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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vegas! Vegas!! Vegas!!!

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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!

MONKEY

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