www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Remember When Poker Mattered?

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

APRIL 15, 2021  (picked back up and finished 4/20/2021!)

IT's TAX DAY!!!! Wheeeee!!!!! For those of you NOT under IRS audit, in which case...you have an excuse to NOT file YET....you better have your taxes done by midnight...or make sure your CPA has filed an extension for you!!!!

Yes. It's 2021! YES...I know! I haven't posted a blog in...lets just say FOREVER! I'm also acutely aware that I've become relatively irrelevant in the World of Poker. Over the course of the last 12-15 months I've made a few efforts to sit down and post a blog. IN fact...this was my LAST attempt. It might bring a little entertainment, even humor. Browse this snippet...then catch me on the other side! I am appearing today as a guest (why me??? NO idea! I'm flattered) on Bill & Gene's Gulf Coast Poker Podcast in less than an hour!!!

THIS WAS WHERE MY ATTEMPT at a BLOG UPDATE STARTED and STOPPED last JUNE!!!!!

Here we are, in June 2020. The WSOP is in full swing in its first full week out in Vegas, the MLB season is nearing its midseason point. In the NBA, we should have a new champion crowned this weekend. And the same goes for hockey...where someone will lift the Stanley Cup. What an exciting spring it's been! And how about that crazy finish in the Master's? Not to mention that amazing stretch run in the Kentucky Derby. I mean...is there anything MORE exciting than being a sports fan in the good 'ol United States of America? 

Yeah...that's the paragraph I SHOULD have been leading with after having not blogged in a number of months. In January, after the "Heater" at the Beau Rivage...I actually started a blog entry...and was pretty close to being done. Then I stepped away from my computer for a few days...and suddenly, the world started changing dramatically all around me. The more time that went by...the more irrelevant my "poker post" started feeling. By mid-March...I became resigned that I would never post that previous entry. Now, here we are...the first week of June...and we have graduated from one huge issue to another. Even while the first one is still going on. In the 53 years I've been living in this country...I'm not sure I've ever seen things more chaotic, more confusing, more frustrating and more divisive. Anyone who insists that they have the answers to all that ails us...is simply a fool. 


AND NOW....here we are!  A new year. A new president. A "new normal" that has been foisted upon us by a new administration, with help from a liberal media that simply can't bring itself to report anything that resembles honest news and/or information. Covid protocols still remain in place in some places. Deaths are still being reported nationwide, and worldwide. A vaccine was miraculously developed in record time...not just in America, but in numerous countries. I'm still perplexed by THAT simple fact. Despite a virus that 99.875% of people are expected to be able to defeat, we are being frantically urged (ordered?) to run out and get a vaccine that has been wreaking havoc with some of it's recipients, either with an unexpected side affect, or in some cases...even death! I'm in the camp of 40% of active Marines in this country...who are simply maintaining that they have NO reason to get a vaccine for something they are 99% certain to beat if they get it. Being young, and in the best shape of their lives...WHY would they EVER worry about a vaccine? I'm not getting it. I'm not letting my wife and child get it either. Nope. 

So the boys at Gulf Coast Poker have started a podcast on their website. They've asked me to appear as a guest today. Why, hell I don't know! I hardly play anymore. I WAS playing pretty regularly in a Pokerstars Home Game that featured a bunch of you players out there who I've known for years. It was entertaining...frustrating at times, but I had a bit of success on there. It went dark a month or two ago due to some concerns based on information that convinced the operators to step away from it. Understandable. NO need putting your livelihood in jeopardy if you don't have to. So aside from that...I'm a participant in some other online sites, and have been playing the app-based PokerBros, and am a....ahhhh what's that word? I always forget it. When you promote a site, and give out a referral code, so that you can earn a little money on the side? I should know that word...I've been "one of them" for several sites over the years. At any rate...I've been somewhat active on PokerBros...and actually made a pretty good chunk of change referring people to the poker club I play in. When I play on there, I lean towards the cash-game PLO6 Hi/Lo game...which is NUTS! I really don't like playing with THAT many cards...and that many WAYS TO LOSE...but getting a game going in the 4 or 5 card versions of Hi/Lo is almost impossible. SO I sit in on the 6-card version...and take my lumps. 

As for LIVE poker? I've been getting closer and closer to venturing out. I ALMOST ran up to Pearl River to play that main event. But things came up with the family that kept me at home. I've been eyeballing some events, one in South Florida...and one out at Venetian, to go get my feet wet again. The one thing that has me really interested, is the fact that nobody is playing 9 or 10-handed. I LOVE having elbow and leg room. And when these places are playing 7 and/or 8-handed...that's like a dream come true for me. I don't know how they are about rules and Covid-enforcement though...and I am NOT someone who likes being told what to do if the reason for doing it lacks ANY logic whatsoever. It's probably one of the things that drives me the MOST crazy. THINGS THAT DON'T MAKE SENSE!  I have NO problem following rules...as long as the rules make SENSE! I am not a f'ing sheep. I never have been. I never WILL be. It's caused me problems in my life. I know that. I've reconciled that with myself. I'm aware that being a "yes sir, no sir" guy might have led to me avoiding some of the bullshit that I've been subjected to in my poker career, and upon close inspection, and reflection with myself, I have no regrets. You only live this life ONCE. How do you want to be remembered? I cling to my morals, my ethics, my values, and my beliefs. I have what I consider to be a lot of pride. People have the right to agree or disagree with me. I've never been delusional enough to think that I would EVER make everyone like me, or even agree with my views. I'm not in the business of making people like me. 

Trust me, if I was? I would be in politics. I have a LOT of knowledge about politics. I have a lot of acquired experience in that field. Have a lot of connections in that world. Were it not for the path of destruction I've left in my wake over the last 30-40 years...I'd enter that arena. But with my checkered past, it would take the vultures in the media and in the political arena itself, to devour me within hours of dipping my toes into the political waters!!! So I operate on the outer fringes, contributing where I can to the causes I most believe in. It's true that 2020 was one of the biggest setbacks in my life...as it pertains to politics, and the overall health of our country. It's been a rough 2021 so far. I've had to pry myself away from the 24-hr cable news cycle...as it just leads to bouts of depression, frustration, aggravation, and deep contemplation about the future of our country. I think that were it not for being the father of a young child...I might not be as emotionally invested in the future of our country, from a political standpoint. I've been urged by several of my followers on Facebook to start a politically-based Podcast. Trust me...the thought has dawned on me many times. But I'll be totally honest...I'm scared. I've watched the way Big Tech has treated Conservative voices in this country just in the last 5-6 months...and it's terrifying. 

I've already seen weird things going on in my own life. I don't how much of it is circumstantial, and how much of it is due to my political leanings. I'm reading a book called "The War on Cash" and that has probably fed into some of my suspicions. I've actually read a LOT of books over the course of the last year...most of them from authors on the Conservative right. I try not to inundate myself with ALL conservative readings...so I balance that by reading newsletters from leftist publications...as well as daily briefings from the New York Times. Each side accuses the other side of being tone deaf, of being shut off to the other side. That they exist in an echo chamber. I've tried hard to welcome liberal voices in my own Facebook wall. (I am currently serving a 30-day Facebook jail term, 13 days from being freed...for engaging in a heated conversation with a diehard liberal on one of my own friends' walls...I made a comment that the libbie didn't like, reported me to the FB gestapo, and got me suspended for 30 days. Ridiculous) I would say I have 4 or 5 people I still consider "friends" who's views I wholeheartedly disagree with, however, I respect their opinions. I respect their right to disagree with mine. We manage to maintain a level of decorum. We manage to maintain a friendship. I'm of the opinion that this is something that is dying a slow death in our country, and it's sad. I think that Social Media...born around 2004...but not FULLY employed until right about the time Obama came into office in 2008, has been the leading cause for the dysfunction of how we get along in this country with our fellow Americans. It used to be...most people kept their political beliefs to themselves. And if they DID talk about it...they knew when to stop the conversation. 

NOW?  Whoa! Social media has basically empowered people, giving them this weapon (essentially) wherein they feel their opinion is a lot more powerful than it really is. The ingredients, that being social media, a liberal media overtly opposed to Conservative views/beliefs, racial divisiveness that has been promoted by those with their own agenda...all of this has led to a nation that is desperately trying to find itself right now. And lost in all of this, is how this has left us vulnerable to the rest of the world. 

Okay. I keep getting sidetracked...pulled into political talk. Sorry. This should be about poker right? I'm trying, I'm trying! Promise! 

Hey! How about my good buddy Joe Hebert!??? One of the truly good guys in poker who I've been really good friends with for over a decade!??? I've never been happier for a poker player's success than I was for him! Winning the WSOP Main Event...granted, it was under some whacky circumstances...still! Home boy beat EVERYONE! And won what? A million and a half? This is a guy who I've roomed with at poker events. A guy I've swapped "pieces" with at other events. We've done a lot, experienced a lot. We've had our ups, and we've had our downs. We had baby's just a month or two apart. We've been there for each other in times of need...emotionally, and otherwise. And he was on the short list a couple times to be on my WSOP Team that has quite affectionately come to be known as "Monkey's Minions!!" I spoke to him a short while after his win...probably one of the few people who didn't reach out to him with ulterior motives! As much as I like to try to see the good in everyone...there is an undeniable element in the poker community that prey on those who are enjoying success financially.  And one thing that is inevitable, any time you make a good score in poker: the moochers come out of the woodwork. 

Moochers are the worst. They will present themselves as "good friends" and tell you how excited they are for you, and how closely they followed you in your big tournament, as though THAT is supposed to have earned them some kind of reward from you....like, you know? Them sweating you had some kind of affect on your "run good" for that tourney. It's annoying. And it's so predictable. It's one reason I'm always hesitant to contact a friend after they make a big lick. I don't want to get lumped into that category. The 'moocher' category. Ugh. But, with some people...they just know that I'm not calling them to ask them for something. And that is in and of itself, a nice feeling...knowing you aren't being scrutinized in that fashion.

So I ran out of time to write this before we went live for the podcast. So I did 90 minutes with Gene and Wild Bill, then let a week slide by...and I'm back trying to finish this post. The interview was nice. Went really fast...and we definitely had PLENTY to talk about. I try really hard to NOT be long-winded in things like that. Sometimes its tough, but as I am a very critical viewer/listener of others' interviews...I'm always seeing/hearing things that I want to avoid if ever in that same spot. So yeah...I had a lot of that going on. 



What else is going on!?? Carley turns 9 this weekend. Crazy. She's halfway to being a legal adult and moving out. After taking piano for two years...she quit a couple months ago, much to my disappointment. But she has taken an interest in golf! We've been out a few times and she seems to really like it. Her Godfather...and my business partner and friend, Barth...got her a set of clubs for Christmas last year. For Christmas this past year...she took it up a notch. Just a NOTCH. She asked for a freaking golf cart. Huh??? Did you say, GOLF CART? The main shock...was that my wife didn't immediately shoot down the idea. So, umm...little girl is driving now. A red golf cart. Took her about 3 days before she slammed it into the corner of my shed...which caused the entire wall of bricks to collapse and messed up the door jam. Needing a little repair job there! But her driving has improved, no more accidents...and her and her buddies have really gotten a lot of use out of it. 

Both the bars are still open and doing well...despite all the COVID protocols, and interruptions in business. MY tenants in my rental homes are still my same tenants. So...stability! I'm still playing the investment game in online stock trading...a lot more these days then when I previously blogged. I've taken up a new hobby...as an investment vehicle, getting REALLY into buying gold, silver, platinum and even palladium rare coins. I've gotten Carley really interested in it too. I'm in the middle of trying to acquire every year and mint location of every Morgan Silver Dollar in circulation. Carley, after I educated her on it...did a presentation on it...to her 3rd grade class. She did great, I was really proud of her. 

With the economy being in the state that it's in...and the dollar being devalued every day with all these TRILLIONS of dollars that the democrats are pumping out...there couldn't possibly be a better time to invest in precious metals. The other thing I've got on my bucket list in the next few months is to fly out to the Bay Area to take a friend up on this 3-day workshop to learn everything there is to know about crypto-currency...so that  can get into that arena. Hypothetically...I should have started that a long time ago. But I don't like jumping into things that I don't have a workable knowledge in. And where crypto is concerned, I have none! So I'm going to change that...as soon as possible!

Bought a tanning salon back in July 2019 so that my wife, Squirrel...could finally, after 20 years...get OUT of the cocktailing gig at the Beau Rivage and do something else. There had been a lot of changes, not many of them good, at the Beau in the past 5 years or so, and the job was making her miserable. But she isn't someone who would EVER be content to sit at home spinning her wheels. It would drive HER crazy...and her being driven crazy would drive ME absolutely berserk! So an opportunity came up to buy this tanning salon. She knew the owner real well...and they worked it out where the gal would come in and train Cheryl...and be on call to help her with anything that came up. So we pulled the trigger. The first year was mostly learning the business...and implementing some upgrades to the business. Then when COVID hit...it was RIGHT before what WOULD have been her busiest time of year. SO that hurt a LOT!  We had just changed all the bulbs in all 8 beds (pricey!!!) and bought her a Spray-Tan machine...which everyone was requesting. So we definitely took a big loss in 2020. This year has obviously been a LOT better.

In addition to the business just being better, she won an online poll run by...mmmm....sorry, I don't know!! Maybe the radio station? But out of 5 places that were nominated, she won the BEST TANNING SALON on the Gulf Coast!!!! I was so happy for her, and proud! And for the last month she has been absolutely SLAMMED. For winning, I guess she won a bunch of free advertising and some other stuff. I think the best thing that came from it though was a boost to her self-esteem...as she's poured all of herself into that venture. So it was basically a form of validation for her.    

Alright! How's that?? Is that enough!?? I haven't posted in so long, the last thing I want to do is drown you all!!! Besides, it's sunny out, and I really don't think that yard is going to cut itself!!!

MONK




Tuesday, August 20, 2019

BRING ON FOOTBALL SEASON...and CIRCUIT SEASON.

Hello again. 

Been formulating ideas in my head to write about over the past month or two. Had an "interesting" day of poker at the Beau a few weeks back that had me inspired to put pen to paper, as it were. Sometimes, especially in poker, you see things that simply deserve to be shared with someone...ANYONE!

One thing I know that I never did...or rather HAVEN'T done yet...is share the cool details of my trip to Scotland and London that preceded my trip out to Vegas for this year's eventual disappointing WSOP event. I have to confess...I find myself, the older I get...getting more and more private and unwilling to share personal details that in the past I was always fairly eager to share. Maybe it's a sense that there are just fewer people who actually CARE. Maybe it's a conscious effort to remain more private. I'm not exactly sure. Or, maybe it's just a feeling that as I've gotten much more successful in my business life...that excessive posting of accomplishments and/or acquisitions comes off as being cocky or braggadocios. And that is the LAST thing I want to do. So I suppose it's a hard line to draw. What is too much? What is not enough? What is just the right amount of sharing my personal details? I don't know.

So...yeah...back to this night I had at the Beau Rivage. I went to play their Tuesday tourney. It's a senior's event...but it's about 60/40 Seniors to non-Seniors. I got there a little late. I sit down. 1st hand...with 200 up front...having posted to play before the blind...I pick up K10 suited at cutoff. It folds to me. Feels like a reasonable spot to raise. So I make it 600. SB calls with KJ. BB calls with I don't know. Flop comes 10-7-5. Very good flop for me. Right? You'd think. He checks. I bet 1100. No problem. He has overs. He calls. Turn...Jack. Of course. He checks. I check back this time. River is an irritating king. Ugh. He tank bets 3000. I call...see his hand...and wonder what the FUCK possessed him to call the flop bet. Whatever. I bust a couple hands later and walk over to rebuy. 

Next table...I say a silent prayer to myself: "Please, let this table be better than that one." Ha! Sorry, Monkey....no such luck! Literally saw what I believe to be the worst poker player I've ever seen. And I've seen a LOT of bad players in my 15 years. It was an older lady. I knew things were screwy when...after a flop, and first to act, she stated that she would like to "raise to 600." Yup. She was first to act. Oh boy. Tip of the iceberg. It's hard to tell you which was my favorite...and by favorite, I mean, eye-openingly bizarre. But I will give you two. It should be noted...she had managed to chip up...massively...early...by playing horrifyingly bad, and just getting lucky. Her 8k starting stack was up to about 45k in Level 3. Oh...she played a lot of hands...like....nearly EVERY hand. But she rarely raised. Always limped...then it simply didn't MATTER how much someone raised...she was in there. 

So here's HAND #1. She limps in with 10-6 (can't remember if it was suited, doesn't matter). Guy next to her raises it from 400 to 1600. Well...then the button makes it 6000. Yeah. 6k. What does she do? Insta-muck right? Nawwww. She tanks...then struggles to understand what her options are. She finally figures it out and calls the 6k. Wow. Well, now the next guy...who by the way has QQ...goes all in for about 27k. The guy on the button...who has, duh....ACES...also goes all in...she's confused once again. When it's explained to her...she calls. She has them both covered. The flop brings a 6...and everyone starts to cringe a little. Turn gives her a straight draw. Not one person at the table thought she would miss on the river. But somehow she did. Aces held up. Miraculous. And now she was crippled. Ah hell...one hand is enough right? She was out a few hands later...again getting it in horribly. 

How did I fare at that table? Not much better. My gosh...I don't even remember now how I went out. Oh wait...yeah I do. I got cut in half on a hand...then on a 5-way limped pot for 600....I shoved all in for 9500'ish with AJ in the SB. The BB looks down at the mighty 7-8 offsuit...and decides to call. Why? No clue. Everyone else folded...except the button....who also turns out having AJ. We both felt good when the flop came 9-10-J....or though we did. The other AJ guy goes all in. Bye Bye. Both of us. Unreal. 

Then I went and played an extremely maniacal game of 5/5 PLO. In for 1000. Couple of brutal beats later...I was busto. Bought back in for 2000. Played for about 2 hours...and managed to run that up to 3250...then decided to go home in time to give Carley her much-relied upon hug and kiss goodnight. It was actually a pretty fun game, with some entertaining guys playing. 

Haven't been back out of my cave to go play since. Wanted to play the monthly 50k guarantee...but Squirrel went out of town for the weekend and I was stuck watching Carley, so had to pass. I haven't played online at all either. A husband/wife team asked my permission to use my "Minions WSOP" private Facebook page to advertise a new poker club that operates on a cool app where you can play from your phone. They ran satellites that allowed people to win shares for my team this summer. It's pretty cool. They are really trustworthy and super organized. They're even shipping me a month rake back bonus...not that I ever asked for it, need it, or even care. But it's just an indication of how classy they are. I recently was sent an invitation to join this other private page on Facebook...a page with a name like "Weaselbag Deadbeats" or something...and it features people basically calling people out for stiffing other people. 

Talk about a who's who of assholes and losers. Is that redundant? I scrolled down the list one night...and amusingly, I actually found some people POSTING about OTHER people who owed ME money still! I didn't post anything, other than that emoji of that guy scratching his chin, as if to be saying..."Hmmmmm." But two things came to mind: (1) this couple appears to be in the minority, running a rock-solid, credible poker club...that always pays it winners and (2) I am SO thankful that I am not living on that layer of society where people basically live buyin to buyin, who are constantly looking for ways to angle-shoot people to gain an edge. Or just plain scam people. I am so thankful that I can afford it when some dirtbag, piece of shit riddles me with excuses why he (or she! Yeah...women are also capable of being deadbeats!) can't pay me the money they owe me. For whatever it may be....a small personal loan, money owed to me for poker staking, or money owed to me for a fantasy league...of which I run a lot of...or one of my pools that I run. It all adds up. And that number is a six-figure number over the last decade. It's really kind of hard to believe that there are THAT MANY scumbags in the world...but they do kind of seem to gravitate together, and a lot of them seem to have addiction issues. So I just try to rationalize it as being the price of doing business, or doing favors. MOST people are good. MOST people will satisfy their obligations. MOST people..if they don't have a way to pay you right away....WILL try to stay in touch with you, and work out a payment plan. But those who don't? Ugh. Fuck 'em. I'm convinced there is no amount of shame you can heap upon them that will ever make them change into a person who wants to be respected by all. They just don't give a shit. I can't imagine going through life like that...I've always prided myself as a person who simply doesn't borrow money from people. And if I owe money for something...it can be ANYTHING...I want to pay it, and pay it quickly. 

So yeah...anyway.  If you are someone that is possibly interested in that aforementioned poker club...shoot me an email to ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and I will give you their info. It's football season almost! If you are interested in my pools...which have grown a LOT and now feature some pretty damn good prize pools after running them for almost 25 years...you can email me at ThePoolMonkey@aol.com. I would invite you to join one of my FIVE NFL Fantasy Leagues...that feature 72 total teams...but I'm down to just 3 openings...so by the time you could email me...they will most likely already be full. 

I think I mentioned in my previous blog post that I am going up to Milwaukee September 9th to (a) get my cataract in my left eye fixed...that developed as a result of my detached retina surgery that I had last November 5th. Another bad beat! and (b) to play the tail end of the WSOP Circuit Event at that casino up there that I can never get the name right on. My mother and sister live together up there, so I will be staying with them. They tend to get pretty good turnouts for their events, and I've never played up there, so I'm somewhat excited to get my feet wet up there. I'm fairly certain I can expect my mom and sister to hit me up for a couple of buy-ins too while I'm there. So far...my success rate with staking those two ladies is 0%...and it's sample size is now approaching about ten events! Time to get it in gear, ladies!!!!

Once that is done...I have a couple other things I'm looking at. I've NEVER played a single tournament in Europe, and have wanted to for quite a while. I've also never played in Australia, and wanted to play there, too. I'm looking at an EPT event in Prague the first week of December. Lots of big buy ins, and they draw incredible field sizes. Furthermore...I've always been enamored with the beauty and history of Prague. It's a really old city, with incredible architecture. A lot of things I was excited about seeing when I went to Scotland and London. Also...if I go to Prague...and fly 1st Class with Delta...I will accumulate 16,500 MQMs...(million qualifier miles) which is EXACTLY what I need to maintain my Platinum Medallion status...which comes with a LOT of nice perks!!! I think the trip to Australia would get a similar amount, maybe even more. So...nothing solid on that yet!

BUT...one trip I DO think we are going to make...and that I think I will get to bring Carley and Squirrel with me on...AND meet Barth (the buddy I own the two-soon to be three bars and restaurants with) down there for...is the WSOP International Circuit event in Aruba. The timing of it is great. Carley is out of school for Thanksgiving the whole week...so if we leave the Thursday before, we can get to Aruba in time for me to fire a bullet in Flight A and if necessary, also Flight B of their Main Event...which is $1700. That will be the only event there I play. And if I bust on THUR or FRI...guess what? We have 3 or 4 days to do nothing but enjoy Aruba as a family! If I happen to get deep? Well, Cheryl has been there before and knows her way around the island...so she can go off gallivanting with Carley and have fun together. Delta was nice enough to give me a $200 flight credit for ruining my luggage on the trip to Scotland, and another $500 flight credit for not getting my golf clubs on the connecting flight out of Boston...and not getting them to me until my third day there. They ALSO gave me the $1400 I had to spend to rent clubs, shoes, and buy clothes to wear, since all of my golf stuff was in my golf travel bag. I have to say...with all the troubles I've had with Delta over the years...they've really treated me well the past few years. Sure...it definitely HELPS when you are GOLD, PLATINUM or (of course) DIAMOND Medallion customers. 

So...THAT is what's up on my poker agenda for the rest of 2019. We have a trip to Nashville planned the weekend of Sept 28th...where we are going to the Carrie Underwood concert, then staying with Squirrel's family up there for the weekend. I'm trying to talk Squirrel into letting us go to the Alabama vs Ole Miss game that weekend...but she seems to think it will be too much. So do I even ASK about shooting home early Sunday so we, or just I (with a buddy) go to the Sunday night game in New Orleans against the hated Cowboys??? Oh! And the weekend BEFORE THAT ONE...I'm contemplating flying out to Seattle with some Saints fans...to meet up with some of my fellow Seahawk fans from childhood...to go to THAT game! Yeah...football season gets pretty crazy around here!!!

The pools keep me busy...especially the football SQUARES that I run...which over the past 3 seasons...has average about 300 boards per season! And the accounting work involved with that is crazy! I've had a few spreadsheet gurus create sheets that would supposedly speed up the process. And another software engineer is beta-testing a site solely dedicated to JUST running Squares pools...inspired by me! Pretty cool. But I am trying hard to get out from under the hours and hours of accounting work associated with giving my 100's of pool players non-stop entertainment during the football season...so THIS season...my sister has asked if I can train her new girlfriend how to do the accounting work, as she lost her job as a poker dealer when it became known that she was dating one of the poker players...yeah..my sister. Whooops! So as she is now living with my sister...she's kind of needing a financial boost. So in addition to my sister and I both chipping in now to support my mom who is living with her...I'm going to provide a way for her girlfriend to contribute! Hey! Look at me creating jobs!!!! If she "gets it" this is going to be a wonderfully delightful football season!!! 

Anybody wanna talk about politics? Ha! No..you do NOT want me going there! I could write for five or six hours...promise. I've thought about starting a video blog that ONLY deals with my views on politics. I guess I would go with the moniker of Mayor Monkey or something catchy like that. Why do I think anyone would even WANT, let alone RESPECT my position on things political? Shit...I don't know. I guess I've just had a ton of people tell me I really seem to know a lot about the topic, and that they really like what I have to say. I mean...I took a few political science courses in college, and it was one of my favorite subjects. I just see politics as something that is lacking TRUE leadership, and REAL difference-makers...and a lot of opportunists. And it pisses me off. This current batch of Democrats has just blown my mind, in so many ways. Some times, I listen to the things they say...and I can't even believe we are cut from the same genetic makeup. And are from the same planet. I think I easily come up with "A Take" at least once or twice a DAY. And I have such a hard time holding my angst. And with Twitter being (who's kidding who) fully a liberal operation, I've found myself getting suspended over and over until finally...they terminated my account for good last month...for referring to Ilhan Omar as a rat-faced traitor using Congress to sabotage our country. Oh....they might TELL US that we have the Freedom of Speech in this country, as afforded us by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution...but we all know that only goes for Liberals. Yes..I am back on Twitter...NO...I am not telling you my new name...not HERE any way. It's a pretty dubious handle...you won't guess it!!!! So...yeah....anyway...maybe there is a Video Blog in the future...probably not. We'll just have to wait and see!

I will probably write a "Vacation Blog" before too long. Find a day or night where I'm bored or can't fall asleep!!!! Just wanted to drop y'all a line to tell ya whas up!!!!

MONKEY

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Monkey's Dismal Summer Wrap Up Report

First, let me just say something here. For those of you who DIDN'T actually invest in the poker team this summer, or ANY summer for that matter? Just because you HAVEN'T seen a post on my blog, DOESN'T mean that the 175+ investors in the team this summer (an all-time record btw) have been left "in the dark" because I haven't posted a blog in over a week...or since ALL TEN players made it out of Day One. 

Ya see, I have a few ways of communicating with my investors. The number one way, is the Private Facebook Group Page, that I set up for all the players, investors, and friends/family of the players to follow along with their progress all throughout the lead up and eventual tournament. The second, is via email. I have a spreadsheet of ALL the investors, and of course, their email addresses. I often will email the group with updates. Finally...for those who don't (and just WON'T) ever use Facebook...they text or email me for updates. 

So, those of you who have been quick to send me your "kind" messages suggesting all kinds of nice things about me because I didn't find the time or motivation to write a blog post on the status of our players? I'm not going to apologize to YOU. If you were interested enough to know how they were doing...you should have invested. End of statement, on THAT matter anyway. 

It's kind of ...mmmm, what's the word here? Disappointing? Irritating? Annoying? When I think about the game of poker...and where it has come from and evolved to since I first started playing back about 15 years ago...it's really pretty astonishing. One thing I can definitively state with almost complete confidence, is that the "douchey factor" in poker has really kind of hit a Mt Everest-like peak in recent years. 

I'm not really sure which topic on the Top Ten List of DOUCHEBAG qualities is my #1....or really what order they should be lined up in. I guess it changes, based on the number of incidents occur. Some, it's just hearing about...either in printed stories, or just through the poker grapevine. Others, of course, its via personal experience. But like hardcore leftists in the political realm these days, they seem to be making more and more of an impact and leaving me wanting less poker. 

Here is a great example. I have what I believe is....maybe two or three "haters" who like to leave anonymous comments on this blog. It could actually be the same person. A sad, miserable asshole who sits despairingly alone in his mom's basement probably, in one of those 70's style bean bag chairs...rooting for my personal failure to somehow boost his own self-esteem. Now, it takes a special kind of sicko to be so devoted to anonymously drop nasty comments for such a long period of time. And keep in mind, I used to blog a LOT on this site...at least four or five times a month. Well now I'm lucky if you get 5 or 6 posts out of me a YEAR. And you might THINK....that this would maybe cause this gutter-dwelling miscreant to search for someone else with an obviously better life than himself to annoy. But...despite my infrequent appearances here...he STILL manages to find time to browbeat me. I'm probably supposed to be flattered, right? I'm sure there is some shrink out there who would convince me of that. But...me being me? I just secretly wish this guy, or guys...whoever they may be...would fall victim to some freak accident. Like having a meteor punch through the atmosphere...then the roof of mom's house...where it permeates two floors and strikes the loser in the head down there in the basement. Or maybe he's driving, taking mom's car to the store late one night to get her some Metamucil...and while taking his eyes off the road to leave a hateful comment on someone's story about their dog who was rescued from a hole in a frozen lake...he manages to creep into the "no man's land" area of a railroad crossing...and gets creamed by an oncoming train. 

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "AND AFTER DAY ONE...10 MONKEYS ADVANCE!!!!!":

"Wow what a fair-weather writer. All your hype and BS about your great 'squad' which real players know is your annual scam, and you don't have the decency to report on their (at least for those in the know) demise. Do yourself a favor and shut it down scam boy."


So here is Mr Asshole's latest comment...and yes, I know, just like the mass killer on TV who loves to see his name and picture bandied about, so that he can further bask in the glory of his 15 minutes of fame...I realize that I shouldn't give him the satisfaction of calling attention to his stupid comment, that he isn't even man enough to sign his name to. Cowards are my favorite of all douchebags...THAT I AM confident enough to declare. 

So...lets analyze this delightful human being's (albeit barely) comment, shall we? Fair-weather writer. I imagine that infers that I prefer to write when I have something positive to write about. Of that, I am guilty. Go figure! All the "hype and BS about my great squad?" Hype? Yes. BS? I object! I was very excited about our team of 10 players...several of whom had cashed for my team in the past. I don't know what BS our friend is talking about. But here is where it gets good. "Which real players know is your annual scam!" First off...what is the difference between a "real" player and a "pretend" player? And the categorization of what I do being an "annual scam?" This same idiot has been chastising me for years, suggesting that I was ripping off my old backer...for no other reason than I had a staking deal that was better than most. See...it's funny, in a not-so-funny way, how poker players are some of the most violently jealous people you will ever encounter. God forbid...you manage to have a network of people you've spent decades developing, one that is more than happy to participate in just about ANYTHING you happen to put together. And yet!!!?? For that person WITHOUT a network like yours? If they are able to successfully do something they can only DREAM about doing? They must certainly be doing something illegal, or unethical at BEST...because no way could it ever be possible to just simply be BETTER at fundraising then your sorry ass! 

See...people like this? With this kind of mentality? And acerbic tone and attitude? They are what have made playing this game less and less enjoyable. When I have to read this kind of crap? Yeah, I know its in the minority of how people think. However...it rankles me to know there is even ONE person out there who thinks this way. This "annual scam" that I started six years ago? Collectively, I have LOST about...hold on, let me get out my calculator here...$12,000 or more doing this annual scam. See...I don't take a nickel for my efforts. Not one. If I sell 50 shares for $200...that sends a player. I sold 500 shares this summer. That sent 10 players. And the players first t-shirts and hat? I pay for THOSE as well. The first year...I personally purchased 10 shares for $2000. That had been the first year where no one made the money of the four we sent. Every year since then...I have purchased 15 shares for $3000. This year...despite having all ten make it out of day one...and had 4 going in day three...was the second time we failed to make the money. The four years in between, we managed to win enough to get about half of our investments back.  So yeah...given all the t-shirts, hats and hoodies that I provided to the players at my own expense, and the investments I made myself...I am stuck over $12,000. But I'm a scammer. Right. Got it. 

"You don't have the decency to report on their demise." Right, right. Because everyone likes to hear about failure, huh? Maybe just YOU...Mr. Anonymous...because again, anything in MY poker world that equals failure, is a win for YOU...right? Sad...but oh so true. So its really not that your upset that I'm not informing anyone else, really...you just need your dose of Monkey Failure to give you a reason to get out of bed everyday...isn't that more like it? Because like I said at the beginning of this post...the people who actually participated in the team this summer? They all know/knew the outcome. And frankly? I don't OWE it to anyone to post updates on my own personal blog. No one pays me to blog. Additionally? I have this thing called "a life" (you should look into finding one) that shockingly to some, keeps me incredibly busy. And sometimes..it just takes me a lot longer to get to some of the things on my "to do list" than I would like. That (again) is called "life" something I'm fairly certain you don't possess. 

"Do yourself a favor and shut it down, scam boy." Tell you what...YOU shut yourself down first...and maybe I will take you up on your wish. But I want photos as proof. Like maybe the business end of a wood chipper. That would be sweet. See, here's the thing...I nearly DID shut it down last summer. Mainly because I was exhausted, from having just bought my wife and kid a beautiful new home in the country on 5 acres...with a pond in the back, and endless trees as far as the eye can see. I had projects going on left and right, and contractors running every which way. I hadn't played much poker, nor followed much poker, and my mind was anywhere else other than poker. But as the WSOP kept getting closer and closer...I started getting more and more people emailing me, texting me, hitting me up on Facebook...about the team. About not just having a chance to play on the team...but to invest. 

People have come to really look forward to this team I started in 2014. It has really kind of taken on a "Make a Wish Foundation for Poker Players," as well as poker investors. People who love to have some skin in the game...but otherwise wouldn't have a chance to...are able to jump on my self-created bandwagon, and follow the action as the team comes together all throughout May, June and the first week of July when sales are the most brisk as we race to fill out the roster. Then they sit back...and watch the countless updates on the Facebook page...leaving one encouraging comment after another. It's an army that is about 250-300 strong...and throughout that experience, friendships are born. The players...who are nearly always incredibly appreciative of the experience, and usually really good about conveying that to the investors, often times line themselves up for future staking opportunities as a result of having played on my team, and developing relationships with some of the investors. So from that standpoint, I've helped to launch the careers of some players who didn't previously have a network to draw from. There are a handful of players who came to me looking for that "big break" that I couldn't be prouder of. One of them is Joshua Reichard...who was one of the first members of the team. He has since gone on to win what I think now is 10 or 11 circuit rings, as well as a bunch of other tournaments. Jason Young, a former WSOP bracelet winner who had essentially hit rock bottom? I gave him a shot last summer...he fell short, but the exposure led to him getting staked in some tournaments in South Florida this past winter...and he managed to make three huge scores, including winning the Main Event at Hard Rock for a quarter million bucks. In the course of about 6 weeks...he snapped off about $400k in winnings. And now, his life has done a total 180. 

So to those (like this jerk) who think this is somehow a money-making scheme of mine? Pffft....think again! If they don't make money...I don't make money. Add to that the other players I bought pieces of this summer...and it was a ROUGH summer for me. But there were a few highlights that made my one week in Vegas semi-enjoyable. I might write a blog after this one...where I get a little more into my trip out there, as well as a follow up to my amazing week in Scotland, and London, with some pictures. It's been a pretty cool summer, for the most part.  And coming up...in September, I'm heading up to Milwaukee to stay with my mom and sister while I visit an eye specialist who my mom referred me to, and who I met with a couple months ago when we visited them. I suffered a detached retina last November...and one of the side affects, that I was quoted a 15% chance of getting (so in my case that usually means 98.5%) was a cataract, which, of course...I got! So my left eye has been totally screwy now for close to a year. Well...he is going to fix that (hopefully-knock on wood) on Sept 11th (I know, kind of a creepy date, but he only operates on Wednesdays!) and then after a couple days of R&R...I'm going to play the WSOP Circuit event at Potawatomi casino for the first time. They tend to get pretty good turnouts there...so I'm somewhat looking forward to it. Plus I'm sure I will probably end up putting my mom and sister in some events as well. So it will be a family affair on the felt! I'm somewhat disappointed in that the Gulf Coast Poker championship at the Beau Rivage is going on that same time period. I will be able to play the first big tourney that weekend, but that's it, as I will be flying up to Milwaukee that Tuesday. So that's a bummer.  And aside from that event...who knows? 

I haven't been down to St Thomas to check in on my bar all year...so I would like to get down there to at least "check in" on the place. Also...we are apparently about to open a restaurant down there too. So it might be nice, if I'm going to be involved in THAT...to at least go down and do some research. Always nice to know where your money is going BEFORE it goes there. I have a lot of previous experience in the fine-dining industry...and have always kind of wanted to have my own place that handles high-end dining guests. It's been about 20-25 years...but while in Atlanta primarily, and a little bit in New York, I worked at some really nice places. To have a really nice place like that in the Virgin Islands would be amazing...but even moreso if I was able to be there and actually function as a hands-on owner. But alas, I'm the silent partner in all these ventures I'm involved with. 

A lot of people already know this, but for those who don't: I bought a tanning salon for the Squirrel, aka "my wife." I'd been trying to talk her into getting out of the Beau Rivage for about the past 5 years. She is someone who always needs to be doing SOMETHING....and I respect that about her. She's not one to sit around at home and collect dust. Well, she also liked working at the Beau because it's where all her friends are. I get that, too. So I proposed a bunch of different options. Hair salon!?? Nail salon? Clothing boutique? No! No! And No some more!!! Well, what then??? Turns out...this opportunity just kind of fell in her lap. A really nice lady, who ironically enough, had a teenage son who I had hired to do some yard work for me last year...was feeling like she needed to spend more time with her kids, and was ready to sell her salon that she's had for a lot of years. The price seemed fair, and she promised to help out with anything we needed. So Cheryl trained with her all June...learning all about the business, and the place, specifically. So before I left for Scotland...I went and got the cashiers check for her. And on the first of July...Squirrel became the owner of her own business...the Perfect Glow in D'Iberville. It's been a lot of fun watching her take on that responsibility. On top of that...Carley has really gotten into being a part of it. Squirrel lets her clean the beds...at 25 cents per bed. Granted...her little arms aren't long enough to reach all of the bed...so Cheryl has to go in behind her, sneakily (so as not to hurt Carley's feelings) and clean the bed after she has! But Carley really feels involved, and is (as she puts it) the "richest 6 year old in the world!!" She starts back to school here in a couple weeks...so we will have to cut back her hours significantly! 

So yeah...Squirrel is FINALLY out of the casino business....after 20 years at the Beau. I'm so happy that she is out of there....it was killing her. And with all the chances, managerially, that MGM has been going through in the past 3 or 4 years...it had become a not-so-great company to work for. Now she is on her own...and her own boss. Again...I'm the "silent partner!" And I'm perfectly fine with that! As long as she is happy, and I think she is. 

Finally got my taxes done! FOUR years in arrears. But now I'm dealing with the nightmare of the IRS and their bureaucratic idiocy. My accountant did all four years...and e-filed all of them. I owed for two years, and had a refund for two years. I send payment for the two years immediately. Then I get a check back...in the amount I sent. Huh? Turns out...the IRS is a really screwed up operation. They have like three posts. One that GETS payments. One that actively pursues payments. And one who tries to balance what's been paid and what's been collected. And they are not in sync! At all! And good luck if you try to actually CALL them! Ha! It's two hours...minimum...before you get anyone on the phone. I guess the moral of the story, in my case...do NOT get yourself backed up on your taxes! Especially four years! 

The Main Event is over. I sat in bed...much to the chagrin of Squirrel...watching it on my iPhone the other night. Yes, I was wearing my BOSE headphones...I'm not THAT rude! But any kind of light annoys her and keeps her from sleeping soundly. It was a pretty long battle heads up...and I can honestly say I thought they both played pretty well. There really weren't a lot of good hands being dealt. The biggest, I suppose, was the final hand...when Ensan picked up KK and Sammartino was unlucky enough to flop a flush draw and then turn a straight draw. That spelled his demise. 

It was another Final Table that lacked any star power...or poker notables. There were definitely some good players there. But also some newbies that just happen to run good for a week. The most notable one being that punk who decided it would make him infamous if he tanked on nearly EVERY hand. Kevin Maahs...who interestingly enough was photographed by one of my 10 players yesterday at the Rio...playing in a $100 daily tournament. Go figure...after winning 2.2m...he's playing in a $100 tourney? Either he REALLY loves poker THAT much....or he was playing the Main for about 2% of himself. Which...these days in poker...is very likely. At any rate...I hope we never have to see that idiot again.  I really thought...after the first night of the final table, that we would see Garry Gates win. He seemed to be the best tourney player, had a solid background, and the most momentum. But he seemed to run into bad luck and a shortage of decent cards when they got down to 6.

The thing that stood out the most to me about the heads up action...was the rail. Say whatever you want about supporting your player. I just happen to think it's inappropriate to bring soccer-like antics to the poker tournament. The players are literally playing for millions of dollars, and with it already being a game of immense concentration...the decisions are magnified under those conditions. And to have a gaggle of mostly men yelling and screaming and singing stupid songs the whole time? It's just moronic. If I was a player...and at that final table...I would walk over and BEG my railbirds to please pretend that they are a tennis match, say, Wimbledon. Where decorum is not just expected, but demanded. I know you can't do anything about the other guy's rail...unless you and him both agree to go talk to our "birds" at the same time. I would 100% do that. Even as a spectator at home...it made it very hard to watch, with those idiots acting like a bunch of clowns. 

I have another opinion about railbirds, and its one of the reasons I've always kind of hated having people sweat me whenever I've been at a big final table. Part of me feels like they are there because they somehow think their "support" for you should translate into a handout if they happen to win. Its just an awkward feeling. I know that I shy away from sweating people for that reason alone. I don't want them thinking I might be thinking that way. Not just that...but actually WATCHING poker...has got to be one of the most boring things in the history of mankind. Especially as a person who PLAYS the game. I can see where, if you didn't really play much...it might be entertaining. But for me? Ugh. Kill me. So...I'll just swoop by...wish you good luck...and be on my merry way!!!!

But yeah...the WSOP really needs to do something about the hooligans that disrupt the play at the Final Table. It's out of line. 

Is that enough of a report? Hater? Did you get enough to fill you in? 10 players. All made it out of Day 1. 6 went down in Day 2. We took 4 to Day 3...plus I had 10% of Barth. He was clicking along rather nicely with about 175k, among the leaders...and had "The Nightmare" happen to him. Him on the button with KK...the super-aggro Euro in the BB with AA. We all know how those go down. And with a rag flop...even if it hadn't gone in preflop....which it did....it would have gone in post flop anyway. Brutal cooler. So yeah...he went down....as did the other four. Jason Bond lasted the longest...and by virtue of that finish, will receive the automatic invite back next summer....that is, if my scammer ass decides to do the team again.  :)

MONKEY

Saturday, July 6, 2019

AND AFTER DAY ONE...10 MONKEYS ADVANCE!!!!!

I am SO happy, and SO proud this morning. I got back to my room last night about 10:30...frustrated by my own irritating day of tournament play. The cash list was way too long for my liking in the Encore poker room, and nothing else seemed appealing. So I just went back to my room...and quickly fell asleep. 

Oh...before I go any further? If you are in the middle of an earthquake? Or any other natural disaster? Do us ALL a favor please? Limit your use of the phrase "Oh my God!!!!" to ONE (or less) use!??? Geeeeeee ZUZZZZZ! 


And yeah...I sat through yesterday's 7.1, we were on break at Venetian in the 6pm $600 tourney...which I bricked TWICE in. I was talking to Carley on Facetime...when all of a sudden my chair started rocking. Whaaaaaa...then the table started kind of undulating...then the two huge chandeliers above me started to chatter and swing back and forth. I looked at the dealer, and we both said "Whoa...another earthquake." Some yelling and screaming ensued....then...things returned to normal. No big deal. My question is this: Will "THE BIG ONE" hit before I leave Vegas? Will I get to see the Pacific Ocean from my 16th floor view from the Encore hotel?


So what am I so proud about? Well duh....SIX of our players bagged in Day 1b...and the other FOUR went yesterday. How did they do? THEY ALL BAGGED. And all of them bagged with decent stacks! Yay! And Barth...my buddy/business partner who I bought 10% of...also bagged a healthy stack. So...heading into day 2...I'm loving life. Now...if I could just get some luck going myself. 


Yesterday was another sad tale in a long, long line of poker disappointments. Went to play the Wynn 1-day tourney...that eventually had $82k up top. I was gliding through the first 6 or 7 levels. Never got below starting stack. Got my starting stack of 20k up to over 60k...then level 8 arrived. 30 minutes later, I was in my room...kicking the furniture. A cacophony of disasters, most of which involved idiots making idiot plays and being rewarded by gratuitous decks, spelled my doom. 62k in chips. FIVE disastrous hands...and BOOM. OUT! My last two hands...both jacks. The first....guy who looked like an Italian hobo...not the type from NY/NJ but actually Italy...was fond of playing as many hands (great, good, OR shitty, didn't matter) as possible, from ANY position...raised to 2200 in early position (blinds 500/1000) and when it got to me...knowing how much he ALSO hated to fold to a re-raise...I raised to 6800 with my jacks. 


He don't give a shit! Just call him Italian Honey Badger. He comes along. Lovely. Flop comes 9-high. Good. I should be okay. I analyze his stack as he checks...see that he has about 15k...and decide to bet a shade over half his stack...to commit him to either a fold or an all in. He goes all in. Whatever. I call. He turns over...ready for this.....KING-QUEEN. Yup. The board reads....9-7-4. Rainbow. Did he think I was going to fold? Does he think? Does he HAVE a brain? At any rate....I call. I see his hand. I clench my butt cheeks together in anticipation of the next two cards....praying this moron doesn't get rewarded. He GETS rewarded. Fuck ME. Queen on the turn. Unreal. Few hands later...I pick up JJ again. Sigh.


Here we go again. Now at 600-1200...I raise to 3500. The big doofus in the big blind hems and haws...and finally calls my raise. The flop brings 8-8-6. Should be a pretty good flop for me, yeah? He checks...I bet a shade over HALF of my remaining stack...in a message to someone with an IQ higher than a lampshade tells you, "Oh...he's all in but not OFFICIALLY all in," right? Well...Captain Cavenman...in his bad times tank top, fat body covered in tattoos...goes into this ridiculous Bollywood (wasn't good enough to be labeled 'Hollywood') routine of what to do. When he finally acts...he throws in 4 red chips...representing 20k. Putting me all in. Yeah! Okay! I call! What did you luck into, A8? Nope. Not even that good. 10-8 off. Perfect. "Great little act there man...did you THINK I was going to fold after making that bet?" I didn't hit a jack. And I was done at The Wynn after 6 hours of play. After just 30 minutes earlier having visions of grandeur. That's poker for ya!!!! Always a kick in the nuts it seems. So glad I don't rely on poker for my living anymore. It will literally drive you insane. And there is no one to turn to for feeling better. No one really cares. They might act like it...but they really, truly don't. So..remember that...when you take YOUR next horrible beat. Just go sit at a slot machine...and mumble obscenities to yourself. The people around you will probably think your crazy...but fuck them. 


I'm going back over to the Venetian today for some dumb reason...to play the last flight of their $1m guarantee...$1100 buy in. Maybe I can dodge the dumbasses for just one day. Probably not. But I will try. If I should bust out of THAT one? Who knows? Let it be a mystery. 

TEAM DINNER at CARMINES!!!!

But lets just focus on THE TEN SURVIVING MINIONS!! We got a REAL shot this year. I love this squad. I love our chances for a deep run! 6 go today, and the other 4 go tomorrow. 


MONK

Friday, July 5, 2019

TEN STRONG GOING IN VEGAS!!!!

Happy Friday!

I was planning on writing a LONG, and way past due....blog this morning...but alas, things started popping up all over the place...and now I'm looking at 30 minutes before going down the elevator here at the Encore...and walking about 50 yards to register for today's $1100 ($250k Guarantee) tournament being held in the Encore side of Wynn. I wrestled with a few tourneys but this one seemed to be the winner. It's my first of the summer. My first cash session of this trip was last night after I left Frank Kasella's annual Fourth of July party out at his house...which was a literal who's who of the poker world. In a little under two hours I managed to snag a nice little profit of $1525 in a PLO Omaha game. 

I have so much to share...details (and cool photos) of my trip to Scotland, and then London...but just no time right now. And the "March to Ten" has been filled with drama and stress and many late nights of accounting and emailing! But we finally got there....late yesterday afternoon! TEN really solid players going in the WSOP Main Event! Yesterday was flight B...and we had SIX of our players going. ALL SIX of them BAGGED CHIPS! Only one of them finished above the starting stack of 60k...Don Dove...with a little over 70k. Jason Bond was on FIRE early...and was at around 175k...then took a couple of brutal beats to get his stack whacked around. But he still bagged a healthy stack. Bottom line...the structure is SO good, and SO long...that anyone that HAS chips....has plenty of time to scratch back into the mix. 


2019 TEAM MONKEY PLAYERS
Kristen Deardorff - bagged 24,200
Jason Bond- bagged 48,700
Mike "Carwash" Schneider
Jerry Giroir - bagged 31,800
Easton Oreman
Don Dove - bagged 70,200
Jacqueline Britton- bagged 14,300
Chris Canan
David Chocheles- bagged 15,800
Wild Bill Phillips



Today...in about 30 minutes...our last four players will hit the felt and start on their jouney to hopefully get us 10 players advancing to DAY TWO! Nothing would make me prouder...and more excited!!

I have a Private Facebook page for the players, investors, and then family and friends...and they all post encouragement there, as well as player chip updates and any stories they wish to share. It's pretty amazing...as we have 178 unique investors this year! Really a TEAM effort!!!

I gotta go grab a shower!!!! Have a great day...wherever you are! 

MONK


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

From Scotland to Vegas....LETS GO!!!!

Hi!

Here I am. Sitting in a room of 5 super Alpha males, in Edinburgh, Scotland...after a whole day of travel, in which Delta managed to do the unthinkable, and NOT deliver my golf clubs while en route to a pre-planned (6 months in advance) $10,000 poker trip to the place where golf was invented. 

The trip started with me logging in on Sunday night, late, to check in for my 2pm flight out of Biloxi. After dicking around and getting a lot of error messages, I realized my damn passport was EXPIRED! Holy fuck! Nov 18, 2018! Shit!!!  So what did I do? Duh! Woke up at 6am, drove like a maniac in my new BMW to the New Orleans passport office...and got my passport renewed for another 10 years. This same damn thing happened a decade ago when I was slated to go to the Bahamas for a WPT Boot Camp. This time...it actually went smoother, and faster. Got back, got packed, and despite needing to tip the ticketing agent $50 to make sure my bags made it on...and then arguing with (yet) another petty Gulfport cop over the nuances over the word "parking" vs. "loading" and THEN...getting "randomly selected" for a full body search as they were holding the flight for me....I did make it on the plane. Incredibly. 

Got to Atlanta, no problem. Killed time in the Delta Sky Club. Boarded for Boston. Oh no. Rain. Hard rain. And wind. Closed the airport. NO! This isn't happening! Granted...I already had a tight window of only 30-35 minutes for changing over to my Scotland flight once we landed in Boston. But now...this storm was really fucking with the program. We finally got airboard...and after three attempts to get it right...our CAPTAIN...who self-deprecatingly mocked his inability to figure out times and math...announced that we would be arriving at 9:36 for a flight that was scheduled for 9:46. Yikes. Turns out...they had 13 people on our plane flying to Edinburgh, so they held our flight. Upon de-planing..coming through the jetway...a couple comes up behind me...running...arms flailing..."excuse us...excuse us!!!!!"  Me: "Yeah...hey....we're going the same place you are, honey." HER: "Whatever! I don't care! Good luck making your flight!!!"  Yeah okay...we made it. Not an issue. We are in 1st class. She and her dork boyfriend are in (literally) the last row of the plane. I intentionally went in search of them when I needed to go to the bathroom. Ah! Found them! She smirked...knowing I had gottten the best of them! Get back to my seat...and wonder, "hmmmm....I sure hope my bags made it on the flight."

After two movies...one called "Destroyer" with Nicole Kidman...who in my opinion turned in one of her finest performances ever...and the other "Last Man" which caught a lot of heat because they didn't feature the American flag or something...both really good movies. So...I slept NOT AT ALL. Get to Edinburg. We all get our bags. All but me and my golf clubs. A $10,000 golf trip, planned 6 months in advance...on a day where everything had so far, been going perfect...and NO fucking clubs. Unreal. But I'm not dwelling on it. We have an amazingly beautiful 6-bedroom house just outside of St Andrews....with a hot tub outside, and a practice range with putting green . Couldn't ask for a better hook up! 

Earlier today, I found out we "won" the lottery where every day they hold a drawing for all these people doing golf junkets, to win a chance to play the Old St Andrews course. We are promised 5 courses to play on during our 5 days here. But to get on the Old Course is the Crown Jewel of golf! And we found out today that 3 of our 6 golfers...me, Barth (my best friend and business partner) and Barth's dad....have won the right to play on Thursday at 4:20. Just need my clubs to show up now!!! And the other 3 in our group? I really hope they get picked too. But if my clubs don't show up...I will give one of them my spot.

Hi! Did you come here looking for poker news? Great! We are now just...what? A week....a week, from the start of the Main Event!!?? Let me go check my spreadsheet.....hold on. 

347! Wow! That is nearly (3 shares shy) enough to fund the buy ins for SEVEN players in this year's $10,000 Main Event! The past two years, as most of you know, we have had 8 players in the thing. My goal this year...was to hit 9 or 10. I mean 9 in 2019 would be kind of cool. But I feel like if we can get 10 in the mix....we are going to make it happen! I've named 5 players so far...which we achieved with 250 shares sold. But now...wow...look! I need to come up with TWO more players! Then start planning for the next one! Oh...we WILL get 8...I promise you....but can we make it to 9 or 10???? That....is the question. 

Alright Alright....Curious George....you wanna know who NUMBER 6 is? Fine! Here ya go! And the main reason I'm doing this is because I'm sitting here with a bunch of my homies from St Thomas...who just (between two of them) drank a BOTTLE of Jagermeister while I've had "only" 7 Smirnoff and cranberries. Plus is just needs to be taken care of. Confession here...I already gave him the news a few nights ago. I even asked for feedback about this guy on the Investment Group's Private page on Facebook...and I won't lie...I got a LOT of feedback...most of it great. Some of it...meh, nothing too bad. Rumor is...he doesn't always wash his hands after taking a piss. And he only tips $1 for water instead of $2 like I do. Both of those, do not add up to being deal killers.

AND SO.....here......is your #6 Member of Monkey's 2019 WSOP GRINDERS! (aka Minions) GO ahead and look him up yourself, for stats and all that. He applied way back...months ago...and I've been following him and doing a bit of research along the way. I think he's the real deal. And I think he has the tools to go deep! So...without further adieu....please welcome to the squad....

DON DOVE!!!!  Or....Double D! I like that! Cuz...well....(never mind)

SO...check out this kick ass roster of Poker Rock Stars we have assembled so far....

Michael "Carwash" Schneider
Kristen Deardorff
Jerry Giroir
Jason Bond
Easton Oreman
and now....
Don Dove!

SIX TOTAL. and a very, very deep bench of players vying for the coveted #7, #8, #9 and #10 spots! No shortage of awesome candidates!

But we are running out of time! I'm here in Scotland (then London for the Yankees vs Red Sox game) for the week...then home for ONE day to do laundry and cut the grass...then out to Vegas to my players all set up! I will sell shares ($200 per share) up to the last minute. Official CUTOFF for selling shares? July 3rd...NOON! Western time.  Because my plane lands in Vegas around that time. I had my branch manager, and friend, Lorraine....from my Wells Fargo branch, arrange to have me be able to walk into the branch in Vegas...ask for an Amanda...and get the money I need to fun our players this summer...and NOT have to mule/backpack/ferry the cash to Vegas as I've done the past 5 years. That....pleases me. And comforts me...and probably a few of our investors. 

You want to buy a piece of this team? Like I said...shares are $200. I make ZERO off this endeavor. No fees. No commissions. None of that. I'm also a share holder. Currently I've committed to 15 shares. IF they don't win? I don't win. So yeah...I'm all in...every year...on this team! The investors hold a 65-35 edge. And if a player cashes...they get 35% of what they WIN....so the investors get the 10k investment back. There is nothing quite as inspiring and encouraging as a player...than to have 150-200 people who have invested in you...and have the ability to communicate with you through the private Faceboook page...to boost you up emotionally. The people who have been a part of this team the past 5 years...almost ALWAYS come back! Only in the first year (2014) did we NOT have a player make the money. Oh...they came close...but it was a bummer. Didn't keep me from firing it back up in 2015...and ever since...we've had one or more make the money every year! Have we made money yet? I'm not gonna lie, or sugar coat it, or exaggerate it....we haven't. We just about made back 50% every year. Which...most of the investors have agreed, is WORTH the sweat that is involved! But its coming, I know it is. Our YEAR...is coming. 

Now...some may be wanting to know, "Did they reinstate you, MOnkey?" After waiting, tirelessly, for 75 days...I finally got a letter from Hammond...and NO...they did NOT reinstate me. Yes...of course, I was extremely disappointed.  But I have nothing to say about it. Why bother. Anyone that knows me, or the situation... knows everything that needs to be know about it. And me. And I have nothing to gain (or lose) by saying anything about their response.  And...have I heard that El Dorado (whoever THAT is, right???) has agreed to purchase...or merge (terms vary depending on who you ask) with Caesar's...and that may or may NOT affect my status as a player. I don't care. I really don't. I will go to Vegas....get my players all set up and ready to go...and enjoy my week at Encore! Playing some cash game. Maybe some tourneys at Wynn and Venetian. And basically...just crossing my collective fingers and hoping my players get deep! It should be a really fun and exciting three weeks of poker!

Do you want to buy a share? EMAIL ME....at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and I will get you taken care of. Lets see if we can't go from 347 shares sold...to 500 shares sold!!!! Lets send 10 to the Desert!!!!! As for me? I'm going to bed! I'm shot!!!!

MONK

Saturday, May 11, 2019

HELLO MAY...HERE COMES WSOP!

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

It's insane how fast this year is flying by. Not only have I continued to be a slug when it comes to posting blog entries in this poker "diary" of mine, but when I sat down this morning to write in my journal to my daughter Carley, who just turned 7 yesterday, I noticed I haven't written in there either, in a long time. 11 months to be exact. And that's disappointing. I have SO much to share with Carley...or rather, FUTURE Carley...and every day, week, month that I don't write to her, is just more things I neglect to share with her. And it's awfully hard to cram a whole year's worth of stuff into one single entry.

On the poker front...I haven't been playing a whole lot. Actually, I've been super busy with projects around the house. Just put the finishing touches on my "super awesome kickass shed!" What started out as a pretty simple thing, added one thing after another as the project progressed. Windows. A loft. A carpeted loft! Added power. Added lights and ceiling fan. Then added an A/C unit...in the wall...just as they were about to brick over the only place I could put one. After having insulated the walls and ceiling, I kept having these mental images of this perfect shed...that was BOILING hot. Boom. AC added. She's a beaut! Carley got her playhouse rebuilt...as the first-run attempt lacked any kind of insulation or wrapping of the walls, so we had mold growing all over the walls. Nasty. I'd been promising Carley a garden for over a year...so I got THAT done...then, a few weeks ago, on Good Friday, her and I were out planting all of the seeds when she went into the loft to get something. Suddenly I heard her screaming in agony.

When I went into the shed, there she was...on the floor, having fallen off the ladder, breaking her ankle. So sadly, we had to cancel her big birthday party the next weekend...which was going to be a pool party with a rented bounce house. She was devastated. And when we went to get her cast...she was terrified. But once she got it on there...in her favorite color (pink) she started getting excited about all her friends signing it.

I think the last time I played was at the Beau Rivage...for their monthly $50k Guaranteed. The previous month, I made it to the Final Table...but couldn't improve with AK vs QQ and busted out 9th for a meager payout. Well last months, I only fired once...on Friday, since I had a lot of stuff I wanted to get done on Saturday. It was paying 12 spots I think...and I busted out 19th. Don't even remember how. Just remember being annoyed at having played all day only to bust so close to cashing. Oh well. My mother is in town visiting, her first trip down since we moved into our new house...and she's having a great time, and loves our new place. She's a bit of a poker enthusiast...and I might take her to play the monthly 50k next weekend if she is still here.

UPDATE! Took a little break from writing this post. I did, in fact, take my mom to play the 50K last weekend. She busted in Level 4. Me, I busted 1 from the money in the Friday flight. It sucked. But with Saturday calling for rain, and the airshow headed for cancellation, I wandered back to the Beau for Flight B...and somehow managed to ride a roller coaster all day, including getting ONE-OUTED three times in ONE freaking day! No BS! First one, had a guy all in with his short'ish stack...with Q3. Offsuit. Me...AQ suited. Guy next to me folded 33. So...yeah, he had one out. No sweat. River 3. Later on a flopped a set of 10's versus Jacks...and despite someone folding a jack...he turned the last jack in the deck. Sweet! And I'll be damned, but I forgot the third one now.

But like I said...it was a ridiculous up and down day. One of those where you build a decent stack...then get some stupid beat, and get cut in half, or worse. Then you scrape and battle your way back...get another decent stack...only to take another punch in the face for a bunch of your stack. This time...near the money....like, TWO I think...I get freaking QQ...which is almost ALWAYS a sign that my tournament is about to end. And had I played them like 95% of you would have...I would have been out...again...two from the money. Two days in a row. But this guy simply raised in early position...and knowing my history with QQ, and being SO close to at least getting my money back, I flatted. The flop comes K-10-x. He checks. Hmmm...weird. Feels like I have to be good. I bet about 3/4th of the pot. He calls. Hmmm. That's odd. The turn...I don't even remember. Something small. He checks AGAIN. Now I'm a little nervous, so I check back. The river was another nothing card...and now I'm putting him on MAYBE A-10. He checks yet again. And I bet what I THINK is a value bet. He once again, JUST CALLS. I am expecting to drag a much needed pot to put me up to around 100k. Then he turns over AA...and I'm dumbfounded. Huh? Aces??? I mean..in retrospect...with the king out there...he played it perfectly, and got as much as possible from me. If he even bets the flop, I'm gone. But instead I donked off about 70% of my stack. SHIT! 

Well, I lucked out...a shorter stack than me goes all in for 19k...and me with my 28k at 800/1600 and in late position...didn't find FOLDING to be much of an option, so I shoved. He turns over A9...which, yeah...is great...finding out your ahead. But when you've sat there all weekend losing when you're ahead on almost every all-in situation, only to lose...there is NEVER really a feeling of comfort in those spots. Well, he didn't hit a nine, or any other bizarre combinations that would have led to me losing. He was out...we were one away, and I now had a workable stack.

We made the money, then quickly lost three players, and I bagged a small but "workable" stack that I felt confident I could turn into a good stack the next morning. I went home, got very little sleep...and returned at 10am with 17 other players. And...ya ready for this shit?

I sit down...I get dealt 7-7...and say something like, "Really, first hand? Well...okay...lets go." And at 1500-3000 with 48k, I raise to 8000. The SB calls. All others fold. I flop TOP SET!!!! And all I'm thinking about is how to get this guy to give me full value. He checks the flop. I bet another 8k. He snap calls. Hmmm. Turn completes a possible flush AND a straight...yuck. He checks. I am not going to bet so that I have to fold if he shoves. Then again...I would have had to call anyway, and pray I pair the board on the river. Safer though to check and hope to pair the board and get paid off. River is a blank. Dammit. He makes a perfect value bet of 10k. Impossible for me to fold there. Fairly certain he's got something...but I'd be sick if I folded and he showed something lame. I call. Oh. Nut flush? That's it. Lovely. I'm now sitting on a paltry stack. And in the SB, I complete with FOUR callers. I flop bottom pair with an ace and stick the rest in there. Well this time he has top pair...and it holds, and I'm the first one out...17th. For a whopping $940. Out in 5 minutes. Wishing I'd have gotten pulled over for speeding in my new car, might have saved me!

So....wow! It's already May. And with May comes the WSOP event in New Orleans...which I haven't played now in quite a few years. And I believe, if I'm not mistaken...that it's the last circuit event before everyone high-tails it out to Vegas for the 7 weeks of WSOP in the desert, which culminates with the $10,000 Main Event where my team of Grinders will assemble for the 6th consecutive year in my version of poker's Make-A-Wish-Foundation pet project! We haven't had a HUGE score from any of our players yet...but we've had a lot of players cash, and a few go relatively deep before getting derailed by the typical crappy luck that happens so often (way too often!!!) in the game of Texas Hold 'Em. But the way I see it, we are destined to eventually have our day in the sun. We keep sending solid players out there...and they keep making great runs...it's just a matter of time.

Last summer...I was horrendously slow to pull the trigger on the annual festivities, and I nearly bailed on the whole thing. But suddenly, at the 11th hour, I got a burst of motivation, and with the help of some extremely amazing people, made it happen. Well, I was so encouraged by last summer's efforts, and the great feedback I got from so many investors and players that I vowed to get things kickstarted in PLENTY of time this summer. And I have. I have already sold 47 shares towards this summer's team...and I haven't even sent out an email yet to all of last year's investors, nor written a blog post here to signal the start of things. SO that is what this will serve as. The OFFICIAL KICK OFF POST!

Some know that I have a pretty firm policy of the previous year's highest finisher getting an automatic invitation to return to the squad if he or she so desires. I mean...I can understand why it might not be an automatic for them. Do you play for 100% of yourself, and put up (or raise) your own $10,000? Or do you play for just 35%, yet not have to come up with ANYTHING...and have the added excitement of having anywhere from 100-200 people on your bandwagon rooting for you? Definitely two things to mull over!

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of this summer's upcoming squad, I need to give a shameless plug to a couple of really good people, not just in the poker world...but just in life in general. I've known them for over a decade, and met them when they were working as a dealer and a floor person. They started up a poker club a few months ago and asked me if I would give them a little kick start, a shout out, on my Private Minions Group Page on Facebook. I was only too happy to oblige, and they have been doing moderately well with it. I don't know how many of you were around when I had my own poker club going on the Pokerstars site back about 7 or 8 years ago. It was a pretty amazing little thing we had going for awhile. But it was a TON of work, on the accounting end of things...for ME! And when it came to end, courtesy of some asshole ratting us out to Pokerstars...I never did know for SURE who the culprit was, though I did have my suspicions, and am fairly sure I was right. But when it did come to an end...I noticed I sure had a lot more time available to focus on other things. SO, whoever that fucknut was? Thanks! You did me a favor! Since that endeavor ended, I've been only TOO happy to endorse other people who have wanted to get into doing it themselves. Better them than me!

So, Nikki and Brandon Moore have started this Poker club named Angry Aces.


https://www.facebook.com/groups/AngryAces

Go to that link...and you will find them. OR...if you don't have Facebook, simply email them here:  AngryAces@outlook.com

Here is what I know. Right off the bat, they ran a freeroll, where the winner won shares of our team. They have tournaments, AND they run cash game tables. I haven't gotten in there and participated myself yet...but that's not due to anything having to do with them...I just don't play much online poker anymore...and with Carley, and all the other things I have going on...I just don't find the time. Today, however, I finally downloaded the app...yeah...APP! You don't play on your computer! Its phone-based, and offers an app for either iPhones or the other kind...what is that? Androids? It's a really quick download and set up too. And if you need help getting up and running, Brandon or Nikki are awesome at walking you through it. But it's a piece of cake, trust me. So...check out what they got going on! Tell 'em Monkey sent ya. I'm not sure if that will get you or me any special gifts, but at least they (and I!) will know that "word-of-mouth" is still alive and well!!!

I DID...finally...manage to FINALLY get my taxes done! For the past FOUR YEARS!!!! And I owe a BUTTTTTTT-load of money!!!! I think I'm about to pay for a new bridge somewhere! Or a good stretch of highway. Maybe even a portion of a certain Wall!!!! That's not going to be a fun check to write. But then again...at least I will have the comfort of knowing the IRS won't be coming after me now! I'm not exactly sure how I got so far behind. Probably because different business ventures kept popping up. Houses were being bought. Stocks were being bought and sold and bought again. Just a lot of confusing wrinkles in my finances...led to me doing a LOT of procrastinating!!! But it's all done now!

And now that all that is done? It's JUST in time for our purchase of our NEXT business venture! I've been trying to get Squirrel to quit working at the Beau Rivage for years now. Not because of anything I have had against the Beau...but for her own good. That job, carrying that tray around, it takes a toll on her body. And money-wise, we haven't needed that job for quite some time now, but the health insurance is the ONE good thing that has kept her there. That and the fact she just feels a sense of comfort being there, and all her friends work there. But I've been telling her for four or five years..."Let me buy you something, ANYTHING....so you can own it, run it, make your own schedule, etc etc." But she refused, much to my chagrin. 

Well, finally...after half-jokingly making comments back and forth with each other about buying her business, she approached me about the possibility of buying this gal's tanning salon in D'Iberville. I did a bunch of due diligence on it, talked to my tax accountant about it, then my personal lawyer and after mulling it over...we are going to pull the trigger on what I think will be a good investment. We are getting a really great price on it, the lady has a really solid clientele, the beds are all in really good condition, the rent on the building is low...and well, my wife is kind of a social butterfly, and I'm pretty sure all her girlfriends will give her their business. 

I'm really excited for her, and think she's going to do great. She's really nervous about it...which is understandable. I mean, she's been at the Beau since they opened...that's a long time (20 years!!!!). Anyone would be nervous. But I'm pretty confident that once she gets up and going and learns everything she needs to know about it, she will run it really well. I'm just excited because now we can be free to take vacations whenever we want to...and not just when she has vacation days, or the right combination of days off. Basically...FREEDOM! Now, my biggest headache is finding Health Insurance for our family of three. That is literally my biggest obstacle in all of this. I won't reveal the name of the place...or offer any special discounts or promos...until we actually close on the business! We won't be renaming the place....nothing like "The Sunny Squirrel" or anything...we're going to keep the existing name.

Okay...so...let's get into the reason you probably clicked on this blog in the first place! MONKEY'S 2019 WSOP GRINDERS! AKA...Monkey's Minions!

I am going for an all-time high of TEN PLAYERS on this summer's squad. And...a little secret here...I may or may NOT be one of the team members! I have had a discussion with the person who holds the key to my basic existence at the WSOP...and was encouraged to write a letter asking the security people at Hammond Horseshoe outside of Chicago, where I was unceremoniously 86'ed back in September of 2012 for what we will simply refer to as "mysterious and/or controversial circumstances." I have swallowed a little bit of pride, issued my regrets for some of my past behaviors at various poker events and venues...and am now sitting back waiting to see what happens. So...I could be back. And I might NOT be back. Either way...it will have no bearing whatsoever on my level of commitment to make sure we put together another exciting team of players chasing their poker dreams this summer. And even IF I DO get reinstated...I might just buy in with my own money and play for 100%. Only time, and circumstances, will tell. So stay tuned on THAT ONE.

As for what this team is? Simple. I assemble a team of players who, for starters, I like! I will never have a player on my team who I personally dislike. Won't happen. Ever. Furthermore...even if I like them...they might not be universally liked...and for that reason, I try to avoid those people too. I try to get players who I am fairly confident a group of investors will simply love. Maybe they have a really good story, that makes them easy to root for. Maybe they just have a 9 to 5 grind of a job, and simply can't find the time, or disposable income, to go play the biggest tourney on the planet. Lets be honest...you're humans...you know what I mean...there are a lot of reasons that make up WHY you would want to get behind a player. And I try to encompass a little bit of everything into my teams.

Are they any good at poker? Well shit...yeah, that's kind of important! I'm not just here trying to throw $10,000 into a wood chipper for fuck's sake! Of course they can play the game! And don't think for a second that I'm not looking for the types of players who can flourish in the long...I mean....LONNNNGGGGG structure of the WSOP Main Event. $50,000 starting chips. 2-hour levels!?? It's the ultimate marathon. Patience IS the ultimate virtue in this one. A first level disaster where you lose half your stack with a couple orbits from hell are NEVER a reason to panic! You come back with 25k! There is almost ALWAYS time to fight back from a bad start. It's just patience, and finding spots, and developing a good table image, and paying attention and learning about your table opponents. If you get lucky...and get a table that doesn't break early...you get a chance to learn EVERYTHING you could possibly want to know about these lunatics, maybe even what kind of soap they do or DON'T use, as well as toothpaste! It's a grind...a long long long grind!

I try to get players who will participate with the investment group...as well as the rest of the team. Sharing hands. Sharing stacks sizes on the group page. Sharing interesting, even funny things about other players. While I do NOT ever want my players being distracted from the task at hand...we also have well over 150 investors most years...that are itching to know what's going on with them. So posts on the break are usually encouraged. Some players are better at that than others. We just really like and appreciate any interaction between the players and the investor group. The one nice thing about the WSOP...once you get to Day 3...a lot of what you do...is covered by the WSOP.com. So updates start to become more shared universally. We also have some pretty incredible yearly investors who are amazing at posting information about our own players, their table mates, and other vital, relevant information. It truly has become a TEAM EFFORT.

If you are thinking about applying to be a player? Send me an email at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. Tell me WHY I should think about selecting you to the team. Tell me about your accomplishments. Maybe even link your poker stats for me to look at. Got a personal story that might make you a one of those "special interest" stories? Share it. Whatever you think it will take to consider you for a spot!

IF you are wanting to be an investor? That's the simple part. Shares cost $200 per share. Once I sell 50 shares...that's $10,000....we have enough for a player. What do I take to do this endeavor? Nothing. Not a penny. I've lost money on it every year. I usually buy about 15 shares. In addition to that, I foot the cost for each players first hat and t-shirt, sometimes even their hoodies. And if the players don't break even and/or make a profit overall? Then I don't make anything either. Nor do any of the other investors. Over 5 years...our typical result has been about a 50% return on investment. So if you bought 10 shares last year? For $2000? You ended up getting about $1000 back, as we had two players cash for a total of about $58,000. Kristen Deardorff finished 928th for $15,920 and Michael "Carwash" Schneider put together a nice, deep run, finishing 226th for $42,980. I think we figured out that last year's 8 players would have needed to win about $120,000 for us to all break even. Anything above and beyond that...would have been "Let's Get Excited" time for the group!!!! And that is what we ALWAYS root for! The 7-day sweat is great...but we are looking for those last 3 or 4 days!!!! And it WILL happen...mark my word, I have NO doubt that it will happen!

What is the "cut" that everyone gets? That's also simple. The player is playing for 35% of their potential "winnings." What that means, is if they make the money, the $10k from the buy in comes off the top, obviously, since they didn't invest any of that. That 10k goes straight back to all the investors. The investors then get (also) 65% of the winnings. There are some pre-arranged agreements that are worked out with the players where tax withholding are involved. Basically, the more they win, the more they are allowed to withhold from their winnings in lieu of me having to a separate tax form for each and every investor. (pain in the ass!!!!) As for payouts? I am extremely good about getting all my investors paid out as soon as the run is over. I typically have everyone taken care of within two weeks of the last bust out. Bottom line? I don't like owing people money!

ANYBODY that wants to be an investor...and buy a single share for $200 or more than one shares....just email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and I will tell you all the various forms of payment I will accept for this deal.

Okay...so, as I think I mentioned earlier in this post...in the past years, I have kind of waited until about a month before the event to start naming players. I decided to alter that a little this year. The reason? I think when people KNOW who they are investing in...it might motivate them a little more to get their shares purchased. I know....I would love it if everyone just trusted me, and my opinion and "picking ability" and just went with it! But I know the reality of the situation! I'm not THAT stupid!!! Also, it's helpful to the players, so that they can be making their hotel and travel arrangements! And finally...a lot of the players have their own support network, and knowing that they will be on the team encourages a lot of them to also buy shares...so they will not just have a rooting interest in their own player...but also a piece of several OTHER team members! So in essence, its a total win/win! 

One area where I would really like to see more participation, is from past team members. I took a chance on them, after all. Gave them a free (basically) shot at winning millions...a shot they wouldn't have otherwise been able to take. Since their time on the team, a number of them have gone on to have either modest or even MAJOR success in poker. So I'm quite certain that one or two...even ten...shares in the team...to basically show their appreciation for the experience, and stay a part of the team through their own investment in the squad, isn't going to place a financial burden on them. It's certainly not a contractual obligation or anything, and I don't even go seeking them out, pestering them to buy in. But...I don't know...I guess it's just kind of one of those things that irritates me a little bit. On the other hand...there are former members of the team who are there each and every year, buying in...and handing out support all along the way. Those guys and gals....are "The Real Deal" and kind of personify the spirit of the entire concept, and why I started it up in the first place!

So...without further adieu...I give you....this summer's first FOUR "WSOP GRINDERS!!!!!"

TEAM MEMBER #1   MICHAEL "CARWASH" SCHNEIDER

This will be Mike's third time representing us. Last year, he made an exciting deep run, and ran into some bad luck right before the money started getting really good. Mike is one of the nicest guy's I've ever known in the game, and truly appreciates not just the opportunity, but the support he gets from all the other players and investors. He's been great about giving back feedback and keeping everyone in the loop. His run of success over the last decade on the tournament circuit is well-known by most who have toiled on the circuit themselves. He's about as well-liked and well-respected as any player I've ever known. Having him represent not just me, but all of us...is an absolute thrill! I know he will give us all another fantastic "sweat" this summer!

TEAM MEMBER #2   KRISTEN DEARDORFF

Kristen is a gal I've known for quite a long time. She used to live in our area, and was a friend of me and my wife. She works as some kind of technical wizard for freaking NASA...so when it comes to logical thought processing? She's kind of ahead of the curve!!! Despite the limited amount of tournament action that she is able to play, it seems like just about every time she DOES play...she makes the money. She had a fantastic run for our team last summer...and really represented the team well. Also, as a female, she just kind of naturally had a lot of fellow-female support! It's always good to try and get a little estrogen on the team!!! But Kristen is a lot more than just a pretty face in a Monkey's Grinder's t-shirt. She's a beast on the felt! I have 100% confidence in her coming back this summer and not just matching last summer's performance, but exceeding it. She's rock solid.

TEAM MEMBER #3   JERRY GIROIR

Who? Okay okay...to be fair, a lot of you probably know the rambunctious Prissy Giroir from Lafayette! That would be Jerry's flamboyant wife...who is also a poker addict! I've been playing with Jerry and Prissy for years...and they are about as frick and frack, as Yin and Yang, as Jeckyl and Hyde as they come!!! Jerry is the quiet one who lurks in the shadows...letting Prissy have the spotlight! So maybe some of you don't know who he is. But those of us who are regular Gulf Coast grinders...or who were at some point in the past 10-15 years, know exactly who Jerry is. He has a lot of great results on his resume. And he is PERFECT for the long structure of the Main Event...which was/is my main reason for naming him to the team this summer. Two years ago, in the Main Event, Jerry finished 207th for a shade over $46,000! And then this past fall here in Biloxi, Jerry won the well-attended $350 tournament at the Beau Rivage for a whopping $69,000. He doesn't play a whole lot...but he STILL has 42 reported cashes for almost a quarter million. Keep in mind...Cardplayer stopped reporting anything with a buy in under $400...and that used to be $300. So like me...he probably has about 30-50 cashes that never show up on Cardplayer. Take my word for it...Jerry is a MAJOR THREAT to go on a deep run this summer!!!! And on top of it all...he is one of the nicest gentlemen you'll ever want to meet. I'm pretty positive that he will give the whole team great feedback along the way!

Before I reveal the 4th player...I just want to let all of the players who have expressed a desire to be on this year's squad...you are ALL still in consideration! I have gotten a really good stack of applications this year...and the process on my end is always SUPER TOUGH. I am a big softee...and really hate when I can't give someone the good news they are hoping for. It's the most agonizing part of this whole deal....having to say "no" to people who I KNOW would most likely be great! But...I can only send as many people as the shares I am able to sell. I've actually had players in the past who applied, maybe once or twice...that after NOT being selected, literally teed off on me, telling me all the reasons why I sucked. One guy even owed me a balance for some pools he had played, and decided he was justified in not paying me for his pool debt. His rationale? That if I had put him on the team...that he'd have had a way to easily pay off his debt to me AFTER he cashed in the tournament. Yup! I get 'em all, folks. When you run a lot of sports pools like I do...you really get a chance to see some crazy shit, as well as some of society's bottom rung in the "class" department. Goes with the territory. On the other hand, 92% of the people who play in the pools I've been running for the last 20-25 years, are some of the finest people I've had the pleasure of interacting with...and it's because of them that I keep investing so much of my time putting on these pools every year. It was my pool players that allowed me to build up such a big network of people who I turn to for stuff like this very poker team. It also was critical in providing me an avenue to playing fully staked for the better part of a decade. I think that 8% pretty much exists in just about every walk of life. You just have to learn how NOT to let their bullshit consume you and your life. Sometimes, it's hard.  

One other thing...is that Wild Bill Phillips...a FOUR-TIME member of this team...who is ALWAYS in consideration for a spot...is running satellites out of our bar in Metairie, Out of Bounds...and that will be an avenue that some of you will be able to use to hopefully win yourselves a seat into the big tourney! Bill does an amazing job of running those tournaments!!! Sometimes I even come snooping around to watch, scouting for talent!!!! So there's that!!!

(I have to go keep my lunch date with Carley now...who we found out yesterday gets her cast off next week!!! I will finish this post when I return from lunch with her!!!)

Okay...I'm back! A little later than I had planned! Golden State went down to Houston tonight as a huge underdog without Kevin Durant, and knocked the Rockets and their flopping, flailing, foul-drawing with dramatics James Harden from the playoffs once again. And we celebrated my visiting brother's birthday. This is about the 4th or 5th year in a row that we've either had him down here for his birthday, or flew up to Seattle to celebrate it with him up there. He's my special older brother...who's Down's Syndrome just means he's happy most of the time..and lives without the stress that the rest of us do! He's also got a massive crush on his "seester" who doubles as MY WIFE!!! He clings to her like Saran Wrap! And she treats him like gold. Just further proof that I truly married the right woman! She's amazing. 

And now....drum roll please....I give you....our 4th team member....

TEAM MEMBER #4   JASON BOND

Who is Jason Bond? Well..if you look up his Cardplayer stats...you aren't going to find a whole lot. And for good reason. I met Jason way back in 2006, and we hit it off immediately. He was a complete BEAST at the table...ballsy as hell, and impossible to put on a hand. And one of the first things I noticed about him...he was incredible as sniffing out bluffs. I was pretty new to the game, and he was the first player who I stood in virtual awe of. While he was winning an event out in Reno that I played in...I was smashing Sit N Go's left and right at that WPT event...back when the WPT event in Reno was a big deal. I crushed those SNG's so well at that event that I had two or three guys wanting to stake me the Main Event...which I THINK was either a 5k or 10k event. It was a pretty exciting two weeks out west! Through the years I've stayed in touch Jason and we've become pretty good buddies. He wasn't able to stay fully immersed in the poker scene because he had a family to support. One of his jobs took him to Williston, North Dakota where he worked in the oil industry. Well, my family happens to own a little over 700 acres up there that are under lease with an oil company. So Jason has come in handy a few times when I needed a little snooping around done on our plot. He has since moved to fabulous Bakersfield, California...where he tries to find opportunities to go play some poker. Most of what he plays is on the lower end of buy ins...so his results never show up anywhere. The thing about Jason? He truly LOVES poker. He also is truly appreciative of getting a shot to play "the BIG ONE." I know he will excel in that structure...and he will definitely respect his chip stack. He's promised a deep run...but I wish players wouldn't do that...because they just put pressure on themselves. I just want our guys and gals to go....enjoy the experience, and play the game that caused me to pick them in the first place. Don't change anything. Don't fell like you have to play SUPER tight just so you don't run the risk of an early exit and the shame that might come from all the investors. Pffft...that's nonsense. Nearly ALL the investors also play poker...and understand the game...the ups, the downs, the suckouts, the bad beats, etc etc. JUST PLAY YOUR GAME! And enjoy the ride! The rest will take care of itself!!!!

So that's it! Your FIRST FOUR PLAYERS on this Summer's squad. Who is "on deck" or "in the hole?" Well...I'm not quite ready to reveal that just yet. To be honest...I have about 3 or 4 total newbies I'm deeply considering...and I also have about 3 or 4 former team members who are on my short list. And since I don't think I will be able to make 12 team members happen...that means someone is going to be disappointed. But there will also be about 5 or 6 people who are going to be REALLY excited too! 

Now...its time for me to email out the announcement to all of my past investors...and get the ball rolling on selling shares! I fully expect that by Monday, I will most likely have ALL FOUR of these players funded...and be working towards Team Member #5 and beyond. Yup...this is going to be a fun month. And while a lot of you will be over in New Orleans...playing in that circuit event that just got started over there yesterday...I will be here, waiting anxiously on a letter from the Chicago area...and selling shares left and right to build another team of Grinders!!!!

I'll be back in a week or two with an update on how we are progressing!!!!

MONK