Start/Stop the B-tching!

by , May 1, 2008 | 12:43 am

I wrote this post right after the 2007 WSOP, but I hadn’t pressed publish yet. With all the talk about structural changes and travel plans for the upcoming WSOP, now seem’s a good time for us to think about our (poker players’) behavior for the upcoming WSOP:

I have a request for all poker players. Anyone that wants to complain at the WSOP 2008, please STAY HOME! I don’t care how much dead money you bring to the tables, I don’t want to hear the yakking when I’m taking a leak.

At the 2007 WSOP, bitching was the theme. Here are just a few of the complaints that I heard.

• Harrah’s is making too much money. Have you seen how much juice they are taking out?
• The food is horrible
• The dealers are making too many mistakes
• It’s cold
• It’s hot
• The lines are too long
• The structures are too fast, too slow, too medium
• The walk is too long to the tournament area
• There are too many tournaments
• The cocktail service is bad.

Is that enough or should I keep going?

Here are my thoughts:

Harrah’s is a business. I expect them to make money. I hope they make money or they might stop having the WSOP. If you don’t like the juice they charge, buy their stock and get excited about an increase in fees and attendance.

[Ed. Note: Harrah’s stock is no longer available.]

I’m going to put the biggest complainer in Jeffret Pollack’s job and ask him what his first move is. I have an idea. Why don’t you propose a way to reduce Harrah’s bottom line by reducing the juice and providing free food for all. I hope you enjoyed your first and last day at work.

The biggest critics are usually the guys who have never had a real job. They can do everyone’s job better from the cocktail waitress to Pollack. They don’t appreciate the coordination it takes to have an event 2 months out of the year with temporary employees and temporary facilities. These guys have expectations that are completely unrealistic. I think that the WSOP keeps getting better every year.

• Tournaments start on time
• TV coverage is excellent
• We play in a nice facility
• They have got a players’ advisory committee, (bitch to these guys because they are representing you)
• They have more satellites to get into your favorite event.

[Ed. Note: Tom is now on that players’ advisory committee, so technically you should be bitching to him.]

Do you remember back when the event was at Binion’s and Bobby Thompson would announce 600 names and seat assignments over a microphone that didn’t work while everyone was talking real loudly? The event started two hours late.

Rather than bitch this year, appreciate the fact that you’re playing and not dealing or serving Red Bull, because I can tell you it’s not fun. Maybe if all poker players went with a new attitude this year we could help change the attitudes of those who are serving us.

I say make the F-Bomb acceptable and implement a bitching penalty.

16 Comments to “Start/Stop the B-tching!”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    They changed the F-bomb rule last year, as long as you didn’t direct it at another player/dealer it was allowed.

  2. miskeein

    But what will all the poker nerds blog about on their little nerd blogs?

  3. California Jen

    I promise not to follow you to the bathroom with my complaints.

  4. Grunkzzz

    I’m with you on everything except the dealers. I had a guy last year that couldn’t even count a full rack of chips. The floor came over and counted it for him and made him recount it 4 times. He got it wrong 4 times (differently wrong) eventually the floor guy just shrugged his shoulders and gave me my chips. (I had bought all the 25s at the table.

    With that said things can always be worse, or better. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

  5. Dan M

    I think Tom doesn’t want other people to complain because it cuts in on his market share.

  6. Donkey Bomber


    If they changed the F-bomb rule, you might be the only one who knows. At the beginning of every tournament last year, they announced that you would receive a 20 minute penalty for using the F-bomb. I might be willing to put a little wager on this rule.

  7. Kevin Mathers

    You were there Tom not me, so I’m not going to doubt you heard that, but this is from May of last year.

  8. Donkey Bomber


    Very intersting. I did not know that. See what you can learn by reading Pokerati? Harrah’s does not make it clear that it has to be directed at someone.

    Now, I plan to let the F-bombs fly…of course not at anyone.

    Come up and introduce yourself at the WSOP. Maybe you will get a free beer and a couple of F-bombs thrown your way.

  9. DanM

    They had to change that rule because otherwise a player with Tourettes Syndrome would have an Americans with Disabilities Act claim against Harrah’s. (JK, kinda)

    By the way, how great TV would that be … a mic’ed-up tourettes guy sitting at just about any final table, but especially the $50k HORSE?

  10. BJ Nemeth

    I’ll second Tom’s offer of a beer for Kevin Mathers. It’d be nice to put a face with the name, and you’re one of the most informed people in the poker media — and you’re not even in the poker media. (A connection?)

  11. Donkey Bomber

    Maybe Kevin is doing all of this from prison or some Texas cult compound…no worries, he still gets a free beer if he shows up.

  12. Kevin Mathers

    BJ, I do appreciate the kind words, but I certainly wouldn’t go that far about being one of the “most informed”. I’m just some guy whose enthusiasm for the game far outweighs my ability in it.

    By the way Tom, World Series of Golf May 12-15, will you be in again this year?

    FTP’s sponsoring the event, and this year coverage will be on CBS in June.

  13. Donkey Bomber

    I’ll be there. Hope I don’t top a 9-iron again.

  14. DanM

    Hoping is always a really good strategy, Tom.

    (Works for me in poker like easily 8 percent of the time.)

  15. BJ Nemeth

    Kevin, don’t underestimate yourself. I’ve said many times that the two most important qualities in a poker tournament reporter are legible handwriting and the desire to do a good job. You’d be surprised how few people have both.

    You enjoy following poker, and you read a lot about it. You retain most of it. And you’ve got enough of a brain to make important connections. You’re just a press pass away from being among the best in the poker media.

  16. Donkey Bomber

    You’re just a press pass away from being among the best in the poker media.

    Exchange press pass for 12-pack and you’ve got something.