MONKEY’s POST-WSOP REPORT…and next…VENETIAN!
I’m sitting here in my hotel room at Treasure Island…flew in yesterday morning, on United! Flew COACH! (granted, I paid an extra $150 to get an exit row) Couldn’t get anything at the last minute on Delta for less than $1700. Yikes! And Venetian was sold out, so I’m saving about $120 a night to stay across the street. This feels a bit like the old days when I stayed at Riviera. Played and bricked the noon $600 Mega satellite, not once but twice. Then walked over to the Wynn, Encore actually, and played their 1-day $1100 tourney…great turnout of 539 players. Busted out of that around 10pm in 94th place (paying 54) so was instantly $2300 in the hole on the day.
No need to fear….CASH GAME IS HERE! Now I think I might get what Robert Harwell was chirping about all summer. I won’t give you the number he claimed to have made playing 5/10 PLO at Rio this summer, but it was in 6-figures. Thing about playing Omaha in Biloxi? Everyone is good. There is almost no edge for anyone. A lot of swapping money 7-days a week. But Vegas? Whoaaaaa Nelly! I’ve never seen such a collectively bad skill set in a game. Yes…there are going to be some hands where you lose to a guy who should NEVER have been in there in the first place…but skill wins out. I sat down…asked what the max buy was, seeing a lot of chips on the table. $2500, I was told. $2500 it is. No need to give a bunch of details. I cashed out for $6280 at about 5am. So an eventual profit of $1480 on the day. I’ll take it.
Sidebar: Remember Tony Big Charles? Anyone? Kind of a legendary figure in poker…for a lot of bizarre reasons. At some point in the action…I heard his hard to miss, and unmistakable voice coming from behind me. But now? It had kind of a…how do I say this? Without sounding too mean or ugly? You know how gay guys who are super feminine talk? “Queenie” I think some call it? That is how he was talking. So I turn to look…and YUP! There he is…and he is wearing these reading glasses (I think) that have the multi-color support arms and frames…I think they call that style “Birthday Cake” and I only know that because I have a 5-year old daughter! He was wearing khaki pants that he had pulled up nearly to his chest. Hair all disheveled, beard needing a trim. And there he was…same old Tony…ripping into people. Then came the racially sensitive talk. Oh no, Tony…don’t do it!!!! I never engaged him in conversation…for fear of where it might lead. Good to know ‘ol Tony is still out here, alive (for the most part) and kicking!
Earlier in the day, I had another famous character at my table. If by now you aren’t familiar with William Kassouf? Well, you aren’t following poker very closely!!! Here is a video above to click for just a dose of what he brought to the table! By the end of my time at the table…and with him having dusted off a huge stack and getting down to only 7 BB’s (soon to bust after me) he had sent me a friend request on Facebook, and was reading and liking all the comments about him on my wall. We had a very entertaining exchange that the table was loving. He might be an annoying guy…but he is truly a brilliant poker player. I guess him and I have a little in common, well…at least Monkey circa 2005-2009. Maybe not so much these days. But lets just say I can identify the strategy in his approach!
So about 4am, I was coming back from the restroom, and there he is…and he’s buzzard-hawking Cliff Josephy aka JohnnyBax…who is down to the final 5 in that day’s tourney. I said something to Will…and Cliff looks at me with these “Please help me Monkey!!!” look on his face! He places me from a final table we made together in Aruba ten years ago. “Monkey…wow, long time no see! Will you PLEASE do me a favor and get this maniac away from me!!!!?” “Sorry Cliff…you’re on your own buddy!!! Hahahaha.” Kassouf…he’s a trip!!!!
So its a little after 1pm. The intention today is to do nothing but lay out at the pool…then eat a nice dinner tonight…and be razor sharp and rested tomorrow in the Venetian 5K Main Event. Today is flight 1a, tomorrow is 1b. I chose not to play in what tends to be a much looser, wild early flight and risk lighting another 5k on fire tomorrow. One bullet. That’s enough for me. Christian Iacobellis…my friend, and two-time (twice cashing) Grinder/Minion, is on his way over here from the Rio to join me…and will be playing tomorrow as well. I put up a package with my investors, to get 50/50 action on the two of us. It sold out in…well…about an hour.
Before I wrote this blog I had to go and look on WSOP.com to see who the final 27 players are. So…out of 27 players…17 are from other countries besides the USA. The rest of the world is catching up with us folks! There is ONE lonely player in there who I have the slightest inkling to care about…and that is our well-known Gulf Coaster Jake Bazeley, who has the absolute smallest chip stack, but is guaranteed of a whopping $263k right now. Sweet! OH! Well what’dya know, just clicked refresh and he is busto…out 25th for the aforementioned amount. Congrats to him. But lets be honest…what serious player is EVER happy to make it that far and go out short of the Final Table? None of us!!!! So I now officially don’t care about the Main Event.
How did we do? Well before I talk about that…let me address the elephant in the room. I have one or two serial haters who religiously read this blog (which is kind of amusing, as a hater) and leave incredibly pathetic comments that I never approve and publish to be seen. He’s been ripping on my WSOP Summer Team every year now since we started. It doesn’t bother me. But it’s been my secret wish for one or more of our players to go really deep…just to see what drivel he would spew. Would he finally be silenced? Or would he desperately find SOMETHING to hate on? The guy who hides behind his computer and rants on and on against someone who’s life he could only DREAM of trading places with? What kind of loser is this? He’s (not lately) made death threats in the past…against me, my wife, even my child. Threatening to shoot me from my backyard…claiming to know where I live. That’s a pretty sick fuck.
So there you go, dickhead…I just gave you the 15 seconds you SO yearn for! The correct modus operandi is to ignore shitbirds like you…and you will fly away. But you? You don’t even have wings. So I guess that’s impossible. I’m sorry your life sucks so bad that you have to live in envy of mine. Do you need a hug? Did your mommy not give you enough love? Did you catch your only girlfriend in life cheating on you with the family pet? Did Daddy leave you and your mother to join the circus? I get it…life’s been rough on you. You can’t even sign your name to a comment. Why? You scared? Keyboard Muscles only?
Moving on. But speaking of assholes. Awhile back…I alerted the world of degenerates that on July 1st I was going to post a blog…complete with photos, and the whole story….about all the assholes in the gambling world…who owe me large, even minimal sums…of money for various things. Mostly pools of mine they have played in. So sure enough…a couple days before that deadline arrived…I get the “I’ve sent you a check today” (that check still hasn’t arrived-shocker) and “Hey Monk…I don’t plan on stiffing you…I will pay you, just need a little more time.” That’s after not responding at ALL for months! And then didn’t respond to my reply to that comment. So its pretty obvious it was an attempt to keep from being “posterized” by Monkey. I mean…how fucking stupid do you guys think I am? Just so you know? My middle name isn’t DENSE.
So…the blog post about deadbeats…has been postponed to give these guys to step up and pay up! I actually got paid from three guys who were about to be featured. Good for them. Good move. Especially those guys who run around trying to get staking! Oh…speaking of that…anyone see the story about Maurice Hawkins and the lawyer in Florida who had the staking deal with him? Boy oh boy. That’s all I’m gonna say about it.
Watching Maury Povich right now for lack of anything else being on the TV…and there is this nasty-ass white trash chick on there trying to get her dipshit boyfriend to take a DNA test. You all know the drill. So check out these names she has given her offspring. Kaydence and Khaos. WTF???
Has everyone heard how our TEAM MONKEY did this summer? I can’t tell you how proud I am of this year’s squad. EIGHT players survived DAY ONE! ALL of them! Then five out of eight made it out of Day Two. The three who lost all took unbelievably bad beats. But that’s how this nasty game works. Sometimes you can only be SO good. Skill can only get you so far. You gotta fade the ugly beats. And when you don’t? It doesn’t mean you suck. Or made a mistake. It just wasn’t meant to be. We lost three amazing players on Day Two.
So Day three arrived…and the excitement was building among our 130-something investors. Everyone was fired up! But with the top 15% getting paid now…and the really long structure (2-hr blind levels) and additional chipstacks (50k) it took a long time to get to the money. They played until they made the money…which…I’m not sure because I fell asleep, but am pretty sure it was into the next day.
When all was said and done…Wild Bill Phillips fell short on Day 3….then…only (I think) about 50 from the money…maybe less…the guy I was REALLY praying would cash, because he’s had a really rough year…Kenny Milam busted out. Kenny, who I’ve known for about 12-15 years now, has to be one of the nicest guys in poker. When he was running great in life with his business, I saw him stake so many people, and mainly because he didn’t have the heart to say no. He was an easy mark for some of the vultures in poker. I know a lot of people probably still owe him money. Kenny is a proud man. You’ll never hear him whining too hard about a bad beat. Or life. If something controversial is being talked about…he isn’t one to delve into the muck. He just kind of laughs that laugh of his and takes the high road. I really wanted Kenny to cash. After he busted…I even asked if any of the investors might feel like sending a portion of their winnings to Kenny. I am giving him 5% of mine. And…I haven’t told anyone this…but I’m also going to pledge 5% of my Venetian Main Event winnings to him. Kenny would NEVER ask for help from anyone…but I know for a fact he needs a hand up. So if you love Kenny, or even like him a lot? Maybe help the guy out.
At the end of Day Three…we had THREE players in the money! And all of them had relatively decent stacks, except Christian…who had a nightmare of a last level to finish with 60k. But at least he cashed!!!!
Day 4 started…and everyone had their PokerGo up on their computers or devices…and we found out Christian was on the feature table. 888 gave all the feature table players $1000 to wear their patch! That was great news for Christian, who hasn’t exactly been without his share of struggles too. And per our player contract…any player who happens to pick up some money from outside endorsements like that…its 100% theirs.
Sadly…Christian wasn’t on our screens long. He got it all in with A10…and got called by Jeffery Lisandro and his pocket 8’s. Lisandro had already caused a lot of fireworks early, arguing with Jack Effel about his inability (or simply his refusal) to show his hole cards for the viewers at home. They got into a pretty ridiculous conversation about it away from the table. So…the 8’s? They held up…and Christian was out in 1048th place for $15,000…exactly what he cashed for last year.
After that we lost David Chocheles. He cashed for $17,000 (806th). In the hand with QJ…he got all in on a flop of J-2-2. Gets called by the guy with 77, who then promptly turns a damn 7. Gross.
Finally…our Minion playing on the secondary feature table…who got a little TV time…Chris Canan…was steaming along, picking up pots when he needed them. Got chopped in half with AK vs JJ…then doubled back up. I was feeling it. We were all feeling it. I got in the car…brought my iPad to watch when I could…and took the wife and kid to Hibachi. We had just ordered when Chris called me…and I could tell from the empty sadness in his voice that he had busted. Raised with pocket nines. Got called by a Euro with 9-7. Lovely. And proceeds to flop 10-7-7.. Chris felt he was good and got it in on the flop. Ball Game. 520th ($25,000)
They were all, understandably, bummed out. I know the feeling. We all do. At least all of us who have played deep into a big tourney, only to fall short of our goal. If you are someone who has been competitive your whole life…like someone who played sports…it hits you even EXTRA hard. It’s the worst feeling there is in poker. Well..besides being the STONE COLD BUBBLE. That is the worst!!!
NO SHAME IN YO GAME GRINDERS!!!! This was another extraordinary effort. The MVP of this year’s team was, hands down, Jacqueline Britton. She completely took over the entire Team Monkey Schwag Department! From designing the stuff, to taking orders, collecting their money, and shipping it all out to them before the tourney started. Her energy on the group page…along with Wild Man….Kyle “The Enthusiastic Maniac” Stein…just kind of drove this bandwagon!
The return on the $200 per share investment was $111 per share. So everyone essentially lost $89…but I think everyone felt like they got MORE than their $89 worth of entertainment!!!! Its always sad when its over…but everyone was already talking about next summer’s team! And as our deepest finishing Minion…Chris Canan has already locked up a spot on next year’s team! I already have a semblance of a clue on a couple other people I have my eye on for next year too.
So I offered my self up for Venetian for the price of $111. Smart right? What that does is gets all the odd-math out of the way when it comes to paying everyone! Those shares got scarfed up fast! And since I sent out the email confirming that I got everyone’s shares correct…I am seeing that I missed a few people…putting myself in a pickle. But I will work it out. My investors are great people. If it means someone needs to give up a share here and there, I’m sure they will work with me.
Okay…Christian finally just got here! Good timing! Off to the pool for some R&R!!!!