August 2009
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Day 21: That Bellagio rant

Just to get it off my chest, this is my other whinge from Thursday night.

I finally got to play poker at Bellagio for the first time. 

On two previous attempts I got fed up of waiting for someone to even acknowledge that I was standing right in front of them.  "Quick, look busy!", has been their attitude when I showed up on two other occasions.  In between finding things to do, they’d look around me or through me, but never make eye contact.

And so it began today.  There were many more important things for the man with the clipboard to do before he would be able to write my name on a list.

That was even before I’d asked to play $1/$2 no-limit, a game that the Bellagio used to be too good for.  The floor staff apparently still think that they are, and can spot the pond life that come to play it from 20 paces.

To be honest, I guess my orange Hawaiian shirt didn’t help. 

When he couldn’t ignore me any longer, I was apparently first up so I waited right at the podium.  I didn’t realise how naive this strategy was. 

Clipboard Guy had a wireless microphone, and he was going to use it.  He brushed past me, out of the poker room and a few seconds later, after some cunning misdirection and presumably using a trap door, re-appeared back inside, but way over the other side of the room.

I’d spotted him, but there was no way I could hear him.  "Mnmnph mmnnnm rrrmph rummit holdem" was about all I could make out.

Was that my name?  Was that my game and he’d bumped someone ahead of me?  Some players must have been waiting within earshot of whichever speaker he’d hooked up to, so was I meant to have been waiting over there?  It should never be this hard to play cards.

It’s usually about now that I’d walk but, today, I’d decided I wasn’t giving up.  I knew he would have to return to the podium eventually and prepared myself for a confrontation.

Sadly, the colourful line of enquiry I’d been rehearsing was not needed because a few minutes later someone else called my name, looked at me like "seriously, that’s you?" when I stepped forward and reluctantly showed me to a table.

I’m almost positive I’d been bumped down the list, and I’m not even sure if the other floorman calling my name was a mistake after he’d picked up the wrong clipboard.

Anyway, I got to play.  I stayed less than an hour, hating it.  The beer count at the table was zero, which is never a good sign, and although the iPod count was only 2 the dick count was a perfect 9.  Makes sense – anyone who looked like they might be playing for fun would have had a hard time getting this far.

As I grabbed a rack to gather my chips, the dealer flung a "reserved" button into my spot before I’d even picked up the first stack.  I guess he didn’t want me there either.

Inevitably, one day I’ll be a big name high stakes player.  I can’t wait to stick two fingers up at the Bellagio and have somebody actually notice.