Rant/Retro Report #2 April 2012

Here is why I will no longer bring my gaming dollars to Bally’s AC – despite my casino host pleading with me otherwise – here is the incident that happened this past weekend:

There is a weekly BJ tournament at Bally’s AC. Admission is free, there are 5 winners (1 at each table of $1,000) and 5 second place winners (1 at each table of $200). I have played in this tournament for fun and to socialize for the past couple of years and have gotten to know the PB’s and dealers in the tournament – who are genuinely nice people.

This past weekend, I made it to the final round (15 hands, sequential betting with a button moving the start of the deal). After 7 hands, I was the chip leader at the table and the button was at the second seat (I was sitting at first base (random selection of seating)). Therefore, I was to receive my cards last. I had a $40k bet up (everyone starts with $20k in chips) and was the chip leader.

I was dealt a 4,3 and the dealer had a 6 upcard. Two of the other 5 people at the table busted. The dealer moved to third base and the lady there busted as well. Now, it would be my turn to hit. However, the dealer skipped me, flipped over his hole card to reveal a K (now having 6,K) and proceeds to hit himself with a 4 – totally skipping me.

I protested as he was dealing himself the card. The PB arrived at the scene and the table informed him what happened. PB stated that it was a dealer mistake and that I could take the next card. I said I wanted the 4 as it was supposed to be my card. PB again stated that it was a dealer mistake (I, in turn, asked the PB if the same rules apply to players – i.e. if I hit a card and I bust, can I say I made a mistake in hitting and therefore take a new card??? – this logic was lost on him).

After about 20 minutes of the table arguing on my behalf, the PB decided to let me take my bet back and have it be a non-hand. Fine by me. However, once this was done – everyone at the table decided they needed to get in on the act – including those that had already busted. They claimed they deserved the same treatment I got. The PB tried arguing with them but was timid. In the face of the commotion, the PB decided to pay everyone whatever their bet was, regardless of whether or not they busted and the dealer had removed their chips from the betting circle.

This is where it gets interesting. The PB told the dealer to pay me my initial bet $40k. HOWEVER, he then went around the table asking the players what their bets were!!! Of course, everyone now claimed they had anywhere from 90%-100% of their bankroll on the table – AND THE PB PAID THEM. People who were virtually out of it now had moved to even with me.

I told the PB, who I had always gotten along with, that this was a recipe for disaster as someone suggested that they check the tapes and see what people actually bet – which , at one point, prompted an African American gentleman to exclaim “let’s not get racist by trying to keep a brother down” – it basically turned into a free for all and I decided to vacate the table. I promptly phoned my host to inform her of the unprofessionalism and lack of transparency in the tournament and I would be taking my business to Revel (who have invited me for a weekend in a couple of weeks to entice me to play there).

(I would gladly have taken it as a dead hand – which I did and had my chips returned to me. However, other players who already busted began rioting because they had already lost their hands ( I wonder what their reactions would have been had they received Blackjacks (which pay 2 to 1 in the tournament)…? I am sure they would not have protested at all. It was the paying out of chips based on what each player stated they had bet that pushed it over the edge…after all, Bally’s is owned by Harrah’s/Caesar’s and we all know they are reputable (i.e. Watanabe LOL))

I will always hold a place in my heart for Bally’s AC as the casino that got me started, but this incident left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

I know others here might tell me to suck it up, but, as gamblers (even counters) we tend to be a superstitious bunch and this left a feeling a bad vibes.

I spent the rest of the weekend BS’g with the dealers and PB’s in the high limit room I have become friendly with – as well as the multitude of regular players. I hung out all day with them and rooted for them to break the bank – all the while, not playing one hand.

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