Spring is Upon Us!!!!
When I last checked in, I was heading back for another bullet in the $2700 Main Event of the Heater at the Beau Rivage. Well it didn’t turn out so hot…not the first bullet….OR the second bullet. In total, I dumped $8100 into that damn thing and didn’t even cash. Very frustrating. Enough time has passed now since that thing that I’ve forgotten how I went out…which is good. The best thing you can be in poker, is forgetful! I’ve played very little since then. Been keeping busy with stuff outside of poker. Traveled out to California to watch the Tide get slammed by Clemson in the Championship game. Found out from the wife that I was on TV for a pretty fair amount of time during the 4th quarter, when I was heavily into the Coors Light and the mourning had begun! This morning, for the first time…I pulled the game up on my DVR and watched it. I got to the end of the 1st quarter…with Alabama leading 16-14, and was like, “You know what? I’ve seen enough!” I know that we never scored again! One failed trip to the red zone after another. For ONE quarter, aside from a pick-six, and one big play from Clemson, we totally dominated them. I will choose to stop the tape there…and use that to get me excited for NEXT season!!!!”Momma! Why is Daddy talking to those girls who have toilet paper on their head???”Things got worse in January…as “The Non-Call Heard Round the World” went down. Squirrel and I had found the most ABSOLUTELY convenient playground while in The Animal Kingdom during the NFC title game. I had my iPad to watch the game…and Carley was in heaven playing with 100’s of random kids as we both sat watching the game. Soon we were joined by a bunch of other parents…who were dying to watch the end of the game. In my life…I think I have had 3 or 4 of those “Where was I when” moments…and this one just joined that list. I was freaking out. Being in a sea of kids…and their parents…all I could think was…”Don’t swear! Don’t swear!!!! Be careful….DON’T swear…no matter what you do!!!” And those of you who recall when “IT HAPPENED” have to know how hard that was!!!!In my life of watching football…hell ANY sport, really…we’re talking 45 years…I have NEVER seen such an unbelievable injustice ever occur in a professional game, but to have it happen in a CHAMPIONSHIP GAME? Unfathomable. I mean…I’m a diehard Seahawk’s fan…as most of you know, but I take a real rooting in the Saints as my SOLID #2 team. And as pissed, upset, distraught as I FELT? I can’t even BEGIN to imagine how busted up Saints fans were. I guess the City of New Orleans spoke their minds on Super Bowl Sunday when (according to the Nielsen Ratings) they only posted a 29% share that watched the game…which is WAY WAY WAY the lowest EVER for not just New Orleans, but ANY top 25 TV market for the Super Bowl. And to boot…the Super Bowl suuuuuuuucked! Great I guess if you love a defensive struggle that featured the prowess of both teams’ punters. What? 14 total punts? Yuck. The NFL got exactly what they deserved. So football is over. I finally dug out of my massive accounting hole when it came to the football Squares boards that I have been doing now for the last five years. What started as a Super Bowl-only thing I featured…due to the popularity and the overwhelming demand…I started doing them all football season. This season and last season…I did almost the exact same number….roughly 400! Well…because of my detached retina in November, and then an infected thumb in January, that resulted in me losing my whole nail (yeah, gross!) I was unable to function correctly, and at one point was 80 boards behind! Very time consuming…but 2 weeks after the Super Bowl ended, I was finally FINISHED with all of it! So now I’m sitting around waiting on a bunch of people to pay me the money they owe…as I have already paid out almost all of the winners. Up next: MARCH MADNESS, then the Masters Pool. But for now…and before my wife murders me….I have to get my taxes done. That will be my goal for the next two weeks…get taxes done for the past, ahem…few years!!!! I know…I’m a moron!The pool is FINALLY done. The 10 pallets of sod I thought would be needed to go around it somehow became 40 pallets of sod….I guess I decided some OTHER areas could use some sod! All I’ve got left now is the wrought-iron fence to go around the pool…it’s a law, code demands it. Matter of fact, the pool guy called about an hour ago…and is on his way over to give me the final walk through on how to work everything. I bit the bullet and decided to buy a heater for it…and it’s a monster. I figured, why spend all that money and NOT be able to use it 4 or 5 months of the year? The Squirrel and I started a MAJOR diet this weekend…doing it together for the first time ever. I KNOW I’ve gotten ridiculous overweight…but I think she looks amazing. But what I think, as any husband knows…matters very little. So we are trying to lose a bunch of weight. For me…that incorporates exercise. For my terrible back, I bought an inversion table awhile back…and it really helps. I’m planning on swimming a LOT of laps in the pool…then using the elliptical out in the garage to both lose weight AND get in better shape. So…I am hoping…that come summer…I will be in MUCH better shape!!!!Speaking of summer? I just this weekend booked my flight AND my hotel in Vegas for the week I go out to get my TEAM of WSOP players all set up, funded, photographed, wined, dined and showered with attention! I’ve decided to really treat myself this summer and stay at Encore…which is owned by Wynn. I have a game…an Omaha game…at Encore…that has kind of served as my Cash Cow the past two summers…so I figured, HEY! Might as well just stay upstairs. Besides…they have a beautiful pool, beautiful casino too, actually. And they fancy people stay there! Something about staying at a hotel with the upper crust of society always makes me feel more….mmmm…I don’t know….happier? Staying in a hotel that is a “value hotel” seems to attract the underbelly of society, you know? Trailer park trash. Ghetto dwellars. People who save up all year for ONE trip…then act like they are world travelers. They bug me, to no end. Does that make me shallow, even pretentious? I don’t know. Maybe. If so…whatever, I can deal with the insults. I just know who I feel more comfortable rubbing elbows with. And damned if I don’t just happen to enjoy some of the nicer things in life. Like a good mattress. And a friendly and polite staff. So yeah…check out my summer. In April…I fly my MOM and my brother down for a few weeks…for both of their birthdays. My wife’s mom is also coming down for a couple weeks. Carley wants one of those birthday parties with a big ‘ol inflatable bounce house. So now that we have a huge backyard…she’s going to get her wish. I have a stocked pond…so I will have fishing for the kids. Maybe 4-wheeler rides. Carley has her own playhouse…which I’m sure she will be proudly showing off. The pool should be a big hit. And from the pool I now have a wonderfully sloped, freshly sodded hill…that will be perfect for a slip and slide! Should make for a great 7th birthday party for my little angel! A couple weeks after that…Cheryl flies off to Key West for 5 days with her girlfriends. I can’t remember if its for someone’s wedding or just a girls weekend. I think the latter. A couple weeks after she gets home…we celebrate our 10th Anniversary…and then, BOOM! Me, Barth, who has been down in St Thomas killing it with our bar, Bernies, since the hurricane did all that damage to the Virgin Islands…and a couple of other bar owners from St Thomas, are flying to Scotland…to go play golf for a few days. Then we are taking a train to London…where I’ve never visited, to see the Yankees and Red Sox play in their first MLB game ever played in the UK! I hate both teams….duh, I’m a Mariner’s fan…but I can respect the novelty of such an event. It should be a blast! Then we fly home…and we are flying on Delta ONE…which is their super-awesome-kickass 1st class that has the pods…where your seat slides down into a BED!!!! I’m psyched for that! Barth has been flying American down to the Islands for the last year or two, and they have those pods…so I’m a little sick of the bragging!!!! Can’t wait to experience it for myself!The day I get home from the UK…I will simply change out my suitcase, do some laundry, cut the grass (a 3-hour job!!! even on my 61’ riding mower!!!) and kiss the girls…then the next day…head off to Vegas for a week. The invitation has been extended to Squirrel to come with Carley. But she has kind of a “been there, done that” attitude about Vegas, and a limited number of vacation days to use…so she might want to use them to go somewhere else. But I do hope she decides to come out. Encore is really nice…and I’m sure her and Carley would be able to have a really good time while Daddy is playing some poker!Once all that is done? Well….for now…August looks pretty clear! But August 4th IS Squirrel’s birthday…so maybe something else will come up! Oh…I also forgot about our June trip to Milwaukee…to see my nephew graduate from high school! So yeah…four days in Milwaukee in early June. I’m crossing my fingers that the Bucks make it to the NBA Finals so maybe I can go take in one of those games. Another thing I’ve never seen in person. Bucket List!!!!!Poker? Yeah…that! Well…I am going to try and play the monthly 50K guaranteed at the Beau this upcoming weekend! As for any other tourneys? Just haven’t had time…or really, much motivation. We have been trying like crazy to get our UPSTAIRS open at the new location of Out of Bounds in Metairie so we can start having a much bigger poker presence over there. We have been running into all kinds of delays due to various licensing snafus. Oh and permits. To build. I am not real involved in all of that, Barth is kind of the point man on all that…I just know I have yet to make a red cent from that rather hefty investment that I made either one or two years ago. How sick that I can’t even remember THAT, right? I’m just anxious to get that upstairs open so we can help Wild Bill run some more killer satellites into the WSOP Main Event. Are you someone who is interested in what has become known universally (at least in the Poker Community) as Monkey’s WSOP Minions? Well…last year I really dragged my feet, and almost didn’t field a team. But I caught a little steak of motivation in late spring…and finally got it all organized and managed to field a team of 8 players. It was another great, and exciting run…one that due to some bad luck…as is almost always the case with poker when you DON’T get really deep, we fell short of our goal. But it was exciting enough that I got a big charge from it, and really came away from the experience excited about 2019…and I pledged to get the ball rolling a LOT earlier this year than I did LAST year. If you are someone who would like to APPLY for a spot on the team? Email me….right here at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and tell me WHY you think I should pick you!Here are a few things I look for: (1) I have to like you. If I don’t like you…or even more importantly, you don’t like me? Don’t waste my or your time. (2) you MUST have SOME kind of positive results. Main reason being..it’s not just MY money that is going to be raised to send players. It’s anywhere from 200-250 separate investors who are buying shares….all of whom trust me to put the BEST players possible on the team. They trust my judgement. So for me to put someone on the team who has close to ZERO accomplishments…is going to raise a lot of eyebrows, and call my own judgement, even credibility into question. And I don’t need THAT!!!! (3) Be someone who is HUNGRY to play in the worlds most visible poker tournament. Be someone who PROBABLY can’t just cough up 10k to play also. Anyone who is loaded, and who has no issue bringing 10k to Vegas and playing poker for a few days? I probably don’t want you. Because… (4) I want someone who has a great story to tell. That guy who I KNOW is a great poker player…but is stuck working a 9-5 job to support his family. Or maybe a guy who left a successful poker career to go live with his dying father? A story! Have a great story! A reason for my investors to WANT to root for you!!! Or just be the kind of player who is going to MAKE IT EXCITING for the investors. Someone who will give frequent updates (within reason) and give some great insight into what you experienced. I understand that there are a LOT of different personalities in poker…TRUST ME I KNOW!!!! Look who you’re talking to here!!!! So the chances of getting a team of players who are exactly the same? IMPOSSIBLE! So I try to assemble a team of players who all bring a little bit of something that together, add up to a GREAT team! But the most important thing I look for…is a player who most likely wouldn’t be able to play if it weren’t for me and my backers. That just having a CHANCE to play for millions…is something that they are extremely appreciative for. Don’t just use me as a way to get in to the tourney. A way to pay a lower buy in. I’ve taken a chance on a couple players like that in the past five years…and I regretted it. I won’t RECRUIT YOU! Sure…I could. I could put together a virtual ALL STAR TEAM of poker players if I wanted to. But it would have a totally different feel to it. And I am fairly confident that would give very little BACK to the investors. One thing that almost every single investor I’ve had in the last five years can say? Is that it was a GREAT SWEAT! And that they learned a lot about the game…about the tourney…and about the players. All in all…I think it’s one of the greatest and most positive things I’ve done in my life. Would I have liked to make a HUGE score? Well duh…oh course I would. But if you know anything about poker….you know how it works! Patience is key. We’ve come very close…a few times…and I have NO DOUBT that if I keep rolling out a team every summer….that we WILL eventually make a huge splash! So I will keep giving it my all until I just run out of motivation to do it anymore. Speaking of “knowing how poker is.” Back in 2008 I met a guy through some friends and we hit it off and became really good buddies. He won a bracelet back then…in the WSOP Shoot Out. He won half a million (I think). First thing he did was go back home to New York and open a restaurant. I was psyched for him. He met a girl, they moved in together, and then had a little girl…who now is close to Carley’s age. Well, then he was hit with some major bad times. He lost his business. His girlfriend went crazy. Tried to run off to Florida with his little girl. So he moved there, to stay close to her. Struggled to find work. Struggled to keep joint custody. Just kept suffering one bad stroke of luck after another. I was a constant source of assistance…for whatever was needed, bills, lawyers, whatever. Friends helping friends. I tried to give him opportunities to make a big score…staking him in some circuit events near his hometown. No dice. Then putting him on this past summer’s WSOP team…deep run….but a bust out close to the money. Bummer. He went home…and sunk even lower emotionally. I was really, really worried about him…but was hopeful that having that little girl in his life would prevent him from doing anything stupid.Well…cue this winter. He texted me an offered me (I always get first dibs) the chance to stake him in the WPT event down at Hard Rock. I declined, just because I had so much money tied up in things like the POOL! So what did he do? He proceeds to go and first, final table one of the early events…and make a nice score. But then he REALLY rubbed my nose in it! He goes and WINS the Main Event for a quarter million!!!! That stung! Well…as if that wasn’t enough of a kick in the nuts…don’t get me wrong…I’m very very very happy for Jason Young, on a personal level….it just sucks as someone who has staked a LOT of people over the past three years with very little success. Well…he got staked by the same person to play WSOP Coconut Creek earlier this month…and once again…he final tables the Main Event. Ended up finishing 3rd for $110,000! Granted…he probably only walked with half of all that prize money…whatever! In the past 90 days…the guy has won a total of close to half a million bucks!!!! That’s crazy. So like I say…poker? It’s a weird game. I’ve had runs like that myself…back in 2009 and 2010 to be exact. Sometimes you get on these crazy runs…where all your hands, for whatever reason, hold up! People fold to your bluffs. People forget to suck out on you left and right. You DON’T run KK into AA 2 or 3 times a day!!!! Or your own AA doesn’t lose to AK!!!! A weird game.So when I see players who I KNOW are good players…run bad? I have nothing to offer in the way of advice. Because they are almost NEVER doing anything wrong. It’s just shitty luck. And THAT element of poker…is what I hate the MOST! Because you would hope that skill would eliminate, within reason…that aspect of the game. But it doesn’t. And where most of that shitty luck happens, is LATE in tourneys…because in the first 1-12 levels…you are rarely playing each hand for your whole stack…as you are in the later stages of the tourney. I really love the thrill of playing a final table…and winning? That is something that you can’t explain to someone who has never won. Growing up playing sports…there is very few things that give me that special feeling of WINNING…and winning a poker tourney does it. But on the other end of the spectrum….getting deep after playing for HOURS….only to bust in horrendous fashion…is about as emotionally debilitating as it gets. And that aspect of poker? That’s what makes it harder and harder to go back for more! Okay well, I’ve been writing this now for two hours. My pool guy STILL isn’t here…he is late a LOT…or just doesn’t even show up! And while I’ve been writing this? I’ve had to get up and go to the bathroom…I’m not lying….FIVE times! I’ve been instructed by the boss to drink a GALLON of water a day while doing this diet. And it does right through me! Really hope this diet works…I NEED (badly) to lose 20-25 lbs. I would LIKE to lose about 30-35 lbs. That would leave me in perfect shape as far as I’m concerned. AND…I would be below the 250 threshold that is required to go sky diving! If you are a returning INVESTOR in the Minions…or a future WANNA-BE investor…I will go ahead and start taking payments for shares…which will, as always…be priced at $200 per share. I make NOTHING off of this. 50 sold shares sends one player. However many shares I sell…is how many players we send. If they don’t make money, I (and the investors) don’t make money. Period. It’s not complicated! The players play for 35%…which if you know math…means the investors gets 65%…plus return of the $10k buy in….if they cash. I’ve already decided that I am going to shoot for 10 players in 2019. GO BIG OR GO HOME!!!!!MONKEYCONTACT ME: ThePokerMonkey1@aol.comIF interested in POOLS or SQUARES? ThePoolMonkey@aol.com March Madness Pool is right around the corner, and last year I had over 1,000 entries! Each bracket entry costs $25…and anyone entering 10, receives one FREEBIE!