Saturday, August 08, 2009

Binion's is annoying me

The first thing Binion's is doing to annoy me is the recent institution of yet another variant on the button straddle. It seems that you can make this any amount you want. The order of action is complicated, depending on whether there are reraises before it gets to the button.

I hate button straddles. I am dismayed to see the practice becoming a rapidly spreading fad--Hard Rock, Harrah's properties, Stratosphere, and now Binion's. Non-standardization of rules is a very, very bad thing. Less experienced players get confused and intimidated. They feel uncomfortable. Repeat: This is a bad, bad thing! Poker rooms should be trying everything to make new, less experienced players comfortable. New, unfamiliar, unnecessary rules and practices put people off and make them less inclined to play.

But what I really wanted to rant about was how Binion's handles cash-out time. Ever since the new room opened, they have been wildly inconsistent about where one goes to turn chips into cash. There is a front desk, which is where one buys chips, but, strangely, that is often not where one reverses the process. Somewhere between a third and half of the time, I am told that they have no bank, or that nobody who can do the transaction is available, or they're just too busy, and I'll have to take my chips to the main cage. Once in a while, most strangely, they send me to another mini-cage area that they have set up in the far corner of the poker room itself.

At first I thought this was a new-room glitch that would get ironed out with time. But we're way past that point. Now it's just incompetent and/or uncaring management. Yes, most smaller poker rooms will once in a great while have to send you to the main cage for a cashout. In my experience this happens primarily when they are in the middle of a daily security count of the chips and cash, and can't interrupt it. Perfectly understandable. But there is no place that I play that does it with even a tenth of the frequency that Binion's does, and it's seriously annoying. I wait in line behind somebody getting his name on the list, and somebody else whose name was just called and who is being assigned to a table, and somebody else who just wanted to check on the status of his comp dollars, and somebody else who just wanted to ask about what tournaments were running that day, and when I finally get to the front of the line, THEN they tell me to take my rack to the main cage??? It's infuriating. It's incompetent. It's customer service at its worst.

Hey, Binion's: Pick a place where players are to buy chips and cash them out. Then stick with it. Make sure that that location always has cash and chips, and is always staffed by somebody who is authorized to make the trades. It's just not that complicated! More than 50 of your competitor poker rooms have figured out how to pull it off. Why can't you?

On a brighter note, I'm pleased to see has followed up on the St. Patrick's Day chips with Memorial Day chips and July 4th chips, as shown above. May there be many more such offerings in the future.

1 comment:

angeroo said...

Really? IMO they're tacky as hell, like most of those commemorative special issue chips.