Thursday, February 28, 2013

What the Hell!???

I can't figure something out. And what is even more baffling, is that according to the site that tracks 'hits' for a day, I've had 301 people check out my blog today, and not ONE person has brought this to my attention...and I find that nearly impossible to fathom. Whenever I look at the site, I see the tail end of my most recent post bleeding into the previous post...so that they are overlapping each other. I've tried everything I can think of to fix it. Nothing seems to be working. Are you guys seeing what I'm seeing? Or is my computer (and iPad) obsessed? Guess I'll see what happens after I post this one. [after a whole bunch of editing I managed to fix it]

Today was a 'catch up on everything' day. With Carley. Unpacked. She watched. Did laundry. She watched. Gave my dogs a bath. She watched, from her wagon. Then I washed both our cars...while she watched in her wagon again. Kid loves the wagon. Last night...we did something for the very first time. We put her in her crib, in her room, and 'made her' sleep in there over night. She didn't seem affected by it one bit. She slept uninterrupted until 6:30am, when she finally woke up...hungry. I think Squirrel and I were the most shaken up by it. We both kept going in there...just staring down at her...secretly wishing she would wake up and lunge into our arms begging to be brought into our bed. Didn't happen. We've gotten very used to having her in between us. And not having her there just felt...wrong. We were both sad. I know its the right thing to do though..and so does Cheryl. But I still hate it. 

Squirrel tried to get me to watch 'American Idol' again tonight. Forget it. I watched for about 15 minutes before I couldn't take another second of either Nicki Minaj or Mariah Carey. If those two return as judges next year...I will eat a pillow.

Can someone, anyone...tell me why the First Lady, Michelle Obama was at the Academy Awards on Sunday night? I mean, its been made painfully obvious all throughout Barack's re-election campaign...and I'm speaking of the time period from 2008 to 2012...that he was so far up Hollywood's ass you could see his eyes on the  Hollywood sign on the hill.

You might have heard the rumors. 'Monkey got hit by a car down in West Palm.' Well, yeah...I did. And not just once. But twice. Now before you think I'm like that guy who has mysteriously been hit by lightning about 17 times...I should tell you something. It was part of my 'show' that I put on for my buddies that night. We had decided to go to a place called Rocco's Tacos on Valentine's night to drink, eat and be merry. And once there...we had a very good spot with which to carry out 'sidewalk theater' a game I used to enjoy playing when I lived in NYC many years ago. Our table was out front of the place...next to the sidewalk. So I did several characters...from 'Drunk Guy Falling Out of His Chair' to 'Heart Attack Guy' and 'Seizure Guy'...each time collapsing at the feet of oncoming pedestrians. Several reactions were elicited. But the one that got the best reaction was 'Getting Hit by Car Guy'...not just the first time...but the second time...where my 'victim' failed to notice me, and when I rolled across the top of the hood...sped up instead of slowing down...which tossed me into the street, causing the margarita in my hand to break when my hand slammed down on the pavement...and cutting my hand in several places. Not a big deal. The hand has healed up quite nicely, thank you.

Just got a comment telling me to 'watch tbe carbs' and asking me if I've 'ever heard of a situp' which has me wondering if this photo was what inspired that? Probably. For the record...what IS a situp?

The original plan was to get my photo taken with the mascot from the Palm Beach Dog Prison...and for the life of me I cannot remember what said mascot's name was...but I managed to get a very enthusiastic photo of the two of us, which was to serve as a file photo to be used when I won the Main Event, where I would pretend like the mascot was there to celebrate the amazing moment with me. Instead...its just a stupid picture of me and some guy dressed up in a dog costume. Isn't that awesome?

Okay...I'm done. It's late. I'm tired. And Squirrel just crawled into bed, turned off the TV and is whining about me pecking away on the keyboard. So good night.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Out of Dog Prison, Back in Biloxi

What a long drive. Lurky (David Nicholson) and Barth, my two travel mates...had no desire to take the wheel, sleeping most of the way, leaving me to watch 4 unimpressive movies by myself...driving through pounding rain and tornado warnings, and fighting fatigue. When we finally arrived in my driveway around noon, Squirrel told me she and Carley were just leaving N. Alabama for home, where they'd been all weekend, soaking up the love and affection of Squirrel's side of the family and being pestered with 'when are you moving back home' questions all weekend. 

This trip ended as way too many have this year. Main Event in Vegas...KK goes down to 10-10, right before the money started getting REALLY good. Several other deep runs that were derailed too early. 6 circuit cashes this year so far...out of 3 played...unless you want to count Chicago/Hammond, where I was permitted to play just two events before getting 'THE INJUSTICE of 2012' bestowed upon me and shoved out the door. 6 cashes, for only 37.5 National Freeroll points. My goal, obviously, was to qualify for that thing...an event that, even though I've been told by 'that guy at WSOP' I won't be allowed to play as long as this joke of a ban on me is in play, I would love to have won the Main, or the Casino Champion, or an event or two to get over the 125-150 pts it will likely take to qualify this year. 

The reason, as I see it...would be that if I were to qualify, but then not be allowed to play, my 'story' would become a lot more visible. There would be a lot more questions being asked by a lot more reputable and credible people. Poker media would get involved....and my 'situation' would become more than a 'he said/she said' tale on the 2+2 forums. After talking to an anonymous source high within the WSOP administration, I learned a lot of information I didn't previously know about. I'm not going to show my hand here (completely, anyway)...as it will likely only come back to hurt me. Lets just say, there was a very concerted effort to find something, ANYTHING...that could be used against me, to get me placed on the 'Unable to Perform List' like I was between 2008 and 2010. 

When spring of 2010 rolled around, and I had punched my ticket to the freeroll, despite being on the banned list at ONLY Rio...despite having never done anything wrong there...but having it placed on me as the result of a bias-driven 86 that was orchestrated by Jim Pedulah (who has since been fired by Caesar's Palace Las Vegas)...who used a minor exchange of words between me and another player AFTER we had concluded play on Day 1 of a $360 tourney there; turning it into declaring me a wild, insane and out of control maniac who had threatened to kill another player...calling over to Jeffrey Pollack (no longer at WSOP) and 'recommending' that I not be allowed to participate in any more of the 2008 WSOP events. Pollack fell for it, aided by his (still employed) fellow employee, who had formed a distaste for some of my antics dating back to 2005.

I would be a jerk if I tried to say I never did or said anything out of line in those years when I started playing on the circuit, mainly the years 2004-2008. Admittedly, I was guilty of coming across as a sarcastic, abrasive smart ass. Granted, having a dry, sarcastic sense of humor (especially at a poker table where you are dealing with a lot of straight up simpletons) and playing poker usually leads to more than a few people 'misreading' you. Instead of thinking...'wow what a funny guy' they come away thinking 'what a fucking asshole.' I get that now. I got that then. So while my intentions were never malicious in nature, I understand how the bi-product of some of my actions managed to cultivate the environment that I was forced to play in over the past five years. And to be honest, it sucks. I wish I'd been then how I am now. Because no matter how well-behaved I am, no matter how mellow I am...its always the guy they remember from those years who they want to associate me with. 

Well, in the case of the Freeroll, I qualified. And I did so while playing at numerous Caesar's properties.  So when the GM at New Orleans Harrah's got involved, and realized that they had a major legal issue possibly brewing, it got kicked up the chain of command until it got to the top legal people in Vegas, as well as the management of the WSOP. It was determined that I would be allowed back in to Rio, and Ceaser's Palace, where the event was to be held.  The person forced to 'give me the good news' that I'd been reinstated, put on a good act the past couple years...acting like he was 'so anxious' to put a bracelet on my wrist. Look, we play poker for a living. Spotting bluffs isn't that hard. Regardless of my suspicions of this guy, and what I viewed as an ongoing threat of him planting land mines along the way, in hopes of trapping me in some 'situation' I couldn't (or WOULDN'T) be allowed to even explain my way out of....I played the good little monkey. Saying all the right things. Smiling the smile. Writing nice things about him. Never criticizing Caesars for things I viewed as easy to criticize.  Some of you who work in corporate-based jobs understand what I'm talking about. It's sometimes known as kissing ass to get ahead. Or in my case, kissing ass to stay on the 'Able to Perform List.' 

I knew, and had it confirmed for me by numerous people within WSOP, whether it was dealers, floor people or administrative people, that this guy was 'utterly pissed' when I was allowed back in. That he would be, and would have other people, watching my every move. Looking for any reason to be able to put me back on the 'Bad Guy' list and go to his handlers/managers with the message of  'see, what did I try to tell you! That this guy Will Souther is a bad seed, not worth letting back in.' And in his mind, he would be vindicated. Pretty easy to understand. What I don't understand? Is why? All these players on the circuit, all the things to worry about...and I garner so much of this guys attention. To be honest, its kind of disturbing and creepy. 

Well, so that was my main drive in playing these Non-Caesar's Circuit events, and try to qualify for the Freeroll...so that I would be given the proper forum to tell my side of the story. The petition drive that Scotty Clark started was nice. The comments were great. Did it help? I guess not, because I sent the whole package, including my entire explanation of the events from October 2012 in Hammond, to the Security Manager in Hammond. I was hopeful to get that 86 removed, which would in turn make it possible for me to have WSOP/Caeser's Entertainment management in Vegas to totally lift the ban that had unfairly been placed on me. [In case you aren't aware of this deal...and don't feel like scrolling back to October to read up on it...a part time dealer, of Belarusian background mistook my statement of "would you care to escort me to get my $1000" after cashing for $954 in the first event up there...and being one of the dealers assigned to walk each player that had busted, back to the well-hidden payouts area, for "would you like to be my escort for $1000?" Goes to management, tells them I offered her $1000 for sex, and next thing you know, I'm being thrown off the property two days later in the middle of an event I had already doubled up in, and wasn't given a refund on my buy-in. It's a bit more complicated than that...but this is a pretty good summary of the events that occurred there.]

So, uh...yeah. I got NO response from Hammond. And later, a guy who is a 7-Star with Caesars and who was out to a concert and dinner with the GM for Caesar's in the SE region, and who is one of my investors in my shares...asked the guy "do you know what the deal is with a friend of mine," and before he even got my last name out...the guy knew who he was talking about. Didn't have to go look it up on the computer. Knew the whole story. "Oh yeah...that guy? He's never getting back in. I talked to the GM (a woman, who of course I've never met) from Hammond and she said that when he was up here he was horrible!"  Huh? I was literally there for 4 days. I played Day 1a of the first big event....all day long...bagged my chips, and went to my hotel.  The next day I played the nightly tourney. Lost, then played about two hours of cash game...then left with all four of my roommates. Came back the next day for Day 2 of that big tourney....played until 5pm. Basically min-cashed, then got right into a Mega Satellite, which I played until 11pm, and won. I then left. I never played a SNG the five days I was there. On Sunday, I took the day off to watch NFL games and work on my pools. Then on Monday, I play the nooner, get a nice stack, and get ambushed and kicked out.  I was horrible while I was there? I heard that, and immediately smelled a rat. What's my theory?

Well, my theory is that this 'certain individual' at Caesar's/WSOP who was forced to reinstate me in 2010...probably made a little phone call to this person I've never met before, the GM of Hammond...and shared some info with her about me. In an attempt to make sure that their Head of Security NOT grant me reinstatement. This is the same guy who, back in 2008, when he needed a way to keep me out of New Orleans' final WSOP circuit stop...to hopefully cause me to fall short in the chase for the Freeroll (his mission failed, I qualified anyway) he contacted one of his confidants in Atlantic City...at a casino I had never even PLAYED IN before...and had him slip an 86 into the system on me. True story. Because one of my own 'insiders' told me that they were able to pinpoint where this 'trespass/86' originated. It came from this place in Atlantic City...where I hadn't even visited. Sneaky, eh? Well...it's my understanding that WSOP Vegas' management and/or legal team discovered this information...and turned the heat up on this guy who has made it his mission to make my poker life a living hell. While I was given assurances by many that after getting reinstated, I really didn't have anything to worry about...that in fact, there was probably MORE pressure on that guy, due to the unscrupulous way he had gone about trying to sabotage my efforts to play the World Series events. Regardless of that, I remained skeptical. I guess the longer you inhabit this planet, the more cynical you are...almost expecting bad shit to happen.

Frankly, I am so sick of all this ridiculousness. I have become almost completely disillusioned with the whole game of poker. Caesar's now has a basic monopoly on tournament poker. We are paying ungodly amounts of juice now...and there is nothing we can do about it. We are forced to play these big events...$500, $1000...even more sometimes, smashed into tables...10 of us most of the time, or 9 of us on stud tables. It's offensive. We don't receive comps. We don't get very good deals on hotels. We are often times treated like a bunch of pre-schoolers by the floor staff. I mean, I understand that to an extent, poker players are pretty close to BEING a bunch of pre-schoolers sometimes...but when you are on the bubble, and you have these people shouting at you to stay seated, to NOT go sweating the other tables...OR ELSE! Or else you will get a one-round penalty. I guess, as a kid growing up with a physically and mentally abusive stepfather, I'm not real keen on being told what to do in dictatorial fashion. Especially by the people who exist courtesy of the outrageous fees we pay to play in their tourneys.  I mean...I used to let all this shit bother me. I would rant and rave and blog and post on Facebook about it. I don't anymore. Why? Nothing will ever change. And I'm not naive or delusional enough anymore to think my 'mighty voice' would or will ever bring about positive change in poker. I used to actually care. I used to WANT to be the guy who led the charges for good against evil. I was so idealistic. So hopeful. So optimistic. I was just stupid. And being stupid...got me on a lot of people's bad side. Being on the bad side of the 'poker mafia' isn't a good place to be.

So now? I show up (where I am allowed to play) and play. I take my bad beats with a grain of salt. I save my criticism of the players for small conversations among my friends, or the occasional mention of the situation either here or on my Facebook. But never at the table anymore. When an event is done, I try to thank as many dealers and staff members as possible for having me. I'm really trying to be everything they want me to be. Period. Not because I like it all the time. But I just want the negativity attached to my name to disappear. Will it ever happen? I don't know. I know it has with a lot of people. But everyone? Who knows? All I can do is make the effort. 

So oh...sorry, back to my conversation with that anonymous WSOP staffer. Basically, in a nutshell, it was their feeling that I am really fighting an uphill battle. That there just aren't very many people interested in 'my side' of the story. The advice given to me, was to let about a year go by...keep my nose clean. Play where I can, leave a good impression at those places...and after about a year, simply reapply for reinstatement. Told me that it shouldn't be anything that results in me being banned forever or even more than a year. Stated that there are examples of numerous players having been banned for far more egregious acts that are allowed back in after just 6 to 12 months.  I asked if there would be any sense in trying to get a face-to-face meeting with the ONE person within the WSOP who I think might actually be above buying into the BS story that has been concocted, and who knows enough about the history and the back story between me and this other person at WSOP...to possibly hear me out and do something to help me. This person wasn't honestly sure if that would help or not. Said it might be worth a shot. Like if I'm in Vegas this summer, to just attempt to get 30 minutes with him. So maybe that is what I will do.

It's funny. Some of you know me really well. Some of you know me very little. Some of you still...just know what you know from a few fleeting moments at a table with me, either recently, or years ago. For those who 'really' know me...none of what I have just said comes as a surprise to you. Today, I logged on here to see how many (if any) unmoderated comments I had to either publish or delete. Every time I do this...I kind of brace myself...as there seems to always be a handful of nice and supportive emails, but then always that 'hater' comment. And today was no different. There it was. Oh...my QQ in the main event in Palm Beach getting busted by the internet twerp who at one time was down to crumbs (27k at 1200/2400) before I doubled him up (me KQ him AJ) gets snapped off when he (again) min-raises to 12k....only to call my shove in the BB for 55k with the queens...holding K6. He spiked a king...and instead of having 130k at 3k/6k and having a legit shot to get back on track for a final table run, I was out. Well...this 'hater' suggested 'karma' had a role in this. That I was being paid back for all the years of being an asshole.  Told me what a loser I was. How I would never win a big event again. Because I am basically doomed to failure. Those comments never come with a name. They are always Anonymous. And they always sound about the same. I mean, I'm human...so I can't say they don't bother me at least a little bit. But I don't let them eat at me too bad. 

Congratulations to my good poker buddies...Clint Tolbert, Mark Rose and Nancy Birnbaum, for their great runs in the Main Event at Palm Beach. Always nice to see good people and those I respect and admire making nice scores in this aggravating profession of ours. I know for most of us...a good score gives us more relief than unadulterated joy...and to be honest, that's pretty sad.  I'm ready for a little relief!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Crazy Trip...But Back for Day 2...

This has without a doubt been one of the nuttiest trips of my poker career. The first week wasn't too bad, winning 5 of 9 SNG's to start, getting deep and cashing the HORSE tourney...and having some success in the cash game. But then it was like I hit a wall. Like all those poly-fiber coated cards just turned on me. Me specifically. Well, me and the other people, good players....I see walking around this place mumbling in unison with me about how bad they are running.

After bombing BOTH Mega satellites on Friday and feeling totally defeated...I went downstairs, lost the only SNG I played...getting AA crushed by that awesome three-betting poker genius with 5-7...and settled into a lowly 1/2 game...where I felt my sense of utter failure slowly dissipate. Collecting one pot after another, exposing glaring flaws in my opponents, stacking one guy after another...and when 1am rolled around, and I had $1100 in front of me, I convinced myself to call it a night, come back tomorrow, and tackle the Main with a shred of new-found confidence.

We arrived. On time. Much to my disdain I discovered I'd been given a seat in the 'Midget Section.' These are the tables that have a lot of the players very ill this week. They are, in essence stud tables. They have a whole section of them here, on the other side of the room...where they have these big...I mean huge tables. It's like the difference between being a free range chicken and/or a slum chicken, with chickens all over you. The other day in the $1k...they had ALL the players playing on those tables....and playing 10-handed, which had a lot of players' blood boiling. And to make it worse...not ONE of the big tables were even being used. I mentioned something about it to Dennis Jones...and he was  (thank god) proactive enough to get the floor person to get us to 9-handed immediately. The floor person's initial reply was "well, we WILL have them down to 9-handed when we get to 6 tables."

Oh really? That's marvelous! But considering we started with around 160 players...that means it will take close to 7 or 8 hours of misery to get to that point. Why are we paying $120 juice on a $1000 tourney and we can't even sit in comfort? It's kind of a slap in the face. Well, credit to Dennis for doing (at least) something about it.

My $1k, by the way...would end in typical Palm Beach fashion. After making a lot of what I think were good folds, I had blinded down to 7500 at 400/800...when a guy min raised under the gun. I looked down at KK and re-raised. Thats when Jacob Naquin re-raised ME....before it went back to the UTG guy...who did a fairly ridiculous job of Hollywooding before moving all in. Well, I couldn't fold...as I had a shade over half of my stack in there. Jacob couldn't either. Jacob and I BOTH had KK...and this other goofball had (of course) AA. It held, though I did turn a spade draw and we both had a live straight draw...neither one getting there. That sucked balls.

So I have to wrap this up. Its now 1:30 and we have to be back at 2 for Day 2 and I have BJ McBrayer staying with me...who also made it back for day 2. My roomie Barth Melius has been running as bad, maybe worse, than I have this trip...as he fired TWO bullets yesterday (as I did) and came up snake eyes on both.

My first bullet was a pisser. I got off to a decent start...but had a very tough table. One of those tables where I was constantly being put into situations where I had to make decisions that were, a lot of times, just guessing on if I was good or not. And one kid at the table...to his credit, was a VERY good player, but a fucking pest. He was also very hard to trap...as I thought I had him a couple times, but he just wouldn't bite. We had a couple of spazzes at the table too, one who would finally get snapped off. This other kid was that asshole who liked to show bluffs to everyone, then snicker to himself. We all were pretty hell bent on busting him...and when I got knocked out he was on life support...so I suppose (and hope) that karma delivered him his death blow a short while later. On my punch out...I thought I finally caught the pest. Holding K10 in the BB...and calling his (standard) min raise...the flop came 10-9-8. I checked...since the last time I led out with top pair he re-raised me 3x my bet....which led to me folding. He bet. I raised....he flatted. Hmmm...felt like he just had a jack and was open ended. The turn was an 8 and I felt like two pair HAD to be good at the time...so I shipped the rest of my stack...to which he sighed and said 'call' and turned over QJ...nut straight. Oh fuck! And no 10 or 8 on the river to save me...and I was taking yet another walk of shame.

I went downstairs...sat at a 1/2 game...and made about $700 in two hours. And since I sold two bullets to my investors, I owed it to them to try try again. Me and David Nicholson decided we were going to drink for Flight 1B. I know I've been NOT drinking anymore, and I've told my wife I won't drink anymore...as I've been trying to 'keep my nose clean' and avoid trouble. But you know what? When I play and drink....there is no mystery why I do so well in nightly tourneys. I simply play better. My reads are better. I'm not so tentative. I don't second guess myself so much. I have more fun. Hell, poker is just a lot more enjoyable. So dammit...we drank. I had fun. I played well. I was up to 32k pretty early, before losing a couple rough hands....but then recovered from them. I had a MUCH softer table...and a few older people...who were noticeably irritated with my 'spirited mood.' But oh well....I even got a warning from the floor to 'lower my decibel' level...which was a first, but which I was more than happy to comply with. Sorry guys...just (for a change) having a little fun on this trip!

When all was said and done...and it was time to bag out chips...I was sitting on 85K!!! Very, very pleased with that result. And now, with BJ texting me from the living room that he is short and really, really doesn't want to be late...I must cut this short!!! Updates to follow!!!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Gabe Costner Might Just Be On To Something...

So a couple nights ago...after another throttling at the tables...I ambled out of the Dog Prison Poker Room with Chip Ervin in tow...waiting on Barth to come pick us up in my car...when from behind us we hear chirping...the chirping of what seemingly appeared to be a deranged lunatic. He was being escorted by two large Sheriff's Department representatives. They both had a sheepish smile on their face as they let the man air his dirty laundry, both nodding in agreeable fashion and doing little to incite the little guy. As Chip and I both sat listening to him...we simultaneously looked at each other and said "Whoa...Gabe Costner!"

Some of you know Gabe pretty well. Some of you know him from seeing him on TV during one of his WSOP Main Event runs or even his Final Table televised appearance. Gabe is an accomplished player. But like me, Gabe has also run afoul of the casinos 'expected behavioral policies' at times. One of those being a time when he hijacked a card from the deck so that he could run it up to a science lab at S.Miss University to have it analyzed and see if his theories about the consistency of the game cards being used at that casino had any conclusive proof. What resulted was a multi-page report issued by Gabe...that a lot of us got via email, and while it was easy to laugh at it, and dismiss Gabe as having lost his mind...there was a lot of compelling information in there.

Basically, at the root of Gabe's argument, and this guy who was being kicked out of the Kennel Club the other night...is that the cards are made up of some kind of Poly Fiber coating that allows the controlling party (in this case, the casino) to decide which member of the deck is going to appear on the card when the dealer puts it out on the flop, turn or river. Now, to most...this would seem laughable. Right? Why would the 'house' care which player was winning or losing? Who has that kind of time on their hand to have a person flipping the switches and levers to make sure a certain player never wins? Do these 'super cards' exist? Would they ever be employed in a poker game? And if so, why? Does the poker room seriously take enough interest in one person's successes or failures to invest such time and resources to a cause? It seems absurd. Right?

Well...I'll tell ya what...having been through three of the most unbelievable days of poker I have ever encountered, oh-fer in tourneys and oh-fer in SNG's...which were my bread and butter in the first week I was here, I have to wonder, maybe there IS something to that. I mean...flopping straights only to get ousted by the two pair guy filling up. Having a big pair holding up all the way to the river only to lose to a small pair in the hole hitting a set. Playing cash game and having guys call huge flop bets with nothing but over cards...and hitting them like someone has nudged them on the shoulder and assured them that its coming? Now I can't really get on board with the whole Poly-Fiber theory...but I can see how days and weeks and maybe even months and years of running bad would drive a person to the goofy house and cause them to start developing these (what appear to be) silly notions.

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

The otherwise typical, monotonous evening in the cash/SNG room was interrupted two nights ago by a ruckus. Its true that this place attracts some real characters. And earlier, while waiting on another SNG that I would end up NOT winning, I was seated at this particular 1/2 table, and couldn't help but notice the mercurial makeup of players present at the table. Personality conflict? Oh yeah...you could say that for sure! Well, I left the table to play in a SNG. About an hour later...that sound that is only to easy to identify...the moving of furniture, the elevated voices, followed by all heads turning in the direction of the pandemonium, followed by people standing...shouting...and then finally...a sound that wasn't as familiar, the 'THWAP' of a taser...with the prongs casting themselves and landing on the body of the assailant...a crazy old guy who had gone over the table and was punching the shit out of this other older, much fatter (and annoying) guy...who was on the bottom of him, and as reported by Chip...who had a great field of vision from his 5/10 table...was biting the guy. Both players were put in cuffs and escorted to the poker office, one who was charged, the other who was checked for injuries and asked to make a statement. The line of the night was delivered from someone in the 4-seat...announcing that they had a 'Player Down!!!' Well played sir, well played.

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Running Dogs, Crouching Donkeys, Galloping H.O.R.S.E.'s

My birthday was most interesting. When I left our room, I placed upon my head my 'Lucky Canada' hat...that I always reach for when I am running kind of bad and really need a cash. We were on time. I felt good about the day. I know it was my fourth and final bullet...but I didn't care. The field was massive. 856 players for the 4th day...bringing the total to somewhere around 2500 players for this event. I had a tough table. Two OMRG's...who would leave by level 5 and give me a brighter outlook for the future in the tourney. 3 super aggressive players, one who ran like God all day...sucking out on the river over and over and over and sending numerous players to the rail with the look of disbelief on their face.

I find out later...via a text message, that this particular player was a good friend of my buddy Christian Iacobellis, and we all sat around the 'Hooker Bar' in the lobby of Rio a couple years ago chatting. No idea it was that guy. Because I had allowed myself to envision myself setting fire to this guy about 9 or 10 times throughout the day. If I raised...or if anyone else raised...he was incredibly fond of wrapping his hand around all of his red (5k) chips and shoving them in and making us all decide if it was worth it to see our tournament end there, with whatever hand we were holding onto. Usually the answer was no. But occasionally, for some, the answer was yes...and while the 'other guy' was always ahead...he seemed to almost ALWAYS suck out. Which just added to the anxiety involved with my willingness to pull the trigger. It was after raising with KQ...having another guy flat behind me...and him stuffing on us...and me folding, that I decided it was time to change up my strategy on him. And it was compounded by the fact that I was seeing my chip stack dwindle down to about 12-15 bigs. 

Yeah...the new strategy was going to be....basically, 'fuck it. If I have a hand I like enough to raise with when he's in the big or small blind? I'm just jamming.' And so that was the case when I looked down at A10s and needing to win a pot. So I get it in for 10,500 at 400/800...and he calls me. With 6-7off. He flops a 7. It holds. And I was out. Unreal. It's been that kind of week. 2538 players...probably, if I had to guess...about 65% that had played all four flights, including myself. Definitely weren't very many who only took one shot. I can't believe I put $2320 into that damn tourney, and invested 34 hours of mind-numbing torture to come up empty handed. 

That was NOT how my birthday was supposed to go. I got knocked out at 5pm on the nose. I decided to go ahead and play the $365 H.O.R.S.E. tourney. Yeah...there is a game I have NEVER cashed in. Granted, I haven't played in a whole lot. But I bubbled it up in Bossier City last year...and also went out 3 from the money at the Bike in LA last year...so I knew it was only a matter of time before I finally broke through and made a nice splash in one of those events. Well. it attracted one of the biggest fields I've ever seen for a circuit event H.O.R.S.E. tourney. 174 players. When you play hour upon hour of hold em...it really is a nice break to play something different, and that game (obviously) gives you a nice variety of games that switch up every 8 hands. 

I pretty much cruised through that tourney. I never really got too low at any point. My table was damn soft. And very predictable. And made a lot of glaring mistakes. I caught some lucky breaks, I caught some unlucky breaks. I just kind of always had double the average...and at the end of the night....with 27 players left...paying 20, I bagged up 85k chips and was sitting in 8th place...with a lot of confidence coming back for Day 2...and really thinking about a 2nd ring, a nice score money-wise...and a win that always garners respect from your fellow players. I can't think of any event I would ever want to win a ring or a bracelet in other than H.O.R.S.E. 

Well...it didn't happen. I did at least make the money. Which didn't require much. Since we came back just 7 from the money and a lot of shortstacks...although I did make it interesting somewhat, losing a couple of monster hands where I got nipped on the river. But I won a big 3-way  pot to get back some breathing room as we hit the bubble. Once in the money I wanted to start accumulating chips in a hurry to have a shot once we got to the final table.

Well...that's when I ran into the biggest buffoon at the table. The night before I was transfixed by this clown. One of these dicks who think its cool to copy other players' idiosyncrasies. He was munching on a big fat cigar like a dock worker....had his Beats head phones (pieces of shit only worn by those who have been sucked into the marketing scam to fit in and be part of Dr. Dre's 'cool club' when BOSE costs exactly the same and offers 80% better quality) around his head, and was wearing his sunglasses upside-down like Marcel Luske. Yep...it would that fucking clown who would ruin me. I raise while in Omaha portion of the game with A-A-K-2. Two clubs. I catch a flop of Kc-4c-9s. Pretty good flop. I bet. He calls. Turn another king. Sweet. Now the low is out of play. The river brings a 3c. Flush! I bet. He raises. WTF? I have to call. He is holding king three. Boat. Fuck ME!

He finished me off when I raised with A3QQ...and he called with 9936. He flops a damn nine...and it held. I was out 17th. Very very pissed. I didn't show that emotion, of course...just wandered off into the sunset, disgusted with another deep run that ended in disappointment. The line for payouts was insane...due to the bustouts of the 2538-player $580. So I  decided NOT to stand in that line. Instead I went and stood in the line for the 4pm $365. Two people working that line. And they refused to use the registration window downstairs. Yeah, needless to say, there was a lot of grumbling among the players. I didn't really care...I was still smarting from my HORSE bustout.

I didn't win a single hand for 5 levels. And when I finally did, it was because I got fed up with this guy's incessant button raising behind the limpers. It was another limp scenario, me with Ac4c...and five others for 400. This guy makes it 1000 on the button. Two people call...and me, sitting there with 5400 saw a good spot to shove and try to double up with a flip. So I shove. Button boy folds. Small blind...who was a total call station maniac...calls, with 33. I flop a four and hold...and suddenly have 13k. So might as well try to win now!

Things go well for several levels...and before too long, the starting field of 398 had been whittled down to 90...and another cash....which would be my 31st circuit cash...and move me into a 3rd place tie with Dean Schultz all-time was just on the horizon. Then it happened. Kaboom! My super sneaky check-raise strategy blew up in my face. This complete donkey...who had earlier made one of the dumbest plays I've seen in a long time...to surrender 75% of his once-healthy stack...raised my big blind. Min raise. I call with Qd8d. The flop comes Q-8-2. Yahtzee. I check...92.5% positive that he will bet. He doesn't! What? Dammit. The turn brings a jack. Now I lead into him. He raises. ????

Very real possibility, based on how I'd watched him play that he had AJ here. So I re-raise him all in. He snap calls. Uh oh. I look over there and see two jacks in his hand. Oh fuck. On the one hand...I wouldn't have been too surprised if I had led the flop and he had floated, anyway, only to get rewarded by a set on the turn. But I was just looking up at the sky and cursing the damn poker gods for fucking me once again. I failed to hit a queen on the river and was crippled. I got it in good at least...with KQh...with another guy all in with KQd and the third guy with 10-10. I flop two hearts...then bricked out.

I went downstairs and continued my hot streak in sit n gos...winning two out of the three I played to improve my record in SNG's on the trip to 4 for 9....with two irritating bubbles. I know there are some who think I should just do nothing but play SNG's...but I didn't come here to make a few thousand bucks...I came here to make a bricks of money....and so far it's not happening. Gotta go play the 6-max now...my boys are FINALLY ready! I was up and ready awhile ago, for a change. Much more to report...MUCH MORE. Promise more is coming!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Good, The Bad...The Ugly

I can't exactly put this trip to West Palm Beach into words. It has been, well...quite the experience. All the stories I was presented, warning me of the players who lack 'fold buttons' have proven to be (predictably) true. The inconsistent, irritating clashing of policy/rule between the 'road carnies' of the WSOP and the in-house staff and management has been the subject of a lot of player frustration. 

The nightmare tales of long lines, sold out events and total inability to play a SNG single-table satellite have all been (thankfully) a non-issue. Though I was confident that the new-hire 'Miranda' would be down here (as a member of Jimmy S/Bill Bruces' crew) and would be doing her usual bang up job of running the SNG's, she isn't. But the guy from their in-house staff, a gentleman named Bret, has been doing a surprisingly great job of running them...so getting into a SNG has been quite simple.

There is one problem with the SNG's...that has a majority of the regular 'circuit grinders' pretty angry. See...as players....we are like a bunch of trained puppies. Tell us when and where to piddle and poo and we eventually figure it out. But then switch it up on us and we are all walking around with our tails between our legs, confused and growling because we don't know what else to do. Maybe someone even gets a little bite if they aren't careful.

So what is that problem? There are two popular price points on the SNG's here. The $125 and the $250. Which are actually $130 and $255...as they are doing a $5 add-on of 500 starting chips. That $50 is earmarked for the dealers. And if the dealers are truly getting all $50 of it, I think its a good idea. I've seen far too many SNG's end and seeing the dealer get stiffed, of some schmuck that just won $500 to $1000 throw the guy in the box $5 and thank him enthusiastically. Um, dude...you just gave me five bucks. I hope you die in a car fire! Or at least get burned really bad and lose your ability to pick up single women at speed dating events.

The problem is we are all used to EVERY event...where the WSOP gives us $2000 starting chips with 15 minute levels in the $125 version....then $2500 (sometimes even $3000) chips in the $250 (or $225 as they usually tend to be) with 20 minute levels. Well...here, its still the same starting chips as the $130....and the same 15 minute levels. Well...a lot of the players were griping about it, so Bret...who really seems like a guy who wants badly to make the players happy (my kind of guy!) went to their poker room manager with the issue, promising to come back with an answer for us.

He returns. "Okay guys. Number one...you are RIGHT! The WSOP does, in fact, always do 15 min levels on the $125 (in actuality, they often times do 15 minute levels on the SNG's that are UNDER $100...then go to 20 minutes on the $125's and up) and go to 20 minutes on the $250's and up. But Number two. We always run OUR sng's that we do here with 15 minute levels across the board...and he (their manager) doesn't want to deviate from that. Nor does he want to add any chips to the starting stack...so what you see is what you get."

Translation? We don't really care what you guys are used to. This is how we do it here. So deal with it. And? Their cash room is packed...which leaves very few tables for SNG action...so I'm sure his main objective is to get us in, and get us out...collect our juice, which to be fair...makes the SNG the best play in the house...taking only 10% juice compared to the borderline outrageous rake on most of the events; and keep turning the tables over quickly. 

Well, I feel like that structure has worked against me the past few days. I've won two SNG's...but I've also bubbled (3rd and/or 4th...they pay 1st and 2nd and give 3rd their buy in back) FOUR of these...out of a total of 8 played...so it's been incredibly frustrating. 

The players themselves? A very eclectic mix of folks. You have a surprisingly strong turnout of the 'regular roadies' who attend most of the WSOP events...which gives you the occasional opportunity to have a table full of decent players who all know each other and recognize each others strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. But then you also have 'the locals.' Or as we tend to refer to them...the donkeys. The cash game maniacs. The idiots. The chasers. The clowns. The ones who will destroy the hopes and dreams of many a good player with their horrible play...only to relinquish those ill-gotten chips shortly thereafter when the law of averages catches up with them and their 'run good' ends...resulting in their walk right back to the cash room...where they have the option of re-buying (in most cases, to the extreme) every time they bust. I call it getting caught up in the crossfire. And you are seeing a LOT of good players walking around the place, shaking their heads in disgust...having just fallen victim to the inexplicable elimination from the tournament, in most cases at the hands of some jacktard shit fuck (get all that?) who (a) never should have been in the hand  in the first place (b) watched them miraculously catch up and then beat them somehow and (c) would just wind up giving away all their chips in a short amount of time.

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

So I passed out about halfway through writing that late last night. Slept until 10am...my first actual good night of sleep. We got here ON TIME for the 4th and final shot at getting to Day 2 in this damn $580 $1m Guarantee...and find out they are delayed half an hour. I'm okay with that I reckon.

Okay we are getting started. And I just want to give you guys who care a little SOMETHING to sink your teeth into...I promise there is more...LOTS more....to write about from down here. But I must...MUST get through this day today. Oh...and its my birthday. Or as I like to call them...countdown milestones to death. Because after you turn 30...is there REALLY any reason to CELEBRATE a birthday? For the record...I'm 46....or 4 years away from being able to play in the OMRG carnivals!!!!


PS: Verizon down here....SUCKS! Both on my phone, on my iPad and on my damn wireless Internet card. As well as the 'free' wireless internet they offer here in this poker room. Nothing...not for one hour of one day, has been reliable. So I am now trying all three sources to post what I've written. Aggravating!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let 7 months of Boredom Begin

The worst part about the Super Bowl...is when it's over. No I'm not talking about that thug Terrell Suggs in his post game interview..though that was pretty nauseating. Or watching Ray Lewis and his phony act...good gawd how annoying did that become? And no its not the blow to my pride that comes with making a bad prediction. (San Fran 23 Baltimore 16). No...the worst part...is realizing that we have lost football, pro and college...for 7 long months. 7 months of NASCAR, Baseball, March Madness, The Masters, The NBA Finals....that are supposed to fill the void that football leaves. It never does. National Signing Day looms...where we get to see how much stronger 'Bama will get through the recruiting process...and to an extent...The NFL Draft...where we get to see what holes our favorite teams will fill.

I can't complain, I had a pretty good Sunday. Won exactly $6,000 in squares. Granted, I was invested for $5650....over 14 different boards. The game itself was pretty awesome...at least, the second half. Or rather...the Post-Power Outage portion of the game. How wild was that? I sat there scrolling through all the Facebook messages and saw some of the most hilarious and creative comments ever. I don't know if we will ever know what happened when those lights/power went out...but I'd like to think it was New Orleans' big EF YOU to Roger Goodell. I loved seeing him in interviews all week talking about 'how wonderful' everyone had been to him all week, and how much New Orleans was admired by him and his whole staff. Can you say......PEEEE AARRRRRRR??? I'm sorry, but I KNOW the city of New Orleans. I KNOW those people. There is no way...no effing way...you can convince me that he wasn't catching shit everywhere he popped his big ground hog head up.

Late last night...on Lock....I was cruising along to two more Final Tables....where I finished 3rd both times...after holding sizable chipleads most of the tourney and final table...the first with this shove tard jamming into my BB with me sitting on AA and mumbling to myself...."come on fucker....do it! Do it again! Shove! Do it!!!" only to have him do it with J10...and flopping Q-9-8. Huh? You gotta be kidding me. Then...in the next one, in almost identical fashion....a guy from a place that was spelled out with characters not existent on my keyboard...who had been shoving on me over and over...does it again with KQ. I called with AQ. And the King on the flop held. At any rate it was another winning session. 

During my run I encountered the most incredibly rude, racist, offensive and just downright horrible person I think I've ever run into online. And what made it worse? It was a woman. Or at least 'she' claimed to be. Her/His/It's user name was PrettyMom. Yeah...real pretty. She claimed to be from New York. Big shocker there. Well...earlier in the night...playing under a different handle...the player min raised. I called with a big stack on the button with A8h. The flop comes 9-8-4. One heart. She bets...but an amount that felt like it was just a c-bet. So I floated...or called with the best. The turn was a 3. Non-heart. I had 7500 in my stack. There was 1400 in the pot. And she just shoves for 4500. Felt like an AK move. I managed to convince myself that I was making a sick call on a good read. So I called. ( the buy in was only $10...and it was a rebuy) I was wrong. She had QQ. Whoops. I rivered an ace. Hello! Well, she didn't rebuy. And spent the next 15-20 minutes on the cyber rail, letting me have it. 

I was the worst player ever. I was a fucking moron. Then she starts calling me a n***er. Huh? A piece of shit this, I mean...wouldn't stop. I never retaliated. I told her. I'm sorry about your beat. Honestly...I put you on a big ace....and you missing the flop and turn and trying to take it down with a bluff shove. Your bet made no sense...so I called. I was wrong but got lucky. It happens. Perhaps before you go screaming and yelling and name calling...you should look in the mirror, at how you played it, and find the mistakes in your own game. That only made it worse. So...she sticks around and continues to berate me. Then there was this play:

I was sitting on a huge stack, was chipleader in the tourney. We are at 200/400 and I have 32k. Player limps behind me for 400. I'm at cutoff with 77 and make it 1200. The SB shoves all in for 2800 and the big blind ships all in for 3400...and then the guy who limped...hesitates...thinks (probably about the value he is getting to call) and shoves as well...for about 3800. I have them all covered, obviously. And with about 10 or 11k in the pot I have to call a maximum of what? 3k or less? So I'm getting about 3.5 to 1 to call. I'd have called with 25 at that point. So yeah I call. SB has AA. BB has QQ...and the other person has 66. I flop a set of 7's. A six hits the turn...and I hold...and take out all four players. Then the chirping starts! From that person.

You are the worst player ever! You called three all ins as a 9-1 dog! How do you make that call!?? I go on to attempt to explain to the 'uneducated one' by correcting them. I was accused of limping for 400 and calling off the 4000 or so. Uh. Wrong. I raised the limper. To 1200. Check the hand history. Troll. And then I was getting MORE than the right price to call...and had more than enough chips to gamble in that spot. It was embarrassing that this person was so inept at figuring this out...and was sitting there screaming that I was an IDIOT and a MORON. Then it dawned on me.

Whoa! I think...to a less degree, obviously, that I might have used to have been THAT PLAYER once upon a time. Like...back 8 years ago. That would play online...be in that spot...and go mental on someone. Not understanding the full scope of what had just transpired, math-wise. Or situation-wise. I mean...it was never to this degree...this person was just a straight up imbecile. But I can almost promise myself that I was guilty of teeing off on someone when it was actually my bad play that had probably put myself in that position. I know that my play has improved ten-fold since those days...and I know that I bring two completely games to the table when you are talking about LIVE vs. ONLINE. You have to.  To that end...I sit online and watch just god awful play, and I don't let it affect me like I used to. You can't...or you will go berserk. Like the past few nights I've been playing .50/$1.00 fixed limit Omaha 8 or better. I have never seen such awful play...and haven't taken SO many bad beats. But I have literally not lifted a finger to type something in the chat bar. Why? Seriously? Why bother? Yeah...they might be a dreadful player...but for one? You will never convince a person that they are terrible. I mean...have you ever met a poker player who literally confessed to be horrible?

And for second? As bad as they play? You are going to get paid off by that person almost every time when you DONT get sucked out on...so you have to just learn to play good pot control against them....to minimize your losses, while maximizing your wins...which, of course is a LOT easier to do when playing Pot Limit than it is Fixed Limit, obviously. But still...even in Limit, there are times when its advised to lead out on the flop and turn...and times when its best to just check call in anticipation of a monster 17-out drawing hand. I mean...if I flop a 17-outer...and there are 3 or more players in the hand? I am putting money in the pot with the intention of NEVER losing that hand. And if I lose after betting the flop as well...so be it...but there are times when you have GOT to get as much money in the pot as possible. Then you can control things when you are drawing thin by just check calling...and if you hit, check-raising the turn for 4 bets and regaining that missed value from the flop. Its not that complicated...but its amazing how that concept is likely foreign to the majority of the players who play online. To those 'good' players who are reading this for whatever reason you read my blog for....you just read that last paragraph and are probably muttering something like "no shit Sherlock. Thanks Captain Obvious." And maybe some a little more obscene. I get it. You get it. But its amazing how many do NOT get it. 

Where was I?

Oh yeah...that bitch from hell. So I did something I almost NEVER do...I ratted her out. I even warned her. Told her I was affiliate for the site, that I do a radio/podcast that they sponsor, and that I have a direct line to CEO Jennifer Larson. I told her the way she was talking was totally offensive and inappropriate and that she should refrain. What did she do? Tells me Lock doesn't care about cursing. And went on a bigger tirade. Okay...so on the next break at the :55 minute mark I sent an email to Jennifer. And to my delight/surprise...woke up today to an email back from her...and two other people in her department,  declaring that Lock Poker in no way condones that type of behavior...and hopefully...that person will be banned from the site. I mean...I've never been big on playing the rat role....but this lady...wow, she was horrendous.

I won't be online much this week...as I have GOT to get all of my pools reconciled, the payments collected, and prize winnings paid out before I leave for Palm Beach on the 11th or 12th...depending on who is riding down with me. I think most of my 14 investors for Oklahoma are going to be in for the Palm Beach package...and I'm glad. Most of them got roughly half of their money back from there...so very little money will be required to fund the Florida trip. That's what 4 min cashes will do for the backer bankroll, I guess....Stupid min cashes....UGH!!!

Congrats to a guy who sent me an incredibly nice message today on Facebook. He claims to have been reading my blog for years...and credits my blog with helping him and his game. How flattering? And somewhat, not kidding...humbling? Well...he just snapped off Event 11 up in Tunica...winning his first WSOP circuit ring and a healthy amount of cash. And in the midst of that 'riding on a cloud' feeling...took the time to send ME a message on there? Pretty cool! So yeah...congratulations to one of the good guys in poker....BOBBY BYRAM, JR!!!!! It always makes me smile to see people I like, respect and admire winning big tourneys. 

Okay...Carley appears to be waking up from her little nap. Squirrel is having about 6 of her girlfriends over tonight for dinner and cards...and Carley will be undoubtedly passed around like a little hot potato, so I thought it would be a good idea for her to be fully rested. I will probably make a trip to the gym while they are screaming and hollering all night.


Sunday, February 3, 2013


I've been trying to blog for a week now. But my plate has been so full I haven't gotten to it. But I would be remiss if I didn't offer up my annual Super Bowl Prediction. I think a lot of you actually rely on it...as I have nearly nailed it 3 out of the past 4 years. I am NOT even going to wait for this Voodoo priestess on ESPN with her goofy outfit, magical powders and stupid snake...to make her prediction to make my call. And since they are trotting her out there now...I better waste no time in doing this:



I think it will be a very good, close game. Though New Orleans has had some classic blowouts in its Super Bowl history....the Bears blowout of New England in 1985....the Packers blowout of the same Patriots in 1996....the Cowboys (remember when they played in Super Bowls?) blowout of the Broncos...yeah, there have been some bad ones in the Crescent City. But today? I see a classic.

Several weeks ago...Ray Lewis announced he would retire at the end of the season. I suspect that was when the diet of PED's and Deer Antler Spray started too..since no human has ever demonstrated the ability to recover from a torn triceps muscle THAT fast. Well, I also told several people that I saw a lot of 'timing' in his announcement...that it was brilliant, knowing what an icon he is to that team and the city...that they would likely use it as a rallying motivation. I was dead on. They steamrolled the Colts, upset the Broncos, and demolished the Patriots....and now...listed as an underdog of 3.5 to 4.5 depending on when and where you got the line....are poised to put the finishing touches on an amazing season.

Only problem? I think San Francisco is a better team. I also think Jim Harbaugh is a better coach than brother John. I think he will have them better prepared, and that they will execute better. Frankly, I think their QB is a punk. I don't care for his tattoos, his stupid hats, and how he talks. Maybe that is me getting old and not 'being with' the new gangsta style. Whatever. I can't deny the kid is exciting as hell and makes things happen that Alex Smith just never did, nor that I think he was capable of. You want to talk about a bittersweet way to win a ring? If the Niners win...you think Alex would even wear his ring? 

I have sold more Super Bowl Squares than any year that I've been doing them. And as I punch out this blog...I am still filling up $25 boards...currently on the 7th, 8th and 9th ones. Filled (2) $100 boards and (3) $50 boards. Gonna be a LOT of happy people tonight...hope I'm one of them...I am in for a TON!!!

We entertained thoughts of going over to New Orleans for the game...it just feels, or seems like, when the Super Bowl is a mere 85 miles away...that we should be there to partake in the activities and watch the game at a local bar. But I don't know...I don't really care either way who wins...and New Orleans always kind of freaks me out...and we'd just be spending a lot of money (no way around it) so we decided to stay at home, take Carley to her fantastic babysitter extraordinaire Miss Pam...who loves her to death...and meet some friends down at the Filling Station. Should be a good time.


Been doing nothing since I got home from Oklahoma but being Carley's Daddy and working on my pools! And at night...after she goes to bed, I played 6 days in a row on Lock Poker. Yes...that oh so troubled and problematic site. They of the slow payouts, the constant network issues, the freeze ups. I know. I am still an affiliate with them...and it seems every person who has signed up under me has had one issue or another. It sucks. They were sponsoring our Radio/Podcast show that Scott Clark and I do together on Sundays...and finally, Scott got so frustrated with all the horror stories and a few other issues, that he wrote to the CEO that he was no longer going to do the show until those issues were remedied. I think he even asked for me to get paid something (finally!). Well she answered right away...fixing his personal issues immediately. Also explained the reason for slow payouts...and it did make sense. It's pretty hard doing business in the US, and so they have big trouble finding check processors...its a constant struggle. I can see that. And payout times have been miserable...like 45 to 60 days in most cases...some even longer. 

Well...I will be testing the news that they have improved. In the past six nights...I made a total of 16 Final Tables. Out of a total of 84 games played. I won twice. It was a sick, sick heater. I finally had to take last night off because me and Squirrel and Carley went to dinner, then later I had to work on the pools. But I had made at least one final table a day six days in a row. Pretty gross. And while the fields were all small...between 60 and 175 players...and the winnings weren't life changing...it still feels awesome to run that good...especially ONLINE, where I have traditionally struggled, for one reason or another. The players on that site are truly abysmal, and I've long complained about them. But I have been taking a different approach lately when playing on there. I just go into it KNOWING I am going to take a shit box full of bad beats...both software generated for that 'action factor' that I think online poker sites just ALL have...and at the hands of players who had NO business ever playing what they played. It is going to happen. Trust it. Know it. But when I sit there and count the 'gift chips' I get handed...its astounding. It certainly never happens on that scale in live tourney play. Ever. So I quit freaking out so much...I really don't even touch the chat anymore. It's helped. A lot.

If you would like to take a swing at playing online with LOCK....and want to get yourself a decent deal....35% rakeback....then click my affiliate link to join. If you are able to get through the red tape of making a deposit...be SURE when in the deposit process, to enter 'THEFUTURE' (all caps) where it prompts you to do so...and you WILL get a 200% deposit bonus...which pays out in $5 increments over time earned. And its not a ONE-TIME promo either...I've used it three different times. The rakeback? They settle that out on a daily basis and it goes in what they call your 'VAULT.' Pretty efficient. Do me a favor (and yourself)...after you join...send an email to SUPPORT...tell them you just joined up under WILL SOUTHER...username...ThePokerMonk....who is an affiliate, and you have been promised 35% rakeback...as well as the promotion for a deposit. They are, in their defense, much better about responding to emails. They used to be atrocious...but in the past month...every email I've sent has been answered the same day. Or even if you joined before...but not under me...but want the rakeback deal? Fudge it a little, email them...tell them you intended to join up under me...but something went wrong at the signup and you don't think you got in under me. They should be able to put you on my ...whatever they call it. Account? And lastly...I've got a decent amount on there now...so if anyone has problems depositing...I am willing to do up to $200 in P2P transfer...assuming you can send me a PayPal payment in the same amount. For info on that...email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com.  So...here is that affiliate link!




So...I scheduled two separate payouts...one on the 30th of January...and one on the 2nd of February. They give you one free check per month without the $25 fee. So that is two for free. Now I will see how long it takes...and I won't sugar coat it. If its terrible, I will let you all know. I don't WANT to be negative about Lock. I would LOVE to see them be a great site, and for us players in the US to have a viable option to play online. But its just been mostly negative, the feedback from most players where they are concerned. I hope they can turn it around. Hell, if I could get about 100 signups a month...of players playing on a regular basis...I think it would generate enough income that I wouldn't need to entertain getting a 'real' job. So obviously, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for things to improve over there!

Someone left a comment on my Facebook suggesting that I do a video of myself playing an MTT from beginning to end and offering it up for 'educational purposes.' I kind of scoffed/laughed at that...and I'm sure a lot of you (haters mostly) are doing the same thing as you are reading this. There are some of you who simply can't give ANY other player a shred of respect, not just ME. And then I know there are some of you who think I'm a joke and a bum and a loser. Hey....to each his own. 

But I thought about his comment...and something kind of hit me. A lot of players actually DO think I am a good player. And a good person. And I would have a very HARD time EVER charging anyone for a video like that. But I might do it just as a way of giving back to a lot of people who have supported me for the past 8 years...both as investors or backers...or readers and/or just poker acquaintances. The other other thing I thought about...it might be kind of cool if players who's game I really respect and admire were to sit and spend the painful time required to watch something like that...and then come back to me with what they think would help me become an even better player...at least online. I am and have ALWAYS BEEN open...wide open...to ways to always be improving my game. The player who thinks he already has learned as much as he can...is a player who is generally going to be a losing player.

So...who knows, maybe I will do something like that in the near future. Maybe, if on my next trip to Palm Beach next week for the much-anticipated WSOP Circuit Event there....if I should happen to make a couple of big scores, there would be some desire to see such a video!!!

Yeah, so Palm Beach is just around the corner. I've never played there. I know the turnouts will be huge. I've been told they have never tried to do SNG's very much there...which I would expect from a place like that. Dog track. But...it's being run by Jimmy Somerfelds crew...and on his crew is a girl named Miranda...who has been with them for just a little while. I think she is basically in charge of the SNGs....and on my trips to Bossier City and Choctaw...where she was...she literally kicked ASS on the SNGs. Just a total hustler...I really really like her. As does every other player that I've discussed her with. She also has a great dog that she brings to the events with her! Yeah...so if Miranda is down there...I can only assume that SNG-LAND will be alive and thriving!

I went ahead and reserved a room for two weeks. But they kind of pulled the 'ol bait and switch on me. Changing the price that was listed on their own flyer...then giving me some lame 'Fire Hazard' excuse for not allowing a roll-a-way bed in the room. Yeah...I've heard that one before. So now that I've discovered I will probably be rooming with Barth Melius and Chip Ervin...I'm going to take a look at another place that gives us more room. One of the cool things about this event...is that you can register in advance...online...with a credit or debit card. And I'm told that last year...they sold out ALL THREE flights before Day 1a even started! So...my plan is to get there the day before, get settled in, get registered...and not run the risk of getting shut out. The first event is a million dollar guarantee...and I'm certain they will have no problem eclipsing that.

Okay...I'm running outa time here...Squirrel is about done cleaning the house...boards need to be closed and numbers drawn. I need to shower and get ready...take Carley to Miss Pams...and go meet our friends! I think kickoff is set for about 5:30. I hope you all have a SUPER SUNDAY!!! Oh and ...yeah...HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me and Squirrel's good friend...CLAUDIA CRAWFORD...28 today!!! Mine is coming quick...46th...yikes...the 16th this month. I no longer celebrate them...they are merely a countdown clock to death now!!!