Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Casino Life

Sorry for the late post, gang--I was out buying stuff on credit all day. Just kiddin', actually I slept in late, then went grocery shopping and such. After that, I made some lunch (Hebrew Nationals were on sale, 2 packs for five bucks!) and then it was nappy time. I woke up in time to catch Pardon the Interruption, got a few laughs out of that, and now I'm here happily pounding the keys for your entertainment.

It seems like my comment section has blown up over the past couple of days, and I gotta tell ya, that warms my heart. It means people are somewhat interested in the stuff I spout off about.

So lets talk about life in the casino. As far as being on the back of the table and 'winning every time', well, it doesn't feel as good as you think it would. Honestly, most of the time I'm rooting for my players to win. Winners tip bigger than losers. My livelihood depends on it. Even as a stockholder in the company, I don't care if I dump my rack all night long because 1) the players will generally give it all back and then some at some point, usually the same night (People rarely walk away after a win--they press until they lose it all back) and 2) Bigger tokes attract better dealers. There is a reason that it takes so long to get full-time status at my casino. There is almost no attrition whatsoever. Everybody loves working there--the money is good, and the environment is fun and easygoing. When the dealers are happy, the players are happy, and it's always good for the bottom line. Besides, when I 'win', I'm not winning any money for my own pocket, so it doesn't affect my outlook in a positive way.

On a few rare occasions, I root for players to lose. Inconsiderate smokers, bad attitudes, non-tippers--I'd love to bust 'em all. Unfortunately, it all depends on how the cards fall.

As far as the biggest tip I've gotten personally--It was $100, the player waited until I clocked out and got off property until he gave it to me--they won a substantial amount at my dice table several months ago, and didn't want me to have to share with the other guys at the table (although he left a few chips behind when he colored up, too). It was kind of a surprise. I wasn't expecting it--I walked out to head to my car and he was outside waiting for me. That was nice.

While at the tables, I've dropped $300+ a couple of times after a few particularly big hands, but that is rare. My usual 'big' toke is $50. One night I had a guy betting $25 every other hand, so when the hand would win, it would be either a $50 drop or $62.50 if it was a blackjack. That was a nice hour to be on the table. But most of our players will tip us between $1 and $5 per hand.

And as much as I hate the 6-5 blackjack game as a player, when I deal it (we have one $10 single deck 6-5 table) and the player gets a $10 blackjack, the extra $2 is almost invariably played for me on the next hand. So as a dealer, I don't mind that game as much. As a player it was my personal line in the sand, but truthfully, the house edge isn't as substantial on that game as it is on any slot machine, or any of the carnival games. Hell, even roulette has a bigger edge, and nobody rails against it. My beef with the game is that it's single-deck and I'm shuffling all the damn time.

As far as the worst beat-down I've ever laid on a player, one night I took a guy for $22,000 in less than ten minutes. He didn't win a single hand with me and I took every one of his orange and yellow chips. Fortunately, it was on the tail end of a very bad losing streak for him and he didn't get too upset with me. He'd already been through Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression, so by the time he got to my table, already down $40,000, he was well into the Acceptance stage.

I think the beating that I felt the worst about happened just a couple weeks ago. I was dealing Pai Gow on a full table, with every player participating in the Envy Bonus. I was dealing out a hand just as I got tapped out to go, so I had to finish it. Unfortunately, I dealt myself a straight flush with a pair of kings on top and wiped everyone out. If the number generator had landed on any other number besides 1 before I dealt, everyone at the table would've won some money with the envy bonus, and one lucky player would've scored huge. Instead, I wiped them all out... It was spectacularly ugly, and I felt bad about it.

As far as going out and buying stuff on credit, well, not so fast my friends. I certainly won't buy razor blades on credit. Sheets either. But a car, absolutely. I'm still trying to repair my credit from the Dark Times in 2001 and 2002, so anything I purchase won't be on the best terms available. I will probably wait until May to get the new computer--one of the perks for being a Stations employee is that we can buy Dell computers interest free and have the payments payroll deducted. I'm eligible to participate in that program starting in May. And as crappy as the Ghetto Sled is (yes, everyone says it ain't that bad, but they don't have to drive it every day), it's still running like a top and I'm hoping to make it last a few more months, trading it in once the no-air-conditioning thing starts to become an uncomfortable problem.

As much as I'd love to have a Chrysler 300 or a Dodge Charger, I think I'm gonna go with a Dakota pickup truck. I like them too, and they're cheaper and more practical. And I won't buy brand new this time, either.

I haven't bought the truck yet, but I've already got the vanity plate picked out.


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