Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Lost $20,000 at the Rio

Yes, it is true, but this post is about my first twenty-four hours in Vegas, so I will get to how that happened in a bit.

Here is how Day One went: My flight arrives close to on-time, I am close to the front so I am out and rolling quickly, not trapped behind a herd of blue-hairs. I get to the luggage carousel and the luggage starts coming out in drabs. Forty-five minutes later, I finally have my bag. McCarran is okay to good in many ways, but the luggage handling is always the soft spot. Always.

I jump into a cab and head over to Miami Don’s place. No sooner did I arrive than I was pressed into service by Carmen . She was playing the Skillz, Don was still in it, and she had decided it was a lost cause because the blinds were 100 and 200 and she only had 1,500 chips left. So I played out the rest of the tournament for her. I pumped the stack up to 13,000, above average at the time, and within striking distance of the final table. Some douche bag with plenty of chips decided to get all-in pre-flop against me and my QQ. Douche bag’s AJo sucks out and I am nearly crippled. Fuel decides to race me for the rest of my chips and I am out. It was not even my account and I am not sure I would have been rewarded for cashing, so I should not even care. I really need to work on not caring about things that do not have a potentially significant outcome.

Almost ready for bed, I decided to call over to the Rio cage to check on my wire. The cage seemed like a logical place to keep my money. I had decided before the trip that I would like to have a box at the WSOP side game cage. I don’t want to walk around the Rio Convention Center parking lot after dark with thousands of dollars in my pocket. If I have to walk to the main cage when I am done to deposit to a front-money account, so be it. But I will try to get a box before I commit to making that walk twice a day. But if I did have to do that, it would not be so bad; I do need regular exercise. And it is a long, long, long walk.

After looking up the number and dialing, I get the Rio and ask for the cage. I get a clerk who is unintelligible. I slowly get out of her that they don’t see the wire and that it has not yet come. I explain that a wire is a single day transaction, and it has been received. She starts muttering something about accounting and being busy and suggests that I try back “tomorrow or the next day.”

I ask to speak to the cage supervisor. She is intelligible, but not at all intelligent. She tells me the same stuff the clerk told me. She completely fails to apologize for the trouble and fails to provide any sort of reasonable explanation as to how the wire could not have made it from their mythical account department to the cage. She asks me when it was sent. I tell her that it was at 4:30PM, Eastern time. She posits that it was 7:30PM local time when the wire arrived at the Rio, that the accounting department was closed, and that is why they don’t have it. I am clearly wasting my time. I end the pointless conversation quickly.

It seems quite difficult to get to sleep. I am not at all surprised at the gross incompetence of the Rio staff. After all, it is a Harrah’s property. Any gambler or poker player knows that Harrah’s is a giant black hole of suck. Their business model is to make money off of slot players and low end table game customers. They don’t understand how to cater to serious gamblers or poker players.

They fought against poker until it was clear that poker was here to stay. Then they bought up the WSOP, turned it to suck. They continued the vortex of suck by bribing Bill Frist into jamming through the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. They saw internet poker as a threat to their business rather than a business development tool. They don’t get it and they suck.

I somehow manage to get some sleep. I roll out of bed early. I was told that WSOP SNGs, live action, and registration will be open for business at 9:00am. I want to get a box before they are gone. Don drives me over there because I don’t have my car yet. We get to the convention center. Not too many customers, but there is a little SNG action. Live action area not open yet. We take note of the new layout and make the long walk over to the main cage.

We get there, and I attempt to claim my wire. They shuffle about for a bit and, eventually, the cage supervisor appears. This is the one that was on mids. She was still there. She is a different supervisor from the one I spoke to on the phone. She is very apologetic. She tells me they have a record of the wire arriving at the cage, but they are having trouble locating it. She actually admits that they had lost the wire. So I did manage to lose $20k at the Rio without even bellying up to a gaming table. She gives me her card and offers to take my cell number so she can call me when they have it sorted out. She promises me that she is not going home until this is resolved.

I am absolutely shocked. A Harrah’s employee was nice, competent and actually seemed to care about the customer. As Mrs. Weak later says to me on the phone, “She doesn’t seem to know the Harrah’s way. She needs to stop being so nice before she gets fired.” Exactly. It is sad that getting the normal world expected response in that situation is shocking. But that is how they roll.

Don and I wander back towards the Convention center. We stop so I can get my boots shined. We get there and check out the SNG area again. I wander back over to the live action area. Still not open. I ask to be admitted on the pretext of wanting to speak to the cage manager about my missing wire. I am admitted, but they misunderstood the meaning of “cage manager.” What I got instead was a cage supervisor for the WSOP area. That does not help. But I ask if I can get a box while I am in there. They need to train their green-as -hell clerks in this aspect of the operation, so I help the one guy that knows what he is doing teach the green-as-hell clerk the ins and outs of lockbox operation. Present key, verify id, have customer sign for entry, present box, take box back, have customer sign for receipt of their box key. I know the drill but the clerk didn’t. The instructor and I taught her what she needs to know, I hope. In any case, I come away with my box and its key. Just then my phone rings. They found my money.

We hoof it back to the cage, collect my money, hoof it back to the convention area, I drop it in my box and away we go. We head out to eat, but end up at the rental car area. There is a really good Mexican lunch place next to it, so we grab a bite. I pick up my car, a brand new something or other. It has power everything, which is awesome; my last rental didn’t even have power locks. Why didn’t I get a rental at the airport? Because I am here for a month and the airport fuck-me-in-the-ass fees come to an extra $200. I scored a primo rental for $200 less. And I have my money in a box. I am starting to feel good.

I arrive back at the crib, chill for a bit. I play on-line for an hour and a half; I am two days away from achieving Iron Man status on Tilt. I chill for a little longer and finally saddle up and ride on out to play live.

My plan is to play only 1/2NL for the first session. Again, I am not here to test my game or play at the highest level possible, I am here to find games that I can beat consistently for a decent earn rate. 1/2NL games can be very profitable. And, word has it, many of the 2/5NL games have gotten tougher over the last several months. Not that there aren’t still plenty of soft ones. Not that there aren’t going to be Marshmallow Peep soft games over at the Rio a few days hence. But this is where I am starting. I am here for the money.

I play over at the Venetian for a few hours. The table is soft at first, but the chips keep leaving and the spots keep getting filled with people that know how to play. I decide to head over to the MGM. Their 1/2NL games are pretty reliably filled with certified donkeys. I grind out a $50 profit in an hour and change. Unfortunately, I spend the proceeds on hookers and blow a chair massage and a pastrami sandwich. I am tired and decide to call it quits. Making the rounds, but no dollah, dollah, dollah yet. I am okay with that for the first day.

I head home and play on-line for a bit more; I make Iron Man, but have a losing session only due to an epic suck-out. I fail to care about the suck-out. It is par for the course. But the suckee immediately starts berating a regular whom I respect for good-beating him. It is on now. I smack-talk him into submission while I take the remainder of the hands I need to make Iron Man. I really need to stop caring about crap like that.

Day one is complete. I am happy even though I am no richer.

5 Comments:

Blogger Gnome said...

At least you found the $20k. I was worried it was gone.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

I got email today saying they had received my registration for PLO.

Advice of not asking as it would only piss me off excellent

4:59 PM  
Blogger Weak Player said...

I got $100 food credit after politely providing some feed-back to the cage director. Since she was so receptive, I invited her to pass my number on to casino marketing. When I tell them how they convinced me to never play in the pit again, maybe I can score more comps. w00t.

Prop bet: I convince them to buy a banner ad on my blog and I retract all the bad things I said about Harrah's. If you want action, please tell me how many hunderd to one you will lay me.

11:57 PM  
Blogger HighOnPoker said...

I sincerely plan on living vicariously through you for the next month. Thanks, Weak.

1:13 PM  
Blogger cmitch said...

Wow - crazy that it took them that long to find the wire.

Keep the updates coming. WSOP/LV posts are getting me pumped for LV.

7:25 PM  

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