The views expressed here are from an ex-poker dealer that could step back into the box at any point in time — or not! Sometimes funny, sometimes cold and cutting, sometimes just tossing out a little bit of wisdom I learned about myself while pitching tickets and playing poker for over 30 years, this is an ongoing walk-through of what it's like to sit in the poker dealer's chair – the box.
This is a continuation from The View from the Box – Disclosure agreements can kiss my…continued as I stepped into watching Andy Beal and his poker game develop and the contacts that I made while Beal played poker against the world’s best high limit players. So let’s continue with my next two blog posts wrapped around Beal vs. The Corporation.
3/09/01 - Some of the players that fill the high limit games at Bellagio are World Series of Poker winners and have won other major tournaments. They are in a class of their own and very few people can afford to play poker with them. They also play a lot of mixed games, as in H.O.R.S.E., H.O.S.E., etc. They pretty much play whatever a newcomer wants to play.
The story is that when one of 'Them' is playing the Stranger, (he's not so much of a stranger now). The rest of 'Them' are taking a piece of the 1 that's playing. The Stranger only wants to play 'heads up' and freeze out style is the way it is.
So far, the Stranger has faced 3 different players from 'Them' and has lost all of the plays...he also faced 1 of 'Them' twice so it's Stranger - 0, 'Them' - 4.
Interestingly enough the limit today was $30,000-$60,000. Since they played heads up all afternoon and into the evening, it would appear the buy-in is more than $1,000,000 because 10 big bets would be $600,000 and the game should have been over within a few hours if the buy-in remained the same.
A friend of mine that plays $30-60 7 Card Stud met me for a drink after work tonight. We reasoned through this whole scene and couldn't come up with a plausible reason/idea of why one player - no matter how much money they had - would meet 1 professional player every day and play for those limits in a casino. Calling the ranchers in Texas for a no limit game where you could win half the state would appeal more to me.
I'm still trying to figure it out.
3/12/01 - I have weekends off, so I missed the game play for the last 2 days. I did play $8-$16 today for quite a few hours. Heard that our Stranger had played another player heads up for $1,000-$2,000. Nope, don't think it's because our Stranger can't afford the game play, possibly the other person couldn't and isn't in with the 'them' group. Maybe it was just a day of relaxation. :-)
We have to give our Stranger a little credit here...he's the one that wanted to play heads-up only. Possibly he's aware of the fact that he can't beat all of them as a group but he might have a chance one on one.
As to his motivation for this limit and game? Perhaps money doesn't mean anything to him and he has so much of it that it can't hurt him to lose 5 or 6 MILLION a week - notice how I screamed million? And it's possible that he just wants to learn to play against the best.
How did Andy Beal even discover poker? That’s a question I can’t answer. I can tell you that he played blackjack now and then and was self-taught in numbers theory mathematics. Although when I started dealing to him and saw him in the Big Game with nose-bleed stakes boys and girls, I only knew that he played blackjack. You’ve all heard of Beal’s Conjecture, right? Right! If the answer is no, I have the link for you, visit here.
BEAL'S CONJECTURE: If Ax + By = Cz, where A, B, C, x, y and z are positive integers and x, y and z are all greater than 2, then A, B and C must have a common prime factor.
Has anyone solved the Beal Conjecture and earned the $1,000,000 prize offered? Not to my knowledge, but hey, I stay up late and sleep in in the mornings so it’s possible I haven’t heard the news.
This man isn’t a regular at anything, he’s a complex, thinking individual and the fact that he took poker seriously and only wanted to play heads-up with the best the game had to offer, makes it even more profound IMHO. He wanted to play extremely high limits because he wanted the best to have to put their best game on the line or go bust. That’s incentive for anyone to put their best effort to the ultimate test in my book. If you can’t stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen.
As soon as I decided that I would republish my blog posts on Andy Beal’s venture into poker, I started searching through all the places I had bits of information stored, old hard drives, and more. I’m putting pieces together now…my head hurts…I have emails from Michael Craig, the author of The Professor, The Banker, and The Suicide King, and emails from a few others that contacted me, and information trapped in my head that reading the old blog posts ticks a thought long forgotten.
The one thing I never believed, and do not believe to this day, is that Andy Beal was a fish. He came to learn the game, he played for higher stakes than the rest of the world, so what? When you first learned to play poker, you certainly didn’t book winning sessions all the time. If you play consistently today, you know how difficult it is to beat the game consistently, you just rebuy and take another hand when you’re on a bad run because you know it will turn around and your hourly play will eventually pay you exactly that…hourly pay.
I love the fact that he took on The Corporation. And yes, I was rooting for him every time he played.
Check back for another update soon.
I am soliciting dealers to join me in this great adventure of writing a history of poker from the dealer’s side of the table. A brief sketch of the details are listed in Table Tango, (my blog) in this post, if you would like to find out more information. I would love to share comments from readers but at this time there is no convenient system installed at PokerWorks to handle this. Send me an email – info(at)pokerworks.com — if you want to be one of the contributors to this section, and in the meantime, I’ll work at finding a way to enable a comment section.