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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Poker For Dummies

That seems like the perfect title for this blog post.

Oh, whoever 'KL' is? And I've established that it isn't my friend Kai Landry...two things, (a) the comment 'widget' on my blog layout is messed up, has been for awhile now, and comments aren't showing up in their designated even if I did 'approve' your comment...which I very well may have, it won't show up anyway. Oh, and (b) I will go ahead and address your comment, since I don't dodge people and their opinions very often:

"Maybe if you go look in the mirror and do exactly what you recommended in your blog your life would be much better too. You have become so negative it is unbearable to be around you. KL on How to Silence a Lunatic...."

Mmmm..yes, let's address your comment. I avoid mirrors at all costs. That being said, I'm not sure what you mean by my life being better. I can't think of a time in the last decade, maybe even two...when I've been MORE happy with my life. My marriage is great. My relationship with my daughter is perfect. My finances are sound. My dogs are both still alive and relatively healthy. My favorite team just won the Super Bowl. My baseball team might actually have a decent season. (Mariners) My car is great, is paid off, and has just had video screens added to please my whole family.  I've lost some weight, and am eating much healthier, and have an Elliptical in my room to motivate me to stay in shape. Nope..I can't think of what could possibly be going on around me that could improve that much. But seriously, thank you for your advice, KL. You say I have become so negative it is unbearable to be around me? Who are you KL? Are you someone who is 'around me' on a regular basis? There are really only about FIVE people I know who are around me enough to have been driven to those extremes, and none of them have those initials. I won't lie. I'm stumped.

Regardless, I will address that. You clearly are NOT a good friend of mine. For, if you would understand that you are mistaking my 'negativity' for what it really is, 'intelligent cynicism.' Huh, you ask? Exactly. You are a bit most of the things I say...are said in sarcastic tones of humor that simpleton's will never, and ARE never, expected to get. It's humor by design. It's the reason I tend to get into 'altercations' in places that lack smart humans. Because sometimes, I might not even be talking to or about them...however, since they can't figure out my humor...because it tends to be WAY over their head...the assume in their stupidity that I must, certainly, be talking about them. Sorry, chief, you aren't that important. In fact, I was talking about the political situation in Ukraine and what it's impact on the European Union will be if Moscow decides to annex Crimea and then move on Ukraine itself. But you go ahead and insist that I'm making fun of you over there in seat ferret!

So...yeah, uh...I've 'become' so negative I'm unbearable to be around. Tsk. I don't want to share oxygen with people who don't 'get me.' My wife? Little Miss Nice to Everyone Girl? She 'gets me.' She doesn't necessarily like it...but she GETS IT...and gets ME...and knows all the good that exists inside of me...probably why she married me. Maybe? Ya think? To those who think I'm just a grumpy OMRG in training, who aspires to become a curmudgeon who spends my afternoons yelling at kids to stay out of my yard? I've got you fooled. So, stay fooled. And maybe someday I will come by your house with a bottle of RoundUp and spray the words 'Village Idiot' on your front yard.

Breathe! Whoa...that was quite a rant. I'm almost exhausted.

It's March Madness. I entered 13 brackets in my pool that attracted 689 entries...up from 559 last year. After bed-shitting performances from Syracuse, Duke, Villanova, and Kansas, I think I can safely conclude that this will be yet another year of sniffing NO money in the annual event. It's amazing how incredibly bad I run. And I go out of my way to mix it up with all different variations too.

The teams I decide to root for in March Madness are the teams with players who decide to stay at their school longer than one season. Give me a team with 5 white guys who are all seniors and have no chance of every making the NBA. That's my team! Are there any teams out there like that? Probably not. Maybe Creighton? I'd have to research it, and frankly I don't have that kind of free time. It's all I can do to try and blog once a week. I am taking advantage of Carley taking a nap to do this post. I already banged one out this morning for my 'pay me' blog site...which, again (a  lot of you keep asking, its not difficult) to see it,  just click that crazy looking monkey up there on the right hand side...and it takes you directly to that blog.. It's all original content. Some of it is stuff I post there because I don't want to hurt certain people's feelings. Don't ask.

NO! Not how I want to see Erin!

Yes! This is how I want to see Erin!
 Some of you recall that I had a monster celebrity crush on Erin Andrews. I'd like to declare that crush as being officially dead. DEAD. It started with that fucking Pro-Biotics commercial. Something about her voice in that thing grated on me. Then it was her switch to Fox Sports...and hearing her in the studio. And watching her act like she is all chummy chummy with every athlete, acting like she is one of them in every interview she does. Just annoying. Well, the final straw came when Dancing with the Dipshits decided to get rid of Brook Burke, who I've always thought was a rockin hottie...and to add to it, she's incredibly classy and soft favor of Erin. Well, after one episode that I forced myself to sit through...I almost sawed off both of my ears. Unbearable. That voice could kill cancer. So yeah. She's dead to me.

Brooke doing what Brooke does best.....

Well, unless you count THIS....and yeah, that's much better!!!

Poker? Yeah, I've played a little. I'm coming off of two of my worst cash sessions of the at Coushatta (imagine that) that other coming this past Tuesday night at Golden Nugget. That one first. I went to play the Tuesday night 10/20 Omaha hi/lo game that attracts pretty much the same people every Tuesday. Calling ahead to get on the list is a good idea. Like, around 2pm. It starts promptly at 6pm. I didn't call til 5, and hence was #12 on the list. And they all showed up. So it took me two hours of playing mind-numbing 4/8 limit hold em before I got a seat. I should have stayed on the hold em table, as I was up $150 when I finally got my seat.

I sat in the 8 seat, which I was informed by the lady in the 2 seat, after about 2 hours of sitting there losing every hand...that the seat was cursed. That she had sat there losing in that seat for three hours. Now I'm usually not superstitious to that degree...but after hearing that, I was starting to think she might have been right. Even more so after I flopped the nut flush with 6  in the hand...only to lose to a full house on the river...yeah...the 'ol paired board on the river. Thanks dealer. My whole night was like that. I literally lost with a full house SIX times. When I got AA in my hand...I was oh for six. Not as crazy as in hold em with aces...but still, oh for six? Two of those times, I flopped a set. It was painful. And when I did finally get to move seats, I actually started to crawl out of the hole a little bit....grinded my 580 buy in...which had dipped to 150...then saw me rebuy for 300 more...putting me at -880....all the way back up to 650...with a shot of at least getting even in sight, only to EVAPORATE.

If you play Omaha...either high only, or high/low split...then you will know what I  mean when I say its a game that just kind of reaches into your body and removes your soul, one confidence-crushing hand at a time.  I was left with no desire to see a playing card for at least a day or five.

That final session at Coushatta? Pffft. That was just a product of the environment mostly. Do not come from a broken table at 2am, on a Friday night...with 4 racks of chips. It's like rolling around in broken glass and doing a cannonball into a pool of sharks to impress people. You are not getting out of that pool alive. Just as I did not get out of that game alive. I had spent 9 hours grinding in that place, after a relatively early exit from the Main Event, which I will address in a second...and had nothing, literally NOTHING else to do. I couldn't even go to my room...since it had been invaded by Lurky Nicholson, who, with Ashley Butler had arrived from their cross-country trek from Bay 101 in Barth's a place that was sold out of rooms. So they were in there sleeping. Cash game it was.

I started out good. That wouldn't last long. Then this guy showed up. get a picture. I have nothing really personal to say about this guy. He called himself a lawyer. He probably was. At first he was entertaining. Very colorful. All this despite being covered in LSU 'shit.' He was a welcomed addition at our otherwise boring table. After about two hours I was hungry for boring. He was one of those guys who liked to raise with shit...then show his shit when everyone folded...and start cooing about it. Or we would get heads up...and he would make some stupid three times the pot bet...I would fold, and he would show me air. Yeah...needless to say, his act wore thin pretty quickly. But I didn't act like a jerk. I just stayed calm. It actually started to turn against him...after I got into a huge hole. I was stuck about 600 on the session and then just reached in for 1000 and declared war. It worked.

I would bust him three different times. He finally gave up around midnight...and to be honest, it felt pretty fucking wonderful. I stayed at the table and grew my stack to about 1900...was finally in the black...and still had a relatively full poker room.

Then the shit hit the fan. Yup.  My table broke. And I got moved to a full table. Me and my four racks of chips. And as I sat down I could read their minds. We've all (well most of us)  been in that spot, either as the one with the chips, or the ones at the table watching that new player show up. How did he get those chips? Bluffing a lot? Being a maniac? Aggressive prick? Bully? Was he actually just good? Well, I got zero credit for having earned any of those chips. I sat there for two hours...and lost every single one of those another 1000 that I walked out and stole from the ATM. That machine was the ONLY one I was able to 'steal' a pot from that night. Bluffing? Nice idea. Protecting your hand on the turn? Nice try dummy. No one is folding. As long as I had all those chips, these fuckers were never folding before the river. Ever. It was crazy. And what sucks is that I just kept crushing every flop. I can't tell you how many 17-outers I brick bricked. (straight and flush draws)

When I walked out of there at sunrise, I felt like I'd just been anally gang raped by a whole motorcycle club.


I can't be any more vociferous about this. These guys who run their tourneys up there are simply clueless. And worse than being clueless, they don't give a fuck what the players think...which just comes off as fucking arrogant. And yeah, I know they will read this. And yeah, I 100% honestly hope they ban me from ever playing there again. They would be doing me a favor. Yes,  I knew what I was getting into before I left. I saw the structure. I even got a text message from one of their guys who works there telling me (warning me) that they were using dealers who had JUST been hired that week...who no experience dealing poker,  let along tournaments. So, an extent, its on me.

But when you hear a floor guy respond to an honest question, a concern, with "Hey man, we give you guys free food!" Really? Okay,  in fairness, they do provide a nice little spread of 5 chaffing dishes filled with buffet food and a gigantic seating area for all the players to sit and eat.  A seating area out in their tent...that doubles as a bingo hall, that would be sufficiently utilized for about 10-15 additional poker tables, which would shockingly solve the problem of them having huge amounts of players who sat around for 4 or 5 levels trying to get into Thursday's $300 event.  Not that it really mattered I guess, since there were 15 empty tables in the cash room...with only 9 tables dealing live action.

Yeah, we arrived late Wednesday night...knowing they started their event at 10am. (brutal) Barth ventured over to register the three of us at 8am...which was nice of him. He returned to tell Claw and I that we would be alternates number 48, 49 and 50. Huh? Oh! We were the lucky ones. They took  like 150 alternates...and though announced earlier that you could only get in until the end of Level 4...they decided (greed has ways of doing that I guess) to 'let' players in until the end of Level 6. So essentially, you had a shot of going in with 6 big blinds (8000 chips) if you got in at level 6. I was lucky enough to get in during Level 5. Awesome. And the structure?

This is kind of funny. The structure for the $300 event was actually BETTER than the structure for their Main Event. No bullshit. In the $300, you got $8k chips...and the structure went 25/50, 50/100, 75/150, 100/200....and actually had antes come into play in Level 5 at 150/300 with 25. A normal, playable structure. Just not so hot if you never get in until Level 5! In the Main Event? 20K chips...which they claim is a 'TON' of chips. Uh...guys? I know, you exist in the backwoods of Louisiana, so you might have missed this. But it's 2014...and 20k starting stacks in Main Events are no longer considered to be 'TONS.' In's kind of a meager starting stack. But the structure? That was awesome. 100/100. Yes that was level 1. 100/200, 200/400, 300/600, 400/800 and Level finally saw antes come into play. 500/1000 with 100.

Most 'decent' players that you encounter in bigger buy in events, they like to make raises of 2.5x. It's almost automatic in most Main events that I  play. 50/ see 250 pretty regularly. 100/200? 550 is the norm, even 450 a lot. 150/300? 750, normal. But try making those bets when you have NO green chips (25) in play. You cant! So basically, you are just encouraging shitty play. Though most of the mutants that come from that area don't agree. Since most of them are 5x/6x raisers...they fucking love it...and love their not being any antes until 500/1000. Sorry, I can't function in that world of poker. Can't. Won't. Ever again.

Dealers? Honestly, I was hearing one story after another about how lousy the dealers were, but to be fair, I didn't experience any horrible nightmare scenarios. In fairness, a lot of that could be due to me not lasting long enough in either tourney I played to have one of those 'special moments' happen to me. But what I encountered, they were all very courteous and open to constructive I won't bash on them. But who I will bash on,  are the dummies who run that event. The guy with the 'free food' comment tells one of the other players, point blank, that they don't 'contract out for dealers' because they cost money.

Translation: We are cheap. We don't give a fuck about the tourney players. We are just getting them in, getting them out, and taking their money. He said as much when he followed that up by telling this guy that they run the tourneys for one get players up there who will then bust out and go play in their cash room. He said that. That got me hot. And I made my voice heard at that point.

"So what you're saying, is you don't care the least bit about your tourney players? That they have to play with dealers who have zero experience? In a tourney where you can't seat any more than 280 players because you don't, or WON'T, hire enough dealers to accommodate them? Seriously, why do you guys even bother running tourneys if you  aren't going to even TRY to run a legitimate event? It's offensive!"

The guy told me to have a nice day and to enjoy the free buffet. Wow. conclusion...if you the player decides to go any reasonable distance to play this event, and play it on your own dime? You...sir...or madam...are a fucking moron. And I will go out on a limb and predict that they have no intentions of making any changes. Why would they? They only care about getting people in their cash room. They are laughing at all of us, I guarantee you. Well, they won't ever laugh at this guy again.

One thing I would like to that all, or at least most, of the cash game dealers were great. It's just a shame they don't let them deal the tourney.

After busting the main event....I played blackjack while waiting on Barth and Claudia to bust...which they cooperated by doing at a reasonable hour. We all sat down for a meal together at their ridiculously over-priced steak house, called Big Sky Steakhouse. 

Here's the thing about being a steak house that charges $60 for a filet; if a customer asks you where your oysters on the half shell are from? The proper answer isn't 'the gulf.' If a customer asks you if you store your pinot noir at 'cellar temperature' you should probably either know what that means, or not make yourself look uber stupid by replying with something that makes the entire table laugh. That's just bad. To make it worse, your manager doesn't even know. The ambiance of the restaurant? What does that mean? If it weren't for the dark lighting, it would have looked like your average run-of-the-mill cafeteria that you'd find in a hospital. I would like to thank them for giving me a mild bout of food poisoning, which I pretty much predicted would happen when my 12 raw oysters were brought out on a platter of salt, not ice...but salt..and were nowhere close to being cold. If you aren't aware of this, oysters are basically a bacteria. Serving them warm, is just asking for someone to die a slow,  painful death. 

I even requested the manager, to inform him that he would likely face future wrongful death claims unless they changed their presentation on their raw oysters, and explained all the reasons why in as comprehensible science as I thought he could understand.  Somehow I feel like it was going in one ear and out the other. Why I didn't just send those oysters back is beyond me...I guess I like pain. I  paid for, both in the wallet, and in the bathroom. Thanks, Big Sky. 

We went to our rooms, and packed. I went to check us out early, and there was a gaggle of middle-aged gentleman assembled in the lobby of the hotel. Hmmm...what the fuck is this all about? Golf tourney? Alcoholics Anonymous retreat? All men? All very excited about something? Hmm...seemed like a good time to make a video. Hope you enjoy this:

Then we piled into the 4-Runner...which had been transformed into the Hotel Toyota, as it had been for the ride up...enjoyed by Claudia.  Last week I did my little girl a solid by going to the local custom car stereo shop and having head rest video screens installed in the two front seats. It only took her two rides in the car to become an addict. Hey...whatever it takes to make my baby smile! I'm a sucker, I admit it...the kid has ownership of my soul!

It was my turn...blaming the Pinot Noir that Claudia and I guzzled (Barth is a non-drinker...I know,  and he owns 4 bars, go figure!) to enjoy the back 'lounging area' of the Hotel Toyota for the ride home. 

Oh! But...before we left...we sat around discussing our strategy....where we might all decide to go play next. The name Vicksburg came up. Well...I for one expressed the opinion that they would likely draw a very small crowd. Barth, on the other hand, had just played the event out in Colorado and was amazed with how easy it was to win their satellites. So to that end, he was a fan of the idea of attending. I could go either way. This phone call, however changed it for me from a 'YES' or a 'MAYBE' to a 'HELL NO!!!'

We decide to call up there and see how many entries they had that day in Flight C of their 3-day tourney that cost....shit I don't even know. $200? $300? Something cheap. Ring ring: Hello? Hi. I'm with two other players in Coushatta and we are thinking about driving over there to play your event. But first, we want to see how many players you had today, and how many you have through three flights so far to see if we want to make the trip over there. Pretty standard line of questioning, wouldn't you say?

Ready for this answer? (and I'm almost positive that this was who we were talking to on the other end)

She tells us...she is not 'allowed' to give out that information! Huh? Like, she is protecting some kind of amazing trade secrets? When Barth very patiently took a deep breath and tried to explain it in a way that didn't come off as sounding like industrial espionage, I was rolling on the bed laughing, and Claudia had her exasperated 'what the fuck' look  on her face. Did this new path of patience work for Barth?

Really? Did you forget? We  are dealing with fucking idiots.

So he then asks if he is speaking to the poker room,  or if its the tournament area. When told it was the poker room, he decided to get crafty...maybe, just maybe...he was dealing with someone in the cash room, someone who was either fucking lazy, possibly ill-informed, or both. Ah ha! It was the poker room. He asked to be transferred to the tournament area. And was transferred.

A male answers the phone. A male idiot. Barth asked the same question. Barth got the same answer. This time we got  to listen on speaker phone. Me and Claudia were coming most people do when they are trying to reason with an fucking imbecile. Barth kept motioning us to calm down. Barth has the patience of a saint. It didn't help. These people were just fucking stupid. You are running a poker event...and yet, when people call to inquire about the stonewall them. 

"NO! You will NOT call here and get information about our poker tourney!!!! No POKER for you!!!!"

How do these people keep jobs? Seriously? How? It continuously baffles me.  And for you assholes that are reading this and in your little tone of voice asking "do YOU think YOU could do a better job, Monkey!???" Ugh...yeah, I abso-fucking-lutely think I could. And if anyone would like to hire me to prove it, I'd be more than happy to work for them  for the first 30 days for FREE to  prove it. They aren't building damn rocket ships. 

Okay. I'm done here. Me and the missus are actually going out tonight...with actual adults...while leaving Miss Carley at home with a babysitter. I predict I will be babysitting both Carley AND Squirrel tomorrow.  Hash tag...long day ahead for daddy!


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