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Poker News | The View from the Box

The View from the Box – More on Beal VIII

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.

This isn’t funny, but in a way, yes, it is. There were stories of collusion, cheating, dealers and supervisors being taken out in handcuffs and all kinds of nonsensical crap that people magnify and feed on that were being told about THE BIG GAME. While it's interesting, to my knowledge, none of it's true and I happen to have dealt THE BIG GAME and worked in the room where the events took place.

I’ve often wondered how the people that tell downright lies can stand themselves – or if they think the whole world is a cheat and perhaps breathing air is a lie too and sleep and food are all part of the lie. Maybe we really don’t exist or the world we create is our existence and those who must tell tales and then try to smear everyone with them are vapor locked into another reality and now and then we bump into each other.

Leaving those insaniacs behind that feed on mean gossip and lies, after the November 24th, 2003, post that follows, I received my first email from Michael Craig (The Professor The Banker and the Suicide King) on December 24th, 2003.

The first paragraph of his email read as follows:


Someone told me about stumbling on The Big Game several months ago: Todd Brunson, some other guy [Andy], denominations of chips they'd never seen before, bricks of currency. A floorman told my friend there was twelve to fourteen million dollars on the table. I've been around poker for awhile, and around huge sums of money, but this still didn't make sense: where would Brunson get this kind of money, and who would want to take him on for so much?

That wasn’t the end of the email, but I don’t care to divulge the entire contents…so I won’t. He was asking me for help because he had a book in mind. I responded and told him that I did too and I wouldn’t help him. I guess I must have been bluffing or something because help him I did. More on that coming up but the two blog posts that follow were my last in the regular run of blogging about dealing the game. And, yes, I’m anal, I save email correspondence – for years just because.

November 24, 2003. When I went in to work, I managed to find Suzie in the office alone for a moment. I asked her if Andy had played over the weekend. Yes. He had played Gabe again on Saturday and Sunday, and somewhere in there he played Johnny Chan again, and Lee Salem. I asked if the corporation was behind these players and she said no, but someone had put up money for them to play Andy. I left it at that.

Andy's hooked. There's no way he can walk away from the game.

May 10, 2004. Andy's back. Everyone said he wouldn't return after the licking he got last time. I knew better. I knew he would come back, he has to come back. He showed up around 5 p.m. and played Chau, $50,000-$100,000, on Table 1.

Chau was so tired, he looked like he was death warmed over. I dealt Table 18. It had been a $2,000-$4,000 game but it broke down to 4 players playing $1,000 a point, Chinese poker. Big Al, Ming, Barry G., and Doyle. Chip came back and sat for a bit. Gus Hanson came back and gave the report that Chau had given up the Big blind twice, limped about 8 times, and while folding was ok, with that kind of play in heads up, Chau wouldn't beat Gus's mother.

The conversation went to Phil Ivey. What/how would he play heads-up. Doyle argued that yes, when the cards are hitting him and he's showing down a hand, he can play, but can he play heads-up. Gus went to bat for Phil, saying Phil at least played on the internet - heads up - and knew what it was all about, and Gus would take Phil's action. The report came in that Andy was up about $2,500,000. Chip said, if he beats us today, we should just tell him, we quit, that's only $100,000 each that we'd lose.

Later Chip and David G. were both setting on each side of Chau. Earlier Craig was sitting with Andy. I got a hello hug from both of them. Nice.

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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