Archive Dec 2007: A Work in Progress: The Diary of a Micro-Limit NL Player/Poker Dealer

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From the Dealer's Box: My First Job and Holidays

Catch-Up!

First off, I want to apologize for not keeping you guys up to date during basically the most important time of my poker dealing career. During the tournament I was so tired I just went to sleep when I got home. During the Holidays I went home to my parent’s house and forgot my wireless adapter and I didn't have the internet for over a week I almost died lol. I finally can browse the interwebs so here it goes...

I left everyone off with me being 100% sure I was failing my Borgata drug test and I got the "on-call" dealing position at the Showboat. Things ended up turning out very differently than I had expected. About a day or two after I finished dealing the WSOP at Harrah's (I will get to that in a bit) I got a call from the Borgata asking when I wanted to go in for orientation and what hours I can work. Really?! Shhhhhweeeeetttt! Then I went in to get processed for the Showboat which essentially is filling out a bunch of bullshit paper work, taking a pick for your I.D. and a drug test, it takes like 10 minutes. I go in and the lady sits me down and tells me she doesn't have my paperwork so I can't get processed. WTF! I call the Showboat and after a few minutes we realize that I was just taken out of dealer's school and went to this audition I never applied for it. I applied online right away and that takes a few days (which goes into the holiday) and I expect a call from them to go in and get processed within a day or so.

WSOP Circuit at Harrah's

All I knew going into this job was to be there at 11:30 and where I was suppose to go, that is it. When I got there it was madness. The first event was a $300+40 with over 900 players including alternates. There were people everywhere, dealers didn't know what to do and we didn't get pushed for over an hour (normally dealers should move tables every 30 minutes). That was essentially the theme of the day: madness.

I didn't make any mistakes besides flipping over a few cards during the pitch, but I saw and heard the floor being called all over the place. It seemed often times it was because dealers were burning and turning before the action was complete. This is probably one of the bigger mistakes that a dealer can make because you change the cards up a bit. This could really piss the players off.

Oops!

A few days in everything was going really smoothly and I was loving my job then I did the worst thing a dealer can do. A player moved in UTG. His cards were in front of his chips and he pushed his chips in which pushed his cards in really far. Everyone folded super fast so I had like 8 cards to scoop up behind him and I accidentally mucked his cards as well. He goes, "Where the fuck are my cards?" I didn’t even realize I grabbed his cards. Essentially, since nobody called his bet yet all he had to do was call the BB and his hand is dead...he got the rest back. I know he has to protect his hand, but I have to pay attention.

Good Tables vs. Bad Tables

I know I don't have much experience dealing yet but I have a good idea of how this job is going to be. There are some tables that all the people are fun and you can converse and just have a good time and your 30 minutes fly by and I can't think of a better thing I could be doing. Then there are the bad tables. Nobody talks, they criticize everything I did and made me feel like a piece of crap. This is when I can't think of any job that is worse that I could be doing. That comes with working with the public though, oh well. I just don't know the exact procedures I need to do for every situation and people didn't like it, fuck them..lol!

The best table I had was with these two kids who clearly played a lot on Stars. One of you guys finished 3rd in the 2nd 1k event so holla at me if you read this. They were just joking around and they were cool with me talking at the table and stuff it was a good time. I had a number of tables like this, but a lot of the fun people were much older than me I felt like I related to these kids a bit more.

All in all this was an awesome experience and hopefully a lucrative one. I go for my first paycheck today. First thing I am buying is a TV that is actually bigger than my computer monitor lol!

Holidays

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I have to say this was probably the best Christmas I have had in years. Minus the fact that my Grandmother passed away and was not there my entire family was. It was the first time we all got together in a long time and it was just fun. The coolest thing I got for Christmas was an Xbox 360, but just a few days before my little brothers 360 fried out and I left it at home so he can use it until Microsoft replaces his. Basically he is one of the best Guitar Hero players in the world so he has to keep up with his scores and stuff and he just sent out his PS2 to get modded so he can play custom Guitar Hero songs on that (if you guys understand all that).

Professionalism

In my last blog I talked about how much better the Borgata is than all the other casinos in Atlantic City. This will be more of the same. We are about 3 weeks outside the Winter Poker Open and they had all the dealers come for orientation. I learned everything I need to know today...not when I got to the tourney, not three days in, I learned everything in advance. This tournament will be better run than the WSOP at Harrah's I guarantee! There will still be brand new "break in" dealers but the tournaments will be ran better overall. So be patient with new dealers and help them out be making them feel comfortable because most of the mistakes they will be making is because of nerves.

New Year's Resolutions

Here are mine:

Shorter showers
Less procrastination (thus finding more time to play poker)
Make lots of monies
Get benefits at work

As for poker:

Be playing 200NL by this time next year
Be playing somewhere around 6-8 tables as a norm
Supplement my income playing poker
Continue sticking with good BR management


And just as a joke because these pics are my ID pics from Harrahs and the Borgata I will post them. They are so bad I look like I was on “To Catch a Predator” and EdmondDantes insisted I post them for the LOL factor. I will probably post a normal picture of myself in the future or just make it my avatar I don’t know.

click to enlarge the image

click to enlarge the image

I guess you could tell who I am by those pics, so if you are playing the Borgata events holla at me. Happy Holidays and have a great New Year!

From the Dealer's Box: Borgata Audition

Recap

I left you guys off in the last blog with a lot of uncertainty. This blog will probably be no different. I don’t know where I stand with the Showboat and I am working the WSOP Circuit at Harrah's come December 8th. All I know about that is that I have to show up at 11:30…that’s it. I ended up getting a call from The Borgata about dealing their WPT Winter Poker Open and I had an audition in a few days.

Above the Rest

As most people know that live and play poker in the area, Borgata is a top tier casino. They have easily the best poker room in A.C. possibly the east coast (I have never been to Foxwoods, but I heard it trumps Borgata). Since their operation is at a much higher level they also demand more from their applicants. Unlike my WSOP Circuit audition I was required to answer questions. Some of them were the basic, “Why do you want to work here?” While others were, “What is the most important part of game integrity?” If you don’t know the answer to the second question I am glad you are not dealers! It is the rack. You must protect the rack at all costs when dealing a poker game. Not only this, but they demanded much more skill wise as well.

About a week later I receive a call from the Borgata congratulating me on getting the job. I was asked to go in to their offices and fill out some paperwork. Some is an understatement! I must have filled out like thirty pages of the same information over and over again. Name social address…name social address. After this I was brought into a cubicle, my info was checked out and I was told I had to take a drug test within 24 hours.

Puff Puff Pass

Basically, the last time I smoked weed was when I was in college (about 6-8 months ago), I can’t even recall when the last time was it was so long ago. I was not worried about failing the test. I have never smoked regularly just here and there when I was too drunk to say no. I have a shaved head and I always have so the person taking care of me asks me if I have any armpit hair. I say yea and she takes the hair needed from my pits. No biggie right?

When I get home I get curious as to how drug testing with hair works, so I decide to google it. To my surprise, when I get to the section that talks about people that have little to no head hair, they explain hair can be taken from the body, but it grows much slower therefore the time span is much wider for detection. It detects drugs for around a year! FUCK! Did some tiny mistake I made a long time ago just affect the most important opportunity of my life to date? I will know it approximately two days.

The Sweat

So I am sweating this drug test tremendously bad. I don’t get a call two days later, I don’t even get one five days later. If this goes one more day I am going to explode! This whole time I don’t know how I am going to explain this to my parents and I don’t even know how they are going to take it (I assume not too harshly, after all they grew up in the 70’s and my father was in a band). I talk to some people and they said, “You have to be a man and own up to your mistakes, just deal with it and move on.” Others informed me that they don’t even test everyone because it is so expensive (the test usually just acts as a deterrent itself because people who do drugs simply won't show).

Faith

Since my Grandmother passed a few months ago, I am slowly finding my faith again. I understand that throughout my life God is going to test me. I am going to be graded on how I react to these tests. Am I going to curse God for my misfortunes or am I going to accept the cards that life has dealt me and thank God for what I have? I chose the later. I don’t think I would have gotten through this situation without my faith.

Miracles Do Happen

At this point, I have accepted what is coming to me and I am planning out a way to tell my parents. My friend calls me and tells me he is coming down to visit and he is staying at the Showboat. I come along and we plan on getting drunk and just enjoying the night. I take my first shot of Goose when my phone rings. It is the lady from the Showboat who auditioned me. She asks me if I can stop in the room in the next few days so they can ask me a few questions. I tell them that I am in the hotel, I will be right down. I stop in and they tell me they are offering me a part time position dealing cash in their room. I guess my assumptions on the whole “alternate list” thing were wrong. I obviously accept and they tell me they will call me in a few days about what out best course of action will be (since I am dealing the WSOP).

As I leave the room my friend says, “Now you can tell your parents you just don’t want the Borgata job because you have a cash dealing job now.” Yes! I proceed to tell them this and I am in the clear. Now I just have to pass the Showboat drug test (I am basically completely hair free but my head lol). I should know in the coming weeks how the Showboat will pan out, but I will be anxious until then. In my next blog entry and will recap my first week dealing the WSOP events at Harrah's and possibly some Showboat news, GL all!

From the Dealer's Box: Showboat Audition

Ambassador of the Quan

So just to recap the last blog, I went to a World Series of Poker Circuit audition at Harrah’s about a month ago and the hired me on the spot along with everyone else auditioning. They were basically giving jobs away. My next audition, this was not the case. The Showboat is probably one of the better known poker rooms in A.C. I don’t have any input on it as I have not played there yet. This audition actually came before the WSOP one, but I was approached for the circuit job first so I thought I would start with it instead of this one.

Pressure

In the last blog I talked about being nervous. This audition was the reason. I was working on my apartment (I do handy work around the house for my landlord for a little pocket change) when I got a call from my buddy that works in the office at the dealer’s school. He said “A lady is here from the Showboat and she’s looking for dealers, we told her how good you were and she wants to take a look at you.” Sounds awesome right? Now don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that the people that own the school put my name out there and are trying to help me out but they set the bar a little high for me. They have only seen me in the most relaxed situation I will ever deal in: dealer’s school. In school you can make all the mistakes you want and it’s not big deal. You aren’t costing anyone money or their tourney life.

I get dressed in some decent clothes and take the ride to the school. I hop in with the morning class (I took the night class) and play a few hands, then the teacher asks me to deal a couple. I am about to shit my pants. I wasn’t used to the cards they were using on top of my enormous amount of nervousness so my shuffle was pretty sloppy. My pitch was good, but I made like a million mistakes and I froze when I tried to make a side pot. It didn’t go good, but good news…this wasn’t my audition. She told me the audition will be in a few days so work on this and that and I will be fine. Great.

Second Chance

That was like the 10th time I was humbled during the past few months. Every time I thought I really had this whole dealing thing down, I didn’t really. I just had a false sense of things because the other people in my class or other classes either didn’t know poker as well as I so they spent so much time trying to understand the basics and not working on actually dealing, or they were just retarded. So after that disaster I decided it was time to really work hard at this thing. I decided I would go into school and practice on my own at an empty table or something. I say hello to the owner as I walk in and he told me the Showboat lady will be back tonight. Sweet! I get a chance to redeem myself.

This time she just sits with me and one other guy. We just dealt had a good time and joked around. Again I was still a bit nervous, but I did much better. I didn’t do as well as I know I am capable of, but I showed her that yesterday was nervousness for sure. I still shit my pants when I had to do side pots so I knew I was going to have to really work at them hard if I wanted this job and the audition was tomorrow.

Big Leagues

I practiced on fixing all the mistakes I was making all morning. I woke up at 8 and practiced until 2 (my audition is at 3). I feel super confident I will be fine in this thing and I have the attitude of what happens, happens. I drive there, I am nervous again and am talking myself through all the things that could come up. I am ready.

I walk in to see I am the first one here. I was only like 15 minutes early too. What kid of image are these other people trying to portray? The way I grew up with sports and jobs was if you were on time…you were late. Anyway, I see the lady I was working with and she sits me at an empty table in the middle of the action and she has me watch the other dealers, because this is what she expects to see. I watch a few hands and she moves me over to a table in the back of the room with a dealer on break. We start playing a few hands joking around (I won every pot, I ran so good lol).

The rest of the dealers came and we got started late of course. I opted to not be one of the first dealers in there because for one, I was nervous and I wanted to see what I was up against. Well, based on the first three guys I wasn’t up against anything. There was a dealer from Vegas who was good, but besides him I thought I was the next best. I ended up playing and joking around with everyone and enjoying myself. This really took away all the butterflies and when I got in the box it felt like dealer’s school.

The higher up people in the casinos in Atlantic City are not allowed to gamble in the city. So when auditions come around it’s the only time they get to play, and they have a good time. They were raising every pot and just being maniacs which relaxed us a bit while we were playing, but when we were in the box they gave us fits. I had one pot where there were three side pots. I did them slow, but I did them right (practice paid off). I got out of the box and everyone complemented me on how well I did, nobody said that to anyone else which I found to be interesting. I felt like I gave it everything I could and I was happy with how I did.

Conflict

I told the lady who came to dealer’s school that I would be auditioning for the WSOP. She immediately was like, “that’s not good.” Harrah’s owns the Showboat. They cannot steal me from another property so if I was to get hired they would have to wait until the temporary job at the WSOP is done. Shit! Did I just completely fuck myself out of a full-time job for a part-time one? After my audition I ask again for advice on how I should handle the situation. The room manager, Chris said “Don’t worry about it. If we really want you we can talk to them and take you, it doesn’t make sense for you to work two weeks there and not be able to work here."

Mixed Signals

A week later I get the call about how my audition went. They told me I am on their alternate list. That essentially means that if the people that they actually wanted don’t want the job, don’t take the drug test, or fail it I would be next up. Cool I guess. I thought I did really well, but I guess not well enough. So I ask, “What did I do wrong?” She said, “Nothing.” Hmmm. She explains that I am on the list because of the WSOP thing and I should call her when it is done. Ok cool, I guess I have an opportunity for a full time position after the WSOP and I get to gain a little experience before I start.

A week later I have the WSOP audition. I meet a few guys before I walk in and the question comes up if this is our first audition or not. One of the guys says he went on a Showboat audition. Apparently, they audition over 50 people for like 3 jobs. Throughout my time here in Atlantic City I met a few other people who went on a recent Showboat audition and they all were put on this “alternate list” or the I can’t tell anyone they weren’t good enough so I am going to let them off easy list. Now there are a few other tournaments that start after the WSOP. By misleading me a little (so I think) I don’t know if I should be applying for these jobs to ensure I actually have some income or don’t because I don’t want it to conflict with me getting a cash dealing job.

I Write My Story

I decided my fate was up to me not the Showboat. I am not going to wait around for them to need me. There are plenty of rooms in the city and I will work hard to get their jobs. Don’t get me wrong I will never rule out the Showboat, but I am not burning any bridges that were built and I am not going to let them dictate my life. I could always deal a tourney during the day and cash at night if that is the case, but I am not going to be out of work. I guess we will know all the answers for sure when the WSOP at Harrah’s is over. I decided to apply for the Borgata Winter Poker Open job, I got the call an hour later to come in for an audition in a couple of days…here we go again.

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