April 2010
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Stinking up the table

The player to my left had begun standing up while playing and was walking away from the table in-between hands.

A new dealer came to check in and asked him, “what’s up – does he smell or something”.

Apparently I actually did, and this guy and his BFF in the next seat had found a non-confrontational way to express their feelings about it, by wafting each other with a newspaper (it wasn’t hot inside) and wondering aloud – in a whisper that I wasn’t sure if I was meant to hear – whether or not it was shower time yet.

But, of course, their passive aggression had limits. When asked directly by the dealer, they denied everything.

I should admit that I’m certainly not blameless here. I had spent part of the afternoon climbing over mounds of rocks in the desert (that’s for another blog) and, thanks to a major accident on the freeway which held me up for more than an hour, I didn’t even go back to the hotel before running out to play poker after dinner. I may indeed have been pretty ripe, and if I offended your nose tonight, I apologise.

In mitigation though, it’s hardly uncommon to have a smelly fat guy sit next to you at a poker table. The “sport” does nothing to discourage those of a larger physique and, in Vegas, to get from one game to another you usually have to walk outside in quite warm weather.

These two twats were locals and regulars at the Flamingo, so I have to wonder whether this is a comedy double act they do on a regular basis to kill time between playing (in the case of the older guy at least) two hands an hour, or if I really was the most disgusting thing they ever smelt.

After I got to the bathroom and put my head in my armpit, I couldn’t see it myself. But I suppose that’s the point.

I guess if someone has BO that is really bothering you, and you don’t want to cause embarrassment by saying something to their face, what else are you going to do other than laugh it off by ridiculing a stranger behind their back (or at least as far behind my back as you can practically get when you are sitting less than a foot away)?

Not really something I expected to see in a gentlemanly game of poker, but I get it.

What really pissed me off though was that the cocktail waitress was in on the joke. It took me a while to realise as I happily minded my own business while she chatted to these guys that she clearly knew quite well. (In fact this whole thing was a good exercise to reassure me that I can ignore distractions and just get down to business at the table. I got my money in good and I stuck around as long as the table was juicy).

When she returned before with their drink, she also brought them…

A magic tree air freshener.

Seriously go fuck yourself.

Now this puts me in an awkward situation. This waitress is almost always serving the poker room in the evenings, and I am about to move to the Flamingo tomorrow. But I ain’t ever tipping her for a drink again.

We’ll just have to see whether or not it’s bad karma to stiff the bitch.

Location:S Highland Dr,Las Vegas,United States