Making The Move

Making The Move

As a hinted to last week, I am making a move in the poker world.

Thursday was my final day at the Mandalay Bay poker room. After almost 3 1/2 years I needed a change.

Frankly, I grew tired of wearing a suit and tie four days per week and managing people. I have been a manager of people every year of my life since I was 24 years old. Most of that time I have worn suits to jobs in college athletics, professional hockey, television and the casino industry. My plan when I moved to Las Vegas seven years ago was to never wear a suit to work again. Yet, due to circumstances — typically better pay or better insurance for my young son — I took the suit and tie job and sucked it up. No more.

I am going to be a worker bee for a little while as I follow a plan to build and empire for Jace and myself. 

Jace wearing a Krispy Kreme hat as we drop off donuts to the Mandalay Bay poker staff Thursday.

I went out with some style. Jace and I stopped by a Krispy Kreme and picked up three dozen donuts for the staff. Since I was the only person on the staff to work all three shifts (day, swing and into graveyard) every week I thought it was important to thank the entire staff there. We dropped off the donuts around 10:30AM and then had the day to ourselves before I had to work at 6PM as a dealer.

The 3+years at Mandalay Bay were great. The room is rarely super busy so you have time to monitors the players and the dealers. It is a lot of standing (usually 7 1/2 hours out of each 8 hour shift), but I also cherished the interaction with the regular guests. There was a lot of time to talk about poker, sports gambling, horse racing or just what was going on around Las Vegas.

I won’t miss the paperwork. Nevada gaming and each individual casino requires a certain amount of paperwork and signatures each day. Mandalay Bay poker takes it to the extreme nth level. You have to be meticulous every single day, and there was no such thing as a day where you did it all correctly. That is what I grew tired of dealing with. I take quite a bit of pride in how hard I work and how much pride I have in doing my job correctly. Unfortunately, I loved Mandalay Bay a whole lot more than Mandalay Bay loved me. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and I am glad I spent time there.

Now its on to Caesar’s Palace

, where I got a job as a temporary dealer during the busy summer months. Caesar’s has a new room they built three years ago. A good number of the locals I used to deal to have migrated there over the past three years. I am looking forward to the new challenge of dealing center Strip and seeing if I can prove myself worthy of a permanent position. The new job starts Sunday and I am ready to go.

The Important Things

The Important Things

Yesterday was a rollercoaster of a day. It started out with a surprising find and ended with a thud. It was a day that came with an important lesson.

The day started with Mr. Jace and Facebook Live. He was showcasing his Batmobile driving skills all over our backyard with his doggie in on all the action.

While he kept playing I was doing a computer cleanup. I found and old login/password for a retirement account I had long forgotten about. It took a little digging, a lot of updated personal information and a long phone call, but the result was worth it. It turns out I have a pension from a company I stopped working for in 2004. The money, a significant amount, is just sitting there growing a little each month until I can cash it out 18 years from now. It was like finding money in a mattress.

My temporary euphoria was quickly extinguished as I received a rejection phone call and a rejection email, respectively, from two jobs I was going after. Both would have meant better hours and more money than I am making now, and both would have had better growth opportunities.

It stung a little to be rejected twice in one day. You would think all the practice I have had being rejected by women would have numbed those pains years ago, but it has not.

It took a few hours but I was able to finally wrap my mind around what really happened. Anyone who really knows me knows I hate the workforce. I always have. I am not afraid of work. In fact, I like working hard. I just hate working hard for someone when they make all the money and a make enough to get by in life.

I walked away from a job as a television sportscaster with no notice and no other job because I was fed up with all the nonsense. I left for Las Vegas in 2010 with no job in site. My first full-time job in Las Vegas offered to move me to a different department that needed help or take a buyout. I took the buyout without even hesitating.

The workforce — in my opinion — is for suckers. There is no real money in it. There is no real security in it . There is very little gratification in it. Unless you are the person at the top you are just a cog in a machine. Why do so many people drift toward real estate or a myriad of other sales-type jobs. There is an opportunity to see your own hours, be your own boss and make real money. Business don’t even need to give employees raises anymore. If they employee doesn’t like it they can be easily replaced by a person who will take the job for the same money, or sometimes even less.

No one is going to remember fondly the work they did screwing a tire on a car, flipping the burger just right or making sure ever single letter got into the exact right mailbox.

Jace driving his Batmobile around our backyard.

What they are going to remember are the times they had with their family.

The times they made goofy videos of a kid off-roading on a battery-operated vehicle with only one speed and plastic tires. The times they went to the park and fed crackers to the ducks and geese. The times they went to the playground and rode the slides over and over and over again.

Those are the things that are important. Not work. Work has put a roof over our heads, food on the table and much-needed insurance for a baby that spent 49 days in the NICU. Work, however, is also the thing the keeps most people from actually LIVING their life. Exploring, spending time outside, traveling…having a vibrant, well-lived life. Having a life where at the end of your days you can think back and say, “I tore that life up. I got every minute out it.”

That is what I am seeking. That is what is important. I am never going to feel that way at the end of my days grinding out a middle-class living for my son. I owe him the reality that ANYTHING is possible. That all your dreams CAN come true. That anything you want is within your REACH. You have to dream big, live large, and enjoy life. It is over quicker than you think.

I am working on it.

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