The Hidden World

It’s a spectacular place!  Filled with day dreams and fantasies chopped into small pieces by reality that float apart and then reunite in the never ending stream, our thought/mind/being is the only truly undiscovered world that can never be tapped to its full capacity or destroyed except by death.

Even sleep can’t stop the stream.

Think about it, the last truly great frontier, the mind. We build, we destroy, we rebuild, we dream, and somehow out of all of that, the core of who we are is determined by our memories and experiences.

This really isn’t going anywhere profound or enlightening.  Just reflecting on life the last few days, seriously listening to Sirius radio love songs.  Yeah, I know.  Friends don’t let friends listen to love songs but Scout can’t stop me and no one else is around.

I caught a big flashback on one of my relationships that seemed to roll out from the hidden world for quite a while but it wasn’t initiated by a song.  I can’t say it was a ‘failed’ relationship because it took me eight years of being smack in the middle of it to sort through the big rubber band ball of emotional twists and things I buried years ago somewhere in the great frontier.  When I was ready to finally walk away from the relationship, I had most of the knots out of my emotional ride from childhood and finally started to figure out that I could only be put in a spot or irritated by someone if I let me do it to me.  Yah, it takes some of us longer than others but when it happened it was amazing how much clarity I had on many things in life that people use to twist your guts out through your nose. I gave all that up then – and never went back.

One of the most interesting venues for discovering the hidden world is the poker table.

I lived the day where I threw cards, had a swearing fit, and ridiculed someone for beating me with a bad hand. I learned it from other people showing me how to act when I first started playing.  It took me years to unlearn it. I left a game more than once where I was totally embarrassed by my behavior but that was way back when.  Now that I know how to act like a ‘poker face’ I still hate losing.

But that’s another part of that hidden world, losing to most of us really is about the money. We can jabber all we want about playing good and how happy we are that we played our best game…yah, I’ve done it (played my best game and jabbered about it as I walked out the door without cashing out) but it’s still about the money.  It’s like the old saying, “He who finishes with the most toys wins!”

You can’t buy chips or toys if you’re busted.

I thought about that hidden world for awhile today.  And wondered how it felt to be a sponsored pro and then know you could get dropped because your not producing the titles.  That’s why they pick you up, right?  You’re a winning player and your star is shining somewhere in the heavens and the light falls right on you one day and continues to shine until you are a ‘name brand’ player. And then one day variance does some trick and you can’t win – and the further down you slip into the death spiral, the hidden world kicks into overdrive and becomes fuel injected to keep digging holes in your game.

I’ve known professional players that make made a living playing poker for years and then, almost like magic, one day the death spiral starts and they simply can’t win.  No matter how they tighten up or how much they can loosen up, or the game of choice, or a higher or lower limit, or changing poker rooms in different cities even, they can’t win.

I dealt to one gent at the Mirage – yuppers that’s one helluva long time ago – that played $15-30 7 card stud and eventually dropped down to $5-10 and I may have dealt him one winning hand in five years.  I kid you not!  I saw his starting hands and he never started bad or went to the next street when he felt he was in jeopardy, but somehow the hidden world slipped a monkey wrench into his brain every time he sat at a poker table…he knew he couldn’t win.

I’ve known a lot of people like him.  I’ve been one of those people.  It’s a desperate feeling.

Well…told you this was going nowhere.  G’nite.



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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