Monday, January 31, 2005

Finally…almost completely back to my normal, feisty self…I will endeavor to work my entire shift tonight, sharing my charm and dealing skills with the World of Poker. *Laughing*.

On a note of interest, possibly only to myself and a few friends, I still run my Saturday night Pan game. During the course of the last few months I’ve made several new friends through this site (converted a few of them to Pan) and taught a few of those new friends to deal poker. My long time Pan buddies are poker players also and they have been gracious enough to play poker on some Saturdays so the new friends could have actual dealing experience.

Two of my new Pan converts, (and graduates of Linda’s dealing school), Greg and Chad Patterson, recently auditioned and are dealing poker now. They are so damn cute, so full of energy and life, and so excited to be dealers. We – the Pan crew – are as excited as hell for them that they are doing what they want and we got to help them start their journey. *Puffed up chest*


Bellagio’s Five Star World Poker Classic schedule is up. It’s going to be huge. Make your arrangements now so you aren’t left out.


Next week should be the beginning of our room closure for remodel. It should be interesting. I am anxiously awaiting news on what’s going to happen. There’s talk of putting the button panels back in the table (no…not for player eject buttons) for signalling seats open, etc.

On that same vein, some of our dealers that applied and auditioned at Wynn have now decided they are not going. Their reasoning is that if Wynn wants seasoned, experienced dealers that can deal any game and limit, Wynn should be willing to offer them more than just a lateral move.

Well DOH!!!! I already figured out that it was just a lateral move to deal another poker room. Why bother? I’m very comfortable where I am, know what’s expected of me, know I’m working with a seasoned core of Floor People that know and do their jobs…why give that up to start over with a bunch of noise and confusion and inexperienced people that are afraid to step on someone’s toes the first year?

It is pretty scary though, the flood of new dealers coming in to the fold that know absolutely nothing about table procedures, limits, rules, and customer service from the Dealer’s Box. It’s going to get worse – everywhere! It will be a few years before the Poker Tidal Wave begins to smooth out – that includes staff, dealers, players, etc.

I have a hard time playing in our room at times because we have dealers that have been with us for years that still have no idea what they’re doing – it wouldn’t be so bad except I’m extremely ‘dealer aware’ and it makes me crazy when I’m trying to concentrate on playing. In my case, it’s Tilt-o-rama from both sides of the table. If I play – it makes me crazy watching some of them deal, if I deal and follow some of them in the Box – it makes me crazy that they didn’t take care of a problem before I got there…now I have to do it.

So…without further ado let me head for the shower and see who I’m following in the line-up tonight.

See you there!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Friday found me with a slight sinus headache and a minor amount of coughing going on so I decided it was time to put on my glad rags and venture back into the poker room…sure I miss those guys and gals – just like I miss a toothache. Just kidding! I really do miss the hub-bub and noise, the people, the action, and home! I’d been hidden away in my cave for the last three days and was starting to feel like a social outcast – not that anyone in society wanted me around them in the state I was in.

So…showered, dressed, and out the door into the rain of a gloomy Las Vegas night by 5:45. Why is it raining so much in Vegas? That’s my fault. It’s the terminal back yard project. Every time the weather clears up and I tell my son it’s time to pour the concrete for my patio areas, it starts raining the next day. Hmnnnhhh! The traffic was brutal – I opted to take Charleston instead of the freeway and made it into Employee Parking by 6:20.

The room was a screamer. I scurried to sign the E/O list. Well hell, it was my Friday. The whole high limit section was full and the Friday’s at 5 Tournament had 98 entrants. Add the normal lines for lists and people milling everywhere and BINGO, a fire marshall’s nightmare alive well in a poker room.

I started on Table 26. Tournament Time. Before I got the deck scrambled, the clock ran out and they were on a 15 minute break. As I did the set up, I can distinctly remember asking myself how I could become a better emissary for poker. This is my livlihood and it’s important in more ways than one that I represent my profession as a player/dealer in a wholesome, informative manner. My train of thought was interrupted by a couple on the rail. They came into the room to visit with me about the tournament; the players returned; the cards were in the air.

Table 27, tournament. The 5s was absent. About the third hand I dealt, antes were in the pot, I cut the deck, ready to deal, the 4s reached into the pot and took out four $25 chips, placed them in front of the 5s and took a $100 chip from the 5s’s stack and threw it into the pot.

It happened so fast – or there’s still too much fluid in my brain – I may have sounded a little harsh when I said, “Don’t make change out of the pot.”

He spread his hand and defiantly stated, “There’s $250 in the pot. It’s right.”

I replied, “Don’t make change out of the pot. I make the change.”

He sarcastly snapped, “Don’t try to be in control.”

I’m not sure if I gargled or coughed out a, “Humphhh!”

Not one player at the table took my side. Dumb butts! How can you want players reaching into the pot to make change – under any circumstances?

The deal went on. At least he didn’t make any more change for anyone, including himself when he didn’t have color for the ante. He made quad Aces a few hands later and busted out another player; lucky for me it was a tournament down because he might have just given me the big Goose Egg if it had been live play – he had the attitude and look. Yeah…just for doing my job right!!!! That’s the way it works sometimes.

The 3s was the star of this show – in his own mind anyway. He swore. I cautioned him. He pulled me into his dismal bad card run and kept telling me, “Come on, Linda, I only have enough to make it to the next blind. Give me a hand,” then looking at his cards like he was facing a firing squad without a blind fold, he managed a cynical laugh.

Each hand dealt, he had a comment for me and had to show his cards to the players next to him if they had folded. Finally he was all in on the Blind and before the rest of the table had acted, he picked up his hole cards, leaned back in his chair and almost put them behind his head to show someone at the table behind him.

I did a, “Hey, you can’t take your cards off the table.”

He said it didn’t matter, he was all in anyway. Perhaps I should have called the Floor, instead I asked, “Whose rules are we playing by anyway?”

His hand? He turned up 2-3 off facing A-8 off. He lost and left in the midst of some shuffle and noise.

Emissary my ass! This table managed to erase all those warm, cuddly thoughts I had a half an hour ago. I was thinking the dealer should have a control panel in the rack that has seat ejection buttons on it.

I hit a break, dealt one more game, and yippee-skippee, Friday E/O.

Today? I’m on the mend. The junk that someone coughed/sneezed into my face a week or so ago is on the wane. I feel so much better. I may even build a fire under those Emissary Thoughts and warm them up again when I go back to work on Monday.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I am completely overwhelmed by how totally crappy I feel. Although I’m improved over the last few days, I now have the terminal shedding of fluids – coughing, sneezing, nose blowing – arghhhhh!

A few questions come to mind. How much water can I drink in a day without drowning?

The next time I cough, will my lungs explode through my mouth?

The next time I blow my nose, will my head collapse?

I have a lot of other trivial questions on a daily basis but these are related to what’s going on with me right now; it’s a way to entertain myself while I keep telling me I’m getting weller.

I think half the dealing staff might be out now – from the grim voice greeting me on the other end of the phone when I report to Kamell for the night that I’m still sick and won’t be there. Sure – we have to call in earlier in the day too but reporting to our supervisor on shift is another part of ‘the sick call’. I’m a little sick of being sick.

So…while I’m on the subject of S-I-C-K…those of you with a weak stomach may not want to read this but it’s a few things in my poker career that tweak me out.

I really have a thing about hair and food…especially hair IN my food. But even watching it in someone else’s food gives me a stomach blurb. I worked at The Palace Card Room in MT years ago. Restaurants closed down but we were open 24 hours and we provided sandwhiches for our late night players. The norm was we dealt for three to four hours and when the owner/manager of the room (that was always playing in the game and stuck) elected to give us a 20 minute break, we made sandwhiches for the players. It really wasn’t a break, just a chance to stretch, hit the toileten, and return to dealing.

I jumped back into the Box and the player in the 10s had a ham and cheese sandwhich up to his face. He also had a bushy mustache and had just taken a big bite out of the sandwhich. As I came around with the deal, I could see a big mustache hair laying on top of the mayo. I meant to tell him when I came to him on the second down card but…he had another big mouthful of sandwhich and the hair was gone. Y-U-C-C-K! I had to swallow a few times and think ‘deep breath’ to get over that one.

Another time at the Oxford (right across the street from The Palace), I was dealing the stand-up table out front and the player in the 4s had a huge, brushy, gold mustache. He had just received a glass of tomatoe juice and stuck his face in it for a big swig. He came up for air and the tomato juice was embedded in the brush and looked like he was bleeding from the mouth.

I almost threw up! Whew! More deep breaths.

One of the grossest of gross involved Art W., a grand old man that I loved with all my heart, in his 70’s when I first met him at the tables of the Ox in 1980. Art had an empty eye socket (some guys tried to rob him one night when he was in his 60’s – they had a knife and took out his eye – word had it that they were college kids. Art was a stocky, blocky German. His forearm was as big as my thigh. He always carried a walking stick and even though he lost his eye, he beat the living shit out of those boys – bet he broke them of the habit of trying to rob an old man too) and wore coke bottle thick lenses in his glasses.

I won’t get into all the Art stories here because it’s another time and place thing.

He would sit at the table for two to three days sometimes before going home. (He told me he never slept – not since he was in his 60’s – he just catnapped). When I came in to work I would always get him a hot, wet towel, and he would take off his glasses and wipe out his eyes.

One time he had a horrible cold and kept the giant hankie in the pockie for blowing the nose. I was walking past the table and he’d just blown his nose, worst of it was most of it went into his hand instead of his hankie and he didn’t know it. The action was to him and he picked up his cards and threw them in to the dealer. A huge, thick trail of snot about a foot a half long did a ‘z’ curve from where Art’s fingers were on the table to the cards.

I thought the dealer was going to puke. He started gagging. I grabbed a towel and threw it over everything, including the cards and picked it all up. We changed the deck and the game went on. Art didn’t even know it had happened. I’m glad…no need to embarrass him. Guess raising kids has helped me close my thoughts to some of that stuff.

Another MT player that I had words with more than once, Frank, sold and tuned pianos, competitive nationally in the ballroom dance category, a big boned, rough hands, hard working guy, had the habits of a pig when he played poker. He told me once that I could have been one of his wives. I retored, “No I couldn’t! I’d kill myself first!”

He’d get pig drunk and before the glass got to his lips, he was tipping it. His chip racks filled up with booze, along with the front of his shirt more than once.

Sometimes the players would order pizza and everyone shared the cost…kind of. A scream of “Pizza Pot!” would go up. Everyone that was in said so immediately – if the pot had more than $X in it, whoever won the pot had to buy the pizza.

Frank would be so busy being a pig that when he got his slabs of pizza, he just laid them out on his racks of chips, no paper towels, just dripping, greaz-z-z-z-zy pepperoni and cheese oil running in rivers off the pizza into the chips and the racks and all over his fingers. Lick this – ughhh!

I heard about Oklahoma Ricky – sitting in the 1s – telling Jeff he didn’t like him and then throwing up all over the side of Jeff’s face and hair…thankfully I wasn’t there to witness that one. Another MT tale.

On a daily basis in poker, there are always the scab pickers, the nose pickers, the people that consume themselves by ripping shards of skin from their fingers and nails, and other disgusting little things that shouldn’t be done in public.

I’d better get off of this little batch of mayhem and drink more water…help…help…I’m drowning!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

This is really disgusting. Not only am I still sick, staying home from work, watching the gloom of a rainy day, but I spent an hour working on a post and when I went to save it as a Draft, it disappeared into cyberspace never to be seen or heard from again. Shit! So…let’s see if recall is available today or if it’s unavailable due to SICK.


Whatever the hell this little nose/throat/lung bug is, it should be immediately vaporized and sent into the Netherworld. It sucks. I never get a cold. Yeah…right! I have something right now that is beyond belief. Bordering on pneumonia, sinusitis, and any other affliction associated with the respiratory system. My solution – other than taking amoxicillin – is to sleep as much as possible. Sand is on back order right now because one of us has been tapping into Sandman Land too much.

Since I’m not at work and I’m really not awake and I’m definitely not well, I want to chase a thought – I’m not sure if I can field it so chasing is the best way to get into it.

At least once a week, I hear this at the table, “I love visiting Vegas but I could never live here.” – “This town will keep you broke.” – “There’s nothing to do here but gamble.”

My first trip to Vegas was somewhere around ’84 or ’85. I came with two girlfriends and we did the romp-stomp thing. We never slowed down long enough to sleep but we did manage to take a shower every day. We stayed at the old Castaways on the Strip, played some poker there but also played at The Golden Nugget – it was THE place in those days. Of course we all lost money.

In ’87 I dealt the last Grand Prix Tournament the Nugget had. It was a nightmare. I knew how to deal all the games but had never dealt to raging assholes that hated me just because I was a dealer. More about this in the book I’ve been writing for over a year.

For the next two years I made the trip from Montana every time a big tournament was held in Nevada with another dealer/boyfriend – that considered himself to be a player and always kept himself broke – and we worked Tahoe, Reno, and Vegas.

When we hit Vegas, we picked a weekly rental for the best room rate; it seemed forever before I figured out where the grocery stores, drug stores, and laundromats were as everything was so Strip oriented. I can remember thinking that real people didn’t live in Vegas.

In ’89 I moved to Vegas and opened The Mirage, along with 6,400 other people. Hello Fright Night! The first few years there were beyond debilitating. The job in itself was horribly demanding and I was going through a personal hurricane of emotional stewing and brewing. I’m not getting into a Dysfunctional Buffet but believe me when I tell you that there was too much going on for any person to handle alone.

I played poker every night after I got off work. Usually the Gold Coast. My association with the Gold Coast was my oldest son, Dan. He worked there on Grave. When I was sick of looking at cards, I went to the nickel keno machines. Occasionally I played poker machines and quarter keno. My norm was to live between my own personal stress, work, and poker games and machines after work. Sure…every now and then dinner with friends, dancing with a select group, intermittent movies…but all in all, everyone I knew was in the same place I was in, heading for machines and table games when we parted for the night.

One day a switch clicked somewhere in my head. I was done. I moved into another phase of my life. I stopped punishing myself…in more ways than one. No matter where you live, you can find a way to destroy yourself and make life impossible. There are a million things to do in Vegas but I only manage about 1,000 of them because of time restraints.


On the thought from yesterday when I wished I had chicken noodle soup, my wonderful friend, Vivienne, called and asked if I wanted…you guessed it! She brought me some. Life is sweet here in the desert!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I’m sick. NO! Not that mind thing again. Just plain old sick, stuck in a wasteland of sinus and bronchial stress. Color me sick and unable to function for work. I called in. If it wasn’t for the intermittent hacking cough…hell…I would have still called in sick. I slept most of the day and my butt’s still dragging. If there’s no improvement tomorrow – it’ll be a repeat. I’m seriously wishing for some chicken soup but unfortunately I don’t have any. Oatmeal will have to do.

I’ve been moving my old Dear Diary posts from the old format to the blog. Amazing – I just found the one where we had three shuffle masters in for a trial period. That was in March of 2003. What a trial period those babies got. Time does fly when you’re having fun. Someone asked me the other day how long it had been and I thought it was a little over a year – close.

There were no zingers or noise makers in the games I dealt last night. The word was out in the room that a fight had broken out on Table 3 – $10-20 NLH, before I arrived for work,. They said someone jumped right over the table to punch another someone. No one seemed to know who/what/where or the end result. Well…poker can be quite emotional at times.

Time to fly – there’s a nap calling my name.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The long and winding road…that’s the way my work week seemed. There were no bumps or gullies – it just seemed to run on forever. Lots of fun people and noise, most of the games were quite easy to deal until I hit Friday night.

I left the house a little early, determined to be on the E/O before 6:45. That’s the deal if you seriously want to find the escape hatch and get out of work early. Sign the E/O list before 6:45 and the list is drawn by your day of the week. Fridays are first – a draw is done there to see who has first out, then Thursdays, etc. The traffic sucked, I spent almost a half hour getting into the employee parking lot. I made the list but nothing much happened on the E/O as we were short of dealers and all 30 tables were rocking.

I had plans to visit the Valley of Fire with Jim and Wayne on the following morning and I was seriously looking for Jim to arrive at any time…of course I thought he’d be toast by the time he got to the Poker Room. That’s his MO. Doesn’t make him bad or weird – it’s just his way of shouting when he hits Vegas.

Two of the low limit games – in a row – had one person in them that seemed to skip a lot of rocks across the glassy surface of the poker pond I’d been enjoying for the week. Sometimes there’s no way to describe the discord I feel coming from a person…almost as if I’m wearing a velvet skin and they are dragging their fingernails in the opposite direction of the nap of the fabric. I feel it instantly when I hit the pond…er…ahhh…table and start cautioning myself against getting involved in what’s going on with them. Why? Because they’re DAMN irritating!

One of the fingernail freaks was in the 4s in a $4-8 game. He made fun of the 1s when the 1s made a Flush on the River and raised his opponent twice with a pair on the board and called when he got reraised. His opponent had a Full House.

I knew they had some connection and I asked the 1s if they were friends. The 4s jumped in to tell me they were brothers but he was a lot smarter than his brother. The 4s chuckled and snorted over what an idiot his brother was for not figuring out what was going on in the hand.

The 4s let everyone know, over and over, what a great player he was and how he got out of trap after trap and made the best lay downs…this was at the end of each hand. He called me by name (damn…sometimes I hate wearing a name tag) and tried to get me involved in a lot of it. At one point he stated that I was just like him. I replied, “No…You make a lot more noise than I do.” *laughter*

When I left the game he was in the path of my escape hatch and gave me a High Five and grabbed my hand for a hand shake…made some noise about me and him being alike. I dryly responded, “Yeah…you’re cool,” as I rescued my hand and slipped past him for the next pond.

$8-16. The 8s had a sharp faced, card zinging, fingernail freak that was heaving boulders into the pond. He pitched every hand, rapid fire, towards the rack. Even though his cards weren’t directed at me, it’s a very offensive move and puts me – and almost all dealers – on edge.

He was non stop chatter. He knows Daniel N. – they played charity games together in Canada; Daniel was a dealer; blah, blah, blah. He knew this player and that player; knew what everybody had; knew when he had the best hand and when to let it go…P-S-H-A-W! But he just didn’t know when to shut up.

Then he pitched the cards into my hand. The corner of both cards hit my fingers. It did sting. I looked at him and calmly stated, “Don’t hit your friendly dealer with the cards.”

He acted like I’d just asked him to pass the salt and pepper and tried to joke it off, “I did it on purpose.”

I’m sure my voice dropped a little, “Don’t hit me with the cards.”

He immediately switched channels and began complaining about the coffee. It wasn’t real coffee. It was coffee syrup, made from some container and not from coffee grounds. Yes…he was talking to me. I said, “You could be right.”

He jumped up to visit the Brush Person at the Podium. I said, to everyone and no one, “How the hell could I argue with that? He knows everything.”

The whole table cracked up and nodded agreement.

Jim was in the room by now – on every feasible list (not the $1,500-3,000 game that was my next stop) and enjoying a few brews. I was on a break and we did the hug thing while a few of our male dealers told him he should have called ahead so they could go party. They informed him that I (me) wouldn’t take him to a Strip Club and they would. How do they know that????

The $1,500-3,000 Mixed was my next stop. No bruises or tire screeching brakes. Then three handed $80-160 half Omaha 8 or Better and Deuce to 7 Triple Draw.

Next stop $10-20 NLH. Marlon was in the 1s and had a little side bet going with the 3s. If an A, J, or 2 came on the Flop, Marlon won $100 – if none of those cards hit – Marlon paid the 3s. Twice the 3s won the bet. They went for a third. The 3s told me if he won this one, I’d get a $10 chip. He did and I held my hand out…he paid me.

A few hands later they went $300 for the same bet. The 3s lost and he was done with it – but he offered me $20 on this one before the Flop came. Heavy sigh!

My last game was $15-30 holdem – it was short handed and broke up halfway through my down. I was done for the night and it was now 1:30 a.m. Hellz-z-z-z bellz-z-z-z! An hour and a half E/O and I had a hiking date in the morning; just a few short hours away.

I hit the Time Clock, grabbed my stuff and went to whisk Jim out of the game he was playing entertainer of the year in. Jim was in the 3s – had just posted his SB and he was playing the round. The 8s? None other than Joe P. – the player that called me an asshole on New Year’s Eve. He definitely knew I was there but wouldn’t give me any eye contact.

I had no intention of acting ignorant or out of sorts with him. If he had looked at me, I would have simply said, “Hello, Joe.”

After all, there’s no life preserver in the pond he’s in…and I certainly don’t want to go there.


An over all for the week.

  • Nicholas in the 3s stood me up on Friday. No Hello – no Goodbye. Heavy sigh and little sniffles.
  • Karen M. was in a game and we managed a warm hello as I was racing to my next game.
  • Victor was in the 10s in a game I dealt – we’d played together about a year ago. Nice!
  • When I left the room on Thursday, I stopped by Orel H. to tell him goodbye and that I would see him in a year or so when he came through again. He said, “You know, Linda, I might just give up baseball and come and play poker with these guys. They’re a lot of fun.” I was chuckling. He said, “Don’t use my name when you write about me, just say that it’s the baseball player that’s always referenced in crossword puzzles.” Hysterical!

P.S. I made the hike with both my friends. Beautiful day, great place to visit and stroll around, lots of pictures, and my velvet skin was stroked in the direction of the nap…no fingernails. Sweet!

Friday, January 21, 2005

This little writing adventure covers the last two days. It’s long – obviously you don’t mind or you wouldn’t be here.

I seriously wondered if I could make it through my last down tonight and have the energy to drive home so I could jump right into the middle of a glass of wine. For being a single granny, living in Sin City, I sure as hell have to much going on for any three young chicks and some times my fuel injected ass just runs out of steam.

Well…here I am! On my second glass of wine and considering a third. I got home, kicked off the work duds, washed my face, and slipped into those comfy threads that let me slouch; checked my email with the ‘link to me’ sites, ‘sell me your .com name’, and then hit the spam blocker where I can get all kinds of medication, a new penis, lots of girls waiting to meet me, a new mortgage, and free money. Sweet! Wish they’d all go to hell.

Let’s just jump right into Wednesday night. The room is exactly as I love it – right now. The majority of high limit has gone South to the Tunica Tournament, all the games from $30-60 on down are hopping and jumping, no one has their tit in a wringer or their shorts twisted and it’s the N-U-T-Z-Z-Z as far as I’m concerned.

One $4-8 game I dealt was like dealing to school kids (arent’ they all?) – no one knew what was going on but they wanted to put their money in the pot and they did. On the first round of cards, one card slipped under the napkin of the 4s. When I dealt him the second card, he was looking around for the first one. I told him I thought it was under the napkin and as he found it and looked at it, I followed with, “Did you bring that one yourself or did I deal it to you?”

He looked at it and threw his hand away.

I said, “I must have dealt it to you.”

**lots of laughter** That’s how all the games have been.

One wrinkle in a $2-5 NLH game. The 5s was so blitzed – a vat of beer or so – that he could barely sit in his seat. He was having the time of his life throwing chips at everyone in the game and they were accepting everyone he gave. I finally asked his name because it was easier to call him by name to get his attention than it was to keep putting my hand out and making strange dealer sounds. His name is Chris.

My friend Jed was in the 10s and the recipient of a chunk of those chips. Chris was having a great time and bought chips every time he could. Everyone was gambling.

I’d never seen the 8s before and at one point, when Jed won a big pot from Chris, the 8s made the comment, “Those are my chips.”

The 8s was nondescript, average guy playing poker, pretty quiet. About half way through my down, with a A-5-8 Flop, Chris shoved out $70 or so all-in. The 8s went all-in for a little over $300. The 4s hesitated for a micro second and pushed all-in. The 8s had A-5. Chris had K-Q off. The 4s had A-Q off. The River was a Queen.

The 8s immediately stated, “I bet $300 and that fucker called.”

As I counted down the stacks, I told the 8s there would be no name calling. He abruptly stood up, as if he was leaving. I told him he had some change coming and counted out $277 from his stack. I pushed his change to him and he did a swipe/grab at his chips, stepped back and slammed his chair into the table. Everyone did a double take…but he was already gone.

People like that make me a little nervous. When they can’t handle or suppress their emotions, they can be extremely dangerous. I almost expected him to stomp behind me and do something irrational but he disappeared into the dust of a ‘suck and resuck’ hand.


I drifted on through the night. Nicholas hit the window before I got to his game and came back to wish me goodnight and send me a bon voyage red bird…he’s so damn sweet!

When I hit the end of my down on Table 28, some of the players and the dealer following me, Steve, said that Orel H. was at Table 29. I have no idea who anybody is so I did a, “Who?”

Steve asked me to ask Orel for his autograph. I just laughed. I never ask anyone for their autograph.

I jumped into Table 29, $8-16 holdem, and everyone informed me the Shuffle Master was down. I went into, “Oh well…let’s try this,” as I dropped to my knees, reached under the table to the switch, found it, turned it on and – just like in the movies – it worked. *Applause*

I got the first few hands out. The 6s was a great looking, all american sort of guy, (of course I knew he was the one everyone was talking about), I looked right at him and said, “The dealer following me asked me to get your autograph but since I never ask anyone for their autograph, I’m not going to ask you.”

He was so damn cute! I said, “I didn’t even know who you were until people told me.”

He just waved me off and replied, “Good. I don’t want anyone to know who I am.”

I was chuckling. Bill L. was in the 9s and he was doing his usual gab, gab, re-gab monologue. Jerry was in the 10s and immediately pulled out a picture of his son and threw it to Orel asking for an autograph for his boy…telling Orel that his boy would be a pitcher someday.

Whoa! How in the hell could you even make that statement! I think my mom wanted a legal secretary or something out of me and I’m a poker dealer…get real, Jerry!

Orel was so great about it. He got an ink pen from another player at the table and signed away. We jabbered across the table, chips flew in every direction, Bill informed them all that I had dealt him A-A back to back, three consecutive hands about four years ago. The 7s got out a calculater and figured out that it was 50M to one or something nonsensical.

Orel and the 7s went to war in one hand. The 7s flopped a set of Kings, Orel turned two pair with the 10-7 of Spades (it put a three flush on the board), a raising war here and the set slowed down because of the flush possible. The River gave the 7s quads. Orel was such a good sport about it…but what else would we expect him to be?

The second to the last hand, lots of action, Orel started with A-A and lost. The last hand I dealt, Orel had K-K…hell…he lost that too but he was into the Poker gab and kept talking it up with, “Linda, you can’t leave yet. You have to deal one more hand for the 50M to one…”

Implying that I’d dealt him A-A back to back and he wanted to see if I could do it three hands in a row. He was so much fun. Everyone wanted to talk to him and he was more than gracious.

I dealt my last game and stopped by to give Orel my card. I wanted him to find this site. My card has the same Queen of Hearts on it as this page. He asked me if that was me. I laughed and said I wished it was. I told him briefly about the deck being a collectors item and that I had a Blog; that I wrote about poker…he responded, “And I’m going to be in it!”

I like this guy.

I hit the time clock.

**I’m on my third glass of wine and considering a fourth**

New day – Thursday. The room was busy but nothing in the scream and rage mode. I cruised through a variety of games…mostly low limit; they were fun and easy to deal. Nicholas drifted by and told me he was going to the Mirage…I gave him the pouty face. Hey…who was I going to spend a break with and talk about poker. He came back by and gave me the ‘red bird’ for luck. What a sweetie…money in my pocket and the charm of “Nicholas in the three seat”.


One $20-40 stud game that just reinforces why I love certain people. Yup…John…I love you! I told him so an hour later in the Sport’s Book. The game was eight handed with two Play Overs. John was playing over the 2s and Eddie was playing over the 3s.

Eddie is a true poker freak. He loves to pull the dealer into his nightmare. As soon as he’s the low card, he does a “Thank you!” as he tries to skip his bring chip across the table and glares at the dealer. He’s a long time/long term can’t get a handle on what poker is all about type of guy.

The 5s went broke in the hand just before I sat down. As he went broke, Doug Dalton, poker room manager, walked up with a woman…they were definitely looking for the 5s. The 5s stood up, I sat down. Doug, the 5s, and the woman began a conversation about three feet from the table.

About the second hand I dealt, the question came from the 1s. Was the 5s finished? I said I didn’t know and since he was talking to the poker room manager, I would give him a few moments to decide.

The 7s seat even jumped in and said the 5s was busy, give him a moment. Another few hands went by and Eddie, being the obnoxious ghoul that he is, started on my case. What was the status of the seat? I replied that I didn’t know – and since the 5s was talking to the poker room manager, I wouldn’t get involved in it for a few minutes.

Not good enough for Eddie. “Why?”

I bluntly asked, “What do you think I should do? He’s talking to the poker room manager.”

Another hand went by and Eddie yelled, “Hey, Doug!”

When Doug acknowledged, Eddie asked if the guy was coming back. Doug replied, “No!”

Eddie tried to put it on me…”See!”

John jumped in…he told Eddie that he would have done the same thing if he’d been in my seat. That it would be very easy for Doug to walk into the office and tell the Shift Manager that the dealer on 14 had caused a problem.

I dealt the next hand and while Eddie was talking to his wife…she was his sweater…I looked at John and said, “You know I love you.”

He was laughing as I rolled my eyes at Eddie. I said, “It’s nice to deal to someone that can think.”

I ran into him in the Sport’s Book on one of my breaks and we visited for a moment about the lunacy of some of these people. I really appreciate him and those like him that won’t leave the dealer high and dry.

**Glass of wine – number four – but who’s counting?**

The $40-80 stud game…don’t worry, Eddy was in it when I got there. Marty C. – other posts – was in the 3s and doing his usual ranting and rattling. He won a pot and gave his worst presentation of “Three pots in three years,” directed at me and do you think I give a shit if he ever wins a pot?

These dinosaurs of days of old are dying with the old games. Marty and his group are part of the past, a fleeting moment in the history of poker. The world of poker is filled with a new breed. New, young faces are taking over the poker rooms. If these kids take a beat or go broke, they come back with the attitude that they are going to win the WSOP. They aren’t sniveling and whining at the dealers and about the cards they are getting…they just knuckle down and play. See you dinosaurs! Your time is up! Move over and let the new breed in…if you can’t play their game and won’t learn, give it up.

Phew!!! Must be the damn wine talking now!

A totally fresh attitude when I hit the $30-60 Holdem on Table 19. I’d seen Orel in a $15-30 on 25 and said hello as I drifted by. I dealt a few hands on Table 19 and had several seats open, new players in, transfers to another game, and lo and behold, Orel was taking the 1s. There was some confusion as to if another player might transfer or some nonsense and Orel finally ended up in the 1s.

We kibitzed back and forth, he won a pot, got ran over by conversation and questions; he fielded them all quite well as he played the game. I was getting pushed as he was asking me about “The Deck”…my own sweet little collector’s item…Le Florentin. I briefly explained some of it and had to rush to the next table.

While I was dealing the next game…Anthony was in the 1s – a B-I-G guy that had a little too much to drink but was a hell-uv-a-lot of fun…Boba came over with a red bird and told me it was from Orel…Orel had forgotten to tip me.

A few hands…lots of action…and I looked over to see Orel looking at me. I nodded a ‘thank you’ and Orel gave me a Thumbs Up.

This $15-30 Holdem game was a sweet little jammer. Anthony sells drugs…to Doctors, silly! Chips were rocking and rolling and I was on break when I got tapped out.

I stopped by to thank Orel. He said I could write that he forget to tip me and that the check was in the mail. I cracked up. I told him that I would.

My next two games were $2-5 NLH. Screamers! Gamble-Jam!

The second game was pretty unreal as far as pots and action…welcome to the land of beats.

The 5s has been playing for the last two weeks. He’s got a very heavy European accent but I have no idea where he’s from…I do know that he’s not afraid to put chips in the pot. He routinely bet $50 or more when he was in a hand.

One hand that was the coup de grace found him stacking a hell of a lot of chips. I can’t even remember how the hand started…raise? I don’t know.

Three way action. The Flop was 5-5-7. Minor action here.

Eight on the Turn. Lots of thought – time waste – more thought – finally a bet, I’m thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 to $70 each from three players.

River card? Hell if I can remember.

More time waste – thought – more thought – the UTG in the 1s finally bet $200. One player folds. The 5s went all-in for around $500 more. The 1s finally calls with somewhere around $300.

The 1s turns over 7-5. The 5s turns over 8-8.


Huge fricking pot! I got all the blue chips in the 5s’s stacks and several reds as a toke. This down really made my night. All of a sudden I had three seats open and people were coming from the Must Move game…Hello Wayne – hiking buddy, pan player, pal extraordinaire…took the 10s. He never played a hand because he waited for the button to pass him…I got pushed.

Two more holdem games. Anthony was in one of them as the game he was in previously had broken down. He was worse than blitzed…really funny…playing extremely well and at one point when he was facing a bet – and his face worked in continual frown, grimace motion – I asked him if he was ok, he replied, “I love you, Linda.”

He was pretty funny during this down and more than once I busted out laughing. Of course I told him I loved him too!

Tapped out to an $8-16 Holdem game – last down of the night.

Return to wondering if I could make it home to have the glass of wine…

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Tonight I was in the office talking with Pete (supervisor) and I had placed my glasses in my shirt pocket while I racked up tokes. I went to the Cashier, left there, and put my glasses on. My vision was strange. I wondered what the hell happened as I walked through the room.

Bingo! I remembered this wonderful little pair of rose colored glasses (yes, the lenses are rose colored) loosens at the right side by the bow. Sure enough, I’d lost a lens. I backtracked and there it was – still intact – lying on the carpet. Lucky for me none of the players had trampled through that section and Valerie (phone person) had a small screwdriver in her glass case.

Another night – I wear bras that have an under wire – I sat down to deal $20-$40 Stud. I’d been at work for about three hours and nothing out of the ordinary happened until I hit this game. Something felt strange about the bra and I looked down to see my shirt popped up by my armpit…sure enough the wire had slipped its casing and was pushed out of the bra by about three inches. As I waited for the players to finish betting on the River, I tried to discreetly push the wire back down but it was a ‘no go’. No one even seemed to notice the point sticking up in my shirt – except me.

Mary (another dealer) was walking by the table and I asked her if she’d deal a hand. She did. I raced into the office and pulled the wire completely out – tossed it into the garbage and went back to deal. Mary exclaimed, “Wow! That was fast.”

I just nodded and slipped in to deal the rest of the down.

I’ve had zippers break in my slacks but the mandatory apron covers all that so…just keep dealing. A few times, in days gone by, I’ve worn uniform shirts that won’t stay buttoned. I’m not large breasted so it always amazed me when I moved my arm and my blouse popped open across the chest. It was worth a laugh a few times and embarrassing other times.


Last night I was dealing $20-40 stud. Joe was in the 5s and he’s really most of the action in the game. He used to play at The Mirage a lot and the first few years Bellagio was open, he was there all the time. Now he visits infrequently as he lives in Florida and plays back East from time to time.

We have a standing ritual when he wins a pot, he throws tips at my pocket. If he misses I keep the tip, if he hits the pocket I keep it. He actually doesn’t throw it – sort of lofts it up and it drops down my shirt front to my pocket. It’s a game. He gets a kick out of it and I laugh at him…usually goading him, “I can’t believe you’re only trying twice,” when he misses. He’s pretty good at it though.

Mike A. queried, “Doesn’t that bother you?”

Me, “No! Why should it?”

Joe jumped in, almost in defense of himself, “We’ve been doing this since the Mirage days.”

Mike continued that the breast was a sensitive place and a chip could miss and blah, blah, blah.

The top of my pocket sets above the breast but I didn’t explain that. Not to worry, a few minutes later – Mike, in the 3s – won a pot and skipped a $ chip off my chest. I told him he threw it much harder than Joe does. He lamely said, “That was really cute.”

I’m not sure which part, my comment or the fact that he can’t toss.

Joe is really the only player that I’ve ever felt comfortable in allowing to toke in that manner. So to the rest of the world…Don’t get any ideas.


Most of the games of late have been extremely relaxed and easy to deal. Nicholas has been in the room every night this week and we’ve spent one of my breaks, each night, discussing poker in depth – not the land of bad beats – poker as a lifetime endeavor.

He’s definitely charming, cute, and easy to visit with. One night he was in the 2s in a game with Paul – the lunitard that has the frog charms in front of him (previous posts) – and Paul was even halfway level headed during this session. Lunitard? Lunatic/retard.

The 3s opened and it took Nicholas about four hands to realize that it was open, he moved into it. I told him I couldn’t believe it took him that long to decide to move. Ok…you would have to read the previous post – he is “Nicholas in the three seat”. So what the hell was he doing in the 2s?


My friend Jim from CO – AKA The Monkey – is making a journey to the city of lights and twisted dreams. He will be coming Friday night and staying for a week.

He is coming on business – hello self destruct and gamble mania. Whoa! Wait a minute. He swears he isn’t going to be drinking and he won’t entertain the boys in the $30-60 game…time will tell. I’ve heard a few of his oaths before so I wait to see what the week brings. I wish I could bottle and sell his spontaneity and wit…but then everyone would be Jim and I would die laughing.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

I have discovered the true meaning of love. Not that breath suspending, illogical heart pounding, rapid twitch, OH MY GOD kind of love – but true love.

Cleaning that DAMN ashtray that your sister left setting in the garage when she went home to Montana!!! That’s what true love is. I hate cigarettes. I hate the smell. I hate fricking ashtrays…as a matter of fact, if everyone that smoked had to lick an ashtray every morning when they got up, they’d damn well quit smoking. Sister…you’ve pushed a button here!


I had the perfect day on Sunday. A hike with my friend Wayne – you can see the pics by visiting here – click on “Lake Mead” then “East Bowl of Fire 1/05”.

After the hike I picked up that sweet grandson of mine, Riot – he’s a whopping nine months old – for the night. What a joy. That boy is so damn happy, he spreads sunshine wherever he goes. I’ve made up my mind that if I can help it, he will NEVER learn to play poker. I hope he spends his time out hiking, chasing girls, and doing what Granny tells him are the good things in life.


On the poker side of the world, I’m laughing my butt off. $8-16 Holdem. A seat opens towards the end of my down. A guy sits down, pulls out cash, and says, “I love your writing.”

We start jawing. I ask his name. He says, “Nicholas in the three seat.”

Hysterical! He jogged my memory about a September 17, 2004 post in which we had a few words. I remembered then because I even chased him down, outside the room, to ask his name so I could use it in the post. He’s also registered on the Clan as – none other than – Nicholas in the three seat. Love it! He said he’ll be here all week long…great…I have to run him down and find a chance to visit.

The room was fairly quiet tonight. Only one $10-20 NLH game running – late – in the high limit section. Lots of action in the rest of the room.

Lots of noise still going on as to all the places that are opening poker and who’s going where. I’m still asked, all the time, if I’m going to Wynn. I’m still stating, “NO!”

A lot of our dealers are auditioning, some say they are only seeing what’s being offered. I don’t think anything is really being offered, there are no Golden Ladders of Success in the dealing world. As far as moving into a ‘brush’ or ‘supervisor’ position, the only thing it looks good on is a resume – my POV. You make less money (unless you are the ‘high limit’ brush in a ‘high limit’ room) and you have no escape hatch – as in take an EO or take time off. So why opt for that position? At least as a dealer you can EO, play on shift, and you have the opportunity to make more than an hourly/shift wage.

There will be a lot of changes in the near future as far as poker is concerned in Vegas. Too many rooms are opening with too many tables and the whole world is jumping with poker. Just how many rooms/tables can Vegas support? Good question Sherlock.

Most casinos do not want to give up the floor space for a poker room when they can fill it with machines and have less headaches and make more money. Time will tell but I believe a lot of the places that are opening rooms now will be closing their rooms within a year or less. What looks like greener pastures now is just the same old stack of blue chips being pushed across the same old tables to a few of the same old players in the future.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Every now and then I receive an email from someone that I want to share with the rest of the poker world. Such is this one:

Begin email***


So-o-o-o-…..Calling me out on the Internet. Well, I guess I am up to the challenge but I will distill my trip into a couple of ancedotes suitable for printing.

Overall (surprise!) I lost in Vegas but it ended kind of quirky. Ironically, upon my return, I played online poker and re-cooped all of my losses and then some in one night so again….surprise!Arrive Friday – Bellagio 2/5 NLH. Could not get a hand, could not win a hand.

The highlight was the extremely nice hug from Linda when I arrived. Consider it from my perspective. Guy mets cool lady several months ago while playing cards (me). Talks about her web site (you). She obviously has intellect, charm, fierce passion and she puts up with my crap. So, basically she’s a keeper. We talked briefly months ago. I send e-mail to announce meekly my return, really not believing this lady would remember me and upon my arrival….BIG HUG!

I am a person who can be very non-reactive about big or even little things but that was very nice and as a true guy, I will break the guy code by saying a word I never do…. it was heart-breakingly sweet.. It basically made me want to hug you SOME MORE!

Anyhow, back to inane distorted reality called poker. Lost on 2/5. The guy to my right was a table/rules captain. Kept dogging the dealer and other players about minor perceived infractions, etc. I never said anything. Finally, after several hands, I started counting out loud, LOUDLY, “5, 6, 7” after each hand. Finally, some people started asking my why I was doing it. I told them I was counting how many hands had passed since last infraction and the table captain was STILL talking about it!!

We had words, he and I but it was not directly to each other. We were both talking to the table. On the next hand, he is STILL talking about stuff. I was in the 2s and people across the table in the 7,8,9 seat were having a conversation.

I asked firmly to the people across the table why they were still talking? They stopped and looked at me quizzically. I pointed at the table captain and said, “Why would you miss these pearls of wisdoms? Obviously, I am not allowed to.”


Eventually, lose. Go to bed.Saturday – more same. Hang out with Dad (Mean Gene). Went to Bellagio. More bad cards even when I was feeling confident. Went to MGM, saw Carrottop (hey, safe humor – took my Dad. He enjoyed it). Dinner at a casual Wolfgang Puck restaurant (Dad had hamburger, I had pizza). Lost more playing craps, etc. Go to bed.

Sunday – because I had missed Friday’s night Bellagio tourney, I knew I wanted to play the Mirage 5PM $300 NL tourney. Played two satellites; close but no cigar but met a couple of people (1 guy, 1 girl) whose company was very fun, very knowledgable about the game.I buy into the tourney, am sat next to the girl named Renee (I hope I have that right). Fun conversation, she is dealt great cards (KK, etc.). I am playing OK. Well into the tourney, I am dealt QQ (both red). She and I are playing headsup. Flop has 2 clubs and I think there is a 5 there. On turn, another 5 of clubs – so now 3 clubs. We both bet strongly. Last card is the Queen of spades (yipee). Renee bets but I try to value bet so just raise her $100 bet to $300. She looks at me quizzically but calls. My full house wins. She shows me the Queen of clubs but I think she had AQ of clubs.

During this time, she had phone call. Her boyfriend is flying to Vegas from LA. She is happy.

Later on, she busts out but again, very happy to see boyfriend. She mentioned he played poker. She asked me do I know Amir Vahedi? (Umm..yeah. I get cable). She says that is her boyfriend. Renee was so sweet (again, with the word) and just plain nice. I was glad for her and Amir.

Last story in tourney. Started with about 50 players, pay top 5, I am part of last 14. So is old poker pro Charlie Shoten. Another table captain, rules, etc. I don’t say anything. He goes all in – black J-10 versus pair of 6s of another player. One of the 6s is a heart. Board is all small red cards, the highest being a 10. I say to myself barely outloud ‘I wonder if there is a flush out there’. This stops the dealer, player and Charlie which was not my intent. They all look, confirm pair of 10s is good.

Charlie, being old, cantankious, etc., literally yells at me “Sir, do not give me a heart attack. Let the dealer do their job”. This is loud enough where all surrounding tables look at me and Charlie is painting me as an idiot. Remember, I am the guy who has not said one word so I immediately get mad (think Mean Gene’s son).

I immediately reply in equally loud voice “Sir, admonish me unjustly at your next convienience. Wait … you already did…”.

. Charlie sat down.

Anyhow I get bounced in around 12th place.End of Vegas story.

I win a few hundred playing craps. I had pre-paid room but first night, we slept near elevators, very loud. Dad complained. They comped one night of room so I was refunded $300 at last minute. Wallet was happier but still slightly sad.

That’s it. I fulfilled my duty. Use stories as you see fit.

I will be back in mid-May. Hopefully to win a satellite to play the WSOP 2005.

Linda, as always, great to see you. Your ‘dark’ introspective post did concern me as well but I know you are laying it out, sort of ‘self-therapy’.

Have a drink of wine. Remember, the world is just background on the play of our lives.

Just say your lines and don’t bump into the furniture….


End of email***

Thanks, Ron, loved it!