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Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Minions Get Hit With The Shrink Ray!!!!

I thought by now (Day 6) you all knew this already...but I guess not, judging from a lot of the comments left here. 

The Grand Plan fell short...as our only Grinder advancing to Day 3...'Wild Bill' Phillips, was somewhere in the 2nd level on Day 3 when his KK fell to JJ...the other guy flopped a set. It was a true bummer, as Bill started the second day with 18k...and managed to get it up to 54k while the other three guys all busted on Day 2. 

In checking the unpublished comments before writing this today, I happened upon one that kind of irritated me, and left me feeling like I owed some people an explanation. Maybe I don't...but hell, whatever.

I can honestly say that I had an equal amount of confidence in every one of these players. Who I picked, and who the public (you guys) picked, really didn't have anything to do with my friendship with any of them. Now, saying that...I am really good friends with Kai Landry and BJ McBrayer. Bill and I have mostly a professional relationship, though I think the world of him...we've never actually 'hung out' before. And Joshua and I had never met before spending half a day at the same table at Venetian. His father had actually presented him as a 'Grinder Candidate' way back when I first announced my intentions to try to pull this idea off. I liked what I read. I  researched his results and also liked what I saw. And embarrassingly, I didn't even realize it was him at my table that day at Venetian! The other two guys who didn't get picked, Christian Iacobellis and John Wesstra, are both also good friends. In addressing one of this guys' comments...that he found it 'interesting' that I ONLY chose my good friends? This is what I would say in rebuttal:

If you were going to invest a large amount of money in someone to play in the Main Event...who would YOU pick? Someone who you KNOW had a good shot to win that was a friend? Or someone you KNOW had a good shot to win who you either didn't KNOW...or who you didn't like? I would hope that isn't a tough question to answer. How you would use this as a 'conspiracy angle' makes me shake my head in utter confusion. 

To further that...I had somewhere between 15-20 people apply for the seat. I would say at least 10 of those players I knew pretty well. It would be hard to go out and just dig up people with skills who I DON'T know...especially considering how long I've been at this game. I mean...I look over the final 300 players in the WSOP Main Event yesterday...and I would estimate that I know (in some way) at least 25% of them. Currently the field is down to 55 the last time I looked...and I'm pretty friendly with four of them...Leif Force, Kyle Bowker, Matt Waxman, and Bryan Devonshire. I would love it if ANY of those guys won or even made the Final Table. Not because I have a piece of ANY of them...but because I just enjoy rooting for people I like to have good things happen to them. Simple concept, though I do think there are those who wish for some of their fellow players NOT to do well because they are simply jealous of other people's success.

Anyway...the "you just picked good friends" barb is pretty stupid, if you didn't figure that out. Last point on that: If anyone, and I'm speaking of investors...thought that the players I selected weren't worthy...or didn't possess the skills to win the Main Event...do you think...for 1 second...that they would have committed $200 per share? Again...you can't fix stupid...and even harder is trying to defend yourself AGAINST stupid!

I managed to make a big discovery last night/today. Two discoveries actually. So out of nowhere, on my Facebook wall..someone I'm not friends with...and who goes by the name of a woman that just happens to be the name of his dog...and who's dog is featured as the avatar/profile pic on his account...pops up out of nowhere and poses a lot of very unusual questions.

To paraphrase, he basically was trying to insinuate that I was 'running a scam' by overselling the shares...and that I then apparently sat crossing my fingers that NONE of them cashed...so I could, you know...make a little money on the side. Then he spent the next two hours waffling back and forth (in true Bi-Polar fashion)...going from "Oh I was just curious about the business model of such a venture" then swerving to "Well, if no one verified how many were sold..then how would anyone know!?? I want you to send me your whole list of investors and what they bought!" Huh? This was about the time he got jumped by 5 or 6 of my investors...who had taken notice and come in to both defend me and explain to this guy that he had absolutely no fucking business asking to see information that he wasn't a part of. I was grateful for that...but at the same time...I'm sitting there thinking to myself, "Holy shit...is there ANYTHING I can do in this life without SOME asshole trying to paint me as a shyster?"  I'm telling you...the shit really gets old.

Just so I can make this as easy to understand as possible. We raised enough to send 4 players to the WSOP. FOUR. Which cost a total of $40,000. I personally bought five shares myself...for $1000. Once we hit 200 shares...the sale was closed. Two guys who sent me $200 before I had a chance to tell them we were full....Jon Chisholm and Eric Cochran...both got their $200 refunded back to them on PayPal within an hour of sending it to me. It's my opinion that only the biggest idiot in the world would go out of his way to find and send the BEST PLAYERS he could to try and win $10m in a poker tournament...purchase $1000 of the plan HIMSELF...and then go and oversell shares for what? A chance to make a few hundred, maybe a thousand extra dollars?

There is a reason I don't play tournaments under $100. Because 'scores' of anything under $1000 are pointless to me. $1000 will do very little to change my life. And I would assume, most of your lives too, who are reading this. So...why in the F*** would anyone with half a brain (which I'm positive I have, maybe even 3/4 of a brain) run the risk of exposing himself to potentially $32,000'ish PER SHARE should one of your four players WIN the Main Event? Hmmm...can you say "find a new country to run away to?" As I stated, I have TOTAL confidence in every one of these players. So for someone to insinuate something like overselling shares...to me is just a reflection on how fucking stupid THEY are.

In addition to just common sense...there is another thing called credibility. After doing pools for over 20 years...and selling poker packages for about 7...I have a spotless record on paying people who win, and doing it quickly. People don't chase me all over kingdom-come looking for their money. Ever! I run pools on a regular basis where I actually lose money on them. Mainly because I always take a lot of extra entries for myself...that eats up the small commission I charge for running them. And now...I award a hoodie to every winner of my pools...which is another $50. On all three Triple Crown race pools I did...all the winners got a hoodie despite me losing about $100 on each pool. No big deal. It's all about keeping my word.

The people who bought into the WSOP Grinders package...73 of them....I would say about 80% of them either play my pools or have bought into one of my past poker packages. I'm pretty sure NONE of them have any doubts about how I run  these things. So why do I let it bother me when someone like this guy hijacks my wall on Facebook (I finally blocked him after he turned it into a contest of 7th grade-like 'your mama' and 'your sister' jabs with people who were defending me and slamming him) and starts making all these ridiculous and irritating comments and accusations? I'm not sure. I've never been someone who is good at just dismissing them, turning my head...and marching on. I've always for some reason felt like I needed to defend myself. I don't know if that is a flaw or not. It's just the way I've always been. 

One note regarding my 73 investors: We had some REALLY classy people in the group. Midway through Day 1 I opened a private Group page on Facebook just for them, the players, and the players' family members. Once all the players had been eliminated, there were some incredibly nice comments left on there, in support of the players. It really made me happy to see that the overwhelming feeling wasn't sour grapes. And in turn, the players did a great job at expressing their gratefulness for being given the opportunity. Wild Bill posted a really cool post on his blog, that appears on this site. I won't lie...I was touched. And it made me feel SO good about the decision I made on these four guys. 

And to take it one step further, several of them (investors) expressed enthusiasm about doing it again next year, if I do it again next year. I am currently working on trying to get back in to playing all the WSOP events, and hope to have that resolved by the new year...but I have to think..even if I DO get in, and am free to play the Main Event next year...I think it would still be a lot of fun to do it again. It would give me a chance to start earlier...and outfit everyone in 'Team Monkey' gear...make it a real 'team' thing. Granted...all four guys really did work together, from picking each other up at the airport, to meeting to get their money and get bought in together to staying in touch with each other. It was cool. And as a player...I'm telling you...when you are in Vegas...it can be a very lonely place sometimes...especially when you are out there grinding by yourself. Having a group of people with you...all supporting each other...it really is an emotional boost...whether you're running good or like shit.

And hell, if you have 4 or 5 of you on a 'team' and you all have a financial interest in each other...it makes it less of a blow when you get 1-outed on the river for your tourney when, as your walking out you realize the other 4 guys are still alive...and you can turn a positive into a negative by being supportive of them and hoping good things happen for them, and in turn...yourself!

For the financial backers? A lot of these people play poker...but can't get out to Vegas to play for numerous reasons...jobs, family, other obligations. And so what this offers to them is a chance to have a 'sweat' in the biggest tourney of the year. And I made damn sure the players picked would be good about keeping everyone informed...which they did a pretty good job of. Granted, had any of them made it past Day 4...they wouldn't have had to...since every move from that point on is pretty much on the websites...and I wouldn't want them being distracted by ANYTHING. Having a bunch of those backers tell me they can't wait to do it again? That makes me feel like I did things the right way.

Oh...so back to my 'discovery.' I've been getting these shitty comments on my blog as I mentioned. Obviously there is never a reason for me to publish them. Well...and besides, for whatever reason...that 'comment' widget on the blog design/layout stopped working last year some time. I've done everything to fix it and nothing seems to work. So I couldn't publish them if I wanted to. Well...after the marathon (250+) comment thread that I finally locked him out of last night...he turned around and left a post on my blog, again. Same manner of speech. Same tone. Same theme. Never before has someone gone so NOT out of their way to mask their identity. Basically reiterating everything he had to say on the Facebook thread...with the warning that my 'little pool operation is now being watched!' OH!!!! Scary!!!! Watched by who? I'm about to be busted by the Pool Police? That's hilarious. Bring em on. I register EVERY payment. EVERY payout. Report all my profits (minimal) on my taxes...where I file as a professional gambler.  Not exactly sure what this guy thinks I'm going to get popped for. Then he mentioned I was going to be 'watched' for something I don't even partake in. So that was interesting.

What I haven't mentioned is that I was tipped off by someone as to who the 'talking dog' on Facebook was. And the more he talked the more it matched. Other little clues fell into place until I was 100% convinced of who it was. I won't go into detail or reveal his name...but suffice to say, it came as a disappointment. It was someone I honestly tried to help about 4 years ago...and who kind of suffered a mental episode while we were amongst fellow friends, and instead of confiding in me like I'd hoped he would have...he just retreated. Went home, and burned all the bridges to all of us...lumping all of us into the same category. I was never upset with him, or mad about anything. In fact I felt sorry for him. But what that got me was a big EF YOU I guess. I hadn't heard anything from him or about him in the 3 or 4 years since. But now, I realize he's been keeping real close tabs on me and my life...while leaving these horrible messages on my blog message board. And then taking it up a notch and blasting me on my Facebook wall last night.

Here's the thing with my Facebook. I have my settings set so that people who aren't my friends are free to see my wall and make comments on it. Is that smart? Meh...probably not. But the thing is...I feel 100% confident with how I live my life. I know I live a clean life and don't screw people over. Sure...I'll make fun of people sometimes...or rip on people I think deserve to be ripped on. And that probably isn't what some people would call 'nice.' But I can't help it. I'm sarcastic...and there are some people who just leave you no option but to make fun of them. But does that make me a 'bad' person who does 'bad' things? Of course not. If I was a scum bag with a lot of shit to hide...there is no way I'd let just anyone make comments on my Facebook, as I'd be running the risk of getting caught. 

Oh wow, I just thought of something. Now that I've said this...if I now go and make my wall private, and only open to my 1500+ friends to see and make comments on...then they WILL say all those things I just said are all the reasons I DON'T make it private. See!!!!??? Damned if I do...damned if I don't! I guess I'll just leave it alone...and hope that I can count on my friends to have my back when I'm getting assaulted by some jagoff.

So yeah...I've had a pretty fun day. In between all this I watched a pretty boring World Cup final. I'm 75% German...but if Argentina won I'd have won 3rd place in my World Cup pool. And I never played soccer. I really just watch it during the Olympics and the World Cup. And will watch if the Seattle Sounders make the MLS Championship only because they are from Seattle. One thing about soccer that makes me sick is the number of times guys go down like they've just had their leg cut in half...rolling around on the ground like they're dying...only to pop back up 30 seconds later and resume playing. Yeah yeah...I get it..their trying to sell the foul. Just like in basketball. Well, I hate it there too. Well...Germany won. In extra time. Thank God. I think using penalty kicks to decide a World Champion is a joke. Another reason I love the NHL. Sure they use penalty shots in the regular season after a 5-minute OT period doesn't decide a winner. But not in the playoffs. Nope. Play til you die! And you will see quite a few 2 and 3 OT games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's the greatest. That last game between my beloved NY Rangers and the LA Kings...that ended near the end of the 2nd overtime...was one of the most incredible games I've ever seen in my life. And that's coming from the guy whose team LOST. Anyway...enough about soccer.

I've been going at it with people on the ESPN message boards all week. It is literally one of my primary sources of entertainment. My wife thinks I'm nuts and that it's a waste of time. But it's just damn near impossible to read some of the stupid comments people leave and not just rip into them. I really think if I was a comedian, I would resort to the message boards for a lot of my material. It's there...in heaps.

I drove 5268 total miles on my trip out west and back. Before I left I had my rear brakes fixed. So why..I wonder...did they squeak and squeal the whole time I was gone? It was driving me bonkers. I get back from our family trip to Orange Beach this past week...take it in to where I got them done...and this old guy tells me...yeah,  I just knocked the glaze off your discs...you should be good to go now. Huh? Glaze? Made me think about ham. Mmmmmm...ham! Snapped out of that and said, "Um..so they aren't squeaking now?" Nope...you're good. And I was. No charge. Weird.

Anyone wanna talk about what's going on in Israel? No? GOOD!  Brought it up on my Facebook wall and it became another 200+ thread. One thing about the Arabs and the Jews...no matter who is involved in the conversation...it almost always becomes heated. Just when I think I know enough to have an educated discussion about what is going on over there...people hit me over the head with facts I never knew..which always leaves me kind of regretting getting into the conversation in the first place. I'll say this...I like learning things, and at 47 it doesn't happen as much as it once did. And that two-day thread was very educational. I will only say that I hope nothing happens that both sides will regret.

What's next for me on the poker landscape? Hmmm. Well...there are TWO events, both in August, in South Florida. The Palm Beach Kennel Club was awarded a second circuit event..and now they have the first one of the season...from July 31st to August 12th...in addition to the one they have in February. Then from Aug 14th to the end of the month, the Hard Rock in Hollywood has the $10m guarantee that I went down and played last year...min-cashing the Main and running pretty bad in everything else. The investors made about half their money back if I remember right. Those would likely be the last events I'd want to play heading into football season...when I become content to sit at home for the most part. In fact...I don't think I played anything last year after the Hard Rock until January, when I went to Choctaw. Those four months off from poker were great. I just looked at the All-Time Cashes for WSOP circuit events...and where I used to be 3rd on the list...I've plummeted to like 15th! With nine cashes I could get back into the top 5. It must be the competitor in me that has me thirsting to regain my spot on that list. Well that and I just like winning. Oh and winning money also doesn't suck. So that is a possibility.

The only thing that complicates those plans...is word from my sister today that my mother, who after recently retiring, is planning on selling her house in Seattle and moving to Wisconsin to be closer to my sister and her kids...is requiring my assistance to fly out to Seattle sometime in the next 30 days to help her get her house ready for sale...and move a bunch of heavy objects. Well...it's my mom...you only have one mom...and I don't see how I can say no. She's done a lot for me over the past 5-10 years...as well as for my wife and daughter. Not that those things make me feel obligated, I would do it anyway. But NOT doing it...well, that would make me a pretty rotten son. And hey! Maybe while I'm there my suddenly resurgent Mariners will be in town and we can take in a game! My mom loves the Mariners too. We sweat out games together via text message...her watching on local TV and me watching on MLB.tv that I subscribe to for $29.99 a month. 

Okay...that's it for this blog. Hope you all had a great weekend!

MONK

3 comments:

ZackAzar said...

Will I just sent you a friend request on FB. You probably don't remember me but years ago you took me and my girlfriend (now wife) down in the infield at Talladega (the year Gordon won under caution). We tried to talk a crew guy out of a tire for me to take home to my dad. Anyway, I have been following you blog ever since someone in a local poker circle of mine mentioned your name. Hope all is well and hopefully we can connect and I can join some of your pools and possibly become an investor. I love poker but with wife and 4 kids don't play much outside of weekly home games and local tourneys. Take care
Zack

Anonymous said...

Monkey, the things that your paranoid bi-polar "citizen watchdog group" fails to comprehend is that, like the Mel Brooks film, play, and once again film "The Producers" is that if things were to go really, really well for any one of your minions, especially Kai, who is ridiculously sexy, you would have been in a SHITLOAD of payout trouble. (In that film, the horrible play they produced to be intentionally an awful failure and oversold -- turned out to be an accidental comedy smash hit, and the producers wound up in jail and bankrupt for overselling shares). Had any one of the minions done really well -- and what your neighborhood watch militia detractors fail to see-- is that you would have had to pay out an unholy amount of money had the minions done well. Um, not to bright on their part. With two thirds of the field sloughed off --many, many, many household name professionals neither making the cut by the end of day 2 and beginning of day 3-- it's a shame no minion broke on through to cash...but it is part of the process each year...I really thought a cash from one of the four would have been roughly a 50/50 shot, since any pro player has maybe a 12-18% chance of cashing any good tournament, depending on the quality of the opponents. The 50/50 shot just did not go our way this year. But if it had, I feel as though a SOLID payout would have been in the works. Next year. BOOM!

Anonymous said...

wow you really burned your friend to the ground...and from what I've read, you cannot know 100% that it was this guy, FB accounts get hacked all the time, and especially the part about the anonymous posts on here, and damn I would hate to be wrong about something like that and state it publicly when it really wasn't him. Why didn't you try to email him or reachout in some way and ask if it was him or if he knew what was going on with the FB account? You're not the best friend if you are attacking someone with even 1% doubt, am I wrong?