Wednesday, January 25, 2006

85 days.........and starting over

My extra day off began late as the alarm clock was not utilized. When I finally got out of bed I headed to the Bose store for some speakers. With the new speakers safely tucked into the trunk I proceeded to South Coast for some free play and a free reuben. As far as reubens go I would give this one an 8. With one craving satisfied I planted myself at the PaiGow table. Considering that I was playing $20 per hand the outcome was less than brutal. -$36 as I headed home to unbox and set up the speakers. I'm quite satisfied with the sound quality but I wonder how long it will take my neighbors to mount the assault on Casa Murph. I like it a little loud.
It was now time to hit Bellagio and play some cards. When I arrived I scanned the room but didn't see Linda in the box. She was out-to-play and it only took me about 5 minutes to be seated by her side. The game was a good one with several people having no clue and others begging someone to take their money. One player was stuck either $800 or $900 in a $4-8 limit game. Yikes. Of course I couldn't get any of the chips that were flying across the felt. Several hours later I was stuck 1.25 racks of the little blue pieces of clay when Linda found the escape hatch. I believe that she booked a nice win. We then headed next door to check out the action at Caesars. They had about 12 games running. This was my second visit to the Caesars room and I have yet to play a hand there. Linda was itching to play keno machines so we headed to the Gold Coast. My plan was to just watch her play since I had given up on the machines some 85 days ago and had no intention of falling off of the smart cart. No matter how good the company, watching someone else play machines is not exactly fun. It didn't take long for Linda to ram a $20 in the machine I was sitting in front of. I was off and running. I'm guessing that we played for abour 2 hours before we decided to eat. Steak & Eggs on grave at the Gold Coast is $3.45 and is one of the best values in town. It is consistently good and this visit didn't stray from that norm. By now it is 3:30AM as we marched, like chickens to the chopping block, back to the keno machines. Somewhere around 5AM we gave up, tallied the losses and parted company. The Cox service man was to be here between 8-10 AM. My "high speed" is only at 12Mb and the I wanted to find out why. I taped a note to the door asking the repair man to KNOCK LOUDLY PLEASE and crawled on the couch. I awoke around noon to see that I had a voice mail. It was the Cox dispatcher saying that their representative was at the gate but didn't have the access code so they were cancelling my appointment. I called Cox to reschedule. What a joke. I was put on hold, transfered to someone in Utah, then Hampton Roads Virginia, then cut off. I called back and talked to someone in Ohio who tried to transfer me to the Las Vegas office. Cut off. I called again and actually, miracle of miracles, got a real-live person in Las Vegas. This nice person was trying to reschedule my service appointment when Sprint dropped my call. Sigh. I called Sprint to complain as this has been happening a lot lately. Not only dropped calls, but people trying to call me have gotten an all circuits busy message. The nice Sprint rep bluntly told me that I shouldn't waste my money if the Sprint coverage in my area was intermittent. Well at least she was honest. I'll be switching phone service soon.
I feel the slightest urge to go get my money back from the machines. After all, tomorrow is another day..Day #1 in my slot boycott. As for the remainder of today all bets are off.

Monday, January 23, 2006


For the first time in 26 months I am taking a day off simply because I don't like the thought of dealing poker. This has me slightly concerned. Hopefully it is not the beginning of the end.
Allow me to digress for a moment. After working for several years in a job (career?) that I learned to detest I made myself a promise. I can deal with a bad day here or there, but if it became apparent that somewhere near 50% of the days were unpleasant, I would quit. Don't get me wrong, I am not anywhere near that point right now but the fact that I want (need) a 3 day weekend makes me wonder...........

And now for some observations from the poker room:

  • I'm told that a few nights ago one of our dealers got off of work several hours early and decided to play some poker before going home. This dealer lost her first rack ($100) in short order. She bought a second rack and struggled to get back to even. When she got back to even, she picked up her chips and cashed out. One of the players, who happens to be a former poker dealer and is currently a pit dealer on the strip, quipped to everyone at the table "this is what they do with the tips we give them, they take more of our money and that's why I'll never tip them again". Well Hells-Bells-on-a-Thunderbird. First of all, the playing-dealer hadn't won anything. Secondly, so what if she had? She put her money on the table and took a shot. If she had lost her second rack before going home would the complaining player toked her MORE for giving her money back to the players? Insanity. True to her word, I have not received a single $ from her since this incident.....and today she asked for a set-up while I was in the box. Perhaps a voodoo doll is next.
  • Yesterday as I was pushing into a game, the players were playing musical chairs. I asked the exiting dealer if the button was correct. I received some smart-assed comment about me being Mr. Perfect or something like that. I started to deal my first hand only to have a player question the button placement. How the hell should I know as it's my first hand and I asked the outgoing dealer to verify where the button was. I HAVE to assume that the outgoing dealer did what he/she was supposed to do. Well, the button was wrong and I declared a misdeal. Big Sigh.
  • Lately, no matter who I am pushing in the line-up I need a fill as soon as I sit down. My impression is that these dealers are so selfish/greedy that they can't bring it upon themselves to get a fill during their down as doing so may cost them one precious hand/one precious toke. My goal is to always leave the box so that the incoming dealer should be able to deal for 30 minutes without needing a fill. Silly me.
  • One helpful gentleman today delivered some wisdom from the mountain top. Son, push the pot and then move the button. Thanks, Guru, I don't know how I ever managed without this sage advice.
  • Today I pushed the pot to the wrong person. It was heads up. Guy #1 opened his hand to reveal Jacks &Tens. The other player tabled his hand but muttered something like "I missed". He did miss....the fact that he had Kings-up. So did I. Sigh. I mucked the winning hand for the first time in perhaps a year. Fortunately I knew exactly how much was in the pot--$104. The loser didn't fuss too much. What could he say really? Well he could have cussed me and threw a fit but he didn't and for that I thank him.

I wonder what I will do with my extra day off? I'll likely play poker. I must be on the low end of this chart. (out of context, but you get the idea)

PROFOUND RETARD.---v .13e-8 00 -07 IQ SD-23.7 - Cattell (Verbal)

SEVERE RETARD.-----v .29e-4 -5.00 25 20 SAT Verbal

MODERATE RETARD.---v .0031 -4.00 40 36 GRE Verbal

MILD RETARD.-------v .13 -3.00 55 52 Miller Analogies

BORDERLINE RETARD.-v 2.3 -2.00 70 68 SAT (old) Verbal+Math

DULL-NORMAL--------v 9.1 -1.33 80 79 ACT Composite**

AVERAGE------------v25.0 -0.68 90 89

Monday, January 16, 2006

The dealerless poker table.

It wasn't exactly an over-toke, but it must have been large enough to raise my eyebrows just a tad. "I'm a dealer too" replied the young man in the 10s. A kindred spirit and a welcomed addition to my table. As we chatted as discretely as possible I asked where he dealt. He stated Florida. Seminole I asked. Yes, he said. I had heard that they were experimenting with the dealerless table and I was anxious to hear his take on them. ( I wish I had asked him what sort of rake the tables held) He claims that they are not going over too well. Music to my ears. I understand the underlying concept. From the casino's point of view, no payroll to cover. From the players point of view, no dealer mistakes and most importantly, no tipping. From my point of view, if I want to play internet poker, I'll do it sitting right here in my underwear, not in a casino. Of course I have a vested interest in the poker rooms of the world maintaining the status quo although I realize that above all else, casinos are big business and the bottom line is the holy grail. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I wonder which Nevada casino will be first to install these tables. I can't imagine that grumpy old poker players will gain any satisfaction from bitching at a random number generator after years of damning real-live-poker-dealers to eternal torment in the flames of their concept of hell.....

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Where do these people come from?

And I ask that in the most compassionate way possible.
While dealing this afternoon I was asked two bizarre questions by the same person. The 6s in a must move $2-5 blind NLH game asked if I "took my own tips from the pot". What I wanted to say was HELL YES, I do. Do you think taking $10 from each pot is enough or should I take more for myself? What I actually said was "absolutely not". Shortly before my down ended, the 6s was moved to one of the main games. About 5 minutes later I was again seated across from him. This time his question was....(please swallow any liquid you may have in your mouth NOW) what hand has a higher value, a flush or a straight? He was dead effing serious and you should have seen the looks on the faces of the other players as I explained hand rankings to him. In typical fashion, this guy was winning. Chalk it up to beginners' luck I suppose.


Later in the day I was making small talk with a player in the 10s of a $2-4 limit game. He mentioned that he was from Montana and I stated that I had a great friend named Linda who used to tend bar/deal/manage the game at the Oxford in Missoula. He said that he knew Linda. I have my doubts that he was old enough to have played there during her tenure. Maybe there have been several Lindas who have dealt there. In any case, in my next game, the lady in the 1s was talking to another player and she mentioned that she was from Montana. I asked her if she was with the 10s on table 1. She said that she was. I again related that my friend had worked at the Ox. The lady stated that she had never played at the Ox because "the Oxford is too scary and rough for me". I chuckled to myself and thought...yep, that's my Linda. Tough as nails and soft as velvet. Not a bad combination. Maybe that's why I love her.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Stick around long enough.......

and you will see it all.
Tonight I pushed into a $2-5 blind NLH game. Along about the second hand the 1s and 2s went to war. It got to heads-up pre-flop with a pot of about $600. On the flop, the 1s bet $100 and the 2s went all-in. The 1s thought about it for about 2 seconds and called. I burned and turned the turn and river....The 2s showed 6-4 off. There was a 4 on the flop and a 6 on the river. I don't know how much either player had in front of them, but I would guess that the 1s had the 2s seat covered, with aroudn $150 extra. I would estimate that the 2s had gone all-in for about $600. When the 1s saw that the 2s had two pair, he flung his cards. One of them ended up in the muck and the other one landed in front of the 8s. No big deal, so far. I then took the $100 that the 1s had bet (no other chips had been moved forward as the all-in and the call were both verbal) and started to place it on top of his other stacks in an effort to "match stacks" and pay off the 2s. The 1s erupted and SHOVED ALL of his chips toward the 2s. Some of the chips ended up on the floor, some of them mingled with the stacks of the 2s and some of them mixed with the pre-flop pot. The 1s then bolted from the room. I immediately called for the floor person. There was absolutely NO WAY to determine which chips originally belonged to which player. Since the 1s had bolted, the floor ruled that the 1s had abandoned his chips and that the 2s got all of the chips.
My guess would be that the 1s had AA. I don't think that I have ever been more tempted to peek at a mucked hand. Of course, I restrained myself.....
Do you think that this guy enjoyed his visit to Las Vegas?

The poker explosion continues........but at what cost?

Yesterday I made my first visit to the new South Coast casino. The South Coast is located on Las Vegas Boulevard S. about 6 miles south of Mandalay Bay.

My intention was to play my "free play" on the slot machines and then play some poker. Granted it was early on a Thursday, around 11:45am, when I hit the poker room....but this place was d.e.a.d. There was one $2-4 limit game in progress with no other games in imminent danger of starting. I purchases some of their chips for my collection. The new SC $1 chip may be the ugliest chip I have seen for awhile. I decided not to play $2-4 and headed north to the Hard Rock for some "free" slot play and some "free" food in Mr. Lucky's. After lunch I hit the Let it Ride table. I know better, but I LIKE LIR. $200 later I decided to check out the new poker room in Caesars. I'm not sure where the time went, but by the time I entered the room at Caesars, it was almost 6PM. They did have 6 games in progress there, but in a room that large, 6 games looks like a dead room. Again, I purchased some new chips and again, I decided not to play. I visited with a few of the staff while scouting the players. I didn't see anyone I recognized, so I guess the Palms players haven't made a mass exodus to play at Caesars.

Wednesday night I played $4-8 limit at the Palms and booked a $101 win. I'm not sure why I ultimately decided not to play poker on Thursday when I left the house with every intention of playing. Maybe subconsciously I know that if I don't play again in 2006 that I will have had a winning year. **laughing at myself**

And now for the title of today's entry. Early January is traditionally the slowest time of the year in Las Vegas. Having said that, word is that most rooms around town are very slow. As more and more poker rooms open, I wonder where all of the players will come from to fill all of those new seats around town. Being the "glass half empty" type, I believe that before the last new poker room opens in LV, other rooms will be down-sizing or closing. I don't think that this will happen tomorrow or even next month, but I believe that the contraction will begin before the end of 2006.

From the rumor mill: I heard today that Doug Dalton will be leaving MGM/Mirage to head up the Venetian Poker Room. I don't believe this for a you?

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