Thursday, December 05, 2002

There are now so many players coming into Bellagio for live and tournament/satellite action that the room is popping at the seams. It’s as if the Card Fairies put a ‘Poker Player Pill’ on the floor and waved the magic wand. Presto, instant players! The wand is broken…it can’t be turned off and won’t stop producing.

~

High limit usually has the most bizarre extremes of all limits and tonight was no exception. Table 1, $1,500-$3,000 Mixed Games. The usual line-up. David G. 1-S, Eli 2-S, Jennifer 3-S and walking, Johnny C. 4-S, Minh 5-S, Gus 6-S, Stranger 7-S, Chau 8-S.

Dealer spreads a new deck and asks if the Winner would pay time or should the Dealer just take it. David said, “Do whatever you think is best.”

The game was Omaha 8 or Better with $500-$1,500 Blinds. The dealer elected to just take it and asked the 7 Seat to put in 5 – $100 chips instead of the single $500 chip.

David barked, “Whatever you do, just deal. I’m not in charge but I know you’re supposed to deal.”

Someone else interjected that the winner would pay the time.

The dealer said, “I asked and David told me to do what I thought was best.”

Johnny asked David what he would do if he was in charge.

The dealer said, “Jesus, I’m just doing my job.”

David said, “Yes and you’re doing just fine.”

He left Johnny’s query unanswered. David was stuck and he was ultra talkative/negative. While talkative isn’t unusual for him, the negative is.

David and Minh split a pot, David had the High, Minh the low. One odd $500 chip went to David. Minh is very hard to understand at times as his English is poor. His guttural growl came down to ‘what are you doing?’ when David got the odd chip. He was gesturing and waving at the dealer as David flipped him 2 – $100 Chips.

The dealer said, “Dam-m-m-n! I don’t know what you guys are doing.”

The whole table started mimicking Minh as they watched him while they were doing it.

Gus said to the dealer, “You can stand up and hit Minh right in the face and everyone at the table will swear it was all his fault.”

Everyone roared, including Minh as he turned a little bit red in the face.

Jennifer appeared and took her seat. Eli asked where she’d been so long, followed with ‘we thought you were jumping off a building or playing black jack.’

Jennifer said she’d had some things to do and Johnny said he heard she was giving a blow job.

Johnny was in rare form. He even said hello to the dealer, stated they were all drunk and threw the dealer a few $$ to buy a drink with. Very unusual to see him laughing and talking during a game.

Everyone was laughing. Jennifer said she was not giving a blow job and Eli said that was good enough for him, if she said she wasn’t then she wasn’t. He could barely get that out with a half way straight face.

Jennifer went all-in and lost the hand. She asked who would loan her money. She said she had it in her box. This means she had it in the lock box in the hotel and would pay back immediately.

Chau asked if she really had it. He was teasing her. He went on to say that she’d won 3 pancakes from him one night and those must be in her box too. Pancakes are $25,000 chips.

Everyone hooed and awed, “Pancakes! You mean she got all your pancakes?”

All in all, the game was pretty relaxed and funny.

~

The game on 4, $30-$60 Holdem found A-A being dealt 4 times in 20 minutes and good only once. It was almost spooky how many pocket pairs were out in that half hour. Q-Q at least 3 times, 10′s several times and other pairs. The cycles are bizarre at times, no one finds a playable hand for days and then an explosion of skill cards runs over everyone’s face.

Nope, don’t even start with the ‘cheating thing’ here. The dealer is not only reputable but doesn’t know any maneuvers and never learned or wanted to. When you take a seat in this dealer’s game you’re on your own, baby, at the mercy of the deck just like everyone else!

*****
This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break from the Diary.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Bellagio is sizzling with action, all limits, all games, and satellites, plus the main tournament event each day. There’s even talk of opening the area in the casino next to the poker room to add more tables for the coming weekend. There aren’t enough tables for all the games that could be started. Come on in and help add to the noise and confusion.

~

The big game – $1,500- $3,000 has been running with most of the regulars. Jennifer, Eli E., Chip, Chau, David G., Johnny C., and Gus. Gus is back in town for about 6 weeks.

Jennifer – 1 seat, and Eli – 2 Seat, started the game while waiting for the other players to come in. They had a steady conversation going on about the game, who would play, what time they would be there, what games would be played and in what order.

While waiting for a table bank, Linda spread the deck, scrambled, and asked what game they wanted to start with.

Jennifer abruptly turned to her and scolded, “Could you just be quiet. You’re talking too much!”

Jennifer couldn’t control it, she started laughing and threw her arm around Linda’s neck for a hug.

Linda joined the laugh with, “She’s so mean to me!”

Jennifer, “It’s just so much fun, I can’t help it!”

Then they were back to business. Jennifer and Eli played $500 a point Chinese Poker while they waited for the rest of the group.

~

A big Omaha Pot Limit game with George, Lyle B., Minh, Sammy, and a few others that move back and forth from game to game is also up and running every day.

$25 – $50 Blind Pot Limit Holdem was a big game tonight. Lots of action found one gent only playing two hands. He picked up A-A, raised it to $200 pre-flop and got called by three players.

The flop was 9-7-9. He bet $500 on the Flop and got one call.

The Turn was a blank. He bet $1,100 and got raised to an amount that would put him all-in. He called.

Take it K-9.

He then lost another $1,000 when he flopped a set of 5′s. His opponent flopped a set of 8′s. He left the game with a ‘goodnight, gentlemen’. Brutal!

Another gent in this same game, lost over $3,000 in one hand with A-A, beaten by 2-4 Diamonds.

The 2-4 called a raise pre-flop. Flop 2-8-3, two Diamonds. A-A bet $800 on the Flop and got called.

A-A bet the Turn and got raised, A-A called going all-in.

A little deuce came on the River.

Ouch! Who says this type of thing only happens in low limit?

~

At the final table of the Pot Limit Holdem Tournament, Phil H., picked up J-J and raised the bet. Howard L. raised all-in. Phil called and Howard showed A-A. Those babies held up and Howard won the pot. He still took 7th place, which is where he was when he picked up the Aces. Phil explained how he had put the shuck and jive on the hand before he bet, hoping Howard would think he had nothing and Howard would then raise him with a possible Ace High trying to catch Phil in a bluff.

Howard said it would have worked because he was short stacked and definitely wasn’t waiting for Aces…he just got them.

*****

This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break from The Diary

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World’s champion head-butter

Whether this was the expected registration or not for Bellagio’s Five-Diamond First Event Finalists, the room was very busy and games everywhere. Satellites were running for tomorrow’s tournament. Nice little buzz and lots of noise and chips going on.

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November 26, 2002

Lots of things happen in a poker room. Usually most of them go unnoticed by the masses and are only remembered by the few that experience them. Of course when Security is called in for any reason, everyone knows something is going on. Such is the way it was one night last week.

Mike L. was playing $15-$30 Holdem and standing over the game, his wife/girlfriend behind him, Floor people around him and finally, Security. He had to leave. Some said it was because he hit someone in the game. Some said it was because his wife/girlfriend wanted him to leave the game with chips for a change and he didn’t want to go so he hit her. Whatever the case, he was walked out by Security. Sure you remember him…he’s in the Diary. He’s the one that lost a hand with K-K and before he lost the hand he said, “If I lose with this hand, I’ll eat them.”

Yum, Yum! He did. Some said he ended up at the hospital over that one. Those Kem Cards have a bite of their own.
~
This time of year is fairly quiet in poker but while the Turkeys are running for their lives, zillions of people will be flocking, (pardon the pun), into the poker room for a 4 day weekend. Be prepared to come early and stay late. Then get ready for Bellagio’s Five-Diamond World Poker Classic Tournament.
~
George is back, playing Pot Limit Omaha and Limit Mixed Games. The game was four handed late in the night although it was full earlier. Fairly quiet. One big Pot, around $38,000, sent Minh to the cloth. He turned a set of 10′s and Howard L. made a straight on the River. Minh was pretty cool, he just sat back and ate his oxtail soup through the 7 Card Stud round.
Ralph P. sat down, took one hand of 7 Card Stud, Ante $200, Bring-in $300, raised the Bring-in, won $900 with no call and then sat out. Guess he made enough for the night.
~
$60-$120, Deuce to 7 Triple Draw and Omaha 8 or Better. Barry J., Mike, Cal, Ritchie, and Sam. The conversation went to internet poker as it so often does.
Ritchie asked Barry if he still played online. Barry replied that he hadn’t played in six or seven months. Ritchie asked him why and what it was like. Barry replied that he just wasn’t sure it was honest.

More conversation about ‘why?’ and ‘how would they cheat?’ and on and on.
Sam got involved. His thought was that if they’re cheating while he’s playing, it’s ok because he’s winning. He likes the $20-$40 Holdem games. He’s been playing online for over 3 years.

Ritchie still pursued Barry with questions. Barry said he won about $85,000 playing online but then he stopped winning and finally lost about $5,000 so he thought he might be getting cheated.

Sam busted up. “Yeah, he wins $85,000 and now he thinks he’s being cheated because he lost $5,000.” Funny!

*****
This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break from the Diary.

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November 21, 2002

A few long hours, allergies, and life has put the stopper on writing. Some thoughts that may be only original to self are more in line with dealing and playing but have to be stated to relieve a brain cramp.

1) Why do dealers have to talk to a dealer playing in a game?

2) Why would a dealer think the playing dealer would care to discuss whether the new table felt was hard to deal on compared to the old table felt? Or the food in the Help’s Hall for Employee Appreciation Day was of any importance when the playing dealer just tried to run over 5-2 with A-A and couldn’t beat it on the River when the 5-2 made a nine high straight. PLHHHHHHH! SPIT! GAG!

3) Why would the dealer think the playing dealer was out of line when the dealer made a glaring mistake and the playing dealer stopped the action to correct it?

4) When the playing dealer is stuck and wins a pot, why wouldn’t the dealer say ‘thank you!’ to any size of tip they got? Why do dealers always think other dealers are obligated to throw money in their pocket?
Brain cramp is beginning to eaze-z-z-z-z-z.
~
One game on ‘top’ at Bellagio the other night. An $80-$160 Holdem, this game played 9 handed. Three of the players in the game, Carlos Mortenson, Mike Matasau, Ralph Perry…tough game under normal circumstances but with these three in it, whose the live one?
~
Nick, grumble master extraordinaire, $1-$5 7 Card Stud. That’s his limit and his game. He sits like a gargoyle, guarding his domain, glaring at dealers when he misses a draw or loses a hand, and throwing a few shekels to the dealer when he wins a pot. Interjecting comments in his taciturn, gruff manner, he sometimes leans toward the coarse, gross side of life which can put people off the person hidden underneath the shell.

A player next to Nick received chips from a Chip Runner and found a long hair in the chips. Nick said it looked like a ‘pube hair from an Orangutan’. Now honestly, how would he know unless he’s been checking them out?

He was at his best in this game, trying to impress a young lass sitting on his right, he smiled, beamed, talked, behaved himself and tried to show his flirtatious prowess with the cocktail waitress when she came to take his order. He took so long smiling and visiting with the cocktail waitress that the dealer finally asked, “Nick, would you like a hand?”

He threw in his $.25 ante and grumbled, “Don’t bother me when I’m working.”

The dealer replied, “Don’t work when I’m bothering you.”

The Dealer got a bigger laugh then Nick did. He glared for a moment but went back to his sunny side for the lass on his right. She knocked a few layers off that hardened shell.

*****
This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break from the Diary.

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November 14, 2002

Steve from Wyoming stopped in Bellagio tonight. Linda G. was sitting a down at a dead spread and he introduced himself, visited for a few minutes and then went back to his game. He asked Linda to let me know he looked forward to reading me. TKS Steve!
~
“While I’m here!” She said it with her chin thrust forward and hand on one hip as if the only point of view that would ever matter in the free world was hers. She’s a lovely Cocktail Goddess. NOT! Does that mean she will only make one round a night and if you don’t order now, you can’t get a drink until she goes off shift?

She barely slows down as she speeds by the end of each table, “Drinks!” She’s gone in a flash. If she enters the area with a tray full of drinks and someone mistakenly interrupts her delivery by asking for a drink, she quickly spits out, “I’m not taking orders right now.” Damn! Excuse us for making you do your job! Please check back with us when you have time and we’re not in your way.

An hour later, at another table, a smiling, genuinely cute, Cocktail Kewtie Pie, takes orders. The 9 Seat orders Baileys and a cup of coffee, as in separate drinks. The Kewtie Pie goes on a break and low and behold, the Goddess brings the drinks to the table. The 9 Seat tells her he didn’t order Baileys and coffee with whip cream on top and he doesn’t want it.

The Goddess goes into a tail spin, her wings are on fire and she’s in no mood for mercy. “In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not the girl that took your order.”

The 9 seat proceeded with, “I don’t want all that junk on my coffee.”

The Goddess fired a burst of ammo at him, “Don’t yell at me. I didn’t take your order.”

The 9 seat humbly gave in and told her he didn’t want anything.

The 1 Seat took the drink and tipped her as she sneered, “He doesn’t want all that junk on it.”

She stomped off.

Wow! Service, service, service. What ever happened to the smile? Or ‘Ok, honey! I’m sorry this isn’t what you ordered, but what would you like? I’ll be right back with it!’ Or, ‘As soon as I deliver these drinks, I’ll be right back to take your order.’
Too many times people in the service industry forget that SERVICE is the key word and then they go home bitching because they didn’t make any money. Bummer!

~
A perplexity:
1. The setting, a full game with a list, $20-$40 Omaha 8 or Better.
2. All players have a lot of chips in front of them except the 2 Seat. Which has less than $100.
3. The 2 Seat goes all-in and wins a pot of $300. He also plays every hand and is a tourist but he’s not taking out any more money.
4. With $150 left in front of him, The Big Blind bet $40 and everyone folded to him. He cut off $30 in chips and hesitated, then pulled his bet back and threw his hand away.
5. The Dealerette, left his hand lay, intact, and told him he couldn’t take his chips back after cutting them off. He could reclaim his hand and call the bet in full or leave the $30 and fold.
6. He had a mini-fit and said he didn’t have to call. The Bettor said he didn’t care if the 2 Seat called.
7. Immediately another player, that normally plays higher limit, jumped into the middle of it and stated the 2 Seat didn’t have to call. Even going so far as to ask the 1 Seat what had happened.
What it all boils down to:
1. Why is it that the dealer couldn’t possibly know what they were talking about and just have their word taken for the fact that the guy cut off chips? It’s the dealer’s job to watch what the players are doing so it’s damn possible that the dealer really did know what they were talking about and what the house rule really is since the dealer has worked there since opening.
2. The 2 Seat has already gone all-in and hasn’t opted to add to his stack.
3. There is a list.
4. Why protect the short stacked guy for an obvious infraction so that he can go all-in again?
5. The object of the poker game is to get money into the game so you, as a player, have an opportunity to win something when you have a hand. Not give someone like the 2 Seat another all-in shot at you.
6. Why is it that another player that should know better, just doesn’t stay out of it and let the dealer do their job?
The long and short of it is that Dealerette called for a decision. Before the Supervisor arrived, the Bettor threw his hand away also and pulled his bet back. Dealerette pushed the pot and shuffled up for the next hand.
Think about it the next time you’re playing and this scenario comes up. Do you really want that guy in the game taking a short chipped shot at drawing out on you?

*****
This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break from the Diary.

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November 13, 2002

The difference between high and mid to low limit? High limit players do a lot of variables that aren’t allowed in low limit…possibly because high limit is restricted to a certain group that can regularly afford to play those limits so they can elect to play behind, or chop a pot, or give each other rebates, or break a house rule if no one at the table objects.

The meat of the story. Jimmy G. normally plays high limit. Lately he’s playing lower…you figure it out, ok! He tries to change the $20-$40 Omaha 8 or Better game with a 1/2 Kill into a ‘any flop’ is a kill pot. He instigates and talks everyone in the game into it, but the house won’t go for it. Why you ask? The game is in a limit that the rules aren’t changed to accommodate a one time deal. Mainly because people come in to play this game every day, hence the rules remain the same every day and they know what to expect.

Jimmy’s not a happy camper. He can’t get the game set up the way he wants it and he’s playing lower. One hand, the bet is raised, the Dealerette said, “Raise!”

Fold, fold, to Jimmy in the small blind position, he said, “Call.”

The player behind him folded and then Jimmy changed his mind. He didn’t want to call, released his hand and didn’t put in the raise.

The Dealerette told him he was obligated to call. He looked at Dealerette and asked, “Do you really want me to call?” with an expression of disbelief on his face.

Dealerette told him he was obligated because he said “Call” and the player behind him folded forcing his action to stand. Jimmy knows the rules, yet he sat there and stared at the Dealerette. Some of the players in the game announced that they didn’t care if he called or not. Finally the Dealerette turned into a Dimrod Dealerette and let it slide. Stupid move here.

Jimmy took a shot and got away with it but he couldn’t leave it alone. He looked at the Dimrod Dealerette and stated that he couldn’t believe Dealerette wanted to push forcing him to call.

The Dealerette said, “It’s my job. It’s not personal. I’m just doing my job.”

Dealerette should have just called the floor person and forced the issue because it’s not going to change much in Jimmy’s attitude anyway. And it would have been the correct thing to do.

Towards the end of the down, the Dealerette pushed Jimmy a $100 pot and gave Jimmy the Kill button. Jimmy questioned if the rake was included in the $100 kill requirement because the pot was only $97. Obviously he didn’t want to put in the $30 for the Kill…this from a guy that was complaining earlier because the house wouldn’t allow them to play with any flop constituted a kill.

Dealerette had made another mistake, the pot had to be $200 for a Kill…Dealerette apologized and got pushed out of the game. Just another day in paradise.

*****

This post by Chanzes while Linda was taking a break.

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November 12, 2002

THERE! On the horizon, see it? You squint into the rising sun, shade your eyes, and stay glued to the vision as you approach. A small group of atolls appear, growing larger as the current and wind carry you closer. Just as you reach the first one, the tide changes, the water races across the atoll, sending up a spraying shower that’s filled with life. The sound and sight over run your senses.

You see a meek little “YOU-u-u-”, fall out of the spray. Left stranded on the atoll, it scurries frantically for any crack or hole that will carry it back into the spray it came from. It finally gives up and cowers in a crack, with closed eyes and bowed head, it shakes and trembles each time the surf hits the atoll.

Without turning your head, you witness another “YOU” jumping far above the surf that’s turned into a boiling, mass of foam, spray, and twisting writhing life. This “YOU” is a predator. Teeth gnashing and snapping with every leap, protruding eyes search every crack and pit in the atoll and the surrounding surf, before it falls back into the water, bracing for another hungry leap.

On the edge of the atoll, appearing torn between returning to the boiling surf or staying, another “you” looks longingly at the surf, then back across the atoll, peering intently at the life beginning to teem across its surface…suddenly its gaze jerks back to the surf and then slowly returns to the atoll, time after time. The “you” scratches its head…decisions, decisions, decisions.

One “y-o-u” perches calmly on a jutting ridge in the center of the atoll. This “y-o-u” watches all the other “YOU-u-u-”, “YOU”, “you” and you. There is no emotion or spark. Calm, observing eyes that never blink or look away, keep slowly searching every “YOU-u-u-”, “YOU”, and”you” as it appears.
Another “yOu” comes in airborne, landing in a sliding heap, it jumps up and runs to the center of the atoll. Never slowing down, it walks, back and forth, poised on the tip of its feet, ready to jump in any direction at any given second. It feigns indifference but its stance and continual walk tell another tale.

A set of shifty eyes that look in all directions and keep rotating, precede a “yoU” that rolls up out of the surf. This “yoU” does a slithering slide to the center of the atoll trying to keep up with its eyes.

Now they come, all the “YOU-u-u-”, “YOU”, “you”, “yOu”, “yoU”, and some that you didn’t even know were there. They hustle to the center of the atoll, perching on protruding rocks and crags that would bust your butt, forming a circle.

Oh wait! It’s not an atoll, it’s a poker room and the whole bunch is converging on a table where a game is just starting. That’s carpet under your feet, not surf, and your sails were trimmed at valet. You’re here to join all the “YOU-u-u-”, “YOU”, “you”, “yOu”, “yoU”, in a friendly game of poker.

The only thing you have to decide, is which “YOU-u-u-”, “YOU”, “you”, “yOu”, “yoU”, are you and which group of “YOU-u-u-”, “YOU”, “you”, “yOu”, “yoU”, you want to play with.

*****

This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break.

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November 11, 2002

Good ol’ Sam G. He’s something else. He must be the best player in the world on someone else’s money because when he plays high, it’s always on their money. When he’s on his own, he’s struggling in $15-$30 Holdem or Stud or $20-$40 Omaha 8 or Better.

He chortled his way through a few hours of $20-$40 Omaha 8 or Better. Like a Chatty Cathy Doll with a glitch, nothing he said was important and no one wanted to hear it yet it was nonstop. One player in an adjacent $15-$30 Holdem Game looked over at Sam and said to no one in particular, “Must be winning, hasn’t shut up in hours.”

That’s Sam though, he’s the best in the world, or at least he believes he is…he’s pretty good at something because he’s sure convinced a lot of players to put him in games over the years.

He must have left them crying in the Omaha 8 or Better game because he moved up to $60-$120 Holdem. He checked out the game on table 1 more than once…$200-$400 Mixed…it was running in high gear with maximum action fueled by Yen, Aaron, and Ralph P.

On one of Sam’s visits to the table, Aaron asked Sam how much Sam thought he would need to get into the game and break the 3 of them…Sam’s reply was, “….about $6,000″. He was dead serious.

One hand of Deuce to 7, Triple Draw Low, Ralph drew 3, Yen drew 3, and Aaron drew 2. Only problem was the Dealer gave Yen 2 and Aaron 3. Aaron pushed back the 3rd card and had not taken it into his hand, it went back on the top of the deck. The Floor Supervisor was called over and the decision was made. Yen was given the top card of the deck as his last card.

The dealer apologized. The hand played out and Ralph won it. He said the only way he could win the pot was for the dealer to make a mistake. Must mean he’s running bad…

But back to Sam. He can snivel and sing with the best of them, probably better than the best of them…if he could can that ego and sell it, he’d be a very wealthy man. He could definitely write a book. The title? How about this one: You be my Sweater, I’ll be your Bettor.

*****

This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break.

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November 10, 2002

One would think that with the size of Las Vegas, I would never have to run into anyone from the poker community in any other part of town unless I arranged a meeting. After all, per capita, the number of players vs. the number of non-players would make the chances close to slim and none. Not so…they are everywhere…there is no safe zone. They pop up when I least expect them and wish they wouldn’t.

A 3 a.m. trip to Home Depot produces three of them in different parts of the store.

Going out to eat with a young friend from California, in the Northwest part of town, created a “Was that your son?” query later in the poker room.

Cruising down an aisle in the grocery store or even hiking up at Calico Basin seems to make them magically appear. Worst of the worst scenarios is when they try to act like they really know me.

A perfect example is Sol, a really harmless, overbearingly lonely soul that plays $1-$5 7 Card Stud. He puts on an air and attitude, interjected with conversation, at the table that he knows me, intimately – away from the table. “That’s not what you said last night.” – “You promised you would meet me, what happened?”

One night, after a grueling eight hours at the tables, I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up cleaning and laundry supplies. I’m chucking things into my cart, minding my own business, and out of the corner of my eye, I see him round the other end of the aisle I’m in. There’s no escape.

He throws his arms open wide and exclaims loudly, “Get down here and give me a big kiss!”

“Get the hell out of here.”

He pouted and acted like I was out of line. Oh well. I may have to smile and put up with it at the table but…

We’ve since ironed that out, now that he knows I’m not going to give him a big kiss, or meet him anywhere, or pretend to be intimate with him. It took a while to get this across…like training a bear to dance.

~

Curious as to what happened with Curtis, the player that backhanded his drink across the table in one of Linda’s posts? He tried to enter a bathroom that was closed for cleaning and when the Porter told him it was closed, Curtis gave the Porter a head butt. Ladies and Gentlemen, Curtis has left the building.

*****
This post by Chanzes when Linda was taking a break

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