June 28, 2002

I usually post about the noise and confusion created by players that obviously have a problem because they can’t handle losing and expect to win each time they enter into a hand. This is a twofold post.

Gator came into the room late tonight. He’s been around the poker scene since I dealt the big tournaments here in Nevada from ’87 to ’89. He played at the Mirage and some time shortly after opening, became a regular. He used to laugh and giggle. Most of the dealers that I knew back then really enjoyed having him in a game. Now it’s just the opposite. He’s angry all of the time.

If he’s the low card 2 hands in a row, he almost goes nuts. He throws his bring-in bet across the table and all in all acts like he’s going to have a heart attack. He continually watches the dealer and can’t wait to catch anyone, including a player, in a mistake. He’s surly and growly with the players, actually makes comments to them about their bad play if they beat him in a hand. A seasoned player can handle it but a new player really doesn’t understand any of his reaction or the reason for it.

He watches the dealer scramble, shuffle, and cut, then sometimes grabs his ante back and sits back in his chair like someone drove a nail through his foot and he wants to scream but doesn’t think anyone would care anyway. He never smiles or laughs. He’s the super Grinch of the $15-$30 7 Card Stud Game.

He’s been this way the last 7 years that I know of and he now frequents Bellagio on occasion. Wish he’d go back to the Mirage and ruin their game.
On the other side of the story. Vince Stella, AKA Vinny, was in the same game tonight with Gator and I dealt to both of them. I’ve known Vinny since the Mirage opened. When Gator took a walk, Vinny and I both agreed that Gator was so unhappy when he played, we were in awe that he didn’t have a heart attack. Vinny said that Gator was very hard on new players also and last week he had to be called on it because of his attitude at the table.

We both agreed that it’s hard to be mad at someone like Gator because people like that are so unhappy, they can’t help themselves.

Which brings me to Vinny, Cullen B., David Shore, and a few hundred others that I deal to all the time. They make the games worth while. They understand and accept winning and losing and human nature. They are never hard on dealers or other players. There are no sharp, barbed words or animosity tossed at anyone during game play, win or lose.

These people make my nights. They put money in my pocket, restore my faith in poker players and human beings, and keep me dealing.
A toast to the best of the best.

Yes, I keep a list and these guys are on top.

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June 27, 2002

My very best friend, in the whole world, is moving away. She’s fun, spunky, bright, inquisitive, beautiful, and filled with incredible energy. She also has a will of her own and a caring, sharing heart. I love her very much and have shed giant alligator tears at the thought of her leaving me alone in the desert.

She’s 5 1/2 years old and we’ve grown up together…soon I’ll have to keep growing up alone. Poor Linda. Yes, I’ll see her again but things will never be the same. She’ll be in school and have boyfriends/girlfriends and life to keep up with and there just won’t be any room in her busy schedule when Grandma comes to visit. Tears here.

Guess that’s why God invented poker. So we’d have a place to go hang out and try to win a few bucks at the same time.

*****

During the week, Lee S. and Bob S. battled it out, heads up, in Deuce to 7, five card draw. The game was No Limit with Blinds at $300-$500. They were both drinking and Bob talked Lee into going out to the bar with him to have a drink during my down. Mike W. came over once to look at the game and Lee told him not to bother playing unless he planned on drinking because otherwise he wouldn’t be able to stand it. :-)

Eli E., Magic, and Mike W. played $800-$1600 mixed games. For the first time in all the time I’ve ever dealt to him, Magic threw his cards into my stomach and the rack. He lost 3 hands in a row and finally PITCHED his cards at me when he lost the last one. I did not take it personally. I always have my hands up when I deal these games so normally a hand that is thrown too hard will hit the rack and the chips.

Eli E. was having a little bit of a hissy because he was losing and his chips almost hit me in the hands when he threw in his blind. This I ignored also. He’s a bonus for the dealers most of the time. He’s never cruel or malicious, just gets frustrated.

I was babysitting the chips and game that Lee S. and Bob S. were playing in, the Deuce to 7, while they were at the bar having their drink. And Eli walked over. I said, “You are so grouchy.”

He gave me a sheepish grin and said, “Please just forgive me when I do that. I’m losing so much lately.”

‘Nuff said there.

*****
The $4-$8 and $8-$16 Holdem Games have rocked. Lots of action, big pots, bad hand showdown. It wouldn’t hurt to have a job if you’re going to go slamming in these games…too much action sometimes. Oh hell, get in here and find out for yourself.

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A Sunrise

The orange was vivid – running boldly across the clouds.

The purple danced, begging not to be left out.

The rosy pink was shy – showing up here and there.

Brilliant shafts of light held edges forged in gold.

The Earth stood still – just a moment caught in time.

The sun pushed ahead – a new day was born.

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June 20, 2002

Bellagio Event #3 finished today. The bad/sad news is that Bellagio has changed their guaranteed tournament pay out. The guarantee is now strictly for 1st place. I find this to be sad and embarrassing.

I’ve heard and read comments from people that think it’s funny that Bellagio was forced to fade the $55,000 guarantee on this tournament. I really wonder what those same people would think if all the casinos closed their poker rooms because the room lost money and it was more cost effective to have slot machines instead of green felt in the same space. For all of you dunces that think a poker room is supposed to lose money, read this please. You certainly would not continue to operate a business that lost money so why would a casino?

On the events of the poker room tonight: I started in $1-$5 7 Card Stud and moved to $8-$16 Holdem. The game was better than lively, it was a screamer. Mass action and lots of raises. At one point, a player jokingly said, “Misdeal.”

I said, “I wonder if that’s what happens when we die at a young age. Our life was a misdeal and everyone/thing is called back and we have to start over.”

Several players looked at me with a startled expression and a few others took off with, ‘do you believe in reincarnation, karma, etc.?’ To which my answer is, “Yes.”

*****

Linda Resnick died over the last weekend. She played $1-$5 7 Card Stud at the Mirage and at Bellagio. Her mom, Jeanette, plays $8-$16 Holdem and her dad, Bob, plays $4-$8 Holdem at Bellagio. My heart twisted when I heard she was gone. I will miss her spunky little smile and cheerful attitude.

*****

I moved on up to a three handed $400-$800 mixed game with Magic, Frank, and Hamid. Hamid was grumbing, moaning, crying, bleeding all over the cards, the table and mostly himself. At one point he said to me, “Are you enjoying yourself?”

How in the hell could I even qualify an answer to that stupid question. My answer was silence.

My next game was heads up with Mike M. and Minh, playing $400-$800 Omaha 8 or Better. Mike was paying Minh $800 an hour to play against him. Ok, for all of you that don’t get it…Mike feels that he’s got such an edge on Minh that he will easily overcome the $800 and take all of Minh’s dough.

Minh made a back door low/high hand and won the whole pot. Mike looked directly at me and explained, “He plays so Fucking bad that there’s no way I can’t win all of his money.”

Minh spoke only to me when he said, “Yeah, I play so fucking bad, that’s why I’m winning his chips.”

I looked from one to the other as they kept talking to me and I busted out laughing. I said, “You guys are so damn funny.”

Still they kept explaining to me how they knew the other one played so fucking bad and could not win. They like me and I like them. It was an easy down and I couldn’t help but marvel at how they included me like I was a key factor in the game and they still tried to bludgeon each other’s brains out.

Mike won the $5,000 buy-in Omaha 8 or Better event at the WSOP this year and Minh took 9th place in the BIG ONE.

I hit table 6 which was $20-$40 Omaha 8 or Better with a 1/2 Kill. My back is to the rail which borders the Sports Book. I had a French Braid in my hair tonight and while I’m in the middle of a huge pot and lots of action, Kian C. (a high limit player) leaned over the rail and grabbed my braid and began half pulling, half flipping it in the air. I turned around and said, “Stop it!”

He said, “You want me don’t you?”

He’s funny. He can be so charming and then so…()&%$…of course I said, “Yes!”

I went back to dealing the game.

Then it was the good old $150-$300 Razz game. These guys just never give up, 3 of them fought it out through the half hour of my down. Yes, there were arms and feet of dead Razz players sticking out of their mouths.

*****

I heard a rumor that Bellagio would be hosting a $1,000 Buy-In Tournament every Friday night. Starting when? Don’t know. Is it true? Don’t know. The rumor starter said the events would be different games each week.

Also heard a rumor that the monthly tournament would be a guarantee of $100,000 for 1st place, 2nd would get $75, 3rd would get $50, and 4th would get a buffet comp. *Big Grin* No, I did not make that up…someone said it.

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June 19, 2002

YIKES! I’m drinking wine…2 weeks with one beer and one glass of wine, not even on the same day, and now I’m going off the deep end. You know what that means. Hell yes, you do. The ramble is on and so is the wine.

*****

I know all of you think that I’m a cold, heartless, bitch when it comes to a few of the players but the ones that have hit my super doo doo list really deserve it.

Experience is a great teacher. Still, I’m like a child that really wants to believe in the Cinderella Story, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and all that wonderful stuff but mankind just keeps beating me in the face with their greed, selfishness, and anger. Yes…I could quit my job and go to the mountains but then what would you, the reader, have to do with your valuable time? And where else can you get this truly human insight into the real game…not just the game as it’s played by Sklansky and Malmuth…but the REAL game?

Lots of people think that I hate Mike D., including Mike D. I do not. I’ve actually started to feel a little sympathy tug for him. He’s barely playing, which means he’s struggling and tonight he was called for $15-$30 Stud. That’s scary for him. I dealt a $30-$60 Holdem game on my last down and he was in the game. I don’t hate him, I just want him to stop throwing cards at me and calling me a ‘piece of shit’ when he loses.

I walked past him the other night and said, “Hello, Mike.” He put his hand out as if he were trailing water in a canoe ride and went on by. Guess it was some sort of ‘hello’. I honestly do try to get along with a lot of players, even if they hate dealers…except J.C. Pearson. I will never give him any consideration as a human because he isn’t one.

*****

I’ve had a lot of people tell me that I should write for a magazine. Truth of the matter is that I don’t want to write for someone that edits me out and sugar coats what’s really going on…I want to tell it like it is…the way it’s played out…the bottom line. You get the picture.

*****

Not only did I deal the $800-$1,600 Mixed Game on table 1, I did not get the $25 tip when time was taken because Cuckoo didn’t want to do that. He wasn’t even in the game when I got there but his chips were.

Flash back to last night…break room…I’m seated with Tung and Thang. Tung had gone through the game with Cuckoo and all the players told Cuckoo when he won the 1st pot that he had to pay time and the $25 to the dealer. Cuckoo literally threw the $25 into the rack. He proceeded to lose the next few hands and kept making comments to Tung about giving him the $25 tip. Ridiculous. Thang and I both told Tung just to chalk it up as a classless idiot that plays high limit.

Soooo….I made $10 out of the game…big $$$ here. But on to the funny parts. I spread a green deck, the game was Deuce to 7, triple draw low. On the 2nd hand dealt, four-way action, raise-raise-raise, Frank, Eli. E., and Magic all managed to point out that some of the backs of the cards were darker green.

Ok. Too much action to worry about it now. It was four-way action, Barry was in the hand also. Ali, in the 1 seat, began pulling the muck towards himself and sorting through it to look for darker cards. I asked him to leave the muck intact because I might have to reshuffle to give the last draw to the players.

Frank in the 5 seat…leaned across the table to me and pointedly stated that we would have brand new cards in the game and that I should tell the supervisor that if more cards came in like this, that they (the players), would call the gambling commission and report this.

Hey. What can I say here? I know that when a bad card is found, it is crushed. I also know that when a player gets mad because they didn’t make a draw or they lost the pot, cards get creased and crushed. I also know that we have substitute cards that are put into decks in place of the destroyed cards. I also know that cards come from the factory, right out of the plastic, with defects and odd colors. So beat me up and knock me out…I refuse to be a carrier pigeon and report old news, so I asked the Brush Person to call the Supervisor so Frank could tell the story to the person that could change it. Obviously I can’t.

Pete came up and listened to Frank…new decks were brought in, right out of the cellophane. Damn it! You Kem Card people should read some of this…you aren’t above reproach here.

Then Magic took off with the ‘they make $2,500 in 24 hours off of this game, we should get brand new decks on every change’.

Yeah, right! First of all, the game normally runs seven handed. $10 per player for each half hour is the time drop. Now…if the game ran 24 hours a day it would be different. And if it ran with 7-8 players all the time, it would be different. But it doesn’t. I’ve often wondered how these mathematical geniuses come up with how much the house makes because all things taken into consideration, the geniuses make their statements on the basis that the game runs with maximum players, 24 hours a day. Not true. If it did, maybe the corporate jerks wouldn’t close down all the poker rooms and roll in the slots.

Well anyway…my next game was $150-$300 Razz. Yes…razz players really do eat their dead.

I did deal a three-handed $1,500-$3,000 Mixed Game later in the night. It was cute because I dealt to Eli E. in this game and had dealt to him in the $800-$1,600 game earlier. I like him and his wife and find them to be refreshing and easy to get along with. Although I’ve had him slam the cards down when he loses and make comments like, ‘she gave me….so I could lose the hand’, he’s never mean or malicious.

*****

One of my last tables for the night was a $1-$5 7 Card Stud game. I told them I had two choices, I could come home and drink some great wine or go out for a jog/walk. A few of them said go for the walk. One of them said walk home and then drink the wine….

Well…I did some upper body work with the total gym and then went out for a 2-3 mile walk and then drank the wine. The hell with poker. Happiness!

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June 18, 2002

David Rabbi was at the first tournament table I dealt. And, true to form, he acted like a jackass. I haven’t dealt to him in quite some time but there’s one thing I’d make book on and I never bet on anything besides a poker hand, I’d bet that for the rest of his life, he’ll always believe that he could have excelled if someone else hadn’t stopped him from doing it. Namely poker dealers…we are the reason that he can’t overcome poker.

David raised, 1 out of the big blind, everyone folded and the Button, Mori, raised. David called. The Flop was A-A-little. David bet – Mori called. The Turn was a middle card. David bet – Mori called. The River was a King. David checked, Mori bet, and David called, mumbling something about A-K.

Mori showed A-K and David zinged his cards into the rack with a sarcastic, “Thank you!” aimed at me.

I ignored it and pushed the pot to Mori.

David muttered and mumbled something about ’10 years’, when in reality I’ve been dealing to him about 12 years and it’s way too long. He’s still a classless, slime trail in the live action and tournament trail of poker.

The next hand found David in the big blind, he went all-in, heads up, and won the pot with A-K, no pair. He didn’t thank me then. What’s up with that?

He was completely 86′d years ago from The Gold Coast Poker Room for shoving a dealer into a wall when she went past him on break. Why would he do that? She’d dealt him off in a tournament – stupid bitch! Didn’t she know who he was and that he’s always supposed to win? There are countless tales of his abuse aimed at dealers over the years. He’s part of the reason that tournaments have ‘sit out’ rules.

Someone else sent him packing about 45 minutes after I left the tournament table…positively had to be the dealer’s fault.

*****

The $1,000 – $2,000 Game was up and running as usual. Color me jaded here but sometimes it’s so hard to gear up to deal these thankless, stress filled games.

Two guys in a $4-$8 Holdem game towards the end of my night kind of refreshed my whole attitude about poker. They didn’t know diddly squat but they are what poker’s all about.

I pushed one of them numerous pots and never got tipped but it hardly mattered. They were in the 2 and 3 seat. I asked the 3 seat to push his bet out because I couldn’t reach his chips and showed them both how to look at their hole cards so they didn’t have to lift them up a foot off the table for a peek. They both exaggeratedly pushed their chips out for me after that.

One of them called down with Jack High, no pair and the 10 seat won the pot with an exclamation, “He didn’t even have a pair.”

Quietly I said, “Don’t remind him, he just wants to play.” Everyone got the picture and play they did.

When I left the game, I walked around behind both of them and scratched their backs for a minute and said, “You guys are doing just fine.”

They both said, “Thanks, Linda. We’re just killing time and want to play.” *big smiles*

I couldn’t agree more. I love people like this. No hang-ups, no headaches, no ego, no bullshit – they just want to play.

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June 17, 2002

It’s hot as hell in Vegas and so is poker, NOT! Bellagio is quiet. The $1,000 – $2,000 crowd is always there though.

Satellites were running for the #3, Limit Holdem Event during the evening.

Although the room is quiet, the games are still strong and easy to deal. There are some pretty big poker jackpots around town right now and as soon as they are hit, we will have most of the action again. After all, we are the best of the best in Las Vegas poker.

*****

I’ve watched some amazing poker hands and play over the years but one hand in particular in a $4-$8 Holdem game still is popping into my thoughts. George, a longtime Mirage/Bellagio player won the hand. He’s poker savvy and plays a lot when he’s in town. He’d won a few hands previous to this one and was one off the button. The pot was raised to him and he came in with 9-4 Clubs. It was 6 way action.

The Flop was 4-3-2 with 2 spades on board, it was bet and raised before it got to George and George raised it. One more raise was taken by the original raiser and five players took the Turn. It was a 9. The original raiser bet, George raised, three callers, the raiser raised, George raised, three callers, and the original raiser got the last raise in. The River was a 4. The bet/raising never slowed down.

Go figure. Two perfect runners gave George a huge pot. He played the hand as if he had X-ray vision and knew exactly what was coming or as if he was on great drugs and wanted to donate all his cash to the poker players of America. I know he wasn’t on drugs….

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June 13, 2002

A friend of mine came into the room on Wednesday night, the 12th – Jon. I was out on a “play” and we visited about life in general, poker, where we used to be and where we are now. Two other people that I really enjoy are here also, Ralph from Florida, he’s promised to hike with me when he comes back in January, and Frederic from the Belgium Consulate in the Congo, he’s the subject of a post in 12/9/2000. Funny how poker explodes into your life and you either stay in it or eventually move on to other things…the best of it is that you make some great friends along the way and they stay with you.

*****

I dealt the $1,000-$2,000 mixed game on Table 2 – one of the games was Deuce to 7, Triple Draw. Normally the game is played seven handed because of the Deuce to 7 game and the 1st player out of the big blind, is dealt out in each hand. Not enough cards. Upon occasion, an exception is made and it’s played eight handed, unless a player/players object. When that happens the 1st two players out of the big blind are dealt out of each hand. When I got into the game, it had just gone eight handed to allow Curtis B. a seat.

I asked if “time” would be taken from the pot or if the winner would pay it. The discussion began about how the dealer normally would get $25 for dealing the game and $70 would go into the “time” drop. Since the game had just gone eight handed, they discussed the fact that “time” would be $80 and the dealer would get $20 instead of $25.

Eli E., a bonus to the game from my standpoint, said, “Linda’s going to object to Curtis getting a seat because it costs her money.”

I started laughing, “You damn right I am. I just got the bad beat.”

John H. came back from a cigarette break and threw me an additional $10, said he didn’t want me to get stiffed. He’s now known as Johnny World. Not a name I gave him, just a handle.

Curtis said, “I’m really glad you guys made it eight handed for me. I’d rather be sitting here stuck, than waiting thinking I could win.”

The whole game was relaxed, fun, and easy to deal although Curtis stepped into the subject of tipping and what he thought the dealers made in most games and how he felt we did better in the bigger games. He mentioned hearing dealers talk about not making any money out of some games.

I said, “The dealers that complain about not making money during a down are usually the ones that aren’t doing their job well all the time.”

He agreed with me. I do not agree with him about the big games and tipping. We make much better money from most $4-$8 Holdem games than we ever do out of a big game – this game happens to be an exception since they initiated the $25 going to the dealer in the “time” pot. But most big games are not good money for a dealer, they are just part of the shift.

*****

I dealt a four handed, $200-$400 Razz game…it was dull and lifeless but they say Razz players eat their dead so that would explain it. A player I haven’t seen in at least five years was in this game, Al. It would be all right with me if I never saw him again too. He’s no bonus.

My next game, unusual in the respect that it was single draw, $200-$400 Blind No Limit, single draw, Deuce to 7 was running short handed. Bob Stupak was in the game and he’s always up and down and in and out. He’s the reason the game would start but he’s also very hard on a game.

*begin tipping follow-up* On the subject of high limit games and tipping, I made $4 from the $200-$400 Razz Game and $2 from the $200-$400 Blind No Limit, Deuce to 7 Game. No, I’m not complaining, just following up with a point from my earlier conversation on Table 2 with Curtis. I had a very good money night due to other games and other players. *end tipping follow-up*

*****

My last game was $1-$5 7 Card Stud, all guys, and five of them were friends. One of the five was watching the game as he had gone broke earlier. It was hysterical. The 4s played off his last $7 in a hand without looking at his cards because he’d picked up nothing to play for an hour. He was really funny. He didn’t look at his cards until the hand was over and he rolled them one at a time…he was open ended for a straight but didn’t make it. His buddy in the 8s won the pot.

Then the 4s started goading the 3s, another buddy, about putting his last $13 into the next hand without looking…they were ready to go for the night. The 4s did and the buddy in the 8s won that pot too. They were all laughing and roaring, I was too. They went home for the night and so did I.

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June 11, 2002

Unfortunately summer’s here, it’s hot, and poker is slow. The WSOP takes its toll on everyone’s spirit, mental and physical stamina, and bankroll and the games quiet down.

It’s nice to go in and be able to hear and visit with some of the regulars/locals. I like most of them. They pay my bills every month and the majority of them are easy to get along with, understand poker, and show up for their job just like I do for mine.

The tournament schedule for Bellagio’s Tournament has changed. (that link changed with the server change and is not available now) The Satellites keep changing as far as buy-in and number of players so if you’re coming in, call the poker room and check to see what’s going on in that area.

*****

I played on shift three nights last week, 2 wins – 1 loss. Visited the Orleans Poker Room on Saturday night for about an hour. I hit there about 1 a.m. and the smokers roll in on graveyard and that is 3 a.m. I gave up after an hour with a small loss. I truly didn’t want to sit through another hour and feel compelled to get my money back and try to breathe the cigarette smoke from a player next to me.

On the 1st of this month, it’s been one year since Bellagio and Mirage went nonsmoking. What a wonderful relief. Saddest part of it is that now I can smell everything, B.O., bad breath, etc.

I’m fading a software problem on my pc and expecting a call from Microsoft Tech this p.m. so…this is it for the day. Back soon.

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June 6, 2002

Even though the room is fairly quiet around 7 p.m. when my shift starts, new games start throughout the night. More middle and low limit games are running right now which never hurts any dealer’s feelings.

Bellagio is starting a weekly tournament beginning July 12, 2002. It’s called ‘Five O’Clock Fridays at Bellagio’.

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