July 17th, 2014: Back In San Jose

“Callous snob” are the words that come to mind.


For those of you asking what happened to the old Blogspot…I blocked it. I had to do that. I did not want to. I can’t really get more into the details than that. I will be releasing a book version of everything I wrote as a kid growing up in the new online poker world. I’ll likely be expanding some sections that people always had questions about. Look forward to that.

I just got back from Vegas. The trip was an experience. I enjoyed parts of it immensely. Others I did not. I can’t really call it a great trip because I dumped roughly $30,000.

I will be posting blogs about the rap battles and all the fun things I got to do in Vegas. But not right now. Right now is for my existential crisis.

I had more fun playing live poker than ever. It really doesn’t sound true as I write it, but save for a few bad tournaments it was a great time.

The only tournaments I did not enjoy were small buy-in Rio WSOP events. People my age need to get a damn hobby. If you’re taking poker so seriously you are boring. Again, you are not Phil Ivey. Grunting is not a form of response. Grow up. We’re playing a card game. You’re not Lebron James. Hell, I doubt you’ve been out of makeup for nine months.

A lot of people got on my shit about my rap battle for vulgarity.  One site got on me for a “homophobic” remark. I don’t even like responding to that because it gives the statement validity. Using that word with my Jason Somerville line is such a joke. It cheapens all the real gay people who have been slurred before. You cheapen the word into nothing by using “homophobic” for everything.

But I’m getting off topic. What really boggled my mind about people getting on me about using F bombs was how the same people treat the elderly in tournaments. Pete “The Saurus” Morris says way worse things in his more heated battles, but he outclassed me. He showed the Christian he could do the clean schemes better than I could. He was right. I didn’t even try. I didn’t think I had that game. He showed he did. It made my words come out even more awkwardly.

Yet, if you play with Pete in a tournament he’s talking with everyone, having a good time. He understands we are providing entertainment for consenting adults. The man who could snap on anyone with more talent than anyone doesn’t do it, because he knows that’s something for another forum.

I had a kid at one of my tables, actually multiple kids in the Rio, talking shit with elderly players. You could tell it was the elderly players one WSOP event and everyone was treating them like garbage. I tried to start conversations with the old timers and these brats would make remarks. Then these same hipster dipshits would get on me for vulgarity.

There’s a time and a place for everything. Rap battles are generally vulgar. You making it an uncomfortable experience in the beginning stages of a 1500 for recreational players makes you a jackass.

But other than that random experience playing poker was really fun. I met a good deal of interesting people. Live poker is really relaxing. I like chilling, drinking my tea, and watching everything.

Of course, I wish things went differently. I probably shouldn’t be saying I enjoyed playing. I had set under set twice. I flopped top two and a middle set versus a made straight, against a player who had called me bad names. I thought he was on tilt, so I couldn’t pot control or anything. I lost AA to K-Jo in the money of the massive Venetian 1.1K that Big Huni won. But really I didn’t get heated about it. The last hand in the Venetian 5K bugged me and I was in a bad mood for twenty minutes after that, but that was it.

However, something felt off. Constantly, players I grew up watching would show up. In their WPT and WSOP episodes they had been happily married and doing great financially. They seemed really broken up about losing a thousand. They weren’t married anymore. They didn’t bother to shower to go to a nicer casino. It was bizarre.

It’s their life. It’s their choices. But it got me thinking about mine. I haven’t really had a big win in a while. Many of you might be reading this blog for the first time because of my battle. Know this: All that “3 Million” talk is bullshit. Yes, my earnings are higher than 3 Mil, but there’s so many expenses. I’m beyond blessed to have the house, to be able to travel, and all that, but I don’t have a million in a bank somewhere. I don’t have 80K in a bank somewhere.

Even some of these guys getting the big wins…I worry about them. It’s what 40-50 main events? Plus all the expenses, closer to 40. Then taxes, you’re closer to 25. You can brick that like nothing. If you’re not in the top of our game you’re juuuust making it.

A good deal came up to me to tell me they read the blog and the articles. More came up about the videos and podcast.

My wife told me after I busted everything in Vegas, “don’t worry. You’re not a poker player primarily. You’re a communicator.”

I didn’t come into this thinking that’s what I’d do. But let’s be honest: I’m very average when it comes to poker. It’s nice for people to put me in that top-tier of tournament players. I really feel honored. But I’m still learning like anybody else. I wasn’t in my right mind for a long time.

It really means a lot to get paid without variance to do something you love. You guys have allowed me to live off of the videos, podcasts, and articles. It gives you more time to expand into things you never thought you could do, like rap battling.

If I can communicate with you all and still get paid that means much more to me than being a tournament grinder. I am a tournament grinder. I’m not looking to be that when I’m older. I respect the guys who have been doing this for a long time. I respect the hell out of them, because I know personally what sacrifice that all takes. But it’s not me. I didn’t think about it this way till my wife said that, but it’s true. I’m not exceptional in the game for anything but my communicative skills. It’s time to expand that. I enjoy that.

Another note: People asked me if I had any beef with Jeff Madsen. No, I have none. I brought him up in the rap battle because he’s the other poker rapper. I wanted there to be a sense of me going further than what had been done before in our limited format.

Also, it’s not fair to talk shit with someone who isn’t going to fight back. I make more jokes with my black friends than jokes with my gay friends because gay folk are too polite to yell back at me…it’s not as fun. If I’m going to make a joke it’s going to be with someone who is willing to come back at me.

Jeff can spit, so I knew if he wanted to go after me he could. It felt more fair. Jeff also knows he’s got nothing to prove to anyone, so I figured he’d take it for the joke that it was. He’s a fantastic player, a much better player than me. He’s put in work since he got started. He deserves those bracelets and accolades…and some shit in the first poker rap battle.

My Other Plugs: Check out my vids at Pocketfives Training, contact me for lessons at assassinatocoaching@gmail.com, listen to my podcast at Oneouter.com, see other stuff I write with my friends at www.pokerheadrush.com, and follow my Twitter @TheAssassinato and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Assassinato