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Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Finalists for Monkey's 2014 WSOP Main Event Grinders!

Originally...the plan was to recruit my candidates, then raise the money for three players...then discuss and decide with the input of the investment group, who our three Grinders would be.

A couple of things got in the way. do this...I should have started this in about April instead of May. Granted...your investors/backers usually don't get in until its close to 'go time.' Just like with all the pools I run...the majority of the people come hard late.

Next...I was bogged down by the last month of grinding my face off playing my own summer schedule out here...and admittedly did not give enough time and attention to making this come to fruition. I can honestly say that if I were running decently...which as most of you know, I haven't been...I'd have been able to take more days off from poker, and give it a little more time.  Instead I keep going back...again and get pummeled.

With my time in Vegas running down...just three more days for me to play something and hope to make a score before returning home to my family, I've allowed myself to focus now on this project before its too late. I'm pretty confident...I say about 95%...that we will get to at least two I am almost at 80 shares sold. I'm a little less confident about getting three. 

So I decided to improvise and announce who my 6 Finalist are...why? Well, a lot of people have suggested they may be more inclined to buy in to the group if they knew who the players will be. I can certainly understand that. I just wanted to avoid getting a player's hopes up...only to later not select him...and leave a bad taste in his mouth. I certainly don't want to create any bitterness with these fellow players, some of whom are good friends of doing this is done with that in mind.

Over the past few days, I've also gotten some more shitty comments from the 2+2/Twitter/Markup Mafia twerps. One such guy...who I don't know personally...but who was at my table in a couple tourneys in (I think) South Florida, and who I was secretly taking pictures of to use later to express my disdain Scott Baumstein. Just look at this exchange of Twitter messages with this buffoon.

Jun 24
why do you make the "share" prices so vague so as to not understand what markup you are paying? Irresponsible at a minimum

I know you from playing with you Scott...and understand you're part of that Markup I can see why this is so HARD

No, I'm just for transparency. I don't really care what you charge but you shouldn't take advantage of people.

WTF are you talking about??? Transparency? Please...oh mighty one...shed light on please on WHO is being taken advantage of!

excuse my poor sentence structure...but I think you understand my statement. Please feel free to call discuss.

I deal with MUs all the time yet have no idea what youre charging. Can anyone else decipher this?

so you're confused, but suggesting that I'm doing something wrong, on Twitter no fine?

it's quite simple. If you're selling action, then state a price. It shouldn't be a mystery. Can I be more clear?

Scott...did it ever occur to you that not everyone prescribes to your way of thinking? No probably not.

my way of thinking??? That you shouldn't scam people into buying your action who don't know what you're talking about?

how did you come to that conclusion?

65/35 split backer/horse. Backer putting up 100% of funds. 15,385 x .65 = $10,000 buyin.

I see, I wasn't understanding how many shares existed. Sounds absurd for some nameless random who is putting up zero!

Who is Scott Baumstein? Well, in fairness, he is a decent player. He has 2 wins, 48 cashes, and $1.1 million in career winnings. I personally hate his style of play and he's one of those guys you just want to smash in the face after about 9 orbits of play...he has this perma-smirk on his face all the time...whether he's winning a hand, losing a hand, or showing you a bluff just to be a dick. All that being said...I again reiterate, that he is a good player. And so, I tried to give him respect by inviting him to call me to discuss the details of this program. Did he? Naw. He just continued to rag on my program on social media (Twitter) like an asshole. So frankly...I have no problem ripping on the little shit head.

At one point a good friend of mine, and a guy I respect...John Zentner, was invited into the conversation (by Baumstein) to discuss the 'number' that Markup Boy was trying to arrive at. See, the whole 'angle' of the 'investigative sniping' by Scott was to find the ever-elusive markup price on my deal. He was implying that there were some nefarious attempts by me to hide that information. So John was nice enough to provide what that number was. Me? I don't get caught up in that crap with markup numbers...I think it's pointless. I base most of my package prices on the actual value of the event being played. But I know that guys like Scotty like to sleep with a bed full of Texas Instrument calculators that probably have cum stains all over them. (sorry...too gross?)

Well, John provided that number which as you can see up above was 1.54. Which of course, required Scott to ask how John how he arrived at that number. Once it was explained...his only response was that my idea is ABSURD! Why? Because we are investing in some 'nameless randoms!' Nameless? Well...I will let you decide if they are 'nameless randoms.' As for Scott...keep humping your calculator chump.

NOW...JUST TO CLARIFY...BECAUSE I DON'T WANT ANYYYYYONE THINKING THERE IS ANYTHING BUT TRANSPARENCY BEHIND MY STAKING PROGRAM...HERE ARE THE TERMS OF THE DEAL:  (and to be clear...I literally had NO idea who Scott was suggesting I was ripping off at first, the actual players themselves, or the backers/investors who were buying in to the group. I later figured out that I 'think' he was referring to the backers/investors. 

What makes that so hilarious to that it's not me trying to get staking for why would I ever be thinking about 'scamming' the investors? Especially when I myself am ONE OF the investors!!!??? There is literally no reason for me to do anything BUT make the investing opportunity itself as juicy as possible for the investor. But understand would need to possess some common sense, and not even that much. Just some. Which Scott obviously has zilch of. Oh well, luckily he hasn't been tasked to do anything really meaningful for mankind)

We are attempting to send THREE PLAYERS. Total buy ins...$10,000 x3 = $30,000
I  am selling shares at $200 a pop...a total (potentially) of 150 shares.  200x150 = $30,000

The players are playing under an agreement of a 35/65 percentage. They are ALL more than willing to do this. Even though all five players are very good players, and would never, under 'normal' circumstances, play for 35% only...the upside is what makes it an acceptable deal. Since the winner is guaranteed $10,000,'s a deal that has tremendous upside for ALL involved, both the players AND the investors. 

Also weighing heavy in my decision is the trust involved with handing a guy $10,000 and knowing he will not stiff you or even slightly rip you off after he cashes. I know these guys, I trust these guys...and would stake my reputation on all of them. Which...for those who really know me...know that this gives them comfort in making the investment themselves. 

If a player cashes in the tourney? The $10k investment comes immediately out of the winnings and returned to the investors in equal parts per share. The remaining amount is then split 65/35....and returned to the investors in the same equal amounts per share. 

IS THAT CONFUSING? If that is confusing...I don't know what to tell you. It's just about as easy, as cut and I would think you could POSSIBLY make it.  But if you STILL are confused? And require some kind of a calculator to figure it make it make sense in your gerbil-like brain? Do me a favor...please...I beg you...NEVER EVER even possibly consider buying into one of my staking deals. 

TAX IMPLICATIONS? Pretty simple...well unless you are a gerbil. For any player that wins $20k-$50k...they will be permitted to withhold 20% if they elect to take on 100% of the tax burden. If not...they will be issued an affidavit (by me, as the leader of the investment group) which they can provide for the IRS...with ALL investors information...including SS#'s. This affidavit will be issued to each investor as that when that taxable amount is submitted to the will be clear what each person won. For any player that wins $51k or MORE...that amount will inflate to 30% with the same options. Pretty simple..and frankly...I hope it becomes a problem to deal with!!!!!

THE SIX FINALISTS FOR MONKEY'S 2014 WSOP GRINDERS (in no particular order)

CHRISTIAN 'DA PROFESSIONAL' IACOBELLIS:  a bit of an online legend. Once won 3 MTT's on Full Tilt in one DAY! Got me to thinking he was a cheater. This was before I met him. day at the 'hooker bar' at Rio...I was told 'that guy' who I'd blogged about was sitting right behind me! We met, we chatted, and he's become a great friend. I've also watched him put up some very impressive scores both live and online. We took a percentage swap the year Dwight Pilgrim won the Borgatta Open...and I finished 45th while he took a final table of 10 that played for 3 hours before losing a player. A couple years ago he got into the money in the I know he has the skills to do it again. Here is the link to his Cardplayer profile with cashes and career winnings. 

B.J. McBRAYER:  One of the nicest guys in poker, and a friend for almost as long as I've been playing poker. BJ lives in Tuscaloosa and already gets the nod from me as a Bama lifer! He understands the game as well as any player I've ever known....and that means a lot. His game is unwavering. Unemotional, he handles the swings in poker as good or better than anyone I know. BJ has put up a LOT of great results...and would likely have cashed two or three times as many as he has if he put in nearly a fraction of the playing time that a lot of regular tourney grinders do. He also is a fellow labrador retriever owner...sorry but that's huge!!! Here is BJ's Cardplayer profile, which is skewed because as they often do...they don't merge you can find Billy McBrayer AND BJ McBrayer...kind of annoying:

'WILD BILL' PHILLIPS: No bias here, promise. Bill is a guy I've know for 8 years...and like me, is a family guy with 3 kids and doesn't play as much as he'd like to. But when he plays...he almost always gets deep. He has a style similar to mine...which is highly conducive to getting deep in a tourney like the Main Event. He also happens to be the co-owner of the website that I blog for, He's always been incredibly supportive of me, and that to me is something I can't put a price on. He's one of those guys who I know could do it...and who I would love to see do it. Some players out there...and seriously...there is a lot of them...I would cringe to see them make a WSOP Final Table. 

KAI LANDRY:  My longtime buddy, and occasional travel partner...Kai has had to significantly cut back his playing schedule to be a better father. And I certainly get that. Another reason to cut back may have been his need to regain some sanity that playing full time can take away from you! Kai comes with a very interesting style...both the way he plays, as well as the way he dresses and acts. He excels at putting his table on tilt with his antics and getting them to destroy their chipstacks. Hmmm...sound like anyone else you know!??? (wink wink) Kai cashes main events with deep structures at a respectable 45% clip. Here is the Cardplayer line for Kai....

JOHNATHAN 'UFPOKERSTAR' WESTRA: I got to know John back in 2006...when he came out of his bedroom....where he'd been locked up playing online for a few years. His online success translated well to the live game. A polar opposite of me in personality...quiet, reserved, a bit only worked to make us friends. He has gotten off the full-time circuit the past few years to do the unthinkable, start his own successful business!!!! But he still possesses a love for the game, and the dream of chasing after $10 milly...just not willing to put up 10k to do it. That's what happens when you become mature and don't throw 10k around! Here is John's Cardplayer profile link:

JOSHUA REICHARD:  Who? Yeah...maybe you haven't heard of this kid. Well...take notice! He just started playing a few years ago...and already has 4 wins and 23 cashes...and very few min-cashes. I had heard of him...but wasn't sure who he was. Without telling his son...his father shot me an email about a month ago...trumpeting all the reasons I should pick his kid. That alone kind of endeared me to this guy. Then I had him at my table in the Venetian's $1100 event that was hosted by MSPT...and watched him play some incredible poker, including folding KK to me when I had AA and he had already put in a 4-bet huge re-raise...very few players are EVER folding in that spot. He did...and it was the right move. That to me tells me that this kid is a solid pick to do something special. We aren't good friends, yet...we have friended each other on Twitter and Facebook, but I can see us being buddies in the poker world. If you haven't heard of this guy yet...I promise you....YOU WILL! Here is his Cardplayer line:

How will our 'Grinders' be selected? Trust's not going to be easy. AT ALL! Especially if I only raise enough to send TWO players instead of the desired three. Hell...if I could send all six of them...I would LOVE TO! Any of you big ballers out there wanting to reach DEEP into your pockets to make that happen...BRING IT ON!!!??? That, obviously would be my dream! Well...that and having all of them make the final table...and when getting cashed out request the presence of a certain Tourney Director for the WSOP...and let him know that if he'd like to rescind my ridiculous ban/86 that they'd be happy to leave a very generous tip for the staff. Blackmail? Ha! No worse than what he's been doing by keeping me on the outside looking in!!!!!

I have created a POLL! Look to the right margin...I am asking YOU...the poker fan, the reader of my maybe HELP ME in making the right decision! Click on who you think should go play the Main on my backing group's dime this year! And don't think for one second that this isn't about to become an annual affair with me! And next will be even BETTER organized, with more time to plan and recruit! 

IF YOU WANT TO INVEST...shoot me an email. Easiest way to pay is WF SurePay or Chase Quick Pay. If you are a 'checks in the mail' guy...I will need to really know who you are and can trust that method. Keep in about a week, I have to present these guys with a $10,000 cashiers check...and that has to actually come from checking account!  So obviously...that money needs to get to me! And yes...ALL PLAYERS will send me a picture of their registration receipt as soon as they buy in....for those of you conspiracy theorists who think you might be smelling a scam!!!!  (you people scare me, by the way...hope you enjoy that rubber room in 5 or 10 years!)


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