Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Dog Days

I think I've discovered the only activity in a casino more pathetic than playing Let It Ride--it's watching other people play Let It Ride.

Seriously, of all the other activities available--bowling, movies, the sportsbook, snack bars, restaurants, slot machines, bingo, Keno, video poker, a half dozen bars where you could get a drink, or, heaven forbid, playing another table game--people choose to stand there and watch all those stupid people playing that stupid game. It's unbelievable.

As you may have guessed, I hate Let It Ride with the fire of a thousand suns. It's the dumbest game ever invented, and I think it only appeals to the retards not smart enough to grasp that whole 'pick a number' concept of hard games like roulette. Of course, it's got a huge house edge (we hold about 24% of every dollar that comes to the table), but people say they're there to 'have fun'. Well, as far as I can tell, that game isn't even fun. It's just a stupid grind, losing six or eleven bucks every hand.

As a dealer, not only do I hate dealing it because it's even more tedious than $5 blackjack, but also because prying a tip out of a clueless Let It Ride player is almost as tough as trying to open a soup can with a feather duster. Dealers don't make any money on that game, but the house makes a fortune. People bitch and moan about not getting cards, and by the time they finally catch something they realize they're so far in the hole that parting with a buck to give to the cocktail waitress might just keep them from affording that extra pack of cigarettes to get them through the weekend. So it doesn't matter how outgoing, funny, or friendly I am while dealing that game--that toke box is always light at the end of the night.

On the plus side, I know that whenever some doofus walks up with a crispy Benjamin, clearly displaying more money than sense, all I have to do is deal him 15 bad hands in a row, and he's toast. Then I can get back to sitting there enjoying the pretty lights and ogling the cocktail waitresses for the rest of my hour-long jail sentence.

One could deduce that I don't like dealing Let It Ride very much. And one would be right.

But I only had to do an hour in Purgatory last night, so I figured my penance to the Gambling Gods was relatively easy. On the other hand, I got to spend an hour dealing dice, too, which was nice. I hadn't seen a craps table in almost a month, so it was like trying to cross the freeway in rush hour for the first few minutes, but after a bit I was doing just fine. Then I got tapped out and sent to Pai Gow, which is usually my Happy Place.

It was even more happy tonight because one of our biggest fleas came and sat down and decided to go head-to-head against me. And I laid a beat-down on him. Sadly he had more bankroll than I had time, so I didn't get to finish him off, but I saw the dealer that tapped me out bust him about a half hour later, so that was nice. But the highlight of the hour was when the dude had an Ace-high Pai Gow and fouled his hand by putting the Ace in his low two-card hand, and the King/Queen in his five-card hand.

I had a Queen/Nine up top, and he would've pushed the hand had he set it properly, but since he fouled it, I had the sublime pleasure of breaking the bad news to him and snatching up his $25 bet without the slightest bit of remorse.

Sorry sir, a fouled hand is an automatic loss.


The thing is, the guy is a total stiff--he *never* tips. One time he got five Aces for a $2000 payoff, and he stiffed the dealer. And he's in there every night, and every dealer hates him. So instead of giving him a 'mulligan', I went completely by the book and took his money. For anyone else, I would've stopped the game, called over a floorperson, and pleaded their case. Not this asshat. He got no consideration and it was truly the highlight of the night. I giggled about it for hours.

Aside from busting that asshat and having to spend an hour dealing Let It Ride, it's been an otherwise semi-enjoyable weekend at the casino. I was everyone's favorite the other night, just dumping the rack and passing out bonus hands like campaign promises. Hell, I gave one lady two straight flushes in Pai Gow within twenty minutes of each other, and then last night I dealt a four-of-a-kind and a straight flush in the same hand to two different players. And I made a *ton* of money, relative to what we normally drop in the Pai Gow toke boxes, but this past week has been the worst for tokes, and slowest as far as number of players, that I can ever remember. We had a few under-a-hundred-in-tokes days this week, which has never happened before. Usually we have one bad day and then it picks up the next day. Not so lately--it's been awful. I can't wait for football season to hurry up and start, and the weather to cool down a bit so that we get more people in the door.

But it was so slow again last night that after about five hours, I couldn't help but be pulled in by the siren song of freedom offered by the Early Out list. It was my Friday night, of course, and as soon as the Shift Boss had to hesitate when I asked him what table to go to next, since they'd closed two of my tables while I was on break, well, that was the break I was looking for. I said, Well, I'm a seven o'clocker and it's my Friday, so you can put me on the 'anytime' EO list.

He said, You can go now if you want.

Bam--I was out the door less than two minutes later! As soon as I got home, I turned on the Michael Vick station ESPN to check the scores (Cards win!), grilled up a ham and cheese sandy, and kicked off my weekend with an ice-cold Amber Bock.

Since that time, I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, moved all of my CDs to more permanent location than the end table next to the couch, and brewed a pot of coffee. I plan on doing an all-nighter, as Rob and I are cleaning the house in anticipation of his parents arrival later this evening, and the fact that the Nascar race starts in less than two hours. (In fact, at this very moment I can hear him gasping in his bathroom as he's scrubbing the tub with bleach and is about to die from the fumes). I've got no place to be for the next two days, and no money to spend, so I'm kickin' it here in the house doing free stuff on my weekend--cleaning, reading, watching tv, listening to music, and going to the pool. I probably won't move the truck again until I leave for work on Thursday night--maybe by then I'll be stir crazy and looking forward to spending the evening in the casino.

But probably not.


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