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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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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Keeping up with the poker world

English: iPod shuffle 3G back, front and side view

English: iPod shuffle 3G back, front and side view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I play poker online and at The Poker Room NH, where I also deal poker.

But when I travel back and forth to work, I listen to various poker podcasts.

All of these podcasts are free and I download and sync them to my iPod using iTunes.

The following is a list of the various ones that I listen to and a little bit about them.

ESPN: The Poker Edge

Poker Editor Andrew Feldman brings you the latest news from the poker world and interviews the game’s best players who provide strategy, analysis, and commentary. This can get very lively at times.

The Gamblers Book Club’s Podcast

The host of the podcasts, Howard Schwartz, famed consultant, gambling books historian and figurehead of the GBC, talks about books, and with players, celebrities and important figures in gambling. He interviews the authors and the players and brings great insights into the world of gaming and casinos.

GrinderSchool.com

Where GrinderSchool poker instructors talk shop, discussing poker strategy and various other topics. They sometimes interview members to discuss hands and why the players made the decisions that they did.

Poker Action Line:

Hear the latest tournament results and the schedule of upcoming events. Talk strategy and pick up tips to improve your game. Follow the WSOP, WPT, LAPT, EPT and great local tournaments from around the country.

Pondering Poker:

Here excerpts from books being read and information about current poker events as well as picking up some great poker tips.

Rounder’s Radio – Poker Talk Radio

Here a variety of poker related podcasts, some with Bernard Lee, and some with Ace Jones and crew. Great guests and poker related topics and stories are discussed.

And last but not least, my favorite –

Two Plus Two Podcast:

The leading publisher of poker strategy and advantage gambling books brings that same level of expertise and quality to audio. The hosts, Mike and Adam, bring current topics, interview poker players and many others associated with live and online poker. The actual podcast is entertaining and sometimes irrelevant.

Hope that you find some of these interesting and entertaining.

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I am right there – sitting right near you.

Sitting in a chair that both his mom and grand...

Sitting in a chair that both his mom and grandma sat in (Photo credit: rustytanton)

In my previous discussions about my adventures as a poker room dealer for The Poker Room NH in Hampton Falls, NH I mentioned that I am a “work in progress”. I need to deal more and to practice more in order to become the best that I can become.

There are at least 42 steps that must be followed out for every hand of poker that is played. This includes shuffling the deck, cutting the deck, making sure that blinds and antes, if any, are collected prior to dealing out the cards. Then each player is dealt one card at a time, starting with the small blind (the small bet) and ending back at the dealer button, until they each have two cards.

In the early stages of a tournment, there might be as many as three actual players and seven “dead stacks” to deal to at my table. Once every player or dead stack receives their two cards, I must collect back those cards that do not have a live player sitting in front of them and place these cards into the “muck” or stack of non-playable cards face down, beside me. While I’m doing this, I must call the action as it progresses around the table, indicating who is calling, who is raising, who is folding, etc.

I must make sure that the correct total of chips are in the pot and that each player that has change coming back if they did not have the exact amount available when they either called, bet, or raised and were called.

Every step is an opportunity for a mistake to occur and when I first started out, I easily made a mistake in almost every round of play or so it seemed to me. My worst mistake to make was to sweep away players cards that were active but too close to my reach when I was folding the other cards belonging to the dead stacks (chips with no players sitting at the table).

Now when I have a fairly empty table with less than 5 players, I warn them ahead of time to protect their cards or I  might toss them into the muck.

My supervisor recently said to me “you’re improving, Brogan … I am getting less complaints about you”.  I actually took that as a compliment as it is true that our poker players are very vocal in their opinions.

At a recent tournament, I had one player lean over towards a younger female player and tell her to be careful, that the dealer (me)  is  not very good.  I am not sure if  he thought I had ears but I smiled towards him and told the young lady that indeed I am not perfect but we have a whole table of players that will help to ensure that I do everything correctly.

The complaining player busted out of the tournament within 15 minutes of play but I did not warn the young lady that he was a bad player.

Etiquette you know.

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If you don't use it …

Math equation dice d6

Math equation dice d6 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My dad used to quote the old saying “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” and I am starting to see just how true that is.

Whither it is poker dealing, my new and latest profession, or blogging, or exercise, or just about any other activity you can think off, this seems to be true.

I used to be very good at business math but for the past five years, I  have not had to do any heavy math and certainly not without a calculator. Now, I am required to quickly compute pot sizes, rake amounts, side pots, and a variety of other dealer tasks that requires math. I found that I have to practice math in order to pick up speed and accuracy.

The same is true of the physical aspects of poker dealing. Usually, before I go in to work, I practice at least 15 to 60 minutes doing my shuffling and card pitching exercises. as well as chip cutting and counting.

Physically, I am much better off if I take the time to exercise my body as well. Some light weight lifting involving my hands, arms and upper torso are helpful. Even light walking helps to build my stamina.

It appears that the old adage is much more than just a quaint old saying.

Another saying, along the same line is “practice makes perfect”.

But that goes without saying.

Oh.

Wait.

I just said it.

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Are Poker Players superstitious? How about dealers?

Black cat crossing my path in Canal Walk

Black cat crossing my path in Canal Walk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been dealing No Limit Hold’Em tournament poker at “The Poker Room NH” for five months now and I am starting to realize that some poker players have certain superstitions.

For some, it is playing their favorite cards. I have heard players remark, “I always play 10-5 suited” or “I never lose when I play pocket two’s” or “give me J-10 suited anytime”. I could go on and on about their favorite hands.

Some even have un-favorite hands and will say “I hate pocket aces” or whatever.  As a player in a tournament, I once saw a player that had issues with a particular dealer, to the point where that player would stand up and get away from the table until the dealer was replaced. The replacement might come in ten minutes or in sixty minutes but the player would sit out, knowing that any cards he got would not win until that dealer left the table. I thought at the time that this action was pretty extreme.

Now that I am a dealer, I am finding that some players are either happy to see me, unhappy to see me or just plain indifferent. As I mentioned in a prior post “When a player rolls their eyes”, some players just cringe when they see me coming.  Part of the reason lays with the fact that I am not consistent in my dealing skills and that I make errors in the course of my dealing. I recognize this and I do practice and I have even had some players come up to me and say that they have seen that I have improved greatly since I first started.

It now appears that I am that one that is starting to get superstitious.  The player that I said ranted and criticized me for my bad dealing apparently has me a bit spooked.

Whenever he is at my table, I am starting to say to myself, “just be calm and …. don’t make any errors until I am replaced”.  This did not seem to help.

I was shuffling the cards but apparently I was using too much force and half dozen cards flew into the air, with one even landing on the floor at the next table. This caused me to have to count down the cards to make sure that I still have 52 cards and of course took time away from the players until I finished.

Still concentrated on not making any more mistakes, I missed giving two players their second card, including my new “anti-fan”.   This ended up in my declaring a mixed deal and having me gather all the cards and start over.

Certainly that was not helping me with my vocal detractor, who greets with me by saying something to the effect that I am the worse dealer ever. Somehow I go out of my way to prove him right.

So now it seems that I am developing a player superstition and I know that I have to break myself of this notion before it gets the best of me. After all, you are what you think you are.

My new mantra will be “I am a great poker dealing and I am getting better every day in every way.” After all, superstitions are not real. Are they?

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When a player rolls their eyes …

Rolling eyes

Rolling eyes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I started dealing poker at The Poker Room NH in Hampton Falls I have met hundreds of poker players. Some of them I have met on my days off when I play poker, and others when I am dealing poker.

Like all people, some days I am better at what I do than others. I think it is not a matter of trying harder but a matter of focus. I can get easily distracted so focus and paying attention to detail helps keep me on track. I regularly deal two days a week, Friday and Saturday, two of the three busiest days at the poker room.

I have yet to develop a style or personality at the tables that would be my signature except for the fact I have a “santa like” beard. Some people call me “Santa” or “Methuselah”. I get comments like “give me a santa flop”, whatever that is.

Now the thing is, as a poker dealer, I do well to make sure that each player gets two cards, at least in Hold’Em. I do not determine what they get. I have heard players at the table say that I continually give them bad cards, hand after hand. After a while, these players become superstitious and when they see me coming, they cringe or roll their eyes.

Even though I am right there in front of them, they talk about me out loud to their fellow players, saying that I am the worst dealer ever, that they never get any good cards when I am dealing. I usually just ignore these comments and go about my business. About the only response I might give is that I can only try to give them two cards. It is best not to say anything because nothing you can say will help or make a difference.

This last Friday I think I finally have tipped one player over the edge. I have seen this individual at both the tournament tables and the Hold’Em cash games tables. Now I don’t remember how he did nor did I know or remember what I dealt him for cards. But at this point in the day, he was steaming a bit. His losses from both the tournament buy-in and the cash game, he said had cost him over $80 dollars so far and if he lost more at the table I was dealing at, he was leaving.

Needless to say, he did not do well at the table I was dealing at and when another seat opened up at another Hold’Em table he elected to move. Just as soon as he sat down at the other table, I was tapped out (another poker dealer was coming in to my table to replace me), and I was being moved to the next table, the same one that the aggravated player had just moved to. He must have heard that I was coming, because by the time I got there, he was gone. He moved to the blackjack tables, which I have not yet learned to deal.

Yes, dealing poker is defintely interesting and challenging. And you have the opportunity to create new friends and non-friends.

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