December 27, 2000

High limit and Santa Claus is in town…you’d have to be a dealer to know what that means. Our Santa Claus is Adib M. He’s the Santa of any sweater that sits behind him also. Every time he wins a pot, the sweater gets $25-$50. It’s almost a war to see who gets to sit with him. He is the poker dealer’s dream…he’s playing higher than normal and everyone wants a chance to deal to him – even the players. If he takes a walk during my down and comes back to see me leaving the game, he gives me $200 just for showing up. How the hell can’t I want this guy to win every pot.

This really isn’t about him…but he’s playing the game that this post is all about. Even though I love to have Santa in my game, I know that he’s only there a few times a year and I have regular players that must be dealt to/with and I have to do the best job possible or I’m going to suffer in the long run.

The game is $300/$600 stud…ante $75.00 and the bring-in is $100.00. The game normally runs eight handed but tonight it’s nine handed…why, you ask? Because if a real ‘live one’ shows up, an extra chair is pulled in for them, even if there’s a list, they take precedence over the list. Hey and you thought that them that has the gold don’t make the rules. Yeah, baby!

This game is a firecracker. One pot is six way action with all the raises – three way action on 6th Street – a bet, raise, and re-raise on the river. The pot’s so big that I couldn’t shove it with a snow plough. Don’t worry, I get stiffed. Santa raised on the river and got re-raised and shown a full house. That pot could’ve been worth $200 or more but it’s worth zip where it landed.

But still this isn’t about tipping…it’s about doing my job and doing it well. One hand comes to 6th street with three players involved. It’s been raised, re-raised, etc., etc. all the way down. The Cuckoo has been high all the way with an Ace high showing – on 6th, he loses that status to an Ace with a higher kicker.

I called the high card and Cuckoo checked, (even though he’s not high). The high card, (Santa), checked. The next player checked and now the Cuckoo tried to bet. Luckily the shift supervisor was standing behind me. When the Cuckoo tried to bet, I said, “You checked!”

He started in with me.

I said, “You checked out of turn, they checked, it’s a check.”

He looked over my shoulder at the Shift Supervisor for verification and got it. I burned and turned the last down card to each player.

The long and short of it, Cuckoo had three Aces and won the pot.

I got pushed by the new dealer. Stiffed, Yes? Did I do my job well? Yes.

Two nights later, I walked through the casino, returning from a break. Cuckoo passed me, mumbling, “…check, I checked!”

I said, “Get the hell out of here, of course you checked.”

Does this mean that when it’s in your favor, I’m supposed to forget the rules and when it’s not, I’m supposed to remember them? Yeah, Baby! Not in this lifetime.

December 19, 2000

I’m not happy at this particular writing. I finished my shift a few hours early as the room was really quiet. Decided that I would sit down in a $4-$8 limit holdem game and try to make the extra $$’s that the shift didn’t quite fulfill.

Sat down in a game that had two empty seats…asked for a seat change to get away from a smoker and I also like the end seats because I can watch all the action, stretch my legs and have a little elbow room…*sigh*

Got my seat change, two or three dealers came and went, the $4-$8 limit game next to us lost a few players and they had three seats open…we had two with one player that had gone broke, left a lock up and was returning.

Super Slick – at the next table – started in with, “Hey, Linda, we’ve got 3 seats open, why don’t you draw to come over here?”

I said, “Why don’t you draw? I like short handed games.”

We lost another player and one of our players walked. Super Slick started again…why didn’t we draw for seating? Again I told him to draw as I like short handed games. Slick informed me he didn’t…oh, well.

Then another player at Slick’s table took up the cry, “Draw for seats and come over here!”

The dealer at Slick’s table got involved when I said I didn’t want to draw, I wanted to play. The dealer was trying to be funny and said to me, “Leave my players alone!”

I couldn’t convince anyone that we had two good games with seven players each, so I just stopped trying. Now, thanks to Slick and his sidekick and the dealer’s involvement, two players at my table looked around and realized that it really was short handed. They put their chips in racks and left.

The walker at my table returned and wanted to draw for seats at another table. The Sidekick came over and tried to talk me into drawing also…no way I could convince any of these people that they are dead wrong in trying to break up a game. I put my chips in a rack and headed for home without drawing.

I was unhappy with all of it, including the dealer’s involvement. Some days you just have to give up the battle and come back another day…but while I’m doing that, bet your wondering why I call him Super Slick. Well ok, here it is in a nutshell.

He thinks he’s smooth. If he’s got the worst hand, he looks at you and innocently asks, “Just you and me? I check!” If he’s got the best of it, you’re paying because he’s betting.

He takes every shot he can get and cries long, hard, and continuously when he’s getting beat. Oh yeah, the cocktail waitress never gets more than $0.50 if she brings him three drinks at a time and if the dealer pushes him a $9,000,000 pot, it’s worth $0.50.

Just who I want to sit in a game with – N-O-O-OT!

December 9, 2000

I met a friend that lives in Belgium and visits Las Vegas occasionally, Frederic, for a drink and we decided to visit the Orleans Poker Room…hey, that’s what poker players do. We both got seats in different games and eventually a seat opened next to me on my left. Frederic joined my table.

Our game was noisy and just a little bit out of control because the gent on my right was boisterous, rowdy, drinking, and having one hell of a good time. He ordered White Zinfandel in one glass, ice in another glass, coke in another glass, and then one empty glass. I wondered if there would be room for me to sit at the table along with his chips, my chips, and his small concoction of beverages and glasses.

Between talking, laughing, betting, stacking chips, and entertaining us, he poured the coke back and forth between the empty glasses to remove the fizz, then poured the White Zin into the glass of ice and poured the coke in with it. His explanation was that the White Zin was so terrible it needed to be mixed with something sweet but he couldn’t stand the fizz because it upset his stomach.

He told us about his love life and dating – along with a lot of other things – said the best sex he’d ever had was with a woman (he is 67) that’s 74. He said the reason it was so good was because she may have thought that each time was her last so she wanted to get all she could. 🙂

Anyway, a young guy joined our game and sat next to the Entertainer. Young Guy was friendly and joined in the conversation a few times and sat a very long time without ever playing a hand. Frederic was stuck and hadn’t played a lot of hands either.

Somehow, while listening to the Entertainer, the action took off between Frederic, (he was first in the action), Young Guy, and the Entertainer. It was raised pre-flop and re-raised.

The board was K-Q-5. Frederic flopped a set of 5’s. There was still raising and re-raising. The turn was a blank for all hands and the river was a 10…Frederic had taken over the betting on the Turn and bet out on the River…he got raised by Young Guy. The Entertainer folded.

While laying his cards face up on the table, Frederic reluctantly called the raise and asked, “Straight?”

Young Guy nodded and then, (from my point of view – I never saw his cards exposed), threw his hand face down, right into the muck.

I nudged Frederic’s arm out of happiness that he’d won the pot with a set. The dealer pushed the pot to Frederic and Young Guy went totally ballistic. Swearing, noisy, and exclaiming that he had the straight. Everyone knew from the way he acted that he did have it, he even looked at Frederic and pleadingly asked, “You believe me don’t you, sir!”

Well, it appears that Young Guy gave the cards a momentary flash towards Frederic and then pitched them…he obviously had played poker before…so what was he thinking?

We all know the cards must be laid face up on the table to claim the pot, so let this be a lesson to all of us. Well hell, if you’re running a game in your house, you can make up your own rules but just in case you’re playing in a casino, turn them up if you want the pot.

An hour later I left the table with more than I started with and the Entertainer asking me to join him and a couple for dinner the following night. Ain’t poker great?

December 5, 2000

The odd of the odd…sure history repeats itself. Approximately seven years ago at the Mirage, I tapped a dealer out of a $10-$20 limit holdem game…the player in the small blind was just winning a pot with a pair of Aces. I sat down, the button moved.

Now the conversation is, “Wow! You had A-A in the small blind and big blind and won both pots.”

The same player now has the button, different dealer, (me), and is once again dealt – you guessed it – A-A. He wins the pot. He picked up pocket Aces, small blind-big blind-button, with two different dealers and won all three hands. Odds on this? Hey, go figure!

A week ago, $8-$16 holdem, I dealt the player in the 1 seat, pocket Aces three hands in a row. The first pair of Aces wasn’t shown, he mucked it on the turn when a four card straight came. He won the next two hands and showed them down – made four of a kind on the 2nd hand. Now you might be wondering if he was telling the truth about the 1st hand…I’ve known this player a long time and would definitely say “YES!”

Incidentally, a player at the table asked for a deck change after the 1st pair of Aces was shown, (this would be the 2nd hand with A-A), new deck and still the player received A-A in the pocket with a new deck).

On the 4th hand dealt, his first card was an Ace. It was unplayable, but out of the board and his hole cards, he had 9 Aces at play in 4 hands. Hard to top this one.

Although this isn’t a ‘topper’ to the Aces story…it’s an addendum…a few days later while dealing to the guy (Bill Looper) that had nine Aces in four hands, (he brought up the conversation), a player in the game over heard the story and added her ‘nightmare’. She was dealt A-A in the big blind, small blind, and on the button. She lost all three of those hands.

Thank the Card Fairy, the Poker God, and all reigning Deities in the realm of gambling that I didn’t deal that little trio of uglies.