I took an early out tonight, so I got to catch a decent bus home. I know I harp on this a lot, but I just can't get these commute numbers to reconcile in my head. At least not in a way that makes any sense. I got 5.5 hours of work tonight, so that means I got out 2.5 hours earlier than I would from my normal 8-hour shift. Out 2.5 hours early, but home 4 hours early. What the fuck, man?! There's just something not right about that. But, whatever...I'll take the 4 hours. Now I'm stuck in a weird space because part of me doesn't want to go to bed this early because it'll make my next night shift rough, but another part of me recognizes that my next night shift isn't until next weekend. (Yeah, more work! More about that later.)
So...job update. I worked Saturday and Sunday nights this weekend, which was my first time back since the end of my originally scheduled work on Wednesday night. Sunday (tonight) was basically like the old shifts at the WPT tourneys. Actually, I'm still dealing WPT tourneys, just in a different location. Saturday, though...well, Saturday was crazy. I came in and was put on a WPT tourney, just like always. When I got moved out of that tourney, though, I got thrown right into the regular poker room poker. Holy hell, dude...I just about pooped in my pants.
I'm afraid I can't accurately convey the nervousness I felt about this. For one thing, it all happened really fast. Like...when I was being called back in, in the back of my mind I guess I realized I might be put onto live games, but I never really expected it, I don't think. And then, when it came down to it, I was just totally overtaken by my great fear of fucking up. I really don't like fucking up. It took me a couple days to get comfortable with dealing the tournaments, and tourneys are a little less...I don't know...immediate, or something. It's sort of hard to explain, but tournament dealing is basically really well-suited for new dealers. Live game dealing is...more critical, I guess...and anyway, whatever the reasoning, it's more nerve-wracking. I didn't have a lot of time to adjust to this new mindset, but...well, what can you do. I just sat down and went for it.
A brief interlude here to try to introduce a sense of scale. When I play in the casino, I play games with numbers like 2/4 or 4/8, which are dollar amounts of bets. So yeah, I bet $8, someone else might raise it another $8 to $16...like that. People at these tables generally have something on the order of one or two hundred dollars in front of them. My very first live game table, and I sit down to find I'm dealing...80/160. What. The. FUCK. I mean, sure, tournaments routinely have crazy amounts involved in the pots...but it's not real money! It's just...tournament chips. Like points in a video game. But now...I find myself suddenly responsible for the movement of thousands of dollars...real American dollars...back and forth between these gamblers. I decide not to mention that this is the first live game I'm dealing ever. I was sweating up a storm. I dealt cards. I pushed chips around. I tried not to think about how bad I could screw up and what might happen. I smiled. I got tips! I kept dealing. It seemed like an eternity went by before I got tapped on the shoulder and moved to my next table.
Oh please be a lower level game...
Hmm, seven-card stud. Well, it's a change from hold 'em, but that's fine. I'm pretty confident in my stud-dealing skillz. I wonder what the level is like...oh, only 150/300. I blink. 150/300. 25 ante. 50 bring-in. Um. So basically, I'm going to deal the first round of cards and the pot is going to be $250 before anyone has even made any bets. Good Christ. Even more thousands of dollars are going to be moved around the table. People are throwing hundred-dollar bills around this table like they're confetti. Stud players are short-tempered. I'm going numb. I'm starting to make mistakes. I stumble around, I try to recover. I get tapped out. I go to my next table.
And...well, it basically kept going like that. The stakes got more and more reasonable as I went to more and more tables. Returning to no-limit hold 'em was nice; it made for an easier transition, since all the tourney work I'd done was no-limit hold 'em. I got to some lower stakes tables...stakes I was more used to, and players I felt were easier for me to understand and deal with. I dealt cards. I pushed chips around. I remembered to take rake. I got tips! I smiled and thanked people. I moved on.
And that was basically that. Eventually I reached the end of my shift, and I sort of wandered around dazed for a little while before making good on my exit. I cashed out my tips and actually left the building with money in my hand, something heretofore unprecedented for me. I got thrown right in the thick of it and came out all right, if a bit shaken. But...I did it. I made it through a night basically being a real dealer. Cool. Good. Right. Terrifying. I almost didn't want to go in to work today. :)
But, you know. I did, and it was fine. I didn't even get put back in live games; I just worked the one tourney and then got sent home. Fine with me. But! I also find that I'm going back next weekend. Three days this time, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon. And, possibly, more work after that, even. Though I'm still not clear just how far ahead they plan things, frankly. Which, I have to admit, is fine by me. I think that, at this point, I'm still happy to just take things as they come. Still in a transitional phase, you know? But anyway...yeah, that's that. Had my first time doing real dealing, and survived it. Going back for more. This is what I wanted, right? Still feeling freaked out, though...I have to be honest. But that'll pass, I'm sure...just have to get into the swing of things and that'll be all right. But for now, man. Yikes!