Monday, July 17, 2006

Standing up and yelling

After doing a little standing up and yelling about a perceived problem, Harry D got himself ejected from a WSOP event the other day.

Mike O'Malley had a little different experience.

Part of the problem is with the lack of foresight and management invovled in the running of the WSOP, but part of the problem is a problem that's universal with any tournament event anywhere. Tournaments just aren't run with full disclosure and tournament directors everywhere seem to think that players don't need to know and that whatever makes their own life easier is the right thing to do.

If you want attention in the beginning of a tournament you really do need to stand up and yell. And it really is important to be intolarant of tournament directors who just change the rules on a whim or who implement non-standard rules with a yawn.

I mentioned the new cardroom in Durant the other day. And, I liked the room and will probably go back. But one thing did happen that really did upset me and makes me unsure of how much I really want to play there.

They have daily tournaments. I was staying overnight in Durant and saw a writeup on it on Monday night. Actually I saw two, one was a flyer on the tournament I picked up, the other was a full page ad in an in-house promotional magazine.

It was a small buyin, with one rebuy and one addon. The buyin, rebuy, and addon were all the same fee and the same amount of chips, which did make it at least theoretically possible for players to balance the counts with the prize pool. (Having add ons for different chip stacks than the buy in opens the door for employee skimming).

The flyer said that registration opens at 11 a.m., the tournament starts at 1 p.m. I'd noticed monday that the 2/5 blind game probably wouldn't start before nooon, so I planned on showing up at noon to register. I showed up slightly before noon, just as they started the 2/5 game and I got a seat.

A floorman came around passing out signup forms for the tournament and somebody mentioned extra chips for early signup. I hadn't read about that in the flyer, so I asked. I was told that if you're in a live game by 11 you get extra starting chips. I said, "Oh, I don't think I was here by 11". The floorman said, "Don't worry, you'll get some extra chips".

So, I paid my money and signed up, and I got an entry tag and a seperate chit for extra chips. Other's at my table got the extra chip chit.

Then at 1 p.m. I took my seat. (Cashing out my chips was an adventure, but I'll save that story for another time). The guy next to me had two chits for extra chips. I asked him how come he had two. "One at 11 and one at 12", he said.

Opps. I'm not liking this. I've played in freerolls where people got chips for hours played, and not everyone had the same number of chips, but that was a freeroll. I paid to enter this tournament. And, other's who paid the same would get more chips than me? I don't think so. We aren't doing this.

So, I asked the dealer what I needed to do to get my money back. She said, "I don't think you can do that". I said, "Who's running the tournament?" The player with the two tickets pointed to a guy walking across the room. He didn't mention his name (I think it was David, I learned later).

Well, cards were fixing to be in the air. I knew that if I waited until the cards hit the air that I couldn't get my money back. So I wasn't waiting until he "wasn't busy". I yelled. Loud. "Hey, I don't want to play. This thing isn't being run as advertised and I want my money back."

I got his attention. He came over. I told him my problem. He went to check the signin computer to see if I'd been on a waiting list by 11. Then he came back and told me I wasn't here on time and couldn't get more chips and they didn't give refunds. I got loud. I thought that the only was to get my money back was to make them want me to leave, and I think I was right. I really didn't want to play at a disadvantage that being short-stacked would put me at.

Anyway, we went round and round, I complained about misrepresentation and that regulars who knew the unprinted rules had an advantage and I wasn't interested in that kind of set up. We went to the office (so other players wouldn't hear my complaint and maybe start realizing that some of them were getting screwed).

Finially I got my money back. I didn't even get 86'd. But since the 2/5 game had broken up for the tournament I went ahead and left.

I looked later and the flyer I'd picked up the night before did have small print on the back describing the extra chip procedure. The one page ad in the promotional magazine did not, however.

One of the things that keeps me from playing many tournaments is that you're just stuck once you give them the money and sometimes the rules aren't clear up front, and sometimes they just change the rules on a whim. And, often the floor people are just flat out incompetent (I'm not suggesting that the floor at Durant is incompentent, but I am suggesting that at least some of the floor at the WSOP is).

If you want attention and action at the beginning of a tournament there's really no other course of action other than just standing up and yelling.


Anonymous luminouscarl said...

"If the world were so organized that everything had to be fair, no living creature could survivie for a day. The birds would be forbidden to eat worms, and everyone's self interest would have to be served." Wayne Dyer
Unfortunately gamblers often play the part of worms. You may be interested in my story about working in a crooked internet casino.

7:29 AM  

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