Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Incident at Maryland Live!

I got a rare Sunday night session in this past weekend.  My general playing style is to be unassuming, almost aloof.  I am certainly a talker at the table, but I try to pretend like I don't know what I'm doing.  Moreover, I try to avoid confrontations - both physical and verbal.  I'm not afraid, but I just feel like there's no point in putting myself out there - getting into a fight over some nonsense.  I'm able to think past the pissing contest and consider where it will lead and what good will result.  Therefore, whenever another player starts to get rowdy, I try to distance myself and placate the person or ignore it.

Sometimes, try as I may, I can't ignore a situation and need to take action in order to stop it from bubbling up to an actual physical altercation.  Sunday was one such example where I was forced to call on "impartial help," the poker room management.  Let me explain:

A 30's man at my table was becoming progressively inebriated.  He was talking a lot of garbage at the table, calling the table "dickheads," and "assholes," becoming increasingly belligerent.  The table had more-or-less discussed it on one of the inebriated man's breaks - and opted to not bring management into the picture as he was both good for the game and not quite overstepping his boundaries.  He was, in effect, a drunk guy, talking up a storm.

Prior to the point when the following happened, he had twice angle shot, acting to bet and/or call, while extending his hand and chips beyond his cards to get a reaction from players (myself included), just to pull back the bet when he saw the reaction - the very definition of an angle shoot (or in layman's terms, a soft form of cheating the game).  Each time, the floor ruled against the aggrieved, as the dealers moved on to the next hand too rapidly for the aggrieved to complain.  Again, the table dealt with this behavior as he was good for the game.

As the night continued, the drunk man became more and more unmanageable, leading him to threaten me in particular after winning a pot.  After going on a tirade about "crack and hookers," he started telling me how he's tougher than me and "he's going to kick my ass," and that he'll "see me outside."    Of note, I did not feed into this behavior nor respond to it in kind, though he continued, increasingly louder.  The reality for me is that I'm with the table at this point; he's great for the game and he's going to dump money.  However, after 25-30 seconds of his harangue, I opted to call the floor.  He probably threatened me 5 different times and ways in addition to his offensive profanities.  I had had enough with this idiot.

The floor manager responded fairly quickly and began to assess the problem.  Allowing hands to continue, he pulled each of us aside and listened to our story.  Of course, drunk guy failed to mention that he threatened me, but my story included that key tidbit.  I was offered a seat at the new table, but was determined to get drunkey out of the casino.  I stated my intentions exactly the way I wanted - "I want him out of the casino."  The floor manager had to speak with his supervisor to get permission to take that action, and eventually apparently had him removed.

A few orbits afterwards, I decided I would end my session.  I wasn't in the right mindset, and was thinking about what would happen en route to my car.  Again, I don't want to get into some stupid fight where things could escalate.  This guy was a country boy from Ohio, a real tough guy who felt the need to let everyone know he's somewhat of a big deal.  We're not talking about a hulking guy, but this guy outweighs me by 30-40 lbs. and has a few inches on me.  He probably knows how to bar brawl better than I remember the 5 years of Tae Kwon Doe that I took years ago.

I had a somewhat lengthy conversation with the floor manager, discussing his lack of immediate action, which, in all fairness, was claimed due in part to him trying to get the whole story.  As a sidebar, since action was not taken immediately, the manager was allowing both the offender and me to be dealt into hands while trying to figure out what was going on.  The manager did not canvas the table nor the dealer until I became very vocal about wanting the man removed - and only got the table's story after stating to me that in effect, it's my word versus the drunk man's.  The drunk man claimed he did not threaten me at all.  The table jumped in to my defense and told the manager that yes - indeed, the man did threaten me multiple times, including talking about drugs, hookers, and a plethora of curse words.  4 different people, including the dealer, told the manager about the threats.

Feeling comfortable with leaving to go home, as I was told they "escorted him out," I went downstairs to cash out my chips, only to find this man waiting outside of the poker room by the blackjack tables, checking his phone, unescorted.  I can only presume he was waiting for me.

I'm not quite sure how seriously Maryland Live! takes their security, but when I went back to ask management about his "escort out," management (and this time it was the manager who claims to be the poker room supervisor) claimed "yes, we had him escorted out... out of the poker room."  His words were: "I do not think he is a threat."  I can't remember the other exact words of the conversation I had with management, but in this one manager's opinion (who by the way never became directly involved, nor came over to the table, but heard it all third or fourth hand from his floor manager), the inebriated individual was "determined not to be a problem."

To me, this is a huge fail on the part of the poker room management.
  1. Do they take verbal threats seriously?  What about offensive language?  In my opinion, this guy was out of control and threatening my safety.  Does the poker room think it's a joke?
  2. Should this drunk be allowed to roam the casino to harass other patrons?  What is the point of kicking the guy out of the poker room?  Does that reduce my risk of danger when he can be waiting right outside of the room for me to leave?
  3. Why would the management not be completely truthful?  When they tell me they had him escorted out, when they really mean "escorted out of the poker room?"  An escort out of the poker room does nothing to protect the customer, as the dude was waiting outside for my exit.  Don't tell me he's gone and then let me get blindsided in the parking lot.
  4. How is the manager assessing a threat?  Is he looking him in the eye and making him promise to cause no more trouble?  To me, that's laughable.  The dude is drunk, he's making threats of violence, and he's talking about crack.  86 him from the casino!
Security is not a joke, and I feel that the poker room management needs to be trained to understand that fact.  As recently has late July, a lady was robbed at knife-point in the parking lot.  They are undoubtedly aware of that.  Why would the poker room tolerate this kind of behavior - and look at my grievances as a mere inconvenience to them?

Prior to this incident, I have been very happy with Maryland Live!  I thought the poker room was set up in an extremely player-friendly manner.  The casino is convenient to get to from my home, the dealers are friendly, and the atmosphere (last night excluded) is wonderful.  I think the poker room is a model which other poker rooms can strive to be.  However, if the casino is not taking security seriously, this is not the right place for anyone, no matter the positive the casino has to offer.  The simple fact is that they need to adequately protect their customers.

Addendum: I sent an email to the poker room manager and cc:ed the casino manager and investment group who owns the casino.  I got a fairly quick response, and was invited to call the poker room manager.  We spoke briefly - it was explained that this is not the normal procedure, and that the supervisor on duty failed at performing his duties.  The manager offered me a free buffet for my wife & me (which I declined, feeling like if I accepted, it would cheapen the whole argument I made) as an apology, which I felt was very nice.  As for dealing with the situation, I believe the manager spoke with the supervisor and other floor managers to set them straight as far as proper procedure and process.


  1. I'm in total agreement with you until you turn down the free buffet. What kind of poker player turns down free food. -EV, dude. Tsk tsk.

  2. My feeling is that the dealer didn't do his job. He's supposed to keep this guy in line. He should call the floor, not you. If he had done this, it wouldn't have gotten to where it did.

    1. There were multiple failures on the dealers on Sunday. I've become accustomed to good dealers, and the dealers working the shift were the pits. The multiple angle shoots should have been called by the dealers, the guy verbally threatening should have been called by the dealers, the cursing should have been called by the dealers. You're absolutely correct, Mojo.

    2. Mojo is right. The dealer needs to handle this *MUCH* sooner. The Dealers at my home casino (Cleveland Horseshoe) are trained to handle this kind of crap by calling the floor immediately. Sorry it had to be some bumpkin from OH. Hope it didn't shake you up too much.

  3. Wow. Glad you didn't end up in a fight in the parking lot. I got threatened once at a pseudo home game, with the villain telling me to step outside. He was nearly falling down drunk, so I called his bluff and said, "sure, after we're done here, let's settle this outside." He got drunker and drunker as the night went on and totally forgot about our parking lot date. In fact, he waved at me when I left. Bizarre.

  4. Disappointing to hear how this was handled. The last thing anyone wants to have to worry about at a Casino is safety.

  5. glad everything worked out, i say only thing i hate about poker is poker players

  6. First off...deny the buffet??? What?? Actually it sucks so no biggie there.

    I agree this was handled poorly. Hopefully you are valet-ing your car. I am not walking through that parking lot with wads of cash. I think you can get a security escort to your car but for $5 I'll take the valet.

  7. when they determined that he "was not a threat", call the police and let them know that you have been threatened, and that the casino is doing nothing.
    casinos hate having cops show up; so this may motivate them to not fuck around when a patron is threatened.

    1. That's a good idea. I didn't think of that at the time, assuming that the casino would take care of it on their own. I was astounded that they told me he was "out of there," only to find out they played with words & kicked him out of the poker room. Some people are just downright stupid...

  8. I have never played in a game where things went that far or were handled so badly at almost every stage. Definitely a major concern.

  9. cmon brother the casino is their to rake in money and is a negative force to the community based on a pillar of greed. It naturally attracts unstable mental people and drunks. They don't care about your safety or personal conflicts, and If you think he is a physical threat to you just go away instead of sticking around and continuing your poker game waiting for the justice team to arrive. There are 1000s of hostile unstable people at the casino. It's like going into a whore house and complaining that you felt threatened by the pimp because he told you he would kill you if you try anything funny.

  10. You should have asked Security to walk you to your car. . . they do it for all the girls.

    5 years of Tae Kwon Doe- Really?? You spelled it wrong there Bruce Lee

    You said, "he was good for the game" but he threatened you after he won a pot. That sounds like you got pissed because he was winning and taking your money (even as drunk as he was).

    You acted like a petulant D-Bag by insisting he be removed.

    The moral of this story. . . you should have taken the Buffet.

    1. There are multiple ways to spell Tae Kwon Doe. However, no, I can live with the drunk until he starts threatening physical violence. I could care less that he won a pot - in fact I'm happy for him since it encourages his continued poor play - so that had nothing to do with my having him removed. Just the opposite - now he has more money and I want to win it back; it's against my monetary interest to get him removed.


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