Let's start right off with the biggest clusterfuck of the weekend - the Blogger tournament at the Orleans poker room (btw, my mad SEO skillz are working, I'm already on the front page of Google search results for Orleans poker, so hopefully I'll be able to help kill their action). We were originally told they could not host a tournament of our size, then we were told that it would not be a problem. The fee was $65 + $10 juice + $5 dealer toke, for a total of $80. No big deal, that's cheaper than the last couple blogger events, and I kinda like having the dealer toke built in so you only tip if you feel the service was really good at the end of the event. This meant that 6 dealers would split a couple hundred bucks for the time they dealt to us, plus the other time they worked, and they should work out okay. We were told that we would get the standard structure for an Orleans poker tournament.
That's the bait. When I showed up at 11AM (yes, three hours before the event) to check with Brian the TD that everything was ok, I was told we were fine, no problem. Okey-dokey, I toddle off to lunch with a pile of people, including a random reader of BadBlood's who just happened to be in Vegas and wanted to buy him a beer. Cool, right?
WRONG. The switch happened when we got back to start signups at 1:30. I told the guy we'd have a guaranteed 4 tables, maybe as many as 6, so spread six and collapse if need be. They didn't call in any extra dealers for us, as they had plenty of cash games and their noon tourney still running, so we caused no imposition on them other than the extreme stress of counting out a few extra seat cards and breaking a table early. My heart bleeds.
So when we start signing up is when I'm told that we lose two levels to get the event done in time for their 7PM tourney. We lost the 25-25 level and the 150-300 level with no ante, going straight to 25/50 and jumping from 100-200 to 150-300 with 25 ante. Not a huge deal, although 50BB isn't a very good starting stack if you don't wanna play pushmonkey poker. The real pile of shit got dropped on us when they changed the levels to 15 minutes instead of 20. That meant that if there was one big hand where a tough decision had to be made, that we wouldn't get through an entire orbit before the blinds went up. It wasn't helped by the fact that at least one of the dealers remembered when poker was invented and moved as though he were dealing through molasses. I mean homeboy was sloooooooow.
OK, so the structure for the Orleans poker tournament sucked ass. I expected at best a mediocre structure, since most structures under $100 in Vegas suck. But a bad structure can be overcome with good service. Or exacerbated by terrible service. Guess which one we got?
Yup, awful. From the moment I spoke to the Orleans poker TD at 11AM, we were treated as though we were something gross he had stepped in on his way into the building. It was very obvious that we weren't wanted, or welcome, and the TD went out of his way time and again to show us that we weren't wanted. From being snippy with everyone trying to register (including snapping at BadBlood of all people!), to running people out of the poker room after they busted instead of letting them rail their friends, to yelling at Linda and not letting her take pictures in the card room, everything he did was not only excessively tight-assed, but spoken in such a way as to let us know that we were an imposition and that he couldn't wait to get us out of there and make room for his regulars.
Now I can understand if the Orleans poker room is full, you can't have people clogging up the aisles so folks can't walk. But the tournament half of the room was not terribly crowded, and we are, as a group, pretty damn considerate of others and good about staying out of the way. We've done this enough times to know what the deal is and how to behave in a poker room.
So thanks to the abysmal structure, there was about 45 minutes of poker, then a couple hours of push-fest, then the final table had enough chips to return to playing poker. Eventually we all just ignored Captain D-bag and crowded around the final table, making prop bets and taking pictures no matter how much of a polesmoker the TD was, and he eventually gave up trying to herd the kittens. Funny, if he'd been polite early in the day, we never would have revolted, but if he'd been reasonable, we'd never have needed to. All in all, the Summer Classic lasted around or under 5 hours for 42 people, in contrast to the HORSE tourney Gadzooks set up at the IP for Sunday, which lasted a hair over 5 hours for 18 people. You think the folks at the IP care about customer service? You damn skippy they do.
So once again, I'll never set foot in the Orleans poker room again, and I encourage others to to the same. The hotel rooms were nice, the seven Pai Gow tables were great (until they moved me, Astin and the Penners to a table with the cooler because we were winning too much) and the bowling was awesome. Unfortunately the Tournament Director for the Orleans poker room was such a jerk that he pretty much killed any positive vibes any of us felt for the casino.