Lots to do before playing poker in Vegas

We had over 400 boxes to unpack so October was not a heavy poker month for me or for Diane.

Of note, while I have over 60 books about poker in its various forms, and I have played online since 2003, the MoneyMaker year, it was my wife Diane that first got involved with poker in Vegas.

Our neighbor, Corky, invited Diane to become a member of the Las Vegas Poker Hotties

Poker

Poker (Photo credit: polomex)

.  Who’d figure?

While she was playing poker with the likes of Pam BrunsonAnjela Brunson, and Linda Johnson, the First Lady of Poker, I was playing at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall with some of the locals.

She lost the tourney and I lost $250 in my first NL Holdem cash game.  Not auspicious start for either of us.

But at the end of October, one of our FaceBook friends mentioned that there was going to be a Championship Beard contest and that we should check it, which we did.

First poker tourney for me was at the Golden Nugget at the first ever Beard Team USA Poker Tournament.

There were over 65 bearded gents, including myself.

Some of these guys had never played poker much less a tournament but I was unable to take advantage of this.

I lasted until just after the first break.

Diane and I then attended the Whiskerinas’ National Ladies’ Fake Beard and Moustache Competition.

For the full story, see this on MomPopPow.

This was how October closed for us.

More next time.

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Starting out in Vegas!

Official seal of Las Vegas

Official seal of Las Vegas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am living in Las Vegas and I have not been blogging about my great adventures.

Until now!

Alright, they are great to me.

But I just realized that many of my Twitter, Facebook and Google+ friends would give their eye tooth to be in Vegas and be able to do all the cool things that are available in Vegas.

So first things first.

How we got here?

Long story short, back four years ago, Diane and I moved from Revere Mass to Fremont NH. From a coastal town to the woods in New Hampshire.

Turns out Diane was allergic to trees, which we had in abundance.

So after four years she says let us move to Vegas. I say what?

She says, you know, Vegas, it has a desert and would be good for my allergies and you could even play poker there.

Well, I was hooked and we moved out here.

Even before we bought our home here, we met one of our next door neighbors. His name was Mike and he was very nice. He said that his wife, Corky, could not come out to great us right now as she was playing poker online.

Wow, how great was that, neighbors that have an interest in poker. It does not get better than that.

In August we checked out the area, bought the house in October, and moved here to Las Vegas, the desert, and “The Poker Capital” of the world. (At least in my mind).

More on these adventures in my next post.

English: The Golden Nugget Las Vegas

English: The Golden Nugget Las Vegas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Villainess or Victim

Annie Duke at 2007 WSOP

Annie Duke at 2007 WSOP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adult male aggressive businessmen are called self-confident and dominant. Females with the same attributes are called bitches or worse.

Such is the trap that it appears Annie Duke has fallen into.

Annie Duke, born Annie LaBarr Lederer, in Concord, NH, has a long career as a professional poker player and has attempted to start or work on many business opportunities.

Annie Duke joined Ultimate Bet in 2000 as a spokesman (Phil Helmuth was hired in 2004).

Phill Hellmuth in 2006 World Series of Poker a...

Phill Hellmuth in 2006 World Series of Poker at Rio lAs Vegas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to wikipedia, Annie Duke has been involved in numerous poker activities and promotions, including writing her autobiography, “How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at The World Series of Poker”, appearing on the Colbert Report, the Gaming Show Network, Poker After Dark, and other poker related shows.

She also appeared on the Celebrity Apprentice, finishing second only to Joan Rivers even though Annie had raised more money for her charities.

One of her latest ventures, her involvement in the Epic Poker League, may have caused her to receive the most criticism. Her title was the commissioner of the League which was made up of mostly professional poker players chosen for their results and standings in the poker community. It was by invitation only basically and you had to qualify to maintain your standings to belong.

The Epic Poker League was originally funded from a venture capitalist group but the monies were spent rather quickly without new revenue sources to offset the expenses. Promises were made to players, employees and vendor and these were not kept. Although it was announced that the bankruptcy was going to be a reorganizational bankruptcy, no reorganization took place and the assets of the Epic Poker League were acquired by Pinnacle Entertainment, one of the major debtors.

Even though both Annie Duke and Jeffrey Pollack were commissioners, you can see based on ownership of common stock that the actual power was divided up by the top three, consisting of David Goldberg, co-CEO, Michael Brodsky, and Jeffrey Pollack with the lions share of common stock, while Annie Duke had the highest salary of the four. Since the stock is now worthless, Annie made out best of all with her salary arrangement with the Epic Poker League.

The follow shareholder information was taken from the bankruptcy documents.

Michael Brodsky Common 67,302

David Goldberg Common 67,302

Jeffrey Pollack Common 66,876

Jeffrey Pollack Trust Common 3,519

Anne L. Duke Common 20,000

Jeffrey Grosman Common 18,750

FSG Partners, Inc. Common 6,250

It is my contention that Annie Duke has had a bad run of luck when it comes to business involvements, such as UB and Epic.

In her own element, poker and also book writing, she seems to be doing great. Her last two books were written with John Vorhaus, another poker professional.

The advice and information that Annie Duke and John Vorhaus give is top notch and quite helpful. These books are titled: Decide to Play Great Poker: A Strategy Guide to No-limit Texas Hold Em and The Middle Zone: Mastering the Most Difficult Hands in Hold’em Poker , both available on Amazon. (These links are our affiliate links with Amazon).

Note: On September 21, 2012, Annie Duke and her crew will be putting on a boot camp at my workplace, The Poker Room NH, and she will be playing in the $250 Main Event on September 22nd. (I hope to see and deal to her at one of the tables that day.)

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Can I hear you now? Can I hear me now?

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year...

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates from Hearing loss (adult onset) by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An interesting thing happened on the way to my current state of depression.

I was losing my hearing and I did not know it or else I did not accept it.

Diane did tell me that she thought I was losing my hearing, but I was tested 30 years ago and my hearing was fine.

The audiologist at the time told me that I had selective hearing. I had good hearing in both ears but chose not to listen. That made sense to me then and I thought that was what my current problem was now.

Apparently this loss has been happening over the last five years.  I did not notice the gradual loss of hearing in both ears of the higher tones. I would not hear female voices as well as higher pitched voices.

Poor Diane.

As I could not hear my own voice as well,  I apparently started to speak louder and perhaps with poorer diction, causing her some great difficulties and concern.

I started noticing that I seemed to miss what people were saying at work so I decided that Diane must be right (ever notice how the female spouses of the world always seem to be right?).

I scheduled an appointment to have my hearing tested and my ears examined by a physician.

Low and behold, I had a hearing loss of between 70% to 90% of the higher tones. Go figure.

Yesterday I was fitted for hearing aids and started to hear sounds that I have not heard in a long time. The rustling of a paper bag sounded strange and I could hear myself speaking too loudly. The quiet house that I was living in, all of a sudden got louder.

It will take a while to make the adjustments to both my hearing and my speaking but I am so glad that I have the opportunity to correct this problem before it becomes unrecoverable.

It also turns out that many people going through hearing loss become depressed. I am hopeful that my restored hearing will allow me to ease out of the depression that I have been suffering.

I am fortunate that I can afford these devices. As I am 65, my government insurance, Medicare, and my private insurance does not cover any of the costs for the devices, only the cost for the examination and diagnosis.

It is unfortunate that seniors in the US do not have easy access to hearing aids. Something our politicians probably won’t want to talk about, I guess.

On another front, Diane and I are going to Las Vegas for a week.

Hope to talk some poker, Vegas, and some poker dealing soon.

Thanks for listening.

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Baby steps

English: A poker timer dealer button Français ...

English: A poker timer dealer button Français : Un bouton timer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in the process gettig my life on track by being a better family person, a better working person, and a better human person.

I need to exercise my body, brain, and soul.

A little walking daily is in order. Some reading daily helps. Sharing thoughts with my soul mate.

Lucky for me, this is all doable.

I should work on making my goals into lists as one of my faults is not following through.

As for my poker dealing and poker playing, I am always thinking about ways to improve. I still get great enjoyment as a poker dealer and as a poker player.

If I can do it with my work and hobbies, I can do it with life.

Thank you for your encouragement and comments. Looking forward to sharing life and the excitement that I feel towards living.

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Moving forward … part 2

Looking ahead

Looking ahead (Photo credit: sskennel)

As mentioned on my last post, I believe that I am fighting a mild bout of depression. Of the many possible causes, I am narrowing it down to physical, although it does not really matter what the cause as long as I acknowledge it and work on overcoming the problem.

Besides treating the physical problem, I am working on getting daily exercise and having more contact with humans. This works for me as I get some of this contact by either working at or playing at the Poker Room at Hampton Falls.

If the physical solution works, I will explain in more detail what I believe has happened to me. Regardles of the cause, I am working at moving forward.

Thank you for your support and kind words.

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Moving forward …

Original Winnie the Pooh stuffed toys. Clockwi...

Original Winnie the Pooh stuffed toys. Clockwise from bottom left: Tigger, Kanga, Edward Bear (aka Winnie-the-Pooh), Eeyore, and Piglet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am AMAZING

I am currently battling through a stage of mild depression.

Yes, I have mentioned it to my doctor and yes I have told my significant other.

There are many reasons for going through this stage, some emotional and some physical.

The depression is mild. Like, ho hum, nice day Pooh, oh dear, bread and beer, why bother, etc. Not earth shaking, not traumatizing.

Depression is normal I learned. After all, every day or every hour or every moment in life is not electrifying, exciting, rewarding, or uplifting. There are down moments in everyone’s life.

Constant mild depression is not so normal and that is what I feel I have. I tend to give out subtle clues but I rarely talk about it or want to. I am slightly more quiet than usual. I like talking with people, so when I shut down, that is not my normal self. I have not read a book for the last four months (we do listen to audio books but that is not the same thing as it is a group activity. Diane and I listen together).

One exception, I have read our niece’s (Catherine W. McKinney) brilliant book “MacCool and the Woman” twice so far.

However, as a rule, I tend to avoid confrontations, such as giving political or religious opinions, and believe me, I do have them.

I recently posted here and on MomPopPow that I am in danger of losing my voice, both physical and virtual (blogging) and now need to do something about it.

I figure that reading aloud will help my physical voice. My virtual voice is now being engaged as well. Hence, I am writing this blog.

Diane has dozens, no hundreds, wait, thousands of ideas for me. Her brain spins and twerlls, just like the dragon eyes from Anne McCaffrey’s “DragonRiders of Pern” series. Not all of the ideas fit my personality (or depressed state), but some of them do resonate.

Recently, our son Chris was visiting with his daughter Violette, and he asked Diane, “how does my brain work”? I didn’t think much about the comment until Diane mentioned it again.

I am not sure how my brain works? I give out the reason for my dark hair and white beard, is that my brain does not overheat, thus does not whiten my hair. No smoke from the chimney type of thing. Yet, I tend to be a problem solver.

I tend to look at processes, or life, or challenges differently. I have always been a great high-tech trouble shooter at most of the high-tech jobs I have been employed as either as a programmer. a systems analyst or systems engineer.

Yet, I never have used these skills to bear on my own personal challenges. Now that I admit to having a personnel problem, albeit, depression, I will engage myself to overcome or at least minimize the effects to me and my lifestyle.

Stay tuned!

Mom Pop Pow! Where you can do it if you try!

Original Winnie the Pooh stuffed toys. Clockwi...

Original Winnie the Pooh stuffed toys. Clockwise from bottom left: Tigger, Kanga, Edward Bear (aka Winnie-the-Pooh), Eeyore, and Piglet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Original Winnie the Pooh stuffed toys. Clockwise from bottom left: Tigger, Kanga, Edward Bear (aka Winnie-the-Pooh), Eeyore, and Piglet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am AMAZING

I am currently battling through a stage of mild depression.

Yes, I have mentioned it to my doctor and yes I have told my significant other.

There are many reasons for going through this stage, some emotional and some physical.The depression is mild. Like, ho hum, nice day Pooh, oh dear, bread and beer, why bother, etc. Not earth shaking, not traumatizing.

Depression is normal I learned. After all, every day or every hour or every moment in life is not electrifying, exciting, rewarding, or uplifting. There are down moments in everyone’s life.

Constant mild depression is not so normal and that is what I feel I have. I tend to give out subtle clues but I rarely talk about it or want to. I am slightly more quiet than usual. I like talking with people, so when I shut down, that is not my normal self. I have not read a book for the last four months (we do listen to audio books but that is not the same thing as it is a group activity. Diane and I listen together).

One exception, I have read our niece’s (Catherine W. McKinney) brilliant book “MacCool and the Woman” twice so far.

However, as a rule, I tend to avoid confrontations, such as giving political or religious opinions, and believe me, I do have them.

I recently posted here and on DadsPokerBlog that I am in danger of losing my voice, both physical and virtual (blogging) and now need to do something about it.I figure that reading aloud will help my physical voice. My virtual voice is now being engaged as well. Hence, I am writing this blog.

Diane has dozens, no hundreds, wait, thousands of ideas for me. Her brain spins and twerlls, just like the dragon eyes from Anne McCaffrey’s “DragonRiders of Pern” series. Not all of the ideas fit my personality (or depressed state), but some of them do resonate.

Recently, our son Chris was visiting with his daughter Violette, and he asked Diane, “how does my brain work”? I didn’t think much about the comment until Diane mentioned it again.

I am not sure how my brain works? I give out the reason for my dark hair and white beard, is that my brain does not overheat, thus does not whiten my hair. No smoke from the chimney type of thing. Yet, I tend to be a problem solver.

I tend to look at processes, or life, or challenges differently. I have always been a great high-tech trouble shooter at most of the high-tech jobs I have been employed as either as a programmer. a systems analyst or systems engineer.

Yet, I never have used these skills to bear on my own personal challenges. Now that I admit to having a personnel problem, albeit, depression, I will engage myself to overcome or at least minimize the effects to me and my lifestyle.

Stay tuned! More on poker and poker dealing and life.

You are AMAZING too!

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Use it or lose it

Till Human Voices Wake Us

Retirement and living in a secluded area in NH with less people interaction, is causing me to lose my voice, literally and figuratively.

This may be due to many factors. Being away from people most of the time. Being mildly depressed. Being agreeable or not voicing any disagreements might also contribute to my voice slowly disappearing.

My online voice is also very faint. I barely blog and then usually, it is a podcast about a book we just listened to.

A few months ago I attended a Social Media event entitled “Sobcon 2012” and learned during a work session, that everyone should take drama lessons as a way of improving ones voice. When discussing this with Diane, she suggested that I talk into a mirror as a way of getting my voice back.

Regardless of what it takes, I am going to work on getting my actual physical and virtual voice back before I lose it entirely.

My father used to say if you don’t use it, you will lose it. Whatever “it” may be.

It is not enough just to speak or talk, I need to project more, giving words or phrases more emphasis.

At the poker room, when I am dealing I will say:

Small blind, big blind

Antes please

Your action

Player raises

Player calls

Raise is announced

Player re-raised All-in

Blinds are up next hand

If you are not in the hand you are on break

We will be coloring up the chips

We will not be coloring up the chips

Blinds and/ or antes will be xxx when we return from break

And much, much more.

But I only deal two days a week and apparently this is not enough to build up my voice to the point where it is understood in a noisy crowd.

So I will endeavor to practice speaking to the point that I am heard and I will do the same regarding my blogging here or at MomPopPow.com.

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Upgrade from Bad Santa

As a newbie poker dealer at The Poker Room NH, I am working hard to include conversation in my repertoire of dealing tools. As a rule,  dealers should just make sure that the action at the table is brisk without rushing anyone.

Comments made by the dealer should be non-biased and certainly not unkind. There is a fine line between friendly conversation and annoying banter.

To that end, I sometimes  tell the “Bad Santa”

Bad Santa

Bad Santa (Photo credit: BRED(odevay.com))

story whenever a player complains about the bad hands they are dealt by me.

During one session a female player raised the opening amount to 4,000 chips. The table’s chip leader re-raised her to 8,000. The lady player thought about it for a couple of minutes and re-raised All-in and was called by the chip leader.

The female player tabled QQ and the chip leader tabled AK off suit.

The flop was 5 9 J, rainbow (meaning no matching suited cards).

The turn card was a 2.

The river card was an ace crushing the female player’s pocket queens by giving the chip leader a pair of aces.

She looked at me and said “you are not Bad Santa, you are the Grim Reaper!”.

Grim Reaper (advertisement)

Grim Reaper (advertisement) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Poker room math – how it works

English: Poker Room at the MGMG Grand. Lion Re...

English: Poker Room at the MGMG Grand. Lion Reservoir in the background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you play cash games at poker rooms, there are two or three items that will reduce the amount of the pots that you can win.

Rake – the amount that the house or poker room keeps from each pot. For this example, we will take $1 from every $10 pot up to a maximum of $5 when pots reach $50 or more.

Tips – the amount that a player gives the dealer when the player wins a pot. For this example, we will assume that the player gives one dollar for each pot won.

Bad Beat – the amount that the house or poker room keeps from each pot for the bad beat jackpot. For this example, we will use $1 per pot. Generally a bad beat is when one players has four of a kind like 2222 and the other player has 3333 for a better four of a kind. Rules at each poker house will vary.

Let’s assume that there are nine players at the table and that each player brings $100 to the table to play for a total pool of $900.00 in play.

Let’s assume that each player receives 20 hands per hour.

Let’s assume that they all play for 5 hours or 100 hands total and no one rebuys when they lose.

Of the 100 pots won, on average 50 of them will have a rake of $2 taken for a total of $100.

25 pots won will have a rake taken of $4 for a total of $100.

25 pots won will have a rake taken of $5 for a total of $125

An average tip of $1.50 will be taken from the 100 pots for a total of $150

A dollar taken out of each pot for the bad beat jackpot for a total of $100

Results:

Starting players amount       $900

Less total rake amount         -325

Less total tip amount            -150

Less total bad beat amount   -100

Ending players amount         $325

Average amount remaining per player:  $36.11

Summary:

The effect of rake and tips is not immediately noticeable to the average player due to the fact that some players leave and new ones take their place, bringing new money to the table. Of course there are always those players that buy more chips and remain at the table.

Unless you are a winning player, it is virtually impossible to accumulate winnings when more than 40% of each players chips ends up going to the poker room and the poker room dealers.

Addendum:

I am a poker player and a poker dealer. I really appreciate my customers and the tips that they give us fellow dealers. I enjoy both the game and the challenge in spite of the fact that I do not play poker well enough to make a living doing it.

You could say that I love the social aspects of poker. As a player, I can relate to other players. As a dealer, I see the business side and relate to that as well. Some consider poker as part of the entertainment industry and I am striving hard each day to provide a service to my customers, the players.

And I hope that everyone understands that this is not a condemnation of the industry that I love but just an explanation of how it works. This post was the result of my thinking about the business side of poker that I wanted to share with you.

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