Andy Beal’s tracking with poker chips

On the Andy scene, he was playing Ted F. Andy takes the 4s and has the 1-2-3 seats locked up with racks of blue chips – $1. They form a barricade across the end of the table and I couldn’t stifle my curiosity so I asked Carmen about it when we had a few minutes together. She said she thought it was some way of keeping track of hands raised or hands that went to the flop or some sort of record keeping but she wasn’t really sure. The word was that by the end of this session, he was down about 2.5…Ugh!

Beal is back

He’s four months over the deadline of when he said he’d be back and back he is…$30,000-$60,000 Limit Holdem with a $3,000,000 buy-in. Think those figures are a typo? It’s just 6 chips and 12 chips, just like a $6-$12 game only played with flags. Andy’s back and he’s ready to play. He was heads-up with Chip R. when I went to work tonight.

He was always so friendly towards me when I dealt to him and spoke of Montana and how much he liked the state that I couldn’t resist going up to say “Hello!” I waited until the dealer was shuffling and approached him with, “Hi Andy! Welcome back.”

He jumped up and grabbed my hand, pulled off headphones, said he had ear plugs in and couldn’t hear me very well. I repeated that it was nice to see him back in the room. He replied with a warm smile, “Thank you. It’s nice to be back here.” Continue reading Beal is back

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

I had a major run in with a player on my third down. The game was $30-$60 Holdem. M.D. was in the 10s and he’s a steamer, I’ve dealt to him before. Tom, the $75-$150 Stud player from the last post was in the 7s. (I did find out the deal Eric D., Tom, and the 3s had going…if Eric or Tom were rolled up, the 3s was going to give them $2,000. Those guys just have to have more than one gamble going on all the time.)

M.D. set out his $20 small blind and walked away. I dealt him in and he didn’t return in time. He came back and asked me what happened. I told him.

A few hands later, M.D. raised pre-flop. Tom folded and was talking with a guy that had walked up behind him. The hand went to show down and M.D. lost the hand. He threw his cards across the table into Tom’s hands. Tom turned back to the game, grabbed the cards, looked at them and asked, “Am I in this hand?”

M.D. steamed and everyone laughed. Tom carried it a little further, “This is a pretty good hand. Did I lose the pot?”

The 5s was teasing me about Montana and what I was drinking the night before and a few other million things were going on in the game. Sergeant Rock was in the 3s…Mark to me…and Lance came in as a new player in the 4s.

M.D. raised again. Tom had a hand this time and he jumped right into the action. The pot was big…Tom and M.D. both lost on the river. Tom said, “I give up on you, Linda!” and slid his cards in a little too hard. One of them skipped off the table under my elbow. He immediately apologized and jumped up to retrieve it. He had pocket Queens.

No one knows what M.D. had except M.D. He acted like he’d taken the bad beat of the century and snorted, “Change the deck!”

I said, “I can’t.”

Tom had his fallen card on the table by now and I was pulling the deck together to count it down.

M.D. barked at me again, “Change the deck, a card went on the floor!”

I had already started to count the deck when he demanded, “Then count the deck.”

“I know how to do my job but thank you for helping me with it.”

Mark and the 5s asked if they could help me with it too. They were enjoying the show. I knew it was only going to get worse because I’ve dealt with M.D. before.

I told them my theory on having a clip board on the dealer’s chair and the game rules for the particular game being updated on the clip board. They thought it was a great idea but they would have to have a table captain to interpret the rules and the game would never get past the first hand because the rules would change all the time. Everyone appeared to be having a great time except M.D.

M.D. had another ‘burst’ with me. I said, “Settle down and play poker. If you keep messing with me, I’ll call the floor man.”

His reply, “Do you think I’m messing with you because you are fucking beautiful? Just deal.”

I screamed, “Decision, Table 24!”

Boba came over and I told him what M.D. had said to me and that I didn’t want to hear it. Boba told him to stop…NOW! M.D. argued briefly but he knew he’d lost the case. Boba came back a few minutes later and asked me if I was ok and did I need anything else. He’s great!

In the meantime, the 1s opened and Lance moved into it. As he was going, he loudly stated, “L.A. is where you throw cards and insults at the dealers. Not here!”

Lance jumped into the chair beside me, rubbed my arm, and asked, “How can you not love this girl?”

M.D. turned to stone, watching TV and leaving his hand lay unattended each time until it was his blind. I gave him a missed blind button and he sat there until the next dealer tapped me out. When I left the game, so did he. The little gutter snipe went to Boba and told him that I took $20 from him and dealt him in the small blind when he walked away from the table. Boba told him that that was not even a possibility. No dealer would take a player’s money and deal them in unless they were told to do so.

My last down of the night was $80-$160 Holdem. A player/tourist picked up about $1,000 in bills from under his tray and stuffed them in his pocket. His hands were folded in front of the rack in front of him and I knew he had about $800 in chips but couldn’t see anything else. When I told him the bills had to stay on the table until he left, the 10s informed me that the players in the game knew what was going on and ‘you dealers don’t have to say anything…and shouldn’t say anything.’ He implied that we created a problem if we tried to run the game because the players always know what’s going on.

At that point, I wondered if I jumped up, onto the table, leaped over and grabbed the drape that hangs at the side of the window openings in the poker room, and used it to swing out into the Sports Book to escape the plight of being too intelligent to deal poker to blithering dumb butts, if I would get fired.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Me and my big mouth. In the previous post, I stated that the room was quiet. That statement got blown all to hell when I walked into the room last night.

I started my night on Table 29, a $1-$5 7 Card Stud, moved to Table 30, $8-$16 Holdem and then…after a break…straight up to high limit on Table 1.

When I tapped Lisa out, the game had just broke. Not to worry, a $400-$800 Mixed game that was in progress on another table was moved to Table 1. Just a slight amount of confusion while the game plaques were sorted, players took their seats, and then the game was on.

Of course the subject of the Shuffle Master and dealers came up again. A guy named Will, that owns a card club in N. California, was in the 8s and he wanted to know what the ‘boys’ thought of the shuffler because he’s considering putting them in his tables. He also referenced the fact that he did not have any dealer in his establishment that wasn’t top of the line, not like the dealers he’d seen here…’these tournament dealers or whatever they are, couldn’t work for me…from what I’ve seen none of them are any good’.

Poor li’l ol’ me. I never said a word, just kept dealing. He then looked at me and said, “Not this one, of course.”

I thanked him but I’m not sure for what. It’s always as if you’re a chair or a planter while they cuss and discuss you because you have no opinion and are not considered to be part of the human race when you’re a dealer…ok…not by all players.

Will and David G. ended up heads up in a Triple Draw game and Will bet $800 and David threw out a flag and said, “$800 on the piece.”

Will, “What?”

David, “I was just telling her $800 on the piece.”

No kidding! There was only $800 in the pot so how could I possibly make change for a $5,000 chip? And also if David didn’t tell me what to do, how would I possibly know? Amazing as it is, I manage to deal all the games without him there to tell me how to do it.

I escaped the down shortly after that and moved into a $600-$1200 Mixed game. The limit had just changed…up…and I didn’t have a game plaque for the limit but the Supervisor had been notified.

They were gambling in this game and one of the reasons was David B. He’s French and has a nice throaty accent when he speaks. The game was quiet and nobody was talking…food had been ordered and a few players already had theirs. Jennifer was playing next to David and dining at the same time.

Out of nowhere, David pipes up with, “I received a compliment today…I think it was a compliment anyway…a guy told me I was the best Mother Fucker he knew.”

I roared. Jennifer laughed.

He asked the table, “Do you think it’s a compliment?”

Some hemming and hawing went on and one player said, “Maybe, sort of backhanded.”

David was grinning…he knew what was going on.

$80-$160 Holdem, $10-$20 Omaha 8 or Better with a Half Kill, back to back $15-$30 Holdem games…off to $75-$150 7-Card Stud. This is an unusual limit for Bellagio in the last few years. It used to be the biggest game that was spread on a daily basis at the Mirage some years ago. Funny how everything just keeps going up, isn’t it?

This game was interesting because there was some additional bet going on with a few of the players. The 3s only had to ante $10, Eric D. in the 6s anted $20 and made up the other $5 for the 3s each hand. Tom was in the 1s and he got cut in on the deal while I was in the box. Tom paid the 3s $5 each hand I dealt…something to do with starting rolled up but I don’t know the particulars of the deal. I do know that Tom offered me two green chips ($25 chips) for each hand he started rolled up…the 3s said he would top that offer. Damn it! It just didn’t happen. Never threaten me with money because I just can’t perform the simplest task when it means extra cash in my pocket.

Then I got to deal that wonderful little piece of harmony and heaven, $80-$160 Omaha 8 or Better with a 1/4 Kill. They bark and snort orders long hard and continuously. Even if you knew what you were doing, by the time they get through you’ve lost your train of thought and have to start over.

An Asian player named Candy was in the 5s. She stomped off as I slid into the box and one of the players made a comment about her ‘bad’ attitude. She came right back to be dealt in and behaved as if she owned the table, the players, Bellagio, and all its employees.

She had her hair pulled back, pony tail fashion, with one of the frilly, acrylic hair bands holding it in place. She was wearing a white, form fitting leather jacket and some type of short denim skirt. The guys were teasing her a little about the length of her skirt and a conversation developed as to why she would wear one here in Vegas but not in CA. She definitely has ATTITUDE!

Food arrived and the game went into a semi standstill mode while four of the players figured out what they ordered and the bill.

Danny D. – spunky, high energy smile, devil in his eyes, Asian – walked up behind Candy and asked loudly, “Are you getting married?” as he looked at the back of her head.

It was so off the wall that half the table burst into laughter. Candy was so busy being Candy and getting her food lined out that she missed it.

Danny’s expression was deadpan as he followed with, “Who’s the unlucky guy?”

They were still laughing when I got pushed. So was I.

It was all downhill from there, literally. I was almost through with my shift and out of high limit, three low limits games stood between me and the time clock. Yippee!

Sunday, April 27, 2003

I have a very definite opinion on tournaments and jackpots. They kill the live action. Lots of you would disagree with me but that’s ok. Yes, tournaments bring in players and help build business…so do jackpots. But when they are over, a few walk away with the money that the masses scraped together to build the prize pools. The masses go back to work or start grinding again to put a bankroll together. It shows in poker everywhere, like a seven year drought in the Corn Belt.

Hey, I’m not knocking tournaments. I just think there are too many of them now and everyone wants to be a ‘poker star’ so the live action isn’t as good as it could be.

This last week, even tho the WSOP, is in progress and we normally get all of their night action, the room has been quiet until around 10 to 11 p.m. Last year this time we were much busier. I think everyone’s got ‘tournament burnout’.

I like the mix of tourist and local and being able to visit and run the game vs. the ‘tournament’ stress level of noise and confusion coupled with players that want to tell me how to do everything when I’m in the box.

At one point during the tournament, I thought we should have a clipboard, hanging on the back of the Dealer’s Chair, that stated all the new rules for that game and we would be required to read and initial it before we could deal. Of course, these rules created by the players and subject to change at any moment, in which case, reading them before you sat down really wouldn’t do any good. Yes…I’m being sarcastic. It does border on ridiculous at times when someone comes in from out of town and tells you how to run your game, how you should put up the flop, where you should place the burn cards, how much and long you should scramble, and whether or not you should give change back to a player. I wonder how I can cope with ‘game flow’ when they aren’t around to tell me how to do it! Oh my!

But this doesn’t only happen in tournaments. I slide into the Dealer’s Chair on table 1 which happens to have a Shuffle Master installed. The game is $400-$800 Mixed. Half way through my down, a conversation starts between Curtis and Todd. It goes something like this.

Curtis, “I wish the dealers would scramble the deck before they put it into the shuffler.”

Todd, “They are supposed to.”

Mark, “Scramble the deck,” as he looks at me.

I reply, “Ok!” without looking at him because he’s one of my LEAST favorite players in the w-h-o-l-e world.

I did not make any comment about the fact that they think the dealer is supposed to scramble before putting the deck in the Shuffle Master. None of them were present at our training session so how would they know what we are or aren’t supposed to do? The answer is, NO! We are not supposed to scramble unless a player requests it.

A few hands later, Mark told me to scramble again. Again I complied. I then asked Todd if he’d seen the results of taking a fresh, sorted deck, placing it in the Shuffle Master and then spreading it face up to check the mix after the shuffle was complete.

He said, “No!” Followed by, “Does it do a pretty good job?”

I said, “It’s a great mix.”

He asked me if dealers were supposed to scramble and I said, “No.”

Curtis jumped in, “The part I don’t like is when the dealer’s pick up the deck to put it in the shuffler, they expose the bottom card and I wonder if it can be tracked somehow through the machine.”

I was really surprised at the statement and asked, “You mean, I’m doing it?”

He replied that all the dealers did.

Sorry but his concern is not even in the realm of possibility. It’s more likely that a dealer, shuffling the deck would expose the bottom card when the deck was picked up and squared to shuffle, then shuffled, and the card could be tracked, then tracking it in the Shuffle Master.

The following night I was dealing $800-$1,600 Mixed on table 1. I was asked for a scramble a couple of times by players but none of them were the same players from the previous night.

Don Z. said, “Isn’t it funny? We might find out that we still get the K of Spades three hands in a row in Razz with the machine and, after all these years, find out it really never was the dealer’s fault.

Mike W. firmly stated, “I’ve never believed it was the dealer’s fault.”

I vote for Mike.

The Day That Poker Came To Town

Sandy’s day started with a good morning kiss and “Hi, honey!” She married her high school sweetheart, Gary, and they were living happily ever after. Each day was filled with the events of small town affairs. Gary owned the General Store, inherited from his father and he had worked there every since high school. Sandy worked at keeping their house in order and keeping up with and fueling the town gossip, church, social events and soap operas. Life was idyllic and boring.

Then poker came to town, quietly settling in on Thursday nights in the backroom of the General Store with 3 or 4 guys in attendance. The guys played low stakes and it was just a fun social event. Poker wound its magical spell and every Thursday night soon found 10 to 15 guys ready to play.
Continue reading The Day That Poker Came To Town

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Hershel…he’d a vewy, vewy, funny guy! He’s got a raspy, throaty voice, and barks out commands as if he were the dictator of Earth. He plays Pot Limit Omaha, Limit Mixed Games, and probably lots of other games that most of us don’t know about. He definitely likes the ‘mind’ games. He’s got a little bedevilment in his eye when he starts ‘mess’n wit cha’.

One night last week he jumps up to go out and smoke and barks an order, “Deal me in!”

It’s $25-$25 Pot Limit Omaha. He returns to get involved, heads-up, where his opponent goes all-in on the flop. Hershel sets out a stack to cover it and barks at me, “Don’t worry about the change! Just deal.”

I looked at him, tapped the table to give them time to make a ‘run them once or twice’ deal and put up the Turn and River.

Hershel won the pot. He scooped up chips and started stacking, threw me a tip and said, “I wasn’t trying to yell at you. Just no reason to make the change.”

I laughed and countered with, “I’m not upset.”

The following night, $25-$50 Pot Limit Omaha, one walker, and Hershel raced up with chips in hand, sat down to play over ‘the walker’, and ordered, “Deal me in!”

I yelled, “Play over on 4.”

He came back with, “Don’t worry about it. Just deal me in.”

“I’m not supposed to deal anyone in as a play over until the chips are counted and covered.”

He rolled his eyes and most of the other players started to fidget as if I had asked them to pay time…again…pain and agony mixed with stress overload.

Carmen arrived, counted the chips and covered them. I dealt Hershel in…action, action, action.
The player returned a few moments later. Another player took a walk. Hershel jumped over to that seat with his play over box. I yelled, “Play over on 4.”

Again…they all looked at me as if I’d just been picked out of a police line-up for pick pocketing or palming chips.

Carmen arrived. I said, “Carmen, please tell these guys that I’m only doing my job when notifying that I have a play over.”

She smirked. “Lala, are these guys giving you a bad time for doing your job? Hershel?” (Yes, she’s dubbed me with the nickname Lala.)

Hershel was dealt in again. A few hands later, the player returned, and another player took a walk. Hershel made the jump over to that stack of chips and one more time, I yelled, “Play over on 4.”

By now everyone was grumbling, mumbling, having three cows and two calves even though their anatomy wouldn’t support birthing because they were all guys.

I explained to them that there had a been a problem when a player returned and felt that some of his chips were missing during a previous play over and now our policy was to make sure the chips were stacked, counted, and covered by a supervisor. Someone conceded that was a good idea.

Hershel was under the gun in this seat and he threw out $100 before I dealt. I asked if he was posting. He said, “Linda, you’re so perfect, following all the rules, you should know that it’s live if you’re paying attention.” He had that devilment, gotcha look in his gaze.

I was way too warm, way too much was going on in this half hour down, everyone was moving, fidgeting, almost argumentative, and he caught me off balance on the high wire. I countered with, “I do try to do my job well. Damn it, Hershel, and I thought it was possible that you thought you had to post to take a hand.”

He laughed because he knew he’d given me the square needle. “You do your job very well.”

Not to worry. He got two hands out of that seat, the player returned, and another player took a walk. Hershel bounded into that seat. I looked at him, shaking my head, “Hershel, you are making me crazy!”

I called again for a play over. Again Carmen came and counted down the chips. A few hands later, the player that Hershel was playing over, left the game. Hershel told me not to call the seat open, it was his seat.

I said, “I can’t do that. If you’re next, you need to have her give you the seat and take your name off the list.”

He rolled his eyes. “Are you going to deal the Shoe?” (meaning the Horseshoe WSOP Tournament)


He laughed again. “If you did, I’d have you trained by the time you got through with it.”

“Hershel, you can never wear me down. I just do what I’m supposed to do.” I was laughing as I got pushed out of the box. He and a few other players made comments like, ‘yes, he would get you trained one way or the other’. HA! They don’t know who they’re dealing with here.

As I went past him, he told me not to call the seat, he’d just take it. I went into the ‘that’s not how things work routine’, and told Carmen the seat was open. There was so much noise and confusion that it took her about 10 minutes to call the list (there definitely was a list and Herschel was not next) and wonder of wonders, it ended up being Hershel’s seat.

While I was dealing my next game, as Carmen went by with chips for a player, she said, “Hey La. Hershel now has a seat.”

“Hey tell him congratulations.”

She did.

The next day when I went to deal to him, he exclaimed, “Oh no! Not you.”

We both laughed. His bark has no bite and I believe he’s house trained because his wife sat behind him the following night. 🙂

Monday, April 21, 2003

Mike D. or ‘Israeli Mike’ as he’s known in the poker world, is a subject of more than one post in the Diary. When he first started playing at the Mirage, he appeared to be happy and friendly. Time passed and he became the Briar Patch in the rock pile. Not only did he play high limit but he could be the most antagonistic and hard to get along with player out of a group of players, that didn’t even like their moms, that ever sat at the table. His mood of the day always depended on winning/losing.

Over the years, I’ve called a floor supervisor many times because he chose to throw the cards into my shoulder when he lost a hand or he’d start gesturing at me and swearing and a few hundred other little moves that made me very aware that he was going to try and make me miserable. Lots of dealer put up with it, which of course, makes my job and everyone else following those dealers, have a miserable time with a tyrant that knows he’s got you trapped for half an hour. He’s claimed, many times while playing, “I’m an asshole!”

The update is that he’s not been playing much poker at Bellagio. He’s been in the Sports Book and I’ve passed him many times. Each time, I’ve greeted him with, “Hi Mike.”

He occasionally grunts back a ‘hello’ or mumbles something that would be classed as a greeting.
Why do I bother? Hey, kids, you just aren’t going to wear me down. I might take a recess in greeting you but I always come back around because I believe people should get along.

Last week Mike was playing $75-$150, 7 Card Stud but I didn’t deal to him. A few nights later he was in a $15-$30, 7 Card Stud game and I did deal to him. He started with backed up Kings, made trips on 5th street and got beat by a flush on the river. He did the ‘masturbating motion’ with his right hand at me and started speaking to the guy next to him in a foreign language. I ignored him as much as possible.

The following night I dealt to him again, same game and limit. He zinged the cards into the rack once but was fairly civil through my down.

The next night, I walked through the Sports Book and he was sitting alone at the end of an aisle. I walked up with, “Hi Mike. Can I talk to you?”

He couldn’t escape as I stood right in front of his chair. He looked down and wouldn’t give me eye contact as he asked, “What do you need?”

I said, “When I deal to you, it always turns out bad.”

He said, “Tell me about it.”

I wasn’t conceding anything with win or lose, I just meant the whole situation was always unpleasant, for both of us.

I said, “I don’t know why. It really never changes.”

Still looking at the floor, he said, “I give up on poker. I don’t care about it anymore. I’ve been sick for 8 months and I only have 60% chances.”

I reached over and rubbed his shoulder for a few seconds and said, “I’m really sorry you’ve been sick.”

I walked away. He never looked at me once during the conversation. Am I sorry he’s been sick? Yes. I think health is the most important part of our lives, if you aren’t well, it’s difficult to clear your mind to anything else.

Is he a bad guy? I don’t know what he’s like away from the casino but I judge people’s actions towards me as a guideline for how I feel about what goes on in their ability to deal with other people and situations. When I see you across the table, and all you ever give me is the shitty side of your attitude just because I deal poker, how could I possibly think you were a great, wonderful, humanitarian type of human being? Maybe you don’t give a damn how the poker room staff views you…if so, carry on. You’re the one that’s trapped in there.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

You would think that since Bellagio’s Tournament is over, the room would slow down a little. Not even close. It’s impossible to even spread enough games and have enough dealers to handle everyone that walks through the door. Our 30 table room was running to full capacity on Saturday night, with game lists so long, players were hanging off the drapes and ceilings, trying to spot an empty seat before the dealer called one and the brush filled it. Ok…that’s a slight exaggeration on the drapes and ceiling thing but it was totally insane, body heat, steam, people, noise, the dueling microphones, the sort of scurry and hurry you’d expect to see inside an anthill.

Some of the funniest things are said and done at the table. A friend of mine, Bernie, from Europe, comes in every year for the WSOP. He’s arrogant, cocky, funny, and has his own view of himself and the world. He’s, of course, No. 1 in the world rankings of Who’s Who and the most important person in the world, scored and tallied by himself and he’s the judge.

I first met him through my friend, Christoph, also from Europe. I take them out target shooting when they come in, if their and my permits. They pay for everything, including the gas, and we end up laughing our butts off during the trip, the experience, and afterwards.

Bernie always asks me about my daughter, even tho I don’t have one. I do have several daughter-in-laws. He met Stacy, mother of my little girlfriend, Kayanna, youngest of my granddaughters. Stacy is a sultry beauty and he always inquires through email and when he’s here, ‘how she is, what’s she doing’, etc. I don’t blame him, if I were a guy, I would too.

Now that the ground work is laid for the story, he appears on Thursday night, just got into town the day before, jumps into a $30-$60 Holdem game that I happen to be dealing. We exchange, “Hello, how are you,” and all the stuff you do when friends arrive. I push him a pot, he throws me a $10 chip and says, “Give me back $9.50.”

Yes, he’s joking, sometimes he wants me to give him $9.99. I make the change, keep $1, and state, “Thank you! Sorry, no other change in the rack.”

He emphatically says, “Ok. You owe me a shooting.”

I cracked up.

On Saturday night, he’s in the 8s in a $40-$80 7 Card Stud game when I sit down. We do the ‘hi’ thing. He asked me if I’m still married. I said, “No.”

He pursues it, “Why not?”

“I haven’t met anyone I want to marry.” Trying to move the conversation away from myself, I countered with, “What about you?”

He quickly replied, “Well, you never called me. You send me emails but you don’t call.”

Hysterical. I was trying to ask him if he was married and he threw me a curve ball. I started laughing again. Thankfully I got pushed shortly after that.


During the hectic screaming noise of the poker room, while I was trapped in high limit and dealing a lot of Pot Limit Omaha game, somewhere…out in the nether regions surrounding the poker room, someone intermittently screamed, “WOOF, WOOF!”

It seemed to happen right in the middle of intense action and was very disrupting. The first time it was sort of funny, brought a slight titter to the room. The second time it was wearing thin and a few players grumbled. The third time it happened, everyone was up in arms with, “Get them out of here! Throw them out! Who the hell is doing that?”

I asked Carmen about it when I was out on break. It was a player in the $30-$60 Holdem that was doing it when he went out to smoke, tourist, just having fun. She talked to him about it each time, asking him to cease and desist. The final time, number 3, she said to him, “If you do it again, make sure it’s on your way out the door because if it isn’t, Security will be walking you out!”


While dealing a $30-$60 Holdem game, the 10s was Asian and filled with gamble, gamble, gamble. He was the Big Blind and called a raise with 8-2. Deuce on the flop, bet, raise, call, blank on the turn, check, bet, call. Deuce on the river, bet and got called. He was jamming and ramming with any two cards, when I first sat down, and winning every hand he took to the river. Several players mentioned ‘California action and play’.

The 10s jumped right into the conversation, agreeing that he was from CA and he could play, play, play. He was pretty bubbly and excited, started talking about the action there and how you had to know how to play in that type of game.

The 6s was quiet, a young man, that appeared to watch everything that was going on at the table, and the 10s caught his watchful gaze. The 10s directed his conversation to the 6s, “You come to California, I’ll teach you how to play in those games.”

The 6s dryly replied, “Well, let me know when you’re going to do something really spectacular and I’ll pay close attention.”

I exploded with laughter. It’s better than a front row seat in a comedy show.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

A little history is in order here. In October of last year, I posted about a bad exchange I’d been having with Cuckoo. Everything seems to resolve itself, one way or another. In December, he was standing in the high limit section and I walked by and touched his arm, and asked how he was doing. His reply was that everything was “Ok.”

A little later in the night, he passed me again and this time said something along these lines. He was just being mean when he gave me the heat, during my conversation with Freddie and him, that night in the Sports Book. Since then, each time we’ve passed each other, it’s definitely a more sincere, “Hello, how are you?” exchange.

I dealt to him a couple of times this week. Last night he was playing $400-$800 Mixed Games, on table 1, and in the 4s. The game was 7 Card Stud. He lost a huge pot. Held his cards for a little longer than necessary, but laid them down instead of throwing them at me. A few hands later, he held his two hole cards by the edges between his thumb and index finger, horizontal to the table. He meant to give a squeeze and have them pop out to the muck as he was folding. He squeezed too hard and one of them shot right into my upper chest, a few inches below my chin. My eyes popped open, it was so unexpected. I looked at him and he apologized immediately. I know he didn’t mean to do that. I didn’t say anything, just went on with the hand.

Curtis and Jason were sitting next to each other and a few hands later, they started a commentary, “Wow! Wish I could learn how to do that…that was pretty smooth…”

Cuckoo blushed, “Did you see the look on her face?”

I said, “He didn’t mean to do that.”

They both went into “That’s what you think, he knew what he was doing…”

I said, “He’s a professional card thrower. I’ve seen his moves. If he wanted to throw them, he’d just throw them.”

Sam G.’s comment, “Can you do that with a saw blade?” Well what else would you expect from a professional, high limit, railbird?

Hey, shit happens. You can’t always think someone’s out to get you or everything’s intentional…I do know the difference. There’s a time to scream for a decision and report someone’s bad behavior and there’s a time to just get over it and get on with the game.

So here’s the difference:

A week ago I’m dealing $80-$160 Holdem. Taz is in the 8s. He’s a regular – sort of off and on – bad tempered when he’s losing but otherwise he’s easy to get along with. He flopped a set of 4’s in a pot raised pre-flop. The raiser held 7-7. Board, 10-5-4-8-6…lots of action, action, action. He raised the River and got raised and called. His cards sailed up in the air and one landed in the muck and the other flew into my hand.

I immediately said, “Just set your cards down.”

I’ve dealt to him many times and this is typical for him, there’s no reason for me to let him get started with his ‘I’m having a bad day’ routine when I’m the one that has to do the dodging.

The next hand I dealt, the action was still on the 3s, when Taz’s cards flew through the air about nose level, out in the area of the 3s. I sternly said, “You are going to need to fold in turn and set your cards down. I’m not going to dodge them while I’m dealing to you.”

The next hand, when the action came to him, his hole cards were setting a few inches from his chips, right between his arms which were resting on the table. I waited a few seconds and when he didn’t move, I said, “It’s up to you.”

He motioned to his cards and said, “Take them.”

I yelled for a decision. The 5s, a California player, said, “It’s ok. It’s ok, you don’t have to call anyone.”

I said, “It’s not ok!” and screamed again for a decision.

Nate appeared. I told him exactly what happened. He told Taz that he would have to fold in turn and push his cards in. That if he didn’t want to play while I was dealing, to take a walk. Otherwise he’d be dealt out. The 1s gave Nate a tip and said, “Good decision.”

Taz was fine with that. He behaved. A little later I stopped and visited with him for a second, after the game broke (it was a must move). Hey…he’s really not mad at “Linda”, he’s just mad at the dealer, no matter who it is. His behavior is terminal…never ending…always the same. Mine might be too….