Ok, so I guess I have been ridiculously spoiled at other places like The Wall St Game, Scotty Cards, Stephanie's, etc. where dealers deal, make change, settle disputes, and what not.
Last night I made the severe mistake of revisiting a .25/.50 home game hosted by my friend Walter. Now, I have no problem with Walter...it's mostly the ragtag crew he invited. Once a long time ago I met some of these people at a .25/.50 game at another house that I vowed never to go to again...it was Dealer's Choice, and the games varied from Hold 'Em to Pineapple to Omaha to Chicago, and NOBODY knew the rules. People would play the games horribly and disputes would last forever about things like 'who had the low,' etc. In truth, all of this ragtag group were mostly older guys in their late 40's or 50's who seemed to be mostly bitter actor or ex-actor types who take out their failed careers at the poker table in the form of know-it-alling or mock aggression, and it just wasn't really my scene. I remember that I left after about an hour because I couldn't take the energy in the room.
So these guys had never been to Walter's game before. But, I walk in, and there are 4 of them sitting there. Ugh. One guy, the youngest, very loud with a thick accent and seemed to profess he knew every hand someone had, one an older guy, I assume an actor, who never knew how to play the four card games, another smug Cosby-sweater wearing guy who never left his cards on the table and although he knows the game, was just, well, plain annoying - and the last guy, a sort of burly grey-haired guy who seemed to have a big chip on his shoulder about everything, and did that shuffling thing when it was his turn to deal that is COMPLETELY incorrect, and bends the cards, but god forbid you criticize him about it because he'd then probably vault into his mediocre theatre resume. ANYway, as you can probably imagine, I sat down anyway and quickly regretted it. I mean, I don't want to mix it up with these people. I don't want to tell them what a shitty Omaha hand they just played, or take over when they are splitting the pot. When it was my turn to deal I took over, but that only happened once per orbit. With the exception of Walter dealing, it was a complete shitshow. Plus I lost money - my last $11 went into a showdown JJ v AQ and an ace spiked the river. I have never been so happy to leave! I have to remind myself to just be honest and tell Walter that if those guys are coming, I just can't tolerate that energy in the room and I would have to politely decline.