I have two distinct lives. One in the trenches of low-budget film and television, the other in professional gambling. Because of the feast-or-famine nature of show business I need a reliable income... gambling. So here you will read about both worlds. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Most Memorable Hand

I was talking to some friends the other night, and the subject came up, what was your most memorable hand? Usually these discussions revolve around some massive bet involving many splits, and double downs, and either winning or losing a very large amount of money. I was trying to remember something memorable and came up with a hand that really didn't involve that much money, but was rewarding. I was playing with my partner, and he had $1,000 bet. He had caught the ace I knew was coming, and got a deuce to go with it. He had ace deuce against an 8. I gave him a signal that meant "freeze." I needed to think for a few moments, and I then gave him the signal for "double down." He paused for a moment, and then gave me a signal that means, "question" meaning, is that really what you want me to do, double A2 into an 8? I was very sure the either the dealer had an 8 in the hole, or an 8 would be the next card out of the shoe. So either he is doubling A2 into a total of 16, or he is going to receive an 8 and make 21. He doubled, and received the 8. I was quite pleased. In many cases play would move so fast that he would have hit the hand before I had a chance to do anything, so I was happy to have figured it out, and happy that we actually got to make the play. I think having a signal that meant "freeze" made the difference.

But that wasn't my most memorable hand. My most memorable came not as a player, but as a dealer. When I was a dealer I had a tendency to talk a lot to the players. If a player happened to be an attractive female you could make it times 3. So I was dealing a 4 deck, face up shoe game and having a great conversation with this girl on third base. The table was full, and I dealt the round. I had a ten up, and checked for BJ, and I had a 3 in the hole. (We used to check out hole card back then) The guy on first base doubles his bet, and without missing a beat I split his 7 and 4. I hit his 7 with a 10, and without waiting for any signals I hit his 4 with another 4 and then a ten. And I remember thinking as I was coming around the table, "he shouldn't split that against a 10. I wonder if he saw my hole card?" The girl is still talking when I get to my hand and turn over a 3 in the hole, and hit it for an 8 making 21. As I go around the table scooping up everyone's money I get to the guy at first base, and he is pointing at his hand, sputtering, "Uh, Uh, I uh..." I look down and realize he had been trying to double down on his 11. I call over the boss, who was one of those guys who had started dealing in Newport Kentucky in the illegal games in the 50s. I say, "Don, this guy split a 7 and a 4. Sir, you aren't allowed to do that." (As if it's the player's fault.) Don said, "Give everyone a push." As I went around returning everyone's money he gave me a look like you give the dog that just pooped on the carpet. "Kid, I been in this business a lot of years, but I never saw that one before."

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