Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vegas! Vegas!! Vegas!!!


Well hot damn! Look at how fast this year is rocketing by! Today is opening day of the World Series of Poker at Rio. Despite all the rumors and trends in the poker industry, the WSOP is still, somehow, in control of the Caesar's corporation. And still held at Rio. Obviously, if you follow me or any part of my life...this isn't good news. But...since poker is no longer a dominant force in my life, its lesser of a big deal than it was a few years ago.

All that being said...there is LOTS of poker to played in Las Vegas...not JUST at Rio...but all over town, and at numerous properties. In fact, one could argue that if you aren't someone who's chasing poker immortality (and tacky bracelets), and maybe a future induction in the all-important Poker Hall of Fame, the really GOOD tourneys with good structures and lots of 'play' in them...can be found at places like Venetian, The Wynn, Golden Nugget, Aria, Bellagio, even semi-run down places like The Orleans and Binion's have  solid, well-attended tournament series.

Bottom line? If you prefer a less crapshoot-style format, you have a ton of choices. But if you are a 'lottery-playing' poker player...excited about the shot at a BIG SCORE? Well...Rio is all for you! And when on the 2nd week of the 9-week run of summer fun finds your bankroll running on fumes...you might reassess your decision to go chasing after bracelets and million dollar payouts!

Also littering Facebook, Twitter, and various poker forums, are all the players selling (or trying to) their 'Summer Blockbuster Backing Packages!' Hey! Some of those selling packages, I've noticed...are people who owe me large sums of money! I was sure to call them out about it too! Don't think I didn't! And, as per my promise in my LAST blog post...I will be 'posterizing' any poker player who owes me money on July 1st...right here on this blog. Complete with photos of them. And why they owe me money. And any other little snippets of info about them I've managed to gain from OTHER people who they either owe money or have screwed over in the past. Hey! Call me whatever you want. It's time to start taking out the trash...cleaning up this profession. We don't need a bunch of dead beat losers out there playing poker.

As for everyone else trying to sell packages? I've been defending a lot of them on social media...when, after posting their info...some jerkoff has the audacity to post some bullshit about how unprofitable tourney poker is, and why backing players is a bad investment. This is my take: We (intelligent people who also play poker) realize that poker is NOT a smart investment for investors. Hey! Know what else isn't? Bars/clubs/restaurants! Didn't stop me from getting involved in a place 25 years ago in Atlanta...or this month in St. Thomas. Ya know why? Because I know a LOT about the business, and I partner with people who do as well. And when you do that? You often times have great results!

Poker? Sure. Get some horses in your stable that have proven they have the pedigree to take you to the winners circle. BUT...and this is an important BUT...throw your saddle on someone who gives you an entertaining ride! They might not win...but at least let them know you gave it one hell of an effort! A lot of investors don't give a shit about someone's 'markup!' Save all that voodoo math and markup shit talk for the nerds who make up the Markup Mafia. A lot of people have more money than any poker staking package is ever going to put a dent in. They don't need Super Dork telling them how stupid they are for buying a poker package. In fact...some of those really wealthy people might just get annoyed enough with that asshole to hire someone at twice the cost to do unspeakably hilarious things to them, just for their own personal entertainment!!!!!

In other words: Poker Markup Mafia? Do us all a favor and just shut the fuck up! If a poker player has managed to cultivate and grow a strong enough network of family and friends and fellow players to be able to sell a package at WHATEVER price he/she has listed it at? MORE POWER TO THEM! And good luck! To the player AND their investors! Why you feel you need to 'educate them' to the awful investment they are making...is simply mind-boggling! Or is it??????

No...it isn't. I can explain it to you very easily! Its called, "Being a Hater!" Ask yourself this question...have you ever met a hater, or simply someone who was putting you down, or just talking shit behind your back...who's life you would gladly trade places with? Can I answer that for you? 

NO! You wouldn't! Why? Because you are living a good, happy life! You don't have TIME for all the negative bullshit. But they do. Know why? Because they are generally fucking miserable pukes. They are straight up JEALOUS that some player they think (and hell, maybe they are!) sucks is able to get backing for a handful of tournaments...when they can't! I've spent a lot of time defending my own packages in the past...with some calling me a SCAMMER and a THIEF...because I had people lined up to buy my packages. I laughed. Why? Because it was hilarious! If you can't spot a hater...and you can't spot jealousy...well...that sucks. The older I get...the easier I find it to laugh at the losers in life. The thing is...it's almost like they are wearing a big T-shirt that proclaims "I'm a TOTAL FUCKING LOSER!!!!" It's that clear and blatant through their behavior!

Moral of the story? If you see someone bashing someone for their pricing or 'markup' of their poker package? That person is an asshole. A loser. A jealous prick. Fuck that person. Laugh at them. If you see them in person? Buy them a drink. Because they need one. Or ten. Then just thank the gods that you aren't that sorry piece of shit loser! Feel better? Good. That was my goal here! 

Now, to those of you selling packages? Sell that shit! Don't listen to the Markup Mafia! Sell yourself for whatever YOU think YOU are worth...or what YOU can get from your network of poker constituents. Feel me!???? Awesome!

Now...lets get to the update on TEAM MONKEY 2017! The team is shaping up RATHER NICELY I must say! 

I'm coming off another two-outer debacle at the Beau Rivage...followed by a -500 cash session that saw me lose to flush chasing rivers FOUR times...and a guy with top top vs my top two who counterfeited my ass on the river for a $350 pot. It was ugly. And annoying. But it seems to be how my cash sessions always go. I sat there playing for 5 hours while my mother (on her second to last night here) played slots after SHE was two-outed by some old lady overplaying AJ off like a banshee (vs. my mom's AQ suited) rivered a jack to knock HER out. (the flop produced an ace...and of course it all got in after that). That old fart made the final table but didn't cash...which gave us both a moment of glee. 

This followed our efforts last Friday...when I got knocked out fairly early when I ran QQ into AA...then my mom went out 14th, paying 9. She was very distraught, but I managed to talk her off the ledge. She and I share something in our genetics...we hate losing. And take it hard. Worse than the loss of the actual money....its just the simple act of losing. Hey...what can I say? Losing sucks!

Back to the Minions...aka, the "IMPORTANT STUFF" at this time of year.

Before I go one step further, I have to recognize a gal who I have agreed to stake in the $1000 WSOP Ladies event, based purely on her making my life 77% easier as it pertains to taking on this now annual event. The making of...and order taking for...and money collecting for...and finally shipping out of....the SCHWAG for all my team players, as well as investors, family friends, etc...has literally been the BIGGEST headache in doing this thing, but one I found to be totally necessary to give the enhanced experience to everyone.

Well Jacqueline Britton, who came on board last year as an investor, and helped me with the T-shirts and hoodies...took on the WHOLE project this year! And I could not be MORE thankful!!!! She is my little Angel on the Felt. So if you are looking for someone to root for in the Ladies event? She's your gal!!!! On top of it all...she is a wonderful lady! I'm thrilled to have her on the team!

Now then...some of you have already heard the results of last week's Wild Card tourney held at Out of Bounds in Metairie...and some of you maybe have been waiting with baited (bated?) breath wanting to know the outcome.

Well...a smaller crowd showed up than I had hoped for, for starters. I wasn't going to do it unless we got at least 14 players. But when I sat there looking at 8 faces who were ready to play some poker...and me not wanting to make THEM or ME drive back over there the next week to do it all over again? I just said "Screw it! You're all very good players...and one of you is going to Vegas! Shuffle up and Deal!!!"

And wow...the play was magnificent. Wild Bill Phillips...a team member all three years prior...took an early chip lead with a huge pot vs. Scott Adams...and he would milk that stack in a very quiet fashion for hours. Gene D...a member last year...managed to compile a massive chip lead about halfway through the action, before he started losing some big hands. 

Action got to 6-handed and stayed that way for about FOUR hours! The starting stack was 15,000...and the structure was great...so just like last year's tourney, I figured it would take awhile to determine our winner. I can't tell you how impressed I was with everyone's play. Most of the time I sat in an empty seat observing the action. I definitely paid a lot closer attention than I did at last year's tourney...when Barth Melius and I sat on the living room couch playing heads up for $500 a game. (I got crushed) I am really glad I spent so much time watching. Chris Canan, who was named to the team previously, was nice enough to show up and deal the entire tourney for us. And he did a fantastic job!

The last player to arrive was Rebecca McCann Campbell, who a lot of players on the circuit have nicknamed "Smiley" because, well...she is almost ALWAYS smiling. I've gotten to know her on a personal level this past year...and despite her being an LSU fan...think the world of her. She's a solid solid player, and a very affable player that everyone seems to like. I couldn't help but think she would make the perfect team member.

Well...at around 4:30 am...we finally got to heads up play, and lo and behold, there was Rebecca holding a massive chiplead against 3-time Monkey Grinder Bill Phillips. Bill really had his work cut out for him. But 'grind' he did...refusing to submit to the dominating stack of Rebecca's. After about an hour of heads up play...the BIG HAND finally arrived. With the blinds at 3000-6000...Bill moved all in with A2 for....an amount that was an auto-call for Rebecca holding AQ. All she had to do was fade...well we all know what she had to fade. But when a deuce hit the flop...you just KNEW the outcome. Anyone who has ever played a good amount of poker knows that feeling and has experienced it a bunch of times. It always sucks. And it feels like you've been kicked in the gut.

And on the other side of the fence? We've also been the player who has gotten it in SO bad...only to get the miracle suck out. And that was Bill. Then to seal the win...he would get it in with 4-7 vs Rebecca's J-7 (again-dominating Bill) only to see Bill hit a four! And just like that...it was OVER! Bill was our winner...and once again...a member of TEAM MONKEY!!!!

To BOTH of their credits...and I don't think you could have EVER wanted to see it handled any better by the winner OR the loser, Bill (as he always is) was incredibly humble and low key in victory and Rebecca was an absolute professional about how she lost. The smile never left her face...despite the gut-wrenching pain I know she was feeling. It's always nice to be around people who don't do the "Stand Up and Cheer and Scream" when they win...or the "That's What I'm Talking Abouuuuuut!!!!!" victory reaction. Ugh.

Nope. They were both amazing. They both played great. Everyone played great. It was one of the most well-played tourneys I've ever been a part of. And is going to undoubtedly have an effect on the selection process in the determination of my final two players on this year's squad.

SIDE NOTE: Wild Bill held his annual WSOP Main Event satellite (also at Out of Bounds) this past weekend...and the eventual winner was Lance Campione! Lance is already an investor of our team...so he's in line to have a fantastic summer potentially! Congrats Lance! 

So. Where are we? We have FIVE players on the squad. And as of this moment? I have sold 274.5 (yes! you can buy half a share! That IS a thing!) shares. 250 shares sold covers 5 players...so we are halfway to the sixth player...and I'm 100% positive the 7th player will be a breeze. And Jackie has me covered on the apparel side of things! If things play out right...by the time I take the family to St. Thomas on June 14th for a week...I'll have all 7 team members named, and most of the money collected, and just be really focused on MY own travel arrangements to Vegas.

Yeah. As for me? I've decided...with some input (of course) from the wife, who has no interest in going to Vegas ("I've been to dang Vegas a thousand million times, I don't care about going to Vegas! That's not where I want to use up my vacation days!") that she gets to spend 4th of July weekend (actually the 8-10th) in Pensacola Beach with her friends...and I get to go to Vegas the week before, and play a handful of juicy events. An $1100 at Venetian with $300 bounties. Then if I bust that, another $1100 Omaha mix game at Venetian. Then the $1500 Main Event at The Wynn. Take Wednesday July 6th off for the TEAM DAY and TEAM DINNER...on July 7th have my horse Jacqueline and possibly my mother and sister running in the Ladies WSOP event...then play my Day 2 hopefully. And...if I don't make the Final Table...fly home Friday the 8th to take care of Carley while Mama Squirrel goes to play at the beach. If I MAKE the Final Table? Well...we have a back up plan for THAT!!!! Hopefully that gets put in play!

So, RECAP: I have two more Minions to come up with! I also have approximately 75 more shares to sell at $200 per share. Investors have a 65/35 majority in the team. Players give back the $10k to the investors if they cash. Players also have the option of withholding 20% of their winnings to account for all tax implications. All investors know about each other. A spreadsheet goes out listing EVERYONE's personal stake. There is NEVER the possibility of me OVER-SELLING the shares. Doing so would be utterly foolish. Once I hit 350...that's IT. It's SOLD OUT and DONE! If I do get interest once we are sold out...I then give those who haven't paid yet...a date to pay or lose their spot on the team to someone willing to pay for their shares. I am longggggg since tired and weary of carrying bad debt that I have to chase people for. 

If you are interested in joining our team of investors to have a piece and rooting interest in ALL SEVEN TEAM members this summer...and get ALL the constant updates from the players, as well as frequent posts on the private Facebook Group page (for players, investors and friends and family) just shoot me an email at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and you can climb on board!

I could probably ramble on about a bunch of stuff that's been going on in the past month...as its been a pretty exciting and eventful month...but I fear this post has gone on too long already! So that's a wrap!

Oh! And now? I have to go rehearse my lines for....huh? Yeah...you heard me! REHEARSE MY LINES! I've been 'cast' to play a 'Dad' in a commercial tomorrow for my good buddy Kai Landry, who is running for a local political office here in Biloxi! No, I am NOT kidding! If I get a hold of the finished product, I will be sure to post it here!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Update on Wild Card Tourney


As I prepare to head to Grand Bear Country Club and play 18 holes (been wanting to play that course for a long time!!!) I wanted to get some quick info out to everyone!

First...if you plan on being an investor in this years 4th Annual Monkey WSOP Grinders' Team...you best be getting on it! I am at 223 shares sold right now. At 350 I stop selling...as I've decided on a maximum of 7 players this year. For info on how to purchase $200 shares email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com

Second...the Wild Card Tourney I am running tomorrow night (Saturday the 21st) at Out of Bounds in Metairie? I made one little gaffe. I thought 'Wild Bill' Phillips was running his annual WSOP ME Satellite at noon there tomorrow. So I picked a time of 6:30 to run mine...using that first one as somewhat of a 'feeder' tourney. 

Well...MY BAD! His tourney is actually NEXT Saturday at noon! However...I kind of determined it might actually be a GOOD thing! Some of the invited players might play the WSOP Main Event today...bust out, and NOT have the money to fire a second bullet for another $1675. Or maybe they will....and then bust before 6pm. And decide to head over to play. OR...in the most optimistic scenario...they may play today...and BAG UP CHIPS tonight! Which would make THEM very happy; as they could THEN play my tourney tomorrow night ALSO! 

SO....bottom line...I am gonna run with it. But what I need, or would LIKE, anyway...is a RSVP email, text, Facebook message...something...letting me know if you PLAN to TRY to make it. I really don't want to do the tourney unless we get 16-20 minimum. If we don't...then I will likely postpone it until either next week, or the week AFTER that. And then I will just stick around tomorrow night and play cash game with everyone for a few hours and buy everyone that DID show up a drink!!! Either way, you can't lose!!!!

SO please text me (if you have my number) or email me (see above) if you are planning on playing in the Wild Card tourney tomorrow night...or would LIKE to be considered for it if not already previously invited. 


Now I'm going to go out and see how many balls I can lose!!!!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Hunt for Minions Continues!!!!


Happy May! Okay. Happy Middle O'May!

A bunch of you are currently toiling away at the WSOP circuit event in NOLA. Me, not so much. I'm busy hosting my mom, Squirrel's mom, AND my brother Jimmy...who sleeps about 21.5 hrs a day.

I've been busy working on the Summer Grinders for the 4th consecutive year now...and now that my 'big ballers' have mostly re-upped for another run, the numbers are starting to get very respectable. As of today, I have run it up to 215 shares SOLD, with about 75% of them already paid for.

That locks us into FOUR players...3 of whom were previously named, and one of whom was added via a clarification I confused myself over. Robert Harwell, who was last summer's highest finisher, will return to the squad as the accomplisher of that feat.

So...to date, Chris Canan, David Chocheles, Kenny Milam, and Robert Harwell, are all LOCKED IN and their shares accounted for. With 15 to spare.

Which gets me to the next order of business. The final 2 or 3. Last year we ran a brilliant little tourney, one that was the idea of Lord Puddingsworth, aka Kai Landry. It went so well, and I have such an abundance of applicants from the Gulf Coast area, that it made all the sense in the world to do it again. And this time, instead of 11 players...I can reasonably see us getting 20-25.

Picking the best time to do it was tricky. Having it while the WSOP circuit event is going on here means we have a lot more players in the area, with the opportunity to be here to play. The Main event is this coming weekend. They can either play in that on Friday OR Saturday OR both...if things don't go so well. Kai's place (The Manor) was a no-go...so we settled upon the place my friend and business partner Barth owns, in Metairie, to hold it. His only request? Please don't do it Friday night! Okay. So on Saturday...Wild Bill Phillips, a 3-time Minion member is holding his own WSOP ME satellite tourney at Out of Bounds at high noon!

AHHH HAH! Well...I anticipate some people who will be playing in that, also happen to be some people who will want (and who have been invited by me) to play in a Wild Card Tourney to Find the Next Minion!!!! Hence...I have picked the time of 7pm (arrive by 6:30!) to run this tourney! And I will receive help from the aforementioned Wild Bill...as well as others, including 2017 Grinder Chris Canan, who has offered to be a dealer for the event.

The cost will be $450. Of that, $400 will guarantee each participant two SHARES ($200 per share) owned for this summer's team. So by playing they are already a likely winner of some amount (because SOMEONE is DEFINITELY going deep this summer!!!!!) The other $50 is for admin costs to run the tourney. If you think you are up to my standards for consideration for the team? And would like to participate? Shoot me an email at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com

I would like to have a pretty good idea of how many players we will have (ballpark) by Saturday morning, even Friday night...so we can kind of plan accordingly. Barth has a really great set up at Out of Bounds...so it should go off without any real headaches!


Hey! Are you a poker player who owes me money? Well...there are a lot of you out there. And I'm just warning you...I'm getting less and less patient in my old(er) age. I've been awfully laid back about this topic the last 5-10 years...but I find myself getting real cranky lately. And the more I listen to old-school rap and hear them talking about disrespect and what-not? The more I start to understand the motivation behind some of their actions.

See...even if I don't NEED the money, necessarily? It is starting to, more and more, irritate me that some of you chumps are sitting there laughing at me. Thinking to yourselves (perhaps) "pffft! Ha! Fuck that guy! What's he gonna do? Seriously? I ain't payin that dick!"

Well. See, first of all YOU are the one who is a DICK. Second...karma also has a way of catching up with losers like you. (though I'm getting old, and waiting for karma to get you? I'm kind of OVER that) Third. I DO actually have a number of people who have offered their 'collection' services to me. And no...I don't know HOW they go about collecting from deadbeat losers. I don't. And I don't want to. All I know...is if I get 75% of what you owe me? I'm happy. As for finding you? It's amazing how easy it is for these guys. I don't know what they do or how they do it. But they do it.

Look. Those squares you took? That you KNOW I always pay out 100% to the winners on? Nobody put a gun to your head and told you to try and become a big winner when Janikowski made that huge game-winning FG. He missed. It's not MY fault. You still owe the money! I still paid the winners. Out of MY own pocket...since you decided to be a douchebag with no morals. And frankly? I've given you plenty of time to pay. And I'm sick of playing Mr. Nice Guy.

So I think I've come up with a game plan. I think I'm going to give ALL OF YOU until JULY 1st to pay me what you owe me. Or watch you come up with a really believable story that convinces me that you're "good for it." (a phrase I hate almost as much as "check is in the mail."

And once that date passes? And since it will coincide perfectly with the start of the Main Event? And I know a lot of you will be out there trying to get people to back you? Well...I can almost promise you that NOBODY will want to touch you with a ten-foot pole after I torch your ass on this blog. Nope. You will be what we like to call 'radioactive!' 

Pictures. Stories. Yeah. Those two combined? Tell a 1000-words. And if you think it makes me an asshole for doing that to you? And your falsely-earned 'good' reputation? Well...you are wrong. You NEED to get called out. Before you can fuck over anyone else. You know who you are. Quit being a deadbeat, loser, dickbag. PAY UP! Because Phase One....of destroying you on my blog? It's gonna be a go! I promise! In fact...you're damn lucky I'm not doing it RIGHT NOW...because trust me, the urge? It's there!!!!!!

As for Phase Two? Well...I think you're clever enough to figure that out! But let me share this with you. Because this is something I've discussed with a good buddy of mine...who thinks this idea would make for a #1 smash TV hit, were I ever to do it. Let's hypothetically say I get a diagnosis that has me croaking in, lets say 9-12 months? Terminal! Like...I'm going to DEFINITELY die. Well...that's when I pack up all the available firepower at my disposal, grab my buddy, and maybe a camera crew. Rent a sweet RV...and start a tour of the country. Knocking on doors of those who have a long-running debt and demanding payment. Because If I'm leaving this Earth? I'll be damned if I'm doing it before I collect on EVERY DAMN DEBT that is owed to me, and putting it right in Carley's college fund. You might think you can fuck ME over...but my daughter? Ha!!!!!!! Good luck with that!!!!! Plus? You will have the chance at letting me make you famous (or infamous) to the rest of the world!!!!! Good luck digging your way out of THAT hole of Loserdom!!!!!!

Okay. That should be about enough on THAT topic, yeah!??? Needed to get that off my chest!

Bar is almost open! Booked our flights to fly the girls and I...and our little sidekick, Abbey...down on June 14-19th. Barth booked us a charter on the most kickass 53' yacht for a day of boating to the British Virgin Islands. Can't wait! The bar itself looks amazing! Can't wait to start making some money, too...as its been nothing but money going out, out and out since February! But he is down there doing EVERYTHING right! It's gonna rock! I've invited any and everyone to come on down for the Grand Opening weekend...June 14-18th...we have bands and all kinds of special stuff planned. So far I have two, maybe three friends who are coming down and bringing their families.

I'm on another weight loss campaign. And its utilizing the oft-successful in the past Le-Vel/Thrive (see info on right-hand margin over there) Wow. I posted (on Facebook) that Robert Harwell and I are embarking on a challenge with each other...and while I already have the diet plan and exercise regiment all set up, I must have gotten about 10-15 emails from people telling me how I should go about losing the 20-25 lbs I am looking to shed. I guess if one doesn't work, maybe one of those will!!!!!

Is this shit with Trump and the lunatic Liberals driving anyone else as crazy as it is me? I'm not gonna lie...I've almost completely quit watching the news altogether. I just don't see the point. The Trump-haters are never gonna quit hating Trump. The Dem's aren't going to quit trying to impeach him. Ever. And Trump supporters just grow more and more galvanized because of all the BS being heaped at him. It's human nature. Even if THEY (his voters/supporters) don't LIKE Trump...he is THEIR Trump...and they'll be damned if they aren't going to support his ass while all these jerkoffs are trying to take him down 24/7/365. It just amazes me how completely STUPID the leadership of the Democratic party is. I mean...how can you not understand simple human nature? But they don't. They truly don't.

What IS their end-game anyway? Get Trump (somehow-despite a GOP majority in the House AND Senate...which BOTH have to vote to impeach him if its to happen) impeached and then what? They get Mike Pence? Who most diehard liberals think is even WORSE than Trump in a lot of ways? And in doing so (the impeachment) pissing off every conservative and probably even the moderate conservatives in this country SO much...that the thought of EVER voting for another Democrat in their lifetime would be about as possible as ME running and winning the presidency???? First, they will lose all of their remaining seats in 2018. Then? Well...there will be NO then. 2020 would be a hilarious cakewalk to a GOP re-election. It's all so simple...and yet...these liberals just continue to march themselves in to the pits of hell. I love it. It really is comical and entertaining.

The Rangers won't be winning the Stanley Cup again this season. Hence, for me, Hockey season is over.

The Seattle Mariners have nearly their entire starting pitching staff on the DL. And their two best hitters. Could be another long one for Mr. Monkey the Baseball Fan.

The Seattle Seahawks have a new beast mode I think. Eddie Lacy worked out with the founder of P90x last offseason and showed up to GB camp in the best shape ever. His first 3 games he was a monster...but then got hurt. Well Seattle has him now. And yeah...he came in overweight...but yesterday he cleared his first weight 'hurdle' and picked up 55k. I anticipate GREAT things out of him this year. Bad news? There are rumors and rumblings that management is contemplating picking up that douchecanoe Colin Slapperdick. I hate that guy. And I hated him BEFORE 'KneelGate.' I even DM'd Pete Carroll yesterday BEGGING him to NOT let that piece of shit step foot in a Seahawk locker room. We'll see what happens.

Carley got sick this past week with strep throat and had to miss her graduation from Pre-K. Fortunately....she didn't really care. Props to my kid. Graduation? From fucking Pre-K? For real? I hear they have the same shit from Kindergarten next year too. Stupid. You graduate twice, as far as I'm concerned...from High School, and from College. Period. The rest? Are just more idiotic ideas dreamed up by the parents of under-achievers. Fuck those clowns. If you're kid is a loser...it's probably because their parents were losers too. It's called the Circle of Life. Deal with it!

Hmmm...are we done here for today? I think we are. Thanks for tuning in. More soon I promise.


PS: I did actually step out of the house to play some poker. Went to the Beau and played the $50k Guarantee a couple weeks ago. First bullet, busto! Second bullet...and the $600 last longer I had with this other guy...also busto. Raised on the button with JJ. Got called by BB with A9. Flop came 9-4-3. He led out. I raised. He shoved. "I am going to assume you have Ace Nine" and I called. Yup. Turn? Nine! Poker is great! And that...is my ONE bad beat story for this post!!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Time for a WSOP Team Monkey Announcement!

(so yeah..I STARTED this post last week...should be obvious)

Hello everybody! Hope you are having a wonderful spring! I haven't posted in awhile, and mainly its because I've been busy. I've had the intention to sit down and pen a blog post a couple times...but it seems like every time I'm about to do that...something comes up and sidetracks me! At the moment, I'm sitting in our room in Pensacola Beach, where I brought the girls for a few days while Carley and her buddy Abbey are out on Spring Break. We got lucky...the weather was perfect the entire time. We have to leave in a couple hours. On the way out of town I'm going over to the house I own here and meet with a landscaper about re-doing the sod and getting the sprinkler system back up and running again. I finally have a great tenant over there, and I've been doing a lot of little extra things for her to keep her a happy renter.

Since my last post...I've played ZERO hands of poker. But I have been putting the wheels in motion to launch the 2017 WSOP Team Monkey...aka Monkey's Minions. We are about 2.5 months away from the BIG WEEK.....and its about time to get the ball rolling. I've received a handful of players who are interested in being a part of this year's squad...and I appreciate the interest.

I've decided to take a bit different approach this year. In the past, I've first put shares on sale...then after enough had been raised to send 3 or 4...started naming the players who would be representing us. Predictably, I've had a lot of people who wouldn't buy in until they knew who the players were. I stayed stubborn on those situations...insisting that it would be best if I waited to announce who the players would be. Frankly....I'm damned surprised that I was able to use this method and be as successful as we have been. I guess its a testimony to how much people truly trust my eye for talent and just really wanted to be a part of the action. But after viewing it from another perspective...I now realize that knowing in advance who the players are...or at least who SOME of the players are...also will give THEM a chance to work their own personal networks to get investors to buy shares...not just to support them...but the rest of the team as well. After all, a purchased $200 share not only covers their favorite player...but also buys a piece of ALL the members of the team.

It just makes more sense, I've decided...to name the first three members of the team...and give everyone a glance at who they will have representing them as we go after the MILLIONS that the final table will be offering those final 9 players again. If you are interested in buying a share ($200 per share) or more...just email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. Each 50 shares sold, sends ONE player. Last year...we sold 300 shares and sent 6 players, two of which cashed...Robert Harwell and Christian Iacobellis. The investor/player split is 65/35.





If you go checking stats on these guys...and the place where most people like to check stats is either on www.cardplayer.com or www.hendonmob.com you will find that Kenny Milam has the most cashes of the three. Another thing I noticed is that his earnings are split...which often times happens with these reporting sites. I've personally had profiles under various combinations using my first, middle and last name. Kenny is listed under Kenneth, Ken and Kenny. Aggravating. I finally got on top of mine...and had them all merged a long time ago.  Kenny's biggest listed cash is $40,000 which was accomplished in the $10k WSOP Main Event in 2015. As for David, he's a relatively new player..and his biggest score is also $40,000...which he won playing in the $3k Main Event at the Beau Rivage's Main Event in the Million Dollar Heater in January 2016. 

None of these guys are going to knock you out with their amazing stats. One large reason for that is that they play a lot of local tourneys...at Caesar's New Orleans for example. Here's the thing about the reporting sites...they no longer report ANY results that come in events that are less than $400. Which eliminates a LOT of results. I'm not a big fan of that decision by those sites...but its THEIR sites, so.....

For the first couple years...I had 'Wild Bill' Phillips back on the squad for a couple of reasons. One...he ran deepest the first year...and he was the only one to cash the 2nd year. But also because he was the owner of the site who has been hosting this blog for the 9 years I've been writing it. He has also been incredibly supportive to me personally, through all my trials and tribulations in poker. And additionally, he played a huge role in promoting this effort on the site itself. I didn't necessarily make it a POLICY that anyone who cashes will be back the following year...though it seems some have arrived at that conclusion. Obviously...they would merit consideration, especially if they were good team members...which our two players who cashed last summer WERE. Robert Harwell and Christian Iacobellis certainly have to be on the short list for consideration on this year's team again. 

It's always an extremely stressful job in deciding who gets one of the spots on the team.There are a lot of various factors that come into play...and I always fear upsetting people. 

I'll be totally honest...I was really close to nixing the whole thing this year. What started out as a bit of a mission born of spite towards Jack Effel, who has unfairly kept me on the outside looking in when it comes to playing WSOP events...and it being my way of having a presence in the world's biggest poker event, has become more of an annual event that focuses a lot more on just giving a lot of people a fun sweat during the tournament. On top of that...it gives an opportunity to some players to chase their dream, players who most likely wouldn't be able to otherwise play. That aspect of it has taken front and center since my own involvement in poker has dwindled mightily the past few years. I've been much more involved in being a husband, and a father, and branching out into other avenues of making money. It just gets harder and harder to justify traveling to cities and spending countless hours at a poker table trying to win amounts of money that are inconsequential. If I get the time...and a BIG tourney presents itself...where the prize money is worth putting in the time for, then YEAH...I will totally give it some consideration. But it just doesn't happen that much anymore.

This winter I was presented with an opportunity to do something I've always kind of yearned to do again. Back in the early 90's...after a number of years in the Food and Beverage business doing every job from the bottom to the top...I got involved as a part owner in a bar (Lulu's Baitshack) in Atlanta, as well as another one in Athens. We had 6 of us...which proved to be very problematic for a variety of reasons. I always said I would NEVER do a bar again with partners. Well, my best buddy from the New Orleans area, Barth Melius, who happens to have his hands in several (anywhere between 3-5, I can never keep track) bars and/or restaurants over there...took a trip to St Thomas with a girlfriend for a little vacation, and while there kind of tripped upon a place that was available. He asked all the right questions and got all the right information...and when telling me about it...I asked if I could get in on it with him? We've talked about doing 'something' together in the past...but so far it had only been to maybe buy a boat together!

Well...after a lot of research, we decided to buy this place in the Red Hook area of St Thomas. Barth is literally the only human on Earth who I would be partners with in a bar. And he says the same of me. I have a background also as a wine and liquor rep for Southern Wine and Spirits...my last job (in Pensacola) before quitting in 2003 to play poker full time. So I have a good amount of knowledge on the other side of the business as well. But Barth is basically a genius at these things...and has been down there pretty full time for the past three months. Any thing I've asked about...he's usually already covered. It's an amazing location. He negotiated a fantastic lease. The food we will be serving is cajun...which the locals down there are thrilled about. We are located in a big yacht marina..just a few hundred yards down from the Ferry that runs to St Johns. We will be called 'Bernies'...and feature a theme that plays off the old movie "Weekend at Bernie's" which was actually filmed in St. Thomas! We have gotten permission from the production company who made the movie to use various items to promote the bar. The build-out has been going on for over two months and is almost completely finished. We are both REALLY excited, and so is Squirrel. The opening...which will be a 'soft' opening...will take place in about two weeks (May 15th) and then on I THINK June 9th...maybe the 15th...waiting on final word there...we will have our HUGE Grand Opening party...which is being sponsored by Avion Tequila! If you were a fan of 'Entourage' you know who THAT is!!! There will be bands and lots of give-a-ways as well. 

I went down 3 weeks ago for a week to just basically check everything out and see what I was getting myself into! I loved it! Barth has rented us a condo that is literally 50 yards from the beach...called Sapphire Beach, which is beautiful. There is a little bar and grill right on the beach too. When its time for the Grand Opening I will be bringing Squirrel and Carley with me...and maybe Carley's little travel buddy who goes just about EVERYWHERE with us....Abbey! It's going to be a really hectic month...with my mother, my brother (Jimmy-the one with Down's Syndrome) Cheryl's mother...all coming for long visits during the month. Then in June...the trip to St Thomas...then a week in Orange Beach with the family. All of this...led me to waffling on whether I really wanted to take on the added stress of doing the Poker Team again. It wasn't going to take much to talk myself out of it. 

But....then the emails started coming in! The ones wanting to be on the team. The ones wanting to invest in the team again. And before I knew it...I was sucked back in again. And since we got 4 in the first year (2014) then 5 in the second (2015) and 6 last year (2016) naturally I am going to shoot for 7 in 2017. What can I say? I'm silly like that!

Oh...and to you donkey dicks who read my blog to find something to bust my balls about? Who think everything I do is a scam? Oh how I love thee! This little deal that I do? I've lost money doing it the first three years. I take NOTHING for doing it. Zilch. I invest in it myself...15 shares last year ($3000) and if the players don't win enough to get us back to even and beyond? Then I come out a loser. It's a very straight forward business model. All investors know who each other is and how many shares everyone has. The backers hold a 65-35 stake in all the players. If a player cashes...the $10k buy in is taken out and put in the collective prize pool. Then whatever they win...they get 35% of...and the rest? Into the prize pool. However much money is placed in the prize pool...it gets split up into even shares. If we sell 300 shares like last year? And there is $50,000 in the total prize pool? Then each share is worth $167. Which is $33 short of the purchase price of $200 per share. So basically, the break even point on 6 players...with 300 shares sold...would be $60,000. Everyone would get exactly $200 back per share. The first year we got shut out. Two years ago, Bill Phillips won $40k roughly, and each investor got back $95 per share. (taxes also figure into things) Then last year...two players accounted for $43k and each investor got $105 per share back. So...to be fair...with the tax implications...the break even point is actually a bit higher than $60k...probably closer to $80-85k. 

Ideally, we get ONE player who makes it down to the final three tables then we are freerolling on all the other players! To be able to get back to break-even with one player would be great! Bottom line...I put in a LOT of work...with the rounding up of money....with getting all the t-shirts, hats and hoodies made, and just the never-ending back and forth correspondence that goes along with doing this. But...when we get to the Team Day...and all the contracts are signed, the buy ins are done, the team photo is taken, the schwag is passed out...and the team dinner is over....and all I have left to do is kick back and watch the Minions do their thing? It's all worth it. To watch them from afar...through their social media updates...its a blast. To see all the support they get from the investors. To see them give us all their updates on their current stacks. It's a blast. It's easy to see why people get so excited about it. It's not everyone who can just drop everything in their lives and run off to Las Vegas for 7-10 days to play in this thing. So to be able to spend a little money to have a bunch of 'horses' to root for? Its the next best thing to a lot of people.

As for myself? From a poker standpoint? I don't know what or even HOW much I will play when I go out there. Maybe just play one or two big tourneys at Venetian and The Wynn. I know last year my trip out there corresponded with their main event at both places. I ran pretty well in both of them...bagging up on Day 1 in both but falling short of the money in both too. I wouldn't mind trying to improve on those performances. 

So...Carley just turned five this week...and one of the things I got her for her birthday was something she'd been pestering me about for months now: a fishing pole. Our friend manages the local Academy Sports and I went in there last week, spent a couple hours with him...and him hook me up with everything I could possibly need to go sit at the fishing pier and try to catch some fish. She is all excited to go fishing now. I promised her if she was good at school today I would take her fishing tonight. Well...I also forgot we promised her best friend Presley we would go to her last T-ball game tonight when we saw her at Carley's birthday party last week...so looks like I have to figure out how to squeeze in both things tonight!!! 

Again...if you are interested in being on the team this summer...please email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and tell me a little bit about yourself...and why I should be considering putting you on the team. You don't need to tell me your life story...just enough to get my attention! Throw in some stats...but I can also search on those myself. No promises! And I DO try to at least respond to everyone who applies...but that can get tough at times too.