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Time To Let ‘Dem Minions Run!!!!!

THE POKER MONKEY…your Source for Perpetual Insanity!: Time To Let ‘Dem Minions Run!!!!!

Time To Let ‘Dem Minions Run!!!!!


The time has finally arrived! Actually it started yesterday, to be precise. But I was so tired from my all day flight on Friday, that I couldn’t find the time or energy to sit down and pen a blog. A blog that I had also intended to write on my flight OUT to Vegas this past Sunday, but which was neglected due to the very wonderful married couple I met on the plane sitting next to me. 

So now…with two hours before I have to once again pack up the car…drive to New Orleans, and fly off for another four days, this time to Seattle, I’m going to try and get a blog into the hopper! 

You know who’s going crazy? Besides me from all the packing/unpacking, coming and going this summer? And besides Carley, from missing her daddy? My dogs! They are so smart. As soon as they see me, or all of us, packing our suitcases…they just lay on the floor and give us the most sad and pathetic looks. It kills me. This trip to Seattle kind of came out of nowhere. My Uncle Jim…after a long bout with cancer, passed away last month. He was cremated…but as a former member of the US Military, he is being honored in a ceremony on Monday. I get in at around midnight…and the ceremony is at 2pm the next day. Sure I will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

So Vegas went WAY to quickly. Got in Sunday night. Played a little 2 hour cash session downstairs at Venetian, won $178. Woke up. Played the $1100 tourney at Venetian. Went 6 levels without seeing anything above a pair of 8’s (which lost)…somehow picking up the occasional pot. After flopping a set of sixes, I got it all in vs. two guys with flush draws. Despite all those spades in play…they turned a spade anyway. I missed on the river, and that was all over. I busted in time to go play the last flight of the Aria 500 at 7pm. Got there at 6:45. There was a line about 200 yards long. Great. Much to my disappointment, they no longer do/did their big tourneys downstairs in a convention room like they did several years ago when I played there. Instead, we get the ever-popular, money-saving act of putting poker tables out in the middle of the casino gaming floor, along with the noise and cigarette smoke. Charming.

After about 20 minutes of standing in a line that wasn’t moving fast…I went to the front of the line to find out if they were into alternates or not. They were. Wow. No thanks! I left..found a place called SAGE…and ate a wonderful (overpriced as hell!) meal at the bar. I was joined later by my buddy Charlie Townsend, who had come to play the same event, but like me, wasn’t willing to wait then go in with 5-7 big blinds. If you dine at Sage…I recommend the sweetbreads. Holy crap those were good! The filet was also remarkable…but if that little slap of $65 meat was 8 ounces? I’m the Pope!

Returned to my hotel and called it a night. Woke up…and played the noon $600 at Venetian. It was called the SuperStack. It should have also been called a Turbo, because it was missing a lot of levels. I had a pretty good start…then kept building my stack at a pretty weak table. I was sitting at 100k when the average was 33k…and then my tables started breaking. I got moved 4 times in just over an hour. And that never seems to be a good thing. In level 12 I went from 120k to 90k with a pretty terrible string of circumstances. 

Things improved a little. Managed to hover around average…then we got into the money…paying 54 places with 531 players. My mom and sister’s plane was just landing in Vegas (about 9:30pm) when the shitty orbit happened. A guy moves all-in for 80k (at 12k/24k) and I go all in over the top for 155K with AK. No other callers. He has A3. Everything looks good going to the river…when the board double pairs on the river. Son of a bitch. So instead of having about 250k after that hand….I’m still sitting there with about 170k…or less than 10 bb’s. So on the next hand, with 43 players left, I get 77. I hate to go all in in those spots, choosing to raise, leaving an almost-always pot committed amount behind, to appear to have a really strong hand. Well, one short stack goes all in…and another guy…who’d been playing a lot of iffy hands, and had the propensity to shove over small stack shoves to isolate, SHOVES. I have him covered by exactly 1k. I can’t really fold. Now if I had won the previous hand…and with 250k…raised to 60k…I could  have folded 77 there. Circumstances.  Short stack had KQ…other guy had freaking 88. KQ ended up winning. I lost with my one single chip on the last hand…and went to collect my $1348.

MIN CASHES SUCK!  But at least it’s a cash. Ten minutes later I went and intercepted my Mother and Sister from the front desk. They were both visiting Las Vegas for the first time in their lives. I could tell my mom was pretty overwhelmed by it all. She has recently started playing poker…my sister has for quite a few years now, and is a solid player. They both had the itch to go play….so once they got unpacked, we headed over to TI (previously called Treasure Island before it became trendy to shorten everything to it’s initials) to play their 10pm $77 tourney. They got 44 players. My sister and I both made the final table. Mom didn’t. Mom ended up at a back table on the verge of throwing up her “there’s nothing in these” mudslides she had been hammering away on during the tourney. I busted 9th. My sister busted 7th. It was paying 5 spots. Oh well.

They went back to the hotel room. I got into a juicy cash game. A really really juicy cash game. It was 1/3 but played like 5/10. I had a lot of fun in that marathon session and left at like 1pm! Another one of those funky Vegas nights that screws up the next day! The girls went to play…and I slept all afternoon. Then never left my room that night. Basically a wasted day…and when you are only in Vegas for 5 days…a wasted day sucks!

So the next day was Thursday. Or TEAM DAY, for the Minions. I spent the morning on the phone with the banquet manager for Maggiano’s. I was pretty sure we had hammered out a great menu, and the cost would be $49 per person…plus taxes, tips, and the 20% setup fee for having a private room. Later…I would be blindsided by a bill that became $77 per person…and charged us for 25 people, instead of the 18 we actually had. After arguing with them in the hall for awhile, I just gave up…telling them I didn’t want the night marred by arguing over money. So I collected $75 from everyone…some nice enough to pay extra…and I covered the rest. Having a private room was a great idea…as it was quiet and comfortable. I just wish more people HAD shown up…because the amount of food they brought out was obscene!!!! By the time the appetizers were cleared away…almost all of us were full. I made sure everyone with a refrigerator/microwave packed up as much of the leftovers as possible…because there was a TON of them! Food was GREAT. Service was GREAT. 

Earlier, before dinner…we met at Rio, and got all the team photos taken, the team gear all passed out…contracts signed, and players all bought in. The only guy who wasn’t there…was Christian Iacobellis. But he had a good reason. On his drive over from Los Angeles, a tanker trailer got into a wreck, caught on fire…and set the entire highway area on fire in a massive brush fire. Traffic didn’t move for three hours. He was stressed out like crazy. But what could you do? In kind of an ironic twist…he lives his life in a fairly anonymous way…preferring to be “off the grid” in almost everything. So…this is quite fitting I guess, that he isn’t in the team photo, right!??? Well he finally arrived about 9:30, and was able to join us all at the dinner…met everyone, and caught a bite to eat. After dinner we drove over to Rio and got him registered. 

Him and I went back to Venetian and we decided to play some 2/5 for awhile. He won a couple hundred, I won $940. That was it for my Vegas trip. I went to bed…and had to wake up a few hours later to get ready to come home. I was cutting it close, but still was on schedule. But my Uber driver went first to Palazzo…then the wrong entrance of Venetian, before finally finding me. Then she drove like a turtle to the airport. I was about to crawl out of my skin. I missed my flight. But they got me on another one 45 minutes later. But I had to go through Detroit. Squirrel had already left for her Blue Angels weekend in Pensacola after dropping Carley off at school that morning. I got to our friends’ house around 11pm…and there was my little sweetie, wide awake on the couch waiting for her daddy! She came running, and jumped up in my arms. We went home, crawled in bed, and zonked out! Didn’t even unpack!

Yesterday was our Daddy Date Day….already having promised her we would go see the new Minion movie. It was great. We went with a kid from her class and her mom and brother. Discovered our theater has renovated all the seats into reclining sofa chairs. AWESOME!!!! After the movie they came over to our house…and the kids played/destroyed the house for a few hours! They left…and Carley and I crashed at like 8pm!!!! While this was going on…..our one and only Minion was doing work!

Someone has placed the very appropriate nickname of Ken “The Carpenter” Christopher on Kenny…who has done a TON of work around my house over the past six months…doing my deck and fence. He did a great job of badgering me to the point I couldn’t say no to him. Well…he earned his keep in Day One…the only one of our 8 who played on the first flight. He managed to put 52k in the bag at the end of the day. It should have been a lot more. His last bad luck sequence saw a short stack shoving 12k with 88 into Ken’s pocket Jacks in the blind. Guy hit the two-outer and still has a dream alive. But with this structure? 52k is perfectly fine! And I could tell he played great all day…based on all his updates. 

Going today (Sunday) we have FOUR players…and will have the final three going tomorrow.  In case you missed it…the 8 players are:

Kenneth “The Carpenter” Christopher (played Saturday, BAGGED)

“Wild Bill” Phillips (playing Sunday. 4-time Minion!)
Robert ‘Cash Beast’ Harwell (playing Sunday)
Benton Blakeman  (Playing Sunday)
Kenny “Trucker” Milam (also playing Sunday)

as of this blog post…ALL FOUR GUYS are currently still in play!

Chris “Loose” Canan (goes Monday)
David Chocheles (goes Monday)
Christian “Monk E. Grinder” Iacobellis  (goes Monday)

I will be rooting from 35k feet! Then from Seattle! Missing my girls. While saying farewell to my uncle. Visiting with my Dad and Jimmy…and just found out…my brother, who is bring two of his sons up from the Bay Area. And while in Seattle, I’ll be visiting one of my best friends from grade school…who was involved in a terrible car crash the week before the Super Bowl. He should have died. But he battled through a coma, and numerous surgeries, and is hoping to be out of the hospital this week! Maybe we will get to go play some poker. Or just find some good food and catch up old times. All while our Minions do work!

As for shares? Well we sold 404! I only have TWO people who didn’t pay…out of about 134 investors. Pretty crazy! A simply unbelievable effort to get this year’s team off and running! A great bunch of players, and a remarkable bunch of guys. And Jacqueline Britton, who had a remarkable run in the WSOP Monster…finishing 88th out of about 6700 players…took on the role of SwagMaster…getting all the shirts, hats and hoodies made, orders taken, and items shipped out. She took SO much stress off my shoulders this summer!!! I then backed her in the Ladies tourney…which she busted out of. Oh well! Backed my sister too…and she wasn’t able to have any sustained luck either. But a good friend of ours, Kristin Deardorff…who inquired about buying shares but ended up not getting any, finished 13th in that event for $5600. Good job Kristin!!!

Alright so its 4:07! I did it! Finally got a blog in the hopper! I promise I will update more in the next few days as the action progresses!!!!! 


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