Thursday, September 10, 2009

Strangeness at the Flamingo

I just got home from a couple of hours at the Flamingo. BWOP, Cardgrrl, and I each took on a separate $1/2 table. It was a relatively short session, as the two of them had a late dinner date, and I had to taxi my visiting ex-wife on some errands. Toward the very end, my friend --S showed up, fresh from some job interviews; he's coming back to town after experimenting with jobs at New Mexico and Colorado casinos. (By the way, for those of you who enjoy reading me, you owe a tip o' the hat to --S. It was reading his blog that made me decide that I, too, might have something worth saying about poker, and that the technical aspects of putting together a blog might be manageable for even a technodummy like me.) So it was a nice evening in terms of the company. And I won money at a decent rate, which is always nice.

But I post this to comment on two oddities that happened during the session. The first was that the poker room ran out of red ($5) chips. They were so short that they were going around the $1/2 tables begging players to trade stacks of red for green ($25) chips.

How in the hell does a casino run out of chips? This wasn't anywhere close to the busiest day of the year. Why don't they have about a billion dollars' worth of chips in the vault in the basement, ready for even the most insanely overcrowded day? The things are cheap to buy and last nearly forever. It seems to me like a no-brainer to have more chips than one would need on even the busiest day they've ever experienced.

The second oddity wasn't really related to the first, but came to my attention because of the first. A dealer was trying to deal with the chip shortage by getting the floor to approve letting $100 bills play. Cash has not previously been allowed to play at the Flamingo. The floor guy came over and told him that, yes, $100 bills would play--but this was not because he was making a special dispensation. Rather, it was because they had formally changed this policy as of September 1. Black chips ($100) are also allowed to play now under the new rule.

So it was strange that this dealer didn't know that. But then we had a dealer change, and the subject came up again. A player went busto and needed to buy a stack of red chips from one of the big stacks. They traded the bill and chips. The new dealer, though, said that that wouldn't help, because cash doesn't play. Yep--a second dealer hadn't heard of the new rule, which has been in effect for nine days now.

Then, a while later, a dealer who was acting as brush and chip runner between downs walked by the table and noticed that two players had C-notes tucked under or behind their chip stacks. He helpfully offered to trade those in for chips, informing the table that "Cash doesn't play." Yep--a third dealer had not heard about this. Of all three dealers who had to deal with the question, not a single one had heard that the poker room's policy had changed more than a week ago. Each time, the floor guy had to come over and inform them of the new way things were to be done. There was not a single dealer who had to address the matter who knew the new rule.

How can a poker room's management be so incompetent and uncaring that, apparently, the majority of its dealers don't know about a rather important change in policy or procedure more than a week after it has been implemented?


Grange95 said...

A casino running out of $5 chips may be one of the most bizarre reports ever posted on this blog. It's not like Flamingo is Bellagio or Wynn, with mostly $25 minimum tables in the pits. I mean, $5 chips are the standard in play I would think. I wonder if they are changing out their chips for a new issue? Seems highly unlikely, but ... I'm blanking on any other rational explanation. Maybe they forgot to pick them up at the chip dry cleaners?

As for incompetenet poker room management failing to train dealers as to policies, that is much less surprising, though still disappointing.

astrobel said...

I've played at the Flamingo only once and did not like it at all. Thanks for erasing any possible thought about going back any time soon :-)

Anonymous said...

I've always enjoyed playing at the Flamingo Poker Room. Very disappointing to hear about their running out of chips and dealers not being aware of new policies. Makes it harder to stick up for the place!