August 27th, 2008


Blackjack is fun...

Tonight, the entertainment at my conference was Casino Night. I went in fairly early, managed to avoid sitting through a product demo to get my chips, and then settled down at a blackjack table, noodling around with the smallest denomination chips, as is my wont, regardless of whether the chips are worth real money. I know the theory of counting, and it's fun to try in a lazy and ineffective sort of way, since I don't have sufficient concentration to do it well. That is apropos of nothing very interesting, except to explain why I find blackjack for worthless chips to be entertaining enough to spend a few hours on.

The dealer, a guy with a name tag of "Mr. Bill", who looks to be near retirement age, does this as a second job because it's fun. He's an Olde Tyme Card Counter, so in addition to the basic blackjack dealer service of telling you what you should do based on the board situation, he was also able to tell us what we should do if we'd been counting. He has many entertainment shticks suitable to this second job, or hobby, as it may be; he would engage us in random trivia questions (and give us free chips if we got them right), and chat about stuff. He also spent some time working in France, so has rusty but functional French with which to speak to some of the conventioneers who are French. And there were the kids of said conventioneers, who he entertained by theatrically tossing chips into their piles when they won, kind of slot-machine style, while trying to explain the game to them in their own language. Once, after a particularly discouraging hand where the players were drawing aces into the mid-teens, and then got beat by the dealer drawing to 21, he picked up all of the aces and shuffled them back into the shoe. When people busted out, he'd offer them some chips if they seemed to want to stay. Anyway, a great guy to have as your dealer at Casino Night.

Drunken network engineers, not so much...Collapse )

Other than that, I actually had quite a good time, thanks to Mr. Bill and his talent for helping everyone in sight have fun.
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