Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Catching Up

It's been another long day in the middle of a string of very long days. Work was a lot of fun on Monday night, although I was starting to drag after midnight. One of my favorite players was there, and we had a few laughs and she made a little money. She also introduced me to her 21-year old daughter, who although was drop-dead gorgeous, the introduction made me question myself as to when was the exact point where I stopped hitting on 21-year old girls and started paying more attention to their moms. I have no idea, but it seems that I've crossed that particular rubicon.

An unsettling realization, to be sure, but time marches on.

Anyhow, I ended my evening on the double-deck blackjack table, which was unfortunate for anyone who had the bad sense to sit down with me. I'd been pretty much mowing everyone down all night long, but this table was the stockholder's dream. Once I tapped out the previous dealer, it took me all of about two minutes to completely wipe out all three players. The didn't win a single hand.

As soon as they left, another guy stumbled over from the roulette table, flush with a pocketful of cash. He asked me why I was standing there at a dead game, and I told him that honestly I'd been killing everyone.

He said that he could turn it around.

Five minutes and a thousand dollars later he was cursing the fact that he ever left the roulette table.

Then came the magic words from the shift boss-- Bring the lid up!

I did, and then spent a couple of minutes taking care of the closing-the-table business. Once that chore was finished, I was offered an hour of Early Out time, so I took it. Once I signed out and such, I found my previously-mentioned favorite player, still going strong on another blackjack table, and told her to wait for me to change clothes and then we'd go have a beer.

I came back out a few minutes later, but she was winning and didn't want to leave the table, so she told me to go buy her daughter a beer. No problemo! So we sat and had a drink while pissing away ten bucks on the video keno machine. I swear I have no idea how to play that game, and the ten bucks was gone before we even got our drinks.

Her mom showed up a few minutes later, and we just chilled, having drinks and playing a little video poker. A couple of my buddies were planning on going to Chilly Palmer's after work, so the whole entourage moved over there after a round or two. There was more of the same rum-induced low-grade buffoonery, sprinkled with story-telling and a little video poker that carried on until almost 5 am. By that time we decided that we should probably call it a night, so we all headed home, racing the heat of the approaching daylight.

Exhausted, I went straight to bed. I got about five hours of sleep, but woke up in time to remind myself that I needed to get up and go back to school instead of being a sloth all day and sitting on my ass surfing the internet.

I've now come to the realization that I've probably learned all I'm going to learn at poker dealing school. I know the rules, my technique is fairly good, and aside from any hugely complicated OMG-call-the-floorperson problems, I'm sure I can handle just about any situation that arises in a poker game. I think I just need to brush up on the obscure rules and do a little more practicing, that's all. Otherwise, the only thing I'm getting out of attending class is a little networking--who's looking for dealers, who has tournaments coming up, who to talk to for auditions, stuff like that.

My patience with some of the other students is starting to wear pretty thin, so I'll be glad to leave the nest pretty soon. The problem is that once anyone has attended a week of classes, they all think that they're an instructor also, and take it upon themselves to try and trip up other students at every opportunity.

For example, there's no need to declare themselves 'all in' on every hand, just so they can give the dealer in the box 'practice' doing side pots. Seriously--I've played poker for about five years now, and I think I've been involved in two hands that entire time that had three or more side pots (aside from tournament play). It just doesn't happen that much. Creating that situation on every hand in class is not productive, and unlike those schlubs who don't have jobs, my time is more valuable to me, so it's especially exasperating to have to sit through that nonsense all day long.

I can also tell that there are a handful of people there who will never get a job dealing poker in a live casino. Not everyone can do this job, as much as they'd like to believe otherwise. So a lot of these clowns just show up every day to play poker without having to actually spend any money. They sit in the mock games, calling all the way down on every hand, and as soon as their chips are gone, they just get more out of the rack and keep going. I truly believe that a few of them are in class only because they just don't have anywhere else to go.

Of course Nick, the owner of the school, will tell you that anyone can deal in a casino--but he's got classes to sell. Not only is that assumption completely false, but it's also a slight insult to those of us who actually deal for a living. Bad dealers just cost the rest of us money and some people just aren't cut out for this profession.

I've also noticed that one of the instructors is just plain rude to some of the other students, under the guise of 'playing the jackass' at the table. Again, there's no need for that in class, but most especially from the teacher. In a previous life, I used to teach a very complicated subject to nervous students, so I know which methods work and which ones don't, and unfortunately, I see too much of the latter every day.

Anyhow, the point is, I guess I'm just getting to the end of the road--it was just like when I was learning dice. I'd finally reached the summit of competency and was bored in class, so that's when I just stopped going and found a job. The pattern looks to be repeating itself, so I think I'm going to spend my free time over the course of the next week or so starting on the hunt for a part-time poker job.

In the meantime, my full-time job is keeping me very busy, and my only day off this week is winding down to it's conclusion...


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