Friday, March 31, 2006

Crossing the Felt

31 MAR 06

Mario is yet another great dealer at the Muckleshoot. In fact he was dealing two days ago when I was sitting in with Bret Boone, and yesterday he told some stories about a few funny things that happened after I left. It sounds like I should have stuck around.

Mario was dealing to me again last night. He’s good enough at what he does to be able to have a conversation while dealing. This is no small task, as I’ve seen many dealers screw up when talking. They’ll burn a card too soon, or miss a raise. Mario was flawless.

But then Mario was done with his shift and took a spot right next to me.

It’s interesting. When the dealer is sitting in the big chair, most of the time they are a non-entity. Sitting across the felt, they become another potential victim. Dealers are interesting players. They rarely make technical errors, and they have pretty good reads on most of the players – especially the regulars. Mario was just dealing this table and the crowd had not changed, so he had pretty good intel prior to sitting down. My guess is that he thought he got the best seat (one to my left) because I had been working on my maniac persona. My bankroll had suffered and I was stuck close to $300 before he sat down.

Then I went on a rush.

Mario was my victim several times, but I shared the wealth (actually, I took the wealth) from just about everyone at the table.

The best hand of the night was when I was sitting in the big blind with K5. I called one raise in a multiway pot and saw a flop of KK5. This pot alone was over $200 when all was said and done – not bad for 4/8.

Well, I think Mario was steaming a little bit. On the hand just before this, Mario limped in UTG and I completed from the small blind with 2 5. I flopped a flush draw and gut shot. The turn brought a 3 to complete my straight and I check-raised him saying, “Ah HA! Now I got you.” He called the check-raise, and I said, “You didn’t stick around here with a 2, did you?”

Based on his reaction when I dragged the pot, I think he flopped a set. I know he didn’t like my witty banter. I think it was his steaming that led to this – when I was raising the river on the K5 hand, Mario announced to the table that my hands were shaking. Now, I’ve blogged about this before. In fact, I mentioned it in my very first post. My shaking hands have gotten much better, but they still sometimes give away the strength of my hand. Announcing it to the table was uncool, but fortunately, 4/8 players will call you anyway.

I consider the matter finished, mostly because I won for the night. I wonder if I’d feel differently if I was stuck.

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