Monthly Archives: May 2014

Maury to the rescue!

It was yet another,  morning after the night before, kind of day. I was feeling a little fragile, and was not happy with the rather loud, and extremely obnoxious group of Miami retirees that were seated around my roulette game. I don’t remember much about any of them, apart from Maury. He was one of those people that got overly excited when he won an eight piece payout, even if he had bet twenty to win it. Whenever he won, he would shout;

“Lucky Mo! Lucky Mo!”

As I pushed out the chips, I would smile lamely, thinking;

“F**k off Mo! F**k off Mo!”

His friends were equally loud and obnoxious. Well not really, but my morning after the night before head found them all totally obnoxious. There was one lady, who  would yell constantly. She resembled Bette Davis, in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?  I think she had the hots for Maury. Every time he won, she would scream, and laugh in a horrible high pitched cackle.

“Oooh!!! Maury won again!” She’d wrap her arms around his neck, delivering a sloppy wet kiss to his cheek. “Go get ’em Maury!”

Maury was eating it all up, like a high school jock, with an adoring cheerleader. I guess it was kinda cute when you think about it.
Sadly, Maury’s lucky streak came to an end, and his money ran out. The group rose from the table, and headed toward the dice pit. Thank God! I breathed a heavy sigh of relief, as I returned the chips to the color banks. There were empty plastic drink cups all around the edge of the table.  I started collecting them, placing them at the end of the table for the cocktail waitress to grab. That was when I saw it.

Just a few inches from my left foot, was a small furry animal. I screamed at the top of my lungs.
“It’s a rat! It’s a rat!” I jumped back in sheer panic.

“Don’t stamp on it! Don’t stamp on it!” Maury came rushing back toward the table. He stopped right before the critter, scooped it up, and placed it on top of his head. It slid off. That was when I saw the adhesive tape strip stuck to his now bald dome. Realizing the sticky was gone from the tape, he shoved it into his pocket, and casually returned to the dice table.

“Go get ’em Mo!” You lady killer you!



Everyone has a Vegas Story

How many people remember the movie ‘Vegas Vacation’, and the character Marty, the blackjack dealer, played by Wallace Shawn? It’s amazing how many people actually believe that the dealer knows, what the next card will be, or which number the ball will drop in, or when it’s going to be a seven-out!

Just the other day on a craps table, after a point-seven, point-seven, point-seven, game, the player told us;
“Yeah, you guys are good!” He sneered at the dice crew.
“You threw the dice, asshole, not us!” I wanted to say, but what was the point? He really believed it was something we had done.

I’ve tried to explain to people, that although there are dealers out there who are just anti-social burn outs, most of us actually want to see the player win, unless of course, you’re a total dick! It’s hard to get tips out of someone who’s losing, and that is how we get paid, tips! Just like the cocktail waitresses, bartenders, food servers, and bellboys, we work for gratuities. It’s harder for dealers to actually make tips. We have no end product. We can’t serve you a drink, or place a meal before you, or carry your bags, or park your car, but we have the ability to make your gaming experience an enjoyable one. Ever had a dealer who started out smiling and chatting, and then an hour or so in, just came unplugged, stopped smiling, talking, lost interest in you? Chances are, he knows he’s not going to make a dime on that table and kinda wishes you’d piss off and let someone sit down that might put him up for the occasional bet. Nothing personal, just trying to make a buck people! 

The other week, I had a player on my blackjack table, who I considered to be a ‘nice’ guy. He was what we call a positive progressive player, which means that he increased his bets when he won, rather than when he lost. He had originally been playing green chips, ($25) but had managed to build up his bank roll, and was now playing black chips ($100). He was winning about four grand, and I was happy for him, he was betting the occasional green chip for me. See, we all happy!

After quite a good run, he had managed to get his bet up to seven black chips. Not bad for a guy who’s original bet was fifty bucks. I dealt him a pair of threes, I was showing a four.

“I’ve gotta split those right?”
“Absolutely.” I agreed, separating the cards. 

He matched his bet, fourteen hundred in play. I dealt another three to the first one.

“Shit.” He grinned up at me. “I gotta do it.” He placed another seven black chips, and I split his threes again, making three hands. Twenty-one hundred in play. I dealt a six to the first three.
“Shit. I’ve gotta double that right?” he said, looking at my four.
“That’s what the book says.” I told him. 
“Face down.”

He put up another seven hundred. Twenty-eight hundred in play. I slid a card face down under his nine double. I dealt another six to the next three. We both stared at it. He slid another seven chips beside the bet, for the double. I dealt another card face down. Thirty-five hundred in play. I dealt him another three to the third hand.

“Are you shitting me?” he asked laughing. He shook his head. He was starting to get nervous.
“Oh my God.” I didn’t know what else to say.
“So who wrote that book?” He was playing the hand exactly as he was supposed to.

He stared at my four. He knew he had to split them again. He pushed up seven more black. Forty-two hundred in play. I was getting nervous for him. 

“Eight!” I yelled as I hit his third three. Crap, another six?
“That’s f**ked up!” he said, cradling his head with both hands.

His cache was dwindling. He pushed in five black, and eight green chips. Forty-nine hundred in play. I dealt his third double down, face down. I was kinda scared to hit the last three. Another frickin’ six! Are you kidding me? He sighed heavily, as he counted out what was left in front of him. Three hundred in green.

“For less.” he said. I slid the double-down card in place. Fifty-two hundred in play.

I patted the layout in front of him, the dealers’ sign for good luck. I turned over my hole card, an Ace. I had a soft fifteen. I hit it with an eight, down to thirteen.

“Face!” I yelled, as I hit it with another ace, fourteen.
“Face!” we both yelled, as I hit it with a two, sixteen.
“Face!” we yelled again. He was on his feet now. I hit it with a four, twenty. Crap!

“What are the chances of them all being aces?” The color had drained from his face.

My heart sank as I turned over the first card, a ten, for a total of nineteen. I picked up the chips. I slapped the table hard in front of the next hand.

“Come on, Ace!”

I really wanted to see at least one, just to keep alive. Nope, a queen. The next hand revealed a Queen also, the final hand a Jack. I felt like an asshole, as I picked up the chips. Four hands of nineteen, and I had to draw to twenty. It wasn’t my fault, and he had played the hand perfectly. It just wasn’t to be.

“Well,” I smiled weakly, “I guess you’ve got your Vegas story.”




Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, keep them doggies rollin’…

Growing up in the sixties in England, I remember being barraged with American western TV shows, and movies. My dad was a huge fan of westerns, and I can recall sitting with him, enraptured by episodes of Bonanza, The Virginian, Big Valley, Rawhide, High Chaparral, and many others. To this day, one of my favorite movies of all time is still, The Searchers.By the age of eight I knew the difference between a Comanche, and an Arapaho. Cherokees were assholes, and an Apache would scalp you in a frickin’ heartbeat, and don’t get me started on the Sioux! Of course my education was solely from these TV series, and movies, and I’ve since learned a lot about the history of the Native American people, but at the time, Jay Silverheels really was Tonto, and Jeff Chandler really was Cochise.

The influx of these shows and movies into England was so huge, they even wrote songs about them.

“It’s hard to be a Cowboy in Rochdale.
Coz they all laugh when I ride past on our Alsatian dog!”

So it’s no surprise that I was absolutely delighted when one of our Baccarat players incorporated the theme song from Lawman into his card drawing ritual. I was dealing Blackjack in the Baccarat pit when this guy took possession of the shoe, on the Baccarat table. The dealer turned the cards over for the Player.

“Player shows five, cards for the Bank.” He motioned to the guy with the shoe.

The player paused, looked around the table, and sang loudly;

There was a job to be done!
They called the man who could draw, and who won,
Mr. Drawman!”

He threw the cards in. A natural eight.

“I am Drawman!” He yelled jubilantly.

Everyone smiled at this, it was funny, THE FIRST TIME! All the bets were paid, the cards dropped, and the dealer asked for the cards for the next hand. Once again he turned the Players cards over, and once again the player went through his routine.

There was a job to be done!
They called the man who could draw, and who won,
Mr. Drawman!”

Really? Was he going to do this every frickin’ hand? Luckily it was a player hand, and the shoe moved. The Blackjack player on my table shook his head. He was playing big money, he didn’t want to listen to this idiot all night. There were only two other players seated at the Baccarat game, so it wasn’t long before the shoe was back in his possession.

There was a job to be done!
They called the man who could draw, and who won,
Mr. Drawman!”

The song was getting old now, real old. After three Bank hands in a row, the dealer and the floor person started to get a little irritated.

“Drawman!” He sang.
“Sir, turn the cards over please.” The dealer asked.
“There was a job to be done!” he continued.
“Sir, throw the cards in please, you’re holding the game up” The floorperson instructed him.
“Sir if you insist on holding up the game, we’re going to have to pass you with the shoe.” The floorperson asserted his authority.
“They called the man who could draw, and who won” he sang louder, ignoring the floorperson.

“Just throw the f**king cards in, you asshole!” The player on my game bellowed.

“Mr. Drawman!” He defiantly finished his song.

“Color me up!” my player ordered me. “I’m not listening to this moron all night.” He rose from the table. but before marching out of the Baccarat room, he turned to the guy with the shoe.
“You’re a real f**king asshole! You know that?” And he was gone.

Who was that masked man?

As it turned out, the guy with the shoe was also a big bettor, so the management decided, much to the chagrin of the dealers, to let him continue with his little ritual, for the length of his stay. Thank God I was in Dice for the rest of the week!

Wonder how many dealers from the Baccarat room will remember this guy!

Damn you Sousa!!

Did you ever get in the shower, in order to get ready for work, and suddenly realize, “Shit! I’m still drunk!”

Well, it happened to me once,… well a couple,… okay a few times. We worked six day weeks in the islands, with double shifts. It was nothing out of the ordinary to  work a sixty to eighty hour week during the season. So sometimes we went a little crazy on our one day off. I don’t know how it happened, but I was actually given a double shift after my day off, instead of the normal night shift they usually scheduled. Hey!, they had some heart!
I remember staring directly into the shower head, the water bouncing off my eyeballs, and not feeling a thing. I had had three hours sleep, not enough time to recover, but enough time to develop that lousy hangover headache, and nausea. I remember throwing my makeup in my purse, vowing to apply it the moment I could see. I had the staple night after ‘dealers’ breakfast of coffee, and three 222s, an over-the-counter pain medication, containing acetaminophen, caffeine, and Codeine. I waited anxiously for it to kick in, it didn’t. I went to work.

“Little hung over are we?” my mate Batesy teased from the podium. I ignored her and clung to my blackjack table for stability.

“Coz you’re not going home!” she told me. As much as I loved her, I wanted to wring her neck, bitch!

I was lucky, I was on a hundred dollar game. This was going to be an easy day, if I could just get through it. I knew by the end of my first shift I would be feeling better. I could do this!

Then things took a turn for the worse. Some a-hole on the slot bank ten feet from my game hit a jackpot. Good for him, you might think, but not for me. It played a rather loud rendition of a piece from the Washington Post, a marching band number,

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da dah da rah da dah da rah da dah da raaah da!

Oh my God! I thought my head was going to explode! Vomit encroached on the back of my throat.

Make it stop! Make it stop!

It did, for five seconds. Then off it went again.

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da dah da rah da dah da rah da dah da raaah da!

Those who worked with me in the islands will agree, that NOTHING is of any urgency down there. They get there, when they get there. Ordinarily, I kinda liked that philosophy, but right now I needed some sucka to shut that damn machine off! There had to be a slot tech somewhere right? Well yeah, but he was somewhere, not there! Off it went again.

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da dah da rah da dah da rah da dah da raaah da!

Fifteen minutes into this musical catastrophe, most of the players at the tables had cashed in their chips, They had to get away from the noise. The guy who had won the jackpot, sat there with his fingers in his ears. It was like Chinese water torture!

I, on the other hand, clung to my table, melting. I was in imminent danger of going down! Somebody please, for the love of God, shut that f**king thing off!

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da dah da rah da dah da rah da dah da raaah da!

Forty-five minutes! It took Forty-five minutes for a slot tech to appear. I could see him fumbling for the key to open the machine. I had tears in my eyes as I watched him, in slow motion, open the machine and hit the button that ended my misery.

I hate you John Philip Sousa!  Listen 55 seconds in!!