Sunday, February 17, 2013

Caught With My Zipper Down! (Part 1)

This entry will help explain why, when I started this blog, I decided to use pseudonyms for the people I tell stories about.  But as the events in this post unfolded, I realized that giving people pseudonyms isn’t quite good enough.

I also discovered that referring to most poker rooms by their real names, instead of giving them a phony name as I did “BSC” isn’t such a good idea, either.

I have no choice to tell you that this story centers around Binion’s.  I will, of course, use only pseudonyms for this tale, though I’m not sure what good that will do.
As I have documented, I like playing the 2PM tournament on the weekends at Binion’s.  I even wrote about this tournament in my Ante Up column (see here) .  I play there enough so that the dealers all recognize me as a semi-regular there and frequently say hello to me.  But not by name.  I don’t use a players card there (wouldn’t need it for a tournament anyway) so there are only two folks there who actually know my name.  One is the tournament director, whose name I’ll just leave out rather than giving him a pseudonym.  He knows my name from working with me in keeping me updated on changes in the room for AVP, and now from having written about Binion’s for Ante Up.  The other person who knows me by name is Heather, my dealer buddy who works at Binion’s and at BSC—and who I’ve seen dealing in at least one more room and who I’ve played with in several rooms.  Heather has made numerous appearances on the blog, most notably as the subject character of the post here.
Which brings me to Audrey.  Audrey is a terrific dealer with a great personality.  I guess if I had one word to use to describe her, it would be “sassy.”  She is very funny.  And she’s probably, ahem, a year or two older than most of the lady dealers at Binion’s that I described in this post here.  Let’s just say she’s got seniority on those ladies.  I always enjoy playing at her table during Audrey’s down.  Not only can I be sure that no mistakes will be made, but I can count on her entertaining us with her sharp wit.  
But I I never really have had a one-on-one conversation with her.  Just table talk when she was talking to everyone at the table.  Thus late last year, during the break, when I walked past her table, I was kind of surprised when she said, “Hi, Rob, how ya been?”
I said “fine” and we exchanged pleasantries.  But I couldn’t help wondering how she knew my name.  I had to assume that she must have gotten curious seeing me talk to Heather, or the tournament director, and asked one of them.  That was the only explanation I could think of. 
Flash forward to late January.  I decided to play in the Survivor Tournament at Venetian again.  Another tournament I wrote about for Ante Up (in the same column as the Binion’s tournament). And I blogged about my first try at that tournament here.  As I was settling into my assigned seat at the tournament this Friday night, I was surprised to see Audrey, the dealer from Binion’s, with a tournament receipt in her hand, obviously ready to play in the very same tournament.
From across the table, she saw me and as I was saying “Hi, Audrey,” she was saying “Hi Rob.”  And I was reminded that she mysteriously knew my name.  As luck would have it, her assigned seat was the one directly to my right!
As she took her seat, I said something like, “I’m surprised, and impressed, that you know my name.” 
She replied, “Oh, I know a lot of things about you.  But there are ladies present so we better not talk about that.”
I laughed and assumed it was just a joke.  It was totally in keeping with her sense of humor and I didn’t think it meant anything.  We made some small talk, and it was just a couple of minutes before the tournament was about to start.
Then she said to me, “Imagine that.  They put two people who hate pocket kings right next to each other.”
I froze.  How the heck did she know I hate pocket kings?  I tried to hit the play button on my mental DVR.  Had I ever mentioned in front of her that I have thing about pocket kings?  I was 99.9% sure I had not.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never discussed my frustration with that dreaded hand in a poker room, Binion’s or otherwise.  Except maybe with a BSC dealer or two who I knew read my blog, and then, only in quiet tones.  But never in Binion’s.

And furthermore, I had never told anyone at Bininon's about my blog. Not once.  I was sure of it.  I almost never tell people (in person) about the blog, even after having business cards printed with its URL on them. I just get too self-conscious. 

When I unfroze, I said something like, “pocket kings?”  And then Audrey said, “Yeah.  The dreaded pocket kings. 
OK, now that could not have been a coincidence, could it?  I said, “Dreaded pocket kings?  How did you know to use that term?”  I guess I was hoping she’d just “confess” to reading my blog, so I wouldn’t have to embarrass myself by asking.
Instead, she replied, “It’s just an expression.  You know, the ‘dreaded pocket kings’, ‘The dreaded ex-husband.’  I tell you, if I never played pocket kings, I’d have furniture in my house.”
(As an aside, I’m starting to have regrets that, a long time ago, I didn’t think to trademark the phrase, “the dreaded pocket kings.”)
This was pretty unmistakable.  “The dreaded pocket kings”?  Even though I haven’t trademarked the phrase, I’m pretty sure if anyone says that to me, they’ve seen my blog.
I wasn’t sure what to do.  Surely Audrey was indicating that she not only reads my blog, but knows that I am indeed the publisher of said blog.  But I wondered why she was being so coy, so subtle.  Why didn’t she just come right out and say, “I really like your blog, Rob”? Or, less preferred, “I really hate your blog, Rob.”  Was this just her sense of humor at play?  Was she just having some fun with me?  Or was I missing something?
I was playing back every moment I ever had at Binion’s in my mind to see if I was somehow missing something. Also, if she really was a reader of mine, I kind of wanted to know if there were any posts I’d had about Binion’s that I was now suddenly embarrassed by.  I thought there might be.
While I was processing this, she asked, “So, how long are in town for this time?”  Ok, that pretty much sealed it.  I suppose she could have learned from Heather that I don’t live in Vegas, but it almost seemed like she was flaunting it, how much she knew about me.
I guess my initial hesitancy there was, if I asked her about it, and somehow, someway, she didn’t know what I was talking about, it would be embarrassing to me. Also, I was sure I’d never mentioned Audrey on the blog…..maybe that annoyed her?
Then the tournament started, and I still hadn’t figured out what to do. I didn’t feel that it was proper though to bring up my blog while we were playing.  I didn’t want to distract her, or myself (though I have to admit I was a bit distracted by it anyway). 
And then, sometime later in the tournament, Audrey, running low on chips, raised, was re-reaised and announced “all in.”  She was called.  Before showing her cards to everyone else, she let me have a quick peak.  Of course, she had two Kings.  She won the hand, and when she did, expressed her surprise to me, as if I, of all people, would understand how unlikely that was.  When she had another big confrontation later, she said to me, “I’ve already pulled off the miracle of having Kings hold up, so…”  I don’t remember the rest of her sentence.  But she was clearly having fun with my well-known—to her, anyway—issues with Kings.
I have to admit, this is still pretty new to me, having “followers” and “readers” and people who (apparently) actually like what I do here.  It’s great for my ego.  Of course, I know from Google stats—and the comments—that there are people out there reading the silly stuff I write.  But it’s always a thrill to meet a reader face-to-face, I mean a reader I didn’t know I had.  Especially one like Audrey who I had known for some time without knowing she was reading my stuff.  Basically, I’d like to sit down with them and interrogate them for 4 hours (don’t worry, I’d never actually do that).
Anyway, after the tournament went on for awhile, I convinced myself I had to ask her about it, and I was ready to do it, I just wanted to wait for the break.  Hopefully we’d both last that long.  But as luck would have it, right before the first break, they needed to move me to another table, and I never saw her during the break.  I didn’t last much longer after the break, so I went over to her, told her that I busted out to one of the Binion’s regulars she’d also been talking to who was playing there, and said that I’d probably see her on Sunday.
And so, on Sunday, I went to Binion’s, as I had planned to do anyway.  I had to wait for a couple of breaks before I could ask Audrey some questions.  But I was able to catch her when she was sitting at an almost empty table (one of the regs was sitting there, reading a book). 
I said hello, asked how she did Friday night (better than me, but not good enough to cash) and then said, “So, how long have you been reading my blog?”
She didn’t flinch.  “Oh, about a year.  I guess close to a year.”  I was thinking about my next question but she continued.  I believe she was referring to the first blog post of mine she read, but she might have brought it up for a different reason. “I remember reading about a poker room where the dealers were encouraged to wear western clothes and I thought, ‘I know where that is.’  You talked about a girl having a problem with a zipper, and I knew who you were talking about.”
Uh oh.  I asked, “Oh, were you there when she had the zipper problem?”  You see, the dealer in my blog post “blamed” another female dealer for not telling her that her zipper was open.  I thought maybe the dealer she asked might have been Audrey, or, if not, at least she must have been in the room and heard it, as I did.
Audrey replied, “No, I wasn’t there, but the way you described her….she was out to there, so I knew who that probably was.  I think it was May of last year,,,,.yeah, I’m sure it was May.”  When she said “she was out to there” she made a motion with her hands, in front of her chest, to indicate….well…..large breasts.
Gulp.  I remembered the post she was talking about.  In fact, I had reason to revisit it fairly recently.  Despite that, I couldn’t remember exactly how I had written it, I couldn’t remember just how far I went on a certain subject.  I won’t link to that previous post of mine just yet.  I'd actually prefer that you don't read just yet.  I want it to be a surprise to you, as it was to me.  Of course, I know the more curious of my readers will be able to find it on their own--so be it  You'll be getting a jump on the next chapter of this tale.   I knew the basics of the post, and of course I knew the dealer I was writing about, one of Audrey’s fellow dealers at Binion’s— who was dealing at Binions this very day, and who I will refer to as “Denise.” I completely remembered the part of the story that was “woman said” part.  And Audrey had just reminded me that I had mentioned that the dealer was well endowed. 
I was laughing and a little nervous.  Then Audrey said something that kind of scared me.  “So when I read that, I immediately texted her about it.”
She continued, “I said, ‘hey, did you have a problem with a zipper on (whatever day it was)?”
The text came back, “Yes, but how could you possibly know that?”
Audrey told her, “Oh, it’s on the internet”
“My zipper being unzipped is on the internet?  Get out!”
Audrey insisted it was true.  And then to prove it, she sent Denise the link to my blog.  And Denise did indeed confirm to Audrey that the dealer with the zipper problem was her.
That kinda floored me….even without re-reading that blog post, I knew that wasn’t good.  I knew I’d probably said something that would embarrass Denise, or myself, or most likely, both of us.
But I didn’t want to pursue it until I had had a chance to re-read my post.  So I changed the subject.  I asked how she discovered my blog.  “Oh, from Poker Grump’s blog.”  It seems a few years back, Grump mentioned Audrey, by her real name, in one of his posts.  A friend of Audrey’s told her she was mentioned on a blog.  “What’s a blog?” she asked.
But the friend sent her the link and she read Grump’s post about her.  (Note: I am not going to link to Grump’s post about her, but in reality, he just mentioned her in passing, the post wasn’t about her at all.)  I guess she kept up with Grump’s blog, and eventually, that led her here.
I’m going to have a more to say about the lady dealer with the zipper problem soon.  But for now, let me just say that the mention of her in connection with my blog made me think of the “Poker Genius,”  and because the best stories about him took place at Binion’s, I had to ask her about him.
“You know who Poker Genius is, don’t you?”  She didn’t respond instantly so I gave her his real name.  “Oh him, yeah.  I call him ‘stiffy’”  (She might have said “stiffer”, I’m not sure).  It has to do with him stiffing the people who stake him, and that’s all.
Then she said, “What I really want to know is who Prudence is,”
Sigh.  In addition to the phrase, “the dreaded pocket kings,” I should have trademarked the name “Prudence,” too.
I laughed.  Audrey really did know my blog!  I said, “Well, I don’t think you know her—“
“Don’t be so sure, I know a lot of players.”
“Well, I’m pretty sure she’s never played here.”
The break was almost over and I had to get back to my seat.  By the way, this was a tournament, that, despite this distraction, I actually ended up cashing in.  But that will be a whole separate blog post. 
I survived to the next break, and was happy to see that I one again had a chance to ask Audrey a question about my blog, or in this case, me.  I just couldn’t help myself.
I went over to again.  “Sorry, but I have one more question.”  She said sure, go ahead.
“How did you know it was me?  I mean, how did you know I was the guy doing the blog?”
She said there were pictures of me on the blogs and she recognized me.  A month or so after the zipper post, she saw a picture of me and put two and two together.
Hmm, I’m not sure if I’ve posted pictures of myself here.  The original idea was that I would protect my own identity, in addition to everyone else I told stories about.  But just a month or so after that “zipper” post, Lightning, Josie, Tony, Pete Peters, et al, all hit town.  Pictures of me were taken.  I know my mug appeared on Lightning & Josie’s blog, and possibly others. Grump referenced all of us, as did I, etc. Obviously, Audrey saw one of those pics and said, “Oh, I know him!”
Ok, I had interrogated Audrey enough for one day.  I got back to my room late, and instead of thinking of the tournament I’d just played in for 8-1/2 hours for a min cash, all I was thinking of was, what the hell did I write in that blog post I now knew Denise had read?

OK, that's all for part 1.  Part 2 is here.


  1. You never know -- a picture in my blog just might get you some real action!

    1. Yeah.

      Or arrested!

      BTW, sorry I forgot to include the visual aid I found for this post, I hope early readers come back for a look now that I've added it.

    2. Awww ... I thought you were going to post a picture of the Poker Genius...

    3. 2 hot girls or Poker Genius. Which do you think my readers want to see?

  2. You're getting famous Rob or maybe infamous.

    1. I think both, Neo. gulp. Remember that Todd from Australia, a blog reader of mine, was able to google me and find pictures of me, and figure out that we were in the same poker room together during his Xmas visit to the states.

  3. Rob, with all due respect, you left out MY favorite part of the original dealer "zipper down" story! The best part of that story was the other woman in the poker room teasing the female dealer that she was worried something might fall out of that open zipper!! That comment was a classic Rob blog "woman said" story. When the girls talk dirty, I for one want an IMMEDIATE blog report. Even your dealer friend at Binions is now wondering who Prudence is. Hmmm... can't imagine why! The dirtier they talk, the more we all focus on your stories.

    Good story so far. I look forward to your next installment of this zipper tale. Cheers Woody

    1. I didn't leave it out, Woody....I didn't get to it yet. The full version of the zipper story will be completely covered (or unzipped, if you will), in part 2.

      Patience, my friend, patience.

  4. Can't wait for part 2. This is a tremendous story without any vagina mentionings.. Imagine that! You certainly are becoming well known. The next time I have a zipper malfunction, I wonder if it will make it to the Internet. Hehe

    1. Zipper malfunctions are only blog-worthy if there's a "woman said" attached to it.

  5. I swear I feel like I should buy a bottle of wine (which I don't even drink) before I sit down to read one of your posts... :) Just starting to play some blog catch-up tonight. Keep up the good work!

    1. Good idea, Coach. Getting hammered before reading my blog is definitely the best way to enjoy it. Thanks.

    2. I don't understand, Carmel. I purposely broke this post up into three little mini-posts just as a courtesy to my readers!.

  6. Yikes, I need a nap after reading this epic post. Have to prepare for the next installments.

    1. Great to hear from you Carmel, it's been a long time. Welcome back to civilization! :)

      So are you saying that I should advertise my blog as a cure for insomnia?