It's a beautiful Saturday afternoon here in Vegas-land. I got some quality sleepy time after a very long night at work, woke up this morning and was Mr. Productive, and now I'm just waiting for the dryer to stop spinning while the Army/Navy game provides the background noise.
After not much live-fire practice at all, I've been dealing a lot of Pai Gow this week. When I first got to the casino the other night and saw that I was on that 'string', along with Crazy-4-Poker--a game which I hadn't dealt in over three months, I was a bit nervous. But it was needless anxiety, as all went well and now my Kung Fu is much more powerful.
I've noticed that a lot of dealers, especially dice dealers, have an air of superiority regarding their preferred came and feel that dealing pai gow and blackjack is beneath them. I don't understand that outlook at all. I love changing it up and dealing different games every night--it keeps me from getting burnt out. The only games I really dislike dealing are the single-deck bj variations. We don't have shuffle machines on the blackjack tables, so I end up having to shuffle about 40 times an hour whenever I deal single-deck. Truly it's not much fun. And I've noticed that blackjack attracts the most people who shouldn't be gambling--It's easy to spot the folks playing with the rent money.
But one of the best things about dealing Pai Gow in the 'carnival pit' with all the games like Let It Ride, Crazy 4 Poker, Deuces Wild, 3-Card Poker, etc. is that you get to sit on your ass all night to deal and it's not nearly as tiring--the games are slower paced, the players are more relaxed, and generally it's an easy-going atmosphere. Working all night dealing double-deck blackjack will grind you down after eight hours, but dealing sit-down style carnival games the whole time is just a walk in the park, Kazanski.
The only problem is that the carnival games are generally the first ones to get closed down after midnight, so I usually end up dealing blackjack or dice for the last couple hours of my shift, anyways. Last night was no exception. I ended up on that single deck 6:5 game that I dislike so much and participated in the worst casino beat-down I've ever seen.
One of the blessings (and curses) of working at a locals casino is that we see a lot of the same players all the time. Generally, most of them are very cool, lots of fun to deal to, and generous tippers. One such guy was in again last night--he usually plays about $50-$100 per hand, but last night he decided to 'go for it'. I'm told that he took out a marker for about twenty grand and turned it into about fifty large. Then I heard that he got greedy and started giving it back, much too quickly. Towards the end of the night, he showed up at my table (it was a dead game at the time, I was just standing there daydreaming) and decided to play a thousand dollars a hand. Even the floor person was telling him to take his winnings and go home, but he told me that he'd lost about twenty grand in the last hour and wanted to get it back.
No problem--I told him I'd do what I could and wished him Good Luck.
Unfortunately, I wasn't in much of a giving mood and he lost his first five hands. He asked for a shuffle, so I obliged, and he started playing two spots at a grand a hand. He didn't win a single one. I hadn't dealt to him for even ten minutes before getting tapped out for my break, and in that time I took him for another twenty grand. Ouch. It was painful to watch, and even more so because he's one of our favorite players--always in a good mood, always telling jokes, always tipping (word around the campfire last night was that he made the dealers over five thousand dollars in tokes for the night--can't wait to go in tonight to see what I made for eight hours!). It was really a bummer seeing this guy give it all back to the house.
The thing is, he usually never plays at my table--another time earlier this summer I beat him pretty badly, so although he's nice to me and would always stop by and say hello for a minute or two, he'd never play with me. After last night's experience, I'm sure he won't ever sit at my table again.
On my way to the break room, I told the floorperson about how badly it'd gone, and she called me a George-killer. I think everyone wanted to see the guy win, but that's gambling. Less than an hour later, another dealer told me that she took another six grand from him.
Just another Friday night in Vegas.