Sunday, May 28, 2006

Shut Up and Play

We've always had some pretty strong promotions.

We've added more.

WSOP seats:
Play 48 hours between now and July 9th and you will be eligible to win one of two $10,000 WSOP seats. I think it works like this. You get one electronic entry (you must play with a players card and the computer keeps track) for every 8 hours of play. None of the entries become active until you have accumulated at least 48 hours so once you have reached 48 hours you have 6 entries. Additional 8 hour blocks result in another entry. There will be a second drawing on, I believe, July 23rd. You must be present at the drawings to win. Each drawing will also award $1,000 and $500 prizes. Too bad Palms employees are not eligible.

Aces Cracked:
We are going to start spreading $55 buy in tournaments in the morning. If your aces are cracked Monday through Friday (I think these are the correct days) you get a free entry into the $55 tournament. You must use your entry within 3 day. The free entry is transferrable so I assume that you can also sell it.

Splash the Pot:
At random times, once an hour I think, the computer will pick a table. Before the next hand is dealt $5o will be dumped on the table. Let the 10 handed action begin! These should be fun hands to deal.

Our high hand (Quads & Straight Flushes) promotions continue. You still earn $1 per hour of play towards comps. 10 hour per day max. These comps have always been good for food or the movie theatres. Now they can also be used in the gift shop. You can redeem up to $100 of these comps per day.
Additionally you can earn double comps if you play between 3 and 11AM.

I think our long running Diamond Flush promotion comes to an end on May 31st.

Make sure to say hello when you come to play.

On either last Wednesday or Thursday the new tables were delivered. They are identical to the tables in our no limit room. They have the "race trace" of Corian around them making it easier to stack your chips. I have some small issues with these tables. First of all the rail is basically level with the playing surface. When dealing, you have to be really careful not to sail the cards off of the table. If every player was paying attention and ready to receive and protect their cards this would not be an issue. They're not, so it is. Additionally, these tables don't have a drink holder built into the rail. I'm told replacement rails, with cup holders, will be coming soon.

On Friday one of our regular players, Jesse, was wearing a T-shirt that I loved. It simply said "Shut up and Play!" I told him I wanted one. He said it wan't what I thought it was. It was advertising some store for musicians. I don't care what it's original message relates perfectly to poker. Everytime a player blurts out "Shut up and Deal" I bite my tongue and think don't worry about ME. Why don't YOU just SHUT UP AND PLAY. Amen.

Today (Sunday) I'm dealing on table 6. My old "pal" the rarely-tokes-me-dealer from a house on the strip is in the 3s. This is the first time that she has played since we got out new tables. I don't understand how the new tables make so much difference, but she says that with the new tables she can't see her cards without picking them way up off of the table. No big deal, really. Anywhoo, as she picks up her hand to look at it the 8s delclared that if the 3s lifted her hand that far off of the table again that he (8s) was going to call it a dead hand. I have no idea how he gathered the power to go from player to floorperson in 2.5 seconds, but in his mind he had this authority. She shot back at him that she couldn't see the cards.....she was old....etc etc. The 8s seemed to back off just a little. The 3s wins a pot. She tokes me $1. WOW Where did that come from? The 8s tells me that I should have dealt him a winner that hand. Had I done that I would have gotten a bigger toke. I mumble something about my having NO control over who wins the hand or some nonsense like that. The 3s then informs the 8s that the $1 she just gave me was the first toke I have gotten from her in 6 months. Damn. I just couldn't keep my mouth shut. I calmly told the 3s that, in fact, today was the second time this year that she had toked me $1. Aparently she had forgotten the one other time she gave me $1. I told her she must have been drunk the other time. For the record, I have never known her to drink while playing poker. Not sure why I said it, but I wanted her to know that I KNEW that she was breaking tradition by toking me.
I still can't figure her out and I guess I've given up trying.
She racked up and left, mumbling something about the new tables and how horrible they are.......
To be continued, I'm sure.....

Sister Act #3

There is a first time for everything, and today, this was a first for me.

A nun at the Palms!!?? Holy He!!

Maybe she took a minute to bless the poker room. If so, thank you, Sister!

It was deja vu all over again. Just like old times. We were busy. The action was fast and furious. The money was flowing into the toke box. Not just the run of the mill blue chips, but red birds were flying right into the little black bird house hanging by my side. I pichched myself. It wasn't a dream. 7 hours with only one break. No sitting dead spreads. Hallelujah! Maybe I can arrange for Memorial Day weekend to be celebrated 52 weeks a year.

I'm sure the half a million or so visitors to our humble little dot on the map are disappointed that it isn't 120 degrees, but screw them. Saturday and Sunday are/were forcasted to be in the mid 80s. Heaven on earth. If only the wind wasn't blowing 50 miles per hour. Too much to ask, I suppose.

Last Tuesday on one of my breaks I wandered past a lady sitting at a 100 Play poker machine. She was waiting for a jackpot pay-off. She was playing quarters and had it maxed out. A cool $125 PER SPIN. Lightening struck. She was dealt a diamond royal. $100,000. About 4 hours later she was still sitting there and was still playing $125 per spin. I shudder to think how much she gave back. And I thought I was S.I.C.K. I pale in comparison.

The 4 or 5 of you who actually read this drivel shall act as my witnesses. I WILL NOT play machines during the month of June. It is beyond silly how these contraptions have taken over my life. I'm reminded of my late grandmother telling me that I work too hard for my money to throw it away in a machine. This was a long time ago when made considerably less money, but even then a large portion of my money went into machines. There is no beating them. I know it. I really do. Honest, I do. Why do I do it?

Because I'm stupid and can't stand to have a nest egg accumulating in a piggy bank. How's that for a reality check? There are other reasons, but it would take a head shrinker the better part of forever to dig into all the other reasons.

On the bright side, the poker playing has been good lately. I'm currently on a 8/9 win streak. The piddly $5.50 loss at Sam's Town is immaterial. It's not quite as fun playing seriously, but winning IS fun in it's own little way. Here's to winning poker and busy poker rooms the world over.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Nicholas in the 5 Seat?

Yesterday started with a jolt. Aparently the phone had jingled it's jingle three times to no avail. By the way, my ring tone is Elvis singing Viva Las Vegas. I picked up on the fourth try. Shit. I was supposed to be at work at 10:30 instead of 1:00. I raced through the shower and bolted out the door. After dressing of course. I arrived at 11:10. Not really as big a deal as it seemed at the time.
I was to arrive early in order to deal a small tournament held in The Lounge. The players were all LA Lawyers. Before you make any harsh judgements, they were all nice and seemed to be having a lot of fun. Only 30 showed up, so three tables and 3 dealers were fine to start. I made the 4th dealer. I pushed into the line-up at 11:30 and all was well with the world.
At 12:30 I was pulled from that line-up and hurried to the regular poker room(s).
What? We needed dealers in the regular room? It's been slow lately and an shortage of dealers has not been a problem that needed to be dealt with.
Nice surprise. Except that I ended up dealing 7.5 hours with a only a single break. Memories of old times came flooding back. That's exactly, the flooding back part, what I hope happens with some of our "old" players who have filtered to the various rooms around town. I saw a lot of familiar faces that I hadn't seen in months. Welcome back. Enjoy your stay.

After work I headed to the Venetian to meet up with Linda and The Traveling Saturday/Sunday Night Card Party. It was my first trip to the poker room at the Venetian. It's spacious and rather nicely appointed. There are some glitches that they are still ironing out, but I think they should do alright. It would be nice if they would spend a few hundred million dollars and move the parking garage closer to the poker room, but I don't think that will happen any time soon.
I jumped into the $3-6 HE game. There was a new face. Nicholas from the 3s was in town and he had joined the group for the evening. I was more than a little confused, I admit. The 3s was EMPTY and Nicholas was in the 5s. Go figure. I plopped in the 4s and Linda eventually moved to the 3s. I immediately accumulated an extra rack of chips only to see them pecked away at until I was stuck. I clawed my way back into the black.
The new win streak has begun.
Sometimes life is good in the desert.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How long will $10,000 last?

First things first.

Yes, Linda, my car sometimes --OK OK MOST of the time, resembles a garbage can. I rationalize it by saying that I don't litter. You will NEVER catch me throwing trash out the window as I cruise down the road. Boogers? Maybe. Biodegradables such as apple cores? Probably. Bonafied trash? Never! That said, I probably should clean it out more often. Especially when I may be providing limo services to you.

The Saturday gathering at Sam's Town saw my win streak come to an end. I lost $5.50. Hey, I can live with it. I'll just start another poker win streak the next time I play.

Work is still painfully s.l.o.w. The schedule should change within a week or so. The promotion blizzard, by all accounts, is about to begin. I've heard rumors about WSOP seats, aces cracked, splashing the pot with $50 or $100 at various intervals etc. etc. A "celebrity" host may be in the offing. Morning tournaments seem unavoidable. I have opinions about most of these, but I'll keep them to myself. I'll give credit where credit is due. We've got to try something--hell anything--to get asses in the seats.

A rarely enforced and little known bit of poker etiquette reared it's ugly head twice today. In one instance it basically broke up a no limit game. It's common knowledge that you can't show your hand to anyone else who has a live hand. It is NOT common knowledge that you shouldn't do this even if you neighbor does not have a hand. The underlying principal is that no player should be given an advantage by knowing what cards any other play has/had. If you are constantly showing your neighbor your discards, he has, or should have, a pretty decent knowledge of the types of hands you will/will not play. This does give your neighbor information that the rest of the table doesn't get. In real life, this happens so often that it is unbelievable. Because it is common practice, many don't know that it is in bad form. Only when a player complains is it ever an issue. Today, the 1s asked me to ask the 9s to stop showing the 8s his cards. I honestly hadn't even noticed it happening. I still made it a point to ask the 9s to cease and desist. "But he doesn't have a hand" was the reply. Doesn't matter was my response. About 4 other players chimed in that they had never before heard that. I assured them that they shouldn't be doing it. I even called the floor and he backed me up. So now you know. Don't do it. Do as I say and not as I do. Got it? Good.

On Monday as I was dealing a $2-4 game, the 10s frequently but discretely showed me his hand. Usually this drives me nuts, but if I like you, and each instance doesn't come with some venomous comment about me never dealing you a hand, I don't mind sweating you sometimes. It has no bearing on the game, but you subconsciously belive that we are in this together. On one occasion where he had bet and everone folded he gave me a glimpse before mucking. One of the players who mucked wanted to see the hand since he had showed them to me. I, rather sarcastically, stated that I didn't count. It's like him showing them to a chair or any other inanimate object. You can't look at me like a piece of furniture one minute and then suddenly decide that I am a human being the next. Can't have it both ways pal. I mucked the cards, shuffled and dealt the next hand.

Today I heard a story. I don't have much background except to say that the guy in the story has been described to me as once being one of the best, if not the best poker dealer in Nevada. The demons of drugs/alcohol/gambling addiction took it's toll. I don't know what the guy does for a living now, but he at least had a pay check to cash. The Palms has a promotion where you can win up to $10,000 just for cashing your check there. On Friday, our hero does just that. Cashes his check and wins $10,000. Fast forward 4 days. Today this guy had exactly $154 to his name. At least he had the presence of mind to prepay the next two weeks of his lodging at Budget Suites. $10,000. Four days. Must have been a wild 4 day ride......

Friday, May 12, 2006

A world beyond poker?

I haven't thought about the possibility in several years. I'm starting to think about starting to think about it.
Things in my little corner of the poker world have slowed to a crawl. Not "I'm panicing" slow, but not far from it. People who have been around the poker world for eons, including Linda, are encouraging calm. It ebbs and flows, they say. Bring on the deluge, I say.
Our new poker room manager is settling in. He says he has ideas and there was a major pow-wow of the SMs. I'm trying to stay optimistic, but I want to see results yesterday. Unrealistic, I know, but it's my story........
The word was that the schedule dated 5/17 would show major scheduling changes. That schedule is up with little, if any modifications. Today I first glimpsed a memo asking the full time staff if they wanted to reduce their schedule to 4 days a week. HUH? Uh, NO! Thank you very much. Give me 5 days with some semblance of hope of working more than 5 hours on each of those days, ok? Is that really asking too much? Perhaps it is. Time will tell.

On a happier note, I have now booked 5 poker wins in a row. Some big, some small, but I'll take them.
I have everything set, including plane tickets for the Alaska cruise in July. Only one minor detail remains and everything will be set for the Aruba trip in Sept/Oct. Both of these are contingent, I suppose, on getting the time off of work. The entire procedure for requesting time off has changed with the new management. Sigh.

And from the BEYOND RIDICULOUS file:
Southwest Gas, in it's benevolence, has seen fit to reduce gas a whopping .02% avaeraged across all customer classes. Care to guess which class I am in? Lucky me, my rate stays the same.
If only the rate increases were this miniscule. Why bother?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I can probably count on one hand the things/people that I hate. Mostly I really dislike some people or things.
People who ignore warning signs and race to the front of the lane that is closing only because they truly believe that they are entitled to get one car length in front of you? Sorry about your luck pal. If I get there, in the proper lane, before you, you are NOT getting in front of me. Annoyance? Yes. Hate? No.
The flea player who expects the poker world to revolve around and cater to them? This one is borderline, but it's more likely that I pity them rather than hate them.
Experiencing a visit to the dentist that includes fillings? This, my friend, is true hatred. I effing HATE HATE HATE it!
That was my day on Wednesday. I get in the chair, insert earbuds and crank the music. The dentist is relegated to hand signals. I don't want to hear her or the demonic shrill drone of the drill. She assures me that she doesn't mind the MP3 player and should I have any problems/discomfort I should just raise my left hand. Listen, honey, I am already experiencing discomfort. I'm sitting in a dental chair, comprendezvous? If I keep my left hand in the air for 90 minutes it just may fall off and I sort of need BOTH arms/hands to do my job. I'll just keep them both in my lap or better yet I'll grasp the arms of the chair so tightly that my imprints stay there forever, that work for you? Alrighty then.
She then jabs/probes/pokes with the needle. Just kill me now, ok? It's not a fear of needles. I can abide that straw sized needle they use when you donate blood. No problem. But then again, they don't wiggle that needle around (unless the whatever you call a vampire masquerading as a Red Cross worker has a really bad technique- even then I give them two tries and usually a third try by another vampire. Three srikes, your out and I'm outta there). After an eternity of needle pricks she pleasantly informs me that she will be back in 10 minutes by holding up all 10 fingers. I want to give HER 10 fingers one finger at a time if you know what I mean.
Later, she waltzes back in and I have a problem. A big enough problem that that I remove the earbuds. Ahh, I don't feel the least bit numb. Huge choice here. Take the drill commando or endure the needle again. Nice choice, don't you think. I've done it both ways. Years ago I chose the no needle route. Pleasant, uhh, NO, but at least when it was over, it was over. It eliminates the drooling afterwards. Today, I'm weak. I ask for the needle again. More torture. And then she starts drilling immediately after the second round of novacaine. By the time she is done drilling, I'm actually starting to get numb. Good timing, eh? I inform her that I'm now totally numb, but she is done drilling. She quips that maybe she should do more drilling now. Uh, no thanks, just get it done and me out of here NOW, please.
I throw out a question about gas-nitrous- and the possibility of using it everytime instead of the needle. Maybe I should have asked this at the beginning of the visit. She says something about the legality of using is every time, but that she indeed has patients who go this route. It takes the "edge off" she says. Uh, no shit, right?
I have one more scheduled visit. I plan to beg/bribe/plead for the gas. Controlled substance, take me away.
Did I mention that I HATE the dental experience?
During the last two days I have been dealing to/with a group of 28 guys who are in town for a bachelor party. They drift in and out of the poker room. Some playing, some watching, some checking in between the pool and pit games. A few of these guys actually toked once in awhile. A much smaller group (2 of them) toked well. Today I'm dealing to a table that contained 3 of these guys, including the 2 above average tokers. I deal a high hand to the other one. While we are waiting on the high hand jackpot to be delivered one of the chosen 2 states to the high hand winner "Don't forget your dealer". Out of the corner of my mouth I tell the chosen one that I think I love him. Yesterday, to my knowledge, jackpot winner didn't toke at all. Hey, we all need a tip shill once in awhile. Get those visions of wealth out of your head. I got $3. It's $3 more than I expected.

If things in my little corner of the poker world get any slower, they may as well not exist at all. Don't get me wrong, the money per hour is still great. The problem is getting the hours in. Today (Saturday) I, again, work 5 hours. There was a time that I jumped at any chance of an EO. No longer. I want my hours damnit. I am supposed to be full time, right? The transition to new management is well underway. Visible changes are NOT.
I feel twinges of sympathy for the extra board dealers who are about to have their hours drastically cut or their positions eliminated. What other options are there at this point in time? Not many, I assure you.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Three in a row? Somewhere Pigs are Flying

I've somehow managed to put together three consecutive poker wins. Considering the limits, two have been rather large and one was piddly, but hey, a win is a win.
Sunday night found the travelling card party at Treasure Island. This was my first trip to their room and I must say that the surroundings are pleasant. The table felts are quite unusual. The blue one above borders on the spectacular.

At TI we played $3-6 mixed : Crazy Pineapple, Omaha High, Omaha 8, Bagugi, 2-7 Triple Draw, and HE. The dealers/staff, with one exception, seemed eager to accomodate us. The SM even gave us all a free TI Poker Room T-shirt. Nice touch!

We ended up playing 11 handed and there were 7 playing dealers in the group. MGM, Bellagio, Mirage and Palms were represented. In over 4 hours I never witnessed a blind chop. A.C.T.I.O.N. I cashed a $278 win. Sweet!

Yesterday I worked 6.5 hours. Maybe things are looking up? After work and a detour to a keno machine, I jumped into a 4-8 game at the Palms. 90 minutes later I escaped with a $16 win. Even the keno machine saw fit to bestow a mosest win upon me. Sometimes life is good in the desert. And speaking of life in the desert, yesterday the temperature hovered in the mid 90s. It won't be long until it is 115 for weeks at a time. That's when I wonder why ANYONE would live here. During the hotest months air conditioning is your best friend and your electric bill is your enemy.

I have to run. The cards need to be dealt. See you there.

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