Tuesday, July 20, 2004

And in Other News...

Anyone ever notice that my life is like an ongoing train wreck? I don't define “train wreck” in the way that I'm not happy, my life is in shambles, a disaster. I define it more like in the way that I seem to be a trouble-magnet. I don't shy away from controversy.

After a couple of months of peace, I am back to finishing my fight against the Colorado Belle. I am in the final stages of that battle. If Mandalay Bay does nothing further on this matter (firing both James and Glen; James for covering up the sexual harassment, Glen for sexually harassing another employee), I will escalate my fight when MGM takes over the Belle.

People seem to be coming out of the woodwork to tell me their Belle horror stories. I guess since the word has gotten out about my banning from the Belle, others have been more willing to tell their tales of woe.

Yesterday, a full-time player was at the Palms and told me he hadn't played there in several years, but came back to give it a try because of all of the abuse of power at the Belle. He is a senior citizen in Laughlin, and finally just got sick of the politics going on there. He has played at the Belle since they opened a poker room, but said that things couldn't be any worse there right now. He told James about some cheating that was going on in a game (sharing cards), and James did his usual routine about the players being drunk tourists, and how we need to cater to them, blah, blah. When he threatened to call the gaming commission, James threatened him with banning. Lovely. James and his weak personality. What a waste.

Another guy who has been playing regularly at the Palms is a guy I met when I first came to Laughlin. He is young, and a super tight player. He is also the quietest guy you'd ever meet. If he said ten words in a week, it would be a miracle.

He used to play at the Belle all of the time, but then James kept harping on him to become a dealer, coaxing him with those familiar lines about how good he would be as an employee (sound familiar?). Anyway, finally he talked David into becoming a dealer. David must have passed the background investigation and gotten the proper cards, because the Belle hired him.

On David's first shift, he dealt better than JV had dealt in a year. He is a super sweet kid, without a mean bone in his body. David dealt to us all the way up until the day I was banned from the Belle. I never really thought about David after I was banned, until the day I saw him playing at the Palms.

Glenn was sitting next to David and got the scoop. Apparently, David was fired from the Belle! This is absolutely nuts, because James had always told me the reason he couldn't fire any of those scummy dealers who couldn't deal a hand to save their lives, was because he needed dealers so badly, due to the poker boom. So what does he do, he turns around and fires someone like David, while keeping someone like JV, who falls asleep during the dealing of a hand and has to be woken up by the players, who cannot get the simplest of side pots right, who takes 15 minutes to deal an easy hand of Hold'em.

There is something rotten in Denmark.

To give the story even more of a soap-operaish twist, when David was fired, he asked James why he was firing him, and James REFUSED to tell him. Now, I know that Nevada is a strange state, but no state is strange enough that allows an employer to refuse to tell an employee WHY they are being fired, if asked.

Anyway, David was absolutely crushed. According to him, all along, James had been giving him props and telling him how wonderful he was doing, how well he was liked, etc. My first thought was that perhaps David lied on his application and/or when he got his sheriff’s card, etc. I thought maybe that he was issued the proper credentials, given a position, and then was busted down the line when the machine caught up with him. But that does not seem to be the case.

Dan, the manager at the Palms, is equally perplexed, and wants to give David a chance, if he is interested in dealing again. Dan gave me the go-ahead to proceed with helping David find out what was going on with the gaming commission and/or file a suit against the Colorado Belle.

Unfortunately, David must be the most shy, passive guy in the world, because he is just embarrassed about the whole thing (getting fired), and doesn't want to "make waves" in Laughlin. So there is where it stands.

Fortunately, I think I can still proceed without David, and definitely plan to do so. Anything I can do to get the dirty laundry at the Belle aired out :)

Dan also told me that he was just as confused as I am about the Belle. Why do so many crazy things go on there? Why would they ban me for writing about sexual harassment when they had just had a big lawsuit over that same thing (trying to sweep sexual harassment under the rug) and got caught? You would think they would take it very seriously and not punish the messenger.

Dan said he played there and saw the same things I did. The dealers being extremely rude to the players, bossing them around, treating them badly. He said he'd never seen anything like it. Usually cardroom employees are trying to protect the DEALERS from abuse, not the players, lol. It is the strangest situation I've ever been in. I go to California, sometimes Vegas, and see the dealers treated like crap, and nothing ever done about it. Then I go to the Belle and here are the dealers talking about how much they hate their job and all poker players (while dealing to said players), I see a dealer falling asleep during a hand. I see dealers yelling at the players over a dealer error. I see dealers refusing to call the floor when there is a problem. I see the floor doing everything he can to keep the players from finding out the real deal if there is a problem (claiming the cameras aren't working, the VCR's aren't recording, it is impossible to run the tape). I see a CRM who lets the floorman and dealers run all over him, then punishes the players who are trying to have a good, honest cardroom at their disposal, by threatening to ban said players, by banning them, by covering up sexual harassment (his refusal to accept witness testimony, refusal to run the tape that records the desk area, so that he could see the harassment himself, refusal to take the testimony of a dealer who saw the harassment).

I'm not going to give up. The veneer is starting to crack severely at the Belle. In this age of modern technology you cannot keep sweeping things under the rug. They will come out.


Okay, now that I've ragged on the Belle a little bit, let me rag on the Palms. I'm just never satisfied, am I? LOL :)

Dan has been running these tourneys for over two weeks now, it's time to kick it into high gear. Dan needs to run some ads. The locals papers in both NV and AZ, the poker rags, Cardplayer, anything!

Last night was supposed to be an Omaha 8 tourney. No one showed up save me. I even offered a $10 bounty on my head out of my own pocket, and couldn't get anyone to play. This place is spreading NO JUICE tourneys every day. They are adding money to the prize pool, they have bounties, they have it all! Why is no one coming? The word needs to get out, and not tomorrow, but yesterday. Get on the ball, get some ads out there.

I called around. The Riverside was sold out at 50 in their tourney. Fifty people in a tourney that is stealing about 50% of the prize pool from the players. The Belle was sold out and charges 20% juice. This is crazy! Somehow I have to get word out to the locals. Some of them are a little slow, and stuck in their routine, but none of them are stupid enough to ignore the great deal that the Palms is offering.

Tonight is the Stud 8 double qualifier tourney. I have a horrible feeling this one isn't going to fly, either. I have to do something. Why are there no ads out? Why am I wasting my time and energy typing all of this, doing all of this work, when I'm not an employee and not getting paid? Why do I always get myself into these messes? I think I'm insane. Someone call Bellevue and put me out of my misery.


Believe it or not, there is some poker content in this dirty laundry rambling.

Last Wednesday was the NLHE tourney and I decided not to go. On Thursday we had the LHE tourney with the stud river card. I was the 2nd bubble (remember, the bubble gets a free entry into a nightly tourney, well, I was 5th place, the guy after that, lol). I didn't play on Friday (Omaha 8). On Saturday we played PL Omaha high. I came in 4th, so I got the free entry. It was a hellacious tournament. Our table started with six players, and during the first hour, they made 35 rebuys at our table alone! That doesn't include the six add-on's or the rebuys that the other table made.

I took one of my worst beats in this tourney. There was an elderly woman at our table, a calling station. I flopped a set of aces when I held AAxx in my hand. The flop was AKx. I went all-in and she called with a lone king. The turn was a king, the river was a king. Two Dimes was barely able to calculate the odds of that happening, haha! Oh, Omaha, how I hate you.

On Sunday was the NLHE tourney. We decided not to go. Then came yesterday, when I couldn't even get one opponent for the Omaha 8 tourney. Bah! They should be coming in droves. No one else remotely close to Vegas is offering juice-free tourneys with added money and prizes.

The upside is that Glenn has been running very well also. He made $60 in 1-5 Stud in 30 minutes of play, lol. I love the players at the Palms, they are so loose/passive, just like I like 'em.

Soooo, through this monstrosity of a post, you see where I'm at right now. The same as ever, in the midst of the insanity.

Felicia :)