THE POKER MONKEY...your Source for Perpetual Insanity!: HELLO MAY...HERE COMES WSOP! HELLO MAY...HERE COMES WSOP! www.gulfcoastpoker.net It's insane how fast this year is flying by. Not only have I continued to be a slug when it comes to posting blog entries in […]

THE POKER MONKEY...your Source for Perpetual Insanity!: HELLO MAY...HERE COMES WSOP! HELLO MAY...HERE COMES WSOP! www.gulfcoastpoker.net It's insane how fast this year is flying by. Not only have I continued to be a slug when it comes to posting blog entries in this poker "diary" of mine, but when I sat down this morning to write in my journal to my daughter Carley, who just turned 7 yesterday, I noticed I haven't written in there either, in a long time. 11 months to be exact. And that's disappointing. I have SO much to share with Carley...or rather, FUTURE Carley...and every day, week, month that I don't write to her, is just more things I neglect to share with her. And it's awfully hard to cram a whole year's worth of stuff into one single entry. On the poker front...I haven't been playing a whole lot. Actually, I've been super busy with projects around the house. Just put the finishing touches on my "super awesome kickass shed!" What started out as a pretty simple thing, added one thing after another as the project progressed. Windows. A loft. A carpeted loft! Added power. Added lights and ceiling fan. Then added an A/C unit...in the wall...just as they were about to brick over the only place I could put one. After having insulated the walls and ceiling, I kept having these mental images of this perfect shed...that was BOILING hot. Boom. AC added. She's a beaut! Carley got her playhouse rebuilt...as the first-run attempt lacked any kind of insulation or wrapping of the walls, so we had mold growing all over the walls. Nasty. I'd been promising Carley a garden for over a year...so I got THAT done...then, a few weeks ago, on Good Friday, her and I were out planting all of the seeds when she went into the loft to get something. Suddenly I heard her screaming in agony. When I went into the shed, there she was...on the floor, having fallen off the ladder, breaking her ankle. So sadly, we had to cancel her big birthday party the next weekend...which was going to be a pool party with a rented bounce house. She was devastated. And when we went to get her cast...she was terrified. But once she got it on there...in her favorite color (pink) she started getting excited about all her friends signing it. I think the last time I played was at the Beau Rivage...for their monthly $50k Guaranteed. The previous month, I made it to the Final Table...but couldn't improve with AK vs QQ and busted out 9th for a meager payout. Well last months, I only fired once...on Friday, since I had a lot of stuff I wanted to get done on Saturday. It was paying 12 spots I think...and I busted out 19th. Don't even remember how. Just remember being annoyed at having played all day only to bust so close to cashing. Oh well. My mother is in town visiting, her first trip down since we moved into our new house...and she's having a great time, and loves our new place. She's a bit of a poker enthusiast...and I might take her to play the monthly 50k next weekend if she is still here. UPDATE! Took a little break from writing this post. I did, in fact, take my mom to play the 50K last weekend. She busted in Level 4. Me, I busted 1 from the money in the Friday flight. It sucked. But with Saturday calling for rain, and the airshow headed for cancellation, I wandered back to the Beau for Flight B...and somehow managed to ride a roller coaster all day, including getting ONE-OUTED three times in ONE freaking day! No BS! First one, had a guy all in with his short'ish stack...with Q3. Offsuit. Me...AQ suited. Guy next to me folded 33. So...yeah, he had one out. No sweat. River 3. Later on a flopped a set of 10's versus Jacks...and despite someone folding a jack...he turned the last jack in the deck. Sweet! And I'll be damned, but I forgot the third one now. But like I said...it was a ridiculous up and down day. One of those where you build a decent stack...then get some stupid beat, and get cut in half, or worse. Then you scrape and battle your way back...get another decent stack...only to take another punch in the face for a bunch of your stack. This time...near the money....like, TWO I think...I get freaking QQ...which is almost ALWAYS a sign that my tournament is about to end. And had I played them like 95% of you would have...I would have been out...again...two from the money. Two days in a row. But this guy simply raised in early position...and knowing my history with QQ, and being SO close to at least getting my money back, I flatted. The flop comes K-10-x. He checks. Hmmm...weird. Feels like I have to be good. I bet about 3/4th of the pot. He calls. Hmmm. That's odd. The turn...I don't even remember. Something small. He checks AGAIN. Now I'm a little nervous, so I check back. The river was another nothing card...and now I'm putting him on MAYBE A-10. He checks yet again. And I bet what I THINK is a value bet. He once again, JUST CALLS. I am expecting to drag a much needed pot to put me up to around 100k. Then he turns over AA...and I'm dumbfounded. Huh? Aces??? I mean..in retrospect...with the king out there...he played it perfectly, and got as much as possible from me. If he even bets the flop, I'm gone. But instead I donked off about 70% of my stack. SHIT!  Well, I lucked out...a shorter stack than me goes all in for 19k...and me with my 28k at 800/1600 and in late position...didn't find FOLDING to be much of an option, so I shoved. He turns over A9...which, yeah...is great...finding out your ahead. But when you've sat there all weekend losing when you're ahead on almost every all-in situation, only to lose...there is NEVER really a feeling of comfort in those spots. Well, he didn't hit a nine, or any other bizarre combinations that would have led to me losing. He was out...we were one away, and I now had a workable stack. We made the money, then quickly lost three players, and I bagged a small but "workable" stack that I felt confident I could turn into a good stack the next morning. I went home, got very little sleep...and returned at 10am with 17 other players. And...ya ready for this shit? I sit down...I get dealt 7-7...and say something like, "Really, first hand? Well...okay...lets go." And at 1500-3000 with 48k, I raise to 8000. The SB calls. All others fold. I flop TOP SET!!!! And all I'm thinking about is how to get this guy to give me full value. He checks the flop. I bet another 8k. He snap calls. Hmmm. Turn completes a possible flush AND a straight...yuck. He checks. I am not going to bet so that I have to fold if he shoves. Then again...I would have had to call anyway, and pray I pair the board on the river. Safer though to check and hope to pair the board and get paid off. River is a blank. Dammit. He makes a perfect value bet of 10k. Impossible for me to fold there. Fairly certain he's got something...but I'd be sick if I folded and he showed something lame. I call. Oh. Nut flush? That's it. Lovely. I'm now sitting on a paltry stack. And in the SB, I complete with FOUR callers. I flop bottom pair with an ace and stick the rest in there. Well this time he has top pair...and it holds, and I'm the first one out...17th. For a whopping $940. Out in 5 minutes. Wishing I'd have gotten pulled over for speeding in my new car, might have saved me! So....wow! It's already May. And with May comes the WSOP event in New Orleans...which I haven't played now in quite a few years. And I believe, if I'm not mistaken...that it's the last circuit event before everyone high-tails it out to Vegas for the 7 weeks of WSOP in the desert, which culminates with the $10,000 Main Event where my team of Grinders will assemble for the 6th consecutive year in my version of poker's Make-A-Wish-Foundation pet project! We haven't had a HUGE score from any of our players yet...but we've had a lot of players cash, and a few go relatively deep before getting derailed by the typical crappy luck that happens so often (way too often!!!) in the game of Texas Hold 'Em. But the way I see it, we are destined to eventually have our day in the sun. We keep sending solid players out there...and they keep making great runs...it's just a matter of time. Last summer...I was horrendously slow to pull the trigger on the annual festivities, and I nearly bailed on the whole thing. But suddenly, at the 11th hour, I got a burst of motivation, and with the help of some extremely amazing people, made it happen. Well, I was so encouraged by last summer's efforts, and the great feedback I got from so many investors and players that I vowed to get things kickstarted in PLENTY of time this summer. And I have. I have already sold 47 shares towards this summer's team...and I haven't even sent out an email yet to all of last year's investors, nor written a blog post here to signal the start of things. SO that is what this will serve as. The OFFICIAL KICK OFF POST! Some know that I have a pretty firm policy of the previous year's highest finisher getting an automatic invitation to return to the squad if he or she so desires. I mean...I can understand why it might not be an automatic for them. Do you play for 100% of yourself, and put up (or raise) your own $10,000? Or do you play for just 35%, yet not have to come up with ANYTHING...and have the added excitement of having anywhere from 100-200 people on your bandwagon rooting for you? Definitely two things to mull over! Before I get into the nuts and bolts of this summer's upcoming squad, I need to give a shameless plug to a couple of really good people, not just in the poker world...but just in life in general. I've known them for over a decade, and met them when they were working as a dealer and a floor person. They started up a poker club a few months ago and asked me if I would give them a little kick start, a shout out, on my Private Minions Group Page on Facebook. I was only too happy to oblige, and they have been doing moderately well with it. I don't know how many of you were around when I had my own poker club going on the Pokerstars site back about 7 or 8 years ago. It was a pretty amazing little thing we had going for awhile. But it was a TON of work, on the accounting end of things...for ME! And when it came to end, courtesy of some asshole ratting us out to Pokerstars...I never did know for SURE who the culprit was, though I did have my suspicions, and am fairly sure I was right. But when it did come to an end...I noticed I sure had a lot more time available to focus on other things. SO, whoever that fucknut was? Thanks! You did me a favor! Since that endeavor ended, I've been only TOO happy to endorse other people who have wanted to get into doing it themselves. Better them than me! So, Nikki and Brandon Moore have started this Poker club named Angry Aces. https://www.facebook.com/groups/AngryAces Go to that link...and you will find them. OR...if you don't have Facebook, simply email them here:  AngryAces@outlook.com Here is what I know. Right off the bat, they ran a freeroll, where the winner won shares of our team. They have tournaments, AND they run cash game tables. I haven't gotten in there and participated myself yet...but that's not due to anything having to do with them...I just don't play much online poker anymore...and with Carley, and all the other things I have going on...I just don't find the time. Today, however, I finally downloaded the app...yeah...APP! You don't play on your computer! Its phone-based, and offers an app for either iPhones or the other kind...what is that? Androids? It's a really quick download and set up too. And if you need help getting up and running, Brandon or Nikki are awesome at walking you through it. But it's a piece of cake, trust me. So...check out what they got going on! Tell 'em Monkey sent ya. I'm not sure if that will get you or me any special gifts, but at least they (and I!) will know that "word-of-mouth" is still alive and well!!! I DID...finally...manage to FINALLY get my taxes done! For the past FOUR YEARS!!!! And I owe a BUTTTTTTT-load of money!!!! I think I'm about to pay for a new bridge somewhere! Or a good stretch of highway. Maybe even a portion of a certain Wall!!!! That's not going to be a fun check to write. But then again...at least I will have the comfort of knowing the IRS won't be coming after me now! I'm not exactly sure how I got so far behind. Probably because different business ventures kept popping up. Houses were being bought. Stocks were being bought and sold and bought again. Just a lot of confusing wrinkles in my finances...led to me doing a LOT of procrastinating!!! But it's all done now! And now that all that is done? It's JUST in time for our purchase of our NEXT business venture! I've been trying to get Squirrel to quit working at the Beau Rivage for years now. Not because of anything I have had against the Beau...but for her own good. That job, carrying that tray around, it takes a toll on her body. And money-wise, we haven't needed that job for quite some time now, but the health insurance is the ONE good thing that has kept her there. That and the fact she just feels a sense of comfort being there, and all her friends work there. But I've been telling her for four or five years..."Let me buy you something, ANYTHING....so you can own it, run it, make your own schedule, etc etc." But she refused, much to my chagrin.  Well, finally...after half-jokingly making comments back and forth with each other about buying her business, she approached me about the possibility of buying this gal's tanning salon in D'Iberville. I did a bunch of due diligence on it, talked to my tax accountant about it, then my personal lawyer and after mulling it over...we are going to pull the trigger on what I think will be a good investment. We are getting a really great price on it, the lady has a really solid clientele, the beds are all in really good condition, the rent on the building is low...and well, my wife is kind of a social butterfly, and I'm pretty sure all her girlfriends will give her their business.  I'm really excited for her, and think she's going to do great. She's really nervous about it...which is understandable. I mean, she's been at the Beau since they opened...that's a long time (20 years!!!!). Anyone would be nervous. But I'm pretty confident that once she gets up and going and learns everything she needs to know about it, she will run it really well. I'm just excited because now we can be free to take vacations whenever we want to...and not just when she has vacation days, or the right combination of days off. Basically...FREEDOM! Now, my biggest headache is finding Health Insurance for our family of three. That is literally my biggest obstacle in all of this. I won't reveal the name of the place...or offer any special discounts or promos...until we actually close on the business! We won't be renaming the place....nothing like "The Sunny Squirrel" or anything...we're going to keep the existing name. Okay...so...let's get into the reason you probably clicked on this blog in the first place! MONKEY'S 2019 WSOP GRINDERS! AKA...Monkey's Minions! I am going for an all-time high of TEN PLAYERS on this summer's squad. And...a little secret here...I may or may NOT be one of the team members! I have had a discussion with the person who holds the key to my basic existence at the WSOP...and was encouraged to write a letter asking the security people at Hammond Horseshoe outside of Chicago, where I was unceremoniously 86'ed back in September of 2012 for what we will simply refer to as "mysterious and/or controversial circumstances." I have swallowed a little bit of pride, issued my regrets for some of my past behaviors at various poker events and venues...and am now sitting back waiting to see what happens. So...I could be back. And I might NOT be back. Either way...it will have no bearing whatsoever on my level of commitment to make sure we put together another exciting team of players chasing their poker dreams this summer. And even IF I DO get reinstated...I might just buy in with my own money and play for 100%. Only time, and circumstances, will tell. So stay tuned on THAT ONE. As for what this team is? Simple. I assemble a team of players who, for starters, I like! I will never have a player on my team who I personally dislike. Won't happen. Ever. Furthermore...even if I like them...they might not be universally liked...and for that reason, I try to avoid those people too. I try to get players who I am fairly confident a group of investors will simply love. Maybe they have a really good story, that makes them easy to root for. Maybe they just have a 9 to 5 grind of a job, and simply can't find the time, or disposable income, to go play the biggest tourney on the planet. Lets be honest...you're humans...you know what I mean...there are a lot of reasons that make up WHY you would want to get behind a player. And I try to encompass a little bit of everything into my teams. Are they any good at poker? Well shit...yeah, that's kind of important! I'm not just here trying to throw $10,000 into a wood chipper for fuck's sake! Of course they can play the game! And don't think for a second that I'm not looking for the types of players who can flourish in the long...I mean....LONNNNGGGGG structure of the WSOP Main Event. $50,000 starting chips. 2-hour levels!?? It's the ultimate marathon. Patience IS the ultimate virtue in this one. A first level disaster where you lose half your stack with a couple orbits from hell are NEVER a reason to panic! You come back with 25k! There is almost ALWAYS time to fight back from a bad start. It's just patience, and finding spots, and developing a good table image, and paying attention and learning about your table opponents. If you get lucky...and get a table that doesn't break early...you get a chance to learn EVERYTHING you could possibly want to know about these lunatics, maybe even what kind of soap they do or DON'T use, as well as toothpaste! It's a grind...a long long long grind! I try to get players who will participate with the investment group...as well as the rest of the team. Sharing hands. Sharing stacks sizes on the group page. Sharing interesting, even funny things about other players. While I do NOT ever want my players being distracted from the task at hand...we also have well over 150 investors most years...that are itching to know what's going on with them. So posts on the break are usually encouraged. Some players are better at that than others. We just really like and appreciate any interaction between the players and the investor group. The one nice thing about the WSOP...once you get to Day 3...a lot of what you do...is covered by the WSOP.com. So updates start to become more shared universally. We also have some pretty incredible yearly investors who are amazing at posting information about our own players, their table mates, and other vital, relevant information. It truly has become a TEAM EFFORT. If you are thinking about applying to be a player? Send me an email at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. Tell me WHY I should think about selecting you to the team. Tell me about your accomplishments. Maybe even link your poker stats for me to look at. Got a personal story that might make you a one of those "special interest" stories? Share it. Whatever you think it will take to consider you for a spot! IF you are wanting to be an investor? That's the simple part. Shares cost $200 per share. Once I sell 50 shares...that's $10,000....we have enough for a player. What do I take to do this endeavor? Nothing. Not a penny. I've lost money on it every year. I usually buy about 15 shares. In addition to that, I foot the cost for each players first hat and t-shirt, sometimes even their hoodies. And if the players don't break even and/or make a profit overall? Then I don't make anything either. Nor do any of the other investors. Over 5 years...our typical result has been about a 50% return on investment. So if you bought 10 shares last year? For $2000? You ended up getting about $1000 back, as we had two players cash for a total of about $58,000. Kristen Deardorff finished 928th for $15,920 and Michael "Carwash" Schneider put together a nice, deep run, finishing 226th for $42,980. I think we figured out that last year's 8 players would have needed to win about $120,000 for us to all break even. Anything above and beyond that...would have been "Let's Get Excited" time for the group!!!! And that is what we ALWAYS root for! The 7-day sweat is great...but we are looking for those last 3 or 4 days!!!! And it WILL happen...mark my word, I have NO doubt that it will happen! What is the "cut" that everyone gets? That's also simple. The player is playing for 35% of their potential "winnings." What that means, is if they make the money, the $10k from the buy in comes off the top, obviously, since they didn't invest any of that. That 10k goes straight back to all the investors. The investors then get (also) 65% of the winnings. There are some pre-arranged agreements that are worked out with the players where tax withholding are involved. Basically, the more they win, the more they are allowed to withhold from their winnings in lieu of me having to a separate tax form for each and every investor. (pain in the ass!!!!) As for payouts? I am extremely good about getting all my investors paid out as soon as the run is over. I typically have everyone taken care of within two weeks of the last bust out. Bottom line? I don't like owing people money! ANYBODY that wants to be an investor...and buy a single share for $200 or more than one shares....just email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and I will tell you all the various forms of payment I will accept for this deal. Okay...so, as I think I mentioned earlier in this post...in the past years, I have kind of waited until about a month before the event to start naming players. I decided to alter that a little this year. The reason? I think when people KNOW who they are investing in...it might motivate them a little more to get their shares purchased. I know....I would love it if everyone just trusted me, and my opinion and "picking ability" and just went with it! But I know the reality of the situation! I'm not THAT stupid!!! Also, it's helpful to the players, so that they can be making their hotel and travel arrangements! And finally...a lot of the players have their own support network, and knowing that they will be on the team encourages a lot of them to also buy shares...so they will not just have a rooting interest in their own player...but also a piece of several OTHER team members! So in essence, its a total win/win!  One area where I would really like to see more participation, is from past team members. I took a chance on them, after all. Gave them a free (basically) shot at winning millions...a shot they wouldn't have otherwise been able to take. Since their time on the team, a number of them have gone on to have either modest or even MAJOR success in poker. So I'm quite certain that one or two...even ten...shares in the team...to basically show their appreciation for the experience, and stay a part of the team through their own investment in the squad, isn't going to place a financial burden on them. It's certainly not a contractual obligation or anything, and I don't even go seeking them out, pestering them to buy in. But...I don't know...I guess it's just kind of one of those things that irritates me a little bit. On the other hand...there are former members of the team who are there each and every year, buying in...and handing out support all along the way. Those guys and gals....are "The Real Deal" and kind of personify the spirit of the entire concept, and why I started it up in the first place! So...without further adieu...I give you....this summer's first FOUR "WSOP GRINDERS!!!!!" TEAM MEMBER #1   MICHAEL "CARWASH" SCHNEIDER This will be Mike's third time representing us. Last year, he made an exciting deep run, and ran into some bad luck right before the money started getting really good. Mike is one of the nicest guy's I've ever known in the game, and truly appreciates not just the opportunity, but the support he gets from all the other players and investors. He's been great about giving back feedback and keeping everyone in the loop. His run of success over the last decade on the tournament circuit is well-known by most who have toiled on the circuit themselves. He's about as well-liked and well-respected as any player I've ever known. Having him represent not just me, but all of us...is an absolute thrill! I know he will give us all another fantastic "sweat" this summer! TEAM MEMBER #2   KRISTEN DEARDORFF Kristen is a gal I've known for quite a long time. She used to live in our area, and was a friend of me and my wife. She works as some kind of technical wizard for freaking NASA...so when it comes to logical thought processing? She's kind of ahead of the curve!!! Despite the limited amount of tournament action that she is able to play, it seems like just about every time she DOES play...she makes the money. She had a fantastic run for our team last summer...and really represented the team well. Also, as a female, she just kind of naturally had a lot of fellow-female support! It's always good to try and get a little estrogen on the team!!! But Kristen is a lot more than just a pretty face in a Monkey's Grinder's t-shirt. She's a beast on the felt! I have 100% confidence in her coming back this summer and not just matching last summer's performance, but exceeding it. She's rock solid. TEAM MEMBER #3   JERRY GIROIR Who? Okay okay...to be fair, a lot of you probably know the rambunctious Prissy Giroir from Lafayette! That would be Jerry's flamboyant wife...who is also a poker addict! I've been playing with Jerry and Prissy for years...and they are about as frick and frack, as Yin and Yang, as Jeckyl and Hyde as they come!!! Jerry is the quiet one who lurks in the shadows...letting Prissy have the spotlight! So maybe some of you don't know who he is. But those of us who are regular Gulf Coast grinders...or who were at some point in the past 10-15 years, know exactly who Jerry is. He has a lot of great results on his resume. And he is PERFECT for the long structure of the Main Event...which was/is my main reason for naming him to the team this summer. Two years ago, in the Main Event, Jerry finished 207th for a shade over $46,000! And then this past fall here in Biloxi, Jerry won the well-attended $350 tournament at the Beau Rivage for a whopping $69,000. He doesn't play a whole lot...but he STILL has 42 reported cashes for almost a quarter million. Keep in mind...Cardplayer stopped reporting anything with a buy in under $400...and that used to be $300. So like me...he probably has about 30-50 cashes that never show up on Cardplayer. Take my word for it...Jerry is a MAJOR THREAT to go on a deep run this summer!!!! And on top of it all...he is one of the nicest gentlemen you'll ever want to meet. I'm pretty positive that he will give the whole team great feedback along the way! Before I reveal the 4th player...I just want to let all of the players who have expressed a desire to be on this year's squad...you are ALL still in consideration! I have gotten a really good stack of applications this year...and the process on my end is always SUPER TOUGH. I am a big softee...and really hate when I can't give someone the good news they are hoping for. It's the most agonizing part of this whole deal....having to say "no" to people who I KNOW would most likely be great! But...I can only send as many people as the shares I am able to sell. I've actually had players in the past who applied, maybe once or twice...that after NOT being selected, literally teed off on me, telling me all the reasons why I sucked. One guy even owed me a balance for some pools he had played, and decided he was justified in not paying me for his pool debt. His rationale? That if I had put him on the team...that he'd have had a way to easily pay off his debt to me AFTER he cashed in the tournament. Yup! I get 'em all, folks. When you run a lot of sports pools like I do...you really get a chance to see some crazy shit, as well as some of society's bottom rung in the "class" department. Goes with the territory. On the other hand, 92% of the people who play in the pools I've been running for the last 20-25 years, are some of the finest people I've had the pleasure of interacting with...and it's because of them that I keep investing so much of my time putting on these pools every year. It was my pool players that allowed me to build up such a big network of people who I turn to for stuff like this very poker team. It also was critical in providing me an avenue to playing fully staked for the better part of a decade. I think that 8% pretty much exists in just about every walk of life. You just have to learn how NOT to let their bullshit consume you and your life. Sometimes, it's hard.   One other thing...is that Wild Bill Phillips...a FOUR-TIME member of this team...who is ALWAYS in consideration for a spot...is running satellites out of our bar in Metairie, Out of Bounds...and that will be an avenue that some of you will be able to use to hopefully win yourselves a seat into the big tourney! Bill does an amazing job of running those tournaments!!! Sometimes I even come snooping around to watch, scouting for talent!!!! So there's that!!! (I have to go keep my lunch date with Carley now...who we found out yesterday gets her cast off next week!!! I will finish this post when I return from lunch with her!!!) Okay...I'm back! A little later than I had planned! Golden State went down to Houston tonight as a huge underdog without Kevin Durant, and knocked the Rockets and their flopping, flailing, foul-drawing with dramatics James Harden from the playoffs once again. And we celebrated my visiting brother's birthday. This is about the 4th or 5th year in a row that we've either had him down here for his birthday, or flew up to Seattle to celebrate it with him up there. He's my special older brother...who's Down's Syndrome just means he's happy most of the time..and lives without the stress that the rest of us do! He's also got a massive crush on his "seester" who doubles as MY WIFE!!! He clings to her like Saran Wrap! And she treats him like gold. Just further proof that I truly married the right woman! She's amazing.  And now....drum roll please....I give you....our 4th team member.... TEAM MEMBER #4   JASON BOND Who is Jason Bond? Well..if you look up his Cardplayer stats...you aren't going to find a whole lot. And for good reason. I met Jason way back in 2006, and we hit it off immediately. He was a complete BEAST at the table...ballsy as hell, and impossible to put on a hand. And one of the first things I noticed about him...he was incredible as sniffing out bluffs. I was pretty new to the game, and he was the first player who I stood in virtual awe of. While he was winning an event out in Reno that I played in...I was smashing Sit N Go's left and right at that WPT event...back when the WPT event in Reno was a big deal. I crushed those SNG's so well at that event that I had two or three guys wanting to stake me the Main Event...which I THINK was either a 5k or 10k event. It was a pretty exciting two weeks out west! Through the years I've stayed in touch Jason and we've become pretty good buddies. He wasn't able to stay fully immersed in the poker scene because he had a family to support. One of his jobs took him to Williston, North Dakota where he worked in the oil industry. Well, my family happens to own a little over 700 acres up there that are under lease with an oil company. So Jason has come in handy a few times when I needed a little snooping around done on our plot. He has since moved to fabulous Bakersfield, California...where he tries to find opportunities to go play some poker. Most of what he plays is on the lower end of buy ins...so his results never show up anywhere. The thing about Jason? He truly LOVES poker. He also is truly appreciative of getting a shot to play "the BIG ONE." I know he will excel in that structure...and he will definitely respect his chip stack. He's promised a deep run...but I wish players wouldn't do that...because they just put pressure on themselves. I just want our guys and gals to go....enjoy the experience, and play the game that caused me to pick them in the first place. Don't change anything. Don't fell like you have to play SUPER tight just so you don't run the risk of an early exit and the shame that might come from all the investors. Pffft...that's nonsense. Nearly ALL the investors also play poker...and understand the game...the ups, the downs, the suckouts, the bad beats, etc etc. JUST PLAY YOUR GAME! And enjoy the ride! The rest will take care of itself!!!! So that's it! Your FIRST FOUR PLAYERS on this Summer's squad. Who is "on deck" or "in the hole?" Well...I'm not quite ready to reveal that just yet. To be honest...I have about 3 or 4 total newbies I'm deeply considering...and I also have about 3 or 4 former team members who are on my short list. And since I don't think I will be able to make 12 team members happen...that means someone is going to be disappointed. But there will also be about 5 or 6 people who are going to be REALLY excited too!  Now...its time for me to email out the announcement to all of my past investors...and get the ball rolling on selling shares! I fully expect that by Monday, I will most likely have ALL FOUR of these players funded...and be working towards Team Member #5 and beyond. Yup...this is going to be a fun month. And while a lot of you will be over in New Orleans...playing in that circuit event that just got started over there yesterday...I will be here, waiting anxiously on a letter from the Chicago area...and selling shares left and right to build another team of Grinders!!!! I'll be back in a week or two with an update on how we are progressing!!!! MONK
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