July222014

I really hate when people elongate the wrong letters in their statuses. It’s so aaaaaaaaaannoying.

One Year Ago Today

My sickness was getting worse, but to be fair I didn’t feel as terrible as the last few times I got sick.  But I hate how everyone can tell when I’m sick, and other dealers would comment that I looked ill.  That doesn’t help to make a person feel better.  After a shorter night of work I watched Apollo 13 which is one of my favorite movies, and I noticed how emotional I’d get when watching impactful scenes.  It happens a lot, like when I recently watched through The Lord of the Rings trilogy with the scene near the end where Sam says to Frodo “I may not be able to carry [the burden of the Ring] for you, but I can carry you.”  But I like that movies make me feel something, which is why I enjoy watching all kinds of movies all the time.

My Day

I slept from 11am until 5:30 but I was still exhausted.  I finally got enough energy to get my body out of bed, but it’s so hard to do even one day each week.  Taking a shower always helps wake me up, and my other weekly tradition of having an iced coffee afterward helps too.  Then I did my laundry so that’s taken care of, and I typed up yesterday’s post and got started on this one.  I didn’t plan to do anything else since I was so tired, so I just played a little Diablo and watched some of my recorded shows.  My mom called me and I talked with her for a while, and my dad called last night so I got to catch up with both of them.

For dinner I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for since I didn’t need a full meal and I didn’t want to make something.  I went with a couple PB&J sandwiches to tide me over for the rest of the night.  Then I watched Anchorman 2 from Netflix, along with all the bonus features afterward.  It was a funny movie, and the best parts were all the little crazy lines the characters come up with because each actor is so funny.  The scene with all the other news crews was hilarious, and they somehow managed to keep surprising me and topped the similar scene from the first movie.  So that was very enjoyable.

I got pretty tired watching that movie so I started getting ready for bed early, although it’s just after 5am which doesn’t feel that early.  Thanks for reading, and “Now I know women often complain about the number of things you have to do to get male attention.  The high heels, the pantyhose, the makeup.  But let me tell ya, it’s even worse if you’re a man.  ‘Cause if you’re a man, you don’t know what to do.  That’s why we’re building bridges, climbing mountains, exploring uncharted territories.  You think we wanna do these things?  Nobody wants to build a bridge.  It’s really, really hard.  Designing rockets, flying off into space.  I guarantee you, every astronaut, when he comes back from space goes up to a girl and goes, ‘So did you see me up there?’”

—Eric Del Medico

July212014

Last night at work I dealt more Stud than ever in my life. Overall I’m glad it was a smooth work weekend.

One Year Ago Today

I was right that I was getting sick again, and it wasn’t just my throat but now my eyes, nose, and breathing too.  My ears also popped so I had trouble hearing too.  This made working difficult, and there were some annoying things about the night that didn’t help. 

My Day

I woke up a little later and ate a little before leaving for work.  This will be a quick shift to summarize which is good.  I started with two tables of Mexican Poker except the first broke shortly into the down, so even worse than yesterday I felt like I didn’t really get started yet.  As I said in the title, I dealt more Stud tonight than I ever have in a single shift.  Out of 10 tables I must have dealt Stud four or five downs of Stud which is unusually high.  I like the game itself but it depends on how the players are, and thankfully they were nice tonight.  Actually almost all my tables were nice and easy so that was great.

I would have finished one down short of a full shift, and even though I still had to kill time I didn’t care if I finished early or not.  I was about to be out but then the boss asked if I wanted to do one more table.  It was just as I was telling him about this one player who probably hates me more than any other player I’ve met.  So I said I’d deal any table but that one, and that’s where he wanted me to go.  I just laughed and said that the player is going to be mad, and then the boss told me that he actually complimented me the other day.  He said that even though I give him s*** (cards-wise), he thinks I’m a good dealer.  That was nice to hear, although it didn’t keep him from continuing to insult me.

So during the down I made a joke of how I went there because that guy requested me, and he admitted to complimenting me.  He said something like he might give me crap for giving him bad cards (and he blames me for losing), but he doesn’t give any bull****.  Well he didn’t win a hand while I was there so naturally he was angry, and one thing he does that bothers me is how he stares at me when he’s mad.  Many players do this, and it feels like daggers every time.  I can feel their gaze but I just look away and don’t engage.  So I even joked before to my boss that he’d be cursing me out within three hands, and sure enough during the third hand he yelled something about changing his mind and wanted me out.  Other than him it was an easy down to finish on.

Then I talked with my boss Raul for a while about things, and I like getting to talk to him and getting his advice on things.  That helped kill some time too, and then I enjoyed a big breakfast at work before heading out.  I went back to H.R. and gave them my direct deposit form, so then I only had about a half hour to kill before going home.  I went to Wal Mart and got some groceries, and just as my cart was filled I felt an intense urge to use the bathroom.  Thankfully they had one there so I was saved.  It was funny because during my last down that guy had his best insult so far.  He said he wishes I get stuck on the toilet all night, and I just laughed and laughed when he said it because that’s the weirdest thing to wish on someone.  But his wish basically came true, because even though I didn’t spend so long the discomfort was still bad.

The bathroom stall was the only one in the men’s room, and it didn’t have a lock so I made sure I was ready to cough or blow my nose if someone came in.  Then a woman came in and said something in Spanish, so I coughed.  I remember hearing the word ‘aquí’ and I was pretty sure that meant ‘here,’ so I figured that meant she was asking if anyone was in there.  When I got out that was affirmed when I saw a lady waiting to clean.  Now that wasn’t necessarily too embarrassing, but then I went to a check-out aisle with a pretty cashier.  I hate being around people—especially pretty girls—right after I’ve taken a twosie.  She immediately commented on the 12-pack of Snickers ice cream bars I bought saying she just had them herself so we talked about that briefly.  I thought of how cool it’d be if something came of this little interaction, only because I spent like five minutes deciding what ice cream treats to buy.

Okay so this all took me past 9am so I hoped I’d be beating the rush hour traffic, but there seems to still be some even after I’d assume everyone is at work.  I got home just after 10am and I think my new tradition is to watch The Price is Right on these Monday mornings before I go to bed.  I tried to get ready for bed as quickly as I could, and then at 11 I finally hit the sack.  That feels like I’m going to bed so much later than normal, but on worknights I usually go to sleep at 9am so it’s only two hours.  And those two hours are just taken from sleep so I’m really not losing any of the day.  Okay thanks for reading, and “No money, no honey.”

—Eric Del Medico

July202014

The shuffling machines weren’t working at work so I had to shuffle like in the old days. Sometimes I miss it.

Dreams

I had a dream that I was given a Ford Mustang.  It was from my dad and he had a few other cars so he gave me that one.  It wasn’t a classic one but a few years old, but I was excited nonetheless.  It wasn’t even a cooler color and I’m not really into Fords, but it was a Mustang.  So I was happy to get it and looking forward to driving it.

One Year Ago Today

I felt a sickness coming on since I had a sore throat, and that proved to be right.  Work was pretty slow for a Friday but I did alright for six hours, which would be phenomenal compared to six hours at my new job (unfortunately). 

My Day

I slept until 5pm today, and as much as I don’t like getting up that late it does help keep me awake to finish my shift at work.  I hung out a bit and wanted to read another chapter of my book but I also wanted that hour or whatever to play Diablo because it was all I had.  For food I basically had the worst combination in terms of my stomach.  For breakfast I had chocolate Mini Wheats, then I also wanted a bagel which I ate with peanut butter and jelly (on a blueberry bagel which is so delicious), and then for dinner I had my leftover ravioli.  It was all very good but very filling, and it came back to hurt me later.

I went to work and had my first table-break start (at least I think it was my first), and I hated that.  But instead of looking at it like the rest of the night would drag on, I tried to think like I was just starting my shift over so later I’d be happy to realize I already got two downs out of the way.  But it didn’t matter because I ended up dealing seven straight downs so my next break wasn’t until much later.  The only problem was that this was the first shift I had where I really had to use the bathroom in the middle of my run, so I went several tables past when I would have liked to use the bathroom. 

I didn’t have players necessarily yell at me or flip out on me like last week, but it still wasn’t the greatest.  But it’s to the point where even if I have a table where two players yell at me for something or I make a mistake, it still feels like a good down.  One woman in Stud was complaining that I was dealing too fast, and I was surprised because I don’t understand what the problem with that is.  But later I had a problem with a player who felt he was being the small blind twice, and no matter how much I said he wasn’t or the table agreed he still wasn’t happy.  So to end the matter I put up his “second” small blind out of my money, but he gave it back and said that wasn’t the point.  So I was at a loss. 

The rest of the table was frustrated by how it was slowing the game down, but thankfully they recognized that it wasn’t me who was slowing it down.  Another player got mad at me when he thought I was taking money out of the pot he won.  It was because as I was pushing the pot I realized I forgot to take the rake, so I quickly threw four chips into my rack and put out the rake chip.  I apologized to him for forgetting and making it look weird to do so late, but he just didn’t seem to understand how the rake works.  I have to take chips from the pot, and they go in my rack while a chip of equal value goes to the house.  It’s all the same but because I did it late it looked sort of sketchy.

Now some rules are made to protect players and there are some that protect the dealers.  We learned (there were some players who didn’t know this like me) that only a player who has called down to the river can ask to see another player’s hand.  I know the rule as anyone can ask if the hand goes to the river and it’s bet-called or check-checked.  But the guy was nice who made sure we knew it so it wasn’t a big thing like it could have been.  But at Mexican Poker in one hand I took in a player’s hand and he said he didn’t fold.  I saw him push them forward after looking at them so I took them, and they all do that when they’re folding.  It was easy to give them back so I felt there was no harm done. 

Then in that same hand I folded another player’s hand and then he said he didn’t look at them yet.  Well they were not only above the line but he was facing away from the table and eating, and this was about a minute after I pitched the cards.  Nothing to be done with that, and I know I’m protected as a dealer because it’s the player’s responsibility to protect their hand and they all know it.  The first guy though took the most issue with this, and in the end he said, “How about this: Just ask me before touching my cards, okay?”  Now I know that this wasn’t my fault and he knows he should protect his hand, but there is no point in arguing any further.  I said okay and was happy we could resolve it civilly.  Now one thing that is only my fault is that a couple times in Stud I’ve accidentally folded someone’s up cards.  I get them mixed up when I’m taking in someone else’s folds, but I have to be more careful.  Thankfully both times I’ve done this the cards were retrievable and the player didn’t freak out.

So I had a slow start but then I dealt for almost the rest of the night straight.  My stomach didn’t appreciate it but it helped the night go by pretty quickly after I originally thought it would drag.  I finished with two last tables and they were rough.  The first was Omaha (again) and some players there were quick to get on my case about things, but nothing that was important or even relevant.  Many of them didn’t tip either so that’s always rough.  Lastly was Stud with the English-only guy, and his table was filled with Spanish speakers.  Thankfully they didn’t speak Spanish too much, and when they did I was able to politely bring up the rule and we had no problems.  It was a bad down money-wise though but at least my night was done.

I cashed out and was happy to go home.  Thankfully I wasn’t really that tired this time, even after nearly falling asleep on the drive to work.  Now I’m going to bed at 9am for one last night of work before four more days off.  This last day doesn’t feel daunting at all, and it reminds me of when I used to work before and would have four or five days off in a row all the time.  Of course I need to make more money, so soon I’ll have to figure out something to do about that.  Thanks for reading, “And I could write a song / A hundred miles long / Well, that’s where I belong / And you belong to me.”

—Eric Del Medico

July192014

I felt very refreshed and recharged after my recent days off, and my first day back to work went pretty smoothly.

Dreams

I had another dream where I was back in school, which I haven’t had much since moving out here.  In another dream I was out on a lake in a little canoe, and it was sort of like the area of our camp up in Inlet.  Man I’m gonna miss that place.

One Year Ago Today

I tried to make eggs again for breakfast but this time I had difficulty because one of my frying pans is really terrible.  I wasted a whole batch of eggs but I got it on the second one, and now I know to use the big skillet for eggs and I’ll have no problems.  I watched a couple stand-up specials and then the three Ocean’s movies. 

My Day

I woke up at 4pm, and (cross my fingers) I’ve finally figured out how to wake up when I want to.  After breakfast I read another chapter of The Two Towers.  I didn’t think I’d want to do that on a night I have to work, but I wanted to get more into the story right away so I don’t let it take me a year to read it again.  Plus it’s less than an hour out of my day, which would otherwise just be spent playing Diablo before I have to work.  For dinner I had my other salad and then got ready for work.  I wouldn’t say I was looking forward to the weekend of work, but I was definitely feeling much better about it than I was last week.  The coming three nights didn’t seem daunting to me, and I felt I had plenty of rest and I felt recharged.  I just hoped I wouldn’t have a terrible night that made me lament having to go back two more days.

I had a nice four tables to start my night, and that included the first two which were Mexican Poker.  One woman was tipping very well, and she said that she can’t do that when her boyfriend is behind her because he’s superstitious about not tipping more than a dollar (for some reason).  So I was happy he wasn’t there because she made up for other players.  It wasn’t a particularly great night, but the players were generally nice and not yelling at me so that was all I could hope for.  This even persisted through a table with the guy who hates me more than anyone else, except for that one Asian woman.

My last table though was a little rough.  There was the one player who has little issues with everything I do at Omaha, and while sometimes he’s strangely calm about them it sometimes makes it worse.  Early on he asked me if I was going to say something to stop the collusion, and to remind people to only speak English during the hand.  He asked if I could hear the other language being spoken, and I told him honestly that I couldn’t.  He took issue with that, and it’s the same problem I had with the guy from Stud.

He went on to ask if I’d please acknowledge his request, coming from a “paying customer.”  I was in the middle of taking care of the hand so I couldn’t do it as immediately as he wanted, but then I did remind the table of the English-only rule and he said thank you.  Now, I understand that from his perspective it seemed like I was either incompetent by not being able to hear what was going on, or I was just being a jerk to him.  And I understand that he felt I wasn’t acknowledging him.  But these players keep bringing it up the wrong way, because he only asked if I could hear what was said and I told him no.  Then he said that it’s not right for them to be colluding, and I said that you can’t just assume they’re colluding if they’re speaking in another language.  Then he was offended and said he speaks six languages so he knows what they were saying.  So from his side if he could really tell what they were saying, I understand that he’d be mad.  But I not only didn’t hear them talking but I wouldn’t know what language it was or what they were saying.

So it was dropped, but I felt like I came off like a jerk so I decided to be a good guy and apologize to him again.  I told him that I didn’t mean to sound like I was out to get him or anything or ignore him, but when I’m in the middle of the hand I’m focusing on so many other things that it’s hard to keep tables on that as well.  Before I could finish that sentence he jumped down my throat all over again, and I hate so much when they use the phrase “your job.”  These players have such a sense of entitlement for some reason and seem to love to talk down to the dealers.  So I regretted that I brought it up again when I was only trying to set it straight for his benefit.  Why do I even bother sometimes?

I was at that table for an extra 10 minutes or so because the push was really late somehow.  The next table was no-limit so I wanted to be there, but it broke just before I would have sat down.  I was out then, and I talked with the boss about that player’s problem.  She gave me a good strategy for how to deal with that problem, which is that I don’t want to offend players who might not be speaking in a foreign language at all just because another player brought it up.  But instead, next time a player says something about it I should just say to the table, “I just want to remind everyone that there’s English only during the hands.  Thanks guys.”  That way I’m not singling anyone out and the player who brought it up feels like they were heard.  Basically it comes down to me not taking offense that they’re getting mad at me for something another player might be doing.

So I worked a half hour less than a full shift but made just over a buck which was good.  I feel like that last down tarnished an otherwise easy night, but I still feel good.  And now I just have two more nights before another week off to do what I want.  I got home by 7am and was a little hungry so I had a banana, and I chose to type this up before hitting the hay.  That kept me up longer than I hoped so now at 9am I’m going to bed, so I don’t know how well I’ll do tomorrow when trying to get up at a good time.  Thanks for reading, and “Well I don’t know if I’m happy for them.  I mean I’m glad their happy, but frankly it doesn’t do anything for me.”

—Eric Del Medico

July182014

I love living in a city with a big movie theater just 5 minutes away showing movies until midnight. It’d be nicer if I had friends out here though to go with.

Dreams

I dreamt that I was running a 5k, probably after reading things about the recent Boilermaker race.  It wasn’t a normal race of course, but took place around my high school friend David’s house (which I’ve never been to).  And I wasn’t just running but more like floating just above the ground, and we kept going from inside his house to outside on a track and back.  He finished first and I finished about three minutes later, but I felt like I was doing very well. 

One Year Ago Today

After Warped Tour I went to bed immediately and slept for about 14 hours.  I just wanted to stay in and relax after the long day yesterday so I watched some comedy specials on Netflix and played some games.  I watched the movie The Quiet Earth but didn’t know why I got it from Netflix.  It was a very weird 80s sci-fi movie made in New Zealand, and the characters seemed incomplete and the movie was strange.  The ending scene was cool though and the image was really the only reason I wanted to see it at all. 

My Day

I again got up at 3pm so I’m getting good at this.  After showering I decided that I wanted to resume reading The Lord of the Rings books, and I left off in the middle of The Two Towers.  I thought about going to the beach to read there, but I felt it’d be a waste to go there just to read.  So I could plan to swim and then read, but the logistics got me down so I just stayed in.  Plus it felt windy from my windows so I didn’t think it’d be worth it.  So I sat on my couch and started reading, and I’m happy that they’re finally back to Frodo and Sam’s part of the story.  They just reconnected with Sméagol so that was good.  Unfortunately though I got sleepy like I always do when I read, so it took me over two hours to read the 20-page chapter. 

That felt like I wasted the day, although reading always feels productive for some reason.  Then I played a little Diablo while waiting to get hungry for dinner, at which time I made some orange chicken.  Then I finally set up my new TV stand in place of the table I was using.  It feels good to have it again, and it makes everything more organized.  Now my TV and remotes take the top shelf alone which looks better, and underneath are my cable box, modem, and PS4.  They all fit there nicely so they’re no longer scrunched together on the table next to my TV.  I still have the bottom shelf mostly free except for my other PS4 controller and charging cable, and the cabinets underneath are empty as well.  The whole thing takes up less space, and I decided to keep my table up along the last bare wall.  I don’t know if I’ll need it for anything, but it just takes up empty space so might as well keep it there.

Then I headed out to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  There’s a movie theater very close to me, and it took less than five minutes to get there.  It’s a big theater that also shows movies in IMAX, so I might go see the new Transformers movie in IMAX because I can.  I like how they have movie showings all the way until midnight, so there weren’t a lot of people in the theater.  I had a row and section to myself, until a group of black people came in and sat behind me.  And I didn’t see them but I could just tell immediately that they were black, which was made easier and easier the more they talked during the movie.  Plus they said the n-word a few times, so, yeah. 

Anyway, the movie was pretty good and the ape effects were the best yet.  It was in 3D but I think they could have done more with it.  And as much as I liked the movie (and the people behind me seemed to really enjoy it), I thought there could have been more too.  I just felt like it was either too predictable (but with a few surprises) or too plain, and I hoped for grander events and themes.  Maybe I’m just asking for too much.  When I got back home I watched 21 Jump Street and I had forgotten how funny that movie is.  Now I’m going to bed at 7am and I’ll probably sleep later tomorrow so I won’t be as tired later at work.  Thanks for reading, and “What’s the point?  When I like them, they don’t like me.  And when they like me, I don’t…like…them.”

—Eric Del Medico

July172014

I went out and played poker again, but I’m sorry to say that so far it has not been fun or profitable.

One Year Ago Today

This was Warped Tour in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  I went with Brian, Cheetara, and his cousin/her friend Angeleen.  Later we met the other six people in our group so we had a nice crew, and we mixed and matched smaller groups throughout the day for each band seen.  The first band we saw was For the Foxes which I was really looking forward to and they did not disappoint.  Later we got to meet them and they signed their E.P. for me.  The best band we saw was Forever the Sickest Kids which was a lot of fun.  A little later was Tonight Alive which I was looking forward to seeing the most and they were great.  It was a fun time and even after three applications of sunscreen I still got burnt a little. 

My Day

I got up by 3pm again so this has been a good week of going to sleep and waking up within an hour of when I wanted to (that will include tonight as well).  After getting up and everything I was excited to have some French toast sticks for breakfast, and they were delicious.  I decided to watch Rounders to prepare myself even further for going to the casino tonight.  So I was as jazzed up as could be and ready to play some poker.  I waited out rush hour traffic (so I thought), but the freeway was still congested even around 8pm.  I immediately regretted taking the highway when I first got on and saw the traffic, so it still took longer than it should have.

I went to Hawaiian Gardens Casino which was about 20 miles East of where I am in Torrance.  It was a little north of Long Beach so it was my first time in that area of L.A., but I should still go around that way during the day sometime to check it all out.  The casino is big but even with over 100 tables it was small compared to the Bicycle Casino.  They had big pictures of the beach and palm trees, and surf boards overhead which showed the sections of different poker games.  Other than that it reminded me of the Commerce which is one big room (like the Bike) but not as big.  I didn’t really see anything special about them that’d make me want to work there instead, because I saw on their website that they’re hiring poker dealers for the same situation I have now. 

While there I noticed a couple players I recognized.  Two were limit Hold ‘em players I’ve dealt to at work, and the other was one I played with when I went to Commerce that one time.  Also—and unrelated to anything else—I saw something funny on their board of promotions information.  For Omaha it read that for their jackpot you needed “any quad 9’s beaten by a higher hand.”  For the life of me I can’t understand a reason why they’d need to say ‘any’ quad 9’s.  Maybe they were thinking of “any quads” but when they changed it to 9’s or better they forgot to drop the ‘any.’  They got it right on the other ones, so that is what’s so vexing about it.

I saw the board of the games they were spreading, and for no-limit Hold ‘em I only saw $100 and $300.  I asked about it and apparently those are the fixed buy-ins, meaning it’s just that with no other minimum or maximum.  I think that’s stupid mostly because the blinds were $2-$3 and $3-$5 respectively, so the buy-ins don’t really match the blinds.  This has really made me appreciate what we have at Turning Stone because “regular” poker should allow for a buy-in of at least 100 big blinds.  It was astounding to me that they’d only let you start with 33 big blinds, so there’s just not much money on the table.  I could have gone to the bigger game which would have been what I played at Commerce, but I figured it’d be better to potentially lose two buy-ins of $100 than to lose two buy-ins of $200 or even one of $300. 

The game was very soft so that was a plus, but really its only plus.  I was card-dead too from the very beginning, and it was like two hours until I willingly entered a pot where I wasn’t in the blinds.  That hand was KQ and I was all-in 3-ways on the flop for my remaining $55 and lost to Jacks on the K J 9 K 10 board.  As you can see, I flopped top pair with a gut-shot straight draw and overcard, then I turned trips, and then rivered a straight.  So my hand kept improving yet I was behind the entire way. 

I had to rebuy because I hadn’t even won a hand yet, and later I finally won my first little pot.  At one point I was even ahead of my $100 buy-in (by a few bucks), but it was just not destined to end well.  I eventually got down to my last $30 and went all-in pre-flop with Jacks and I would have tripled-up, but pocket 3s rivered a set to bust me.  The players were bad which was good, but it really worries me how no matter how good I might be I can’t actually win.  Most of it is because I can’t get any good hands and they don’t seem to hold up in the end.  I don’t know if it’s the rake or the buy-in, but the combination of those two certainly makes it very difficult. 

I’m just so discouraged because I don’t even enjoy playing anymore.  I used to love playing so much, but maybe that was because I loved our home games.  It wasn’t just that I got good at beating certain players, but it was just more enjoyable.  Sitting there with a small stack and listening to random people yap about nothing just doesn’t do it for me.  So I don’t know what this means for me because I was really looking forward to having poker as a steady hobby and source of income, but it looks like it isn’t going to be either.  And I’m certainly not going to keep playing if I don’t find it fun and it’s costing me money.  But it could just be that I need to find the right combination of casino, players, buy-in, and blinds.  There are still a few casinos around here to check out so we’ll see. 

Afterward I was really looking forward to stopping at Jack in the Box on the way home.  I’ve been itching to try their Munchies Box, and for six bucks it comes with a big burger, fries, a drink, as well as two tacos.  Now their tacos are only barely edible or tasty, but they make the meal more worth it and filling.  The burger was delicious and they have good fries, and the guy working there seemed very nice and friendly so that was all good stuff.  With so many different places for me to try just in Torrance and just for burgers, and with my only wanting to eat out once a week, it could/should be a very long time before I eat there again. 

Then I decided to watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes because I plan to go see the new one tomorrow night.  I also watched the next episode of Girl Meets World, and if I haven’t mentioned it I’ll say now that I’m actually very excited this show exists.  Obviously that’s more because Cory and Topanga are in it as the parents, but it’s definitely more like a sequel to the original series than just playing off the characters or ideas.  A lot of it is silly childish jokes, but so was the original so it’s all good.  Now I’m going to bed at 6am before a final day off.  Thanks for reading, and “Now everyone thinks we’re gay!…Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

—Eric Del Medico

July162014

Today I finally opened up a bank account out here in California. But I still have more business to take care of before I’m completely settled in.

Dreams

I dreamt that my brother and I were like roommates in college.  We had a dorm room about the size of my living room in my apartment, and we were discussing how to arrange our furniture.  Much like my quad dorm room in college, we basically had our beds and desks along the walls leaving the center free.  That’s also how I have my apartment set up, so that’s where I got the dream from. 

One Year Ago Today

I started my day by making scrambled eggs for the first time ever.  I was nervous about it but they came out great so I was really proud of myself.  I bought a couple 3DS games to start my collection, and I miss having the ability to go out and buy games or movies or anything else I might want.  I used poker profit anyway but it was different when my living expenses weren’t so high, so now I can’t afford to do that anymore. 

Thoughts                                                 

I have a few I’ve been meaning to discuss but I guess I’ll keep you in suspense a little longer.

My Day

I woke up by 3pm which felt good, and just as I was getting out of bed I heard a knock on my door.  It was the TV stand I ordered from Wal Mart, and it was only sent out yesterday so I didn’t expect it so soon.  This is the same one I bought for my old apartment, and it’ll serve me much better than the table I’m using now.  I put off buying it because I spent so much money moving here and I don’t quite need it, but the price dropped from $84 to $69 so I figured I might as well spend the money for something I really could use.  I put it together but I’ll switch my stuff over later.

I was finally up early enough and prepared to open a bank account out here.  I decided to go with Comerica which is the same bank I used when I was in Santa Cruz one summer, and there’s one right at the end of my street so it’s very close.  I got there by 4:30 so it was still open for a half hour, and it wasn’t busy and doesn’t look like it ever is.  I like that though and it seems like a good place (plus the name is in blue which appeals to me subconsciously).  I talked with a guy and he was able to pull up my file from my account before, and I got a free checking and savings account along with a debit card.  So now I can have direct deposit from work and then I’ll switch all my automatic payments over to the new account.  I’ll keep my old one for my CD at least and I might just keep the money in there for my student loan payments or something but we’ll see.

As I was getting back into my car I was wondering what to do with the rest of my day.  It was warm and a little humid still, and there seemed a kind of haze in the air.  I wanted to walk around or do something, but I wasn’t sure on exactly what.  The timing of this was unfortunate because it was now 5pm and traffic was in full swing.  I drove around a little but scrapped plans of driving to the beach.  I went to the area where the new Planet Fitness is opening up, and I’m so happy it’ll be in Torrance soon so it’ll only take me five minutes to get there instead of driving to the next town over.  They had a little pavilion set up but I wasn’t able to officially switch over yet because they’re not open yet.  I just hope it doesn’t get to overrun because Torrance is really big and I’m sure everyone who lives here will be going there now if they were going to the other one.

I headed back home and got gas, and I would have walked around a little but it was windy and kind of cold now actually.  So I just drove around the back streets a bit before returning home for good.  I still didn’t know what to do now, so while I thought about it I ate an orange which is the first time I’ve eaten an orange that I’ve previously purchased.  I was thinking of playing poker tonight but wanted to keep away from the rush hour traffic, and then I decided to just stay in.  By the end of the night I really got the urge to play so that’s my plan for tomorrow. 

Instead of going out I decided to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu-ray for the first time.  After watching the second Hobbit movie last night I really wanted to see these again, and I had just enough time to watch them all tonight.  So it was the first time watching all three in one day and seeing any of them on Blu-ray, and it was the first trilogy seen in my new apartment.  While watching them I played Diablo on and off, I put together my TV stand, made and ate some delicious ravioli for dinner, and put up The Kramer and my cork board. 

I really enjoyed watching the movies again, and I’m hoping my interest in the story will linger so I can get back to reading the books.  The last time I read them was exactly a year ago, and I stopped halfway through the second book so halfway through the trilogy.  One of my plans is to read that book at the beach so I can not only enjoy the beautiful weather slash view but also do some reading again, without feeling cooped up inside.  So I watched the movies from about 6:30pm until almost 4am, and now I’m going to bed at 6.  Thanks for reading, and “Certainty of death; small chance of success.  What are we waiting for?”

—Eric Del Medico

July152014

I watched an episode of CeeLo Green’s The Good Life, and it’s so bad it makes the Kardashians seem like Meryl Streep.

One Year Ago Today

I had a lot of thoughts about girls and how they made me feel like a loser.  Work was slow so we weren’t there too long, but I didn’t care.  There isn’t that much else to recount and certainly nothing that’s important.

My Day

I went to bed at 11am, and not a half hour later I got a phone call.  I was disoriented and went against my rule of not answering my phone when I’m sleeping, because I know I’m incapable of making decisions.  It was one of my bosses, and she asked if I wanted to come in today and or tomorrow to deal the tournament.  I was confused because I’m not a tournament dealer, and I just didn’t know what to do.  I wasn’t sure what kind of money we were talking, because just base pay wouldn’t feel worth it but it’s still something.  I couldn’t decide so she said I could call her back, so I went back to sleep.

I woke up right at 4pm after only five hours of sleep but that was good.  I still didn’t know what to do about work.  I find it funny how I was just talking about how much I was looking forward to a relaxing week off after the rude players, and that I tell myself to get through the weekend so I can enjoy my days off.  But you never know when you’ll be asked to work an extra shift, and here it was.  It would be a change of pace and it’d be great to make some extra money, but it’s coming at a time when I really just want to relax for a few days.  I thought about just saying no for today but doing it tomorrow, but the time worries me.  She said one day at 7pm and the other at 5, so I couldn’t really do it today anyway.  Tomorrow I’d be afraid of driving through rush hour traffic to get to work.  And if I threw a day off away just to go through more headaches and abuse for little money I’d regret it, so I just said I couldn’t do it this week but keep me in mind for later.  I feel bad for leaving money on the table (an expression I think I heard from an article about Melo resigning with the Knicks) when I can obviously use it. 

So after I showered I did my laundry, and I think I have a good system of getting the minimum amount of sleep to get through the day without wasting it.  I can do my laundry but not feel like I have to go anywhere else, and then I can get to bed at a good hour to enjoy my remaining days off.  So I didn’t do anything else but play a little Diablo.  I finally got all the ring parts and crafted an upgraded Hellfire Ring, and it’s a lot better than my old one thankfully.  I still have another ring that’s better, but the perks of extra experience and the chance to create a damaging lava pool is really cool.  Of course I’m going to keep working to make one for each character but this was the important one.

For dinner I had one of the two more salads I bought, and that was all I needed today.  I’m already looking forward to making some kind of pasta tomorrow if I stay home, although one of these days I want to play poker so I’ll probably eat on the outside.  I also want to get Jack in the Box’s Hella-Peño burger meal or really any of their late-night meals which come with a burger, two tacos, fries, and a drink for $6.  Then I watched The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on Blu-ray.  I was really looking forward to it but I was also pretty tired, so it was hard to stay awake for the nearly 3-hour movie.  I thought they’d slay the dragon in this one and the last movie would be them trying to make it back home, but ending with the impending destruction by the dragon was cool too. 

Now I’m going to bed shortly after 6am, but I should have gone to bed hours ago.  Hopefully I can get up close to 2pm tomorrow so I can enjoy the day.  Oh, it actually rained today for the first time since I’ve been here.  It wasn’t for too long I don’t think, but it got humid because of it.  But with this drought we certainly need it, but I’m just sorry I missed it because I would have liked to walk around in the rain since it’s so rare around this time.  Alright thanks for reading, and “Raindrops keep falling on my head…”

—Eric Del Medico

July142014

Sometimes I dread staring down the barrel of a workweek (however short), but the days off feel so good.

One Year Ago Today

At work this was the day that one of the $500 max regulars got kicked out for a year.  When I was dealing to him he took a big beat, but he didn’t react at the time.  Then later he flipped out and kicked a chair across the room which got him banned.  People said that he did that out of the blue, so I think he was still upset about the beat I saw.  He ended up moving out of state, never to return again.  Also on this day I got my Nintendo 3DS XL which has been great.

My Day

I woke up at 5pm and was ready to get to the end of this work weekend.  I know I only work three days a week, but after two rough days I was really dreading another abusive night.  But as bad as the feeling is when I have to get through a week or even a day of work, it feels so good to then have four days off.  Sometimes even looking at one more full shift can be daunting when I remember how mean players were the last two nights.  But I always tell myself that I just have to put in my 8 hours and I can go back home and go to sleep.  I do that even though I know I could be asked to do overtime or work another shift, but more on that in the next post.

I went to work and before starting my shift I talked with a player and his girlfriend whom I’ve seen the last few days.  They asked if I like working here, and that they were thinking of applying to deal the big tournament series.  Then he asked if I seriously like working there, and I’m sort of faced with that question a lot.  I try to see the positive side of everything, and that sometimes keeps me from conveying my day-to-day feelings about things.  Like after the last two nights of work, how can I actually say that it’s a good place to be when the players jumped down my throat all night?  It isn’t always like that but some days it can be a rough place to work, but in the end dealing poker is an easy gig and certainly better than many service industry or menial labor jobs. 

Sort of on that same note, when I was waiting to go to my first table another employee in a different department asked why I was smiling.  He was saying how a young, happy guy like me shouldn’t be working there.  He said I should get my realtor’s license or something and how I could do well elsewhere.  I didn’t see this as bashing my job, but more like he felt I could do more.  I’ve gotten that a few times since I started, and I feel like it’s not just because I’m young but partly because I’m white.  This is tricky to say, but if you look around that casino you’ll see that white people are very rare, and the ones you see are in higher positions.  It sort of makes me believe that I could rise up fairly easily in that place or in this city in general.  I’m young and unfettered, and if I had a more ambitious drive and a certain amount of higher education I could really get somewhere.  It makes me think of why I feel I’m a great dealer.  I know I make mistakes, but the areas I shine are really important.  I’m constantly working on my mechanics and knowledge, and I’m unflinchingly fair.  I also keep my cool in rough situations (not lash out when players yell at me), and I always try to make sure players are listened to and feel heard.  These skills are directly transferrable to a management position, so I’m optimistic that I can do better in the future if I apply myself.

So at work I talked with several co-workers about California and moving from New York.  That happens every once in a while when someone asks, but this time many different people asked and from several different departments.  I talked with a few other dealers, a food service member, bosses, and players.  It was nice talking with so many people, and I’m feeling more accepted among all the other employees.  Some dealers ask me what time I start and it’s nice commiserating about bad tables and everything.  I also feel a bit of a kinship with the other new hires I met at orientation, and whenever we pass each other we say hi which is really nice.

On to the tables themselves.  This was a much better shift, and there were only a few minor issues that aren’t even worth mentioning.  I had three breaks today which was too many, and I was worried because I had some really bad downs ($5 or less).  But since most tables were nice or at least quiet I didn’t really care.  I did have two good tables.  The first was a $2-$4 limit and the players were mostly friendly, and we talked about basketball and my moving from New York to California.  Then I went on break and came back for one last down, and boy was it worth it.  It was $40 no-limit which I dealt earlier, and one great tipper was still there.  There were a few good tippers, and I cleaned up during that down.  It was by far my best down at this casino, and it definitely made my night. 

That good tipper even said he was glad to see me again and wanted to follow me to my next table, and it was so nice to hear positive things when I’m so used to negative.  Also during that down the players talked about how players foolishly blame the dealer for losing, like the dealer deliberately cut the deck (the only way we affect the order of the cards) like we’re out to get certain players.  They acknowledged that if we could control what cards came out then we’d deal the jackpot all the time.  It was nice to talk to players who actually thought about this.

There were two mistakes I made today that I felt really bad about.  The first was at Mexican Poker, and I accidentally flipped up a down card during the first round which results in a misdeal.  I felt bad because he had an Ace and he would have had a second Ace which is a monster start, and I apologized profusely.  He didn’t get mad and yell or even react, and thankfully he won the next hand anyway.  Then at another table there were three players to the river but I thought they were down to the last two, so I said my usual line of, “Okay, what do we have guys?”  One woman instantly flipped over her cards and then the table told me there was a player left to act, and I felt horrible.  It’s the first time I’ve ever done that, and I made sure to let them all know that it was my fault and not the woman’s for showing her hand and not the guy for not acting “quickly enough.” 

In both of these instances I wondered if I should pay the faulted player for some of the money I cost them, which I think I could do without getting in trouble.  And since they were my fault (albeit honest mistakes) it wouldn’t be ridiculous to think that I should make it up to them.  Both they both still won so it’s not like I cost them the hands.  I always wonder though in instances where I make a mistake like that if there’s anything the casino can do, whereas in problems like when a dealer accidentally mucks an unprotected hand it’s actually the player’s fault. 

So I finished with a great down and that table broke just after I left it, and I felt bad for the next dealer who missed out.  I was out and hoped to make just over $100 so I’d have a $400 weekend, and with that last down that was no problem.  So this was my best weekend money-wise but maybe my worst mean player-wise, although tonight was so much better than the last two days.  I had time to kill again of course but this time I just got the buffet at work for $3.  I had some breakfast there and got an iced coffee since I still had about 4 hours before I could get to sleep, and I was pretty tired. 

Then I went to Human Resources to get my badge fixed finally, and I got there at 8am sharp when they opened.  That was quick and then I went to Wal Mart to get my weekly groceries.  I like this system of shopping because that’s dead time anyway, and this way I don’t have to feel like I have to go out one day just for groceries.  I spent $70 which feels like a lot when I consider I get that much each week, but I got about 12 meals plus a lot of other things, and no one meal cost more than $5.  I got on the freeway at 9:30am and it wasn’t too bad, and I got home in pretty good time.  I completely know how to get to and from work now so that’s exciting.  I watched The Price is Right while I got ready for bed, which finally came at 11am.  So thanks for reading, and “Come on down!”

—Eric Del Medico

July132014

With how mean these new poker players have been to me, at least they’re coming up with new and inventive lines.

One Year Ago Today

I bought a lot of healthier food in the attempt to eat better and hopefully build muscle.  I tried to find carbs to eat before and after working out, but I don’t think that ever got me anywhere.  I still ended up losing a lot more weight so that was great. 

My Day

I slept late until 5pm, and I had to start by typing up yesterday’s post.  Then I had a big sandwich for lunch/dinner and that lasted me through the night.  Work was very busy with every table going, and they even put a few tables up on the walkway on the side of the casino.  I started with a good run of tables, and I only dealt one down of Mexican Poker.  I had one break after four downs, and then dealt six more downs.  That led me to one last break before my shift ended, but it was sort of busy still so I went on break and came back.  I went to another table but just for a few minutes and then I was tapped out, but since I made just an extra 50 cents it really wasn’t worth it.

So as I said in the title, these players have really been so mean to me.  It’s not all of them of course, and I am used to players lashing out at times.  But this casino is definitely filled with players who are very wound up and quick to snap, and they give dealers and everyone else no room for error (or their idea of error).  I’m getting phenomenally better at just tuning their insults out and not responding.  Instead of getting hurt by their comments I’m trying to look at them as just hearing new and inventive expressions.  That way I can laugh at how cruel they’re being rather than getting sad.  Like when a player constantly berated me throughout the down and said he hopes I get a flat tire on my way home, I could laugh instead of cry.  Earlier after getting mad he wasn’t winning he said, “You are a TERRIBLE person.”  That was interesting because I’ve said that usually players don’t insult me personally, but this was definitely personal. 

I’ve said before that Omaha can be hit or miss, but really it’s more like a miss.  Those players are the quickest to get mad about procedure, and they act so entitled for some reason.  In one hand it was checked around but I knew the first player hasn’t acted yet, so I said we were still waiting on him.  Then the woman in last position got mad because they already acted, which was irrelevant because he had not.  Her issue was that I was making the decision that he could still act rather than saying he’s missed his chance, and that I (dealers) can’t make decisions.  That’s what a lot of players’ problems are, because they seem to think that the dealer doesn’t have any authority over anything in the game.  What also amazes me though is how they love to defer to the floorperson, when that person wasn’t present during whatever the dispute was.  I know that they’re the highest authority and I have no problem letting them decide things, but I’d think that players would have a problem answering to them like they do with everyone else.

When I dealt Stud today it was a table with the guy who always talks about the English-only rule.  Thankfully the players were following and I didn’t have to bring it up that much, and the guy didn’t say anything.  So I was happy I made it through the night without any problems like that.  And later when I sat down at a table, a white woman whispered, “A white boy.”  I looked at her and laughed and agreed with how rare I am here.  I’ve said that I always feel like players are thinking this, so to have her come out and say it was validation.  I wondered though if the other players (none of whom were white) thought this was racist at all.  I’d think that if a black guy said this I wouldn’t think it was racist at all, but for some things it might be seen as racist just because we’re white.  But it’s true that white dealers are the vast minority in this city.

So I worked a full shift and then cashed out and went home.  I ended up having a good night, and with all full downs and only one down of Mexican Poker it was really good per down.  I was hungry since I hadn’t eaten all shift, and I decided to see if Taco Bell was open.  It was just after 7am and there’s a Taco Bell near work, but I was afraid they wouldn’t open until 9 on Sundays like the one I checked out in Torrance.  It was open and I enjoyed a delicious AM Crunchwrap.  I also won a free bean burrito from the coin drop thing because I’m awesome at that, and even though I don’t like beans I ate it because it was my prize.  I drove home and got to bed by 8:30am.  Thanks for reading, and “Also, I’m given to understand that your mother is overweight.”

—Eric Del Medico

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