Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Orleans Tournament Disappointment

I mentioned in this post here, posted while I was in Vegas, that I was very disappointed with The Orleans  Friday Night 7 PM tournament I had just played in the night before.  Here’s the details on why I was so unhappy with the tournament itself.  And no, it wasn’t because I didn’t do very well in the tournament; that’s poker. 
This was the second time I played in this Friday night Vegas tradition, the first time I played is documented here.  As I discussed in that post, this tournament is one of the most popular regular tournaments in town, if not the most popular for its price range ($125).  Back in April, they had 307 runners and now I was told they expected more.
You see, the Orleans was starting it’s “Orleans Open” the next day, a weeklong series of higher buy-in, longer structured tournaments, the kind of which most of the bigger rooms in Vegas have from time to time. I stopped by the day before because I wanted to make sure the regular Friday night tournament was going to be held.  I saw that they were already set up for the week long tournament series, with extra tables extending into the casino.  I inquired and was told that not only would the regular tournament be held the next night, but that, because they had all those extra tables ready to go, they expected a record crowd.  Frequently the alternates for this tournament don’t get seated, there are just too many people who want to play and not enough tables and dealers.  But traditionally, on the Friday before the Orleans Open begins, they use the extra tables that have already been set up, and the extra, temporary dealers they have hired, so that the regular Friday night tournament is sure to get everyone who wants to play seated.
Oh wow, I thought.  More than the 307 I encountered last month?  I knew I had to play in this one!  (BTW, I think the final count of this tournament was over 370 runners!) So on Friday night I got there early enough to buy my entry before it got too busy and have my dinner at the nearby Subway (where I had no problem getting all the fixin’s I wanted).
I wasn’t in the Orleans for five minutes before I saw two old “friends.”  Just as I had the previous time I played in this tournament, I saw both Kathy (the “cleavage poser”—see here) and of course “Poker Genius” himself (see here).  I think it’s it a pretty safe bet I will see both of them whenever I decide to play in this tournament.  Call it a hunch.  If either one saw me or recognized me, I didn’t notice.  I have some suspicion Kathy may have read about my post about her—for sure she knows about it—but am I pretty sure Poker Genius knows nothing about my post about him.  And if even if they had both read their posts, I doubt they would recognize me in person.
Anyway, I mainly want to talk about all the things I was unhappy about during this tournament. Most of my disappointment has to do with the way Orleans poker room management ran and set up the tournament, but the first complaint I have has nothing to do with the Orleans.  It had to do with the player I had the misfortune to sit next to, he was on my immediate right.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this guy before, a local and a regular player in Vegas poker tournaments around town.  He was an older gentlemen, yes even older than me.  The first thing that bothered me about him was that he was wearing a baseball cap backwards.
Let me explain.  I have a pet peeve about baseball caps being worn backwards.  I hate that, I really hate it.  It just strikes me as stupid to an extreme degree.  Now it’s bad enough when some young punk, I mean kid, wears his baseball cap backwards.  At least I can blame that on the sins of youth.  He just doesn’t realize that by wearing his cap that way, he might as well be wearing a huge sign that says, “Hey, look at me, I’ve got no class whatsoever.”
But when some old fart does that—some guy even older than me, even—it is beyond what I can tolerate.  And totally inexcusable.  People are supposed to get smarter as they get older, what’s your excuse, Grandpa?  So this old guy wearing his baseball cap bass-ackwards already had one big strike against him with me.
But that was the least of it. The much bigger problem was that this guy stunk.
I don’t mean he was a bad player.  He was a decent player.  No, I meant he stunk, literally.
He had really bad body odor, and I was stuck right next to him.  My guess is he hadn’t bathed since last week’s Orleans Friday night tournament, if then.  If this had been a cash game, I would have asked for a table change—or possibly a casino change—faster than you can spell “B.O.”  But no such option was available to me.  So I was stuck with this foul-smelling old geezer with the backwards baseball cap for a couple of hours.  Not fun at all.
But I can’t really blame that on the Orleans.  The rest, I can.  One issue was the extra tables they had added which were in the casino, adjacent to the poker room, where there are usually slot machines.  They really, really, really jammed them together, way too close for comfort.  This is exactly what the Bellagio is famous, or infamous, for, but it was much worse than the Bellagio.
Once the tournament started, we were totally squeezed in like sardines, and it was impossible to maneuver in or out of my chair.  Thank goodness I never needed to use the restroom before the break, because I wouldn’t have been able to get out of there if I had to!  I guess however, if I had just peed in my pants, it only would have actually improved the aroma what with Mr. B.O. constantly fouling the air.  A related issue was that those tables were located far, far away from any restrooms, so that if I had been able to leave to use the restroom while play was going on, I would have almost certainly missed a blind just from the walk.
Another problem was that, having been assigned to the extra tables in the casino, there were no TV’s to watch.  That was a problem for me because this took place during one of the NBA playoff games that the Lakers were playing—before they got unceremoniously eliminated.  As I’ve mentioned before, the NBA is my game and the Lakers are my team.  So I had to keep looking at my cell phone to check the progress. Very annoying, to say the least.
Another issue—the air conditioning.  Or lack there of.  It was stifling hot in the area where those extra tables were, and there was no air circulation. This was no doubt made worse by the fact that we were all packed together like sardines—and I was stuck next to the stinky guy.  It’s amazing I didn’t pass out.
The last big issue for me—and for everyone—was the quality of the temporary dealers they had brought in.  My goodness, some of them were just awful.  This is a hand shuffle event, and the dealers were incredibly slow and unsure of themselves shuffling.  But they were also pretty clueless as to how to deal a tournament, or poker in general.  Now I didn’t see any pots attempted to be pushed to the wrong player.  But they were just generally clueless.
One girl was so nervous and clueless she held up our game for several minutes because after a player busted out, she didn’t know whether to put out the seat card or not.  Rather than just deal the next hand while waiting for the floor to come over, she sat there waiting for an answer before dealing the next hand.  The players finally convinced her to deal the next hand.
Also, she could not keep track of the antes.  When she was one ante short, she had no idea who had shorted it and had no idea even which side of the table the shortage came from because she hadn’t paid any attention at all.  This also created a big delay, until one player just came up with the ante to get the game going again.
But the worst moment was when I managed to win a small pot.  I put my hole cards in front of me as I racked my chips.  The clueless girl shuffled the cards and started dealing the next hand from the same deck when I noticed she hadn’t retrieved my cards from the last hand, so she was dealing from an incomplete deck.  And after I pointed out my cards, she took them but kept dealing without calling back the dealt cards and reshuffling.  The players had to tell her that she couldn’t do that, that it was a misdeal since you generally play with 52 cards, not 50.
The one thing they did right was start breaking the tables from the casino area, so after a couple of hours, I was mercifully assigned another seat, this time in the poker room.  My stack was depleted, throughout the entire tournament I was as card dead as I can ever remember being, but at least I got away from Mr. B.O., into the main poker room where there was air conditioning, and there was a TV in my view that had the last few minutes of the Lakers game on (this was the only game of the series that the Lakers won, btw).  So I was now a bit happier than I had been for the past two hours.
The person to my immediate right at the new table was someone I recognized.  No, not a person I’ve ever mentioned on the blog, but a dealer I recognized from a room I play a fair amount.  He recognized me too and we chatted.  I noticed he was actually wearing his dealer’s uniform shirt from his room.  He said he had rushed over there after his shift and didn’t think he’d get into the tournament if he had stopped at his place to change.
But more interesting was a blonde girl across from me at this new table, one I barely noticed at first because I was watching the game and talking to the dealer.  But when I heard her say something about a parent being proud of her—I didn’t hear whether it was her mom or her dad—and I took a better look at her.  Was this, could it be…Crazy Marsha?  The “punch thrower” from these two posts here and here?  I wasn’t sure, I hadn’t seen her since the night of that second post.  She looked familiar but…..then I noticed she was wearing short sleeves.  I looked at her forearm and saw the bizarre tattoo I had described in my posts.
Yeah, it was her. During the break, I overheard her talking to another player and they talked about her poker bloodlines.  She even confirmed that she was indeed the daughter of “Mike McDermott”, using the name.  So it was her.
She didn’t seem to recognize me or even notice me.  I made no effort to say hello or remind her of the time we played at a limit game together many months ago. This girl had told me the story of how she—totally unprovoked—punched a guy for no reason whatsoever.  So I was fine with not letting her know I knew her.
I busted out soon thereafter, the tournament was so bad for me I have no memorable hands to report. I was just getting nothing to play all night, and every time I tried to steal a pot, I was foiled.  It was a bad night of poker, but it was mercifully over in a few hours.  But worse than the cards was the way the tournament was run on this particular night, sad to say.  Hopefully the night before the next Orleans Open, they learn from their mistakes.

((Edited 7/21/12 to add:  Poker Grump caught the smelly guy with the backwards cap last nite at his game--picking his nose!!!!  Here's the pic Grump took, he's the old guy standing up.  He deserves the public humiliation.  See here. ))


  1. You're going to LOVE the way I wear my ballcaps... :) Nice write-up, and discouraging at the same time. Moving back to Vegas when I am, it will be next to impossible to get a dealing job most likely because they do their heavy hiring now, before the WSOP begins, but I'll still have to watch the dealers of the caliber that you're speaking of...

    1. Oh god, please don't tell me you wear your baseball back backwards; I'll have to ban you from my blog! :)

      Good luck trying to get a dealers job in Vegas.

    2. Coach, please see Linda's comment below! And I was sincere, not sarcastic, with my wishing you luck. I realize that in cold hard text it could be read either way, but I meant it positively.

  2. I don't know anything about poker, but I do know that anyone wearing a baseball cap backward should be beheaded. And the their head should be put back on their body--backwards. At least the cap would be facing the right way. Extreme? I think not.

    1. Wow, a woman after my own heart! Thanks for the great visual, Linda. Tho I have to admit, I am surprised to see someone take even a hard line than I do regarding the backward baseball cap thing!

  3. Of course, Rob, you now know what I will look like when we meet up ... : o P

    The picture of the dude with the hat on backwards reminds me of the Poker Genius. Oops -- I'd better be quiet or he might threaten to "snap me off" again. *yawn*

    1. Ugly?

      Oh wait, you meant you will be wearing a baseball cap backward? If so, I will make sure to bring Vegas Linda Lou along for our meeting, see her comment above!

      You know Poker Genius, LightNing? Oh wow, that's scary. Please don't bring him to our blogger events. Tho since he's pretty much everywhere he might show up on his own.

  4. Ugly? You can see the picture right here with my comment. Damn handsome guy, if I must say so myself. And yes -- I would wear a ... let's call it a chapeau ... backwards just in honor of you.

    As for Vegas Linda Lou ... bring her along. Although she talks tough (ala Josie), I am sure that her heart will melt the moment she sees me, as it happens with most women. She needs to wear her kick-ass jeans, though!

    1. I'm sorry about the "ugly" crack.

      I meant to say "butt ugly."


      Well, on your blog there's a pic of you (I assume it's you) wearing your cap properly. So if you wear it backwards just to piss me off, I would feel somehow honored.

      But I'd still laugh at you and do a blog post about it designed just to humiliate you.

  5. Everyone who reads Rob's Blog - I want to organize a table full of people who wear their hat backwards just to drive him f'n insane!

    Who's with me.
    If this comment doesn't get through I'll just start my own blog about it :)

    1. There is only one acceptable circumstance to EVER wear a baseball cap backwards, and that is if the bill would otherwise get in the way of the catcher's mask.

      I think the next time someone wears one backwards, you should ask them if they are a catcher.

    2. Outstanding obvservation, Norm....not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

      So, Coach, LightNing,'re all catchers, huh?

  6. Some people like to wear their hats backwards, get off your high horse, you're not the fashion police. I mean, I don't personally wear my hat backwards because I'm not an idiot, but I wouldn't judge anyone who does.

    1. LOL!!! Great comment, Anony....and the timing is great too.

      Stay tuned, I think my next post will feature another idiot who wears his cap backward. And I think I will use your comment in the post.