Rant/Retro Report #35 July 2014

Off again we go to Connecticut, this time, Foxwoods

Approximately two weeks ago I received an e-mail from a host at Foxwoods. Now, not having even been to Foxwoods since the year they opened (when I was 19), I had no idea how said host had my email address. My only thought is that, as MGM had a licensing agreement with Foxwoods, my name came up on an M-Life list.

This host invited me to a blackjack tournament:


Yes, I read the disclaimers that it is all subject to change but please read on.

Upon calling the host, he asked me about my play (# of hours, average bet, etc.). I informed him my average bet was appx. 200 and I played about 3 hours a day.

So, I sat in 5 ½ hours of traffic on the I-95 yesterday making my way to Foxwoods. As I got closer to the hotel I surmised that the past twenty years had been good to the Mashantuck Pequots as the buildings looked beautiful.

My host met me at the valet and told me I am all checked in and ready to go, he just needed to give a credit card to the front desk. From there, he showed me up to my room – a beautiful two room suite – very nicely decorated with a gorgeous view of the woods.

About 20 minutes later, there was a knock on the door – room service brought me a fruit platter and some Fiji waters – very nice.

I ended up playing only about an hour averaging about $150. I meet up with some family and have dinner and then, exhausted from the drive, go up to the suite to relax and fell asleep watching tv.

I woke up this morning and played through a shoe averaging about $125. On my way to grab some breakfast, I text my host and ask him where in the casino the tournament will take place. This was about 10:30am.

I excitedly awaited his reply text as I was looking forward to playing in the tournament. He texted me back stating that, although my spot in the tournament was reserved, I would not be allowed to actually play in the tournament unless I “gave them 3 hours play per day at a 200 minimum”. I was shocked – at no point was there any notice to me that my play for Friday and Saturday would be the qualifiers for the tournament. During the entire email and telephone conversation with the host, no mention was ever made that these were the qualifications as such (yes, I know the email stated subject to qualification but I assumed I would be informed of what those qualifications were…not have them sprung on me the day of the tournament).

The host then stated that if I played 5 more hours today and my average bet was 200, I would be guaranteed a seat at the tournament. I informed him I felt duped and was leaving.
He asked if there was anything he could do to change my mind – I said, “Stick to your word that I was invited here to play in a tournament, not have a seat reserved so that I could then play my way in based on my time in and average bet” – to which he replied “How could you not know that my asking about your average time and bet was in implicit qualification for the tournament?” – I told him unless it is spelled out, too many things can be implied. I then said “Secondly, please lose my number!”

When the host asked for my typical averages at a casino (remember, I had never played at Foxwoods – the only time I had been there was while visiting family in CT when they first opened and I was not yet 21), I told him what my typical averages were. Now, those are averages, not guarantees. When he asked for my averages, my offer for the tournament was already booked. When I arrived and the host greeted me and asked me if I was “ready for the tournament” he did not state “Are you ready for the tournament…but please remember I need 3 hours play today and tomorrow pre-tournament at 200minimum or else don’t bother to be ‘ready for the tournament”……..this was all brought up to me this morning, after I had already spent a night there after horrific traffic and then told I had better get 4 ½ more hours in by 7:30pm or my seat will be swiped out from under me. The host NEVER brought this up to me during the booking process or upon greeting me and walking me to my suite—it was only the morning of the tournament that it was brought up. If this prerequisite had been known to me ahead of time I could have (1) declined the invitation or (2) planned my play accordingly…there are times I play 8 hours in a day and there are times I play 45 minutes in a day…this just had an overall used car salesman feel to it.

They were trying to get me to become a regular player there (they explained they did not have the NY players they once did and were hard targeting NY players to develop a long term relationship with as players). I was booked until Monday and most likely would have averaged the 3hours at 200min but…it may have come with 1 hour Friday (I say the traffic was horrific because by the time I arrived and got situated and had dinner, I was exhausted–that being the reason for my only playing 1hour on Friday)…4hours Saturday…4 hours Sunday which is 3 hours a day…they wanted the average played exactly…not taken over the course of my trip. For the host to say I needed to make up 4 ½ hours by tournament time was asinine. my morning had just started and it was only 10:30am or thereabout…that is my issue…he wasn’t using an average, he was taking those averages as minimum requirements per day. That is where I believe they are wrong.

I gathered my belongings and checked out. I approached the valet desk to get my car and, upon scanning my ticket, was met with a gentleman telling me “Oh, please wait here, I have to call my manager, there was an incident with your car.” (GREAT!!!!!!)

Apparently, according to the manager and security guard who had viewed the security tape, a valet attendant had left a car on the ramp leading down into the garage. Said car was either left in Neutral or Drive and rolled on down the ramp, sideswiping the front of my car. Some scratches but, not knowing how fast the car had been going, I need to get the car checked out. They took my license and insurance info and informed me that I should send an estimate to their “Risk Management” office, who would then pay for the repairs. The tribal police showed up and took all the same information from me. I am wondering if they are passing my insurance info. onto the owner of the other car and, as they are sovereign, going to tell both him and me to “go F ourselves” and somehow pit us against one another.

At that point I could not get out of there fast enough.
I felt like I was lured there under false pretenses. Invited for a tournament then told unless I played a certain amount before the tournament, I would not be playing therein.

Oh well, for the 1 ½ hours I played, I am up 2100

I wonder if they will attempt to court me again since I grabbed 2100 lol
The games were great, the casino beautiful and all the staff very friendly (housekeeping very attentive, security, waitstaff…etc.) My only issue was the bait and switch.


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