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.
Some of the craziest things in life happen at the poker table – or is the poker table the true meaning of life and everything that happens in the world a reflection of an instance of poker? I wonder at times how all of those moments have added up — am I into the true meaning of life by now or am I in the red because I’m still in the instance of poker? Don’t confuse me, please.
I wish I could hypnotize myself back to the early days of my blogging and refresh the scenes again just to experience the run of insanity that I felt at times when I got off shift. That insanity surge definitely knocks the cobwebs out of your head and fine tunes your senses…I need that in this day and age.
The last few years I spent at the Mirage had me going home from work every early a.m. (shift ended at 3:00) and either going out for a run or heading for a workout club or sometimes working out at home. I even shadow boxed one particular player into unconsciousness three to four times a week to the beat of some really energetic music in my front room. Of course I kicked him too and cursed at him because he was such a loon in the poker room.
See…here’s the deal, when someone, or something, is so intensely embedded in your daily life that you feel like a black cloud is ever present on the horizon, that’s a very, very bad thing. The only way I knew how to deal with it was to try to vent all of my frustration and anger in a massive exercise push. It sorta-kinda worked. I finally got all the raw nerves exposed and then found a way to put a patch on them and when the nightmare was about to start again, I threw in some mental resolve, tempered with “I’m gonna kick your ass tonight in shadow boxing,” and I managed to slide right on through the night without turning the table over or throwing the deck of cards into the wall.
Which, BTW, I did do that one night while dealing high limit at the Mirage. One of the players told me to throw the cards off the table and get a new deck. I simply picked up the whole deck at the end of the hand and pitched it behind my head into the wall, without even looking behind me, and brought out the other deck. It was a big hit! Sure I picked them all up when I got pushed with the help of the chip runner that went ape-shit when they saw cards all over the floor. The cards didn’t go far, we were only about three feet from the wall.
Time to leave all of that mentally bruising stuff for another day and head into Andy Beal VS The Corporation from my view.
Note that a lapse in the posting dates is due to Beal’s absence from the game or my ability to play hooky from work.
May 12, 03. Andy played Todd and Howard. He lost. From what I heard, he's going home. He may play again today but I believe he's done for now.
Some of the people in the room come out with, "Well, he can afford it!" and other stupid statements. What would make anyone think that he came to donate? How many times can you lose before it affects your income? It has to affect him no matter how much money he has, the play of the game, his skill, their skill, the game...all of it has an effect.
I believe Andy is learning. And I believe he will come back again and he'll be better armed each time he returns.
September 24, 03. He's back. I knew he would be. He can't walk away from it now. He has to find out why it torments his thoughts, why he hasn't beaten the game, why it's an intangible puzzle that keeps spinning through his mind...
Andy's in the room and in the game. I made it a point to go directly to his table, #3, and say "Hi," when I came in for work tonight. He was playing Chip R. and I really like Chip's table presence and attitude also, so I said hello to both of them. Andy was courteous, as always, he stood up when I walked up to the table and visited with me for a moment. I appreciate Chip here also because he didn't act like I was invading territory that I shouldn't be in.
I left them to find out where I was going in the line-up and after checking my start for the night, they were just a few hours ahead...if they played that long.
My first game was $1-$5 7 Card Stud...hard to believe that in a few hours I'd be dealing $20,000-$40,000 Holdem, right?
The game on Table 1 was $20-$20 Pot Limit Holdem. These boys had left the art of poker far behind and drifted into the art of conversation. I laughed during the down because of quirky comments that were made but the game was not what I'd term a rammer or a jammer. It needed a fuel injection and that just was not going to happen. I got pushed.
The game on Table 2 was $800-$1,600 Mixed. David G. - 1s, Gus H. - 2s. Chau G. - 3s, Ralph P. - 4s, Jennifer - 5s, Daniel N. - 6s, Shaun S. - 7s, Doyle B. - 8s. When I sat down, the conversation rampaged around cookies...yes, cookies. David and Doyle were interested in a particular kind of cookie carried in the gift shop...they had sent several people over to buy it for them and no one found it.
The action went on around the discussion of cookies. They were gambling. Or rather the person raising wasn't gambling, they person calling them was...or was it the other way around?
After they got their cookies, Chau asked Doyle for some and Doyle threw the whole bag to Chau...it 'splatted' onto the table and a cookie crumb explosion occurred! Cookie crumbs everywhere in front of Chau. As Chau picked up the bag and munched, I called Carmen for a Brush...someone said we needed a vacuum instead of a brush. True!
I moved right into Table 3, Andy and Chip. A whole new table presence for Andy...no ear plugs and ear covers, sitting where he's facing his opponent. He's wearing sunglasses...not all bad. He still waits when it's his turn to act...stops completely and waits for a moment/few seconds before he does anything. Personal opinion? I think this is very good. He's not making any rash moves. It could really play in his favor at some point if he jumps and stumbles his bet in haste...now his opponent would think he has the 'world's fair.'
He PLAYED the game. He raised, bet, held his ground. One hand he obviously felt that he'd gotten a 'beat' on and he never behaved badly with it, although Chip took a 6-4 offsuit and carved out a straight on the River. Over all, he was aggressive and moved the game, rather than sitting there like a stump, hoping that he'd draw a card.
He was tired and quit about $100,000 up for the night. Not a big win in that limit, but he wanted to start his first day winner and he's an early riser. He's supposed to meet Chau tomorrow around 9 a.m.
Check back for more in this continuing thread.
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.