The stage: Bellagio Poker Room, table 1. The time: 2:00 a.m. The characters: Linda/me, I’m the main character, everyone else just moves in and out of my realm of perception and life. The other characters: 1s – Jimmy G., 3s – Brian N., 5s – Eskimo, 7s – Ray, 8s – Cuckoo.
The script is written for total unhappiness, death, doom and destruction. How will our heroine live through this? Sheer strength of will and level headed thinking, baby.
The Game Plaque read $300-$600 mixed, but it was really $100 & $200 Blind, with a spread limit bet up to $500…of course there’s a twist. If anyone just calls the $200, the next person can put a full raise on it, making it $700 to go. Otherwise, the first caller/raiser can only make it $500 to go.
Jimmy immediately said, “Lovely Linda. Come on, Linda, let’s get this going today.”
Brian chimed in with a rendition of some melody and sang, “She’s lovely…lovely, Linda.”
I laughed…short lived…ready for the player/dealer war that I knew was coming.
I announced the Time Pot, counted the rack down, put the used deck into the Shuffle Master and took the newly shuffled deck out and immediately Eskimo informed me that he wanted a scramble each hand, before the deck was put into the Shuffle Master.
It was Deuce to 7 Triple Draw and the raises went in. I expected a $300 bet and it was $500…no one told me the limit was different than the Game Plaque stated. When I stopped to make sure there was a $1,000 in front of each of the three players in the hand, Eskimo informed me that I didn’t have to look at the bets, they were called. He wasn’t in the hand of course.
I smiled and said, “Believe it or not, it’s part of my job.”
He replied, “Well if you get mad, hit Jimmy.” He thought that was pretty funny and chuckled over it.
I said, “I’m not mad…why would I be?”
That went unanswered as I expected it would. Surprisingly, Ray threw away all of his cards and drew five more, after calling $900 more. Cuckoo and Brian drew two, long and short of it, Cuckoo gave it up on the second draw and Ray won the hand with a 7-6-5-3-2.
Brian had the perfect face for the script…he was ready to KILL something.
By the time we came to the end of Deuce, Cuckoo was crying, Brian was steaming and creased up two of his cards.
I called for a Set Up. I opened the Shuffle Master and waited as Jimmy brought me a Set Up. Brian told me to go ahead and deal the deck in the Shuffle Master. I waited and replied, “He’s bringing the Set Up.”
Brian insisted that I deal the deck that had already been shuffled. I sat there and waited. He was ready to jump out of his chair and I stared out into the poker room, thinking about the glass of wine I was going to have when I got home…peaceful, restful haven, undisturbed by anger and frustration…umhhhh…yummy, yummy, home!
My thought. Why should I speed the game up? If Brian wanted it to run smoothly, he shouldn’t have creased his cards. If I hurry up and deal the deck out of the Shuffle Master, is there a bonus in it for me? No! Same anger, same crap, same ugly faces and attitudes…different day.
I spread the first deck of the Set Up, scrambled it, put it into the Shuffle Master. Spread the 2nd deck, scrambled, shuffled and just as I was going to deal, Brian interjected. “You are not going to deal that deck.”
Brian replied with something like this, “No you are not. It’s got to be shuffled by the machine.”
I sat back and waited…the script was written for me to be completely relaxed and at ease…I played the part very well.
Ray asked what was wrong. I replied, “Nothing, honey. We’re just going to wait a minute.”
He was smiling and couldn’t even get to where everyone else was at the table.
Cuckoo was grumbling and asking Eskimo if ‘the scramble was going ok, if everything was working out there…’
Cuckoo lost a few more hands and tried to slam his cards through the rack, taking off with, “This mother fucker, fucking fucker…” kind of thing.
Just the kind of thing that you really can’t even call a floor person for because then he’s going to say he wasn’t talking to me. In reality, I don’t believe he’s sane at that moment or really talking to anyone or thing…he’s just lost in the Black Hole of no self-control. It’s not even in his realm of comprehension that his Poker Face is bleeding and everyone knows it.
I didn’t need to read a script for this one, I always keep my hands up, by my stomach when the hands over. After the third time that Cuckoo tried to merge his cards with the rack, I asked, “Are you getting tired of throwing cards at me?”
He grumbled, “I’m really hurting you. You’re not losing any money. You’re not losing…”
I almost laughed when I replied, “Yeah, so? I can’t change it.”
He went on crying, “You’re not losing any money…”
I said, “It’s Bullshit! That’s what it is.”
He kept crying…big slobbering, angry, belligerent tears that were filled with ‘fuck, fucking mother fucker’…
Lee and David L. took a seat, confusion on the posting of the blind…because the game rule was that if you were in the Big Blind and you elected to let it pass, even if you were a new player, you would have to post the small and big blind behind the button to take a hand…a new twist to go with all the other twisted twists from these guys.
I got pushed, moved right into a $10-$20 Pot Limit Holdem game. My last down of the night and pretty peaceful after all the player stress/emotion at table 1.
The beginning of my night was easy and filled with fun loving, poker playing people…I just happened to run aground and hit a snag on table 1. I escaped when the blissful winds of peace blew in to fill my sails and take me off to cool running, open water, moonlit skies and home, wonderful, peaceful harmony…HOME.
Just the right ending for a great script. Cut to…Home.