money music death

I was in Biloxi with a small crew, 3 of us total. There was another 2-man team of holecarders in town and we were vying for the same dealer. As players oftentimes do, we made a deal for the game rather than compete for the lucky seat. The deal was this: I would read the game and one of them would bet the game. We’d chop the result 50/50, their crew, my crew. We played and won. We chopped the money and went our separate ways.

There’s a lot I can say about making deals like this. You need to know what heat if any everyone has, past experiences with the dealer and the casino, related properties, the entire city. It’s situational but all of these factors and more can matter. It’s best to all trust each other not to skim the pot. It’s easy to count down the rack when playing a game but feeling like you “have” to count it down isn’t fun. I don’t work with people if I’m worried about them stealing. I’ve known other players who will work with people who might skim because the edge of the spot is big enough they can afford the risk.

To each his own.

Cut to a couple months later and word on the street is I’ve been laughed at, mocked. Something along the lines of “I always want to make deals with miss brown (me), she made an awful one in Biloxi.”

Ok.

No.

Their perspective was this: 2 of them, 3 of us, a fair deal would be to chop the result evenly 5 ways. They thought they hustled me by getting 50% or 25% each.

No, uh uh. That’s not how this works. The bettor was representing his crew and I was representing mine. It just so happened our crew was bigger that night.

I’ve worked solo often, a free agent if you will. If there’s a game on and I’m going to make a deal to read it for another crew, then in general I’m taking 50% (there are always exceptions). If their crew is 3 people and I’m 1, I’m getting half not a quarter.

Their crew, my crew.

For me to have done the chop in the way they thought would be fair I’d be setting a precedent that would kill me in the long run.

girl money.jpg

Now, a completely different scenario.

I was playing guitar in a band that would open up for R&B acts at the House of Blues. Al Green, Musiq Soulchild, Floetry. The gig paid me $100.

The singer I was backing would receive a check for the show and pay the band out on Monday; our shows were always on a weekend night.

We played on a Friday and on the following Sunday her husband died.

It was unexpected, really sad.

Monday came and I didn’t get paid. I wasn’t drowning in money and the $100 meant something to me but the girl’s husband just died! I wasn’t going to ask for it.

The funeral was a few days later. I attended. Somber service.

Again, I didn’t ask for my money.

We didn’t have any shows lined up but I kept in contact with the singer and still saw her on occasion.

I never ended up playing guitar for her again and I never got paid.

Every time someone mentions her I think about how that’s a chop I got screwed in.

This man doesn’t do his own soundcheck, he has another guy do it. He just comes out and lights the stage on fire. Legend.

chasing happiness

I have a long list of thoughts in the notepad on my phone labeled “thoughts.” Lots of great stuff. Amazing things. I might bang out two posts tonight. 

The notepad labeled “things to bang” is blank.

Let’s get right into it.

First.  I joined Bumble and it’s amazing. The possibilities are endless.  I didn’t join to find hook-ups in the traditional sense.  My reasons are less nefarious. 

A decent number of guys on Bumble put their actual, no lie cross their fingers hope to die, occupation in their bio.  I assume girls don’t do this because we’re all scared of freakshows finding us at work and killing us. 

But a lot of the profiles will straight up read things like “Baggage Handler McCarran Airport” and “Table Games Manager Whiskey Pete’s.”  You have to sift through all the “business owner at ask me later” and “finance whatever the fuck” these guys pretend they are. But there are some winners.  All you APs out there do what you will with this information; I won’t even bill you for it.  The Bumble world is your oyster bar at Palace Station.

I don’t even like that place.  But if there’s no line I might slip in and get a roll. Savory.

Bumble (this post has not been sponsored by Bumble) has also been overflowing with bios reading “professional poker player.”  I’ve only been scrolling through it this month but I’m guessing a lot of these pros are WSOP summer warriors.  Some I know, most I don’t and are probably catfishing their professions but what do I care? My profile pic is Annie Duke and I list my job as “resulting coach.”

Also. This. This did not get enough goddamn love it was the best gem I found and I want you all to RT for awareness.

I’m drinking tea I just had macaroni and cheese and I watched the Jonas Brothers documentary earlier just so we are all clear on what headspace I’m in.

Scene: I’m on a table game and my neighbor seeing how poorly I play tells me if I show him my hand he will help me, he doesn’t want to see me lose. I don’t know him and he doesn’t know me.  To him it’s more likely I’m an astronaut than a lifelong gambling connoisseur.  If he asks I already made the decision to not tell him a fake place of work in case he goes there to kill me, I’m not around and he kills someone else.  #feminism

What he tells me:

He has 100k in his backpack. 

He’s played the highest stakes poker games in existence. 

He’s better at math than anyone in the casino. 

Things I know:

He’s betting $6 a hand with $4000 behind.

He’s not playing correct strategy, basic or otherwise.

So this guy gives me an offer: Show him my hand, he’ll tell me how to play and if I win, I keep my money.  If I lose he will refund me my loss. 

The game pays odds. 

Assuming this savant was going to hold up his end of the bargain (I kinda thought he might) the obvious EV move is to glue myself to the chair.  That’s what Annie Duke would say.

But is it really?

As I’ve matured my EV decisions are weighed more heavily than they used to be by factors other than money.  Comfort and happiness make that list.  And even though I’ve generally avoided doing things I do not like to do, I have put myself in quite a few uncomfortable casino predicaments I didn’t love in order to get the money.  This one though I could not do. I could not sit and engage this man and nod at the absurdity he was speaking. I could not pretend to care or manufacture kinship.

And this is why prostitutes are amazing creatures.  Their adaptability is something to envy. #feminism

The End.

love wins

This post is a hodgepodge.  Not a sexy word but if you could see what I was wearing right now... 

And so keeping with the mood, hodgepodge it is.  There’s exhilarating gambling discussion within. I know my audience. I know what you people want. Sometimes I sell out talking about big real world stuff but this post has it all.

Case in point, I arrived in front of an empty parking space about a second after another car arrived on its opposite side.  Was she headed down the lane to take the spot or was she headed down the lane to leave? I gave two beats and seeing no turn signal, I took the spot.  After I parked the woman didn’t move her car. Obvious to me now she wanted the spot I got out and this is what went down:

Lady who doesn’t know what a blinker is: “I was going to park there.”

Person who is able to properly analyze a situation and act accordingly: “So why wasn’t your blinker on?”

LWDKWABI: “I didn’t know you were a racist.”

There’s so much wrong with this interaction, I can’t. 

I won’t.

Next.

I felt something in my eye for a couple of days and I was due for a check-up anyway so I went to my optometrist. I had been up 31 hours by the time my appointment rolled around and usually I wouldn’t go but there’s this thing in my eye and my eye is sort of important so I went.  Number one; my peripheral vision test was so bad the tech had to tell me the test had started because I wasn’t reacting to anything.  I wasn’t seeing anything flash in my side view. Then she gave it to me again with the same result.  The doc told me some people have off days and my eyes looked otherwise healthy but that my boxing career was over.  That news was hard to take.

Number two; he couldn’t see anything in my eye but did notice some inflammation so this man wanted to flip my eyelid over like little kids sometimes do and if he saw something he said he could swab it with a cotton stick. What?  No. Is he crazy? No. Not happening.  He sent me home with eye drops and told me if nothing changed I had to come back in two days. 

Nothing changed. 

I took drugs, put on my big girl pants, marched into his office and pleaded with him to treat me with kid gloves.  I let this professional eyelid flipper do his thing and you know what was in my eye?  Three eyelashes so far up they couldn’t escape on their own and this man swabbed them. My day was done after that, I needed a nap.

Alright gamblers, here’s what you’ve been waiting for.  Pass out the dessert and drum roll please…

Over the last year “hustler twitter” has really grown.  And with that a handful of users regularly post very specific ways to beat certain games.  I’ve read the same exact sentiment from three of these people and it’s in the vein of them just wanting to “help” people.  They like helping people.  Etcetera.

My condensed view is this: It’s true. These posters are helping a slew of new people take advantage of things they would not normally be privy to.  If you were already established in the scene you can feel the impact.  More people who were probably in the casino environment already either as other types of advantage players, poker players or casual gamblers now know what to look for and how to approach situations because of the considerable uptick of posted detailed instruction. And with this, livelihoods are being wrecked.  People who had already been hustling for a living are having their income destroyed.  In my view the help being given to a new population is less meaningful than the hurt that’s happening to established hustlers and that’s a net negative.

But, you all do you.  I’m not here to argue about it.  If you disagree just chalk it up to me being a racist.


yo dos

Sup?

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.