Monday, March 01, 2004

Monday, March 1, 2004

Jeez, louise, I'm really running bad at Hold'em. Glenn and I got to the Belle around 5pm. We were seated at a $2-5 spread limit game, as the 4/8 was full and had a huge list. Do you think they would possibly spread another 4/8 for the two hours prior to the tourney? No way. That would mean that the house would get extra money, as the max rake would always be applied, and the dealers would get bigger tips. Now we can't have that, can we?

I played 2-5 for two hours. I never won a hand. Never, not one. I had AKo once, and a pocket pair of threes, but nada else. No good aces, no good kings. Blah. At least it was 2-5, lol.

The tourney table I got was a disaster. I hate playing at a table with mostly women.

Sonny is a Thai woman who was to my left. Sonny is addicted to drugs. She drinks and takes drugs, a great combination (not). Her hair is thin on top and her skin is so pasty that it looks like she could fall over in a second, dying from an overdose.

She does not try to hide her drug use. She takes pills from an old prescription bottle that has all of the writing worn off. She drinks beer after beer. She is very unhappy and lets everyone at the table know how miserable she is. I feel bad for her, but she needs help, not sympathy.

Anyway, my tournament table was a horrid one. My streak of losing continued. I never won a hand. Pocket aces got beat by runner-runner flush. Top two pair flopped got rivered by a flush. On and on, I folded btf, on the flop, on the turn, or got a beat on the river. I had to rebuy twice, which is a record for me. I just kept giving away my chips to absolutely clueless players who played any two cards to the river. Had I not been dealt so many premium hands, and hit the flop solidly, I wouldn't have been in the pot to begin with, but it is hard to throw away pocket aces, even in the limit portion of the tourney.

I just kept losing, I never won a hand. Right after the break, I was dealt KK. I didn't have many chips, due to my previous losing. A fish in seat four who had obviously never played in a tourney, had less chips than I did. Ironically, this was the same guy who caught runner-runner against my aces earlier. He was in most hands, and he shook uncontrollably when he had a monster. His eyes darted around in sheer terror when he was in a hand. He could never remember the blinds, nor the fact that we were playing no-limit, and had to constantly ask the dealer "what is the bet?" even though he could bet as much as he wanted. I love those guys.

Anyway, I got KK in LP. He was in the BB. I went all-in, he debated for a long time, but his hands were shaking so badly that he couldn't pick up his chips. He finally did call, but he had 50 less in chips than me, so I got 50 back. I wondered why he hesitated so long, since he had AA, lol.

After the hand, he kept staring at me. He had stared at me after the runner-runner incident, and after I had flopped two pair and he rivered a flush, too. I had no idea why he kept staring at me, but after the last hand, I figured that he probably was wondering why I showed absolutely no emotion. I guess he figured that if he was getting beat this badly, every hand, he would be more emotional about it, instead of sitting and chatting, laughing with the dealer and other players.

I went all-in UTG with the best hand I'd seen since the KK fiasco. 98o. Lots of callers. Larry was on the button with K8s. Flopped a king, he went all-in. At least I got some protection for my gutshot. Nothing improved, and IGHN, once again, never having won a hand.

I was kind of glad I didn't win UTG. The BB would have taken 50 of the 250 pot I'd have won, then I'd have paid 25 for the SB, if I made it that far without the blinds increasing to 50/100. At any rate, I'd have been climbing Mt. Everest without weather protection, and it would most likely have been more frustrating than just busting out immediately.


While I was playing a cash game, I got into a conversation about cheaters. There was a guy in the two seat, between myself and a lady who is a semi-regular, and always nice. Blackie is the nickname he goes by, and this guy knows every angle in the book. He has to, because he sucks at poker, lol. Anyway, somehow we got into a conversation about cheaters and angleshooters, due to Blackie constantly trying to shoot some angle, then walking away from the table for a while every time he got caught. The dealer was sick of him, and started talking about it. I guess Blackie has been kicked out of the Belle several times for these offenses, but always is let back in. What's new?

The lady in the one seat was appalled that this kind of thing seems to happen all the time. She was ill at having to sit next to Blackie, until he moved. She kept listening to our conversation, wide eyed, and asking questions. She told me that she saw someone palming chips, shorting the pot, over the weekend, but was too scared to report it. The dealer and I told her that it was necessary to report people who are stealing. They are stealing from the other players, including herself, and they will never be punished until the players, dealers, supervisors and surveillance start policing these activities.

Every time I report this kind of criminal activity, James goes around the Belle and asks people about it. Everyone just pooh-poohs it away, like it is no big deal. I can just hear the talk, "Oh, you know, Felicia is always making a big deal about everything. She over exaggerates, she tries to stir up trouble. She is always busting our chops about something."

For whatever reason, people today live in this land called self-delusion. They have made a little shelter around themselves, trying to live these perfect little lives, that are never interrupted by the real world. They don't want to see crime. They don't want to see things that are happening which might not be PC, might not fit into their idealism. It is much better to just ignore it when someone palms a chip, shorts the pot, colludes with another player. They just don't want to get involved.

I have tried to recruit other players to tell James the truth, when he is there. Sometimes another player just looks blankly between myself and James, and says, "I don't know," or "I have no idea what you are talking about." Other times they will say, "I just don't want to get involved," and walk away. Dealers, when questioned, say things like, "Oh, I remember something like that happening...I can't remember the details" and drift way, into the perfect little PC world they have created around themselves.

The lady in seat one said that she was scared about reporting the palming. She didn't want to make a big deal out of it, didn't want to get in trouble. What is wrong with our world today? I thought that it was just an urban legend that self defense experts would tell women that if they were being attacked to yell "FIRE" not "HELP," because if they yell for help, no one will come, but if they yell "FIRE" a crowd will come running. I was naive, of course it's the truth. Some Americans are pathetic.


Donna is a dealer who just started at the Belle. She was at the unnamed poker room for six years, until the new extortion started.

She is a very competent dealer who deals French style, so cards can never be exposed or flashed. She doesn't make many mistakes.

I am so glad we have her now.

Donna's eyes got very wide when she found out about my journal. She begged me to please be careful and not say anything more, especially given the warnings I have already received. She confirmed that in the six years she worked there, people disappeared. People who spoke out and would not stop. She said that my warning about finding an early grave was serious enough for her to know that it may happen.

So, although I have never backed down from anything in my life, I must admit now that organized crime is thriving at that particular casino, and that my life might be in danger.

From now on, that casino is going to be the "unnamed poker room." The owner is going to be the Godfather. The name of the town will be called, "His town."

I will not stop talking about the extortion or various crimes being committed there, but I will stop saying the names.

Dealers are now required to pay $5.00 to the poker room manager when they walk in the door. Even if they never deal a hand, they still must pay. They must pay $2.50 per shift to the brush. They must pay $2.00 per shift to the cashier. They must tip the cocktail waitresses and play video poker while smoking. They must pay the floorman $1.50 per hour while on the clock, whether they are dealing, on break or propping. They are required to prop in games down to head's up, to keep every table going. They are not given back their rake, nor paid to prop.

A full-time dealer must now pay about $5000 of his or her salary per year to work at the unnamed poker room in extortion.

Dealers are walking out daily. I am confident they will find homes at the Belle, Edgewater and two new poker rooms that are rumored to be opening: Ramada Express and Pioneer.


After I busted out, which was rather fast, I railbirded the tourney. To my surprise, Betty busted out in 23rd, which means she got no points for the WPT challenge. Everyone was surprised, because she is so tight, and has been known to fold pocket kings with 21 players remaining.

The rumor is that she was steaming. She does this occasionally. If she gets some really bad beats, even with the few hands she plays, she will suddenly just go berserk.

Supposedly, she was tilting, played 3 hands in a row (limped in, then called their raises and/or all-in's) and lost all three hands, with inferior cards.

Does this sound like Betty? Noooo. But it happened, of that I have no doubt. Maybe her AA got busted twice in a row, and she just went off. She has done it before, so, although it doesn't happen often, I can see her purposely busting herself out of the tourney, with quite a few chips, inferior hands, when she could have coasted into the top 20.


I'm sorry if my post sounds so depressing today. I cannot find any other way to express the things that happened on Monday without censoring the truth.

Unfortunately, sometimes we dwell on the negative, because it can be so overwhelming. We forget to mention the positive in the midst of atrocities. I will not stoop to this, as my heart goes out to those below:

Larry was signaling to James as I was talking about the cheating going on and questioning why nothing was being done about it. Larry was lifting his arm like a schoolboy who needed the restroom, lol. He was doing this WHILE playing, while in hands. He kept nodding, even while he had cards, and confirming to James that what I was saying was the truth. Larry was not even solicited to come to my aid. He just did, he was there for me. He knows the truth, and even if he hated me, which I know he doesn't, he would never back down from supporting what is going on while James is not in the poker room. He even told James that he would tell him more about these things, as he is in the poker room much more that I am, and has been there for ten years.

Betty gets on my last nerve, but never fails to stand up for herself against abuse. She is the one who busted Leon, the buttmunch drinker, about his behavior during a tournament. When everyone else went into a shell and let Leon keep acting the part of the abusive drunk, Betty stood up and said, "I've had just about enough of you! You are over the line, get out of here!" The TD refused to do anything, the table went under cover, but Betty stood up and openly challenged a strong, young, drunk man of 28 years old, when she is easily 65 and much more fragile. She forced him to leave the poker room, and would not back down until he left, even though he could easily have signed up for a cash game, or gone to Glen for help against her.

Of the people who play regularly at the Belle, 99 out of 100 are wonderful. They are absolutely adorable and fun to be around. I wouldn't be there if they weren't. I would play online, I would learn to adapt. Why would I subject myself to cheating, angleshooting, abuse, threats of being killed and smoke if I didn't love most of the people I see every day?

People like Larry and Betty make the Belle what it is. They have balls to stand up for their rights. People like Ionizer Bob, Little Gene, Big Gene, Polio Gene, Chuck, Carl and many dozens of others make my life so enjoyable that I can put up with any numerous small miseries to continue playing live poker.

I thank them all for the joy they have given me since September.

And thank you, readers, for getting through this post and always being so supportive!