Saturday, September 11, 2010

The "Le Chiffre"

Last night at Mandalay Bay we had a player at the table who had a smarmy move that he pulled every time he had the winning hand. Instead of showing both cards right away when it was his obligation to do so, he turned them face up stacked together, so only one was visible. Then, after a dramatic pause of a few seconds, he would shift the top card over slightly so as to expose the bottom card.

I'm calling this move the "Le Chiffre," in honor (or, more accurately, in dishonor) of the first poker scene in the 2006 James Bond film, "Casino Royale." I expect it has been done similarly in other movies before, but this is the one that immediately came to mind when the douchebag last night was doing it:

The first time the guy at Mandalay Bay did this, it was an all-in and a call, on a queen-high board. His opponent showed A-Q. Monsieur Le Chiffre turned his cards over with a queen showing, waited a bit for the tension to grow, then moved aside the top card to reveal the case queen underneath for the winning set.

I think it's perfectly obvious that this is nothing more than a variant form of slow-rolling, and is to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. It is low down and despicable. It is not cool. It does not make you look smart or glamorous. It is not fun for anybody watching. In fact, it is not enjoyed by anybody except the twisted sociopath who gets his jollies from torturing an opponent with uncertainty and false hope. It is done only by movie villains and real-life villains. Perpetrators should have their hands smashed by a hammer, the back-room treatment that Robert DeNiro's henchmen dish out to blackjack cheaters in "Casino." (Guess what move I've been watching!)

And that's all I have to say about that.