Tuesday night, 7:30 pm at the Bellagio Poker Room; playing 5-10 NL on Table 36, sitting in seat 9.
There’s a dealer change, so I rush off to the restroom. I just lost a biggish hand, so I’m short with about $430 left in front of me (3 bills and $130 in mostly orange chips).
As I’m rushing back to the table not to miss a hand, I am startled to see that both the money and the chips are gone!
The player to my right said, “someone walked by and grabbed it all and kept walking . . . “
“Dealer,” I said “what’s going on?”
The dealer shrugged.
One floor guy says: “I think he had a brown jacket, but he disappeared into the crowd.”
I go to the executive office at the back of the room near the cage. I tell the “swing” shift manager, Sean McCormack, what happened. He walks up to talk to the floor guy, and then tells me he’s called security and they are on their way.
So I wait. And wait. And wait.
I should say that I’ve always been a huge fan of the Bellagio. I typically play over 60 hours a month there. Maybe it resonates with my Italian heritage. Maybe I like that I read a story once that said Steve Wynn only allowed Sinatra to be played in the bathrooms. Maybe it’s that I enjoy playing in the same room as the Big Game [Wikipedia].
The Bellagio brand has taken a hit recently with a widely reported million dollar heist. It very much benefits the top-end casinos to have a reputation for high security (if not, the affluent wives with thousands in jewelry won’t feel safe).
But this is the Bellagio – so that heist had to be a rare exception of a mastermind pulling off a daring plan, right?
And I’m still waiting for security. Literally 40 minutes later Jeffrey Gosselin arrives. He takes me into Bobby’s Room to talk. He says he needs my driver’s license to photo copy. He leaves, and doesn’t return for five minutes. I take a picture of Table 1 in Bobby’s Room while I’m waiting.
He returns, and I fill out a short form [titled: “Property Loss Report” #11-0000915].
And then he’s shaking my hand, leading me out of the room.
“Do I get my money returned now,” I ask.
“No,” he says “someone will call you.”
“But you don’t have my number,” I say.
“Oh,” he says, and asks me for it.
“What is the typical timeline?” I ask.
I go to talk with the manager again, and at this point I’m pretty hot. I can’t believe that not only has this taken over an hour of my time, but they are clearly not holding themselves accountable for their negligence. Sometimes at 5-10 I'll have $3k or $4k on the table! The answers are robotic, with vague references to process; followed by a hushed, conspiratorial tone, urging me to make the effort to talk to the real boss – a man named Doug Dalton.
Play in a casino and the house-edge puts your money at risk - that’s a fact players are forced to live with. But the house allowing your money to be stolen under their nose, and not really seeming to care – that fact will go a long way to motivating players to find another place to play.
“You are really going to let me leave here without my money, and without any real clear path for me to get it back”, I say.
The manager shrugs, and reaches in his jacket and hands me a Bellagio buffet comp.
Great – just don’t leave you coat at the table if you go up for seconds!
Read about RJ playing 2-5 NL with Eli Elezra on New Year's Eve (with picture!)