Luckbox | Otis | G-Rob

About the Up For Poker Blog

Up For Poker Blog Categories:

2006 WSOP
2007 World Series of Poker
2008 Belmont Stakes
2008 Kentucky Derby
2008 World Series of Poker
2009 WPBT Winter Classic
2010 WPBT Winter Classic
American Idol 2009
B&M Poker
Bad Beats
Betting the Ponies
Disc Golf
Fantasy Sports
G-Rob's Thoughts
Game Review
Home Games
Horse Racing
Internet Gambling Bill
Las Vegas
Lefty's Thoughts
Luckbox Last Longer Challenge
Luckbox's Thoughts
March Madness
Movie Previews
Movie review
NCAA Basketball
NETeller News
NFL Football
Online Poker
Online Sports Betting
Other Gambling
Otis' Thoughts
Pick 6
Playing For Fun
Playing For Money
Poker Blogger Tournaments
Poker Blogs
Poker in the News
Poker Law and Legal News
Poker Movies
Poker on TV
Poker Players
Poker Psychology
Poker Theory
Poker Web Sites
Pot Limit Omaha Strategy
Reading Material
Sports Betting
The Nuts
The Playboy Mansion
Tournament Action
Tuff Fish Appreciation Society
Tunica Tales
Underground Games
Up for Poker News
WPBT Holiday Classic Trip

Previous Hands:

December 2010
November 2010
September 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
December 2008
November 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003

Powered by:
Movable Type 6.3.7
Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

February 7, 2006

In the pit with Otis and C.J.

by Otis

The banks and circles of slot machines sat like a technicolor M.C. Escher eye explosion. Two round female security guards were zombies at the rear exit of the buffet. A middle-aged man rushed by, intent on getting somewhere fast. I stood still in the middle of it with my cell phone in my hand.

Maybe it's different for everybody. Maybe it's just a matter of perception. For me, it's like the empty-headed stupor that follows good sex. My vision is clear but I can't see anything on the periphery. Thoughts refuse to coalesce. Intentions present themselves and disappear as quickly as they came. Only, unlike a welcome visit from the Afterglow Bird, there is no electric tingle, no deep feeling of satisfaction. Instead, everything is just numb when I bust out of a live tournament.

Following my dead-money appearance in the $1000 event at the WSOP Tunica, I stood among the slots and video poker machines and realized I had nowhere to go. I'd just bid C.J and Iggy good luck as they walked back to the tables. BadBlood and G-Rob were in the cash games at the Gold Strike. I made a couple of phone calls, but I'm not sure who I talked to or what I said. When I looked up five minutes later, I was standing in the same place. I was more of a zombie than the security ladies.

Through the throngs walked C.J. I knew he had been shortstacked and it was clear he was out of the event, as well.

"I haven't moved," I said.

For a couple of minutes, we talked about his bustout and our options.

"I don't think I can play poker right now," I said and C.J. agreed. We looked at the buffet and talked about the two comps we had in our pocket.

"I'm thinking it may be time for a little negative EV," I said.

And C.J. agreed again.

Much has been written and many more tales have been told about big time pros who have a problem with the pit. No matter how much money they win or lose at the poker tables, they find a way to lose it all or lose even more in the pit. Long ago when I abandoned the blackjack tables for the poker rooms, I made a vow to stay away from the table games. With my storied Pai Gow fascination and California Mike's Craps-pushing serving as notable exceptions, I have managaed to stay out of the -EV waters to a large extent. And yet, there C.J. and I rode down the long escalator to the main casino.

"This is $200 worth of therapy," C.J. and I agreed, completely ignoring the absolute ridculousness of the statement. Within 30 minutes, we'd run our therapy money into a nice profit at the blackjack tables. Fifteen minutes later, the profit was gone and I was playing behind. A last-ditch hand brought me back to even. A look in C.J.'s eye and my reciprocal stare made it clear that we weren't sated.

"Roulette," C.J. said and we walked.

As we set our bankrolls to Search and Destroy, my eyes fell on Let It Ride.

"How do you play that?" I asked.

C.J. needed to only say two words: "It's easy."

"Chip change!" the dealer yelled out and the pit boss nodded as black turned into red.

The game moved along uneventfully and more black was subsequently turned into more red. When it appeared all was lost, a new dealer stepped in.

His name was Alex.

Balding, black, and as big as an NFL tackle, Alex waved his hands like a magician. He looked at the table and realized he was facing an old dude and two youngish gamblers. "Alright!" he yelled, the voice of a Southern Baptist P-Funk Preacher breaking through the din. "Who let the dogs out?!!"

The old man in the two-slot didn't say anything.

Alex instructed, "When I say that, you say 'WOOF!, WOOF!"

Again, "Who let the dogs out??!!"


Alex pointed to a pretty girl at the next table. "Can I get a meow?!!"


"Alright. Now, I'm going to give some money away up in here!"

And for the next 45 minutes, we woofed, meowed, and James Browned our way through a game of Let It Ride that turned the old dude next to us into a hundredaire after Alex gave him trip kings on a $15 bonus bet.

Our stacks went up and down as we found a way to make Let It Ride an even more losing proposition. Still, I found myself laughing, woofing, and yelling like any old tourist looking for a good time. Finally, when I didn't think I could laugh any more, I looked up at Alex. He'd been working so hard, he'd broken a big sweat on his forehead. I told C.J. that Alex should get a raise. If every casino pit dealer was as animated as Alex, the casinios would make even more money than they already do. He was the first dealer to ever make me feel better about losing than winning. He was better than any stage show offered along the Mississippi River moat.

"Alex, man," I said, "You're working too hard. You're sweating."

And suddenly, Alex was quiet. He stole a look at the pit boss and the eye in the sky. He leaned in and said, "Let me tell you a secret."

While I didn't expect him to bring me into the fold and tell me the true odds of winning--er, losing--at Let It Ride or slip me a black chip for my patronage, I didn't expect the next bit of wisdom.

"Listen," he said. "Poor people sweat. Rich people perspire. Me? I'm just cool. I defrost."

And that was all I needed. C.J. and I didn't win anything but we made therapeutical gains that were far greater than our losses. After a 20-minute visit to our comped buffet, we found our way back to the poker tables and proceeded to win some real cash.

And that was what going to Tunica was all about.

| Tunica Tales