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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Here Comes the Summer!

It's been a very crazy, hectic, and sometimes sad month since I last posted. Two nights ago we returned from Seattle, and a 5 day short vacation to visit my brother Jimmy and celebrate his 50th birthday. Jimmy is my brother who has Down's Syndrome, and who also has a crush on Squirrel. She promised him a big party two years ago for the big 5-oh, and we didn't disappoint him. We coordinated things with his handler, Wendy...who as it turns out, is an amazing gal who had done wonders with Jimmy. 

The day started with 25 of Jimmy's friends at his favorite place, Red Robin...where we had a big birthday party for him! He loved it and had a great time!
That night I took him and my mom and dad to the Mariners game, where once again, my appearance JINXED King Felix into his 3rd loss in a row when  I come to see him pitch!!! BOSOX got us!
We were all set to have a few calm days before leaving for Seattle, when the phone rang on Monday, and we found out Cheryl's Grandaddy had passed away. He was 85 and had been in a deep depression since losing his wife of 67 years about a year and a half ago to Alzheimer's, which she struggled with for years, finally succumbing in their living room. He'd refused to put her in a nursing home, staying with her every moment until the end. It really hit Cheryl's family hard, and threw our schedule into disarray. We drove up to Florence on Tuesday, and they managed somehow to quickly plan the funeral service for Wednesday. It was quite wonderful...I couldn't believe the turnout, And as a song leader at his church, it was dominate by the singing of hymns throughout the service. Afterwards, there was a gathering at his son's (Cheryl's Uncle Dennis) home...where loads of people showed up to eat a gigantic meal, which had been prepared and delivered by the church.
Fortunately, we had just been up north just two weeks prior, and got to spend about an hour visiting with Papaw. Everyone adored this man...but he is happy now, in heaven with his sweet wife.
Cheryl has had a rough two years in her her own daddy passed away on our couch two years ago, then she lost her grand mother a few months later. And now her grand daddy. She was very close to all of them.

Once that was finished,  we packed up the car and drove home that night,  then flew out to Seattle the next day. Very hectic. Carley was great on the flight...which she's been every time we've flown. But...on the way home? She had a little episode. She is fond of having the tray table down. Well...they won't let you have it down prior to take off. So she went off. And nothing we did we get her to stop freaking out. And since we were in Seattle...there was a bit of a back up of planes taxiing out for takeoff. As we got to about the 5th minute of her 'freakout' this woman sitting behind us, and overweight lady in her 60's, wearing lots  of both gold and silver jewelry, and sporting short spiky hair that had been colored blue, red and green in various areas...leaned forward (sitting directly behind Cheryl in the window  seat) and asked "Is that going to continue for the entire flight!???"

Hmmm. How does one respond to such a rhetorical question? I looked at the flabbergasted face of my wife, and knew this lady just said the wrong thing, at the wrong time, to the wrong person. I feared my wife might come over the top of the seat and rip this  ladies face off...which would have likely got us thrown off the plane. So I intervened.

"Yes! Yes it will. And...if she should happen to stop? I will make sure I do something to make her start again, so we wont risk upsetting you." We never heard from her again. And Carley chilled out a little bit later, and never made a peep the rest of the flight. I posted that lady's picture  on my Facebook, and shared the exchange, asking FB friends to share how they would have responded. I got some pretty funny responses, and then one, from a prick named Mike Brewer, who I (to my knowledge) don't know from Adam. I awoke the night we got home to Squirrel furiously pecking away on her iphone and asked what she was doing? "Oh, just answering one of your friends on Facebook who had left a real shitty message on that post." So I had to check it out.
Out of respect to his daughter, I opted to crudely black over her face in this picture from his Facebook. He didn't provide a lot of options, as he had about 8 total pictures in there, none by himself.

Well, I have my Facebook set up so that any Tom, Dick or Prick can leave a message on there. I don't have it set to 'Friends Only' so every once in a while I will get some asshole who thinks he needs to make his unwelcome opinion heard on my wall. This guy was a real gem...and he was sufficiently jumped and attacked by several people, appropriately. I tried hard to take the high road...hard as it was. Again, I have no clue  who this jerkoff is. Feel free to go check out the exchange if you want to see what a fucktard looks like.

The first order of business once I got home was to organize and see how many shares I've sold for our Summer WSOP Grinders...affectionately known as Monkey's Minions! The first thing I would like to do is thank ALL those of you who have applied to be one of our grinders this summer. The list of applicants is extremely impressive, and long. On one hand, it brings me a lot of joy knowing that I can basically make some player's dream of playing in the Main Event come true, when they otherwise wouldn't be able to. And then on the other bums me out that despite a person being MORE than qualified to play for us...I just don't have the ability to fund them. Saying 'no' to someone who I dearly want to say 'yes' to makes me nuts.

So...after I sent out the 'welcome back' email to the 72 investors from last summer, I quickly generated the selling of 82 shares. Those same 72 investors accounted for a total of 200 shares last year...where we sent 4 players to play. Well, two days ago, before boarding our flight, I sent out an email to all the people on my distribution list (for pools mainly) and after adding it all up last night, discovered we have 133 shares that have been sold, with about 1 third of them paid for already. So...that leaves just 17 shares to be sold (at $200 per share) before the three players who I already named about 10 days ago...are fully funded. Then, I can start working hard to get one or two (who knows, maybe three!???) more players on the roster. 

I am trying really hard to get a woman on the team...and already have a 95% idea of who she is. Out of respect to her privacy (in case we don't sell enough) I won't name her yet. But she is someone I've known for a long time...and is an excellent player.

I've also gotten applications from 3 separate players who all have some sort of a medical condition or disability, all who are very solid players. I would love to get one of them on board and a shot at the Big Dance as well.

And finally, I've been backing a player myself...for the WSOP New Orleans event, and now the WSOP Foxwoods event...a guy I know to be a solid player, a family man himself, and who just lost his job about a month ago. Since backing him...he has cashed FOUR times for me...including the Main Event in New Orleans...and made two final tables. He is also very close to  qualifying for the National Freeroll...which, if he qualifies, has pledged 50% to me. Again, out of respect, I'm not revealing his name here. But I am extremely proud of what he has accomplished this spring...and if a guy deserves to be playing the Main Event...holy cow, its THIS guy! The Main event starts up there in two days, and I am really hoping he has a great run! For a LOT of reasons!! 

So, who have I named as the first three minions/grinders so far? 

1. Wild Bill Phillips, the creator/owner of this very site that I blog on...has been named on the strength of his run last summer. A lot of people (including investors) felt like he should be grandfathered in as the player who made it the deepest. And since my opinion of him as a player haven't changed, it was hard to argue with that sentiment. If I had my druthers, I would also send his co-owner of the site, Gene Dudek...who is equally qualified. Like I said...there are SO many great candidates I can choose from its ridiculous!

2. Seville Hale. An active member of our US Army, from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade and I guy who when I first had a chance to play with...after only 'hearing about' noticed we had a lot in common. Same sense of humor, and some similar styles of play. I've followed his results the past couple years..and frankly, he smashes almost everything he plays. The problem? It's usually just small, local stuff because he's not able to just go and play. But for us...he will put in for some time off. And we are psyched...because I see him doing great things out west!

3. Michael 'Carwash' Schneider. I've known this guy a long time. Hell, I've even had dealers confuse us for each other. Which....I don't see it, but whatever. We (players who play a lot) all know Carwash by his very identifiable ball cap and that tired old jacket of his! Well, I'm working on some Grinder Hoodies...and he's agreed to wear his if he has to! Carwash has been a 'cashing machine' since he started playing, and being a family man like myself, he just doesn't get a chance to play the big tourneys as much as he'd like, or be gone as much as it takes sometimes. Mike is in the Top Ten in All-Time WSOP Circuit cashes, also.

So...these are our first THREE selections...and I am VERY hopeful that we will be able to add anywhere from 1 more to 2 or 3 even. Do you want to be on the investment team this summer? There is no maximum of shares you can buy. I am in for 10 are a couple other folks. One guy last summer took 25 shares...which kind of blew me away! But most people take one or two shares, and that is great. What I offer in exchange is a contract that EVERY player signs, agreeing to all the terms. It's a 65/35 deal in favor of the investors. Frequent updates via Twitter/Facebook and the app called MyStack are promised by each player. Additionally, I am going to try and make it out from July 1st to July I can hand each player their buy in, and they can play any of the first three (or is it four this year?) flights, instead of everyone getting their money at the last minute last summer and having to play the last flight. That was way too chaotic...which was why I got started on this a LOT sooner this summer!

Last year's 'Minions' who spontaneously put together this photo for us!
I am also wanting to get out there so I can attend my friend Frank Kassela's infamous 4th of July party at his house. And I am going to play the bigger buy in events at the Venetian...I think its a couple $1100 events and their main event, a $5k buy in. And I should be there long that if any of our players cash, or bag for November (wouldn't that be awesome!) I will be there to handle the money, do investor payouts, and potential 1099-issuance if that is necessary. I will also be able to bring and hand out the hoodies and hats I'm trying to get made for these guys (and maybe gal!!). A feel a lot better, a lot more organized, about how things are going this summer. And additionally, the players themselves don't have to make last minute reservations like last year...not that any of them complained about it!!!! But it is a lot easier for them to  know they are going a month or so before they have to go.

How do the investors get paid? It's really, really easy. Say we end up selling 200 shares for FOUR players? Say just ONE player cashes...and for (example) $67,000? The $10k buy in comes out of the prize money...leaving $57k. The player who cashed will receive 35% of $57,000 ($19,950) and the investors will get $47,050...which will be split up 200 ways. That would equate to $235 per share...or a profit of $35 per share.

Now lets say we get THREE players who cash...and we sold 250 shares and sent FIVE players? Those three players cash for $35,000, for $120,000 and someone who finished around 18th snagged us $385,000! The grand total is $540,000. We remove 10k three times...for $30k. Leaving $510,000 in the player prize pool. $178,500 is paid out to the three players, accordingly by where they finished. Which leaves $361,500 for the investors to split 250 ways. This breaks down to $1446 per share! A profit of $1246 per share! SO if you are like me...and bought 10 shares...Your $2000 became $12460!

As you can see...this could be a  whole lot of fun! While none of us are going to become millionaires, we can certainly make a nice score...while getting two weeks almost of entertainment, and NOT having to be the one sitting there for HOURS going through all the peaks and valleys, the suckouts, the bad beats, the lucky fades and all that goes with playing a tourney of this type. I'm fired  up! So if you are interested...and want a piece of this me at I will let you know all the various ways you can pay for your share. I will also be keeping ALL the investors updated on how many shares we have sold, hence, how many players we have on the team, and how close we are to getting another one enlisted!

Well...I think that is about enough for today! Big game tonight...Game 3 of the NHL Eastern Finals between my New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, with things tied at a game a piece. As with every series in the past four years...I'm once again nervous as hell! The streak  of 15 straight one-goal playoff games (a record, previous record was  9 games) finally came to an end Monday night, as Tampa Bay spanked us in the Garden, 6-2. A win tonight would make me feel a whole lot better!

Been playing that quickie cash game on Bovada a lot lately...think they call it Zone Poker...its basically Speed poker, fold and get shuttled to a new table and a new hand. Had some good sessions and some bad ones. Decide to take it up a notch the other night and play $1/$2, their max game. Bought in for $200. And on about the fourth hand...pick up 10-10 in the BB. Button raises to $6. I re-pop it to $17.  He calls. Flop comes 8-8-2 with two clubs. I lead for $35. He raises. Whatever...I shove. He calls with Kc9c. River the ace  of clubs. Perfect. Gotta love online poker! And yeah...he had me covered!

Played a cash session at IP a couple Saturdays ago. Started off good. Played two hours at the 5/10 Omaha-8 table before it broke, and banked a $350 profit. Then moved to a 1/3 table...and after about 6 hours, was up about a grand. Then I started drinking. And having fun. And bluffing in spots that I shouldn't have been. Stack went up and down. When the smoke finally cleared, I realized (because my wife was calling me) that it was 9am! Whoops! I cashed out what I had and raced home to take the reigns from Squirrel (the reigns to Carley, that is!). She wasn't real pleased with me. I guess I understand. But what is it about a poker table that when you are playing it becomes so easy to sit there and play for 12 hours and not even notice how long you've been there? Sometimes it freaks me out.

Okay I'm outa here!


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