Alright I haven’t posted much because I haven’t had much to say but I have to share this story of my crazy night last night at the casino. Things get wild at the 3rd table but I’ll start at the beginning.
So I am a pretty new AP. I took a few hundred into the casino expecting to not be there very long and play at tables with $15 min. Because of my bankroll, I’m backcounting more than I get to actually play in a casino, unfortunately.
I finally get my TC 1 so I Wong in. The count bounces back and forth between 1 and 0 so I am jumping in and out. Of course, ploppies get pissed and start to make a scene about me “messing up the trail of the cards”. I tried to tell them that what I am doing has no effect on their odds of winning but of course, they think it does. So, in order to keep the peace and not get a bad rep at this casino, I abandon the table the next time the TC gets below 1. Sometimes I wish I could tell them that when I jump in, it means that the odds have shifted into our favor and it should be encouraging but obviously, that’s not a good idea nor would they even care or believe me.
The people here are a lot nicer. It’s just 2 young guys who came together. Of course, when I sit down and start backcounting, one of them just happens to start to ask the dealer about card counters. The player seems to know what he is talking about to some degree because he is telling the dealer that to play with an advantage, it’s not about how many high cards are left total, it’s about the ratio of high cards to remaining decks (he didn’t use some of these terms but that’s what he was trying to say). So I am laughing in my head about it while backcounting while watching the Clemson vs. Alabama game. By the way the dealer is responding to this player, the dealer appears to not actually know what to look for when it comes to a counter. Anyway, I finally get to Wong in and, of course, get a blackjack on my first hand. I go on a decent roll of wins until I have to Wong out. Funny thing is, nobody thought anything of how I was playing despite talking about it minutes earlier. So that gave me some confidence.
On my way to the next table, some guy slips me a piece of paper and tells me not to read it in the casino. Of course I do about 2 minutes later. It says something unclear about buying Vietnam money and selling it later for profit, and it’s clearly a load of BS in one way or another. Since I wasn’t born yesterday, I know it’s just some dude trying to scam people for money. So that was weird… I reported it to the pit boss later hoping to start forming a positive and trusting relationship between myself and the casino staff.
Okay so this is where things get crazy. I sit down at a table with 2 guys who are betting more than me. One of them is betting greens, the other one is switching from greens to $100 units (and later was throwing around a few $500 chips). I happened to see this guy buy the other guy a drink so I am thinking the vibes are good (which means I’m hoping they don’t get pissed at me for jumping in and out).
So I jump onto the table and start backcounting. Everything from here on out is about the guy throwing around the $100 units. So first he tells me that we’ve met before and our families know one another. I can’t place the guy but he says just enough to make me think it’s plausible (later on I came to the conclusion that this dude is just full of it or at best has me confused for someone else). He ends up buying drinks for whoever is at the table for the rest of the night so I get comfortable backcounting, drinking a Crown and Coke, and just hanging out enjoying myself.
Suddenly, this dude starts saying the most racist comments about our dealers in front of them. First. we had a really friendly dealer from Nepal. Moneybags asked him where Aladdin was from and when he didn’t get a response, said that he shouldn’t be in this country. So I pipe in trying diffuse the situation saying I think Aladdin is from Arabia, but I’m not sure, then say something unrelated to move on. Racist bro won’t drop it and accuses all of the staff of being from a different planet and asking them to show their earth cards. Later on he says very loudly how this casino is the worst and the employees suck, etc. Dealers switch soon after and we get a black guy. I’m somewhat relieved because now we aren’t at risk of offending the dealer from Nepal anymore.
Of course, moneybags catches a bad card and starts to get a little heated. Ends up complaining to the rest of us saying, “The dealer is a f***ing n***er!” like two times. This was pretty much the beginning of shit hitting the fan so EVERYONE is super uncomfortable now. Pit boss is called over. The guy apologizes (actually sounded pretty sincere to me) and says he wasn’t being serious and has had some emotional conversations with family recently and he’s upset about that and whatever.
Well that’s not the end of it, he keeps saying racist stuff and talking about how sensitive people are nowadays and keeps saying he has freedom of speech to say these things, interlacing apologies now and again. He would get a bad card and tell the black dealer that he only got that card because he’s white and if he were black, he would have gotten a better card (being sarcastic and insensitive about the racial tensions evident in our country). He’s periodically tossing me and another guy green chips for whatever reason. Oh, he also is making some crazy decisions. I’m talking like splitting 10s against 9s type of moves even though he makes it apparent he knows he isn’t supposed to. He threw out a max bet a couple times and just kept bringing out more money. Of course he was bragging about how he made 80,000 in one night before, telling whichever dealer who pissed him off how much money he makes. He was sloppy about his hand gestures and complained about the dealer not doing what he was supposed to do like 6 times and requested they check the footage, etc. Basically this guy was a real piece of work. Naturally, there was one dealer error, when a**hole wanted to take a hit but the dealer moved on too quick and gave the next person their card. He threw the biggest fit about not being able to move the card backwards (due to the casinos policy) about it I have ever seen.
ANYWAY, so I’m riding this table out because the counts were positive for most of the night and I’m getting green chips and alcohol for free. I’m trying to diffuse the uncomfortable situations and make peace but failing miserably and slipping in apologetic looks to all the casino staff in earshot praying that they aren’t associating me with this guy.
In terms of my game strategy, I was upset at first because he was attracting SO MUCH ATTENTION. Every pit boss in the building had their eyes on him for many obvious reasons. I saw this as a threat initially to my game because I’m obviously backcounting and jumping in and out. Then I start to realize that with this guy at the table, I am damn near invisible. FINALLY everyone but me gets up and leaves mid-shoe. Jerk gives me a money voucher for like 4 dollars and 50 cents for no reason and leaves. It was perfect timing because the TC was 4 and I still had half a shoe to play! And now I’m playing heads up and get all those high cards to myself! So naturally I get on a great roll, 4 blackjacks, taking insurance at the right time, got to double a 9 against the dealers 7, and the count stays really good all the way through to the cut card. So I more than double my trip bankroll, profusely apologize to every staff member in ear shot of that crazy dude, and stroll out of there with some CRAZY memories. That’s a night I will never forget.
For the record, it was tough hearing this guy say all these bat shit crazy things and resist the urge to freak out on him. Where I live, if you say that type of ignorant and racist stuff, you are literally putting your life in danger. People are killed for much less in my neighborhood. I am a person that loves to intervene for social justice purposes but I knew that it could potentially hinder my reputation at my home casino and cost me money, especially in the long run.
One thing that gives me confidence is that despite such crazy uncomfortable and unexpected circumstances, I was able to remain calm and focused, keep the count, and make the right playing decisions. That night truly tested me in a lot of ways and, from an AP perspective, I feel I handled it like a pro.
One last thing, and I am being very transparent with you all when I say this. I do not think I acted morally in the situation. I think I should have stood up for the people being victimized by this guy… I am ashamed that I didn’t. Did I sell out my morals for money? That’s what it feels like.
I’d love to hear some responses, I realize it was a long post. From an AP point of view, could I have done something different to better the circumstances? Should I have just left the table and avoid being associated with that guy completely? From a morality point of view, should I have stood up for the dealers more and did what I perceive as being the right thing despite how it may have affected my game play, bankroll, or reputation the casino?