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Dickie DiPietro : The VT Interview

By Misnomer on Friday, 4th March 2011 12:14pm
  » filed under Awesome!  comments: 4


Dickie DiPietro

Dickie DiPietro is a Las Vegas Legend. During a career spanning more than 56 years, Mr. DiPietro held every casino job imaginable. His stories bring to light a Golden Age in Sin City, and we are delighted that he has chosen to share some of them with us. Today, Mr. DiPietro recalls fond memories of Frank Sinatra at the Sands.

Frank Sinatra was the classiest man you'd ever meet, pure and simple. He was the kind of guy who always remembered your name, and your wife's name, and your kid's names too, and he'd always ask you how everybody was doing, you know? That's just how he was.

But that don't mean he didn't know how to have a good time, too. And he was a cut up, let me tell you! Sure, he could sing like a canary, but the fella had the sharpest wit. I remember one time, Frank had just finished a set in the showroom, and he decides he's gonna come out on the casino floor and deal some games. That's just how it was in those days, with all of those guys - Frank, Dino, you know? I wanna tell you something, those guys loved the people as much as the people loved them. Guys like that understood that without the fans, there was no show.

Anyway, so Frank comes out after the show, and he decides he's going to deal the Baccarat game. You should have seen the looks on those mopes when Frank Sinatra walks up to the table and starts dealing the cards. Like they couldn't believe it! But Frank grabs that big paddle they used back then to deal the cards, and there he is, Frank Sinatra, the biggest star in the world, dealing cards to a Chevrolet dealer from Sacramento and a shoe store owner from Phoenix - Regular Joes, you know?

So this goes on for awhile, and Frank is telling jokes and carrying on, and everybody's have a good old time. Except this one fella, he couldn't win a hand to save his life. I mean, this guy couldn't catch a break. And Frank of course, you know, he's needling the guy. The guy's giving it back to Frank pretty good too, but it was all in good fun, don't get me wrong. It's just the sorry sack couldn't catch a break, and he was digging a pretty good hole, down a pretty fair chunk of change.

He's taking it pretty good, but finally it comes around to him and he says to Frank, 'Mr. Sinatra, I think I'd do just about as good if you'd whack me with that paddle as I would if you dealt me another hand!' That kind of took the wind out of the room for a second, because everybody's waiting to see what Frank's going to do, you know?

So Frank thinks about it for just about a second and says, 'I think you may be right friend, turn around here and I'll give you one!' And Franks starts laughing, and then everybody's laughing! And you know what, the fella did! He turned right around, and Frank raised that paddle up and gave the guy a whack! You coulda heard it across the floor, he whacked that guy so hard. So the guy turns around, and he's laughing. He mighta been crying just a little bit too, 'cause Frank really whacked him one, but he was laughing - everybody was laughing.

But you know what? I'll be damned if the guy didn't win his next hand! And the one after that, and in fact, the guy went on a run and dug himself out of the hole and made a nice little profit too.

So this story starts getting around, and the next thing you know, we got guys showing up at the tables asking if Frank is coming out. They wanna know can Frank come out and smack them in the rump for luck? Yeah, just like that! Now everybody wanted Frank to smack 'em with the baccarat paddle for good luck!

And he did, Frank did. He whacked a few more guys. The thing was though, he had to like you. He wouldn't just whack anybody, you had to sit for awhile, and he'd decide if he liked you enough or not to whack you in the hind-end with the paddle. If Frank thought you were a regular guy, a square fella, you might just get paddled. And that was something you'd remember for the rest of your life. Spanked like a school child by Frank Sinatra.

A lot of guys ask me, Dickie, did Frank ever whack you with his paddle? Nah. See, the paddle was for the guests, for the fans. For us floor guys, the casino men, it was different. For us, if Frank truly respected you, he'd smack you in the balls with a six-deck card shoe. But that's a story for another day.

Dickie DiPietro is completely senile. None of the foregoing ever happened.

Tagged: misnomer   


Comments & Discussion:

Waiter, can I have a buffet of buffets of what Misnomer is having?

This is great stuff Misnomer. Keep this shit coming.

"When I was 21, it was a very good year." And it was but I was young and stupid and I never thought about going to see Frank, Dean and Sammy in the great city of Las Vegas.

Misnomer, you have turned your form here again to innovate with great humor and writing.

for a second, i thought this article was about Rick DiPietro, the NY Islanders oft-injured goalie.

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