Saturday, August 24, 2013

Main Event Starts Today!


Two circuit events in a row...where I have not cashed ONCE. It has been a very disappointing, depressing, and deflating month, one that has left me almost never wanting to never play poker again. And as many idiots as there are at the tables down here, I really haven't been their victim ALL that much this trip. Oh sure...the cash game has seen some incredulous plays by these goofballs that have left them looking like geniuses on the river...but for the most part, its just mostly been a shit ton of bad luck.

Yesterday didn't start out too hot. I mustered up the courage to go play the 2pm $575 Mega...and upon arriving learned we were playing 10-handed. When inquiring as to why we were playing the tourneys 9-handed but the Mega's 10-handed the answer I got was akin to the answer you got from your parents when you were a little kid and asked why you couldn't do something you wanted to do: You remember the one, right?  "Because, I said so, that's why!"  In this case, it was...."Because, it's a mega, and that's how we do it for the megas."  Huh? Is that really an answer? I hate....HATE HATE HATE...playing 10-handed.

I busted out of the 2pm Mega. It was at that critical stage...200/400 in a very speedy structure, and I was hovering around 5500-6000'ish. This whacky older black guy with really dark glasses, who'd been acting very erratic since he sat down...raised to 900. The button calls...and I flat with Ah9h. The flop comes Ad-Kh-7c. Ahhhh....this could be good. I check. Original raiser bets 2000. Button folds. And I'm left to ponder...hmm....is that a c-bet? Does he have anything? An ace? A better ace? I look at him. Try to find anything that will lead me to think he has something less than an ace. Flatting the 2k seems like a bad move. Because if I don't turn a nine, or a heart...what is my next move going to be? Folding is a nice option. But moving all in will make him have to fold if he doesn't have an ace...and give me a nice pot. I pull the trigger. I jam it in. He waits....waits....and I'm thinking "Hell yes...I have him beat...good move!" Then he calls. I turn over my cards. And he flips over a king...leading me to, again...conclude that I'm ahead. Then the asshole slowly turns over the other card....and ace. Oh....what a douchebag. I bust.

I dejectedly go outside to the outdoor blackjack table...which is just outside of the poker room and play some $10 BJ by myself. I contemplate taking a trip to Wells Fargo to withdraw the money I need to play the Main on Saturday (today). I also think about going to get a haircut...and maybe sitting alone in a movie theater. Then my friend and roomie, Christian walks out of the poker room holding a buy in ticket for something. "What is that?"  Tells me he's going to go play the $1120 Mega that starts in 5 minutes. Huh? Oh wow. He tells me I really should play it... as one in five win a seat. I mull it over. $1120 for the chance to NOT have to plunk down $5300. Appealing. But my luck in Megas lately has been total shit. I cave in. And buy in.

I'm just going to give you the quick version. I had two monster, critical hands that basically propelled me to the win. On one...with the blinds at 600/1200...guy under the gun ships for 4800. The guy to my right flats. I look at QQ. Good 'ol queens. Do I put my faith in them? Or tell them to fuck off as they have ruined me so many times before? Screw it. I re-raise another 10k. After tanking....the guy moves all in. Well, I only had another 5k or so behind that bet...so I had to call. He has 10-10. Flashbacks to last year's Main Event and Elisabeth Hille's pocket tens raced through my mind. For the smaller, main pot...the all in guy had AK. I HELD! And won a huge pot.

On the other huge pot, coming at the perfect time....when we were 4 away from the seat and I was dwindling down...was when a guy raised in early position with 77....and the guy to my right just shoves about 24k. I look down at AA...wow! Yeah, I call. Sevens folds and I'm up against AK. I held there. The bubble seemed to take forever...but finally, at around midnight we got there, and FINALLY....I had won something on this god-forsaken trip. Main event seat...LOCKED UP. Over $4,000 SAVED. My shot at the 1.5m or so for first...solidified. I could not have felt any more relieved, like I'd just gotten a 1500-lb gorilla off my back. I wasn't happy...I really wasn't....I was simply relieved. Unfortunately, both my roomies busted earlier...Christian busting after amassing a ton of chips early, but then running into some really shitty luck. And Joe just couldn't get anything going at all, or get any cards...and he went out about 8 from the seat. He's been running just as bad or worse than I have this week.

Now for the super intriguing news. Remember the 'situation' that got me 86'd from Hammond? And subsequently from ALL Caesar's properties? The girl? The dealer? From Belarus? And the allegations that I had somehow 'harassed' her? Well, she is here. And on the first day I saw her, I went straight to the tourney director and let him know that I was a bit nervous and uneasy about having her deal to my table. He understood. Furthermore, we discussed the situation a little bit, since he'd been working the event up there that I got tossed from. I learned a lot in that discussion. Well, they took her out of the rotation every time she was getting close to my table all week, so that she wouldn't deal to me. I didn't ask for that to happen, but I guess I appreciate the floor guys looking out for me.

So two days ago...I decide I needed to try and use a little diplomacy and attempt to talk to this girl, not having ANY idea how she will react or respond. Once upon a time in 2005, I attempted to approach this bitch named Roxy Rhodes (I think that was her last name) who had stirred up a lot of shit in Lake Tahoe and gotten me into a pinch, so much so that Jack Effel had informed me to just stay away from her and not talk to her. Well...me being someone who likes to 'solve issues' and not them persist...I was leaving the casino for the day and I see her sitting in the hotel lobby. I decide to try and make a peace offering. But when I approached and asked her if I could have two minutes of her time...she stands up and starts screaming for security...just freaked out. Saying "He's harassing me! He's harassing me!!! I want security over here, call the police!!!" Holy shit! What the fuck!??? I was shocked...and kind of panicked. I turn around and see two of the tourney guys standing there...one on a smoke break...and they just shake their head....one of them telling me to just get the hell out of there NOW. So I do. I leave...freaked out as hell.

Well, that led to Jack 86'ing me from the rest of the Lake Tahoe circuit event. And a month later, he tried to keep me out of the Main Event...in Vegas, which I'd won a seat to on Pokerstars. This was the start of my troubles with Jack Effel. After numerous pleas with him to let me back in...all to no avail, I finally appealed to Howard Greenbaum, who sits higher on the totem pole at Caesar's. Mr. Greenbaum allowed me back in. This, obviously, rankled Jack. And so began...the decade-long mission by Jack to 'get me back.'

So...that memory fresh in my mind...I was very apprehensive about approaching this girl Yana. But I did anyway, catching her on a break. We talked for about ten minutes. She was very open to talking to me, and admitted she'd spoken to a lot of people about me, and about our situation since it had occurred. She said she felt bad that it got me banned...that she had no idea that would happen. By the end of the conversation, I apologized to her for anything I may have said or done to make her feel uncomfortable, we shook hands...and she offered to write a letter to help my case. I felt SO much better after talking to her, and hoped that maybe I'd enjoy a little good karma from that point on. I also informed the tourney guys that her and I had worked things out...and that they could put her back on my table to deal. She literally asked me "So do you think now maybe I can deal to you? Because they take me out whenever I am coming up on your table." 

So...in the Mega yesterday? She shows up to deal my table. I am floundering...having seen hardly any hands at all. I was at about 12k with the blinds now 400/800. It's getting critical. She gives me AK. Guy raises ahead of me. I re-raise. He folds. She gives me one good hand after another. Suddenly I am up to 18k. Then the hand with the QQ happens, and I win a huge pot. When she left my table...I had 42k chips...and was ecstatic...as we were now just 12 from the seat, and I really had a shot. I smiled inside at the irony of having her be the dealer that would seemingly rescue me from the scrap heap. All during her down she was so pleasant towards me to. I'm so glad we hashed things out. We exchanged information...and, well...I guess we will see what happens if she writes a letter to the right people to have my ban lifted. But something in my gut tells me Jack Effel will NEVER let it happen. No matter how much she tries to rescind her complaint against me. But to be honest? I really don't care all that much. But it sure felt good to work things out with her.

Okay....so...Main Event starts in half an hour. I am super excited. I'm not crazy about finding out that rebuys/re-entries are open until the dinner break, and NOT level 4 like I thought they were. So a lot of crazy gun slinging might still be going on until then...guys trying to get that BIG STACK to do work with.

My fantasy football drafts start tomorrow....continue Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I have ONE damn team left to sell in my $400 Big Money League (15 of 16 teams sold) and ONE team left in my $200 League (15 of 16 sold)...then 11 of 16 teams are sold in the other $200 league. My rotisserie league is struggling to fill...with only 5 teams sold. I really need at least 8 to have decent league.

Okay....I have more to say....but I have GOT to get outa here. I will write more later.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hand Bags of Mass Destruction!!!!!

There is a full moon. That is the only thing I can think of to describe the things I've been seeing the last two days. Now, some of you think I just bitch and whine and blame losing on 'all the idiots.' I know...and to a lot of you, it doesn't come off very well. This isn't how I'm always trying to sound. Sometimes...I just need to vent...and this IS a damn good place to do it. Here and my Facebook. But dammit....some of these people just ARE total idiots. And a number of other spicy adjectives. 

The past few days have just kind of blurred all together. The only real success I've had is at...ahem...the table games. Blackjack and Texas Hold Em Bonus. That is truly a sign that the universe is ALL out of whack. I was on a roll the other night until I was forced off the table because of my trusty 'man bag.'

Some of you....a lot of you actually, are familiar with the process of walking through the casino, and being greeted at the entrance by security, who wants to look  inside of your bag. It's annoying. And it's a reaction to the 'War on Terror.' In the last ten years, we have become a total reactionary society. I think in broad terms, we are losing the War on Terror...because of what it has meant to our personal freedoms, and because the restrictions placed on everything borders on ridiculous. And hypocritical. 

So how stupid is this? You have a bag. You sit at a table game. No one notices it. Your friend comes along from the poker room, carrying his backpack. And gets jumped. Told he has to check it in with the front desk to keep playing. Oh! Then...notices MY bag....me, who has been sitting there playing for the past two hours. And tells me I have to check MY bag as well. Hold on...there is a lady sitting next to me, and she is carrying a purse, a very large purse, nearly as big as my bag. But is she told to check in her back? No. Why? It's her personal stuff. Huh? What do you think I have in MY bag? Nothing personal? This isn't Boston. No one is leaving their bag at the table so they can blow up a blackjack dealer. And no one is going suicide bomber either. 

If you are going to enforce something, for logical reasons...then it has to apply to EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. I mean, if I'm a terrorist, and want to blow up the casino and kill gamblers...who am I going to send in to do the bombing? A guy? With a backpack? That will surely be caught and moved? Or that woman...unsuspecting woman...and her large purse? How stupid do we think terrorists are? Apparently pretty stupid.

I'm just waiting. And it's going to happen. The EMP weapons. The weapon that will wreak havoc on our country. Ours especially. The Electro Magnetic Pulse weapon...that when exploded 30,000 feet above the surface of the Earth....will wipe out every electronic device within hundreds of miles. You know how flustered you get when your computer has a problem, or your iPhone is acting up. Imagine if they all just suddenly DIED!!! People in third world countries laugh at this kind of weapon...since they have no real worries over what will die and what won't. But us? Oh boy....it will be absolutely devastating. 

Maybe the answer...is to move to the mountains...live off the land like our ancestors, and 'Little House on the Prairie it up' for the next 40 years. And poker, and everything else...be damned!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Great Place...Lousy Results (so far)

Well, its 11:38am. I have precious few minutes to write anything...as we need to high-tail it over to the casino to play today's noon mega, a $575 tourney that guarantees 20 seats. We stayed up pretty late playing cash game, again. 

Out of all the things I can find to complain about on this trip, as it pertains to this venue...there are only two things that come to mind. (1) The air conditioning never works right....so it's always pretty uncomfortable. (2) They aren't running ANY single table satellites. And so...when you are trying to chase lost buy ins the only way to get them back is to play these south Florida nincompoops at the cash tables. This usually is a winning formula. I have two losing sessions though...that have screwed up my three winning sessions. 

One thing about playing against these folks down here...you can always expect to get run down, or to at least have them TRY to run you down. And it is painful how many times they are successful. So you learn, hopefully...if you have any common sense, to use a little pot control to manage the situation...because there seems to be NO amount you can bet that will ever make them fold a draw....so might as well leave yourself some beans for when they hit it on the turn or river...and you KNOW they hit...and hopefully for your sake aren't stupid enough to bet another nickel....because oh yeah....bluffing down here? Lets see. A good analogy. Oh! Right. Picture yourself in a blindfold, cigarette dangling out of your mouth...and facing a 10-man firing squad. Now pretend that you are attempting to bluff those guys. In anything. Ready! Aim! SUCK OUT!!!!!

Shall we focus on the positive? Why not!? The property here is fantastic. Big, spacious...lot of shops and restaurants. The casino stays pretty packed. The talk among the players has been the amazing supply of massage girls. I had a moment to speak to the owner, (Harry Bruder) of the company (Rock'N Massage) his wife Stephanie, a nice woman, and a gentleman named Chris who orchestrates the day-to-day operation...a very professional group who are trying to expand their business into other venues. Well, I'd say the way they are going they should have NO problem getting some takers. There seems to be about one massage girl for every five players. And on top of it all...they are friendly and very attractive. 

The service from the waitstaff...both for beverages and food, is excellent as well. The dealers they have assembled, and the floor staff....top notch. And the tournament room itself? Is amazing. Gigantic...with plenty of space between the tables to navigate your way through the room. And the greatest thing of all? They are NOT MAKING US PLAY 10-HANDED!!!!! Hallllllllelujah!!!! Someone finally has heard us! And not only are we playing 9-handed....but the tables are really big too! So playing poker down here is absolutely comfortable as can be.

When I sat down for the $560 last weekend....the first thing that greeted me was 25k starting stack! Holy crap! And....where I thought we were getting into another one of these 're-entry for 8-levels' nightmares...I discovered the rebuy period only lasts 4 levels! Great! And with 25k in chips...it really cut down on the crazy chip suicides that were taking place. Well, on my first bullet I would make it all the way to Level 14...and with 12 minutes left in the night....I lost three hands in a row where I raised to 6000, got called, and bricked the flop with someone blasting out a bet before me. So when I looked at AQ UTG...and had 22,500 chips left at 1200/2400 I decided to make that hand my 'Waterloo' hand. I raised to 21,000....leaving just my black chips behind.

The non-English speaking...shower-needing old Italian guy, who'd already proven how erratic and confounding his play was on numerous occasions...makes the brilliant decision to FLAT my raise...himself holding just 58k...with 5 players to act behind him.....holding A8. No one else calls. I shove my remaining 1400 chips in the dark...flop comes J-10-4. He calls obviously...and turns over A8...we all express our....well...shock would be the wrong word since we all knew already that he played like a maniac...but I guess I was ecstatic to see how close I was to a much needed double up. Forget it. Dealer turns him an 8...and it holds. Jeezuz.

And to be honest....every tourney since has gone about the same way. My roomies Joseph Hebert and Christian Iacobellis aren't faring any better. It sucks having come off such a lousy trip to Choctaw...and there are times when I just can't figure out why I can't get anything to hold. Last night, I really thought I was about to break through. Having already busted out of the noon 6-Max after firing two bullets....the first one...that one really stung...I thought I had trapped the aggressive player who was opening about 80% of the pots....flatting his raise with JJ in the big blind...and flopping J-9-7. I check. He bets. I call. The turn is another 9...giving me a boat. I check again. He shoves all in. YAHTZEE!!!!! I call. He turns over A9. Wanna guess the river? He rivers a nine. The whole table does the ......"Ohhhhhhh!!!!!! My Godddddddd!!!!" Players come running from other tables to witness the carnage. I just grabbed my shit and ran to the rebuy counter....as I only had 4 minutes to rebuy. They were all still talking about it when I got back to the table.

Earlier, in the $560 1m guarantee...I got moved to a table and occupied the seat that Rex Clinksdale had been sitting in. One of the players told me about his 'beat.' Which explained the look on his face when I saw him walking around shaking his head in disbelief. He raises with JJ. Another one of these players who lack the ability to three-bet....the common 3-bet down here is ALL IN...because most of these people just don't know how to play poker....he 'three-bets' Rex all in with AK. Rex calls...and he's up against AK. Predictable. The flop comes J-8-8. Nice flop for Rex....wouldn't ya say? Uh oh...the turn in an eight. And the river? An 8!!! Quads....ace plays. Rex is out. Holy  shit.

It has not been a good week here...yet! Lost that $560...twice. The second bullet I  lost, I basically got into a hand where I tried like hell to represent AA or KK and the guy with QJ simply wouldn't fold his hand on a Q-10-7-3 board....hammered the flop, hammered the turn...and had just enough chips left to hopefully get him to fold the river when a 3rd diamond hit. Nope. No way. Damn it he had QJ and he was going to the grave with it....despite having limped in under the gun with it...and me betting the crap out of it. I just picked the wrong guy to get into the scenario with...and dealer refused to give me a jack, or a king, or an ace at any time in the hand......I kind of was kicking myself for having let myself get THAT deep into that hand....but I really thought I could get that guy to fold. I was wrong.

So...I have bricked EVERYTHING so far this week. Oh so...yeah, last night...the $300 6pm tourney. Really thought things were turning around. Got KK to hold, and win a big pot. Got paid off after I flopped a set, turned a boat, and value bet the victim into a nice pot. Grew my stack to 20k early...and then fell into a pattern where I would get involved with a small stack...and lose. 3k each time...knocking me back down. But then get back up over 20. It was like a yoyo for 3 levels. Then I went on a heater and got up to 45k..and was chipleader at my table...and we were starting to be able to get a sniff of the money. Then the shitstorm started.

I raise with KQc. Get shoved on by A2off by a small stack. Call. Flop J-10-8. Turn a club draw. And brick the river. Then double the same guy up again when I flop middle pair with a nut flush draw and gut shot....and miss everything to his top pair ace. It goes this way for two painful orbits, as I keep doubling up one short stack after another. On SEVEN hands...I got it in as the best hand 6 times...and lost them ALL! Now down to just 7300 at 400/800....I got it all in with 88...looking for a triple up against AK and AJ. Flop brings a king....it holds....and I was done. And discouraged as hell.

Had one fun day...when, after busting the noon tourney...got into the HORSE tourney....and after starting slowly, had Josh Pender on my right...and we decided to start drinking Patron. So we started alternating shots. And we started winning every hand. By the dinner break I had the chiplead at my table. And I was actually have fun...a rare thing these days at the table. I found a Texas Hold Em Bonus game on dinner break...and was winning there too...and kind of lost track of time. Made it back to the table....and they were half way through the level, I'd barely lost any of my stack...since it was limit and they were on Omaha 8 (no antes)...but much to my chagrin, Josh had been eliminated. And was replaced by another guy. Damn! Lost my wingman. So I quit drinking at that point. And when I quit drinking, I quit winning. The hands started turning to crap. My stack started to dwindle. And as HORSE tourneys always seem to go...my once-huge chip stack...got short...and finally, evaporated to nothing.

I won't even bother getting into all the painful, gut-wrenching hands I've witnessed down here this week. The play is, yes...at time, atrocious...but nothing that can't be overcome if I could just get some hands to hold up, and win my fair share of coin flips. I mean...I did a good job of getting my stack to a healthy place last night to weather a couple, or few....or well...FIVE....losing flips and still have a fighting chance. But you can only lose so many flips before your fucked. There isn't much I could have done different last night. I just sucked, plain and simple.

My roomie is chomping at the bit to get over there...as the 20-seat guarantee Mega Satellite, scheduled for today at noon, and tomorrow at noon has just started. Time to go plunk down another $575 in hopes to lock up a Main Event seat...which I'm playing either way, just preferably not for the whole amount! But I knew I needed to throw something your guys' way....and I sure wish the news was better...but it just ISN'T. But I'm staying positive...and getting lots of good sleep to keep my mind straight. Lets hope I can get something good going today.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Goodbye Choctaw, Hello Hollywood!!!

I should have, and intended to...blog last week sometime. Like, Monday...after I exited the Main Event in Choctaw. But, sometimes things don't always go as planned. And now...on the eve of my drive to South Florida to compete for...well, millions, I realize how 'behind' I am on my tales from the felt. In between all that, was the epic tourney at the Casa du Landry, the tourney who's name I can't even accurately reveal. Something like: The 2nd Annual World's Undisputed World Poker Champion of the World World Championship. I know that's not right. But it's close. Some of us...just call it the Pursuit of the Hubcap Trophy. 

How Choctaw ended: Lets just say, that in 8 years of traveling to circuit events, this was the worst event I've ever had, money-wise. I lost somewhere close to $6500 on this trip. And it was all mine, as I elected to play it on my own dime. Brutal. Yes, I cut my losses by picking up a nice $1600 cash game session, and won a sit n go the night before the main for another $1100...but what transpired in the Main just underscored what had been happening to me all week in Oklahoma. Prior to this...my poker club, re-started after getting ratted out by what I've decided to refer to as Houston's own Hurricane Ev...was closed AGAIN. We tried one more time...with another member setting it up, and me not even playing. Just taking care of record keeping. It was closed yesterday. 

So...it's pretty clear there is a mole somewhere out there who just refuses to see me sit at home, with my Carley...and not have to go anywhere, see anyone, or do anything...while making a decent living and offering a small group of friends a chance to play online poker like in 'the good 'ol days.' Why anyone would go to such lengths? I have no freaking clue. I've become so disillusioned with almost ALL poker players and people who work in poker in general...its just one more obstacle that some asshole has put in front of me for me to overcome. Thanks, asshole.

So I guess what they've reduced me to, is traveling to ONLY the best-value tourneys I can find, sell out a package...and hope to run like, well at least semi-godlike...and win a nice fat chunk of money, to where they (investors) all get paid, and we can squirrel away some nuts to just get through the lean times. And who knows...in an event like this one coming up? Should everything break JUST right? And I finish in the top 4 of the Main Event? We get the new house I've been trying to get for us, and maybe a couple new cars! And a boat! And Carley's education paid for from Pre-K to College. Well, yeah, that is the dream.

So oh yeah...Choctaw? It would be unfair for me to bash on Choctaw itself. I think the things that happened to me had nothing to do, really...with the venue. I actually really like the venue. It's a great place for tourneys. They have a marvelous cash room. Their are good food options. And it draws well. The problem, as I see it...is that tourney directors, in their quest to squeeze as much money out of the players as humanly possible, to meet their growing budgetary demands...have turned the game into a completely new form of tournament poker. They might as well start a new poker circuit and name it: The Deep Pockets Poker League. 

Guys with unlimited amounts of buy ins to burn, and an unlimited supply of gamble in their blood, love these new formats. They have EIGHT levels to build up what they consider a 'sufficient' stack to compete with the rest of the way. Don't get me wrong...with blinds at, say....400/800...and a guy sitting in front of a stack of 58k...with the average stack being about 32k...it isn't unusual to see a guy 'gamble' on a flush draw (8-high) with only the river to come, for his whole stack. Why? 

"Cuz, man...I can still re-buy...and if I hit it...I will have a ton of chips."

Yeah, hey genius...you already HAVE a ton of chips. And that 4th buy in your about to put in for? You do realize, right? That you will be coming back into the game with only 22 big blinds? And that you will be almost forced now, to make the final table to get back your buy ins? But this, for some reason, doesn't seem to come into play when these guys are making their monetary decisions as it pertains to poker. I call these guys....'STUPID FUCKING IDIOTS.'

See that guy? Hiding under his collar? Pretty sure he was on his 14th Rebuy in a $125 tourney...and didn't want anyone recognizing him...either that or he was just hiding his horrendous teeth. Yes...they WERE horrendous!!!

These stupid fucking idiots, are a bi-product of what the Tourney Directors are turning the game into. A money grab. Yeah...the tourney got 3100 players. (ex: some random tourney). In reality...it got 650 players. But those 650 generated an average of 5 rebuys. Meaning they paid the buy in amount...and ALL the associated fees each time. Cha-Ching! It's not like the tourney staff is EVER having to accomodate that many players at one time...so no! The answer to your question? Do they really have 300 tables to put all these players? And 300 dealers to deal to them? Pffft. Of course not! Jeeez!

So. When I travel to Hard Rock...I will be up against this 'situation' again. I have sold a package for this event. (unlike Choctaw) I sold 60 shares...at $135 per 1% share...meaning I am playing for 40% of myself. I am guaranteeing one bullet in the $5300 Main Event, and at least one bullet MAYBE two in the $560 $1m Guarantee tourney this weekend. There are a handful of other prelims I can play leading up to the Main Event. Anything NOT used, my investors all get returned. I know...I just opened the floodgates for you jerkoff haters to leave your comments telling me what a scammer and a crook I am, and how stupid my backers are.  I find it amusing. Especially since 11 other people had to be turned away because I sold out so fast.  See, here's the thing, poker dork who lives on 2+2, and who likes to sit around in think-tanks with your other dork poker buddies...discussing poker theory and hand play like its some kind of fucking dungeons and dragons convention: 

You shitbirds THINK you have this game of poker all figured out. That you have SET the staking rate at a number you think is precise. You think you have the winning formula for tournament poker all figured out, too. That your style is the style to defeat all comers. I've got news for you imbecilic gerbils. YOU DON'T!

I've been playing this game now for 10 years. I make adjustments to my game, where necessary. I know exactly what all you twerps are doing. It's not some kind of mystery. You haven't reinvented the wheel, or figured out a new way to split the atom.  Poker? It's not rocket science. And with this new....rebuy-till-your-dead-broke tournament structure that is being offered more and more? You and your fellow guppies and their 'Super-Sick' strategy are becoming even more ineffective and obsolete. You might be reading this, rolling your eyes, and texting your buddy telling him to 'read the bullshit Monkey is jabbering about today in his blog...holy shit, dude is so fucking clueless.' I know I know. You boys and your 1.5 years of college education, your inability to hold any kind of a real job, lack of a wife or girlfriend because no woman can stand to hear you blather on about poker til she wants to rip out her eardrums...and your complete lack of respect for you fellow gamblers, and this includes a lot of avenues, like showing them bluffs for absolutely NO REASON whatsoever, other than to give YET another person YET another reason to want you DEAD...other than you STILL owing someone (or numerous people in a lot of your cases) a significant amount of money!!!! Or blowing the one staking opportunity you DID manage to secure for yourself because you chopped a tourney, but signed for 5th, hence telling your backer(s) you got 5th, not chopped...only to have someone rat you out later (on purpose or accidentally) and losing any chance of EVER getting backing again.

Yeah. I'm talking to you...hamster-brain. You guys love to sit and rip on me, root for me to fail, insist I 'don't get it' when it comes to 'winning tourney poker.' At the end of the day...when you take all 1000 of you 'serious players' out there...and put the stats up against each other? There really isn't that much seperation between the good, or at least...better players.  We go to tourneys. We carefully navigate around the land mines (or try to) until we get down deep into the money. Then we simply hope our quality hands hold up. We hope we can get the luckbox moron who somehow has made it that far...to NOT beat us and our pocket kings...when we raise....then 4-bet shove after he cleverly re-raises us from the button with A6 offsuit. It's simply a wash-rinse-wash-repeat cycle that we all go through. It isn't new. And you super-aggro players who think you need to....no...MUST...build a big stack before Level 15 to have even a chance to win? Eventually, you will realize just how pointless that is. I like to use the tortoise and the hare analogy to prove my point on this one.

Really, all you need to support this...is to watch that lady who only plays AA or KK it seems...and just sits there folding for hour upon hour...but gets 'that big hand' just often enough to win a big pot and stick around. Well...you get to Level 20 and beyond...and EVERY pot you win (other than a blind steal) is significant. The aggro-guy style of min-raising (almost 80% of them are using this stupid ploy now) or 2.5x raising about 75% of the pots from Level 1 to Level 12? All those pots you win...and lose? All that variance in your stack? What's the point? You are the hare. Trying to sprint your way to the finish. Old lady nit nit? Tortoise. Funny, huh? She played about 6 hands, compared to your 106...and you both ended up at the same place, holding the same amount of chips! Isn't that remarkable?

Like I said....it's not that complicated. Sure...along the way, there are spots where you need to make amazing calls based on reads. You need to know how to value people into hands when you are a 75% favorite to win after the flop...and hope it doesn't blow up in your face. Being able to use excellent pot control...and being able to fold certain hands when you just KNOW in your gut that your no good. Yes. These are all important SKILLS...and yeah, there is still some skill in this game. I'm not trying to say it's turned into a total LUCKFEST these days. It only feels like it sometimes. And in fairness, when the shit starts to hit the fan is when stacks start getting all in preflop....and ALL FIVE CARDS come into play. That's when the deck starts to fuck you...over and over and over it seems. When it seems like there are 26 aces in a 52-card deck. 

I'm not sure if I have a point here. Other than...I'm sick of all these new-age poker players and their poker-posing get ups who think there is a 'formula' to winning this stupid thing called poker. There isn't. Patience is still the key ingredient. Skill will get you only so far. Luck will help you tremendously. Arrogance will get you punched in the face, or made the subject of a voodoo doll.

God, I am all over the place today. But this is my last blog post before I climb in my 4Runner and head for South America....I mean, South Florida. Yeah, it only FEELS like South America when your down there, or more specifically, Central America. On my 13-hour drive home from Oklahoma, my right knee locked up...and for a week now, I have had major inflammation in it. Ice hasn't helped at all. Pills either. Exercise? Nope. I'll be honest...I'm not exactly fired up about driving that drive. But it beats the cost of air fare, then having to rent a car down there. Rental cars in S.Florida are ridiculous. Plus I can take as much 'stuff' as I want, drive as fast or as slow as I want, and if things go shitty in the Main...I don't have to wait for my departure date on my plane ticket, I can climb in my car and bolt!

So what happened in Choctaw? Yeah. I will make this brief, as I've tried very hard to purge it from my memory. Thought I had a good table when I sat down. Had a couple of pretty nice/friendly guys at the table too. Had a couple decent hands early. Got away from a straight on a paired board with minimal damage. Then it started.

Some black guy with corn rows...who I'd never seen before, gave me my first hit of 'I wanna kill you' whiskey. He was one of these min-raising assholes that are littering the poker landscape. I'm in the BB with A8h. I call. Flop comes 9-6-7...with one heart. I check. He bets 800. I raise to 2200. He calls. Hmmm. Odd. Turn is an ace. Nice. Bet or check again? I check, hoping he floated me with an ace...and now will bet a lot. He bets 2500. I decide to just call...build a pot, and hope to improve on the river...with a 5 or a 10. The river is a blank...but completes a possible flush. Damn. I don't feel too confident betting...so I just check, with the intent to call a reasonable bet. But it isn't reasonable. He bets 8000. What!??? Calling would leave me with just 4000. If I lost. If I won? I'd be in great shape. I decided to fold. And showed my hand. He turns over Q-10s. Total air. And starts laughing at me.

"Oh...you're real cute. You think that's funny, huh? Hope you enjoy this little moment, and the move you just used up in Level 4. Clever."

We went at it verbally off and on for about the next two hours. I hated this guy. What is it with players who think that 'tilting you' is a good thing for them? I always have found that rationale to be ridiculous. I had to share with him the fact that him 'tilting me' emotionally? Has no bearing on my game, or how I play. Only that I am now sitting there creatively thinking up all the various ways I would like to kill him, like a serial killer from the 'Saw' trilogy.  Why should I start playing like shit because the guy is an asshole? That would just reward him for his dickishness. No thanks.

The good news is that I sat there and watch his stack go south for about two hours...and was so hoping to see it perish forever, preferably at the hands of Senor Monkey. It wouldn't happen...because he would suck out on a guy for a huge pot that put him back in good shape.  Sometimes I really, really hate the poker gods.

My first nasty hit came when a new player came to our table. Wait! New? Let me clarify. He wasn't 'new.' He was merely on his third buy in. He sat down with 20k chips. And quickly blew threw 13k of them raising in the 'Aggro-Boy' style that so many of his counterparts try to use to chip up. So..with the blinds at 200/400 and him sitting on 7k...he just decides to open shove with pocket 7's. It folds to me...and I look down at KK. Oh boy. I have 24k in my stack...and can't possible fold. But being in these spots enough, you just KNOW you are going to get fucked. And, of course...I did. He runs out a straight on a board of 4-5-J-6-8 to put a big dent in my stack.

It got worse. A few hands later...I call another min-raiser in the SB with A-9. I hit gin (I thought) with a flop of 10-9-9. Nice! I check. The guy bets quite a bit. I decide I better raise and not get cute...in case he has an overpair...and hits it on the turn or river. So I raise him. He instantly shoves on me. Wow. Gotta be an over pair...or maybe A10? Only thing beating me is a set of tens...for a boat. I call. He turns over QUEEN FUCKING TEN! Wow! How....how...does even a semi decent player, not fold there? I was baffled, but sort of pleased...as I now have to fade that nightmare two-outer again. Didn't have to wait long. Dealer slaps a fucking ten on the turn. Christ almighty!

And what hand always seems to signal my departure from ALL Main events? You know it! Pocket QUEENS! And on the VERY NEXT HAND? I would get QQ on the button. So standard. Folds around to me...I don't even go all in with my 4500 remaining in my stack. I raise to 1800. Well, the kid in the small blind, another horrible player who'd been over playing hands all day...doesn't even THINK about the guy in the BB with a stack three times the size of his...he over-shoves about 33k! Shit! I expect to see AK probably. Nope. Just jacks. Jacks.....GOOD! Flop J-9-9. Of course. I didn't get 'lucky' and hit a queen...or running nines...and that was it. I was out. Dead. Kaput! 

Congratulations....to a friend and former dealer...who at some point in that horrible trip called me and invited me to join him and some guys for a night away from the poker table at some local sports bar, Allen Farber, who had as GOOD of a trip, as I did BAD...culminating with a 2nd place finish for over 100k in the Main Event. He simply killed Choctaw. Sure he will be more than happy to go back to that place. I remain convinced that my Sioux Indian heritage has somehow been revealed to the spirits of the Choctaw Nation...and not really knowing the relationship between the tribes, can only assume they clashed, and that my week of THREE CONSECUTIVE BUBBLES and other unbelievable outcomes on certain hands, could only be chalked up to them seeking retribution against the Sioux Nation by making me the scapegoat. That HAS to be what happened. I might need to conduct some kind of spiritual ceremony, or sacrifice an animal or something if I ever intend to go there again.

Moving on! To Kai's 2nd annual What Ever It's Really Called Poker Tourney...that I won last year in the inaugural event. We had a monster turnout this year. We even had someone from my poker club who lives in Toronto freaking Canada FLY IN for the event! Kudos to GoGoChatty! Tim Burt would be my eventual assassin...as we started with 18 players I think...and when we got down to 8...Tim tried some of his bully tactics on me with AK. I raised in early position with 66. He gave a speech and re-raised a decent amount. I flatted. A flop of ...oh what was it? I was into about my 12th shot by then....a paired board...think it was Q-4-4 maybe. Whatever it was...I was 99.9% positive he had NONE of it. So i went ahead and lead out for about half the pot. When he grabbed a giant stack of blacks and countered with a re-raise, I knew it was a total bluff. And while I hated to see two more cards that would give him a chance to suck out...I also knew winning that hand would put me in the drivers seat to win the big monstrosity of a hub cap trophy for the second year in a row. 

Kai the Robed Viking and Tim the Mexican Jumping Bean

I lost. He turned a fucking ace. And the ensuing good-natured ribbing just made it worse. You go to a party. A great party. With off-duty Hooters girls hired by Kai shepherding drinks back and forth to the players. You eat chicken wings supplied by Oren Zweig and his BIG-O's restaurant. You see people you haven't seen in a long time. You get to see your good friend Jenn Gay, who is a month from becoming a mother, and her man Stephen....who also did a good share of the dealing. Simply put...it was a great night. Kai did an amazing job of hosting. I helped with the organizing of the chips, the structure, and running the tourney as much as I could. I'm pretty sure EVERYONE had a great time. There was a small entry fee. Then a $100 last longer with 7 of us. I think Tim Burt won that. I'm not exactly sure. 

Busting early from the tourney gave Dustin Stewart plenty of time to hit on the Hooters waitress/bartender

At the end...Jim 'Smoky' Williams would emerge as this year's winner. BUT...and this is a big BUT that I have only a small amount of an issue with. The lucky 2nd place finisher...kind of like how Melissa 'Tell-Me-When-It's-My-Turn-To-Act' Parker (or Lassere now I guess that she's officially divorced) got heads up with me last year...was a hottie named Danielle Stewart...who earlier made her brother Dustin the first victim of the night, cracking his KK with 6-7 on the 'Non-Feature' table that I was not sitting at! Then a short while later...she flops a set of 9's against a guy who flopped a set of jacks. No problem. Quad nines on the river. She was a lot of fun, and wore a lot of various disguises all throughout. And she admittedly had maybe 3/10ths of a clue what she was doing...that or she was a great actress...but she just ran like Tiffany Michelle in 200? whenever that was!

The Viking hat did NO MAGIC for Senor Monkey. Seated on my left was long time poker pal from New Orleans Barth Melius...the now infamous poster of the Doc Sands Chip Dumping WSOP 2013 Scandal on 2+2!

Well...she was dead set on walking out with that trophy. It would be broken again, as mine was last year. Someone got some tools this time though, and fixed it. Not mine. In fact, prior to the event, I went and rustled up a gold chain...and wore just the hubcap around my neck, along with the exact same outfit I wore last year...hoping to recapture the glory! Not happening. Not this time.

The eventual winner (sort of) Jim 'Smokey' Williams...along with his 'tough-tactic-negotiator' girlfriend Alicia Mattina...who played hardball during the negotiation process for the trophy!!!

Danielle wanted that trophy...and the agreement to streak naked through the neighborhood that the winner of the trophy must agree to, didn't seem to slow her down. So Jim ended up taking a little more money...and she got the trophy, and title, I guess of winner. Personally, I've never been a big fan of taking a trophy, or a ring, or a bracelet when I didn't actually win. I think it cheapens it. But in this case? I guess it was all in fun, so who cares, right? And besides...who would you rather see streak through the neighborhood naked? Smokey? Or Danielle? Yeah...easy one there. She never really satisfied the terms of that agreement/pact either....orrrrr did she??? Guess you'd have had to be there to know for sure!

Last years WINNER and this year's 'winner' Danielle.

But all in all...it was a GREAT NIGHT of fun and poker! So thanks to Kai Landry for putting on another majestic spectacle and giving us all a chance to REALLY appreciate the game of poker without rules, time limits or good dealers!!!! It was a great way to get out and have a little fun before this big trip to Hollywood.

Our fabulous host Kai Landry...along with sexy 'D.Stew #1'...yeah, we all were forced to wear name tags for some odd reason!

Now...if I can just get a TINY LITTLE BIT of run good down there??? Please? I hope my Sioux Indian ancestors didn't have any major beefs with the Seminole Tribes. Maybe I should Google it and see if there is anything I need to do before I head down there tomorrow!!!!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Reporting in from Tornado Central!

I know. My absence has been mysterious. Right? Usually when I'm at a circuit event I give you all kinds of updates, funny stories, even pictures to make you wish you were here! (or weren't!) Well, I can only explain my lack of 'reporting' as being a case of 'tell 'em as little as possible to keep 'em thinking the best.'

It's been anything BUT. No, in fact...my decision to play this event on my own dime, was both STUPID and SMART. Stupid, in that I've put a large dent in my disposable income on this trip. It's literally been the WORST circuit event I've had in 8 years of doing this for a living. If I had been reporting on a daily basis, you would have just seen an AVALANCHE of the nastiest, most unbelievable shit you've ever seen me talk about. To the point it might not even be believable. Sometimes, if I choose instead not to write about those 'runs' I hope they will just vanish from my memory. True...sometimes it helps ease the pain and suffering to talk about it. Not in this case. The best thing for me to do was retreat to my room, swallow an attivan, and slip off into a 9 hour coma.

SMART...in that any hopes of getting future backing would likely have been dealt a severe blow had a sold a package for this event...as the buy ins and bankroll would have long since been depleted. Causing some, if not most, of those investors...who have gotten rather used to 'MAKING' money off of me, to reconsider any future ventures with Poker Monkey, Inc! At least this way, no one lost but ME. And....well, this little trip is not quite over, yet!

My next trip...and most likely LAST trip...for quite possibly the rest of the year....comes in a couple weeks when I travel to South Florida to play that huge Hard Rock event. I'm sure my wife will try everything in her power to get me to skip it. But I've already paid for my hotel with a buddy. And those fields will be gigantic. And I fully intend to sell a package for that event. Unless....UNLESS...I get all the hands to FINALLY hold up...and can prevent all the horrendous suckouts....long enough to final table this Main Event...in which case...I might just go down there and play (again) on my own dime...in search of that down payment on a house in Biloxi for us.

So yeah...this trip has.....S-U-C-K-E-D!!!! I have literally bricked EVERY SINGLE tourney, EVERY SINGLE SNG (four all on the same day) and EVERY SINGLE MEGA.  Where I haven't been losing...which is pretty opposite of how I usually run while at a tourney...is in the cash room. More on that in a bit.

In the first big event on Saturday....I bought in only once (thankfully) and was eliminated in Level 14. Close enough to smell the money...but not taste it. I have gotten deep in just about everything I've played. But haven't cashed. In the 5pm Mega three nights ago...paying 10 seats...I busted 11th. Getting low on chips, I shipped A9d on the button, was called by Q10, and lost to a ten. Yeah...it hurt. The following night...in the 7pm nightly....with 5 getting paid....and 6 remaining...I moved all in with A10...was called by AJ...and lost to a jack. Two nights in a row..the stone cold bubble. Then the NEXT night...again in the mega....paying 11 seats...I busted 17th. Out of 135 players. AQ vs. 1010. 

One of the big quirks to this event? Rebuys....or, more accurately, re-entries...so you get to again and again and again...pay the rake and registration fees...for EIGHT levels. It really creates a shitty situation for you...because most of these players up here are just maniacs. They have ZERO value on their money at all. They will chase ANYTHING...knowing if they miss they can just go rebuy. Now, what is so asinine about that....is on the week day tourneys here? Where they have struggled just to make their guarantees? You have idiots rebuying 3 or 4 times...not taking into account that they now have to finish about 5th or higher just to break even. Stupid. So if you get there in Level 1...you stand a very real shot at getting wrecked by one of these inevitable episodes. And then what do you do? Give up? Try one more time? It sucks. I'm okay with re-entries, and I get it that the tournament directors are doing everything they can to make the tourney profitable for them. Okay? I get that. But 8 levels? I mean...coming back in after 6 levels is a joke. You are coming in usually with 12 or less BB's. And those players who come in then? They are usually just shoving left and right to get a double up. And what do you do when you have 18k-25k and are looking at 88/99 or AQ/AJ and that guy is shoving his 8-10k into your blinds? It creates a real 'spot' for you to basically just flip a coin on. And when it comes to coin flips this trip? I am running at about a 12.5% success rate.

Not only have I not seen SO many hands lose when ahead preflop on this trip in my OWN hand....I've seen so many OTHER players take the same kick in the face. It's been astonishing. And the propensity for which players will get it in bad is astounding. And the success rate for them is just unfair. Those tardballs have no business getting lucky that often. I watch players who I don't even like, but who are really solid players...do EVERYTHING right to get a shitty player to fold a shitty hand preflop, but who just DONT...and when they 'get there' and eliminate that player I don't like...I still feel like shit for him/her. It sucks. I don't care what ANYONE says about 'oh dude, you can't get upset! You want that guy making that play!' Really? Do I? Yeah...um....I'm not so sure I do.

Another thing I didn't understand. Saturday's $560 last weekend? 12k starting stack. Huge field. Wednesday's $560? Small field? I mean...tiny field. Starting stack? 10k. Why?  Does that make any sense?

My  biggest pet peeve continues to rear its ugly head in these tournaments. Although, to their credit, Adrian and his other floor supervisor on Wednesday caved to player pressure and finally agreed to lets us play 9-handed. Yeah. My pet peeve. Playing 10-handed. While we are surrounded by an abundance of open/empty tables...while dealers...sometimes five or six of them, sit together at an open table just chit chatting among themselves. This rankles me...and I know it pisses off a majority of the other players. That they keep jacking up the juice on us...which, whatever...what can you say? We keep showing up so we are the idiots if we want to bitch about it. I'm done bitching about the rake. Fuck it. It is what it is. They are charging what they can get away with. Capitalism, I get it. But my major complaint...we are PAYING more...but getting LESS. We don't ask for much in return for our increased fees that are charged to us. We get nothing in the way of comps. Very little in hotel discounts. No food. Really...pretty much nothing. When it comes to rules, some crews are a little more militant than others...some are so bad, we are treated like little children. Its borderline offensive in some places. Choctaw, to its credit, has not been ONE of those places.

All I ask....of ALL tournament directors nationwide..hell, WORLDWIDE...is if you DON'T have to seat us 10-handed, and I understand sometimes its unavoidable...when all the tables are jam packed, to the point of needing to go to alternates...then PLEASE let us play nine-handed. I know, I get it...it means you might have to pay out downs to 1 or 2 more dealers. Is saving that tiny amount of money really worth the majority of the players being irritated and uncomfortable? I would hope like hell its not. 

So last night...after busting out of the 5pm Mega...I looked in my wallet, and once was...well, a pretty fair amount when I got here...was now $340. That's it. Shit. There were no sit n gos going off. What should I do? Go pack? Get in my car? And drive home? My baby girl has been missing me so much this trip. She keeps walking into our bedroom in the morning, I'm told, looking for me, and crying when she can't find me. She takes my pillow off the bed...brings it out to the living room and lays her head down on it. We try to Facetime...and when she sees me she gets all upset. Which just makes ME upset. She is growing up so damn fast. And every minute away from her kills me. Which makes going on the road for a week or two weeks...and running bad...DOUBLY BAD. So getting in my car and driving home was looking like a VERY strong option last night. With lots to look forward to on the other side of the drive. 

I wandered up to the cash room. I bought in for $300. And for 4 hours I did nothing but hover around $300. Up down, up down...good run, bad run. Never busting, never getting up too far. Spinning my wheels. Missing my baby. Weighing the options of digging down for another $1620 to buy in directly into the Main on Friday or Saturday. 

Then it happened:

As though it had been ordained by a higher power. Welcome into the scene...the famous...DUFFEY. Yes, that's with an 'e' he was quick to point out. Demanding to be a part of my blog, picture and everything. He must have made reference to my blog over 100 times over the next 5 hours. Well, Duffey is a complete maniac at the 1/2 table. Raising with anything....no...not anything....A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G!!!! 2-7. Sure. 3-8. You bet. K-4? Of course. Nothing off limits. Playing against a player like this is VERY tricky. And requires you to make the decision to be willing to take some chances if you are going to have ANY success whatsoever against him. Calling a huge bet on the river with bottom pair? Most spots you would never consider it. Against Duffey? It's close to an automatic not-so-hero call on the river.

The Famous Duffey!

I made that conscious decision to loosen the reigns and just go with it. I was winning. And losing some...which always goes with the territory. And everytime he'd give away a huge portion of his stack...he'd quickly get it back playing his carefree kamikaze style of poker. 

Then....HE arrived:

The Unknown Maniac...who should get a 1% sweat of my Main Event!

He didn't share his name. But he too was adamant about 'making this blog that Duffey keeps talking about.' Get my picture man. Put me in there. I wanna see what you say about me. Do it! Okay...unknown player dude...you made it. Honestly, how could you NOT make it.

We were greeted by this guy initially, when he claimed to be waiting on an omaha seat to open up. He arrives at our table. Never sits down. Action to him. He's all in dark. For 200. Everyone is like..."Um...huh? Wtf?" Then he starts talking.

"Yo! Someone better call me. I'm just gonna stand here and shove dark every hand...one of you gonna be brave and call me or what?"  Typically you look at these people and think..."what an asshole! Guy thinks he's cool...nice $3 pot your picking up dipshit." But...for some reason...this guy was, well...entertaining. And as I would learn the rest of the night...he was no idiot. And was certainly a capable poker player. He just happen to REALLY like to gamble it up. And his fear-o-meter was stuck on ZERO.

He bought in with $200. This is no joke. In less than 20 minutes....he has accumulated over $2000. That stack in the picture? 20 minutes.

Then it began. Joining our table next...was a buddy of his, a guy named Chad. Who was nearly as crazy and reckless...but also a good player. Playing against these kind of players can be very unnerving, as the lady at our table was slowly unraveling as she sat there. She had been an early recipient of a double up with A10 against the guy pictured...but then had it dwindle away as she would call raises then just give up on her hand. 

Chad in the background...crazy whack-job in the foreground

Next to join our table was an absolute whack job. They guy looked a bit like an older Corey Feldman, and I'm positive, 100% certain that he was big into something...almost positive it had to be meth, maybe cocaine. But he was shaking like a leave...leg that never stopped shaking, eyes darting all over the place...incredibly erratic in every sense. He saw what kind of a table we had and decided he HAD to become part of the madness. If only I had thought to get video of him. He too had no problem allowing me to take his picture and talk about him. Dude...if you are reading this? YOU ARE A HOT MESS! HOLY SHIT!

Our table became an absolute shit show for the next three hours. It literally turned into a 10/20 game. If you played any hand..it was going to cost a minimum of $20. Fine. I got into a couple of really nice spots...one where I had enough chips to bluff Chad into folding 10-10 on a 9-2-2 (two spades) flop when I first re-raised his flop bet from 50 to 150...then shipped all in on the turn (6d) for an amount that had his $550 covered. Had it not been for having that stack...he never folds. I thought better of telling him I had A9...and chose instead to soothe his suffering by telling him I had QQ. I would win another huge pot a little while later with QQ...with Duffey providing the pot on that one. I would flop turn a straight against Slick (is what I've decided to call him) only to lose on the river when he filled up. Luckily he only had 110 on that hand. Had I won, I'd have gone over $2100.

His chips...and others'...had become MY chips.....

Basically...his stack from the time he sat down...and my stack...had flip-flopped. I was thinking about one thing, and one thing ONLY. This is my damn Main event buy in! All those tourneys I bricked. All those megas I bricked? This...this has been my 'Cash Game Mega Satellite' and to stay, will likely result in me getting crushed in some run of bad beats...try chasing it...then losing some more...and leaving wanting to kill myself. Also about this time...and now it was approaching 6am..and I'd already decided to NOT play the Main until Flight 1b on Saturday...our game was beginning to attract a LOT of attention. And here they came....the gunslingers. The guys with super deep pockets. Oh fuck. Now, Its not that I fear those guys. And yeah...the chance to get back my losses for the ENTIRE TRIP definitely presented itself...but the chance to play the Main Event...which will get about 700-800 players...has been provided to me. And why fuck that up?

Captain Seahawk grew tired of the Percy Harvin negativity...so stole all their chips!

So I finally did what I have failed to do SO MANY TIMES in the past. I gathered up four racks...and filled them all up. Said my goodbyes to the boys...most of whom were trying to get me to stay (of course they were!) and made my way to the counter...cashed out for $1926...and headed to my hotel. Finally...some glimmer of hope on this dreary trip so far. My head is right now. I got a great night of sleep. I got a LOT done today in my room...and I think after I post this, I will go play the 7pm $240 Mega. Who knows? If I win that...I take a couple thousand home with me AND get to take my shot in the Main event. If I lose? Big deal. I am still playing tomorrow. Kind of freeroll I guess.

So...there ya go! Monkey's most non-excellent adventure lives on for at least another day! Sorry I haven't posted this whole trip...but I assume you understand. Hopefully tomorrow or the next day I have something very positive to write about.