Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Water, water everywhere--NOT!

The drink I order most often while playing poker is water. Occasionally, if it's not so late in the day that the caffeine will affect my sleep, I'll have a Coke instead. If it's really cold in the room I might order a hot chocolate. But probably 95% of my orders are for water.

Among the many things that I wish all poker rooms would do is have water coolers or fountains readily available. In the rooms that have them (Flamingo, Texas Station, Riviera, Green Valley Ranch, Orleans, Venetian, M Resort, and Harrah's Atlantic City come to mind--there are undoubtedly others that I'm not remembering at the moment), I can order one bottle of water, then refill it as needed. This not only saves on tips to the cocktail waitresses, but reduces the number of plastic bottles that go into the landfill.

I know, I know--if I were really green, I'd bring my own bottle. But there are some problems with that. If the bottle is big enough to last through a long session without refilling, it's too big and awkward to have at the table, maybe even too big for the cup holders. I dislike having to maneuver around big things in between me and my chips and cards. Second, casino security sometimes gives you a hard time about bringing in drink containers from outside, because they don't know what's in them; when this happens, it's a pain to have to walk back to my car to drop the bottle off. Third, with the growing prevalence of automated faucets in restrooms, it's not always easy to find cold water with which to refill a bottle from home. My preferred compromise is to get one from the casino, then refill it as needed. I then contribute one--but only one--plastic bottle to the landfill problem.

But as you can tell from the short list of places I named above, it's a distinct minority of poker rooms that have water coolers/fountains accessible. I don't know if this is because the room management thinks that they'd be invaded by non-poker-players demanding their water, or maybe they think nobody would use them, or maybe the cocktail waitresses put up a fuss because they don't want their tip income reduced. Whatever the cause, it annoys me that such a simple, cheap amenity is so hard to find.

Why am I posting about this now? Because last night I played at the Palms for the first time in a few months. They used to have a water cooler right in the room. Last time I was there I noticed that it was gone, and inquired about it. The guy behind the desk told me some story about there having been an accident with it, and he expected it to be replaced soon. But last night I noticed that it was still missing, so I have to assume that this is now a permanent deletion, and I was lied to on my previous inquiry. So that's one less room with water freely available. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

I can't figure out why this is such a rare feature in Las Vegas poker rooms. Hey, poker room managers: How about a little water for your customers? You'd serve me alcohol if I asked for it, which would cost you a lot more. Why not give me easy access to the cheapest beverage on the planet?


Anonymous said...

I bring a bag with a few bottles of water everywhere I've played poker. Never had a problem with a casino not wanting me to bring outside drinks in.

Danny said...

I once asked for some tap water and was told that I could have that for free. However - the glass it came in would cost me $1.50!

gr7070 said...

Buy a case of water for home and bring one to the casino.

It's the right size. Reasonably cheap. If it's unopened no one should complain about what's in it. It can be discarded if requested or left or lost since it's cheap. It can be refilled at home if you want to go really green and cheap.

At the very least it saves you the initial wait and tip on your first bottle.

Pretty simple solution without a lot of hassle.

Anonymous said...

Grump, we don't have a landfill problem and never will. Do me a favor and google "bullshit recycling episode". Watch it and I hope you will stop worrying about bottled water.