Monday, April 11, 2011

Taking the heat

My previous post reminds me of an excellent column by Bob Ciaffone in the April 6, 2011, issue of Card Player magazine (not yet available on their web site). The title is "Taking the Heat," and his point is that poker room employees have a duty to proactively step in to deal with problems, so that players don't have to.

For example, Ciaffone mentions the problem of a player having his chips stacked in such a way that his hole cards become effectively hidden from the view of some of the other seats. He asserts--correctly--that the dealer should recognize the problem and get it fixed without waiting for another player to complain.

In another example, he details a recent incident in which a fishy player was likely driven away from the game because he was literally being squeezed uncomfortably by an obese player whose chair was out of position. In that case, not only did the dealer not act to correct the problem, he resisted Ciaffone's efforts to get him to square up the table.

Ciaffone notes, in conclusion, "The meek person who fails to speak up is often the player who is driven off when cardroom employees fail to take the initiative in ensuring a pleasant environment for a poker game. And he often has an equally unassertive poker style, and is a highly desirable person to gamble with. So, you know who gets hurt the most by the cardroom employees failing to do their jobs--you and I."

He is exactly right. I have written countless times here how much it bothers me to have to speak up and turn myself into the object of attention--or even wrath--of other players in order to get the dealer to address a problem that he or she clearly already knows about, but prefers to try to ignore. I hate that. Ciaffone's column this week should be mandatory reading for all poker room employees.

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