Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"I Can Make Life Miserable For You"

Desperate men take desperate measures.  So since I haven’t been playing poker for nearly two months (prior to this past Saturday, that is), and I needed something write to write about, I pulled out my old notes that I’ve accumulated over the past three years, since I started recording voice notes on my poker sessions.  

Each day in Vegas falls in one of three categories.  1. Most definitely blogworthy (those are almost always the ones I write up ASAP, and they’re the main reason I don’t relate my stories in chronological order). 2. Absolutely nothing to blog about.  3. For further review—maybe after listening to my notes when I get back home, I can crank out a blog post about the session. Sometimes, months later, when I listen to my notes, I realize there’s nothing there.  Other times, I find a hidden gem that I’d actually forgot about when I categorized it and find something really good in there.  Or, perhaps I figure out a way to put a spin on a mediocre story and turn into something really good.  Those are the ones that I’m most proud of.

Anyway, I’ve still got plenty of those category #3 days that I never went through to determine if there’s a blog entry in there or not.  So in the absence of new, current material, I started mining through those old notes to find something to check out.

Thus, I came across this story that’s a few years old.  It centers around a real obnoxious, rude girl—a bitch, if you will.  We’ll get to her in a minute.

During this time, there were several promos going at MGM.  It was a Sunday night, and they had the football promo where they would pick a winner after each score, and that person would get between $100 and $500.  They also had those drawings every 4 hours (you got a ticket for making a flush or better).  And they had the promo where each hour a different high hand (or two) was worth a progressive jackpot.  For example, I got to the room this evening right before 6pm, and from 6 to 7 the high hands were quad 6’s or a 6 high straight flush.  On this night, hitting that would be worth $3,500 (each hand started a $200, I believe).  By the way, they now have this same promo again (everything old is new again).

In fact, that $3,500 was awarded this very evening….but not to me, of course.  I heard about it when the next dealer pushed into our table at 6:30PM and she told me which dealer had dealt the quad 6’s to win the prize.  Hours later, the dealer who dealt the jackpot hand pushed into my table, and I asked him what kind of tip he got.  He told me, “It was a bad beat.  I got twenty bucks.”  Ouch.  It was easy for me to say since I didn’t win (and have never won any kind of jackpot that big), but in my mind, I was thinking a $200-$300 tip would have been appropriate.  Since this was my home room at the time, I suppose the amount would be adjusted for how much I like the particular dealer.  What say you?  How much would you tip for being dealt a $3,500 jackpot hand?

During his down, the same dealer told me of another bad beat for him.  One time, he was dealing a real high roller game—minimum buy-in was $50K—and two guys were heads up in a huge pot.  It was over $600K!  He knew both players and knew if one guy won it, he’d get at least a $1,000 tip.  If the other guy won it, he’d get almost nothing.  Of course the second guy won the pot, and tipped him $30 for the hand.  The dealer was laughing about when he told me the story, but I bet he wasn’t laughing when it happened.

Anyway, at my table when I got there was this bitchy woman. Let’s just call her “Mean Girl” or MG for short. In my voice notes, I described her as “somewhat cute.” Today, I couldn’t recognize her if I tried. (But I’d bet the farm she bore no resemblance whatsoever to the young lady depicted below).  At 6, she was called for the drawing (during this time, there was only one name picked, and that person picked an envelope that could be worth between $100 and $3,000.

 She was at the table when her name was drawn, but for some reason her boyfriend was right where the shift boss was when he drew the ticket and saw her name even before it was announced.  He was all excited and screamed to her that she had won.  She got all excited too.  She jumped out of seat to go draw the money envelope, all excited, hooping and hollering and went over to hug her boyfriend.  Then she asked if she could take pictures (of the winning envelope, I guess).  She was told she could take all the pictures she wanted. 

Then she picked the envelope with her prize in it.  It was a $100, the minimum (of course, most of the envelopes were worth $100).  She was crushed.  It was clear she felt this was a bad beat and went back to her seat at the table acting like she’d just lost a million dollars.  The shift boss said to her, “Don’t you want to take pictures?”  And she said to him, in the nastiest tone possible, “No, I don’t want to take any pictures.”  She begrudgingly took the $100 when they brought it to her. Sure, I’d seen people obviously disappointed that they didn’t win more, but this was the worst reaction I’d ever seen to someone actually winning money.

A little while later, she hit a flush and was given two drawing tickets to fill out (during this version of the promo, a high hand caught in the first hour of each four-hour period for the drawings was worth two tickets, not one).  She started filling out one when she asked when the next drawing was.  Told it was nearly four hours away, she disgustingly turned back the tickets without filling them out.  “I have a plane to catch way before that.”

The one decent hand I won during this session was the hand where MG decided to prove what a bitch she was.  She made a small raise to $7.  I had Ace-Jack in the big blind.  There was another caller, a guy from Hawaii, so I decided to defend my big blind and call. The three of us saw a flop of Ace-Ace-X.  I decided to lead out with a bet, $20.  I’m not sure why I did that, in that case I normally check and let the preflop raiser bet.  But I didn’t explain to myself why I made the donk bet.  Perhaps I knew from observing MG’s play that she was less likely than most players to c-bet.  Anyway, she folded but the Hawaiian called.

The turn was a low blank, and I bet $35.  The Hawaiian thought about it and then asked to see my remaining stack.  I didn’t have much left, it was probably no more than $50-$60 (it hadn’t been a good night for me).  After he got a better view of my stack, he started counting his own chips (he had me covered).  This whole process hadn’t taken very long when all of a sudden, MG (who, remember, was no longer in the hand) said, “Time.  I’m calling time.” The Hawaiian’s only reaction was to say, “What?”  I thought it was way too soon to call time.  But the dealer saw that a floor person was nearby and called her over and she started the clock.  The Hawaiian didn’t say anything.  I guess I was more annoyed than he was.  You never know how, if at all, a decision is going to be affected by that.  My assumption was that he had the remaining Ace and was trying to figure out if his kicker was big enough to warrant a call.  If that was the case, I was pretty confident my Jack was good.  If he had a Queen or a King, he’d snap call.  So I was willing to give him all the time he needed to decide to call.  Maybe now he’d be distracted or pissed off enough to fold?  I know it could work either way, of course. That’s why a third party should stay out of it, unless it really was taking too long.  And this was a cash game, time was not a factor as it would have been in a tournament.

The Hawaiian didn’t need the full minute, he said, “OK, call.”

The river was another blank and I shoved the rest of my stack.  He called and asked, “You got a boat?”  I showed my Ace-Jack and said, “No, just an Ace.”  He looked at my cards and said, “Yeah, pretty good Ace.”  And he mucked.  Note: He later told me he had Ace-10 and I have no reason to doubt him.

As the dealer pushed me the pot, the Hawaiian said to MG, “Would you mind telling me why you called time on me?”  She responded, “Oh, you were taking too long, and I got a plane to catch.  I need to play more hands.”   He just shrugged and said, “It was only like 30 seconds.”

He didn’t sound in any way upset, he was very calm.  But nevertheless, MG said to him, “Oh, sorry I put you on tilt.”  He replied, “You didn’t put me on tilt.  I’m ok.” 

And then she said, “Well you better not make an issue out of it, because I can make life miserable for you.”  She said it in a very threatening tone, very nasty.

That seemed totally out of the blue.  I wondered what she meant?  I’d never seen her before so I doubted she was well-known enough in the room that she could use any pull to get the guy in trouble with the poker room management. 

To me, it would have seemed that the best way to make life miserable for the guy would be for her to marry him.

The Hawaiian guy was totally silent.  He handled it with total class and didn’t respond.  But a few of us at the table kind of went “whoa” under our breaths.  I was totally prepared to speak for the guy if he decided to call management’s attention to her threat.  But he just shrugged it off.  A very easy-going fellow indeed. 

The guy on my direct left did speak up.  He said to the Hawaiian, “I wouldn’t have been so nice if she had said that me.”  MG didn’t react to that and neither did the Hawaiian.  But when MG finally picked up her chips and cashed out, we all rehashed the incident.  We all agreed that MG was a total bitch, and again the guy to my left said, “Yeah, that would have been a lot uglier if she’d said that to me.”

But the guy from Hawaii was total class the whole way.  He didn’t deserve the treatment he got from MG, that’s for sure.  And he was so classy about it, I almost felt guilty for taking his chips on the hand MG interfered with.



  1. I think $300 seems high. That's 9% of the jackpot. And the dealer didn't have to go above and beyond his normal duties. He just dealt a normal hand, just like any other. If you had a $500 stack, went all in and won $500 from someone, do you tip the dealer $45 (9% of profit)? Not likely.

    And complaining about a tip, of any size or situation, in front of other players is very unprofessional. If he can't appreciate $30 for doing nothing besides his normal job, why would I believe that he would appreciate the $1 I tip him on the next hand? It's akin to toke hustling, which is forbidden in every room I've ever played in. If the two of you are buddies, and he bitches to you off duty over some beers, that's his right. But in front of other customers, he should smile and say he was taken care of, whether he believes it or not.

    I realize this post sounds anti tipping. I assure you it's not. Always tip your dealers, as much as you want and as much as you see fit. You shouldn't be judged on how much you tip. If you want to tip him $30 or $3000, that's your money and your right. But a time should be viewed for what it is: a token of appreciation, no matter the amount.

    1. Thanks, MelloAceCv.

      Regarding the $300...I came up with that thinking a good tip was 5%. That's $175. I would have rounded up to $200. And since it was my "home room" I would have added $100 if the dealer was one of my buddies. If it was not a dealer I liked, I would have tipped less.

      I guess I didn't make it clear. The dealer who "complained" was my buddy. He wasn't complaining, he was telling me a story. And only because I asked.

      I was sitting right next to him and I don't think that any of the other players even heard. Whether they did or not, the story was meant for me, not the rest of the table.

      In fact, now that I am remembering the story (and it was some years ago), he was reluctant to say much, and I kind of had to pry it out of him, and he spoke very softly.

  2. Rob. Excellent and very entertaining post! I think I would tip $100 on a jackpot like that, but then I have never been lucky enough to win so much in a promo so I really can't say for sure.
    I loved this part:
    "It centers around a real obnoxious, rude girl—a bitch if you will."
    Keep up the great work and glad you are on the road to recovery.

  3. Rob, do dealers split all tips? So a $300 tip divided by 10 dealers is only $30 per dealer? I think $60 for $1000 promo is fair and $30-$40 for $500 promo win.

    1. Actually, virtually every poker room that I know of--in Vegas at least--the dealers do NOT split tips. It's different than the rest of the casino, where they split them throughout the 24 hour shift (blackjack dealers share them with craps dealers and everyone else). Poker dealers generally get to keep their own tips.

      Of course that's in Vegas. It might be different around the country. Next time you're in your local room, ask the dealer if they split them or not.

    2. Thanks for the info... I will find out!

  4. I would tip $300 on that megapot in the cash game.

    1. You referring to the $600K pot? I dunno even know what to say about that, I can't conceive of ever being in a game with that big a pot--or winning one like that!

      I'd have to figure it out after they revived me!

    2. Guys that win big also lose big. So sometimes they tip the dealer regualer tip. I know a guy that hiy a badbeat for 290,000(his share) and tipped the dealer 1000, now that is a cheap ass.

  5. haha:-) another great vegas story