Las Vegas Gambling Tips: More Poker People
On The Town With Vegas Vic
By: Victor H. Royer
Welcome to Las Vegas! My name is Victor H. Royer, but everyone just calls me Vegas Vic. I was named after that famous neon sign in Downtown Las Vegas, that cowboy with the hat on top of the Pioneer Club, always waving his hand and beckoning to his long love, Sassy Sally, on the other side of the street. I will be writing a few articles for AccessVegas.com, so I hope you enjoy them.
More Poker People
It’s the best game in town (Las Vegas). There’s Yukon Don and Muscle Mike. Dennis the Greek Menace, Hollywood, Big Harold and Little Harold, Ray the Pro, Darling Dolores, Sensuous Sabrina, Real Estate Dan, Jose the Nugget, Buffalo Bob, Booker, Quiet Ken, and a man who asked me not to mention his name in print but whose name is the same as that computer in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”. And, of course, then there are Aris the Greek and Harry (who doesn’t have a nickname I know of). And then there’s I – they call me Vegas Vic.
The game is Texas Hold ‘Em – most of the time. Usually 1-4-8 and often 1-4-8-8. Sometimes Seven Stud, and even Omaha High. The place is Arizona Charlie’s, and all these people once could be found there most mornings from about 9 a.m., and often till late at night (or very early, depending on which way you look at it).
These, and many others, are among the nicest poker people I have met in many years. They all usednto play regularly in this little two-table poker room. The game was terrific, with many large pots even for a small-limit game. But the best thing about this game was the poker camaraderie enjoyed by all these regular players, and their welcoming attitude to new players. I know. I was such a new player not so long ago.
This was many years ago now. One very early morning I won some money in video poker, and as the dawn was breaking I thought it was about time I went home. As I was getting up from my seat at the machine, I noticed the poker game in progress. As I stood there on the rail, watching, a man called out: “Come on in! Seat open.” Well, it was such a nice and welcoming invitation that I decided to take him up on the offer.
Although it was still very early, the game was in full swing, with only two other seats empty. So, I sat down and bought in for a rack. The game was Hold ‘Em $1-$4-$8 on the end. I sat there for the rest of the day, enjoying this game and the people who played it. They all seemed to know each other, judging from their conversations and the fact that each new player coming in also seemed to know the other player’s names, and they knew his. And so I became part of this group of poker people.
After several weeks, they got to know me as well – and I got to know them. Soon, I was able to recognize their faces and knew their names. It became a kind of poker family for me. Yes, they all play tough poker. This is not a child’s game and it isn’t a “home” game. These players are there to win. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t helpful. When asked, they will explain aspects of the game, and they will also comment on errors, be they by the dealer, or by some new player (and they also helped me with my game as well).
Sometimes they even offer advice on poker protocol, and the correct way to conduct yourself at the game. None of these people are “saints” when it come to the game of poker, but they are sufficiently knowledgeable and sufficiently comfortable in their own skills that they are willing to “look after” a new player, or a player who can use some help. I was fortunate to play in this game, and with these people. Their abilities have made it possible for me to learn many things.
It was Muscle Mike who game me my nickname. He christened me “Vegas Vic”. I guess it had something to do with the fact that at that particular time I actually won a pot. Mike is one of the dealers in this game, but he also plays in the game. In fact, all the dealers in this room play there as well. Booker plays there most of the time, but he also deals on weekends. Darling Dolores deals the swing shift, but she also often stays and plays for many hours more.
Dennis the Greek Menace is also one of the dealers who sits in the game as often as he can. But it was Muscle Mike who first noticed this new player – myself – and gave me my new name. In fact, there’s this neon cowboy in Downtown Las Vegas whose name is Vegas Vic. But Mike didn’t seem to know that and came up with the name all on his own. I’ve had some nicknames in my time, but this one I like. It’s kind of fitting, I think.
Muscle Mike is from New Jersey. He says he got his nickname because he used to be into physical culture and had some muscle on him. How, he points to the relocation of these muscles and laments that his nickname no longer seems as appropriate as in years past. I say don’t worry about it, Mike. You have all the poker muscle you need. Mike is a good player, and a good dealer.
Yukon Don is a character. He was in the movies in the 1950’s. He tells me that at one point he was to have a role opposite Tony Curtis, but in the end his movie role wound up on the cutting room floor. Oh well, I know how that feels. So, Yukon Don moved to Southern California and joined the Santa Monica Players, which was a theatrical troupe. As he tells it, it was party time all the time. He lived on the beach as a beach bum. Later, he says, he had enough of it and left that life (it took him five years – some party!).
Dennis and Aris. Both are Greeks, and both are fond of swearing at each other in Greek. Since none of us understands what it is that they are saying, we have to take their word for it when they say they were swearing at each other. However, I think that they are probably discussing Socrates, or perhaps the applied theory of Plato’s metaphysics, or perhaps the Aristotelian concept of transcendence of the soul, as derived from Plato. In any case, both are really nice people.
Aris is the poker room Manager, on the day shift. He takes over from Harry, who handles the graveyard players. And Dennis, well, we call him Dennis the Menace. He deals cards like that, and he also plays like that. He’s a very nice guy, and we all like him. Many times he took the trouble to look me up and offer kind words. All the rest of it is, well, good-natured ribbing and that’s all. In fact, that’s what makes this game so good – players who can talk the talk and do so without being mean. It’s rare in poker, but that’s how the game should be.
Little Harold in a kind gentlemen who looks like Spencer Tracy. Particularly in Tracy’s film “The Old Man and the Sea”. Harold looks just like him, and so everyone says. He’s called “little” Harold because there’s another player who name is also Harold. This second Harold is a very tall man, while the “Spencer Tracy” Harold is a smaller man. And so they are, respectively, Big Harold and Little Harold. Little Harold collects coupons, and all the players give them to him whenever they can. He’s a really nice man, and I like playing at the same table with him. Although he tends to wind up with my money more often than not, it’s still a pleasure to be at a game with him. And so it is, in fact, with all the other players as well.
Darling Dolores is a sweet lady who plays good poker. And she deals very well too. Ray is the resident poker professional. He certainly plays that way – professionally. He’s probably the best poker player at that game, and I don’t think anyone of these nice people would argue about that. Hollywood is a tall man from New York, who got his nickname because he once had a part in a movie with Robert De Niro called “Mean Streets” (I think that’s the name of the film, but I’m not sure).
Bob is a man who always has a smile on his face and is gracious in all hands. I call him Buffalo Bob simply because it seems to fit. He doesn’t have a nickname that I know of, so I just now gave him one. I hope he doesn’t mind. The same goes for Real Estate Dan. He’s another one of the friendly people in this game. I call him “Real Estate” because he always has a cellular phone with him and constantly answers calls about houses for sale. I think that’s his business, but it doesn’t matter. He’s a lively and animated player, and it’s always a pleasure to have him at the table.
Jose is one of the other interesting characters in this game. I call him “The Nugget”, because he always has this golden nugget with him which he uses to “lock” his down cards. It’s “fake gold”, but he also has a lot of golden jewelry on his person, and so it seemed appropriate to call him Jose the Nugget. I sat next to him many times, and his favorite phrase is “One time”, which he says each time he calls a bet.
I don’t know much about Quiet Ken. He doesn’t say much, although he did help me out one time with a mistake I made. I was grateful for that assistance. He plays there a lot and almost never speaks, so I call him Quite Ken. I think his real name is Kennely, but I’m not sure. It doesn’t matter. He plays a tight game, and is always a good person to have at the table.
And, finally, there’s the man who doesn’t want his name mentioned. His name is that of the computer in the that movie, so I’ll just call him Odie – short for Odyssey. His sister once wrote a Master’s Thesis on Poker, and he keeps promising to let us all read it, but we haven’t seen it yet. No matter. He’s a good player. In fact, I find it very hard to beat him in this game. I think that he “has my number”. I like Odie. He always has something interesting to say, mostly as he’s staking up racks and racks of chips. I enjoy his company, and I enjoy the game when he’s in.
Well, there’s the “family”. I thought I would be hard-pressed to find another group of people who were as nice as those people I wrote about in my first story: Poker People. But that’s the nature of Poker – you just never know when and where you will find new friends. These are all terrific people, and good poker players. And the game is great. Come and join us. Seat open.
Victor H. Royer, known as Vegas Vic, is the author of 42 books. Mostly known for books, articles, and columns on casino games and gambling, he is also the author of New Casino Slots, Great Gamblers: True Stories and Amazing Facts, The Great American Joke Book, as well as his works of Fiction, which include: Another Day, and the Western: Riders on the Wind. Versatile and multitalented, Royer is the creator, producer, and host of the Web-TV show Great Casino Slots, now showing at www.LasVegasLiveTV.com. He also composes music and performs under the names Glenn Diamond, Pappy Jones, Hans Dorfmann, and Miguel Armandaiz. For more information, please visit him at www.MoreCasinoDeals.com and www.GamingAuthor.com. Sign up for the Insider Advantage Newsletter at: http://www.accessvegas.com/membership
His books can be ordered through this website, by following the links provided
(c) Copyright 2016 Victor H. Royer. All rights reserved. For syndication purposes, contact GSR Holdings Inc. at: [email protected]
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