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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Horsey Hits Paydirt!!!!

Well, well, well...looks like we have a little last-minute situation developing here at the Circle M horse ranch!

You all  know about my current 'thing' that I have going on with the 2015 WSOP Monkey Grinders...aka Minions.  I've named our first three players. And as of this writing, I have sold 144 of the 150 shares (at $200 per share) to send those 3 players. Personally, I've taken 10 shares.

One thing I learned a long time ago, in poker, anyway...was to never let your fellow players know certain things. Some things you just can't help. Like making a big score, or a collection of medium-sized  ones. Inevitably, those kind of performances always tend to bring a certain unsavory element from out of the word work  and into your life...or at least your email or Facebook message center.

"Hey Monkey...congratulations on your recent success. Hey...I was just wondering something...." and I think we all know how the rest of the message reads. STAKE ME STAKE ME STAKE ME!!!!!

So, the past year I've done some staking. It's gone very, uh...well, lousy. A large percentage of that was done on a girl who continues to live (rent free) in my house as a guest of my wife until she 'gets back on her feet.' Part of the strategy of staking her was in hopes that she would snap off something big, get back on her feet...and give me back my ability to walk  around my home naked whenever I want! Didn't work. So that's going on a year and a half now. I've decided to stop staking her. Just felt like I was losing twice!

So...instead, I decided to finally go with this one particular guy. Why? I  guess because I liked him. He wasn't a pest about it. He was actually very polite, telling me what he wanted to do. No hard-sell tactics. I also was familiar with how he played. He played in my online poker club when I had that going on two years ago...before it was sabotaged by someone who couldn't stand the idea of me making a good living in poker without having to step foot in a casino. Secretly? I would like to thank whoever that piece of shit was...seriously. It was taking way too much of my time...WAY too much, both with the amount of time I sat on my computer playing, as well as the amount of time the accounting work took.

I said no to Mike a couple of times before I  finally decided to give it a shot with him in New Orleans. The very first event he played, the 6-Max...he final tables! He finished 6th. He would then cash 29th in the Main Event. We came out of that event boasting a PROFIT! Yay! That felt great! But did I ask for some of that money? Naw....I said "Go For It" when he asked about he was getting very  close to winning a seat in the National Freeroll, which just happens to take place in his own backyard of North Carolina at the end of July. He lives in South Carolina. And he offered me 50% of his Freeroll if he should happen to win a seat. 

Mike arrived in Foxwoods and promptly cashes in his first two events...finishing 9th, and then 52nd in their big $100k guaranteed $580. Suddenly he was only about 10 pts away from clinching a seat in the Freeroll. But then he had 4 events of just running like dirt. Flopping sets left and right and either having to fold to obviously better hands or simply losing after getting drawn out on. AA losing, KK losing...hey, he didn't have to explain it to  me! I've been there! I've seen it! One good thing he has in me as his backer? I actually believe some of the crazy shit he tells me! Cuz I've lived it! 

Well he got off the schneid and punched our cheaper ticket into the Main...winning the Mega satellite on his second attempt. Elation, however, quickly turned to he ran into some terrible luck in not just the first flight...but again in the second flight, that I green-lighted him playing. Then he lost quickly  in Event 11...leaving just  ONE more tourney for him to try and get those much-needed 10 points to make it into the Freeroll. I was already out of the profit-zone and into the negative-zone...but hell's bells...why would I give up now!?? One more $365 to play...and a Turbo, yuck!

Well? What happened? I was busy that day...but  periodically glanced at my phone.  He quickly doubled up. Then it was like most days....chipped up....lost a  some back...lost some back...card dead....a double up. I  was trying not to get too  excited, almost exactly how my mental state is when I'm actually playing, and things are going like that. Poker, as most of us  know...can become a very emotionally draining experience, especially if we let ourselves get sucked up into all the peaks and valleys. It's kind of cute...sometimes I'll be playing against an obviously new player...and I might win a huge pot...and will show no emotion...why? Because I'm just completely relieved that the guy didn't river the flush, or the straight, or whatever the fu** he needed to beat me. 

"Hey man! Why aren't you happy!?? Smile why don't you! You just won a big pot!" of little experience. One day, my little shamrock, you will understand...and look back on your joyous naivety with amusement. As most of us have. Yes...I do slightly remember those jubilant moments in poker. Slightly.

I remember I used to observe the well-known, experienced players, and admire the way they would take bad beats, and marvel at how they would show little to no emotion after winning a huge pot. I used to think to myself..."wow, this guy has ice water in his veins!"

No, no he doesn't. He's just been there, done many times, that nothing really registers anymore. Someone one outs you on the you are teetering on becoming chip leader? Old you might slam the table...shout out something like "Noo!!! You have GOT to be kidding me!!!! That did NOT just really happen!!!!!" Yeah...I think maybe I was that guy once upon a time.

Now? Grain of salt my friends. Roll of the eyes, fall back in my chair...and attempt to gather my  thoughts, reset my mental state...and try to come back from the devastating blow to my stack. Moral of the story: Shit  happens. Deal with it.

Back to Mike.

It was getting late. I was getting tired. They were almost in the money. Obviously, with it paying 18...he needed to finish 9th or 10th to clinch his spot...and since the only payouts that were really even kind of appealing were first place and second place...and I wasn't even going to worry about anything below that. The obvious 'prize' we were focusing on was getting that seat, which I'd have a 50% sweat on.

I laid in bed reading. Then it started getting really exciting, because since it was a Turbo, players were dropping pretty fast. At some point, I moved to the living room and fired up the live feed from Foxwoods and watched for the rest of the night. Once he got to 7th place, we officially became profitable again. That was exciting!

On the very last hand of the tournament, the short stack moved all in with J9...and Mike called with A5 suited. On the flop...a jack! Shit. On the turn...the ACE OF CLUBS...but that also gave the other guy a flush draw. The river was a brick...and my little horsey...Mike Bratovich...had won his FIRST WSOP Circuit ring! He'd cashed for me FIVE times, out of 19 total a lot of different areas of the game...six-max,  turbo, and a Main well as winning a Mega satellite. The $14,450 we took down for winning that FINAL event was pretty awesome too! And finally...he clinched his seat in the National Freeroll...with 50 points added to his 120...putting him in 15th with 170 points. And of his 8 total cashes...5 of them came playing for me. 

I won't lie...I am VERY happy to have finally profited off a staking venture. But more than  anything, I am ecstatic for Mike! He's really a good kid,  has a beautiful wife and two little girls...and had just lost his job before the New Orleans event. So he needed to win pretty bad! As for Vegas? Well, I've already told him I consider staking on WSOP events (non-Main Event) to be one of the worst investments in poker. Why do I feel like this? Same reason that when I was allowed to play there I  didnt like to. Lousy starting stacks, and too many crazy/insane Euros. I just can't find any reason to invest money on a player on BIG buy a tourney where you only get 3 times whatever the buy in is. If you don't get some hands early and double or trip up by the first are in deep trouble come Level 4...almost forced into a shove fest. And THAT SUCKS! 

(I've had to come in here and issue a retraction, or rather, correction. I've been informed by a couple of people that the WSOP staff has improved the structure. And how would I know? Since I'm not allowed in there? But I'm told the chip stacks are much better now...something like 5 times the buy in...much more reasonable. And I'm also told they've added in some really, you should start seeing much better players making final tables this summer-my prediction. How this affects me in staking? DOES make a difference, to be sure. I'll play it by ear.)

The good news for Mike? His good run has stirred up interest from some other people...who aren't scared off by those structures. GOOD! I couldn't be happier for him! Because nothing would make me happier than if he goes out there and makes a HUGE score that can really help his family. Hell, I'm not greedy! I don't mind taking my little victories here and there! Besides...I have a tremendous amount of faith in my Minions doing WORK this summer! And this nice profit...I now can invest even more than 10 shares into my group.

So...what this has created, is a dire effort on my part to try and get Mike on our team for this summer. In addition to Mike, I was really, really trying to get a certain female on the team. I know I  have a lot of potential investors that are ladies, and they would love to see a woman on the team. And to be totally honest...whatever is going to sell shares..and get more players on the team and INTO the Main Event, I have to pay attention to.

SO...if you are interested in getting a piece of my THREE, and hopefully FOUR or FIVE incredibly solid players this summer in the WSOP Main Event...with it's 30,000 chip starting stack, and two-hour blind levels (God its so incredible, the structure, it pains me to even type that out!!!!) you are NOT too fact, not too  late at all! It's not even JUNE yet! All you have to do is  email me at and tell me you want in!

As for me? I've made my reservations for Vegas myself. I will be arriving there on July 1st...staying at the Treasure Island, which is literally across the street from Venetian...and playing in  two of  their $1125's a couple $600's and $400's and most likely their $5000 Main event. A grand total of about $10,000 worth of events. I still haven't decided if I  will play 100% on my own, or sell a package. It's a tough call. I will be in town to give all our Summer Minions/Grinders their hoodies, and hats and MONEY to register. Hopefully I'll get a chance to hang out with them a little bit as well. I'm also looking forward to going to my friend Frank Kasella's annual 4th of July party. That is always a major blowout! I'll return home on July 15th...unless, of course, I final table the Main Event at Venetian...then we'll casually change our flight and assume the wife is understanding!

Tonight! There is a better than average chance that my  New York Rangers' season is going to come to an end. I have a bad feeling. I  know they are the kings of winning with their backs to the wall...but this Tampa Bay team is TOUGH. I really felt like we needed to win Game 5 at home the other night, and we got shutout 2-0 and just outplayed. Tonight in Tampa Bay...well? It's another must-win game. Then follow that up with a must-win Game 7 back in the Garden. I wonder how NBC is going to feel about  Anaheim vs Tampa Bay  as opposed to  New York vs Chicago? I think I know the answer. I hope my boys surprise me and give me yet another reason to go hoarse tonight!



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