Terrence Chan

follow me as I play poker and look for new ways to get punched in the face

Entries by tag: casino stupidity

customer service at the wsop
terrencechan
so someone at my table asks if we will get a tv for the nba game 7 tonight. floor says no, it will only be on the big tv. i dont care much aout nba but this seems surprising to me. floor says "this is the world series of poker and poker is the priority here." i respond "yes but theres probably more money bet on the basketball than in this tourney. he says i dont care, tis is the wsop and you guys should be focused on the poker not te game. i answer well its nice of you to tell your paying customers what we should be focused on but he walks away.

is my indignation justified or am i a whiner?

posted via kindle so apologies for formatting etc.

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com

Twitter banned at WSOP?
terrencechan
From the comments from my last post, davidjacob provides this link:

http://www.gambling911.com/gambling-news/no-twitter-world-series-poker-tables-052209.html

There is no direct quote in the article from anyone at the WSOP, and Gambling911 is not exactly a great journalistic source. Also casting doubt on this story -- as I learned just this morning trying to find another source for this news -- Jeffrey Pollack twitters.

But if in fact the story is correct...wow, how dumb is that? How are they going to enforce a rule that allows people to send SMS text messages to one person, but not to Twitter? What if you set up a Twitter account under a different name and kept it private? What if you simply SMS'd a friend and that friend posted it to Twitter verbatim? The mind boggles at the 'duh' factor of such a policy, but it would hardly be a first for Harrah's, I suppose.

The article also goes on, "It was not immediately known as to why organizers would halt the use of Twitter at the tables." To me, that's the completely obvious part. There is only really one good reason to ban Twitter and not SMS messages, and that reason is to appease the media who purchased live update rights to the WSOP (PokerNews, Bluff Magazine, or whoever it is this year) and complained to Harrah's and the WSOP.

Day 9: Buffalo
terrencechan
First, an update. I was supposed to fly back to Vancouver (Saturday) and return to my quasi-normal life. But mgrape, livingvariance and others convinced me to hang out for a couple days in Chicago. The Canucks are -- of course -- on the road in Chicago against the Blackhawks on Sunday. The Bears also have a home game against the Vikings, and I've never been to an NFL game, so maybe I'll do that as well.

Yay for random impulsiveness. On one hand, I sort of want to go to Vancouver and get at least a couple weeks of normalcy in; on the other hand, things like this are the reason I haven't worked a regular job in four years.

So Friday we checked out of our rooms and hung out at the Starbucks waiting for the short drive to Buffalo. We were joined on the trip by Wesley, a poker pro and huge hockey fan from Waterloo (which I hear is being renamed to "New Linkoping" any day now).

In Buffalo we took a lot more friendly abuse and harassment than in Detroit. We went to the Pearl Street Grill in Buffalo dressed in our Canucks jerseys and got seated waaaaay in the back. I thought as much-maligned expansion cousins we'd get a little more love than Detroit (which as an organization has every reason to taunt us), but no.

The Canucks played their backup goalie, and the defence stunk out the joint, which resulted in a 5-2 beating and much cheering for the home team. Adam, Wesley and I were actually the happiest Canuck fans in the building, since we had the over for $2400.

We drove back to Fallsview Casino to drop off Wesley and so I could close out my front money account and grab a sandwich from the deli. I need to get one last rant out at this casino. It sucks. Honestly, I don't know if I've been to a less customer-friendly casino in my ten years going to casinos on a very regular basis. Almost every facet of my experience at this casino was lame. It's the only casino where I've consistently been carded and scrutinized at the entrance (legal age to gamble in Ontario is 19, meaning you have to think there's some reasonable chance that I'm 18 to make carding me worthwhile). Getting money from the cage is a massive hassle. Every transaction gets double-counted, by both the cage and the supervisor. Taking out money from front money is a huge pain as the supervisor had to sit around waiting for my signature card to come out of a money tube which I guess comes from the accounting department.

The valet is a flat rate of $20. It doesn't matter if you're there for five minutes; they charge $20. There is no signage saying this, nor does the valet tell you this when you get there. The other night, we went into the Chinese restaurant and pulled up at the valet. Our jaws dropped when we were told our half hour of valet parking would be $20. We complained politely but forcefully and the girl there was absolutely intransigent and in fact downright rude. The kind of rude where you wish you could be rich enough to buy a place just to fire one person. I complained that there was absolutely no signage outside indicating the fee is $20 and she insisted that there was. When we finally got outside, we drove around in a circle looking for some tiny, small-print sign. There was, of course, no sign at all.

Bad customer service from an individual tilts me, but it's even worse when it seems to be systemic, as it seems to be at Fallsview Casino. I'm sure that a lot of the bs I dealt with (long lines at the cage, not enough cash game tables for a major tournament) was a result of overregulation by the Ontario Gaming Commission, but the end result to the user is the same.

Niagara Falls is great, the weather was fantastic, and if you have a significant other and want to enjoy the beauty and nature, then come. But I cannot recommend the Niagara Falls WPT event for the travelling tournament poker player.

<rantoff>

But overall the idiocy of the casino has been a very small part of this trip (simply because I've spent so little time in the casino). The trip has been great -- and it continues!

ObUFCbet: I like Bisping -224 (on Pinnacle), but I don't think it's a ton of value. Oh, and no spoilers in the comments until late tonight please. :)

Day 0: Vancouver to Niagara Falls
terrencechan
Woke up this morning with one errand to run -- go to the electronics store and pick up the cheapest camera they have. Even though -- as evwhore mentioned -- a nice camera only costs a few big blinds, it's always so dangerous to rationalize in such a way. Almost every non-major purchase is "just a few blinds", but that can go down the slippery slope to busto that has befallen so many otherwise successful high-limit pros. Crazy-expensive meals and alcohol, strippers, furniture, even cars become much cheaper in big blinds. So I stuck to my guns and got a crappy $80 camera. Even that was painful because I know once I find my camera (where ever it's hiding in my apartment), this one is going into the trash. Oh well.

Adam subconsciously must not have wanted to go on this trip because he tried his very best to make us miss our flight. He showed up at the airport at 1:25 for a 2:00 PM flight -- another five minutes, and they wouldn't have let him check in. As we start racing towards the security line, he ponders out loud, "think there's enough time for Starbucks?" I laughed, because I didn't think he could possibly be serious. When he saw the "I'm going to murder you" look in my eyes, he decided he didn't need Starbucks after all. Next, we get to the security lineup where he pronounces that he has left all his cash in the car, and has to turn around to get it. We get through security and ate the gate at 1:45, where he sees a bunch of people at the gate and no one lining up to board, which of course must mean that boarding hasn't even started (in fact, it had started at 1:25). He announces that he's going to go back and get some food. He has barely left the gate when the man on the PA announces all rows and all passengers aboard. The reason why no one was lining up at the gate was, in fact, because everyone was already aboard the plane. I am officially on tilt and completely convinced we are going to miss this flight. Five more minutes go by and the PA announcer dude announces last call for Passengers Chan and Schwartz.

"Uhh, I'm Chan. Schwartz is uh, going to be right back."

The lady at the desk responds, "oh, good, you're here! We thought we were going to have to leave without you."

"Yeah, sorry...I'm travelling with an idiot."

Five more minutes go by. The other guy at the desk looks at me and says, "your friend has two seconds to show up before we're closing the doors." I frantically dial my phone, which starts ringing just as Adam strolls in with his salad and sandwich in hand. We are the last people on board the plane and I put my carry-on something like 20 rows away from our seating. Adam gets very very lucky, because I know if that were me, I'd be drawing so dead.

The pilot must have had a date in Toronto though, because we made amazing time into Toronto, touching down some 40 minutes early. The new Air Canada 767-300 has pretty sweet economy class: in-seat entertainment system, computer power, and decent seats. The aisle pathway lighting is by far the coolest thing though, as instead of the typical bright white light, it has these much softer lights that only point up and reflect off the ceiling. They also change colours (for no reason I can figure out) across purple, blue, green and red. The red makes you feel like you're on the bridge of the Enterprise with a Romulan warbird off the port bow. I wish I'd taken a picture (good thing I bought a camera).

Got in and had poor food and worse service at a Milestone's outside the airport. Adam is a speed freak so we made it into Niagara Falls on great time. Niagara seems to be pretty dead at night, but looking around the restaurant options seem plentiful.

We walk into the Fallsview Casino. The poker room is pretty small -- 20 tables at most, and packed together really close to one another. The gaming floor itself is very large, but the poker space is very small and packed into a corner, reminiscent of the early 2000s when casinos thought of poker rooms as more of a hassle than a profit centre. Guess news is late arriving to Niagara.

One thing we noticed was that there was no game being spread other than no-limit hold'em. No limit hold'em, no Omaha, nothing. Adam asked the brush if they ever spread something like PLO. He said no, never pot limit, "but sometimes if there's a demand, we will have no-limit Omaha."

Double-take. "No-limit Omaha?"

"Yes."

Adam mutters to me, "...god, what an awful game that must be."

The floor supervisor answers, "yes, well it's because we are not licensed for pot-limit."

Ahh. Regulation. Any time a casino makes a completely nonsensical decision in Canada, you can usually blame the lottery corporation.

There were a number of 1-2 and 2-4 NL tables, three 5-10 tables, and two 10-25 tables. Adam had intended on playing some live poker, but didn't want to play 10-25, and the list for everything else was at least fifteen people deep. So we just had a drink at the bar and headed back to the hotel to try and get some sleep before hitting the 10am morning breakfast. The problem? It's 3am here, which means it's still only midnight in Vancouver. How the hell is a poker player supposed to get to sleep at midnight??

Event 32: $1500 NLHE
terrencechan
Tournament was stupid, though not as stupid as the buy-in process. I saw about eight flops. I did not win a pot post-flop.

There was an announcement over the PA (Jack Effel speaking, I think) apologizing for all the buy-in problems. Which is good, because that woman I mentioned in a previous post was doing her best to destroy all the goodwill the WSOP has generated over the last few weeks by being fairly competent. That room had some serious anger in it, and she was making things worse.

Next: $1500 PLO with rebuys.

Voice Post: $1500 NL
terrencechan
VoicePost
316K 1:39
“Alright so 40 minutes into the tournament, I've finally been able to register. I'm just waiting now till the big blind comes to me, as per the rule, I'm not allowed to be dealt in until its my big blind, which is a good rule for this year.

So, apparently, it was a quote-unquote networking problem which I witnessed when I got to the cashier window, had my 1500 dollars in hand and my total rewards card, and the guy just pressed a button and sat there looking at the screen for the better part of two minutes. I hear next year they're upgrading to, like, you know, 80386(?) chips. So, yeah, that's the situation. They've got a bunch of empty tables in the Amazon room, just kinda waiting for seats to be filled.

There's this horrible woman who, you know, people were complaining to her and it almost certainly wasn't her job to sort of like manage the line or anything like that but people were just coming through the exit door. She just threw up her arms just like belligerently yelling like "What do you want us to do about it?" I don't know, post a $12/hr security guard there maybe? It was just incredible how abysmal her concept of customer service was - like she just refused to apologize, yelled back at people when they were yelling at her.

I actually had the price at some point at like, you know +300 or so that someone was going to throw a punch at somebody in the room, it was starting to get that bad.

Anyways so we're in the tournament. This is probably about the time where I get kings against aces on my first hand, so I'll let you go. More updates later, bye.”

Transcribed by: davidjacob

Voice Post:
terrencechan
VoicePost
195K 1:02
“So, the 1500 NL has started about half an hour ago. I'm here in the registration line with Jeff Seigal. There's a lot of animosity in the registration line. There's people kind of barging through the exit door. Been in the line for about half an hour.

The lines still stretch - and BTW this is the Diamond line - there's a line stretching out halfway down the hallway. The regular registration line is like, you know, past the men's room. There's people yelling at the Rio floorstaff. There's people coming in exit doors when no one's around, and jumping in front. There's a lot of anger.

I wasn't even... I was like 50/50 to play this morning. If I'd known this then I would have been like 10/90. So yeah, so much for the World Series having it back together. It was nice while it lasted. That's all for now, maybe I'll end up in the tournament. Maybe I'll not.

Bye for now.”

Transcribed by: prock

UFC/WSOP/WSOP circuit
terrencechan
Just a quick, pointless, on-a-break-from-getting-hit-and-run-by-everyone-on-Stars update:

I booked my flight on Friday to go see UFC. I figured it's silly to fly back on Sunday only to fly back to Vegas on Thursday, so I'll just stay there until the WSOP begins.

sabyl reports no cell phones or MP3 players at the New Orleans circuit event. I'm sure all the people cheating using portable electronic devices will be stopped cold in their tracks.

Collusion on the delayed final table
terrencechan
Another thought just popped into my head: With the size of the WSOP fields the last few years coupled with the massive public interest, the possibility of any collusion between any two final table players was quite minimal. First, you would need to have two players at the FT know one another well enough to confide in them as a partner in crime. Second, you would need those two players to be unethical enough to actually do it. Third, they would have only about 10-12 hours to formulate a plan. Fourth, they would have to meet secretly to discuss the plan, which would be pretty hard since all eyes would be on them until the start of the final table.

With the new format, it is a small but reasonable possibility that two players who were complete strangers up until the final table end up getting greedy and colluding. Four months is a long time. Any two of the players could strike up a relationship and meet easily in private. They could go over their plan meticulously.

It doesn't even have to be that insidious. Almost certainly, some of these guys are going to get to know one another over the four months. They might make a simple softplay arrangement. It doesn't even have to be explicitly stated.

"You know, Bob, you're a good guy. You're a working man, like me, you've got a great wife and beautiful kids. I don't want to knock you out of the tournament."

"I feel the same way, Jim. I don't want to knock you out, either."

A wink and a nod. It's not cheating if we never agreed to cheat, right?

WSOP final table delayed until November
terrencechan
So, as was rumoured, the WSOP main event final table will be held in November, allowing ESPN to do a live-ish final table broadcast. Story here, with some comments from Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer and Johnny "Not Terrence" Chan: World Series of Poker stretches out Main Event

They pretty much have all the bases covered (coaching, studying video, increased bidding for sponsorships) as far as I can see, but there will probably be some weird unintended consequence that no one foresaw. This is probably the single greatest argument against it. Consider this: they're running an experiment on the biggest prize in the game with something like a combined $20-25 million in player money at stake! It's ludicrous. You don't just dramatically change the format of the biggest tournament in the world with absolutely no precedent or trial run. To my knowledge, not once in the entire history of poker has a final table run four months after they break for it. And they decide the best time to try it for the first time is the main event of the World Series?

This is so stupid that I almost hope there's some massive clusterfuck. Not really, since that would be quite bad for poker and I'd feel really bad for any of the players affected, but seriously, the arrogance of a decision like this blows my mind.

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