Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Release the Hounds!!!

Today is Thursday, April 27th. I fired off the first official email announcement to my rather large distribution list, touting the sale of shares for this year's edition of Monkey's WSOP Grinders....also known, and probably more popularly, as Monkey's Minions. In rather expedient fashion...I quickly sold 40 shares...which is only 10 shares short of sending our first team member. The goal is to send 5 again like last year....but I would love it if we could get 7 or 8 on the team. We have, basically, 60 days to make this happen. The WSOP Main Event starts July 9th. 

Here is the letter/email that went out yesterday:

Couple things: When going through one, two...or even three (yes, that's me, three!) computers since last summer...you sometimes tend to lose certain VERY IMPORTANT files when attempting to carry over all your vital info. I just spent three hours this morning going through my whole hard drive trying to locate last year's list of investors...which, once located and MUCH to my delight, also happened to have all of 2014's investor info!
Hence...everyone who participated the first two years in my special event...sort of a 'Make-a-Wish' type of deal, only for poker players...not for terminally ill children. And now, I honestly feel terrible for even using that as an analogy. But not horribly bad since I donate monthly to St. Jude's and Shriner's. It was just a thinly-veiled reference!
Now...you would think with all the emails I've been getting the past couple weeks (even three payments for shares!) that the WSOP Main Event was starting next week! Relax! It's not starting until about July 7th. So we have a full 2 months to get this year's team together.
In 2014...we sent FOUR players. None cashed, regrettably. Though on the basis of being the deepest finisher (by far) Wild Bill Phillips was invited back in 2015. He rewarded us by being the first Grinder...who have come to be affectionately known as 'Monkey's Minions' to cash. So...as we raised enough to send FIVE players...we finally got a little return on our collective investment, about 75% of what we paid. Now...Wild Bill, who last year ALSO won my March Madness Pool (and almost won again this year-finishing third, out of 769 entries!) will represent this year's team once again...
Bill just happens to own and operate the poker website that gave me a forum to voice my views, opinions and everything else back in 2008. Over 700 posts later, I've developed a pretty loyal following of blog readers...and admittedly, it made doing something of this magnitude a LOT easier than it would be for some random Tom-Dick-and Harry type poker pro. Adding to the ease with which this has gone down...is the access to my nearly 2000-person mailing list for my sports pools.
SO! For those who are past investors...you don't need any explanation, I don't think. It's the SAME BALL GAME! $200 per share! 50 shares sold, sends ONE team member. Sell 100, send two....and so on! Last year, we sold 250 shares...raising $50,000...and sent FIVE players.
What is my 'cut' in all this? ZILCH! Nothing! In fact, I invested about $1300 of my own money last summer to outfit our team in hats, hoodies and t-shirts. I personally bought 15 shares (for $3000) and rooted like crazy to just break even! Bill had a great run...but in the end...his KK went down in flames, just like mine did in 2012 during my deep run. I was derailed by 10-10. Bill by AQ. (anyone wanting to 'chip in' an extra few bucks to help cover the cost for all the poker schwag, I would be extremely grateful!)
WHO ARE THE PLAYERS? HOW ARE THEY CHOSEN? WHEN DO WE LEARN THEIR IDENTITY? These are some popular questions. Basically, I started an application process weeks ago. I have a very large file of people who are clamoring for the chance to play in the (for some) 'Once-in-a-Lifetime' biggest poker tournament in the world...which offers $10,000,000 to the eventual winner...and where all 9 players making the final table all win at least a million bucks!
The investors are asked to TRUST IN MONKEY that I will make the best possible choices for team members. I take into account a LOT of factors. One of the biggest being getting a player who is right for the type of tournament format/structure that the WSOP Main Event uses. A player with discipline, patience, and an ability to observe, study and predict the actions of their opponent. Cash game specialists are the LAST type of player I would ever recruit. This tournament IS the ultimate marathon.
(DISCLAIMER: last year, we had some second-guessing that came into play. It was a painful distraction. Let me say this...if you do NOT THINK that after ten years of doing this full time, and while putting in a large chunk of my OWN money...that I am not qualified to put the best team possible on the felt? Or you are thinking about telling me that you might invest, but won't do so unless I TELL YOU who the players are? Or insist on being involved in the selection process? Or are basically just a highly critical, second-guessing person by nature? This, then...is not for you. Seriously...please do not even CONSIDER getting involved. I, my players, and most of my investors, do not want you. You can delete this email RIGHT NOW. Thanks)
Is it a personality contest? No. However...it is nice to have some players with a little personality. Some character! We want players who will do a good job of communicating with the investment group...giving reasonably timely updates, for instance. Showing up for group functions. A player who gets named to the team...who then goes and promotes him or herself to friends and family to sell shares, not only to support them...but their teammates. I also look for players who's presence on the team will/would make for a nice story should they get deep.
I try to shy away from players who already have a pretty good reputation, and who can most likely sell shares of themselves through their own, already-established network of poker friends. Those players don't probably end up having the appreciation at being named to the team that someone would who has almost NO poker 'connections' to reach out to. I want the HUNGRY. The player who would literally do almost ANYTHING for the chance to play in the WSOP Main Event. It not only makes ME happy...but the investment team as well. I mean...I don't think I'm going out on a limb, when I say that most people LOVE to support an UNDERDOG, right??? Especially one with the skills to get the job done!
So that is what this is! For those who know MY STORY with the WSOP...and specifically Jack Effel, who has basically used his position and power to see that I am never allowed back into the WSOP after a, well...ridiculous incident back in 2012..yeah, four YEARS AGO...this initially started out as my attempt at a big EF YOU to him. My dream was to start this team...get a player to the final table, and present him with an ultimatum...let me back into the WSOP...and the player will leave a massive tip...or DON'T...and get a tip of $0! By the time it might make it that far...the media attention given to it would most likely heap an insane amount of pressure and scrutiny on him...that he would have to respond to the charges of impropriety where my '86' was concerned. Yeah...that WAS the main goal!
Well, this has grown...and I almost feel petty now by making it about me. After all...I've kind of quit traveling the circuit, gotten into staking other players, and other successful business ventures, and well, just being at home and enjoying being a 'daddy' to Carley, who just turned four yesterday! So...my motivation has shifted somewhat...more to a 'how many players I can help' and 'how many investors I can show a good time to' every summer!!! Let's face it...some (most!) of us just can't carve away the time needed to whoosh off to Vegas for 7-10 days to try and hit it rich with a huge, lucky run of good cards mixed with skill! So what I've started three years ago..is the next best thing! Am I not right!!!???
I apologize for this being so long! However...I am trying to do everything to avoid a gazillion questions being emailed back to me! So right now? I have decided on THREE TEAM members.(I will reveal that in an upcoming Blog post in the next day or two) I will add players as the funds come rolling in!
Obviously, I will keep EVERYONE in the loop on what has been raised, and who has been named to the team. For updates, also tune into my blog...where I will post updates on the process. I am also considering something new this summer. Once we get, say 3 or 4...and have established a healthy group of investors...there is a good chance I will reveal a list of candidates on the NEXT UP FOR CONSIDERATION list...and put it up to a vote among the current investment team. I think this might be a great idea, to give the investors some input of their own.
As for the question: HOW MUCH CAN I WIN? HOW DO WE GET PAID? Poker math wizards might ask: "What's the Mark-Up!??" Which drives me absolutely berserk. Here is the easiest way I can answer it.
The player can't win ANY of the $10,000 buy in money. The player will win 35% of whatever prize money he/she wins AFTER the $10k has been deducted. The investors (obviously) win 65%...plus having their $10k refunded back.
Now this really is VERY simple to figure out. The total won...is simply divided by the TOTAL NUMBER OF SHARES SOLD. Period! Each share, is then worth x-amount of dollars. If you bought 5 shares? You would get back 5 times that number.
If 2 out of say, 5 players cash....yippee! We probably make money! Example: Player 1 wins a total of $36,000 (a min cash, we call it!) and Player 2 wins a total of $120,000 (well done!)...the investors pool is $156,000. Player 1 wins 35% of $26,000 ($9100) and Player 2 wins 35% of $110,000 ($38,500).  This would leave a GRAND TOTAL in the INVESTOR POOL of $108,400. If we sent 5 players...that would mean we sold 250 shares. Therefore, each $200 share, would now be worth $433 each. You would have doubled your money, plus some!
The players all pay for their own hotels and airfare to get out to Vegas. With that in mind...I have pledged to have all of our players named by Memorial Day...which will give them a full 30 days plus to get their travel arrangements made...as well as time for me to get all our 'poker schwag' made! And paid for by yours truly!
There is NO LIMIT to how many shares you can buy! The more, the merrier! As for deadline to pay? The SOONER the BETTER. I'm currently carrying about $15,000 worth of debt from the pool season (mostly for squares) and I have absolutely NO DESIRE to carry any more from this. ESPECIALLY since Squirrel and I are closing on this house this Friday!!!
I do not know if I will be going to Vegas this summer...so please don't ask if you can pay me in Vegas when you see me out there, because there is nothing set in stone on me going yet. As for ways to pay? There are a TON! And I have posted them below.
NOW...and this is VERY IMPORTANT! In an ongoing attempt to NOT GET MY ACCOUNTS SUSPENDED (which in some cases can lead to getting money confiscated) if you are using ANY electronic means for payment....do NOT NOT NOT leave a comment in the subject line, OR comments section telling me what you are paying for! They have people and filters that literally PREY on this type of thing...and refer to it as GAMBLING-related payments. They will shut me down in an INSTANT! So please...do NOT BE THAT PERSON!!!!! That person during football season this year was....well, okay I won't call him out here.
The spreadsheet for investors has already started....with Brian Delatte, David Gindratt  and Jennifer Gay being this year's first to join the team! Who is next??? Let the investment team form....NOW!  And if you have ANY MORE QUESTIONS...must click REPLY and ask away...I will try to give timely responses to everyone!
William 'Senor Monkey' Souther

WANT TO INVEST IN THIS YEAR'S TEAM? Just drop me an email....at the SpamBot Avoiding email address  ThePokerMonkey1.......at.......america online dot com!

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Is there any relationship between me creating two groups on Facebook, one called 'TED CRUZ MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL' and the other one....'KILLARY WEARS PRADA' that could possibly be responsible for the ridiculous, incomprehensible number of hits I've gotten on my blog on WED and THURS?

Something is UP and I don't know what it is. It's freaking me out. Kind of. And I don't have time to write today. Plus Prince just died earlier, and that has me really sad. For real. Not just pretending. It was the first concert I ever went to. With the first girl I ever...well...my first 'real' relationship. Prince was pretty prominent in my early years. Almost every Prince song I ever hear reminds me of a time in my life, or a person, a job, an historical occurrence. Something. It's weird when someone like that just suddenly dies. At 49...its happening more and more...and the more it happens, the more I'm starting to be aware of my own existence on this wonderful planet Earth. 

I played poker last night at IP. Wanted to play at Pearl...but they had no game going. Sucked. So went to IP...had to play limit for an hour (won a whopping $56) before finally getting a seat on the 1/3 game. Nothing very exciting to talk about. Won $503 in about 3 hours. Which basically covers the cost of Carley's upcoming 4th birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese....a.k.a. 'The Rat Hole.' I really hate that place. Bunch of fuckin crooks running that place. Look, if something is broken or not working right? And you know...because you either just KNOW, or several parents have bitched about it? Put a motherfreaking OUT OF ORDER sign on it...instead of just letting one person after another put their token (avg. cost being about .25 per token) in it and being disappointed. And poorer. But whatever. The kid loves the place. And the stupid rat. Whatever makes my princess smile. 

Congratulations to my, well...former I guess...horse, Mike Bratovich...who managed to win his 2nd WSOP ring up at Cherokee in a very large field, over 500 I believe, in the Turbo 'bird.' (see, even I can be a poker dork if I try hard enough) He just got a 2nd place a couple weeks earlier up in Baltimore...so it seems his little slump that led to me having to take a hiatus (at least until our house closes next week) for awhile appears to be over. I'm very happy for him and his wife and kids. Nothing worse than stressing out wondering if you will ever win again. That is the absolute worst.

Great news from Jacksonville. Turns out...the video was, in fact, located, secured, and sent to my lawyer. I got the video, via CD, in my mailbox today. I haven't even watched it yet. Mainly because my new Dell doesn't have a disk drive! My Mac doesn't either...but I bought a ...oh I forgot what they call it, it has some fancy name...EXTERNAL DISK DRIVE! I just have to find it and get it hooked up. Too lazy. Plus, like I said, I've been busy creating "I hate Ted Cruz and Hillary" groups on Facebook, as well as mourning the loss of Prince. And no...I'm not going to even mention Chyna...or whatever her real name was. Look. She came from an alcoholic father, who knows what else, got into weight lifting, then steroids, then wrestling, fought with Vince McMahon, quit, did porn, got messed up on drugs, quit porn, got back into porn again...then more drugs...then....well, you get the picture, she's dead. I saw someone had posted on their wall today that she was an Icon and Superhero. I was like...HUH? Yeah...that's who I want my daughter emulating. People are fucking stupid.

I went broke on Bovada last week. After buying in for $200 a couple months ago...and running it up pretty big...a couple times...finally got the standard, online-poker beatdown. Haven't put anything else on there since. Basically, I stepped up and bought the newest XboxOne last month...along with 15 games. So I have dedicated the next few months to nothing but Stanley Cup Playoffs for as long as the Rangers are still alive...and killing people on XBox. Maybe mix in a few trips to the gym...since I'm on this life-changing diet of mine, inspired by the products of Le-Vel...to put it the way they would like...I'm 'THRIVING' or I have my 'THRIVE ON.' Trying to dump 40 lbs by summer. So far...I've dropped 15-17 lbs...depending on the day of the week and the meal I just consumed. 

MONKEY's 2016 MINIONS are starting to take shape! Keep the applications coming. My decision hasn't been totally announced or decided upon yet...but I'm getting close. How many? Basically, the way I'm going to handle it this summer? And I think this is smart: Commit to sending THREE right away, because, well...I know I can raise $30,000 very fast. Then name Minion #4 then #5...as alternates...or next in line...or ON DECK and IN THE HOLE...and if we keep getting funds pouring in? I will just keep adding to the team. Hell, I'll send TEN if I'm able to come up with $100,000. Don't rule it out. You have no idea of the network of degens I have to draw from! It's both impressive and a little unbelievable too! 

If you are wanting to APPLY or if you are simply wanting to PARTICIPATE as an INVESTOR...at $200 per share....email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. And basically, when you send $200 for ONE share? You have a piece of EVERY player that makes the team. As to what each share is worth? It's not your 'traditional' staking format. So you can't just say...."Oh, well two shares is worth X%" because it just doesn't work that way.  Say we end up selling 250 shares? That is enough for 5 players. $50,000. I do NOT take a fee. Never have, never will. I raise exactly enough to put them in the event, period. And I buy shares myself. No, we don't raise money for the players' hotel and/or airfare. The way I see it...if I am giving them a chance to play for 35% of potentially $10,000,000...and they don't have to come up with a nickel of the $10k? Well...they can find their own way out there and own place to sleep. No one has bristled about it in three years yet. And if they do? Well....NEXT!!!

So back to the payouts...potentially. So, last year...I think we had 84 people who bought a total of 250 shares. Wild Bill Phillips was our lone cashing player. I don't remember what he won. Lets call it $52,000. First things first...the $10,000 buy in comes out..and dropped into the prize pool. Plop. Splash. Leaving $42,000. Player gets 35% of that. $14,700 to the player. The other $27,300 goes PLOP into the Investors Fund...bringing that total to $37,300. DIVIDE that amount by the total of 250 shares sold. Comes out to $149.20 PER SHARE.  Which means you lost about $51 per share on your $200 investment...but still got 3/4th of it back. And that was just ONE out of FIVE players cashing. Pretty easy to figure out the ROI. (return on investment) Taxes? Well that's something we handle internally, and it's not really anything major. Just not that interesting of a topic so write about it? But yeah...it is addressed and handled quite easily.

So...I wonder what all these hits are all about the last two days!?? 

I would like to thank the oil workers in Kuwait for going on strike this week...it was solely responsible for the sharp increase in barrel prices, and resulted in two very nice days in the 'ol investment portfolio! Carley's college fund looks much better today! Hoping they can stay on strike for at least another week!

Okay...I gotta go mow the lawn. Probably dial up Pandora and find the Prince channel and reminisce while chopping grass. Speaking of grass...happy 420 Day to all your stoners out there. I know it was yesterday, but I also know how much you guys procrastinate too...so its not like I'm really THAT late.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Long-Overdue J-Ville Part 2 Post

Yeah...sorry, LIFE happened, and it took me a lot longer to post my continuation story. Found a couple minutes to do it, since my room is off limits to the guy who is tearing apart the wall to repair the termite damage in there. That's part of the conditions of me buying this house...that it will be fixed and remedied. Turns out, since last writing, our owner/landlord has since had the house fall into the hands of the bank...and we are now buying it from the bank in a short sell...which means I am getting a MUCH better deal on the house than any other buyer ever would have. So, in short, it all worked out as well as it could have. Pretty stoked to get that all wrapped up. Hopefully by the end of the month. [update, after posting this, about 3 hours later, I get a text from the lady asking if I've sent the rent payment for April. Interesting. If you are buying a house, THAT month..am I wrong in assuming that you wouldn't PAY rent? Also...considering its a short sell, and the sell is between me and the bank, isn't she basically, completely out of the picture? The way I see, and I could be wrong...is were I to send her rent (or the leasing company who manages it for her) would I not just be giving her free money? Since its known that she is no longer making mortgage payments? Kind of an awkward situation. If you know the answer to this...feel free to share with me]

So I will get right into it. Jacksonville? Another venue with lots of potential...but being run by people who are strictly minor-league and don't even know they are minor-league. All I needed to see was dealers who didn't know anything about racing off green chips, or floor guys who didn't know how to handle the swap out after the race off. Those of us who do 'get it' find it painstakingly awkward to watch stuff like that. Dealers pushing out with 30 seconds til the break for the next dealer. Side pots turning into agonizing shit shows. You ever play one of those tournaments at a charity event? And they bring in dealers who's lone experience with cards is playing spades out at the lake house? I tend to be a little overly critical ANYWAY...always have been, with anything I have a lot of experience in. Dining is probably the other thing I have a hard time doing, especially down here in Mississippi where enjoying a good dining experience is rare. So when I am put on life tilt in those situations, it obviously has an affect on my desire to ever go back. I don't see myself going back to Jacksonville. You can add it to the list of places, like Coushatta, for example. 

One problem you get when you have a tournament at a venue that is being sponsored by another entity...but being run by the home casino's staff...is a lot of passing of the buck. Anytime you have a question about anything, prize structure, blind structure, certain rules, info about breaks, etc...and you ask one of the in-house floor people, they often times don't know..and defer to the people from, in this example...the MSPT guys. So to get a simple question answered, you are running all over the place looking for the proper person to ask. 

My level of success at Best Bet was negligible. I rode down with Kenneth Christoper, and staked him in Flight A. I might have backed him for a second bullet, after he busted...but I think he was so disillusioned with the players, coupled with him having a girl that came up from West Palm he decided he preferred to frolic with...that he decided not to even pursue a second bullet. I made the same deal with Mike Bratovich...who had sold his own package for the event, but who had told me if he busted Flight A, he would let me buy him in for a second bullet. He busted in A and all he wanted to do was get the hell out of there...so he fled, instead of sticking around for Flight B. (smart man)

Me? Well...Ken and I arrived in time to play the 7:30 mega satellite. I put us both in. Ken busted. I won. So yeah, that saved me $850. At one point in Flight A, Ken ran his $20k up to $85k and was looking good. Then, after dinner he ran his KK into AA and went broke. Well, I had that same experience, but it was early in the day. in fact, level 1! Hand #3. And I get KK. I raised. Guy re-raised. I raised again. As did he. I just flatted....starting to fear AA. Flop came all rags. You know the rest of the story. Then I learned...since it certainly wasn't advertised very well...that it was an open re-entry up til Level 6. Well shit....it's level 1...I'm not going anywhere. REBUY!

Photographic proof of my appearance in Jacksonville!

Second bullet went much better. By better, I mean I didn't get knocked out until the 600-1200 level. It's been a month now, I don't even remember how I ultimately lost. Nor can I even tell you how I lost the next day when I had almost a carbon copy of day one...busting early...then rebuying, and busting late again. So yeah...I was in for a total of 4 bullets, plus Ken's. Not a very good trip. Luckily, I had much better luck in the cash game. I was amazed at how bad the play was down there. I think if you live in Jacksonville, and are even just mediocre at the game...you can make a living playing cash game down there. There is no need to really 'play poker' there either. In fact..it probably works against you. Just sitting there and playing A-B-C poker...you will emerge profitable. No one folds. So bluffing is kind of stupid. Just making a hand and not scaring them out of the pot with bets that are TOO big....that is really all the skill you need to make money there. Pot control. 

Well, although I was ready to leave after busting Saturday night (and my wife was extremely anxious for me to GTFO)...my road trip partner was still out on his date. So I had no way (a) back to the hotel and obviously (b) no way to leave town yet. So I sat playing 1/2 Pot Limit Omaha H/L which is ABSOLUTELY my game! Bought in for $500. Within an hour was up to $1400. Then John Holley sat at my table..and started doing what John Holley does. Nuked the table basically. Totally killed//changed up the whole dynamic that I'd spent the first 90 minutes setting up. Keep pots small to start in case I need to see a turn card, I can afford it...then inflating it on the turn to make it too expensive for people to chase on the river. Well...John likes to pot everything pre-flop. So you are spending a fair amount just to see the flop...which, if incomplete, leaves you with a decision to call a huge bet to see the next card. Killed all my momentum. So while I lost about 500 on my stack...he busted twice and rebought, the second time very deep. I never understand some things, the way some guys play. But whatever..it is what it is. And John has had a lot of success, so don't take what I'm saying about him as criticism. He just has his own style, and I have mine. And the two don't mix especially well.

That's when something happened that would lead to my departure from BestBet. And which I've been pretty mum on. Intentionally. I'm going to be very vague/ambiguous here...because there is pending litigation. A guy walks by our table. John says hi to him...by name. I see his back as he walks by. And I realize....it's HIM! Who? I can't say right now. Way back...in about 2008...a story circulated out in Vegas that a dealer and his wife had been robbed. That their condo was broken into, money and laptop and other stuff, all stolen. I felt really bad for them. (there were rumors later, told to me by several people, that their burglary never really happened. Maybe, maybe not) 

Well, having a large email distribution list...I decided to try and help them out. So I sent out a note to my people, explaining the situation. A handful of people pledged support to help them. Some sent me PayPal money. And some said they would send a check. I was only too happy to give this guy what I'd been sent, and told him others had pledged something, but I was going to have to wait to get it before I could give it to him. One guy even pledged an old laptop. But I couldn't give him what I didn't have yet. So, I gave him what I DID have already...which I think was $500? Honestly, I can't remember..it was 8 years ago. 

This particular summer (like so many others!) I wasn't permitted to play at WSOP events. So I was playing at Venetian. He was a WSOP dealer. He would make frequent trips to Venetian to ask me if I had gotten any more money. I don't remember the details on if I had or not, or how much. All I remember is that he pretty much started becoming a nuisance about it. By the end of the summer, he would ask me to front him some money because his car wasn't running right, and he needed to get it fixed to assure that they got home okay. Again...I don't remember how much it was ($450 sounds right) he needed, but I gave him money for it, not really expecting to get it back. I didn't. Whatever. No big deal. I had a good summer that year at Venetian. 

Well...fast forward about 3 or 4 years...someone told me, "Hey! Remember that guy you helped out in Vegas a few years ago?" Then named him. Yeah, why, I asked? "Well, dude...I have to send you this link...he is on Facebook just bashing the hell out of you!"  What!??? So I found the thread and was honestly....devastated. He was just blasting me. And I had no idea why. And when I questioned him there...he didn't relent. Just kept pouring it on, calling me all kinds of shit. What had I done to deserve that??? Had he simply lost his mind? I couldn't figure it out. But I did tell him he better hope he never ran into me...especially outside the (relative) safety of a casino...because I would make him pay for this betrayal (in my eyes) against me. Well...I didn't see him again any time soon. I'd heard that no one would hire him to deal anywhere...and that he'd gotten out of poker entirely. Not surprising.

Well...he showed up at BestBet...and I was kind of incredulous. I honestly didn't know how to act...but since I was sober, and basically having a pretty good night, I wasn't in any kind of a hostile mood. Yet...just seeing him kind of got my blood boiling. I shared the story with the guys at my end of the table. Two of the guys kept turning around and looking at him two tables away...where he was playing 1-3 no limit with his new girlfriend seated behind him. He kept looking over in my direction...usually with some pompous smirk on his face. I finally told him to do himself a favor and quit antagonizing me. Which prompted him to holler that "that's a pretty good way to get yourself thrown out Will." What a dick. Yeah...I'm sure that was what he was rooting for...since he knew me being in the same 'airspace' as him wasn't too good for his well-being. So that's about the time I see him worm his way over to the late night shift manager/floor guy. I can tell by his body language that he is spinning some bullshit tale. Then about 10 minutes later...the floor guy approaches me at our table.

"What is the deal with you and that guy?" I tell him as briefly as I could about my history with him. Tell him I have made no threats against him, that I haven't even left my seat. And that I would never start a fight in a poker room. He seems satisfied with that...and tells me he doesn't want anything to escalate. Sure. No problem. You got it. He goes away.

Well..idiot didn't want to leave it alone. He continues to pester me. I just sat giving him my death glare. And the two guys at our table didn't help...as they kept turning around looking at him...which probably gave the look and feel that something was brewing. Because a few minutes later...the floor guy returned and told me I had to leave. Why? He claimed that a dealer had said he observed me talking about wanting to kill the guy. Really? So I'm sitting here at my table, as told to do...and because he is over there making stupid ass faces like a 12-year old...and I say I would like to kill the guy (figure of speech) that you.....oh fuck it! Whatever...if you aren't smart enough to figure out who the adult in the room is, who the functioning, contributing member of society is...and who the loser, douchebag is...well, like I said...fuck it! It's 2:30am, I'm up $1800....have no plans to return to this place anyway....good time to leave.

So I get my chips in a rack. On the way to the cage...I'm being escorted by two in-house security guys. You know the type. Ugly velour purple blazer, older...the kinds who could never really contribute anything should anything significant actually go down? They are following me to the cage....and one of them asks me for my ID. "Why?" Well, he wants it so he can 'document' what happened. "Document? Well..no, I'm NOT going to give you my ID. Unless I'm being trespassed, or unless I'm being charged with something...there is no reason for you to see my ID...so no." Well that apparently ruffled his feathers because he taps his little shoulder mic...and I hear him state "suspect doesn't want to give us his ID, maybe you want to call for backup."  Huh??? Backup? Suspect!!??? WTF? 

Well sure enough...as I tend to do, I attracted the shit storm. Now...in fairness, I didn't exactly do my self any favors, or what I might have been advised to do should, say for example, my wife been with me. Instead of just walking out quietly...and finding a cab to take me back to my hotel, I chose a different departure route. Mainly because I didn't want this asshole to feel like he'd 'won' the battle and gotten over on me. As I was walking through the poker room, I cleared my throat and addressed the room, "Attention...fellow poker players! I would like to thank you for my time here at Best Bet! I am being forced to leave because that little schmuck standing over there (pointing to him) is afraid of me and thinks I'm going to hurt him I think. See, years ago, I helped him out of a couple jams...to which he repaid me by talking shit about me on a social thread for no reason. Whatever you do...don't EVER loan that guy money! Or buy into his BS scams, or fall for any of his woe-is-me stories. He's a loser!" This as I was making my way to the door. Well...towards the end of my 'speech' a short sheriff's deputy who I'd later learn is assigned to that post full time comes up to me, gets in my face, chest-bumps me and asks if I have a problem with leaving as I'd been asked to?

No...I tell him, I don't have a problem with it...do you NOT see me walking towards the door? He bumps me again..."then why aren't you leaving!???" I tell him I AM leaving...that I just wanted to deliver a speech to prevent this punk from ripping anyone else off. I then asked the guy why he was getting physical with me? He tells me he's not, as he shoves me again. That's when I thought I better get out my phone and start rolling video on this over-zealous cop. As soon as I hit the record button, he smacks the phone out of my hand...sending it about 20 feet away.

"Oh...that's nice!" I go to pick up my phone...and as I do so...am tackled by FOUR cops. No idea where the other three came from...but BOOM...they were all there. Must have been the 'backup' that had been called by the floor toughies. I am now laying on my front side...and am being ambushed by all four cops. One guy has a hold of my foot and is turning it violently...like he was trying to break my ankle. It hurt a lot. I have no idea what the fuck he was doing. While that's happening I'm being handcuffed. I turn to my right to see three guys with camera phones all videoing...so I was confident that by laying there not resisting whatsoever I could use that later to my benefit. So I just laid there wriggling around, hoping that guy would stop twisting my foot and ankle. Meanwhile I got another guy standing on my back, another on my shoulder...while kicking me in the ribs. About that time another guy is pressing down on my shoulder and strikes me in the left side of my face.

[side note: by some crazy coincidence, if any of the guys who were shooting that video happen to read this, and didn't, as I suspect, get management from Best Bet to order you to delete the video from your phone under some kind of threat? I am willing to pay you $250 for a copy of the video. Just email me, at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com]

I'm now starting to kind of lose my shit...but trying to stay calm because I know its all being videotaped not only by camera-phone guys...but Best Bet in-house security. And I don't know what the gaming laws are in Florida...but I know some casinos are required to save tape for up to 30 days. So I'm trying hard to stay calm, knowing I am going to have a great case against these idiots later. I spent an HOUR in the cop car...handcuffed, with no air, and no leg room. I was in tremendous pain from my back...recurring pain that had been persisting for weeks, and which I had a back procedure scheduled for when I got home from Jacksonville, on March 8th. That would later be cancelled when I showed up for it...when they told me they couldn't do the procedure because I had complained about an ear infection that had showed up that night. It turns out...it wasn't an ear infection. After a trip to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, I have a ruptured ear drum..as a result of the cops punching me in the side of the head. It's been almost 6 weeks, and it still hasn't healed. I have no hearing in one of my ears..its very frustrating and annoying. (It's been driving Squirrel crazy, me not ever hearing anything she is saying) It's expected to heal...just no idea how long it will be.

After about an hour in the cop car...that same short little cop who started it all...walks over to my window, and says "Mr Souther...you seem like a pretty good guy, why didn't you just stay calm and leave like you were asked to, instead of getting all crazy?" To which I laughed...and said "That's really funny. Is that honestly your take? The spin you are going to put on this? You are amusing. So what? After you ran my info, and finding that I have no warrants, or record, or anything else...and seeing pictures in my bag of my wife and kid...that NOW I seem like an okay guy? Look..I'm sure you hear this from just about every guy you guys do this to, that you just made a huge mistake, they are going to have your badge, blah blah blah, right? Well...let me just tell you this; I'm the real thing. I have plenty of money, and plenty of time, and the truth on my side. As soon as I get out of your county jail? The first call I will be making is to find the best lawyer in this city who handles police brutality cases, and pursuing a case against you. If you want to make a really smart move right now, the best thing you could do is take these cuffs off of me, apologize for kicking the crap out of me, in front of my peers, then drive me to my hotel, and beg me not to press charges against you. And because I do tend to be a pretty reasonable guy, I will likely let it go."

I really, for a second, thought he was possibly considering that move. But I assume that since they had already called it in, they had to process me at that point. So I was charged with 'Resisting Without Violence to Officers or Self' which is one of the most chippy offenses they have but, according to one of the guys I spoke to at the jail, who was helping me get my bond taken care of....the most widely applied charges they see there. Gee, imagine that. 

Later...after I located the lawyer I was referred to, who was labeled, 'The best lawyer in Jacksonville that deals with these kind of cases' we were talking on the phone, and when discussing the case, he told me they had a MAJOR problem with this kind of shit in Jacksonville. While telling him my story, he would literally finish about half of my sentences...like he was there! He's obviously represented numerous people who have basically experienced the same thing I did.

So I quickly posted cash bond. Was told that would get me out the fastest...in 30-60 minutes. Huge lie. I sat in there for 8 hours. While going through the process of getting 'dressed out' and accounting for all of my belongings at the Inventory counter, I learned that my pills, all of which come with a prescription...were basically stolen. No evidence that they ever existed in my bag. Just gone! Of course, I'd just gotten my pain pills renewed/refilled...so by law, my doctor couldn't rewrite that scrip for 30 days! So, needless to say, the past month has been a real joy! I think I spent about 4 hours in what they call a 'pod' or a dorm, where all the criminals (allegedly!) share a common space. I rolled up in a ball, threw the thin scratchy blanket over myself that was about 5 feet 3 inches in length, a foot shorter shorter than I am...requiring me to roll up in a ball to cover all of myself in what was a freezing cold room. I tried to sleep to kill the time, the waiting period before they would finally get credit from the state for having had me incarcerated for what would amount to a full day, and let them get paid for my being there as a guest. Because that IS what it's all about when you get thrown in a county jail. They need to get paid. So you need to stay a certain number of hours. Luckily I am smart enough to know this...so I wasn't ever freaking out or panicking wondering why it was taking so long to get out. Fucking bullshit legal system.

Well, I finally got released. And yeah...I do have pictures of the bruising all over my body, and the cut they put over my left eye. I can't post them here. Not now. Not yet. My lawyer has already secured a warrant from the judge to subpoena the video from the poker room, and the hearing for my Resisting charges has been addressed...so I felt it was okay to share the basics of what happened in Jacksonville now. What happens in terms of a civil suit against, whoever...will be determined once the tapes are hopefully obtained. As for my annual donation that goes to the Sheriff's Association in Florida? Well...after ten years, I think they may have seen their last donation from this guy. As for my choice to take sides with law enforcement in all these Black Lives Matter situations over the past year or two? This certainly changes my perspective a little bit. I mean...I'm white, not a criminal..and I get that treatment? I can't even imagine being a minority, maybe 'looking' like a criminal, but being totally innocent...and manhandled by cops who lack the ability to effectively problem-solve in a situation that calls for good judgement and/or discretion.  Yes...I do STILL think the BLM people are a bunch of fucking idiots...with an agenda that is simply perpetuating racism in our country, and encouraging violence against law enforcement...but I also think there are STILL way too many cops that aren't doing things right. And when you act like that...I don't know how you can expect to be treated with the respect that you DEMAND of people. It's impossible.

So...yeah, there ya go. That was my Jacksonville experience! Thanks for the memories J'Ville! I will say this: The people working in the jail? For the most part? Pretty nice folks. Fairly respectful of me the whole time I was there. And observing some of the stupid shit they had to deal with, and HOW they dealt with it? I have to admit, I was rather impressed. It's too bad the local law enforcement officers couldn't act the same way. Maybe some of them need to sit behind bars for a few days to learn a few things about treating people with the respect they deserve.

Well, as I've been writing this...my latest shipment of Sewansecott Oysters just showed up on my doorstep, courtesy of UPS. Sent yesterday from Virginia, $150 for 100 of the most incredible oysters you will ever taste! Recommended to me...actually SENT to me (the first batch) by Charlie Townsend, a poker player a lot of you know...I have grown addicted to these delicious mollusks! Kai Landry has already reserved a spot on my back porch and will be coming with a wonderful white wine to pair with the oysters! 

MINIONS UPDATE:  Summer is quickly approaching....and the applications have been flying in. I have already decided on one...mmmm...two I guess...and almost three....Poker Players who will be playing in this year's WSOP Main Event under my banner. I'm not prepared to unveil their names as of yet. Okay...well, one. Wild Bill Phillips will be representing us for a third consecutive year. Last year...he won another shot for being the deepest finisher in year #1. And well, this year, he will return as our first (and ONLY) Minion/Monkey Grinder to ever cash for us (investors and fans). He also runs (with Gene Dudek-also a current candidate) the website that I blog on...so there is a bit of a marketing angle tied to this decision, obviously. I also happen to be a really big fan of Bill, for a variety of reasons...so its a very easy decision for me to name him as a team member. Oh, and on an unrelated note...and this is kind of funny; we tend to do pool swaps on our pools. My March Madness Pool got 739 entries last year...this year....769. His pool got around 70 this year. I took third place in his....I won about $160. He won 3rd place in mine! He won about $1600! Oh and...if North Carolina had won? He would have WON my pool...for the second year in a row! In 20 years of running my March Madness Pool...nobody has ever won it twice. So to play last year...and WIN...and follow that up with another WIN???? Would have been just sick! But still....winning $7000+ last year...then $1600+ this year? Nice!

If you are interested in playing for TEAM MONKEY in this year's $10,000 WSOP MAIN EVENT..its not too late to apply. Send your application to me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. Oh...just texting me or sending me a message on Facebook, telling me you want to be selected? That's kind of weak. Sure, you might be a great player who is more than a good investment...but what I'm looking for? Are people who REALLY REALLY REALLY demonstrate a desire to be on this team. I would like to feel like I am really helping someone who REALLY wants to play this tourney. It makes me feel good to know I've chosen someone who truly appreciates it. Not someone who, if I don't pick them...will simply go raise the money from other people. Yeah, big deal, right? On the other hand...please don't ask me to consider you if you really don't have any kind of a resume to support me selecting you. Keep in mind...I have investors...last year upwards of 80 of them...who I have to 'sell' you to. I don't need 80 people laughing in my face, or worse, demanding their money back. These people trust me, and expect me to put a good product at the table for them to root for. So yeah...there's all that!  I fully intend to have the FULL TEAM in place, named, and merchandise starting to be made for all of them....by Memorial Day. 

Bovada finally got me! After weeks of crushing that stupid Zone Poker game...it finally reared its ugly head and bit me....check that...chewed me up in small pieces...piece by piece...and swallowed all of me and my bankroll. One unbelievably ridiculous beat after another. The kind that just leave you shaking your head in disbelief. They have a tournament series going on there right now...that yeah, I would kind of like to be playing. But I just have ZERO faith in online poker at all. Nothing ever seems to hold. No matter how you play ANY hand...slow play it, fast play it, limp a lot, raise a lot, three-bet four-bet like crazy...just flatting and playing post flop?? None of it works. I've tried every way. I get deep SO many times in tourney online...only to take that one-two-three punch where you go from a top ten stack to a min cash...BOOM! And you're like...why? Why did I just waste 8 hours for THAT? It's really all just kind of a joke. So I probably won't play any of these big events. Why bother? I can go down to the Scarlett Pearl, buy in for $500 and almost certainly cash out with $1500 consistently, and I'm going to have a lot better ROI than anything I do online. 

As for live tournaments? Will I go play anywhere? Will I go to Vegas this summer? I don't know. I have no answers to any of that. Truth is, I like being at home right now a lot. Carley is at this fun age...talking, playing, we do stuff together a lot. She is just so funny, and cute and sweet. Hell...she's my best friend. And me and Squirrel are her best friend. She misses me so much it hurts whenever me or Cheryl are gone. Cheryl went to Birmingham this past weekend for a friend's birthday weekend...and Carley was miserable missing her mommy. So...knowing I have that at home...it makes it really hard to ever want to go anywhere for very long. Maybe if I can get Cheryl to get 5-7 days off this summer...I will bring her and Carley out to Vegas the week that the Minions all get ready to play...like I did last year. We can stay at a fun, kid-friendly hotel...I can play a few tourneys, and we can get the Minions all set up, and hopefully have a great pre-tourney dinner together again like last summer. Maybe go to Frank and Piper Kasella's 4th of July party too! We'll see. Still a few months to go before all that! 

I'm just glad I was finally able to sit down and write the follow up to that post!!!! I was feeling really guilty for not getting that done. Next on my list...write a very LONGGGG overdue letter (after she has written me FOUR times) to the little (just-turned this week) 7 year old Filipino girl who I sponsor on the other side of the world. She is such a little cutie...and it makes me so happy knowing how much $35 a month helps her and her family! I have been meaning to write her now for weeks! Procrastinating sucks! If you are interested in sponsoring a child in need...it really is a great company....the site I go through is www.childfund.org. Check them out. I promise you...nothing you donate to (and my list of monthly donors is now up to 7!) will give you a greater feeling than this one!