Summer Dreamin’

Prop Tales

By Bill Patty

Sometimes I get in a rut grinding out a living playing low-limit Hold’em, Omaha, and PLO, and I set aside my poker dreams. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my job as a poker prop, but the day-after-day patience and concentration it takes to be successful at the job is mentally fatiguing.

How fatiguing you ask? Fatiguing enough to think that, if I ever stop propping, my next career may be as a monk! I might as well put my patience to good use, right? Ah, the solitude … no annoying competition, no bad beats, no bankroll management … breath in, exhale, breathe in, exhale. Wait! No poker? Never mind.

So, how does a grinder get out of this rut? I do what every serious poker player does this time of year. I dream. I dream about playing again in the World Series of Poker. I dream about having the financial security that comes with making a deep run in the Main Event.

I dream of Lon McEachern, whom I was fortunate to meet at the 500 Club in Clovis a few years back, announcing my all-in while Norman Chad says that my opponent would be crazy to call me because, “Bill is the tightest player I have ever seen, Lon! His nickname should be ‘Granite!’ I played that tight once, but then the dealer dealt a second hand! Geez, fold already!” I do enjoy listening to those two clever, funny, professional commentators.

The other thing I do is appreciate what I already have. I have an amazing family, a job I enjoy, a decent house and car, and a few friends I can count on. Will I keep dreaming of playing in The Main Event? Of course I will. Overall, though, I am grateful for the opportunities I have every day.

My buddy, Lawrence, summed it up the other day when I sent him a text stating that I had just folded his favorite hand, J-3 suited, and had just run out to my car on this 110-degree day to get my overshirt because it was cold in the casino. He replied, “Screw you, Bill Patty! I am out here working in the direct sun on the blacktop where it is 125 degrees and you are playing poker with air conditioning?” Hahahahaha! Thank you, buddy.

People and Places

Since my last column, I have played poker in Laughlin and Tucson in addition to the Central Valley. Thinking back on these profitable experiences, the saying, “There is no place like home” still comes to mind.

Last night I was playing Omaha here in Clovis. Early in the game I was dealt A-2-3-Q, with a suited ace on the button. It was a capped pot pre-flop and I never got to put in a raise. God bless America!

I scooped a nice pot and one of my fellow employees made a wisecrack about me loosening up my starting hand requirements while I was off the clock. I tipped my buddy Kellen Ehrenberg, who was dealing.

Kellen is an excellent professional dealer who makes the game a joy, no matter if I win or lose. The dream continues.

Until next time, enjoy your game and call me when I bet the river!