“Do you need to see my id?”

Wrap up of the end of the month…I know I should have been posting but a million and one things seemed to get in the way.

I dealt a $4-$8 holdem game; sit down in the game, the departing dealer states, “I’ve asked for a setup and it’s supposed to be on its way.”

The player in the 2 seat is a youngster that appears to be about 22-23, he pipes up with, “Is he asking about my ID?”

I’m still trying to speak with the departing dealer, pull the deck together, shuffle, count the rack, and the 2 seat has asked me a question…

The 2 seat becomes more adamant with, “Do you need to see my id?”

I pride myself on being slightly crazy and unorthodox so I go with the moment and reply to the 2 seat, “Yes! Let me see your ID.”

He produces it, laying it on the table. Theatrically, I pull it out into the center of the table, look at it…all the players are focused on what I’m doing; the departing dealer is waiting to push into the game in front of us; everything stops for one short moment in time. I call the 2 seat by name and say, “Nice to have you in the game.” As I push his ID back to him.

Shuffle up and deal. The conversation takes a turn with the right side of the table, all men; they comment on how I want to see his ID so I can find out his name, address, etc., and hustle him. An older gentleman on my right made the comment that I’m only interested in younger men. Hysterical!!!! Don’t think I haven’t dated younger men. I have. I just wouldn’tpick up a dateat the poker table.

I find it to be very funny that the whole table has no idea what has just happened. One of the players, Sonny, I really enjoy him as a personality at the table and we always exchange ‘hellos’, asked me what happened there…after I got pushed out of the game. After explaining it to him, he’s enjoyed the whole scene as much as I have. Sometimes when I sit down in the box and Sonny’s in the game, he asks, “Do you want to see my ID?”

On the other side of the coin, everything isn’t always fun. The players that think you have something to do with it’ as a dealer are still out there. There little, tiny, Neanderthal Brains are showing sparks of activity as they express themselves with card throwing and vulgarity at the dealer…come on you pigs, you know who you are. After all…how could it be your fault? You’re supposed to win every time you enter into a hand and everyone else is supposed to lay down and die…not before they give you all of their chips, of course.


Dealing to Notaris…he’s shoveling french fries and a burger into his mouth. One of the fries falls out of his hand about mouth level and lands in a fold of shirt; chest level. After the fry sits there through 4 hands, I finally reach across the table, tap his hand, and point at his shirt. He never missed a beat, kept shoveling, betting his hand and pulled the fry from his shirt and ate it too. What a country.

The game!

This is not the normal poker post. It’s one of self reflection, life, job responsibilities, family, age, overview. I have been involved in the poker industry for a very long time…most of my adult life. Pretty? Not sure how to evaluate that. I’ve had my share of ‘bad beats’, yet along with those, I’ve been included in and privy to glimpses into the lives of others.

Everyone really wants to win. It’s not just about the $$$ amount. Sometimes it’s just about being someone, being somewhere and being recognized, being able to deal with yourself and liking what you see at the end of the day.

The game of poker is the game of life. We make mistakes, we win, we lose, we come back another day and try to conquer our demons and vanquish all that stand before us so we can be the ‘king of the hill’. While we make this trip, we must surpass many obstacles…most of those obstacles are within ourselves. If we learn nothing from the past, we can never progress to the future. If we live only for the moment, we can never better ourselves. If we see the overview, the big picture, then we truly begin to understand what it’s all about.

It is possible to take someone’s money at the table, laugh, keep them entertained, feel good about ourselves, and come back tomorrow to do the same thing. What about the times when everything we do is wrong…our timing is off; we know it yet we can’t correct it? What if we really aren’t mean or malicious…we just came to play the game? What if we know how to play…we just can’t win? What if winning is the difference between a hot shower and bed or sleeping in the car/street? What if poker has taken control of our being and we sacrifice our family, security, selves just to play the game?

All those factors are what constitutes a game of poker. Some of us take a seat because we are lonely and know no one will voluntarily spend time with us. Some of us play because we believe we are the best qualified to take the money. Some of us play because we feel we deserve to be punished and losing is part of the game. Some of us play because we know the law of averages, the $$ amount, our bankroll, our ability to overcome all of it, is really what the game is all about.

Then we come to the most painful part of all of it…what is important? A poker win? Bluffing your opponent? Leaving with a win? Steaming? Control…as in demanding and overbearing to the dealer, cocktails, the brush, etc.? Losing? Winning? Putting everyone in their place? Holding up the game and play because you’re the most important person at the table?

Very seldom that anyone ever really gets into the game…the game of poker and the game of life. On 9/11/01, parents picked up their babies and moved to the back of the plane…preparing to die. Where were we? The next time you think you got a bad beat, think about that one. My heart aches with the thought.

High Limit Heaven

Yep, I’m still there, High Limit Heaven…gag, snort, whine. Every night I’m going to deal to those beauties at some point in my shift. Well enough of the ‘heavy sigh’ thing. A recap of the last few days.

I can deal for months and never make a mistake…I’m not talking about failing to ask someone if they want to post…I mean a mistake in which the Floor has to be called to ‘fix it’. Let’s face it, if you did something 85,000 times in a year, you’d have to be inhuman not to make a mistake. But when I make them, they’re usually great.More…

$75-$150 7 Card Stud 8 or better – four players. I dealt 5 hands before one of them realized that it was 8 or better. He thought they were playing straight Stud and he was in the game when I got there. Yippee!!! Wish I had a buy-in for that game. One of the players is Russian, speaks no English, Notaris, he’s played at Bellagio before…no bonus for a dealer and none for a player either from the looks of it.

This particular game is where I made one of my ‘Class A’ mistakes. Notaris was heads up with a player; on 4th street the other player was high and checked; Notaris bet; I was in brain lock and tapped the table, burned, and turned off the next up card to each player. Don’t worry, no one tried to stop me until the card had been delivered to both players…then Notaris said, “I bet!” Funny how they can’t speak English but they know bet, raise, etc.

I called for a decision. My shift supervisor, Suzie Lederer, came over to make the decision. I told her what had happened and she said the last card came back from each player and was out of play. I pulled the last card back, into the muck. The other player called Notaris’s bet. Notaris looked at me and said about eight words in Russian.
I said, “I don’t understand that.”

He then stood up and flipped his cards across the table, picking up his chips as if to leave. Suzie said, “Notaris, you know the cards don’t play.”

I pushed the pot to the other guy after mucking Notaris’s hand. Suzie stood there as my protector – thanks, Suzie. I got pushed.

I dealt another game to Notaris that night. No problem from him, he acted as if he didn’t even know it was me and the best part of it is…I believe he has no idea who’s dealing to him at any point of the night.

I then pushed into a $30-$60 Holdem game which was 10 handed and had a ‘run in’ with Ronnie about 15 minutes into my down. Ronnie is a wonderful, magnanimous bag of bull shit when he’s winning but God if he takes a beat or misses a draw, he’s a lunatic. Mumbling, fidgeting his cards, swearing silently that his luck is so bad and he’s stuck with this miserable, piece of shit dealer…and on and on.

I’ll admit that I’m armed and ready for war when I deal to Ronnie. About the 2nd hand I dealt, it was raised pre-flop…Ronnie was in 2nd/3rd position and just called – what do you think he had here??? I think K-Q off-suit or some miserable limping hand that would be played on the Button. If he’d had a hand, he should have put a raise in instead of cold calling. I can’t even remember the flop but as soon as it hit, he yelled, “Right on Time! Right on Time!”
When a bet came to him, he folded. His exclamation was directed at me and I knew it although I doubt that any of the players knew it.

We picked up two new players and about the 8th or 9th hand I dealt, the bet was raised twice pre-flop again. Ronnie called each time. The flop came. The 1st player and 2nd player checked, Ronnie started fidget/shuffling his cards, mumbling and wouldn’t act on his hand until I looked directly at him. When I did, he gave me the look from hell and said vehemently, “I check!”

He looked at Bert sitting on his left and said, “She’s the best, isn’t she?”

I’ve put up with this little poker slug for a long time and I was ready for war. I replied, “As long as you’ve been playing, you should be able to figure it out.”

Ronnie told me to just ‘deal’. Not to say anything, not to talk, just deal.

I said, “Don’t talk about me when I’m dealing.”

Ronnie replied, “I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to him,” as he motioned towards Bert.
I find this to be totally ridiculous…we live in America, we work in America…where is it written that we can be discussed and treated as if we were cattle or a chair. I live in this country because I have rights…just because I work for a living does not make me an 2nd class citizen. Why would someone think they can say anything they want about you and you have no reply option?

I said, “You are talking about me. Don’t talk about me when I’m dealing.”

Ronnie continued, his face turning red because I wasn’t on my knees in the subservient position that he expected. “Just deal the cards. Don’t say anything.”

I called for a decision. My Supervisor, Boba, came over. I explained that I wanted Ronnie to ‘not talk about me when I was dealing.’

Boba asked Ronnie to abide with that. Ronnie told Boba that I had talked all the time I was in the box and didn’t pay attention to the game…LIE, LIE, LIE. Boba told Ronnie that I was a very good dealer and not to talk about me while I was dealing. THANK YOU, Boba! The player in the 1 seat patted me on the back because he knew Ronnie was Jack ASS.

Ronnie then carried on a “I’m relaxed, well adjusted, how are you?” conversation with the guys sitting next to him until my push came up. He told the dealer coming in, with extreme excitement and veins popping in his head, “Good, you’re here. She doesn’t have to deal another hand.”

I looked at her and laughingly said, “He’s your new boss. Take your direction from him.”

She knew exactly what I was talking about…and guess what, during her down she had to call the Floor Man on him too. Go figure.

I survive all these jerks. To all of the wonderful people that I really enjoy, do not think you are included in any of this…you are not and most of you like to play with the jerks because you know they are the losers…I don’t blame you a bit. I appreciate knowing that you know what I go through and what it’s like in my seat night after night.

It never slows down

I spent one day in the middle of the room, the rest of my week I went through high limit at some point in the night. Tonight was no exception, but what a journey. The 4th game I dealt was $800-$1600 razz. Spare any thoughts you have about this game. I do not despise it but the whole of it is not what I would paint as a picture of poker. The 1s was Annie Duke – 2s Jason Lester – 3s Howard Lederer – 7s Jennifer Harman – 8s Larry. Keep in mind that Howard and Annie are brother and sister.

Continue reading It never slows down

It pays to make a mistake

I pushed Chong out of table 1. A friendly little 8 handed, $2,000-$4,000 mixed game. Chip Reese looked as if he was feeling sorry for her and threw her a Red Bird with a “Here you go honey!” She acknowledged ‘thank you’ and moved to the next table.

As she was leaving, David Grey said, “She made a minimum of 10 mistakes while she was dealing. What about the hand where there was a boxed card and she just used it as the burn card.”

The house rule is that a boxed card is like a piece of paper, it is treated as if it is not there and the next card is used to replace it.

I’m positive that David wasn’t in the hand or Chong would never have withstood his verbal onslaught.

I dealt the game flawlessly, without a mistake; keeping the cards and chips moving at a lively pace…don’t worry, I made $4 out of it. Yippeee! Maybe it pays to make mistakes.

Shuffle both decks together and deal eight hands

My Monday found me going up to high limit the 2nd hour of my night. The 1st game I dealt ‘on top’, (high limit is in a raised section), was $400-$800 mixed games, heads up with Curtis Bibb and Jennifer Harman. The football game was in progress and coming down to the wire…screaming, yelling, cheering…”Oh my God, I had the game won, then they made a touchdown.” Then “Wait, they’re discussing it. Yippee, the touchdown was blocked, I did win!!” And so on and so on.

Continue reading Shuffle both decks together and deal eight hands