Sunday, July 30, 2006

Russia got a royal screwing

If I remember the numbers correctly, the US paid about 8 CENTS per acre when it purchased Alaska.

Nice move for the US of A.

I'm just back from the cruise to Alaska. To say that the scenery was spectacular would be the understatement of the century. I'm too tired to post much, but I'll leave you with these two pictures from Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Kids, don't try this at home.

One last pre-cruise post.

If you happen to be employed by a major LV Strip poker room here is some friendly advice.

Don't:

  • Wear your uniform, name badge and all, while playing in another house.
  • Proceed to drink rivers of New Castle and J├Ągermeister until you are no longer functioning normally.
  • Stand up from the 10s and physically confront the dealer (not me) because he asked you not to drop F-bombs between every other word.
  • Continue this behaviour until security is called to escort you from the property.

You really had to work hard to reach this stage. First of all, you were toking generously so there was not a dealer in the room who wanted to see you evicted. Secondly, I'd like to think that dealers and floors would prefer to "protect their own", so to speak. You were granted maximum leeway but enough was enough. Here are some hangover cures that you may want to try tomorrow.

I have no doubt that if I did this my employment would cease to exist.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

North to Alaska

As is typical I've run out of time.

I need to be at the airport around 5am on Sunday. I haven't packed yet and I have to work 1-9pm today. Looks like a sleepless-before-Seattle night.

The Norwegian Star sails from Seattle. Scheduled highlights of the cruise are the Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Victoria BC. I'm sure that somewhere in there we'll fit in a whole lot of poker. After all, it is a poker cruise.

From past experience the poker players on a poker cruise are slightly more relaxed than your typical B&M player.

It's a working vacation, but I plan to work as little as possible.

*****

For unknown reasons it appears that the Palms is hiring poker dealers. All the talk of reducing hours for the extra board seems to be just talk. Many of them have been getting four days. A few full timers have been scheduled 6 days. Go figure.
I do have to wonder/worry what happens when the WSOP ends and thousands of poker players exit LV.

*****
Here's a recent hand of $2-5 blind NL HE that I dealt.
10s button.
3s $10 live straddle.
4s makes it $125
5s makes it $500
6s-9s fold.
10s goes into the tank....for....a.....LONG....time. (he has KK and has shown them to me)
10 finally pushes all-in for $1,600.

I would like to think that I would have EASILY folded the KK in this situation. I have nothing invested and the 5s $500 is screaming AA.
Everyone else folds and the 5s calls and turns over, wait for it.........AA
The board is all blanks and the aces hold up.

Without knowing the playing style of anyone involved, what would YOU do?

******

I finally broke down and bought a car.
My old 1997 Buick LeSabre Limited served it's purpose well. She had nearly 108,000 miles on her and needed a rest. Actually, she needed an oil change and some freon (oh whatever that stuff is called these days). Rather than spend the money on the oil change and freon it was just as easy to trade it in. I debated keeping it as a second car, but did I really need two cars?
I got a whole $2,500 in trade. Maybe I should have just kept it.
I hope this one last 9 years too.

As for financing, the best the dealership could come up with was 7.75%. When I visited my insurance agent to make the switch, they mentioned that State Farm Bank writes auto loans. They came in at 6.54% and picked up some business.

I had no idea what my credit score would be. It came back as 808. Aparently that's a good thing.

Bon Voyage. I'll be back in a week or so.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Congratulations Benton!

My buddy Benton won a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat via Tropical Poker.

He accomplished this by almost outlasting a huge field of 19 players. Yes, you read it right. Talk about an overlay. 19 players. The buy in was a little over $200. He went out in 2nd place but the winner was "unable to meet eligibility requirements". My guess is that the winner was under 21 years of age.

Voila, a ticket to the big dance.

Benton, when you win, don't forget the little people you met along the way.
*****
There is a layer of smoke over the Las Vegas valley. The smoke caused the moon to look orange. This picture was taken on Tuesday night. It doesn't do justice to how strange it actually looked.

In a little over a week I will be headed to Alaska on a poker cruise. This will be my second poker cruise. The first one was in Feb 2005 to the Eastern Carribbean.

Who would have thought that dealing poker would have opened the door to cruises and Carribbean "vacations".

At the end of September I will be headed back to Aruba for the Ultimate Bet event.

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. It might as well be me.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Time, Time, Time Isn't on My Side

There is never enough time.

Especially when visiting Las Vegas.

My family came for a visit. We managed to do most of what I had planned, but time didn't allow it all.
The stated purpose of this trip was to celebrate my nephew's 5th birthday. I managed to throw up some poker/casino chip related decorations and purchase a cake. I invited Linda and her Grandson Riot to attend.
She accepted. David didn't exactly cooperate. He went into SHY mode. This is NOT a side of him that I am used to. David spent much of his party hibernating under the covers of my bed. Go figure.



Happy 5th Birthday David!!

The rest of the visit was complete with the usual tourist attractions. Pirates/Wenches, Volcanos, Bellagio Fountains, Bellagio Conservatory Stratosphere Tower, Bass Pro Shop at Silverton (This is worth a trip unless you have an aversion to stuffed/mounted animals and fish. This place is wall to wall taxidermy) , Freemont Street, Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and the Show in the Sky at Rio. David and my sister Debbie got to ride on one of the floats used in the show.

Perhaps the most exciting experience for the kid as well as the adults was a helicopter tour of the strip/downtown at night. I happen to deal regularly to guy who is a helicopter pilot employed by Maverick Helicopter tours. He took very good care of us.

I've flown in and out of Las Vegas at night many times but the view from a jet simply cannot compare to the experience of zooming up and down the LV strip in a helicopter. I would highly recommend Maverick. Don't forget to tip your pilot. Hey, this is LV, when in doubt, just tip.

It is interesting to note that several times people did nice things for us/me.

The night I took David to see the pirates/wenches at Treasure Island I asked a security guard about show times and if we had time to walk down to the Mirage and catch the volcano first. He said that by the time we got back from the Mirage they may have already closed the viewing area at TI if the crowd was already at capacity. He then reached into his pocket and handed me a pass to the VIP viewing area. Front row and no having to fight the mob. Nice touch.

When we went to the Stratosphere I asked about a locals discount. This is available to anyone with a local ID. When the nice lady asked how old David was, I relayed that he was here celebrating his 5th birthday. She again asked how old David was. I replied 5. She asked the question again and it started to sink in. I then asked her how old I should say he was. She said I should say that he was 4. Alrighty then, he is 4. His admission is free then since he is only 4. 5 year olds have to pay. Again, nice touch.

David and his M&M slot machine

After three days off I ventured back to work on Saturday afternoon. Things were just as I left them...moderately busy.

Today was anything but moderate. We were giving away the first of two $10,000 WSOP main event seats. You had to be present to win. By mid afternoon all tables were in action and the waiting list rivaled anything from our past. We're giving away another seat on July 23rd. If you haven't already logged the requisite 48 hours you still have time. Take advantage of it.

And to my family..........come back when you can stay longer.

David & I at the Bellagio

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Insanity and Something to Look Forward to

A new guy sits in the 6s.

Me: Sir, you can wait and come in behind the button for free OR you can pay $2 for a hand now, but you will not get the button.

Him: Silence, combined with a deer in the headlights look.

Me: Sir, what would you like to do?

Him: Yeah

Me: Sir, what would you like to do?

Him: Yeah

What the hell does Yeah mean. Is that even remotely an answer to the question I asked?

I have been warned by veteran dealers to avoid giving players options. This advice is stored somewhere in the back of my mind. I dealt around him while rolling my eyes up into my head.

********

Me: Sir, I cannot deal you a hand while you are on the cell phone.
Him #2: Dazed and confused look while continuing to talk on the phone.
Me: I dealt around him.
Him #2: (Angrily) Why didn't you deal me a hand?
Me: Because you are on the phone.

What part of " I cannot deal you a hand while you are on the cell phone" didn't you understand?

Gigantic sigh.............

********

All hell has broken loose in the poker rooms of Las Vegas.

Humanity unleashed.

They've come from near and far to battle variance and lady luck. The noise level is deafening. The heat is unbearable. The idiotic antics should be amusing, but are merely an annoyance. The lack of understanding and respect for the basic laws of brick and mortar poker etiquette make me cringe. Is it over yet?

********

It isn't just the neophytes. Today a poker-made-millionaire lost his hand because he didn't protect it. NO! I didn't scoop it into the muck by mistake. He was in the 10s. The 3s "tossed" his cards toward the muck and they both mingled with the 10s cards. Dead hand.

Why, oh why must players loft their cards toward the heavens? Just set them down and push them an inch or two forward. Is that too difficult to do? Really?

********

Last Friday a new, but local, face was in the 8s of a $2-4 game. He was mid 20ish I would guess. As I pushed into the game he tossed me $1. (I asked a few other dealers and this was his MO, so it wasn't just me) I joked that a little attempted bribery never hurt anyone. Throughout my down I pushed him a few pots and he toked on every one of them. The last hand I dealt, he again won. Again, he toked. As I was exiting the box he said "Wait, here's something else for you.....and make sure you read it"

(again, I asked other dealers and they did NOT receive a similar item)

I started to move toward my next table while reading what he gave me.

Are you ready for this?




WTF??

The last time I checked, I didn't have a vaginal and it certainly didn't need any cream.
I can't even begin to imagine the meaning of it all.

I've read plently of restaurant server blogs and one of their major gripes is when patrons leave "Jesus Tracts" instead of a monetary tip. I'm willing to bet that none of them have ever received a pen like this as a toke.

I suppose that I'll never be able to say that I've "seen it all" in a poker room, but this pen certainly gets added to the list.

I once found a pair of dirty, used-to-be-white socks with holes in them on the floor in the poker room but that's another story for another day.

********

My little buddy turns 5 on July 3rd. On July 4th he, as well as my sister and my parents land in Las Vegas. David decided that for his 5th birthday he wanted to come to Uncle Wayne's and have a Poker Chip Party. So he has wished, so be it.

Now all I have to do is figure out what, exactly, a poker chip party is. He is getting a set of poker chips as one of his gifts from me, so maybe that will suffice.

I can't wait for their visit. I get to play tourist for 4 days.

David on his new bike.

Site Meter Listed on BlogShares