Thursday, March 9, 2017

I Guess I'll Get it Myself

This took place on the Friday night before Christmas, a session at Caesars. What I mostly got out of this session was an excuse to rant about one of my favorite topics—poor cocktail service.

I had dinner at the food court there.  My dinner included a soft drink as part of the meal deal.  Otherwise I probably would have just gotten plain water, since I planned on having the cocktail waitress in the poker room bring me diet Cokes for the price of a tip.

Lucky I got the combo deal.  I was able to fill my soda cup at the soda jockey myself, so I had a full—and fairly large—cup of diet Coke when I got to the poker room and was immediately seated. 

For a good 45-minutes to an hour, I didn’t need service from the waitress.  That was a good thing, because in all that time, a waitress never came to our table.  I did see a waitress (or maybe two) taking orders at other tables, but no one ever came around to ours.

Eventually, my cup was empty save a few melted ice cubes.  I started glancing around frequently to see if I could spot a waitress.  I did eventually notice one taking orders at a few other tables, and then finally at the table right next to ours.  But she left the room before coming to our table.

Now I was getting a bit desperate because I had a headache and wanted to take a couple of aspirin.  Eventually the waitress returned and was once again at the table next to us.  I was in seat 1, right next to the dealer and the waitress had her back to the players in seats 4, 5 & 6 at our table while she took orders at the table behind them.  There was a girl in seat 6 who had just come back from the food court with a slice of pizza. But she hadn’t gotten anything to drink.  So she turned around a bit and asked the waitress if she had a spare water.  The waitress did have one, so she gave the girl the water and started to leave but the girl was able to ask the waitress, “And can I get a diet Coke, please,” and the waitress say “OK” and then took off and started to exit the room.

I saw all this and so I kind of shouted to her, “Can I get a diet Coke…..”  My voice trailed off because by the time I finished my sentence she was basically out of the poker room.  But she heard me and she shouted back, still walking hurriedly, “I’m coming back, I’m full.”

The dealer, a nice woman, heard that and so she said to me, “That’s really terrible.  I’m sorry about that.”  I told her how long I’d been there and that no one had taken a drink order from us in all that time.  So she said, “That’s so bad.  You know, you should just take that cup you’ve got to the bartender and ask for a refill.”

Hmm….maybe not the bartender, but how about going back to the food court?  I said to the dealer, “You know, you’re right, I could just go back to the food court and refill it myself.”  At first I thought I was kidding, but the more I thought of it, the more I thought I might as well do it.  The food court isn’t that close to the poker room, but it isn’t that far, either.  And besides, walking is pretty much the only exercise I was allowed at the time and I needed to do quite a bit of it.  Why not?

So I waited for the button and the cut-off to pass and I got up and hiked over to the food court and refilled the damn diet Coke myself.       

I brought the soda back to the poker room and plopped it down in the cup holder in front of me.  The same dealer was still there and realized what I had done.  And she was so good about it. She said, “That’s really bad.  I apologize.  Don’t talk to the waitress about it.  I’ll do that for you.”

Wow, that was awfully optimistic of her to think she’d still be dealing at our table when the cocktail waitress came back to (finally) take our orders.  I actually had no intention of complaining to the waitress about having to get my own soda—what was the point?—and told the dealer that.  But I did mention that I might tell the poker room manager about it (I communicate with him regularly).  And she said, “Well he knows, but please do.  Maybe it will help.”

Well, the waitress returned before that dealer left us and after dropping off drinks at the other tables actually came by our table to take orders.  I did consider the (extremely slight) possibility that she would have brought me my diet Coke even though she said she was “full.”  And if that happened, I would have taken it, tipped her a buck and just had my entire evening’s supply of beverage all set in front of me.

But she did not have my diet Coke.  She took orders from the rest of our table and then when she was near me she asked, “Didn’t someone else here need a drink?”  Before I could answer, the dealer stepped up.  “Yes, but he walked back to the food court to get his refill.”  The waitress responded, “Oh, that’s ridiculous.  It was two minutes.”  Ha.  It was a helluva a lot longer than that, and that was just to order the drink, another 10 minutes at least before she came back with them.

By the way, I did relate my story to the manager (via email) but by the time I got to it, I wasn’t really complaining about the waitress (I know the poker room has no control over the waitresses). I was more interested in complimenting the outstanding customer service provided by the dealer.  I praised her attitude (by name) to her boss.  I wanted her to get some recognition for, if nothing else, giving me some sympathy.

The game itself was not great.  It was a tight table.  But while I was thinking of asking for a table change (and trying to get to a table where the waitress actually showed up at), I recognized a new player who joined the table.  It was my old pal Edward, who I last mentioned in the post here.  I was hoping his aggression would change the game and spice it up.  However, it seems like Edward has changed his game since the last time I played with him.  He barely played a hand for the first 45-minutes or so he was there.  And even when he started playing a few more hands, there was none of the aggression I remembered.

But there was one thing that hadn’t changed about him.  He was still talking non-stop.  He told us quite a few tales, a lot of which I bet were apocryphal. But at least he kept me from dozing off at the table.

I was bleeding chips, and when I dropped below $100 I was considering adding on.  But then I would win a small pot and put it off.

Finally when I got to the big hand of the session, I was thinking it just wasn’t my night and I’d just play with what I had in front of me and if I lost that I’d be done.  So I was kind of mentally out the door when this hand occurred.  I guess I had around $70-$75 when I had Queen-9 of hearts and limped in.  The guy on my left made it $12, another guy called so I called.

The flop had two hearts on it, along with a Jack.  I check/called ~$30 and it was still three ways.  The turn was a 10 of not hearts, and I didn’t really pay much attention to it.  This time it checked around.

The river was also not a heart. It was an 8 of something.  Thinking I had whiffed, I checked.  The preflop raiser checked.  But the last guy to act bet $55.  By this time I had stared at that damn 8 long enough to think I might have lucked into a straight. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was only focusing on the flush draw from the flop on and hadn’t even noticed I had picked up the straight draw on the turn. I double checked my hole cards and sure enough, I had a straight.  In fact, I had the stone-cold nuts (there were two hearts and two spades on the board, and no pair).  My remaining chips were less than the $55 bet I was facing.  So of course I called with my last $35 or so.  The last guy hesitated for a bit but then folded.

The bettor turned over Ace-x of hearts.  Well, it’s a good thing I missed my flush!  I took down a nice pot that got me close to even.

And my bad play—not realizing I had the straight right away—probably got me more chips.  He was certainly not going to call my lead out bet on the river with nothing but a busted flush draw.  Sometimes it pays to be a bad player. 

Before I finished stacking my chips, I was dealt two Queens and raised to $10.  It was four ways.  The flop came King-Queen-2, two diamonds.  I led out for $25 and didn’t get a caller.

That got me back to even and I decided I was too tired to keep playing inasmuch as I came thisclose to folding the nuts on the river.  I figured breaking even at the end was a small victory and called it an early night.


  1. I remember a time decades ago, at what is now The D Las Vegas, back when it was either Sundance or Fitzgerald's (I don't remember which it was at the time). It was a hot summer day, and we were playing cheap Blackjack (as we did back in the day). As soon as we sat down, I asked the dealer to call a cocktail waitress, which he did, to no avail. After several minutes, where other tables were serviced, but not ours, I asked them to call again, which they did. Again, other tables were served, but not ours. After several repetitions of this ritual, my frustration
    resulted in the following conversation:

    Me: Would you please TRIP a cocktail waitress for me?
    Dealer (misunderstanding): What's that? "Shrimp cocktail waitress"?
    Me: I don't care how short she is, I'm THIRSTY!

    1. I remember that story of course. I always thought it took place at Silver City but you always corrected me.

      Great line!

  2. I have only played at Caesars a couple of times and more than 5 years ago at that. Do they still have those strawberry smoothies? My guess is no. But I do remember when one person at the table ordered one and the other players did not know about that special drink found out about it the waitress would end up bring five, six, or seven of them to the table alp at once.

    Fondest memory is having AA in my BB and TBC making it about $20 preflop (in a $1-2 NL game, or was it $1-3?) in middle position. Followed by one guy in LP calling $20 and I see my AA. IIRC I made it $100 even with the full intention all of my stack (just under $200) was going into the pot sooner or later no matter what. TBC went all-in followed by LP folding and my putting the rest of my chips into the middle of the table. Of course, wait for it, wait for it... TBC had the dreaded KK. And my AA held up. And true to his nature TBC moved to the $2-5 table to martingale his lost buy-in.

    1. Sorry Lester, I am not a fan of either strawberries or smoothies, so I wouldn't know (tho I don't recall seeing anyone drinking anything like that).

      I'm amazed that Tony didn't catch his set of Kings and take that pot from you!

  3. No doubt.

    But to be totally accurate, it's not flavored sugar-water. It's artificially sweetened water.