The days of the rack attack

My last post talked about the Montana days, Poker Used to be so Much Fun, and brought back a rush of the lunacy and some of the antics that I first watched poker players do, and then learned to do myself.

I’m not sure what is required to be classified as a poker player.  These people played poker but very few of them were actual players.  Like most small poker populations, one or two games were pretty standard, considering in those days there were two places that had poker every day – usually starting at noon and running as long the players kept it going.

When I first started dealing, three of us went to work at 9 p.m. and worked until the games were done. With two games, we dealt 20 minutes, moved and dealt 20 minutes, and took a 20 minute break, repeat, until it got down to one game, then we usually dealt half hour on and a half hour off unless the cage person could deal a short break; then only one dealer finished out the night. Some of those 9 p.m. starting shifts felt like 9 to life when you were going home at noon. But I was ready for it, ready for the next shift, mainly because of the adrenalin rush of being right dead in the middle of all the action.

One of our games was always straight Five Card Stud, the other – and upon occasion third game – was always a mixed game format dealer’s choice. In the mixed games we had 7 card stud high, 7 card stud low, 7 card 8 or better, Five card draw, and Holdem. That changed a bit over the years because Omaha hit the mix eventually.

Eddie Appelt was one of the old stodges that never gave any action and could sit longer on a small stack than any human I’ve ever met.  We played all the mixed games off of a dealer button and one blind…in general, everyone played Hold’em…but not Eddie, he played 7 Card Stud.  I think he did it because his heart was black and the person in the blind had to open that betting round – it followed the same order as Hold’em. The person always bitched about it – all of the persons – and of course Eddie had position.  He had the button! The next betting round started with the high hand once the blind round was complete.

Eddie had a tracheotomy long before I met him.  A cigarette smoker for years, he finally ended up with a kerchief around his throat and an ElectroLarynx. He rarely spoke. I’m sure he was laughing his ass off when he got some young buck that bitched about blinding in 7 Card Stud because you could see his eyes. He liked to inflict poker pain.

I dealt a hand to him one time that was the ultimate cold deck. He started with two aces, another player had two sevens, another player had two fives, one had the 8-4 of spades, and the last one had A-Q of spades.  The flop was A-5-7 with the 5-7 being spades.  Every bet (3 max) went in on every street and I can’t remember if Eddie was one of the bettors/raisers but I’d venture that he checked at first to see if he could trap someone.  Obviously he didn’t have the button or the game would have been 7 Card Stud.

The river was a gut-shot straight flush for Mr. 8-4 of spades.  In those days a 4-card out seemed horrific but now it seems like standard fare at the tables.  I actually thought it was funny that Eddie lost the hand, but I know I didn’t say anything or laugh…that just wasn’t my style, and it still isn’t unless someone’s being a total asshole at the table. But never in those days.

Here’s three of the good old boys – Jonesy, Eddie Appelt, and Eddie Johns. Eddie Johns is the one that caught runner-runner king to bust off my flopped set of Aces in another game.

Jonsey, Appelt, Johns

I’m positive that if Appelt was in the game where my set got blown into the universe by back-door quads, that he thought it was funny I got beat by Johns too.  It was ugly, flop a-2-3, turn and river a king.  I went home like a scalded chicken, still booking a win but less than I would’ve like.

Well…I just got my scanner/network set up after making some changes to my computer arrangement a few weeks ago. I have a lot of old pictures – back in the day – when I couldn’t live without the game. So perhaps it’s time to write some Montana poker history at Tango.

More later…

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!
This entry was posted in Dear Diary, Montana Days - and Nights and tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to The days of the rack attack

  1. Ten Whiskey says:

    In the picture: The guy in the hat has excitement in his face. Don’t imagine there are backers of any kind involved, so is he the part timer caught in the up-beat of the mystic magic of the deal or the betting.

  2. TM, He is/was a rock (no idea if he’s still alive). He came in to play every week, but not on a daily basis. This picture was taken when the Ox was giving away a free car. They were either drawing for their ‘position’ because it was a one-hand, winner take all kind of deal, or they had already drawn and were lining up at the table. That was in 1980. I didn’t deal at the time, just trying to get into it then. I’m checking my memory bank right now, but it seems to me that they dealt out 22 hands.

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