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Poker News | The View from the Box

The View from the Box – Continuing with Beal and more

The View from the Box
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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.

I went back to check blog posts during the time that I had blogged about Andy Beal and The Corporation. If you read the last few articles at The View from the Box, you know the Andy Beal blog posts have been hidden away for a number of years. I did blog about other topics and one of them was a gent that wanted everyone to call him Papa Smurf, the need to be called Papa Smurf came down after I’d been dealing to him for about a year-and-a-half. As Papa Smurf settled into his role as a dealer stalker (females only), he worked very hard at becoming more and more familiar with all the female dealers. At times it was uncomfortable because he acted as if you were intimately involved with him away from the poker room.

The last time I dealt to him he wanted me to call him ‘Daddy’ and even though he was obnoxiously irritating at times, I got to a point to where I couldn’t help but laugh every time I dealt to him – even when he was playing $30-60 Hold’em. That last post can be found here, “Call me daddy,” and it was for reals the last time I ever dealt to him. He committed suicide a few weeks later.

That is so ugly.

I was in shock when I heard the news. I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on with him and the façade he put up each time he came into the poker room. I did hear later that he had some people investing in him in some type of cellular service and he was blowing off the money on other things, and that might be the reason he chose to take his own life.

Poker is a strange social circle, it brings you elbow to elbow with people you would never meet otherwise and somehow sets them inside a piece of your thoughts and long after the game is over, you still run across a formless shadow in the twilight that keeps a memory alive.

There is always something shaking in all poker rooms that’s worthy of being broadcast to the world IMHO. I have never managed to deal or play through a shift that didn’t find something in a piece of conversation, the actions of a player or house employee, or the way a hand came down, that wasn’t worth mentioning. And if you frequent a poker room, you know it’s the greatest show on earth. Just set back, tune in, and watch if you can’t get involved in the action. But if you can get involved in the action, it’s even better.

I suppose that’s one of the reasons I found the game with Andy Beal and The Corporation so fascinating…I was involved in the action. I got to visit with Andy, I became friends with Andy’s sweater, Craig Singer, and I got to listen to all the noise that ran around the card room from players and observers that couldn’t believe the game limit was real – or that Andy would take on the pros. On that note, the following are three more of the blog posts from 2001.

3/13/01 - The bottom line as of last night, Stranger lost $6,000,000. Apparently he can afford to do that but who wants to? He did beat a few players playing heads up but not in the 'big buy-in' game.

Word is that he's embarrassed by not being able to win one of the freeze-outs. In the event that he ever stumbles across this humble website this is the big flaw in his play right now...he never stopped calling once he started a hand. Even if he had absolutely no draw or no win, he still called.

Also...perhaps he didn't realize that the people he chose to play against, do this every day. Poker is like any sporting event, you have to be in shape for it to be good at it...the more you play/practice the better your overall performance.

He's gone...will he return? Time will tell.

3/27/01 - Dealt a $200-400 Omaha 8 or Better game and the topic of discussion was 'the stranger' who played heads-up, $1,000,000 buy-in holdem. The report was that he's expected back. No sign yet.

Also discussed was how aggressively he played at first and how he turned into a 'calling station' because he was mentally beat after losing each heads-up play.

One point of interest was that for his style of play, (one of the players that played against him was in this game), the consensus was that he should have played no limit vs. the limit game.

Time will tell...if he returns...if he plays heads up...if he plays no limit.

4/06/01 - He's back. The rumor a few days ago was that he would be in...he would play $1,000-$2,000 but soon he would figure out that he could never get even at that limit so he'd have to play higher.
When I entered the room tonight he was in a game with 7 other players - 8 including him - the limit was $2,000-$4,000 and heard later in the night that it went to $3,000-$6,000. It broke up around midnight. the way, there was a waiting list for that game. More tomorrow.

Check back for more in this continuing thread.

Find more of The View from the Box here.

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) — 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.

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