Monday, May 30, 2005

Still have not seen, or heard, it all.

I've only been dealing poker for 18 months. In those 18 months I have seen and heard a considerable amount of things that one would likely not see or hear anywhere except inside a poker room. It is truly a different world. One quickly becomes a little bit jaded and it then takes an extra dash of "holy shit" to raise an eyebrow.
Yesterday I found myself dealing a $5-10 blind NLH game. I have only dealt to the 8s a few times, but EVERY time I have dealt to him, during my 30 minutes at the table, he had found a reason to pull his roll out of his pocket and place it on the table. Granted, the wad of bills would choke the proverbial horse, but this is Las Vegas. Horse-choking-wads-o'-cash are not at all out of the ordinary. He assails the table with constant chatter. Yesterday, this chatter-challenge-chatter was working brilliantly to put the 4 and 5 seat on the biggest tilt-o-whirl in the world. It was I'll bet you 1,000-1 that my buddy can make more foul shots than you. I'll bet you $10,000 that I can do this better than you. You wussies can't sit there and wait for AA and expect to make money, etc etc. He was giving and getting action and was running over quite a few of the players. Then, suddenly he was heads up with a solid-not on tilt-player who re-raised him. He quickly laid down his hand and stated to the re-raiser. "I'll bet you $5000 that my dick is bigger than yours...I already know that I've got bigger balls" Thankfully, the challenged simply stated that "I'm not into that". Would I, as the dealer, have been expected to do the measurements and push the pot to the "winner"? I could imagine myself yelling DECISION, TABLE 10!!
The 4 s later got busted by Mr. Bravado. He pulled out $400 and wanted to re-buy. The min-buy was $500 and we don't allow short-buys. The entire table wanted me to look away and let Mr. I'MONTILT make the short buy. Sorry guys. The 5s wanted to give the 4s $100 in chips to meet the buy requirement. Sorry, that's not allowed either. The 5s finally pulled $100 from his pocket and gave it to the 4s. He was back in business and still on tilt. You could see it in his eyes. He wanted to drag Mr. Bravado outside for a little bit of whoop ass. When I got pushed, the 4s still had about $300 but I suspect that he lost it shortly thereafter.

As of 8:00 AM this morning, the Palms poker room is Non least on a trial basis. I smoke, but I can tell you that I look forward to dealing without having smoke blown in my face either intentionally or not. The smoke could really be brutal at times. It will be interesting to see if this helps or hurts our customer base. I know that there are quite a few people who play with us because we allowed smoking. I also know that there are quite a few who stopped playing with us because we continued to allow smoking. I wonder how it all will turn out and I will be watching with a vested interest.

Time to fly. The smoke free poker tables await.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


About half way though my down on table 9 ($2-5 blind NLH) today a young man sat in seat #1. Almost immediately I noticed that he had something written on his left hand. Upon closer inspection, it was obvious that he had taken a ball point pen and written PATIENCE on his hand. When I stopped laughing I asked him if it worked. He said it worked for him. Maybe all poker players should have that word tattooed on their hands.......
I told him that I thought that I would write about him and he gave me his business card. He is a DJ from LA and his name is Michael Stone AKA DJ Stonerokk
Today's performance was spotty at best. On my first table of the day I missed a raise and dropped the deck early. On my third table I misread a hand. It looked like it was going to be one of those days. By the fourth table I had settled down and things went fine. When I went on break after my fourth table I was at the podium and happened to cash out one of the players from the 4th table. He asked my first name (my name tag says Murph) and commented that I was a very good dealer. He liked the way I ran my game and my demeanor. He is a poker dealer (I forgot to ask where he worked) and I told him that a compliment from a fellow dealer meant a lot to me. I also told him that I was off to a rocky start today..........he should see me on the occasional "good"

One of the great aspects of my job is that you have the opportunity for a fresh start every 30 minutes. You can carry the bad from table to table OR you can consciously begin anew. Of course changing tables every 30 minutes makes it easier to fade the occasional idget. If I had to deal to some of those players for 8 hours straight I would likely NOT be a poker dealer. I'd be a patient at the local psych ward. To be fair, the VAST majority of our players are nice, friendly folks who are a pleasure to deal to/with.

Things have slowed down noticably in the room recently. Everyone is wondering if it is a result of the new poker rooms opening or just the start of the summer doldrums in LV. The temperature the last few days has been in the triple digits. We anticipate increased traffic in the very near future. Our tourmanent series starts on May 28 and of course, the WSOP is being held across the street from us. We should see significant overflow business. There are rumors/speculations that the field for the main event may approach 6,000. In case you don't have a calculator handy, that is $60,000,000 smackeroos. I'm not sure that Harrah's/Rio has the infrastructure to handle that number of people, but is should be interesting to see how it all plays out.


I recently started playing poker online for the first time in about 2 years. I'm not one of the "online poker is rigged" people, but on the 4th or 5th hand I saw straight flush over straight flush. That's not something you see very often.
I've played 3 SNGs placing 3rd in one and going out in 9th the other two. Overall I am down about $5 over 3 days of play. Maybe I need to write PATIENCE across my monitor................

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Karma should be running out of my ears...........

Yesterday found me pondering two events. First of all, when I got to work there was an envelope with my name on it. The envelope contained a $10 bill. Several weeks ago I found it on the floor near a slot machine. If I hadn't been working, I would have simply stuck it in my pocket (or IN a machine). Since I was working I guess I was slightly paranoid. We are forbidden to take any money that we find or pick up lost slot tickets. I'm not about to lose my job over ten stinking greenbacks. I turned it in to security and since no one claimed it, they gave it back to me.
The second event happened while I was on a break out of table 9. I was standing at the podium when a young man asked if there was anyone named Wayne who worked there. My name badge says Murph, so he was a little skeptical when I said that I was who he was looking for. Way back in November I found a wallet in the men's room. Unlike the $10 on the floor, this wallet contained a significant amount of $$$, driver's license, military dependent ID, TAM card etc. I turned it in to security and after 6 months had basically forgotten about it. This young man, after 6 months, finally looked me up to thank me. He gushed that I had not taken one cent out of it before I turned it in etc etc. I thanked him for taking the time to thank me in person and told him that should I ever lose my wallet, I hope that someone would do that same thing for me.
Today I ventured to the Hard Rock to take advantage of a free play offer and a food comp that I received in the mail. Needless to say, I paid dearly for that "free" steak and shrimp.......
The Karma fairy was no where to be found. Score: Evil Machines-999 Good Guy-000
Although I have not played poker extensively this month, I have played considerably more than in the previous few months. I'm actually up a few $ which is encouraging. If I could find a poker room that was not attached to a casino full of slot machines, I just may be OK.
One notable hand that I dealt this week was in a $2-5 blind NLHE game. The 2s, a regular rock, raised pre-flop to $50 with AA. Everyone else folded except the 6 seat who was a lady who was unknown to me. The flop came 257 rainbow. 2s goes all-in for about $700 more, the 6s calls. In our room, the players don't have to turn over their hands for an all-in showdown and neither player chose to do so at that point. The turn was, I think, a 9. At that point the 2s showed his pocket AA. The river was a J. The lady turned over J5o and mumbled something about misreading her hand. She said that she thought she had pocket JJ. How your mind turns J5 off into JJ is beyond me, but she was the one stacking the chips so what do I know?
The Big2 game should be starting in a few minutes, so wish me luck.

The Big 2 game is over. I won 191 betting units. Sweet!
Last Saturday I lost 300 betting units in the Big 2 game.
Last Thursday I won 56 betting units in the Big 2 game.
Fortunately, for me, the betting unit in the Saturday game is 20% of the betting unit in the Thursday game.........
****END EDIT****

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Update from the 4/24/05 post

Remember the poker dealer who gave me $0.00. $0.25 and $0.00 on three pots that I pushed to her? When I went into work today, a peer told me that he visited the place on the strip where she USED to work. Seems she and the joint have parted ways. Several dealers in that house told my friend that she was suspended FIVE TIMES for yelling at players who didn't toke her, or toked less than she expected. If that isn't the definition of IRONIC, I don't know what is.

PS I know that where I work, if we even did that ONCE we wouldn't be suspended, we would be fired! No questions asked.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The calm after the storm

With the disaster that was Monday as the backdrop I went to work Tuesday determined, as always, to TRY to be transparent. By that I mean that I wanted to just deal without calling any attention to myself. Voila! A flawless performance on my part. Sometimes it all just falls into place and all is well with the world. Wednesday night was similar with only one, well maybe two, minor blunders. While dealing a $2-4 limit HE game the 1 seat was all in on the flop. When I burned and turned the the turn, two cards came off. I placed the proper card on the board and announced that the second card, a 4, would be the next burn. A 4 happened to be the only out for the 1s, so he knew that he was drawing to the case 4. It didn't come and he was done for the night.
Later while dealing a $2-5 blind NL HE game it became heads up between the unknown (to me) 4s and Dean in the 6s. Dean is great to deal to. He is funny, hysterical at times, and comes to play. He is NOT afraid to get his chips in with the worst of it. I think he does some sort of publicity for superstars of the sports and entertainment fields. Rarely is he dressed in anything less than a shirt and tie. He flops the tie back over his shoulder when he plays. Anywhoo, the 4s goes all in on the flop and Dean calls. I burn and turn the turn, burn and go to turn the river. The river card, a Jack, POPs off of the deck, flies through the air and lands right in front on Dean. Don't ask me how it happens as I couldn't purposely duplicate it if I tried. Like iron shavings being drawn to a magnet the Jack was Dean's only out. He had been trailing the whole way. Can you say *snap*? Of course Dean took care of me........he always does.
On the next NL table I had a situation where two new faces ended up heads up. A man in the 3s and a woman in the 7s. The man was betting the whole way and the woman called him down. The 3s showed his hand and the lady mucked. I slid her cards into the muck, but did NOT bury them. I usually try to bury them so that they are NOT retrievable with any certainty. The corners of her cards were in the muck but 90% of the cards were sticking out. The 3s asked to see her hand. I stated that as far as I was concerned, her hand was "in the muck" and he could not see them, BUT I immediately called for a decision. The floorman said that if he could, without a doubt, retrieve the cards, which he could, the hand could be viewed. The cards came out of the muck and were shown--after I explained to the 3s that if she had misread her hand and it was really a winner, she would receive the pot. The lady stated that she had NEVER been asked to show her hand and that she didn't believe that it was allowed. I explained to her that it was a rule. all over town, that any called hand could be viewed by any player who was dealt into the hand. She was not happy, but..... I later asked the other floorman for his opinion. I don't try to play the floormen against each other, I just like to hear different takes on situation. The second floorman stated that he thought the first floorman's decision was correct. In his words, "The muck is not the holy grail". I like to think that my muck is sacred, but I guess it isn't.

After work I headed to Bellagio to see their new room and to try to visit with Linda for a bit. When I got there she was on 33 and it was only 10 minutes before the push. I decided to kill a few minutes by feeding a nickel machine. From that seat I could watch the poker room. She got pushed, but I still had credits, so I did nothing but play. (Yes, I am back on the machines this month....another post, another time) Since Linda was in the box again and I had squandered $40 to the 5cent machine, I wandered over to a 2 cent machine (cash inferno), watched a $100 bill slide effortlessly into the gaping maw of the beast and began playing. Bingo, within 10 minutes I had it up to $500. I printed a ticket and placed the ticket into another 2 cent machine (this time Sea Monkeys) Almost immediately I went into bonus mode and when the bonus round was over the readout said $1001 and some change. PRINT On a 2cent machine this was no small feat. What can I say, I haven't had a loosing slot session so far this month.
I placed the ticket in my pocket and went to spend 25 minutes with Linda. After she scolded me for being "on the machines" again, we visited, talked poker, toured the new digs, gossiped about mutual players, etc. Linda suggested that I donate my slot winning to a needy family and again climb aboard the Wagon. I chuckled that I myself WAS a needy family.
I left the poker room and went to find a change booth so that I could cash my ticket. Done. I headed to the men's room. When I exited the men's room, an older gentleman asked me if I had just been to the change booth to cash out. I stated that I had, while dreading what he would say next. I fully expected him to ask for money. What he said shocked me. He asked me if I had left any money at the booth. I said that, yes, I had left a small amount as a toke. He asked if I had left a $100 bill? I pulled the money out of my pocket and sure enough, I only had 9 100s instead of 10. WOW how did THAT happen? He handed me a $100 bill. I was still in shock and I dug in my pocket for a $20 to give him for his honesty. He gladly took it as I shook his hand and thanked him again.
Don't worry, I didn't make it to the parking garage with my roll intact. Like the sirens of TI, the machines called to me. In the end, I did donate a sizable portion of my winnings to some needy families after all. Those needy families just happen to own stock in MGM/Mirage.
And so it goes, and so it goes.............

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

When it rains, it pours...................

Ok y'all, sing along.

Shitty shitty bang bang
Shitty shitty bang bang
Shitty shitty bang bang, shitty shitty day

It all started on the third table I dealt today. It was a little $2-4 limit HE game. There were 5 people at the showdown. I saw a pair of deuces, I saw a pair of 6s, I saw a pair of 8s and I saw a couple of high card hands. I killed 4 hands and I pushed the pot to the pair of 8s. I gathered the cards and began to shuffle for the next hand. The guy in the 9 seat asked what won? I stated that a pair of 8s took the pot. He said he had a pair of aces. At this point about 4 people chimed in that he indeed had a pair of aces. FLOOR!, I said. Where the hell are the table captains when you really need them, like BEFORE the pot is pushed, I think. The lady who had received the pot was very understanding and gave the pot to the 9s. The floor gave the lady $10 for her troubles. Everyone is happy right? Yep, everyone but me. I HATE making dumb mistakes. Like a snowball giving in to gravity, that was just the beginning.
My next blunder, tame in comparison, came during a $2-5 blind NL game. When dealing to Tom D. in the 3 seat, his second card did a little flutter. He said it was a heart. I replaced the card which was indeed a 10h. When this happens, I always dread the flop. Almost invariably, I will flop a card of the same rank as the exposed card. Not this time. Tom stated that he liked neither the exposed card or it's replacement. No major harm done.
Later in the night at a $4-8 HE game on table 3 I missed a kill pot. I announced that it was a kill pot, but no one listened, including me. A ton of people called the normal bb before someone mentioned that it should have been a kill pot. Again, no table captains came to my rescue in time. Oh well, we just played a kill pot on the next hand. Several at the table had never seen that done before, but the kill is played on the next possible hand.
During the same 30 minute down on table 3 I burned and turned too soon. There were 4 players. Player 1 bet, two others called and the 4th sat silent as I brought in the bets, announced three players, tapped the table and burned and turned. Only THEN did he speak up. I KNOW that I screwed up, but dammit, players have some responsiblility when they play too.
To put it mildly, I struggled through the shift.
When I got a 1hr. EO did I go screaming out of the poker room? Hell no! I jumped into the game on table 3. Actually I sat at table two for a few hands until a seat opened on table 3. This table had 4 dealers in the players seat. All of the dealer/players except myself were doing shots and having the time of their lives. Expensive times! When in Rome..... One pre-flop raise was called by everyone. The dealer called out ONLY TEN PLAYERS. Maybe you had to be there, but it was hysterical. Mark, the drunkest dealer of them all decided that any two cards deserved to be raised. And so it went. I can honest say that from a dealers perspective, it had to be the best game in town. The average toke/pot was around $5 and for several hours Mark decided that $10 per winning hand would be his gold standard. When I left, Mark still had several racks in front of him. It reminded me of a player who once told me that "You never go broke giving it away". Listen up all you poker players. This should become your new mantra.
I escaped that game with a $45 win.

I hope that I made a years worth of dumb mistakes tonight and that I don't have to call a floor person to my game in about a thousand years. Focus, Wayne, FOCUS!

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