More Degenerate Las Vegas Stories

Twice a week I go to a local Las Vegas tavern to write.  I witnessed three more degenerate situations tonight.  Nobody puked on themselves this time but it was still pretty depressing.

As far as I know most bars and casinos will allow their employees to play video poker and slots.  This includes everyone from table game dealers to bartenders.  They do not allow their employees to play table games because there is the chance for collusion.  Slots and video poker are OK.

Our first degenerate works at this bar.  They declared what a good night that they had.  Their favorite game was keno, which anyone that understands gambling would never play.  Their good night was lost into the bar top video poker machine.  That was not bad enough I guess.  They went on to take out a cash advance and I am pretty sure that they lost most or all of that too.

Next came a random customer.  Let’s just call her delusional.  OK, maybe her name was Meg.

This woman has $4,200 in W2Gs from local bars from playing who knows what.  It is not because she knows what she is doing.  She seems like she enjoys keno.  She was proud of the bad tax advice she got.  She seems to think that she can write off her entire 2012 losses from her taxes. When I told her that she could not she got pretty defensive so I came back to write this post.  She seems to think that she can write $16,000 worth of losses against her wins of about $4,200.  I am sure the IRS would think otherwise.  She seemed quite proud of losing $16,000 without setting foot into a casino.

I got stuck on her gambling losses and she told me that she lost them when she knew she would win.  It was hard to take that too seriously as I watched her play Caveman Keno.  Apparently this degen lost $12k or more playing keno or other games on bar slots in 2012 beyond her taxable gambling wins.

This brings me to my next point.  I am not ever going to be against gambling, but maybe some people should not be around it.  Unfortunately, many people that work in the service industry in Las Vegas are hooked on playing bad video poker, slots and keno.

As all this was going on a video poker player got excited that he almost hit a royal flush.  This player seemed to have thought I was his friend after he lost his money.  He proudly proclaimed how happy he was that Obama got reelected because Romney would have never voted for him to get extended unemployment benefits,  He has not worked in 80 weeks according to his ramblings.  I guess he does not know that Obama would still be president today even if he lost and the same Congress would have voted for his extended unemployment benefits that found their way into the local video poker machines,  Luckily, or maybe unluckily for him, Las Vegas unemployment is only 10% now.  If it gets much lower then he will have to find work.

If you are thinking about moving to Las Vegas then you should think about whether you would ever find yourself in this position.  If you think that you may find yourself there, then I suggest that you find help through somebody like my friend that treats Atlanta gambling addictions.  If you think that you can handle the sin in Sin City then you will probably find a great life.  I know that my wife and I have, but that is because we do not play Caveman Keno or any other similar game.

The Perfect Las Vegas Poker Wife

Last week my wife kicked me out of the house.  Most men that encountered their wife pushing them out the door on a Wednesday afternoon would be looking for a hotel room and two dozen roses to apologize for whatever they did.  I had the opposite problem.  My wife wanted me out of the house because she knew that I needed it.

I work every day of the week.  Each day I look at my to do list and it seems that for every hour that I work, there are two more hours of work on the radar.  I worked all through the holidays and have booked many hours every day for months.  Somehow Wednesday, January 9th started looking like a day that there would not be anything for me to do.

I was not that lucky though.  I had a consulting meeting at noon with one of my biggest clients.  It lasted about an hour.  As soon as I disconnected from Skype my wife insisted that I go out all night.  She knew that if I came home at 2am then that would be considered early.

I drove up to Indian Springs Casino.  It is a hole in the wall at the front gate of Creech AFB.  The reason I went there is because it is the only place that I know of that still offers video Ultimate Texas Hold’em.  Luckily for them I ran terrible and I created a job or two on a game I otherwise crush, which is probably why they have been uninstalled in the entire Las Vegas Valley.  I then went to Red Rock and somehow finished up the night a winner.

Tavern Office Space

That is not the only reason that I have the perfect poker wife.  While I barely get a chance to play poker anymore, Kristina accepts the lifestyle that working in the Las Vegas gambling industry brings.  I am writing this in a bar at 6am with her blessing.  I have been here since 10pm.  She knows that my office rent was a waste.  I do not belong in an office park with business professionals.  I would go to the office at night and on weekends and avoid those stuffy business types during business hours.  I got to know the custodians that showed up at odd hours well.

What I really needed was a tavern with an internet connection.  I found one and I now go there twice a week to write on graveyard shift.  I do some of my best work in that interesting atmosphere.

This all started with us meeting from two different worlds.  I was grinding the suburban Atlanta poker circuit for years when I met her.  I was the pizza man playing mid to high limit poker with a Delta pilot, doctors, entrepreneurs, and retirees.  For the most part, these players could not spell poker, much less play it.

Before we got married I expressed how important the income from this close nit group of poker players was.  She grudgingly accepted this life, even though her upbringing made the whole concept foreign.  She never wanted to know how these games went night to night but she knew that overall they went well.

Home Poker Experience Meets Online Poker

The online poker boom was great to us.  I was lucky enough to come up with a business plan during it that made the poker side less important than the business side.  While I am in a different side of the business now, the reputation built from that helps to this day.

Kristina may not understand my need to analyze every NFL game and point spread down to the kicker and offensive line matchup, but she knows that when we go to the sports book that it is all a part of same math that makes me a winning poker player.  Even more importantly, she suffers through those awful late Cardinals and Raiders games that make up the AFC and NFC West games that I follow so closely.  If you ask her, “suffer” is the key word.

She also understands when I find an advantage I have to play it.  They do not come up often.  When this Deadwood video blackjack promotion was rolled out she let me spend the night at the casino taking advantage of this incredible promotion on several occasions.  She also knows when I am at a good poker game I have to stick with it.

Seahawks Won According to Las Vegas

She is not completely cured of her risk aversion though.  When the Seahawks were losing 20-0 at halftime on Sunday to the Falcons I felt burnt by the fire from her eyes.  It was almost an “I forgive you because your insanity got us to this point” type of glare.  Luckily the Seahawks woke up and almost won, but more importantly they covered the 2.5 point spread by the little hook on the end.

It takes a lucky man to marry a woman that understands all of this, willing to learn more, and more importantly put up with my lifestyle.  She even wants to play crazy games like Triple Flop Omaha High/Low where the low card kills the board (image from that game above from the Two Plus Two Publishing Party).  I am even luckier to be blessed with the son and daughter that she gave me.

Speaking of the Kids

Kristina dedicates her life to our children.  She volunteers at our daughter’s school often.  When our son was in elementary school she did the same thing.  She works with both of our children at home to make sure they are prepared for each and every day of their learning like any dedicated mom would.  This is on top of the great education both of them are receiving in a school district most people seem all too quick to dismiss.  Kristina is in school to teach in the same school district so she may be teaching your children middle school math down the road.

A Night Out in Downtown Las Vegas

I have been really busy lately so I have not been able to get out and enjoy the city for months.  My wife and I decided to have a night on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.  I had almost $200 in comps at Binion’s from playing poker.  There is not much to spend on comps there.  They can only be spent at the two snack bars, the brew pub, the hotel at 4Queens or the Top of Binion’s Steakhouse.  We decided to try the Binion’s Steakhouse.

Binion’s Steakhouse Experience

We got there at 6pm on a Friday night and just one table was seated and the bar was even empty.  This was a bad sign.  We got the best seat in the house though at the southwest corner of the restaurant with windows facing west and south from the 24th floor.  That was probably the highlight of the meal.

We ordered crab cakes and lobster bisque for starters.  The bisque was OK but the crab cakes were almost all cake.  We also had their most expensive bottle of pinot noir, which was a screw top.  We both ordered filet mignon and I added the lobster tail.

They do not grill steaks, they broil them.  This seemed to ruin the meat by drying it out as it was as if it was cooked in a George Foreman Grill.  The lobster tail was also ruined in this way.  My wife and I wondered if there is a fire code that does not allow a flame grill at the top of a hotel, even though the hotel has been closed for years.

We then went to the bar for an after dinner drink.  The bartender saved the day.  He did a great job with our drinks and had some great stories about working at Binion’s over the past two decades.  He was easily the highlight in an otherwise disappointing meal at Binion’s Steakhouse.

My wife and I then decided to play some cards.  I had some free play at Binion’s and Las Vegas Club so the advantage player in me had to go burn that out before doing anything else.  Las Vegas Club got rid of the only machine that I play without free play.  That game was video Ultimate Texas Hold’em.  As far as I know it was the last one in Las Vegas.  If you know of another one please leave a comment, it would be greatly appreciated.

We decided to go play Ultimate Texas Hold’em live.  We decided on Golden Gate.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em at Golden Gate

Golden Gate is one of the most festive atmospheres downtown.  The table games are all party pit games at night with the same rules during the day.  Blackjack players especially like this as the party pit pays 3-2 on blackjack.  We played for hours and enjoyed all of the dealers and great drink service.  We even $10 up after some huge swings.  This was the first time I have ever played there.  The only times I had been in there before was for work and to take advantage of their new player promotion.

It was a great night out with Kristina that we needed.  It also gave me something to write about on my blog that I have been neglecting due to being too busy.  Hopefully I can get back into the habit of posting here more.

Allegiant Air Unethical Business Practices

Update 11/15/12: I filed a credit card dispute, a Better Business Bureau complaint, an FAA complaint and sent a demand letter to Allegiant Air.  The FAA resolved this in just three days and it would appear they compelled Allegiant Air to give me a refund.  If you have a problem with any airline I suggest going here to file an FAA complaint.  I am impressed that it only took three days for the FAA to get this resolved.

This is a warning to not take advantage of the debit card discount offered by Allegiant Air unless you are certain that your issuer allows chargebacks.  Not all debit cards have this feature.  I used a credit card for this flight so I was able to initiate a chargeback but if I had used a debit card I may have to file a lawsuit against them to get this money.

The Flight

I planned on spending the weekend in Deadwood, SD to go see old friends where I lived for about five years.  As we were pulling back from the gate, the pilot informs us that Rapid City’s airport has been closed all morning due to frozen fog.  We were going to take a chance anyway and see if it reopened during the 1.5 hour flight. This seemed like a poor decision to me but they know their business so they must know the calculated risk of flying to a closed airport and getting diverted.  They made this bet and lost.  After circling Rapid City for close to an hour, the flight got diverted to Casper, WY.

We spent four hours on the ground in Casper.  We were asked to exit the plane because they expected a major delay.  It is a tiny airport with no restaurant and only vending machines.  There was another flight headed to Las Vegas from Casper.  I attempted to get on this flight but the Allegiant Air employee in Casper had no interest in helping me.  Many people rented cars or had people come to Casper to pick them up.  Rapid City is a four hour drive from Casper in nice weather.

Flight Canceled and Returns to Las Vegas

The captain did a great job of communicating with us.  He finally told us Rapid City’s airport would remain closed for the entire day.  We were going back to Las Vegas and the people affected would get a free hotel room there.  Most of the people on this flight were returning home from Las Vegas.

Once everyone got on the plane they announced there would be no free hotel room.  This caused some major unrest and about 15-20 people got off the plane that caused further delays.  To make things worse, the plane had a mechanical issue that delayed us another 30 minutes.

We finally got back to Las Vegas nine hours after we took off.  Allegiant Air only flies to Rapid City twice a week but they were adding a new flight to accommodate the remainder of the people that chose to return to Las Vegas.  I told the gate agent that I wanted a refund for the canceled flight as the rescheduled flight would ruin half of my vacation and there was no guarantee the weather would be any better today.   They told me I was entitled to a refund and to call customer service.

Allegiant Customer No Service

I called their CS and was refused a refund.  I was told that I had the option of boarding the rescheduled flight the following day or forfeit my money.  I told them the flight was not acceptable, especially considering the weather was expected to be worse today.  They put me on hold to talk to their supervisor and came back to tell me I would not get a refund.  I asked to talk to their supervisor and they told me there was no supervisor there, contradicting what they had told me minutes before.  They told me “I am the supervisor” when I called them on their lie.  This got me really angry and their CS hung up on me.  Their awful attitude reminded me of the Pop Copy skit Dave Chappelle did years ago.

Allegiant’s terms and conditions are clear that I am entitled to a refund.  Rule 90b states:

Flight terminations or involuntary cancellations – If a passenger’s scheduled transportation is cancelled, or terminated before the passenger has reached his or her final destination as a result of a flight cancellation or omission of a scheduled stop, Carrier will, at the passenger’s option, transport the passenger on another of Carrier’s flights on which space is available at no additional charge, or refund the fare for the unused transportation, or provide a credit voucher for such amount toward the purchase of future travel.

Even without the above T&C keeping my money would borderline on fraud.  They accepted my money and failed to provide me with the service I paid them to provide.

I called my credit card company and initiated a chargeback that I will easily win.  I recalled that Allegiant Air offered a debit card discount when buying the ticket.  Many people in my position that take advantage of this discount would have to sue Allegiant to get their money back. I suppose this is one of the reasons they offer it.  They must make millions a year stealing from people that have no ability to charge back and do not go to the trouble of suing them for refunds on canceled flights.

I know Allegiant is a bottom feeder type airline.  They have fees for carry on bags, using their website to buy a ticket, using a credit card, picking a seat, and they even charge you $2 for a bottle of water.  They are the only airline that flies non stop from Las Vegas to Rapid City though so it is hard to justify paying twice as much while having to connect in Denver or Salt Lake City.

A Couple of Degenerate Las Vegas Observations

I like to make jokes about some of the sick things I see in Las Vegas but what I saw last night was sick in the literal sense.  I go to a local video poker bar on graveyard a couple of days a week.  I write some of my best articles in that bar.  It is the perfect balance of music, background noise, beer and degenerates.  The bar is typically close to empty, especially between 2am and 6am.  Those that go there that time of night are usually alone and playing the bar top video poker machines.  It is a nice place overall.  The only distraction is the occasional drunk that wants to be my friend and will not leave me alone.

I finished writing a long opinion article and handled some end of month content work for a client last night.  It was a long night and I got to the bar about 10:30pm.  I noticed a woman sitting by herself playing video poker who seemed annoyed when I went to the bar to get a beer.  She was drinking wine.  The bartender seemed to be familiar with her.

Fast forward about six hours and she is still there on the same video poker machine.  There was a certain odor that came from that area and not long after the bartender noticed that this woman had thrown up all over herself.

The bartender and cook cleaned up the area around her.  Apparently they were out of what they called “Puke Dust” (I guess this is a bigger problem than I thought for this seemingly quiet tavern) so the job was made harder than it would normally be.

The apparent drunk woman getting sick is not the worst part of the story.

The woman had it all over her.  Instead of going home to clean up, she continued to play video poker covered in puke.  Apparently she was stuck a bunch and had to try and win it back.  It was not just a little, she was wearing it.  She finally left about an hour later.  The bar did not kick her out sooner because she is a “big player”.  In other words, she loses a lot of money to them.

And my previous visit to this bar..

The last time I was at this bar someone was playing video blackjack.   I usually ignore the video poker players.  They keep to themselves and typically do not cause any problems.  I would not have noticed this man except for he was screaming about his wins and losses so it was hard to ignore him.

This bar offers the typical garbage Las Vegas tavern video poker that should be avoided by all.  Their video blackjack game pays even money on blackjack, does not allow doubling after a split and only allows doubling on 10 or 11.  The game has about a 3.5% hold and goes as fast as any other game so it tears people up quick.

The player was going on wild swings.  From all his yelling I figured out that he was playing $50-$400 a hand.  This meant he was wagering somewhere in the $60,000 an hour range if he was playing 10 hands a minute, something easy to do.  That meant that he was losing about $2100 an hour at a $100 a hand average.

He would cash out thousands and put it back into the machine.  It got to the point that this player had taken every $10, $20, $50 and $100 bill out of the bar through his cashouts but had stuck it all back in the machines.  The bartenders do not have access to the cash drops from the machines for a variety of security reasons.  He probably cashed out about $50,000.  One of the bill collectors was full from him stuffing it so he had to change machines.  It got to the point that this player had $1000-$2000 in $5 bills all around him because he had put every bigger bill the bar had into the machines.  He could not shove them in the machine fast enough to cover his large bets.  Eventually he lost everything.  He even left and came back with a reload in the middle of this session.

There are a lot of fun things about Las Vegas but there are some things that are just sick to watch.  Some people dismiss the idea that gambling can be an illness but I have witnessed too many times how some people get on a gambling binge.  It is sad to watch, but I guess it is unavoidable considering the business Las Vegas is in.

My Wife and I did SkyJump at Stratosphere

Today is our 10th anniversary.  We decided to do something crazy by doing the SkyJump off the 108th floor of the Stratosphere.  When you live in Las Vegas you can see the tower almost anywhere in the city and to me it is always a temptation to go up there and do the crazy rides.  I have always loved those rides on the top and when any of my friends or family come to visit I always suggest that we go there.  My wife and I had joked about doing SkyJump.  We got serious and decided that we would finally do it.  At 2pm today we did.

It was easy to do.  There is a local’s discount so it is only $90 to do it instead of $110.  The DVD package made it $120 total for each of us.  They put us in the jumpsuits and then the harness.  We got weighed and off to the 108th floor we went.

There were three of us in the group.  My wife and I plus a girl from New Zealand.  The girl decided to go after us.  We got double, triple, and quadruple checked to make sure we were harnessed correctly and our shoes were tight.  They took a picture of my wife and I and then I went to walk the plank.  The rest is shown in the two videos.

The first video is my jump and the second is Mrs Pokeraddict.  It was all great but the steps to the ledge are scary.  I needed some prodding to the edge but once I was there I was ready.

I was a bit nervous in the beginning and was ready to go when we hit about a 20 minute delay.  I was less enthused in the lobby due to the delay as the start of the videos will show.

Just a warning, both videos have some PG audio.

Poker Affiliates Rewriting Articles Without Giving Credit

I know this happens in all new genres but it seems to be especially bad in the online gaming world.  I have been writing online poker content since 2003.  I moved more towards news after Black Friday when many well known poker news outlets, in my opinion, were not doing their jobs.  Ever since, I have been shocked by the number of people that have been unethical when it comes to my copyrighted work.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act gives a web publisher the rights to articles that they publish in whole or in part.  It basically outlaws internet plagiarism, something that every person was taught at an early age is immoral and illegal. It seems that too many online poker affiliates do not think that law applies to them.

I will use my most recent article as an example.  I broke the story on an amendment to a lawsuit filed by Cardroom International claiming ownership of Full Tilt Poker’s software.  I spent six hours reading 100+ pages of court documents.  I started researching the article about 10pm on Friday night and the article was published about 4am Saturday morning.  I did this because I wanted to get the story out ASAP for the good of the website and its readers.

The story was picked up by the Pokerscout news listings on Monday morning.  All poker writers like their stories to be picked up by Pokerscout news.  It provides a solid link and a nice traffic spike.

After the article hit mainstream, many news outlets wrote their own articles about the topic.  Many appropriately credited my article as a source.  Gambling911 linked to my article with a quote.  Calvinayre.com cited Legalpokersites.com as their source.  These two sites are examples of how to do it the right way and I would like to thank everyone that does it.

Many smaller online poker affiliates were not as kind.  Some were completely unethical.  A few copied parts of the article using a thesaurus to change verbs and adjectives to make it pass a duplicate penalty Google test without citing their source.  I found one person that was too lazy to even do that.  They just copied my article word for word, all 1500 words of it.  They even used the featured image from my article.

As was the case here, most mid sized and large affiliates generally do the right thing when publishing news.  Those websites are owned by professionals and they can afford to hire quality, ethical writers.

All writers have summarized another writer’s work.  All of them at some point have failed to cite the source for their article.  Sometimes that is because the original source is unknown. It could also be because the new article adds substantial new information or opinion to the topic.

The problem is that some writers do not link or mention their source 100% of the time. 

On top of there being an ethical issue, there is an SEO issue.  Google likes when you link to authority websites in your genre.  If a website posts breaking news that is worthy of writing a news story, then that site is likely to be a good site to link to from your site.

It is perfectly fine to use another article as a source of a summary.  If you do it, just cite the original work as your source.  News sites buy and publish these articles in the hopes of getting backlinks.  If people never backlink to them, then the site owners will stop providing the articles.  This hurts everyone in the industry.

I often write articles with links in them to sources.  I have probably posted 50 links to Pokerfuse.com since they launched.  When I cite online poker traffic I will link to Pokerscout every time.  If there is a thread at Two Plus Two that sparked a news story or opinion article, I will link to it.  It is simply the right thing to do for both the other writers and your readers, and it does not hurt you in any way.  It may even help.

The point of this was to hopefully have some of the writers in the gray area do the right thing.  I am sure that those writers would appreciate links to their articles and mentions in news stories based on their work.  Those writers should show the same courtesy.

What I do when people copy/paste my work

This rant is obviously not going to stop the problem.  Some people are inherently thieves that will copy/paste articles word for word.  The solution to those people is to file complaints with the affiliate programs that they are a member of and to go to the website host to have them taken offline.  Godaddy has pulled several websites upon my request.  I have also had Google remove offending links.

As a writer, there is no worse feeling than to see your work word for word on a rogue website, especially when the offending website claims credit for the article.  It is illegal, immoral, and many writers know how to get websites like that shut down.  The copyright holder has to spend about an hour on it but it can be done and to me it is worth it.  Sometimes I even write an article about a content thief so that it shows in Google searches related to their company.

If you copy my work word for word, expect a demand notice.  If you ignore it, expect your affiliate accounts and/or website shut down.

Plaza and Las Vegas Club $100 Loss Rebate

The Plaza and Las Vegas Club are offering a $100 loss rebate for all new players that sign up for the PlayLV player’s club.  Unlike some other loss rebates, Las Vegas residents are included in this promotion.  The two casinos are located across the street from each other in downtown Las Vegas at the intersection of Fremont Street and Main Street.

The promotion is open to all players that have never had a player’s card from either Plaza or Las Vegas Club.  Players from The Western do not qualify as that casino operated under the PlayLV player’s club before it closed in January.

A new player must sign up for a player’s card at either Plaza or Las Vegas Club.  The player’s club hours are 8am-midnight.  The new player then has a freeroll of up to $100.  Only losses in the first 24 hours are valid.  Players then have 24 hours to report the loss to the player’s club to receive the rebate.

The rebate is split into two payments of free play.  The first half of the rebate is released by the end of the following day.  The second rebate is released on the third day of the following month and is valid for six months after your original play.

Slot and video poker loss rebates are based on the following chart:

Loss 1st Rebate 2nd Rebate
$10-$19 5 5
$20-$29 10 10
$30-$39 15 15
$40-$49 20 20
$50-$59 25 25
$60-$69 30 30
$70-$79 35 35
$80-$89 40 40
$90-$99 45 45
$100+ 50 50

Table game players only receive a rebate on 10% of their losses.  Plaza has a wider variety of table games.  Las Vegas Club has lower minimum bets and a better craps game.  Both properties offer the proprietary game Most Liberal 21 even though the name is deceiving because it is not liberal.  The chart below shows the table game rebates:

Loss 1st Rebate 2nd Rebate
$50-$99 $5 $5
$100-$149 $10 $10
$150-$199 $15 $15
$200-$249 $20 $20
$250-$299 $25 $25
$300-$349 $30 $30
$350-$399 $35 $35
$400-$449 $40 $40
$450-$499 $45 $45
$500+ $50 $50

$100 Rebate Strategy

Some games are disqualified from the promotion.  Those games are typically video versions of table games.  These include the Shoot to Win Craps machine at Plaza and the video roulette, video Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and Video blackjack machines at Las Vegas Club.

Las Vegas Club has many video poker machines that pay back 99.5%-100%.  This includes 9/6 Jacks or Better and many old coin games scattered throughout the northwest side of the casino.  Any of those machines are perfect for this promotion.  Just make sure there is nothing on the machine stating that it is ineligible for the promotion.

The video poker at Plaza is above average for Las Vegas, but does not pay back as well as Las Vegas Club video poker machines.  For that reason, I would accept this promotion at Las Vegas Club.  If you are set on playing at Plaza then there are many 9/5 Jacks or Better machines there as well as 9/6 Double Double Bonus if you prefer higher variance.

Table Game Strategy

This promotion is much better for video poker but if you prefer to play table games I suggest playing 10x craps at Las Vegas Club.  Come bankrolled to handle some swings.  Play the line bets and full odds.  The promotional terms do not exclude craps odds from the promotion so presumably they are included but you may want to ask the pit boss.  I doubt they are able to watch closely enough to know if your losses were from odds or flat bets.

Whichever promotion you choose, make sure you set a win limit.  The point of this promotion is to freeroll them and actually win, not to have to settle for the loss rebate.

If you end up having to settle for the loss rebate then you will be required to play the free play at the property that you originally played.  This is another reason to play at Las Vegas Club.  While their coin operated video poker machines do not award free play, there are plenty of 9/6 Jacks or Better machines that offer free play.  The bar offers 9/5 Jacks or Better if you prefer sitting there.

Here are the promotional terms.  It is always a good idea to ask the player’s club representative any questions that you have about qualifying machines and rules.  Some of these promotions can change from day to day or end suddenly so there is no reason put off taking advantage this promotion.

Companies Should Learn Service Lesson from Outright.com

I noticed that Outright.com, the website that I use for my accounting, was not working properly last week.  I did not think much of it.  Their outages do not usually last more than a few hours.  I do not know how long their system was not running at 100% because the next time I went to use it everything was working fine.  I received this email today:

————————————-

We apologize that the Outright service did not have updated data for several days. You use Outright to run your business with up-to-date, accurate data and we wanted to let you know what happened, and that it’s been fixed. As of Monday, September 10 around 7:30pm PDT, Outright was back up and all data is now up to date.

You can log in now to see your current information.

What happened?

Starting Thursday, September 6 around 7:00am PDT, Outright was unable to import data from linked accounts. Adding and Editing transactions was also not working.

This outage was due to a database field capacity issue.

Essentially, our database ran out of numerical combinations for creating new records. A new record is required each time data is imported. We knew we were approaching the limit, and have been working on expanding the database. Unfortunately, we missed some key elements and the system halted while we implemented the fix.

The error was preventable and we recognize that it’s not the level of service you expect us to provide. Our team has learned from this mistake and is putting the checkpoints in place to make sure this specific issue doesn’t happen again.

Please reach out to me at steven@outright.com if you have any questions or concerns about your Outright service. I read every email and want to hear from you.

Steven Aldrich
Outright, CEO

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So this company, who does not charge most of their customers anything for their service, decided to email everyone and admit that their systems were down for an extended period of time.  Considering most of that downtime was a weekend, I doubt most people even noticed.  Not only do they admit the long downtime, they even admit that it was preventable and fully explained in layman terms exactly what the issue was.

In a day where people are continuously trying to pass the buck this was refreshing to see.  The company came out and told their customers “We goofed, this is how, we fixed it, and it will never happen again”.

At some point, Outright will start charging me for their service.  I was reluctant to pay for it since there are so many free options out there.  After seeing this email I will be happy to pay a reasonable fee for their service.  This is exactly the type of company that I want to do business with because I see that they have integrity and service is important to them.  When they do not live up to their high level of service it bothers them to the point that they let their customers know and learn from their mistakes.  The CEO even gave everyone his personal email address!

If you need accounting software for your small business I highly recommend Outright.  In addition to the basics being free and service obviously being a priority, the software does exactly what a small business owner needs.

Tropicana Poker Room Closes Again

After an 18 month run, the Tropicana poker room is closing today.  This is the second time that Tropicana has given up on their poker room.  The poker room reopened in its original location in April 2011 after closing in 2008.  The poker room will be converted into a slot tournament area.

According to Pokerati, employees were told Monday morning about the poker room closure but it was not announced by the Tropicana poker room.  Their Twitter account has not tweeted in two weeks.  The poker room’s Facebook account posted about an NFL promotion that was to be offered each Sunday this year just last week.  This shows that this announcement has not been planned or known about by poker room management for more than a few days.  Tropicana’s website still advertises the poker room with no news about it closing.

$16,000 in Promotional Money Given Away

Word got out last night that the Tropicana poker room would be closing at 4pm today.  The poker room had almost $16,000 in its promotional drop that it must give away.  Players reported that $1111 would be given away 14 times between 10am and 4pm. The money was given away by drawing table and seat numbers.

Players rushed to get a seat in the poker room.  Players were waiting on dealers to show up.  By 10am there were six games running and 60 people on the waitlist.  Most players that had a seat stayed so few of the players on the waitlist ever got a chance to play.

Tropicana Poker Woes

The poker room at Tropicana has seen its share of issues since its reopening.  The failed Canadian Poker Tour came through and was the subject of controversy.  The poker room also hired Jamie Gold as its ambassador.  The relationship did not last long.  All mention of Jamie Gold was removed from their poker room and website months ago.

I also had my own poor experience.  I used to play in the mixed games held once a week there.  The game was advertised as a $2 rake.  One night I showed up and the rake had been raised to $3.  I could deal with that but then I was the victim of what I would call a hometown ruling.

The floor ruled against me on what the structure of a spread limit game is.  I had already confirmed the structure with the table but then they decided to change the rules.  I was clearly right about the rules but the players basically outvoted me in the middle of a hand and the floor and dealer went with their regulars.  The table grew negative towards me and I decided it was probably a bad idea to play in a game where the rules could be made up as they went along.

At the end, this mixed game was the only regular game in the poker room.  During the Jamie Gold days there was a midweek 2/5 no limit game but that game died.  Most tournaments failed to get off the ground and those that did would have just one or two tables.  There was little in the way of cash game action most nights.

The Tropicana poker room tried everything.  The tables and chairs were great, they offered a water and coffee bar, great drink service, wifi and the sports book was right next door.  The poker room even paid players for each hour they played out of the promotional fund that was paid for with up to $3 in jackpot drops per hand.  Players that put in four hours in a day would receive $25.  Players could earn up to $10 an hour if they put in seven hours in a day.  Even this promotion was unable to draw regular games to the poker room.

It is hard to compete with the MGM poker room that is located just across Tropicana Avenue.  This is one of several poker rooms that have closed this year. Ellis Island opened and closed their poker room in 2012.  Fitzgeralds, Silverton, and O’Sheas also closed Las Vegas poker rooms this year.

There are still too many poker rooms in Las Vegas.  I would not be surprised to see more non factor poker rooms close in the near future.