A Rant, A Complaint, and An Observation Likely To Have Consequences
It infuriates me that hotels charge paying guests extra to use the internet (wirelessly or otherwise). It makes me feel nickel-and-dimed; it makes me feel chiseled. The internet is NOT a luxury, these days. It's a utility like electricity or water. I want my internet and I want it priced into my room. And since my room is comped, I want it free. Making me pay $11 every 24 hours is price-gouging and it annoys the holy living hell out of me.
The last couple of times I've stayed here the room has been entirely devoid of bath towels. Fortunately, this time I noticed it before I found myself dripping wet, standing and casting about helplessly for a towel after a shower. This time there were also very few hangars in the closet. A call to housekeeping remedied the situation, but seriously, how hard is this stuff to keep track of? It just feels negligent. It suggests that management and employees just don't sweat the details. Aren't they looking to retain and recruit guests during economic hard times?
And now the poker-related material, an observation likely to have consequences:
A new dealer comes into the box at the 2/5 table. His skills are mediocre, but he keeps the game moving and seems pleasant enough. Then something happens that shocks me: a big hand develops, it gets heads up, and the winner—who already has a huge stack in front of him—drags a monster pot. The dealer pushes it to him, pats the table, and says, "Good hand."
Did I hear that right? Did the dealer just congratulate one player at the table for beating another player at the table?
As the winner is stacking his chips, he does it again: "Nice hand." The victor finishes stacking the loot and tosses the dealer a toke. "Thank you very much, sir. Well played."
I am aghast. It now looks to me as if the dealer was trolling for the toke. About five minutes later, I win a decent sized pot. As is my custom, I push my toke to the dealer on top of my cards as I pass them to be mucked. No "nice hand" comment for me!
Another fifteen minutes pass, and the exact same scenario develops with the previous winner. He takes down another juicy pot. "Well done, good hand." Pause. "Nice hand." Toke. And we move on.
As soon as this dealer was pushed, I went to speak with the floor. I am friendly with most of the staff at Harrah's, but I particularly enjoy interacting with Tina, who is competent, funny, and—this is key—a little scary. I like her a lot, and I trust her judgment. I told her what I had witnessed, and that the congratulations alone were problematic, but if they were being used to elicit tokes that was even worse. Her expression darkened and she assured me she would handle it. I experienced approximately one millisecond's worth of sympathy for the dealer who winds up on the wrong end of that disapproving look.
[Update: I was taking a bath after I wrote this post, and happened to look up and see... an entire rack of nice fluffy towels that I had previously failed to notice. So I take back the part about the towels, this time anyway.]