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Poker News | World Poker News

Helping Hand - Dennis Klenezar

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Many of you may not remember the opening of the Mirage in 1989.  I do.  I was a poker dealer, fresh out of dealing big poker tournaments in Las Vegas, Reno, and Tahoe the last two years - from 1987 to 1989 - and a long time dealer in Montana prior to that.  The Mirage was a rude awakening and extremely hard on my belief in how mankind should treat others.  We opened with 28 tables and not long after went to 31 as we crushed the poker rooms with our game choices, limits, and staff.  We rocked 24/7, literally, and on Christmas Eve 1989, we still had around 26 poker tables running and over half of swing shift was working overtime at 5 a.m.

I opted for swing shift.  As luck would have it, Donna Harris was the swing shift manager and her assistant manager that set the line-up for the dealers each night - and took care of a million more tasks - was Dennis Klenczar.  Yes, the title of this has his named spelled incorrectly on purpose, it's to help people find what they're looking for when they register to play in a tournament on Full Tilt Poker that is designed to give Dennis a helping hand.

Back to Dennis and the years I spent working with him. Dennis was always a mainstay, a rock, a solid person that understood exactly how difficult it was to deal some of those games because he had spent many hours in the same seat I did.  Dennis was fair but he also understood what had to be done to make the room work.  There may have been a few instances where he wrinkled the fabric of a high limit player's anger, or he may have stepped out of bounds a few times when he understood that some of our dealers were chronically ill and simply could not make it through a shift by not writing them up, he may have even been written up for being human and not performing like a robot, or he may have a sterling career record where everything went perfect from the day we opened in 1989 to present day. I write this realizing that we all are human and shit happens.

I left the Mirage in 1998 to open Bellagio.  Dennis stayed at The Mirage and I believe at that time became the swing shift manager.  I rarely made it back to the Mirage after Bellagio opened.  I played at The Mirage a few times and saw Dennis but it has now been years since I went in to take a seat. Upon occasion I saw Dennis by accident, running into him at Penneys up by Summerlin one afternoon a few years ago, and exchanging an email not long after.

Recently news came that Dennis has cancer, I have no news of his progress or condition as I write this but I do know that Full Tilt Poker has set up a tournament to help Dennis and I'm registered.  You can, and should register too.  Poker players are always giving back to the world when help is needed.  

The Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem tournament is listed under 'Helping Hand - Dennis Klenezar' with a $5+$5 buy-in, kicking off on April 10th at 17:00 ET, allowing late registration through level one.  Open the Full Tilt Poker Lobby, under 'Browse' > 'Tournament' - 'Private' - 'Hold'em' - 'No Limit' scroll to Apr 10 14:00 (highlighted in purple) or search for Tournament ID 228995441. The password is 'OPEN.'

Please make it a priority, even if you can't make it, register now!

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