Bits and pieces
Bits and pieces.
A break-in joint hires dealer’s fresh out of school. Dice dealers fresh out of school are brutal. They're lumps. They can't deal. After about six months you are ready for a middle-level joint. You can get around the layout, and you are ready to learn.
A middle-level house will have a mixture of experienced dealers and break-ins. You will rub up against some very talented dealers. Dealers who were at the top and screwed up someway and are on a downward trajectory. You look at these guys, and you are looking at your future. You can tell yourself that it won't happen to you, but you know. You know.
I was working at The Vegas Club, downtown. A guy comes in and auditions on my game. I was on second base. He takes the stick. He then comes around to third base. This guy was in his early thirties, a good looking guy with an average build. He’s about six feet tall a white guy, and he’s from Atlantic City.
I have never seen hands like this guy had anywhere before or since. His hands were mesmerizing hypnotic and extremely fluid and deft. I was embarrassed to deal around this guy. I may as well have been dealing with boxing gloves on.
This guy’s problem was that he had a felony card. Every dealer has a gaming card. You are required to wear the card when you are on the floor. The card is bar coded and shows all the places you worked. Your prints are attached to your card. Your gaming history is on file at Metro. A felony card can't handle money. They can work in the kitchen, for instance. There are places that will work you with a felony card. It takes juice to get around it.
This guy was bitter. He had the kind of chip on his shoulder that addicts have and because he was gifted he had the whole fucking tree up there. The beef that showed up on his card was a court ordered rehab. The guy had a problem with crack. Which, so did I. So did a lot of people.
Anyhow, the guy was a prick. He eventually got juiced into the Cal (Hotel California by a boxman at the Vegas Club. It wasn't two months before he was sucking on that glass dick (crack pipe) again and what became of him and his precious hands, who knows?
It wasn't too long after this guy that another guy showed up at the Vegas Club. This guy had been around. I mean he was old Vegas although he was younger than me. He had been dealing a long time. He worked at the Silver Slipper and also the Stardust when it was a table for table joint when it was still mobbed up.
This guy had fought pro as a featherweight. At five feet ten inches, he was built like a wire. Strong and he could punch. I told him "You’ve got a lot of connections I am going to cultivate your friendship” and I did.
I had amateur fights. We had boxing in common. I happened to be clean at the time, but this guy liked his medicine. He lived with his sister and her son. I started giving this guy rides and helping him out. He tried to fix me up with his sister. I couldn't get around the dime sized sores on her face, however. She was a meth addict.
I bought his nephew school clothes. I bought him a cheap suit when they put him on the floor at Vegas Club. We started working out together. He had some pipe dream about fighting again.
Eventually, he juiced me into the Sahara. He knew a floorman there, and I auditioned there. The shift boss was about 5'6" in lifts he was the shortest guy on the floor. So I had a good chance seeing as how he would like a guy even shorter than him around. I was 5'5".
Well, I got the job. But I asked my boxing buddy how much they cut. He tells me a buck a day. I'm like "how do they do that?" Blackjack went separately. There wasn't enough action to cut a buck, a hundred dollars a day, plus minimum wage. Well, he got pissy, "Mike (the floor man) said it's a buck a day, and that's it!"
I'm on my crew, and a dealer asks me, "Where did you come from?" "Vegas Club." "You should have stayed there."
I worked there for eight days. Eight days of listening to these guys bitch and moan about where did all the money go?
My last shift there I cut twelve bucks for a four-hour shift. I got on the phone and called State Line. I had auditioned there, and I called up, "How ‘bout it?"
They gave me Whisky Pete’s -- forty-two miles south of Vegas on the Nevada/California state line.
This was the Primadonna Corporation and consisted of three casinos, Whisky Pete’s, the Primadonna, and Buffalo Bills. I ended up working at all of them. There was no drug test out there. I was clean when I got there, but I got strung out on meth while I was working at Buffalo Bills. There were a lot of tweaker’s out there, including upper management.
So I start out at Whisky Pete’s. That was the first joint built there by Gary Primm. Before that, it was a motel and some slots. He built that joint and funneled them right off the freeway. And there was a truck stop there. I dealt to a lot of truckers. It was a road house and a rough place. There were several notorious murders there just before my arrival.
Out front was a big neon sign advertising the Bonnie and Clyde death car. I would look at the car on my breaks. Count the bullet holes. "Where is this life taking me?"
On my game was a dealer who looked like a sawed off Burt Reynolds. He was part Cherokee. We became friendly. His truck got hit by a bus. While it was getting repaired, I gave him rides out to State Line. He lived on the west side. He had a big dog, a Newfoundland that liked to chew your nuts when you came in the door. You had to push his head away.
So...he says "I can give you five bucks for gas, or you can do a line." I go into the bedroom and look. "I'll take the line." He tells me "I haven't slept in nine months."
So, yeah, I got strung out.