Today I was the beneficiary of a random act of kindness, so now I need to look for a way to pay it forward.
February Recap (finally)
I hate when I get so busy and lazy to do these recaps promptly, especially when this past month is an easy one to summarize. This was definitely my best month of work in terms of tips, where I made over $3,000 for the first time. I made $3,300 in tips alone, and over $4,000 including wages and tournament tokes so it was a great month. I worked 21 days which ties my highest, which were done in May and August of my first year during our busiest tournament series. I’m down about $200 in poker after one great session but one really bad one, so it just ended on a sour note. But because it was so busy I really didn’t get to do much else other than work, although I did watch my aunt’s dogs for about a week and I beat Killzone on all difficulties. I got sick for the first time in a while so that and work prevented me from working out almost the entire month. But I recovered so I think March is looking good.
One Year Ago Today
This was a night of work where I didn’t want to be there from the start, so with each table I dealt the feeling worsened. Players were really getting on my nerves but it was worse because I was already in a bad mood, so thankfully I got out of there quickly.
I keep coming close to getting up at like 3pm, but I end up laying still for a minute too long and falling back asleep for another hour. So I got up at 4 and right after my shower my dad called me. He asked if I bought any suits because I mentioned it to him yesterday, and I told him how I bought three and tons of nice clothes. He asked how much I spent but I didn’t want to say, and when he asked if it was over $800 I just laughed and said definitely yes. I loved how this was almost exactly like in the Seinfeld episode The Jacket where George tries to guess the cost of the jacket, and threatens to leave in anger when Jerry won’t deny that it cost over $1,000. That’s how I was with him and with you because I don’t want to say how much I spent, just know that it was unequivocally a lot of money to spend on suits.
I tried to get to work early so I could sign the EO first, but everyone has the same idea so I couldn’t beat them. The room was busy because it’s tournament week, and thankfully it hasn’t felt like it yet (basically because I didn’t work the last two nights). We had the morning tournament still going, the 7pm one starting up (with a higher starting chip stack), the regular college tournament at 8pm, a satellite tournament at 9pm, several sit-n-goes throughout the night, as well as more cash games than usual. So tonight was basically a zoo of a Thursday, and I didn’t expect to get out realistically any earlier than midnight.
We had mostly long strings which couldn’t get chopped down because we kept starting more tournaments and opening more games, and they still had to get day shift dealers out. I ended up working four hours straight which is much more normal now, and thankfully I held up well. Early into it I would have had a break but knew they’d have me open something, which ended up being a short-handed $50-$100 limit game. It took about 20 minutes to actually get started, but they were fine today so it went well. They played a pot to see who would tip (much like they used to for who would pay their time each half hour), so they gave me a greenbird for the 40 minutes I dealt which works out to be just as much or maybe even a little more than I’d get regularly.
But through that I overheard two players talking about tipping, and I was interested to hear their thoughts on it. One player is a really nice guy and always tips well, but I heard before how he used to tip really well and then slowed down. He confirmed that but explained to the other guy how he felt he used to get weird looks and players thinking he was a fish because he tipped more than everyone else, and it hurt a little to hear how something like that keeps us dealers from getting tipped more. The other guy said how in games where the rack is too high (by his standards) he won’t tip, and while I understand how he wouldn’t want to pay even more, there’s a huge difference between the money going to casino executives and money going to the dealers themselves.
So after four hours I got a break and got some food, and when I was in line behind a woman I thought I heard her tell the cashier she wanted to pay for my meal too. I just stood there the same way, and he hushed too and said what the total would be for both of ours. I was confused because I didn’t know her and she decided to do it so quickly and also tried to make it so secretive. She actually never even looked back at me, but I still kept my wallet open and ready because I didn’t want to mess it up. She paid with a card so as we waited the other cashier said she could take me, and then our cashier said that mine was already paid for. The woman quickly walked out of the cafeteria but I yelled thank you, and she turned back and said you’re welcome and continued walking out. It was weird, but obviously very nice.
I’ve heard of things like this where people are encouraged/challenged to do something like this for random strangers. I think on the Christian radio station Air1 they have a thing on Monday (the title of which starts with an M also I think like “Make a Difference Monday”) where people call in and say how they did something like this for someone. (I just looked it up and I did get the title right but it’s not Air1 but KLOVE.) So now I have to look for a way to pay it forward, which is what this is all about anyway.
I went back to work ready to finish out the night which I hoped would be short, but now I was just hoping to get out early so I can get to bed on time for my earlier start tomorrow. I dealt two more games and then someone else went to my next table and I was out, so I worked for 5.5 hours and made about $120 which is nothing special for just one break but I’ll take it. There was also a private game tonight and those usually suck, and some dealers had long sit-n-goes that were terrible so all in all I was lucky tonight.
When I got home I watched one episode of The Universe and then decided I should watch some of my comedy shows to get them off my DVR, and I started with the first two episodes of the new season of Portlandia. I was thrilled to see the Indian guy in one of the first sketches or whatever they are, and he’s just so hilarious I can’t even stand it. I also watched New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but I still have a few other shows to watch and many more episodes of The Universe. That’s not counting all the late night shows on Hulu and the new shows that aired tonight, so I’m going to have a lot of trouble trying to catch up. I could have gotten to bed by 6am as planned but Ralph jumped on me for a while so it’s now 6:30. The next three days I start a couple hours earlier and it’ll probably be crazy busy so I’ll be happy when they’re over. Thanks for reading, and “Am I the only one I know / Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat? / Shadows will scream that I’m alone / But I know we’ve made it this far, kid.”
—Eric Del Medico