Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Poker is just as crazy as ever. All the big names are in town and the room is rocking. Doyle hosted a party at Light on Tuesday night – don’t know what the event or occasion was but a lot of players were talking about it in different games. And Doyle was looking rather spiffy in his western hat as he sat outside the room on his motorized chair talking with a couple of ‘dollies’. Bobby’s Room has been w-a-a-a-y active. Of course I’ve managed to veer around it as I sign the E/O and slip quietly out of the room after a few hours. *big smile*

It has occurred to me that I’m missing out on a lot of great events, that I could be writing about, by doing the E/O thang…not to mention the $$$. What am I thinking??? Long story but it will eventually come out.

My first game tonight was one of final event tables. The final event of Festa Al Lago is the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship. BTW there were 420 entries, 213 left at the end of the day, and Chau Giang is the chip leader. GO CHAU!!!! I was in the main Poker Room and even though we have shuffle machines, the Fontana Tables don’t have them so we have to shuffle by hand. The players were on a 15 minute break when I sat down. When the Tournament resumed, the antes were $75, blinds $300-600, and the players I knew at the table were Thor Hanson – 1s, Dewey Tomko – 4s, and Rodeen Talebi was in the 10s.

An incident that shows how important it is for players to act in turn, happened in my down. The 1s was the SB, Thor the BB, Rodeen the Button. Everyone folded to Rodeen, the 1s threw his hand away even though I was doing, “TIME. TIME.”

Of course the 1s apologized but it opened the door for Rodeen. He raised – I believe it went to $2,000. Thor called. The Flop was 10-8-2. Who bet what, I can’t remember. Thor ended up all-in and Rodeen had him covered. Thor turned over 10-8 of Spades and Rodeen turned over 8-2 of Clubs. A blank on the Turn – a little deuce on the River.

After Thor left the table and Rodeen was stacking chips, Rodeen voiced what had happened. When the SB folded out of Turn and Rodeen raised, Thor thought Rodeen was stealing. And Rodeen said that he was stealing.

Sometimes you can get caught stealing and still win the pot but if the 1s had held his hand…

I made a super idiot mistake tonight. It was $300-600 Mixed, Table 4, a nice field of faces, and on the very first hand I dealt, Lance – 1s, and Carlos – 2s were heads-up in Deuce to 7 Triple Draw.

I must have been a million miles away or… Well anyway, I dropped the deck after the second draw. I just knew I had three burn cards out and they were finished. Yeah right! They never slowed down with bets and raises and Lance wanted one more card, Carlos rapped pat, and Linda was in shock.

Lance asked Carlos if he wanted to split the pot because of the error, Carlos said, “No.”

I called for a decision. The deck was intact on top of the muck, Kamell had me just burn and give Lance the top card. Lance paired. Carlos showed an eight.

I apologized – several times. I especially have to be thankful for the way Lance handled it. He’s easy on dealers and he let it slip away like smoke in the wind…at least it appeared that way. He doesn’t mutter and grumble and zing cards; he just plays the game.

Ali was in this game and a few minutes later, he said he was ‘playing behind’. I told him he couldn’t. It’s like a never-ending discrepancy in our high limit games. Some of us dealers know that it’s not allowed and some don’t. It’s hard to enforce when the dealer’s before me haven’t been doing it. I ended up getting a statement from Tim, Floor Person, to verify it for the Table’s sake.

Jimmy W. was in the 3s, he split a pot with Carlos in Omaha 8 or Better. The pot had $300 in it and all their bets were in front of them, they took those back, I put two $100 chips in front of Jimmy and one $100 chip in front of Carlos and asked Jimmy to give Carlos $50. Jimmy asked if there was $300 in the pot, as I was saying yes to Jimmy Carlos threw Jimmy $50.

I looked at Jimmy, more of a questioning look, because I didn’t see Carlos grab one of the $100 chips in front of Jimmy. Carlos said something to Jimmy and Jimmy said, “She’s looking at me like I stole something.”

I laughed…more of an abrupt exclamation than an actual laugh, and started to say ‘no’ but Jimmy finished it with the fact that Carlos had taken the $100.

It’s funny but it’s not. The reason I looked at Jimmy is that once I make a mistake in a game, I’m good for two or three more…Murphy’s Law.

It must have been a night for mistakes. David was pushing me but he went right on by me and pushed the next table. No biggie because we all do it sooner or later but it dawned on him about five minutes after he sat down…I was just getting ready to notify the Floor that I hadn’t been pushed. David and I just switched tables while Jason stood over Table 5 and waited for me to get there.

This puts David and me facing each other, about 10 to 12 feet apart. He was having a terrible time in the game I’d just left. He’s an excellent dealer but something went awry and he had to call the Floor for a decision too. Then Ali, David L., and another player switched seats and it created a disruption because of the Blinds. I was watching David’s frustration grow – his face told the story.

I…in the meantime…was chuckling my butt off. Dealing Chinese – $200 a point – to Tim Phan and Paul Phillips. They were more than entertaining as they traded chips, hand motions, and words.

Then I raced for the outside air…E/O time.

The skies been crying, it’s wonderfully chilly feeling, and wet…summer’s over.

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Don’t think the railbirds only hang out in casino poker rooms. They are everywhere. I got tagged by one in cyberspace a few days ago. He didn’t catch me through the chat function in a poker game I was in – he caught me through AIM. It was a cold call. I will admit I was slightly startled by the intrusion as he wasn’t on my buddy list and I had no idea what/who was in progress when he popped in. It went like this:

Session Start (lrgeenen:pokergod05): Thu Oct 13 16:24:44 2005
[16:24] pokergod05: hi
[16:25] lrgeenen: hi.
[16:25] lrgeenen: who?
[16:25] pokergod05: Hi, I am only 16, but have won almost 2k playing poker live w/ buddies…….So i’m looking around for a small time backer to stake me some cash over at pokerstars…….I was in fact staked once on stars 25$ and was able to get it up to 200$ however after i paid my backer 75$ I became VERY stupid as far as bankroll management and emotional management(both things that were strong factors in my success before losing it all).

Anyways, my mind is right again and I’m ready to play and win for whoever is willing to back me. I will payback 150% and will be able to send it back within 2-3 weeks(pending how much u send)
[16:27] lrgeenen: $0 – that’s what I would send.
[16:27] lrgeenen: But I wish you luck.
Session Close (pokergod05): Thu Oct 13 16:27:45 2005

Session Start (lrgeenen:pokergod05): Thu Oct 13 16:27:54 2005
[16:27] pokergod05: ok thank you.
Session Close (pokergod05): Thu Oct 13 16:28:06 2005

Session Start (lrgeenen:pokergod05): Thu Oct 13 16:28:14 2005
[16:28] pokergod05: I know you dont know me or anything, but mind if i ask why you wont give me a shot bro?
[16:28] lrgeenen: I work and deal in live poker. There are always people asking to be staked. If I want to put someone in a game, it’s myself.
[16:29] pokergod05: so u wont help me out and send like 5$ to start up playing online(it takes 2 seconds, “requests” then “transfer money”)
[16:30] lrgeenen: OMG! I can’t believe you can’t take no for an answer. But the answer still is “NO”.
[16:31] pokergod05: ok
[16:31] pokergod05: u know any1 who might be interested?
[16:31] lrgeenen: nope, not right off hand.
[16:32] pokergod05: ok
[16:32] pokergod05: well if u run into some1, can u im me?
[16:37] lrgeenen: sure
[16:37] pokergod05: thanks dawg

There you have it, my friends. If any of you want to contribute to a supposedly underage person that has already learned the fine art of begging, please jump.

But on to poker in the real world: While dealing a four handed (two walkers) $80-160 H, Must Move game, one of the strangest incidences I’ve ever experienced with Barry S. happened. Barry walked up to the table and asked what we were playing, question answered, he enthusiastically stated, “I want to play!”

He sat right down, took the blind, the brush person went for his chips, Roger E., on Barry’s right handed Barry a stack to play on until his chips arrived, the bet was raised, and Barry called. Barry and the 2s were heads-up. The Flop: 7-7-5. I honestly can’t remember what the action was on the Flop or the Turn that brought an 8.

A King popped off on the River, Barry bet, the 2s raised, Barry called, and Barry’s chips arrived at the same time.

The 2s turned up 5-5 with something like, “I can’t beat a bigger full house.”

Barry looked like someone let the air out of him. He shuffled his cards for half a second, jumped up and started putting his chips in a rack as he stated something to the effect that he wasn’t playing with assholes.

The 2s said, “If I said something wrong, I’m sorry.”

Barry kept stacking and continued to look at the table and the chips he was racking up.

The 2s asked, “Would you tell me what I did?”

Barry left.

The 2s specifically asked me if he’d done anything wrong. I told him, “No.”

Roger said, “Maybe it’s because I said, ‘Welcome to the game!’”

What just happened there? I’m still surprised by the whole thing. Barry’s been around the tables a long, long time. Maybe he just got knocked out of the tournament or something else was going on in his life before he joined the table.

One of the “walkers” returned and the game went on. Jim M. was playing on Table 4 and I overheard him say, “None of you noticed. I’ve been quiet for 63 minutes.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle. Usually the only time he’s quiet is when he’s got a bet with someone or he’s threatened by the floor that he has to be quiet or leave the game. He came by my game, stopped to chitty-chat with the players in general, “What are you playing here?” and a few other queries.

I said, “Hey Jim, I heard you were quiet for 63 minutes,” and I started laughing.

He waited until I pushed the pot, then leaned across the table – yes, he’s tall and lean – and did a mock smooch on my face…damn, his stubbly growth is scratchy, and then acted like he snatched some chips out of the pot I pushed. He held up his hand, claiming to have snagged two chips and no one even knew it. Funny guy!

My work week was over…E/O on Thursday and Friday after dealing a few hours each night, Saturday’s Pan Game – at my house – played poker so Dave could deal to us, and tomorrow will find me back at Bellagio. C U there!

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Slow rolling – and “I showed him my hand”

Get in gear you lazy turtle! Wait…I’m not in Aruba. But my catching up with what’s going on currently is kind of like ‘running on island time’.

Monday night – the 10th, found me back at Bellagio. Festa al Lago was in high gear and I even got to deal five downs of it in The Fontana. Of course I had to embarrass myself on two different counts when someone went all-in and I counted down their chips. I gave the wrong chip count. I have the worst time with that. Perhaps I’m a blonde in disguise, or still in Aruba, but whatever the case, I wish I could just get with it. I know what a stack of $500 and $1,000 and $10,000 are yet when they have stacks and stacks of all of them and I have to count them down, I lose it somewhere. Ahhh…maybe it’s because I try to E/O instead of working. If I worked, I’d become familiar with counting mixed chip stacks on a daily basis…right?

I got rerouted back into the main poker room about three hours into my shift. We have quad-zillion new dealers and none of them want to go home so along about 1 a.m., even though I didn’t sign the E/O, Jason came by and asked me if I wanted to go. I hesitated for one silly second and then said, “Yes.”

Tuesday night was a different story. I pulled the big eight hours. It was grueling; I was crawling at the end of that shift. Serves me right for not working all my shifts – it’s kind of like being in training, it you workout all the time, it’s less painful than an occasional grip and rip. I managed to hit all the black chip games and that’s kind of like fright night simply because there’s no money advantage in dealing them. It’s actually more like a money disadvantage. Something always seems to happen in them though that’s worth writing about.

Three handed, $300-600 Mixed, $400-800 on Razz only. The 1s was taking a beating on the Triple draw games and when the game went to Razz, he wasn’t faring any better. He was also high card most of the time and forced to bring it in. He was getting into the “Unbelievable” part of his poker game – the part where he was completely frustrated, irritated, and wanted to rip the deck apart and he kept saying, “Unbelievable.”

The only funny was when all three of the players received a Queen for their up cards and the 1s had the Queen of Hearts which forced him to open – the other two Queens were Clubs and Diamonds. The 1s was really losing it, “Unbelievable. That’s unbelievable,” as he looked at me.

I normally zip the lip here but I said, “You’re right. It is.”

Jimmy W. was in the 6s and as he folded, he showed the Queen of Spades as one of his down cards and said, “Now that’s unbelievable.”

Hell…I laughed. It was pretty unbelievable. Believe it or not, the 1s and 3s went to war, both with a Queen showing. The rest of the up cards came pretty much, ugly, ugly considering it was Razz. On 6th Street, the 3s gave up and the 1s finally managed to stop the bleeding…seepage was in effect.

I dealt to a lively little seven-handed group playing Mixed games. Marco was in the 6s, Max P. in the 7s. Omaha was in when I hit the table. A few hands later, the 1s and Marco were at showdown on the River. The 1s declared two pair and turned his hand up. Marco held his hand for almost a minute and laid down Aces and Nines to win the pot.

The conversation turned to slow rolling. Max was chuckling and his statement carried over well instead of having a negative effect. He said he hated to be in a hand with Marco on the River – even if Marco thought he was beat at showdown, after looking at his cards for some time, he always found a winner. And damned if it didn’t happen just like that…only throw in a twist.

Marco and Max ended up heads-up on the River. Max turned his hand up – the Board was Q-J-little-little-little – and Max had a pair of Jacks. Marco looked at his hand and looked at his hand and looked at his hand. Marco said something to Max that I couldn’t hear and pitched his hand into the muck. Max picked his hand up like he was moving it out of the way for me to push him the pot, then laid it back down. I started pushing the pot to Max.

Marco did an abrupt, “I had Queens…”

I said something like, “You threw your hand away,” but I stopped pushing.

Marco, “I showed him…” as he motioned to Max.

Me, “Honey, you have to show me. I’m the one that pushes the pot.”

Marco gave up, “Ok. Give it to him then.”

I looked at Max. I knew from the way he looked at the table – without saying anything – that he did see Marco’s hand and he knew he was beat. I also knew that Max wasn’t going to take a cheap shot on Marco and claim the pot. No one said a word. So I took it upon myself to make the decision to push the pot to Marco, with the statement that he needed to turn his cards up on the table or I could be in jeopardy with security and the cameras.

A few hands later, Tom – 8s, misread his hand and discovered that he had the best hand at showdown…after the other player had already shown his hand and was ready to stack the chips. Hey…guess it was just ‘slow roll city’ and they were all OK with it. No one seemed to get ruffled or antsy. Phew!

BTW – Bobby’s Room has another table in it…from two to three. Two of the tables have been running this week. I have managed to miss that room every night…no, not as in *boo hoo* I missed it. As in *yippee* I missed it.

Now it’s time for coffee and a return trip to the tables at “B” tonight at 7 p.m. Yup…it’s my morning for a change. Instead of looking for Sand Woman Land, I’m trying to get the sand out of my eyes. See you there!

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Aruba/Ultimate Bet 2005 – Page 12

*post continued*

The Tunnel of Love – that’s got to be the sickest joke I’ve ever heard. We parked, walked under the canopy that housed an energetic, talkative bundle of male flesh, and we knew we were going to need flashlights because they were lined up on a makeshift counter. We visited with the host for a few minutes and he established that we were from Vegas and dealing poker and blah, blah, blah. He was fun. Continue reading

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Aruba/Ultimate Bet 2005 – Page 11

*post continued*

After we left Leroy and his charges, we went back to the Ayo Rock Formation. We trekked through some of the boulders and concrete steps that went under B-I-G boulders, and since I haven’t mentioned this until now, I was in search of hugeousis, overly large, iguana. Last year, when I left my hotel room without a camera, I saw one eating the flowers at the Wyndham. This iguana made all the other ones look like minnows compared to a whale. It wasn’t overly long, just thicker in the middle and had spines down it’s back that were the size of my little finger. Although I’ve looked everywhere, I’ve never found one that was that big…I want a picture. DAMN IT! Continue reading

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Aruba/Ultimate Bet 2005 – Page 10

Well how could it end with two turtles left stranded on an island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea? The tale has to be told and it’s more of a pictograph than a tale but consider this the wrap on the Aruba/Ultimate Trip Report…unless I run out of steam before I reach the end, then it will be *post-poned*. Continue reading

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playing the game

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 4655211

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Aruba/Ultimate Bet 2005 – Page 9

For some reason – known only to the Bad Mattress Fairy, or the Universal Hotel Gremlins, or possibly inner demons that fail to allow one to sleep, I managed to wake, drift off for a few moments of sleep – only to wake up again, over and over. It was brutal. I went to bed around midnight, just to make sure I was rested for TV Dealing Day and I couldn’t sleep. But then it’s been that way since I hit the island. And no…it wasn’t nervousness. I’ve never felt a twinge, shake, or quiver about being on TV. I just don’t sleep well away from home. Continue reading

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Aruba/Ultimate Bet 2005 – Page 8

So…Friday – the 30th – for all intents and purposes, I was done with dealing…except for the final table. I crawled out of a drunken blitz somewhere around 11 a.m. And while it may appear from the posts that I’ve been ‘drink, drank, drunk’ throughout this trip, that’s not even close to the truth of it. I had too much to drink one other day but this was the first time that I was drunk. The norm is one to three brews a day. I managed to doze off intermittently until the phone rang at 2 p.m. It was Suzie telling me to meet her in the poker area of the Radisson so she could walk the Final Table Dealers over to the Azzurro for our practice session at 3 p.m. I made it on time but we had to wait for another dealer to arrive. There were five of us. Unusual to me because when I dealt the final table two years ago, there were three of us…but what do I know about it?

When we got to the Azzurro, we were told they would be using two women and two men – we were at three women and two men. Suzie left us, she had work to do back at the Radisson. I spoke with Linda Johnson, away from the others dealers, and asked her if she thought I should opt out because I’d dealt it before, or if I should just wait and see what happened. She told me to wait.

All of us took a seat with Linda, at THE table, as the crew worked around us setting up lights, microphones and a few million other things that it takes to make the production work. It was hot as hell.

There were numerous changes to the table since my debut as a ‘TV dealer’ two years ago. For one thing the rail is about three inches higher, awkward even with the dealer cut out in the rail that puts our hands and arms at table height – the rail made it difficult to deal to some spots at the table. Then to make it worse there are two domes in the middle of the table, on each side of where we would put the flop. The domes house cameras and look like ‘security camera globes’ that sit on the ceiling in casinos. We could not touch the globes because our fingerprints would have to be cleaned off of them before play continued. They were definitely a card pitching hazard.

WPT Dome Cameras

Then we were introduced to the ‘wonder cam’. It is in the rail, on the right hand side of the dealer. If the hand went to a Flop, no call on the Flop or Turn, we were supposed to push the pot, then burn, bring the Turn off face down, burn, and bring the River off face down. And then show the Turn and River to the wonder cam, not allowing anyone else to see it, and not to look at it ourselves.

WPT Wonder Cam

Each of us took a turn at dealing – practicing the expected procedures – while the rest of us and Linda Johnson played. Linda talked us through everything. The only time we were to speed up was during the shuffle and the deal, the rest of it is ‘slow-mo’ for camera and effect. If a player accidentally exposed or purposely showed one/both cards, the cards were turned face up and left lay on the table so they could be camera documented, etc., etc., etc. We were being schooled in ‘the drama of dealing’.

At the end of the session, I asked Nikki and Janie if we should high card for who would be dealing on Saturday. Barry was in the box and I asked him to shuffle and deal us off a card. Nikki objected and wanted to draw her own. Ok…the deck was spread, she pulled a four, Janie drew a trey, and I drew the Ace of Spades. Holy Chit, Mon! I usually find the Deuce of Clubs anytime I draw for seat choice…or when they are high carding for the chip race.

Linda told Janie that if she wanted to come the following day, it would be fine. She went on to say that sometimes things happen and a dealer can’t make it – and one time a director even took a dealer out of the line-up during a final table taping. I know Janie was disappointed but by now I knew I really wanted to deal the final table and I wasn’t going to just disappear.

My clothes were drenched, I probably looked like I’d jumped into the sea with them on…and that’s pretty much how I spent the following day too – drenched. But I headed back to the room and managed to find Jim. We hit Gilligans for food (somewhere in this few day time span, Wayne deserted us for casino action – some of the machines kept calling his name). Shortly after we were seated, Sipu, one of the Turtle team, joined us for food. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to fade the live action at the Radisson that night and we talked about what had been going on with the dealers that had been scheduled for live action at the Radisson since arrival.

*background*

Even Suzie had talked of how difficult it was to work around the Casino management that was in charge of the actual workings of the poker room. It wasn’t Dane and Mace, the brothers that owned part of the room, it was casino management. When our dealers would show up to be put in the line-up, most of the time, they would tell the dealers to check back in a few hours. At times this went on throughout the night, some of our dealers even coming back in at 3 a.m. – just to sit and wait or told to come back in a few hours…repeat, repeat, repeat. The regular room dealers also did not want to deal anything higher than $4-8…unless they knew the players in a game were tipping well.

And yes…I, and most of our dealers, understand the fact that these people are here all year long and they need income. That wasn’t our problem though in working with them. Our problem was that we were not getting paid to be in the poker room, we could put out a lot more hands per hour, and we were skilled in running a game and knowing who/what won the pot, and we were a long ways from home with most of our group (don’t include me in that) hoping to put in some time in the box and make some money too. We were getting the short end of the stick by them expecting us to deal all the Ace to Five/Deuce to Seven triple draw games (no money in those babies) and they wanted all the gravy games and we were supposed to hurry up and wait for them to decide to let us deal. It was leaning towards mutiny. One of the best parts of the whole dealer side of it is that Suzie is always aware and really stands up for us…she’s like a mama bear that has her cubs threatened. And if you ain’t ever seen or heard tales of mama bears with cubs, you have no idea how scary it can be. Way good news for us though.

*end background*

But back to Gilligans. We finished our food and it was shower time at home away from home. I went back to the Radisson with Jim when he was ready to report for work…Wayne would meet us there. I drifted in and out of the main tournament area and the satellite area…the showdown for the final six was in progress.

Jim and me visited the poker room at the Radisson, standing around on the rail, him trying to decided if he even wanted to show for the 8:15 reporting time, and a few other Turtles appeared and joined in the conversation. One of our Turtles had been hanging around since before we showed up and they put her in a game. We stood on the rail for close to half an hour, Wayne arrived, more discussion of, “Should we check in to work…” – “I’m not coming back if they tell me to come back in a few hours…” – and on and on it went. But they knew they couldn’t get fired so what was the worst that could happen? They might not be asked back next year and most dealers like this gig.

I left them in their quandary and headed for the room. I had the blues…I missed my baby and his baby. And I was ready to just dissolve into solitude…like get the hell away from everyone and just do a ‘Linda thang’ – escape from the real world. I also needed to work on posting here and wanted to find some decent sleep before I jumped into the final table action on Saturday. I managed to find Sand Woman Land somewhere around midnight.

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Aruba/Ultimate Bet 2005 – Page 7

Yesterday evening, after dealing the second day of dayshift, we went once again to the Sunset Grill. This was my second opportunity to order food and have the waiter/waitress disappear with me thinking I was going to get it…and one of my meal mates got some of what I wanted but they were out of what I ordered. Kind of like a repeat of the English Muffin thing at breakfast yesterday.

I ordered the shrimp cocktail, having had it on my first trip to the Sunset Grill…wonderful. A few minutes later the waiter appeared to tell me they were out of shrimp, did I want something else? Ugh!!! But don’t worry, Wayne got stuffed shrimp for his meal. It looked exactly like the shrimp on the shrimp cocktail only with some kind of stuffing. Now the Kids Across the Hall were really chuckling at me because I was on a ‘bad food run’…everything I wanted, they were out of. It was also the worst service and overall food experience we had in Aruba.

But on to Thursday, the 29th, the Kids Across the Hall called my room, woke me up around 11:30ish a.m. We were going in to work Swing Shift in the tournament area that night and they were up and about and wanted to go use our food coupon before work. I was dragging ass tired but couldn’t go back to sleep because 10 floors below me – poolside – the aerobics instructor was screaming out commands and the bass/beat of the music was pounding through my skull – so food time.

We went to Gilligans for lunch. Another food ordeal. I ordered the Tuna Melt, supposedly with avocado and other things. I got it. But there was no avocado and other things. I questioned the waitress, she questioned the cook, and came back to tell me they were out of avocado. More chuckles and jeers from the Kids Across the Hall. These boys do have a mean streak in them.

We finished our food and headed back to the hotel. Jim wanted to walk down the beach, the sun was out, it was hot…and yes…I did mention the fact that I don’t do sunshine. Wayne ragged at me, “Come on, Linda. Don’t you want to walk barefoot in the sand?”

He followed it with something like, “Live a little.”

PH-F-F-F-T! Where the hell is he coming from? Few people could keep up with me on jamming life into every minute of consciousness. And just in case any of you were roaming the Radisson Foyer a couple of times…I was the one blowing the bubbles that hung in the air. *fun*

So…I took off my shoes and we wondered out to where the sea meets the sand…and it was hot…and the sun was glaring down on my little vampiress body…and they talked about swimming…and we arrived home…and I handed my camera and bag to Jim and said, “If you drop this, I’ll kill you!” and I waded out into the sea until I was at float level. Float level? I cannot sink. It’s a true story. Even as a skinny little child, I couldn’t sink.

So here I am, about 20 yards from the shore, my feet above the water, my hat never got wet – floating – and the Kids Across the Hall stood on the shore while I ‘lived a little’.

L.R. floating in Aruba

Back to our rooms with the thought that we would all nap and then get ready for the evening shift of tournament dealing. I couldn’t sleep. Damn it! I was running on dead tired.

We went to work. We were all dealing in the satellite area. The main tournament was breaking down rapidly – it was down to four tables and the players were going on dinner break. We got our table assignments, it was a $1,000 buy in tournament. We had a few minutes before the players would be filtering in to take their seats and I talked to Jon and Suzie about getting an E/O. But then what else is new?

I knew I was going to be dealing the final table – of the main event on Saturday – and I also asked Suzie if I could be excused from the Friday night ‘Turtle Line-up’. The Turtles were scheduled to deal live/late at the Radisson Poker Room. She gave me the Ok…woo hoo!

I signed in at my first table, a few players came in and joined my table, but I got pushed before the tournament actually started. I was on a break. I milled around, went to the main tournament area and took a few more pictures. One of the dealers there asked me what I did. “Do you just take pictures?”

*Chuckling* “No. I deal poker.” I’m sure he found it hard to believe.

I dealt one table of the $1,000 tournament. It’s so relaxed and everyone’s so easy going. The guy in the 1s’s wife brought him a gourmet coffee from Coffee and Cream upstairs in the foyer. He didn’t want it but asked me if I did. I jumped on it…the aroma had already pulled me into the magical lure of great coffee.

He set it on the table, between him and me, with the cover intact. I know it’s hardly kosher but in that moment and time, no one seems to care – so during a ‘wait a year for a player to decide to call’, I took a few sips.

A few minutes later, we lost two players. Jon (tourney director) told me to wait while he brought in a player. I set the deck down and sipped coffee.

The woman in the 4s had been talking to the 6s and didn’t realize we were waiting. She suddenly looked up, “What are we waiting for?”

The 1s piped up, “For her to drink her coffee.”

I jumped right in, “Yeah. I’m drinking my coffee.”

I know she’s a player, I’ve seen her beau before, and I was surprised when she said, “Oh…I just wondered…”

I explained we were waiting for a player. The whole thing was funny. We got our player, I finished the down, Suzie told me I was OUT of the line-up and she would have the Kids Across the Hall out in a half hour. Yoo-hoo! I visited the Radisson Poker room and milled through the main tournament area while I waited for them.

We headed for home and the water. We changed to our swim togs, got a bag of brews and ice – Jim did a pepsi-vodka thing or something like that – and we headed for the sea. It was dark, warm, wonderful. We floated and gabbed and drank until we ran out of libation. Jim went up to the rooms for more, Wayne and I held hands (to keep from drifting apart) and just floated – under the stars – in the Caribbean Sea, a million miles from the rest of the world, the pull of gravity, and any stress or strife. Then we swam out to a small pier/dock and as soon as we saw Jim hit the beach with the booze, we were back in the water.

We turned into people sized, wrinkly bags of flesh, somewhere around two hours or so in the sea, then it was off to the pool. I was close to ‘pig’ drunk.

While we were kicking around in the pool, I managed to get off on a ‘love’ run. It was all about telling people you love them before they are gone from your life and you never have the chance. It’s something that is paramount in my thoughts at times – because I’ve lost five family members and a husband – and I feel that letting important people in your life know you care should be a priority. Not to worry, I turned into a ‘tear ball’ for a few moments. Kee-rist! So I’m an emotion slut…there are worse things in life.

Then it was time to pass out…yup…that’s what I did. After I checked email and played a game or nine of ‘Cubis’…I was out for the count.

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