Out of the Rio

Just for a few days.  Nope, I haven’t been 86′d…yet.  I had the opportunity to pick up the Rioteer and spend a few days with him out in the peace and quiet of the desert…Pahrump.  Not that spending time with Riot is filled with peace and quiet but it’s always a good time.  Today we are heading back into the bright lights and heat of the city, he will go back to momparental and I will go back to the awesome din of noise, people insanity (mainly mine), and the world filled with fame and fortune waiting at every turn of the card.  I have a few things to finish up out here before loading up and starting in. Before I go…

I watched Chau Giang do some sort of a mini-soft shoe shuffle as he stood between two tables, Phil Ivey was seated at one, Howard Lederer at the other.  The three of them were all involved in a conversation that appeared to have something to do with a piece of history they all shared in one way or another.  It was cute.  I was behind Chau watching him as both Phil and Howard were looking on and they were all laughing and light-hearted.  It was fun for me, nice to see the other side of people that focus so much on the big ‘dime’ and poker.

I ran across an article a few weeks ago that mentioned Chris Fargis and stock trading and poker.  Read the article here.  So…I dug through my email and sent him one.  He was coming in to play in a few events at the WSOP.  I saw him briefly on Tuesday as I was leaving the Rio – he was in game but came to greet me.  Nice!  It had been a long time, he made the comment, “We got out!”  Never were truer words spoken.  I’m so happy for him and for me, not to fade the daily grind of the poker lifestyle.  The only downside to our meeting is he’s leaving today to go back to the real world and I would have loved to sit and visit with him for a bit.  Perhaps another time down the road.

For years as I played through the poker rooms in Vegas, and dealt tournaments and as a full timer at the Mirage, the Italian Stallion (as he dubbed himself and let the whole world know when he was in a game or walking through a poker room) seemed to appear like a bad penny with a big mouth.  He was railing the $50K tourney and I got a picture of him – his mouth was even shut.  Of course he’s older now. but if this guy was the only stallion in my neighborhood, I would have moved out.  Yah, he’s front and center, in the blue shirt.


Off to load up the Steed – shower – wake up the Riot – and get ready to rejoin the biggest show in poker.  See ya!

About Linda R. Geenen

The easiest way to begin is to start at the beginning. But where is that? At what point does one suddenly decide they are going to spend the rest of their life involved in the intricate art of the dance? What is the art of the dance? A game about people - played with a deck of cards. Poker! I stepped into the poker world in 1980 in Missoula, Montana. I didn't know anything about poker, couldn't tell you what the difference was between a bet and raise, or if a straight beat a flush. I had three boys to feed, needed a job and a dealing spot was open in one of the local bars. I played my first hand of poker in a 5 Card Stud game (with the help of one of my bosses) and that was it! I was hooked. I lived, breathed, slept, dreamed, ate, and talked poker. I eventually ran my own games (licensed by the County) in several different bars in Missoula, and at one point, managed the games in the bar where I started my first dealing job. In 1987 I traveled from Montana to Nevada to deal major poker tournaments, returning to Montana at the end of each one. In 1989, I opened The Mirage – along with 6,400 other people. In 1993, I moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, and opened Grand Casinos Poker Room, returning a year later to Las Vegas and The Mirage. In 1998 I opened Bellagio - along with over 9,000 other employees. In 2003, I dealt the final table of the Aruba Ultimate Bet Poker Classic event. Hey…I’m on TV! I had the privilege of being chosen as the dealer in the Howard Lederer videos that have been released on No Limit Holdem. I play poker on a regular basis and I deal to every name brand player that is still above ground and breathing air, the elite, the freaks, the ne’er do wells, the rich, the poor, the illiterate, the educated, the beautiful, the ugly, the superstitious, the rational, the sane, and the insane. Perhaps I am the one that is insane but if I am, I fit right into the game plan. Five nights a week I walk into the greatest, social melting pot known to mankind. I no longer dream about it but the art of the dance is prevalent in everything I do - see you there!
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