Once and only once did someone put their hands on me in an aggressive manner in an attempt to backroom me.
Who could have guessed as I slipped into the casino that night I would soon be in the strong black arms of a woman named Tanya?
Within minutes of sitting down at the large riverboat casino, they knew who I was. My reputation had found a way to precede me: phone calls, whispering to the dealer, half-shoeing. It was heat city. Of course there is always a way to duck the heat for a while. Don’t jump into the shoe until the cut card has gone in; ask the dealer a thousand personal questions as he/she is about to put in the cut card, and on and on and on. Many a successful session has unfolded AFTER the pit makes moves to thwart me.
Finally they have had enough of me and give me the standard back off. At the cage I was asked for ID. Since I was cashing out for just $7,000, I politely declined.
“I can’t pay you out until I see ID,” said the cage manager.
“I’d like to talk to the Gaming Commission please,” I replied.
“He’s on his way up.”
Bob the Gaming Official flashed his badge and asked for my ID, which I gave him. “I’m glad you are here,” I said. “Glad to have you on my side. They don’t seem to know the law about when they can legally demand my ID.”
Bob handed my ID to the cashier for a vigorous and stern xeroxing. Zing! “You are required to show ID for tax purposes,” he said. “And I am NOT on your side. I am on the side of the law.”
“YES, that’s my side! and..What?!” I said, further shocked at his ballsy BS. “You know the law better than that don’t you? Tax purposes? Really? You are sticking with tax purposes?”
“Oh, and you are not welcome back here,” added Mike from over Bob’s shoulder, some sort of trainee pit-security go-between person in a suit wielding a walkie talkie.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Card counting is not welcome here,” said Bob.
“Did you happen to know that 99% of card counters lose money to casinos?” I said. “Wow, right? What’s so threatening about that?”
After lengthy thought Mike said very seriously, “If the player has an advantage over the casino, it’s not fair to the casino,” I laughed and laughed and laughed. “Nice one, Mike.” I said.
After cashing my chips, Mike followed me as I headed for the exits. I heard him say that we were going to make a stop at the security kiosk so that he could take my picture and I could sign some papers. I didn’t say anything, just kept walking.
At this point a slender black woman in professional cream slacks and tan sweater caught up to Mike and asked what was going on. She was wearing a key on a stretchy keychain bracelet like bank tellers do. Her name was Tanya. Her eyebrows were drawn on. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that Mike is catching her up to speed on the events. We approached the security kiosk, where Mike tried to steer me. Without stopping, I politely told him that I was not interested in having my picture taken, and that I was leaving. I headed for the row of clear doors.
At this point Tanya jumped in front of me, put her hands on my chest and leaned into me, pushing me backwards.
“I want to leave! I am leaving!” I say. I press my arms stiffly to my side. I try to walk around her, but again she puts herself between me and the door, leaning on me with her full weight, pushing me back.
“No! We are not done with you!” she yells back. Immediately the storm clouds gather. A thousand security guards rush the scene, their radios crackling in their hands like a rolling wave of thunder as they swirl towards us…
…So there I was, being held against my will by a pit bull of a woman named Tanya. I was trying to leave the casino, and she was trying to keep me inside of it. We were encircled by dozens of security guards.
“I’m being held against my will!” I announced loudly. “I want to leave!” again I leaned for the door, again Tanya pushed back like she was trying to move a piano or a small elephant.
“You told me I am not welcome here and I don’t want to be here. I am leaving.” Tanya didn’t budge. Thankfully, the security guards knew better than to intervene physically at this point with someone who hadn’t made any threatening moves.
Who was Tanya, anyway? She wasn’t from the pit. She wasn’t from the cage. My best guess is that she wa some sort of administrator of the security team. But if so, shouldn’t she know better than to put her hands on me? Especially considering the fact that the rest of the meat-head security detail, all 50 of them, knew better than to put their hands on me? And she wasn’t even holding me for something SHE wanted or had asked for. She was holding me on behalf of someone else’s stake in garnering a photo of me.
“I’m being held against my will!” I repeated. “I’m calling the police!” I hesitate to reach into my pocket for my phone, worried that it will be considered a hostile action. I lean for the door. Tanya leans back. The Gaming official was here too now.
I lean again for the door, which was just three feet away. Tanya pushes back. But this time she suddenly threw her hands in the air and took a step back. “Don’t assault me!” she screams. “That’s assault! I will call the police and have you arrested!”
“Exactly what I was thinking!” I squealed. I was getting shaky with trembling rage and disbelief. “Don’t put YOUR hands on me! YOU are assaulting ME. LOOK, MY HANDS ARE AT MY SIDE! I AM JUST TRYING TO LEAVE!” I was looking for anyone who would hear me out.
“I AM BEING HELD AGAINST MY WILL! I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE! I AM EXERCISING MY RIGHT TO LEAVE!” I took a step and Tanya pressed back against me.
“What do we need from him?” the gaming official asked Mike.
“We need to take his picture,” said Mike.
“I don’t want my picture taken! I want to leave!” The Gaming official hemmed and hawed. The security details shifted uneasily. “We already have a few pictures,” the Gaming official said. He hemmed and hawed some more.
Tanya still had her body against me. I was a couch she was trying to push up a flight of stairs.
“Alright,” the Gaming official whined in cowardly surrender. “You’re done. Bye bye.”
Poor Tanya had to stand down and let me pass, and I felt the stares of several hundred pairs of eyes as I stormed out and crossed to the parking garage. They didn’t even follow me.