Sunday, July 17, 2011

Leaving Las Vegas....

Here it is. The long-anticipated entry...my final entry for the Summer for 2011. A lot of very interesting events have occurred in the past few days...some good, some bad, most that I will never, ever forget. For one reason or another. I will warn you...this entry is going to be very long. But their are going to be lots of exciting photos and videos. I try to give you people what you want. What you need. I have now had someone other than Garrett Jones tell me I should start video blogging. Someone with much better looks and much prettier hair. I will take this under advisement as we move forward. Or, maybe after I get home and get on a daily gym regiment and make myself...mmmm what I would deem as photographically desirable, or for that matter...tolerable even.

Today is Sunday. I got us a late checkout...so we could join many of our friends at Aria last night...play some tourneys, some cash games, drink cocktails...sleep in...avoid the 105 degree, bright sun, traffic-laden highways and get our journey under way under the cover of darkness, making my ability to watch movies from RedBox much easier to view on my stereo in the 4Runner. The plan was for Kai to follow me on the 1786 mile journey in his recently repaired, legendary VW Jetta. For obvious reasons...mainly in the event of another breakdown and him getting stranded somewhere in the middle of West Texas, where he would become buzzard food.

Small glitch. And this glitch comes as the Squirrel's level of angst at me still BEING IN Vegas grows by the minute. On the way back from Aria late last night (he stayed longer than I did) his car....SURPRISE!!!....broke down AGAIN! So I have no idea what that means for us now. I'm kind of stuck in a position of 'I'm damned if I do, I'm damned if I don't'...not wanting to piss off the Squirrel anymore than I already have...and not wanting to desert my good friend. Bad Spot. Kind of like having pocket 8's in the BB with 9 big blinds left and a raiser in early position followed by a re-raise on the button. What would YOU do?

I wonder what Kenny "Motherfu***ng" Powers would do? What does this have to do with anything? Absolutely NOTHING...except I think it might be one of the funniest videos I have watched in awhile. So enjoy! And no...this is NOT an endorsement for K-Swiss Tubes.

 In other news...we were all emotionally impacted by the disaster that struck Japan this spring...well, I think most of us were. If you weren't then you just aren't human. So when I saw the inspirational run made by the Japanese women to reach the World Cup final against our US Women who made an equally amazing run to reach the title game...I kind of felt like there would be no bad outcome to this game. As much as I am proud to be an American...and as much as I take pride in our country in everything we compete in, I have to say that watching the Japanese ladies make their incredible comeback to beat the heavily favored United States and win their first World Cup was awesome. And what it has to mean to their country? I think its one of those amazing things that happen in sports that have the ability to transcend a whole nation and bring them together. Congratulations to Japan...and continued success in your efforts to recover from the Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear disaster.

 Kai Landry is a bit (understatement) of an insane maniac. At some point he decided to introduce a new character into his arsenal of intimidating table props. Mr. Tomato. Yep..a real, gigantic, juicy tomato. This thing joined him at the Caeser's Palace Main Event...which he barely got into after busting early on Day 3 in the WSOP Main Event, or maybe it was Day 2...now I forget. Yeah it was Day 2. He got in and took his 50k in starting chips to 140k. Then came back to the room, after I picked him up after bagging up 120k of my own chips in the Main Event...and presented this stupid tomato with its own place to sleep.

Kai looking upon Mr. Tomato with glee as the Ambien kicks in and sleep awaits him

Nighty Night Kai-ster...you and Mr. Tomato have a lovely night sleep!

 Yeah...well, the tomato continued its journey the next day...and Kai again dominated the field at Caeser's. But don't let Kai convince you that him and his poker skills had anything to do with it. Nope...it was all about the damn Tomato. So after he bagged up something like 2.5 million and was in the Top 5 in chips with a shot at $225k...the tomato was afforded the same sleep accommodations.

The next day...he would make the money...get deeper and deeper...as the tomato began to show some signs of wear and tear, now requiring a bandage to cover an ugly blemish. Eventually Kai would run out of luck...losing a few of those 'much needed' coin flips that always arise late in tourneys...and he ended up 25th or something, for around $9k...which certainly wasn't what he woke up hoping to bring back to the room at Riviera...but nonetheless, another great run for Kai. 

So...like a good buddy/rail sweater...he headed over to Rio to check on my status. Where I managed to get to 150k early...the day kind of turned to shit when I got moved from what WAS an excellent table draw, into the Amazon Room and a table full of absolute maniacs. Fearless, internet-savvy maniacs. And they weren't bad players. In fact most of them were excellent. It required a whole new strategy...the most challenging scenario in poker. Study the table, pin point each players' strengths and weaknesses, their tendencies...everything. The iPad went in the bag. This was the big time. Crunch time, times twelve. Everything I did that day was tantamount to my immediate future. No mistakes could be made.

The first four orbits I got absolutely NOTHING to play...which was kind of good because it afforded me the chance to do a lot of sizing up of my table, as well as develop a nice, tight table image. What was going on around me was mind-boggling. UTG raise...middle position re-raise...cutoff smooth call...to the big blind, who would invariably re-raise HUGE...to the original raiser...who would tank forever....then put in ANOTHER huge raise....while the other two would tank then fold. Back to the guy in the big blind...who would once again go in the tank...jeezuz.....then RAISE AGAIN! Back to the guy UTG...who would drain another 3 or 4 minutes off the clock....then shove all in! To which the guy in the BB snap folded!

This was going on constantly. As was the tanking. We had hands that were taking 12-15 minutes on a regular basis. It was making me insane. And while that was going on...I'm looking at Q-4, 6-2, 9-3....total shit. So even if I wanted to make a move to take down a pot, it was impossible. At my previous table, I was getting drilled with the deck...though I lost 10k to a 7-9 shover with AA when he made two pair. Then get QQ on the next hand and lose to a short stack player with AA himself. Lose with QQ again to AA a short while later. Win with AK about 4 times. It was a fun table, fun players with lots of personality, zero tension, everyone acting on their hands in a reasonable time. I hated it when our table broke, despite taking some nasty beats. I still came to the new table with around 100k.

But losing chips to dead card fever is a bitch...and it eventually gnaws at your soul...as you go from 100k to 80k...then 70k...then 50k...then the onset of panic begins to rear its ugly head. You fight it off, because the structure is so good. Hope for just one situation where you can get a raise and a re-raise before you act...then look down at AA or KK...and work your way into a double up...then just sit around, get to the end of Day 3...bag your chips...then get a new table the next day, sweat out 180 players...make the money, then go from there. 

So once I got down to 48k...and desperately needed to win a hand...that scenario occurs. At 600/1200 the player UTG raises to 2800. Another player calls...and I look down at KK. Finally! Hmmm...I'm in the SB. Flat call and play for a huge pot? But run the risk of letting them hit a small set? Or a possible ace? Or raise big and take down a pot of around 10k? At a time when I really needed to turn the tide back into my favor? Of course, you always wish you would have done it differently when your mission has ended in failure and you look back on it. Now I wish I had just called and checked any flop. But I re-raised to 6500. And given my super-tight image, both players quickly folded, and while I was happy to finally win a pot, I felt a sense of disappointment too.

There would be a couple more hands....AQ and 10-10...where I would raise...get called by this Euro who was incredibly tough to put on a hand. I got very bad flops and had to fold to the guy. I was so wrapped up in NOT making a critical mistake that it might have affected my ability to just let it fly. Or maybe I was doing the right things but just not catching any breaks.

I would go card dead after dinner break. About that time Kai showed up with Mr. Tomato, and knowing I was floundering...presented me with the Tomato, promising me an immediate turn around!

When things were looking bleak late on Day 3...Kai brought the over-used, often-abused Savior Tomato to my table in the Amazon Room to resurrect my dwindling chip stack.

So I welcomed the tomato to the table. Alongside my crystal Silverback Gorilla, who has replaced the Missing Raising Monkey...another side chapter in this summer of ups and downs. We were getting closer and closer to the end of the night...and I was continuing to get NOTHING to play. Meanwhile, my table was turning into damnation alley...with mountains of chips on either side of me. I was in Seat 5...with my stack that was dwindling with every hand. 400 antes with 1200/2400 blinds...7200 a round. Going from 40k...to 30k...to 20k....shit!!!! I think the chipleader in the tourney was now at around 1.2 million, and at my table alone...there were at least 6 players who had more than 500k. I would bet money that there was NO table in the whole tourney that had as many chips on it as our table. Which was just adding to my anxiety level.

Then...with 10 minutes left in the night...they cleared all the spectators from the Amazon room. I was down to 19k now. Do I limp into Day 4 with what will amount to about 5 or 6 big blinds? Or do I try like hell to get a double up and at least have a chance better than a prayer? 

UTG...fold, next guy...fold...another fold....fold, fold...to me in the cutoff...and I look down at K10d. El Diablo. Jeezuz. I would have much rather seen K9. Even stealing the blinds here would be huge. I let 'er rip. ALL IN! Button folds. Small Blind folds. Big blind was still busy building a new west wing to his huge stack...and literally asked the dealer 'how much'...did not even look at his cards and just threw four orange (5k) chips out like it was a tip for the shoe-shine boy. Didn't even look! He turns over Q7. Cool. I'm ahead of both cards. Excellent chance to double up and get outa Day 3 with a decent chance of cashing. Forget it. He flops a Q...and it holds. And my WSOP experience was over. I just sat there, feeling so empty. Nobody even acknowledged me. It was like...Hmmmph, okay, whatever, picked off another one. See ya!

That is the worst feeling in the world. 28 hours of poker...and it just ends. With no money. No fame, no glory. Just more reasons to freak out about life. Then I left the Amazon Room...and got out to the hall where my friends were waiting, thinking I had survived. I told them the sad news. Got my looks of sympathy...and walked aimlessly down that long hallway that leads to the parking lot. 

Then it was decided that we were going to head to O'Sheas...the place we go when everything has bottomed out, which it had. My summer was essentially over. A summer of deep runs, close calls, and a few min cashes. But in the end...an unacceptable deficit. A dwindling bankroll...a diminishing life roll, and a wife who's doubts about this 'career' continue to fester.

 Before we got to O'Shea's however...Kai thought it would make me feel better to drive to a remote parking lot and give the tomato a proper burial. So...we did that...and I turned Mr. Tomato into Mr. Salsa....

Then it was off to O'Sheas...with Kai and Weronika Starr and her friend Kelly Bragg, both wives of fighter pilots who also like to play poker...and make fun of people. On the way into IP to valet my car...I completely missed this little stupid black sign...and when I heard the crunching of metal...I slammed on my brakes and inquired....

"Oh my God...what in the hell was that!!!???"

Kai: (after opening the car door) "Um...you might not want to look at this!"

Great. I got out...went around to the side of my 4Runner...and a large chunk of panel above the rear wheel had been ripped from the side of the car. Tried to put it back on. No dice. Unreal. My car now looks like that of a welfare recipient who shops at Dollar General. Great! I picked up the piece of side panel and put it in the back seat. Another thing I need to deal with when I get home. At least I had the good judgment not to duct tape it back on.

On top of that, my BOSE headphones developed a short in them sometime in the middle of Day 3...so bad that trying to listen to them is just annoying. So that's another phone call I need to make.

And...though I'm getting a little ahead of the story...on my way BACK to the Riviera from O'Sheas later? Due to all the damn road construction on Las Vegas Blvd, I decide to cut a right on Sands and take the back way to our hotel. After sitting in traffic, and getting onto a street with no traffic, isn't it always kind of a natural reaction to accelerate to celebrate having escaped that cluster fuck? Well, it is for me...and as soon as I reached 62mph...there, in the shadows...appeared, like magic, a motorcycle cop. Who couldn't wait to pull me over. And yes...I was presented a speeding ticket. In Vegas! The one town I always thought impossible to get a speeding ticket in. FML! The one shred of good news was that I won a little money at the cash game at O'Sheas. Very thin silver lining, however. Since the rest of my day couldn't have been any worse!

 We do always manage to find fun at O'Shea's though. Here Kai is sitting out on the sidewalk emulating a homeless person panhandling from strangers/tourists. It was hard not to break out howling. Watch some of the people's faces that are walking by. Classic Kai. And if you listen closely, Kai is uttering the phrase..."pocket Jacks....pocket jacks."

Kai out on the street seeking an autograph from Barney for his little girls...and possibly negotiating for other 'favors!'

 You see all kinds of crazy shit whenever you go to O'Shea's which is kind of why I like to go there after a 'bad day' at the poker tables. It always has a way of taking my mind off the bad shit that has happened that day.

You KNOW you are at O'Shea's when, after busting the Main Event, being taken hostage by your friends to escape your miserable mood...you peer over to find these princesses holding up the wall in anticipation of...??? Yes...that is a Hooters shirt!

Cute! Not that tattoos are for me or anything...and that's fine...but if you ARE going to have a tattoo, do you really think you need to shave the hair ONLY around the tattoo? Leaving the rest of your caveman-like arms covered in hair? Nice look dude!

 The next day I woke up...and went to the pool. It was rather pleasant. Then I decided I would go play the nightly at Venetian. I would get chips early. I would lose them. I would get them back. Then I would lose AK to JJ...and had only 1000 left, with the blinds at 600/1200. I put on a miraculous comeback...get back up to 32k...and we are down to only 18 players...paying 13. Wow...I might just pull this shit off, I thought. Forget it. This guy I know from the south...who was chatting me up at my earlier table..."you don't remember me? We played a SNG together in New Orleans one time." Oh....sure! How could I ever, possibly forget that!??? Jeezuz. Well, he was playing a lot...I mean...a LOT of shitty hands...and getting lucky a lot. And consequently, had an ass load of chips. So when he raised to 9k in early position and I looked down at AKd on the button, all in for 29k seemed like the right play. 

He doesn't even THINK about it. He snap calls with Q9o. Hmm...of course. Rag flop. Rag turn. Hey hey...about to go to about 70k and make a deep run, maybe bank a nice $3500 score before leaving Dodge? Forget it...dealer puts a Q on the river. I don't even react. Just got up and left. It's happened so many damned times this summer, I'm almost immune to the pain associated with getting gutted on the river. Just out. Again. Deep. What else is new?

Imagine that your table breaks...and you go to your new table, and you look down at THIS? Fortunately this was not my seat. But I just kept staring over, perplexed...and wondering how I would have reacted if that were me drawing that seat. I am not trying to belittle anyone with a skin condition. By all means. However, I think if you HAVE a skin condition...and know that some people might feel uncomfortable with having to come in contact with one of your body parts...that you should feel a certain sense of responsibility to conceal this from other people.

My nightmare of a table change...dude, seriously? You can't wear pants? Just seems to me like there should be a law against this. *!@#(&*!(

 Am I wrong? If so...please tell me. I would like to think I am pretty sensitive to people with 'conditions' as long as they decide NOT to make their issue my issue. I mean, if I had a gigantic boil on my neck...I would probably wear turtle-necks everywhere I went. 

The next day was Saturday. Kai and I had kind of decided we would leave on Sunday (today) so I was going to play something. Originally I thought about playing the Saturday $340 Venetian tourney...which they have every week, even after the Deepstacks events conclude. But then I thought about how I hadn't been to Aria all summer after practically living there last summer...when I was locked out from playing at the Rio and Venetian. They were all very nice over there, and I liked the casino and the poker room a lot. So after spending a couple hours at the pool I decided to go play the 1pm tourney at Aria.

After about 3 minutes of play I realized I was amongst some of the worst poker players on the planet. 5 and 6x raises were standard. Jeezuz. I would manage to get a double up fairly early on...with KK against QQ...and had the luxury of sitting back and finding spots. One such challenge arose when I picked up KK under the gun. Knowing with absolute certainty that one of these idiots would raise if I limped...I called for 400 and buried my snout in my iPad. Then I hear the dealer....

"Its on you to act sir." Yes! That meant there had been a raise downriver. I peek down at the mutants and see that the button had raised to 1200 and the BB had shoved all in for 7800 (I had 12000 in my stack)...and I just called. The other guy folded. Super Shove shows A3o. Ugh...here we go again. Dealer didn't even tease me...just put an ace right on the flop. Awesome! And then it was just downhill from there. Don't even remember what punched me out...but I lost. 

Went inside, got on a list to play 1/3...then ran into Frank Kassela, who was playing 200/400 mix game with a few notables like Tuan Le, who had JUST been knocked out of the main, and a guy they all call Crazy Mike...who I encountered at Venetian a couple summers ago, when he just walked up to a 1/2 game and decides to bet 100 blind on every hand...daring people to call him. Mostly delivering bad beats on people, and talking about how much money he had. I will never forget how much I wanted to take him outside and teach him a few lessons about how to act like a regular human being. An absolute motherfuc***er. So he hadn't changed much. He was berating this Asian gal who was dealing to them...and just wouldn't let up. I felt terrible for her. And wished I could yank him out of his chair and kick his ass. Of course, that isn't/wasn't an option...but you can dream. What a douche. They finally called my name and I was off to play cash.

Lost $300 in about 15 minutes when this Asian kid...who was on fire...was hitting every thing he needed on the river. Rebuy! Ran that up to about $500 and just hovered there for a long time. Then decided to play the 7pm tourney. Decent turnout of almost 100 players. Decent structure. Got off to a good start again. Then lost a huge coinflip with AK vs QQ...got short, then got busted.

Proceeded to play cash game until about 4am...had a lot of good buddies from the summer stop in, including Omar. It was a pretty fun night...and we had a real friendly table for the most part...and I booked a decent profit, which I was glad I got up and left with. Plus I was tired, and ready to get a good night of sleep, get packed, and get on the road. Now all that is in limbo, as Kai has since come back to the room while writing this...informed me that he extended the room for two more days, is getting his car towed (again) to a repair shop...to be fixed. I don't know what to do. Leave...and run the risk of him breaking down again...and also piss off the wife by not coming home yet...or stay, be what I would like to think is a good friend...and see that he makes it back to Biloxi in one piece. I mean, I miss being at home...miss her and my dogs...but I'm just going to go home and sit around all day and night with nothing to do really.

 There is some exciting news coming out of the WSOP Main Event. A handful of Gulf Coasters are inside of the final 90...with a very good friend of ours being one of them. I tagged Claudia Crawford with the nickname 'Claw' a few years ago...and we all shared a house here in Vegas together...she dates Gabe Costner, who was sitting on the chiplead in last year's Main Event before a catastrophic three-hand nightmare put him out I think 23rd. Claudia and I were pretty good friends, and then she started hanging out with Squirrel and now the two of them are like best friends. It's kind of a bittersweet feeling being OUT of the Main...and watching Squirrel post all the messages for Claudia...while I am happy as hell for 'Claw' I am obviously a bit envious that it isn't me. 

There are a handful of good players from the Gulf still in it. Ryan Lenaghan is a really great cash game player...and doesn't play a lot of tourneys. For some of the same reasons Claudia doesn't. They just like the high stakes cash game for the potential to make money. Tourneys really are such a high-variance crapshoot. I might actually have to start taking a look at playing more cash game when I return to Biloxi. Fred Berger...who was at the top after Day 1...continues to quietly remain in the running, as does Ben Mintz...another veteran of the circuit. Sam Barnhardt...who somehow amazingly won the 1m Freeroll that kicked off this long summer, has been on fire the last three days and is also among the chipleaders. I do not know HOW that guy does it! I have been watching him make some of the most mind-boggling plays over the past couple years, but somehow, it works for him. And I have to say...there isn't a nicer guy on the poker circuit, so its really hard not to root for Sam to do well. And then you have Jacob Bazeley, a pretty laid back guy who runs around with the whole crew of Mintz, Dolan, Tyler Smith and those guys. SIX players from our region with a solid chance of making the November Nine.

When people ask me..."why do you do this Monkey? When will you just give up?" Well, its really easy for me to answer that when I see guys making it this deep who I play with day in and day out and usually compete with on a very even keel. I don't think there is necessarily a "I think I'm just as good or better" than that guy/girl mentality that persists at all. I just think you get to a point where your ability to succeed is set in stone; with the obvious opportunity to always fine tune it and get better, where you can enter into a big tourney and have every bit as much of a chance to win as the people you play with all the time. I also happen to think we have a LOT of excellent players from the Gulf Coast...as is evidenced by this year and last year's WSOP results. Cashing already but missing out on the big money were David Diaz...who already won a bracelet this year...and TK Miles, who was among the chipleaders most of the tourney...and who I consider a PHENOMENAL tourney player...not that I am ready to give him $25k to 'fine tune' my game!!! (again thanks for the generous offer TK!)

"The Claw" and Squirrel...out to dinner on Cheryl's visit to Vegas this summer...before Claudia had a gazillion chips with 90 left in the WSOP Main Event...think she'll still remember us!!??

 But I have to be most excited for 'The Claw'...as she has had a very up and down..sometimes tumultuous two years...and who is very near and dear to my wife and I. I know that she is very grounded, and that a huge win wouldn't go to her head. At least I don't THINK it would. Her and Gabe are engaged again...and entertaining thoughts of buying a house...just like Squirrel and I have been trying to do. And I think that all of us that do this for a living are just striving for some damn stability in our lives.

I love this interview they did with her. She is obviously SO excited...so much so that she forgets to pause to breathe in between sentences. And of course she comes off as such a little redneck...blurting out the 'ol Roll Tide to kick off the interview. I'm sure the German interviewer was like..."Huh? WTF is she talking about? And what is UP with her funny accent!!???" But then she got into some hand conversations...and situational stuff, and the true poker smarts in her became evident. Claudia gets it. She is a solid player. I know she can do this. And I'm sick of all these women rattling off about 'how neat it would be if a woman made the November Nine.' Fuck that! How bout...'wouldn't it be cool if a woman won that shit!???'

Just last year...when things were going like shit for her...and she was waiting tables to make ends meet, I was staking HER...in some tourneys at the IP...trying to help her make a score and turn things around. Jeezuz...look at her now! Kind of sobering, too.

Something really magical happened yesterday. And it probably needs to be saved for an upcoming blog entry (pfft, or not!). I was on Team Bustout, as most of you know. I really like the owners. And thought we had a solid relationship. I was one of only two players who attended the Team Bustout dinner at the Mirage a couple weeks ago.

Well, on Day Three, I 'checked in' at the WSOP on Facebook...and 'tagged' some 'friends' who I knew were also competing that day. Most of them liked it. Some even replied with 'good luck' and stuff like that. Not Matt Stout. Instead, he messages me that he is deleting me because it is bothersome to him to have people replying to the 'Checked In' status. I simply reply to him that I was sorry to cause him such an inconvenience, and wished "you good luck in the tourney, Mr. Personality!"

To which...he decides to launch a tirade of abusive emails on me. Calling me a shitty player, admitting that he openly lobbied against me being allowed on Team Bustout. Takes it one step further and calls me (and my wife) a couple of stupid racist, redneck pieces of shit (I'm going to deduce that because we live in the South, that must naturally mean we are rednecks AND racists)...and tells me he hopes I die in a fuc**g fire. Real classy guy. And all I ever did was reply to him that he needs to develop some people skills, find some maturity, maybe quit smoking an ounce of dope a day...and stop being so negative about everything. Even complimented him on his abilities as a poker player. 

So what does he do? Well, obviously, he goes to the owner of Bustout and demands that I be dropped from the team. Why? Because he doesn't like me? So yesterday, sitting at Aria...I open my email on my iPad and see one from my Bustout boss, telling me that due to a few factors, most of them pertaining to my inability to get along with Matt Stout, that they are ending their relationship with me. And just like that...after logging on to the Bustout site, I see my profile is GONE...as well as my blog entries. 

I reply that its pretty clear what is going on. That if I had been the one sitting on 1m chips and still in the Main Event...and if Stout had been the one going out with 10 minutes left in Day 3 and not cashing...that I seriously doubt I would be getting this email. That I understand how BS politics work. The funny thing is...I have been reppin the hell out of Bustout for months, and I have not seen a red cent from them. Not one. And when they showed up with a whole slew of new gear two weeks ago...for the Team Members...it was that same owner who was in the halls of Rio just handing it out to anyone who wanted something, so that when a couple of us team members went to pick something up...there was NOTHING to be had. At all. Awesome. So what I am losing out on...I'm not exactly sure of. I was basically giving them exposure to over 7000+ potential customers a month...plus wearing their gear in a lot of events, and in exchange I get dropped because Matt "The Bakehead with Attitude" Stout doesn't like me and cried to the principal about me. 

I won't bad mouth the guys from Bustout Poker at all. I actually really like them. And I like and believe in their product. I had a chance to sign a deal with Ksino at about the same time as I met Jeff from Bustout...and I liked his approach a lot more, and the product as well. And 97% of the guys on the team are great, great guys...and good poker players. But as is the case in life...it always seems to be that one bad apple that can spoil the whole bunch. If you are someone who thinks of Matt Stout as a friend...so be it. And I'm sure he will talk a whole lot of shit about me...but he has never even sat down and had a conversation with me. Man to man. Not once! But he is very quick to pass out a lot of shitty information about me. Which to me, is one of life's worst personal characteristics. 

So what magical thing happened yesterday? Well...its funny sometimes how fate, and maybe Karma work. And every once in awhile, there is proof that God has a sense of humor. So I am sitting in Aria playing cash game...following the Live Reporting on the WSOP on PokerNews....when I see it. And after reading it...the biggest smile crossed my face...maybe the biggest smile since I walked over and saw the pile of chips in front of Kai that signaled my entry into the Main Event....

"Crawford sends Stout to the rail"

No effing way! Yes! Yes effing way! Stout raised with 10-10. Claw called with 8-8. She flopped a set. An ace also came on the flop. Some betting took place on the turn I think. Then she bets the river I think. He shoves all in, she snap calls, and Mr. Grumpy Stoner goes bye bye. I sent Claw a congratulatory thank you text message.

So...yeah, I guess I'm no longer a member of Team Bustout. Oh well. Not to sound conceited, but as far as I'm concerned, it's their loss, not mine. I wish them well in the future, sincerely. As for Matt Stout? I hope the guy can learn a little class. Two weeks ago...when a man was in the Ladies Event...and had gotten close to the Final Table..he posted on Facebook that he "fuc**ng hated the guy" and hoped he died some violent death.  I have to ask...is that the guy you want representing your company???  The 40+ messages that people left below that comment caused him to have to back pedal a little bit. Sometimes...I think people just let you know through their words what kind of a person they are. I rest my case.

I have no idea where my next tourney will be played. I have to get home, get settled...and figure things out. Reconcile my bottom line with my backer, and discuss our strategy going forward. I am disappointed with the overall results of the summer. But on the bright side...it was nice to be back in the Rio...and Caesers, and Venetian (though that was already resolved a while ago) and get to play on the World's largest stage all summer...and have one opportunity after another to make a life-altering score. The new friendships I made, the new players I met...the interactions with dealers and floor people...it was all very positive. I stayed out of 'hot water' at all the casinos...and hopefully laid a good foundation for this seasons upcoming circuit events. I tried to win with grace and lose with class in all my hands this summer. I kept the drinking to a very bare minimum...only in a couple nightly tourneys, and a handful of late night sit n gos. And never to excess.

Poker is a tough life. Its an exciting way to make a great living...or a nerve-wracking way to slowly go broke. It takes an incredible amount of patience, understanding, and self discipline. It is a learning process for sure. Being able to accept the highs and lows...not to get too high on yourself when you're running good, and not getting too down on yourself when you're running bad. We all battle this every day. We expect our spouses or significant others to 'understand' and 'deal with it' when things aren't going well, sometimes forgetting what we are putting them through. Or not making it a priority. That's important. If you have a partner who tolerates this lifestyle, you are already ahead of most. What is the payoff? It's being one of those people sitting over there across I-415...in the Amazon room...who are already guaranteed of making around $70k...with a shot at $8.7m. Yeah...that's the payoff! That is why we play this game. Because when I win 1m...I'm done for 6 months. If I win 2m...I'm done for a year. If I win the Main Event? I am done forever. Mark my words!

OMG. When I started this entry...the players were on dinner break. I just went back over there to check things out...and they went from 90 all the way down to 79 that fast. And guess who has been eliminated? :(  Yup, "The Claw" is out. As is Fred Berger. And the other two gals are near the bottom in chips. Claudia took home $76k...which is her biggest score ever..and will really do a lot of good for her and Gabe...but I know she is going to be really disappointed. But she had an awesome run and should be proud! Just like everyone told me I should be for my deep run...only she made $76,000 and I made zilch! A moral victory? Okay...fine!

Take care everyone...talk to you when I talk to you....maybe a bit of a hiatus coming for me. We'll see.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Monk solid post as always. Sorry this summer didn't go so great for you but things will turn around.