Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Post About Our Hero

I had originally posted this (or, attempted to post this), as a reply on Lightning's blog. See  Sir Lightning's Blog. But, apparently, there are limits to the acceptable length of comments.  So, I decided to repost here.  I'm not sure this is even worthy of a post.  But, since I spent some time drafting it, I figured I'd let if fly.  Blogging is hard WORK, u see . . .

So, take it for what it's worth.  And, Tony, if you are reading, I hope you are not offended by this.  It's my honest opinion.  Hopefully you are capable of seeing your "friendships" from other people's perspectives and, in response, perhaps modifying your behavior. 


Lightning's post epitomizes the experience of being "friends" with TBC on a vacation to Vegas.  Except that it under-emphasizes the amount of pestering text messages and phone calls you actually get when you don't do exactly what he wants you to do.  Many of us (like myself and Lightning) go to Vegas a handful of times a year, for vacation.  Sometimes, I'll fly in just for a quick weekend -- arrive Friday night and redeye out Sunday, straight to work Monday morning).  Speaking for myself (and I assume others), I do NOT go to Vegas to spend time with Tony.  Often, I do see him while I'm there; but it's certainly not the point of the trip.  Not even close.  I don't think Tony understands this.

Beyond this, spending time with Tony in Vegas is not always easy or convenient.  Often times, by the time Tony wakes up and feels HE is ready to MUST GAMBLE IMMEDIATELY, I'm already doing something for the evening.  Many times, I'm at a Casino on the South end of the strip, hanging out, with plans to grab a nice dinner somewhere.  Then Tony starts in, trying to get me to come to the Venetian . . . the Wynn . . . or even downtown.   It's generally a non-starter for me.  Again, I'm in Vegas a few times a year, often for just a few days at a time, and I'm not giving up my evening for Tony's convenience. 

This weekend was another prime example, 1000 miles away from Vegas.  Earlier in the week, I had finalized my weekend plans.  I booked a room at the Westin by BWI Friday night, and a room at the Sheraton in Towson Saturday (and no, I did not get room 1029 -- the "death" room . . .).  The plan was to play poker Friday night, go see a concert Saturday night, and spend Sunday watching NFL with friends back in Rockville.  So, Friday night, I left work early, got to the Horseshoe around 6:00, played some video poker, briefly, then had dinner and played poker for 4 hours.  Around midnight, I drove back to the Westin and went to the Lounge for a scotch or two.  It was then that I saw Tony's twitter posts.  He was in the air, heading for Baltimore, and wanted me to pick him up at the airport . . . at 2:00 am.  He apparently had a room for the night, like 3 miles from the airport.  Now, this is simply not a normal request.  Why would I (or anyone) stay up until 2:00 am to greet Tony at the airport and give him a 5 minute ride back to his hotel?  I declined, without hesitation . . . Saturday, I woke up about 10:00, got in a quick workout, an drove over to the Horseshoe to spend a quick couple of hours drinking coffee and playing VP.  Around 1:00, I drove out to Towson, grabbed some food, and started pre-partying for the O.A.R. / Train concert, which started at 6:30.  I went straight back to the hotel afterwards.  Sunday, I woke up (with assistance of an alarm) at 10:00 and drove home to Rockville.  I did some chores around the house and, around 1:00, went out to a local bar to watch some NFL.  Now, I have no idea what Tony did over the weekend.  I do believe, based on what I read, that he played poker from Saturday evening until 7:00 am Sunday.  I'm pretty damn confident he was not awake in the mornings, which would have been the only times I had a few free moments over the weekend.  Yet, Tony was apparently pissed off that I did not make an effort to see him.  This is what it is like to be "friends" with Tony . . .

Compounding the issue (and, Tony may not like to hear this, but it's the realty of the situation), I'm yet to find something Tony brings to the "friendship."  Sure, he'll occasionally comp you a meal.  A nice gesture, but I don't need a free meal (I don't come to Vegas for a free meal.  Rather, if I'm in town for three days, I want to eat at three awesome restaurants.  That's just me.  But that's how I roll in Vegas).  And, Tony will often write about all the things he WISHES he could do for his friends (like be there at the airport for them when they arrive in town).  But it's a lot easy to write about what you WISH you could do when you have no means of actually doing it.  It, of course, is a matter of speculation whether Tony would actually follow through with these things if he had a car, etc.  I mean, Tony always talks about the things he'd do for his friends, if only he could . . . but then he seems to ignore his own family.  He'll claim he lacks the means to travel home for Christmas to spend time with his mom and his son; yet he can afford to dust of $3,000 in a singe night degening on a video poker machine and then fly out to Maryland the very same evening and travel around the east coast.  So, if actions are any indications, it seems like Tony may, in fact, be all talk when it comes to all the giving he would do if he were only capable of giving . . . 

Beyond this, (at least in my opinion), Tony and I have nothing in common.  He has no interests outside of poker . . . doesn't like sports . . . doesn't like good food . . . has f*cked political / religious beliefs . . . and is virtually impossible to carry on a an actual conversation with.   I went out to lunch with Tony in Vegas over the summer.  We went to Yard House, a place where you can actually sit down, order from a waitress, and spend time hanging out.  The conversation was all about what Tony should do . . . were he should play poker . . . where he should travel to . . . And, even in the context of this loaded topic, it was apparent to me that Tony did not want to hear what I was saying to him.  When the advice was not exactly what he wanted to hear, it appeared he was a million miles away . . . then, when I was done, he'd shoot out another question.  And, no, I'm not an idiot.  I'm aware this is a prime behavioral characteristic of his autism.  But, it provides some insight (at least from my perspective) on what it's like to spend time with Tony. 

In short, if you want to hang out with Tony, you will play poker.  True enough, he may occasionally relent and go to lunch with you or something; but, even then, it's patently obvious that each and every minute, all he really wants to do is get back to gambling.   And, for the kicker, when you do play poker with him, he generally makes the table as unpleasant as possible.   Generally, he talks . . . a lot.  And, regardless of his intentions, much of his behavior comes off as patently antagonistic.  Showing bluffs . . . telling people how bad they played a hand . . . Generally speaking, a table with Tony is less pleasant than a tony-less table.  That's just the reality of the situation.   And hell, I'm saying that and I KNOW the guy.  Imagine how your average tourist views him?  

So,  all of this begs the question, why would I go out of my way to hang out with Tony?

Lightening actually makes the rest of us "inner circle guys" look bad.  He, prolly more than anyone, spends substantial effort trying to be a friend to Tony.  I'm not really sure what he gets back in return, aside from a better spot in heaven when this ride ultimately comes to an end.  In my opinion, he devotes an undue amount of time on his trips driving Tony around and playing in poker rooms in which he might not otherwise play.  I think he's just THAT nice a guy (no, I am NOT being paid to write this).  But, as his most recent trip proves, even he has his limits when it comes to dealing with Tony.

In the end, Tony renders me perpetually conflicted.  On the one hand, I can emphasize with him.  I can only imagine how lonely it must be to live the life he is leading.  I also understand that his personal issues contribute largely to his conduct and self-centeredness.  On the other hand, I just find it hard to deal with him.  I think it's actually easier to deal with him in person, largely because his issues are ever present -- a constant reminder that I'm not dealing with the average guy.  On-line . . . not so much.  Tony claims he is insulted by the things I sometimes write.  I think that's a fair point.  But, I also think Tony brings a lot of it on himself.  I do believe Tony trolls.  Often.  And yes, I think he is 100% aware of his actions.  And, for my part, I often write things, or respond to his posts, in a way that I later regret.  I should be a big enough person to just ignore a lot of Tony's statements.  But, apparently, I'm not.  in the end, Tony just has a way of getting to me.

Ultimately, I'm not sure what Tony can do about any of this.  I'm not sure he is capable of broadening his interests  . . . or of seeing things from other people's perspective, including trying to actually carry on a conversation . . . listening, and not just asking questions . . . . delving into topics others want to talk about, and not just what he wants to know about . . . doing things that other people want to do, aside from just gambling.  Maybe the answer is for Tony to find friends whose interests and mindsets are more in line with his.  Off the top of my head, I have no idea who these people would be... But, perhaps some exist.  Of course, Tony's nomad lifestyle makes it difficult to find such friends.    

But, it seems clear the current situation is not working out for Tony.  He is constantly pissed off and disappointed in his "friends," and his "friends" inevitably get pissed off at him and distance themselves.  Frankly, I think the problem is that, when push comes to shove, Tony and his friends have nothing in common.  It seems like all of Tony's "friends" are bloggers and other people he meets on the internet.  My experience is that such people are generally quite normal people, who lead normal lives and have normal interests.  They would not typically be friends with Tony under normal circumstances.  If you met Tony at a poker table, he would probably not be the first person you would ask to hang out with at dinner or to watch a game.  Many of the people Tony meets online are simply drawn in by the saga.  Some get a first hand taste and withdraw back into the online shadows.  Others step forward and actually try to help Tony.  I'm constantly amazed by the stories I hear of the assistance people have rendered.  I learned of a new story just yesterday (yes, I'm looking at you, agsweep . . .).  Josie was incredibly kind back in the day.  I'm not sure Tony truly realizes the lengths people have gone to help him.  Are these people "friends"?  Perhaps.  But I don't think they provide the type of "friendship" that Tony is looking for.  That's simply the reality.  Or, at least that's my educated take on it. 
So, assuming anyone is still reading this . . . in sum:

(1) Tony is hard to get along with;
(2) lightning is a good guy; many other folks who have met Tony through blogs /forums are also great people;
(3) PPP should try harder to be nice to Tony
(4) Tony should try some different approaches to making friends aside from bloggers;


  1. Thanks for the props. Being part of the TBC Experience was often fun. Going to some different poker rooms and even making the excursion to beautiful Jean, NV were definitely experiences. However, as you mentioned, nobody has the singular interest that Tony has -- which is Tony and his need for constant degenerate gambling.

  2. I mean, here's a prime example of the issue, excerpted from a comment on Tony's latest post:

    "clearly doubt u were pay to take me to a ballgame even if i was into that kind of stuff. however i wouldnt mind taking a meal at a restaraunt of ur choosing as long as i didnt intensely dislike the food. id even not mind something like the museum or a movie as long as we could talk and i could make plans as to what i should do."

    So, Tony would even be willing to go to a museum or move "AS LONG AS WE COULD TALK AND I COULD MAKE PLANS AS TO WHAT I SHOULD DO."

    I'm not sure Tony understands that I (and most people) have no desire to spend an afternoon talking about what tony should do with his life, particularly since we all know it's wasted breathe. Sure, occasionally, people (myself included) do not mind talking to Tony about such things, or giving advice. But, with Tony, that seems to be the ONLY POINT to non gambling interactions. And it appears Tony thinks this is appropriate.

  3. +1000000000000

    Now that being said, have you tried Jose Andres Bazaar Meats over at SLS?

    1. y would P3 check out Jose's meat??? just bcuz he slept in same bed as a dude and rode on the back of a Harley after slamming tallboys.u , madam, r projecting/profiling and that is what is wrong with Merica. that and turkey bacon

  4. wow, u do chores around the house????? no maid/servants??? america must still b in a recession.STUpid Unger is just a degen gamblooooor/deadbeat dad/bigot. sorry i dont beleive the autism b.s. i lived with a woman in texas that had asperer( yeah,i know i misspelled it grammar nazis,2 lazy to google it). she was a single mom( wait 4 it took care of her child like had a job, car,etc,etc) didnt use her disability as an excuse 4 being an asshole/bitch or 4 not bathing.she realized she was lil different and made an effort to b a human being and not a victim of her disease(not sure right word but fuck it).point is the PRO is just an asshole/self servicing/whining/deadbeat dad/degen gambler and i am just enjoying the train wreck.

  5. after reading lightnings post, getting a comment typed up, typing up the new blog (and i forgot to mention it there but its great to see how much interaction between readers is finally taking place, (about 60 comments and growing) i finally got around to reading this post. at first i thought when it was recommended i read PPPs post, i assumed that meant his latest post on my blog. then i realized he had a new blog up.

    i googled the hotels u stayed at and it does seem they were more expensive than the $139 i had to pay today. i dont really understand what makes them better hotels and cost more, comparted to any other nice hotel near the casino. by the way, this ISNT mariott residence inn as u thought--its springhill suites by marriott. can u explain what it is about the westin and sheraton that makes u prefer those hotels? what exactly makes them nicer inside?

    to me all high priced motels seem to be the same--i dont notice the nuances, but i do notice if they offer a shuttle service though. suffice it to say to me ALL of them are about the same and extremely fancy--when i have lots of years of motel 6 and worse to use as a guideline.

    i have few friends cause i have nothing in common with anyone that dont share my interests. its hard to relate otherwise. But theres some of us who gamble a lot of hours at poker, and many guys have a buddy they spend a lot of time at the same table or cardroom with (albeit different tables) because they both are in the same line of work--professional poker player. and sometimes it makes sense to use the same car. so i dont see that as unusual.

    i would think most of my old readers should feel im doing quite well. remember how broke i was in Jean and people thought it was the end? what about the years in mid early 20s i was homeless and panhandling for about $30-50 a day to survive on? and now i have over $2500 cash on me and left vegas with only $800 cash on me? im winning BIG at the casino, doing better than i ever have, making me feel coming here was a smart move. sure im out several hundred in the bank on hotels cabs, and plane fares, but overall im still about $1000 better off.

    (more to come, but i am afraid if i dont break up this comment it wont post)

  6. essentially i feel like MINE is a success story. a story of being perpetually broke, no way to get income except to beg, to now making close to $100k a year at $1-2 NL (as long as i never leave MD live that is) which im sure i will sooner or later. i guess what i really need is a girlfriend with a car, able to hang out (because she dont work or have other demands) and to let me live at her house in exchange for about $1500 a month to help with bills. this way i have transportation, love, and feel like im helping someone out who otherwise would have no way to survive without ending up on the streets. Plus id have a real home to go to instead of just an empty hotel room, so id feel like im part of a real family. i dont feel part of my own family seeing they refuse to ever leave that small town theyres stuck in for life.

    i hardly say a word at the table til i either just win or lose a substantial pot. and also, its difficult to hang out with others because the only times a professional poker player should be playing/working are the hours of like 9pm to 6am. and i really thought u were awake, well rested, and just hanging about ur hotel with nothing to do and bored at that time of the night. had no idea u were tired about to sleep, same as i am now. u spend so much time gambling--its easy to not think of the fact u have a job at all.

    1. LOL r so fucking delusional,sir.

    2. Tony, I'm glad you are doing better financially lately. I hope you can continue. But, for whatever reason, you don't seem to be picking up on what people are telling you. Your expectations for friends and girlfriends is simply not realistic. Your ideal is just not the way the world works. I just really don't know what else to say . . .

    3. if this "GF" has a car and a house that the mortgage is close to 1500 a month y is she going to b on the streets??? also just bcuz P3 is hanging out at a hotel doesnt mean he wants U as company.. if u r going to make 100k a year then stop whining about health issue too but we know u r full of crap just like Reno or whatever.

  7. I agree with everything PPP wrote. Tony is like dealing with a young child (trust me I have four). They want immediate gratification. They would play all day and eat candy for dinner if they could. They have no idea about consequences or other people's viewpoints. They only know their limited experience.

    I would compare tony closer to my 3 year old boys over the six year old girls. The girls may want the world to revolve around them but already are aware it doesn't. The boys haven't quite learned this yet.

    I try to think of tony as a 3 or 4 year old who will never emotionally grow older. Though my boys are a little more transparent.

    I'm pretty sure autism is the biggest contributor to this this lack of emotional IQ. Our definition of success is different from Tony's. I congratulate tony for providing for himself. If you've noticed I gave up on personal advice many years ago and stick to poker strategy. Tony is not solvable. However it is entertaining at s minimum. It also can provide a better understanding of autism, fragile x and related disorders. Why tacking them early is key, environment is key and how some aspects can't be modified but simply must be worked around. I'm sure pokerdogg could chime in heavily here.

    I continue to wish Tony the best.

    My apologies if this is scattered as I am typing between red lights on my iPhone.

  8. That is a good comparison Vook. When I read all this about Tony, it reminds me of parents trying to teach there currently unteachable unruly child important lessons of life. The accomplished parent I am say's that is the problem. Only tough love will eventually succeed in turning a child from selfishness to caring about others. Tony should only get what he gives in friendships. Consideration and thoughtfulness is what he lacks and needs to learn about.

  9. You'll see me standing back. If a train runs off the track, it can hurt a bystander, no?

  10. LOL @ Tony making 100k a year playing 1/2...I sense recency bias. Even if you played 3000 hours in a year you would have to be an absolute crusher to earn $33+/hour playing 1/2. Doesn't happen. So while you may be running well ATM you have no clue the soul crushing variance that poker can bring.

    This speaks nothing of your poker ability which I think (based on reviews of your HH) are very much questionable.

    Fucking delusional

    1. All this TBC retard fake "bravado" after his hourly plummeted like a bad stock he now ran away (again) to another part of the US where he wins early on - then he crows about making 100k a year (even the retard TBC knows it will never happen) he is just a troll - might as well be as he looks like one as well.