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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

I know, it happens every year...and why should I dedicate a whole blog to a birthday? Well, its been quite a year. A year we will celebrate in gusto in 4 more days. Well, really in 6...when Carley Grace has her big birthday party, her first, up at some park in North Alabama with all her relatives present. Well, that year has been made so great by my Mother. Since the moment we told her we were pregnant...she has been amazing. Checking up with us on EVERY...I mean EVERY...doctor's appointment, asking about Cheryl's health nearly every day, she has been with us almost every step of the way. When we gave birth to Carley...she was with us, on my iPad...courtesy of Skype. Then a week later, she arrived by plane, to spend a week with us...helping Cheryl through those first tough days. Cheryl's mom had been here the day of the birth, and for a week after. We had about the smoothest experience with childbirth that you could hope for.

In the weeks and months since, my mom has sent box upon box to our doorstep, most of them containing clothes. Some of those clothes....Carley grew so quick she never even got a chance to wear! About once every two months, Squirrel sits back in Carley's room...filling up a container with clothes that no longer fit, usually with sadness present on her face. It's tough for a mom, to picture her baby in each outfit...how cute she looked, and have to say goodbye to it forever. Oh...we saved some of them, of course. The Alabama cheerleader outfit.  Her Christmas dress. You know, the important ones!!! The rest...we now have about 3 or 4 bins sitting in the garage...that will go to her next friend or relative that has a little girl. I'm pretty sure our baby factory open and closed with production stuck on the number one! Hey...once you have created perfection...why try anymore? Naw...honestly, we are both just TOO old to keep at this. I hope we don't regret it later, but I think with my amazing family, and Cheryl's truly incredible family...that this little girl is going to be in good hands for the better part of her life.

So, on my mom's birthday, I just want to tell her I love her...we all love her. Carley's first trip on an airplane was to go see Grandma Cheri last fall...and she was a perfect angel. She will get a chance to impress us again with her travel skills when we go out to Seattle in June for a week long vacation to visit my mom and dad. We are really looking forward to that trip.

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Speaking of June and the trip to Seattle, a few of you have asked what my plans are for this summer. Well, I never really thought I was going to do my annual pilgrimage (with the exception being last year) to Vegas for the 7-weeks of hell...I mean, 7 weeks of poker that take place every summer. Bottom line, things are going too good at home right now. I enjoy being at home. I like watching my baby grow. Poker is going well, with the online club...both as the player and the operator...so why risk all that by going to Vegas and playing myself into debt? Or playing myself into mental anguish? I can't see the upside to that. I'm not saying I won't go out there at all. I'd hate to let summer come and go and not get at least a couple weeks to just go out...spend some time at the pool, eat a couple of fabulous meals, catch up with some good friends, and play a few tourneys and see if I can get lucky enough to get my hands to hold up, my over pairs to hold, a few lucky suckouts to occur...and a big score accidentally stumbled into...all without crippling my life bankroll. Sounds like a pretty good plan, right? So...we'll see...now that a good friend of mine is working at the Venetian, and they have a bigger and better poker room, it would be good to go play the Deepstacks (now oxymoronic since their deepstacks play like every other tourney....actually speedier than most) for a couple weeks.  If I do go out, I'm not sure if I would sell a package to investors, or just gamble and play on my own dime. I'll figure that out when we get closer to June. Or May even. Wow...May...next month? Yikes!!!

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So...what a week in news, eh? This mess in Boston was literally like something out of a movie. And I guess if this shithead lives, we will get a whole bunch of new information, still. I sure hope so, because these talking heads on the TV just wear me the hell out with their recycled information....over and over and over. Trying to dig and dig for new information that just isn't there. It's annoying. I finally had to just let Carley switch the TV back to Nickelodeon.

There is a certain person who has carved himself a niche, that being 'Conspiracy Theory Czar!!' I knew....as soon as this all happened, that there would be some new 'story' coming out of Conspiracy Central. I was right. It started with the photos of the three police officers standing around the fallen old jogger...something about the shadows not lining up right. Then we had all the reasons why we should think the boys were set up, used as patsies. Really? So our government concocted a plot, a plot to set off an explosion, with the intent to kill cheerful people watching a foot race on a lovely Monday afternoon? Why? To gain what?

I was pretty interested in all the various theories surrounding the mysterious circumstances at Sandy Hook, and going back as far as 9/11...there were certainly some bizarre things that were never explained, and seemed very damning. You've all seen the documentaries, I assume. On a daily basis we are given reasons to NOT trust our government. To not trust that they are giving us the whole story. That they might even be altering the course of history with the orchestration of certain events. Who knows? I mean...if these things really do occur, then of course someone knows. Right?

Well at some point, you really have to just decide what you are going to believe. I always say...its kind of like the Democrats and Republicans...who just, at some point, decide to draw an imaginery line in the sand where they have their belief system on one side, and the other sides belief system on the other. There is no seeing eye-to-eye, no agreement on anything. And all because they need something to set them aside from each other. The older and wiser I get, the more divisive I find the two-party system of government to be...and counterproductive.

There is only ONE question I have regarding the Boston bombings...and murdering of a campus cop. The person we saw police apprehend, completely naked...and place in the back of a police car? Who was that? The parents, and relatives of Asshole #1 are saying that was Asshole #1 that they put in the back of that police car. And if so...how was he killed in a gunfight? My suspicion, and I'm not going to lie...I'm thinking about calling the Boston PD and see if they will just answer this question point blank...is that the person they carjacked...police had no way of knowing if he was part of the group, and ordered him to take his clothes off to see if he was wearing an explosive device, then placed him in the police car before later letting him go. And his size, and features just happen to appear to look like Asshole #1.

People want to debate about whether or not they were terrorists? Dude...if you pack a bag full of explosives, place it at the feet of two little kids (one killed, one losing her leg) during a marathon...walk a couple blocks, then detonate it? Yeah....you are a fucking terrorist. It doesn't really matter where you are from, does it? You have somehow gotten twisted enough in your beliefs, your values, and allowed your anger with the country you are lashing out at....to perform this cowardly act. Yeah...fuck, you're a worthless little scum bag terrorist...who isn't man enough to look his enemy in the face and challenge him to a fight. Instead, he sneaks around blowing shit up.

This doctor who is getting torn to shreds by (mostly Fox News) the media for his statements the other day about the US bearing some responsibility for this? Because of our intervention in the Middle East? Well...to be fair, he makes some interesting points. In his defense, and to blast the main stream media, who love to twist the words of people...what he said WASNT that the 'US DESERVED what happened in Boston.' I hate the way these assholes in the media like to re-write people's statements. What he said...was that our activity in the Middle East...with the killing of innocent women and children (allegedly) through drone strikes and other operations...has incited these feelings in Muslims that have them wanting to strike back at us. To call this guy a Muslim sympathizer is ridiculous. He is simply pointing out the obvious. Do I think their is ANY way on God's green earth that we will EVER see peace with the Muslims? Hell no. I think any attempt they make to make us THINK they are peace loving people is merely an act to lull us into a complacency that will make us easier to conquer. But do I think there is an EASIER way to deal with these nutbags? Hell yes I do.

What exactly was the point of bankrupting our economy to attempt to infuse our style of politics, religion and economics on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan? Building them schools that they would just blow up because they don't believe in education? Building them roads and bridges that they would destroy? These people HATE our western ways...and for us to assume that we could just go over there...overthrow their military, and ingratiate them into our way of living? Was a joke. This mistake in the Middle East has been 15 years we will never get back. Remember when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan? It was almost the same scenario. Didn't go so well for them either. The Russians have had the same battle with Muslim-dominated Chechnya...the place these sweet little assholes in Boston came from. For awhile, we sided with the Chechnyans. Just like we sided with these psychopaths who overthrew the dictator in Egypt last year. Great idea, Barack, lets just go ahead and aide all these Muslim extremists who have one goal...the goal of destroying western civilization.

So back to my point. Who cares if these little pricks had help? Does it REALLY matter? The point is...they educated themselves to become what they became. The older, angrier Asshole....obviously willed his younger, more impressionable Asshole brother into going along with this act. It doesn't, and shouldn't, allow for anyone to feel sympathy for that shitbird who is laying in the hospital healing from his injuries...one being a throat wound that we have no idea how it occurred. Gunshot from cops? Attempt to kill himself?

I sat reading threads from the politically paranoid...how the Lockdown on Boston was a sign of things to come...of the Government's ability to put us all under their thumb. Excuse me...I think its a little different when you KNOW WHY they are putting the city on lockdown...and simply staying out of the way and allowing the cops to do their job....which...HEY! They actually did! With pretty damn good results.  I don't think our fellow citizens are going to allow the government to just one day take us all over. There are too many strong-willed people to let that happen. You don't piss off the people of the United States. We have demonstrated time after time...that once properly riled up...we will stomp the shit out of anyone. Including our own government, if they decide they are a little too big for their britches. I think the paranoid, conspiracy-touting whack jobs need to just take it down a notch...seriously. Barack only has three years left to do nothing...before we throw another useless Republican in there to take his turn. Probably Marco Rubio. 

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Hell's bells. I thought I posted this on Sunday...which WAS my Mom's birthday...and I just came on here to post something about Carley's birthday...her FIRST birthday...which is today!!! We are just about to load up the car and drive up to North Alabama for her first birthday party on Saturday. I guess when I hit 'publish' was about the time I lost my internet connection....so it didn't get published. Great.  :(

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Why do people have to drive like SUCH assholes? I mean...when you are going 65 in a 35 zone...and someone pulls out of a neighborhood...a good 100 yards ahead of you...but because you are flying...you come right up on their ass in a few seconds...why do you think it's fair for you to honk, flap your arms and flip them off? Answer? It's not. You are the ASSHOLE! Either slow your ass down....or be ready to hit the breaks when someone enters the street.

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On a mission to locate something for Squirrel the other day, I happened into the Wal-Mart in Gulfport. Now...I will say the obvious. People in Wal-Mart tend to be scary looking. In fact, its almost legendary. Their have even been websites created to show off the 'Wal-Martians.' But what I saw the other day blew even me away. And it was during peak hours...around 6pm. I did not see one...not ONE...even semi-attractive person in there. Not one. And it wasn't even close. You had every kind of ugly you could ever hope NOT to see in one place. 

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With 5 days left in the month...I'm currently sitting in 3rd place on the TLB leaderboard for our Pokerstars Tournament Series club. I have no shot at catching the guy in first...who has played like 200 games this month...compared to my 144. They guy in 2nd has me by about 20 pts. Last month I got 2nd...but by the most ridiculous of margins...achieved on the last event of the last day....beating me by half a percentage point. The schedule on there has really expanded. So much so that I am giving some thought to opening a second club with a full schedule. I hate to say it...and this is such a complete 180 from just 3 months ago....but I hope online poker NEVER returns to the USA!!!!

Okay time to get packed up and on the road.  Mama wants to see her birthday baby...and she is already up there, having left two nights ago.

MONKEY

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Couldn't Be Happier....

It's been about two or three weeks since I posted a blog. Why? To be honest...I've just been busy, and haven't really carved out the time required to sit and share any thoughts.Yesterday, I was in the throes of sending statement out to my 100+ players in our new Tournament Series Poker Club on Pokerstars...which has, in effect, become my new 'job.' I've even 'hired' Squirrel as my secretary...which has done wonders for our relationship, and her finances. She is now more involved in what is going on in my life...and has a vested interest in the success of our club. 

As I mentioned, I was in the throes of doing all this...which happens every Monday...when I peeked up around 7pm at the TV...which, for the first time all day wasn't stuck on Nickelodeon...and saw the news out of Boston. Wow. Unbelievable. I think you all know how I feel about cowards. The ones I deal with...are usually the ones who leave anonymous comments on my blog, those guys who like to talk tough, and stern...with this caustic message, but aren't man enough to sign their name to them. Oh, I'm sure they have some 'legitimate excuse' for not doing that...at least they will rationalize it to themselves, to convince themselves that they aren't spineless pussies. Those people used to upset me. Get under my skin. Even cause me to seek revenge on them. Now? I could care less. It takes a person that is unhappy to start with to dig up the time and energy to leave some of the comments these guys leave. And so instead of letting it bother me? I just reflect for a few moments, on how miserable their own life must be. To sit there...read a (basically) stranger's blog, which essentially deals with that guy's (me) thoughts, feelings and opinions on a number of things....then write him an anonymous comment telling him things he would never say to my face. Why? What IS his/her goal in doing this? Does it make him/her feel better about themselves?

People are weird. They seriously trip me out all the time. So you have a person, or a group of people, who don't like you. What you represent. Stand for. The God you worship. The lives you lead. Your belief system, and values. So to 'get back at them' you decide to plant some bombs. In a crowded viewer area...of people watching a marathon. A marathon featuring runners from nations all over the world. Which is as much of a celebration of people's differences as there is. A 'celebration.' Yeah...if that is still possible. The reason the Olympics were formed in the first place...to bring different cultures, religions and ideals together, to flourish as one on the athletic field. But yesterday, that celebration of cultures was shattered by the bombs of a hate-filled group of people hell bent on chaos in the world. Innocent (again, just like 9/11 all over again) people were the victims. America sat glued to their TV. The President, of course, came on later to promise justice to those responsible. Sure, sure. Go get 'em Barack. 

The last year has been the happiest year of my life. My beautiful little girl is about to turn 1 year old. Every day with her has been a gift from God. I never knew I could be so happy, feel so fulfilled. I love my wife more than I ever have. I watch her every day, the amazing mother that she is. I feel that she equally admires me as a father...and that is has drawn us closer together. I think about the future...about our health, about the condition of our world...and I get a little scared. For Carley Grace. I know my life is mostly over. Oh sure, I probably have a good 20-25 years left in me. And I will do all I can to make those years count...not for me...but for my baby girl. I will try to shield her from the evils of our society. Protect her from the pitfalls that loom around every corner. I worry more about what she would have to endure if we were somehow taken away from her at an earlier age than we would like to be taken from her. All around us lately is death and illness. I count no fewer than 6 relatives and/or good friends who are suffering with cancer. The older I get...every bump on my skin, every pain in my organs...is met with trepidation and fear. The visits to the doctor become more frequent. The paranoia sets in. Where was this when I was in my 20's and 30's? It wasn't even a concern. Because back then? I was bulletproof. Nothing could hurt me. And all my friends and family were healthy as well.

All we are is flesh and bones. That get old. And break down. Then die. The older I get, the more I realize this. And so...every day becomes so much more valuable. So much more important. We live on a planet that is literally BILLIONS of years old. That's crazy! And yet..in my lifetime..we have been under the duress of regimes that have threatened the mere existence of human life on this planet...and still, today, that threat exists. Yeah, I'm talking about nuclear annihilation. You have this dipshit in North Korea doing his saber rattling...an event that seems so tired and worn out from those assholes. When will he realize that no one is afraid of him? One simple missile fired in the wrong direction, on the wrong day, at the wrong time...will mean the complete destruction of North Korea....and with it, the lives of a very small percentage of bad people....and a large percentage of completely innocent victims who just  begged their whole lives for a better existence. I don't know, I suppose you could argue that a lot of those people would prefer to be dead than live the lives they have been forced to endure under that regime.

I got a comment from...surprise! An anonymous poster. This person decides to take the time to tell me how self-centered I am because I talk about friends and family members who are sick and/or dying. And how I share my experiences of reaching out to help people. That by doing that...I am self-centered and seeking attention. That I should do all good deeds silently, or risk being someone who simply wants sympathy and recognition. This person claims to 'know me well' and doesn't want to post his/her name because they don't want to 'Incur the Wrath of the Monkey.' Interesting. They call me egotistical for writing about the things I write about. Once again...this leads me to the conclusion that people are a trip. So this person leaves me this comment as unsolicited 'advice' to 'help me' though they are skeptical I will 'understand it.'

It's funny. I read this comment this morning. Last night? Literally last night...I was reading a comment on someone's Facebook wall. This person was complaining about the pain associated with a certain affliction. This is a person that a lot of us in the poker 'community' know quite well. I sat looking at this latest comment...for a long (very long...like...think gas station lines in the times of the 1974 oil embargo) time...wanting, so bad to post a comment. I finally just decided to move on past that comment. Because really, what is the point? But what I was thinking about...were victims...lots and lots of victims. Who you never hear from. The parents who have lost their babies to sickness, accident or even terrorist acts. And I started thinking about my friends and family who are battling fatal illnesses. How they battle pain and suffering every day, and never so much as mention it. The example we can all look to, is the case of Mal Moore, Alabama's long time Athletic Director...who at 73 retired...and just 10 days later, died of cancer. No one had a clue. Just....50 years of service, and boom! Dead! I have a friend, a poker player...named Steven Marshall...who I'd known for many years, and had gotten to know incredibly well through Facebook. He was always so great for a debate, whether it be politics, religion, gun control, a wide range of topics. We didn't always agree, in fact, we disagreed a LOT...but the debates were always healthy. I always came away from them feeling like a better person, because he had conducted himself in a non-hostile fashion, simply pleading his case with passion and vigor, as I had. It gave me hope, that you could disagree with someone...yet come away respecting their opinion because of how they presented it.

Steven was married to a wonderful gal of Brazilian descent. Tatianna. I'd met her a few times, and thought the world of her. A little over a month ago...completely out of the blue...I received a message from Tatianna, telling me Steven had passed away. From cancer. I was stupefied. Stunned. Speechless. A guy, no older than me...who never, for even a second, let on that ANYTHING at all was wrong with him...who I had JUST been chatting with the week before, was suddenly....just dead. How is that possible? What do I say to her? What do you say to anyone in that situation? People tend to 'offer their prayers' which, I'm sorry...just strikes me as so cliche and patronizing...for a lack of something better to offer. I just wonder...of all those people who 'send their prayers' and who 'claim to be praying for them' what percentage actually are? Maybe that's mean of me to say...I just don't ever think (with some rare exceptions) that people telling you they are praying for you is very genuine. It's just (in my opinion) a very convenient catch-phrase to use to cut through that awkward silence or uneasiness that death or illness creates. Me? How do I handle it? I prefer to try very hard to say something nice about that person. To offer my support, as far as an ear, or a shoulder to cry on. Because there really is NOTHING you can say to make that person feel better. All you can do is be there for them. To listen. To understand.  Steven Marshall was a really, really good guy. A loving husband. And a friend to many. His courage in dealing with his illness was mind boggling. Not wanting anyone to know? Not making one sympathy-seeking post after another on Facebook? Just taking what God dealt to him like a man....and doing it with courage and dignity. How many of us can say that?

So...I guess when I continue to see this person's frequent posts about the condition they struggle with...it kind of irritates me. Because of people like Steve. Because of people like my lifelong friend of 25 years...and hero, Chad Brown...who took cancer...wrestled with it...and has been beating the shit out of it for two years now...while it still tries to win....all the while remaining upbeat, positive, and motivated to keep living life to the fullest. I think about guys like my buddy Clint Schafer...who was basically given a death sentence by doctors years ago when they found a tumor in his stomach...but who refused to go down. He also never broadcasted his condition. When I found out about it later....as I think, well, I know how I found out. I found out because of Chad. I was so scared for Chad, and hated how he was so freaking positive and upbeat about something so potentially fatal. I wanted to see Chad cry. To show vulnerability, just once! But he wouldn't. And as a friend, who cares about him...it pissed me off. But then Clint sent me a message, describing his own story...and I'm pretty sure he might have asked me not to tell everyone, and I apologize to him if I've used his story here to express my point. (though I have seen him make Facebook-wide statements declaring his battle over cancer in the past couple weeks) But he shared his story, and it hit me....Chad is doing what he HAS to do to beat this. Stay positive. Cancer feeds on negativity. Stay motivated and focused. And it showed me that, in life...a lot of 'issues' need to be dealt with the same way. Or you will lose. And maybe die.

Just two months ago...I was losing my mind. I was stressed. My marriage was struggling. I was questioning my own self worth. My rental house in Pensacola had sat vacant for 10 months....due to ridiculous sewage/septic issues with the city, and the fact I didn't happen to have $3000-$4000 laying around to remedy the problem. My property taxes were due. My football pools were all ending, and I was facing a shortfall of about $14,000 to cover them. My health was an issue...as depression and responsibilities around the house had sucked any spare energy I had to want to use to make a trip to the gym a few times a week. The side business that I have operated for 5 years had seen one of its worst years ever....and I won't lie, I was freaking out. 

I sat, brain-storming...trying to come up with ideas to rescue myself from this abyss...without having to turn to family for assistance. Which, in my world, with the pride I have, is always the last resort. I've basically been on my own and paid my own bills for 30 years...and there have been lean times, and some good times...but one thing, my bills have ALWAYS gotten paid. And now, with Carley Grace in my life...there is nothing I wouldn't do to make sure she is taken care of.  The thought of going out and getting what others refer to as a 'real job' was looming. But in Biloxi, what kind of a job was I going to walk into making the $4500-$5000 a month I need to support my family? Pfft...have you been to Biloxi? Those jobs simply don't exist for someone coming in off the street. And frankly, I wasn't crazy about being away from my baby 8 hours a day, coming home, spending a couple hours with her before she goes to bed...then doing it all over again. Screw that! Life...as I've colorfully illustrated in this ridiculously (I fear) blog entry today, is too short!

That is when the idea for the Poker Club on Pokerstars hit me. All these players longing for the return of the best poker site in the world. Some trying to play on the alternative sites like Lock and Bovada...and having (for the most part) miserable experiences. Most of those problems being the excessive wait time for payouts. I experienced it myself...having waited 6 weeks for a check...and currently on the 5th week of waiting for another payout on Lock. Well, I knew I could certainly offer better than THAT with my own club. And the idea was born, and quickly put into action. 100 members is the max on the Pokerstars Homegame clubs...and that was reached in only 4 days. The poker schedule itself has grown from about 4-6 tourneys a day to 14-20 per day. It is...a LOT of work. Having to stay on top of everyone's play...logging it in a spreadsheet daily. Hoping the numbers are accurate. Hoping the players show up to play. Dismayed when they don't. Overjoyed when they do. The feedback has been most tremendous. I have cycled through about 10 players, for various reasons. And I have about 15-20 players currently who just aren't playing enough to warrant keeping them in the club. I am aiming for a goal of 20-35 players average per tourney...and currently have about 12-20 average...which isn't bad considering only about 65 players are what I would deem 'regular players.' But imagine if I get another 35 players wanting to play 20-25 games a week or more? 

The structures I'm using are incredible. After just two weeks of playing the games in my club...I sat down one night and tried to play on Lock and was like....whoa! What the hell? All of a sudden it was a shove fest. We rarely have a tourney that ever devolves into a shove fest...which makes for some epic final table matches. I sat playing three-handed the other night for an hour and a half. Some players might hate that...but to me...its such incredible training for big main events...where you are almost always playing super deep when you get down to 5 or fewer players. 

Well, this poker club has really turned things around...for me, for Squirrel...for our family. My whole outlook on everything is better. I've stopped drinking Coke...and am drinking half a gallon to a gallon of water a day. I have more energy. I'm sleeping better. I just feel better. My property taxes have been paid. Just yesterday I got an estimate to do the work on my house in Pensacola....and for just $2300! Done! So a few days of yard work, and some touch up cleaning and painting inside...and I will have a new tenant over there! We have started taking Carley (for $65) to her incredible babysitter on Tuesdays and Fridays....so she has the chance to play all day, and play with other kids...Miss Pam has two or three others that she cares for...and with her house one big playground, they just LOVE IT there. So while Carley is playing, and growing as a child who gets to interact with other children, I get to run around town doing errands..or maybe just sleeping in and catching up on my sleep...or going to the gym!!! Me and Squirrel have been getting along so much better too. And I think she loves that we are doing this Poker club thing together...and that it's keeping me at HOME...and not out on the road, trying, usually unsuccessfully to capture that 'big score' that will make our lives easier. What I have now...is steady, reliable income. Sure...its not a LOT...but its enough to support her and Carley...and maybe put a little away for those rainy days. And if it is managed and grown properly...could be even more productive. Like I said, its a LOT of work...but being at home, and having the time to do it, and do it together with Cheryl, has made it a pleasure to do.

Reverting back a little in this post...to the anonymous person who somehow thinks they were 'doing me a favor' by telling me how I SHOULD act, WHAT I should write on my OWN blog, and how he/she thinks it makes me look? Listen...I'd maybe respect your comment if you signed your name to it, okay? But the fact you didn't? Makes you a coward. I don't respect the opinion of someone who hides behind it. I might write about some things you don't like,  or things that make you not like me. And you know what? That's fine. I don't rightly care. My goal in writing this blog, isn't to make people love me. It never has been. My family loves me. My wife and kid love me. My dogs love me. And I might have 5-10 friends who love me. That is plenty. My writing this blog? It's more therapeutic for me than anything. It makes ME feel better about ME. Sometimes. Perhaps you are just jealous? That I have a forum to express my thoughts, ideas, opinions, and views in that you WISH you had? Is that possible? Well, to suggest that I am egotistical based on what I share here? Illustrates just how little you know about human beings. It's silly to me to think that I'd somehow gain, in any way, from sharing stories about my sick and/or dying friends and family members. I share those stories because I am a human, sharing with what I hope are other humans. The things that make me laugh, that make me cry, that make me angry, or sad...I'm not afraid to share with those of you who read my blog. To use those words against me? Ah...it doesn't upset me. It just makes me sad that you are missing the true intent of those words. 

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I don't read many blogs. But one that I have gotten addicted to, just happens to appear on our website here at www.GulfCoastPoker.net and its the blog of Nolan Dalla, who works for Caesar's Entertainment...aka Harrah's....aka....the WSOP. And has for years. Nolan and I have always maintained a cordial relationship. He has been one of the rare people at Harrah's/Caesar's who I could sit down with and talk to regarding my 'issues' with that entity and come away feeling like there might be hope for the universe. He often mentioned to me that he enjoyed my blog immensely, which I found extremely unusual for someone working for 'them!' Then I discovered his blog. Whoa. It's like...everytime I read his blog...I am just hearing my own thoughts but coming from another mouth, and in much more articulate and at times colorful patterns. He has no fear of 'getting in the gutter' with his views on most things he writes about. It is brutally and pleasantly honest. If you like the stuff I write about...or my sense of humor, and sarcasm...you might want to do yourself a favor and check out his blog!!!   http://www.nolandalla.com/  Oh and...one nice thing about his blog? He updates it constantly...

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Anyone interested in becoming a member of my Pokerstars Tournament Series club...I have a waitlist...but am weeding through it to find members who want to  play on an active basis...so the line to get in might not be quite as long as it appears. Send me an email if you are interested in joining.
ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com

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Congratulations to the Louisville Cardinals on winning the National Title, and Rishi Kumar from Chicago for winning my March Madness Pool, and Kyle Henzel for winning my Sweet 16 Bracket Pool. I 'only' got 567 entries in my MM Pool and 229 entries in the Sweet 16 pool! My Masters Pool also just concluded. Congratulations to Dan Gordon for winning the Green Hoody! And how about Adam Scott winning that exciting sudden death playoff with dinosaur Angel Cabrera to become Australia's first-ever Masters Champion? Pretty cool. Congratulations to all my live tourney-grinding friends who have been out on the road in North Carolina, here in Biloxi at the IP and Beau...down in Florida at the Hard Rock, Borgata...and Foxwoods just to name a few, who have made nice scores! I've enjoyed sitting here at home reading your posts on Facebook and following your progress! Keep up the good work!


This seems like a good place to end this post. Sorry I've been away so long...for those who look for new posts that is. Who knows when I will post again...maybe when the mood just hits me!!

MONKEY