Saturday, November 20, 2004

Casino Arizona, a Bastardization of Poker

On Monday, November 15, 2004, Glenn and I drove down to Phoenix for our first stop in the Arizona Poker Tour. We decided to try Casino Arizona first, since it was the biggest.

Our first bad beat; no nearby hotels. Yipes. We ended up spending $90 per night at the foo-foo La Quinta.

We got into the casino about 6:30pm. The 15/30 Stud was a mile long. As it got closer to 7pm, the floorman begged me to take a seat in 4/8 HE. He kept telling me that the football promotion alone was worth it. I finally took a seat.

One of the floormen came up to me and said he reads my journal online. He handed me two cards, which I assumed were business cards. Later, when I was able to really look at them, I noticed they were cards for free alcoholic drinks. LOL, so much for him reading my journal! Everyone who reads my stories knows I am very anti-drinking. Thanks, anyway, dude, but I think you told me all I needed to know.

I never really understood the FB thing, and didn't win at it, but I hated Casino Arizona right from the start.

In the most blatant, angleshooting, bastardization of the IWTSTH rule, almost every pot was stopped at the river with the IWTSTH request. The first time it happened, the pot was head's up, and I said to the slimeball, "Um, do you suspect collusion or something? The hand was head's up, who do you think he is colluding with?"

Almost every player, along with the dealer, looked at me completely puzzled. They all asked what I meant, what I was talking about. I told them that the only reason to ask to see someone's hand, was when you suspect collusion and want to make sure you are not the victim of it. They all laughed at me and said I didn't know what I was talking about, that the IWTSTH rule meant that they were entitled to free information about the way everyone at the table plays. I basically told them that they were retarded, and went to the floor.

The floor was an older guy in his mid 60's or so. When I explained the situation to him, he said that I was wrong, that the IWTSTH rule is defined as players getting free information about the table, and how other players play. I just stood there, gaping, with my mouth open. He said he'd been working there for twenty years, and that was the true definition of IWTSTH. He said he'd never heard of collusion.

(For a better explanation of the true meaning of IWTSTH and the abuses of the rule, please see Tommy Angelo.)

So that pretty much sums up my experiences at CAZ. I hated it. I never got called for the packed 15/30 Stud. I moved to a so-called NLHE game, but the max bet on any round was $150, so it was limited, so to speak. It was a slightly better game, with only a percentage of players asking to see losing hands before they slid into the muck, but it was still full of angleshooters and cheats.

Almost a week later, I am still shocked at the ignorance and crap that is tolerated at CAZ. Surely someone must know that this bastardization of the rules is horrible for the game of poker. Surely they must realize that someone asking to see every, single hand at the river only hurts their bottom line, by slowing the game by about 50% of the hands per hour. Or maybe not, maybe they simply don't care.

In addition to slowing up the game (hence not creating the revenue they would if the games were kept on track), they tolerated tons of arguing, fighting and abuse. There was extensive arguing at every table I played at or railbirded. One time an altercation came almost to blows. By allowing such twisting of common poker rules, they have placed themselves in the position to create fighting and arguments constantly.

As if the cheating wasn't bad enough, I saw that they also spread tourneys where the juice is a whopping 30%. We both hated CAZ and decided never go to back. At least not until they clean up their act and get rid of the criminals. Since I have heard that other Phoenix cardrooms are the same, if not worse, we decided to head south to Tucson.