Sunday, March 28, 2004

Ha! I do believe in magic and I’m enjoying every second of it. I have five days off and happen to be sharing them with my oldest granddaughter, Jasmine. She’s here on Spring Break. A beauty queen that soon will be 17 years young. If you visit this page, you will see her graduating from Poker 101…where the hell did the years go?


Before I escaped the Poker Room on an E/O, several points of interest. I found them to be interesting anyway. I dealt a lively $30-$60 Holdem game. Three of the gents in the game spoke the same language (yes…along with English). What this language was, I still have no idea. I’m horrible on nationalities and languages…I just assume that everyone is just like me so I never differentiate or look beyond my realm of “People”. People? Me, you, us, we…that should say it all.

The three guys were in the 3s, the 5s, and the 7s. The 7s was a hot headed, gambling, ready to explode kind of guy. The 3s was calm and chuckling over most of the show. The 5s really liked to gamble but he drifted in and out of pots without behaving as if he was going to have to go “Postal” when he lost a hand.

Karina J. was in the 6s. I have a lot of history with her. She’s been around since the early Mirage Days…even before she was old enough to be in the poker room, she was in there jamming. Her mom and dad both played a lot in those days.

Kenny was in the 3s. He was instigating action when I sat down. The previous pot was huge. He was trying to get everyone to agree to all go to “cap” before the Flop. That way they would win a pot that was well over $3,000 each hand (that was according to him).

Some of the players were up for it and some weren’t. Kenny prompted those that weren’t to get on the transfer list because there were players that wanted to play that way and would transfer into this game.

Remarkably, the 7s told Kenny that he wasn’t transferring and he didn’t want to play that way so they weren’t going to “play” Kenny’s game.

Long and short of it, the verbal arguments and coaxings went on. So did the gambling. Finally, right at the end of my down, the 5s, Karina, and the 7s went to war.

The pot was huge. The 7s Flopped Aces and Queens, the Turn brought Karina and the 5s a split pot with an Ace High Straight. All the bets and raises went in on the Turn and River.

By this time, the 5s had picked up three sweaters, they were standing behind him, watching and exclaiming…same foreign language.

When the smoke cleared and hands were shown, the 7s stood up, swearing like a lunatic logger from the North Pole, breathing fire and spewing out flaming explitives, he launched his cards at me. One hit me in the shoulder and the other hit the floor.

He never apologized or even acted like he gave a damn if one of them took my head off…he continued swearing and looking around as if he’d had a dagger shoved into his heart by the woman he’d sold his firstborn for.

I sternly exclaimed, “That’s enough! Just set your cards down,” and gave him a mini “look”. Then it was time to stack chips and stack I did…there were a lot of them.

Karina jumped on the opportunity, explaining that she was tired of the foreign language and it had been going on every since she sat down.

I used the opportunity, of splitting the pot and stacking chips, to call Kamell, the Swing Shift Superviser.

The 7s was still standing and spewing when Kamell arrived. I explained what had happened and Kamell told the 7s that he was sitting out for the next 30 minutes and told the rest of them to speak only English.

I got pushed into a $15-$30 Holdem game where sanity was lingering…ready to take over the ‘gamble, gamble, gamble’ mode. But before I left, I had to explain to the incoming dealer that the 7s was on ‘sit-out’ and could not be dealt in during her down.

It was in the next game that I met John S., a reader here. He was funny and we exchanged a few words about teenagers (his daughters) and coming to Vegas for the first time…also the awe/horror of your own teenager driving a car (his). He was light hearted and a lot of fun.

Kenny, from the previous game, managed to stick his nose into the action here and tell me that they were waiting for me to come back to their game…as in the guys that spoke the foreign language.

Sitting next to him was a gent named Garry. Garry picked right up on the fact that I had a website and wanted to know the address. Garry’s a writer also and we visited for a moment after I got pushed.

Ain’t poker incredible? You meet people that you would never meet in any other platform…and the best of it is that you stay in touch and always cross paths again.

Mark the fact that the path you’ve crossed should be filled with happiness and wonder at being alive…else you’ve trapped yourself and bluff won’t carry you over it.

I was part of this project. Sweet!
Howard Lederer’s ‘Secrets of No Limit Holdem’

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Last night was the first night of the Friday’s at Five, $540 buy-in Tournament’s debut into the Wednesday time slot. The Wednesday Tournament begins at 1:00 p.m. with Satellites running on Tuesday and starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesdays.

Friday’s at Five has been restructured to a $1060 buy-in. Satellites run through the day. The Satellite buy-in fee is $240 and will pay two places into the tournament. If I missed something, that update will follow.

Ramsey and Justin are still in the room. Mentioned before in posts of old, they are young, energetic, and great for our room. They played the $200 buy-in NLH game exclusively at first…now they’ve reached the conclusion that they are in Vegas, they want to drink and have fun while they play…so off to $4-$8 Holdem where the consequences of playing a bad hand or making a bad call aren’t as severe. I love their insight and their candor about poker and where they are with life.


I managed to get the ideal line-up for the night…NOT! I ended up on Table 1, it was heads up with O’Neil and Huck S., playing Deuce to 7 single draw, $100 ante, $200-$400 Blind, NL. Bob S. had chips on the table but he was walking. Lee S. was sweating Huck.

This game was pretty much shuffle your brains out, deal, start over…thankfully the Shuffle Master was there to take up some of the slack of shuffling but when a hand didn’t go past the blinds, I shuffled the next hand because the machine is too slow. From a dealer point of view, it was a drag, and my pocket was dry.

My next game was $1,000-$2,000 Mixed. Dave G. – 1S, Jennifer H. – 4s, Jason L. – 7s, and Hamid D. – 8s.

Hamid had apparently just lost a hand because he was standing up spewing curses. It’s not funny but in a bizarre sort of way, it’s hysterical. He barely stopped to suck air in between the ‘mother fuckers, fucking idiots, what the fuck’, type of thing.

He sat down when I did and continued to swear. I said, “That’s enough. Take a deep breath…”

Believe it or not, in a civil tone, he replied, “I can’t!” and went back to his own personal torment as he continued to curse. He pitched his hand and stood back up, moved around, sat back down for the next hand…a few dozen times…still swearing. I wonder how a person with his temperament can survive in the poker arena without having a massive stress attack or heart attack.

Jennifer had me laughing. Hamid pitched one of his cards over to the rail by her. She was trying to be helpful and snipped it in but it caught air and hit me in the arm.

I started laughing as she apologized. David made a comment about her throwing the card and I laughed and said, “Yeah, it wasn’t even her card.”

I misdealt once. The game was Holdem and I dealt Omaha. I apologized, shuffled and dealt. Jennifer said she thought that if a dealer dealt the wrong game, the players should just play it for that hand.

David did something like, “If your friend gives you a wink, you just keep on dealing?”

He was implying that Jennifer would give me the wink and I would misdeal to whatever she wanted. We both laughed over that one as she explained that she didn’t mean it like that.

This game was at least a little spicy…not like the one on Table 1.

I was part of this project. Sweet!
Howard Lederer’s ‘Secrets of No Limit Holdem’

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

In the real world:

1) One of my Granddaughters is coming from Montana for Spring Break, this weekend, and will spend five days with me. We’re going to Mystere at Treasure Island for entertainment, Prime – Bellagio’s ultimate Steak house for food, and then on the ordinary scale…hiking, shopping, and all around girl kind of things in the works.

2) A Search Engine Parasite, Shop Nav, has devoured my little search assitant and I’ve spent hours scouring the net trying to figure out how to blast Shop Nav into smithereens and return my little buddy.

3) There’s yard work and house maintenance needing to be done and I’m looking for the magic genie in the bottle to fix everything with a blink. Damn it! Where is that bottle?

4) Any of you that are just ‘killing time’, please don’t. Bottle it and save it for me. I promise to use it wisely and only use it when needed in a kind and conscientious manner.


On the poker side of life: I’ve barely played online this last month, let alone at a B & M Table. Not sure how I would even handle playing live right now. I’ve played live five times in the last year. It took me a lot of years to discover that I could easily deal 40 hours a week, or possibly play 20 to 30 hours a week, but I couldn’t do both.

Dealing and listening to someone whine, day after day, about their beats and my lousy dealing, when I haven’t won a pot in three weeks and have played as good as God’s right hand Angel could play, leaves me wanting to jump up on the table and kick the whiner right in the throat. Multiply that feeling to Nth when I’m playing in a game, watching a dealer make every mistake in the book, and then act pained if they didn’t receive a tip when they pushed a pot.

I enjoy people and dealing when I’m not playing. I enjoy people and playing when I’m not dealing. I can’t have both since I have to work for a living and am a sure favorite NOT to win a lottery because I never buy a ticket. So I choose to deal.

I’m sticking to online play right now because it’s so easy for me to access with the limited time I have, and I can ‘multi-task’…do other things while I’m playing. This is not a push for online play, just my opinion.

I have to laugh at all the people that think they are being cheated online…by the poker site. It stands to reason there is always cheating going on in the World but it’s funny to me that anyone would think the site is cheating them. My reply to that line of reasoning? “If the site is cheating, I hope they continue because I’m winning.”


Our Five Star World Poker Classic begins soon. It’s going to be huge. I’ve heard anywhere from 20 to 25 tables in the pit in addition to our room of 30 tables. I expect it to be noisy, hot, exhausting, and wall to wall players.

See you there!

I was part of this project. Sweet!
Howard Lederer’s ‘Secrets of No Limit Holdem’

Friday, March 19, 2004

The room never slowed down. Picture a flood…bodies…surging into the room, hour after hour, slamming into the Front Podium and rolling on past it, threatening to take everything in it’s path and crush it into the walls and page/cashier area of the room.

When I hit Table 28, $4-$8 Holdem, a sudden blast of the Human Tide Pool stood up and surrounded the empty space (empty?) in front of the Middle Podium, between Tables 19, 24, and 25. Security had entered the room and there was some kind of ruckus taking place. The crowd got bigger. No one left my game to go check it out. A few minutes passed and we could see a fairly husky, middle-aged looking guy, with hands cuffed behind his back, being dragged/led out of the room by a lot of Security Guards. I found out later that some of them were Metro.

Ramsey happened to be walking by my game and gave me his usual cheery smile. I asked, “What just happened with that guy.”

Try not to fall out of your chair and die laughing with this one.

Ramsey gave us this version. The guy was standing, eating peanuts, and throwing his shells on the floor. He was told he would have to take his garbage with him and that throwing his shells on the floor wouldn’t be allowed.

He flatly stated that he would eat the peanuts and throw his shells on the floor until he got a seat in a game. Well, hell! The lists were 300 people long. Guess he figured that he could do whatever he wanted while he was in Vegas and the rest of the world could just piss off. Maybe he thought that was a giant threat…a peanut shell scare…and he would be given immediate seating…go figure.

The Shift Supervisor asked him to leave. He wouldn’t comply so Security was called, hence Metro, hence the handcuffs, and hello to Las Vegas’s most accommodating, no reservation required, crowbar hotel. That’s an easy way to find a place to sleep when there are no rooms available…yeah, right! But do they play poker in jail?


On the Friday’s at Five Tournament side of life, Ben Affleck, Annie Duke, Paul Phillips, and Eric Seidel, were in it. Were you? There were 137 contestants, total prize money $66,445.

Changes coming. The Friday’s $540 buy-in is moving to Wednesday and the Friday Tournament will be a bigger buy-in. News on that coming. During the April Tournament, the Friday’s at Five will be cancelled.

Howard Lederer’s ‘Secrets of No Limit Holdem’

Thursday, March 18, 2004

The power of the written word…once it is written, it is focused in the mind of the reader…and the writer. Good thing that a lot of people playing poker haven’t learned this ancient technique…but they have watched the WPT. Don’t think it’s only low limit games…it’s happening everywhere in the room.

A prime example would be a $30-$60 Holdem game I dealt tonight. If the 9 and 10s had ever played poker in a casino, I’d like to know which one. They both ended up going bust about 10 minutes apart and left the game. Too bad because they were young and eager to play. I can’t help but wonder why they would pick a $30-$60 limit over a $4-$8 Limit. Of course if they went on a rush, what a story to tell the guys back home.

In this same game, a new player (not new to poker but new to me) lectured me. Hard to believe ain’t it? A hand came down to three way action and the 9s being first to act, just folded. I told him it was a courtesy to check. The new player went into a little fit. He told me that I couldn’t tell the players how to play, etc. I said I wasn’t.

Several other players jumped in and explained to the 9s that he should check because it gives up another player’s protection. The new player kept ranting. He told me it wasn’t my job to say anything. I disagreed with him. My experience with people like this is that they run their own games at home and really can’t manage being in a card room with rules.

Yes…kids, you can fold when it’s your turn to act…but you are not only running a major tell on yourself, you are giving up protection for another player and someday you may be the one that is stuck looking at a bet because another ‘idjit’ folded instead of checking.


I dealt the $1,000-$2,000 Mixed game on Table 1. Not really the usual crew.

Phil I. had been playing there earlier in the night. He left the game when I was on Table 30, the Bellagio WPT $2-$4 Blind NLH game. One of the players commented, “There goes Phil I.”

Another player asked where he came from and someone else asked what limit he was playing. Another player chimed in, “Probably $400-$800.”

Yeah, right! Best to leave some comments alone. Another little goofy thing…in a game earlier…someone mentioned that we ran a game ‘upstairs’. Meaning that we dealt a game in another room, away from the poker room. NOT!

Nothing strange or crazy happened on Table 1…Thank you, God!

There are a lot of nightmare stories lately…not mine but things I’ve heard circulating around the room. They aren’t always a player incident, some of them are dealer error and other problems. Hope I can swerve around all that and stay under the radar.

I was part of this project. Sweet!
Howard Lederer’s ‘Secrets of No Limit Holdem’

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I met John H. tonight. You don’t know him? How possible? He’s a reader here. Unfortunately I didn’t get to deal to him but he introduced himself to me when I went to his game to find a long-time friend, Marie. On the subject of John…nice! Great presentation of a person filled with life and the sparkle of poker…hey, if you’re into it…you know what I mean.

Marie? We’ve known each other since the early Mirage days. She’s the kind of friend that you could see every day or not see for 20 years and when you crossed paths with her, it would be as if you’d visited with her yesterday. Great lady!


Seems to be a little bit of a problem with the $2-$4 Blind, NLH game…Ramsey, a friend and reader, came to me tonight voicing concerns over the fact that a dealer let a player have a short buy-in into this game. Ramsey doesn’t want to have enemies at the table and didn’t push it after the dealer argued with him and said a player could buy in for $100. I told Ramsey to just have the dealer call a Floor Person for a decision, if the Floor Person didn’t have the correct answer, ask for the Shift Supervisor.

Sorry kids, but sometimes the only answer is to go the ‘head honcho’ when it comes to this type of thing. Why should Joe Blow get a short buy-in when you’ve been bludgeoned all night long and bought in for $200 each time?

Ramsey felt the other players were starting to nitpick him for trying to get the issue resolved and he likes to be liked at the table so he let it drop. Some of the players told him the decision was different every night…even going to the extreme that the player couldn’t re-buy after going broke. Wow! Where did that come from?

We have a lot of new dealers coming into the room right now for our Five-Star World Poker Classic. It’s going to be hell for them because they don’t know a lot of our rules. Rather than argue, just ask the dealer call the Floor Person if you’re sure you know the rule and the dealer is out in left field somewhere with their take on it.

I was part of this project. Sweet!
Howard Lederer’s ‘Secrets of No Limit Holdem’

Friday, March 12, 2004

Brain Food! Ever meet someone that just kept your thoughts hopping? Made you aware of your own awareness? No? Too bad, you’re missing a lot. Can’t explain it if you ain’t there so…

Friday night brought a little nightmare scenario. I went through most of my night without a glitch/hitch/kiss my butt/or any kind of confrontation. Then I hit a $20-$40 7 Card Stud Game. It was six handed when I sat down.

The 4s was a cute, y-o-u-n-g guy. Really young. I gave the dealer I was pushing a mini-massage while he dealt the last hand. The 4s squirmed around, hinting that he needed one too. I sat down in the ‘dead zone’. The game was pretty dead, no action, lots of ‘if you get stuck in this game, you’re an idiot’ kind of vibes.

The 3s was a overly husky (maybe a little over weight) but a very healthy guy somewhere in the 40’s-50’s. Some of the comments during the game went to the gays being able to marry…woops…now they can’t…go to Oregon…and on and on. The 3s made some comment that appeared that he was going to marry his mate and his mate was a man. Hey, no one flinches over these things in the poker room. His sweater (mate?) appeared and sat behind him. They were both good sized guys.

The 4s got a call on his cell. He went through the, “You mean you just finished dinner?” and a few other million threads of conversation and finally convinced his caller to come into the poker room and get him for a drink.

He kept looking over his shoulder at the Front Podium and I finally asked him what/who he was looking for…telling him I’d alert him when they entered the room. Three girls/ladies. He teased that I had to be interested in him when they arrived. (Honestly…he was really cute and well built but I’m not into one night stands).

Just before they showed up, the action went crazy. The last thing on Earth that one would expect to happen, did. There were four players in for a completion to $20. Just as I burned and dealt the up card to the 1s, the 3s, OUCH…it happens here…the 3s discovered that he had a spare down card under his arm. The spare card had apparently came from the 4s’s hand when he folded.

The 3s made all kinds of noise, insinuating the 4s threw his card into his hand…as if he’d done it on purpose.

I immediately called for a decision. Dave N. (Brush and Supervisor came over) and I explained what had happened. Dave looked at the 3s and said, “The hand is dead.”

The 3s asked, “Well, what if I just throw my cards into another player’s hand…”

I caught Nate’s eye and mouthed, “Get Suzie!”

Dave continued with, “We wouldn’t recommend that, Sir.”

Suzie appeared. I explained what had happened. Suzie told me to give the 3s $20 out of the rack and kill the hand. I did. Before I let her escape, I asked about the card run…the error had been discovered after the 3s had received fourth street…before the other two players had received fourth street.

She told me to continue with the deal…the next two players would just get their cards, in order, off the deck.

Don’t worry, the next two players didn’t hear a word of anything that was going on. After I killed the 3s’s hand and dealt out the next two cards, they questioned it. I gave them, “That’s the decision.”

The long and short of it, the 4s’s girls showed up. They preened and did a little dialogue tango while the 4s informed them that I wanted him. He looked directly at me and said, “Linda, the massage will have to wait.”

I fell right into his game and said, “Another time then.”

Ain’t poker grand?

I was part of this project. Sweet!
Howard Lederer’s ‘Secrets of No Limit Holdem’

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I met and dealt to Jason B., a reader here, after he sat down in a $4-$8 Holdem game. He was going to play in the Friday’s at 5 the following day. Really cute, nice attitude, and we got to visit briefly on Friday. (A little jump ahead here), he was still in the tournament when I came in at 7. I looked for him a few hours later, in the faces that were left in the battle, and he wasn’t there…Damn. I was really hoping he’d win it.

Back to the game on Thursday. A woman that declared she was a CPA, but looked like she could have starred as a witch in a Walt Disney movie, sporting a snaggly toothed smile and long white hair, went all-in and lost. She pulled $40 in chips out of her handbag. Most of the guys at the table started ragging that she’d been ratholing her chips (that means sneaking them off the table). I explained to her that she had to leave all chips in play.

She knew exactly what was going on. Lots of snaggly toothed smiling going on here. She said that she’d bought $40 in chips earlier and paid for them with a $100 bill. Since the dealer couldn’t give her change, she took $100 in red and put $60 of it in her handbag.

The guys just weren’t going for it, even though I tried to interject that “IF” that’s what she did, she could do that. Now I went through the process with her (with a giant smile on my face and trying to make it into a joke…BTW I don’t have snaggly teeth and teeth are one of the first things I notice on people) of explaining that everyone was going to be watching her now and what she did with her chips and since I didn’t want everyone mad at me, she would be forced to leave everything in play on the table.

Her head bobbed up and down, more snaggly teeth smiling, and she laughed her ass off over the tiz the guys were having. The guys weren’t mean, they just wanted her to understand they knew what she was doing and from the way she acted, she probably did do just what they said she did. So I explained all of it to the dealer that pushed me, as he shuffled the first hand.

I then told her, “We’re watching you now,” as I went on my way to the next table.

She thought it was really funny and kept laughing. Nice not to have her go ballistic and throw a fit over it.


I dealt one of the WPT NLH games (that’s the name of our low limit NLH game now). The buy-in has been changed to $200 and the Blinds are now $2-$4. Don’t worry, it never slowed anything down. There is/has always been a main game and a must move since this game started in the room. There’s so much action in this game, it’s not for the faint of heart. I really believe most of these players think that if they go all-in, you have to throw your hand away…or if you go all-in, you’re bluffing.

During my down in this game, one youngster in the 5s, threw off over $600 and left the table. The first hand was pretty incredible to me that he would even call the all-in bet. It started like this: Six or seven people called the $4 Blind.

The Flop was 8-9-10. Bet $5, two players called, the 5s made it $20 to go. The rest of the field called the $20, except the 4s…raise, all-in, for $353.

The 5s put some thought into it (about 30 seconds or so) and called. Everyone else folded.

In this game, once a player is all-in and it’s heads-up, the hands are turned over immediately, just like tournament play.

The 4s had Q-J, the 5s had 9-10. I was flabbergasted over both of their play but I wasn’t giving poker lessons then and I’m not giving them now.

A few hands later, the bet got raised (not sure how much) by the 5s and the 8 and 4s called. The Flop was Ace-little-little. Both the 4 and 5s checked. The 8s bet $100. The 4s folded and the 5s thought about it for around 30 seconds and went all in for a little over $150. The 8s called.

The 5s turned over Q-Q. The 4s exclaimed, “I threw away Queens!”

The 8s turned over A-K and since the Flop was a Rainbow, the 4s was drawing dead…if the 4s was telling the truth. I ran out the cards and pushed the pot to the 8s. The 5s picked up his drink and left the table…no noise, no fuss.

The 5s got married to every hand he looked at. While there are a lot of reasons to get married to a hand, there are a lot of reasons to end the relationship at any point during the hand…think about it when you take a seat in this little island of volcanic, chip spewing action!

I was part of this project. Sweet!
Howard Lederer’s ‘Secrets of No Limit Holdem’

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

My Sheriff’s Card is about to expire. Ugh!!! While this sounds like such a small thing, to a night creature it’s a drag. The rest of the world thinks that all of us should conform to day time hours…while that may be true in the State of Nowhere, it just ain’t so in Vegas. We are a 24 hour a day town which means the employees are 24 hour a day people too. A few years ago, when this glorious event rolled around, I could call Metro, make an appointment, walk in and skip all the lines, because I was already a card holder, and get through the process within 15 minutes for the small sum of $35.00.

Times have changed. Now I have to go to Metro or a fingerprint shop, get fingerprinted (this is only done during daylight while I would like to be snuggled into the dark and quiet of my bedroom), pay a fee (that varies according to where I have it done), and then purchase a cashier’s check or a money order in the amount of $75, fill out several forms and turn all of that (finger prints included) into employee services where all of it is sent to Metro for processing. Then…hopefully…I will receive my new Sheriff’s Card. I just can’t give a thumbs up to this process…the down side to it is that if I fail to renew, I cannot work…until I do renew, the Time Clock beeps at me each time I clock in and out, reminding me that I must renew. Shit…an alarm clock at work too!


Last week when I came tripping through the room, getting ready to push into a game, there were two guys standing by the Cashier’s Cage, craning their necks at the players on Table 1. Who was up there? Who were the stars?

They recognized Doyle and Jennifer. I told them the player with his back to them in white shirt was Gus Hanson. They queried, “The bald guy?”

“No…he’s not bald, just has his head shaved.”

“Who else?”

“The guy next to him with the blue shirt on is Renee. Celine Dion’s husband.”

They stated, as if they knew the answer, “Doyle wouldn’t play less than $300-$600.”

I said, “Try $1,000-$2,000 or higher.”

Big eyes here…they were so damn excited…next question, “What if we asked them for a picture…not while they’re playing…?”

I replied, “First of all you could never take a picture up there because the Floor Person would stop you…”

“No…what if we saw them away from the table and asked them for a picture, what are they like, would they let us take one?”

Me, “Well it depends on how their mood is for the day, whether they won or lost, or just how they feel in general. They might say yes and then again they might tell you to screw off!”

Believe it or not, they seemed really happy with that answer.


Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Last week I slipped into the Dealer’s Box on Table 28. Great little game, lots of action, nice people that didn’t have any problem playing ATC (any two cards)…my kind of game. The 3s was a nice looking youngster that had a lot of chips and played most of the hands, although he didn’t play like an ‘idjit’, he seemed to tango every chance he got. When he won a pot, he sent me $1…appreciated.

Somehow the conversation went to high limit. The 3s stated that a few years ago in Atlantic City, he was playing $1,000-$2,000 Blind…stop…stutter…stare…everyone wanted to know if he was playing in a Tournament…”No!” It then went to, “Not a cash game?”

He replied, “Yes. A game just like this only with $1,000-$2,000 blinds.”

They all went ga-ga…”how/what?”

He said he won a lottery. They queried him, “How much?”

His reply, “A lot…I was the only winner.”

While the others asked if they could ‘be his mother, would he adopt them, did he need a brother’, I couldn’t help but express my genuine happiness for him. I said, “Good for you. That’s wonderful.”

While they were all gabbing and chortling, I caught his eye and mouthed, “How much?”

He mouthed back, “After taxes…______!”

Several people asked me, “He told you how much…what was it?”

I said, “A lot.”

He went on to explain that when he realized he’d won, that he had the ONLY ticket, he was frightened. He thought something bad was going to happen. While most of you might find that hard to believe, I can associate with that. So many of us are taught that you can’t have your cake and eat it too…the Twilight Zone Theory takes over.

He also explained that he was told to sign the ticket when he bought it, he did, and that was one of the best things he could have done…no argument or accusations from anyone. He met with the IRS, the Lottery Officials, etc., etc., etc.

He gave some of it away to Charities, family and friends, and got a zillion phone calls from people he’d never heard of. He said he has a representative from Merrill Lynch that handles everything for him, takes care of advising him on investments and he finally forwarded all of his phone calls to the representative.

I got pushed. I stopped and asked him if he was excited or filled with disbelief at first…as in ‘did it register?’ He said he was very frightened. He thought something really bad was going to happen. I asked his name…he told me…I gave him a card to this site and asked if he minded that I write this here, he said “No, go ahead.”

I finished by telling him that I felt he was handling it well and how happy I was for him. He’s 27, how wonderful that he appears to be in a state of mind with it that it’s a means to live his life with relative ease instead of feeling that he has to punish everyone with it or be a big shot and shove people around. I respect him even more for tipping me a $1 when he won a pot…it would be gauche if he threw his weight around in any limit…and I liked the fact that he played $4-$8 rather than trying to slam it out in high limit.

Real people are the core of poker.

I was part of this project. Sweet!
Howard Lederer’s ‘Secrets of No Limit Holdem’