If you drive a ride-sharing vehicle, I have a request on behalf of all of us over six feet tall. Please pull the passenger seat forward! In every Lyft car I got into while in Vegas for the World Series Of Poker, that seat was pushed all the way back. Since I always sit in the rear — getting into the front passenger seat of a stranger’s car just seems wrong — it’s always an uncomfortable squeeze. When I asked the drivers politely to pull the front seat up, they were happy to do so, although many of them, who didn’t have electrically-controlled seats, told me they’d have to pull over to use that under-seat bar to release and move it. I’d rather they do that than be squished, but it would be better if the default position was all-the-way-forward. Then, if any other passenger does want to sit next to the driver that seat, they can adjust it to their liking (but when they get out, push it to the front again!).
I spoke to a friend who is spending a month in Vegas during the WSOP and asked which poker room he was spending most of his time in. He replied, “None of them.” Instead, he was sitting in a condo he’d rented on AirBnB playing online poker. For up to 12 hours a day. In a town full of thousands of poker players, he hadn’t seen anyone else face to face except the delivery people who brought him food he ordered online. Why bother making the trip? Who says poker isn’t a social game anymore?
The Rio used to have chip runners during the WSOP who would take your cash at the table, go to the cashier’s cage, exchange the bills for chips, then bring them back to you. But a couple of years ago some clever scammers bought red shirts and khaki slacks, and pinned on lookalike name tags with the WSOP logo. They may have appeared legitimate, but once they got the cash from a dozen or so players, they simply took off the name tags and walked out the door, never to be seen again. Lots of players got ripped off, so management halted the practice. This year, in an effort to mollify complaints from cash game players, the chip runners are back, with a limitation — they can only handle up to $1,000 at a time from one player. That sounds like a reasonable accommodation, except for players who sit down in higher stakes games, where they want to buy in for more than a thousand dollars (or re-buy after losing most of their chips). It sounds silly, but I’d rather go stand in line at the cashier window and wait with my cash in hand than have to worry about having it stolen. I’m having a hard enough time in the games!
One of the common rules in poker rooms across the United States is that players must speak English at the table. It’s meant to dissuade players from sharing information that others can’t understand. It can be a problem at an event like the WSOP, which attracts people from all over the world. But there should be an exception at Caesar’s Palace, with its Roman theme. Let players speak Latin! I studied it for four years in school and rarely get to use it, mostly because it’s not the most conversational language. But every once in awhile, I’d like to toss out something like, “De gustibus non disputandum est!” Or throw off an opponent with, “Sic transit gloria mundi!” On the other hand, there might be a seminary student at the table who would reply, “Ex spectare ad genus schola sacerdos in dominica,” which translates to “Watch out for the priest in Sunday school class!”