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Old 05-08-2017, 10:00 AM   #901
2blackaces81
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

@TST, ya know how people frequently say they binged watched whatever tv series? I went HAM on your thread and binge read the hell out of this and just wow...as many others have stated this is the best read on the site!

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Old 05-08-2017, 06:19 PM   #902
Truestoryteller
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Breaking Rad


At Tim's game, there were two ways people did business with regards to buying in and cashing out at the game. First, you had the players that always brought their own money, and if they ran out, they would give him a check, bring it the next game, but they were always good for it and never went on book or any sort of payment plan. Second, you had the eternally ****ed. These were losing players the regular, and would bring little to no money to the game, and either start on book, or eventually get on book. This didn't always happen the first day they had played, or even the first week, but eventually people ran out of their disposable income and had to borrow to play. These were the ones who eventually had thousands on the book with Tim, and Tim was just a bank that was not regularly solvent. He would get an F rating from the BBB and get his license revoked if he had any legit business. Another problem that was popping up was getting paid out – many a time I saw cash players not getting paid in full when they won, and credit players rarely went home with anything unless they had previous arrangements with him. This created a tense environment for many of the cash players when this happened, but in the end, Tim had never screwed anyone out of money that had come to play in his game. If you won, you eventually got paid, and to them, that was good enough. One of these cash players had been Rad.

Rad was a purely cash player originally from Rhode Island. He had moved here sometime in his teenage years, and at 30 now, he no longer exhibited any characteristics of a New Englander. This is a common occurrence in Florida where a Yankee comes south and embraces Florida life to the extent that they no longer care or remember where they came from. These people are relatively douchey and simple-minded, and I have no respect for them, because they are trying to become someone they are not. I have seen this transition happen over the course of less than a year, where a guy/girl from New York comes down wearing a Yankee hat and nice dress clothes to wearing camo, dirty jeans, gets a pickup, and starts chewing tobacco. The biggest paradox in the universe is someone wearing a camouflage Yankees hat – you might as well wear a hat that has both the Red Sox and Yankees logos on them. Rad was one of these characters. He had somehow lost his New England accent completely and had this goofy nasal southern accent going on. He was about 5'7, 135 pounds soaking wet and had a build like Mike – extremely scrawny. He did, however, dress in collared shirts and have a very awkward looking haircut that was like a reverse mini-mullet. This haircut was basically a buzz cut with a longer area in the bangs which he gelled forward, probably to try and hide his receding hairline. I had never seen this hairstyle before meeting him and haven't seen it since. No one bothered to give him a hard time about these traits though because he was the biggest action player in the game, surpassing even the the laggiest dealer. He would often 4bet all in for 1000 and when called, he showed up with K8o or Q6 suited. I think he won over 80% of these hands from just running +EV. He was a cash player and he was always cashing out big. Whether dealing or playing I was wondering if he was just on a whole different level from everyone else at the game, or he was the usual fish on a heater. He was a marina manager by the yacht club, which sounds nice but doesn't pay very well. He also drove a 7-8 year old Dodge Caliber, and while I don't judge anyone on cars, he was the type of person to show off any money he had on him and I think if he had real money. He would have invested in a new car, and even complained he couldn't get out of the loan from the current one. He was also engaged to Willy's ex-girlfriend and she was very pregnant, and Willy was dating his exes sister, so Willy pulled the sister combo and Rad was getting sloppy seconds. Both sisters were very hot though, and we wondered how he pulled that off.

Aside from being an action player and a character, he also was very abusive to anyone who didn't embrace his style of play. Good TAG players who came to the game to make money were berated by him when they didn't call his 3 and 4 bets out of position, and everyone just tolerated him because even though he was on a heater, he had to cool off someday. For a month he was cashing out up at least a grand a night, but after a while, he began to cool off. He stop hitting his draws that he shoved on the turn, and his unbalanced 3betting range of mostly garbage and QQ+ started catching up to him. He started losing a thousand a night, and one night, he asked to go on the book. Most people were shocked when he had asked this because he seemed to have unlimited money, but looks are often deceiving in the poker world. Tim started to question him because he was not expecting this either, and it was killing the action in his game in the middle of one night.

“You give Donnie all the credit he wants, that guy never shows up here with money!” Rad exclaimed as Tim questioned him. Rad couldn't stand Donnie because he was a social introvert and Rad saw that as a weakness, he seemed to prey on other people's insecurities. Embarrassed, Tim went ahead and gave him a line of credit, and within the same month, Rad had managed to dump $3000 into the pockets of other players. They had agreed on a payment plan, but Rad started to fall back on payments and Tim wasn't the best at getting money out of people other than threatening him. I told him I would take care of it for a percentage, and started seeing Rad around the local cardroom. He had recently come into some money by selling a boat at the yacht club and I found him playing 5-10 with Josh one night. Rhett, who was also there, didn't seem interested in regaining the money, but instead liked needling him. As I went into the backroom, Josh, Rad, Rhett, and a few other higher stake players were trading stacks around. I jovially came over to say hi, and had to play it cool and not embarrass Rad in front of his peers. I told him I wanted to talk about a boat for sale and to meet me outside when he was on his next smoke break. He got excited, like he was going to make a sale, until I brought up the debt. He started getting very defensive.

“Who the **** do you think you are coming here to bother me about that? I'll pay Tim whenever the **** I want, he rakes too much anyway.”

“Listen man, he loaned you 3000 on good faith, do you want to be like the other guys who owe on the book? You know you're better than that.” He knew that I was relentless, that this wasn't going to be the first time I asked. A look of frustration came over his face, like he had just gotten bad beat out of a big tournament, and we started discussing payment options. He told me he had been running really bad at 5-10 and had lost 10k in the past month. He had sold a boat and gotten a huge commission, and his soon to be in-laws had loaned him money which was now gone too. Suddenly I felt like this was going to be the same story I had heard from ten other guys, including my personal debts with Mike. So easy to loan money, so hard to actually find the time to pay someone back. Looking back on it, I may have been the only person who never went on the books once for cash money. This was why Bookie had problems with me in the beginning, because I didn't give him any action. A lot of times when I was playing as an extra in the game, I played on the ABC and nittier side to keep the game going. To me, the home game was a business – I didn't look at it much from the players' side. Rad said he would get in contact with Tim and work something out, and I knew that was the most I was going to get off of him tonight. He was probably at least 5k in the hole with his in laws, and was very proud. If I got on his case he would probably just walk away from the debt entirely and cause the game more problems.

What proceeded to happen in the next few weeks was a mixture of rumors, bad communication, causing the situation to escalate. Tim wasn't the most candid guy when it came to his game- he would discuss it right at the main 2-5 game at the cardroom and even handed out cards to dealers and players on the spot. He talked about how juicy it was and even explained that people won (and presumably lost) thousands. While this enticed many players, Rad got the impression that he was making his debt public in the room. Tim was rumored to say Rad was not good on his debt, and Rad threatened him, and next thing you know Tim is talking about having someone run him off the road at night, and Rad is saying he'll get him thrown in jail. It got really messy, and Tampa John got involved, well, because he liked the drama and action. He started saying that Tim was cheating, was raking too much, and it was causing for a situation where people had to be careful when they did and did not come to the cardroom. Tim even called me up and asked me if I wanted to collect the debt for 50 percent of the total at one point just to settle it, and to show that you couldn't just talk **** about the game. I declined mainly because it had gotten way too personal and Rad was turning into a real loose cannon.

I did, however, get a call one night from Rad, he wanted to meet up with me and our local pharmacist friend, a local cash player who by day was a pill pusher, and at night was a weekend warrior, every night. He definitely had a small coke addiction and was probably open to bribes to have pills go missing, but he was a really nice guy otherwise. He always was well composed at the table, well spoken, and beyond his coke habit, I considered him one of the true friends I had in this social gathering that was the underground games in the area. Fish, as I will call him, was someone I could call him any time of day or night and talk about poker, politics, life, and even if I had a question about prescriptions he would expedite things for me, which was really nice. I took up their offer to go play pool at a local bar near the beach, hoping that Fish would cover Rad's debt and this would all be over. Rad and Fish were good friends and I figured this had to be the only outcome of this meeting in my mind so that everything would settle down. I pulled up to the back parking lot, which was all gravel, and got out of the car, smelling the ill effects of low tide and stagnant canal water nearby. I walked in the back and they were both sitting at a table, drinking a pitcher. I hadn't eaten dinner and beer makes me very sleepy on an empty stomach, so they didn't take it personally when I just got a Red Bull. They seemed very concerned about asking me something, which they finally got to after 15 minutes or so. I almost felt like I was in some mob movie, waiting to get down to business, the anticipation of the unknown actually causing some serious anxiety. Fish finished his beer and began to explain.

“So, because of the events that happened at Tim's, and talking to some of the players, we decided we wanted to run our own game. We are tired of Tim telling us what to do as players, and we feel like we are being treated like ****. You know how Tim is when you leave for a few minutes for a phone call? He has no concept of customer service!” Fish was right, if Mike was the king of customer service world, Tim was the village idiot. I wasn't surprised that the players were putting on a sort of mutiny, after all, the rake was on the high side depending on Willy's hands, credit was lent out to anyone and everyone, and both the cash and the credit players had felt they had been robbed. They went on to explain that they didn't have any experience running a game, they couldn't deal, but they did have a place and a following. Finally, Fish asked,

“So do you want to run this with me? We can be partners – you deal and make sure the game is running well, and I will get players and host at my house. What do you think?”
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:04 AM   #903
Truestoryteller
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Originally Posted by PJC0420 View Post
TST- island off the coast sounds extra chill man. Other than the key's, outsiders don't really hear about inhabitable FL spots like that. Definitely sounds relaxing, what are accommodations and the general vibe like? Also, closest inland town? I gotta get down this upcoming winter.
There's actually quite a few islands in Charlotte and Lee County Florida that are between the Gulf and the mainland. If you look at a map of Fort Myers, then to the West, you will see islands dotting the area, and a lot of these are actually at decent elevation and some size. They are easily reached by boat, and most have regular electricity, though some run on generators if small. The one I went to is just off the mainland coast and has everything you'd need. The mobile internet is good, and most people use golf carts to get around. If you do a google search for Useppa Island, you will get some good views of what it is like. The hardest part is getting food, unless you want to eat mangoes, oranges, coconuts, and avocados all day. I try and go there whenever I get the chance.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:45 AM   #904
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Great update as usual!
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:06 PM   #905
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

“So do you want to run this with me? We can be partners – you deal and make sure the game is running well, and I will get players and host at my house. What do you think?”

Can't imagine how many times you've heard that proposal...
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:21 PM   #906
Truestoryteller
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Originally Posted by 2blackaces81 View Post
@TST, ya know how people frequently say they binged watched whatever tv series? I went HAM on your thread and binge read the hell out of this and just wow...as many others have stated this is the best read on the site!

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
I know the feeling for sure, and thank you, I am glad that I can offer that sort of reading experience from my story. I just realized it had been a week since I had posted a chapter, or anything for that matter. I am trying to work on that now - I started doing a lot of filming for plant related videos and got caught up.

Funny enough, ipuntstacks and I met up last Monday night with Nicole at a local pool hall down the street from where Nicole grew up. He had told me the night before he was playing poker and ran into Rad at his table at the local cardroom in the area. I'm surprised he is still playing, honestly, but I don't want to ruin anything.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:12 PM   #907
Eri_manga
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Did ipuntstacks get paid all the money he was owed? I lost track of his thread from earlier this year.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:17 PM   #908
Truestoryteller
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Did ipuntstacks get paid all the money he was owed? I lost track of his thread from earlier this year.
As much as I would like to discuss that, there is an agreement between parties involved that they probably would not want to be made public.

Just so there was no misunderstanding, when I said I was surprised "he" was still playing, I was referring to Rad. Ipuntstacks is still very much in the game.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:51 PM   #909
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Did ipuntstacks get paid all the money he was owed? I lost track of his thread from earlier this year.
your boy got paid

Good seeing you TST, hopefully some more fun stories to come in the future. If anyone is in the SWFL area and wants to grab a drink or play some cards, feel free to get in touch w/ either of us.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:01 PM   #910
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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your boy got paid

Good seeing you TST, hopefully some more fun stories to come in the future. If anyone is in the SWFL area and wants to grab a drink or play some cards, feel free to get in touch w/ either of us.
YAY!(O)
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:50 PM   #911
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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your boy got paid



Good seeing you TST, hopefully some more fun stories to come in the future. If anyone is in the SWFL area and wants to grab a drink or play some cards, feel free to get in touch w/ either of us.


Very nice!
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:31 PM   #912
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Dude, Where's My Car?

As Fish and Rad had asked me this question, I could look in their eyes and hear their talk and see two different types of emotion. Fish was truly frustrated at the way things were run at Tim's place. He was originally from New York, and even though he had a few vices, he was a respectable person, talked to others in the same manner, and expected to be treated the same way in return. Rad on the other hand had the look of someone with a little more desperation in their mind – his end game was to stomp out Tim's so his debt did not look legit and his reputation would not be hurt. I couldn't work with Rad as a business partner, but I could work with Fish. Fish had made a bunch of valid points, and was well liked by the players. He also had a nice 4 bedroom house in a gated community in the nicest part of the southside of town. As a pharmacy manager, he pulled in around 150K a year, which for this area of Florida was one of the highest paying jobs you could pull off rather easily after graduating from school. The best part about Fish was he wanted to run the game, and he didn't need the money, hence his business practices would be much more ethical than Mike or Tim's.

“You guys do understand this is more than just raking the pot and serving food, this requires work outside of game day? You know you need 30 to 40 players on your text list to get one good table running every week, right? As a host you will be letting strangers in your house at all hours of the night and hope that they treat it with respect. Make sure this was what you want to do, and come back to me with an answer when you are ready.

“But we are ready!” Rad shouted, he was eager to get things going. I wasn't interested in Rad's answer, I needed Fish to be completely on board. I had the opportunity to get back in the running aspects of the game, get away from the credit players, the rake issues, and the animosity that existed at Tim's house. I really wanted to tell them yes at that point, but talking about doing something, and actually doing it can be at two ends of a poker player's motivation spectrum. I told him I was going to deal at Tim's that upcoming week and try and get a feel for the idea from a few players I could trust, some cash players that I could trust. To start the game we couldn't have credit guys coming over, to them it would be like opening a new credit card and maxing it out the same day. I told them to take a week and get stuff ready, but I felt like they had made up their mind with or without me. Fish had my old table that he had bought a while back because Pauly didn't want it anymore, and he was going to use chips from a $40 set he got online. I figured if Fish does this solo, or with Rad, it was going to be running worse than Tim's Escalade.

That Tuesday, I did most of the dealing at Tim's house – Willy was stuck doing some sort of probation thing, and he recently had found out his girlfriend was pregnant. At 21, getting someone pregnant and living the life that he did was pretty much a game over, even if his girlfriend was pretty hot. At one of the breaks, Nazi John came up to me in a manner that was different than I had ever experienced – he had a proposal. He and his brother had started doing title loans, and he had taken on a high risk client from out of town. The business was in Tampa, but they had taken a title loan from a guy who had recently “moved” from Miami. Apparently he had just been coming through the area and figured he would screw a couple guys out of $10k by signing off the title to his brand new Shelby GT350 and then taking off. He had been prepared for this proposal and even brought the title with him to the game. I looked at the address and it was smack in the middle of Little Haiti, a few miles from Miami Beach and downtown Miami, but nonetheless a third world country in reality, with makeshift homes, iron bars over everything, and one of the highest crime rates in the state of Florida.

“Why are you asking me to do this instead of doing it yourself?”

“You've worked in the pawn business, you know Miami well, I can trust you, and I....I can't drive manual.” He seemed embarrassed but I told him no big deal, that I would think about it over the next day or so. Looking at him, I saw a weak spot in what was once a hardened criminal. He used to cook meth in the high desert of California back in the 80s, had been to prison, and he was asking ME to do this job? It just seemed like a bad idea. In the meantime, I had mentioned to him the game at Fish's house, and he told me he had been told about it. He said he would make it, and seemed excited about a playing at a fresh, new place. He was also very aware of the credit situation at Tim's and was tired of playing against his own money. There were other cash players that felt the same way, and I felt like Fish's game had a bit more credibility than I had realized.

On this particular night Peter and Flynn had unfortunately made the trip down to play in the game, and from what I could tell, they had burned through what cash they had brought and were on the book as usual. Peter was the type of guy who would comment on every single wrong play in a hand whether he was in it or not, and was subtly needling me as I dealt, calling me a No Limit nit, which I admittedly was in this game. One of my friends Keith had come to play in the game and had slowplayed KK out of position on Peter, getting him to barrel off with ace high. He proceeded to tell Keith what a terrible player he was, and Keith was the kind of guy who really didn't care – he wasn't a pro, didn't care what people thought of him, and was a pretty likable guy. Peter often used Tim's game as an arena to take out his pent up anger at the players who played at the local cardroom, as he was bound by his job, the law, and would lose tips and possibly his job for talking **** on the clock. What happened next I was not particularly proud of, in fact it is a little embarrassing, but I was tired of Peter needling the players, my friends, and finally me. I gave Keith a quick grin as I pushed him a pile of red chips, and Keith was a hell of a tipper, giving me three redbirds for a $400 pot. Peter couldn't handle the thought of his money going my way.

“What the **** are you tipping that guy for, he's such a nit he won't even play in this game! You'll never see that money come on the table again!” Peter was yelling and starting to slow the game down as players started to argue.

“What the **** are you talking about dude? You needle Keith because you play bad, it's not my fault you play this game like it's a tournament! You won't even take me up on my PLO offer because you know you're terrible! You talk **** like that again and I'll turn the deck over mid-hand and spread it.” I was angry at Peter for the multitude of bull**** he put people through, that he hadn't learned his lesson playing here, and that he was milking Tim for credit as usual, dragging the game down. As a professional gaming employee, he was an embarrassment to the game of poker.

“Cash me the **** out, I'm never coming back!” He turned to his chips and realized he only had 27 dollars left in his stack after that bluff. I told him I would give him $100 for his stack, but he couldn't show his face here again. A couple people started laughing because it wasn't like any money was leaving the table, and Peter was on hyper monkey tilt. He threatened to get me banned from the poker room, and I told him he'd be doing me a favor. I had so much **** on him he probably realized it after a few minutes, calmed down after talking to Tim, and asked to talk to me outside. I handed the deck over to another dealer from the poker room who needed to deal off debt and walked outside.

“Listen man, I'm sorry about the things I had said, can we both agree we were out of line?”

“Yes,” I replied, “You know dealing is stressful, just as I know calling stations are tilting.”

“Alright, let's leave it at that.” I nodded my head in agreement and shook his hand, and things de-escalated as quickly as they had started. I had enough **** to worry about between Fish's opportunity, Nazi's proposition, and general stress and anxiety I had been going through the past few months. Peter awkwardly walked back inside and I was vaping up a storm and looking over at the driveway, I noticed something was off. There were six parking places, three in front and three in the back. Front and center sat the Escalade in all its old glory, almost like a jock that was hitting his mid 30s, still trying to be cool but time had passed him by. Looking at the front and then the back, the truck looked a little slumped over, and I walked over out of curiosity. Making my way around Crazy Frank's Mercedes SL550 I saw that both tires on the passenger side of the Escalade as well as Frank's driver's side tires were flat down to the rim. This wasn't a coincidence, and I ran back to the door and walked in to the game and pulled Tim aside to tell him. He got a flashlight and we went out, and sure enough their was a real nasty tear on all 4 tires – they had been slashed. We told Crazy Frank and he came out, seemed a little upset, and said he had some sort of insurance for them, but said he was concerned about coming back in the future. As word got out that tires had been slashed, there was an air of anxiety that lead to the slow dissolution of the game by midnight, an early ending for no good reason other than fear. Tim promised to pay for any tires or damage that had occurred, but the real damage was in the confidence that Tim's house was safe to play at.

Before I jumped to conclusions, I realized Tim had an ongoing feud with a number of people, and Rad was just one of them. He had a few business arrangements that had gone sour in the past, and he actually had blamed an old dealer initially. I messaged Rad and asked him where he was, and he said he was over an hour away playing poker at another cardroom, and sent me a picture. This was bad news for Tim's game, and after I checked my car and all was good, I headed back to the condo. I had my mind made up – it was time to move on.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:17 PM   #913
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Did you ever find out who slashed the tires? Sounds like Tim has quite a few suspects to pick from.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:34 PM   #914
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Did you ever find out who slashed the tires? Sounds like Tim has quite a few suspects to pick from.
No one ever fessed up to it, but if you ask me, the chances were as follows:

10% Rad
15% Gerald
25% Tampa John
50% #1 Coke Dealer in the area

On another note, I hate to use this thread as a personal help forum, but I am undertaking a project similar to what Joey does with his poker podcast, but it's going to be about plants. I have figured out how to use YouTube Live, but don't know how to stream live Skype calls, the software, etc. If anyone out there is tech savvy and could point me to how this is done, I could really use the help and would try and return the favor whichever way I could. Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:03 AM   #915
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Registered on this forum just to thank you for the stories.

Thank you!
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:11 AM   #916
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

that coke dealer is pretty ****ing soft if he just gonna slash tires. I'd be ashamed to have him deliver my 8balls.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:25 AM   #917
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

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Make the time. Top 3 storytelling thread all time imo.
Yep, been delving into this over the last week, 2/3s of the way in and really enjoying it.

Obviously Warmdeck's thread but which other storytelling thread rounds out the top 3?
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:42 PM   #918
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

I can't believe I haven't logged on here in 5 days. Spent a few days up north for a bit with my family, had another incident at the house here and just had to get away. I have been doing a lot of vlogging for plants and I am amazed how much time and effort it takes to do that sort of thing. Going to start writing now - I have to drive back up north tomorrow to the doctor, then again on Wednesday for a few days. Hopefully can get this out by tomorrow night at the latest, I've been slacking.
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Old 05-22-2017, 05:22 PM   #919
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

any possibility of PMing me the plant vlog? I'm pretty interested.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:58 AM   #920
Truestoryteller
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Grant Theft Auto - Vice City

The next day after the game, I got a phone call from Nazi – he was very anxious about getting this Shelby back. He never called me, in fact he hated phones altogether. I felt like there was another element to this – I believed his brother was leaning on him to get it back and it was his brother's money on the line which he had vouched for. We had agreed on a fair price and I had to go down to his house to pick up all the paperwork – if I didn't have it I was committing grand theft auto and would be locked up in Dade County jail. My friend, who was a lawyer in Miami, had visited there many times and told me that getting locked up there was probably as bad as any third world country. As I drove almost an hour south to where NJ lived, I realized how disconnected his part of Florida was from the culture of a place like Miami. He lived in a swampy coastal area that wasn't even a town, they just started building homes in the area that had Gulf access and put stupidly high prices on them. It was just a postage stamp of paradise, but it was near nothing – no highway, no city center, just trailer parks and swamps with the occasional McMansion on a canal that flooded the front lawn. He had one of the older homes there, and by old I mean 1995. There were still entire neighborhoods that had dilapidated roads and no houses with few street signs, a place abandoned by the real estate world in a time past. As I walked into the house around sunset, I saw the loneliness in which he lived. He did have many collectibles and items strewn throughout the house, but I may have been the only other person that ever set foot in this house. He claimed to have a younger Asian girlfriend from LA, but no one had ever seen her. He owned four other houses in the area, and was basically a slumlord, but as a convicted felon he didn't have many other opportunities. He couldn't even be on the payroll as an employee in his brother's shop because of his past.

We had agreed on 50% up front in cash, as well as a written contract that said I had the right to repo the vehicle that was now rightfully owned by the pawn shop, and the title which was now in the shop's name. I don't even know if I went about this legitimately, I should have consulted my lawyer friend in Miami, but I would rather him not know. My job consisted of getting the vehicle out of the immediate area to a place where it could be safely towed and recovered back to the pawn shop. NJ shouldn't have been so anxious, once this thing was recovered he was liable to make 20K even if he split profit with his brother. I had a plan in place – go to the house, scout it out, come back the next day with Carlos, let him drive my car, and I go and swipe the Shelby and take it to a friend's place in North Beach. I literally needed a 30 second window to run to the car, open it, and throw it into gear and get the **** out. Carlos was going to drive my car and just follow me, and hopefully this was all going to work.

Carlos is someone I have not spoken about until now, and I am not entirely sure why. He is probably the closest person I had to a poker friend that I could trust, discuss strategy, go on long trips with, and not worry about the typical poker problems such as going broke and getting wasted like Little Mike. I first met Carlos during a Friday night donkament in early 2013 where we ended up getting heads up and doing an even chop because we were 45/55 in chips with 30 blinds in play. As we both got paid out at the podium, I could hear him talking to a friend looking for a ride back south. I offered him a ride, and I thought I lived far from the cardroom, he was an extra 20 minutes south in a more rural area that was mostly rednecks and fishermen. On the trip I found out he was originally from Miami, had moved here 10 years ago, and had been caught dealing small amounts of weed in the past, but it was behind him. He was Cuban, but I took him as Mexican because of his complexion and his very relaxed demeanor. He also had tattoos on his hands and neck, and at first appearance was someone you would see straight out of MS-19. We talked about the tournament on the hour long ride home, and I could tell he knew that the tournament was mostly luck, but he didn't have a ton of money to work with. He had been studying quite a bit and wanted to get more into cash games, and as we got to his place, I could tell he wanted out of where he was. We rolled up to your typical 70s style Florida vacation home, complete with a carport full of junk and garbage, linoleum, broken windows, and the smell of dog ****, your classic white trailer trash special in this neck of the woods. I asked him why he stayed here and he said it was free, that the owner was a friend whose parents passed away and had been given the home, but were going to lose it to foreclosure. He had a small bedroom in the back of the house and he had poker books everywhere. Over the next few months, he and I would go over hand histories, and I did back him a bit at 1-2 where he was losing badly at first, but then became more comfortable and even started taking shots at 2-5. The culmination of his first run of success was a huge upswing that put his bankroll in the five figure range, and then one night he asked how to play blackjack on a trip up to Hard Rock Tampa. After explaining the game to him and how it worked, he bought it for 300 and asked me how to play certain hands and cashed out around 575, with about 8700 on him. They colored him up to a purple chip and 3 greens, and he really thought the purple chip was cool, he didn't want to cash it in or anything. We went and played some 2-5, and after 2 hours Carlos was minus $2k. I told him to walk it off at least for 30 minutes if he wanted to get back in the game, and he went get some food. Around 2am, he told me he was going to stay up there and play all night, that a friend was coming in the morning. I said goodbye, and didn't hear from him for a week. He ended up playing $500 a hand at blackjack and busting the bankroll he had run up over the past few weeks. I haven't taught anyone the basics of blackjack since then.

Back to the trip, I offered Carlos 10% plus expenses just for driving my car away from the repo scene, as he was familiar with the Miami streets and didn't mind the trip out of town. Every time I had come to pick him up from that part of town he was at a different address – his mom's, his girlfriend, his cousin, and they were always in the middle of effing nowhere. He would always be hanging out in the dark in the front of the houses and was ready to go, so I never had to look for numbers on the houses. This time was no different, and I got out of the car and opened the trunk, and then went into the passenger seat.

“Get us to I-75,” I said, getting ready to test out his driving skills, a little weary of the fact that his license had been suspended in the past. He obliged and took the wheel, checked the shifter for gear....and stalled out immediately. I told him it wasn't a problem, I'd rather him stall than toast the wheels, which was hard in this car anyway with all wheel drive, but still. He complained the clutch was too stiff, and I told him to just press in one motion and not ride it like it was an old Civic. He finally got the hang of it, and off we went. I took the northerly route to Miami – Route 27 to the Palmetto Expressway, away from tolls, I didn't want any evidence of me being on Alligator Alley just out of straight paranoia. The ride is very quiet and boring, especially at night. As I pulled off the Palmetto and onto the streets of north Dade county, it was still amazing to see after all these years how different Miami was from basically the rest of the state and most parts of the country. These streets were over 90% percent Latino besides the small Haitian area known as little Haiti just north of downtown. It looked, smelled, and felt like a shantytown, just with the skyline of Miami in view instead of Port-Au-Prince. Violent crime was astronomical in this zipcode, and I made sure to not stop for much. We had left the West Coast around 11pm, figuring that the guy would be out until at least 2am and I didn't want to wait on the streets for him to come around – this was a close knit community and my car would stand out on the streets, as would the Shelby. After using the GPS, I finally found the tiny street printed on the paperwork, and my heart began to race a bit, almost like I was expecting to fight some sort of endboss in a video game in real life.

Turning the corner and going down a block or two, the road was littered with old rundown cars of all makes and models. There wasn't much room to park anywhere and I didn't want to idle long and attract attention. As the GPS was telling me we were approaching the address, I couldn't see anything resembling a Shelby on the street. Maybe I was too naive to realize he might garage it somewhere and actually be smart about it, but sure enough, I saw the white stripe going down the blue paint of the GT350 parked on the road about a half block ahead. I got out of the car and had Carlos take the wheel and creep up to the side of the Shelby, and I looked around. It was quiet for a weekday night, I had only seen two people walking the streets in the past mile. I set the GPS on both my phone and his to the garage in Miami Beach and told him not to leave until the car was on the road and behind him ready to go. With the papers in hand, my phone and wallet on me and nothing else, I opened the car with just the key to keep the sound down, and just a blink of the lights happened, nothing too unusual. Everything was in slow motion as I sat down in the seat, dropped the papers and turned the ignition. The engine sounded like a freight train compared to the ambient noise in the neighborhood and the clock started to tick in my mind – I had to get this thing out of here ASAP. I slapped it in reverse and the clutch was a real *****. One misstep and I could roast this car right into the one behind me and it was game over. I quickly put it into first, cut the wheel, and barely cleared the car in front of me and pulled out, going through 3 stop signs before finally stopping at the fourth. I really didn't understand just how powerful this car was until I stepped on it getting on US1 and the rear broke loose two or three times before I could control it. I had an 02 Mustang GT and that thing was a joke compared to this, having over twice as much horsepower. At some point on US1 I started to get very paranoid – what was in this car, what if I got pulled over and there's an kilo of coke in the trunk? What if this guy tracks me down and decides to kill me? A downward spiral of thinking was making the drive over the causeway and onto the beach a white knuckle affair. Once across the causeway, I felt like I had just successfully gotten across an imaginary border, and this beast would fit in with the other cars in the glitz and glam of Miami Beach. I took Alton Road up the beach a bit and rolled the windows down – it was 4am in December, but it was still humid and muggy on the beach. I got to the gate where my friend had a parking spot, keyed in the code, and drove in like I owned the place. I walked back out through the magnetic gate, called Carlos who was still a few minutes behind, and felt like I had just done a mission in GTA Vice City. As Carlos pulled up we switched and I drove down to South Beach where I had gotten a cheap hotel in the dead season of early December. I couldn't stay at my friend's place because he wasn't there, and I didn't want Ken to know what I was up to in Little Haiti at 3am.

Mission Accomplished.
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Old 05-23-2017, 09:51 AM   #921
Giltech
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

i thought this story was going to end in bullet holes and hospital visits. I'm glad it didn't
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:41 PM   #922
JacetheMind
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Epic thread.
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:28 PM   #923
Maverick93
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

I set aside everything else in life when TST posts a new chapter.
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:33 PM   #924
Rutledge Smitty
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

I just want to chime in and say these stories are amazing..never stop writing.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:12 PM   #925
Discipline12
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Re: The story of "The Home Game" - TL;DR

Gutsy move, I like it. Keep'em coming!!!
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