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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ramblings From Chelan

When I left you, I was packing up my courage and heading for the lake to see if my body would still allow me to wakeboard, after a 16 year hiatus from the activity. Wow. Really? Yeah. 1997, Lake Lanier, Georgia. Well, on my first attempt on the wakeboard I purchased from a guy 30 miles away off of Craig's List, I managed to get up! About 200 yards later I allowed my front edge to dip under and did a monster face plant...which left me feeling a bit concussed. 



I almost called it a day...but who am I? Some wussy? Bah! I took the rope and sucked it up. Went two or three more times...never falling, simply letting go when the burn in my 46-year old thighs got to be too much. Now I'm psyched to get back out there again. We were planning on spending the whole day on the lake today, as it was supposed to be 90-95 degrees and sunny. Instead its been about 80 and cloudy...and a big rainstorm just passed through. Grrrrrrr......

In poker news....I picked up another decent score on Lock Poker the other night. And for those of you sending me messages asking me what the hell I'm doing still playing on Lock? Well, I'm happy to report that the $500 check I requested on April 6th was recieved a few weeks ago...and the $3000 check I requested two weeks ago is in 'transit.' And Jennifer Larson, the CEO for LOCK assures me they aren't going anywhere...and are only working on getting better, and more efficient, so that is some positive news about Lock. 

So I was playing in my own Homegame Club game (more on that later) and decided to fire up a game on Lock. So I bought into the $5 rebuy ($1000 guarantee) in the last level...took a single rebuy and three minutes later an add on. I made the final table. I had finished all the games on my home game. It had been a good night. Won a decent-sized $10 tourney in my friend's homegame club...and won three tourneys in my own club...and now was looking to pick up another good score on Lock. Well, I fell asleep....with the 2nd biggest chip stack. Cheryl came to bed maybe an hour later...and took the laptop off my chest and put it on the floor. 

Wait! Something isn't right! OMG. I was in a tourney. And at the final table! I pick up my computer. There are now 6 left. I am the smallest stack. Shit! I go through hand history looking at all my hands that I missed. Shockingly, there weren't many. Maybe being asleep kept me in it. We got to three handed and I had inherited the chiplead. We stayed three-handed for two hours. Not kidding. And basically...I wore them down. I raised on the button with 88...and the girl in the SB...who had spent more time getting to know the guy in the BB (actually exchanging Facebook info and then commenting on several pictures) informed us she had to work in 3 hours...and would be honored to finish 3rd to us...and tells us she's pushing all in with J6. She goes all in. Boy oh boy. Then the BB goes all in. Well...If I call...and win, its OVER. And I can finally sleep. I call. She has, IN FACT...jack six off. And the BB has ace nine. Yuk. Two overs. 

I fade all three overs....and win the tourney for a shade over $400. And now my Lock account is back up over $1500. Sweet. 

In my Homegame club...I played a ton in May....155 games....and managed to win 12 games. I led the club with 37 bubbles. Yeah...37 out of 155. Gross. Well this month, due to Vegas and this trip...I've managed to only play 38 games so far...and have won the same number as in May....12. So yeah...this month has been much better.

Our numbers in the Homegame have really decreased...so much so that I have been scrambling to find a solution or two (or ten) to fix whatever is wrong...from structures, to number of games, to the players themselves. Some who joined just flat aren't playing at all. A large number of our players I know are in Vegas playing WSOP and other events...so I know we will see a growth spike when they all return from the summer of grinding live tourneys. But with a 100-member maximum, it is tantamount that I maximize as much play as possible from each member. If Pokerstars would just let us have an unlimited number of members? It wouldn't even matter if and when they played, and how much. I could easily accommodate about 300 players without any real effort over and above what I'm expending now to work with 100.

I am in a very ACTIVE recruit mode now...trying to replace those only putting in 0-10 games a month with people who really miss playing on Stars...and who want to really get after it. I mean...anything above 30 games a month is great. I have about 5 players who are all playing more than 150 games a month. Adding 3 or 4 (or more!) of those type players would be fantastic. If you are one of those players...or even the 30-50 games a month player....and want to get into my poker club...shoot me an email....I will be happy to open up a spot for you.  ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com.

MONKEY


Friday, June 28, 2013

Celebrating Life...on Lake Chelan!

Hey folks. I know. I should have written a lot sooner. I've gotten worse and worse about blogging this year. Most of which can be blamed on fatherhood. There are just SO many more important things to do during the day and night, and finding the time to sit down and dedicate an hour or so to blogging is harder and harder to find.

When I last left you, I think I had a few more days left in Vegas. Well...my trip almost ended on a seriously positive note. I took a lot of pretty nasty and irritating beats the last 4 or 5 days in Vegas. But I have to keep reminding myself that if I came home a winner, and all my investors (29 of them) all more than doubled their investment (and whom ALL have been paid, just one week removed from leaving Vegas) than I should simply look on the bright side and not spend too much time lamenting the bad beats and close calls. 

In my final tourney in Vegas...after having lost the noon tourney after firing 2 bullets at it, I bought into the 4pm $400 Survivor tourney...which got 113 players and was paying $3400 to 10 players and $2400 to the 11th place finisher. I won't bore you with a lot of details, other than to tell you I won a couple of good hands early to put me in a spot where I could endure the 4 hours of being card dead as shit...and be patient waiting on a hand that would get me off of life support. Down to 4 BB's and in the BB with K8d...I had no choice but to call when the SB shoved on me...with QQ it turned out. I flopped two kings and turned an 8. Double up to 9 BB's. Then I got another double up with AK vs. AQ and started thinking I might just pull it off. I faded 10 more players...and was suddenly down to 15 remaining.

How nice it would be to finish the trip with a nice little $3400 pop to the bankroll, and collect my 6th cash of the 20-day poker trip! The poker gods wouldn't, couldn't...possibly let me bubble (or close enough to a bubble) this final event could they? We lost two in one hand....and suddenly had just 13 left. Two more to the money. Come on baby. The blinds were huge at 4k/8k. Average stack was only 10 BB's now. I was running low and had to find at LEAST one hand I could shove and steal with...or get called and double up.

That time came. On the button, I shoved A10. And got called by the BB with Q10...who had taken over the overall chiplead after playing AA masterfully in a three way pot. I had no problem with his call whatsoever. What I had a problem with was the flop...which contained a damn queen. The turn gave me a wheel draw...but I bricked the river. That agonizing feeling you get when you've sunk 7 hours into a tourney only to fall just short hit me in the gut. Yeah...I was bummed. For sure.

But on the long walk back to my hotel, I used that time to reflect on everything in my life...the positive stuff. My marriage. My wonderful child. My great family. My friends. My flourishing business on the side of poker. Yes...I had a lot to feel good about...and so, I wouldn't let this last bad result bring me down. It was a good trip, a positive trip. Took 3 or 4 days off from poker at the necessary times to enjoy things OTHER than poker.



OKAY! I'm getting the 'COME ON DADDY, get off your computer and lets go out in the boat!!!" from Squirrel. Today is hopefully going to be Carley's first trip into the lake. We took her out on the boat the other day and she loved it, but it was kind of chilly out. Today is over 80 degrees and sunny. I bought a used wakeboard off Craig's List yesterday..and will resume my 'novice wakeboard career' today in the hope that I don't destroy my knee or back! I'd really like to NOT have to be wheeled to the airport in a wheelchair! But on the positive side...I DO have health insurance at least!!!!

So then...let me go spend the day on the lake...and I will come back and write a little more, and probably have some pictures to share!!!

MONKEY

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Min Cash...and a WIN...Weird Day in Sin City

 (in the interest of getting to Venetian for today's $1100 as quick as I can, but while still giving you a run down on what transpired yesterday, I have simply copy/pasted my investor report to my blog post)

Well, we are winding down to the end...and yesterday was ....well, very bittersweet. I headed back with a very healthy chipstack...and an excellent chance to track down another $20,000+ score on this trip. In the first few orbits, I picked up AA...and against an UTG raiser and caller, I re-raised 3x, getting both to call...then taking down a sizable pot to go over 200k early. We made the money pretty quickly.


Then the annoying started, losing 25% of my stack when the old Asian guy shoved on a Q-7-3 flop....me holding AQ...and feeling 99.999999% that he was on a flush draw. He was. I had AQ. Turned a heart. Shit. I would hover around 150k for quite awhile. I managed to pull two HUGE bluffs to stay in contention....and one big three-bet with 88 where I got a guy to fold AQ was critical.


We had a guy at the table who was incredibly erratic and reckless and his lack of discipline resulted in him going from 340k down to 120k. So when he raised (at 2500/5000) to 12,500 UTG...and I looked at JJ on the button, I had no reservations about re-raising him. I made it 40,000. That's when Shawn Rice...a well-known pro on the circuit, a guy I've played against a lot, and who I know loves to make a huge 4-bet shove to steal pots...made his play, shoving all in. Shawn had me covered by a mere 2,000 chips. The first guy folded. I called. Shawn had 10-10. Yes!


The flop was clean. The turn was clean. One card away from becoming the new chipleader...and most likely cruising to the final table. Then I see the 10 of spades hit the river and got that feeling you get when you get kicked in the stomach. OMG. And I was out. No way. $1051. A thousand that felt like nothing. 


So I walked over to Venetian, saw a decent field in the $600 and decided to get back on the bike and try to go for another decent score for us. Talk about a punch in the face. I sit down...post my blind at cutoff for 300...and on the first hand I get AK. A guy raised early to 700 (at 150/300)...and I reraised to 2200. That's when a guy I know really well and who I know likes to push people off hands with big 4-bets...makes it 7000. WHAT??? I smooth called. And when I saw him squirming around in his seat knew he wasn't holding aces or kings. Probably jacks or queens....come on dealer...give me an ace! The flop came Jack-high...and he just shoved all in. 

Dammit. I had to fold.


Two hands later...I get QQ. Okay. Lets try this again. I raise to 900 (at 200/400) and get called by the button...a goof ball from Europe somewhere. The flop comes Q-7-4...two hearts. I check. He bets 1100. I raise to 3100. He puts me all in. Obvious call. And I see king five of hearts. KING FIVE! Nice hand sir. Ace of hearts on the turn gives him a flush. Unreal. I wasn't going out like that. So I re-entered. 


I got almost a WORSE table. One of the first hands I watch is a guy I know raising on the button with AA...getting re-raised by this 'gunslinging twerp' in the SB....AA guy raises again....dorkwad raises again....AA guy shoves all in. And the genius calls and turns over K7s. Flop brings two kings...and the guy with aces walked away talking to himself (predictably) while K7 dork sat there smirking. 


That table was a trainwreck for four levels. Nothing went right. I finally get knocked out when this asshole Asian guy, who wouldn't put his chips in separate rows..instead playing with them all, riffling them, all mixed up...before he raised to 3800...got not one, not two, but three calls...and me looking down at AJh in the BB...and finding an excellent spot to move all in for 12,500 and hopefully pick up the pot of 15,200 without seeing a flop...when I ask him to please separate his chips so I can see what he is playing with. 


"I don't have to. I'll do what I want!" me: "You're wrong. You HAVE to separate your chips...you can't keep them all mixed up like that" him: "I can do whatever I want." me: "Really? You think so? Lets make a friendly $20 wager, shall we? Dealer, if you can please call the floor, lets set Mr. Attitude here straight."


So the dealer called the floor, I was (of course) right, and he was forced to separate his chips by denomination.


me: "Now, aren't you glad you didn't make that $20 wager with me?" him; "Whatever man...you feel good now? I still don't care!"


Me: "Yeah I know...you are too cool to take orders. Well, I'm all in!"


Him: "I call! Because I don't care!!!!"


Now...if the poker gods are working correctly....don't I win this hand? Don't I get the ultimate revenge on this smart ass punk? Isn't that how it SHOULD work?


He turns over KQ. The other two fold. The flop brings a jack...and for a fleeting second, I was beaming on the inside. Then the dealer presents a king on the river...and I felt so violated. So wronged. Then it was time for Mr. Asshole to start chirping.


"Yeah! There you go! Bye Bye! See ya later! Hope you run better in life! Hey, if you hurry, you can still buy into the 4pm tourney!"


I didn't say anything...other than to say I am running great in life, and that I would be back to check on him.


I kept my word. I went and DID buy into the 4pm $400 Survivor tourney. And, uh....OH! Guess what!??? I won! Yeah. It was a grind fest...for sure...real rollercoaster ride....but at the end of the night...it was me collecting $3400. And guess what? When I went to check on 'my friend?' I was told (with enthusiasm) by other guys at the table that he had busted...and NOT made the money. Ahhhhh...that was wonderful to hear. What a jerkoff!


So I guess the day had a real happy ending!


Today? Not sure...there was a $500 NL Survivor at 11am....that I decided was just WAY too early. Then at noon there is a $1100 tourney with hour blinds...which is the one I think I NEED to play to give us a shot at another nice score. But at 4pm there is the $600 Pot Limit Omaha 8 or Better...one of my favorite games. Dang. And at Wynn...there is the identical tourney that I felt I should have final tabled yesterday...the $440 $100k Guaranteed with two flights...the first coming today, the 2nd tomorrow. So what I think I am leaning towards...is playing the $1100 at Venetian...and hoping to make it back tomorrow. And if not, then I will play the Wynn Flight B tomorrow.


The GOOD NEWS...is that I still have your bankroll well over $15,000...which assures you all of at LEAST doubling your investments! And with any good amount of 'run good' I hope we can get it up over $20 or $25k by the end of the weekend! So...let me get going and get ready and attempt to have more positive news to report back to you all!


MONKEY

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wynning!!!

Well, so much for playing the $1100 tourney at Venetian...which had two flights...one yesterday and one today. Because I decided I would try my luck in the $100k Guarantee $440 (also two flight event) tourney at Wynn. Had I bricked that...then yeah, today I would go play 1B of the $1100 at Venetian. 

Well, my afternoon was spent, again...at the pool...which as I mentioned, has been taken over by the, ahem....SCOTTISH. Not the Irish. And to the guy who left the comment saying that due to my comment regarding the Irish (but actually Scottish) old guy with 4 teeth at the cash table who was indecipherable in whatever he was saying to me....calling me a racist for how I spoke of him? Just makes you a fu**ing idiot. Racist? Hey dipshit...last time I checked, Scottish folks, Irish folks, English folks and Americans...are all the same damn race you ignoramus. 

The pool experience today was much better, since no one puked in the pool, resulting in it being closed for two hours. The Asian Spinach Salad I paid $15 for was okay for the most part, except that it was about 80% Romaine lettuce and 20% spinach. Why call it a spinach salad? Whatever. 

Apparently those two losers didn't have their baby yet. Not sure what that was I was watching that said they did. I can't even look at that guy's face without wanting to punch him. That surly, I refuse-to-smile mug of his. Angry at any and everyone...cuz it makes him thuggish and cool. Ugh. Go die Garbage Kan-ye.

So I get to the Wynn...Encore actually...characteristically late. In Level 3. Glad I did too, from what I could see at the table, I would have surely suffered some horrific beat and been forced to decide whether to refire again or not. I have seen more players this summer who pay absolutely no mind to the concept of 'stack preservation.' Its more important to them to 'make moves' and steal position. It reaches the point of hilarity when you watch a guy raise.....then get re-raised, then put in a fourth raise....have the other guy 5-bet....only to SIX BET....then FOLD to the other guy when he shoves...after having committed over 75% of his stack to the pot. 

One really fun thing about playing in the summer in Vegas is the number of foreigners that you meet and get to interact with. And me, being the dry, sarcastic, self-anointed comedian, loves to play with them and their minds. Its so easy. And entertaining. To me. And to many of the other players. Yesterday was another fun example. We had Germans, English, Brazilians...a number of different countries represented at our table. One guy was telling people something about dancing with him when he raised...you know..."Any body think they want to dance with me, call me here!" That kind of thing. To which I quipped....and understand, when you deliver these 'messages' you have to do it with absolutely no emotion whatsoever, no goofy smile on your face...nothing, just a very deadpan, dry delivery...in order to fully 'sell it.'

"I don't think you want me to dance with you sir. (sir asks why) Because. I am an awesome dancer. (sir says 'really?') Yes. In case you didn't know....I was on Dancing With The Stars four years ago. I almost won...but my dance partner got hurt...and we had to bow out with 4 left. It was very disappointing."

This guy just sat there staring at me...and you could see the wheels in his head turning....'is this guy for real? Or full of shit? He sure does seem serious. He isn't smiling. Wow...he must really be serious.'

This went on for a minute or so...as the other foreigners were starting to inquire as to my dancing prowess, and my past appearance on 'DWTS's'  

"No, I was not on Dancing with the Stars. I was pulling your leg. In fact...I am not much of a dancer at all...and that is why I didn't call his raise."  (they laughed. Easy crowd)

I started horribly card dead. Which was exactly what I like to see. For 7 orbits I didn't play a single hand...which was confirmed by the guy on my right. This, you see....is very good sign for Senor Monkey. When I show up...and get great cards right away...and maybe build up a good stack...it almost ALWAYS ends in disaster.  I'd say 92% of the time. So being card dead was being embraced.

I finally played a hand...JJ...and lost. On an ace high flop the guy bombed the flop with a pot sized bet. See ya. 

I would get down to 6800 (started with 15,000) and at 200/400 limped under the gun with 10-10. No one raised. On a flop of K-J-10, the Asian girl in the SB checked to me with KJ. I bet 700 into a pot of about 1700. She called. BB folded. Turn was the 7 of clubs. She checked. I bet 1500. She goes all in. Oh hell. I expected her to have 89. For a straight. And I was now about out of chips...or at least, not in a place I wanted to be...and was willing to gamble on the board pairing. I called her. Oh good gawd. Two pair....AND a flush draw. I faded the river and had a nice double up. My table broke a little after that.

I hovered for awhile...then with about 8000 chips at 400/800...I flatted on the button with KK a raisers bet under the gun of 2400. I didn't feel it was necessary to re-raise or ship. Besides, if I saw an ace I wanted a chance to get out of there and still have some ammo. The flop came 8-high...and he just heaved a stack of red 5k chips into the middle. I called. He had JJ. I held. Double up #2. Nice. 

A short while later...I flatted an early raiser with QQ...got another call from the BB. The flop came 6-high. Checked to me. I bet about half the pot. He goes all in. The other guy folds. I call. He has JJ. Sweet. I hold again. Nice pot!

At 500/1000...a guy raises to 2500 under the gun. I'm in the SB with A4...and am never calling, unless two others call...then I'm just getting too good of a price. The original raiser was a guy who made the final table with me last week in the big weekend tourney at Venetian...and he is a very solid player. I tell the dealer I need a very 'specific flop' and am thinking something like 2-3-5. But instead it comes A-4-7 rainbow. Nice. I check. He bets out 7500 into a pot of about 11,000. I don't want to take any chances on getting counterfeited or drawn out on...so I raise to 18,500. I am fine with him folding there....and he almost does. But he ships all in for about 50,000. I have to call. He has AK. And I fade disaster. And now have over 100k. 

Things went smooth for the rest of the night. Then they move this German girl to our table. Her name is Jamila Von Perger...she is from Germany...and I've seen her at Venetian a few times. She is young, and very attractive...looks a lot like Claudia Schiffer did when she was in her prime.  Well she also plays real aggressive. At the end of the day...she was the chipleader with 199k. I was in third place...with 179k. She is a good player...and I expect her to get deep. Well, I pulled one of my sickest bluffs of my poker career on her...and came to the conclusion that there are few things in poker more exciting, exhilarating, and satisfying than pulling off a huge bluff for a huge pot. I had pocket 44's and there was a min-raise from the guy utg...who had been doing this a lot. The blinds were 1200/2400...his raise was to 5500. Three called behind me. Hell, I'm getting in here. I call. She calls...and the BB calls. The SB folds what had to have been 2-7 or something.

The flop comes 10h-2h-3d. It checks around to me...with her the only one behind me. I like my position, and I like my hand. I think. I bet 12,500 into the pot of about $35k. She raises, to 25k. It folds back to me. Hmmm. Flush draw? Making a move? Trying to force me out? Or a real hand? I studied her face. Everything. Then smooth called her 25k...which made her noticeably uneasy. The turn was a 9 of clubs. I checked. Now she checks...which opens up a whole new line of thinking. Why would she lay off betting the turn? Was she putting me on a set? Was she indeed on a flush draw? And hoping to river her winner? An ace of spades hit the river. No flush. I wasn't giving her credit for an ace...because I think if she had one...she would have re-raised preflop...and taken down a big pot, judging by how she'd played so far. I thought the ace would give me a card I could use to make her fold. I felt like the chances I was good was only about 10%. And now there was over $80k in the pot...and I wanted it. I wasted no time in shipping all in. She went a little nuts.

Now it was her tanking. And me acting as confident and comfortable as I could possibly muster. She asked for a count. I had 89k. And having that 89k...compared to her 87k...was the ONLY thing I think that kept her from calling with A10...two pair. After about 5 minutes that felt like an hour...she finally folded...asking to see my hand. Now, I never, ever...show bluffs. It's just not something I get off on. And I think it can come back to bite you on the ass later. Plus she was a nice girl, who had done nothing to make me want to piss her off by showing her a bluff. But another part of me...was wanting to show these players...who may not have respected me and/or my game...what I was capable of.

So when I turned over the pair of 4's there was a collective sound of amazement from the other players. "Woooowwwww!!!"  "Whooooooaaaa...no wayyyyyy....."  "Holy....wow, great play man!" And I have to admit, it was a freaking awesome feeling. Not such a great feeling were the daggers of death she was shooting at me with her eyes. It was very uncomfortable. But I'd won a gigantic pot...one that would likely guarantee me at least cashing in this tourney when we come back tomorrow. She would get all her chips back...and then some...when the guy at the table who had over played every hand all day...some times getting lucky, sometimes donking away huge chunks of his stack...would 4-bet shove on her with 77's and her holding QQ. She stood back from the table...holding her breath, covering her eyes...like I've so often done with the dreaded queens. Once she held, and she got her massive double up...she was in a much better mood.

So that's it. I bagged 179k after we got down to 12% of the field...17 players....from a starting field of 135. I am told they got 240 today...so I guess they will play down to about 28 players tonight and we will come back at noon tomorrow in the Wynn's main poker room to resume with about 45 players...which should put us about 10 or so away from the money....assuming it pays 36. I should be in really good shape to make another deep run. 

I really loved playing over there. They let us play nine-handed...which is ALWAYS nice, and appreciated. The dealers were great, the floor people were great...it was a nice room. And they hand shuffled, no shuffle-master...which I am a big fan of. It was a nice change of pace from the Venetian...which I am about to head over to now, for the 4pm tourney...a $250 'Green Chip ($25) Bounty tourney...and of course, I'm late, and don't care. Late seems to work nicely for me most of the time.  :)

Hope to have more good news to report on my next post!

MONKEY

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 14 from Vegas....Mixed Results

Yesterday I decided to not play the $1600 noon tourney...not expecting much of a turnout. So I went to the pool. As it has happened all three summers that I have stayed here at the Riviera..its again been taken over by the Irish folks. A bunch of football clubs all meet here for some kind of convention and they basically take over. 


This creates a nightmare for the Riviera 'Pool Cop.' This guy is about 70 and they have built a hut for him...an enclosed air conditioned house...that has a sign on it that says NO DIVING. And this, I'm led to believe is his sole reason for existing.  Busting the people who have decided to make the thrill-seeking decision to DIVE into the pool...which by the way is 13-feet deep. Why build a pool that deep if you aren't going to allow people to dive into it?

It's kind of funny though...to sit there...and watching all these Irish nut bags diving, one after the other...and watching Barney Fife going speed-walking out to the edge of the pool...arms swinging, hunched over due to his poor posture...and hollering at the top of his lungs at the 'offender.' At night he is relieved by someone of similar stature...who just sits in that hut hopefully watching TV, or that job would drive any normal person to kill themselves. My big plan for the last night here...is to walk by the pool at around 10pm...fully clothed....then climb up the lifeguard stand...and do a magnificent swan dive into the pool. I might set up my phone a few feet away and have it set on video record...to see if I can create a masterpiece for YouTube. 

By the way. Do you have a hairy back, like I do? Not sick nasty hairy...just kind of ....too hairy for public consumption? Here is what NOT to try.





What are you looking at you ask? That is a back scratcher...that, what do they call it? That word? When it pulls out like an old-school radio antennae? Telescopic? Well I first tried to use electrical tape to attach my trimmers to the 'wand' and trim the back hair. Failure. I then tried taping my razor to it...and using that method. Also failed in that task. I entertained thoughts of offering my maid $20 to do it for me. I finally got super loosened up and went monkey on myself. Getting all but the tiniest of patches...which after a day in the sun sort of blended into my tan!!! Fun story, eh?


Yesterday....one of these drunk fools puked in the pool. They hurriedly evacuated the pool and closed it for two hours. When I asked the reason, they all (seemingly on cue) told me 'we can't tell you why, we aren't allowed to.' Huh? Well, a stroll around the pool provided me the reason.



Not sure where I left off the other day...but I produced a fourth place finish in the $500 tourney with 303 players for $8800. Down to half a big blind I ran it up to 1.1m...with a chance to take a monster chip lead when the eventual winner shoved all in over a raiser...with me finding AK in the BB. I missed and his 99 held. Earlier in the tourney...someone I know came by and asked why I didn't have my monkey on the table...not knowing that I have stopped using my monkey...last year. So in a bit of a spoof that had all the spectators laughing...I started digging out monkeys from my bag and had the entire collection set up around my chip stack.



Speaking of chip stack. Look at this incredible architectural marvel! My friend Gordon Hardy from Pensacola was in the cash room when I went over on break last night to say hi to someone...and was stopped in my tracks by his creation. Maybe the most amazing chip stack ever. Good thing he was playing 4/8 limit...he likely didn't have any major decisions on which 'wing' to deconstruct if he got wrapped up in a big hand!!!  Good stuff Gordon!!!

I won the 7pm Survivor tourney on Sunday night...finally, after bubbling the damn thing (or nearly bubbling it) the previous four times I played the Survivor. It wasn't a full win though. It was paying 7 spots. And when we got to 10 they all wanted to do an even chop for $1675 each. I had the 2nd shortest stack...and since I was in for two bullets ($600 total) didn't really want to screw my backers over by not cashing...and didn't really want to be the ONLY dissenter...plus it was a good bunch of guys, including fellow Gulf Coaster Guy Turner...who had just flown in that night and was playing in his first contest of his trip. 

I've had two cash sessions at my hotel, the Riviera. I've lost $600. So, its a reflection on just how screwy poker is. I can beat some of the best tourney players in the world...consistently, but when faced against mutants I seem to never win. 


The first session, it was this guy...who as soon as I sat down put me on life tilt...hemming and hawing on EVERY hand...providing a long-winded explanation for why he was either playing the hand, or not playing the hand, why he was folding, or raising...or whatever. It was torture. He would decide my raise of $10 was foolish...and re-raise me to $100...leaving $60 behind....I had AKs and shoved on him. He called with AQ. He rivered a king...I said HE rivered a king...yes...because my king gave him a straight. 

It was a collection of hands like that. Losing with AA to KK. Then you had these two beauties at the end of the table...who were lovers. 


Thank god for them...they found each other. They were the resident call stations. No raise was too high. No price was too high to chase a flush or a straight. Pot control took  on a whole new meaning at this table. You simply either decided NOT to bet...hoping your hand would hold up....or bet enought to make it profitable if you somehow held and won the hand....but keeping the bets small enough so you still had fold equity on the river when you knew they hit. Granted, they would always help you out by betting WAY too much on the river...when anyone with 5 tenths of a clue knew they had made their hand. It was just stupid. And it was on the eve of my return for the first final table...where I would get 3rd for $22k almost. The irony wasn't lost on me...that I was getting manhandled at this cash table despite outlasting 718 tourney players that day.

Last night, after three bullets, I walk in, and decide...what the hell, I see all these drunk Irish maniacs at the table...maybe I will get lucky and get at least part of my three bullets in the nightly back. I buy in for $300. As soon as I sit down this old Irish guy with about four teeth and horrible whiskey breath blurts out at me...."Hey...(*@#$(*& QO&@*($&  @(*&@ YU((S[p"  I would like to tell you what he said...and spell it correctly, but the truth was...I had no effing idea what he said. I looked at him with a blank gaze...genuinely trying to replay what he said in my mind about four times...kind of like what I used to do (and still do once in awhile still) when my wife blurts something out in her Southern (Alabama) accent...but no matter how many times I tried to figure it out...none of it made sense. So I asked him:  "I'm sorry...what did you say?"

And he repeated it. O*@#$* @*($*(@$# )(_+_@*(@&_!+@#KNSDI R(*@#&$ .........

I gave up. And put on my headphones.

Two hands later, I pick up AJc. I raise to $10. I get 5 callers. Three of them Irish drunkards. The flop comes Jd-3c-7c. Wow. I bet 25. No need to run them off. Three of them call. Wow. The turn is an 8 of diamonds...no improvement...but surely I'm good still. I bet $60. The two Irish guys call. WTF? The one guy...the indecipherable toothless guy...calls the $60 and leaves $30 behind. Standard Riviera cash player play. The river is a 6. Not a club. Regrettably...as that would have surely sealed the deal. I bet $100. Now the guy next to me goes all in. Huh? What the fuck? The other guy folds his last $30. Weird. I don't have much left...and the only hand besides a set I'm seeing is 4-5 for a gutshot straight. Would he really chase that? Two pair somehow? Screw it, I paid him off. 4-5. Straight. On the river. Paid $85 to chase that sucker down. I told him nice hand, got up...and left. No need to sit through a late night of that bullshit. Sleep is so much more attractive. 

This could have been something I dreamed....except I'm pretty sure I saw it on the TV while sitting there playing cash for 17 minutes...did Kanye West and Kim Karfatshian have their baby and seriously name it Kimye? And did they really have birth in a bathtub filled with Crystal champagne? If this is true...and something tells me it is...I think its time to stage a mutiny against all things reality-show related. Enough is enough.

Happy Birthday to my friend Barth Melius...who left Vegas to go home for a week, leaving me with no real wing man for the rest of my trip here.

Also happy birthday to Squirrel's daddy...Sonny...who might not still be with us here on Earth...but I'm sure he is running good up in heaven...and still looking down on us, providing us with a little reminder that he is still thinking of us. Cheryl misses him so much...and this Sunday is Father's Day...which will be even harder for her. Her courage through this terrible experience losing her father has been remarkable. And this week her Mother came down from Florence to spend the week with her and Carley...who was awfully happy to see her Mimi. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful family on both sides. I love knowing that while I am gone they are in such good hands.

Well...guess that is enough for today. I am going to play the $100k Guarantee at the Wynn today in their Wynn Summer Classic. Today and tomorrow at Venetian is an $1100 Flight A and Flight B tourney...that I think should draw pretty well. I prefer to play Flight B (unless I final table this Wynn tourney-preferable outcome) because you get a lot of players who play that first flight very reckless...knowing they can still come back and try again the next day. I'd rather play Flight B and fade all those potential land mines. And save my backers that second possible bullet. I want to make sure that when this trip is over they all still get a nice return on their investment.

MONKEY

Friday, June 7, 2013

Back for More Loot on a Day Two

Now this is getting fun! And for sure, a new ritual has been born.  There is a big, cascading waterfall outside the doors of the Wynn...and twice now I have made a wish, then tossed a quarter into that pool at the base of the waterfall....then returned from dinner break to watch as magical things started happening to my chipstack.

Wednesday, after I day off of lounging...I returned for the 4pm $400 Survivor tourney. And as I've been doing all week, had my way with my table...immediately growing a stack. But then, in a seemingly carbon copy from the tournament of its nature three days prior...I would go totally card dead...then have a couple of those hands where you have to fold after raising light only to have someone jam on you. So with 9 players getting paid $3400 each...and 17 players left (from a starting total of 89) I pushed my stack with A10...meeting a call from KJ...and watching a king hit the turn that would hold, and eliminate me. Yes, it was annoying. 7 hours of hard work for zilch. I went straight back to my hotel.

Thursday (yesterday) went much better. I arrived near the end of Level 1. Relatively early I limped with 4-7...flopped 5-6-8...and got a guy with a 3 in his hand  to pay me handsomely when a 4 hit the board on the turn. That was interrupted when my KK...where I raised the UTG raiser and another caller (who had made it 1750) to 4850...only to get called by both and have an ace flop (of course). But after that it was just one big pinata filled with chips for the rest of the day. 

There was on orbit in specific where I was just sitting there and chips were piling up around me...first it was the old man...who after losing a big hand decided to start pushing all in every hand...where it made no sense...pushing 60,000 into 1k/2k blinds. Well, I raised in early position with AJh...only to have him shove. I folded. Then I raised with KQd...only to have him shove. Again. And again I folded. Then, literally, on the next hand...these hands all came consecutively, I get AA. Wow...well, I figured if I didn't raise again...which I really don't like to do with AA in early position...not doing so might raise a red flag to the old geezer....maybe not, he may have just been so blinded by his steam rant he was on that it wouldn't have mattered, but now that he knew he could make me fold by shoving, I thought it would be a good idea to raise. I got called by another player....and then....BOOM! He shoves all in. I obviously call. The other guy folds. He turns over AK.

I know...sounds easy, huh? Well he flopped three spades...oh god! Turn was black...CLUB! River...brick. Whewwwww! Bye bye old man. Two hands later, in the SB...I pick up KK. I raise the BB, after it folded around to us. He calls. The flop comes K-J-3...two hearts. I check. He bets 10k. Hmmm..smooth call? Raise? Sometimes I get cute here and let myself get sucked out on...better not screw around. So I make it 23k. He shoves all in. Wow. Okay. I call. He turns over J8. Huh? Well, the turn is a jack, the river an eight...and he thinks he won....letting out a burst of excitement. Um, sir...Kings full of jacks beats jacks full of eights...sorry. 80k chips comes to my stack. 

A few hands later....I get JJ at cutoff. I raise. Yet another OMRG calls. The flop comes J-2-10. I check. He checks. The turn is a 2....full house. Nice. I check again. No bet. Dammit. River is a harmless five. I prepare to bet...and he starts grabbing his chips...and we play a little game of cat and mouse...where I guess he is trying to psyche me into either betting or not betting...not sure. All I was thinking about was "Hey old man, how much are you willing to call here?" So when I thumbed three yellow chips...he also picked up three....well, okay, lets try a few more...so I picked up another yellow (1,000) and a pink (500) and made the 3500 bet...which he called. He saw my hand and groaned. 

On another hand...another old guy min raised my big blind....at 400/800...to 1600. I rarely fold to ANY min raise. And I didn't fold this time, holding 6-8.  The flop came 6-6-7. Nice. I check to him. He bets 3500. I decide not to screw around and get drawn out on...so I make it another 5200 more...raising it to 8700. He just blasts his whole stack in there...somewhere around 42k more. Well...I couldn't see folding there...and by then I was up to almost 200k. So I call. He has....ya ready for this? QJ. Offsuit. Huh? I was, well...pretty surprised. He did turn a jack for an inevitable sweat...but bricked the river. See ya later sir. 

It was like this all day. On the last hand before dinner break...I decided to raise with Q10d. I get called by the big blind, holding A10. The flop comes Q-10-4...all hearts. Good but scary. He checks...I bet out 6500. He calls. Just calls. Hmm...better tread lightly here. Never mind...the turn is another ten...boat. Sweet. And the guy just shoves all in...for over 50K!!! I call...and show him the bad news...then fade an ace on the river that would have given him the better full house....and again I was stacking chips. At dinner break I had around 375k...with the average at like 90k. 

After dinner, and after my table broke and I got moved to another one...I nearly ran into disaster...but that damn quarter in the wishing pool...or maybe Cheryl's dad Sonny..who I am 100% convinced has been watching over me the past two weeks...and making some pretty amazing things happen...saved my but. After having already raised with AQh...getting re-raised by a guy on my left, the poker gear, glasses wearing, headphones...making love to his chips before finally...FINALLY making a bet...calling him...then missing the flop...only to sit and watch him move his chips around, stack then restack them....line them all up....HOLY SHIT!!! I finally snapped...."Dude! Are you going to make a bet or have sex with your chips? Do something! The TV cameras are not ON for this tourney...that is over there across the freeway!" So when he finally announced a bet I fired my cards into the much...annoyed.

On the very next hand...I would pick up 99. Great. I raise again. To 12k. It folds around to the button...where seated with his collection of what I could tell were very hairy railbirds, most of them women. I think they were french or something. But you know when you can just tell by looking at someone that there is a LOT of body hair going on under their garments? They were those people. And the guy looked a bit like Hevad Khan. But it wasn't him. He raised me to 25,500. Playing back at me? Being a bully? Thinks I'm tilt raising after the last hand? Fuck him. I call. The flop comes K-8-6...all diamonds. I look down and see that I have the nine of diamonds. Lets see what he does. I check. He c-bets 25k. Hmm...seems like someone doesn't like that flop very much. Starting this hand...I had about 280k...and he had about 255k. And a rooting section. 

I decide to make a bold move. Mainly because I do NOT think he has a diamond, and also because I think I might be good. So I raise him to 82k. He grimaces..asking if I already have a flush. Ah! Confirmation that he has no diamonds. So when he pushed all in, I didn't feel like I could fold. I called. He turned over two black aces. Whoa. Yikes. Better hit a diamond or a nine here. Turn....ace of diamonds. Boom!!!! But now I just need to fade the board pairing on the river...which I did. And this guy's face turned white like a ghost...and there was a collective groan from the rest of the table, realizing I had just gone to over half a million chips.

The bubble came and  went without any stress, which is always nice. 303 started...and 34 got paid. By the end of the night we managed to get down to 19 players...which, only pays $1101. I think at 18 it jumps up just a little to $1300 or so...and doesn't go up again until 10-12th. No, the money isn't even attractive unless you get top 3...which is what my obvious goal will be today as I head back for Day 2, sitting 2nd in chips with $568k. First place is $31k. That would go quite nicely in my hotel safe next to the $20k that is sitting in there now. And all those 28 investors who I managed to 'hustle' into buying my poker shares for $150 per share...gosh, I know they are just filled with anger and regret right about now. 

Some people ask, while I'm playing..."Don't you hate that you are only playing for 38% of what you win?" My answer? "No. Not really. Because if I lose, it costs me nothing...and if I win, I make a lot of people, including myself...very happy. People who thought enough of my ability to take a chance on me? How many people can you say you have like that in your life? Not many, I'm sure. So for me to get 28 people willing to take a shot on me? That means a lot. And to reward their faith in me...with a big win? Or two? Or even more? It's awesome!" So no...I'm perfectly fine with the 38% that I am playing for. 

I could write more, but I told myself I was going to go to the pool this morning before heading back...and now I've left myself with just 30 minutes to do that...so I'm going to take advantage of it while I still can.  Hopefully, my next blog post brings great news!

CONGRATULATIONS to a friend of mine...and a really good player...Matt Waxman...who won a shit ton of money and a bracelet over there at Rio a couple days ago!!! Just keep adding to the list of friends that have won bracelets. Love to see it. Hope to see more great results in those events that I'm not permitted to play due to...well, no need to open up that festering wound. Not today. Too much to feel good about today.

MONK

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Eating Crow is Delightful...Have some Salt and Pepper, Haters!!!

I've lived a very long, full life. My sole purpose for existing now is to bring joy and happiness to my daughter Carley's life. I really don't need for anything. It's all about her. So to find things that genuinely make me pull a Tiger Woods fist-pump out of my bag and employ it in grand fashion takes something pretty major. I last left you with me returning to join 103 other players in pursuit of $54,000. When I got up from the table at 3:45am...I walked over to the payout desk...signed for $21,950..and made my way to the cage. And about half way there...I did a Tiger Woods-esque fist pump. And the thing that inspired that? This post...mentioned to you guys in my last entry. 

boo fukin hoo!!! Another cry baby story. Airport fucked me over, aces got cracked! Just feel lucky that you suckered all those people in to buying "shares" into your vacation! again. And give me a break, get a tattoo to honor my daughter. How about getting your ass home instead of being a so called poker pro. Get A REAL JOB. You suck at poker. Even your so called friends talk about how bad you play behind your back. Because it is true. Grow up dumb ass.

Yeah. I wonder what you're thinking today....asshole. Excuse me, ANONYMOUS asshole. I have nothing to say to you other than this:

SCOREBOARD BITCH!!!


So another post shows up in my 'to be approved' comments, this one from...oh oh...another anonymous poster...who promises I can 'never track' his IP address. This one is ridiculous. So here, I shall share it with you.

 I caught wind that if you don't completely shut your blog and mouth down. Your family my be in grave danger! Time to hang it up my friend, these people are 100% serious! Not worth it man! You have pissed off a major player! You can go to the police, FBI, or whomever! You will not find the source of this message. Take my advice, play time is over. I also wouldn't tell people when I leave my family alone! They wanna hurt you bad! Take it for what it's worth!

Hmmm....he 'caught wind.' So...lets see, he is telling me that if I don't shut my blog down...my really really dangerous blog...which, if you've been noticing I only have made about 6 entries in the last two months...and have a lot of people that have stopped reading it because I NO LONGER rip on people like I used to....claiming that with being a father now, I've grown 'too soft, too nice' and am now not much fun to follow? Oh..he claims I have pissed off a 'major player!' Whoa...a 'major player!???' Golly gee...I wonder who the heck that could be. And no way...the police and FBI can't help me? Play time is over? Bringing my family into it? I know 90% of you who read my blog are really good people, who wish the best for me. And I thank you. You other 10%? I have no idea what sick motives drive you. What reason you have for being such miserable fucks in life. I am not afraid of you, idiots. In fact, I merely feel sorry for you. If you think you are going to scare me with this kind of bullshit? You are delusional. I play a stupid game....a game called poker...and not very often anymore, in case you haven't been paying attention. I could care less about any of the 'major' players...whoever the fuck they might be. I show up. I pay my buy in. I give it my best effort. And then, when and if I lose...I leave. 

You assholes and your attempted scare tactics are foolish. Seriously, you obviously think poker is a lot bigger deal than it really is. You should find some outside interests. Maybe look through a personal ad and find yourself a mate to divert your attention from your sick thoughts. 

Anyway...back to our regularly scheduled reason for writing this blog. To inform, to share, and report. I had a good day two days ago. Yesterday, I took what I consider a very well-deserved day off from poker...floundered around the pool for hours...came back to my room, played some Home Games in my little poker club on Stars...accepted some nice congratulatory comments from my members, hell even won the 10pm tourney...then ordered room service, my first bite of food all day....and upon finishing it, fell asleep and slumbered for 16 hours!!! I didn't intend to play today at noon, a $1600 buy in event...so I've just spent the afternoon catching up on 'other stuff' like booking me and Cheryl's tickets (and Carley) to Seattle for our 1-week vacation to Lake Chelan with my family in July. Paid some bills. Etc etc...and at 4pm...I'm going to go down and play the $400 Survivor tourney at Venetian. 

I was awoken this morning by my cackling mom...calling me to order me to look at my Facebook  wall...for she had dug up some old 'wanna-be-modeling' photos of me from 20-some years ago and had plastered them all over my wall. Good gawd. Thanks Mom. Hilarious. Then fell back to sleep. 

People ask: "Dude...you just made a big score...why aren't you playing today!???" Why? Because I've been playing this game now, full time...for 10 years. And one thing I have learned? You almost ALWAYS have a shitty day after having a great one. And additionally, you almost NEVER enjoy the wins at all if you jump right back into a tourney. To really, really enjoy what doesn't happen THAT often in poker...you seriously need to take a day off, to reflect on it, to think about the good things in your life, and how they have just been positively affected. To think of the ways you want to spend, not BLOW that money you just won. And to just allow yourself to enjoy NOT being at a poker table for 8-12 hours for ONE day! It was great to have that day yesterday. And its been nice laying around all day today doing nothing. Recharge my batteries. Get mentally plugged back in for the final 12 days of this trip. To see how much MORE I can make for me, my family, and those 28 people I 'hustled' into buying shares of my summer action. 

Okay...that's all I really have to say today. Didn't even feel like writing. But thought I should throw you guys a bone! Most of you already know how things turned out...but I suppose some of you I might have left hanging. So there ya go. 3rd place. $21,950. A good day. 718 players didn't beat me. That feels pretty damn good.

MONKEY

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bubble Streak About to Die???

Nothing like logging on to shoot out a quick update and getting the standard hater comment from the same guy...obvious by his adverbs, pronouns and insulting verbiage. I ask you...Mr. Asshole...why do you even READ my blog? Yeah yeah...I get it, I'm a loser, I'm the worst poker player ever, I'm a hustler who 'suckers' 28 people into buying my shares, and even my FRIENDS talk about how bad a player I am. Yeah yeah...you've made it clear...maybe you can mix up your comments a little bit, you know? A little variety? A little twist on your insults? Maybe say something about my Mom? Maybe call my daughter ugly? Hell...might as well even take a run at my dogs. Surely you can do better than you're doing. You are starting really disappoint me with your lack of effort. 

Anyway...to the rest of you. This HAS to be brief. Because, somehow, despite my poor skills at the poker table...I have somehow made it back for Day 2 of the $400 tourney at Venetian that attracted 720 players...and THIS loser. We have 103 players left...and this sad excuse for a gambler. First place is $54,000. The average stack is $70k. And someone snuck me $104k to compete with. I know. Crazy. 

This comes on the heels of three tourneys in a row where I went out within 10 of the money. It has been a pretty irritating/frustrating week. And if you are a poker player...and spend any significant amount of time in Las Vegas in the summer for either WSOP or the other tourneys that take place annually in this city of 110 degree heat and playground to America's uppercrust...then  you know that there is no WORSE place in the world to be when you are running bad...but no BETTER place to be when you are running GOOD!

On the way back from Venetian last night...I felt like having a drink before bed...and so sat down at the little 1/3 table in the lobby at the Riviera where I'm staying. It was like the Twilight Zone. I will have more on this experience, complete with photos in a follow up blog...it was both, well, I will save it for later. It was the most glaring example possible of going from ONE extreme to the OTHER.

Yesterday was a good day. Finally. Things went well. No disasters befell me. I played a very 'damage control' style of poker once I got to twice the average...refusing to let any of the previous three days' disasters derail me. Trying hard to get my backing crew of 28 a cash at least and hopefully more in this tourney. I've drawn the 8 seat on a table that includes the tourney's chipleader and the 3rd biggest stack. I think it's paying 72. Not sure. I only know that first place is $54k and that is the only number I care about. 

I really do have a lot to write about. But like I said...I have to catch a quick shower and get out of here. Just got a very solid 7 hours of sleep that included some of the most incredibly bizarre dreams I think I've ever had in my life. Were it someday turned into a movie it would take the average movie-goer three or four times of watching to figure it out. 

Okay...I'm outa here. Balls back in your court Mr. Asshole. Not sure what your going to come up with if I manage to final table this tourney. You might have to really work on your game a little. While you toil away there at your nine-to five cubicle existence Monday through Friday. Be careful though and don't let your boss catch you!!!

MONKEY