THE POKER MONKEY…your Source for Perpetual Insanity!: Time for a WSOP Team Monkey Announcement!
Time for a WSOP Team Monkey Announcement!
(so yeah..I STARTED this post last week…should be obvious)
Hello everybody! Hope you are having a wonderful spring! I haven’t posted in awhile, and mainly its because I’ve been busy. I’ve had the intention to sit down and pen a blog post a couple times…but it seems like every time I’m about to do that…something comes up and sidetracks me! At the moment, I’m sitting in our room in Pensacola Beach, where I brought the girls for a few days while Carley and her buddy Abbey are out on Spring Break. We got lucky…the weather was perfect the entire time. We have to leave in a couple hours. On the way out of town I’m going over to the house I own here and meet with a landscaper about re-doing the sod and getting the sprinkler system back up and running again. I finally have a great tenant over there, and I’ve been doing a lot of little extra things for her to keep her a happy renter.
Since my last post…I’ve played ZERO hands of poker. But I have been putting the wheels in motion to launch the 2017 WSOP Team Monkey…aka Monkey’s Minions. We are about 2.5 months away from the BIG WEEK…..and its about time to get the ball rolling. I’ve received a handful of players who are interested in being a part of this year’s squad…and I appreciate the interest.
I’ve decided to take a bit different approach this year. In the past, I’ve first put shares on sale…then after enough had been raised to send 3 or 4…started naming the players who would be representing us. Predictably, I’ve had a lot of people who wouldn’t buy in until they knew who the players were. I stayed stubborn on those situations…insisting that it would be best if I waited to announce who the players would be. Frankly….I’m damned surprised that I was able to use this method and be as successful as we have been. I guess its a testimony to how much people truly trust my eye for talent and just really wanted to be a part of the action. But after viewing it from another perspective…I now realize that knowing in advance who the players are…or at least who SOME of the players are…also will give THEM a chance to work their own personal networks to get investors to buy shares…not just to support them…but the rest of the team as well. After all, a purchased $200 share not only covers their favorite player…but also buys a piece of ALL the members of the team.
It just makes more sense, I’ve decided…to name the first three members of the team…and give everyone a glance at who they will have representing them as we go after the MILLIONS that the final table will be offering those final 9 players again. If you are interested in buying a share ($200 per share) or more…just email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com. Each 50 shares sold, sends ONE player. Last year…we sold 300 shares and sent 6 players, two of which cashed…Robert Harwell and Christian Iacobellis. The investor/player split is 65/35.
2017’s FIRST THREE MEMBERS of TEAM MONKEY!!!!
KENNY ‘TRUCKER’ MILAM
If you go checking stats on these guys…and the place where most people like to check stats is either on www.cardplayer.com or www.hendonmob.com you will find that Kenny Milam has the most cashes of the three. Another thing I noticed is that his earnings are split…which often times happens with these reporting sites. I’ve personally had profiles under various combinations using my first, middle and last name. Kenny is listed under Kenneth, Ken and Kenny. Aggravating. I finally got on top of mine…and had them all merged a long time ago. Kenny’s biggest listed cash is $40,000 which was accomplished in the $10k WSOP Main Event in 2015. As for David, he’s a relatively new player..and his biggest score is also $40,000…which he won playing in the $3k Main Event at the Beau Rivage’s Main Event in the Million Dollar Heater in January 2016.
None of these guys are going to knock you out with their amazing stats. One large reason for that is that they play a lot of local tourneys…at Caesar’s New Orleans for example. Here’s the thing about the reporting sites…they no longer report ANY results that come in events that are less than $400. Which eliminates a LOT of results. I’m not a big fan of that decision by those sites…but its THEIR sites, so…..
For the first couple years…I had ‘Wild Bill’ Phillips back on the squad for a couple of reasons. One…he ran deepest the first year…and he was the only one to cash the 2nd year. But also because he was the owner of the site who has been hosting this blog for the 9 years I’ve been writing it. He has also been incredibly supportive to me personally, through all my trials and tribulations in poker. And additionally, he played a huge role in promoting this effort on the site itself. I didn’t necessarily make it a POLICY that anyone who cashes will be back the following year…though it seems some have arrived at that conclusion. Obviously…they would merit consideration, especially if they were good team members…which our two players who cashed last summer WERE. Robert Harwell and Christian Iacobellis certainly have to be on the short list for consideration on this year’s team again.
It’s always an extremely stressful job in deciding who gets one of the spots on the team.There are a lot of various factors that come into play…and I always fear upsetting people.
I’ll be totally honest…I was really close to nixing the whole thing this year. What started out as a bit of a mission born of spite towards Jack Effel, who has unfairly kept me on the outside looking in when it comes to playing WSOP events…and it being my way of having a presence in the world’s biggest poker event, has become more of an annual event that focuses a lot more on just giving a lot of people a fun sweat during the tournament. On top of that…it gives an opportunity to some players to chase their dream, players who most likely wouldn’t be able to otherwise play. That aspect of it has taken front and center since my own involvement in poker has dwindled mightily the past few years. I’ve been much more involved in being a husband, and a father, and branching out into other avenues of making money. It just gets harder and harder to justify traveling to cities and spending countless hours at a poker table trying to win amounts of money that are inconsequential. If I get the time…and a BIG tourney presents itself…where the prize money is worth putting in the time for, then YEAH…I will totally give it some consideration. But it just doesn’t happen that much anymore.
This winter I was presented with an opportunity to do something I’ve always kind of yearned to do again. Back in the early 90’s…after a number of years in the Food and Beverage business doing every job from the bottom to the top…I got involved as a part owner in a bar (Lulu’s Baitshack) in Atlanta, as well as another one in Athens. We had 6 of us…which proved to be very problematic for a variety of reasons. I always said I would NEVER do a bar again with partners. Well, my best buddy from the New Orleans area, Barth Melius, who happens to have his hands in several (anywhere between 3-5, I can never keep track) bars and/or restaurants over there…took a trip to St Thomas with a girlfriend for a little vacation, and while there kind of tripped upon a place that was available. He asked all the right questions and got all the right information…and when telling me about it…I asked if I could get in on it with him? We’ve talked about doing ‘something’ together in the past…but so far it had only been to maybe buy a boat together!
Well…after a lot of research, we decided to buy this place in the Red Hook area of St Thomas. Barth is literally the only human on Earth who I would be partners with in a bar. And he says the same of me. I have a background also as a wine and liquor rep for Southern Wine and Spirits…my last job (in Pensacola) before quitting in 2003 to play poker full time. So I have a good amount of knowledge on the other side of the business as well. But Barth is basically a genius at these things…and has been down there pretty full time for the past three months. Any thing I’ve asked about…he’s usually already covered. It’s an amazing location. He negotiated a fantastic lease. The food we will be serving is cajun…which the locals down there are thrilled about. We are located in a big yacht marina..just a few hundred yards down from the Ferry that runs to St Johns. We will be called ‘Bernies’…and feature a theme that plays off the old movie “Weekend at Bernie’s” which was actually filmed in St. Thomas! We have gotten permission from the production company who made the movie to use various items to promote the bar. The build-out has been going on for over two months and is almost completely finished. We are both REALLY excited, and so is Squirrel. The opening…which will be a ‘soft’ opening…will take place in about two weeks (May 15th) and then on I THINK June 9th…maybe the 15th…waiting on final word there…we will have our HUGE Grand Opening party…which is being sponsored by Avion Tequila! If you were a fan of ‘Entourage’ you know who THAT is!!! There will be bands and lots of give-a-ways as well.
I went down 3 weeks ago for a week to just basically check everything out and see what I was getting myself into! I loved it! Barth has rented us a condo that is literally 50 yards from the beach…called Sapphire Beach, which is beautiful. There is a little bar and grill right on the beach too. When its time for the Grand Opening I will be bringing Squirrel and Carley with me…and maybe Carley’s little travel buddy who goes just about EVERYWHERE with us….Abbey! It’s going to be a really hectic month…with my mother, my brother (Jimmy-the one with Down’s Syndrome) Cheryl’s mother…all coming for long visits during the month. Then in June…the trip to St Thomas…then a week in Orange Beach with the family. All of this…led me to waffling on whether I really wanted to take on the added stress of doing the Poker Team again. It wasn’t going to take much to talk myself out of it.
But….then the emails started coming in! The ones wanting to be on the team. The ones wanting to invest in the team again. And before I knew it…I was sucked back in again. And since we got 4 in the first year (2014) then 5 in the second (2015) and 6 last year (2016) naturally I am going to shoot for 7 in 2017. What can I say? I’m silly like that!
Oh…and to you donkey dicks who read my blog to find something to bust my balls about? Who think everything I do is a scam? Oh how I love thee! This little deal that I do? I’ve lost money doing it the first three years. I take NOTHING for doing it. Zilch. I invest in it myself…15 shares last year ($3000) and if the players don’t win enough to get us back to even and beyond? Then I come out a loser. It’s a very straight forward business model. All investors know who each other is and how many shares everyone has. The backers hold a 65-35 stake in all the players. If a player cashes…the $10k buy in is taken out and put in the collective prize pool. Then whatever they win…they get 35% of…and the rest? Into the prize pool. However much money is placed in the prize pool…it gets split up into even shares. If we sell 300 shares like last year? And there is $50,000 in the total prize pool? Then each share is worth $167. Which is $33 short of the purchase price of $200 per share. So basically, the break even point on 6 players…with 300 shares sold…would be $60,000. Everyone would get exactly $200 back per share. The first year we got shut out. Two years ago, Bill Phillips won $40k roughly, and each investor got back $95 per share. (taxes also figure into things) Then last year…two players accounted for $43k and each investor got $105 per share back. So…to be fair…with the tax implications…the break even point is actually a bit higher than $60k…probably closer to $80-85k.
Ideally, we get ONE player who makes it down to the final three tables then we are freerolling on all the other players! To be able to get back to break-even with one player would be great! Bottom line…I put in a LOT of work…with the rounding up of money….with getting all the t-shirts, hats and hoodies made, and just the never-ending back and forth correspondence that goes along with doing this. But…when we get to the Team Day…and all the contracts are signed, the buy ins are done, the team photo is taken, the schwag is passed out…and the team dinner is over….and all I have left to do is kick back and watch the Minions do their thing? It’s all worth it. To watch them from afar…through their social media updates…its a blast. To see all the support they get from the investors. To see them give us all their updates on their current stacks. It’s a blast. It’s easy to see why people get so excited about it. It’s not everyone who can just drop everything in their lives and run off to Las Vegas for 7-10 days to play in this thing. So to be able to spend a little money to have a bunch of ‘horses’ to root for? Its the next best thing to a lot of people.
As for myself? From a poker standpoint? I don’t know what or even HOW much I will play when I go out there. Maybe just play one or two big tourneys at Venetian and The Wynn. I know last year my trip out there corresponded with their main event at both places. I ran pretty well in both of them…bagging up on Day 1 in both but falling short of the money in both too. I wouldn’t mind trying to improve on those performances.
So…Carley just turned five this week…and one of the things I got her for her birthday was something she’d been pestering me about for months now: a fishing pole. Our friend manages the local Academy Sports and I went in there last week, spent a couple hours with him…and him hook me up with everything I could possibly need to go sit at the fishing pier and try to catch some fish. She is all excited to go fishing now. I promised her if she was good at school today I would take her fishing tonight. Well…I also forgot we promised her best friend Presley we would go to her last T-ball game tonight when we saw her at Carley’s birthday party last week…so looks like I have to figure out how to squeeze in both things tonight!!!
Again…if you are interested in being on the team this summer…please email me at ThePokerMonkey1@aol.com and tell me a little bit about yourself…and why I should be considering putting you on the team. You don’t need to tell me your life story…just enough to get my attention! Throw in some stats…but I can also search on those myself. No promises! And I DO try to at least respond to everyone who applies…but that can get tough at times too.