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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Synopsis: Hard Rock Main Event

I promised you a conclusion to the carrot-dangling I left you with in my last post. I can tell you one thing, after I get THIS post out of the way...I'm about to hit you with some scandal that should get my 'hits-per-day' graph going haywire like it's accustomed to doing. Why? Some of you know. Still others have a hunch. Let's just say, I was willing to 'let it go' with a certain individual, taking care of 'my end' of the loose ties that were involved in a business 'deal' we had made with each other. Unfortunately, the guy I'm dealing fu**ing insane. I don't use that word lightly. I know it's common to hear a guy talk about his ex-girlfriend and decorate her memory by calling her names like 'crazy bitch' or 'psycho.' This is normal. Almost always over-exaggerated, but normal.

Well, this is a situation where the person on the other end of this 'mess' is certifiably insane. I have saved every piece of correspondence I've had with it text messages or emails...and had several others forwarded to me from other people...and it is not even a question as to whether this guy is 3 quarters short of a buck. Well, like I said, I took care of 'my end' of things...and thought it was over. My wife was glad to be rid of the guy from our lives. And to be honest, the last two weeks, not hearing a peep from his crazy ass...and just being able to spend time with my family, watch great football games, and just 'chill' before I take my pilgrimage out to Arizona to play in the big baseball tourney next week...has been a delight.

Then he comes again. And finally...I decided I'd had enough. It's one thing to have someone tell you something like...."Hey man, blah blah blah-ba-dee-bah...I'm gonna kill you man!" It's another all together to have a guy tell you that no matter what you do, he is going to go to the end of the Earth to see that your world is detroyed, that he is going to 'light your world on fire.' Then tells you he is going to introduce you to 'for hire m.f'ers' to solve his dispute with you? Well, I think there reaches a limit to the things I can simply ignore. Maybe before I had Carley, I would just roll the dice, and assume that the guy was just a blowhard...and just look the other way.

But now, I have a lot more at stake. I have a girl who's life I want to see go places, and with me in it. I want to be around to provide for her, to protect her, to teach her things...and to derive pleasure from her life in the twilight of mine. And to have some delusional psychopath interfere with those plans? By acting out on some vendetta he allowed himself to dredge up against me for what reason I still haven't figured out? No. Not going to happen. Yes, I have life insurance...and for a good amount...should anything happen to me. And in that regard, I would have Carley 'taken care of.' But leaving Carley's life when she's not even two yet? No...that's not an option I want to deal with. So on Monday, maybe Tuesday, since Monday is a pretty busy day for me, and Carley goes to her sitter on Tuesdays...I plan on making a trip to the local field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with my laptop in tow...and a record of all interactions with this maniac, and press charges against him, while also requesting a restraining order that makes it illegal for him to be within a certain distance from me. Why bother with this? For a person who lives in St. Louis? For one reason only. He claims to be making a 'full effort' this year to attend a lot of poker tourneys. Well...if I should happen to decide to attend one of these events, I want to make sure he isn't able to enjoy his experience there tormenting me. I will simply pull out the piece of paper, and let security escort his ass off the property.

I know, I've probably already told you too much. If you played in my poker club on Pokerstars...then you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. If you didn't, I have unfairly teased you, and I'm sorry. For the record, I no longer HAVE a poker club on Pokerstars. The reasons are numerous. All players who played with me...ALL OF THEM...have been refunded ALL the money they had on account with me. Meanwhile, there are still 11 players who owe me money...a fair amount too, almost $1000. I have yet to threaten to kill any of these people, or taken to slander to get them to pay...nor try to assassinate their character. I simply email them about every five days and politely ask them to please pay me the money they owe. It's how I've always chosen to do business with people who owe me money. Something about attracting more flies with honey...or however that old saying goes.

In the next few posts, I will share a LOT of information with you people. Why? Well, the death threats for one. But more importantly, I know some people in poker don't 'like me.' And that's fine. I'm not easy to like for some people. So I'm okay with that. But one thing no one has ever said about that I'm someone who is a thief, or a scam artist, a crook, whatever. With the possible exclusion of some of you who think my 'staking deals' are overly criminal. You guys will just not be budged on your views of the poker staking rules, and I'm not about to even TRY changing your views.

Well, this person, who I will introduce you to...a lot of you either know him, or know OF him...has decided, and I honestly, 100% don't know ruin me. To paint the ugliest picture of me to anyone who will listen. Running around telling people I owe him money (which I don't) that I ripped people off (I didn't) that I am broke (I'm certainly not) and a variety of other stories. He told me that even 'if I got right with the money' (as it pertained to the club members who I required 7-10 day to refund) with everyone, it didn't matter, he would spend 20 years if necessary to 'light my world on fire.' So here is a guy who despite TRYING to deal with rationally, decided, again...for reasons I can't begin to comprehend, to declare Jihad on me. He has already been skipping around the tournament circuit talking shit about me. Now, granted, there are quite a few 'actual losers' in the poker community who I could really give two shits less what they think of me. And the guys who 'really' know me, would never believe any thing that comes vomiting from this guys mouth. So from a certain point of view, I don't really care TOO MUCH about his attempts to ruin my reputation. After all, we are talking about a reputation in a world, or rather, a cross section of the world...where more unsavory individuals reside than any I've ever taken part in as long as I've walked this planet. 

The fact that I've decided I am pretty sick of poker, in general...kind of makes this almost a moot point. But, I think about things like..."Hmm...suppose me not going to play much anymore will cause people to hear these maniac-generated rumors and conclude that I went broke, tried to rip people off, failed, went into a desperate pit of despair, and just vanished!?? Will there be people naive and gullible enough to fall for that kind of a BS tale, spun by a guy who has been kicked out of and banned from more casinos than even I have!!??"  The answer to that question?  PROBABLY! I mean, we are talking about poker players here. Who really seem to thrive on drama and controversy, whether its true or not. 

No. I'm tired of poker. I'm tired of travel. I miss my daughter when I'm gone. Too much. I hate the people at the table. I hate what the game has turned into. Can't stand SO much about poker, that it's just not fun anymore. And it's too hard to make a living doing it. Too many idiots ruining the game. I often think it might just be easier to make a profit playing roulette or blackjack nowadays. The only thing I have any desire whatsoever to do in poker? Show up for events and play the last 5 days. The last event, usually a $1k, maybe a $1500...before the Main. Play the mega satellites. Then play the Main. Then leave when that is over. Period. Go for big scores. Screw all the prelims. Screw all the grinding, the 10-12 hour tourneys only to lose to a guy who will play any two cards in any level and not give a shit if he loses. Fuck that. At least in Main Events, there is a semblance of 'actual' poker being played. And I will talk about why I enjoyed the Main Event down in Hollywood so much...why it left me with just a smidgeon of a desire to keep playing this game. And not just quit cold turkey.

Back to this prick. I used to care a LOT more about my reputation. I have always had a lot of pride. And I am proud to say there are things about me I have never had to defend. And for someone to try and dismantle me by attacking those things? Well, there is a limit to my ability to 'look the other way.' While I might not really CARE what a lot of the people in the poker community think about me? I do CARE that people at least get a chance to hear MY SIDE of certain allegations that might cause them to carry an overly negative impression of me, and of who I am, or what I represent. So....there you go, you have THAT to look forward to in a future post...probably this upcoming week. As I mentioned, I am going out to Arizona, to play in a 40+ baseball tourney, the same one I played in two years ago with Chad Brown and a bunch of other guys I played with 20+ years ago while living in NYC. Chad is a last-minute decision on whether he is going to make it due to some health concerns. I'm really rooting for him to make it. We play 2 games a day for 6 days...all on fields used by MLB teams in spring training. It's a blast! I found a batting cage (finally) here in Biloxi and have been working on my swing all week. I'm seeing the ball well, and making great I'm pretty fired up about playing for a week! I just hope my banged up knees and bad back stay away for 7 days!

Okay...time for my Main Event story from Hollywood? Even though it was what? About a month ago!!?? Hey time flies when you've spent the whole month rooting and watching you and your wife's four favorite football teams improve to Seattle Seahawks...on the heels of today's incredible 20-3 comeback to win in overtime against Houston, our local Saints, who just POUNDED previously unbeaten Miami on UW Huskies improving to 4-0 against Arizona...and of course, the Crimson Tide...taking care of 'that team with all the weapons from Oxford' this weekend to also go to 4-0. Now...I don't expect this to hold up. My Seahawks should have lost probably Sunday...and next week they have to play AT maybe we lose there. Any my Huskies? Well, our next three opponents are Stanford, Oregon, and Arizona State. We will be fortunate to win ONE of those. Winning two will be AWESOME. All three? Highly unlikely. But winning all three would likely put us into the Top 5 in the nation. Hey...ya never know! The Saints, they have to go on the road to Chicago and New England, ouch! Bama, on the other hand...has four games they should win by three TD's or more coming up before they play LSU at home. I don't know, Arkansas might be tough. They almost caught Texas A&M yesterday. But LSU...that will be a war...and 'Bama better get their offensive woes figured out in October. But a 16-0 September!??? Nice!


(warning: this is about to fairly long! those who can't handle it, I suggest you simply leave now!) sidetracked! Hollywood, Florida. The Main Event: having satellited my way in the previous night, took a gigantic amount of pressure off me personally. I had a punishing trip to Choctaw on my previous trip, all on my own dime. For Hollywood, I sold a package, and the trip had been as bad or worse than Choctaw. It was really disappointing to, because there were so many positives about the trip. A great tourney room. Excellent structures. Great turnout. Good dealers and floor staff. I mean, it was a recipe to run good, and I just hadn't run good at all. 

Well, the Main Event started out great. For the most part. My table draw was pretty soft. There were two good players, one of them Joey Kuether, who I chopped a $550 Venetian event with a couple years ago. Guy is a really good player. So when he got into a raise, re-raise...RE-raise, all in matchup with the biggest donkey at the table...Joey sporting (duh!) pocket aces, and the donkey holding (standard) pocket would only stand to reason that the poker gods would allow for the two-outer to hit. Stupid. But to be honest, I would rather the fish have those chips than the beast. But I still felt bad for JK.


The Fish: This guy was horrible. I mean, just horrible. And what was hilarious, was that all the good players kept trying to bluff the guy. At one point, I even said, "I can't believe you guys keep trying to bluff him!" But I said it in a playful, non-offensive way...why? Because, I was busy trying to be his buddy...crediting him when he made horrendous plays. Why? Because I just knew there would come a time when I would need that 'buddy love' with him to get him to fold some ridiculous hand where he ends up sucking out on the river. Ugh. Remember that. Meanwhile...he was putting one brutal blow after another on players who started out with much superior hands. It was both amazing, and painful to watch. 

Have you ever had one of those players at your table who just defied logic and/or common sense? Where you were dying to be able to get inside of someone's brain to see just what in the hell they are/were thinking? How they come about making the decisions they do? This was this guy...times ten. I can't remember ALL the plays now, as a month has passed...but it was just mind-boggling. 

One such hand was against this little bitch. And I don't really like (these days at least) to light into opposing players too much from a personal sense, but this girl was really, really, really, really an asshole. And she possessed every annoying habit you could ever fathom. The gum-chewing, the chip riffling, the long tanks in between each betting street, the eye-glare at her adversary. Oh I hated her...and pretty much the whole table hated her. The worst thing about her though? Was the way she made her bets. She would literally THROW her chips out. In a rapid-fire process. My whole side of the table would groan and cringe every time she put chips in play. By about the 3rd or 4th orbit at our table (she took the place of a player the fish busted) I was ready to cut off her hands.

Her and I would end up getting into a verbal spat. It started with something real simple, the coloring up of the green chips. I had the most, and was asked to handle buying up the other players' greens. Typical, as I like to build as large of stacks as possible for what I consider a psychological edge. She was the last person at the table, and was taking her sweet time getting around to it. She only had 4 chips. And instead of stacking them and politely handing them to me, she instead spray-fires all of them in my direction. I just sat there, looking at the chips, and staring at her. Pretty sure she got the message, unless she was mentally challenged to the point of just not getting what a rude little bitch she was. She got up and walked away to enjoy her break, which I'm sure consisted of her killing a puppy, or stealing a baby.

I don't even remember what the 'spat' was about. Whatever it made me extra delighted when I watched her donk away half her stack trying to bluff The Fish...after he somehow got into a hand with Q5 suited...flopped a queen...and would never fold, on the flop, the turn or the river when she blasted a HUGE bet on the river...he says the word 'call' and she rifled her cards at the dealer and starts huffing and puffing. I covered my mouth and started giggling to myself like a little girl. 

One bad player got busted out of the 4 seat, and in comes Olivier Busquet. Not familiar with that name? Most of you 'good' or 'experienced' players know who he is. He won the Borgata Open Main Event the year before Dwight Pilgrim, he's a host on one of the poker shows...I don't know which, I don't follow televised poker very closely. He has somewhere around $3m in career winnings, and is one of the players I literally fear and respect the most in poker. The year 'The Duke' won that Main Event at Borgata, I had one of my nastiest table draws of all time...with my good friend Christian Iacobellis, who would eventually make the Final Table (of 10) which played for 3 hours before losing a player (it would be Christian...who I had a 10% swap with)...four other really good players whose names I don't recall, and Olivier. 

If you've never played with this guy...well, it's quite an experience. So when he sat down at our table, and pulled out a receipt and his ID, I knew he was coming off a rebuy...which, if I was counting correctly, was at least his second. So I figured he would be in the mood to chip up quickly. Players like him don't like to sit around playing tight early in tourneys. And while it was Level 6 and not really 'early'...the fact that they were allowing rebuys up until the dinner break...and guys like him play with deep pockets, I knew he would come in firing.  I was right.

I had 6 hands against him. I won ALL six. The last one I took from him...I took all of his chips. I spent an entire day playing with this guy 3 years ago. Of learning from him. Of learning about him. It was literally, an experience that left me feeling totally overmatched and outclassed. I hated it that day...a day when I would min-cash for $9000...and could have, or probably WOULD have...gotten a lot deeper if I possessed the skill set that I have today than I did then. 

One hand that I remember specifically from that day? I was in the SB with AQ. A very active player raised utg+2. No surprise there. Another player called. It folded to Olivier...who 3-bet. It folded to me, and I just decided AQ was not where I wanted to be in between these two, who had already had numerous battles. I decided to let AQ go. Predictably, the original raiser...4-bet. This hand went on for about 10-15 minutes. And never saw a flop! It got to the 7th raise....when Oliver shoved all in...into a massive pot. The other guy finally folded, and Olivier showed QJ off suit. I remember wanting to throw up in my mouth. And feeling like a total pussy. That day, I just felt so inferior at the poker table. taught me a lot. It made me a better player. I feel that as a poker player, you HAVE to have those kind of experiences to improve. 

So, back to the present. I pick up 10-10 in early position and raise. I am in the 2-seat by the way. Two seats over, Olivier re-pops it. No one calls, as it folds back around to me. 

THE SPOT: This is where Olivier excels. He finds the player at the table he feels like he can exploit. For whatever perceived weakness he feels they may possess. In my case, I think he had me painted as the 'tight guy' who can be three-bet on a regular basis, and who will cave in and fold. Good players have that skill...and they use it like masters to build their stack. I knew this about him. He could have anything there, literally ANY two cards. I wasn't backing down. Yes...I REALLY needed to cash this tournament...and try to at least salvage a horrible trip, but...if I sat there and let this guy bully me around all day, I was just going to hemorrhage away all my chips by raising only to fold. So I was forced to draw a line in the sand. This was where I needed to take my stand. 

I called the raise. The flop came all under cards. Something like 4-6-8. Which...honestly, could be right in his wheel house. I could totally envision him re-raising me there with 5-7 suited (the nuts!). But it was time to sack up. I felt like check-raising there was not the way I wanted to go...and since the pot was already juicy, felt like leading out, and possible taking down the pot right there...would be a substantial win for me at that point. So I did. I bet much I can't remember now. It's not really important. 

Another thing about Olivier...his body language, his facial expressions...his eyes, they never deviate. He has very consistent mannerisms. Which make it incredibly hard to pick up any kind of tells or reads. Well, he went into his 'act' before using a little time to think, (this is one guy who does NOT tank like this fucktards who watch too much poker on TV) then he raises me. Fuck. How did I not KNOW that was coming?

Now it was my turn to squirm. To decide if he was making a move, putting pressure on...or if he actually had something. Something that was better than my over pair. Shit. We all know this feeling. It's pretty much do or die right there. And to be's ONE of the last vestiges of poker that I enjoy...from a pure competitive standpoint. And its why I still enjoy poker when I'm in a Main Event (usually, as the story about The Fish is still upcoming) because you get so many of these spots where you are simply matching wits against another equally or superior player. When you make the right play, and it works out...there is no bigger rush. It's like smacking a line drive double into the gap to clear the bases and give your team a lead in the 8th inning. Or crushing a bomb over the fence after striking out your first two at-bats against a guy who has been abusing you all game. It's that same feeling, and its what drives me in poker. 

I decided, if he actually had a monster there...knowing how he plays, knowing what I've learned about him...that he wouldn't go all in. He would simply re-raise me, build the pot a little bigger, hope I sacrificed that remainder of my chips to him in a losing cause. Yeah...that HAD to be right. He was just trying to make me fold, and drag a huge pot. I move ALL IN.

And unlike so many of these other little jackwads...who will sit there and bleed about 5 minutes off the clock while they go through the whole catalog of annoying rituals before they fold...this ISN'T that guy. He snap folds, tells me 'good hand' and that was it. Somehow I felt robbed. Wait. that was too fast. Nice hand? Fold? Well....okay. I showed my hand. He made that facial expression that says, "Hmm...okay." My stomach returned to its proper place, the blood went back to pumping through my body...and it was on to the next hand.

But he did something I don't see him do a lot. He questioned me about the hand. Did I really think 10-10 was good there? Did I not put him on a bigger hand? Admitted to having a "piece of the board, but didn't think my four was going to be any good!" which tells me he must have three-bet me with something like A4 maybe even 4-5. Who knows. But my answer to him either tilted him, or he was respectful of it. I hope the latter, because I respect that guy as much or more than anyone in poker. 

"Olivier, I had you at my table all day at Borgata a few years ago. And you taught me a lot about poker that day. About my weaknesses. And you pushed and bullied me around all day. When you sat down here, I made a decision that I wasn't letting that happen again. Trust me, I wasn't happy to see you here." I got some raised eyebrows from the other players. He didn't say I don't know how that was taken by him.

The hand that I eliminated him on...came when he min-raised my big blind...which he did frequently. I made an easy call with KQs. We were heads up. The flop brought a king and two rags. I checked...figuring he would bet. He did. I just called. 

Okay, some of you might ask: Why not raise there? Two answers. (1) Pot control. If I raise there, there is a great possibility that he will re-pop me. Which then means I am decision-making mode for my whole tourney. I'm not ready to do that with that hand. Not in that spot. (2) Knowing the player...I know he will generally three-barrel any hand where he was the original raiser...which means, I can get three streets of him barrel-bluffing into me...whereas, if I check raise the flop, I probably stand an equal chance of losing him. Because while I mentioned pot control, and his voracity to put pressure on me there by re-popping me if I led out, or even check raised...there is just a good of chance that he just goes away...having already lost his only other FIVE hands against me. He might just decide (as many of us often do) that I'm that 'one guy I just can't seem to beat today.'

SO yeah, I flatted his bet. The turn brought another under card. No flush out there. No real straight possibilities. I check again. He bets again. I snap call. I'm trying to figure out what he is putting me on that he keeps betting. But he never really gives much he could just as likely have a small set there...but I don't think so. I think he is just bombing every street in hopes to make me fold. So when another rag hit the river, and he goes all in, for what I think was 22k...and I already had about 12k of my stack in just felt like a desperation heave...with it being Level 8...the last level before the dinner break, which would also be the last chance to rebuy/re-enter. I called. He mucked his cards, looked at me, told me 'nice hand' and exited with grace and class. I felt AWESOME. My stack looked AWESOME. I just eliminated who I regarded as one of the best players in poker. Wow! 

Feelings like THOSE? Those feelings are what make poker fun...that make all the misery that goes with poker, worth it. And those moments are so few and far between. But for those fleeting moments when they DO occur? They're amazing.

The rest of Day One simply sucked balls. And was a return to all the things I hate about fuckheads in poker.

I won't even get into all the ugly details, because honestly, who really gives a shit? I mean, I don't, and I'm the one who experienced it, so I doubt you want to hear about it. But...there was THE one hand...where I was left feeling that sick, angry feeling of "Not again...not freaking I going to play lights out poker, build a healthy stack, only to lose them all to the ONE idiot remaining at the table!!!"

The Fish limps...under the gun...with, I will just go ahead and tell you; Jack Ten off suit. I look down at KK. I raise. Obviously. I don't min-raise. I raise 3.25x. It folds back to my buddy in the 1-seat. He calls. we go. The flop comes Q-J-3. Good. No ace. He checks. I bet 8,000. (I don't remember what the blinds were at that point, just what I bet on every street). He calls. King Ten? Not THAT likely, since I have KK. KQ? Again not as likely. Two pair? No...he would have raised. Set of threes? Again..he would have raised. WTF!???? The turn is a five. Okay...good card (I think)...he checks, I bet 12,000! He calls AGAIN! Now I'm putting on the breaks. Even a king on the river worries me now. The river is a second jack. Surely I'm good NOW, right? Two pair? He checks...again! Fuck it...I'm not betting...there is a ton in that pot...and if I bet and he shoves, what do I do. I call that a 'zero-equity' spot to bet there. I check. Thank god. He turns over the jack ten and I just about lose my shit. That hand really, really fucked me up mentally. I got up from the table and took about a five-minute walk. 

About 20 minutes later...our table broke. Thank GOD! I arrive at my new table...and...holy shit, out of 44 tables in the room, guess who came with me to the new table?

Yep! Amazing. And the cycle of shit would continue. I discussed this guy with my end of the table, enough so that any dipshit with A5 on the button might have thought twice about raising when dodo limped in for 1600 from middle position...choosing to either fold, instead...or just smooth calling. But no...this moron raises. Forcing me to fold in the big blind with 7-8...which I would have loved to see a flop with. The Fish calls. Of course he does. He doesn't fold...his fold BUTTON is disabled. The flop comes...oh! How convenient, 8-7-2. @(*$#@*$^#

Check. Bet. Call. Yeah. This guy...the fish...called the flop bet with QJ off suit. Two overs. The turn? A queen! Check. Bet. Call. Just calls! Ha! River...3. He checks again. Bozo with A5 attempts what so many others have tried before him (unsuccessfully) and bets huge. Fish just calls...and tables his hand. I want to punch A5 boy in the face...for he just cost me...hell, I might have felted the fish on the hand. But instead, the Fish just chipped up big. It would get worse. The Fish was in the big blind...I look at AJ. The dork in the 1-seat (A5 kid) raises under the gun. I decide, since I'm at a new table...that I better let AJ go. It's such a weak hand out of position. The Fish calls in the big blind. The flop comes Jack high. Same story....lots of betting. Fish wins. I WOULD have won. Kill me!

I simply held on...made it through Day One...bagged up an annoying amount of chips....just above what I started the day with...and left feeling very irritated with the last two levels of the night, but happy to at least be coming back, some 300 or so away from the money in an event that started with over 2000 players.


Before my initial starting table broke, I sat there card dead, with someone always raising behind me when I had a hand and position to maybe pick up some blinds with a raise. Or I'd raise and someone who shove all in against me holding a hand I couldn't begin to think about calling with. It was looking bleak. I would finally pick up a real hand...TWICE...queens once and then kings...and got NO action. The numbers were dwindling though...and to cash was $7500...which would get my backers HALF of their investments back almost...which was obviously my first goal/hurdle. My table broke, and I got moved to a table that was swimming in chips. Good gawd. That is always a nightmare.

Barely speaking English...I thought he was from Spain, turns out he was from Switzerland, he managed to use his skill and bravado to cash in the Main Event for 3rd place. And I'm sorry, but I LOVE that scarf!!!

And when the guy you see pictured here, who would end up finishing third in this event for around half a million bucks, raised with K10 for like 5500...and called a short stacks all in for 34,000...that guy holding AQ....he hits a king (of course he does), wins the hand, eliminates the player...who stormed off screaming, and looks at me out of the corner of his eye, and mutters...."committed." No he wasn't saying he thought the guy who just left should be committed to a psyche ward, though maybe that was a possibility too. No..he was suggesting that he was pot committed to call the guy. And yeah...he had over 300k...and you can maybe make a case for him. I guess. But it was letting me know...that if I were about to make an all in play before we made the better be a pretty good hand. That or I could sit there and fold my way to the money...then hope I can catch fire after getting into the money. 

I'll cut to the chase. I made the money. Phew! Then on the first hand after making the money...a guy I know real well from years of circuit grinding raises my BB from the button...with, ah! My favorite hand...K9. I can't fold A5 with 5 BB's. We get heads up all in preflop...and I win for a double up....and after winning a couple more hands, I was now in manageable shape to get at least a little deeper. I managed to get into the next pay level...and was hoping to get to the next one...

That is one of the things I do in Main Events. I call it 'clearing hurdles.' There are so many players that make the money and just start getting it in bad, happy to have made it that far. And then you have more who are hell bent on just running over the table and will get it in bad constantly to just try and bust everyone. I like to sit there and make money while people play stupid poker. Not that I'm going to cut loose a decent hand. But I'm never getting it in without at LEAST a Top 15-20 hand when I'm sitting at 15 BB's or less. 

So...with 303 showing on the board, players remaining that is....and the blinds at 2500/5000 and me sitting with 39,000 now...a little under 8 BB's...there is an early raise to 12,500 by a very active player. And because he is SO active, he gets two callers...since no one respects his raises much. It gets to me on the button, and I look down at 77. I would love to KNOW what each and every one of you would do in this spot. Flatting for a third of your chips, to stupid. For what? To hit a 7.2 to 1 shot? I can see if your in the BB maybe paying the extra 7500...masking the strength of your hand...and hoping to flop gin. But in the BB...shoving all in there often looks like nothing but a steal...and regularly gets called by at least one player. And yeah...shoving on the button also looks pretty shady.

But I had a very good table image, a tight image...having only showed big hands in previous spots. So as soon as I moved all in, I could see by the body language that I was being given credit for a big hand. I was perfectly fine (obviously) with everyone folding...picking up a whopping 60k (almost twice my stack) and going to close to 100k and really being able to maneuver now. Or just get one call and win a heads up flip for an even bigger pot. I get called by two guys. It checks all the way to the river...and I really was thinking I might have just quadrupled up. But the first guy turns over A9...having hit the nine on the turn. Shit.

I was out. 303'rd I thought. But when I got to the payout desk, I was informed that I was the 300th finisher, which put me on the pay increase line...and I made an extra $ that kind of eased the pain of being eliminated for the time being. 

It was a good run. It was a much needed run. All my backers got about half of their original investment back. All of them were quickly paid...except one guy...who I can't to respond to my emails! And I owe him like $560. Hopefully he is okay, health wise. 

This blog is already WAY WAY WAY to long...but I didn't want to half ass it. Oh! That's funny. Heard a guy yesterday, actually it was in an email...tell me he didn't want to 'half fast' it. It was in regards to our NHL Fantasy draft last night. Half Fast! I didn't have the heart to correct him. I thought it was hilarious.'s now Tuesday. I took a little break while writing this monster post. As I mentioned earlier in this post...I have some things to take care of now...its around noon, Carley is at the babysitter today, and I need to get these things taken care of.

Also need to visit the batting cage, and the gym to work on some cardio. Stepped on the scale yesterday, while picking up my dogs from the vet...and couldn't believe my eyes! I was at 265 about 45 days ago, and really hating it. Yesterday...with 6 days till I fly to Phoenix for a week of hard ball in the desert....248 lbs!!! YES! So this whole week..its going to be cardio, cardio, and more cardio...lots of pushups and crunches, some swimming...and lots of water. If I can get to 235 before I leave...that would be incredible! Okay...240. That would be just as great. I'll probably lose another five pounds out there sweating my ass off for a week!!!


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