Monday, October 23, 2017

"This is For You" (Revisited)

(Note:  Sorry folks, I've been too busy to either finish the long blog post I started writing last week--a recap of my last great tournament run--or even do a new, quickie post.  Since it's been awhile since I've posted, I'm running this fun post that originally ran during the first year of this blog's existence.  Most of you probably either haven't read it or don't remember it, so hopefully you'll find it worth a revist!  Note the reference to "BSC"!)

Tonight, playing at BSC, I saw one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen at a poker table.  A player kept attempting to tip the dealers by putting his own chips directly into the rake box.

Let me back up.  Early in the session a rather unusual looking young fellow joined the game, taking the seat directly to the right of the dealer.  He was Asian, and he had unusually long hair (down to his shoulders) and was wearing a baseball-type cap.  And he was happy.
Boy was he happy.  I’m not speaking euphemistically here, at least at first.  He was just real happy.  I’ve seen this before, a person who is just really happy to be in Vegas and to be playing poker (or whatever) in Vegas.  And that’s what this guy appeared to be.
Of course, he got happier as the evening went on.  He was ordering beer after beer, and when he switched to hard liquor for one round, the waitress refused to let him take the drink until he relinquished the beer bottle in front of him.  The rule is, no one can have more than one alcoholic beverage at a time.  He put up a fuss, and begged the waitress to make an exception for him.  She said she couldn’t because of all the cameras that were watching. When he heard that, he got excited.  “There’s cameras on me?  Oh wow, I’m a superstar!” He finally solved the dilemma by chugalugging the rest of his beer (he had about 1/3 left).
Surprisingly, he seemed to be playing reasonable well, nothing too out of the ordinary.  Then one time he looked at his hand and let out a rather maniacal laugh. It was the kind of laugh you might hear from a villain in a super-hero movie.  It was really loud too.  I think there was a limper or two—but no more than that—and he raised to $35.  Yeah, $35.  In a 1/2 game.  A bit of an overbet, don’t you think?
I said about the laugh, “I think that’s a tell.”  Anyway, no one called his bet and he showed his hand as he collected his $5 or $7 pot.  It was indeed a pair of Aces.  He laughed and made a big over bet every time he had Aces, which happened a few times.  But he started laughing oddly and in this slightly maniacally tone more and more.  When he looked at the cards.  When someone raised.  When the flop came.  When the turn came.  When someone folded.  This happened whether he was in a hand or not. Eventually, he found almost everything funny. 
After a few hours, he was both happy and drunk.  He proved this by trying to help another player play his hand—a definite no-no.  In a limped pot without much action until the river, the board showed 6-7-8-9-x, no flush possible.  The river card was the 8, completing possible gut shot straight draws.  The 8 caused some action.  One player bet out $35.  The other player made it an even $100.  The first player went into the tank, trying to figure out whether to call or not.
He was taking a long time when the happy Asian started talking.  “If you have a 5, you have to call.”  The dealer of course warned him not to comment on the hand while action was pending.  He was surprised, and didn’t understand why not, but he kept quiet.  For a few seconds.  As the guy was still thinking about what to do, the happy Asian repeated his advice.  Several times.  The dealer told him to be quiet.  Other players near him (out of the hand) tried to explain why this was wrong.  He wasn’t getting it.  Eventually though, he stopped talking, and the player who was thinking did fold, showing his 5.  The winner didn’t show, we’ll just have to assume he had a 10, if not Jack-10.
Now for the oddest part.  Being seating near the dealer, the player was right next to the rake box.  He suddenly found this fascinating, particularly the slide the dealer pulls out to make the chips for the rake drop into the box.  And during the play of the hand, when there were some chips there as part of the rake, he started pulling back on the slide himself to make the rake drop.  As soon as the dealer noticed this, he told him not to do it.  But I think he may have done it a few more times.
But then, he started putting his own personal chips to the chips in the rake slot, before they were dropped.  Suddenly the dealer, who had just dropped the rake, saw a dollar chip there before the next hand had been dealt.  He realized that the happy Asian put them there, from his own stack.  The dealer asked what he was doing.
“This is for you, right?  This is your tips.”  No, the dealer explained, that was not tips, that was going to the house.  Now, the player had indeed being tipping—directly to the dealer—when he won a pot.  But apparently he hadn’t noticed that the dealers were putting those chips into their shirt pockets.  He thought that the money going down the chute were the chips that the dealers were being given for tips!
This happened at the end of one dealer’s down, and it appeared that he had gotten the message across to the guy not to mess with the rake box, and that those were not tips.
But that wasn’t the case.  Dennis was the new dealer and soon saw the guy putting his own chips on top of the rake chips.  He too asked him to stop that.  He too heard the player say, “This is for you, right?”  No, Dennis explained, it was not.  “This money goes to BSC.  They have enough money.  You don’t need to give them any more.”  Dennis started wondering how much money the guy had given away to BSC.  All the players did.  No one knew, but it was clear that the guy had given away some of his money to the house, thinking he was tipping the dealers.
It took Dennis about half his down to get the guy to stop trying to put chips on top of the rake.  Although I think he had stopped pulling back on the slide, he did touch it a few times and make Dennis think he might be doing that. Dennis then told him that cameras were watching and he again got excited about being on camera.
Dennis wondered how much money he had given away, and I said it could have been $40 or so (but I really don’t think it was that much.)  Then I said the accountants will be wondering why the take on this table was so much higher than average.
It appeared he had gotten the message by the time Dennis was done with his down.  But not so. The next dealer caught him doing it again!  Then, in an incredible display of good timing, the rake box jammed, as it sometimes does.  I really don’t think he had put enough money in there to cause this himself, but it was funny.  When a floor person came by to clear the jam, the guy said something about having put money down there from his own stack, and the floor said, “You put your own money down there?  Don’t do that!  But I actually think he thought the guy was kidding.
By the time Dennis was done with his down, it again appeared that the guy had gotten the message, but again, that wasn’t the case.  He started doing the same thing with the next dealer.  And was warned again.  Finally, he took his last remaining stack of $1 chips, which was about $10-$12, and started to place it right on top of the slot for the rake.  The new dealer saw this of course, took the chips and handed them back to the player.  So the player said, “Ok, then this is for you,” and put the chips in the general vicinity of the dealer. So the dealer took the chips, put them in his shirt pocket, and thanked the player. 
The happy Asian was done.  He still had a decent amount of $5 chips left, which he took with him, saying he had to eat.
After he left, all of us at the table had a good laugh about this.  And no one could recall ever seeing anything like it.  So, when I was leaving, I spoke to Dennis, who was dealing at another game.  I asked him if he’d ever seen that before.  He’s being dealing at BSC for around 7 years, and he said no, this was a first for him.  And repeated the guy’s line, laughing, “This is for you, right?”
I have no idea how much he gave away to BSC tonight, but I will say this.  He was damn happy about it.

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