Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pus in boots

OK, it wasn't literally in boots, but that was as close to a clever post title as I could think of.

Last night I was leaving the Tropicana, undecided about whether to go home or head somewhere else to play, when AlaskaGal and her friend persuaded me to head to Bill's with them for some $0.50/1 NLHE fun. I ended up making $100, so it was a worthwhile diversion. But before the session was done, I had seen one of the strangest and grossest things at a poker table EVAR.

The player in question appears to be a Pacific Islander--Tongan or Samoan, maybe. I've not only played with him several times before, I've written about him once before. That was when we were at the Venetian and he disgusted me by eating two oranges at the table with visibly filthy hands, getting sticky orange juice all over everything, then licking his filthy fingers.

So I already knew the guy was a pig with zero standards of personal hygiene. But as it turns out, I really had no idea of the depths to which he could sink.

Last night he had the mid-portion of his arm wrapped in an Ace bandage. While he was playing in the tournament at the next table, before busting out and joining out cash game, I had noticed him unwrapping and rewrapping his arm. I figured he had a sprained elbow or something. No big deal. It's hard to get such bandages to be tight enough to be supportive without being uncomfortable, so I didn't think much of it.

Once he got to our table, however, I saw that there was much more to it. The Ace bandage was stained with bodily fluids. What was much, much worse, however, was that he unwrapped his arm and pulled off a gauze bandage that was underneath the elastic. Doing so revealed an ugly open wound. He had a boil or an abscess just above the elbow that was actively draining pus, and he reached in and squeezed some more out of it, then replaced the gauze.

Other players were reacting as you might expect: turning away, telling him how disgusting he was, making various noises to indicate their nausea and revulsion.

The dealer, bless his heart, told him, "Joe, you're going to have to go wash your hands before you get back into the game." He did--or at least he left for a while and came back carrying some paper towels. Whether he actually washed or not is anybody's guess.

Just when you think you've seen everything that can happen at a poker table, somebody comes up with new levels of astonishingly appalling behavior.


Josie said...

Grooooooooooossssssssssssssss, yet I'm envious that you're there at live time with a guy oozing pus. Go figure.

Lance said...

And this behaviour doesn't lead to a rapid invitation from the management to LEAVE? Amazing....

Anonymous said...


Joe the big guy, shaved head, wife?plays with him with curly hair?

The dude wears sleeveless tops n stanks?

If same couple I always see them losing their $20 stacks there...are they pros? They say they're on vacation

Spoiler next time plz I was eating breakfast

bastinptc said...

Lovely. Even if one has a stomach for such visuals, I don't imagine I could continue playing in proximity to the sepsis and I'd have to leave. But isn't there a Walgreens nearby? I'd also want to come back to clean and dress the thing properly.

Ben Devlin said...

The scene at Bill's was certainly a strange one. I have three words for the open flesh wound that this guy exposed Dis-gust-sting! Thankfully, Kevin did tell him that he had to go wash his hands.
I don't know what is worse, .50/$1 NL or $2/$4 limit. Both games seem to be suck out city. The guy who took your seat bought in for $200 and called just about every raise pre-flop. Luck for him, the poker gods felt that J-2 was a good hand and paid him off with trips on the river!
Nice playing with you.....even though we didn't officially meet.

Anonymous said...

Gross is an understatement. I would have been gone in a flash, not from squeamishness at the sight of the abscess and pus,but from zero faith this guy had actually washed his hands thoroughly enough to clean them.

And he undoubtedly would touch the stained bandage during play, not wash his hands, then handle his cards and chips.

I think the floor would have been justified in taking the man aside, and asking him not to play until his arm had been treated and properly bandaged.

zippyboy said...

And no pics??? Put that new phone to good use, man!

Rakewell said...

Anon: Yep, that's him.

Ben: I noticed your Wasted Aces logo, but didn't see the Tweet until after I got home, or I would have said something.

Zippy: You're right. Fail on my part.