Saturday, July 30, 2005

A recap of the week at work…almost a no workweek for me. For some reason, when I’m soon to be ‘outta there’ as in taking vacation or time off, I completely lose the desire to work. The beauty of dealing poker is that it’s easy to find the escape hatch when everything quiets down. The downside to it is that I should work – hell yes just for the money – and I can talk myself into signing the E/O list in a heartbeat as soon as I hit the room and it looks like I can get out. That’s exactly what I did. Signed the E/O, played a few hours, hit the time clock, and hit the street.

Monday night was off and on – play and get picked up to deal a few times. Not a good ending from the player’s seat but that’s the way it goes. Tuesday night, I played for about an hour and spent the rest of the night in the dealer’s box. It was the only night I didn’t clock out early.

Wednesday night I was out to play as soon as I walked through the door. Before my butt hit the player’s seat, I visited with Carmen (high brush) standing at the podium in front of Bobby’s Room. There was no game in that room but right in front of the podium, a $40-80 Stud was in progress. A piece of paper, torn out of a magazine, was lying on the floor about two feet from the 7s.

*begin background* During the WSOP Mike Matusow apparently drew unnecessary attention to Minh Ly (one of the regular players in Bobby’s Room). From the way Minh told the story to every one that would listen in Bellagio’s Poker Room, Mike embarrassed Minh by drawing attention to Minh when the cameras were on Mike and Minh was seated beside him. Minh’s version is that Mike put his arm around Minh’s shoulders and started giving a background on Minh to the camera…even though Minh told him to stop it. Mike persisted and it went on way too long for Minh. Minh feels that he was embarrassed by Mike and lost control of his own emotion and consequently finished poorly in the WSOP Championship Event because of it. Minh finished in 19th placed. *end background*

The piece of paper, on the floor, was a picture of Mike. And it had footprints on it. Apparently Minh had put it there and every time Minh walked by, he stepped on Mike’s face. Funny? Hell…it’s hilarious. I like Mike and Minh both but I can see Minh’s point in wanting Mike to leave him alone during the tournament. Not sure I can see the point of stepping on a picture out of a magazine but whatever turns your crank.

But back to Wednesday night and playing. $15-30 and I managed to get even…ugh! I couldn’t put anything together and whenever I picked up a hand, the guy in the 8s picked up a bigger one. They were all jovial and easy to get along with but I finally just gave up…picked up the few chips I had left and went to visit my buddy Jim AKA The Monkey. He was punishing himself in a $30-60 game. Wayne came in and visited with both of us – sitting behind Jim and sweating him for a bit and then sitting behind me and sweating me for a bit. Hey…maybe he’s the reason neither one of us were winning. J Just joking!!! We’re all three making the Aruba trip this year. WOOO HOOO!
Thursday night brought an electrical storm that closed the airport for a few hours. I watched it spark and dance across sky as I hit the freeway. After I entered the area of the manmade electrical show, I played $4-8 H, and laughed my butt off with the boys in the game. The 5s raised almost every hand pre-flop and then released as soon as someone bet the Flop. Go figure. He was extremely pleasant and never seemed to be bothered one way or the other over the Flop or his cards. He had to be in the game at least $400 when I racked up and left for the night. I left with a nice win for $4-8.

Jim was just coming back into the room when I was leaving. He’d been there earlier when I first came in and he left for a few hours. He went back to the poker game. I headed for my little sanctuary away from the rest of the noise of life. Two hours at work, the rest of the day/night was mine.

Friday I signed the E/O list and found out I was on hold. I searched all the $30-60 games figuring Jim would be there, still stuck and jamming. He was MIA as far as I could tell. I jumped into a short $4-8 H game on Table 9, hidden behind Bobby’s Room – back in an ‘L’ shaped part of the room. About 15 minutes later I looked up to see Jim coming around the corner…pig drunk. He’d been playing in the Omaha 8 or Better game. Long and short of it, he got into my game. He’d started drinking within an hour of when I left the night before…and it showed! How in the hell he was even halfway coherent or able to walk was beyond me. I don’t even know how he was still sitting in the chair.

I was off the clock by 8 p.m. and we headed out. I dropped him at his hotel and headed for home. I couldn’t help but think how glad I was that my brain wasn’t trapped in his body…I’d have been puking. There’s no way I can handle alcohol like that and live through it. Ugh!!!

Another incident on Thursday left me in a highly emotional state and thankful that I was so damn lucky to have an angel of mercy right at my shoulder…just when I needed her most. I stopped in Mangia (help’s hall) before I left for the night. Had my tray, food, etc., and as I walked to a table, my heel came down on a spill that was hidden. My foot shot out, my tray went up in the air, silverware flew to the floor, and I was going down. It was going to be ugly because both of my feet would have shot up and I’d have fallen from around four to five feet, flat on my back, on a tile floor.

A woman was right behind me, with nothing in her hands, she grabbed my elbow and gave me just enough support to balance and keep from falling.

I said, “Oh my God! Thank you so much.”

She said, “I was so afraid for you.”

I replied, “Oh my God, if you hadn’t been there, I would’ve fallen for sure. Thank you so much.”

She went on her way. I sat down with Robin, one of our chip runners, and tried to eat what I had picked for my evening meal. I was almost sick to my stomach. There was something red on the heel of my shoe that resembled strawberry jelly…wonder how my blood would’ve looked mixed in with it? There’s no way I could’ve taken that fall without splitting my head open, or breaking a hip, or something really ugly.

I’ve thanked God repeatedly for watching over me…and for sending me an angel.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I have a few favorite blogs that I visit as time permits. Some of these people are slackers. I know the fantasy world (you know the one that we grind our lives out in making the daily nut) gets pretty boring from time to time – and we can’t all live in the real world of poker like I do – but still kids, throw a bone from time to time. Put your ‘liddle finners’ on the keyboard and just go for it. I’m W-A-I-T-I-N-G!!!!

And on the subject of blogs, they are everywhere now – that is a good thing – we need history. One could never begin to keep up with all the blogs on poker, let alone all of the other subjects available in the realm of the mind…whew – that’s scary – the realm of the mind. I find it amusing that some bloggers are ‘hurt’ if they don’t find themselves mentioned somewhere or aren’t on the ‘blog role’ at other blogger’s pages. What’s a ‘blog role’? A link list to other blogs and it is oft times so long that one could never hope to get through it in a week, let alone a day. Blogging should be a personal thing, gratifying to the writer, not requiring approval from others.

On this page – me – I began blogging somewhere back in 1999 (actually even before then as I have hand written notes from the Montana Days). In 1999 I recorded the events as ‘poker tales’, which still resides here, with me, formerly known as The Book of Tales. I wrote Poker Tales because I was afraid to put a person’s name to any of it or relate a specific incident (fear of a problem with work and the subject) so I wrapped it into a story. I really never thought I’d have many readers. But I wanted to write about what was going on in my world…poker and sprinkle in some life away from the table. Eventually I switched it all to ‘dear diary’ and then later to ‘table tango’.

Somewhere around the middle of 2000 is when I kicked off The Diary. Since the changes to PokerWorks and moving to Word Press for my blogging software, I’m still in the process of moving old posts to the new format. I truly started blogging before blogging became cool. I’m often surprised when people are so happy to meet me in person; and to receive emails from readers everywhere…because I started blogging for myself – not for others.

I needed the therapy of being able to voice and get it out of my system. It also irritated me to listen to people exclaim how great a player was, and I knew that when I dealt to that ‘great player’ and they took a beat, they blamed it on me. So in my opinion they are not that great a player because playing is wrapped around wins and losses, and how the player handles it – something else I wanted to express when I wrote – the whole picture and what stupid asses some of these great players are when they are floundering in a bad card run and getting beat.

My writing has evolved…a lot. But I still write for myself and yet there’s nothing greater than receiving an email from someone telling me they ‘read me’ and how they love my picture of what’s going on. And to have them come into the poker room just to meet me when they are in town. Nice! So even though I still write for me, I’m completely aware that others are out there – reading – and they are sharing part of my life.

I’m not looking for links or mentions or being featured. I’m recording history in poker; events and circumstances that are never open to the rest of the world, from my perspective and interaction – and tidbits of my being. I record for myself, for future reading, and in the hope that one-day my children and their children will read about events in my life so they have a window into me – and in reading, they can somehow see me, feel me, and know me.

And that, my friends, is why I would like my ‘slacker blogging buddies’ to get in gear and post. So I can peek through the window now and then and share an intimate part of their life.

You know who you are…move it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Out of the crazy record-breaking heat that has held the city in its grasp for the last six weeks, the sky split open Sunday morning with one of the most fantastic light shows I’ve witnessed in quite awhile. Not to be outdone, the thunder picked up and carried a long, low rumble of applause to compliment the light show. Then…rain! Beautiful soft, continual rain for most of the day, it washed the dust and heat out of the air in the desert. Nature has a way of calming the spirit and replenishing the Earth…just wish mankind could get into that a little more. But until that happens, there’s always poker.

I pushed into a $30-60 H game last week and Shaunie (semi-regular) in the 9s had two full racks of chips by her arm and stacks of other chips in front of her. When I sat down, I said, “No racks on the table please.”

She said, “Boba’s ok with it.”

Boba is the brush for this game limit and does a great job but it’s certainly not up to him to tell her it’s ok when it’s posted on plaques on the walls and it’s a house rule.

I said, “It’s not up to Boba. It’s a house rule.”

“It’s ok. He’s going to change them for me,” she grouched at me.

Yup. She was grouching. I guess she thought I’d drop it when she told me that but I forced it by calling Boba. When he arrived, I said, “She said you’re going to change those up for her.”

He asked her if she wanted $1,000 chips and when she said yes, he disappeared with the racks and returned with two $1,000 chips for her. She was pissed.

A few minutes later she lost a hand and loudly told the player in the 8s that everything was ok until I had forced her to take the racks off of the table and no other dealer had said anything to her for hours.

I wanted to laugh out loud but instead I replied, “If the other dealers had done their job, you wouldn’t be upset with me.”

She stabbed me with, “No one else said anything.”

I curtly replied, “I apologize for the other dealers for not doing their job.”

She wanted a button so I wouldn’t deal her in…hell, I was happier than she was. How absurd can one get? Like the racks affected her luck and the fact that she was implying that it was all right with the floor man…it’s better than laughable.

I’ve passed her several times between tables since then and I cheerily ask, “Hi! How are you today?”

She’s forced to acknowledge me on a different level. I love it! Yup…there’s a mean streak hiding somewhere in my soul.


I opted to play again last night. It was not a good session but it was a reminder of how one – mainly me – must play damn good to overcome the game. I finally picked up my chips and left the scene of the accident…maybe I was the accident but I can only think of a few hands that I should have played differently.

One thing I’ve found that is funny if put in the proper perspective – some players are always on the transfer list, searching for the game where everyone’s giving away money. That must be a scene from Cinderella plays against the Corporation and wins millions. These players are walking around, checking out the games in limits they play, ready to swoop in a heartbeat if they think a fish is bleeding and floundering somewhere in the shallows, so they stop and ask me, “How’s this game? Any good?”

The bottom line. Why would I want them in my game? If I found a little shoal and it’s teeming with life, why would I want a shark in there tearing up the shallows?

*Note to self – always tell a shark that the game sucks*

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I’m a week away from taking a three-week LOA. In all of the working years of my life, this is my first LOA. I managed to speed through all of my vacation days for the year and it’s almost time for the yearly sojourn to the campground in N. Idaho. Hey-hey-hey! Happiness.

The plan, as I see it at this moment, make it through five more nights of work and then it’s kick back, relax, lay around, and do nothing more than play a little poker at Bellagio and on the internet, write, sift through a million miles of things I thought I would have done by now and limit myself to only doing what I feel is necessary…because I’ll be on HOLIDAYS! That’s the first week of the LOA – then I pick up that sweet girl, Kayanna, from the airport on the 6th and we load the trusty Toyota with survival gear for regions of the wild forests, lakes, and down home, damn glad to be here people. Goodbye desert on the 7th. While I’m anticipating…

My week at work went more like a session of playing $15-30 every night except Monday. I did deal a few hours on a few nights but mostly my butt was spent in the player’s chair. I had one losing session but won that back the following night.

I rarely lay open my playing thoughts and explain why I would or would not do something when I play – hey…it’s tough enough to beat the game – and there’s no need to give people a direct look into where I’m at when in my trying to beat them from the player’s seat. Yet…I found myself marveling at some of the play in these games. Where do they come from and how do they get here? An age old question in poker but let’s add, how do they stay in chips or find the money to keep coming back?

One night I played next to Pauline. At one point she told me, “I like to piss them off.” That was after she called with bottom pair all the way to the River and made two pair…it worked…he was pissed. God bless her little gambling heart. She plays more hands in a down than I do in a week. But I have to give her credit for at least making a move on the pot now and then. Some of these people played like they were waiting for a revelation from The Card Fairy before they would raise or bet. And no I’m not complaining, just marveling.

I played next to David another night. He told me that he thinks it’s all luck until you get into $30-60 and higher – then you might find some skill. He also said he’s never had a winning year of poker and he doesn’t believe people do – they just lie about it. Interesting to say the least. He’s got more heart than I do…if I never had a winning year I’d have bagged it long ago.

I saw Mike M. during the week and raced to give him a hug on his victorious 9th place finish at the WSOP Championship Event. Of course he really wouldn’t see it as a victory because he wanted to win all the checkers…and who could blame him. What a long hard, uphill battle. He said he’d just gotten too emotional and lost it (meaning the tournament) because of that but he would take the 1M and be happy with that. He was in Bobby’s Room off and on during the next few days but I don’t know if he played or not.

All in all the room was quiet. A nice break from my perspective, plus the fact I’m in the mood to play, but on the whole it was kind of spooky to see 10 to 11 games down at 7 p.m. and not pick them up during the night – especially after the last few months of total jamming.

Some of the reasons for ‘slow’: There’s a giant bad beat jackpot out at one of the casinos right now…all the casinos of that chain share the same jackpot…and lots of lower and mid-limit players are playing there, hoping for a piece of it. Plus it’s summer and everyone’s about hit the wall in tournament land.

Maybe someone will create a new energy drink to cure the never-ending, all encompassing, burn out fever that’s left after a big tournament. I’ll buy a case…just let me know when it’s on the market.

And in the meantime…visions of the LOA are running through my head.

Book Reviews

I recently completed a second book that I was asked to review – which means I also completed another book earlier and wanted to write a review and I’m just now getting around to ‘catching up’. While I seem to never find the time to just sit down and bury my face in a book, I do the second best thing, read as time permits and seriously make myself commit a few minutes a day until I’ve completed it. The following are my thoughts on the books:

The Professor, The Banker, and The Suicide King written by Michael Craig is the must read of all books that have surfaced on poker and the big limit games. This book manages to give an in depth view of the personality and lives of the people that play high limit on a regular basis and pooled their finances and pitted their skills against Andy Beal, a banker from Texas. While I deal to these people regularly, and have dealt to Andy, the book brings much more to the picture than one would see in a poker room.

Michael has done something that would seem almost impossible in the poker environment, especially in the high stakes games. Each player, in the game and behind the scenes, has been explored and discovered in this book. It is well written and filled with factual happenings and events. All the threads of the tapestry come together to reveal what everyone wanted to know about the biggest limit game ever played in poker history to date. Buy this book today! You won’t regret it.

Michael is also a member of The Forum.


One Of A Kind by Nolan Dalla and Peter Alson. This book opens the hidden corridors that Stu carried with him all the time – he had an incredible talent but couldn’t get past himself long enough to completely utilize the gift. The picture of Stu’s life, portrayed by this book, allows the reader to follow events and circumstances that would otherwise be lost. And, according to the book, there is nothing left of his personal life (pictures, notes, jewelry, mementos) except memories of those that loved him.

Even though I dealt to Stu, more than once, and can honestly say I never had a good experience with him at the table, I can’t help but wonder where he would be now if he could have maintained a solid focus on his skills and the future.

The book is a great read. I would recommend it for everyone. I would doubly recommend it for someone that wants to play poker professionally – for a living. The innuendos are countless on the pitfalls of not being able to manage yourself, your money, and your life. Read and heed!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I’ve played one night a week for the last month or so, usually my Friday and I’m looking for an E/O when I sign the list. I stopped playing $4-8 and moved up to $15-30. It’s funny in a way, years ago when I really had no idea how to play, I played $15-30, $5-10-20 on the end, $10-20-40 on the end, and a few other crazy limits – including NL. Once I learned to play, I settled into the low limit niche. I wasn’t ready to move to $15-30 until recently. It’s a much better game for me and I find the dealers don’t screw off as much in higher limits as they do in the lower limits. Truthfully I find a lot of dealers to be totally irritating. They can’t just deal the game, they have to get involved in it…and in low limit it’s a field day for those dealers.

I watched one dealer in a $4-8 H game look at player’s cards when the player folded (not just once but numerous times) and then put the Turn card face down with lots of action in the hand…he thought it was really funny. He never shut up during his half hour down, talking and chortling, jumping in with comments on the play of the hand. He’s fast but he helicopters the cards and puts a spin on them a pizza maker would envy as they loft through the air at the player’s chips. I talked to him about it later. He was pissed at me and told me that’s how he makes his money and that he doesn’t do it in high limit games. I asked him if he thought low limit players didn’t deserve to have a game ran as professionaly as a high limit player. It didn’t go over well at all. In truth, I told him he could be a great dealer if he just quit fucking around when he was in the box. Well slap my mouth! Guess I expect too much from my co-workers.

Then we have two dealers that can’t just drop the deck when the hand is over. They shoot the stub, in an accordian move, from one hand to the other. Guess they missed their calling and think they are a magician instead of a dealer. A stupid question on my part, but what if they have to recover the deck…like they may not have completed the board? Should look great on camera. And one of them always pushes the pot, leaving three or four odds chips out, which he stacks beside the pot followed by, “Thank you!” Yup…he’s soliciting a tip.

Another $4-8 H game that just started with me in the 9s. The dealer sold all of the chips from the bank brought by the floor and took all the cash and receipt from the Cashier’s Cage and stuck it into the rack. We aren’t even supposed to begin dealing until the Table Bank is picked up. A few minutes later I told him that he needed to call someone to pick it up. He laughed.

I pushed it then, “You can get written up for it.”

He chuckled again and said he’d just give everyone back their money…like his ears were painted on and he couldn’t hear or understand what I said. Not only could he get written up for not calling for a pick-up, his bank was now way over and that’s another huge NO!

Then in a $15-30 H game, when I won a pot, the dealer pushed it to me – holding onto it for a moment as he looked at me and said, “You’re a winner!”

Good God! I need him to tell me? I retorted, “I’m a winner whether I win a pot or not!”

More dealer tales –

I pushed a dealer out of a $20-40 7 stud game one night and he informed me the rack was down $24 and the supervisor knew about it. There was $20 in blue chips in the rack. Normally the bank carries around 140 or more as they are used in rake, antes, and general change for players. When he stood up, I asked, “You don’t believe in getting a fill?”

He said, “No.”

As I slid into the Box, I retorted, “Good. I’ll remember that when you are following me.”

The players told me that he’d dropped their antes when he sat down. Sorry…but I’m laughing my ass off over that one. I’m not sure how he could figure $3 from each player was Time.

When I pushed him out of the next game, he apologized for not getting a fill. He said he was new at Bellagio. No shit? And that he hadn’t dealt Stud in over eight months – like where ever he moved from didn’t spread Stud anymore.

Which brings up another issue – new dealers. Bobby B. has been playing in – you guessed it – Bobby’s Room. None of the new dealers are allowed to deal through there so the experienced dealers are being shuffled into a line-up that routes us through that room. And of course if we deal through there, we are going to deal all of the higher limit games – that’s the line-up. Ouch! It looks like the good old days where everyone had to be able to deal all games to work at Bellagio are over. Dealing all high limit makes Linda a ‘Sad Jill’.


Pauly was in covering the Bellagio Challenge Cup and we had the opportunity to visit briefly while I waited for a seat in a $15-30 game. Yup, I signed up to play on MY Tuesday. We may even manage a brew, a meal, or a visit…or all three…while he’s in town.

A pleasure to see and chat with for a moment, Joseph Smith, does such great coverage of poker tournaments in Vegas and he’s in the room for the Bellagio Challenge Cup also.

I swear, if I didn’t have to work for a living, I’d be doing a lot of this type of thing myself…damn work! What a catch 22.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I spend a lot of my life just trying to survive time. Or I should say the lack of time. One of my co-workers asked me what I did on my days off, followed by, “Shop?”

Holy Andy Mackerel. Not this kid. No time for it. I won’t even bore myself with how I rush through life, trying to catch up with everything I feel I need to accomplish before I become a pile of ashes. I do take the time to STOP – and BREATHE – and TASTE my life and the events that keep adding history in my thoughts.

This little bundle is one giant bunch of wunnerfulness in my life. Riot comes to visit me almost every weekend and I get to fall back into the mindset of a child, where nothing is important in an adult world…including time.


So…after baby hugs and kisses and waking up to hit the real world of poker on Monday, I was pleasantly surprised to see the room had seven or eight empty tables. I’m sure that’s not how management feels about it but after our tournament in April and the overly long WSOP, it’s nice to be able to walk into the room and find some peace to the pleasant clatter of chips and chatter.

The Bellagio Challenge Cup was in progress when I clocked in. A $10,000 + $200 NLH Tournament with 97 entries was just winding down for the night. It stopped at 9 p.m. with 41 players left.

I dealt Table 7 – one of the tournament tables. T. J. was in the 7s and once when I was preparing to deal, collecting antes, etc., I said, “It’s your big blind.”

He looked at me, “I’ll take that from a new dealer but not from a seasoned pro like you.”

He wasn’t being mean, he said it with a half smile, and went on to talk about how the new dealers point at the player and keep jabbing the table in front of the player…as if the player never knows when it’s up to them. I agree. I hate it when I’m playing and a dealer pounds out the Flop and says, “Linda!” Chit Mon! Like I was out in the North 40 and didn’t know I had to watch out for cow pies.

Jeff S. was in the 5s and once when he folded, he turned his hand sideways, with a lofting flip, that exposed his cards to all of the players on the right side of the table. Granted, no one on that side was in the hand but there were players in the action on the left hand side of the table. I turned his cards up and said, “These are exposed and out of play.”

He asked me why I showed them. I told him the players to his right could all see his cards. He said they didn’t have cards. I queried, “What if one of them is in cahoots with someone that has cards?”

He said, “I don’t think you should show them.”

I ended it with, “Then don’t expose them.”


I hit a $8-16 H game late in the night in which everyone was having a good time except the 2s. He looked at his cards, did the stall, holding them too long, twisting his face into a grimace or rolling his eyes in disbelief that these cards were being dealt to him. Each time the action came to him, it was the same routine. B-O-R-I-N-G! Not to mention slowing the game down.

About 20 minutes into my down, when he did it for the umpteenth time, and hesitated before discarding like he wanted to throw his cards, I said, “There are a lot more bad cards in the deck than there are good ones.”

I simply said it as a reality check for him to figure out that other people were getting those hands too and he wasn’t singled out by the Card Fairy to die alone in Bad Card Hell.

He glared at me, “I don’t need to hear it from you.”

He went on, “Now you’re laughing.”

No I wasn’t. But there may have been a teensy smile on my face…not uncommon when I’m dealing. I said, “But I’m definitely not laughing at you and the comment was in general, not aimed at you.”

He retorted, “You’d better quit while you’re ahead!” as he slipped backwards into Bad Card Hell.

I replied, “You got it!”

Poor guy. He doesn’t know that I have outs. I get baby hugs and kisses!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

It’s a few minutes before 3 p.m. and I’m waiting to play in the Charlie Tuttle Tournament on PokerStars. There are 137 people registered for this event at this moment. Woops! A few minutes before it begins and more people have registered. It would be fun to know how many of them are bloggers but I’m not sure there’s a way to even find out. The tournament started with a 144 entrants. Dr. Pauly is at my table and everyone (even observers) are chatting him. Yes…he did a great job at the WSOP! A few minutes into the tournament – Pauly is busted out 10-10 against K-K held by BiffPokeroba. Me? I’m just coasting along – pitch, pitch, pitch. Nothing notable.

So…while I’m pitching, a bit of poker in my world. I hit a $400-800 Mixed Game. It really was almost not a game when I got there. Jimmy G. – 1s, Don – 2s, David S. – 3s, open – 4s, Tommy had a few chips in the 5s but wasn’t sitting, 6s – walking, 7s – standing up, 8s – racking up.

I announced, “Time Pot,” and took the chips from the 6s for Time. The 7s said he was going to get money and would be back. Tommy kept walking around, coming back to the table, glaring at everyone, and finally picked up his few chips and left. That left Jimmy, Don, and David. I asked if they wanted to play, the answer was “NO” they would wait for more players. I pitched the Time I’d taken back to the 6s and prepared to wait. David took a walk. A few minutes later, the 8s was filled by Chris.

Jimmy asked Chris if he wanted to play Chinese while they waited. The answer was ‘yes’. Jimmy asked me if I would deal it for them. The answer was ‘yes’. Jimmy always likes to play Chinese when a game is falling apart and it does help to keep players at the table. Right now I had three seats open, the room was screaming and it was difficult to get a seat filled, three walkers, and basically NO GAME. Don wanted to know if they wanted to play 7 card stud. “NO!” So I dealt Chinese.

**It’s first break time in the Charlie Tuttle Tournament – 87 players left on 10 tables. Average stack 2482 – I’m at 3040. Blinds are $75-150 when we resume. Not to worry, I could be gone in a heartbeat…if I just pick up the right hand to get me there. :-)**

A few minutes later, about the second hand of Chinese, David came back to the game. As I was dealing the next hand, he asked me if I was going to take Time when the game resumed. I told him no – I hadn’t planned on it. He seemed to be deliberating something but what the hell it was I couldn’t figure…until later. He changed the question slightly and asked me again if I was going to take Time when the game resumed. I pointedly stated, “David, if you want me to call a Floor Person and see if I should take time, I will. Otherwise, no, I’m not going to take Time.”

Then he said something about dealer’s making their own decisions. I just didn’t get it. I had no game. In these circumstances, the players would have a cow if a dealer tried to take Time and the House would never demand Time be paid unless the game was in progress. He asked me if I would have dealt 7 Card stud if they wanted to play it. I asked him if it was in the list of games being played. He said no. I said if I were going to deal it for them, I would call the Floor Person first. That still didn’t make him happy but he dropped it. My reasoning here is that Chinese is a ‘filler’. If it’s not on the list of games, and there is basically no game, the dealer can deal it without question in high limit. Seven card stud is a regular game and if I were going to deal it, and it’s not on the list, then I am going to have to get permission and take Time.

A few minutes later, I got two new players, the 7s returned, I had started to deal the next hand of Chinese but I just dropped the deck and the game resumed.

When I got pushed, I walked around behind David, tapped his shoulder (he was reading) and asked him if he thought I should have taken Time. What the gist of that conversation came down to was that he didn’t think I should have dealt Chinese, although it wasn’t worded quite like that, because if they (Chinese players) were in a hand and the other players returned, there was a waiting period for ‘them’ to set their hands and play out the hand, and if they (the regular players) paid Time, it was unfair for them to have to wait for the Chinese to finish.

The whole thing was out of context for what happened in the game. They did not pay Time. It was a free half hour. There was no game. If Jimmy, or any other player asks me to deal Chinese when I’m in the box and the game is technically ‘down’, I will deal it. Guess I’m making a damned dealer decision here but there’s no harm in working with the kids that play poker…that’s my way of thinking anyway.

**And I did pick the right hand. I tried to run over A-3 D’s and Q-Q with 10-10. I could have pitched but what the hell. I’m tired. A little sleep will make Linda feel like a new girl.**

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Some days are like a fog…I wake up, build coffee, try to jump start my brain into motion as I drift through emails/spam filter, sort out what I need to accomplish today, think about (and achieve) some form of exercise, make a few family phone calls or receive them, find the shower and fumble/mumble out the door to hit the freeway where everyone’s trying to kill themselves and they are determined to take the rest of us with them, slide into an employee parking space and race to catch the shuttle, make the building and walk down ‘heart attack hill’ to my locker – praying all of the Dasini bottled water isn’t sold out in the machines, and then up the escalator into the noisy casino to trudge dutifully into the poker room, clock in, and find out where the hell I’m going in the line-up. Believe me, this is only the beginning. The next eight hours are a jumbled mass of limits, people, games, people, poker hands, people, breaks, and people…people…people.

A typical night: There’s a game running in Bobby’s Room. I’m not dealing through there tonight so I don’t really care who/what’s going on in there, but through the glass doors I see Gus Hanson putting the ultra follow through on a golf swing…and yes…he has a club in his hands. There’s a golf bag with clubs in it leaning up against another door in the room. Gus swings repeatedly at the air.

Jennifer Tilly is moving around the room attached to Phil Laak. Cute! No…really! They look damned good together.

I sit down to deal $40-80 7 Card Stud – Joe R. is in the 5s. Yup…the subject of the last post. Before my butt hit the seat, he put his hand out across the table to me, “Linda, I’m really sorry. I’m sorry.”

I said, “It’s ok, Joe.”

I couldn’t help but reach over and touch his hand. I’m pleased that he thought about it and decided to tell me he was sorry. He should – damn it! Poker is poker but people are the most important part of your life. Don’t mess up your relationships with people just because you lose at poker. But getting past that part of it, it was nice to know that all the years we’ve spent together weren’t just an ‘air ball’.

I dealt a $2-5 NLH game. They were all noisy, blustery, ‘real’ players, and the action was unbelievable. Raise to $25 and six people call. Holy Chit Mon!

I had a little beef with the 7s. The 5s went all-in preflop. The main pot had approximatley $250 in it. The 6s and 7s were the only two left in the side action and the 7s was trying to talk the 6s into not betting…blah, blah, blah. I put a stop to it immediately. It’s very unfair and unethical for the two of them to try and cut a deal of any kind when another player is in the hand – even if he is all-in. I got an argument from the 7s. It was a little bit funny because each time the 7s checked, the 6s bet. The side pot was over $200. The 6s won all of it and the 7s wasn’t happy with him for betting. Bummer!

The 1s was extremely cocky, loved himself more than anyone else ever could (which is admirable in its own way). They were all talking and having fun. The 3s told me he’d kiss me if I gave him a pair. Umnhhh!!! What if I don’t want the kiss? And on and on they went through my half hour down.

I hit the next table, $30-60 H, and during this down, the 1s from the previous game jumped up and screamed, “Y-E-A-H! What a call!”

He’d called a big all-in bet from the 7s and his hand was good, forcing the 7s to buy-in again. Just after the 1s jumped up and screamed, a smattering of applause broke out around the game I was dealing. It swept like wild fire over the room. Everyone was applauding and screaming. As rapidly as the applause started, it stopped. It was so awesome though that Eric H. – 5s in my game – and I both busted out laughing.

While dealing through a $20-40 Stud game, rebounding chips or my hand, hit the Shuffle Master Button and the door popped up, spilling $5 chips into it and around the sides of it. It took me a moment to extricate the chips and I removed the shuffled deck so the door would close. I’ve never had chips fall into one before but it doesn’t look like they would create a problem because all shuffling, etc. is over before the door can be opened.

This same game, I pushed Bill a big pot and the player next to him made a comment, “…it must be nice…”

Bill hit him with, “We’re getting married,” motioning to me.

I chuckled. Almost on the defense, he informed me I could do a lot worse than him. As I finished the deal, I stated, “If I was looking, you’d be the first one I’d ask.”

See how easy it is to escape. I’m a pro at it.

And in this same game, the dreaded Mike D. or Israeli Mike, occupied the 1s. He thought he took a big beat when he had Queens Full in six. He got really lucky because he was heads-up with his friend in the 7s. His friend made Aces Full in five and Quads on the River and the hand was checked out.

Mike still looks for reasons to not get along with me. He has played very little in the room in the last few years and I still have no tolerance for his abusive behavior towards dealers, although he’s much better now because he knows he’s 86’d if he steps out of line…especially if I’m dealing.

The world is tuned in to the WSOP. I’m tuned in to the fact that my butt is dragging after every shift and none of it’s easy. There is no Sandbox. After a typical night of dealing, I’m crawling out the door, wishing the WSOP would be over so the room would quiet down…and vowing to play in it next year. Speaking of tournaments, this Sunday, $20 buy-in:

18:00 EDT (17:00 CDT)
“WPBT Charlie Tournament” under Tourneys -> Private tab in the lobby

This is a charity tournament for Charlie Tuttle’s family. Be there!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hey…I think your name is Ben…you sent me an email and SpamKiller ate it when I tried to rescue it. I would be happy to answer if you resend. I hate it when I have to have wars with software programs. Damn things! Why can’t they just work like they’re supposed to?


Monday night – no respite from all the noise and games. I dealt mostly high limit games and was even asked to work OT tonight. Jimmy needed 23 dealers to fill the graveyard shift. I asked to be first on the E/O on O/T. *laughing* I only had to deal a few minutes into O/T and I was out the door. But before I left, I had one of those experiences with a long time player that left me wanting to knock him off his chair…for more reasons than one.

$40-80 7 Stud. A game filled with dinosaurs. The dinosaurs? Give me stud or give me death, moaning and groaning around for years and the dinosaurs just can’t figure out that other people are trying to win too. And the dinosaurs are from the old school – the one where it’s always the dealer’s fault.

Enter Joe R. I’ve posted about Joe before. There are a lot of complexities in dealing with him and to him. We used to have a few laughs and joke around a little bit when I passed him or dealt to him but not anymore. I’ve felt a lot of sympathy for him over the last few years. He’s been dealt devastating blows by life and he’s aged…almost like one day someone sucked the life out of him. It’s hard to see him this way. It’s even harder when he still wants to backhand the cards across the table when he takes a beat. He always had a fit when he took a few beats, even when I first dealt to him at The Mirage in 1989, after all, no one was ever supposed to beat him. Not much has changed in that area.

Joe was in the 1s tonight – a few new faces at the table – and Joe lost a hand because he elected to check it out with Walter on Fifth Street. If Joe had followed through with his betting, he would have won the pot. He was irritated that Walter caught two small pair and Joe made some comment. I could take the comment as being made at me or at Walter and I chose to ignore it.

The game turned into a little ‘chip slammer’. Lots of action and Joe started with Aces and four people joined in a max raised hand. Apparently another player started with Aces too but the 2s made three 8’s on the River and Joe was the only one that paid him off. Card slammer…backhand those babies into the middle of the table and grumble/mumble to the max.

I’ve put up with a lot of tirades from Joe and mostly they just go right over my head but this one really got me. It showed me that he has no ethics and that was part of what irritated me.

Joe and the 8s went to war. On 7th Street, the 8s was high with a pair of Sixes showing…he bet, Joe called. The 8s turned up Queens and Sixes and left one card face down.

I said, “All cards please.”

The 8s turned up another six for Sixes full of Queens. I said, “Sixes full of queens.”

Joe backhanded his cards into the middle of the table and as I pushed the pot to the 8s, Joe growled, “You’re a fucking genius…your just a fucking genius.”

In essence, he was trashing me because I asked to see all the cards…clearly our house rule, in order to claim the pot, you must show all cards. And I’m postive the 8s knew he had a full house, he just didn’t turn it over correctly. He may have been opting for a slow roll but I don’t know the man and I’d bet money he wasn’t slow rolling. I also don’t believe that he was unaware of the full house and there was no way I was ever going to get by him by pushing the pot to Joe if Joe showed two bigger pair. Obviously Joe could beat Queens and Sixes and he felt that I should have shut up and not asked for whole the hand. Which brings me to the point that Joe just lost a trillion points on the Poker Ethics Meter with me.

I pulled the deck together and calmly said, “I may not be a genius, but I am definitely not a FUCKING genius!” directly to Joe.

He shut right up. Good thing for him because I was ready to blow a cork at the idea he would think I was supposed to bypass the 8s’s down card and not ask for the whole hand at showdown.

Guess that’s why dinosaurs are extinct…they couldn’t adapt.