Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dealers find new ways to annoy me

I played at the Stratosphere this evening. Two dealers managed to get on my bad side.


I waited for nearly an hour for a game to start. No problem; this is why I always carry an old New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in my pocket. I pulled out the one I've been working on. I had already been through it twice, and was now going back to fill in the remaining holes. Obviously, I had done all the clues I found easiest, and was left with only the ones that were stumping me.

There was a dealer in the box, deadspreading. He was obviously bored. He asked me an inane question or two. "Working on a crossword puzzle?" No, sir, I'm designing Boeing's next jumbo jet. Moron.

I thought the one-word, curt answers without lifting up my head to make eye contact would be sufficient social signaling that I wasn't open to imbecilic chatting. Apparently not. He said, "Tell me one of the clues--an easy one."

One of the pleasures of such puzzles--unless you intentionally set out to work on it with another person--is completing it without help. You get to sit back after filling in the last letter and think, "I did it!" If somebody helps, it ruins that sensation. It's just as if you cheated by Googling an answer, or looking in the back of the book. I most definitely was not feeling like sharing the puzzle, when I was more than 75% of the way to the finish line.

So I told him--again without giving him the courtesy of looking up--"There aren't any easy ones." He surprised me with his reaction: "Oh, is that one of those New York Times ones?" I nodded. "Oh, well, I probably wouldn't know any of those." I didn't answer, but I thought, "Good. Then maybe you'll shut up."

But no. He kept watching me, and a couple of minutes later he reached over and tapped on a space on the bottom line of the puzzle where he could see I had a seven-letter word partly filled in: IDLE_ _ _. "What's the clue for that one?"

Son of a bitch. I don't want to play with you, dude, and keep your grubby hands off of my puzzle. But I didn't say that. I told him, knowing there was no chance in hell he'd get it. "Do-nothing's state."



"Gee, I have no idea what that would be."

Good. Then shut yer piehole, pinhead.

"Is it 'IDLING?'"

"No, that wouldn't fit the space." This was said through gritted teeth.

Fortunately, he stopped guessing at that point and left me alone.

I'm aware that I can be oblivious to social cues and expectations at times. But however bad I am at that stuff, this blundering imbecile is a hundred times worse. He was as socially clueless as Dana Carvey's "Massive Head Wound Harry." The only way I could have been throwing off more obvious clues that I wanted to be left alone would have been to literally shoot some silk thread out of my butt and start wrapping myself in a cocoon.

The answer to the clue, by the way, turned out to be IDLESSE, a word that I'm not sure I had ever encountered before today.


A while after the game finally got underway, there was a three-way pot that was checked on the flop, turn, and river. The pot was $8. (I'm not sure how that happened. Maybe a fourth player checked out when he missed the flop. Doesn't really matter for the story.) All three players had an ace-baby hand, and were to chop the pot. As the dealer--a 50-something guy named Richard--was putting the chips into two stacks of three and one stack of two, he said, "I think you guys should just leave it all for the dealer."

I've had dealers be pretty obvious in their hinting for tips. There's one guy at Imperial Palace who makes a big show of saying "Nice hand" to players who win any sort of decent pot and who haven't tipped him as quickly as he thinks they should. I get it from him all the time, because I don't give the cards back until the pot is in my possession, and he obviously worries that I'll forget. One of my very earliest blog posts here (November 15, 2006, to be exact) was about three instances of dealer beggars I had encountered in rapid succession. Those stories remained the most flagrant instances I had seen--until today.

Asking for tips, directly or indirectly, is one of the most ugly and unprofessional things dealers can do. I would also guess that it directly violates the explicit policy of every poker room in the state. I have known dealers who make a policy of always answering "yes" when a player asks whether he or she remembered a toke ("Did I get you for that last hand?"), even if the truth is no, because they want to steer entirely clear of saying or doing anything that even remotely smells of requesting tips.

Not Richard. He just out-and-out told three players simultaneously that they should leave the pot to him, rather than make him divide it between them.

What a massive, pathetic loser.

(Uncredited image found here. I cannot tell if it is original to that site.)


lightning36 said...

Please do not change your blog name. lol

Memphis MOJO said...

lightning36 is right, you do sound a little grumpy today, but what's up with these people? It's enough to make me grumpy, too.

JT88Keys said...

There used to be a dealer who worked the shift I most frequently played at my local B&M casino who would shamelessly push for her tips. If somebody forgot to tip her or just happened to be somebody that was new to live poker and didn't know the protocol, she didn't hide her anger. when the next person did tip she would push them the pot and LOUDLY say, "Thank you very much, sir!" All the while she is staring holes through the person that didn't tip previously.

It was the most vile display I'd ever seen and I didn't tip her for the rest of the night the first time I saw her do it. I kept waiting for her to ask why I stopped tipping her so I could tell her how gross it was, but she never did.

Chris in Dallas said...

First dealer...needed to be hit with a taser. You wanna do a crossword? Get your own.

As for Richard, did you even think that maybe "ah, he's doin' a bit and being personable and lighting up the mood a touch at the table." If it was a one-time thing, you need to lighten up a little, accept it as being friendly banter. If it was a continuous occurances, then maybe you have a legitimate gripe.

Local Rock said...

I know one dealer who for years has made it a routine practice to reply: "It never hurts to be sure." Every single time. He's also visibly hung-over when he shows up for work, every single time.