health is wealth
Remember When Poker Mattered?
THIS WAS WHERE MY ATTEMPT at a BLOG UPDATE STARTED and STOPPED last JUNE!!!!!Here we are, in June 2020. The WSOP is in full swing in its first full week out in Vegas, the MLB season is nearing its midseason point. In the NBA, we should have a new champion crowned this weekend. And the […]

THIS WAS WHERE MY ATTEMPT at a BLOG UPDATE STARTED and STOPPED last JUNE!!!!!Here we are, in June 2020. The WSOP is in full swing in its first full week out in Vegas, the MLB season is nearing its midseason point. In the NBA, we should have a new champion crowned this weekend. And the same goes for hockey...where someone will lift the Stanley Cup. What an exciting spring it's been! And how about that crazy finish in the Master's? Not to mention that amazing stretch run in the Kentucky Derby. I mean...is there anything MORE exciting than being a sports fan in the good 'ol United States of America? Yeah...that's the paragraph I SHOULD have been leading with after having not blogged in a number of months. In January, after the "Heater" at the Beau Rivage...I actually started a blog entry...and was pretty close to being done. Then I stepped away from my computer for a few days...and suddenly, the world started changing dramatically all around me. The more time that went by...the more irrelevant my "poker post" started feeling. By mid-March...I became resigned that I would never post that previous entry. Now, here we are...the first week of June...and we have graduated from one huge issue to another. Even while the first one is still going on. In the 53 years I've been living in this country...I'm not sure I've ever seen things more chaotic, more confusing, more frustrating and more divisive. Anyone who insists that they have the answers to all that ails us...is simply a fool. AND NOW....here we are!  A new year. A new president. A "new normal" that has been foisted upon us by a new administration, with help from a liberal media that simply can't bring itself to report anything that resembles honest news and/or information. Covid protocols still remain in place in some places. Deaths are still being reported nationwide, and worldwide. A vaccine was miraculously developed in record time...not just in America, but in numerous countries. I'm still perplexed by THAT simple fact. Despite a virus that 99.875% of people are expected to be able to defeat, we are being frantically urged (ordered?) to run out and get a vaccine that has been wreaking havoc with some of it's recipients, either with an unexpected side affect, or in some cases...even death! I'm in the camp of 40% of active Marines in this country...who are simply maintaining that they have NO reason to get a vaccine for something they are 99% certain to beat if they get it. Being young, and in the best shape of their lives...WHY would they EVER worry about a vaccine? I'm not getting it. I'm not letting my wife and child get it either. Nope. So the boys at Gulf Coast Poker have started a podcast on their website. They've asked me to appear as a guest today. Why, hell I don't know! I hardly play anymore. I WAS playing pretty regularly in a Pokerstars Home Game that featured a bunch of you players out there who I've known for years. It was entertaining...frustrating at times, but I had a bit of success on there. It went dark a month or two ago due to some concerns based on information that convinced the operators to step away from it. Understandable. NO need putting your livelihood in jeopardy if you don't have to. So aside from that...I'm a participant in some other online sites, and have been playing the app-based PokerBros, and am a....ahhhh what's that word? I always forget it. When you promote a site, and give out a referral code, so that you can earn a little money on the side? I should know that word...I've been "one of them" for several sites over the years. At any rate...I've been somewhat active on PokerBros...and actually made a pretty good chunk of change referring people to the poker club I play in. When I play on there, I lean towards the cash-game PLO6 Hi/Lo game...which is NUTS! I really don't like playing with THAT many cards...and that many WAYS TO LOSE...but getting a game going in the 4 or 5 card versions of Hi/Lo is almost impossible. SO I sit in on the 6-card version...and take my lumps. As for LIVE poker? I've been getting closer and closer to venturing out. I ALMOST ran up to Pearl River to play that main event. But things came up with the family that kept me at home. I've been eyeballing some events, one in South Florida...and one out at Venetian, to go get my feet wet again. The one thing that has me really interested, is the fact that nobody is playing 9 or 10-handed. I LOVE having elbow and leg room. And when these places are playing 7 and/or 8-handed...that's like a dream come true for me. I don't know how they are about rules and Covid-enforcement though...and I am NOT someone who likes being told what to do if the reason for doing it lacks ANY logic whatsoever. It's probably one of the things that drives me the MOST crazy. THINGS THAT DON'T MAKE SENSE!  I have NO problem following rules...as long as the rules make SENSE! I am not a f'ing sheep. I never have been. I never WILL be. It's caused me problems in my life. I know that. I've reconciled that with myself. I'm aware that being a "yes sir, no sir" guy might have led to me avoiding some of the bullshit that I've been subjected to in my poker career, and upon close inspection, and reflection with myself, I have no regrets. You only live this life ONCE. How do you want to be remembered? I cling to my morals, my ethics, my values, and my beliefs. I have what I consider to be a lot of pride. People have the right to agree or disagree with me. I've never been delusional enough to think that I would EVER make everyone like me, or even agree with my views. I'm not in the business of making people like me. Trust me, if I was? I would be in politics. I have a LOT of knowledge about politics. I have a lot of acquired experience in that field. Have a lot of connections in that world. Were it not for the path of destruction I've left in my wake over the last 30-40 years...I'd enter that arena. But with my checkered past, it would take the vultures in the media and in the political arena itself, to devour me within hours of dipping my toes into the political waters!!! So I operate on the outer fringes, contributing where I can to the causes I most believe in. It's true that 2020 was one of the biggest setbacks in my life...as it pertains to politics, and the overall health of our country. It's been a rough 2021 so far. I've had to pry myself away from the 24-hr cable news cycle...as it just leads to bouts of depression, frustration, aggravation, and deep contemplation about the future of our country. I think that were it not for being the father of a young child...I might not be as emotionally invested in the future of our country, from a political standpoint. I've been urged by several of my followers on Facebook to start a politically-based Podcast. Trust me...the thought has dawned on me many times. But I'll be totally honest...I'm scared. I've watched the way Big Tech has treated Conservative voices in this country just in the last 5-6 months...and it's terrifying. I've already seen weird things going on in my own life. I don't how much of it is circumstantial, and how much of it is due to my political leanings. I'm reading a book called "The War on Cash" and that has probably fed into some of my suspicions. I've actually read a LOT of books over the course of the last year...most of them from authors on the Conservative right. I try not to inundate myself with ALL conservative readings...so I balance that by reading newsletters from leftist publications...as well as daily briefings from the New York Times. Each side accuses the other side of being tone deaf, of being shut off to the other side. That they exist in an echo chamber. I've tried hard to welcome liberal voices in my own Facebook wall. (I am currently serving a 30-day Facebook jail term, 13 days from being freed...for engaging in a heated conversation with a diehard liberal on one of my own friends' walls...I made a comment that the libbie didn't like, reported me to the FB gestapo, and got me suspended for 30 days. Ridiculous) I would say I have 4 or 5 people I still consider "friends" who's views I wholeheartedly disagree with, however, I respect their opinions. I respect their right to disagree with mine. We manage to maintain a level of decorum. We manage to maintain a friendship. I'm of the opinion that this is something that is dying a slow death in our country, and it's sad. I think that Social Media...born around 2004...but not FULLY employed until right about the time Obama came into office in 2008, has been the leading cause for the dysfunction of how we get along in this country with our fellow Americans. It used to be...most people kept their political beliefs to themselves. And if they DID talk about it...they knew when to stop the conversation. NOW?  Whoa! Social media has basically empowered people, giving them this weapon (essentially) wherein they feel their opinion is a lot more powerful than it really is. The ingredients, that being social media, a liberal media overtly opposed to Conservative views/beliefs, racial divisiveness that has been promoted by those with their own agenda...all of this has led to a nation that is desperately trying to find itself right now. And lost in all of this, is how this has left us vulnerable to the rest of the world. Okay. I keep getting sidetracked...pulled into political talk. Sorry. This should be about poker right? I'm trying, I'm trying! Promise! Hey! How about my good buddy Joe Hebert!??? One of the truly good guys in poker who I've been really good friends with for over a decade!??? I've never been happier for a poker player's success than I was for him! Winning the WSOP Main Event...granted, it was under some whacky circumstances...still! Home boy beat EVERYONE! And won what? A million and a half? This is a guy who I've roomed with at poker events. A guy I've swapped "pieces" with at other events. We've done a lot, experienced a lot. We've had our ups, and we've had our downs. We had baby's just a month or two apart. We've been there for each other in times of need...emotionally, and otherwise. And he was on the short list a couple times to be on my WSOP Team that has quite affectionately come to be known as "Monkey's Minions!!" I spoke to him a short while after his win...probably one of the few people who didn't reach out to him with ulterior motives! As much as I like to try to see the good in everyone...there is an undeniable element in the poker community that prey on those who are enjoying success financially.  And one thing that is inevitable, any time you make a good score in poker: the moochers come out of the woodwork. Moochers are the worst. They will present themselves as "good friends" and tell you how excited they are for you, and how closely they followed you in your big tournament, as though THAT is supposed to have earned them some kind of reward from you....like, you know? Them sweating you had some kind of affect on your "run good" for that tourney. It's annoying. And it's so predictable. It's one reason I'm always hesitant to contact a friend after they make a big lick. I don't want to get lumped into that category. The 'moocher' category. Ugh. But, with some people...they just know that I'm not calling them to ask them for something. And that is in and of itself, a nice feeling...knowing you aren't being scrutinized in that fashion.So I ran out of time to write this before we went live for the podcast. So I did 90 minutes with Gene and Wild Bill, then let a week slide by...and I'm back trying to finish this post. The interview was nice. Went really fast...and we definitely had PLENTY to talk about. I try really hard to NOT be long-winded in things like that. Sometimes its tough, but as I am a very critical viewer/listener of others' interviews...I'm always seeing/hearing things that I want to avoid if ever in that same spot. So yeah...I had a lot of that going on. What else is going on!?? Carley turns 9 this weekend. Crazy. She's halfway to being a legal adult and moving out. After taking piano for two years...she quit a couple months ago, much to my disappointment. But she has taken an interest in golf! We've been out a few times and she seems to really like it. Her Godfather...and my business partner and friend, Barth...got her a set of clubs for Christmas last year. For Christmas this past year...she took it up a notch. Just a NOTCH. She asked for a freaking golf cart. Huh??? Did you say, GOLF CART? The main shock...was that my wife didn't immediately shoot down the idea. So, umm...little girl is driving now. A red golf cart. Took her about 3 days before she slammed it into the corner of my shed...which caused the entire wall of bricks to collapse and messed up the door jam. Needing a little repair job there! But her driving has improved, no more accidents...and her and her buddies have really gotten a lot of use out of it. Both the bars are still open and doing well...despite all the COVID protocols, and interruptions in business. MY tenants in my rental homes are still my same tenants. So...stability! I'm still playing the investment game in online stock trading...a lot more these days then when I previously blogged. I've taken up a new hobby...as an investment vehicle, getting REALLY into buying gold, silver, platinum and even palladium rare coins. I've gotten Carley really interested in it too. I'm in the middle of trying to acquire every year and mint location of every Morgan Silver Dollar in circulation. Carley, after I educated her on it...did a presentation on it...to her 3rd grade class. She did great, I was really proud of her. With the economy being in the state that it's in...and the dollar being devalued every day with all these TRILLIONS of dollars that the democrats are pumping out...there couldn't possibly be a better time to invest in precious metals. The other thing I've got on my bucket list in the next few months is to fly out to the Bay Area to take a friend up on this 3-day workshop to learn everything there is to know about crypto-currency...so that  can get into that arena. Hypothetically...I should have started that a long time ago. But I don't like jumping into things that I don't have a workable knowledge in. And where crypto is concerned, I have none! So I'm going to change that...as soon as possible!Bought a tanning salon back in July 2019 so that my wife, Squirrel...could finally, after 20 years...get OUT of the cocktailing gig at the Beau Rivage and do something else. There had been a lot of changes, not many of them good, at the Beau in the past 5 years or so, and the job was making her miserable. But she isn't someone who would EVER be content to sit at home spinning her wheels. It would drive HER crazy...and her being driven crazy would drive ME absolutely berserk! So an opportunity came up to buy this tanning salon. She knew the owner real well...and they worked it out where the gal would come in and train Cheryl...and be on call to help her with anything that came up. So we pulled the trigger. The first year was mostly learning the business...and implementing some upgrades to the business. Then when COVID hit...it was RIGHT before what WOULD have been her busiest time of year. SO that hurt a LOT!  We had just changed all the bulbs in all 8 beds (pricey!!!) and bought her a Spray-Tan machine...which everyone was requesting. So we definitely took a big loss in 2020. This year has obviously been a LOT better.In addition to the business just being better, she won an online poll run by...mmmm....sorry, I don't know!! Maybe the radio station? But out of 5 places that were nominated, she won the BEST TANNING SALON on the Gulf Coast!!!! I was so happy for her, and proud! And for the last month she has been absolutely SLAMMED. For winning, I guess she won a bunch of free advertising and some other stuff. I think the best thing that came from it though was a boost to her self-esteem...as she's poured all of herself into that venture. So it was basically a form of validation for her.    Alright! How's that?? Is that enough!?? I haven't posted in so long, the last thing I want to do is drown you all!!! Besides, it's sunny out, and I really don't think that yard is going to cut itself!!!MONK
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