Have you ever gone to the casino and not been able to sit directly into the game you are there to play?
Sometimes the game is full and there is a list. Sometimes it hasn’t started yet.
Here you are with nothing to do except twiddle your thumbs.
Often you will end up sitting in a different game while you wait. That’s when it happens. You become a poker prisoner. You may not even realize it has happened.
The little light probably comes on when the floorperson says, “I can’t start the game you want to play. I don’t have enough back up for the game you are in.” That’s it. You are a prisoner.
Maybe you look around and 3 people in this game just sat there because they were waiting like you. The casino now is keeping you in this game for their interests. They don’t want this game to break and have people be unhappy that they have no game. The casinos think they can appease you into waiting for enough people to spread both games and they will have the best of both worlds.
Maybe you only play poker a day of the week. Maybe you only have a few hours and you want to play now. So, you don’t say or do anything because you don’t want to cause trouble or not get to play today. BUT you really wanted to play that other game….
The subtler thing that happens is the players collude to keep you in that game you don’t want to play in. I was at the Commerce this week playing poker and this happen: A player, let’s call him Andrew, is there playing in a combo game. Andrew’s preference for poker games goes Combo, PLO, limit hold’em.
Then the combo game breaks. Andrew is homeless. He looks around and puts his name on the PLO list and takes a seat in limit hold’em. Then I walked back into the poker room. I have played a lot of poker with Andrew over the years and know him pretty well. I suggest to him that we can maybe get a different combo game going again. He likes the idea and we try and fail. Eventually he gets called to play PLO and leaves the limit game.
A little later I am standing by the limit game and talking to someone when a couple of the limit players express their displeasure with me. They say that I shouldn’t try and “steal” or “poach” their players. That it would make their game less stable. Fortunately for me, I completely disagree with them and have no issue saying it. But that type of peer pressure exists.
Don’t take a player out Of MY GAME!!!!
What happens to the player? Prisoner in a game they weren’t looking to play again….
Ultimately, poker is recreation for most people. When they go to the poker rooms to play, they should be afforded the opportunity to play the games they are looking for. They shouldn’t end up trapped by the casino or the players. In the long run, this is bad for poker. Personally, when a casino gives me the break another game story, I immediately rack up and cash out. When players try to trap someone where they don’t want to be, I try and make sure that player knows what the options are.
I think happy poker players play longer and more often. In the end, this is good for the health of poker.