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2 July 2015
By John Grochowski
I like the idea of party pits in casinos, though I’ve seen so many with 6-5 payoffs on blackjacks that I rarely play in them.
You know the drill. Party pits are supposed to be more relaxed and fun than regular pits. Rather than just dealing the cards as quickly as possible and running an efficient game, dealers are supposed to put on a smile, interact with the customers and let the players … well … party.
It was at a party pit that had celebrity impersonators as part of the fun that Kayla had an out-of-the-ordinary experience that led her to contact me with her story.
“Most of the time it just the dealers in loud costumes trying to be unnaturally cheerful with recorded music blaring – kind of fun, actually – but every so often a celebrity impersonator would climb up on a platform in the center of the pit and lip-sync to the music,” she said. “The Elvis guy was pretty good. He had the look and the moves. I’d have liked to hear if he could sing, too.”
I told her I’d seen party pits with celebrity impersonators, as well as pits with “dealertainers” who would grab a microphone and sing or lip-sync, and others where lingerie-clad dealers would give gambling a whole different look.
Kayla said the impersonators were fun, but this time they weren’t the main event.
“There was another player at the table who thought he had the look and the moves, too,” she said. “The song was ‘Burnin’ Love,’ and this guy jumps off his stool, backs off two steps and starts shaking and gyrating and singing almost as loud as the record. I felt sorry for the Elvis impersonator – everybody was watching this other guy.”
Sometimes it seems like half the world fancies themselves Elvis impersonators, I told her. I can’t resist a little “All Shook Up” myself from time to time. She laughed, and said, “In the middle of the casino?” And when I told her no, my Elvis was seen only by the rolling eyeballs of my wife and said, she said this guy wasn’t so shy.
“He was OK, I guess, not as good as the impersonator, but you couldn’t help but watch the spectacle,” Kayla said. “He got through a verse, maybe two, before security got to him. They told him, ‘Sir, we have to clear the aisle,’ and he nodded and moved closer to his chair, but kept dancing in one spot until the song ended.
“Everybody stopped playing while this was going on, and of course, the house doesn’t want to stop action for minutes at a time, but everybody had a good laugh out of it.”
Did play stop?
“Of course,” she said. “All eyes were going to be on the impersonator anyway. Instead, they were on him, behind us. Nobody made any decisions while he was up, and everything would have stopped when it got to him anyway. He wasn’t there to hit or stand.”
Did everything get back to normal after the song?
“Not exactly. The dealer asked him, ‘Did you have a good time?’ And he answered, ‘Honey, the real test is, did you?’ She told him it certainly was something she’d always remember. That seemed to please him. He grinned, picked up his chips, bowed and said, ‘Thank you very much,’ in his best Elvis drawl. And then he left.
“I told my mom and sisters about it later, and they couldn’t believe it. But sometimes you see the craziest things.”
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