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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Normalcy...Oh How I Missed Thee...

After an average of 650 hits a day for 6 days in a row...and 5 to 10 comments...half of which I refused to post...I think, possibly, that things have returned to what we call...ahem, normal. Hits are back to a usual rate of 150-200 a day, haven't gotten a single comment today...and the petition drive that Scotty Clark seems to have topped out at around 125. 


Me and Carley...who today turned 6 months old...have been having a lot of quality time together. It's just incredible how much she is growing and changing and becoming a little person. Last night, we went to a pumpkin patch, then the mall, where Squirrel decided she wanted to get her ears pierced. I wasn't wild about the idea...but have to admit, she looked awfully cute with them in. She cried of course...and I hated that, but not for long. In the middle of the night...she managed to tear one of them out. Squirrel couldn't get it back in...so her and Claw just left for the mall...to get it re-done. I was left behind...to finish 'The Project' which is the reorganization of our garage that I got tabbed to perform. 



I haven't played a single hand of online poker since I got back from my shortened trip to Hammond. Why? Absolutely no desire. Wonder how many new sign ups I have on Lock, and if anyone is actually playing on there?

Claudia got home two nights ago...and was here with Cheryl catching up for a few hours. She had a good trip, and of course was disappointed about going out 10th after going into the day as the chipleader. She was planning on going to Florida for the tourney at Isle in Pompano...before I talked her into coming to Chicago with me. I guess I get an assist for that one! I'm trying to talk her into going with me to Atlantic City to play the Borgata Open. I already have interest from Kai and Barth...so who knows, maybe a repeat of the Fearsome Foursome...only this time I'm going to try and stick around for the entire trip.



The World Series started last night. What is up with these SF Giants? I never in a million years would have thought Verlander would get shelled like he did. But, well...he did. And whoa...the Kung Fu Panda...Pablo Sandoval...matched a record set by Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols (just last year) by hitting three home runs...and in his first three at bats. Crazy. Squirrel was about to change the channel to Dancing with the Washups and People You've Never Heard Of...when he came to bat. 

"Wait one second...just for shits and giggles...I want to see if he hits another home run." So with clicker in hand...she froze for a moment...and like that...BOOM! Home run!!!  Wow. Okay, you can change the channel now. And then it was off to see that poor what's his face saddled with the task of throwing that cow Kirstey Alley around. Wonder how his back felt the next day?


The Giants seem like the team of destiny. I picked the Tigers to win the World Series in spring training...and then spent all year wondering why they weren't running away with their division, fighting with the Sox until the final week. They seem to hit their full stride against Oakland and then the Yankees...but dude, if they don't win tonight...they could be in trouble. I'll still pick the Tigers, in 7 games.

David Nicholson  a.k.a. 'Lurky' Nicholson...was supposed to join me for the Alabama game against his weak scheduling undefeated Mississippi State Bulldogs in Tuscaloosa this Saturday. He texted me last night...asking if we were still going. I told him Claw was out...that she forgot about the Madonna concert in New Orleans Saturday. One of Squirrel's chick posse, Jessica Sheehan, works on Madonna's concert tour...as a wardrobe something or other. Before this she was on tour with Motley Crue. Cru? Whatever. She's been all over the world on this Madonna tour...Israel, all over Europe, South Africa...what an amazing experience for a girl her age...which I think is like 28'ish. So yeah...Claw has to go to that show, obviously. So once Lurky found out Claw couldn't go, he didn't even reply back to me. Dick.  ;)

That's okay...we are all saving up our energy anyway for NEXT week's big game...in Baton Rouge. It's pretty scary. LSU has looked like crap all season, clearly being way over-hyped as the preseason #1 team...but all that being said? If they simply beat 'Bama? They will be in first place...and control their own destiny the rest of the way pretty much. And since there is no team we 'Bama fans hate losing to as much as those guys? It will be a highly charged environment. There is a good chance we could have a large caravan of us heading up to Baton Rouge for that game. Can't believe I haven't been to a single game yet this year. 

My Huskies are at home against Oregon State. We are only a 4-pt underdog...which I think is a joke. By joke...I mean I think it should be about 10. Our team just looks like shit this year. I don't get it. That being said...the bookies seem to know something, if that line is only 4. So I will pick my Dawgs to upset the Beavers. Pfft...the Beavers...sorry, but growing up, it was always the trendy thing to pick on...a mascot called the Beavers. Still is, as far as I'm concerned. We need to find 3 wins to get bowl eligible...this would be a good place to start!

I watched the third and final debate. Or tried to. I got more of a rush using my stop watch trying to see how many times I could 'bust them' going over their allotted 2 minutes per candidate. Shockingly, it didn't happen very often. Which caused it to become very boring. Who is going to win this election? I suspect Obama will win again. But really? I don't even think it matters. I pretty much hate ALL politicians and think they are a bunch of evil, greedy liars. Who con the majority of society into believing the drivel they are preaching. I've asked the Obama people to stop emailing me 17 times a day, telling me about all the various 'hurdles' they are trying to get over in their fund raising...which has been going on now for FOUR YEARS! "We've almost met our goal! But we need YOU to get us over the top, William!" Yeah...I need you guys? To lose my fucking email address. They finally stopped calling asking me to volunteer going door to door recruiting voters. I won't tell you what magic words I used, but lets just say...my phone hasn't rung once since then.

This mess in Hammond has actually had one positive effect. I now have certain casinos contacting me...letting me know that they would LOVE for me to come play at their events. One of them even offered me a free room. Hmmm...I could make one of two conclusions about this.  #1. They feel bad for the BS I was put through up there, and are just being nice by offering me a friendly casino to play in. Or...#2, they are exploiting my image...making me feel almost like a side show...or a carnival oddity, that they could use to promote their event. 'Come see and play with the Toxic Poker Monkey!' I might be reading this the wrong way...but my gut tells me I'm dead, spot on. Whatever...I still like getting the offers. 

Those who know I'm the Poker Monkey...also know I'm the Pool Monkey...and coming up in Week 9...is my annual Mid Season Survivor Pool...or Second Chance Pool. It's $50 per entry...and rebuys are allowed in Week 9 and 10. Sent out the first invite on Monday and we are about 40 right now. If you are interested in playing...shoot me an email at ThePoolMonkey@aol.com 

Drafted my NBA Fantasy team Tuesday night. Really like my team. But really need Derrick Rose to come back strong from his knee surgery. As much as I hate the NBA...I really enjoy the fantasy league. I'm also delighted to hear that the ferret David Stern is retiring. Although taking his place...is his little Stern-trained Clone...Adam Silver. Is it stupid to ask why a Jewish guy is always the Commissioner of a league where there has been very few Jews to EVER play the game, and is dominated by blacks? If I were black...I think it would piss me off. I think Magic Johnson would make a great Commissioner. Hmmm....


I made a prediction. If the industrial complex that basically controls this country wants Obama re-elected, you will see gas prices drop leading up to the election. Notice what's going on at the pump? And they try to sell us on gas prices being wholly dependent on what's going on in the Middle East right? Notice we aren't hearing much out of Syria? Think that's just a coincidence? Think Assad and his boys just suddenly stopped killing the rebels and vice versa? Please! The government controls the media, unless you forgot. Kind of hard to ignore or avoid terrorist assaulting your embassy and assassinating your ambassador! That wasn't really part of Curious George's plan, I don't think. Yeah, the media is definitely seeming to be on board the Obama bandwagon for another 4-year ride. So I've been sitting here watching the oil market...as I have quite a bit of my personal 'fortune' tied up in oil stocks. If I had to make a prediction...I would say that the Thursday or Friday after the week of the election, oil prices will jump way up. Let's just see if I'm right!

Okay Bye. It's Thursday...got football and World Series games to watch.

MONK

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thanks...Scotty!

So yeah...did the radio show Sunday. Didn't really want to. Had a lot of long talks with my wife over all of this recent shit show (not the radio show, but the past week)...and while she totally believes me, and trusts me, and thinks its a shitty deal the way it went down...she thinks there is another way to approach all this. But her way...is to just not say a word. To anyone. Not to Facebook World. No here on my blog. Not on the radio. Just, well...nothing to no one.

I give respect to my wife in noting that she is very, very good about hiding from adversity. She doesn't admit weakness. She rarely lets anyone see her without a smile on her face. And she never complains about being broke...which is what working as a cocktail waitress on dayshift in a casino on the coast is good for. I try hard to ease her struggles on that end...handing her money whenever I have it to spare. With trying to be a great Mom to Carley Grace...the last thing I need her freaking out about is money. And next on that list, is freaking out about things going on in my life that are troublesome.

I know, or knew...that when Scotty Clark asked me five months ago to be his co-host, it was with a inkling of a clue that with me as a co-host, he would also be potentially sitting on a powder keg of future controversy that would certainly result in gaining him and his show a bit of notoriety. It would be ridiculous if I stood up here and said I never have wanted attention. I think, to an extent, that everyone normal seeks attention at times. I will contend that the degree to which I want to be noticed, or recognized has diminished greatly over the past 5 or 10 years. When I got into poker...I wanted to become famous, for winning rings and bracelets and money. Maybe get into the business side of poker...being an announcer, or a Tournament Director at a casino. Do some commercials, or sign a lucrative deal with an online site. I don't think it's crazy to suggest that all of us tournament grinders have fantasized or even 'planned' for this to be our course in poker.

A few things caused me to come down off that pulpit. Black Friday for one. The increasingly difficult task to win a tourney, with the influx of excellent players now flooding the poker community. And the crackdown on any attempts to be colorful or have fun at the table. It's all sort of turned me into a mind-numbed drone who just shows up hoping to have a good day, make a decent score, and provide my family with a little financial comfort. Until it runs out...then hope for it all over again. It's kind of a 'rat-on-the-wheel' existence, this 'being a poker pro' life that a lot of us lead. Some outside of poker think its awesome, and wish they could do it. Some (okay a LOT) of us in that life...get to a point where we just loathe having to show up every day...fearing another 10-15 hour day of 'work' only to fail to cash. Its mental torture.

I got sidetracked. Twice actually. First...Scott procurred my services as a co-host for a very good cost to him. Free. My initial take on that was...'we'll see how it goes. If it does well...lets talk about compensation later on.' That was 5 months ago. I don't know how well the show is doing. I know I hear a lot of comments from people about it. So I guess quite a few people listen. As for feeling a need to be paid? Eh...whatever. If its an amount that would impact my life? Great. Bring it on. But if it amounts to a tank of gas each month? Screw it. But what Scott did yesterday? Well...that kind of counts (in my book) as compensation. No one (certainly not myself) asked him to do anything on my behalf. But that is what he did...creating a petition, where he basically challenges the 'top guys' at Caesar's Entertainment (known to some as Harrah's and/or WSOP) to take a look at my situation...to decide if I was dealt with fairly...and then to respond with the reasons I was 86'd from Hammond without so much as a reason, other than "you were reported as having made harassing comments to a dealer." Yeah that's great. 

So Scott created a petition, made a nice summarized explanation of what occurred, and what his goal in this process is. To get the attention of the big wigs at WSOP. I guess we would call that Phase 1. See, my phase 1 was going to be to go to the security manager at Horseshoe in Hammond and trying to get the 86 lifted on the basis of complete lack of evidence, coupled with the fact I've been there for 5 previous events, have NEVER had an incident there, have made great acquaintances with the poker room manager and supervisors there, as well as some of their house dealers...and ask that I be given the benefit of the doubt, and have it converted to just a 24-hr eviction. Seems pretty reasonable to me. But then I realized...what's the point? 

Towards the end of our conversation, I point blank asked Jack Effel...."so let me ask you Jack...you mention that you think maybe I am innocent, right? So assuming I talk to the folks at Hammond, and get them to rescind the '86' on me, can I safely assume that you would lift the roadblock on me that you just placed in my way to play on the circuit this year? And in next summers WSOP?" I mean, wouldn't that make sense?

Know what he tells me? "Well, that wouldn't be my decision. It would go before the guys in security out here in Vegas...and they would have to decide if they wanted to lift the Caesar's-wide trespass on you." Does anyone out there need me to break this down for you? To translate what that means? I will assume all of you reading this have an IQ over 17....and can read between the lines on this one. And so I will say nothing more, at the risk of saying a bunch of things I might later regret. 

Know what else I discovered? Initially, I was told (by a very good friend, who works as a supervisor for the WSOP) that the 'complaint' by the girl in question...was filed with in-house security. That she didn't go through SOP (standard operating procedures) for a dealer. So of course, that led to me being irate about THAT...that she hadn't even followed policy. Well, then I hear a rumor (later confirmed by the dealer himself) that a dealer, trying to play hero to this girl, listened to this girls tale, and walked her over to Charlie Cirisi...and basically dropped the guillotine on my head.

Why? Well...for starters, the reason my good friend thought she went to house security, is because that is what he was told! Why did they tell him this? Because he is a known friend of mine. He was kept in the dark, excluded from the discussion that took place over this. This is where the politics of poker take over. There are a couple different crews that run these WSOP circuit events...and its safe to say they aren't exactly friendly with each other. So what they do...is vie for Jack Effel's admiration. Like kids in 5th grade trying to outdo each other for the teacher's attention. There are a lot of juicy stories about sabotage and squeezing certain employees out due to petty grievances...these stories go back several years. I've been made privy to these stories because I have a lot of friends on 'the inside.' Well, I have always agreed, out of respect to my friendship to them...to never tell these stories, in this blog, or to other people involved with poker. 

And I will continue to honor that request. But what I will say...is that Charlie Cirisi is quite aware with my history with Jack Effel...and the 'short leash' that I was being paraded around  on for the past 5 years. Charlie is trying to gain more events. And so delivering something to Jack ...like, my head on a platter, would play very well for his future interests. So yeah...this story that was handed to him? Perfect!!! Which explains quite easily why there was no 'real' investigation, no interviewing of anyone...be it players or dealers. Why the 'surveillance tape' that they claimed to have looked at is a joke...considering it was 50-60 feet off the playing floor, and didn't record audio.  No...this is real easy to figure out. And the only way to get it fixed? Is for the right people to hear about it. And not from Jack. Because I know how that carnival barker will present it to his bosses. 

"Ahh..now I told you guys two years ago, when you decided Will Souther had to be let back in, that he was a major liability risk. That he would eventually show you why he was 86''d in the first place. His true colors will come to light. That he would say he'd behave, but then let us down. And see? See what happened?"

Yeah. Great. Isn't it fun...watching a conspiracy unfold right before your face? And because I had a bit of reputation...from basically just being a wild man with no filter...five years ago...that seems to be a reason to embellish the hell out of me and what I am portrayed as? I mean...I know this guy has this insane, childlike obsession with me, from a vendetta standpoint...but my question has always been...and remains...W-H-Y??? Because I think maybe its a game to him...and he just wants to win. He beat me in 2006...when he tried to ban me over a stupid incident in Tahoe...one where again, I just tried to do the right thing. I won't go into detail. Some crazy woman went on a wild rant (she has since vanished from the poker scene...actually a while ago, say 2008) flinging accusations all over the place citing all  kinds of shit. I talked to Jack about it, and he said fine...you didn't do anything wrong...but please just stay away from that lady.

I should have. But me...wanting to play peacemaker? I saw her, sitting in the hotel lobby, with Miami John Cernuto...and I decided to try and bury the hatchet and make nice with her. Walked over, asked if I could steal a minute of her time? She stands up...and screams for security! I stood there, dumbfounded. Look over my shoulder...there is Bob Dunning (tourney director) and guess who? Charlie Cirisi....both telling me they saw and heard the whole thing...and to just walk out the door. Which is what I did. What happens? I get 86'd from the casino. For what? Harassing this woman. Jack leaves that event and decides when he gets to Vegas, to ban me from the World Series. This was after I'd already won a seat on Pokerstars...and paid for a share in a house with 5 other people. 

I spent the first three weeks of the summer trying like crazy to appeal that decision. Jack wouldn't budge. But Jack always likes to blame it on everyone else. It wasn't his decision. It was 'the board' who made that decision. Oh yeah? Okay...so in a last ditch effort, I write an impassioned plea to Howard Greenbaum, who is, basically 'THE' man at the WSOP. The same day I emailed him...he called me. When I told him about the letter I had written to him and all the other members of the management, he claimed he NEVER saw it. Yeah...because Jack had buried it. Howard decided to reinstate me. Immediately. I got to play a few events leading up to the Main Event...and then the Main Event, for the first time.  I went out on Day 3...with QQ (the first of many Main Event bustouts with QQ). Jack carried a grudge from that point on.

So when the business went down at Caesars Palace two or three years later...with that jackass Jim Pedula...it was Jack's opportunity to get me back. And he did. For two and a half years. Until Harrah's legal department decided I had to be readmitted, since I had been allowed to play at all the properties, and had won entry into the Million Dollar Freeroll...that and the fact that the '86' on me had been done in violation of company policy. Jack has probably done enough against just me to get himself fired three times over. And if I were to unveil all the other dirt I know about him? Holy shit...he'd probably be fired and prosecuted. So for him to be masterminding this little railroad job on me...AGAIN? It's not only exhausting...but its gotten to the point where I am right on the cusp of just saying fuck it, finding a personal injury lawyer, and filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against this guy.

So...thank you to Scotty Clark for starting this petition. I haven't really been circulating it to many of my friends on my Facebook or my email list...I'm sure if I did it would grow from the current number of 90+ to about 300 or so. But I just feel weird emailing them asking them to please sign my petition. First of all, probably more than 75% of them aren't even aware that I'm in this mess. It's probably not the greatest idea to let the entire world know the pickle I'm in. See what I mean? Kind of a sticky spot. But I do appreciate Scotty doing this. And a couple of other people for banging the drums on my behalf. 

I inserted a link on the top right corner of the page...if you feel compelled to sign the thing...it also gives you ample space to leave a comment. I have gotten so many nice comments on there...after all the 2+2 bullshit last week, it really kind of brought me out of my mental tailspin. I might suggest, if you happen to be a Diamond or even Seven Star with Harrah's/Caesar's and go to sign that...that you include that in there. Sometimes, I think, these casinos look down on us poker players as a bunch of non-revenue generating peasants...but maybe if they understood just how many of us players are actually guests that they would deem as 'valuable' to their company...it would make a greater impact on them when Scott decides to present this to whoever he has earmarked for delivery. I know who I hope he DOESNT deliver it to...because you can be sure where THAT will end up! A place I like to call....File 13!

This blog post probably got a little longer than I wanted it to...and I probably ended up revealing a lot of things I might not have planned to reveal...but you know what? I've just started to get my brain working about this stupid shit up in Hammond, and I'm just pissed off enough to start really digging in and going to work on getting this problem solved. And to be honest with y'all? I don't really care which road I have to take...high road...low road? In between road, if there is such a thing. I'm not going down for something I didn't do. Period. And if people (or person) want me out of the poker scene so bad that they are willing to risk their job to make it happen? Well, then I'm willing to meet them head on, and make that possibility a reality. So lets go boys. Game on!

MONKEY

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Unchartered Territory

I've been blogging on this site now for 4 years. The most 'hits' I ever received in one day was the day after we killed Osama bin Laden...and posted a doctored photo of his face all shot to hell, one that I'd found...hell, somewhere. That day I got 915 hits. My previous high up to then was 550.

They say there is no such thing as 'bad' publicity. Is that really true? The fact that I have gotten 3200 hits...with a high of 1100 on Wednesday...in the past four days...is almost alarming. Because I know why they are here. During this summer...when I was chasing a dream...only to get derailed in Day 5...I got over 7500 hits in July. Those were hits that felt good. People wanted to know more about me, the poker player...who was running good. Who had a beautiful new daughter in his life. Who had sold what some were bashing as a ridiculous scam...a share package to a group of 30 people I affectionately started calling 'Monkey's Summer Gang of 30.' Yeah...July...despite the way it ended at the hands of the lovely Miss Elisabeth Hille and her pocket 10's that became quads by the river...was a good month to feel good about pretty much everything.

Boy how a month or two can change things. Don't get me wrong...I still feel great about my 'non-poker' life. Me and my wife have a newly found appreciation for each other...made possible by our wonderful daughter. I'm as in love with Squirrel as I have ever been in the 10 years we've been together. And my daughter has turned the lights on in my head for all that can be fun again. I get to be Santa Claus! And the Easter Bunny! And teach her things...things I'd long since taken for granted and even grown burnt out doing. Fishing. Skating. Swimming. Playing ball. All kinds of things that come with being a 'Daddy.'

I went to Bossier City for the first WSOP-circuit event of the year...and had minimal success, final tabling the PLO tourney...winning a nightly, and a couple min cashes. I came home hungry to do better. My backer-pack had been narrowed to two...as the desire to get ALL the action came from a certain duo. And so...I was set for Hammond, a place I have had a good amount of success, and where I truly like. Big room, lots of space, good dealers and staff. Players who are very predicable. Bottom line, I was psyched. The first event went well...made it out of Day 1 26th out of 310 players in chips...with a massive starting field of 2498. A bad run of cards on Day 2 saw me bow out 133rd for a miniscule $952 (in comparison to the $110,000 for first that was the ultimate goal). Later that night, I would win the Mega Satellite, invested for a total of $550 to win the $1675 seat. So things were going fairly well so far.

That's when everything went to shit. And I don't even know how, or why. Some people have suggested that 'karma' has dealt me this 'bad beat.' I would like to think if karma were going to do anything in regards to me...it would be doing just the opposite. It would be letting my KK hold up against Hille's 10's and see me make the Final Nine this fall. I surely would have finished in the Top 50. Karma might have seen my AK on Saturday find an ace against the KK's. Or river a heart for a flush...and propel me on a deeper run than 133rd.

Here is the thing about doing nice things for people; you aren't allowed to tell people you are doing it. Because if you do...it looks like you are overcompensating for a lifetime of wrongdoing. I find a lot of people that attend church on a regular basis, are doing so because they are harboring a lot of guilt for the way they have lived their life. They think going to church will 'make everything square' with the man upstairs. A lot of you (the regular readers...not you newbie 2+2 folks or the others who are rushing over to see the bloody crime scene) are aware of the efforts I've made to help people, of the volunteering I've done in disaster areas, and the money I've raised through the large number of contacts I have...to help those in need. I am proud of those efforts. But I didn't do them seeking praise or credit. As a member of the planet Earth, and a member of the human race, I feel it is my responsibility to do things for those who can't help themselves. In doing so, it makes me feel better about myself.

I've spent the better part of the past two days reading all the hate and absurdity that has been posted about me on 2+2. I can't for a second say that I've read it and just laughed at it, or brushed it away as a bunch of internet nerds just starting shit. Or commenting on things they know nothing about. The truth is, there are a LOT of comments in there, from people I've played against in the past...who make a lot of ugly comments about me. About what they observed of me at the table. True, most of these examples were from more than three years ago. And yes, most of the comments I'm seeing are greatly exaggerated and even grossly embellished. I know this because some of them I actually remember...and what these people are saying, is about 14% factual, and 86% fantasy. But...the horrible thing about it? If you (or me, specifically) try to refute the stories or correct them? They just come back at you even harder, and uglier. Every single part of my personal life appears to be open game to these people. In the past day I've become a guy who beats his kid, cheats on his taxes, and hates all races except my own.

Some people probably view me as being really confident, maybe even cocky. Those who truly know me...know of my abusive childhood...that I grew up always being severely insecure with myself, always trying to impress people and win their admiration. The years taught me a lot about myself, my wife has made me a better person, and taught me how to deal with people a lot better. But this stuff I am reading in the past two or three days? I am not equipped to deal with. I just don't have the ability to read this stuff and not be heavily impacted. Do I regret the way I talked or acted to people at a poker table? I don't know. It's kind of a tough question. Because what those people didn't understand...is that my comments were never meant to be ugly and/or personal. I'm just a very sarcastic person with a unique sense of humor. Some people get that...and those seem to be my supporters. Some just don't. And they choose to call me an asshole. Do I care? Of course I care. Who WANTS to be called an asshole? I wouldn't think anyone. But at the same time...there are some people, in poker specifically, who I both don't like nor do I care if they like me. Life on this planet is too short to worry about some people not liking you. Don't tell that to my wife. EVERYONE likes her...and if they don't, she will MAKE THEM like her.

My radio co-host, Scott Clark called me today...wanting to know what I want to do about this Sunday's show. I knew this call was coming eventually. Knowing that I am kind of the clown of the show...the guy who airs his rants on a regular basis...I think Scott was hoping I would attack this thing and treat it like I have been victimized, and that I am going to fight like hell to right the wrongs of this injustice. Only problem is..I don't currently possess  that fire necessary to do that kind of show. In fact, I've been kind of moping around the house feeling depressed. And defeated. And hopeless to an extent. And jeezuz...what am I going to go on the air Sunday and say? What is it going to change?

For those of you who know me, and my poker story...you know about the battle I fought with Jack Effel and WSOP for three years. It was one of the most excruciating and frustrating episodes of my life...all made possible by a prick from Austin named Maz....who magically showed up on the 2+2 forum...pitching in with his little story, of course leaving out the important parts, like how he was the one who perpetuated the whole 'spat' between him and I, and that I in fact, never threatened him in any way. But by the time he had played his version to Jim Pedulah (since fired by Caesars for a litany of things) the next day...I walked in to find I'd been DQ'd from the tourney with 23 players remaining, and $19k for first...told I'd been 86'd for 'threatening another player' despite there being not ONE witness account, video evidence, or even a report from the nightly shift manager. Nope, see, Pedulah had gotten a bug up his ass about this 'Poker Monkey' guy since he had been blogging about his horrendous Mega Stack series...bad starting time (competing against ALL the other noon tourneys in Vegas) and terrible structures. He had heard the rumors that I was openly telling people to avoid Caesar's and play at Venetian, a much better product, all around.

He followed that up by calling then WSOP honcho Jeffrey Pollack, telling him that he had just 86'd a player for threatening another player...and that he was of the opinion that I should be banned from playing any WSOP events. So...acting on this information, and teaming up with Jack Effel...he banned me from all WSOP events. This ban carried over...for the next year...and then the NEXT year...despite assurances that if I 'kept my nose clean' that I would be allowed back in for 2010. I kept my nose clean. Yet still wasn't allowed back in. I had several people offer their legal services to sue Jack Effel, and/or the WSOP. I relented. I chose, instead...to try to win over these people. I also tried to work some on my own personal behavior. I stopped talking so much at the table...because it seemed like no matter how 'friendly' I was trying to be...I was always managing to piss someone off. When I would take a bad beat, which happens frequently in poker...I simply bit my tongue. People DID start to take notice. But it didn't change Jack's reluctance to let me back into the WSOP.

Despite all this, I was permitted to play in the WSOP circuit events. This always struck me as odd...because I had NEVER...not once, been in trouble at the WSOP-Las Vegas. But I had been in trouble on the circuit, in a couple of episodes that I was ashamed of. But those were back in 2005. That is a lot of time, a lot of played hands, and a lot of water under the bridge. So what happened? I won a ring. Then I qualified for the National Freeroll. Suddenly, people wanted to know why the hell I wasn't being allowed to play the Freeroll. A woman who now is the Table Games Manager in Cleveland, and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude...got involved when it was suddenly announced that I wasn't going to be allowed to play the circuit event in New Orleans, where she was the Manager at the time. I was literally yanked from my table during the middle of Event 3. This, I assumed, was Jack's effort to try and prevent me from qualifying for the Freeroll...as I was clearly on the bubble.

After a little digging, by their legal department, it was discovered that an '86' had been entered on me from a person in Atlantic City. At the bequest of someone in Vegas. Only problem with that? I was never IN Atlantic City for the event I was supposedly '86d' from. Interesting, huh? Well, legal in Vegas apparently thought so too. Despite missing the rest of the event, but oh! Being allowed to play cash SNG's...and any other live games there...I still managed to qualify for the first National Freeroll. A week later, I was contacted by the Tournament Director from that event and a pretty good friend (I think, anyway...these days I'm not positive anymore who my good friends within the WSOP are) telling me that top brass at WSOP had ordered me reinstated. That I would be cleared to play in the Freeroll and all other Rio events in the summer of 2011.

Four days later, I got a call from Jack Effel...who tried to come off as the deciding principal in my getting back into the WSOP. I already knew that was bullshit. That he had to be forced to make the call to me. When he was told (by me) that I already knew I was back in...and that I'd been told by someone before him...he was furious. I listened to his long-winded speech, which, if you've ever had to sit through one of his bracelet presentations during the summer...you know how painful and mind-numbing these can be. Included in his speech was a disclaimer...wherein I was warned that ANY slip ups...would see me barred for life. This troubled me mightily. Because I knew it was very, very possible that he would be looking for ANYTHING to screw me. That he was even likely to put someone up to it. You can say I was paranoid...but this is a guy I know a LOT about...not just with dealing with me...but also with the people he works with. I have more dirt on Jack Effel than his own gardener in Las Vegas. I was given assurances by some who I thought knew enough about the situation to tell me that with confidence....I had nothing to worry about. That if anything, they were now watching him closer than me.

I actually allowed myself to kind of believe this. Jack put on an overly nice act to my face. I wanted to buy into it...but common sense just wouldn't allow me to. But I kept my mouth shut. I didn't say a single negative word about him, or WSOP. I was just happy to be back in. I wasn't going to do anything to screw it up. The summer of 2011 went without incident. I didn't run particularly well...losing midway through the Freeroll, busting out of three other WSOP events...and busting on the FINAL hand of Day 3...in the Main Event...missing the money by about 120 spots.

After returning home from the Series last year...I trekked up to Bossier City/Shreveport for their first attempt at running a circuit event. I ran terrible. And while running terrible had to play in that tent, that fluctuated from 178 degrees in the day to 26 below zero at night. It was miserable. Towards the end of that event...an 'incident' occurred. It doesn't matter what it is. What matters, is how it was handled. Because it conflicts greatly with how this current mess in Hammond was handled.  See, I didn't bother blogging about that incident, because (a) I didn't want to upset my wife, and (b) I had a pretty good idea that once I talked to the security manager, it would be resolved. I wonder...now...had I blogged about that incident...would Jack Effel have picked up his phone and fired off a call to me first thing in the morning, telling me (despite first pumping me full of all the wonderful superlatives that he had to say about me on a personal level) how I had failed to hold up my end of the bargain...you know? Not getting in trouble, or mis-stepping? And would he then have lowered the boom on me, like he just did after this ridiculous twist of words in Hammond? With the 'ol "its not me, my hands are tied, Will...I'm just following protocol...because you have been 86'd from one of our properties, I am the one who has to inform you that you may now NOT be allowed to participate in any other CEP events (caesars entertainment property)"

Hmmmmm. But see...since I never eeked a word about this 'incident' in Bossier City...I deprived him of that chance. Because, as I predicted, after I finally got a hold of the Security Manager up there, who for the record, turned out to be a really wonderful guy...and explained things from my point of view...and after he reviewed the surveillance tapes, and actually SPOKE to WITNESSES...he determined that, in fact...I had done NOTHING WRONG! I was immediately exonerated, promised (promise kept) that it wouldn't affect me at any other properties, and told me he hoped that I would come back the following year. Which I did. See...this was an example of an incident being handled...um, whats the word I'm searching for here.....oh yeah, PROPERLY!

Any of you know a lady by the name of Breezy Zuckerman? I didn't know the name. It turns out...she was seated in the 7 seat on my opening table in this year's WSOP Main Event. I was in the 3 seat. Ahhh maybe 4.One or the other. There was a large person in the 7 seat...who from appearances seemed like a strange looking man, probably from Europe, as the dress suggested that. I won't lie...I had spent a fair amount of time trying to figure it out...to be positive. At some point...not sure when...it spoke to me. And I was pretty certain it was a man. To which I responded by addressing her as 'sir.' When we went on break...it was either the dealer, or another player...who informed me that it was actually a woman. HOLY SHIT! I felt terrible. Embarrassed. I think we have all been in that spot at least once. It's a very awkward feeling. I spent the rest of Day 1 trying to overcompensate by being overtly nice to her. She didn't seem interested whatsoever. Oh well...my bad.






Well, tonight...wouldn't you know? I get a heads up instant message on Facebook from a poker acquaintance of mine...letting me know that 'ol Breezy had just, in the last hour, posted something VERY, VERY inflammatory about me. Check this out:  I took a screenshot on my iPad...knowing that after I confronted her about this she would likely block me. I was right.






You guys know the little tongue-between-finger motion she is  referring to? Made famous I think by Andrew Dice Clay...and maybe in Saturday Night Fever? Perhaps its been seen on 'Jersey Shore' once or twice...I can't be sure, since I don't watch the show, but imagine those are the types of people who might use that stupid move. I laugh at being accused of  doing things, or saying things...that anyone who even knows me a LITTLE bit knows I would never do...but at the same time, it pisses me off that someone would throw that out there and try to convince others that I might. Yeah, I'm playing for $8m but have time to pull that BS? Seriously? Who in their right mind would believe this...ahem, woman? She also claims that she was 'trying to send Tweets' to Effel during the event, in an attempt to get me in trouble. I can only begin to TRY and imagine what my reaction would have been had I been approached by security during the Main Event (with, again...a good stack) and been told I was getting removed for doing 'the lizard' to players and dealers at the table. You would have needed a straight jacket to refrain me...I can tell you that, for sure!

I wonder who is next? What other dastardly deeds am I about to be accused of? Not sure if I mentioned it...but after two people left (albeit anonymously) comments on here, telling me that Aaron Lashlee...a dealer I thought liked me, and who has been a friend on Facebook for a few years...a guy I have always  been nice to at every event I've ever seen him at...was the person responsible for getting in the ear of Ms. Belarusian Career Wrecker and suggesting she go to security about me and my OUTLANDISH statement. That he was sitting there and heard it! Yeah. He was sitting there. I remember seeing him. This is what blows me away. For starters? I'm pretty sure all of the dealers had to know that they were using off-duty dealers to escort the players who had just busted to the back of the theater to get paid out. I also knew all the dealers except HER. I'd never seen or had her deal to me before. I honestly didn't even know for sure if she was a dealer...until I had her dealing to me in the Mega satellite a few hours later. 

You bust out of a tourney, you try not to be too glum, or exit like a jackass. I was trying to keep it light, stay positive, as much as possible. I see Aaron, he gives me an expression that asks "what happened?" I tell him...AK...thought I caught him stealing, finally. Nope. KK. I'm out. And he makes a face suggesting he feels bad for me. Standard reaction from a dealer I'm friendly with. 

I walk up to where the 8 other dealers are standing...and ask (to know one in particular) who wants to 'escort me back to get my thousand bucks'...a couple of them smiled, the Belurusian girl basically snarled at me. Whoa. I didn't even think twice about her reaction. At the time. Of course I did later...when replaying it in my mind. So I am to understand that Aaron...with his back turned to this...as dealers are required to do...heard this statement, and took it upon himself to play superhero? First, totally misunderstanding what I said, and second, involving himself for what reason I have no idea?

I sent Aaron a message on Facebook...trying to give him the benefit of the doubt...and hoping someone had put him in the line of fire to maybe get back at HIM for something. I fully expected a response denying any involvement whatsoever. A day went by. I sent him another message. Nothing. Last night. I left one more. Ah. He finally responds.  His response?  

Aaron Lashlee
  • u can wait until I have a day where I have not worked for 16 hrs for my response. it will be either tomorrow or the next day g'night monkey

Oh. So he had time to make Facebook wall posts, entailing his college and pro football picks for the weekend, but when it comes murdering someone's career he couldn't find five minutes to explain his actions?

I'm pretty sure I don't even need him to respond. His actions have spoken volumes. The person who left the comment said the girl wasn't even going to say anything. Maybe. Maybe not. I've had several people (players) leave me comments telling me they have had her deal to them in other venues and that she was incredibly hostile towards the players, snapping at them, acting as though she were inconvenienced by having to deal with them. I do know, that when she dealt to our table during the Mega satellite, she was incredibly snotty. After hearing her talk...I innocently asked if she was Russian? "NO! I am from BELLARUS!!!" Okay. You do realize, that Belarus was a former Soviet republic? Then there was the snotty request to stop touching her leg? "Huh? What are you talking about?" I looked under the table and saw her very long legs and 6 inch heels and decided it was possible that I had maybe stepped on her foot. "I'm very sorry if I stepped on your foot, it certainly wasn't intentional." 

"Good, because if you do it again, I will tell my boyfriend...who is dealing at the table right over there!" What the!??? To be honest...at that point....the floor was almost called right then and there...BY ME! I couldn't remember EVER being spoken to by a dealer like this. But I chose to just let it go. Big mistake. I regret that decision more and more every day.

I don't know for sure how this whole deal went down. Who was behind it. Did my past, my reputation, the certain jealousies that exist in poker play a role in this? I'm sure it did. Am I delusional and think I am TOTALLY 100% innocent in everything I've ever had happen to me in poker? Nope. I'm not. My smart-ass mouth has admittedly gotten me into a mess or two. But this shit in Hammond? Total hogwash. 

The real shitty part about this? In talking to Mr. Effel when he called me with his (for him) good news? Even if I were able to go to the Security Manage in Hammond, and get this cleared up? He would STILL most likely make it impossible for me to get back into all the other events. He has been dreaming of this opportunity. And it doesn't matter whether I was guilty of wrong doing or not. He so much as ADMITTED that on the phone with me. "You know, Will...you might be totally innocent. But because it happened, and you got tossed, there is just no way you can fix that."  Roll that around in your head for a bit. Guy puts you on secret double probation. You 'walk the line' for over two years. Watching your every step. Then something happens that you had NO ROLE in...NO GUILT whatsoever...and because it gets misconstrued, and isn't able to even TRY to be repaired by me...before HQ hears about...the trigger finger belonging to Jack Effel has assassinated me. No hearing. No trial. No witnesses. No surveillance. NOTHING. 

You know what? Fine! If that is the kind of petty, pathetic human being he is...why should I let it eat me alive? You know what bothers me? The guy solely responsible for getting me back in, Ty Stewart...is Jack's boss. I met Ty. He is a very good guy. And people ALL speak highly of him. Nolan Dalla is another great guy at WSOP. I know he reads my blog. I know he knows of the road I've traveled in my struggles with the WSOP. My only hope...is that these two guys somehow get involved, see the through the smoke screen...and right the wrongs. But I am also not stupid enough not to realize that these guys have a LOT of other things to worry about than little 'ol me. But I've seen crazier, and more surprising things happen. 

There is plenty of poker tourneys for me to play...at venues that I know welcome me. Sure...there are some places I can't play. I'm not proud of that. But I do feel I've done NOTHING to warrant being 86'd from ANY of them. It is what it is. Reading all these haters' comments on 2+2...and a handful of comments left here? You know what they do? First, they make me really feel lucky that I have such a great family and friends. Second, they really have me motivated now to go out and really kick some ass. As far as I'm concerned, it's the easiest way to shut people up. What might be even MORE fun...is playing all the WSOP circuit events that aren't Caesar's properties...where my results will count...where rings won will stay on my finger...where I will add to my 27 career circuit cashes (tied for 5th)....and where I might just qualify for the National Freeroll...but not get to play it. But it will be a lot of fun listening to Jack explain to people why. In fact...yeah...I think that just kind of became my goal for this poker season!

Time to go watch some college football and play with Carley Grace! Have a nice weekend.

MONKEY

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Back in Biloxi

It was a pretty uneventful trip home yesterday, for Kai and I. The Kaister has developed a deep-seeded hatred for all things Hammond. As a happy-go-lucky type, he rarely finds himself on the opposite end of a personal dispute, as I sometimes do. But for some reason, every time he ventures north to the outskirts of Chicago, he winds up getting into verbal altercations.

The thing about Kai..and to know him is to truly appreciate his intellect, is that he is going to lose a lot of people in most of his conversations. Its one of the reasons we are friends. The typically mind numbing table banter at a poker table is one that requires an iPad and headphones to hide from. But when it is further complicated by the ramblings of what amount to troglodytes trying to outdo each other in the attempt to start a fire...you just have to surrender sometimes.

That is what Kai did. He surrendered. I choose my friends very carefully in poker. With what transpired up there this week, and resulting fall out...it's times like these when it's important to know who your 'true' friends are. And I know who mine are. There are others who think...that I THINK they are my friends. Trust me...I know better. I know who all you backstabbers are. Who...at the first sign of 'Trouble for the Monkey' are one of the first ones to pile on. This act grew tired and old years ago. See, to those who don't know me...I mean, REALLY know me...like you 2+2 hate-mongers who have been beating me up over there (oh yeah, I've checked it out, and even left a few comments of my own) you have no idea of the transformation I have to put myself through to keep playing this game. The hoops that I've forced myself to jump through so I could be deemed a 'good little monkey.'

At the end of the day...I am constantly trying to appease those who are some of the slimiest, corrupt, and socially bankrupt people you will ever run across in life. Who I am, as a human being? Is not something that keeps me up at night. I go out of my way to help the under-privileged. I always have. I try to always volunteer in great times of need. Or to raise money for those who have been beset by tragedy. And now with a 6-month old daughter and a loving wife to tend to? I know that life holds a lot more for me than anything I can ever accomplish at a stupid poker table. Yeah...its a means to pay the bills. And yeah...there is some degree of respect earned in posting good results. But none of that really means shit to me. Honestly. So for those who have chosen, instead, to review me as a person who has spent years 'getting in trouble' in poker...and that is their sole analogy of me? To them? I say...with a very vociferous amount of gusto in my voice: F-U-C-K  Y-O-U!!!!

It's true. I'm not perfect. I have made mistakes. I have done some things, and said some things, I would like to take back. To change. Some of you think I am blind to my own faults. I'm not. Trust me. I've made mistakes all throughout my life. In my past jobs. In school. In sports. In relationships. In just about everything I've ever done. But it is those mistakes that you make in life that you grow from, and become a better person. I don't think I'd be half the person now were it not for a lot of those mistakes. Real humans? Real people with character? They understand this. They allow you the opportunity to change, to prove people wrong...where their opinions of a person might be wholly negative, and sometimes undeservedly so. But poker? And the carnies who run it? Seem to be oblivious to this type of thinking. 

Three days ago...I was walked out of a tourney that I had a good stack in. I was told (not asked) that I made harassing comments to a female dealer, two days prior. Comments that were going to result in me being kicked out of the casino. When I asked what those comments were, I wasn't told. Because the guy didn't know. That made two of us.  When I asked why I was being treated in this manner...without any kind of a meeting over these accusations, do you know what the nice gentleman from security told me? "You've had quite a few problems before in casinos, haven't you!??" So, when I asked if that is why I was being 86'd...he told me "It probably didn't help." I could have sworn to God...that I thought I lived in a country where you are supposedly considered INNOCENT until proven guilty? But this seems NOT to apply to casinos. I've had several run-ins with casino security...some that got sorted out, some that didn't...and the one thing that always seems to ring true...is that they spend very little time fact-finding. It's almost always a case of them hearing the complaint...and deciding in their own mind, if they are going to buy it. And if they do, you are simply kicked out. No due process. No ability to defend yourself. Just booted. 

Now, I know what your saying. Maybe. If I had NEVER had any problems in a casino...would they have thrown me to the wolves? Maybe not. Maybe yes. Who knows? I think that when they make these decisions, they do so not taking into consideration that this is our job. That they are messing with our future. Our livelihood. The question I don't think I need to even ask is: Do they even care?

What happened with me...I didn't even KNOW...as they were standing there telling me that I was being kicked out. All I was doing was scanning my brain...trying desperately to produce any kind of an incident that could have led to this on that past Saturday. Nothing came to mind. I left the casino baffled, and angry, and feeling defeated. On top of being afraid of what to tell my wife.

As you know...things cleared up dramatically, later...as the dealer who had made these claims...was busy threatening another player with eviction, after he had touched her foot or leg with his foot. She quipped that if he were to touch her again, she would have him kicked out just like she did that other player. Had there not been a player at the table who knows me very well...I would never have discovered this information. Because when he asked her if it was 'Monkey' she said yes. She then volunteered that I had 'offered her $1000 for her to be my escort for sex.' When I heard that, I gasped. Huh? 

First of all..this girl was ....very borderline attractive. She is Russian, specifically Belarussian. She has a very large nose, and bad skin, and beat to shit hair. But she is tall and skinny and was wearing tight leggings and 6-inch heels...so from a distance, you might credit her with being an eye-catcher. Whatever. Secondly. Who among the players do YOU know...who after busting from a tourney...where they fell far short of their expectations, have the slightest inkling of a desire to pay someone for sex? And lastly, it might be noted that my roommate for this poker trip...was my wife's best friend, Claudia Crawford. Ridiculous.

Yeah...and as you know from reading my previous post...I was able to recollect how this stupid matter evolved into what it did. Me walking past the 8 dealers lined up to escort us to the payout area...and remarking that I got stuck with my payout escort, the guy who destroyed me in yesterday's tourney...I would prefer ANYONE but that guy to walk me back...and gestured towards this girl...and asked if she would like to be my escort to go get my thousand bucks (bad beat, thinking I'd made the next jump, to $1034...I actually only cashed for $952). Her snotty reaction and dirty look should have told me that there had been a misunderstanding. But I just took it as a snotty look.

It has since been told to me...that a dealer who I thought was a friend (kind of like Judas was a friend to Jesus)...who's name I won't yet post, although I have given him TWO full days to refute the accusation made against him by another dealer who overheard him in the break room...through a message I left him on Facebook (where he is a friend, as requested by him two years ago)...that he went to this girl, told her he heard my comment (which certainly must be true, since I saw him sitting at a table dealing as I was busting, and getting up to leave) and that she really NEEDED to go report it to Charlie Cirisi (the acting Tournament Director for this event). That he would go with her. Why would this guy do this? What have I ever done to him? Why, when I asked my very good friend (name withheld) who is a floor person, to ask Charlie why this was allowed to occur, did he tell me it went above Charlie...that whoever filed the complaint went straight to House Security, and did not follow S.O.P. and report the offensive comment to her immediate supervisor? When apparantly, it didn't. It would appear that this girl, at the goading of this dealer...who's initials are A.L. and who almost ALWAYS has on a SD Charger jersey when not dealing...went straight to Charlie and reported her problem. 

So when I texted Charlie Cirisi yesterday...the day I was leaving Chicago, I guess it should have come as no surprise that I never heard back from him. 

I can't describe the feelings I have over this whole episode, fully. For those of you with an ounce of common sense...you are outraged that something like this could even HAPPEN....albeit, to me. When, and how...did these people become so empowered with the ability to just recklessly cast people out of the casino for whatever they wanted to dream up? I mean...to an extent, I kind of get that this girl totally misunderstood me...being of Russian descent and all. But for the other people to get themselves so involved? And to take it to the extremes they did? It sickens me.

I know there are some newcomers to my blog. I've never gotten so many hits on this blog in the past four years as I have in the last two or three days. It just goes to show that people care nothing about the good things you do...they only want to be a part of the trainwreck.  And to those new comers who bitch and complain because I don't have the ability to express my views in one paragraph or less...HEY! Welcome to my blog! I've always been somewhat long winded...and I'm not about to change for a bunch of trolls who have only come by to check this out in hopes of finding some dirt that you can use in your campaign in disparaging me. Tell me I'm wrong. 


MONKEY




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SCANDAL in HAMMOND! (and the newly discovered REASON!)


It has happened again.

I know how much several of you have been waiting for this post. Some...are the rubber-neckers who slow down at accident scenes. Then you have your 2+2 Forum Dorks...who love to propagate scandal. Some, shockingly, actually care...and support my efforts. To those of you, I sincerely  apologize for keeping you in suspense all afternoon and evening. I have what I think is a good excuse: Sensory overload.

I spent a full hour standing there, surrounded by 5 'goons' from the Indiana gaming commission (supposedly) who also presented themselves as police officers...all (except one guy, who I actually suspect knew I was getting set up somehow, probably gauging my extreme shock, disbelief and anger) were quick to snap back at me with condescending, threatening, smart ass remarks, designed to keep me in my place, reiterate exactly who was in charge, and making me feel that any thoughts I had that I was completely innocent, were impossible.



I'm 45 now. I've seen and experienced a lot in my life. I haven't always done everything that would be considered 'the right way.' You live and you learn. This is true, not only in life...but in poker as well (obviously). I have made a lot of enemies in this game...for whatever reason. Generally it comes (I think) from my somewhat sarcastic personality. Maybe a bit of comes from having some success. I honestly don't know, 100% why I attract the amount of  vitriol that I do. I do, however, acknowledge that I have brought a lot of strain upon my marriage by doing things that end up coming back to affect the relationship with my wife. Whether its something I write on this blog...or something that transpires at a casino, and the resulting 'spin' that results from it...it is something that her and I have talked about at great length.

Which is what has made today so completely difficult to bear. I made a commitment to her to stay out of trouble. To not drink at poker events. To not do or say certain things that draw attention to myself. I want nothing more than to make her not have to deal with the BS that seems to follow me wherever I go, whether I want it around me or not. It doesn't seem to be an option for me. Just the other day I had one of my truly good friends in poker approach me...tell me hi, and say she was defending me to her table just the day before. Told me people were saying things like "Oh yeah...that Monkey guy? He's a this, that and the other thing...." and when she asked what their problem was with me...it was generally something 'they had heard' about me. Or some incident that happened at the table 4 or 5 years ago. Mmm.. yeah, good reasons.

How do you combat that? Knowing how much I have really mellowed out...both with the prescription to Celexa that our doctor put me on, as well as what having Carley Grace and seeing life from a totally different perspective has done for my sense of purpose...I continue to face the same shit no matter what I do. No matter how much I have changed. And for those who play this game on a regular basis...I think those people have seen me change. They have noticed how I never lash out at players at the table any more. How I never berate people's bad play. I just don't. If there is ONE place that I do happen to do all those things...its right here. On my nice little 'diary' that just happens to be read by about 7500 people a month. This is where I vent. This is where I express my opinions. This is where I do my berating. Is that not healthy?

Yeah yeah...I can read your collective minds. GET TO THE GOOD STUFF MONKEY!  I'm right, aren't I? Fine. Here you go.

Saturday, as most of you know...I came back at 2pm, 26th out of 310 players in my pursuit of another ring, $110,000 and what we all (as poker players) strive for in this game...a game-changing win. My mind was right. I was coming off a great night of sleep. I was dialed in. It was a rough 5 hours. No cards. No action on the ones I rarely got...and busting with AK thinking I had caught the guy stealing...only to find he had KK. I went out around 133rd. For close to a mere dime. I spent 5 hours focused and concentrating on nothing but my opponents. After busting I got into the rebuy Mega satellite...which lasted about 7 hours...and which I ended up winning. So I guess it was what should be considered a 'good' day of poker, for the most part. No alcohol was consumed...until we made the money in the Mega...when I ordered a single Coors Light to end my night.

So, fast forward. Today...I arrive for the noon tourney at 1:15pm. I'm really struggling with this cold. So I decided to sleep a little longer today. Plus I am leery of the early rounds with these players up here. I didn't hate my decision one bit. I had doubled up by the 4th level. When I arrived...there was a line of about 20 people...and one lonely cashier behind the counter...who seemed overwhelmed and challenged by the computer. There was a general mood of irritation by all the players in the line...as it was taking 5-10 minutes for each player to get registered. I asked if there were any other cashiers available. She said yes...that she had called for more. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the Security guy sitting in his chair behind the desk...and it seemed like he was glaring at me. (this is me trying to remember every possible thing to make any sense of this) Finally, another cashier arrived...and the line picked up dramatically. Sorry...but it just seems like if we are paying 21% juice on these events...it shouldn't be too much to ask for them to accommodate the players on certain matters, like this one.

So as I said...I get to my table, end up with a double up...and a couple of other good pots...and was sitting at about 23k when I was suddenly approached by a guy in a suit...from security, who asked me to step away from the table and into the lobby. In the lobby, I am surrounded by 5...you heard me...FIVE older guys...a tall one, three really short ones and an average looking guy...all in those vests that look like they are posing for an Eddie Bauer ad, or going fly fishing later, after clocking out. I was told (at first) that they were from the Indiana State police. Then later I was told they were representatives from the Indiana Gaming authority. It's been explained that the Gaming Commission there is likely a division of the police...so I guess they are both.

Well, it can safely be concluded from their smart ass, condescending remarks to everything I had to say that they were at one time cops, for sure. If you've ever been in trouble with a cop...or just in the wrong place at the wrong time and being questioned by cops...then you know that they seem to have kind of an attitude. And that attitude? If they have come to a scene where there is a 'suspect' being detained or questioned...that suspect is immediately dropped to the level of 'human vermin' in their book. Whatever they are there for...the assumption is that 'rat guy' is totally, 100% guilty of whatever they think he did.

Any logical question you ask them is answered with something you know they sat together at a donut shop crafting...waiting for that moment that they could unleash their 'killer comeback' on their victim. I know there are some really good people in the world who go into law enforcement. In fact, I know some of them personally, so for me to just say that ALL COPS ARE DICKS would be a total generalization, and unfair. Because I know it not to be true. But it does seem to go without saying that a large percentage of them just happen to be wired a certain, special way...and that way makes them very unlikable as human beings. Well these guys...or at least 4 of the 5...were total, and complete cocksuckers. Do these guys start out being good guys? And the years of hearing all the excuses, the guilty shouting to the heavens that they're innocent....the daily experiences with life's underbelly of society just sour them to the human condition as a whole? Do they just become bitter and jaded and hateful because its what the job does to them? I mean...I can kind of get that, if its the case. And you can sort of accept that...until you are THAT guy who is being subjected to their treatment. Which is what I was.

So...the guy tells me that on Saturday, during the tourney, I was 'observed' making 'harassing' comments to a female dealer. That they did an investigation...incorporating the use of 'surveillance cameras' in their investigation...and were able to conclude that I had, in fact, harassed this mystery dealer. For those who have never played at this event...it is played in a giant concert theater. The cameras are attached to scaffolding that is about 50 feet or more above the tables. They do not record sound. I will let you use your own common sense in figuring that one out. 

When I asked what I supposedly said, or who I supposedly said it to, he wouldn't tell me. In fact, he told me he didn't know. Just that he was assigned to come get me and escort me off the property. When I asked for a meeting with the person who actually made this decision, to find answers, I was told, in very condescending tone...that I could ask via letter. Via letter? Sure. Okay. That's after I have to fly home, right? No...you see, I am trying to get it fixed NOW, ideally, since I KNOW I didn't do anything that I was being accused of....so I could finish the event. No...they had no interest in assisting me in my attempts to get this situation remedied. They walk me out. After getting outside, it dawns on me that I had that voucher in my bag for the Main Event entry. I bring that to their attention. To which one of the total jagoff cops pipes up with: 

"Oh...you tell us about this NOW!?? Why didn't you tell us about that when we were still in the casino!??"

"Oh gee, you know what? I'm so sorry...I was too busy wracking my brain trying to figure out who the fuck is trying to set me up and get me thrown out of here...it really kind of slipped my mind."  [You jerkoff!]

So the guy from in-house Horseshoe Security got on his walkie-talkie and worked out a way to get it converted to cash, taking it from me...leaving me out in the parking deck with the 'Four Ass Clown Prick Posse' to wait on him to get back. He finally returned with my money...and the 6 of them walked me out to valet. Fun times.
I then waited on Claudia and Barth...both of whom had just busted...Claudia 6th in the 1k, and Barth, 12th in the Omaha. We went back to our hotel...then Barth and I went to eat...and try to make some sense of this bullshit. I went over every situation from Saturday. Every dealer. Every possible conversation. Nothing made sense. Nothing added up. I was petrified about calling my wife and telling her what had happened...knowing, that her sitting at home, and just hearing this news was going to result in her thinking the worst. And I really didn't know what to tell her, because I myself didn't even KNOW what the hell the reason was.

Finally I called her. She was, obviously, upset....having seen the posts in Facebook. La Sengphet was at my table in the noon tourney when security came and pulled me from the table...and she had to go and TWEET about it (which, for the record I'm not upset with her over)...which spread like wildfire. I told her all I knew. Let her know that I  would be home as soon as possible if I couldn't get the mess fixed. Though I'm a bit hesitant about rushing right home because I'm as sick as I've been in over a year...and don't want to get Carley Grace sick. On the way to the casino we picked up a bunch of cold and flu medicine and I've been bombarding it ever since.

I came back to my room...and with Barth and Kai and Claudia all in the room with me and just laying here...brainstorming...trying to figure out how this all happened. They were talking about Claudia's bustout...and Barth's bad run in the 2nd day of Omaha...and at some point...I just fell asleep and woke up to nobody being here. They all had left to go play cash game.

I got on my Facebook...and after reading all the curious comments posted by everyone...wondering what happened, simply posted that I was fine. Not in jail. Not dead. Nothing like that. That I had just fallen victim to something I didn't even understand at the moment. And still didn't. 

*******************************************************************************

It's now 5:45pm on Tuesday. This is a continuation. I would have posted the first part...and made this a new post...but it wouldn't quite work...because you would read this NEW post first...and never get to the SECOND post that outlined what happened. But...there has been a major break in the 'case.' Only problem? I don't think there is a solution. Not because its impossible, but because getting anything overturned with the buffoons who work in security is nearly always impossible. And at the very least...they might not even understand or believe what I am telling them. So to make myself feel better about it...I will tell you folks. Maybe...just MAYBE...someone with some influence, or some power...will make a call or two, and get this shit fixed.

As it stands right now, I have scheduled a flight out of here for tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1:55pm. My cold feels a little better today...not coughing quite as much. And not as congested. And I think I even have my wife firmly in corner after I explained this latest piece of information.

About two or three hours ago...Barth calls me...and tells me something very, well...infuriating.  I'm not sure I have all these things in the right order...but the one important piece of information is correct and that is all that matters. The guy who got heads up with Ryan Lenahan in the 1k made a comment at some point to the dealer...who was the same dealer I was wondering about...a tall, skinny blonde girl, who told us she was from Belarus. She spoke with a very thick, Eastern European accent, and I merely asked her if she was Russian. She replied, kind of snottily, that she was from Belarus, as if being 'accused' of being Russian was this great slight. For those of you who took history or geography in grade school, you will remember that Belarus was once a republic in the old U.S.S.R. So in fact...they were a 'part' of Russia as we knew it growing up. Her snottiness was the part that got me to wondering about her involvement in this mess....since I couldn't, for the life of me....think of ANY other female dealers I had deal to me that whole day.

So this guy made some kind of a remark to her about her massaging her feet. What prompted that I don't know...poker players make stupid little remarks all the time, usually in a reckless flirty kind of way. Honestly, I'd be an asshole if I didn't admit to doing it myself a few times in the past. (never inappropriately, and almost always to a dealer I knew well) Granted, it was all in fun, and just being silly...but whatever, I guess I can see where a dealer MIGHT take it the wrong way? But to have you thrown out of a casino for it? That seems a little, well...you find your own word. I have mine.

But this wasn't the case with ME...because I hadn't said anything to her like this. But whoever this guy was...had! And she responded by telling him he'd better watch what he said to her...because if he didn't 'she would have him kicked out of the casino like she did to that guy yesterday!!!' Ashley Butler...who we all know as a friend of Ryan's, and a very good player who has been running great this year...either over-heard this comment, or simply was TOLD of this comment, and shared it with Barth...who immediately called me and told me this. But whoever heard her say that, asked her if she was talking about 'Monkey' and she said yes. That she had been the one who had me kicked out...because...and I quote, 'He tried to get me to have sex with him for $1000!!!'

When Barth told me that...obviously my reaction was "HUH!??????" The smartasses Barth and Kai, responded by saying..."well, that is definitely a lie, because you would never offer THAT girl $1000 for sex!!!" Okay, okay...thanks guys, for your support. I got off the phone with him...and sat laying here in my room, wondering why she would say this. Did she know a player who was trying to set me up for something?

Then....BOOM! About an hour ago...it HIT ME. Like a ton of bricks! Holy shit!!! And now that I know what happened...all I can think about...is how to fix it.

Ever send someone a text message...and meant for it to read a certain way? But they took it completely a different way? That if you had said it in person...would have come out sounding so different? Whether it be in the way you delivered it...or how the reactions on your face affected the delivery of the message? I think we all have. Right? 

How about this one. Ever said something to someone who spoke a different language as their native tongue? And had them look back at you funny? Which caused you to think that either they were just an asshole? Or that maybe they misunderstood you? We call this a language barrier.

Guess who just got kicked out the Horseshoe Casino due to a language barrier!?? Yep, your's truly. In a sense, I feel better...because I have FINALLY solved the mystery. A also feel better, because now I don't think anyone was trying to set me up or frame me or anything. Nor do I have to worry about my wife thinking I'm up in Chicago propositioning women for $1000.

Here we go.  In the Saturday event....due to the large number of players still in the tourney, and the size of the playing area, and the fact they had positioned the payout area in the back of the theater...in an area where dealers came in through the back door....a place the players would never find on their own...they had something like 10 dealers, who I guess were working the late shift maybe, but were there and not dealing yet, lined up along the stage. Each dealer had a payout number printed on a card. When a player would get knocked out, the dealer would announce that a player needed payout. So whichever one of these dealers was next up...would walk over to the busted player...and escort that player to the payout area in back. Are you visualizing this?

So...I look over to the area where those dealers are standing...as my chip stack continues to dwindle, and I continue to be card dead as shit. I notice one particular dealer, a guy, older guy...who the day before had dealt me two brutal beats...on the day I played in between Day 1a of that event...and the day off before Day 2. I commented to the guy in the 9-seat, that if I were to bust soon...I wanted ANYONE but THAT guy to be my escort back to the payout area. That it would just be too much of a punch to the pride. At the time I said that...he was third in line.

Then...a few hands later...I get the AK in the BB. And after all the money got in, and I was behind  KK and needing an ace, or a heart after the turn, I bricked the river and was out of the tourney I'd hoped like hell to final table. Then I glance over to the stage...and HOLY SHIT, guess who's turn it is to waltz over and hand me my payout card with #133 on it...and escort me to the payout area!?? Yep...that guy! So...true to my word, I semi-jokingly chased him off when he approached me, taking the card from him. He knew I was joking with him...and asked if I knew where to go? Yes...I knew where to go. So as I was walking past the stage, and the other dealers who were lined up there...which consisted of 6 female dealers and 2 guys...I make this comment: (or something very close to this, this much I remember for certain!)

Gosh...they have all of you lined up to take us back to get paid out and I get the guy who murdered me yesterday! What a bad beat that is! I would have been happy to walk back with ANY of you instead! How about you!?? (gesturing to the girl from Belarus who was at the end of the line)...care to escort me back to get my $1000? She responded by giving me a nasty look. Well, okay...I will take that as a no! Sorry! And immediately I wondered why she had taken that so badly. Because up to that point, I hadn't even known her. Hadn't had her deal to me before. Wasn't even sure she was a dealer.

Well, I found out later...when she dealt to me in the Mega Satellite, which I got into after getting my payout. She came through and dealt a down during that. And this day I was wearing my Saints jersey and sweatpants with tennis shoes...so that when (sitting in the five seat) I accidentally stepped on her foot or kicked her or something, she snapped at me that I needed to watch my feet. Then remarked that her boyfriend was the dealer two tables away. (her boyfriend? why is she telling me this!??)

"Huh? What are you talking about??? I hit your foot?" I looked under the table, and realized perhaps I had stepped on her foot or something.

"I am sorry if I hit your foot or stepped on you. I assure you it wasn't on purpose. I will keep my feet under my chair, sorry." She said something that indicated she understood and appreciated my efforts to avoid her feet...and that was the end of it. She pushed out a short while later.

So. That is it! And after hearing Barth relay the story that was told to him...and rolling it around in my head for an hour...it just CLICKED. Wow! So no big conspiracy. No attempt to railroad me. Just a dealer who (a) completely misunderstood me and (b) is probably a little over-dramatic and quick to pull the trigger, is the reason for this whole, unbelievable mess. Which would explain why...as I was being escorted off the property yesterday, and past 7 or 8 dealers who were out on the back of the boat taking a smoke break...and 4 or 5 of them were greeting me and being friendly in the midst of my panic-stricken march to '86-Land' she was one of them back there...and gave me kind of a nasty glare before quickly turning in the other direction. I wasn't positive if I saw what I thought I saw...but now I know for sure it was exactly what it felt like.

It was a "See! Fuck with me, and I will fuck with you!" look that she was giving me. Only....I WASN'T FUCKING WITH HER!!!! You foolish foreigner!!!! How bout learning our language before you go running off to security and getting us thrown out of our workplace!!!??

And you know...that whenever a female walks into security...and issues a complaint like that...security is going to jump right on her bandwagon. An investigation was conducted? What a fucking farce! No one was interviewed. No witnesses were questioned. She didn't even go to her WSOP supervisor! Which is what dealers are TOLD to do if a player ever makes an inappropriate comment, or makes them feel uneasy. It happened this summer in Vegas. A dealer, small little Asian lady...had blessed me with an amazing suckout...and upon leaving our table I stood up and gave her a big hug...which I later found out, scared her. Whoops. But in that case...security showed up, after she had correctly reported it to her Supervisor (usually a Dealer Coordinator). Security came over, along with the D.C. they told me what had occurred, asked for my side of the story, I shared it with them, expressed my total regret at having scared her, that I was just happy. They understood, and that was that. No problem.

But this girl? She didn't go to her supervisor. She didn't tell ANYONE on staff. She went straight to House Security. I know that, because I was told that by a couple of pretty good friends who are Floor Supervisors up here. Well, that and because the guy from Security told me that she came into their office and issued the complaint.

So there you go. The next question? How in the HELL do I get this overturned? How does it get fixed? Why are these idiots who work in security, not just here, but seemingly at every damn casino I encounter, so quick to just pull the trigger to get people kicked out? When I kept trying to ask questions, all these jerks would tell me is "It's private property, they can kick you out for whatever reason they want!" Yeah...dickhead, I got that. But if you just willy-nilly kick everyone out...guess what? You no longer have a business! I am one of the people who actually do quite a bit to SUPPORT this game! I have a pretty damn good relationship with most of the players and staff. Do they ever even THINK about exploring any of this before some drama-queen Euro girl runs into their office crying wolf? Or do they just act the same for every single episode that comes across their desk? Ah ha!!! A reason to go flex our muscles and exercise our power!!! Lets go boys! Let's go show this scum bag who the bosses are!!!!  Saddle up!!!!

So now that I have FINALLY solved this fucked up mystery, I guess the question still persists. Why....WHY does this shit only seem to happen to ME? I mean...if this isn't a pure case of 'Holy shit, how in the hell could that statement be taken THAT way, and thus result in THAT happening!??? And to YOU...who seems to have EVERY bad beat thrown at him!??"  The answer is: I don't have a single fucking clue! I can't think, or don't want to think, anyway...that I am just unlucky in life. But sometimes...you really have to scratch your head and wonder. I don't know if this is something that one of my friends can approach this girl about...tell her how she totally misinterpreted what I said, completely, and ask her to go back to security, and apologize for the misunderstanding, and ask that I be allowed to return. Because, as I see it...that is about the only chance I have of them letting me back in. It doesn't seem like it should be that hard. Does it? That is what I am going to try to do.

I've got a lot of other shit to attend to...that has been neglected as I've been slipping in and out of a cold medicine-induced coma the last two days.


MONKEY