Monday, July 19, 2021



Hi everybody! Hope you're all having a wonderful, safe summer. If you happen to be a kid still in school (unlikely-and if so WHY are you reading MY blog!!!??) or a parent (more likely) of a kid about to be going BACK to school, the summer is quickly coming to an end. Which as far as I'm concerned, is perfectly fine...because that means one thing!  FOOTBALL SEASON! It's going to be a pretty exciting season in Tuscaloosa with a handful of unknowns at several positions to find answers to. As for the NFL, well, I'll always be a Seahawks fan until the day they put me in the ground...but without Drew Brees around, it's going to be a little bit harder for me to root for the Saints. He was the one shiny object that kept me interested in them. I certainly won't be rooting for them very hard if Jameis Winston is their starting QB. I've hated that guy since college. Guess we'll see how it all shakes out. 

I would say I'm ready for summer to be over...so we can get into the cooler season, but all of us living in the south KNOW that would be a huge, fat lie! I've had my sprinkler system turned off since May! No joke. It hasn't run ONE TIME. I've never seen so much rain. Half of my yard I can't even cut with the riding mower because the ground is so soft it completely tears it up. So if I want it cut, I have to either delicately use the push mower...or in some cases, a weed-eater. Everyone is having all the same issues. I know one thing for sure...I better not hear ANYONE complaining about a drought for a LONG time! Oh...except for those 'nice folks' out west! I'm sorry, but maybe this is just a little bit the poker player in me, but I'm a heavy believer in karma. As far as I'm concerned, everything bad that is being thrown at places like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, L.A., and a few other places out there...they've brought it on to themselves. 

Not sure if I mentioned it in my previous blog post...but over the winter I let my wife talk me into going in on a river house with her brother. He's got a wife and three boys, and of course they have a ton of friends, as well as relatives in the area. Meanwhile...we live 6 hours south, have only Carley...and might make it up there 3 or 4 times a year, max. They live 25 minutes from where the house is in Rogersville, along the Tennessee/Elk River. We are there right now...our second trip this summer. It's a quaint little place, but the property itself is fantastic. We are surrounded by really nice neighbors. My brother-in-law already had a really nice ski boat, so I chipped in for some nice used wave runners so the kids would have something to keep them entertained. I really didn't think (because of my bad back) that I would get much (if any) use out of them...but as it turns out, they are super-stable and really don't beat up the body as much as I anticipated they might. I've been out on them several times, mostly to pull the kids around on the big tube. About six years ago, my family rented a house for a couple weeks on Lake Chelan out in Washington State. I bought a wake board off of Craig's List while we were there, and actually got up on it and did a fair amount of wake boarding that week. So I brought the board (which I hadn't used SINCE that trip) up here to the river, and had hoped to be able to get up on it and do some boarding. Pffft. No such luck. I tried and failed about 5 or 6 times before I finally gave up. The next day I could barely walk, my hamstrings were destroyed!!! And my forearms hurt like hell too from all the failed attempts to get up. 

Even our Dogs like to TUBE!!!
Me and the girls, 1st Trip out on the WaveRunner!

Hilarious guy I met from England playing PLO
Me and my Sweet Girl!

Squirrel and Daisy out on the boat!

The New Resorts World Casino

The two best things in my life!
Who remembers my 'Ol Buddy Kai Landry?
Well, he came out to Vegas and got married!
It was a really great night! 

That's called....GETTING OLD! And it sucks! If I have ANY plans to be able to do that kind of stuff in the future I am simply going to have to get my ass back into the gym. Maybe one of the two that I'm being automatically debited each month for $20!!!! One thing I've learned about getting old; it's really easy to fall into a lazy routine. You start putting on weight. You find yourself wanting to take naps all the time. It gets harder and harder to get motivated to do little projects on your "To-Do" list. I've really been battling all of those things, and I need for it to END. Like...soon! There are things I WANT to do, in my spare time. And there really isn't anything keeping me from doing them...other than a lack of motivation. So I think once Carley gets back into school the first week of August, I'm going to get my butt in gear and start jump-starting my life!!!

POKER!  Why yes! Yes I HAVE been playing some poker. And in addition to that, I've gotten back to staking, and putting together staking/investor packages. It started with me getting a "hall pass" from Squirrel to go out to Vegas last month to play the big $10m guaranteed $10k buy in event at the Wynn. I stayed at Encore, and played the 3rd and final flight. Things were going pretty normally the first 4 levels. Win a few, lose a few. Hit a draw. Miss five draws. You know the drill. But after rallying from 12k (starting stack of 40k) back up to 46k...I literally picked up AA on the VERY next hand. From under the gun....I raised to 1100 (blinds 200-400 with 400 ante) and it folded around to this newish player...an Asian guy, who came with quite a few chips, and who had immediately been pretty active since he sat down. He had the button, so I guess in HIS world, that meant he needed to apply pressure to me with a 3-bet. You know...me, the seemingly tightest guy at the table, who'd been showing down nothing but mainly Top15 hands all day. He re-raises it to 3600. The blinds both fold. Okay. Cool. Obviously I'm going to put in a 5th raise here...though it would be fun to just flat and let him double me up with some wild play. I just managed to chip back up, and the last thing I wanted to do was "get cute" and screw myself. So I fired a warning shot over his bow...letting him KNOW that I had a huge hand, and that he might want to just fuck off. 

Well...he remained undeterred, even AFTER I bumped it up to 9800! He calls. Ugh. Here we go. Flop comes 10-high...with two diamonds. Pretty innocuous board for everything but a set of tens. I lead out for 12,500. And...truth be known? I'm never folding to whatever move he makes here. But when he instantly ships all in, I put him on either JJ (mayyyyybe QQ- but I think he would have put me all in preflop if he had queens) or AK suited...which is obviously the worst-case scenario there. I was wrong on both counts. He was clear on the other side of the table...and I didn't have my "up close" glasses because I had accidentally left them in a bathroom at Aria the night before. So when I looked at his exposed cards...I THOUGHT I was looking at AK. Which would have seemed pretty normal, and standard. I asked somebody, "Is that AK suited?" And they replied..."No man...it's KING freaking FOUR!???" And...trying not to be THAT guy (you know, Hellmuthiuan in my reaction!!!) I kind of blurted out...."what? King four!???? How the....." and before I could even complete the sentence the dealer slapped a fucking diamond on the turn. I was drawing completely dead to the river...which, adding insult to injury was another GD diamond. Fuuuuuuck ME! Fortunately, the other TWO players who I had raised money by selling shares to stake in that event, were both in close proximity to my table, and literally watched the hand play out. That always makes me feel a little better, because we all know how easy it is to just kind of embellish the telling of a bust out hand. Having witnesses gave me some sense of calm...as I picked up my bag, and zombie-walked to the elevator and back up to my room. 

There is NO worse feeling in poker, am I right? I can handle losing...but please, I beg of you, beat me with a hand that makes some damn sense. I hate plunking down $10k in a tournament where there are guys playing that kind of poker. That's a cash game play, as far as I'm concerned. Whatever. I lost. Time to root for the other two. I went and played PLO, and won a couple dimes. The next day, I went to Venetian and played the PLO tourney there...$600 buy in, I busted, rebought, busted again, rebought a 2nd time...and nearly ran that to the money. I went on a big heater...grew a nice stack...then got into a hand with the only guy at the table with a bigger stack when we were 3 from the money. I think he was chasing a weird draw of some sort against my top set (with a flush draw) when he hit a stupid gutshot straight he didn't even know he had. Yeah...THAT sucked. I was really hoping to snap off that tourney and take $14k back to my room. Well...I didn't. 

Instead, I went across the street to the new casino that just opened the night before, Resorts World. They say they spent 4.3b on the place. Frankly...I don't see where all the money was spent. I mean...sure, it was "nice" and all that. But $4.3b nice? I struggle to see it. The poker room was nice. Spacious. Good dealers. I ended up playing two sessions there. The first session went very well. Cashed out with a $3200 profit. The next session, a couple nights later, not so hot. Missed about every draw. Best hands never seemed to hold up. And THAT... in a nutshell, is Omaha for you! I lost about 4 dimes that second session. 

While I was losing all my early cash-game PLO profits, my other two players were trying to make a big score still in the Wynn Main Event. Jason Bond ran into some bad luck and busted at the end of the day. But Kristen Deardorff ran pretty pure the entire day and bagged up a nice stack. With around 1400 entries...she would end up making it to Day 3...and wind up busting out 94th for close to $32k. For all the investors who bought a share for $200...they all ended up getting $154 back per share. So they almost boke even. They proceeded to use a lot of that ROI on the next to staked events for Kristen, since she lives in Vegas. She played the $5k Main at Venetian, and didn't have any luck. Then she played the $2400 there, the following weekend...and bricked that one also. Currently, we are in the throes of what I've labeled "The 3-Prong Series Package."  It includes the $600 multi-flight Main at Orleans, then a $600 and another $400 at Venetian to round out the package. I sold a total of 96 shares, for $50 per share, to raise $4800...which covers 3 "bullets" in each event. She has had to use all three buy-ins for the first event, this weekend's $600 Main at Orleans. But on the 3rd and final attempt, she managed to bag $107k...and when she returns today, they should be real close to the money, hopefully she picks up some big hands early...and can grow that "M of 7" / 15 BB's to about three times that...and make another deep run. She certainly has the skills to make it happen. She's a player I really have no hesitancy to stake, for a lot of reasons. (1) she's a solid player  (2) she's great about posting updates on our Facebook Group Page...a private group I created just for the players, the investors, and their friends/family. No one else is allowed to view the group page.  And (3) she's very trustworthy...so no matter what happens, I know I am getting a photo of her buy in slip, and if/when she wins money...I know I don't have to ever worry about getting access to it. For the record...Jason is the same way. 

So I promised my wife and (more importantly) Carley that if I busted before my flight was scheduled to come home...I would change my flight and come home early. I kept my word. I took one day to relax, chill out at the pool, drink some frozen drinks...and then headed home. Well...lucky me, I get the driver who decides he's going to take the most leisurely drive to the airport in history. While I THOUGHT I still had plenty of time to make it...I was starting to get real nervous. We finally pull up with 40 mins before my flight is to depart. Okay okay...should be okay, plus I'm Diamond Medallion now with Delta...which I've been working for years to achieve, so they SHOULD cut me some slack if I'm a little late. NOPE! I get the Bitch From Hell. I think her name was Amy (probably spelled something like Aymey or something equally stupid) And she was in NO MOOD at ALL to be helpful. "You are late, sir. We aren't going to be able to check you in. We ask that you arrive at least 45 minutes before your flight! We're just going to have to rebook you for a later flight." I say "Um yeah, hi...Amy, the flight doesn't leave for 40 minutes. If you really can't get my bags on, I'm happy to take them through security, and check them at plane side. (which, in case you didn't know, is ENTIRELY okay...so long as your baggage will fit through the xray scanner, which mind do) I really don't feel like missing this flight." 

Nope. She tells me she has already given away my 1st class seat. I literally want to kill her. She rebooks me on a flight alright. The freaking red-eye! The flight she just booted me from was at 10:45am. Whatever. FINE! Can I please check my bags at least. NOPE! They won't check bags until 6 hours before the flight. Great! So I find a Centurion Sky Lounge (member via my American Express) and make it my homeless shelter for 7 hours...until they closed for the day. Then I went to the gate 4 hours before the flight...found a nice little cubby hole, and passed out for a few hours. The flight home was fantastic! I got lucky and got one of the newer planes with that newer Delta One 1st class cabin where you have basically your own pod...and the seats recline into an actual bed. I think I slept most of the flight home. Went from temperatures around 115 degrees in Vegas...to a monsoon in New Orleans when I walked out to my car!!! Quite a difference! And...since I've been home from that trip...it's literally rained almost EVERY day, as mentioned! 

Once home, I got back on my iPhone/iPad and started back in my PokerBros club. The latest popular game has been the 5 and 6-handed PLO Hi/Low game. But then they went and added another new game...DOUBLE BOARD! Talk about major action! So far, I've found most of the players in those double boarded games to be pretty shitty. I've run my account up a couple grand in the last two weeks. IN addition to those juicy cash games...they run some very decent tournaments. I just don't play as many tournaments as I would like to because I have a hard time carving out that much time to sit and play one. Maybe you'd like to join the club...and take me on!??? No problem...just be prepared to NOT screw over the friends of mine who run the club. They are a married couple who I've know for years, and who worked on the WSOP circuit for a long time. The network, as mentioned...is POKER BROS. The CLUB ID is 21699. And my REFERAL ID is 663632.  If you DO sign up...shoot me an email at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and tell me your handle so I can look for you when I'm playing!!!

So the other night, my wife asked me if I would mind if she took (yet another!) trip to the beach with her girlfriends in a couple weeks. I told her..."Okay, I'll make you a deal. There is a tournament I'd kind of like to go play next weekend. If you let me go play that, then I'm okay with you leaving for another 4-day weekend." She agreed! Much to my relative surprise! So...next weekend, I am climbing in my car...because flying in to Dallas, then renting a car, and having to drive a couple hours from THERE...seems stupid, and I'm driving to Durant, Oklahoma to play in the $3700 WPT Main Event there at Choctaw casino. It's been several years since I played up there. I liked the place, for the most part. So I called and got myself a room reserved, and am all set to go. Drive up Thursday. Bringing enough for two bullets...play on Friday, hopefully NOT on Saturday...then take it from there. If I happen to bust out, I drive home. Easy Peasy! The last time I went up there, I also drove. It was an easy trip. I've put feelers out with a couple of my poker buddies in hopes of finding someone (that I can tolerate for 8-10 hours in a car!!!) to share the ride up there with me. If not...no biggie, I'll just watch movies on my iPad while I drive like I usually do! I'm expecting a pretty good turnout.

As far as me playing staked or on my own dime? I put some feelers out to my current staking group, which consists of about 50 people, telling them I hadn't decided yet whether to play it for 100%, or 40% (if I sell shares, they will hold a 60/40 advantage). Well, I got a bunch of emails from people saying they would love to buy some shares if I DO decide to sell a package...so it looks like I will sell one for BOTH bullets. Then, if I bag on the first attempt, they will already get HALF their investment back! 

I was telling my wife that I don't so much miss poker, as much as I miss the feeling of the competition. I miss that feeling of making the right call...and a player mucking his cards. But most of all, I miss that feeling when all the players remaining move to the Final Table. Because at that point? It becomes like something I have played 2 or 3 thousand of in the last 15 years....a Sit n Go. Nine players. Lose, and your gone, and we all get more elbow room! I LOVE playing Final Tables! But the thing I love the MOST..is being the very last player at the table. Just me...and ALL the chips. I hate chopping...and will almost NEVER agree to it...unless its just the dumbest (economically speaking) decision to refuse chopping. I don't play for hours and hours...and even sometimes days...so that I can get to the Final Table, make some kind of deal, and call it a day. Screw that! 

And finally...I really discovered while on my last trip to Vegas, that I kind of miss the notoriety, the respect that I used to sort of hold in the poker community. It used to be I could sit down at a tourney table, and there was typically 5 or 6 player, minimum, who knew who I was. Knew I was highly-regarded, successful. I took it for granted back then. I think people in all kinds of fields probably do the same thing...taking things for granted, until they don't have it anymore...then they miss it. I miss it. More than the money. I don't really NEED the money now, like I did back then. Back then, I was playing staked...and needing a score to pay my bills. To survive. Now? Not so much. I just want to WIN! I want to experience that taste again. Bad! And I know...if I should put everything together, but fall short, say, finish 3rd, or even 2nd...it's just gonna motivate me even more. I hate losing. Always have. Whether it was sports, or school/grades, or job-related or poker...I f'ing HATE to lose. Granted...I certainly have learned how to handle losing a lot better than I used to! Thank god! Now it just burns me on the insides...without me showing my ass to everyone around me. Because lets be honest; poker? No one, I repeat NO ONE...gives two shits about your bad beat story. They don't really care about your flame out. No one. So when you DO lose? Just take it. Eat it. Bury it. Go find a nice quiet place, alone...and work it all out, mentally. Don't go find the first pack of poker buddies you can locate and whine to them about your bust out. Because...while they might act (and I mean ACT) like they actually give a shit? Trust me...they don't. At all! 

And in saying this? It's the same (at least now) for me when I win. I don't need anyone's adulation. I don't need to post a "sick brag" post on Facebook. Nope. The satisfaction is internal. I guess I've come a long way in that department. At least, in the way I'm perceived by others in the poker world. So yeah...there ya go! I now have a wife, a little girl, and her best friend...down there on the dock...wanting me to come down and play with them...tow them around behind the wave runner. Jump off the top deck of the boat house...about 15 feet high. You know...be "The Fun Dad!!" We've been here 4 days now. This is the last day. Home tomorrow. Then, a couple days to do some yard work, run some errands, then kiss my girls goodbye for what I hope is FIVE days!!! Some of you know, I run sports pools. I've been doing that for close to 30 years now. It's how I was fortunate enough to develop the vast network of people I have that make up my staking groups...and other investment "stuff" that I put together. Some players in the past have demonstrated some bitterness towards me, for the great "staking deal" I played under. Well...I wasn't about to feel bad, or guilty because I spent decades building a credible relationship with so many people that gave me opportunities like the one I enjoy in poker. And in fairness, I haven't made anyone what I would say "rich" but I have made a lot of people "some money" and they always get paid RIGHT AWAY! Which...if you are a poker player...and you're playing staked? You should make your number ONE priority! Don't make people who took a chance on you...have to go way out of their way to get FROM YOU...what is rightfully THEIRS. Those kind of people are a disgrace to this profession. And they keep other well-deserving players from GETTING those kind of opportunities. The more "good guys" there are in poker, the more chances other players will get from people with the finances to take a chance on them. 

So? Moral of the Story? Don't be a F'ing Douchebag!!!! Perhaps I'll see some of you up in Choctaw! Feel free to tap me on the shoulder, or shake my hand, and say "Hi!" It's always good to see either old friends, or make some new ones! Bye for now!!!


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