Sunday, February 28, 2016


Why does February always seem to fly by so quickly? Yeah yeah, I know, its the shortest month of the year. But come on, seriously...two days? Big deal. I've slept for two days before! Oh look! A TV commercial for yogurt starring Cam Newton! That guy who got creamed in the Super Bowl, then pouted his way through the post-game press conference, which endeared him to millions! Hey...if you're gonna run all over the field like a circus clown, taking selfies during the game and celebrating every first down like you just discovered gold....then you need to learn how to handle a loss! Watching that petulant child lose to the Broncos was one of my happiest Super Bowl memories, ever! What a douchebag. 

So, the week before the Super Bowl...I took the family to Disney World. Sadly...the day we got there...Carley came down with a fever, and strep throat. But somehow...she soldiered through, with Squirrel giving her all the proper meds at every proper hourly interval. You could see the misery in Carley's eyes...but the meeting with every Disney character temporarily lifted her spirits. Meanwhile...I was destroying my knees and back, eating pain pills like they were Pez. When we finally reached our room each night....I was so happy for the chance to sleep a few hours. To just LAY DOWN! It was brutal. We must have walked 100 miles in 4 days. Never, ever again do I do Disney and NOT rent a scooter. They rent them on site! For good reason! And if I'm worried about people judging me and giving me snotty looks? I'll slap on a rudimentary knee brace of some kind. Three weeks later...my back is worse...not sure why. But the pain medication doctor has gotten involved, upped my meds to something a little more powerful, and scheduled me for an epidural/injection therapy for March 8th. Ugh...can't get here soon enough! Wow...getting old sucks balls!

So...with my declining health, and increasing age...and increasing mid-section, I decided 5 days ago to go on a crash diet. I said a long time ago..."how do people let themselves get SO fat? If I ever get so fat I can't stand looking in the mirror, I will starve myself back to skinny!" Well...that day came last week. I looked in the mirror, and felt sick. Granted...its all in my gut, mainly. Still...6'4 is a big frame, and yeah, its gonna carry some weight. But I'm approaching Offensive Lineman stature...checking on last Monday at 275 lbs! Yeah! So I started right then and there. And five days in I've lost the first 7 lbs. The first goal is 25. Then 40. If I can hit 40...and my damn back stops hurting, I will be in the gym 3 days a week. It's not about me anymore. I have this beautiful, full of life little girl who loves her daddy as much as I love her...and I simply cannot rob her of a life with her daddy by being irresponsible and dying of a heart-attack. So...the battle is on!

Poker-wise, admittedly I haven't played much live tourney play. Played a little $2500 guarantee they run at The Scarlet Pearl last Saturday. $100 buy in with re-entry through three levels. I bit the dust when my flopped flush lost to a bigger flush. I moved to the 1-3 game...where there is NO max on the buy in (love that) and bought in for $500...cashed out for $2100. That was my second cash session there. The first one, about a month ago, I won $2200. Played there again last night....and only managed to win $370. Lately...my cash cow has been Bovada's 'Zone Poker' their version of speed poker. I won $400 taking a bath last night before heading to the Pearl. That was in about 90 minutes. I've been taking about $1000 a week from that game. $100 buy in at .50/1.00 limits. It's absolutely incredible how soft it is. Bluffs are obvious. Big hands almost always get paid off. Pretty simple formula. Min raise. Bet the flop whether you hit or not...take down about 65% of the hands. Hell...I might even be able to say...and I haven't said this in a long time...I'm semi-enjoying playing online! Especially when I can play it on my iPad. It's gets me to sleep at night a lot!

My pools have been so successful this past football season, as well as my fledgling accounting business...that there really is no way to justify the need to go out on the road to play poker. When you are making 'X-amount' of money...and try to convince your wife to go out of town to make 'Y-amount'' of money that is significantly less than 'X-amount' it makes it pretty hard to win the argument against staying home with my little girl. Coupled with the burnout I'd managed to achieve after years of chasing the poker circuit. Throw in the influx of new, young, annoying players that I simply can't relate to or barely tolerate. It's sometimes hard to sit with some of these idiots. And yeah...I know, there are those of you saying things like "that's the coffee calling the kettle black!" and other related comments. Sure...I was once this loud, boisterous, overly-opinionated player who was very polarizing. Honestly, that was back when I was full of enthusiasm for the game. I loved it. I loved interacting with players. Most everything I did and said was all in good fun, though it was often misinterpreted. Well...that is seemingly a non-issue now...as I'm like a house plant at the table. Just sitting there. 

Last night, while playing cash game...these two young, drunk 'kids' show up....one sporting dark shades. Cute. There were the alcohol-fueled promises to take all of our money. I said nothing. Partially because I was marinating in pain meds while enjoying my orange-cranberry juice, but also because I simply don't care. I've heard these guys for over a decade. Blah blah blah. He gets real lucky early...and chips up. Then his buddy wins a couple hands. Oh...how the worm turned. Super Shades raises to 15. Older, quiet guy in the 1-seat re-raises to 40. Kid gives a speech and calls. Long story short...he has jacks...and flops a set of jacks....J-3-5. All the money gets in...and while he's celebrating, a Queen hits the river...and the other guy turns over two queens. A few people at the table chuckle. Then it was his friend's turn. On a board of A-4-7-K-Q....he bets about $60 on the river...and starts chirping that he is 'taking it easy on ya pardna!' I'm not sure what prevented the guy (the likable one) on my side of the table from raising him, but he didn't, and after seeing the guys AK...says "I'm gonna take it easy on YOU....pardna!" and turns over QQ. Absolute hilarity. Whole table, even the guy's buddy...is laughing at him. Major burn!

Both of them lose another big hand on the river, and finally busted. I can't lie...it completed my night. At some point, I pulled out my rubber-banded mobile bank roll..and I guess sunglasses spotted the 100's...and shortly afterwards, started mumbling about wishing he could play me heads-up for $500. I responded, in a very slow, robotic voice: "My friend, I would be more than happy to play you heads up for any amount of money you can produce, I'll even get the floor to get us a dealer and spread the game. Just say the word." That seemed to rattle him a little bit. Earlier, he had been goading me...calling me "the guy who doesn't talk to anyone." Yeah. Can y'all believe that? Me? The guy who doesn't talk to anyone? The boring guy!?? Yup! Apparently, that is me, who I've become! I am entering OMRG status I'm afraid. Just think...two weeks ago, I turned 49....FORTY FREAKING NINE! Next year I will be eligible to play the Senior's Events. Scary! 

Well...after numerous attempts to get me to leave the fortress...Ken Christopher, and my stake horse Mike Bratovich...have FINALLY convinced me to venture out on the road. Having received the blessing of my wife, and permission from little Carley....I will leave my hamlet this coming Thursday, Kenneth is even driving (gotta like THAT!) and travel to Jacksonville to play the BestBet MSPT Main Event! $1100 buy in, great structure. Play 1A on Friday...and if necessary, 1B on Saturday. Hopefully I survive Day 1...bag chips, and take Saturday to goof off. Which means, probably play cash game all day! But I will admit it, having gotten a little bit of the itch back to play tourneys...I'm a little excited. So, I will let you know how that turns out.

In closing...I know we are getting close to another summer of WSOP action in Vegas...and I for one, am extremely shocked/surprised that it appears the Rio will once again be hosting the worlds largest poker event/convention. I was led by my sources to believe 100% that it would be moving to Planet Hollywood. Well, it didn't' happen...and I think if it hasn't happened yet, it isn't going to. Just not enough time.  So...just around the corner? You know it! It's the HUNT for MONKEY'S MINIONS...for SUMMER 2016! Oh and...this just in...the main event has bumped up the starting stack from 30k to 50k! Crazy awesome structure. Makes me sick that I can't play. But oh well, whatever. I'm not about to beat a dead and decaying dead horse. If you are someone you think I would want to get behind, and to eventually sponsor for this year's $10,000 WSOP Main Event...its time to start sending me your 'applications' for consideration. The email to send to is ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. Can't wait to see who I have to pick from this year!