Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Aussie, the Canadian, and the Patriotic Dealer

Just the other night at BSC, a dealer said something so awesome to a player that, for the first time in my life, I felt compelled to tip him for it even though he didn’t push me a pot his entire down.

I’m going to call this dealer “Stu” because that is not his real name and because I’ve never used that name as a pseudonym before.  You might think that there’s a reason that Stu has been dealing to me all this time and yet this is the first time he’s “earned” a blog identity.  And you’d be right.

Stu is a fine dealer, very competent, totally professional.  For all I know, when he is not working, he may be the funniest, friendliest guy on the planet. But when he’s dealing—well, no offense, Stu—but he isn’t exactly Mr. Personality. 

If you had told me before the evening began that I would tip a dealer solely based on something he said to another player, and asked me to guess who it would be, I would have named every single dealer at BSC before coming up with Stu.

In fact, I asked my pal Abe to guess which dealer had earned such a tip from me, and I told him it would be absolutely the last dealer he’d guess, he immediately guessed Stu.

The situation was this.  There was a loud, drunk Aussie and a loud drunk Canadian at the table.  They were both betting big, very loose, very aggressive.  The difference was that the Aussie was hitting his two and three-outers and the Canadian wasn’t.

Earlier there had been a second Aussie at the table and a second Canadian too.  The discussion got a little political and the Aussies were comparing their home country to the USA.  One of the differences had to do with the price of alcohol, but I was really trying to tune the whole discussion out.   It was clear that both these players had a keen interest in alcohol.

Anyway, the Aussie won a good size pot and talked about now having enough money to buy some particular type of rather expensive booze.  The implication was that he would share it with the Canadian, who was very much in favor of that.

As he counted his chips, he said, very loudly, “Well this ought to be enough to buy that (name of booze) in this f***ing country.”

He said the f-word loud enough to have been heard at the Aria.

Stu warned the Aussie to be careful with his language.  I’m not sure what the Aussie said, he may have apologized. 

The Canadian was shocked.  “What did he say that was offensive?  Were you offended?”

Stu said, “I’m just a dealer.  But some people might have been offended by his comment.  We do have rules about the use of certain words.”

The Canadian didn't get it.  “Well, I wasn’t offended.  What’s the big deal?”

Stu reiterated that the language was unacceptable.

The Canadian thought it was no big deal.  “It wasn’t offensive,” then added, “I’m not from this country.  I’m Canadian.”

I don’t think Stu knew that, although it didn’t matter.  I’m sure that Stu could tell by the Aussie’s accent that he was not from around these parts.

So Stu replied, “Well, if you’re not from this country, maybe that’s why you didn’t find it f***ing offensive.”

He didn’t say “f***ing” as loud as the Aussie had (that probably isn’t possible) but he did say it very clearly, and everyone at the table could hear it.

I was tempted to stand up from my chair and start applauding.  Not only was Stu sticking up for his country, but I found it wonderful that he was warning a player about bad language by using bad language.  It was positively delicious.

I waited for Stu to finish dealing the current hand and then handed him a couple of chips.  I said, “That’s for making the greatest comment I’d ever heard from a dealer at a poker table.

The Canadian finally got it, and apologized several times to Stu.  Stu told him he had said nothing wrong, he wasn’t the one being warned.  Stu said he had no issue with the Canadian.

Nevertheless, I could tell that Stu was a bit agitated and tense.  It was totally out of character for him to use the f-bomb at the table, and totally brilliant at the same time.  When I gave him the tip, he seemed almost embarrassed and said I didn’t have to do that.  Of course I knew that, but boy, did I ever want give him that tip.

When Stu was pushed out, he thanked me by name and patted me on the shoulder.  He said something like, “Thanks, you really broke the tension there.”  I actually think that, for whatever reason, Stu was in danger of losing control there, and my tip and my comment really helped.  That wasn’t my intention.  I was just trying to reward him for what I thought was dealer excellence above and beyond.

By the way, the Canadian apologized once again when Stu left, and gave him a couple of bucks too.

The Aussie said and did nothing.  He may have been too drunk to have even remembered his own comment.  I can tell you that, a few dealers later, he said that he was “shit-faced.”

Never realized how appropriate that slang term was before.

Way to go, Stu.

(Note:  For a report on the rest of this night's poker, see here)

The Aussie above looks nothing like the Aussie in my post

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