Monday, May 17, 2010

This Douchebaggery Must Cease

I postulated a theory while playing at the Commerce 2 months ago, just after the great Hawaiian Gardens Debacle (tm), that in order to run less horribly, the casino should send everyone who works in the top section to Bay 101 for a few days just to see how basic tasks are accomplished. Because, to be frank, this douchebaggery must cease. I'm not even talking about the players, who throw cards, curse, lobby for hours on end, sit out of must move games, intentionally break games, angle shoot relentlessly, cut wait lists, short the pot, and in general are just a bunch of assholes. No no, the douchebaggery to which I'm referring is owned solely by the people who work there, which for me in most cases means the dealers. The floor men and general management are not without fault. They commit many heinous sins on a nearly daily basis. Using a must move system for 20/40s, even when already have 5 or 6 games running? It's absurd. To be clear, there are already 5 games running and when they start a 6th, it serves as a must move to EVERY OTHER GAME. So any time someone stands up from a game, the floor men have to first process the table change list (which can be rather tedious), then move someone from the must move (who no doubt is doing everything he can to take all the free hands he can get), and only then call someone in off the list (if someone hasn't managed to cut it). This is not really the floor men's fault, however, since they're just doing what the bosses (whoever the fuck that is) say to do. Starting games DOA, however, is their fault. Why does a new Commerce 20/40 hold 'em game only have about a 50/50 chance of ever dealing a hand, and after that only a 50/50 chance of lasting for more than 15 minutes? Let me count the reasons:

1. The must move system. The instant you call down a game, it often gets raided for 3 or more players to fill other games that suddenly went short. It's almost like the players wait for a game to start before picking up their chips, just to make sure damn it they get to fuck somebody.

2. Zero communication with the 40/80 board. Only at Commerce are 20/40 and 40/80 hold 'em lists manages on different sign up boards. So when you start a 20 game, it'd be a good idea to see if that guy over there in the suit is about to call down a 40 because if he does, one of you is going to start a DOA game.

3. Starting a game with a list that is dead or short. Of all the reasons listed here, this one should be the most easily avoided. There are 8 names on the list and the floor men live in this fantasy world where all of them will show up and gladly play 8 handed (admittedly I often live in a fantasy world where players bet top pair and consequently drive myself 3 blocks to down town value town with second pair, but my incongruent delusional universe hurts only me). In the real world inside the Commerce Casino, of those 8 guys on the list only 7 are even in the building, one of whom is taking a dump, another of whom cut the list and has been in the main game for 15 minutes, and 2 of the others would never consider playing in a 5 handed game. And even if somehow someway the game goes off 6 handed the guy who's first up on the list will insta-lobby on his blind, making it a 5 handed game which will assuredly grind to a halt the instant someone other than me is asked to pay the big blind.

4. Not getting a dealer. This is hilarious. The chip runner shows up with 10 racks of pristine yellow, 8 people show up and take seats, and there is not a dealer in sight. Happens all the time, and by the time the dealer shows up one guy has been called for the 40, another left for 20 stud, and a seat came open in the main game for another and then there are only 5 of us and the situation outlined above ensures that the game grinds to a complete halt if by some miracle a hand is actually dealt, which blessedly is usually not.

Enough on the floor men though, because honestly they do the best they can within the ridiculous set of constraints set before them. They are forced to use a broken system to get 9 self-interested people to agree to sit down and start playing poker at the same time. It's not an easy task. Unlike dealing the fucking cards, which as far as I'm concerned really shouldn't not present much of a challenge in this day and age, the year of our lord two thousand and ten. I don't even know where to begin, but I'll likely just keep ranting and raving until I can feel my blood pressure creeping into unsafe territory.

In texas hold 'em the button advances one spot to the left every hand. Not two, not zero, and certainly not 3 or negative 1. My honest estimate is that there are some dealers at Commerce who fuck up the placement of the button 10% of the time. How hard is this? Push the pot...move the button. It's just part of a procedure. A few weeks ago I had a dealer screw up the button three times in a single down THAT I NOTICED, which was only because I was in one of the positions being affected. I'm sure it gets messed up all the time when it's somewhere across the table, and I don't even notice. Just last week I paid the big blind two hands in a row and didn't realize it until I looked at my hand (at which point I remembered seeing a free flop with J9o just the last hand). Does the guy on the button know he's getting the button twice in a row? Obviously. Is he shooting an angle? Most certainly. But can I blame him? Nope, not any more. I used to have a policy that honesty is the best policy, and would always correct the button if I saw it was in the wrong spot. At Commerce it gets messed up so often (and I get screwed so often....this was not the first time I double posted) that I feel like I have to get my fair share of edge out of it. So now I only speak up if the button is wrong to my detriment. Is this wrong of me? Sure. But come on people....just put the button in the right place. The orbit after I paid the big blind twice the player on my right said in perfect English to the dealer "give me an out button please" and she responded in rhythm "deal you in next hand, ok!". I had to change tables. What else can you do?

The list of atrocities goes on and on well past button management, however. At Commerce you can ask to be dealt into the next hand and receive cards even if you're away from the table. This way you at least have a shot of winning a jackpot share. I played in a game last month where the dealer failed to deal the player in, resulting in a misdeal after the player in seat 5 spoke up (which in and of itself was likely an angle shoot, as he'd probably looked at his hand, found it to be crappy, and only then declared the misdeal). So the cards came back in, and the dealer FORGOT TO DEAL THE GUY IN AGAIN! Again it was pointed out that seat 7 needed a hand, and again the cards came back. By this time he dealt the 3rd hand, the player had made it back to his seat!

Sometimes they don't even know who won the pot. I was playing stud with Pete last weekend when he was in town, and to make a long story short he raised me on 5th street when he picked up a Queen. At the time I only had a pair of kings, but called and made Kings up on 6th and Aces up on 7th. So he actually checks the river and the third guy in the hand checks also and he turns over his two buried queens to go with the one on his board, which is a hand generally known as "3 of a kind". I turn over my whole board to show it's glory (I have aces, kings, and jacks for crying out freaking loud) and the dealer grabs all the cards and stuffs them in the muck and pushes the pot directly to me.

Pete, quizzically: "Did you fill up?"
Jesse: "Not that I'm aware. You had three queens, right?"
Pete: "Yup"
Jesse: "It feels like 3 pairs should beat 3 queens."

I push the whole pot to Pete, who happens to be sitting directly next to me. Most of the time it's really not gonna be that easy, since all the cards are in the muck and well everyone who plays at Commerce is an angle shooting asshole. Later that night I was playing hold 'em and another dealer completely mis-read the board and attempted to push the pot to player with a busted straight draw while the player with a two pair gawked in utter amazement. How hard is it to read the board? Honestly.

I feel like there must be so much more to say, but I will just tell one last story and then go to bed (it takes a lot of energy to be this angry apparently). So I had just moved to a new game and missed my chance to post my natural big blind and therefore posted in the cutoff. Two players limped in and I checked with the mighty ten-four offsuit in the 9 seat. The button (seat 1, on the other side of the dealer) raised and, this being Commerce, both blinds called along with the two limpers and it was on me closing the action at 11:1 with a bottom 5% hand. This is a trivially easy call. First of all, the button was pathologically insane. In my entire live poker career I can only recall making 3 successful jack high call downs, and one of them was against him. So his raise means only that the dealer did not accidentally kill his hand. Second of all, it's 11:1. Thats EE LEV EN. And third of all, I have excellent absolute and relative position post flop, being in the cutoff with the bet likely to come from the button. In short, if I flop one pair, I'm gonna get to see the turn for 4 chips pretty often. So I call. The flop contained a ten and I called a bet, which as predicted came from the button. The turn gave me trips and sadly the street checked through. The river 4 filled me up and I bet, then 3-bet after the button raised me. He called (lord only knows what he can raise, bet, check, and raise with on a JT6-T-4 board) and I showed my hand with a Chesire Cat style grin on my face (I freaking hate that guy) and add for emphasis "Thank goodness I had to post" after the dealer has finished pushing me the pot. At this point she turns to me and, scout's honor, god's truth, cross my heart and hope to die, says "You called a raise" and rolls her eyes at me in a condescending "you're such a fish" way. I am beside myself. Did that really just happen? You, the dealer, made a snide comment about how I, the customer, chose to play my hand? Of all the things I've written about (and the things I wanted to but have forgotten), this has to take the cake. This douchebaggery must cease.


ExMember said...

There is a particular dealer at The Bicycle who stands out. She speaks English fluently and is in general smart enough and alert enough to be a good dealer. Being smart, alert, and English-speaking allows her to make an entirely different class of mistakes.

Last week in my no-limit game an opponent mused aloud, "How much is in the pot?" and she told him!

Anonymous said...

Send a letter to management, IMO. Or e-mail them the link to this post.

J said...

You're such a masochist. When will you stop torturing yourself and come back to HG?

jesse8888 said...

I don't think it's fixable. There are simply too many dealing jobs available in the LA area to get competent people to fill them, I think. Or at least to prevent incompetent ones from slipping through the cracks. That said, I hope somebody high up does find this :)

Hamking said...

Haha.. wow. who says that?

well just be glad she's dealing and not sitting on your left.. cuz obv she'd have all the chips.

TiocfaidhArLa said...

Entertaining as always. In a masochistic sense, this is my favourite post as I will be making my first trip to the Commerce in just under 2 weeks. Google searches repeatedly show up similar experiences which I can't believe but know are true. I can't wait and am determined to take it all in my side. The beauty is that I only need to put up with the douchebaggery for 48 hours before returning to Star City's (Sydney) 10% rake, plus time charge.

Sight unseen, give me the Commerce any day. BTW, is the food really as bad as they say?

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