Monday, January 7, 2013

Since When is Poker a Contact Sport?

Of course, it’s not any kind of a sport, but that’s not the subject of this post.
My last night in town last month, I saw something I’d never seen before in a poker room.  And I’ve seen and heard a lot of strange things in poker rooms.  I’ve seen a girl burying her face in the extremely ample bosom of her friend (at least I assume it was her friend—if not, it was sexual assult) (here).  I’ve had girls point to their crotches in response to an innocent comment of mine (here).  I’ve seen a woman take a picture of another woman’s breasts (here).  I’ve had that same woman ask me—no, beg me—to take a picture of her and her friends’ breasts (here).  I’ve seen a girl-on-girl make out session right at tournament table in the midst of play (here).  I’ve heard a woman discuss her vagina at the poker table (here).  I’ve heard the same woman accuse me of “being obsessed with bosoms” very loudly from across several poker tables with dozens of people within earshot (here).  I’ve heard a woman with extremely large breasts tell another woman, similarly endowed, say that she wished her breasts were bigger (here).  I’ve had a blind woman almost grab my crotch, thinking I was her husband (here). 
Come to think of it, I started this blog largely to document all the bizarre things I’ve seen and heard in poker rooms.
But I never saw anything like this.  I’ve never seen or heard an actual physical fight between two people in a poker room. Now, I’ve seen guys threaten to get physical with each other.  I’ve seen one guy say to another guy, “Let’s take it outside.”  I’ve seen security and/or management step between two players when it appeared that things might get physical.  But I never saw it get really physical until this incident.
And oddly enough, just as all the incidents I referenced in the second paragraph involved women, the two participants in the fisticuffs in this incident were ladies.  Although not by at least one definition of the word “lady.”   Yeah, the first time I’ve seen a true physical confrontation between two people in a poker room, it was between two chicks.  

I was playing at BSC and it was very late, technically early in the next morning.  Suddenly I heard a commotion behind me, you could “sense” that something physical was going on.  I was in the middle of a hand, but turned around anyway and heard one of the woman call the other one “Whore!” loud enough to be heard even outside the poker room.  Despite this, I can assure you, Josie was not one of the participants (which reminds me that when I was listing some of the odd things I’ve seen in a poker room, I left out the night she practically gave me a proctology exam in a poker room--here.) 
The first thing I saw was Jane, the floor supervisor I’ve mentioned a few times before (see here, for example), basically throwing herself between the two women.  I heard shouts of “call security” and “call the police.”  And then I saw the taller of the two combatants make a very hasty retreat out of the poker room.
It seemed as if things had calmed down and I had to pay attention to the hand I was in.  But the female dealer we had at the table recognized one of two girls who was in the fight.  She said that the one who was still there, the smaller one, was playing at a table she had been dealing at  earlier and was a very nice person.  She claims to have seen the bigger one punch the smaller one right in the face, right before Jane threw herself between them. 
By the time the hand was over, things had settled down, and almost an instant later, I saw both BSC security and Las Vegas police there taking statements from the smaller girl, Jane, and the Shift Supervisor.  I had no idea what happened to the taller girl, the one who apparently threw the punch.
Of course, purely for journalistic purposes, I sought to get more info.  Since Jane is my buddy, I knew I could get some details from her, so I waited for the appropriate time, and asked if she was ok.  She was surprised by the question and I referenced the earlier incident.
She laughed and said she was fine, she had come between the two girls and had not been touched.  Jane is a fairly large woman and was protecting the smaller girl.  But she did have an answer to the question of what they were fighting over.  Was it a poker hand?  Was it a guy?
Nope.  One of the girls had accused the other of cutting in front of her in the woman’s room.
Seriously.
Apparently the instigator, the taller one, had been drinking (shocking, isn’t it?) and accused the other girl of cutting in front of her in the long line to use the restroom.  The shorter girl let her go in front of her (or so the story goes) but the bigger girl wouldn’t let it go.  When she saw the other girl retuning to take her seat in the poker room, she picked it up and it got physical.
Apparently the instigator was not arrested, but was escorted off the property, told never to return.  The smaller girl was allowed to get back to her game, since she was deemed to be totally innocent. 
I actually had one other source for info on the fight.  That would be Todd, and I hope he doesn’t mind that I’m using his real name.  Todd is a blog follower of mine who lives in Australia.  He was visiting from down under for the holidays.  He thought he recognized me playing in a poker room a few days before (apparently, my picture is all over the internet—I’m “internet famous”) and tweeted to ask if it was me.  He was still there so I went over towards his table and he jumped up to say hello, Nice to know I have a reader on the other side of the world.  I have to admit that it is always kind of neat to run into someone who reads the blog that I didn’t even know existed.  I just have to remember never to play poker with them (here). 
Anyway, I have nothing embarrassing to report about Todd (other than the fact that he reads my blog, which I admit, could probably prevent him from ever entering politics) so I’ll use his real name.  It turns out that based on where he was staying, I kept running into him a lot for a few days.  In fact, earlier that evening, he was playing at Planet Hollywood when I was there with Prudence and Grump.  I introduced him to Grump in fact (I think Prudence had checked out by that point).  I had seen him back at BSC and from the seat he was at, he would have had a birdseye view of the ruckus. 
So as I said goodbye to him, I asked him about it.  He didn’t see much, and by the time he focused on it, all he saw was some slapping or shoving.  But the dealer I had at the time of it, and Jane, did confirm there was at least one punch thrown, so presumably Todd missed that.  It could just be one of those stories that will have a different version for everyone you ask about it.
But for sure the cops were there.  So this counts as my first poker room brawl, and typical of the kinds of things I encounter in Vegas and in poker, it involved two women.
And they call women the “fairer sex”!

20 comments:

  1. I've only ever witnessed one confrontation where a player sort of struck another player in and aggressive manner. This happened at my local B&M casino here in Iowa. A guy lost to something improbable on the river and he angrily jumped up from the table. He caught his knees under the table as he quickly rose and completely accidentally knocked over the chip stacks of almost everyone at the table while simultaneously tipping over his chair with a very loud thud. The guy next to him who had won the hand apparently sensed danger or aggression so he sprung from his seat and tried to shove the guy right back into his chair...except that said chair was now tipped over. The loser of the hand tumbled to the floor with loud cursing and bumping. By that time the security guard that is posted right outside the poker room had heard the commotion and come into the room and separated the two.

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    1. Interesting story, Jeff, thanks. I guess the guy didn't mean to shove the other one to the floor, didn't realize the chair had tipped? Could have been some injuries there.

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  2. A big "boo" to Jane for breaking up the cat fight. Who knows -- maybe clothes would have been ripped off, and then ...

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    1. Heh heh.....Lightning, I have to say, that's a rather "pervy" comment....I didn't know you had it in you.

      Tho I must admit, since I was there to witness (and document it)....how is it possible that DIDN'T happen???

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  3. Women are so jealous of each other I am surprised this does not happen more often.

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    1. Thanks, Tino. Women are civilized, well mannered, non-violent. Not like us pigs, I mean men.

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  4. That is an excellent blog post Rob. What comes to mind is the movie poker scenes where Doc Holiday ends up shooting an opposing poker player. I suppose the old west had more poker room brawls than in today's Vegas casinos. Can you imagine sitting across the poker table from a drunken Doc Holiday, who is armed? Oy vey...

    Now, the part of the story that I liked the best is your recounting (and linking) of the other amazing "female" antics that you have observed in poker rooms. I love going back and reading your old anecdotes. Prudence doesn't probably know how much enjoyment she has created for your readers worldwide. Trust me, your readers in Russia for example love is when Prudence talks dirty. (so do I..)

    I keep saying to myself, "Why does this crazy stuff never happen when I am in Vegas??!!"

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    1. Thanks, Woody. I seem to be a "weird shit" magnet.

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  5. Hi Rob, was good to randomly bump into you a couple of times on my trip, unfortunately I'm now back to reality but already planning my next trip!

    I think I was involved in a hand when "fight night" started up nearby, only really catching my attention when the screaming started and I turned around to see some shoving and then Jane dove between the combatants so I missed the early lead-up unfortunately. Wouldn't surprise me if a punch was thrown, there was some real anger on display!

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    1. Thanks, Todd, it was great meeting you.

      I wonder if security had fun watching that tape later? :)

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  6. I've only seen one real fight in a poker room and it was at BSC too about a year ago at 9am. One player told another guy that if he called him a bad player one more time, he was going to come across the table and sure enough, the guy called him a bad player so the guy (in the 4 seat) reached over and punched the guy in the 6 seat and they started wrestling behind the table. They struggled for a minute before the guy in seat 4 picked up the other guy and threw him to the ground and walked off...

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    1. Wow, thanks for the great story, Jake. Did they chase after the guy who walked off? Wast the other guy ok? Did he keep playing or was he asked to leave.

      That's what you get for playing poker at that hour. Nine AM is an ungodly hour to play poker.

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    2. The guy that threw the punch walked away after he threw the other guy to the ground but security was there at that point so they stopped the guy and sat him down until Metro showed up to take statements from the shift manager and other players to what happened. The guy that got punched was a little out of it but he wasn't bleeding or anything.

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    3. Thanks for the follow up, Jake!

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  7. where are the photos of the 2 women? how could the police possibly be there that fast?

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    1. Not sure I understand your question about the photos, Tony. The pic in the post is NOT of the two girls who were fighting, just a generic pic I found on the web. There are no pictures of the actual combatants, as far as I know.

      As for how the cops got there so fast, that's a good question. I don't know, but I can say that, at that time of night (or morning), there are a lot of cops out on the Strip, both on foot and on bikes. They must have been near by.

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  8. Great post, being 73 years young I have seen many poker room fights, once even seen guns drawn. Just recently seen a fight at one of the Tulsa rooms that drew blood, requiring the table being shut down until guys in haz mat suits coming in and cleaning up the blood. Great post love reading your account.

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    1. Thanks Anony. Guns drawn, huh? Sounds like the wild west, did they discover someone with an Ace up his sleeve?

      They needed haz mat suits to clean up the blood? Yikes.

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