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.
As usual I headed out to Table Tango in search of a specific topic and found a bunch of other posts that showed up in the ‘search.’ Naturally, one read deserves a click on the next topic/date and before I know it, I’ve hopped off the topic I was originally searching for and started a whole new line of Tango thoughts.
On another day my search topics will hit these pages – Sam Angel, Sam Grizzle, Karate Don, and a zillion or so others that deserve honorable mention or getting raked over the coals. Before you take off for the day, reading the comments on the following post is a must. The title of the post is “The Blank Page” – comments at the end. Also note that I originally spelled Chantel's name wrong in the post and have since corrected it due to a comment.
February 18, 2007: That's how I feel about this last two weeks at work. Perhaps it should just be left as a blank page.
I had to bite my tongue to keep from walking out the door when my supervisor said, "You can go." That was without even clocking in.
I had a 30 second mental battle that would rival any kick boxing match on Earth…my lazy side tried to kick the shit out of my disciplined side, but the disciplined side won out as I heard these words roll out of my mouth, "I'll work."
Week before last, I made it a whole 20 hours in the box, one full eight hour shift and three four hour shifts brought me to the three day weekend. This last week, I resolved to work four eight hour shifts before I hit the three day weekend. I figure to always take a three day weekend when Friday off is offered. I forgot how hard it is to work those eight hour shifts back to back. Kee-rist! God bless the working woman/man as they go through life. Why wasn't I born rich?
As always there are some interesting things that happen 'in the box.' Some not so interesting things happen too, like shuffle/deal, shuffle/deal, shuffle/deal for what seems like weeks in the last hour and a half to two hours of each eight hour shift. Since the non-interesting things get swept away in the time stream of nonessentials, let's get to a few of the better moments.
One of the funniest games I've dealt in a long time happened week before last. It was close to the end of my only eight hour shift that week. $2-5 NLH, Chantel (I'm sure I spelled that incorrectly but perhaps someone will help me out with it) was in the 5s and having a heyday with the boys in the game. She's a little cutie - and she knows it - this picture was taken at the WSOP by MOI and I don't even think it does her justice:
Most of the players were drinking - a lot - and she was one of them. Her words were almost slurring at times and she wasn't just involved in the conversation, she was the conversation because they were all glued, except for an older gent in the 3s. Not that the 3s was immune to everything, he just had a different approach to life's game than the others and knew exactly what was going on…even giving me a knowing wink once.
The 4s was playing like shit and drinking. But he knew he was playing like shit. It's one thing to watch someone slam off their chips and see them act like they got a bad beat or just were unlucky, it's another one to watch someone bluff and rebluff, knowing it's not going to work but trying it anyway and knowing better as their hand continues to feed chips into the pot. He did.
Chantel was right there, scooping up all of those bluff/rebluff bets and chatting away as she primed the 2s for taking a trip to Ireland with her…explaining that she wanted to go everywhere and see all of the countries. She had a connection with the 4s also; they were chatting and gambling as she kept stacking his chips.
The 7s was a short, 'never had a date' late twenties looking guy that kept vying for her attention. He forced his way into her conversations like a SWAT team takes down a meth house. Of course he looked stupid, but it didn't slow him down, he pounced on any crumb she threw him.
The 1s knew he was playing poker but he should have been in a $.50-$1.00 limit holdem game, not a NLH game. He won a few pots by making bad calls and getting there. A few of those bad calls were against the 4s.The 1swas horribly slow in all decisions and I had plenty of time to wait and listen to the chatter.
In the middle of all of it, the 4s had one drink in front of him (I believe it was Red Bull and vodka) that he was drinking, another in a rocks glass filled with ice and red/pinkish fluid and a few red chips in the bottom of it. He kept trying to fish the red chips out with two straws and the whole thing became part of the game. He went all-in at one point and as he pushed his stacks in, someone asked if the glass played. "Yes!" He set the glass over the betting line too. He won that pot. Eventually he pulled the chips up to the rim of the glass with the aid of the straws and discovered there were three chips - just before they slipped back down to the bottom.
The 4s raised UTG to $50, Chantel called, and the two of them checked the rest of the hand out. She won with something like Q-4 off suit - I think they both paired fours and the Queen kicker was good. The 7s jumped on her play, telling her what a bad call that was.
She was laughing, animated, and pretty damn funny when she replied that $50 wasn't even the blind in most of the games she played in.
The 7s pushed the accelerator to the floor with more obnoxious statements criticizing her play. And he should have put on the brakes and parked the rig because he was going nowhere.
She said she mostly played limit holdem with blinds of $100-200.
The 7s implied that she was out of her element and how could she afford to play those limits, blah, blah, blah.
She didn't mince around the subject when she said, "If you looked like I do, you can play any limit you want…"
I got the picture. I don't know if he did or not because the game erupted in a gigantic pot and all of the attention went to the hand in progress.
I don't even know who started the raising but the 4s ended up going all-in with the last raise. Someone at the table asked if the glass played. Yup! PUSH! That damn glass came across the line again.
The 9s (I've dealt to him off and on since Bellagio opened) auto called all-in and the 4s had him covered.
It was $500 and change back to the 1s. I can't say the 1s ever went into the tank. I don't believe he knew what the whole concept means and probably still doesn't, but we had delay of game while he mulled it over and over and counted and recounted his chips. That call would leave him with about $28 in front of him if he didn't win the pot.
Things got pretty quiet at the table.
Sure enough, the 1s called. The 4s turned over A-A. The 9s turned over J-J. The 1s turned over K-J off. Take it A-A.
Chantel immediately jabbed the 1s with, "You and I have got to talk." She pulled a chair up behind him and started explaining NLH to him. *Bad, Chantel, Bad.* (No…I didn't say anything).
I pushed the pot, locked up a nice toke, and dealt the next hand. The 10s got me an even bigger toke by telling the 4s that the dealer should get $25 for that hand. I didn't get $25, Idid get an additional toke and believe me, I was very happy with it. Thank you 10s. Someone told the 4s I should get 'the glass' for a toke. *laughter*
I got pushed a minute later and stopped behind the 4s. I told him I had been going to offer to dump the contents of the glass and bring him back the chips but he was having so much fun with the whole thing, I changed my mind on the offer. He agreed. He was having a blast.
So the page may have been blank as of late, but it is not because there aren't things to be written about, it's because I'm too damned tired to fill in the blanks.
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.