November 26, 2002

Lots of things happen in a poker room. Usually most of them go unnoticed by the masses and are only remembered by the few that experience them. Of course when Security is called in for any reason, everyone knows something is going on. Such is the way it was one night last week.

Mike L. was playing $15-$30 Holdem and standing over the game, his wife/girlfriend behind him, Floor people around him and finally, Security. He had to leave. Some said it was because he hit someone in the game. Some said it was because his wife/girlfriend wanted him to leave the game with chips for a change and he didn’t want to go so he hit her. Whatever the case, he was walked out by Security. Sure you remember him…he’s in the Diary. He’s the one that lost a hand with K-K and before he lost the hand he said, “If I lose with this hand, I’ll eat them.”

Yum, Yum! He did. Some said he ended up at the hospital over that one. Those Kem Cards have a bite of their own.
This time of year is fairly quiet in poker but while the Turkeys are running for their lives, zillions of people will be flocking, (pardon the pun), into the poker room for a 4 day weekend. Be prepared to come early and stay late. Then get ready for Bellagio’s Five-Diamond World Poker Classic Tournament.
George is back, playing Pot Limit Omaha and Limit Mixed Games. The game was four handed late in the night although it was full earlier. Fairly quiet. One big Pot, around $38,000, sent Minh to the cloth. He turned a set of 10’s and Howard L. made a straight on the River. Minh was pretty cool, he just sat back and ate his oxtail soup through the 7 Card Stud round.
Ralph P. sat down, took one hand of 7 Card Stud, Ante $200, Bring-in $300, raised the Bring-in, won $900 with no call and then sat out. Guess he made enough for the night.
$60-$120, Deuce to 7 Triple Draw and Omaha 8 or Better. Barry J., Mike, Cal, Ritchie, and Sam. The conversation went to internet poker as it so often does.
Ritchie asked Barry if he still played online. Barry replied that he hadn’t played in six or seven months. Ritchie asked him why and what it was like. Barry replied that he just wasn’t sure it was honest.

More conversation about ‘why?’ and ‘how would they cheat?’ and on and on.
Sam got involved. His thought was that if they’re cheating while he’s playing, it’s ok because he’s winning. He likes the $20-$40 Holdem games. He’s been playing online for over 3 years.

Ritchie still pursued Barry with questions. Barry said he won about $85,000 playing online but then he stopped winning and finally lost about $5,000 so he thought he might be getting cheated.

Sam busted up. “Yeah, he wins $85,000 and now he thinks he’s being cheated because he lost $5,000.” Funny!

This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break from the Diary.

November 21, 2002

A few long hours, allergies, and life has put the stopper on writing. Some thoughts that may be only original to self are more in line with dealing and playing but have to be stated to relieve a brain cramp.

1) Why do dealers have to talk to a dealer playing in a game?

2) Why would a dealer think the playing dealer would care to discuss whether the new table felt was hard to deal on compared to the old table felt? Or the food in the Help’s Hall for Employee Appreciation Day was of any importance when the playing dealer just tried to run over 5-2 with A-A and couldn’t beat it on the River when the 5-2 made a nine high straight. PLHHHHHHH! SPIT! GAG!

3) Why would the dealer think the playing dealer was out of line when the dealer made a glaring mistake and the playing dealer stopped the action to correct it?

4) When the playing dealer is stuck and wins a pot, why wouldn’t the dealer say ‘thank you!’ to any size of tip they got? Why do dealers always think other dealers are obligated to throw money in their pocket?
Brain cramp is beginning to eaze-z-z-z-z-z.
One game on ‘top’ at Bellagio the other night. An $80-$160 Holdem, this game played 9 handed. Three of the players in the game, Carlos Mortenson, Mike Matasau, Ralph Perry…tough game under normal circumstances but with these three in it, whose the live one?
Nick, grumble master extraordinaire, $1-$5 7 Card Stud. That’s his limit and his game. He sits like a gargoyle, guarding his domain, glaring at dealers when he misses a draw or loses a hand, and throwing a few shekels to the dealer when he wins a pot. Interjecting comments in his taciturn, gruff manner, he sometimes leans toward the coarse, gross side of life which can put people off the person hidden underneath the shell.

A player next to Nick received chips from a Chip Runner and found a long hair in the chips. Nick said it looked like a ‘pube hair from an Orangutan’. Now honestly, how would he know unless he’s been checking them out?

He was at his best in this game, trying to impress a young lass sitting on his right, he smiled, beamed, talked, behaved himself and tried to show his flirtatious prowess with the cocktail waitress when she came to take his order. He took so long smiling and visiting with the cocktail waitress that the dealer finally asked, “Nick, would you like a hand?”

He threw in his $.25 ante and grumbled, “Don’t bother me when I’m working.”

The dealer replied, “Don’t work when I’m bothering you.”

The Dealer got a bigger laugh then Nick did. He glared for a moment but went back to his sunny side for the lass on his right. She knocked a few layers off that hardened shell.

This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break from the Diary.

November 14, 2002

Steve from Wyoming stopped in Bellagio tonight. Linda G. was sitting a down at a dead spread and he introduced himself, visited for a few minutes and then went back to his game. He asked Linda to let me know he looked forward to reading me. TKS Steve!
“While I’m here!” She said it with her chin thrust forward and hand on one hip as if the only point of view that would ever matter in the free world was hers. She’s a lovely Cocktail Goddess. NOT! Does that mean she will only make one round a night and if you don’t order now, you can’t get a drink until she goes off shift?

She barely slows down as she speeds by the end of each table, “Drinks!” She’s gone in a flash. If she enters the area with a tray full of drinks and someone mistakenly interrupts her delivery by asking for a drink, she quickly spits out, “I’m not taking orders right now.” Damn! Excuse us for making you do your job! Please check back with us when you have time and we’re not in your way.

An hour later, at another table, a smiling, genuinely cute, Cocktail Kewtie Pie, takes orders. The 9 Seat orders Baileys and a cup of coffee, as in separate drinks. The Kewtie Pie goes on a break and low and behold, the Goddess brings the drinks to the table. The 9 Seat tells her he didn’t order Baileys and coffee with whip cream on top and he doesn’t want it.

The Goddess goes into a tail spin, her wings are on fire and she’s in no mood for mercy. “In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not the girl that took your order.”

The 9 seat proceeded with, “I don’t want all that junk on my coffee.”

The Goddess fired a burst of ammo at him, “Don’t yell at me. I didn’t take your order.”

The 9 seat humbly gave in and told her he didn’t want anything.

The 1 Seat took the drink and tipped her as she sneered, “He doesn’t want all that junk on it.”

She stomped off.

Wow! Service, service, service. What ever happened to the smile? Or ‘Ok, honey! I’m sorry this isn’t what you ordered, but what would you like? I’ll be right back with it!’ Or, ‘As soon as I deliver these drinks, I’ll be right back to take your order.’
Too many times people in the service industry forget that SERVICE is the key word and then they go home bitching because they didn’t make any money. Bummer!

A perplexity:
1. The setting, a full game with a list, $20-$40 Omaha 8 or Better.
2. All players have a lot of chips in front of them except the 2 Seat. Which has less than $100.
3. The 2 Seat goes all-in and wins a pot of $300. He also plays every hand and is a tourist but he’s not taking out any more money.
4. With $150 left in front of him, The Big Blind bet $40 and everyone folded to him. He cut off $30 in chips and hesitated, then pulled his bet back and threw his hand away.
5. The Dealerette, left his hand lay, intact, and told him he couldn’t take his chips back after cutting them off. He could reclaim his hand and call the bet in full or leave the $30 and fold.
6. He had a mini-fit and said he didn’t have to call. The Bettor said he didn’t care if the 2 Seat called.
7. Immediately another player, that normally plays higher limit, jumped into the middle of it and stated the 2 Seat didn’t have to call. Even going so far as to ask the 1 Seat what had happened.
What it all boils down to:
1. Why is it that the dealer couldn’t possibly know what they were talking about and just have their word taken for the fact that the guy cut off chips? It’s the dealer’s job to watch what the players are doing so it’s damn possible that the dealer really did know what they were talking about and what the house rule really is since the dealer has worked there since opening.
2. The 2 Seat has already gone all-in and hasn’t opted to add to his stack.
3. There is a list.
4. Why protect the short stacked guy for an obvious infraction so that he can go all-in again?
5. The object of the poker game is to get money into the game so you, as a player, have an opportunity to win something when you have a hand. Not give someone like the 2 Seat another all-in shot at you.
6. Why is it that another player that should know better, just doesn’t stay out of it and let the dealer do their job?
The long and short of it is that Dealerette called for a decision. Before the Supervisor arrived, the Bettor threw his hand away also and pulled his bet back. Dealerette pushed the pot and shuffled up for the next hand.
Think about it the next time you’re playing and this scenario comes up. Do you really want that guy in the game taking a short chipped shot at drawing out on you?

This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break from the Diary.

November 13, 2002

The difference between high and mid to low limit? High limit players do a lot of variables that aren’t allowed in low limit…possibly because high limit is restricted to a certain group that can regularly afford to play those limits so they can elect to play behind, or chop a pot, or give each other rebates, or break a house rule if no one at the table objects.

The meat of the story. Jimmy G. normally plays high limit. Lately he’s playing lower…you figure it out, ok! He tries to change the $20-$40 Omaha 8 or Better game with a 1/2 Kill into a ‘any flop’ is a kill pot. He instigates and talks everyone in the game into it, but the house won’t go for it. Why you ask? The game is in a limit that the rules aren’t changed to accommodate a one time deal. Mainly because people come in to play this game every day, hence the rules remain the same every day and they know what to expect.

Jimmy’s not a happy camper. He can’t get the game set up the way he wants it and he’s playing lower. One hand, the bet is raised, the Dealerette said, “Raise!”

Fold, fold, to Jimmy in the small blind position, he said, “Call.”

The player behind him folded and then Jimmy changed his mind. He didn’t want to call, released his hand and didn’t put in the raise.

The Dealerette told him he was obligated to call. He looked at Dealerette and asked, “Do you really want me to call?” with an expression of disbelief on his face.

Dealerette told him he was obligated because he said “Call” and the player behind him folded forcing his action to stand. Jimmy knows the rules, yet he sat there and stared at the Dealerette. Some of the players in the game announced that they didn’t care if he called or not. Finally the Dealerette turned into a Dimrod Dealerette and let it slide. Stupid move here.

Jimmy took a shot and got away with it but he couldn’t leave it alone. He looked at the Dimrod Dealerette and stated that he couldn’t believe Dealerette wanted to push forcing him to call.

The Dealerette said, “It’s my job. It’s not personal. I’m just doing my job.”

Dealerette should have just called the floor person and forced the issue because it’s not going to change much in Jimmy’s attitude anyway. And it would have been the correct thing to do.

Towards the end of the down, the Dealerette pushed Jimmy a $100 pot and gave Jimmy the Kill button. Jimmy questioned if the rake was included in the $100 kill requirement because the pot was only $97. Obviously he didn’t want to put in the $30 for the Kill…this from a guy that was complaining earlier because the house wouldn’t allow them to play with any flop constituted a kill.

Dealerette had made another mistake, the pot had to be $200 for a Kill…Dealerette apologized and got pushed out of the game. Just another day in paradise.


This post by Chanzes while Linda was taking a break.

November 12, 2002

THERE! On the horizon, see it? You squint into the rising sun, shade your eyes, and stay glued to the vision as you approach. A small group of atolls appear, growing larger as the current and wind carry you closer. Just as you reach the first one, the tide changes, the water races across the atoll, sending up a spraying shower that’s filled with life. The sound and sight over run your senses.

You see a meek little “YOU-u-u-“, fall out of the spray. Left stranded on the atoll, it scurries frantically for any crack or hole that will carry it back into the spray it came from. It finally gives up and cowers in a crack, with closed eyes and bowed head, it shakes and trembles each time the surf hits the atoll.

Without turning your head, you witness another “YOU” jumping far above the surf that’s turned into a boiling, mass of foam, spray, and twisting writhing life. This “YOU” is a predator. Teeth gnashing and snapping with every leap, protruding eyes search every crack and pit in the atoll and the surrounding surf, before it falls back into the water, bracing for another hungry leap.

On the edge of the atoll, appearing torn between returning to the boiling surf or staying, another “you” looks longingly at the surf, then back across the atoll, peering intently at the life beginning to teem across its surface…suddenly its gaze jerks back to the surf and then slowly returns to the atoll, time after time. The “you” scratches its head…decisions, decisions, decisions.

One “y-o-u” perches calmly on a jutting ridge in the center of the atoll. This “y-o-u” watches all the other “YOU-u-u-“, “YOU”, “you” and you. There is no emotion or spark. Calm, observing eyes that never blink or look away, keep slowly searching every “YOU-u-u-“, “YOU”, and”you” as it appears.
Another “yOu” comes in airborne, landing in a sliding heap, it jumps up and runs to the center of the atoll. Never slowing down, it walks, back and forth, poised on the tip of its feet, ready to jump in any direction at any given second. It feigns indifference but its stance and continual walk tell another tale.

A set of shifty eyes that look in all directions and keep rotating, precede a “yoU” that rolls up out of the surf. This “yoU” does a slithering slide to the center of the atoll trying to keep up with its eyes.

Now they come, all the “YOU-u-u-“, “YOU”, “you”, “yOu”, “yoU”, and some that you didn’t even know were there. They hustle to the center of the atoll, perching on protruding rocks and crags that would bust your butt, forming a circle.

Oh wait! It’s not an atoll, it’s a poker room and the whole bunch is converging on a table where a game is just starting. That’s carpet under your feet, not surf, and your sails were trimmed at valet. You’re here to join all the “YOU-u-u-“, “YOU”, “you”, “yOu”, “yoU”, in a friendly game of poker.

The only thing you have to decide, is which “YOU-u-u-“, “YOU”, “you”, “yOu”, “yoU”, are you and which group of “YOU-u-u-“, “YOU”, “you”, “yOu”, “yoU”, you want to play with.


This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break.

November 11, 2002

Good ol’ Sam G. He’s something else. He must be the best player in the world on someone else’s money because when he plays high, it’s always on their money. When he’s on his own, he’s struggling in $15-$30 Holdem or Stud or $20-$40 Omaha 8 or Better.

He chortled his way through a few hours of $20-$40 Omaha 8 or Better. Like a Chatty Cathy Doll with a glitch, nothing he said was important and no one wanted to hear it yet it was nonstop. One player in an adjacent $15-$30 Holdem Game looked over at Sam and said to no one in particular, “Must be winning, hasn’t shut up in hours.”

That’s Sam though, he’s the best in the world, or at least he believes he is…he’s pretty good at something because he’s sure convinced a lot of players to put him in games over the years.

He must have left them crying in the Omaha 8 or Better game because he moved up to $60-$120 Holdem. He checked out the game on table 1 more than once…$200-$400 Mixed…it was running in high gear with maximum action fueled by Yen, Aaron, and Ralph P.

On one of Sam’s visits to the table, Aaron asked Sam how much Sam thought he would need to get into the game and break the 3 of them…Sam’s reply was, “….about $6,000”. He was dead serious.

One hand of Deuce to 7, Triple Draw Low, Ralph drew 3, Yen drew 3, and Aaron drew 2. Only problem was the Dealer gave Yen 2 and Aaron 3. Aaron pushed back the 3rd card and had not taken it into his hand, it went back on the top of the deck. The Floor Supervisor was called over and the decision was made. Yen was given the top card of the deck as his last card.

The dealer apologized. The hand played out and Ralph won it. He said the only way he could win the pot was for the dealer to make a mistake. Must mean he’s running bad…

But back to Sam. He can snivel and sing with the best of them, probably better than the best of them…if he could can that ego and sell it, he’d be a very wealthy man. He could definitely write a book. The title? How about this one: You be my Sweater, I’ll be your Bettor.


This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break.

November 10, 2002

One would think that with the size of Las Vegas, I would never have to run into anyone from the poker community in any other part of town unless I arranged a meeting. After all, per capita, the number of players vs. the number of non-players would make the chances close to slim and none. Not so…they are everywhere…there is no safe zone. They pop up when I least expect them and wish they wouldn’t.

A 3 a.m. trip to Home Depot produces three of them in different parts of the store.

Going out to eat with a young friend from California, in the Northwest part of town, created a “Was that your son?” query later in the poker room.

Cruising down an aisle in the grocery store or even hiking up at Calico Basin seems to make them magically appear. Worst of the worst scenarios is when they try to act like they really know me.

A perfect example is Sol, a really harmless, overbearingly lonely soul that plays $1-$5 7 Card Stud. He puts on an air and attitude, interjected with conversation, at the table that he knows me, intimately – away from the table. “That’s not what you said last night.” – “You promised you would meet me, what happened?”

One night, after a grueling eight hours at the tables, I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up cleaning and laundry supplies. I’m chucking things into my cart, minding my own business, and out of the corner of my eye, I see him round the other end of the aisle I’m in. There’s no escape.

He throws his arms open wide and exclaims loudly, “Get down here and give me a big kiss!”

“Get the hell out of here.”

He pouted and acted like I was out of line. Oh well. I may have to smile and put up with it at the table but…

We’ve since ironed that out, now that he knows I’m not going to give him a big kiss, or meet him anywhere, or pretend to be intimate with him. It took a while to get this across…like training a bear to dance.


Curious as to what happened with Curtis, the player that backhanded his drink across the table in one of Linda’s posts? He tried to enter a bathroom that was closed for cleaning and when the Porter told him it was closed, Curtis gave the Porter a head butt. Ladies and Gentlemen, Curtis has left the building.

This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break

November 9, 2002

This will be my last post to the Dear Diary. There are too many things on my plate and one of them is a screenplay that I want to finish in the next few months, along with life, work, email, friends and a social life, exercise, house and yard work/maintenance, and a few million other things. I have put a lot of thought into this and have not made the decision without a few pains and grief in giving it up. I enjoy hearing from all of you and I enjoy writing about a world that most of you will never venture into…even if you play poker, you are usually trapped in your game/limit and you never experience the magnitude of the whole experience…all the limits, games, personalities, the working side of it, the playing side of it, the emotional drain and surge, and the beauty of poker from my perspective.

I have seriously done some research in finding a replacement that will provide ongoing information and insight into the world of poker through a dealer/player perspective. Allow me to introduce Ms. Chanzes Arre. She is light hearted, witty, intelligent, open minded, and perceives the whole picture, not just a small segment of it…I like her attitude and she likes mine. We may, from time to time, do a question and answer session on the new pages, Table Tango.

If any of you wish to send her email, please do at: [email protected]. She wishes to remain anonymous, so please, no questions on what she looks like or where she’s from, because they won’t be answered.

November 7, 2002

Lock and Load…it’s poker time. The room may appear to be quiet but the games are good. Lots of action going on in all of them. The usual $4-$8, $8-$16, $15-$30, and $30-$60 Holdem games going but add $80-$160 and $200-$400 to that list. Lower limit 7 Card Stud action is $1-$5, $4-$8 and $20-$40, no $15-$30 the last few days.

There were two other high limit games. One was $400-$800 Mixed, on Table 1, with Larry and the 7 Seat, David, and Ralph P. Guess Curtis couldn’t make it tonight. Bummer! While dealing a game next to Table 1, I overheard David, on Table 1, bring up the fact that Curtis had backhanded his glass towards David the night before. David really wasn’t very happy about it and repeated it several times during the next few minutes. I have to agree with him, I wasn’t very happy about any of it either.

I opened a game on Table 7, $400-$800 Deuce to 7 Triple Draw. It was Archie K. and Shuen playing heads up. Archie had me scrambling the deck after the 3rd hand. He gets pretty tense if he’s not in action. When I moved to Table 8, Lisa, the dealer following me, had to call the floor because Archie was having a ballistic twitch with her over something. I don’t know what it was and didn’t ask but Suzie L. even came up and talked to Archie for a few minutes.


A few nights ago, I dealt a $15-$30 Holdem game that rocked. Action, action, action, double that dose, shake well until it fizzes and pour over hot coals.

When I walked up to the game, a young lad that I really like, initials J.C. (please do not confuse him with J.C.P., Puggy’s brother), was in the 1 Seat and Jackie was in the 2 Seat. They both started teasing me with, “If you really like us you’ll deal us winner, we know you can,” and on and on.

I said, “Yeah but even if I could, who would I pick to lose? It’s just not in me to do that.”

J.C., “Wouldn’t it be nice though?”

Me, “Can you imagine how disgustingly ugly a person would really be if they had the power to do that and did it?”

J.C., “Come on…you could find someone you didn’t like…”

They really were teasing me…they’re cute and funny…and likeable…and Jackie flopped a Set of 8’s on the 2nd hand in a seven way action, capped before the flop, pot and got paid off in two spots on the River. The pot was huge. She got a raise in on the Turn and got four callers. She smiled the giant smile, stacking chips like crazy, and smurfed out, “See…I knew you liked me.”

Of course it was the opening for J.C., “Now Linda, if you really like me, you’ll deal me a pot like that one too.”

Some things you should never make book on…

Is there a light at the bottom of Marianas Trench?

There are times that I do a self evaluation and search through my being to see what I am, where I am, what the hell I think I’m doing, and how I got where I am. This search continues for days at times. It’s so intense it’s like looking for light at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Lately I’ve found myself quite at peace with me. Well…enter the end of my night…table 1. Continue reading Is there a light at the bottom of Marianas Trench?