The beat goes on at the WSOP, but I’m headed home for a week

by Lou on July 14, 2006

A really Bad Choice of Roads
I’m home. After Amy Calistri and I broadcast our radio show, Keep Flopping Aces, on, I got in the car and headed back to Palm Springs, a 275 mile jaunt across the desert.

There are two ways to make this drive and I took the wrong one. You can take I-15 to the I-10 and it’s all freeway, or you can go through the desert, passing spots time has forgotten, such as Amboy. The back road through the desert saves 50 miles, but takes the same time because the desert roads won’t support freeway speeds. Because it was getting dark, and the roads through the desert are not lit, not well-traveled, have no services, and cell phone reception is dicey at best, I took the safe bet and decided to take the freeway home.

It was OK until I got onto the I-10 and was nearing Redlands. The freeway, which is four to five lanes at that point was narrowed down to one skinny little lane for a night construction project that looks like it will be going on for months. So what should have been a 10-minute segment of my drive wound up taking more than an hour as cars and trucks filtered into one lane. It was the bad beat of my trip, and even if I had to drive slowly though an unlit desert road, I would have been way better off going that way and missing all that construction traffic.

If any of you are planning on taking the I-10 in the Riverside, Redlands, San Bernardino area at night, you might want to call Caltrans first and see if there’s a way to avoid this bottleneck.

Who’s dealing the cards at the WSOP?
There might be a bottleneck at the World Series of Poker too. Some dealers appeared to have walked off the job or are staging an informal work stoppage over a dispute about wages. I don’t know the details, but there were fewer dealers on the floor yesterday than were required.

I walked into the casino in early afternoon looking for a hold’em game. The board for $20-$40 hold’em was as long as your arm, and so were the boards for most games. But I looked around and saw that a number of tables were simply unoccupied. The Rio couldn’t have wanted it that way, because an empty table means a loss of revenue at that spot. It was clear to me that the board was long enough to support an additional five $20-$40 games, and the combined waiting lists for that and other games would probably have been sufficient to fill all of those empty tables.

This is an ongoing story. Amy and I talked about it on the air last night, though we had no real details behind it. We certainly noticed the effect on the floor because more games could have been spread if dealers were available, but at this juncture I’m not sure about the underlying issues, nor what discussions aimed at rectifying these issues may be underway. I’m not the kind of person who sees conspiracy under every rock, and I’m hoping this issue is more a misunderstanding that can quickly be cleared up than anything else. After all, everyone has poker to play.

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