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poker dealer robbie

about a year and a half ago i started this tradition with one of the regular weekend late night poker dealers named Robbie. "Robbie," i say, "you're going to be my last dealer."

Robbie is in my top three of favorite and best poker dealers in the entire room. fast but accurate, always on top of the where the action is happening even while he's carrying on two or more other conversations at the same time, friendly, but firm about poker protocol and a stickler for the rules, and doesn't take any nonsense.

The whole thing started very randomly; on multiple occasions he just happened to reach my table at at a time when i was about ready to leave, and i can never pass up the opportunity to play with a great dealer and also randomly bullshit with him about this or that. After a while it started to become a game. He comes into work, i see him pass by, i ask, "how far away are you?" Sometimes it's a couple of hours away, sometimes it's 6 hours away. I don't usually wait that long just to have him deal or leave if he shows up at my table if it's still early, it's just a fun loose guideline.

Last night something funny happened. Robbie came and dealt at my table at a point when i wasn't ready to leave. Whatever, but about two or three dealers later, our table broke and i got pushed to a table that he happened to be dealing. At that point, i said, "okay robbie, you're going to be my last dealer." When that half hour was done, the next dealer pushing him was Tim, one of my other top three (who incidentally dealt the final table of the WSOP this past year and also in 2010). I was playing decently and the table still had some marks, so i thought, "okay, i'll stick around for Timmy and then leave."

But halfway into Timmy's deal, that table also broke, and we were all pushed to a table that was one dealer behind where Robbie was going to deal. So i get to that table, Robbie shows up when the half hour finishes, and i say, "okay robbie, really this time, you're going to be my last dealer." I ended up losing about $400 in that half hour, not from bad play by me (except for one hand which i'm still annoyed about) but just unfortunate circumstances; the table was *juicy* with a lot of money being thrown around, and since i still had a stack of $500 in front of me, i thought it was worthwhile for me to stick around and try to benefit from the action and surge me back to the big profit margin that i was at a few hours earlier, so when robbie got up and asked me if i was really leaving, i said, "i think i'm going to stick around; this table is pretty great." He agreed that i should probably stick around, so i do. He gets pushed by Jack, and halfway through Jack's deal, *that* table breaks and yet again get pushed to a table one dealer ahead of Robbie.

So Robbie gets to my table again, and i say, "Robbie, i told you you were going to be my last dealer, even if it took four tries to do it." We laugh. I actually didn't want to get up when the half hour was up because the table i was on was a pretty saavy and juicy deep stack game in which a very very attractive but tentative female had just joined the table with $500 to start, but it was 6:30am a that point, i had been down in the quarter since about 1pm, first playing cards and then watching Krewe De Vieux twice, and then playing cards again, so i decided it was time to go, ending with a profit of $600.

I hardly ever see the same dealer twice in one night, much less four. It made for a funny little inside-joke story connection which is always fun with even the most casual of friends, and it gave me a chance to try to get more backstory on how his "yeah, we're getting married in july" turned into, "i think i'm single again."

which is a story in itself, but not one that is mine to tell.

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