yo dos

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When I was 18 years old I was playing guitar with bands in Vegas bars. When I hit 21, I graduated to casino lounges.  High-end joints like Excal, Stardust and the old Oasis in Mesquite. 

A life to envy.

We also had a weekend gig at Gordon Biersch.  I’d get off work dealing at the Monte Carlo at 7:30pm (yes when I was 21 I was a dealer, obviously I just said that) and I’d rush over to GB for an 8 pm start: 3 sets, done at 12. I had a Mesa Boogie tube amp that was super heavy and no joke, every night after we played I would be lugging this thing to my car while drunk guys hit me up and not once did any of them offer to help.

Which leads me to my next story.

While working at MC I was sexually harassed constantly.  The pencil (scheduler) would tell me I looked good in different demeaning ways every day. I mean that doesn’t sound awful, right?  I’m a wimp?  But every day, every single day dealing with his comments was really frustrating. 

The real harassment came from the top though.  The Ensign family were heavily involved in MGM at one point (family of disgraced cheating husband Senator John Ensign).  John’s younger bro David Ensign ran The Hacienda Casino in Boulder City where I broke in as a dealer a few months before I got the job at MC.  David, who told me he watched me deal from a camera in his office, would come into the pit at MC, where he didn’t even work, get really close to me and tell me I was hot, etc.  Like wtf man, c’mon really?  So one day I go to HR with a complaint about David.  The woman in charge told me, “That’s not sexual harassment.” 

Cool.  #MeToo

My stint at MC didn’t last long after that.

Side note: I was put on the Big 6 a couple days a week, which doesn’t constitute as sexual harassment but it sucked nonetheless.  The pencil claimed the drop was bigger when I was on it so there I stood, spinning that huge wheel, with dread in my soul, wishing I hadn’t dropped out of college, was born rich, or could suck it up, take off my big girl pants and be a dancer.  I would have happily dug ditches those days instead 100%, no question.

You guys, where am I going with all this?

Dunno.

Man, I hate long posts.

I guess I can wrap this baby up by saying in my illustrious AP career I haven’t been harassed, sexually or otherwise, by other APs simply for being female (okay maybe one time by APs, poker players and floor people def a different story).  Yes, some of my opportunities have been different from my male counterparts, like not being able to fire big money (though I’ve had my moments) but it’s much easier for me to feign innocence.  Who actually thinks the young girl at 3rd betting ten bucks, can’t add up her hand and doesn’t know basic strategy is running the table?  Not a lot of people.

K, post too long.  Here’s a song. Es bueno.

successful scouting

I was in the casino looking for an edge when I found 4 donut holes for a dollar.  They used to be 3 for a dollar. Was the cashier mistaken?  Should I tell her?  Or should I just hand over my dollar, take the 4 donut holes and bolt?

I took them, walked away briskly but didn’t exactly run, and went about my journey looking for a monetary edge. 

Later that night, I was waiting at a slot machine for a lucky seat at a blackjack table.  There was an elderly man sitting in the seat I wanted.  He had a huge stack of red in front of him and was betting five dollars a hand.  It was going to take forever to bust this guy.  Finally, four hours into the dealer's shift, the senior got up and left.  I raced over to the table and quickly sat down.  I sat down in a puddle of pee.

What.  The.  Fuck.

There were no other chairs in sight and with the game on and my BP at the table, I had to start reading the hole card immediately.  After a few minutes, a teammate brought me a new chair. For four hours I had to sit in pee soaked jeans.

I think we won a lot that night, I honestly don’t remember anything but the donut holes and the pee.  It was too traumatic.

 

wild west

It was approaching midnight in Tahoe. It was the second night we were without an opportunity to play. All of us were exhausted. This weekend's crew consisted of Hua, myself and my friend Razor who I brought along because she was out of work and needed to make money. I told her she could have 10%  of my my half to hang out with me. Having a friend around never hurts for cover and she could run errands, like securing lucky seats. 

Hua was asleep in the bedroom of our two room suite. There was a game 4 hours away starting at 5am. A good game, perfect info in a casino that took heavy action. I went in to wake Hua up and tell him to get a move on. We were going to hit the road.

"No, I'm tired."

"Come on Hua!"

"Fine, but you're driving," Hua roared as he pulled himself out of bed.

"Are you sure you trust this guy?" Razor, who had only met Hua yesterday, asked.

"Yea, he's just grumpy. Let's go!"

I drove us the 4.5 hours to a casino in the literal middle of nowhere. We had about twenty minutes till game time. We parked, and separately hurried in to the casino to try and predict the lucky table that our lucky dealer would end up on. 

5am rolled around and Joseph, that morning's target, came right to me. It was glorious. Immediately Hua took his place at first base. I could see every card, 100% perfection. 

Three hours later we were stuck 30k. Almost our entire trip bankroll. I called the game, we were done. 

Now what?

Hua volunteered to drive 4 hours south to another team member's house to get us more money.

Fast forward to 5am the next morning. Same situation. Razor and I at third base and Hua at first. The only difference this morning was that we couldn't lose a hand. Less than half way through the session we were up 90k. Hua kept giving me the leave signal. I didn't want to leave, I wanted to win 90k more! He was adamant though. Fine. Session over. 

Hua's opinion was that it was dangerous for us to have a 6-figure win and we were safest to quit at plus 90k. 

We kept the chips to cash out at a later date and hit the road, driving into the sunset. Up 60k for our 4 day trip wasn't bad and Razor was happy to make some money. 

 

don't you think

My first AP move was sitting outside of the grocery store on a mechanical merry-go-round and waiting for other kids to put their quarters in, which would make every horse on the merry-go-round move, not just theirs.  I clearly remember one set of parents, on to what I was doing, pull their child away and say something about how I was taking advantage of the situation.

Whatever they said made me feel bad.  I was 8 years old and I think it was shame.  Shame for doing something that someone else thought was wrong.  I never pulled that move again.

At around the same age, inside the Safeway that had the merry-go-round outside, I was shopping with my Mother and there was a change box above the candy bin where if you put in a nickel in you were allowed to take a sample.  My Mother told me to just take a piece of candy and not worry about it, so I did.  Soon after, tired of shopping, I went outside to wait for her in the car with my Dad.  The store manager followed me out, approached my Father and told him that I took a piece of candy without paying my nickel.  My Dad yelled at me, saying something about being disappointed.  For whatever reason, I couldn’t get the words out to tell him that Mom said it was ok.  I just sat in the back seat, scolded.  My Dad said he wouldn’t tell my Mother because she’d be too upset. 

Plot

This month I’ve been shopping my memoir to literary agents. I’m assuming I’m going to obtain representation and get a 6-figure book deal any day now. That’s how this writing thing works, right?  Easy peasy.

I was back roomed in a casino once and the cops were called.  When they got there, discussing my possible arrest, one of the cops said, “Easy, peasy.”  I hate that freaking phrase but it comes to mind often.

In my search for a larger audience who might be interested in my book, I’ve been shamelessly following new people on social media hoping for follows back and link clicks to this blog. 

It feels dirty. I feel dirty.

I target gamblers.  How can I tell they’re gamblers you ask?  One of three ways:

1.     The profile picture was taken at a poker table.

2.     The profile picture is a chip stack.

3.      They have a poker word in their name like “PokerAssassinRob” or “ChipstackingTina.”

So I’ve been doing this all week and though Twitter has been going ok, Instagram not so much.  I also got had on Instagram.  This kind of well-known, kinda-poker playing girl “liked” one of my IG posts.  I thought, “Oh cool, new follower…I’ll follow back.”  So I did, only to realize later that she didn’t follow me at all.  She just liked a post of mine so I’d follow her.  She leveled me.   I have now added this move to my arsenal.

Ok enough of this big-time marketing talk. 

Let’s talk more about being back-roomed.  I feel less dirty being handcuffed to a bar on the wall in a casino back room because they mistook my legal gambling techniques for cheating than I do relentlessly following people on Twitter.

In my career I’ve been in a casino back room, not wanting to be, three times…I think.  The first time it happened, I had been chased down in the parking lot of a dumpy Las Vegas casino by security for counting cards.  So lame, right?  While the security guard had me on the ground and was cuffing my left arm, I got a call out to 911 with my free right arm and shouted, “I’m being kidnapped by XXX casino.” 

How’d that turn out?

Metro came down to the casino, saw my partner and me handcuffed in a back room and left us there for three and a half hours.  They came in and out of the room, in between the free breakfast they were getting, to let us know that we wouldn’t do well in jail and that I couldn’t use the bathroom.

Nice guys.

Long story short, we sued.  We settled for some small amount and now I have this cool story to tell.