to have added a lot of new readers...so some of you 'inexperienced' Monkey Bloggers might not know about the story at the Pensacola Greyhound Track a couple months ago. To give you a little 'back' history before I tell you about this chump...I suggest you click HERE to brush up on the story first!

Remember my last post? About the Dog Track? The one where I was giving them more free 'pub?' Well...you can make an argument for me giving them...once again, the spotlight. I know...its kind of ridiculous...especially in this month where on only the 23rd I already have more hits than any month since last July. They really should be paying me. But I digress!

When we last left off, I was challenging the folks in management to follow up on the promise to evict me if I set foot in their joint. Well...the continuing saga of Doggie Poker-Gate continues...or, as they say...'zeeee plot thickens!' This is a story about a guy named John. Click that link up there...and you can see his picture...if you don't care to invest the time to read the history of this bozo. 

Let me attempt to summarize. I got a call from one of my 'confidential sources' (I know! Very official and/or spyish-sounding, huh!??) in the Pensacola area who was able to clarify these rumors for me quite a bit. Turns out...it really didn't have much to do with me chirping about rake, or dealers (albeit just one of them...Mr. Iron Fist) or bad players or abused dogs chasing a white towel around a track (thinking its a rabbit) for the glory of a skoobie snack and some guy name Tommy Ray Roberts (down South we got us a lot of folks with names that consist of 3 first names) holding a winning $3 ticket.

Nope, from what I can gather...they actually appreciate my occasional appearances over there. They know I treat the staff well...leaving far better tips than most, and showing courtesy to nearly all the staff. And merely writing about them...and what they offer, is easy for them to appreciate...especially when thousands of people see and read it every month...and they don't have to invest a nickel. So...from that end of things...I'm glad we both see eye-to-eye. 

Here is where the trouble lies. And hey! Isn't this ironic! If you follow my history, you will recall that in January of 2011, I was exiled from the Beau Rivage because ONE guy...a big shot diamond (or whatever their top tier card color is at the Beau- I don't have a clue) player...simply didn't LIKE me. Didn't like that I had busted his wife out of the previous day's tourney...and apparently had an opinion of me that went back a few years...probably when I was much more outspoken, a bit crazier, and certainly more controversial. But this was one of those assholes that doesn't keep up with current events. One of the guys who plays poker tourneys maybe once or twice a year. So when he saw his chance to 'show that guy Monkey' what he could pull...he went to his casino host...and DEMANDED that I be removed from the rest of that event...or he was threatening to take his play somewhere else.

And in the casino business...that is something that these pricks tend to get away with. The casino industry is down, across the board. So when one of your degenerate whales threatens to take his oodles of junkie gambling money to the casino down the street, they have no problem making some poker player who doesn't play (hardly at all) in their table games suffer the consequences. I believe some call it collateral damage. Sure...I play all the tourneys. And a shit ton of sit n gos. They make their fair share of rake off of me. But us poker players? The casino really doesn't give two shits about us. We are VERY expendable. Ever been sitting in a cash game at casino, and try to order something that 'requires' a higher ranking of player card to get for free? The waitress doesn't even ASK you if you might, possibly, be in possession of that card. She just TELLS you that you can't have it. Why? Because it requires a ____ card to order. It drives me fucking nuts. 

So yeah...that was why I was banned from the Beau Rivage a year and a half ago. And oh...the boys tried (unsuccessfully, since I was told the truth later by people in the know) to paint some bullshit story about my 'behavior' being complained about by 'several' players...and that I was just being asked to sit out the rest of that event. Hmmm...yeah. So when I just bit the bullet...and left peacefully...despite knowing I'd been fucked, I figured it wasn't worth pursuing and possibly making any worse. So next...I attempted to play the next event there. Even contacted the poker management there to let them know I intended to play their event...and asked them to let me know if I should expect not to be able to play. No notice ever came. So I bailed on plans to play at an event going on at the same time in Oklahoma. I show up on the first night...and get turned away. Why, I ask? "You know why," I'm told. Um...no, actually I don't.

And this was where my little war with the Beau Rivage began. And one person in particular. It was action that was unfair, and inappropriate by them. (or him) And then when I attempted to start a group to get their attention...threatening to stop playing their events until changes were made...he went to his security person at the Beau Rivage, Eric Newton...and had me (no idea how THAT conversation went) 86'd from ALL MGM properties around the nation. Why? No idea. When I wrote a letter to him, to the Table Games Manager, the Casino President, and the Security Director...asking for an explanation...do you think I got a reasonable response? The correct answer...is NO. In fact, not one of them responded, at all! It was at this point that I just decided I didn't care anymore. I mean...why should I have to FIGHT...to be allowed to go to a place where I'm giving away my money? When I haven't done anything wrong in the first place? I've played all over Vegas in MGM properties...for years...and never had a single solitary incident even once. But oh...this guy didn't like that I started a group on Facebook...so he gets me trespassed from all of them. I found it appalling that management for the Beau Rivage, and/or MGM would find his behavior responsible or professional.  But...what do I know?

So...last month...I decided to remove that group from Facebook. Why? I don't know. Didn't seem to be serving a purpose anymore. And I have Carley now...and can't travel as much now. It would be nice if I would have more options available to me in my home town. I hadn't said a damn word about the Beau or their management in over a year. And last week...I happen to be checking out their structures for their current event going on up in Tunica at Goldstrike...and the event that follows it at the Beau in late August. They look, at the risk of sounding like I'm endorsing their event...impressive. 8000 starting chips, 30 and/or 40 minute levels...and pretty much every blind level. So hey...maybe they DID hear me...in all my PREPOSTEROUS demands that they pull their heads out and give the players decent structures. Another thing I noticed; their juice charged on their tourneys isn't completely out of control. In fact...its pretty reasonable...which is a lot more than I can say about a lot (most in fact) of the other tourneys going on right now.

So...what did I do? I sent a text message to the poker room manager there...and told him I would like to be considered for re-admittance to the casino, and having my ban lifted at the other properties. I did not hear back from him. So I texted him again two days ago...letting him know that a response, either positive OR negative would be appreciated. I still haven't heard a word back from him. Okay folks. You tell me...is there a step I'm missing in there somewhere? 

Did I get side-tracked? Ehhhh...maybe, just a little bit. 

But this is where we are heading here with Ferret-Face over in Pensacola. So before I give you the crisp details of this guy's little campaign to rid the Dog Track of future appearances of 'Senor Monkey' allow me to pose a question to you first. (and you guys who run the poker room over there in Pensacola)

When you sit down at a 1/2 table...with your $200...maybe $300...you expect to play a certain kind of game right? The standard raise is usually between $6 and $15 usually, right? Maybe $20 in greater extremes. You get to play a lot of hands. The money usually gets passed around a fair amount. No one gets their feathers ruffled too much. Standard 1/2 table, right?

Enter...the player from the 2/5 game. Only...tonight, there is no 2/5 game. Not enough interest, or players to get it going. He pulls out about a grand...and is told he can only play $200. Of course...he knows this. He is just trying to impress and/or intimidate the rest of the table, letting them know he is a big shot. Except that all the other players just roll their eyes. Because they know he is just a jackass. He then turns the game into a joke. No flop can be seen for less than $30. His sole intention is to bully the table. Within half an hour...most of the table wants him to die...or get busted, at the minimum. We've all sat down at this table. We all know this guy. We all hate him. Is this guy good for the game? This guy who pisses off, and actually ends up running off several of the players who refuse to sit there and fold every hand to this assclown?

Well...this jacktoad...is the guy who is responsible for trying to get me blocked from going back to the Dog Track. Why? Because I was the guy that had the balls and the bankroll to stand up to him when he was pulling that bullshit the last time I was over there. It took me about 6-8 minutes to decide I hated this guy. His face, his demeanor, his style of play, his bullying tactics. And I liked the other players at the table...so I casually took a few pictures of him...hoping I'd be able to tell a story about him later (successful mission) and set to work on busting his ass. I would lay a couple traps for him...and bust him, twice causing him to rebuy. I said very little to him. But after awhile...he started saying some shit to me...so I simply responded with short, incomplete answers that frustrated him more than anything, and amused the rest of the table.

His foolish pride wouldn't allow him to take his foot off the gas...and now that the other players had seen me stand up to him...they started getting a little more brave as well. He would lose a few big pots...then get lucky and suck out to get back to even. But I just sat there and kept winning. And when I got to about three times my buy in...and it was 3:30am...I decided it was time to call it a night. That's when he started shooting his mouth off. Telling me I couldn't leave yet. 

"Sorry champ...I'm tired, and got stuff to do tomorrow."
"But I thought maybe you could stay and teach me how to play poker!"
"Sorry sir...not only do I not have any interest in teaching you how to play good poker, I don't have that much time left on this planet!"
He was still talking shit as I was saying my goodbyes to the 'pleasant' players at the table and making my way to the window to cash out.

So. Here is the story. This clown....J-O-H-N...goes to the manager over there...or one of them, and (after finding out...probably from another player or a dealer) that I had posted his photo in my blog...and talked about my experience playing against him...DEMANDED...that I not be allowed to play there anymore. That I had somehow crossed some line by taking his picture and talking about him. Two things: (1) There is no sign posted over there about taking pictures of other players. (2) I said nothing that would defame his character or damage his reputation. So...on the basis of thinking I did something wrong by posting his picture and talking about him...he is swinging at air.

He threatened them with not playing there anymore. Yes...I'm not making this up. Or trying to be funny. He is one of their regular players. And I'm sure they appreciate his business. But I have to think he drives a hell of a lot more players away than he attracts. And why would the management over there kowtow to a guy like that? And his threat to not play there? Ohhh scary! Where else is he GOING to play? When I asked that question of my source, he kind of laughed and said..."Oh...he told them he would go and play at house games instead." Seriously? That is what he threatened them with? I'll take my ball and go play at house games? Now that is hilarious. 

I mean...they all regard the guy as a fish over there. And none of them WANT him leaving, for that reason alone. But him trying to impose demands on them? That they evict a player because he 'talked about him' is comical. Its like 'Little Jimmy' going to the principal in 4th grade and ratting out Tommy Lucas for sneaking a smoke behind the gymnasium. Get a life Little Jimmy. And you too, JOHN! You are a clown, pal. A wanna-be bully who's only form of bullying is the ability to throw a bunch of money on the table and try to turn that into a form of power. Guys like you in poker are a dime a dozen. They come and go...year after year after year. Guys like you, are...in a word...L-O-S-E-R-S.

I'll be honest with y'all. One of the biggest reasons I was hoping I would have final tabled the Main Event this year? Was so I would no longer have to deal with these assholes. These pricks who think because they toss their money around on a regular basis, that they have some sort of entitlement. And what makes it worse...is there exists, in management, some people who actually cave into their childlike behavior. But one of the nice things about poker (I guess, though it shouldn't HAVE to be that way) is that once you become a 'universally recognizable name' in poker...you don't ever have to worry about that petty bullshit anymore. And yeah...that would be nice. But alas, my 175th place finish did not quite get me to that point. So I shall continue to exist on that 'second layer' of poker fame...known by most in the full time poker community, but not well enough to get hounded by passive poker fans at the airport and grocery store...or well enough to never have to worry about the 'fleas and ticks' of the poker world creating irritating situations.

So...this is where my 'situation' with the folks at the Pensacola Greyhound Track now lies. If any of you folks over there would like to call me (I know you have my number since you called to tell me I was invited to play your end of the month freeroll this month) and tell me I either have the green light...or the dreaded red light...it would be mighty nice of y'all...and prevent me from having to deal with another annoying episode.

Okay...I had some funny things to discuss...but it can wait for my next entry. Time to get ready for the night game...and packed...as we have to leave after the game and drive home. I'm sure I will gather more nuggets of hilarity to share. One thing I need to talk about is Kai Landry and his pathetic trophy that I am about to go win on Sunday. After winning it, I have promised to strip to my boxers and jog throughout his neighborhood shrieking like a mental patient. Then I will probably take the thing down to the beach and fire an easily-acquired AK47 at it. (yes, that was a controversial gun control reference)


Friday, July 20, 2012

Enjoy Your Free Advertising DogTrack Poker Room

Hi friends. It's Friday. My 4Runner is in Pensacola getting fixed. The last time it was there (last year) it cost me $2400 for them to figure out what was wrong with it. A simple wiring issue. While doing the repair work they destroyed the dash. Attempts to cover their damage resulted in a half-assed cosmetic job that ended up gooping up when it got hot, which...when you live in the the south, is about every day. So they agreed to replace the whole dash ($1800)...except that I had to pay for half the labor. $350. I guess I'm supposed to be happy. Whatever. It's done...and I'll be glad to get it back. Especially since me, Squirrel and Carley are going to see our nephew Dylan play baseball in Auburn, for his All-Star baseball team. If anyone is thinking about coming by to rob me...there is nothing in the house worth stealing. Just giving you a heads up. :)

I've decided who I am endorsing for President. Don't think it didn't come without a little bit of hesitation. To be honest, I think Obama is the 'hipper' of the two...and acts a lot more smooth. Romney is one of the biggest cheeseballs I've seen in a long time. As a kid...if I went to spend the night at a friends house, and Romney was the Dad...I would probably stop being friends with that kid. He's just a bit of a dork. That being said...I feel like the past four years in office have been one big party for Barack and Michelle. One that us taxpayers have been picking up the tab for. It's disgusting. One elbow-rubbing dinner with celebrities after another. Air Force One has become Barry's limousine to scoot all over the world to make sure he never misses out on anything fun and exciting. I have heard one account after another about what a bitch Michelle is, and how bad she treats her 'help' at the White House. I swear, I wanted to like these two four years ago. I thought Michelle was pretty, thought Barack was a pretty 'cool dude.' 

But the luster has long since worn off. Sure the stories I hear may be just rumors. But common sense and experience on this planet tell me that where there is smoke...its usually very hot at the core. I just feel like everytime I see our President on TV is speaking down to us. His smug, condescending way of speaking (which wasn't present pre-2008) to us is nauseating. When he takes the stage somewhere, its as though he wants everyone to know how lucky they are to be in his presence. And what has he done to 'change' our nation the past 4 years? Get us deeper in debt? Make zero progress with our military? Continue to lose jobs? It seems like the central focus of his presidency has been raising money so he can be re-elected. I don't know how in the hell I got on their email list in the first place...but I get about 2 or 3 emails a day from him and his campaign lemmings, trumpeting all the reasons why I should send them a donation. I've even asked to be removed from their mailers...but they still continue to pour in. 

I hate this time of year. I really do. All the back and forth, character-slamming campaign commercials. They're just stupid. I'd like to walk into a room full of the assholes who sit around and dream them up and drop 21 bags of burning dog shit in the room, then back out of the room and padlock the door. I'm not sure what that would accomplish...but it would sure be funny as hell!

People keep trying to make such a big deal about Romney and his personal fortune. That he's hiding financial records. WHO THE HELL CARES? Seriously? How many presidential candidates have we had that weren't wealthy? And in America...nobody gets wealthy without some shady accounting. Tax loopholes are the American way. What I'm more interested in, is that the guy worked as Massachusetts Governor for 4 years and never took a salary. Think Barack would do that? Hell no. I get the impression that Romney has had his fun already. He has traveled the world with Ann. He has made plenty of money. I really think he wants to be President because he wants to get this country back on track. And if I'm wrong...so be it. I just can't stomach another 4 years of that slick, BS-talking Barack with all his rhetoric and talk of change that never happens.

If Romney gets elected, there isn't a doubt in my mind that he will be a lot of fun to clown. There will be a lot of jokes. He is the consummate tool. I just don't think we will ever have a 'cool ass' President who is also a good President. So I will take my chances on the dork. I mean...if Bill Gates, in all his Dweeb-dom can ascend to richest man in the world by building a computer empire...well, see my point? While we were all busy playing sports, dating the hot cheerleader, and going to all the cool parties, there were those dorks at home studying, or in their science lab...getting smart, and prepared to run the world. Hey, I have no regrets. I defer to those guys. So...Mitt...you have my support...go bury that Democratic Socialist. PS: I have a secret strategy for the Mitt Romney campaign that could turn the election. Wait...this might be taken the wrong way. It involves all-you-can-eat-and-drink offers the Monday before election day. Yeah...I'll let you finish that one on your own.

On to the topic of this blog post. Ever notice how I always seem to fail to address my subject line until I get deep into the blog post? Sorry about that.

I have played at the Pensacola Dog Track's Poker Room a grand total of...I think, 5 times. During this time, I have had 3 winning cash sessions, and won a tournament. So its safe to say I have been profitable there. I also have about 10 (possible more) dealers over there who I am very fond of...that used to deal in other casinos. We continue to trade comments on Facebook. I am happy to see that they finally replaced that beat up old sign out on the road leading into the Dogtrack. They have also made improvements to the poker room itself.

During a trip there this summer, I made mention to the horrendous amount of juice taken off the top in a tournament I played in, and subsequently won. I didn't bitch too hard about it, just pointed it out. I'm pretty familiar with dog track poker rooms and small Indian reservation poker rooms that take an exorbitant amount of juice in their poker rooms. The bottom line is, they tend to be the only game in their area, and probably get whatever they can. I mean, we ARE a supply and demand society...and the aim of any capitalist driven entity is to get as much as you can from your consumers, correct? So from that standpoint...it makes perfectly good sense. In defense of PDT or PPR...or whatever three-letter initials they are calling themselves, I did happen to explain that the reason for their crazy 30%-plus juice was in direct relation to the freeroll tourneys they hold every month and once a year for their players that qualify through a point system. They build that prize pool by taking it out of the player-generated prize pools in other tourneys. 

Now, this is certainly their prerogative. Granted, most of your casinos tend to run these freeroll tourneys with prize money that comes from various sources. Partially from players in previous tourneys. But also from the casino itself...so that it is a mutually funded freeroll. This way you don't see the daily tourney's prize pool being butchered the way theirs is. And its not such a big deal if you live over there...and are pretty sure you will qualify to play in the End-of-the-Month cash grab. But if you don't...like me for example...its irritating. I got my phone call from PDTPR while I was literally sitting in my seat on Day 2 of the Main Event in Vegas...telling me I had qualified for their end of the month freeroll tourney, a tourney that was being held that weekend. Yeah, can't make it, but thanks.

The only other thing I've vented about on here regarding the Dog Track Poker Room...is the mind-boggling style of play over there. It is one of those things that you hear about...but still can't believe it after you have sat through a few hours of play. I used to be very vocal about how people played...making my opinions well-known while sitting at the table. Now...don't get me wrong. This isn't one of those conversations that end with one of the old-school players handing out that standard advice: "Hey dummy....shut up, don't tap the glass! Don't make fun of the bad players...you just run them off...and kill our cash cow!"

No! We all get THAT one. These aren't players who are 'going to be run off' for one thing. They come...they bring their money...and they KNOW they play like insane maniacs. It's not a secret. They play hands no one else would dare play against a 4-bet re-raise. They make calls with bottom pair when they just KNOW you have been betting on every street of a rag board with AK. (sometimes correctly, most times not) These are people who you aren't prepared to match wits with...because they don't possess any. Its just pure and simple a contest of what they can get away with. Its...for lack of a better description...a freak show. Which is one of the main reasons I label my victory over there in that tourney as my most IMPRESSIVE victory EVER...ANYWHERE. I can get through a field of 6,598 players who exhibit the highest degree of skill with not too much difficulty. But getting through a field of 75-100 of what comes out to play at the Dogtrack? You need supreme abilities that aren't related to poker. Night vision goggles. Chinese throwing stars. Ninja fighting sticks. Those are all tools that would be a lot more useful than the ability to place a well-timed bluff.

So...a little birdie tells me the other day...that I need to be prepared. That the next time I wander into the Pensacola Dog Track Poker Room...that someone from there is going to ask me to leave. Citing as their reason: "If he has such a problem with us, he doesn't need to play here." Oh boy...this again? Gentleman of the Dog Track. First of all...in lieu of losing my mind at the table...this is where I release. This is a blog. A written blog. Where I share my thoughts and ideas. No one is FORCED to read my blog. Nor should my constitutional right to write and share my thoughts and views be used against me in a persecuting manner. See...the things I write about on her? They are being spoken by MANY MANY other people. But because my thoughts appear in a place that gets an average of (at last check) 5,586 hits per month, you see me as the guy you need to TARGET? Is your skin really THAT thin? The whole 'we'll show him' thing is really kind of childish, don't you think?

Before I reveal to you just how much I am actually DOING for you...let me remind you of something. You are a dog track. Threatening to 'kick me out' of your poker room? It's right up there with one of the 14,348 Waffle Houses telling me I can't eat at their Waffle House because they don't like that I sassed the cook for not making my hash browns crispy enough. I'm not sure my life will ever be the same. Keep in mind, I live in a town that HAS several casinos in it...with more on the way. The only time I actually play at your venue, is when I just happen to be in Pensacola to check on my rental house. 

Now...let me point out for you what I am doing for you. Are you familiar with the expression: 'Any publicity is GOOD publicity?' Its very true. Do you hear any other poker players talking in print about your poker room? Doubtful. I have nearly turned the Pensacola Dog Track Poker Room into a living legend with my many tales about the 'Chucks' of the place and the dealer with the Iron Fist. People who would never even think about playing at your place have told me they ventured there simply out of curiosity after reading about it in my blog. Do you not grasp the concept of wanting people to be talking about you? Creating interest is tantamount to being successful. How many horrible commercials or TV shows do you see that, despite them being horrible, EVERYONE talks about? Now...don't get me wrong, I'm not calling you a horrible poker room. I actually think you have a pretty good thing going over there. You have good dealers. For the most part. Most of your floor supervisors appear to 'get it' and are reasonable with their rulings.  And I think you have been good for the community over there. Those are called RINGING ENDORSEMENTS from the Monkey. Okay? So calm down. 

Just because I write occasionally about a few things I observe, or some players that I find comical...these aren't things that should cause you to get your fur up. Nope...these are just the makings of a poker room with character and flavor. You DO want to have character and flavor, right? Well...then let me work my magic. You and I will work together! Not battle each other. How silly. I will make my 3 or 4 annual appearances a year, give you guys a fun story on here in exchange for my experience, thus bringing out the curiosity seekers and simply adding to your legacy. Actually...since I found a place about halfway between Biloxi and Pensacola...at some exit in a town called Wilcox, that has the most amazing Liver and Onions ever...I might have to increase my visits to your place!

Oh...and speaking of food??? If you go to the Dogtrack on Friday or Saturday night? They have a special menu. And I'm not going to lie...the first time I ate there, I had a pork tenderloin that was incredible. Of course, the next time...I was going to order it again, but they weren't featuring it that night. I had a NY Strip instead. It was also great. And the price was right. And if I need to mention one more great thing about the Dogtrack...and oh, for the record, as I just tried to click/save/paste a logo for the Dogtrack...but failed, as it wouldn't save as an image, I am pleased to present you with their official name. PENSACOLA GREYHOUND TRACK and POKER ROOM. If you would like to check out their website...click on the all cap title back there.  Sorry, another sidetrack there by Captain Sidebar. The other thing I must mention is their massage girls. CHEAP, by industry standards...at merely a buck a minute, whereas most of the places we play are $2 a minute. And they are good. 

So there you go 'Guys at the Dogtrack.' I am not thy enemy. I will be there again. When? No idea. Could be awhile. But if you send someone over to 'run me' off...well, you will only be hurting yourself. But something tells me this was just a 'little misunderstanding' and we are all good now. Yeah? Hope so. And memo to Ebro Dog Track...please do NOT be lobbying for me to come visit your poker room. Trying to create a legend on the coast is tough work!

Have a nice weekend folks. Squirrel should be home from work any second...time to head to Pensacola and pick up my car...now with properly functioning AC, a fresh oil change and rotation, and a brand new dashboard!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

True Colors...Not Always So Pleasant.

I saw a quote one time...correct me if I have it mixed up...but it went something like this:

"Measure a man's character, not by what others say about him...but how he talks about others."

About a month ago...I posted a blog here that was titled 'Nit vs. Maniac, Which One are You?' I talked a great deal about tournament strategy...and how it pertained to me, and my own style of play. I think on many occasions, I have shared my opinions with all of you, one being that were I to find a way to play 10-15 $5k or $10k tourneys a year, I would have been a millionaire a long time ago. 

I got a couple of unsavory comments from some of my stereo-typical haters telling me all the reasons why I was delusional for such statements. Some who went as far as to suggest I was 'stealing people's money' by selling shares of myself. It's not like these comments don't have 'some' kind of impact. I mean, I 'am' a human being, after all. But more than anything, they buoyed me to prove them wrong. To make them eat crow.  And despite the disappointment that came with getting KK cracked by 10-10, and NOT going to over 1m chips..and getting deep, probably easily into the Top 100 (out of 6,598 players from all around the world) I emerged with a pretty good sense of accomplishment in this year's Main Event...finally getting off the schneid after going out of the Main Event in Day 3 in all four of my previous attempts.

I think I did a pretty in depth job of sharing with all of you almost all of my hands throughout the tourney. In Day's 1, 2 and 3...I literally kept the notepad open on my iPad and documented nearly all my hands. Some, even detailed the action in the hand. It became impossible on Day 4...since once we got in the money they banned all of our 'electronic devices' from the table. Besides that, the pace of play became so mind-numbingly slow...that I could practically commit every hand that I did get to see to memory.  So there really was no point in documenting them on my iPad. :)

One of the annoying things that started on Day 4, and got worse on Day 5...were the players (mostly young) who you could tell had always dreamed of being in the Main Event and being on TV. Every time a hand developed where the camera crews were called...they just came to a screeching halt. Sitting there riffling their chips, over-analyzing their opponent, asking the occasional irrelevant question, the stabs at humor that just came off as awkward and ill-timed. I wanted so bad to tell these idiots that maybe 5% of what was being taped would ever be used in post-production, if, for no other reason, to speed up the action. With the shitty hands I was getting on Day 5 (seemed like a deuce in every hand in about 85% of my starting hands) it would have been nice to see a few more hands per hour.

So...uh...I got a little side-tracked there. This post is titled 'True Colors...' and relates to just that, people's true colors. Sharing my hands with everyone, of course, opens up a lot of room for people to jump in and start criticizing my play. I probably posted hands on Twitter about 4 or 5 times where I was just very brief about the hand...leaving out a lot of details about how it played out. Why? Because Twitter only gives you 140 characters. And I had some 'caring' friends, family and investors, who I was trying to provide a more entertaining experience for, by providing little details along the way to keep them informed.

Enter the haters...and a few of those 'poker pros' who think they are the poker masters of the universe. One such guy...Chad Batista...who goes by the name online (well used to...before online poker was sledge-hammered last year) of 'Lil Hold em' wasted no time blasting me. Now...this is a little guy, and by little, I mean...I could curl him...who I had always had a pretty cordial relationship with in the past four years. A guy who always 'liked' my Facebook posts. And a guy who last year was talking all kinds of scary talk on Facebook about killing himself. Well, I kept reading that, and concluded that even though I didn't know him THAT well, I would never forgive myself if I didn't TRY at least to reach out to him...and found out he had offed himself. It's just kind of the way I am. I call it....being a HUMAN.

Well, I think I helped him...we chatted back and forth in the wee hours of the morning, and before long he seemed to be back to 'normal' or whatever normal is expected to represent. 

Cue the Main Event. I started posting a few hands. And it seemed with each hand posted...Chad started weighing in with his analysis. And with each hand, it seemed to get more and more harsh. Asking what I'd ever won. Asking my REAL name? Then wanting my online username. Excuse me? First of all...I haven't played online now for a year and a half (unless you include the occasional foray on Lock, Feltstars or Bovant, or Bovine...or whatever that site is called) and secondly...I never was one to run very well online when I DID play a lot online. So I wasn't really sure why he decided Day 3 of the Main Event was the day he decided it would be fun to dissect my play and eventually tell me how gawd awful I was. But he did. 

I'll be honest...for awhile...it was like Chad Burns had hijacked his account. A lot of the same verbiage coming out of his mouth had a Burnsian-like flavor to it. Fortunately, my supporters were beating the shit out of him with their own comments...and the cries came from many to 'JY' his ass. 

JY: To whack someone from your Facebook as a friend in the fashion Jason Young made famous.

But I was more mystified than anything...wondering if he was trying to taunt me in the manor that my good buddy Kai Landry does. Oh...and on another note...Chad Burns...since I know you are reading this...you have basically been punked, you stupid fu**ing moron....by Kai himself.

See, Kai told me he was going to attempt to get Chad to accept his friend request so he could wage all kinds of fun against him...and to finally convince him that he 'really' wanted to be his buddy, he fed him a line about me owing him money and some more blah blah blah that only Chad would buy hook line and sinker.  Which prompted this message from his Royal Orangeness...causing me to giggle like a little school girl.

  • Oh, and i received a message from Kai Landry saying what a piece of shit you are because you fucked him over! When does it end for you dude?

Its amazing how gullible and completely STUPID some people are. But then again, why would it surprise me that a sociopath would also be an ignoramus? To celebrate the Idiocy of The Chads...Kai created some kind of cartoon that no one seems to be able to get to play on their computers. But there is a pretty hilarious screen shot...if I can get it to load on here.

 But...if any of you think that how I played, and the criticism I received from either of these clowns, and yes...to answer your question, I DID eventually have to 'JY' Chad Batista from my Facebook....caused me any amount of trepidation, the answer would be 'no.' I've been laughing off guys like these two for so long that its become par for the course. BUT...there was ONE person who's assessment caused me to take a long, hard look at the people I consider 'friends' in the poker community. 

I'm not even going to name this guy. But what he had to say about my WSOP run was pretty much repeated to me (in confidence) word for word...by someone who had NO reason to ruffle any feathers, only that he knew I counted this guy as a friend and would be incredibly disappointed to hear him talking the way he was talking. He was right.

This guy is someone who actually came seeking me out when I got to Vegas...wanting to go hang out. I was in one of the nightly tourneys at the time. He is someone I've never said a single bad word about...not once. Not about him as a person, or as a player. I've even defended him to other people. So when I heard what he said, it really left a bit of a mark.

It had become pretty common knowledge that I was getting AA a lot in the Main Event. To be exact, I got them 12 times. Which pretty much made up for the past 6 months of not seeing them at all. And admittedly, they were responsible for helping me get as deep as I did. But to hear this guy, if I was HALF the player he was...I would have gotten much deeper. He wanted anyone who would listen to him to know that if he had gotten aces 12 times he would have easily made the final table. Then went into a bit of detail about how bad he thought I played the aces when I got them. Well...putting aside the personal affront of such a comment...lets explore (or examine) how I played those aces when I got them. And then I will invite you guys and gals to find the errors in how I played them.

First let me say...it was an absolute pleasure playing this year's Main Event with players who almost NEVER made a single overbet. From Day 1 to Day 5...the standard preflop raise was between 2x to 3x. More min-raising than I've ever seen before. And this is a pure reflection of talented players who aren't afraid to play after the flop.  The really nice thing about it is that it enables you to play a lot more hands you would typically fold, since you get 30k in starting chips, and 2-hour levels with which to operate. I probably see 25% more flops in a tourney with a structure like the one in the Main Event than in one that starts with a third of that stack, with missing blind levels, and shorter blind levels.

The first time I saw AA was in Day 1, level 2. The blinds were 100/200. A player in early position raised to 450. The action folded to David "Nightmare on Every Street" Kruger...who (with KK) re-raised to 1100. I looked down at AA. Now...there are a lot of ways to lose the Main Event...but very FEW ways to win the Main Event on Day 1. One of the ways to lose on Day 1...is to screw around and get cute with a simple pair, albeit aces. Me calling the 1100 there would have surely resulted in player #1 joining the hand. It might have also invited a few other players...sensing the opportunity to play 'giant killer' with a speculative hand like suited connectors or a small pair. Kruger's raise to 1100 was effective enough in letting me know that whatever he had in his hand...he wasn't folding. The dream hand for him to have there is, obviously, AK. But it was more likely that he had JJ-QQ or KK. So, in an attempt to get heads up with him, I re-raised to an amount that would likely price out other players, including (possibly) the initial raiser....making it 2350.

I was correct, as it folded around to him. He decided to flat my raise. The flop came out 10-5-2...with two spades. Kruger led out for 3500. Creating a pot of about 8700. I couldn't put him on 10-10...having played with him a lot in the past...and knowing he would check top set there...so I was 99% certain he had one of those three pair. And his bet was made hoping that I whiffed with AK. So putting in a raise was an automatic...which I did...making it 8500 to go. He then gave me the only information I needed, when he announced "well, if you got aces, you got aces..." and pushed the rest of his stack into the middle. I don't ever like getting my whole stack in that early in the Main Event...and would have puked if he had turned or rivered his set...but when a player TELLS you he has KK...and you have AA...you can't fold. Luck didn't help him...and he was my first victim with AA. Not sure how much different I could have played that one.

The next two times I got it...I merely raised 2.5x and had the action fold to me. Whooops, my bad! The fourth time I got them...a guy raised at cutoff...when we were at 150/300....to 750. I re-raised to 1600. Both blinds folded, as did he. What? I should have called his small raise there? He was one of two players at the table who had me covered. See...the way I play Main Events? I play them to survive til 90% of the field is gone. I try to keep my stack above average...which it was nearly throughout the entire tournament. I try to minimize the times I put my whole stack at risk. Putting in that third raise...whether you get called or not, always lets your opponent know, or at least think...that you have started with a superior hand to theirs. Which makes it a lot easier to control the board after the flop.

For example: Say a player raises in late position with 9h10h. I simply flat them with AA. The flop comes 9-4-2, rainbow. He bets. I either flat, or raise. Either way...he isn't folding. Because he thinks he is ahead. Had I re-raised preflop...the doubts creep in that his pair of nines might be way behind...reducing him to 7 possible outs.  But I didn't. I just called his raise preflop...so he thinks he's ahead probably. So he is still around on the turn. Say the turn is a 5? With a heart. Now giving him top pair with a flush draw. Think he's going anywhere now? Nope. More money goes in the pot. Now his outs have increased to about 14. See where this is headed? I hope so.

I read so many players' accounts on Facebook and Twitter about how their aces got cracked...and how they want to blast the guy who took them out. I point this out because I am a player who survives in tourneys by winning small battles...battles that lead to putting myself in position to win the war. 

I could point out all the times I had AA...but I'm not going to. Bottom line is...I either put in a small raise preflop and got a walk....or put in a small three-bet and was never called, due to my table image mainly. Or, on two other occasions, I had a guy stuff his stack in behind my FIFTH raise...with AJ....and another time with his KK...and all I had to do was say 'call.' Which admittedly doesn't take a lot of skill. I think I pretty much maximized the full value on the times that I was blessed with pocket aces. 

Reflecting back on my blog post of 'Nit vs. Maniac' I think its pretty easy to slap the label of 'nit' on me. When that annoying little guy (A.P.) in Seat 8 on Day 5 doubled me up with KJ when I three bet shoved AK...and later donked off his entire stack with 88 against AK when there was NEVER a reason to get so many chips in at that point...it was amusing when I looked on Twitter at his reaction to having doubled me up when...having only called an UTG raise of 35k...he thought calling off 185k more was 'impossible for me to fold to.' More amusing was seeing Michael Hallen responding to his Tweet by commenting..."In case you didn't know, that guy in Seat 9 is a Super Nit!"

Anyway, as I sat there playing the Main...I kept thinking back to my post, the one I'm talking about...and realizing just how spot on I was about that post...and how it applies to the Main Event. I sat there watching one maniac 3, 4 and 5-betting player hit the rail, one after the other. It was both amusing, and reassuring. Reassuring in that I had decided on the correct path of survival in the world's largest poker tourney. What players don't realize...is once they decide to brand themselves as gun slingers, guys who want to take down every pot...they paint a target on themselves, both of angst, and of competitive disrespect. The aggressive players find their ego start to get involved, not wanting to lose a single hand to 'that guy.' And before you know it, its like they forget where they are...and what they are playing for. 

For a player like me...it's just a matter of patience. And developing a nice, tight image. People ask me all the time "why do you show people your hands when you win?" I love that they ask me...because they are automatically letting me know that they think it's stupid.  Why? Human beings are creatures that are stimulated by pictures. When I show my winning hands...and they are usually in the top ten of starting hands....those pictures in their mind go hand-in-hand with their impression of me as the player. 

"That guy always has a big hand....I'm not fucking with him...."

And when does that come in handy? When I really don't WANT any action. Say...deep in a tourney...when my average stack has dipped to a few thousand below average...and I've been looking at 2-9 and K-3 a lot...and suddenly pick up 88...with a raise and two callers behind me. That is when my decent-sized three bet re-raise will usually result in me getting them to lay down hands that would easily beat me after the flop...and instead watching my stack get back to over average. 

I basically sat there on Day 3, 4 and 5 and employed this strategy. Playing as deep in chips as you do in the Main Event...there is absolutely NO reason NOT to play this style of play. The cards? They will come. The spots will present themselves. When I sat there watching people ship all in with 30bb's holding A-7 offsuit...I was chuckling inside. Simple impatience sank those players. They spent all that time looking at the stacks around them...and not focusing on the structure, and how much better shape they were in than they thought they were. When I got down to 27k on Day 3...with the blinds at 600/1200...I didn't freak out. Hell...two hour blinds...20BB's...plenty of time. But I had the smallest stack on the table...and that was where a lot of players were making panic shoves.

This blog entry has gotten pretty long, and I apologize. I think I've given you a glimpse inside of my brain...and shared what I wanted to share. I knew going out to Vegas who some of the backstabbers were who were debunking my shares program...bad mouthing me to other players. It gave me a real sense of joy that I was able to shut them up with my results. To their credit, they took my advice, either reading my blog, or being told by others...and stayed the hell away from me...knowing I would give them the icy cold shoulder if they attempted to blanket me with some of their phony-friend greeting.

I will end this with a real nice story...a story that has to do (also) with people's true colors. A couple guys (who asked to remain anonymous) who have read this blog for years...and supported me through tough times...let me know this week that they wanted all or a portion of their shares to go towards setting up a college fund for Carley Grace. So this morning...I woke up, drove to the bank...made a deposit, and set her up with her own College Fund...making a nice starting deposit into it. I know college is a long way down the road...which I was reminded of when I got back home and saw her grinning little face laying on our bed; but I also think those years are going to fly by faster than I want them to. So we might as well make sure she gets everything in her future that she deserves. I am so amazed at some of the people Squirrel and I have in our life. Her friends, her family...just incredible. My friends and family...every bit as wonderful. 

This was a great trip. And a good year turned great. Whatever is next....I'm ready for. Thanks for being there with us!