Thursday, November 3, 2005

I ventured home from a few hours of dealing on Wednesday night to find an email from Iggy

*begin email*

Subject: iggy here

i’m still your biggest fan. :)

found this jackass stealing your posts at


and am harassing him and his registrar. just thought you should know.

*end email*

When I visited the site, sure enough, bold and downright irritating, pictures and all, were some of my posts. This is horrible. It’s one thing if someone uses your writing and thoughts and puts a link back to where they got it from, but to just steal it and use it is…well…obnoxiously freaky and I hate it.

A few hours later, all the info was gone. I think your harassing the jackass paid off, Iggy. Thank you so much just for being you. And we are going to meet at the WPBT – Saturday, December 10th. Info here.

Yippee! I love Poker! I love u 2 Iggy!


Excitement to the max!!! That Ford F-350 I mentioned in the October 21st post is going to be in my garage along about tomorrow night…that is if its big ass will fit in my garage. It is one big dude…perfectly built for one dudette – me! The picture doesn’t really do it justice as mine is a four door, 4×4. So on with the next step of the plan – get ready for this…

fifth wheel

I still have a lot of research to do but this is in the works. Well…what the hell did I need that big ass truck for? The plan is in progress. Sleep is on the agenda so I can pick up the big ass truck…more later.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Something strange must be going on in my brain. I’m not racing in to sign the E/O list every night…well…er…ah…except on Thursdays. I’ve actually had a three-day weekend, every week for the last three weeks. Don’t think it ain’t heaven when my shift supervisor asks me if I want Friday off. I jump on the opportunity like a duck on a june bug.

But let me get right into the Tuesday night poker scene. The room was pretty damn well deserted. I started on 16B (any table with a ‘b’ behind it is a break table), headed down to Mangia (the help’s hall) and had a burger and actually sat with three other dealers…they joined my table, one at a time. I normally dine and sit alone. I’m not big on dealer noise and grief so I chose to sit alone. Yes…I’m having a wee bit of a problem with dealers right now. I don’t want to hear from most of them. They are annoying and they seem to enjoy hanging out in clusters and announcing their non-tip downs and player grievances…like things will change if they sit around and talk about it.

So, without further ado, let’s get right into Tuesday night poker. One of our dealers, mentioned before on these pages, Allegra, is unbelievable to deal to. She always plays $4-8 H. She’s always the live one. She always does everything she shouldn’t do as a player and being a dealer, one would think she would know better. It just ain’t so. She jumped to three different seats during my down and with a seat open and a player coming in, if the new player wants to post, the player wanting the seat change must move immediately. She appeared to be angry when I told her she has to move now instead of waiting a few hands. She must know the rule…she’s been at Bellagio since opening. She plays every hand. She checks out of turn. She folds out of turn. She tells other players what she has, with three or more way action. No matter how many times I’ve cautioned her, she still does all of the above.

She ends up in the 1s. I can see her cards – 10-4 off suit. She’s heads-up with the 2s. On the River, they both check. They show each other their cards. He lays 4-4 face up on the table. He knows he’s beat because she has a pair of 10′s with the cards on the board. But still…he shows his hand. She takes her 4 and puts it with his 4′s and turns her 10 face down. WTF????

I snort, “Allegra, come on!”

She innocently says, “He’s folding.”

I say, “He turned his hand face up on the table. If you want the pot, you have to turn yours face up on the table.”

“O-h-h-h-h…he said he was folding,” as she turns up the damn 10.

I hate – do you hear me – HATE to deal to her.

I never cut her any slack and always stop her when she tries to do something out of turn. Consequently, most of the time, she doesn’t like to play when I deal because I won’t let her get away with anything or I’m not her lucky dealer, or the stars aren’t aligned, or whatever the case may be.

Right at the end of my down, I asked for her blind, she indifferently acted like I had an eye in the middle of my forehead and couldn’t speak coherently as she snipped her finger back and forth across the felt and said, “Deal me out.”

I put a missed blind button in front of her, the 2s posted the BB, and then she realized a push was coming through – I wasn’t going to be dealing to her in another minute – so she said, “Deal me in,” and threw in her blind.

Kee-rist! I was happier than she was that I was getting pushed.

Then I was off to a $15-30 H game. Dorothy was in the 10s. I hadn’t dealt to her in a very long time…possibly two to three years. I was sorry to be dealing to her now. She has that ‘over 50′ red hair that looks like it would break and crumble into dust if you touch it. She’s not in good health and is a rather large woman. She’s also a perpetual whiner and it’s always the dealer that makes her win or lose.

The game was fairly active, Dorothy lost a few hands, nothing monumental, but she wasn’t happy. The 9s left and Dorothy made the statement that her legs were swollen, she would put her feet up on the chair and if someone came to take the seat, she’d move her feet. Well…ok!

She posted her BB and lost that hand. She then told me to deal her out. She had lost $400 with me dealing to her and she couldn’t afford to lose her money. I gave her a missed SB Button and continued to deal.

About 10 minutes later she hit my arm…damn I’m glad that red, brittle hair isn’t catching, I sure as hell don’t want it…and went on to tell me that she didn’t want me to take it personally that she was sitting out while I was dealing. She just knew that she couldn’t win with some dealers. And it went on and on and on.

The 6s was a little cutie and he was giving me eye contact now…it was almost ‘roll your eyes’ eye contact because you can’t believe someone can really say all that with a straight face. I wanted to fall off my chair laughing as I listened to her and watched him.

I finally said, “I remember you, Dorothy. I just haven’t seen you in a long time.”

A minute later and the 8s told Dorothy that he knew exactly what she was talking about. Sometimes he just took a walk because he knew he would lose with a dealer. D-A-M-N!!! I should be playing in a game with these people when I’m dealing…I’d be stacking their chips.

I got pushed. My next game was the Dealer Nightmare game…$40-80 Mixed. It’s like dealing a Dead Spread. The same group of players trying to beat each other’s bankroll.

Off to $10-20 NLH and then a $30-60 H game that was in complete chaos from the beginning of my down to the end. Seat changes, players leaving, no one coming in, requests for table transfers, short handed…ugh, double ugh, triple ugh. Jo was in the 5s. I had to laugh. She used to deal at the Gold Coast. I played in her games all the time. She used to deal to me, now I deal to her. Life has a way of turning everything around.

The straw that should have broke the camel’s back (but all it did was leave me laughing my ass off) was a $20-40 Stud game. The line-up? Gus – shoot the dealer but use a pistol instead of a shotgun so she’ll live through it – was in the 4s. None other than Creep Freak Hall of Famer, Marty C. in the 5s. These two were both in this post.

Gus wasn’t happy after about the fifth hand I dealt. He was muttering and mumbling in Greek or some language I didn’t understand…but it was directed at me.

The 1s was new to the game, I knew everyone else there. At one point when Marty and Gus were mumbling, I turned to the 1s and quietly said, “Welcome to the group.”

He laughed. How can anyone sit through that game, with that crew and not laugh? Drugs please. Lots of them and order out for more.

Close to the end of my down Gus was mumbling that he’d lost $400 with me dealing. Of course his chasing couldn’t have anything to do with it, it was all me. Then Marty and Gus went to war. Gus said he had K-K and didn’t call on the River. Marty said he had two pair as I pushed him the pot and he started stacking.

Gus was mutter mumbling, guttural kill sounds. I dealt the next hand and Gus was low. I announced, “Four of Diamonds.”

Gus became a silent lump for about 30 seconds. Marty prodded him, “Four of Diamonds. You’re low,” waving his hand at Gus.

Gus stood up, picked up his cards, and threw them at me. He missed.

I looked at Marty and said, “Stop making him mad.”

Gus went crazy, “Dealer, just do your job!”

Marty jumped on the bandwagon, pointing at me, “I can call the Floor Man on you!”

I looked at Marty and said, “Please do.”

Gus slammed off. Marty mumbled again that he could call the Floor Man on me. Again I told him to do it.

Kamell happened to walk up at the same time. Marty leaned over, like an old woman that needs to gossip and doesn’t want anyone to know she started the rumor, and spoke behind his hand to Kamell. After Marty finished, Kamell said, “She’s pretty sharp.”

And Mike – 6s said, “Men are the ones that go through PMS.”

Everyone, except Marty laughed. Mike went with the conversation, I agreed with him, the game went on.

Gus had left a cookie on the napkin on the table and about $60 in $5 chips. Mike took off with the fact that someone should steal the cookie just to really piss Gus off. Then it got even better. Mike said he’d take a bite out of it and put it back if no one would tell on him.

Marty chortled, “Linda will tell.”

Knock – Knock. Someone tapped on the glass. Marty was acting almost human. Most of us were laughing over how Gus would react if he came back to find a bite out of his cookie. Then the noise went to the fact that he got the cookie from Mangia…one of the dealers brought it to him.

Marty won a pot and threw me $1 and said, “Now get off my back,” and he was even acting like he was enjoying the whole show. I took the $1. I gave it to the Cashiers when I left for the night. He is never going to crawl out of the Creep Freak Hall of Fame.

Mike was ready to jump up and take a bite out of the cookie but Gus came back into the room. He brought more chips to the table. And Marty leaned over to whisper to Gus behind his hand again. I’m sure he was telling Gus that he’d ratted me out to Kamell. Reach around and pat yourself on the back, Marty.

I got pushed. I walked around behind Mike, leaned over for his ears only, and said, “What would have really been funny is if you had a spare cookie and had taken a bite out of it and then put it on a napkin over his cookie.”

I know most dealers don’t have as much fun as I do. It’s too bad. I don’t have a road map to tell them how to get there though.

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Monday, October 31, 2005

Crumball!! This year’s almost over already – where the hell did it go? Well…having said that, and nothing will change any of it; let’s get on to enjoying the hell out of what we have left of 2005.

The costumes were few and far between for Fright Night. Yes, the usual faces were in the poker room but they weren’t in costume. Marty C. was there and gave me a baleful eye as I walked past him just after I entered the room. I actually snickered as I passed him. He’s joined J.C. Pearson in the Creep Freak Hall of Fame. They are the only two poker players that are now life members of the Creep Freak Hall of Fame. But then it’s my Creep Freak Hall of Fame, I created it and I nominate, vote for, and appoint the members.

I started in a cheery little group of $4-8 H players. Wish that I could have stayed in that game all night, they were fun, gambling, and throwing $$ in my pocket which always makes for a good down.

$8-16 H and $4-8 H, these two games weren’t nearly as much fun as the first one but they weren’t painful.

The next game was $30-60 H. I recognized the guy in the 1s from last week. I asked, “Aren’t you the guy that used to own a casino…?”

He asked, “What?”

I went with it, “You know…you used to own a casino. Until you moved out of your apartment.”

He cracked up. “You thought that was funny?”

I said, “Damn right. I was laughing about it on my days off and as a matter of fact, I’m going to put it in my blog on the Internet and give you credit for it if you’ll give me your name.”

His name is Doug. He informed me I could call him Mr. X. Another player at the table said he looked a lot more like a ‘Doug’ than a ‘Mr. X.’. That was funny too. Well Doug works at Excalibur – poker dealer. Welcome to Bellagio, Doug.

I tried to screw up my line-up by taking a break out of that game. About four minutes later, some bell went off in my head and I raced in to check the break board. Straight to the next game, cruising in as fast as I could get there, I asked the dealer (he’s new), “Don’t you call out no push when the dumb dealer behind you doesn’t show up?”

He said something like he didn’t pay attention to the time; he just kept dealing. Well not only is he new, he’s young, and he looks like he’s never been happy in his life. What’s that all about? How can you not be happy in the poker room? Kee-rist! What are they making these kids of now a days?

This game was $10-20 NLH. Not a lot of action, very little noise, and I was there less than a full down because I screwed up! Slice of pie.

Then I really was on a break. I hit the restroom. As I walked in, a young woman stood right in the entrance with her foot up on the counter, bent over, trying to look at her butt in the mirror. She was definitely in costume and had three other young lovelies with her.

I started laughing as I queried, “Do you have something up your butt?”

Well…the way she was craning and looking in the mirror, I thought she might have lost something there. Apparently she thought she’d torn her fishnet stockings and was looking for the tear, somewhere in her crotch or buttock area. They were laughing, one of them was bending over looking at the fishnet stockings/butt/crotch.

Finally satisfied the stockings were intact; she stood up, looked at my nametag, and asked, “How do you like my balls, Linda? I made them myself.”

She carried two golden globes, each about 10 inches in diameter that had a gold handle that held them together.

Although I had no idea what they were supposed to be, I told her they were great. She said, “See if you can guess what I am supposed to be.”

She reached into one of the balls and pulled out a pinkish, red looking thing on a stick (yes…it resembled a penis). She had on black fishnet stockings, a blackish, short outfit, with something that looked like wings, and she’d already mentioned ‘balls’ so I said the first thing that came to my mind, “A walking Dick Head.”

“No-o-o-o. I’m the condom fairy,” and with that she reached into one of the balls and handed me a condom that had a paper pasted on the side, “Don’t be a ghoul, cover your tool”.

It was too funny. I asked her and her friends if they’d been through the poker room.


I asked them if they’d mind walking through. They were fine with it. I took The Condom Fairy and one other one up through the Upper Section with me and I asked the Condom Fairy to give a condom to Nate (he was working the brush). She did. Everyone was watching the chicks…the hell with the costumes.

I left the girls there and continued on my break by heading back to the restroom where the Hallo-weenies had sidetracked me. I left my gift from The Condom Fairy in the restroom…who knows, maybe there’s a guy disguised as a girl drifting through there later in the night.

See…how can you not have fun in the poker room?

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Tomorrow night is fright night – the day/night that all the ghosts and goblins come out to haunt everyone. I’m sure I will find a few of those in the poker room and they won’t even be wearing masks or face make-up or “trick or treating”. I’ll try not to act surprised to see them and I know they won’t yell “BOO” because they’ll be doing their usual.

Joe R. was playing in a $40-80 7 Stud game last week when I came in to start my shift. I walked up behind him, put my arm around his neck and shoulder, gave him a hug, and as he said, “Hi Linda. How are you?” I asked him if he was ready for Halloween.

For somewhere around the last 10 years, we’ve joked about the fact that he would be looking for me on Halloween. Sure it was a hot date thing…that really never was. Some day either Joe or me won’t make another Halloween. If it’s him, he will be another memory tucked away that will surface especially around Halloween. If it’s me, it really won’t matter now will it?

I love memories! Even if they’re sad, they are part of my life. I can’t seem to pick and choose which ones I want to keep because they flood through my head, at certain times, in an stoppable torrent.

Some of my favorite memories are centered on the Saturday Night Card Game at my house. Several of the people I’ve known for years – Gordon and Carole, we’ve been friends since the Montana Days. We worked in the poker industry together in Montana and have been friends for a zillion or so years. I met Vivienne when she came to Bellagio to play poker. I met Wayne when he found this site and came in to Bellagio and introduced himself. The rest of the crew pretty much developed from reading this site and wanting to learn to deal poker. Some of the wannabe dealers have gone on to other places and lost touch with us but the majority have remained to become good friends and still return to play cards and help more new people that want to learn to deal.

One of my favorites, and she’s not a dealer or a card player, Amy, is attached to Greg (no…not physically…they’re an ITEM) and that’s how she joined our group.


Amy recently had a birthday and like any good hostess should, I ordered a cake for her. It was a beauty – custard filling – marble cake with butter cream icing:


As the card party developed and we grazed on a variety of munchies, food, snacks, and Amy’s cake, I decided the cake needed to go back into the refrigerator. This is what the cake looked like a few seconds after I picked it up.

Upside Down

I know…I know! One would think I was drinking and couldn’t manage to pick up the cake and move it to the refrigerator. Truth is, the majority of the cake was on the back half of the base and the cardboard the cake was seated on neatly folded in half from the weight, and the cake slipped onto the floor on its top…as I did a SHRIEK kind of thing.

Amy and some of the crew ran in to see what the shrieking was all about. When Amy saw the cake, she grabbed a fork, got right down on her knees, and dug into the custard filling with, “Umnnhhh! This is my favorite part.”

We were laughing our asses off. I grabbed a spatula and started scraping up the sweet, gooey mess that used to be a birthday cake. Wayne grabbed my camera and snapped away.

Me scraping

I scraped the bottom off – which had now become the top – put it back on the cardboard and into the refrigerator. The top of it – which had now become the bottom – went into the garbage can. It felt like most of the icing ended up on my hands. The upside down cake, what was left of it anyway, stared back at me each time I opened the refrigerator door for the next five days until I finally pitched it into the garbage. Thinking back on it now, what we should have had was a ‘cake fight’. That would have really been the “coup d grace” for a birthday event.

Although we joke about the fact that we get together to graze and drink, we do play cards – splashed with all kinds of conversation – and the norm is to hang out for seven to eight hours before we give up until the following Saturday. Last week we played a half and half tournament – structured Holdem and Omaha 8 or Better. This week it was half and half – Deuce to 7 and Ace to 5 Triple Draw…hate those games. We finished the night off, after the tournaments, with our usual Big Deuce game. Next week…who knows?

But in the meantime…Fright Night – Halloween awaits!

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Kim AKA The Dragon Lady. She’s such a character. She acts like she’s mad all the time…and she’s dirt talked to Marty ($40-80 7 Card Stud) so she’s got to be on the top of the list…mine anyway. She goes from being shy and cute to mean and horrible in a zillionth of a second.

She was in my line-up. Recently she trashed me because I said ‘hello’ to her when I sat down. Hey…don’t you know that’s unlucky as hell???? What’s wrong with me that I wouldn’t know that? So…when I slid my tush into the Box, I never even looked at her. She was in the 4s, right across from me, and I still made sure I never gave her eye contact. I wanted to bust out laughing…

The game was short handed, Nick, one of the Greeks, that I had problems with about two months ago was playing. He didn’t last too long. We’ve gotten past the screamer stage where he was pissed because I wouldn’t let him buy short. He finally picked up his chips and left with the statement that he couldn’t beat anyone.

A graciously, wonderful black man was in the 6s. He had a great sense of humor and seemed to be in awe of Kim and her mouth. Kim moved to the 1s when it opened and the 6s took her spot in the 4s.

Kim kept expounding over the fact that she hadn’t won a hand in the last four dealers. OMG! In two hours? Kee-rist! I’ve gone for weeks and never won a fucking pot and I’m listening to her rant, double rant, jam it up rant, pack it down rant, and just nodding my head every time she looks at me after slamming out an emphatic statement on how bad she’s running.

She kept snipping her three cards in, one up, two down, because she’s too damn lazy or irritated to turn them down and push them in. She made a comment when she was low. I chuckled and said, “I love you.”

She croaked, “I love you out my ass,” as she leaned onto her left cheek and pointed to her tush with her right hand.

I roared. Bill – 3s said, “She doesn’t like anyone.”

I argued, “Of course she does. She loves me.”

She slammed and snorted through a few hands, once she raised her hand like she was going to slap me. I laughed. The 4s’s mouth fell open and he almost jerked back. I spoke to directly to him; “She doesn’t mean anything by it. She loves me.”

She won a few pots. Then she had two blues chips in front of her for her ante and told me to give her one. If she won, I’d get it back, if not…forget it!

I dug into my pocket and put out a chip to complete her ante. She never played the hand. A few minutes later she threw in a $5 chip and asked for change, gave me back the one I’d given her, waited a half a minute and threw me another one.

I was still laughing when I got pushed. I walked around behind the 4s and told him she was just a softy and that one time she had said she would fucking kill me and I told her she couldn’t kill a grandma. He started laughing.

Kim was eagle eyeing both of us and listening. She asked, “Grandma?”

I held up five fingers as I turned to my next game. See…she’s got a heart and it ain’t made of stone. You just have to know how to find the map into that heart.

Another part of the equation that’s funny, I used to play $3-6 H with her beau, Bill, at The Mirage – that was long before he hooked up with Kim. Bill plays $30-60 H now and he was an assistant prosecutor in L.A. Not sure what he does now. *Kim is in the People in Poker pages*


How many Elaine’s does it take to stop the whole room? Just one sort of throws a glitch into everything. She’s Asian, used to play $20-40 Omaha 8 or B with a Kill, now plays $30-60 H and the $40-80 Mixed games. And I’ve heard that she used to deal at the Palms. No news on if she works anywhere now. The only problem is that is she does work in the gaming industry, she should be cautioned because of her bad behavior in other casinos.

I was dealing a game with my back to the Cashier when my game and the whole room was interrupted with an incredible amount of screaming behind me. I turned around to see Elaine screaming at Menchie and Menchie slamming out of the Cashier’s Cage.

I went back to my game. The whole room had stopped for a few seconds. People in my game were buzzing about what had happened and why. The word around the room later was that Elaine apparently can’t stand to have old and new bills mixed so when she cashed out, she found five $100 bills in her otherwise ‘all new bills’. She threw them on the counter and wanted to change them for new. Done deal. Menchie, one of our long time cashiers changed them for her. Don’cha just know that Elaine happened to find another one and wanted to change it too. Can’t happen. The cashiers are only allowed to change $500 max in cash for cash.

Elaine was having a fit. Kamell spoke with her about the rule and explained Menchie’s position.

Instead of trading the bill off with another player, or walking to the main cage to swap it out, or just letting it go, she went back to Menchie with the bill and wanted to buy a $100 chip. Menchie sold it to her. Then she immediately wanted to cash it out. Menchie gave her back the same bill. Elaine went nutzzz screaming, “Do you want to fight me? Do you want to fight me?”

I heard that Menchie simply said, “Ok!” and headed out of the cage where she was promptly stopped and herded back towards the office by Skip.

Elaine had to leave the premises and could not return until she spoke with Doug. Naughty, naughty, Elaine, shame on you…someone that’s worked in a casino, especially in the poker room should know better.

And on the other side of it, my money’s on Menchie!

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Bruce Meierkord

Bruce Meierkord

I just received news from Suzie Lederer that Bruce passed away this morning, October 27, 2005.

Bruce was just in Aruba with us dealing the Ultimate Bet Event. Bruce opened the Mirage with a lot of us that are still in the industry. He moved up to Assistant Supervisor and eventually took the graveyard supervisor position – later moving to Bellagio to fill the same spot. He left Bellagio’s employment a few years back and maintained an active part in poker as a dealer at tournaments and possibly some floor positions that I’m not aware of because I lost touch.

My last memory of him was an animated, smiling Bruce, laughing at himself for getting ‘old and fat’. Damn it! Life is so harsh at times.

My wish for Bruce: May peace fill your spirit and your new journey carry you to places that we all dream about.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Table Tango, my couch, awaits my thoughts and self-expression for the day. This self-indulgent space is my therapy. Let me tell you how it all started. I dealt poker in Montana for some years before traveling to Vegas to deal my first big tournament in 1987. That tournament was the last tournament the Golden Nugget hosted – the Grand Prix. Shell shock!!!! Looking back on it now, I wonder how I ever had the will to return. It was brutal. I was almost sick to my stomach due to the attitude of the players and the house’s willingness to let it slide.

After the Grand Prix, I continued to work major tournaments in Nevada for two years – from 1987 to 1989. Poker was really slow in Montana and I knew if I was going to be in the poker business, I would have to make a move. I applied at The Mirage and opened the casino (along with over 5,000 other employees) in November of 1989. The Mirage took all the poker business in town. Caesar’s Palace closed their poker room six months after The Mirage opened. Every room in town downsized or closed.

Fright night had turned into 24/7 as far as I was concerned. I dealt to everyone that was ‘name brand’ during that time period. I used to leave the poker room at night swearing that I would have to quit my job. I dreamed of ways to make myself immune to the ugly glares, the card throwers, and the swearing freaks that were always the same troublemakers in the games and always managed to just get a gentle rebuff when they got horribly out of line. Even a lot of low limit players had the attitude that they were spending their money, they should be allowed to behave any way they wanted. I hated every second of it. I used to sit with other dealers and moan and groan and share horror stories about players and their attitudes towards dealers.

Then in 1996 I got my first computer. Back in the days when 32 mgs of ram and a 1.6 gig hard drive was the top of the line. I knew absolutely nothing about computers but I was determined to learn to build web sites. I locked up a domain name for my son’s tattoo shop and started messing around with a site. One of the dealers I worked with had just started a poker website. We spent a lot of time visiting and he asked me if I would write something for his site. I did. (In the meantime…along about 1999, I locked up the domain name ‘PokerWorks.Com’) Although he liked the articles and put them up on his site, he eventually felt they were too much trouble to update and told me I should just put them up on my site. I did.

Those articles were my first rebellious statements about what happens at the poker table on a daily basis – the truth about what people are really like when they are running bad and watching their money being pushed across the table to someone else. Eventually I kicked off ‘dear diary’ and then changed the name of my couch to Table Tango when I had someone else write for a short time.

These pages are here for me. I write for therapy. I write for my own enjoyment. I write so that I can go back and see where I was at another time in my life. I really never thought anyone would ever read of any of it or that I would meet so many great people because of all of it. But the bottom line is that this is here for me.

I really used to become quite angry when someone would say, “Stu Ungar was the greatest card player that ever lived.”

And I would want to snort, “Bull fucking shit! He was great when he won. But when he lost, it was the dealer’s fault.”

Guess I should say that I didn’t just want to snort…I did snort. And truthfully, I never had a good session with Stu Ungar. So if he was so damn great, why couldn’t he take a beat? I don’t think the world should view poker players as if they aren’t human and they all sit around like Ladies and Gentlemen and pass the time of day politely moving on to the next hand. It just ain’t so. And if poker players don’t want the world to know just how ugly they can get when they’re on a losing streak, they need to apply more make-up to their poker face, bite their tongue, control their hand motions, and just get on with the game because some of us are going to tell it like it is.

So it all started out as rebellion and turned into therapy. Now it’s a way of life. I can’t imagine not writing about my life and how poker interacts with it. My beautiful couch…Table Tango.

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October 26, 2005

Back in the trenches – two eight-hour shifts, back to back. The world must be coming to an end because I’ve decided to actually go to work and work.

Where to start…I’m in an exceptionally relaxed frame of mind and there are no grouchy spots or people piss offs going on from my side of the green felt but there are still happenings that are noteworthy so let me get started.

$4-8 H, a friendly little game – all male – until the 2s opened. A foxy little chick appeared, with a male sweater in tow. She posted and raised when the action came to her. The Button raised and everyone else jumped right in…big pot. The Flop was all ‘under cards’ one Spade.

The chip runner brought the Foxy Chicks rack of chips and she owed $24 to the pot. She seemed to know what a hand was but seemed out of sorts with what to do and when to do it. She had chips and when it was her turn to act, she said, “I bet $4,” but made no move to put any chips into action. Her Sweater told her to put out $4. Once she leaned back and looked at him, as if looking for advice, I cautioned, he didn’t say anything, and she acted on her hand.

Long and short of it, the Turn and River were Spades. The 2s and the Button got in three bets on the River. He showed Q-Q, she showed A-J S. She pulled in a huge pot. Her Sweater got several empty racks and declared they were going to the Buffet. Hello and goodbye.

The guys were all a little astounded that she won one pot and left. She acted like it was her first time at the table, if it was she just started a long journey with that one hand – I figure she’s hooked.

On to $2-5 NLH – one of those stupid, never should happen things did happen. The Shuffle Masters on a few of the tables are sunken a little too deep – just below the table surface – and it creates an obnoxious lip that’s hard to push chips and cards over. One hand, with three-way action and a raise pre-flop, I hit the lip with the deck in my hand as I was pulling in chips and discards. Of course the top half of the deck popped off of my hand and went into the muck. I honestly couldn’t tell if some of the deck went into/under the mucked cards and/or lit on top. I called for a decision.

Boba came over and after I explained the problem, he said I had plenty of cards intact on the deck so ‘just burn and turn’. He walked away in the middle of some grumbling from the 4s. No one else had a problem with it and the game went on.

$30-60 H and Lance was in the game. He’s like watching perpetual motion. He changed seats once. I kept chuckling over his antics and motions and finally said, “The Rodeo will be in town soon.” Somewhere back in the archives is a post about Lance during NFR.

He threw his hand up over his head and did the bull riding motion from the hand down to hips and said that he’d be bull riding at Mandalay Bay, “I’ll be riding Ol’ Blue out of chute number two.”

Guilty…I cracked up. Then he croaked out, “I’m lying here with Linda on my mind…” and seriously, he was croaking during some of it. Then he asked me if I’d ever heard that song. The 1s said he’d never heard it sang quite like that. *laughing*

Lance said he couldn’t sing it like Conway and then someone said Conway couldn’t sing it anymore because he was dead.

Lance never slowed down, he chatter boxed about how tight everyone was in the game, even the 1s that was a tourist must be the tightest player in his home town, and how did Lance always end up in these kind of games, and then he lost a pot.

Then he added a twist to the song, “Lying here with Linda on my mind…she always fricking kills me…” he croaked it out too.

I was rolling. I can’t help but smile when I see him and I can’t help but laugh when he comes undone. Love ya, Lance.

By now all kinds of camera equipment had rolled into the main entry of the poker room and ropes and security were everywhere. We had to enter and exit through the Sport’s Book entrance and walk around close to the entrance to Light and then cut back across the Casino to go to the Employee area. I inquired. They were shooting an ‘in house video’. The kind you see in your room about things to do while you’re at Bellagio.

I hit another game or two and then I was off to Table 1. All those times I missed it in the last few months…no escape hatch tonight. $2,000-4,000 Mixed. Chau – 1s, Eli E. – 2s, Abe – 3s, Young stranger – 4s, Ted F. – 5s, Todd B. – 6s, David B. – 7s, Ralph P. – 8s.

I announced, “Time Pot,” and dealt Omaha 8.

Todd and David split the pot. I asked them if they wanted to split the Time. I thought Todd said he’d pay it as he threw me a $100 chip. I changed it and took $80 for Time. He corrected me and said he was paying $40. I apologized and explained that I thought he said he’d take care of it. He went with it. I’m not sure what I created or did there but he paid all of it.

David seemed to be oblivious to everything as he and Eli were doing Proposition Bets. Even when the game went to 7 Card Stud, they picked out what the Flop would have been and who would have gotten what and sent big chips flying across the table to each other. Once when David threw a chip to Eli and it came so close to hitting me that I jumped back in my chair, Eli laughed and said to David, “Don’t hit Linda. If you’re going to hit her, hit her with a big chip. Right, Linda?”

I agreed. Of course we all know that is never going to happen.

Chau had Kleenex stuffed in his ears with long pieces of it hanging down by his neck. I asked him if it was because the music was too loud. He said it was because the 7s never shut up. *chuckling*

I tried to misread one hand between Eli and Abe in Omaha 8. They had a split but I thought Abe had a straight. Nope. No straight. Todd sang out, “This isn’t Montana, Linda.”

That was funny too. He played in Lakeside, Montana. Same game, just a much smaller limit.

I headed up to Table 4. $400-800 Mixed. Yen – 1s, Mike W. – 2s, Ali – 4s, Lee – 6s and walking, Eskimo – 8s.

Yen asked me if I was the Linda that helped Michael Craig with the information for his book. I just smiled.

They gamboled. Lots of chips flying…especially in the triple draw games. Once when Eskimo threw out $500 and reached back for $300 more to raise, Yen quietly said, “That’s a string.”

I pushed back the extra $400 to Eskimo and told him he couldn’t raise. He argued. I called the Floor. The decision was that he could not raise as he didn’t state it or put out half or more of the raise.

He called Yen every name in the book. “Little mother fucker. He always pulls that on me. I never say anything to him. Cocksucker…”

And on and on it went. Yen never said a word. He really could care less. Eskimo was slamming chips in the pot now and Yen had the best of it. I got pushed and a few minutes after I hit the next game, that one broke up. Ali and Yen came over to join the game I was dealing now.

Due to the ‘in house video’, they were closing all of the games in the upper section and moving them to another part of the room. When the Floor informed the players they would be moving the game, a player complained, “We’re stuck.”

The Floor, Jimmy, replied, “You can be stuck down there.”

My game broke due to players moving to another section. It was almost 3 a.m. Time for this girl to fly.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Damn pocket nines! Or is it damn the Card Fairy? Or maybe it’s both. I was cruising along in PokerStars Inaugural Blogger Championship – intermittently picking up 9-9 – raising it, going all-in against someone that had fewer chips than I did, and I lost with them, four – COUNT THEM – four damn times. The last hand sent me to the rail. I raised pre-flop…who the hell can remember how much and what the blinds were? $100-200 I think. I raised – around $600 (another I think), got raised for the same amount. Flop 10-8-6. Queen-queen, as I found out a moment later, bet and I raised all-in…somewhere around $3,???. Of course I got called, no help, out in 884th place.

C U PokerWorks. It’s ok though…I enjoyed the online experience and the opportunity that PokerStars gave to the Blogging Community of the world. One thousand-four hundred-seventy three of us were seated and slugging it out…may the best player win. Obviously I’m not stating ‘may the best blogger’ win because there are so many great blogs out there, it would be hard to judge…besides, this tournament is about playing poker, not writing.

Vivienne (friend, late night walking buddette, pan/card playing pal) made it to 586th place. Greg P is still in. (Another pan/card playing friend, hiking bud, new dealer at Bellagio). I’m watching his table and scanning all the chatters as fast as I can while I write. There are currently 263 players left – they are falling like locusts from the sky at harvest time. Blinds are $300-600 and antes are $50.

*real time intermission*

I didn’t see Sam Grizzle anywhere during Bellagio’s Festa al Lago. What the hell happened there? I just can’t imagine Sam not being in…watching the action…coercing someone for a buy-in…or playing. Somehow it just doesn’t seem right. Maybe someone will send me an email if he’s spotted. Consider this a ‘Sam Grizzle Watch’.

Daniel Negreanu was playing Bobby’s Room Thursday night. Now the question has to surface…what happened at Wynn? Not my question but the world’s question. Because for months, every since remodel in April, the word has been out around all the tables that Daniel had a contract with Wynn and could only play tournaments in other rooms, all of his live play had to be at Wynn. I don’t have any answers because I haven’t been that curious. He’s always a welcome addition to any game I deal. J

*end real time intermission*

Ouch! Greg just took a beat with – you guessed it – 9-9. Up against A-K. He still has over $7,000 in chips and he plays well…I’m rooting for him. GO GREG!

*real time intermission*

I dealt a $40-80 Mixed the other night. Eli B. was in the 7s and Freddie was sweating him. This Freddie used to be the ‘major’ food runner for the high limit players. It was such a great job, I even thought about quitting mine just to run food for them. They gave me a $100 tip more than once when I went to CPK at The Mirage for them. And more one time when I went to Smith & Wolinsky. Well…anyway…back to the original story. Eli has thrown cards into me more than once and we’ve had words at the table…of course we get along away from the table. Go figure!

Eli said that all the dealers were lazy now because of the shuffle masters and dealers didn’t know how to shuffle anymore…as he looked at me…even though he was supposedly talking to another player.

I lipped off – in good humor – and said something about dealing.. He, in turn, made some sarcastic comment about ‘old dealers know how to shuffle’.

Freddie started laughing and said, “Linda was dealing before poker was invented.”

I cracked up. And I had to agree with him. That’s how I feel sometimes – I was the beginning. *laughing*.

*end real time intermission*

There are 160 players left in the Blogger Tourney. Blinds are $400-800 – $50 ante. Greg has $11,178 in chips…time for a hand. Come on Card Fairy…shine on my friend.

*real time intermission*

I had to work six whole hours on Thursday night. Unbelievable…and I was second on the E/O list. The final table – Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship was going to be my next game when I got tapped out for the E/O. It was the final seven battling down to the final six. When they reached the final six, it would have stopped for the night and resumed the following day in Fontana with the WPT Crew filming away.

The dealer following me may have meant well and may have been having a great time but I seriously thought about setting the deck down, capping it with chips from the pot, and ‘pimp slapping’ him.

He was on a break. I was dealing $30-60 H. My next game would be the ‘final table’ on Table 40. He walked up behind me, hand on my chair, “Linda, don’t break anyone on the Final Table. That way I can deal it.”

I asked for ‘time’ and started to push my chair back. The Dealer was gone. WTF???? Does he know I was dealing a hand? And involved in running the game? Not to worry, he came back again, about a minute later, and chatted into my ear again, same topic…’don’t break anyone’…then walked off again.

This time I turned around and looked for him to see if he was there to ‘push’. Sam was in the 3s and he said the dealer must really like me because he had to keep coming up to talk to me.

*end real time intermission*

Blinds are now $600-1200 – $75 ante. Greg has $9,303 and hasn’t danced since he got moved to the new table. Just blinds and antes.

Now the Blinds are $1,000-2,000 – Antes $100. Greg and ‘easy-wind’ just held A-K all-in vs. StiffKing’s 3-3. StiffKing was short chips, side pot split left Greg with around $8,000. Man – he needs a rush.

*real time intermission*

The Dealer interrupted me twice in about two minutes just to tell me to not to break anyone on Table 40. He was finally – really – ready to push. When he tapped me out of the game, he repeated the repeat, “Don’t break anyone…”

I got the E/O. I don’t know if Erika broke anyone or if the Dealer got to deal Table 40. I hit the Time Clock.

Michael was in the room, playing $15-30 H. We had a ‘hug’ and a short visit. His newly beloved, Michelle, was at another casino and we have yet to meet. They just returned from a Hawaiian Honeymoon. *wishes and congrats*

*end real time intermission*

Crap! Greg just went BUST! His 8-8 vs. A-K bit the dust! He finished in 98th place. Great showing but no fun.

*real time intermission*

I was such a lucky girl. Pete asked me on Tuesday if I wanted Friday off. Hell YES! I’m on the three-day weekend. Yippeee!!! The weather’s great, life is good, and I have the answer…’if poker is only a game, why do we play so hard?’ but you need to figure it out for yourself.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

If poker’s only a game, why do we play so hard? That thought popped into my head yesterday and has been running around, racing through the hallways, careening off the sidewalls, dancing with the ganglia, and popping to the front of the other thoughts that are crowding around, waiting to be heard and experienced.

I have a complexity of thoughts about that and I can’t/don’t want to share them right now. I still need to allow them to ferment, scrape off the foam, saturate my soul in them, tuck them away in a darkened corridor to ferment some more, and then try to put them into a specific time slot where they are logically patterned and can be interpreted into rational thought.

WTF did I just say? Please catch up…Kee-rist I hate having to spell it out.

Before I hop into the Poker World, this is a little bit of my world.

Nevada Sunset

I’ve been strangely detached from everything that’s going on around me lately. It’s kind of like having a front row seat in a movie without the popcorn and sodas. I just drift along watching the scenes, catching the lines, and simplify it all into a little jumble of life that really has no consequences or bearing on what or where I will be in the next five years.

So! As my ongoing plan develops, I sold my trusty steed a few days ago…my sweet little Toyota Tacoma, Double Cab, dirt munching, 4×4.

This is on order and should be in within the next few weeks. Only picture it in Silver.


This machine is part of my plan. Stay tuned, more on that as the details develop.

Now – without further ado – I return to the action. PokerStars is hosting an Inaugural Blogger Championship NLH Tourney. Check here for the event and action…to date there are 1437 entrants. It’s going to be a toughie but I will be there, trying my best to finish…no explanation needed there.

Bellagio has just been crankin’. The games are slamming, Bobby’s Room has had two games every night, and all the ‘name brands’ are in action and milling through the room.

The players in lower limit games are in awe of the fact that all the ‘name brands’ are there and moving freely about the room. Like what are they supposed to do – teleport themselves from the casino or valet to Bobby’s Room?

It’s funny to watch the newbies ogle and gaggle over the ‘name brands’. And when they hear a list or name being called for a $100-200 or higher, they start jabbering, “Wow! Who could play that high?” – “Can you imagine playing that limit?”

I like that new, clean attitude – the nervous hand that releases chips, the giddy excitement over winning a pot, the chip clatter and table chatter that goes on when people are there to have fun and aren’t trying to mask their emotions and don’t mind explaining why they called a bet or played a hand. I like the seasoned player also. It takes a mix to make poker what it is, which returns me to the question. If poker is only a game, why do we play so hard????

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