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Poker News | The View from the Box

The View from the Box – The one shoe scenario – pay attention

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.

For some bizarre reason — go figure on how those things just go POP into one’s head — Chico came to mind while I was ready to search through Table Tango for fodder for The View from the Box. There are two Chicos in my dealing career that deserve to be mentioned…one is because he’s a lunatic, the other because of circumstances that happened to her after she left a poker game with quite a bit of cash. The one I want to mention in this penning is the lunatic. He’s very briefly mentioned in the blog post that’s the highlight of today’s piece, but one could fill a book with his antics and lunacy if they followed him around for a brief time.

I first dealt to Chico at The Mirage when he used to live in Florida and he’d hit town now and then on R&R from his high stress job of (this is what I heard) being a paramedic. I would never swear to it, but I believe the word was that he was a helicopter flight paramedic. Before he moved to Vegas, he was great to deal to. He gambled, he tipped, he laughed, he had fun. Eventually life in the fast lane and trying to become a real, wage-earning poker player wore him down and it showed. I have been blessed by not running into him anywhere in the last four to five years so…I have no current news on him. Last I heard, before I left Bellagio’s dealing ranks, he was married to a cocktail server at Bellagio. That should keep him in poker chips…for a day or two anyway.

But back to the Chico before we head into the post. Chico became paranoid, everyone was out to get him, especially the dealers. One night when I walked up to deal the game he was in, he turned to look at me, and said, “Let’s go burn one when you get off work.”

Yeah, right. I’d like to burn one alright, but it’s not what you have in mind buddy. *secret thought*

Chico used to play 7 card stud, then he graduated to Hold’em.

September 3, 2003:
Sometimes works just isn’t much fun. Maybe it’s me. It’s possible that somewhere in the room, someone is chuckling and telling stories or jokes and everyone’s laughing about it but it just ain’t happening around me.

The room is pretty quiet…has been since the weekend ‘blowout’. Translation? The holiday weekend blowout, where everything builds to a peak and the seams give under the stress. Everyone’s gone home and the high limit kids are mostly in CA or so the rumor goes. Even with 20 or so games running, it seems quiet. The top section has been very spotty, a $1,000-$2,000 Mixed game started around 7 p.m. and broke around 12 a.m. leaving only a $60-$120 to claim the title of the biggest game in the room.

Now a time and mind drift is in order…stay with me because it really does have something to do with poker.

I have pointed out to people, many times over the years, that the majority of mankind either refuses to look around and acknowledge what’s going on, or they are just brain dead and miss most of what happens around them. My prime example is the ‘one shoe scenario’. The ‘one shoe scenario’ relates to the fact that I always wonder what happens to cause the event of one shoe lying by the side of the freeway or road, in an intersection, or along the street. Most of the time I’ve gotten the ‘deer in the headlights’ look from the person, “What are you talking about? I’ve never seen one shoe anywhere.”

My thought is that these people never notice anything because there are shoes everywhere. Everywhere I’ve ever traveled, I’ve come across the ‘one shoe scenario’, no matter if it’s on a deserted street or a major byway.

We now return to poker, table 24, $15-$30 Holdem…the perfect example of the ‘deer in the headlights’.

The 1s is Chico, Mr. Demon Slime himself, from a post some time ago…like in the beginning of 2002 or somewhere in there. He’s a remarkably strange individual and anyone that has played poker for any length of time in Vegas knows him. Chico talked almost nonstop, after I sat down, and he had a sweater and that made the chatter almost unbearable.

The pot was raised pre-flop by the 10s. Several callers, including the 3s and he was the live one.

The Flop was bet by the 10s and called by the 3s. Everyone else folded. The Turn was checked, the 3s bet, (placing his bet out half way between his position and the Flop), the 10s check raised, the 3s folded, tossing his cards out by his chips. I shot the deck out of my hand and as I was reaching for the 3s’s cards, he reached for them also and exclaimed, “Wait!”

He retrieved his cards and I sat back in my chair and waited.

Chico started in with a spiel to the 3s, “You didn’t do anything wrong. Your hand is still live. It didn’t touch the muck.”

I demanded, “Please stay out of this and be quiet!” to Chico.

The 3s sat there, looking at his cards, until I asked, “What would you like to do, Sir?”

He replied, “I’m thinking.”

I waited. He finally called the bet and I called for a decision.

When Boba arrived, I explained the action and then gestured towards the table and said, “There’s the deck.”

He asked if I knew where the top of the deck was, I said, “Yes,” and he told me to pick it up, shuffle, burn and turn, which I did.

The 10s bet and the 3s called, the 10s showed the nut flush and won the pot.

The 1s, 3s, and several other players said they couldn’t figure out why I called the floor man. They didn’t even know I dropped the deck .

HELLO!!! How come I can’t beat these widgets in a poker game? Obviously they don’t know about the ‘one shoe scenario’ either. Hell if I’m going to tell them.

Every time I go search Table Tango to find someone/something in particular, I sidetrack myself by reading an old post that drags up a million memories and I want to keep reading more…hey, I wrote this shit…why would I want to read my own mind scribbles? No answer there, but I do.

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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