Sunday, May 30, 2004

The poker explosion is running right off the scale of reality. A whole new crop of players that need to be trimmed and pruned…no, not of their cash…into the etiquette of poker. It won’t be easy. Look at all of the people that have played for years and still can’t figure out that proper behavior and game protocol even apply to poker, let alone know what it means.

I accept the fact that the job of teaching new players how to interact with the mechanics of the game is never ending. It’s taken me a long to figure out that it’s always going to be like the rent/mortgage; it keeps popping up and someone has to deal with it. No pun intended.

I find a lot of really helpful players that gently lead a new player into the betting, the blinds, how/when to act, without giving poker lessons. I love these people. They make my job so much easier.

I also find a lot of people that openly criticize a new player and teach them bad habits. Sure, you knew this was going somewhere…

1) $80-$160 Holdem and Omaha 8 or Better, the Time Drop is taken after the Flop. The Blinds cannot chop until the Time Drop has been satisfied. Some of the locals blatantly give the $40 small blind back when there are no calls/raises pre-flop. I’ve had nothing short of a fit when it’s happened, and it has, the last two days of work.

In one instance the Big Blind winked at me as he threw the $40 back to the small blind player. I guess I was supposed to think the whole thing was cute and just ignore it. I did not. I asked him what he thought was supposed to happen when another player saw him do it and expected me to ignore it too. He agreed that I was right but I’d bet my weeks tips that he still does it every time he thinks he can get away with it.

The second instance is that now these same locals are teaching the new players to do the same thing on a Time Pot. More fits by me. I have explained that if they continue to do this, each player will pay time individually just like the $30-$60 Limit Holdem and $10-$20 Blind No Limit Holdem games.

No chopping on a time pot means no chopping. Figure it out! I wish it would go to individual time, it would make the game much better.

2) I dealt the Friday’s $1,000 Buy-in No Limit Tournament. T.J. was instructing everyone at the table how to be a World Class Whiner. People learn these things from listening to the pros! In the big blind, he raised all-in and got called by the small blind that had less $$ than T.J. The small blind won the pot with J-8S vs. T.J.’s A-little offsuit, by making a pair of Jacks.

T.J. berated him, “How could you even call with Jack high? You didn’t have anything at risk…blah, blah, blah…”

Then T.J. called an additional $100 from the small blind with something like 8-4 offsuit. The big blind checked it out with T.J. and made a pair of threes on the River with 7-3 offsuit. T.J. went ballistic, “That’s the third time I’ve started with the best hand and lost…”

Ok…hold my sides while I die laughing here…what is it with the whine and the lessons?

This same table had a woman in the 3s that was so drunk, she literally couldn’t stand without bobbing and weaving but she seemed to know how to play poker. She yelled at me to yell at her when there was a raise because she couldn’t hear me. Christ! I thought I was already SCREAMING the first five minutes into the down. Maybe I was the only one that could hear my screams.

The 1 and 2s shared a little smile and secret laugh with me…they saw the overview.

3) One night, while dealing $80-$160 Omaha 8 or Better with a 1/4 Kill, Kenny was in the 9s. He’s been around Vegas a million years and knows a lot of the history of the players and ‘old days’. I like his attitude. He’s not a steamer and never gets out of line with anyone…maybe with his play now and then but that’s between him and him.

The subject of Dealer Abuse and a few other things came up where he kept pulling me into the conversation. Stu Ungar’s name popped up. I commented that Stu always liked to throw the cards into the Dealer’s chest and run out of the room when he took a beat.

Kenny said he could never figure out how anyone thought Stu was a great player when he couldn’t control his emotions if he lost.

I followed with an exaggerated, “He stuck a knife in the dealer’s chest when he lost the hand…but he’s a great player!”

We both laughed over that idiotic mentality. How the hell can you be a great player when you’re incapable of taking a beat? Everyone takes a beat. It’s going to happen. My thought is just knuckle down and play through it. The sooner you put it out of your mind, the better your game is going to be.

Don’t agree with me? Oh well…I never agreed with Stu Ungar’s fan club either.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

It’s a never ending stream of people flowing through the door. The heads bob up and down like waves on the ocean. The microphones and occasional burst of excitement or anger rip through the barricade of conversation and chip clatter that create an eternal roar resembling a building coming down around your head. The body heat and emotion is overwhelming. Where the hell is my medication????


I dealt the $30,000-$60,000 game to Andy and Todd on Wed. nite. Easiest game in the house to deal, no rake, no time, just sign in like a tournament, sit down and deal…three chips for the small blind, two chips for the big blind.

No, I don’t know who was winning. I do know the Blinds would pay off everything I owe in life (except my house) and I’d have fun money left over. 🙂

I’m happy to be part of this experience, to witness it, deal it, approach Andy and Craig, and have them greet me with a warm smile and hello…it’s history. Just like dealing the WPT/Ultimate Bet Aruba event. I have something to share with my friends and family that most people will only hear about or watch on television.


James Woods was in the room last night playing the $2-$4 Blind, No Limit Holdem game. I visited with him for a brief second…actually I jumped right into a conversation with him about poker screenplays and writing. He may send me an email…hope, hope, wish!


One night last week, while dealing a $100-$300 Blind Pot Limit Omaha game, I made a HUGE mistake. I thought I would get my head ripped off by the players (verbally) but believe it or not, the coolest and calmest of the five players were Johnny Chan and Sammy Farha…

I allowed my concentration to lapse for that half a second that it takes to make a mistake. The wrong Game Plaque was on the table for the Blind Structure. The dealer before me should have called the floor and had it changed but…that would be too damn easy.

While dealing the hand, I looked over my shoulder to ask another passing dealer to notify the floor that the blind structure was wrong on the card. In doing so, I only dealt Klinger, the Small Blind, three hole cards and everyone else four.

Don’t worry, it went just like the nightmare that it’s supposed to be. Johnny raised, the 8s folded, and Klinger discovered that he had three cards. I apologized and called for a decision.

Tim (fairly new to the Floor position) came over, stumbled around with the fact that he thought it was a dead hand but couldn’t quite come out with a definite statement, finally said he’d better check and went to ask the Supervisor.

Between Sam and Johnny, the conversation went back and forth with the fact that they knew it was going to be declared a dead hand…only option open for Klinger was that the House might give him back the $100.

Klinger started to make a comment about the dealer making a mistake and Johnny jumped right in and told Klinger that it was up to the player to protect their own hand and he should’ve said something right away.

Sammy told Klinger that “IT” had already happened and there was nothing that could be done about it now.

WOW! I almost fell off of my chair.

The players opted to give Klinger back his $100 and the hand went on.

I’m still a little bit in shock over that whole experience. I know I made the mistake and should have concentrated totally on the game. The shock factor comes in when NOT ONE OF THEM pounded me with the fact that I needed to pay attention and they reasoned it out as to what would happen and then proceeded in a civilized manner.

There really is a Poker God and She was looking out for me!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Just the word overtime makes me feel slightly sick to my stomach, but there it was, slapped right in my face in the pleasant form of, “Linda, would you stay a little longer for me?”

Arghhhhh! I hate OT. I did stay…it turned into a nine hour shift for me. There were still 30 games running at 3 a.m. What the hell is going on here? Don’t these people have a home? Ok, enough whining from my end of it.

I dealt to one idiot, 3s, in a $15-$30 game that was never supposed to take a beat. Every one else was supposed to lay down and die to make sure he won the pot. The first sign of unhappiness came when he flopped a full, (Q-3), Queens full of Threes, and got beat by runner-runner Ace. He made snotty comments to the winner.

The winner was wonderful, he exclaimed, “You’re not going anywhere are you? You’re staying aren’t you? That way I can win all of your money!”

I had to laugh over that.

The loser then turned to me, “Nice job dealing.”

I replied, “Thank you! I am a good dealer.”

The 3s lost another hand later in my down. He did the same thing with, “Nice job dealing.”

I did the same thing, “Thank you.”

He informed me he wouldn’t tip me again. I said, “You worry about my tips but I won’t worry about your play.”

The 7s chimed in, acting as if he was a buddy of the 3s, “You’re being a bad boy again.”

The 3s made more comments about my dealing and how I wouldn’t get a tip from him.

I replied, “I won’t make comments about your playing.”

The situtation was a little on the steamy side but at this point, I really didn’t care.

The 7s chimed in again, same chummy attitude towards the 3s, “You are being a bad boy.”

I looked right at the 7s and asked, “Why don’t you take him home and spank him then?”

The 3s was the button and each time I moved it to deal to him, he pulled it back right in front of him.

I asked, “Are you finished?”

He replied, “Just getting it out of your way.”

Funny how it didn’t bother him the other two rounds of the table.

The 8s told him to stop it and just play poker.

Amen brother. What the hell is wrong with just playing the game?


Andy was back, slamming it up with Phil I. tonight. Results unkown.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

I landed in Billings MT early a.m. on the 21st. A gathering of friends and family came to share a belated wedding/house warming for my nephew and his wife. Too much food, too much to drink, and loads of laughter, music, and great company were the highlight of the event. It rained the whole time I was there but the rain didn’t put a damper on anyone’s spirit or the event.

Seemed like there was never any time to sleep but we did find time to play poker. We took one hour poker breaks stuffed in between setting up for the party, fixing a meal, sleep, and anything else that might get in the way. I lost! Can you believe it? A friendly little $.25-$.50 poker game and I barely found a hand I wanted to play while they played everyone dealt to them. Hysterical!

Tonight, the 25th, it’s back to the land of insanity. The world where nothing exists but the next hand being dealt. Truthfully I’m not looking forward to stepping back into the casino noise and hurry scurry side of life, let alone the poker room where the microphones will scream for hours, body heat and emotion explode in a never ending torrent, and people will enter and leave in a never ending flood.

An interesting note, while walking through the airport to Baggage Claim, there are ads on all of the walls with the greats of poker supporting Belvedere Vodka, you can view them here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

A $15-$30 Stud game, one night last week, would have tried the patience of God, let alone this little mortal’s ability to deal with people that just DON’T GET IT! The worst of it is, one of the people that just didn’t get it, deals day shift and should know the rules better than anyone at the table, besides me.

First the rule:

In all Time Games, senority takes priority on seat changes.

In all raked games ($20-$40 and lower), seat change is by request. If no one has asked for a seat change and a seat opens, the new player puts anything down in the seat, i.e. chips, cash, car keys, coat on the chair, etc., the seat belongs to the person locking it up.

In this particular nightmare event, the game was $15-$30 Stud but it was going to change to $20-$40 Stud hinging on one condition, keep in mind that everyone at the table had already agreed before I got there and I was just sitting down. The 1s, Joan, was going to go to another $15-$30 stud game and trade places with Ben that wanted to play $20-$40. Her moving and the game changing was based on the fact that Ben wanted the seat she was leaving and Ben had already placed a $5 chip under the edge of the rail in her seat. Hence, he locked up the seat.

As soon as she started to rack up, the 2s, Ray, one of our dealers, said he wanted the seat. Where was Ray in the conversation before I got there? If Ben didn’t get the 1s, Joan wasn’t leaving and the game would stay $15-$30…keep in mind all of this had already been agreed upon.

I looked at the $5 chip under the edge of the rail and asked Joan, “Ben already locked this seat up?”

The answer was ‘yes’ and if Ben couldn’t have the 1s, she wasn’t leaving.

I stated that since Ben had locked the seat up, it was his seat.

Ray started an argument with me, “He has preference over player’s in the game?”

Me, “He locked the seat up, it’s his seat.”

Ray, “Even over players already in the game, amazing,” as he started to put his chips in the rack…he was leaving.

My thought, then go quietly please.

Ben got his seat. Ray kept mumbling about how amazing it was that a new player could have a seat choice over someone that had been playing…blah, blah, blah, and finally left. But he came by the table after cashing out and gave me a, “Sorry, Honey.”

And I’m sure he still believed that I was wrong. Shouldn’t he know the rules? Don’t even try to answer that one.

The 7s in this game, Josh, is someone I’ve been dealing to off and on for a few years. He’s not consistently a regular but plays often enough that we greet each other and we’ve never had any kind of dispute when he’s played and I’ve dealt. This session changed that.

He was grumbling about his bad luck, in general, nothing specific directed at me or anyone else. He got involved in more than one pot while I was dealing and didn’t win. He also had several people walk up behind him and distract his game with conversation.

The hand that started all of the problem found him with buried A-A and he was the low card. The action ended up three way and all the raises went in. The down side of it is that Josh started this hand with a lone $100 bill and a few chips in front of him. He dropped a roll of $100’s on the table and when fourth street hit, he had $15 left in chips.

He threw out a $100 and I told him it didn’t play, that he could only play the $15 in chips.

He informed me that he had pulled this money out of his pocket when he put in his ante. When this hand started, he was interrupted by a visitor and that may be why his money didn’t go on the table, he had it in his hand.

I told him that he may have pulled it out of his pocket but it didn’t go onto the table until after the action started.

He argued. None of the other seven players agreed with him or me, they never said a word. Normally if someone saw him bring out the money, they would have jumped in on his behalf.

I asked him if he wanted me to call for a decision.

He emphatically informed me that if I did, Suzie would favor his side.

I said, “No she wouldn’t. She’d make the correct decision.”

Josh, “I guarantee you, she will favor me in the decision.”

I said, “Make up your mind now. Do you want a decision? Don’t wait until the hand is over and then decide you want one.”

He grumbled that he didn’t want one but still insisted that the money had been on the table and he’d never had a problem with me before, why were we having one now.

I didn’t even answer. He lost the hand to two small pair.

The 5s looked at me and asked if I was ready for a drink.

I said, “Hell Y-E-S!” We both laughed.

I went on down the line right into a little rock and roller $4-$8 Holdem game. They just wanted to gamble…thank you, God!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Sometimes I have more fun at work than the law allows, this is one of those cases. Bill L. plays mostly $8-$16 Holdem at Bellagio, although he’s been around for quite some time. I believe I posted about him a few years ago because I dealt him seven Aces in four hands…yup…that would mean he had pocket Aces three hands back to back and picked up a lone Ace in the fourth hand. He’s usually talking, win or lose, and while he may sound like he’s ‘grouching’ at times, he’s really quite funny and entertaining.

I skipped into an $8-$16 Holdem game that was all guys and most of them were drinking and gambling. The 1s was a very healthy, good looking bundle of noise about the same age as my kids. His friends were playing at the next table and they had all come to town…to do what? Party is my guess.

Bill was in the 7s and jumping in and out of the conversation. He said he was stuck. I asked, “How many lap dances?”

Yes, that’s always how he jokingly calculates the amount he’s stuck, in lap dances.

He blurted out a figure like 12 or 15 or something like that and the 1s went nutz-z-z-z with it. He gave up the info that he was a lawyer, his father was a lawyer, they were going to open a strip joint. No, I don’t know where. He was loud and everyone was laughing like they’d been served laughing gas instead of cocktails…I was laughing too. Someone he knew would handle all the action, licenses, etc.

The conversation sped off to the Pink Lollipop (or something like that name) in Florida. Other guys at the table knew about it. They went into a run about the Strippers at that joint and how much money they made. Then they jumped into how much the house gets from each lap dance, if they had a private dance, etc. Some arguing there because a few of the boys felt they were the experts on the subject.

I said, “Why not ask Bill?”

Their attention momentarily shifted to Bill and he said, “It’s really hard to get those fifty cent pieces to stay in their G-strings.”


The 1s barely took time to suck air during my down…he was so busy talking and laughing. Once during my deal, he started talking about the possibilities on the board when there was a lot of action. I shushed him. He informed me that anyone playing at the table could see what was on the board.

I did a, “Listen, when you run the girls, you tell them what to do. But when you’re in my game, you do what I tell you.”

He roared. He told me his mother’s name was Linda.

When I hit the next table, three of his friends were in the game and they were chiding him that nothing was sacred and he couldn’t keep his mouth shut…”You even told her your mother’s name, GAWD!”

Just think of the havoc they could wreak in this town…mothers hide your daughters.

Blog Links

Links are given upon request. Content is not checked out and may not be poker related. And…not listed in order of importance or preference.

PokerWorks Blogs:

Table Tango
IGGY at PokerWorks
Jennifer Newell’s New Digs

Michael Craig’s Journal
Quest of a Closet Poker Player
Tony G.
Dr. Dad’s Poker Thesis
My Poker Life
Witches Brew Poker Stew
Poker Perambulation
Chasing Chris Ferguson
Grubby at PokerWorks
Joe Speaker
Maudie at PokerWorks

The rest of the Blogosphere:

Guinness and Poker

Donkeys Always Draw
Unlistenable Podcast 75432
Dave Memphis MOJO
Ten Whiskey
Poking and Peaking
Poker Girl in Vegas
Gene Bromberg
Gary Carson’s Road Trips
Bill’s Poker Blog
Exploits of a PokerTart
(Fish and Chips) Red
Run ’em Twice
Ansky Poker
Musings of a Bad Poker Player
High On Poker
Murph’s Musings
The View From the 3s
Adam LaBare’s Poker Blog
Life as a Vegas Poker Dealer
Bad Beat BBQ
Good Karma Kid
Wolves can Shuffle Cards
Play Winning Poker
Tao of Poker
The Poker Fat Guy
Poker Grub
MeanGene Poker
Poker Perspectives
Adventures of a Poker Nerd
Decker’s Poker Journal
Riding the F Train Poker Blog
BadBlood plays Poker
Lion Tales Poker Blog
Dead Money = AlCantHang at Poker
Double As Poker Blog
John Paul & Poker
Poker Ati
Poker Prof
Poker Nation
The Camel Ruminates on Poker
StudioGlyphic Poker
The Nut Heart Flush
Online Poker Thoughts
Another Fool And His Money Poker Blog
whiskeytown’s downtown poker
She Verb – Gracie’s Poker Blog
The Obituarium & Poker
Human Head Thinks Big on Poker
Nickle and Dimes Poker
Feeding The Poker Addiction
Hella Hold’em
Beer City Poker
Res Ipsa Poker
My Little Poker Blog
Geek and Proud Poker
A Pirate’s Life for Me
Poker Princess
This is not a Poker Blog
TiltBoys Poker
Poker Babes
tp’s poker tidbits
The Rants of a Young Mind
Poker Rock Garden
Intrepid Card Player
Online Poker – Cheap Thrills
Life’s A Grind Poker Blog
Internet Poker Pro
Jim Geary Poker
Poker Bully
The Commish’s Desk & Poker
Big Slick Nuts Poker!
Glued to the seat – Poker
Sideways Poker
A Chick and A Chair
Poker Soft – Andy Ward
2 Hole Cards
A Poker Blog
Bazkar’s Poker Voyage
Poker Journey
Hunts Vegas Poker
It Ain’t Gambling – Poker
Poker in the Weeds
Poker On Film
STFU Poker
Call, Raise or Muck It Poker Blog
Wagering War
The Ugly Guppy
Mockingbird Poker Tour
Poker In Arrears
50 Outs Poker
Twenty-One Outs Twice
Lumpy’s Poker Blog
Poker Words
Donkeypuncher Poker
Lord Admiral Poker Podcast
Fish and Chips Poker
My Poker Adventure
Betting for Value
Pathetic Poker Play
Poker, Pique and Parenthood
Jarooty’s Poker Blog
Poker Wannabe
The Poker Shark’s Cardroom
Poker and other Random thoughts
Absinthe’s Troubles
The Surly Poker Gnome
Mr Subliminal’s Poker Blog
Wired Aces
While drinking, I…
The Poker Sponge
MissT74 Poker Blog
Matt Matros
Wired Pairs; Poker Recollections
Everything in Moderation
Terrence Chan Poker
Richmond Rounder
playing poker and teaching science
OJ’s poker dealer blog
Life is a Game of Poker
Poker Junkie
Poker for the People
Aeq Poker
See For Yourself
Big Syd’s Poker Blog
Poker Rabbit Poker Blog
GCox Poker Blog
Wicked Chops
Performify’s Poker Page
Obie’s VIP Poker Blog
Hayduke’s Hold’em
Boogster’s Poker Blog
The Esoteric Lunch
Can I Rebuy
FishIsWa Poker
Drowned at the River
Buffalo Hold ‘Em
Part Time Poker Blog
Camp Happy
Confessions of an amateur poker player
aK(a): asia K
thebabykicker Kicks Babies
Sell the Kids
Mike’s Poker Blog
Life, NYC Poker, and Boxing Promotion
Poker By Fire
Life of a Poker Player
[Blog Goes Here]
The [bl]og of Poker – SuperGirl
Hagbard’s blog : pour jouer au poker
Follow Suit
Poker Greed
Pot Committed
Poker Sweet Home
Ros on a Rush
White Belt Poker
Poker Doctor
Redpill’s Poker journey
The Slag Pile
Littleacornman’s poker n life blog
All in
Poker Poison
Dumbasses Trump All
radiovegas poker blog
Compromising Anonymity
Predator314’s Poker Journal
Set Over Set
Donkey hunter
Meek’s Poker Bank Roll
Marks Poker Blog
Everything has a Limit – Peter
Life, Poker, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Infant Days Sleepless Nights
Runner Runner Deuces??? – A Poker Blog
Bad Beat BBQ
Life, The Universe, and Poker
Signals in the Fog
Poker Twitch
Poker Cats
Radio Vegas
GROAN’s blog
Golf + Poker
Grind Poker Blog

Sound of a Suckout – Poker
Die is Cast – Gambling Blog
Go Be Rude – Poker
The Grind Poker Blog
Royal Poker
Chicks Dig Poker Geeks
Poker & Catching The Antichrist
Seattlejohn Poker Life
Loser Variable
Tony’s Bus Blog
Alan Bostick Poker Blog
Felicia Loves Online Poker
Bill Rini’s Poker Blog
Daniel Negreanu Poker Journal
Zee Justin Poker Journal
Wil Wheaton & Poker
Paul Phillips Poker Blog
Andy Bloch WPT Fan Site

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Last night was my debut on the WPT, dealing the Ultimate Bet Aruba event – see Aruba Reports in the Categories Menu. I had to work so I taped it. Well how else could I make a zillion copies and send it to all my family and bore them to death with what I do for a living? After all, the rest of my relatives all seem to live normalish kind of lives…but then again, what the hell is normal? I certainly have no idea.

I came home from work, after having a few glasses of wine with a friend…which by the way, was a great time in itself…and had a few more glasses of wine as I watched the tape. I even looked like I knew what I was doing in the video. Sweet!

Of course I was exhausted and finally dozed off during the last part of it but the good news is that I can watch it in length on days off, with more wine and friends. I believe it airs again on Saturday for any of you that might have missed it…of course you want to watch it, silly, I’m in it!

I had a little bit of fun about a week ago while dealing to a poker tyrant named Tom. He’s been around since my early Mirage days and he’s always got A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E! His main game is 7 card stud but he’s advanced to Holdem over the last few years. Same attitude.

If he’s low card in stud, for two to three hands, he starts glaring, staring, and fidgeting – mixed in with mumbles – and he flings his bring-in at the pot. If he loses a hand, God help the poor cards as he tries to loft them into the rack with more mumbling, kill looks at the dealer, and ATTITUDE.

One time at The Mirage, while I was sitting a deadspread, he was sitting there waiting for a game to start. He told me he used to be a dealer…well, hell, ain’t that always the way it is? He said he didn’t know why or how he could become so angry when he took a beat and he couldn’t control it.

I always wondered if he saw something on TV that he didn’t like, if he broke the TV set or if the food he was cooking stuck and burned in the pan, if he took a chainsaw to the stove. How do these people survive in day to day living without someone else ripping the tyrant’s head off for their insane actions.

From those days to the present, nothing has changed with him. He needs a valium every time he plays, his stress level and blood pressure must shoot sky high as soon as he smells a poker chip.

I dealt to him in a $30-$60 Holdem game and his attitude sucked. He took several walks, giving up free hands and then coming back to post the Blind. Then he moved into a $60-$120 Stud game that was about an hour ahead of me. He was in rare form when I got there. Glaring and staring with ‘ugly eyes’ growing out of his face.

He lost a hand and stomped off after flinging his cards at the rack. The player that won the pot said, “He always thinks someone else is supposed to lose.”

He came back, moved over two seats from the six to the four, and proceeded to lose another hand. He picked up all seven of his cards and lofted them into the rack while he mutter/mumbled and prepared to take another walk.

I got him before he got away. As he lofted the cards, I very loudly stated, “Thank you! It’s always such a pleasure to deal to you.”

That stopped him. He took the time to look at me, and I at him, as I finished with, “You are the biggest cry baby I’ve ever seen.”

He ran then. The rest of the players kept their hands down and looked at the green felt as I shuffled and dealt.

I was so happy! See how easy it is to make my day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Let me finish the tale that I started yesterday, of the moon being a half moon, and the second table I dealt where I thought people were going to fight.

My last down of the night, Table 29, nine handed, $4-$8 Holdem. The 3s was somber and grouchy. The rest of the table was talkative and gambling. Three of the guys in the game were doing shots of ‘Jack’ and beer chasers and having a hell of a good time while they were doing it.

The 5s was one of the ‘shooters’ and just from the look of him, I knew he’d been in more than one fight. Yes, it was the scars on his face that gave it away. They weren’t the kind of scars that you get from riding a bike too fast and hitting a wall. He wasn’t rough looking or ‘ripped’ but I just knew from looking at him that he never backed down from a fight. He wasn’t going to here either.

He was having fun, talking and jamming, laughing because he was here for two weeks and when someone asked him if he was here for a job, he said his job was to lose money…laughter here. He’d lost $4,500 playing blackjack and his friend was a high limit player…more laughing.

The 3s tried to get up and make a table transfer on his own. He went to Table 24, right next to us, and sat down. Several players questioned his being able to move. I had already called out to Lee, the dealer on 24 and asked her how many seats she had open. That brought the Graveyard Brush person over and they told the 3s that he had to return to our game.

He dropped like a dead brick in the three seat and demanded that I deal him out…even though he had free hands coming.

I pleasantly asked, “Why not put your name on the transfer list and as soon as you can move, they’ll let you know?”

He snarled, “I know how to play the game. I know what I’m doing.”

The 5s was more than pleasant, “That’s not what she was saying, she’s trying to help you.”

The 3s grumbled some more.

The game went on. The 5s asked the 3s why he didn’t take free hands. He said he wasn’t trying to pry or be mean but why not take the hands.

The 3s said he didn’t want to play. The 5s asked him why he didn’t just leave then…not in a mean manner but like a child asking a question that he feels he needs to have an answer.

The 3s grouched, “Who the fuck are you?”

I leaned over the table and barked, “Stop it! That’s enough!” at the 3s.

The 5s started taking off his watch. Aghhhh! The 5s wasn’t going to take any heat and he wasn’t going to just let it ride if the 3s said one more thing. I would have put all of my money on the 5s at this point…plus the fact, I liked his attitude and didn’t like the shitty attitude of the 3s.

With the perfect timing of the Cavalry, the Brush came over and told the 3s he could move. Whew! I think it was lucky for him.

A little bit of chitter chatter took off about the 3s. I looked at the 5s and he was putting his watch back on. I said, “I knew what you were doing.”

He replied, “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t have hit you…”

I never thought he would.

The 1s said he was glad I demanded the 3s stop immediately and wanted to know if all dealers were trained to do that. I didn’t answer that question. I’ve seen a lot of dealers just let a situation go and the players end up in a war, it breaks up the game, the room, the night, and it’s an ugly end to an evening that should have been fun.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The upside. My head seems to be on straight. My extremely busy life, jam packed into a container so tight the world would be destroyed if the container blew, appears to have a self healing seal and I’m back on track. Whew! I was even worried about myself there for awhile.

My screenplay is zipping along. I’m almost finished with it and then comes the magic…throw it in the corner for a few days and get ready to write and rewrite but I’m still jazzed about it. Then of course comes all the little tugs of self doubt…will anyone find it appealing? Is it just me that thinks it’s worth reading and making into a movie? The bottom line is I write because I enjoy it. Yes, I’d like to make a living at it but if not, it’s therapy for me and I’m going to keep writing.

But right into poker. I hit the Sport’s Book on a break and ran into Annie Duke. She was so animated and happy, she’d just won the Omaha 8 or Better event at the WSOP. We did the girl ‘hug thing’ and I gave her the heartiest of congrats. She was on her way to celebrate. I was on my way back to the box.

Andy’s back in town, the big game is on. Craig was sitting with him when I went to work last night. I got to say ‘hello’ to both of them before I hit the dealer’s chair. Craig, send me an email, PLEASE!

I know the moon wasn’t full, it was about half, last night but I thought I was going to have a fight at two tables. $15-$30 Holdem on the first one. The 4s and 5s in the Blinds. The 4s asked the 5s if he wanted to ‘chop’. The 5s said ‘no’. The battle ended on the Turn when the 5s gave up his hand.

The 4s pursued the chopping issue a little further, the 5s said he only chopped when he had a bad hand. I explained that’s not the way it works and got chided by another player that said the 5s knew and I didn’t have to explain it. Well, alrighty then!

The very next hand, the 5s and the 6s chopped. The 4s appeared to be a little ballistic about it and called the 4s a ‘dumb fuck’. I immediately told the 4s that was uncalled for.

Now the 6s jumped in the middle of it and said he was the father of the 5s and they were always going to chop and I shouldn’t let the 4s say what he said. Yeah, right! Give me a mouth clamp so I can slap it on some of these guys while I hold the deck in the other hand.

The 5s asked me to call the Floor. I did. I explained the situtation to Boba. He told the 5s that if he chopped, he chopped with everyone. He also told the 4s that the language and name calling would not be tolerated and if it happened again, he would be out of the game.

A little more chitty chatter from the 5s and 6s. The 4s clammed right up.

Before I left the game, I told the 5s and 6s that if they didn’t want to go to war with each other in the Blinds, they could always elect to just fold or call and check it out. That’s what some of the players do that don’t chop but they have a favorite they don’t want to battle with.

The other table? I don’t have time for right now, it will have to come later. The shower and work is calling my name, I’d like to be rolled over but that won’t work so I’d better show up.