Monday, September 30, 2013

REDBIRD CENTRAL -- NOW I KNOW WHY!! -- A Story About one of the most Generous Gentleman I ever met....So I thought.

Poker dealers see alot. Poker dealers think they know their customers. Poker dealers speculate about how their customers live their life away from the poker room, but as I'm about to show never truly know..

Case in point...Here's two links to a very important legal case that got a lot of attention here in Las Vegas..please read it before you read the rest of the blog, because it'll all make sense in the end...

Stem Cell Con Game

They Called him Dr. Frankenstien

Why do I care about a crazy Romanian Doctor who defrauded senior citizens and performed his "research" on unsuspecting victims? And what does it have to do with poker?

His name is Alfred Sapse, he doesn't have a lot of ethics, he'll probably die in prison, and he's a GEORGE!

George, in the poker dealer world, is a term for a good tipper. They don't come around very often, but when they do, the poker dealer prays he pushes every big pot to him/her. When a "George" is playing a big pot, and he/she is betting/raising a pot, you get a warm fuzzy feeling inside because if you push him a pot, you'll be sure he'll toss you a redbird...ALFRED SAPSE was that person.

Three years, Mr Sapse used to play in our room every day. When I first met him, he was your typically bumbling 85-year-old, wearing these thick glasses. He seems so absent minded about everything. He insisted he sit in the middle he couldn't see the flop, and don't dare ask for his players card. I remember asking for his player's card and he would wave it off and give me "Are you kidding look?" He was the worst player I've ever dealt too. Talk about a guy who didn't have a clue about the game of poker. If he had any part of the flop, any type of draw, and sometimes not connected to the flop, he was going to the river. As a result, he would put some horrendous beats on the players, and the players would go absolutely nuts, calling him the worst player ever...Mr. Sapse would never say a word as he scooped up a pot. Occasionally, he'd glanced at one of his many poker victims and give them a sly smile.  Another thing about Mr Sapse, I don't think I've ever seen him cash out! No matter how may big pots he won, he would always lose every dime and more...I don't think I ever saw him rack up chips and walk back to the cashier...NOT ONCE!!!

But there was one consistent trait, he ALWAYS tipped the dealers a Redbird, whether he won a $15 pot or a $1,500, he would toss you a redbird, so even though he was a terrible poker player, it was a race for the poker dealers to push him as many pots as possible to they could get those coveted Redbirds. As a poker dealer, putting Mr Sapse on a heater could potential make your day, week, month, and year.

As a man, I don't have respect for him because of the terrible things he did. He stole over $1 millions dollars from these patients, and according to the story, he used that money and lost $700,000 in gambling loses...most of which was probably done at the casino I work at.

Here's my theory of why he was such a terrible poker player..he didn't care about the money. I think he was using the poker room to launder the stolen money through the poker players, and in some sick way, he was tipping redbirds, we the poker dealers became unknown, unsuspecting assailents to his cycle of crime. The thought cracks me up.

When I read the story of Alfred Sapse and his crimes, I was surprised and appalled. I never in a million years with this man I've dealt many hands too could do something this dispecable, but it made me realize you  truly don't know anyone even if you think you do.

Well, I hope he enjoys his last years of his life in prison, and maybe saved a few Redbirds so he could buy favors from the

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

From The School Bus Driver to Tonya Baltazar -- The Journey to my 40th Birthday!

6 Days ago, I started a Facebook/Twitter daily post reminiscing about moments of my life leading to my 40th Birthday, but I wanted to blog about the meaning behind each post, and maybe give a slight anecdote behind each one. The purpose is it give you, the reader, an insight of the events, people, lives, loves, heartaches, mistakes, decisions, and happiness that lead me to what I am today approaching a milestone in my 40th birthday....Enjoy the journey....hope it will trigger an emotion as it did with me.....

Posted on Facebook/Twitter Sept 20, 2013:

Looking forward to celebrating my 40th birthday this weekend with my beautiful and wonderful wife Tonya Baltazar. As the big day approaches, I wanted to reminisce about my 40 years on this my earliest memory of a child living in Washington when I was 5 when I got on the wrong school bus and cried, but the bus driver went out of his way to get me home

My father was in the Army, stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington. I don't remember much about this time of my life. I remember a patch of fruit patches I rode my bike through (I think it was raspberries or blueberries) and getting lost.. Yes I cried. I remember a public water hole... Not really a swimming pool crowded with kids in a Tacoma park. But most of all I remember my first day of school, how tough it was. I remember being completely confused searching for the right school bus. The buses were identified with animals but I couldn't for the life of me couldn't remember what my animal was...I think I ended up on the giraffe bus. I remember sitting there being driven to an unfamiliar neighborhood and little by little, kids emptied until I was the only kid left.. I cried and cried as i had no clue where I was. But this very nice school bus driver (wish I knew his name or what he looked like) comforted and ensured this scared little boy that he would get me home...and he did.. I got home late, most importantly I got home...I reminisce 

Posted on Facebook/Twitter Sept 21, 2013:
As my 40th birthday approaches, I reminisce about my middle school days, Went to a school called Piedmont in San Jose, CA for 3 months... I remember finishing second in the mile and a half run... I peeked athletically.

When I was 12 years old, my father got orders from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii to Ft Benning, Georgia. While my dad got things settled in Georgia, my mom, brother, and I lived with my Aunt in San Jose, California. I went to a school for three months called Piedmont Middle School. Not sure if the school is still around. Whenever I visit San Jose, CA, I always tell myself I have to at least drive by to see if it still exists, but never got around too..someday I will. Didn't really make any friends, but I remember my P.E. class, we had to run a mile an a half every day. I usually finished in the top 10, and every day I improved...My best finish was second, I could never beat this guy who always finished first..this guy was a freaking speed demon. Seems like he would finish his run 5 minutes ahead of us. I did have this major crush on this gal who lived in the neighborhood, Michelle Fernandez, was her name, but that quickly faded when she was being a bitch to me on the bus for no I reminisce...

Posted On Facebook Twitter Sept 22, 2013

As my 40th Birthday approaches, I reminisce about my high school days, I really don't have a great memory of this time of my life, but I do remember how awkward I was...didn't really fit in with any group, but was never felt like I didn't belong...guess I was lucky it that aspect

High school was a weird time. We had an interesting high school, because of it's close proximity to the Army Base, we had a diverse student body, something Spencer High School was proud to tell everyone. It made our school rather unique. I remember one of my good friends, Mario Juestel, we had a good time hanging out. High school was an awkward time for me as I never fit in with any of the cliques, but I never was felt like an outsider. I was extremely shy especially socially. In fact, I had a huge crush on this girl for two years, and I don't think I said two words to her the entire time despite the fact we had classes together. I won't reveal who she is, because ironically, I'm facebook friends with her and still never revealed my crush to her....and probably never will :) Overall, despite my awkwardness, I enjoyed my high school years, got to go to my prom with a gal who was out my league but she was nice enough to say yes when I asked her....Lilian Pelegreen, I'm talking to you. Got to play a team sport and worked on the school's yearbook during my senior year. I thinking the best part of those high school years is I sometimes get to relive those moments on Facebook as I'm facebook friends with many of them. I reminisce

Posted on Facebook/Twitter Sept 23, 2013

As my 40th birthday approaches, I reminisce about my time in the Air Force.. Had some awesome times... Some of my treasured memories was my 3 years at Charleston AFB. On the other side, the darkest times was my 3 years at Kirtland AFB, NM

My Air Force time had many ups and downs. The majority of the ups happened when I was stationed at Charleston AFB, SC. First of all, the city was beautiful: beaches, great architecture, great people, incredible food, and a small town without a big city feel to it. I often tell people my time is Charleston, South Carolina was some of the best 3 years of my life, because it came at a time when I had so little worries, where I would go to work, have fun, learned about myself both personally and professionally. If I would to ever move from Las Vegas, the first place I would look into moving too is Charleston, South Carolina. I met so many good people, had so many fond memories, and had so many great stories I could tell (But that's for another blog). The experiences in those 3 years are memories I will treasure for the rest of my life, and the friendships I made will last the rest of my life.

As incredible as my time was at Charleston, it was just as awful at Kirtland AFB, NM. I got married for the first time to a woman I had no business marrying because we weren't ready. Professionally, it nearly wrecked my Air Force Career. I worked with the worst group of people who only worked for themselves, and treated me like some second-rate citizen. It was so miserable that for a while, it jaded my outlook on the military. I was so happy when I left that duty station. If I stayed any longer and I probably wouldn't have made it. I want to mention a man named Donald Ortiz, who was the worst of the worst. He was a civilian who treated me like I was a punk, a child, and sometimes not human. I hated this man so much, the sight of him always made my blood boil to the point where I wanted to punch him every time. He conspired with my supervisors to give me the worst performance report I ever had. Mr. (and I use the term lightly) Donald Ortiz is the only human in this world that if I saw him falling off a cliff, I'd look the other way -- yes cruel, but at the time, this human treated me a like dog shit and hated him for it. Someday, I'll blog about my time in New Mexico -- it should make for an intruging entry. I reminisce

Posted on Facebook/Twitter Sept 24, 2013

As my 40th Birthday approaches, I reminisce about receiving one of the greatest gifts ever... When news of my daughter Anastacia was going to be born 9 months later

I cried with joy. I cried with laughter. I cried with happiness. I cried tears of joy. I was going to be a daddy, that was the first set of emotions I felt when my then-girlfriend, Tonya Baltazar told me she was pregnant.  My daughter Anastacia Marcelina Baltazar is a bundle of joy I never thought would make me love someone unconditionally. Having Anastacia taught me the value of love, selflessness, and sacrifice. Today, my daughter is the beacon to my happiness. Whenever I'm having a bad day at work or something awful happens in my life, I can always look into my daughter's beautiful browns eyes and those negative emotions just wash away. "Nothing is as bad as it seems, when your daughter runs into your arms after a bad day and yell DADDDYYYY!!" It happens every day I come home and it never gets old. If that could happen every day for the rest of my life, I'd be a happy man. At this point of my life, every thing I do, every important decision, every motivation is with Anastacia's well-being in mind. I'm hoping that feeling never goes away. I reminisce

Posted on Facebook/Twitter Sept 25, 2013

As my 40th birthday arrives, I reminisce about the years gone by, the good and the bad, the ups and downs, the incredible highs and the unfortunate lows, and events and people I've met through my life...I'm truly blessed. The best part is having my beautiful and loving wife in my life. She's my best friend and the absolute love of my life. Here's to the rest of my life

Life is not a straight has a lot of crazy zigzags, diagonal, and winding roads we have to navigate to get to the destination we truly want. I've had many windings roads in my 40 years on this Earth. I haven't regretted too much in my life...maybe I've made some untimely decisions that put a fork in my path, but the journey has been amazing. But the road has not stopped for me, until I take my last breaths in this world, I will continue this journey I started back in 1973 in San Jose, California. I'm sure they'll be bumps in my path, but I know they'll be packets of pure joy in my life...I'm going to make sure to stop and smell the roses when I get the chance.

One last thing...I'm so happy to have my soul mate and best friend, Tonya Baltazar to be my partner in my journey to the rest of my life. I truly found my inspiration, my heart and soul. 11 Years and counting, baby, I've every second of our time together and looking forward establishing more memories with you. I don't where I've been if Tonya Baltazar hadn't entered my life, so for that, I'm truly grateful

Thank you for everyone who's touched my life....Thanks for being part of my life as I reminisce...


Sunday, September 22, 2013


I really hate the term "hero" call. The word "hero"should be reserved for people like the military, police, and firemen who actually who's mission is the serve and protect the freedoms we American enjoy. Someone who calls with a Queen High in a $1-$2 game in a $20 pot for $5 should use the term "hero".

A while back I wrote about my poker night at the Luxor with fellow bloggers Lightning , Lucki Ducki, and robvegaspoker , if you need to refresh your memory check it out here. (Sorry if it brings a sore spot for you, Lightning :))

Anyway i wanted to talk about another hand I played that didn't involved any of the poker bloggers. There was another gentlemen playing with us, probably in his mid-40ish, probably the worst player at the table, was into his 4 buy in, and probably his last $100. The other bloggers each took their shots at this guy and managed to chip away at him. Everyone but me, then this hand came:

After this 4th rebuy, he moved from the 8 seat to the 1 seat. I was sitting in the 10 seat. It's folded around to me and see Pocket 6's...I make a standard raise of $8 (As I tossed my $8 in, Lucki Ducki had just racked up and was saying his goodbyes to everyone. I returned the salutations. Lucki Ducki was small talking with Lightning and RobVegaspoker)...mid 40ist guy calls from the button, SB calls, BB folds so we take the flop 3-handed:

Flop comes 7 4 3 rainbow, Small Blind check to me. I bet $12....called by the button, Small blinds Folds. We're now heads up going to the turn. At this point, I'm assigning him to a range of a pair, a suited connector, or maybe something like A-5 or A 6 suited, but being the worst player at the table, I couldn't entirely takeout broadways cards like QJ or KQ out of his range.

Turn brings a King. Although I do think KQ is in his range -- I believe it's in the bottom of his range. I want to bet again here just in case he's playing a hand like A-5 or A-6, cause I'm know he's probably calling. I didn't want to bet too much to drive him away, but at the same time, I want to get value from my hand...I settle on a bet of $20. Instant call from my opponent.

River is a 9. I think this card is a total blank. I thought about the best way to play this hand..I thought betting out again, but I don't think I'm going to get a call from a worst hand. Also, if I get raised, I'm going to be faced with a tough decision even against a titled opponent with a wide range...Checking is probably the best play here, hoping I get a showdown, but be willing to call a modest bet...I tap the felt, and before I could opponent shoves the rest of his chips in..

WOW!! Didn't expect that. I asked for a was $80. With around $70 in the pot, my first instinct was to fold, not because I thought I was beaten but it was something else very tangible, and probably the wrong reason....You see at the time, I was up around $200, and I was nearing the end of my session. I wanted to make sure I booked a win and at the time this hand came up. This, of course, is the wrong way to play poker. If you're playing "scared money", you probably shouldn't be gambling.

As I thought about what to do, the thought crossed my mind, "You can't play scared, you gotta to with your gut. If you're wrong at least you were true to yourself" I began ruffling the chips faster and faster as time inched by..felt like forever..then I did something I've never done.

"Can I show my hand?" I asked the dealer. Most poker rooms, the ruling is always if it's heads up you can show your hand, but occasionally you come across a room who rules the  hand is dead even if it's heads up, so I wanted to get clarification from the dealer.

"Yes you can." The dealer started.

I flipped over my pocket 6's, immediately placing a chip on it to indicate that I wasn't folding. At the corner of my eye, I could see my opponent leaning on his open mouth, covering his mouth, and he kept his eyes squarely on the flop. As I was I riffling my chips I looked over to my right, where another $1-$2 game was running -- that one was a wild game where I could honestly say there had to have been 3K-4K chips on the table. At that moment, I wish I was at that game.....I looked back at my opponent and saw him glance at me, then back at the flop, then at me....His eyes darting back and forth like one of those cat-eyes clocks which rotates with every passing second.

Then I saw something my opponent did which helped me make a decision -- it was subtle move, something I probably wouldn't have if I wasn't paying attention: in the midst of darting his eyes back and forth...He quickly looked his chips, then looked down....It's a pattern I've seen many times when I'm dealing usually indicating a bluff....A second later, I pushed my chip towards the pot and announced call....My opponent mucked his hand instantly and stormed out of the poker room, talking to no one in particular, "I can't believe he made that call!!!!!"

As I raked the pot, I got congrats from Lightning and Robvegaspoker, "Great call" Coming from those guys, it meant a lot...LuckiDucki said goodbye once again, and left....Soon after, Robvegaspoker and I left....What a great night of poker playing with my poker blogger friend and having a winning session.

Friday, September 6, 2013

25 Random Things About Myself

Back in 2009, one of my Facebook friends, asked her friends to write 25 random things about yourself. I decided to do the same thing. As I was scanning through my facebook account, I came across it and decided to share it to the blogosphere...

1. I absolutely love family...they are the best!
2. It took me 30 years to find my soulmate
3. My daughter is my heart and soul. I don't know what I'd do without her.
4. I'm a big Atlanta Falcons fan..GO FALCONS!
5. I love everything about poker...playing and dealing..
6. I've won over $50,000 playing poker tournaments since 2002!
7. Through dealing poker I've met: Jason Alexander (from Seinfeld) -- great guy, outstanding tipper, Don Cheadle, Kevin James (Clerks director), William Floyd (ex 49ers player), and the one and only William Hung -- genuinely a nice guy!
8. I'm addicted to "24" Love that show! Jack Bauer is the best!
9. One of my biggest regrets -- not continuing playing the piano when I a kid.
10. The hardest I ever laughed was my trip to Myrtle Beach with Wayne Capps, Chris Maxey, and Jeff Bright -- TWO CONDOMS!!!
11. The 3 years I was in Charleston, South Carolina were some of the best times of my life.
12. My first real addiction was the BBS and tradewars
13. I'm a pretty good dancer...
14. I've done P90x 3 times! 
15. My poker dream is to travel the world and playing poker tournaments for one year
16. Sometimes my temper gets the better of me.
17. I really need to lose weight
18. I'm very good at betting sports especially college basketball and baseball.
19. If I could sit and watching basketball all day...I would.
20. My favorite vacation spot is San Diego, California
21. I will win a poker tournament for 6 figures one day.
22. The biggest mistakes I've made in my life occured when I lived in Albuquerque, New was a dark 3 years both personally and professionally.
23. I am the worst handyman in the history of the world...I cannot fix ANYTHING!!
24. I think Las Vegas, NV is the greatest city in the world....
25. Is amazed at all the people from high school who has a facebook's great getting in touch with everyone and amazed at how everything is doing in their lives!!!