The TV show “What’s My Line?” originally ran in the U.S. on the CBS television network from 1950 to 1967.
The game required celebrity panelists to question a contestant in a given amount of time in order to determine his or her occupation. Some occupations were quite unique.
As such, Missy Lasike, a 2006 Pahranagat Valley High School graduate, could have been a contestant on that program.
The daughter of Doug and Vicki Miller, of Hiko, Lasike works as an independent contractor for a Las Vegas company, Professional Massage, Inc., that does massage therapy for players at most of the casinos on the strip.
“I basically do regular type massages on these players while they are sitting at the table. I just have them turn their chair around, with their chest to the backrest, and I work on their neck, shoulders, arms, and back. Very similar to a table-type Swedish massage, except that it’s all done at the poker table over the top of their clothing.”
She explained that when players are involved in tournament competitions, they are not allowed to leave the table except for specified breaks. “Their backs get really tight sitting there at the table, hunched over all day long. The message is a convenient way for them to work out some of those knots and kinks in the back while continuing to play. Helps them to relax and relieve those aches and pains.”
She further noted, “Even when they do leave the table for the breaks allowed by rule, they still have to put in the ante when called for. You’re losing money if you’re not sitting at the table.”
Lasike said the length of the massage is up to the client. “They tell me how long they want. I charge $2 a minute. Most of the massages are around 10 minutes, but I have done one that lasted four and a half hours straight.”
Noncompetitive cash poker players, maybe just there for a short time, can have a massage for the $2 per minute rate.
“I’m not the only one in a given casino; there are others. Yet I do have a regular schedule when I am available, about five hours a day. I mostly stay at the Wynn casino. There are usually two of us there at any given time. The Wynn is where I feel most comfortable.”
She said after the treatment the players feel more relaxed and “tell how much it has helped, with some even saying they are sleepy.”
Lasike said the busiest season for her to work is the World Series of Poker, which is currently underway through July 17 in Las Vegas at the Rio, “but I actually work at the Wynn all year-round.”
After high school, Lasike said she first trained to be an EMT, “a real desire of mine,” but soon found things EMTs often face in the course of their work were just too stressful for her. “I wanted to help people, but needed to find another way of doing that, and I found that massage therapy gives me the opportunity to still help people and give them the support they need, but in a lot less stressful environment.”
A colleague suggested she investigate doing poker massage therapy and she’s been doing the work for a year now.
A wife and mother of four, Lasike said she works about three days a week, usually the early swing shift, and Saturday evenings.
She said she was trained well on how to do the therapy and does not come home completely exhausted and worn out. “If you do it right, it’s not as hard as a lot of people might think.”