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Sunday, May 29, 2016

SCANDAL ROCKS THE POKER WORLD!!!!

I do not say this in a self-serving way, I promise. But to post a blog, about scandal in the poker world, and having it NOT involve myself, is well, refreshing to a degree.

Now, on the other hand, the fact it involves a guy who I have admired for over a decade, and been friends with...saddens me. I've basically labeled Nolan Dalla the 'Greatest Blogger in the History of Mankind' on numerous occasions, and its pretty effed up that his blog (ironically) is being used AGAINST him, by the girl who is accusing him of wrongdoing. It all makes me sick, for a variety of reasons.

The 2+2 trolls, those pack wolves of the poker world, have been frantically and enthusiastically weighing in with their self-professed 'expert' analysis the last 3 days on the whole situation. I think any of you who have read my blog over the past 8 years are acutely aware of my disdain for the weasels and fucktards who call 2+2 their home. Bottom line, I simply have no use for humans who feel they are qualified to weigh in on the character of a fellow human they have never met or interacted with...or to make judgments on a situation they are 100% NOT involved with. Who simply arrive at their conclusion based on nothing but hearsay and conjecture. [in the comments section below I respond to a reader's comment wherein I'm accused of being a hypocrite here]

Are you living under a rock? Are you unaware of the scandal? I'm trying to give you the best crib notes without having to give you the whole nuts and bolts...since my purpose for writing today isn't to explain what happened, but to give you my opinion of the whole mess, since I DO happen to know Nolan quite well...as well as the scenario in which the allegation was rumored to have taken place.

Let's do it like this: Here is a link to Jaclynn...I'm sorry, DOCTOR (though she isn't a practicing doctor, choosing instead to bypass the medical profession for a life of reliable, steady income in the lucrative field of cash game poker) Jaclynn Moskow.  Just click her name there...and it will take you directly to her blog, where she drops the hammer on not just Nolan Dalla, but three other industry professionals, I'm sorry, make it FOUR...she also includes Shaun Deeb in her diatribe. 

Fast forward a couple days...to where she goes on a live podcast with Joe Ingram. I wasn't familiar with Joe..but have to say...despite him talking just a little too fast for my liking, he does conduct a very good interview, and asks excellent questions. In no way was he pandering to her. 

The contrast we see, is him talking very fast, and her talking verrrrry slow, almost like she was encouraged by someone to take a couple downers before the interview, so as to come off sounding calm, cool, and collected. Beware, and this is simply a warning...the interview is extremely hard to get through all 90 minutes of. For me...her whiny, nasally voice did things to me that can really only be found when I watch and hear Hillary Clinton speak. It was rough. And...as one of these 20's and 30's-somethings...the word 'like' and 'actually' are featured prominently in her vocabulary which drive me insane...no matter who it is. If she were to eliminate the word 'like' from her arsenal, this interview would have easily been 20-30 minutes shorter. 

Now, in an attempt to give you all sides of this mess...before rendering my opinion on the matter, I must give you Nolan's official response to the shit storm. Let me try to see if I can relocate that...as I've been taken all over the map trying to see everyone's two cents on this matter.

NOLAN'S OFFICIAL RESPONSE...and the 2+2 THREAD

Now...I understand that some of you may click on that...and NEVER RETURN to my blog here...and might actually miss my 'take' on the whole mess. I guess I can live with that. It's fine.  After all, I didn't even mention that today is THE BIG DAY in the world of 10-14 Wanna-be Grinders/Minions, as tonight, they tee it up to become the 3rd official member of the team...in an event at Kai Landry's crib. Just found out last night...that Lord Puddingsworth (alter ego) will be awarding the winner...in addition to a $10k seat to the WSOP (which, frankly, should suffice) the big, ridiculously gaudy trophy that he has been working on for months....that was SUPPOSED to go to the winner of his 3rd tournament with the name that is so long I can't even begin to try to repeat it. I won the first one...and proceeded to streak through his neighborhood with the 'Hubcap Trophy' as promised. Danielle Stewart, who angrily chimed in on Facebook yesterday as I did when we found out the trophy and title would be doled out tonight in a tourney we don't even get to play in....won it the following year, losing my respect when she refused (not adamantly though, we'll call it hesitatingly) to repeat my feat of the prior year...streaking through the neighborhood with the newest HubCap Trophy. She lost a little bit of my respect and admiration, I can't lie. Well....anyway, someone...probably in the wee hours of Memorial Day...since I have created an AWESOME structure (with 20 minute levels and 20k starting stack) is going to walk way with this new trophy. I will be sure to post lots of fun photos from the event. I am then planning on (if they aren't sold out) procuring a cabana at the Golden Nugget for Memorial Day for the moms and their kids and myself. Squirrel should be getting home from Baton Rouge around noon...after being gone all weekend participating in that country music fest thing up in Tiger Stadium...her and her three friends...all recently divorced...in an RV. Needless to say...they are having what we will just call F-U-N.

Lets get back to the story. Are you ready for the link to the podcast? Now..if you didn't already vanish from this post...this will definitely probably spell your goodbye...because this thing is 90 minutes long. But its important for you to watch if you want my full assessment to really count.

JACLYNN  MOSKOW podcast interview with JOE INGRAM

Now if you are still with us...me more precisely...I would like to start out my 'assessment' of this situation, by giving you my somewhat humorous assessment of Miss Doctor herself. Pretty sure we all watch Family Guy, right? Or have at some point in our lives. And do we all not find Stewey to be the most amusing character on the show? Of course we do. Are we all familiar with Brian....and his past relationship with Jillian? The ditzy blonde? If not...then click this link below..because this is my impression of Nurse Jackie here.



Are you still here? Because you are dying to hear my 'take' on this shitstorm? Well...then wow, I am shocked and surprised, and frankly...honored! So then...lets get into it. The good thing for me...is I basically am retired, have no job where I answer to anyone, have nothing that can really be ruined...like so many others in this PC world of ours, and have crafted a life where my opinion can't destroy me. That feels good. That being said...I DO actually care what those I respect and admire think about me, and to an extent...my opinions on matters like these. So...with that being said, let me just be perfectly clear on one very important point:

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are VERY VERY serious allegations...and are never, or should never be...laughed at, made a joke of, and certainly never should be ignored. Women who I am close friends with certainly know my stance on this subject. I've always regarded a woman as someone who should garner the utmost respect, never to be struck, never to be objectified, and certainly never to be touched in an inappropriate way that isn't welcomed. It's a problem in today's society...I think we all recognize that. And as it is at the heart of this scandal...it must be taken seriously. Conversely, and to the point of why it has erupted as such a scandal, is the unfortunate scenario in which 'some' women have used this delicate subject to manipulate a situation for monetary gain. Or to essentially ruin someone's career, marriage, or reputation. Or all of them, in some cases. That is why this is such a touchy situation. Those of us who care mightily about the plight of women trying to be treated equally and fairly...don't want to risk alienating them by throwing this woman under the bus and siding with Nolan. And there are surely those who find themselves wanting to believe the woman in this tale, but not wanting to see Nolan's career ruined. Like I said...its a really really rough and touchy subject to deal with.

People, quite a few, asked me what my take was. Asked me if I was going to blog about it. I guess my opinion is valued by a handful of people. Not sure I want that dumped on my plate. And my immediate response was that I was going to kind of let it cool down first, and gather as much info as I possibly could before making any opinions public. Well...I think I've seen and heard about all I need to now. Again, my opinion could be dead wrong. But it's just my opinion. But as someone who thinks I've got a pretty fair ability to read other humans, I tend to go with my gut reaction. And my gut reaction is such:

Jaclynn Moskow is a woman who is without a doubt intelligent. But she is very mediocre at everything she has ever tried to accomplish. While she is a doctor, there is no proof that she ever passed her boards or got a residency at her very mediocre and shady medical school. About the only thing she has to show for her time in medical school is the claim of $200k in student loan debts. She flounders around in South Florida, calling herself a 'professional cash game player' which to me is as glamorous and legitimate as the old lady with the slot glove who calls herself a slot pro. It's laughable. Her claim that she passed on a medical career to be a poker player instead is pretty interesting, I'd say. I'll just leave that one there.


HAPPIER TIMES

So let me tell you how I think this all went down. First of all...I like everything about Nolan's response except for one thing...and I will tell Nolan this face-to-face as I would ANY friend of mine; the claim that he wasn't familiar with the term 'motorboating' struck me as a little hard to believe. Like me, Nolan is a bit of a wordsmith, and furthermore, is very in touch with the current trends and buzzwords/buzz phrases. His dripping sarcasm and dry sense of humor and wit...is what makes us friends. I just can't convince myself that he doesn't know what 'motorboating' is and wish it hadn't been part of his response...because some of us who really know him had to have kind of cringed a little bit when we read that. And for some less willing to hear him out, it might have just flipped their on/off switch to the off position as it pertained to hearing him out. 

Then again...I could be wrong....maybe he DIDN'T know the expression! In which case...wow...that's a shocker! Personally, I've never motorboated any woman...nor do I find it something I have ever wanted to perform on a woman. I just think it's kind of stupid. It's right up there with that stupid finger-lizard-tongue thing that some guys do to a woman that I guess is supposed to signal a desire on their part to perform fellatio on her. Ridiculous and sophomoric. I've always been very blunt, refusing to beat around the bush (no pun intended) so if I wanted to perform such an act...I would tend to just tell her point blank..."you know what? I bet you have a fantastic pussy! I would love the chance to circumnavigate it some time!!" Finger-lizard? Get the fuck outa here.

Sorry...got a little side-tracked there. But back to the 'motorboating' thing..because I just feel like talking about it some more. I just realized...I have not done it TO a woman...but have had it done TO me. At a strip club. Where the girl, usually after you've tipped her (or in the effort to garner one), comes up, tells you her name...and then sandwiches your face between her tits, as a way to show her gratitude I guess. I've concluded there are two basic reactions to this act by men: (a) the guy, like me, who looks completely uncomfortable, embarrassed even...and sits there, very stiff and upright and awkward...waiting for it to end...then looking around to see if anyone he knows was watching. Or (b) the guy who soaks up every second of it...even tries to slip in a little nipple lick...moving his head back and forth...probably even doing the little motorboating thing with his lips...which I am going to imagine cause the stripper to think to herself  "My gawd, what a creepy little pervert this schmuck is!!!!" before his 'time in heaven' is over and he rewards her with a crisp one dollar bill. That's all I've got now, on the 'fine art' of motorboating. 

So back to what I think happened. And again...this is ONLY my opinion, I have NO PROOF to support my opinion. NONE. So please don't judge me. This is ONLY my OPINION! And its based on my history with poker players, with TV production crews, and 'wrap' parties (gatherings that take place after a show has finished taping, yes...I was an actor in my previous life!). Mixed with a little common sense in dealing with fellow human beings.

I think that 'it' totally did happen. But that it went down this way: A bunch of drunk people at a bar, people are doing shots through their nose (which I wasn't even aware people were doing these days!) and getting even MORE fucked up than usual. Her boyfriend is there with her. Its nearing closing time. Nolan drunkenly compliments her on her ample bosom, her boyfriend giggles in agreement, she laughs along with his comment. Nolan then recklessly, but playfully...buries his face in them. Who knows, maybe he even did a shot with her breasts serving as a support structure for the shot glass. Everyone gets a good laugh out of it...a little cheering ensues. Everyone leaves in a jovial mood. The next day...they are buddies. The following week they go paint balling together. Next month...still cool, exchanging friendly emails. But whoa...wait...

Suddenly, her use of the contacts she had made through him aren't paying off. She's not being invited back to the show by the powers-that-be. All of a sudden, after starting to feel jilted, she starts feeling now that the whole scene in the bar might not have been as fun as she thought it was. Instead...she starts feeling like maybe she was being clowned. Maybe just maybe...she was being harassed. Sexually. This is something relatively new in our society, something the experts label 'withdrawal of consent' which we can thank the feminists for. Basically, it means "we get a little drunk, then we fuck, and its all good and fun until two weeks later where I realize I felt pressured or that I was slightly intoxicated and therefore couldn't POSSIBLY have given consent...hence, I was, ahem...RAPED!" Completely insane...but something which now has legal precedence. It is what has me really, really fearing for my friend Nolan. Because I've been a part of scenes like that in the past...maybe not as the central character, but definitely a person in the room. It's a chilling scenario, and always a possibility as something that can happen to you if you are dealing with someone who isn't wired like the rest of us. (or more accurately, those with whom's views I identify with)

To make myself the person in this story...and lets just say I was with my wife, who also happens to have a pretty amazing chest on her...it would likely go something like this: We are all out...drinking, having a good time. Someone like Nolan or another one of our drunk friends...says something silly in nature and maybe cops a feel on one of her boobs. I am annoyed, but I realize its harmless and let it go. (it has actually happened in the past) Besides, my wife knows when enough if enough. She can fight her own battles on that turf. It would be irrelevant, probably not even discussed on the drive home. Its just a symptom of being in a bar at 2am where everyone is comfortable with each other, and with the assistance of copious amounts of booze, feeling a little free with their actions! People at those hours tend to get a little frisky. I sure as shit know I do! And I'll be honest, I've done and said some things in that state that came back later to bite me in the ass a little bit. So I try to (a) not drink too much and (b) be respectful to my wife in the company of her friends and/or co-workers! 

So if you are in that bar at 2am? And someone grabs you, pulls you into a broom closet, and forces you to give them head, or lifts your skirt and tags you from behind? That? Is fucking rape...sexual assault...and whoever does it...needs to not only be fired from their job...but to see the inside of a jail cell for a long time. But motorboating a gal who has been drinking with you all night? In front of the whole world to see? That just makes you a drunken fool...who might need to just apologize the next day if the 'victim' seems like she was bothered by it. Period. End of story. Again...my opinion. At some point, a woman has to accept a little responsibility, I think. If you are in a bar, shit faced, or even a little more than slightly drunk...at 2 or 3am, doing shots...and you are offended by ANYTHING? You need to get the fuck out. Like, immediately. But by staying? And participating in the 'madness' then you are making yourself liable for whatever shenanigans might transpire. Within reason, of course. Now...for you hardcore feminists...I can already hear you saying "But wait, Monkey...you're just shaming the victim, because shouldn't a woman be able to drink in a bar without the fear of someone assaulting them?" Save it. Sure...sure they do. And you know what else? I should be able to drink in a bar without worrying about two guys busting in wearing ski masks, robbing the place...and shooting me when they mistakenly thought I was reaching for a gun when I was just reaching for my cell phone to call 911. 

So...nearing conclusion...I merely suggest that 'something' definitely happened in that bar that night. I just can't bring myself to think that this girl is anything other than a woman who didn't get her way, wanting to be included on future episodes of the poker show, and after getting shunned, retaliated in the way she did. As far as her accusations against the other men...all in about a 24 hour period...I literally felt like I was watching the movie 'Gone Girl' where a psychotic female gifted with a very creative imagination and a way above average intellect, crafted a whole scenario designed to make herself look like a huge sympathetic figure in all of this. I mean...seriously? The Jew comment? Then Nolan's alleged blacks comment? A random, inappropriate ass grab by a staff cameraman? Topped off by a 'passing comment' in the hallway by a poker player (Shaun Deeb) with a good name and reputation, where he is alleged to tell her why women will never succeed in poker? Yeah...sure...that is something I often hear players doing while passing other players in the hallway or lobby of hotels, the 'ol 'Drive By Mini-Seminar!' Its like she sat down at the kitchen table, with her notepad, and decided which men were going to star in her dramatic production, and gave each of them their individual role in shaming her. 

Bottom line: I don't buy it. I think she is full of shit. A corporate lawyer for the show...who caught wind of the whole mess...allegedly tried to make it all go away by offering her $15,000 for her silence. She contends she turned it down because of her desire to be some kind of voice of the oppressed. Horseshit. She turned it down because she is smart, because she knew if they were willing to throw $15k at her...that it was their lowest possible offer. So she is playing the game. Which, if you read her blog...is pretty much verified by the closing line of her post...where she tells Nolan..."You're Move!" It's rumored that she countered with a request for $100k. I can't confirm that. [Matt Glanz has publicly posted an email sent from Moskow to Rush Street Productions where she specifically counters with a 100k offer]

But it fits the narrative. I see her as a nobody, trying hard to be a somebody...and in the process destroying careers that have been built over decades of actual performance, production, and earned respect. To attempt to use extortion to pad her stats in the poker world while maybe wiping out her mountain of debt from medical school is disgusting. IF..in fact, that IS what she is doing. Again...these are only my opinions. 

IF you check out Twitter, or the 2+2 thread...she is actually garnering a lot of support, driving a massive divide, a wedge, between the two sides of this scandal. The ones that take her side...are incredibly angry about it. Those who aren't buying her story are a little more chill about it...choosing to sit back, view it all with more common sense. It's truly been a very polarizing scandal. It kind of reminds me a bit of the current presidential race. Both sides are easy to dislike or be mad at. But both sides also seem to be sympathetic figures. Its confusing, and mysterious. Exactly, I guess, what the poker world was hungry for. Because, God forbid...we didn't have the occasional scandal to keep the goobers on 2+2 entertained, and with something to do to drag them away from their Open Faced Chinese, or their online session made possible by an illegal internet connection established through a foreign server. 

I don't know how this will all turn out. As my friend, I hope Nolan escapes it relatively unscathed. But I worry for him, because he works for one of the most 'corporatee' companies I've ever known...where any semblance of 'egg on the face' almost always leads to a washing of the hands by them. It's the society we now live in. There is no longer a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. That's a joke that died a long time ago. Now? You are basically FUCKED and good luck undoing the FUCKERY of what just happened to you. It makes me sick. It makes me thankful...beyond belief...that I no longer work for a company that can toy with my career and my life like a cat with a ball of yarn. That I now have things that can't be taken away from me because of some accusation that is lobbed my way. I am not the person who, in a way I deem to be nothing more than cliche, sends 'thoughts and prayers' to people to make-believe convey my concerns for them. Instead...I just try to offer something sincere and thoughtful when they are faced with a massive amount of adversity.

Before I conclude, I would like to point you (those of you who are still on board and not off reading the marathon thread on 2+2) in the direction of my fellow GulfCoastPoker blogger, Jennifer Gay-Pique, who happens also to be the wife of our 2016 Team Grinder member Steven. She has offered up her take on this situation as well...and from more of a female's perspective.  I admit, I share a bit of the same views as Jenn...with politics NOT being one of them. 100% anyway. We agree to disagree on some things. Like Donald Trump, for example. Not going any further into that, however. But you might want to check out her blog on this subject at BELLA DONKEY. Enjoy!

And with that...and I'm sure I could have probably written a LOT more about this subject, but I was trying to keep it as brief as possible. Plus...me and Carley need to make a run to Wal Mart in preparation for tonight's gala event at Sir Puddingworth's Estate. Bye for now.

MONKEY

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Minions Poker Tourney This Sunday!

Well...we are a 'go' for launch. This coming Sunday the 29th, at Kai's place...we will hold a tourney that each player is buying into for $400...which will go directly towards making them automatic 2-share owners in this summer's Team Monkey WSOP members, whether they are on the team or not. Currently, with room for a maximum of 20...we have confirmed 10 players. I am hoping to get some more...so we are able to have two tables of players. I am also looking for two experienced dealers who would like to donate their time on Sunday night. Sure we can find a few dollars 'laying around' to compensate someone that is willing to work the whole tourney. Contact me if you interested and available. ThePokerMonkey1 at AOL. 

As for total overall shares...I am now up to 143 sold, not including the shares that will be generated from the Wild Card Tourney this weekend. With 10 confirmed now...that would take the shares sold up to 163...as we march to a goal of 250, and a desire to send 5 players to Vegas to represent me and all of our investors this summer. Our 3rd member of the team will be crowned late Sunday/early Monday when one of these players wins the tourney at Kai's place. Then we will start looking to who our 4th and hopefully 5th players will be. In addition to that...I am starting to get the ball rolling on 'schwag' this week...t-shirts, hats and hoodies. I am kind of entertaining the idea of recreating the logo we use on our stuff this summer. While last summer's was okay...I'm eager to come up with something a little more eye-catching. If any of you are graphic artists...well...let's see what you got!!!!

I have invited EVERY person who has sent me an application to be a minion this summer to Kai's poker tourney. If you are still someone who would like a shot at this year's team...and think that your only hope might be paying $400 with the goal of beating a very small field for a $10,000 seat...then email me your interest and qualifications. I'm going to be honest...to be considered to play the tourney...you will need to be someone I consider a serious candidate to make a deep run in the Main Event. I have several investors to answer to...and while this 3rd entry will be potentially 40% funded by the actual players themselves...that rest is being invested by our investment group...they are trusting me to put the best field of players possible in this tourney.

My mom left on Saturday...after a three-week stay. She was pretty sad to leave. We had fun while she was here, and managed to get out and play some poker together. In our last tourney at the Scarlet Pearl last Wednesday...she busted fairly early, and then sat behind me at the final table and watched me win the tourney. She got a kick out of that. Same 'ol drill...guys wanting to take money out for the bubble person (10th) me saying no....guys wanting to chop at 9, me saying no. When they asked 7-handed, I just told them, "Guys...look, I'm not trying to be rude...but I simply do NOT ever chop in this little tourneys. Mainly because I like playing them out. It's fun. Why play all day to make the final table only to quit? Seems dumb to me." So they quit asking...well, until we got 3-handed. 

I think the blinds were 8000/16000 and I was in the BB. The guy on the button shoved all in for 42,000. Hmm...so lets see, 30,000 in the pot (with antes) and I have to call 26,000. Not to mention I had about 150,000 in my stack. I didn't look at my cards...in the event I see a horrible hand and talk myself into folding. I called. Told the guy I wasn't looking...and was calling based solely on the math. He was an older guy...and he gave me the 'Yeah whatever buddy' response when I busted his AK with 10-8 offsuit. I wasn't about to argue with him about it. You either 'get it' or you don't. And he didn't. I saw him a couple days later at IP in a cash game...and after answering his question about where I finished, I carefully explained it to him. I think he understood it better that time.

Well, we got heads up...and the other guy had a very large chip lead over me. But he still asked me if I wanted to chop. "No thanks. But I'm just curious...you have a huge lead over me...why would you want to chop???" I don't think I got a coherent response. With 4-6h I limped on the button. He checked with Q5. The flop comes 6-6-2. He checked, I checked. Queen on the turn. He open shoves. Ha. Gotcha! I call. I win. Now leader. Two hands later...I raise with AQs. He shoves all in with A9. I call...and I win. Game over. $1100 on a $60 buy in. And in only 3.5 hrs. Not bad. 

Regarding the Beau Rivage, and what I thought was my 86 being lifted? Well...it has not gone as smoothly as I was led to believe it would. Where it gets weird is here: for the past 4-5 years...and after I was unceremoniously booted because a high-roller didn't like me and went to his casino host and demand that I not be allowed to play or he wouldn't come back. This, after I put a bad beat on his wife in a tourney. It was utterly ridiculous. The guy was a total fool. But he was a whale in the casino so his voice carried weight over mine, the measly, piddly poker player who the casino could care less about. All that was fine. I was told I just needed to sit out the rest of the event and could come back and play the next one. Until I wasn't! Because when I came back for that...I was met at registration by Johnny Grooms, who asked why I was there, then proceeded to tell me I was still 86'd. I felt lied to, because well...I was lied to. When I asked why I was still 86d..and what I needed to do to get back in...I was told "that decision is TOTALLY out of my hands...and it is completely up to SECURITY." 

I was told this three times over the past four years. That it was totally a security issue. So I just gave up. But once Grooms left, I figured I might as well try one more time...so I wrote a letter to the head of security asking to be reinstated. A week later, I got a phone call from the security office, telling me that my trespass had been rescinded, and that I 'could return to the Beau to play poker again.' The only demand/request, was that I wait 48 hours until it cleared the system and I wouldn't be accidentally kicked out by security. I complied, and waited a week before I went to play for the first time.

And, so...I went to go play cash game, with our two mothers there playing slots. 5 minutes later...my wife came in to the poker room, telling me that someone was going to come talk to me about what they expected of me. Standard protocol I assumed, telling me how they expected me to act, etc. I put my wife's mind at ease by assuring her I would agree to whatever they said and remain 'chill' about it. Well? They came and pulled me from the table as expected. But what followed was unexpected. I was instead told that there was a protocol they had to follow, that while they knew I'd been allowed back in by security, I had NOT been allowed back in by the poker room. That they, as a team, would make their own determination separate of security. That I needed to leave that day, then go home and write a letter to the current poker room manager, asking to be reinstated.  Which I did, that day.

Was this disappointing? Well, yeah, obviously...since I'd been told for the past five years that the decision to let me back in was totally up to security, and NOT the poker room. But now? I guess when the old manager left, and the new manager was hired, perhaps they adopted their own new set of rules pertaining to letting previously 86'd players back into their room. Either that...or Johnny Grooms was just lying to me. Which I'm sure he would NEVER do, right?

Well...as of today, it's now been two weeks since I wrote that letter. I wrote the manager last week, asking how long I should expect the decision to take, since it had been a week already. I was told he'd been busy, but would hope to have it addressed and resolved this week. Not much I can do or say but sit back and wait on an answer I guess. I will say, that through a fairly reliable rumor mill, a player had mentioned after I posted on Facebook that I had been allowed to return to the Beau, that the dealer at his table had steadfastly insisted that I would NEVER get back into the poker room...despite what I had posted on my wall. So I'm not sure how to interpret that, and after sharing that with the poker room manager, I was told that it wasn't the case. I don't know why (a) a player would just make that up and/or (b) why a dealer would be blurting that out while working, if there wasn't something to it. I have no idea who that dealer was...or what possible issue he or she may have or had with me in the past. I mean...I'd have to think that after 5 years, it would be silly for a dealer still working there to have that much personal angst against me to say something like that. It's kind of odd too, considering I rarely even played cash game at the Beau. Ever. Most of my poker at the Beau had been tournaments. 

Well...whatever...that is where things stand now. For all of those who keep asking me when I am going to be playing there, since they saw my post and wondered what I was waiting for. I absolutely would love to be playing some of their weekly tourneys there. I am fond of the new managers they have there, both in the poker room, and the tournament director. Guys I THINK I've always had a mutual poker friendship with. Even the floor supervisors are guys I've always liked. So honestly...if there is ANY issue with letting me return? I can't imagine what it could possibly be. Unless there are a couple of long time dealers who have some kind of personal issue with me that they've been holding on to for years. Which as far as I'm concerned...would be ridiculous. But...this IS the poker world we are talking about, after all. 

That's all I got for you today! Carley weaseled out of going to school again today, so I should probably get off my computer and go do something to entertain her! 

MONKEY

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

UNVEILING of the MINIONS!!!

Okay, you have all been very patient! First...good morning, Happy Monday, to those of you with 9-5 jobs that you just LOVE! Yesterday, I laid eyes on my rental house in Pensacola for the first time in over a year. My mom had never seen that house, nor had she ever been to Pensacola...so Carley skipped daycare, and we headed for the sandy white beaches of Pensacola Beach. It was a really nice day. We ate a big dinner at Flounders, while Carley played in their big sand playland for kids. And went by and met my renters and checked out the house. It looked great. Nothing more wonderful than having great tenants! 

Got home and spent most of the evening on Facebook going back and forth in a heated political debate with a Crazy-Cat-Lady-In-Training...you know the type, way too many selfies, way too many pictures of cats, and a slow, morphing appearance of an owner who secretly is trying to look, herself, like a cat. Well, she is a massive Hillary supporter. Me? I hate Hillary. In fact, I have a group on Facebook, called 'Killary Wears Prada.' Arguing with a Killary supporter is akin to ....wow, I don't even know if I can come up with a sufficient analogy. Fortunately, as far as I can ascertain, most of my good friends hate Killary as much as I do...so when I do encounter a Killary supporter, I try with all my might to pretend they don't exist.

Kai Landry has come up with a remarkably intriguing idea. Now...this IS Kai we are talking about...so this might not be an 'idea' as much as it is a cry for attention from the Kaister. Things in his life have been pretty slow and boring lately. Lacking a healthy supply of hugs (and handies probably) Kai has this remarkable ability to come up with 'events' at whatever witty and creative name he has given his living quarters this month. Probably something silly like Lord Puddingsworth's Lair or The Domicile of Doom. Anything Kai can get people to show up for, also gives him the alibi necessary to employ scantily-clad ladies (think Hooters here) for the evening to provide adult beverages for his guests.  I'm sure most of you (or a lot at the very least) are familiar with Kai's much-hyped event at his 'place' a couple years ago. The first annual ...Jeezuz I don't know what it was OFFICIALLY called...The World Championship of Poker Champions Player Championship of.....on and on and on...see with Kai...its all about redundancy and intentional stupidity. At any rate. I won. And proceeded to (as promised if I won) streak through his neighborhood with the HubCap Trophy...which I had already broken. The following year, the trophy was 'stripped' (see what I did there?) from me by Danielle Stewart. The third event...has been in the planning stage now for over two years. 

Say what? Two years? Yeah...well...people underestimate just HOW hard it is to get people over the age of 30 to all assemble under one roof for a period of 4-5 hours simultaneously. I am convinced the older you get, the harder and harder it becomes. Just too many distractions. Kids. Jobs. Addictions. Mistresses. Pool Boys. Deep-seated hatred for Kai. Stuff like that. Which makes what Kai has proposed so exciting, but at the same time, perilous. I don't like planning things, only to have The Most Unreliable Party Planner of All Time drop the ball. But...well, here goes!

THE 'WILD CARD TOURNEY' TO BECOME A 2016 MONKEY GRINDER (aka MINION)

Date...to be announced. (think: next 30 days or less) We intend to host a poker tournament at Kai's Casa, complete with 'real' dealers, and probably ME as the tournament supervisor. The winner of this tourney...whether it be 5 players or 20 (the absolute maximum) WILL join the team this summer and win a seat into the $10,000 WSOP Main Event. You MUST be invited. You may also apply by emailing me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol. Kai lives here in Biloxi, so obviously, if you live out of town...this might not be something you can pull off. The COST...to play in this tournament...will be $400 per player. And this is the BEST PART. Each player that buys in? Will essentially be buying two shares! So no matter what...they WILL have a sweat, a financial interest in ALL of the eventual team members, whether they are on it or not. In the past, I've always encouraged those named to the team to buy shares. Why would you buy shares of something you are playing in? Well...duh...you aren't just getting an additional (added to your 35%) piece of yourself...but ALSO of all your fellow Minions! It helps build camaraderie among the team! 

The act of running this tournament, will be great for the selection process. As this is easily the toughest year I've had out of the three so far, this will add a whole new element to the promotion. Also...it will help me spot talent in a player who might dominate the whole tourney while playing lights out...only to get super unlucky, say, three or four-handed. I can identify with, and sympathize with bad luck at crunch time. The tourney will have a great structure, just like the WSOP...obviously it won't have two hour levels! And 30,000 chips! That would be silly! And take a week! But it won't be a crapshootie turbo either.

DISCLAIMER: A MINIMUM of 8 PLAYERS MUST PARTICIPATE FOR A SEAT TO BE AWARDED. IF NOT, THE PLAYERS HAVE THE OPTION OF SIMPLY PLAYING FOR WHATEVER AMOUNT THEY DEEM DESIRABLE AGAINST EACH OTHER, HANGING OUT AND GETTING DRUNK WITH THE HOOTERS GIRLS (or whoever Kai gets to come work for child labor rates) OR SIMPLY GET IN YOUR CAR AND GO HOME!

So...that's it on that deal. If you are interested? GET IN TOUCH WITH ME ASAP! I will get Kai to get his shit together and get this thing planned and set up with dates and times announced.

MOVING ON....and now the UNVEILING of the FIRST TWO (not so secret) GRINDERS for 2016! If you read Jennifer Gay's blog, on this same website (www.GulfCoastPoker.net) then the cat is already out of the bag. And if you don't? Well then I invite you to become a reader...as she has started sort of a 'Blog Mini Series' of sorts, titled 'The Making of a Minion.' It's all about her husband, Steven Pique, who officially joins our Charter member, and returning Minion, 'Wild Bill' Phillips. I'm going to make it real easy for you to learn all about Steven...by simply letting you click on this link BELLA DONKEY...which will open up a treasure trove of info on Steven and his plight this summer!



Steven Pique is 31 and from Biloxi, MS. Currently living in Las Vegas with his wife and two year old, he works at Aria as a Floor Supervisor/Relief Shift Manager in the Poker Room. He has a BS in Biology from Southern Miss. Shortly after graduation he left his laboratory job to follow the circuit as a dealer and climb the ranks. Tournament poker has always been his passion, but the instability of playing professionally isn't an option with a young family so his play is limited to regular appearances at the nightly events around Vegas. Playing the Main Event tops his bucket list, and he's already committed countless hours of studying to prepare for this opportunity. This could be a life changing opportunity for his family and one he plans to make the most of. He's solid, even tempered, quiet and smart but most of all he's patient and has the stamina to go the distance.

So? Welcome to the Team, Steven! I am 100% convinced that I have made a great decision, and that you will represent all of us with great aplomb!!!! You have a FANTASTIC PR REP working for you, too! So congrats, good luck, and enjoy the ride! 

As for Wild Bill? He needs no pep talks! He's 'been there-done that' and as the soft-spoken leader of this posse, he is currently in New Orleans once again proving that his selection to the team is not without merit. He has already clicked off two final tables in this weeks WSOP circuit event at Harrah's. Bill got the deepest of the four team members in our first year...which earned him a return trip. Then last year he became our first Minion to CASH in the 'Big Show.' Which got him another invite to play for us. To say I have 100% confidence in Bill and his ability to make a deep run in the Main Event would be a gross understatement. 

So...that's two down. I've currently sold 129 shares. 100 shares sends two players. So we are getting close to getting a third player funded. If this contest happens at Kai's Manor of Ineptitude, we will have our third member via special qualification. It's getting exciting folks! Time is drawing near! The Main Event starts on July 7th. Three starting flights. Are you wanting to buy a share? Or more? Get a hold of me....soon! ThePokerMonkey1 at AOL. All the details you need you will find by scrolling down to my recent blog titled 'Release the Hounds.' So please don't email me asking me to explain the whole thing to you. I beg you.

Okay then....gotta lot on my plate to tend to today! So that is it. You've got your news! Do with it what you may! 

MONK

Sunday, May 15, 2016

MONKEYS MOM DOES POKER! MINIONS UPDATE!

It's May!

We'll call this the 'Month of Mimi's' since my mom has been here two weeks and just extended for another week, and Squirrel's mom just left after being here a week. It's been great for Carley...and us! It means we get some good home-cooked meals, and the occasional 'date night' for us. This week we went to New Orleans for the night, so Cheryl could see one of her favorite country singers, Chris Stapleton. I didn't know even one of his songs, but clearly, he is very talented and put on a good show. The Big Easy is still a gross, dirty city, and customer service is still lacking in almost every sense, but we got what we came for I guess.

A couple times since my mother has been here I've taken her to play poker. She is hooked. Fortunately, her losing sessions have been offset by my winning sessions. Yesterday, I took her (and staked her) to play at the Golden Nugget and their $130 tourney with a $5k guarantee. There was an overlay yesterday, as they only got 37 players. The mom did not fare well. After my table got broke, and I was moved to her table...despite trying hard to give her helpful tips to use, she managed to donk off her chips in glorious fashion. After she raised (at 200/400) to 4000 (leaving 1500 behind) UTG with Ah2h, and getting flatted (which was a constant occurrence during this tourney, much to my amusement) by a guy with J-J...the flop came out A-K-4...and when she went all in, he couldn't really fold. Double up for the mom. Well, as I told her later...that hand kind of murdered her table image, and made her 'out hand' a pretty predictable scenario. 


'The Mom' about to use her 'Super Tight' image to bust out of the tourney!


So...with the blinds now 400-800...and her sitting on a reasonably comfortable stack of 13,000...this guy limps utg for 800 with, it turns out, tens. It folds around to my mom on the button...how starts getting that squirmy look...like she has a decent hand but doesn't know how to play it. The more I observe her actions the more I'm thinking she actually has a monster. Then she goes all in. Which makes no sense to me. Folds around to the the guy with 10-10's and I guess he was remembering the A2 hand...because he called. My mom turns over Qd5d. Hey! It was suited. I bury my head in my hand...fortunately, my mom isn't sensitive to criticism. In fact, over the years, she's gotten rather battle-hardened from 'taking it' from me and my equally sarcastic sister. QUEEN FIVE! Wow...and no..she didn't hit that magical three-outer. She was out. Yes, I gave her shit the rest of the day. She did the only thing she could do that made up for it, went to the gift shop and bought Carley a stuffed animal. To add to her ridiculous collection of stuffed animals.

Yep! That says 'Carley's Zoo' and those ARE all stuffed animals!!

So me? Well...I was playing my 2nd tourney of the week. The first, I played the $60 fun-fest at Scarlet Pearl on Thursday. Arriving with 1 minute left to register, I pretty much steamrolled everyone on my way to the final table. Down to 6 I had 60% of the chips in play. I ended up heads up with a very excitable Asian fella, who got incredibly excited when winning a hand, any hand. He was very fond of the ALL IN play...apparently not possessing the ability to play after the flop. While 3-handed he shoved all in with K5c. And ran into the BB's aces. Big deal. They're just aces. Runner runner flush. Bye Bye guy with aces. Heads up...and I still had an edge. I got to where I had a 2.5-1 edge and raised with QJ. He shoved all in. And I really wish now that I had called. But I folded. So when I raised with AJ and he shoved with A9...it was an easy call. He hits a 9. Ugh. Now short, I shoved with QJ...got SNAP called (weird) with K3d. It held. The guy stood up...hollered 'YES!' and pounded his hands on the table. You would have thought he just won the Main Event. Well...good for him. I settled for 2nd place. $560. Yay.



In the tourney at the Nugget yesterday, it was one of those where I would get short...double...sustain...increase, then get rivered, to get short again. Then build it back up...nice stack...then boom, get rivered again. Back to being short...again. This happened four times. 99 vs AK.....king on the river. Then late I have AQh...flop comes Kh-Js-8h. Pretty disgusting hand. Four handed too. It checks to me, so I check to the button, hoping he bets. He does. He shoves. He wasn't thrilled when I called, mainly because he was hoping to take it down with his 10-10. But I missed all 17 outs..and was short, AGAIN. It went like this ALL DAY. Very aggravating. 

But I did at least make the final table. It's a 5k guarantee so they automatically pay 9. 9th got me $250...so basically, me and my mother's buy in back. I floundered around for awhile...while three more players lost. So I was up to $450. Hip hip hooray. Earlier in the tourney...this old guy, who I'd been told was playing awful and getting lucky before I arrived, kept to that theme. I picked up KK utg for the 1st and only time in the tourney. I made it 750 at  150/300. He called (as well as three others) with 10-3 offsuit. The flop brings the always-predictable-ace-whenever-you-have-kings. It checked to me...I meekly checked. Old codger bets 300. Yeah. 300...into about a 3000 pot. Button calls. I call. Turn is a ten. He now has two pair. (3 on the flop) I check again. Now he bets 1000. Still not enough to make me fold. I call. The river is a 4...which makes anyone with a five a straight. He checks. We turn over our cards...the table shows disbelief. I roll my eyes. Nice hand, sir.



Well...this guy? He made the final table. Somehow. Now..understand...this guy NEVER talked. Except ONCE. I had 78c. Flopped two pair against a guy all in with AJ...who, after rivering a useless ace...has him tap the table in that "nice hand, nice double up" way that players do. When the dealer slid me the pot...the old guy looked like someone had shoved a spiked finger up his polyp-lined colon...sitting up and bellering out, "Wait! What won that hand!???" When informed I'd won with two pair, he seemed almost personally affected. Hmmm...what's THAT all about I wondered? First words he'd spoken all tourney, and I was the catalyst. Interesting. 

So here we are 5-handed, me in the big blind, blinds 4k-8k..and he makes it 20k. I have pocket fours and about 60k. Now...why in the hell I didn't shove there, I'm not sure. OR after the flop...when it came Q-Q-3. I checked though...like a dumbass. And he bets out 25k. Well, as most of you with half a clue about poker know...I've just played that hand very badly. Because, now even if I shove, he can't really fold. Which allows, as some of us like to say, 'the deck to beat us.' Because even though I might be ahead (which I was) he still gets two more cards to beat me. As opposed to shoving on him...and him meekly folding, and me dragging a nice pot of about 60k. Dumb dumb move, that probably cost me the tourney. Well...after he bets 25k, and I fold, he SHOWS me..yeah SHOWS ME...a bluff, of 7-8. Why? The old buzzard shows me a bluff! 5-handed! I mean...sure sure, we all understand the showing of the bluff early in a tourney. You know, set the tone for the rest of the tourney. Put the guy on tilt maybe...make him play bad. But dude...we are FIVE HANDED! Zero point there, other than he felt like being a dick. An old dick. A dusty, old, buzzards-flying-over-him-waiting-for-him-to-die dick! But I didn't freak out. I just looked at the guy next to me and laughed...

Next time around, he min raises my BB again. I have 5-6 and call. I couldn't really ASK for a better flop....but I wasn't going to check-raise this time and allow myself to get sucked out on...especially since I really needed to win a big pot. Flop comes 6-4-2. I shove. He snap calls, and turns over (ugh) pocket tens. Damn. It held. I was out. And...after the usual (happened at Scarlet Pearl earlier too) refusal to chop from me (absolutely refuse to chop in small tourneys) they all decided to chop it with four left. I hate that. It's so stupid. Maybe because I just love playing tourneys down to 1...and being the bonafide WINNER. I guess there was a time in my poker life where I didn't mind chopping. Not anymore. Okay...if we are talking about millions? Sure, I will do a deal. But anything less than $5k? Forget it.

So that's the past couple weeks for me. That and trying to wrangle up a bunch of shares-purchasers for this summer's edition of the WSOP Main Event Grinders. We are currently at 109 shares sold. But that is without MY shares (10-15'ish) and my friend Barth's, who says he will come in for 'whatever I need him to' but lets be realistic! I'm not going to ask him to buy 100 shares! Mark him down for somewhere between 10-20. So we are approaching enough for THREE PLAYERS. I really, really want to send at least FIVE players again...but its starting to get late. And these guys/gals are going to need at least a couple weeks to make their travel arrangements. My next blog post...coming in the next day or two...will give you the first two players...with a BIO on each...and then (still contemplating) the next two or three players that are 'on deck' in the general pecking order. This year has seen a RIDICULOUS number of candidates apply. Some have sent me very comprehensive emails...with personal stories, stats, even references. 

I've gotten phone calls asking to be considered. I've gotten Facebook messages asking for consideration. Good friends giving me all the reasons why I should choose them. People I've never met who think because they aren't my good friend they don't have a chance. Nope, not the case. The bottom line...I am trying...and trying hard, to pick people who would never get to play otherwise. Who are SO hungry and desperate to play in the main event. But who also have a chance to get deep, cash, and even make a run to the final table. I know what style works in that tournament. And I've definitively concluded what style does NOT work. There is SO much that goes into picking the right people. And I am always acutely aware that there is/are those friends, or good poker acquaintances, who are going to be offended or have their feelings hurt by not being selected. 

Here's another thing: I don't want to be someone's 'easy path' to a Main Event buy in. There are a lot of good players out there. There are also a lot of good players that have a somewhat reasonable network of friends, family, and/or poker acquaintances, to where if they even put in a little bit of grunt work, they can sell a WSOP package and get to play. So if you are one of those players? Try to understand that its for that reason that you aren't going to be garnering any serious consideration. It's not because you aren't good enough. You probably are. It's because I feel that you can get yourself sold with a little bit of effort. The one's who can't? The guy with a full time job. Who rarely gets a chance to play...let alone travel to the circuit events. But when he does play? He almost always gets deep. These are the people I want on the team. I hope that makes sense. Also, to those of you who have applied, and whom I have yet to respond to? I apologize big time. I have meant to carve out some time...sit down, and respond to each and every one of you. But it's been a REALLY crazy/busy/hectic month. We finally bought our house two weeks ago. Then all last week we had new appliances and a new AC unit installed. And then the moms came...which has kept me going-going-going. Hell, just finding time to sit down and write this blog post was a massive accomplishment!!!!

Well, I hear Squirrel walking in from work...so I'm gonna go ahead and push the 'publish' button and put the wraps on this post! Talk to y'all soon!

MONK