Thursday, May 29, 2003

I dealt to A.A., commonly known as ‘Double A’, in a $10-$20 Half Kill Omaha 8 or Better game. He asked me if I had a story picked out to write today.

I told him yes.

He smiled and said, “A story every day. Do you take notes or just remember?”

I told him I had it all logged in my head and he asked me if it was a high limit story, to which I replied, “Mid-limit…$40-$80 7 Card Stud.”

Hey…in most parts of the world $40-$80 would be considered high limit but when I’m dealing $500-$1,000 and $2,000-$4,000 and even higher, I feel it’s a mid-limit game.

A few days ago I pushed into a game he was in and he mentioned that he hadn’t seen me at all in the card room. He said he’d seen me more on the Internet than at Bellagio. He meant he’d visited this page but another player took it to mean that I had pictures up on the net…umhhh! That took a moment to explain!

I really like A. A. He’s always quiet until someone barks at him for playing a bad hand and winning or when he’s defending a cause he feels is just. His spiritual presence is wonderful and his smile shows his heart. Nice!

So…on to the story. The $40-$80 7 Card Stud game is eight handed. A few regulars but mostly tourists, although the tourists know how to play poker and aren’t there to be hooked and gaffed for dinner.

Michelle is in the 6s, a long time regular. While this may sound cruel, it’s simply a description. She appears to be almost comatose, as if the 60’s were really good to her and she’s never made the move into the year 2000. Her expression never changes, her eyes never light up, each move is deliberate, as if she has to focus on each step of the journey one step at a time or she’ll lose the objective. Her speech is always measured and deliberately precise and totally monotone.

The game sucked. Very little action and mostly low card open, a raise, and everyone folded or if someone called the bring-in amount, they would then check, check, check…this was the perfect game for a speeder that can stay under radar and outplay the game police.

One hand came down with the 4s, 5s, and Michelle. The low card brought in the bet, the other two called. On 5th Street, Michelle made open 5’s. The 5s had an Ace up, no pair, and even though I called the pair of 5’s, the 5s checked as if he held the high hand. Michelle checked and so did the 4s.

On 6th street, I again called the pair of 5’s as high. The 5s checked again. I told him he wasn’t high, the pair of 5’s was high. Michelle checked and so did the 4s.

On 7th street, I again called the pair of 5’s. Michelle bet $80, the 4s raised, the 5s folded, and so did Michelle. At this point, we all realized the 4s had open 7’s showing. Did he have them on 6th? I don’t know. I did not see the pair. No one at the table saw the pair. There were eight other pairs of eyes at the table yet no one saw the pair of 7’s.

Now Michelle started her slack jawed, vacant stare, monotone, “I didn’t know he had a pair. I wouldn’t have bet.”

I had already pushed the pot because she folded her hand. I said I was sorry, I didn’t see the pair either. Hell…she was never going to be happy with that one. She insisted she should get her $80 back and I should call for a decision. Fine! I did.

Boba came over and made the decision that it was too late, she’d already folded. She still wasn’t happy and wanted her $80 back. Suzie was going to be called to the table.

The 4s offered to give back the $80 but “NO!” let’s wait and see if the house will pay it to her.

The worst of it is that the 4s said he knew he had a pair of 7’s showing but he just wasn’t thinking when I called the pair of 5’s as the high hand. How bad is that? He knew he had the 7’s but didn’t stop the action. He just raised it instead. That’s taking a shot in my book.

Suzie came over, situation explained, and I cut $80 out of the rack and gave it to Michelle. They all mumble jumbled over that one for a few minutes and I said, “The next time I miss a pair showing, someone please tell me.”

The 5s said it was the first time he’d ever seen me make a mistake. I said I hated to make mistakes and I’d take help if someone thought I was going to make one.

I did make a mistake, in that hand, but my feeling is the 4s made the biggest one. He took a shot and got away with it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Dealing has been a lot more fun lately…no experts that know everything telling me how to do my job…mostly people that came to play poker and aren’t trying to screw with me. There are a few that leave me shaking my head when I leave the table.
One is Ralph P. He always has to take an issue with the dealer, as if he was appointed by God to make sure that he keeps the dealers in line and shows them the folly of their ways. That folly would be becoming a dealer to begin with.

I pushed into a Mixed game, with Sammy F. (2nd place in the WSOP), Ralph, Jim, Mike, Jason (4th place in the WSOP), and Bruce. They had just finished eight hands of $100-$200 Pot Limit Omaha, with the last dealer, and I would start the 1st hand of Deuce to 7 Triple Draw Low. There were no wonderful little game plaques or clues to tell me what the limit was. Sometimes you just have to wing it…I did.

I announced, “Time pot!” Sammy was the small blind and put out $300, Jim, the big blind threw out what I thought was $600. I assumed the limit was $300-$600…silly me. I took the ‘time’ out of Sammy’s blind and dealt the hand. Everyone folded back to Sammy and he put in $200 more. I told him he owed another $100.

He didn’t say anything. Ralph jumped in informing me that the bet was right.

To Sammy, I said, “No, you need another $100.”

Ralph, then Sammy, both said, “You took $50 for time.”

I still didn’t get it. I insisted one more time that he owed another $100. Then I looked at Jim’s blind which was five chips…it dawned on me they were playing $500-$1,000. I apologized and stated, “There is no plaque to tell me what the limit is.”

Even though Ralph was not in the hand, he gave me the stern, you’re an idiot for being here, “I told you and he told you, yet you persist.”

My thought: Piss off!

It would have been so simple if someone, anyone had said, ‘the limit is $500-$1,000. Too easy. Punish the dealer by making them guess what you’re doing. Ralph was the only one it bothered…typical…he’s always trying to pull something whether it’s getting a free hand in a new game or winning one pot and leaving, he leaves a trail where ever he goes…never the trail I would like to follow.

The game broke up within a few minutes because Sammy was bored. He wanted to play only pot limit. Ralph tried his usual…pacify everyone only let’s get Sammy to stay in the game and when that didn’t work, Ralph went to another game, the trail becomes narrow and slippery here.

Everyone escaped to another game but within a few minutes, Lee S. and Sammy were playing heads up, $200-$400 Pot Limit Holdem. I dealt a few hands of it and got pushed.


$30-$60 Holdem. Fairly quiet game, two strangers in the 5 and 6s, two seats open. Ritchie W. flopped a King High Straight and slammed every chip in the world into the pot and the 5s drew out on the river, making an Ace high straight.

Ritchie bet the river, got raised, raised it himself and the 5s just called with the stone nuts. Ritchie takes a beat better than anyone I know. He laughed and said he just couldn’t put the 5s on that hand. No card throwing, swearing, or terminal idiocy. Ritchie is a player’s player.

A few minutes later the action went into the ‘hit the bomb shelter, find the best evacuation route available, there’s a comet coming into Earth at 5 a.m., and every chip left in the free world has to go into the pot’.

The pot was capped with four-way action pre-flop. The flop was small, with a pair. The Turn brought a King. Vince, the 2s got the last raise in before the flop. Roger, the 4s got in every raise he could also.

Vince checked the turn.

Roger asked, “You checked?” and bet.

Vince called. On the river, Vince checked, Roger bet, and Vince called. Roger showed King’s full and Vince showed A-A before he flipped his cards into the muck.

That’s when the mumble, jumble, mutter, schmutter started. Vince made comments about Roger’s “You checked?” statement, interjected with fuck and fucking bitch. He did the fucking bitch thing several times but I still haven’t figured out if he was talking about me or Roger. 🙂

Thank God for the time clock and the hot Vegas mornings…kind of brings me back to another place and time.

A new game in town…Fantasy Poker Camp

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

While I really want to be a good little vixen and write every day, there’s just too much going on. I’ve turned into the human backhoe, loader, dump truck, and all that heavy duty, totally back breaking type of moronic work that I really love. The last five mornings, about 4 a.m., has found me stopping by an oversized empty lot where excess dirt dumped from housing developments is left to grow weeds until someone decides it’s time to do something with it.

It’s a gold mine for me because one of the dumps is about 30 tons of crushed rock. Yes…you don’t even have to ask…I’m crazy. I’m 56, still hauling, lifting, digging in the dirt, laying block wall, laying concrete, planting vines, trees, and all that wonderful earthy stuff, and some days my poor body wonders if there really is a mind trapped somewhere in my skull…or what the HELL is going on?

I started a yard project three years ago. The first year I religiously hit the bricks every a.m. as soon as it was light enough to see where my feet were going. Remember in Vegas it gets hot as hell so the middle of the day stuff ain’t for this fat cat. I’d dry up and die like a grease ball on concrete you could bake a cake on. Then I went into a two year coma, lots of wine drinking, a project on internet poker that never panned out, and life in general found my yard growing weeds and dry, barren earth.

Boom! I got the bug. I found the gold mine, the crushed rock, and away I went. I’m a runaway when I get my nose into something. So…what the hell has this got to do with poker? A lot actually. Sometimes you just have to put your shoulders and your mind into the yoke and just make it happen. The lessons we learn in life are very applicable to poker and how we deal (pardon the pun) with ourselves is the total epitome of where we end up and how we got there.

Ok, I’ll stop with the psychology of it all and get into the world.


I had another session with Marty C., the ‘she’s a curse, a witch!’ guy that just never gives me credit for a win but I always plan his losses. When he wasn’t even in a hand and the player next to him lost, Marty said, “The pot is starting to boil.”

Guess it’s that witch thing again. I thought about saying, ‘the whine is starting to brew.’ Worst of it is that no one except him or me would catch it but the next time he makes a comment like that, I believe I will say the ‘whine’ thing.

He’s such a dumb butt. When he wins a pot, which he did, he always exclaims, “Miracle on 34th Street!” as if God gave a damn whether Marty wins a pot or not. And does he ever say, “Hey, the curse is lifted.” or “The witch made a mistake!” as if God ordained that I should deal him a win? No! He never gives me credit for his wins. Dumb butt!


$15-$30 Holdem. The game next to mine breaks. It’s $8-$16. I have two seats open and a player from the $8-$16 stands up, looks at my game, and asks if I have a seat open. “Sure, come on over. Rock and roll, baby!”

I call, “Player in!” so my brush knows that I’m filling a seat…acknowledged…the new player’s in the Big Blind. He says he’ll take it. My brush goes to get chips for the new player and he has an odd amount like, $239 in cash and some $1 chips from the other game. My brush takes a $1 chip and makes it $240 even.

The bet is raised pre-flop. The new player calls and I mark up the amount he owes with $30 from the pot. The flop comes, he checks, another player bets, call, call, and in the meantime, the new player receives his chips. I said, “You owe $30 to the pot and the bet is $30 to you.”

He was totally drunk on his ass, one of the reasons that I wanted to make sure he knew what was going on with the pot, don’t worry…he went off on me like the fireworks display in Vegas on the 4th of July.

“I know what it is to me. I’m not a moron you know. You don’t have to explain it to me.”

Me, “Just trying to be helpful.”

“You don’t have to tell me what’s going on, I know.”

Me, “I apologize. Just wanted to you to know where and what the bet was.”

He lambasted me with all salvos and I never said another word. I wanted to tell him to stuff it but there’s no win with someone like him…and he’s the live one. I knew it when he stood up and asked if I had a seat.

He lost a pot and got called for another $8-$16 and left my game.

One of the players in my game had a fit after the Rude Dude left…about how rude ‘that player’ was to me. Cute! But that’s the way it is.

Of course I got to deal to Rude Dude again. I sat down in a $4-$8 Holdem game, Rude Dude was in the 10s with a ‘missed blind’ button in front of him, the button was in the 2s, I dealt the hand, started the next hand and Rude Dude asked, “Aren’t you going to ask me if I want to be dealt in?”


“Aren’t you supposed to?”


He had a little spiel with the guy next to him about my actions and why I didn’t ask him.

Finally I said, “If you sat down after I started dealing, I would ask you. You were already seated and had been here when the previous dealer was dealing. I would assume you didn’t want a hand.”

He took off with something like this, “I’m not trying to be a smart ass, I thought you were supposed to ask me if I wanted a hand.”

Yeah…of course he doesn’t remember the, ‘I’m not a moron’, speech he gave me from the other game but I do.

When pigs fly and you’ve had your fingers and mouth slapped for bad manners, I’ll ask you.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Jarrod – usually plays $4-$8 Holdem, occasionally ventures into $8-$16 and, once in a blue moon, into $15-$30 where he buys the minimum chips to get into the game. He’s smart, young, too crafty, average looking, egotistical as hell, always trying to pull a shot and definitely always OUT OF LINE.

He likes to sit next to someone that he can ‘table talk’ with, show each other their hands, and whisper a lot during the hand. He folds out of turn, makes comments about what the other player has or doesn’t have or what the best possible hand is and a few million other things that are totally undesirable in a casino poker game.

One night I listened to him and a player named Brian, laugh and joke about how great it was that they rattled the dealer before me. They tried flashing their cards to each other and when they folded, I turned their cards up for the table to see.

I told them they couldn’t have a discussion during the hand when one of them had cards. They had the ‘little kid trying to get the teacher’s attention so the other kid could steal the apple on the desk’ look.

When I got pushed, I went to my supervisor and reported them.

She stood over the game for awhile and they settled down. They know better. Jarrod especially knows better.

Every time I deal to Jarrod he is out of line. I try to make it sound like a little bit of banter along with enforcing the house rule when I lean on him. I know he’s going to play and we want the play, he just needs to figure out that his behavior is unacceptable.

I dealt to him in two different games. The first one, he was sitting next to Matt, another youngster that’s a newbie to Holdem. Jarrod kept talking to him while Matt was in a hand. I told Jarrod to absolutely BE QUIET and close his mouth. He said I could be his babysitter for the way I behaved when I dealt to him.

I said, “Not really. If I was, I would’ve drowned you or hung you long ago and you wouldn’t be here now.”

He thought that was funny and told me I could burn in hell for even thinking such a thing.

I quipped, “Think so?”

He even asked me if I thought he was telling Matt how to play. My thought ‘well, if you are, you’re doing a shitty job because he’s lost every pot.’ but I said, “No conversation during the hand when one of you has cards. That’s house rule.”

A few hours later, I got him in another $4-$8 Holdem game. He folded completely out of turn and the player behind him ‘auto folded’.

I said, “Come on. You folded a week ahead of time.”

“A week?”

“At least a week. You caused the player behind you to act also. Come on, you know better!”

His reply, “I know what’s wrong with you…you’re in love.”

You could’ve knocked me out of my chair with a whisper. I was absolutely flabbergasted that he would even come up with that one. Of course he meant with him. He’s got an ego bigger than the Universe.

I started chuckling, “Maybe, but not with you.”

He just stared at me like he knew something I didn’t.

I followed it up with, “I find you to be mildly amusing, that’s about the best you’ll get.”

He sorted of stumbled around ‘mildly amusing’ through the next hand I dealt. I got pushed a few hands later but I was still chuckling at the end of my night…have to thank him for that.


Nathaniel, Cathy watched me finish a hand of $75-$150 Omaha 8 or Better, and then said “Hi!” I’ve dealt to Cathy before and did deal to her again later in a $20-$40 Omaha Better. Nice touch and thank you!

Oh…to those of you reading and wondering what that’s all about. It was a proxy ‘hello’ from a friend, reader, and poker player.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

It’s not often you find the attitude of a high limit player trapped in the body of a $1-$5 7 Card Stud player but sure enough, there he was in the 1s, struggling through his chips and acting as if he was the only one entitled to win a pot. Everyone was happy, talkative…just like $1-$5 7 Card Stud players are supposed to be…except the 1s.

He went all-in about the third hand I dealt. It was four-way action and without missing a breath, in between announcing that he was all-in 57 times, he told me what to put in the side pot before I had a chance to pick up the bets. It went to heads up in the side pot and each time one of the players checked or bet or called, the 1s announced again, that he was all-in.

Finally I asked, “Still?” when he announced all-in again.

It didn’t go over well. He lost the hand and pulled out money. Robin, one of our chip runners was there to give me a fill. He started to hand her the money, changed his mind and went off in a huff to get his own chips.

When he returned, the 7s, middle aged female, said, “He must of wanted to get his own ‘lucky’ chips.”

I was half in and out of the conversation with the players and said, “Yes, maybe he did get lucky chips.”

He went mad dog, frothing at the mouth, into, “You shut up and deal! That way you won’t make a mistake. You just shut up! You shut up and deal!”

I turned and looked directly at him and said, “Wow! Guess you really told me off.”

He looked away. I just couldn’t help my little ole smart ass self and I followed it up with, “When I want a lecture from you, I’ll call you.”

He never said another word. He lost the next hand…hell, I can’t help but think there’s some justice in that mean, bad attitude and losing the next hand kind of mojo going on. He took a walk.

I saw him throughout the night, prowling the low limit games, watching the action and then returning to his own game. Once he made eye contact with me and I stared right back at him, he looked away.

Everyone in that limit and game are always talking and goofing, laughing and gambling and they want the dealer to interact with them…hard to believe, I know. We probably have the best low limit stud games in town. Lots of action and fun going on all the time. He really was out of line.


$30-$60 Holdem, KA-BOOM! Chips exploded into the pot, capped, five way action pre-Flop. Bet and call on the Flop, bet and call on the Turn, bet and two callers on the River. Two lonely Aces claimed the huge pot.

I cranked up the fork lift and dropped the pot at the winning ticket holder’s seat.

He said, “Thank you!”

I said, “You’re welcome.”

He threw me $1.00 with this statement. “The tip is because your dealing is so smooth and you are obviously good at it, not for the pot. Anyone could have given me two Aces.”

I couldn’t help but smile over that one.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Last week found me spending a session of $40-$80 7 Card Stud with eight players and two of them were players from the early Mirage days. Marty never plays anything but 7 Card Stud and usually plays $40-$80 or $30-$60. Doc used to play $75-$150 7 Card Stud on a regular basis but hasn’t been in the room much in the last few years. Doc has mellowed considerably since those early days while Marty has progressed into a tantrum throwing fit nit. Obviously this is about Marty.

It’s not often that I deal to him, for one thing, we seldom have a limit that he likes to play. We’ve had a $40-$80 every day almost since the beginning of our tournament. Marty’s a day player and if he’s there at night, he’s stuck.
He’s really a nit and plays very snug, very seldom ever making a bad play or call unless he’s buried.

I’d had a few sessions with him over the last few weeks in which he did his usual, “She’s a curse! She’s a witch!” It probably sounds funny but after all these years, I find no humor in it. At one point, I demanded that he not talk to me, just play poker. He did.

So back to last week, he was in the 5s and Doc was in the 7s. He made an Ace high flush on the River and raised his opponent that had a pair showing. His opponent raised back.

Marty thought about it and finally folded. The pot was damn big. He grumbled his usual ranting, raving noise that I’m sure he lays on everyone…’She never pushes me a pot. I should know better…’

I dealt the next hand. He picked up his three cards and threw them into my arm. For someone to hit me, they have to be sending them in way to high and hard. I never lay across the dealer’s box or slouch. I sit up straight and have my arms completely back towards my abdomen. I deliberately picked each card up, out of the rack, and turned it face up on the table, stating, “These are exposed and out of play.”

Marty snorted, “Why are you exposing my cards?”

“You threw them into my arm.”

“I did not!”

“Yes you did and when you hit me with your cards, they’re exposed.”

Doc asked Marty, “Why would you argue with her?”

Marty, “She’s a curse!”

I said, “We won’t mention what you are.”

He grumbled “She never pushes me a pot…”

I said, “Don’t talk to me. You play, I deal.”

He couldn’t stand it. He blurted out, “She’s a curse. She’s a witch…sometimes a bitch!”

That was enough for me, I yelled for a decision.

I was really afraid Dave N., the Mid Limit 7 Card Stud Brush would answer my call and I was prepared to tell him I wanted Suzie for a decision. Instead Nate showed up.

I said to Nate, “I’ll take you or Suzie.” I opened my hand towards Marty and stated, “I’m a curse. I’m a witch and sometimes a bitch.”

I was shuffling the next hand, Marty had his ante out. Nate picked it up and set it back on Marty’s stack. “Deal him out Linda, until this is settled.”

Marty exploded with, “I didn’t say that.”

Extreme exasperation from me, “Yes you did!”

Nate put his hand out to me and said, “It’s ok, Linda. You don’t have to say anything else.”

I dealt the next hand and Nate continued with Marty, “You aren’t going to call dealers names or throw cards at them. We don’t accept that kind of behavior. You will be dealt out until you speak with the shift manager and she decides you can be dealt back in.”

Nate walked away. Marty’s voice turned into a growl, “I’m not going to speak to any shift manager. Fuck that! I’m leaving.” He did.

Shaun, a player since Bellagio’s opening said, “Come on, Linda. We’re working here.”

I ignored him. I know he thought I was out of line in calling the floor on Marty.

When I left the game, Doc stopped me, he was laughing. “You will take it from Joe R. but not from Marty.”

He’s right. But Joe used to tease me about being a witch, even from the Mirage days and that’s exactly what he was doing, teasing. Marty is being vicious just because he’s not winning.

Doc went on to say that if Marty left the game for good, eventually the $40-$80 might disappear again. He’s right about that too but I’m not willing to be a backdrop for cards pitched in anger or called names to keep a game going.

The nuts and bolts of the whole ‘diseased mind saga’ came to light when I had a conversation with Shaun early this week. The Marty incident came up and Shaun said, “Come on, Linda…you’re too mature to let that bother you.”

Come to find out, he didn’t even know the whole story because he wasn’t paying attention to the fact that Marty had thrown his cards into me and was calling me names.

But when he did hear the whole story, he felt I should have just let it go over my head. I told him that if he sat in the dealer’s chair for a few years, he’d change his mind. He said he would let the players say whatever they wanted to say to him.

I’d take book on his not making one year before he was ready to rip someone’s liver out and show it to them before they died!

Thursday, May 15, 2003

I came home from work tonight thinking I would go crazy if I had to go back and deal one more night to these PEOPLE! It’s close to eight weeks of tournament, high limit, tournament aftermath – explained like this, they spent so much playing satellites and tournaments that they are scraping to play live action and trying to get some of their money back before they head for home, it’s nonstop noise, heat, understaffed in the room, over staffed in the player arena, and IT’S MAKING ME CRAZY.

There is no place that feels like the good old poker room, no table, no starting line-up, no damn nothing to hang onto that resembles the room and players that I’ve come accept as my family and home. Sob, tears, anguish, and hand wringing are going on right now in my thoughts.

Then, miraculously, after 3 glasses of wine, the whole scene became funny. This is how it should be written…maybe you’d better get through a couple of glasses of wine so you can see the humor in it too.

· I slide into the dealer’s seat in a high limit game and announce, “Players, start your whine! Remember, no eye gouging, name calling, throwing projectiles at anyone, or spitting, and may the best whiner win!”

· When a high limit player tips Carmen a green bird and says, “I’d better tip you ’cause no dealer’s gonna push me a pot so I can tip them.”

I get to reply, “Heard there’s a spot open under the Sahara Street overpass if you need a place to sleep.”

or “Tipping is an option, being stupid isn’t.”

· A player asks for a setup. There’s a new deck in the well, I bring it out, spread it, scramble it face up, turn it over and scramble it face down, shuffle up and deal. During the hand, the player cries because he asked you for a setup and you aren’t doing your job. I get to reply, “Poker is a group awareness program, Sunshine. Pay attention now, we might have a pop quiz later.”

· When a player calls all the way to the River and makes a hand and another player starts chastising them for playing bad and getting there, I get to say, “Shut the fuck up! Did you come to play or whine?”

· When a player throws cards at me, I get to throw two decks at them.

· When a player says everything was fine before I sat down, I get to say, “I don’t see an anchor chained to your ass!”

· When a player starts talking about dealers and then refers to me as ‘she’ like I was a chair or a napkin, I get to pimp slap* them out of their chair for being rude. *What’s pimp slapping? Beat the hell out of them without leaving any bruises.

· When I have to dodge flying chips and cards, I get to throw a chair at them and say, “Dodge this, asshole!”

· When I’ve called the open seat in my game, screaming it at the top of my lungs, and a player looks at me and asks, “Do they know we have a seat open?”

I get to ask, “Are your ears painted on?”

Wow! This could go on forever so…Sandman land is waiting…and another night of wonderful, heart pounding, live action poker!!! C U there!

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

The life of a dealer ain’t all bad. Just think of all of the people you meet, from all over the world, while you’re sitting on your butt, out of the heat and cold, and you get paid for it too. Of course you have to take into account that some of these people are lunatics and some of them are into reality, then add the factor that some of them that are into reality really lose it and become lunatics after they’ve been on a losing streak; the lunatics never step into reality so subtract that factor and there you have it…gamble, gamble, gamble.

My start in the line-up was ‘home’, the high limit. Seems that for some reason, even though it’s a random draw, out of 30 tables and 40 some odd dealers, I always end up in the high limit section. Not to worry, that’s exactly where I was tonight. I started on table 3, $75-$150 Omaha 8 or Better with a 1/4 Kill. They were fairly sensible and easy to get along with.
Next game $30-$60 Holdem, take a break, come back to another $30-$60 Holdem game that was short handed and broke down about 10 minutes into my down. Dead spread the rest of that down and move into a short handed $6-$12 Omaha 8 or Better with a half kill…they all warned each other that the first hand I dealt would be the last hand. I dealt it, everyone folded, the two blinds chopped and away they went.

After 10 minutes or so, my supervisor came over and told me take Ray out of 26, Ray was on overtime and going home. Yahoo! This put me right back in line to hit the high limit games in a few hours…right back up to ‘home’. Shit!!!

Imagine my surprise when I pushed Ray out of 26 and a few minutes later he was going into 14. I would have liked to go to 14, all the easy games were in that line-up, like $15-$30 7 Card Stud and $15-$30 Holdem. What the hell was going on there? I have no idea but I got the dealer bad beat. Mine is not to question why…like hell it isn’t but sometimes you’re just better off to shut up and deal so I did.

I did have a hell of a good time with the boys playing $1-5 7 Card Stud on Table 28. They laughed and whooped, hooted and cheered, teased each other and me, and I made money too. Good thing I got to laugh it up here because the rest of the night was…well, it was funny but I just couldn’t laugh out loud.

When I hit Table 1, it was $500-$1000 Mixed Games. Danny D. was in the 1s and NOT HAPPY! Curtis was in the 8s and even more UNHAPPY! They were playing Deuce to 7 Triple Draw when I came into the game and the next game was Omaha 8 or Better. Nothing really spectacular happened other than I had to dodge a few cards now and then and Curtis talked through most of my down. He flopped a set in two different hands in the Omaha and lost both of them. He took it pretty well but his fuse was ready to blow. He made the comment, repeated it actually, that if he wasn’t playing in a casino, he’d be carrying a gun because he’d swear he was being cheated.

Table One has the Shuffle Master on it and even if I shuffled the deck, I don’t know how, never learned, could give a damn about cheating because it isn’t my bag, so ask me how I liked this statement…meet me for a drink sometime and I’ll tell you.

I remember Curtis from years ago at the Mirage. He ran over the 7 Card Stud game, $75-$150, $150-$300, and had such a great time when he played. In those days, he said that whenever he needed money, he’d always get it playing poker. Good Lord, how time changes everything.

My next game was $400-$800 7 Card Stud. It was insane. Vasili Lazarou was behaving as if someone was taking his eye out with a spoon. It’s really difficult to have a fit with him when you’re dealing to him because even though a logger would pale at Vasili’s nonstop swearing, if I looked at him and asked, “You aren’t talking about me are you?”

He’d say, “Oh no, honey! I’m just mad at the cards.”

Well he had a hell of a lot of mad going on. The only person that wasn’t saying ‘fuck this’ and ‘fuck that’ was Mimi in the 2s. A censor could never keep up with these guys and their usage of the word fuck.

Vasili ended up winning four to five hands in a row, towards the end of my down, and when he beat the hell out of the 4s in a huge pot, the 4s said, “Nice hand.”

Vasili went into a drama scene about, “…you don’t know how much I lost, you don’t know what happened when I first sat down…”

Vasili can’t even take a simple statement for what it’s worth. A little lesson in poker psyche here…pay attention now!

Next game? Right back into the $75-$150 Omaha 8 or Better with a 1/4 kill. It was fairly easy and Joe had me laughing.

My last game was a repeater also, $30-$60 Holdem. The 8s in this game was a young guy, nice looking, so polite it was almost scary, he was there when I went through the game the 1st time. When I returned, he said he would definitely play through my down because I was such a good dealer. Little did he know that I’m a stone bitch and make mistakes just like everyone else but it was nice to hear.

If he bounced a card or a chip, he apologized. He reminded of a kid that grew up in a world where everyone told the truth and no one ever tried to take advantage of anyone. Right at the end of my down, he was heads up with the nut straight…it took a 7 to make a straight, the board was 5-6-8-9-3. He bet and told the other guy, “If you don’t have the nut straight, don’t call.”

The other guy called with a 7, the 8s showed a 10-7. The 8s tried to give the other guy back his last call of $60…he tried three or four times…finally the other guy took $20 of it for his small blind.

Excuse me here, all you pros and sharks, but when I left the box, I walked around behind the 8s and quietly said, “I don’t want to tell you how to play your game but don’t try to do anyone any favors by telling them what you have or giving them back a bet because they won’t do it for you.”

He thanked me and I went on my way.

If you think I’m out of line, I really don’t give a damn, I hate to see a lamb staked out for bait.

Monday, May 12, 2003

I’m mentally ill…yes, I know, I’m crazy and pride myself on holding that precious status…but I’m really sick in the head. I can’t stand humanity right now and most of all, I can’t stand myself. No matter where I go, I run into me. No matter how hard I try to get around myself, there I am again. There’s no escape from thinking I should grow up while a little voice whispers, ‘Why the hell should you? Where’s the written rule that says you have to? And what difference does it make?’

I want to run with the wild wind, scream at the moon on a starless night, stand on top of the tallest mountain and never, never, never come back to the real world.

Every night, it seems, I walk into Fright Night. Players that used to play high limit on a daily basis at the Mirage and moved to California and New Jersey, are circulating in the room. For once, I have to agree with Sam G. His expression is always, “Freaky! That’s really freaky!” Amen! Some of these people are really freaky.

My calm and peace of mind packed up and left town a week ago in total rebellion, leaving a note that went something like this, ‘Hey bitch, you’re flying this one on your own. Happy landing!’

It’s just too much high limit and tournament players for too long. Close to six weeks now of nothing but nonstop action and noise, heat and blaring microphones.

My night started with $300-$600 7 Card Stud, Table 1, right into $300-$600 Mixed Games on Table 2, hop right up to the next game of $400-$800 7 Card Stud. Downgrade to two $30-$60 Holdem games, one $15-$30 Holdem Game and jump start my brain again with $600-$1200 Mixed Games. I tried to do a ‘dufus’ error in this game when Curtis got quartered but they saved me from myself.

It seemed as if I was in every game at least two days but my watch only showed 30 minutes…does this mean I’m time warping or skipping into a parallel universe?

I finally hit a $1-$5 7 Card Stud game in which I laughed my ass off. The 8s was a frisky, quick witted and lippy male, somewhere around 50’ish. When I sat down, he started with, “Oh, no….”

I looked at him, he looked at me. He was shaking his head. I said, “Geez! I just sat down and I feel like I’m under attack.”

He nodded as if that’s the way it would be.

The line-up in this game went: 1s-male. 2s-male and could speak very little English but he was telling the 1s what was going on in the game. 3s-male that has played in my game before. 4s-male about 30’ish. 5s-female scantily clad, married, a little too old for the outfit she was wearing but…she turned a few heads, especially the 8s. 6s 50’ish female, classy looking and I’ve seen her before but not a regular. 7s female, around 50-60 quick wit and sense of humor with very robust laughter. 8s male, full of himself but in a socially acceptable manner.

The 8s asked the ladies if they’d heard the joke about the four different kinds of orgasms.

The 7s said, “No!” with her ears totally tuned and the 8s said, “Me neither.”

Laughter from everyone.

Then he proceeded to tell the joke, a ‘yes orgasm’ went like this, “Yes! Yes! Y-e-s!” and he groaned and threw in the full sound effects while he did it. The joke really wasn’t funny but he was. The ladies were laughing and he was shining.

The 5s brought up the fact, more than once, that her husband was playing Black Jack and she couldn’t believe he was gone this long.

The 8s went with, “Perhaps I can be of assistance.”

She replied with, “In helping me find my husband?”

Not quite what he expected to hear but everyone was laughing.

The 2s tried to run the game a few times by declaring the winning hand and he was wrong every time. I said, “Wait! I do this for a living.”

The 5s loved it. She thought that was the best statement she’d ever heard.

Security was changing the drop boxes by now…and we all know how much I like that, all you have to do is read the ‘dear diary’…the security guard hit the key, dropped the box, and when he pulled it out, the 8s jumped back and made sounds like, “Oh God! Ouch!”

Everyone roared again. The security guard finally caught on that it was a joke and even he had a little glimmer of smile as he moved to the next table.

I dropped the rake a few minutes later and the drop slot slammed shut. The 8s said, “Wow! A little guillotine.”

I said, “Yup,” grabbed the lever, pulled it clear back, and let it snap into place.

8s, “That would cut off your finger!”


8s, “And anything else you put in there.”

I replied, “Don’t even try and get in that position on this table.”

Everyone was in stitches, almost rolling on the floor laughing.

“Or that security guard will be right back to get you.”

They laughed harder now.

The 7s said, “And don’t think what you put in there would ever replace the rake.”

Peals of laughter now.

I threw in the corker, the coup de grace, “Don’t try to leave a little tip either.”

They went nutzzzz! I almost couldn’t deal, I was laughing so hard. It took the 8s about 30 seconds to get what everyone else got right away.

I slapped myself on the cheek and said, “I’m so bad!”

It took a few minutes for everyone to settle down and play. The 8s told me I would never get another tip…he was kidding.

I got pushed and when I did, I thanked them all for sharing their time and laughter with me. Laughter really is the best medicine. I felt much better after that.