A Slap in the Face to those WITH Disabilities

11 min read

In the past two decades, our country has taken large strides to provide protection for those who have been put at a disadvantage. I’m talking about the American’s With Disabilities Act of 1990, or ADA. This was introduced as a means of making sure that those with disabilities would have a way to function in society as close to normal as any other person. A few examples are handicap bathrooms, ramps for those confined to wheelchairs, special elevators, parking places at nearly every public location. If you are unaware of the ADA, you are living with your head in the sand.

If you are a professional poker player (or part-timer) or spend a lot of time in casinos, you are acutely aware of the growing number of people buzzing around on those scaled-down versions of golf carts. Scooters. Hove-a-rounds…they come with different names, but they are all mechanized carts to shuttle those who either CAN’T walk on their own, or simply choose NOT to walk on their own. These people come in all shapes and sizes, and with all different demeanors. My least favorite, are the ones who also probably smoke cigarettes. If you are a non-smoker then you know what I’m alluding to. The smoker who could give two shits less about your personal air. Doesn’t care if you are allergic to smoke, or just trying to go home not smelling like tar and nicotine.

You know these folks. Speed limit? Does one really need to be enforced? Or should people just know better than to go ripping through the aisles of a casino at 35 mph? I’ve contemplated the ways to retaliate against these bastards. About the time I had a guy who weighed about 450-500 lbs roll over my foot one day while on a tournament break up in Tunica about 4 years ago, I’ve had a special dark place in my heart for those fuckers.

Just so that are perfectly, 100% clear…I am NOT against providing rights for these people. What I AM against, are the people who are taking advantage of those rules to serve their needs, when they don’t qualify as someone who needs protection under that law. And the number one violator of that law…happens to be among us at this current poker event.

I’ve been playing with this guy for years. Some of the players here, it’s their first experience with this guy. Everyone is saying the same exact thing, and not just the players..but the dealers as well. Why? Well…it would be one thing if this guy just happened to be your ordinary, run of the mill overweight man. Who sat in a chair like all the other poker players. But that is NOT this guy.

No…this guy cruises around in his own personal Land Yacht. And he refuses to park it. So he just parallel parks that bitch into his ‘space’ at the table..always helping himself to the 3 or the 8 seat, even though everyone else gets a ‘randomly selected’ seat. The unlucky players on either side of him wince in horror, as they know they will be spending the rest of the day (or however long it takes for CartZilla to donk off his chips) riding shotgun on the person’s leg who is seated next to them. As a poker player…it is the worst beat you can take before every seeing a hand.

Coupled with the space this guy commands at the table, he is almost ALWAYS either eating while playing…or has food on the way. And manners? Haha…good one. Eating with his mouth open, talking with food in his mouth…piece of food in one hand…cards in the other…it’s borderline vomit-inducing. In a sit n go down here last year…he was mid-bite in his salad when he suddenly coughed, sending shards of his meal flying all over my arm. The table stared at me…in horror, waiting on what was sure to be an epic Monkey Melt Down. Instead…I sat there, unfazed, cold, expressionless eyes….staring at the food on my arm. Which elicited that awkward laughter I’m sure you can imagine.

He is disliked by the dealers as well…as they almost all complain about his rudeness on a regular basis. They also agree that him being allowed to pull his beast-mobile into the table, whereas other large people who use them, but who have perfectly good use of their legs, park theirs away from the table and out of the way…and sit in a chair like the rest of us…..is unfair. To everyone.

Yesterday, while playing a SNG…I was in the 5 seat. Well, these tables here are close together to start out with. But he was in the 3-seat (and 2 and 4 seat, for the most part) and what that meant was I was PINNED to my seating area. If I wanted to get out, it was impossible. If there had been a fire, I would have had to stand up and dive through the fucking window to get away. I couldn’t move back an inch. I was slowing coming out of my skin. Finally he donked off all his chips, going out 7th…and clearing away the space made empty after a day of cleaning out your garage.

My question? WHY? Why is this guy allowed to inconvenience every person at the poker table, players who have paid good money to assume a chair they have to hope will be unimpeded by the person next to them? We are all pretty sensitive to those who NEED the chair to function. In fact I have two friends who come to mind…no, make it three, who REQUIRE a chair to sit at a poker table and play. Have no problem with it. Glad to have them there playing. Would do anything to help them, whenever possible. And they know that. But when a person…who is perfectly able to get up….walk…and sit in a chair decides he is going to park his ship at the table? It’s bullshit.

So…yesterday, as the rhetoric has been building surrounding this guy over the course of the few days I’ve been here…and other events before this, I decided to ask one of the floor people in management the golden question:

“Why do you guys let him park that thing at the table? Do you guys realize he ISN’T handicapped? That he is just obese and lazy?”

And I got my answer, and it was a predictable response. They just, frankly, don’t know how to approach it. They aren’t sure if he NEEDS it. (he doesn’t) And to order him to sit in a chair, they are concerned, worried actually, that they would somehow be in violation of the ADA…and hence, they are trying to avoid a possible lawsuit. I get that. So they just kind of tolerate it. And make all of us suffer. So its not so much that poker room managers ‘allow it’ to happen, as much as they nervously just ‘let it go’ because they are more worried about the possible repercussions.

Well, something needs to be done about it. I speak for a large majority when I say this has gone on long enough. If you are carrying a card, that states that you are legally disabled, and require a scooter or wheelchair, then FINE…you can play poker at the table, in that device. If you CAN NOT provide that information? Then you sit in a fucking chair, like the rest of us! And oh…if it wouldn’t be too much of a bother, bathing before you attend an event, and maybe splashing on some cologne and/or deodorant? Would that be so much to ask? Just think about the poor bastards who have to sit next to you ALL DAY! Or until you get it in bad for the one millionth time and say goodbye to all your chips. TAKE A SHOWER! And please…cover your fucking mouth when you cough. And stop talking with food in your mouth. It’s gross!

Allowing these lazy fuckers to pull up to the table in their Land Yachts is nothing but a slap in the face to those people who have actual disabilities. I’ve talked to a couple of them…and they are grossly offended by it. I pay good money, and so does everyone else…to go play in these tournaments. And the minute you see that fucking heap rolling up on that red scooter….you start to cringe…since that 8-seat next to you is currently unoccupied.

“Oh god no….please god…don’t do it to me….NO…NO …..NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

And when he does pull in, requiring everyone within a 25 foot radius to completely reconfigure where their were previously sitting…you go on INSTA-TILT…knowing your day just became all about either putting a silent bounty on him to get him gone as soon as possible, or going on tilt yourself and donking off all your chips. Are you feeling me yet? ITS FUCKED UP!

Or….we can all just cross our fingers….and hope, that if poker room managers aren’t going to do something about this guy, and make him conform like everyone else is expected to…that he will go the same route as that wonderful Mr. Creosote in “The Meaning of Life.”
Okay…it’s time now to go tackle the $1100, Event 9. The last two days…in the $365 6-Max and the $365 NL yesterday, I started one out like a house on fire…sitting on 30k by Level 2…only to see a cacophony of disasters bust me out about 20 from the money. Then yesterday, I was as card dead through nine levels of a tournament as I’ve been in four years…and I remember that tourney, it was at Venetian…never seen anything like it until yesterday. Then I double up with J10 vs. A5…I triple up with QJ vs. AJ and KQ….my table breaks….I pick up AA for the first time all day….flat an early raiser for 2000…get three more to call. A king-high flop checks to me, and I shove all in for 6k…getting called by one guy, who had KQ. I hold, win a huge pot…and after raising on the button with 99….getting called by the BB, and flopping a set (winning the hand) I was suddenly up to 29k! With the average at 30k. Wow. Now had a shot.

Forget it. Right before dinner break I raised with AKh. Get called by the button and the BB. Flop comes A-3-7. I bet 3000. Guy on button ships. For another 12k. Hmm. I call. A10. Good call. River 10. Fuck. Went to dinner. Came back, and busted on the 2nd hand. Calling a min raise from cut off with A4…flopping 3-5-6….check raising all in, and seeing that he flopped a set of sixes. Shit. Then bricking out. Busto….21 from the money.

Went down and won another sit n go…that’s two now on the trip…and played cash game til midnight, picking up a few hundred bucks. Slept like a baby…and am now ready to go run good in the $1100…and hopefully stick a fork in these asshole’s thrashing of me and my ‘backing deal’ on my Facebook wall…a thread that has been going on now for like 7 days…and now incorporates about 165 posts. I won’t even go into detail on that one…other than to say its consumed way too much of my time this week, and has served to reinforce my opinions about this ‘new age’ group of poker players and just how fucking annoying they are with their ‘know-it-all’ thoughts and ideas on ‘poker staking.’ If you weren’t aware…poker staking has been regulated by Congress when you weren’t looking…and now ALL STAKING DEALS now must conform with strict guidelines laid out by our new Poker Czars from the online world. Most of these ‘wizards’ you can find hiding behind their keyboards, gnashing their teeth, and pounding on their ‘instruments of doom’ in places like the 2+2 Forums. They are a delightful lot, and are sure to turn any ‘good day’ you may be having, into a S.E.A.L. mission where it becomes your primary objective to hunt them down, and when they least expect it….ambush them. Their removal from the poker landscape causes nobody a single wink of unrest. They simply become a footnote in the annals of poker lore.

Okay, I really must go. Wish me well today. Or don’t. Be a hater and wish me failure….that motivates me MORE actually, anyway!


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