The easiest way to judge someone’s true character is by watching someone interact with service staff. It’s too easy to suck up to those in authority and also very easy to act obnoxiously to those you feel superior to, especially if you are unlikely to encounter them on a regular basis. I see it all the time, especially on flights where a passenger doesn’t respond to a flight attendant’s commands or fails to show basic courtesy when the FA is serving the passenger. It’s also very common in bars and restaurants as every waiter or waitress will attest to (I used to serve when I was studying).
So what does this have to do with Vegas or poker I hear you ask – well I’ll go on.
It’s late January or early February and there’s a guy at my table that is taking his well deserved holiday. He’s obviously had a busy end of the year, making a list and checking it twice and I bet he racked up some serious frequent flyer miles in the run up to Christmas. It’s Santa and it’s probably a good job that there are no kids around as their ideas of what Santa is like are going to be shattered. He’s got the white hair, he’s got the beard, he’s even got the very rotund figure but dear god he’s miserable. Utterly fucking miserable. And obnoxious. Very, very obnoxious.
When ordering a drink from the waitress he barks “Bud” with no please or thank you added. When his drink is delivered he shows no element of thanks or interpersonal contact by even glancing towards the waitress – he simply puts out his hand and takes his drink. He also doesn’t tip – I originally thought that maybe this was because Santa doesn’t need money – all the elves make all the toys so maybe he can’t tip as his pockets are bare. But then I realised he’s entered a poker tournament and I’m pretty sure even elves can’t fix that without having some cash. It’s not a one off either – on the 3 or 4 occasions he gets a drink he barks, doesn’t thank and then doesn’t tip (it’s not just the lack of tipping but the general discourteous obnoxiousness that winds me up).
When he’s at the table he spends his entire time moaning about something or other, it’s too loud, the air con is wrong, blah blah fucking blah but he won’t STFU. He really must be a joy to be around on a daily basis, on the assumption that Mrs Claus hasn’t run off with the Easter bunny or isn’t training their pet polar bear to maul him to death. He does this for about 3 ½ hours until the latter stages of the tournament – it was $80 buy in, there’s about $2,500 in the prizepool and 4 people get paid out. There’s 6 people remaining and everyone has around the same number of chips and we’ve effectively been passing the blinds around with the occasional uncalled shove.
It’s become a pray and play as we’re so late on so someone suggests an equal chop which makes sense as we’ve all got about 10 BBs and there’s no real poker being played but Santa now wants to add a rider – you guys need to tip for me. WTF??? Now this is not meant to start a debate about tipping poker room staff as I think each person can be expected to make up their own mind. But in this case he’d be picking up $416 and it’s not that he doesn’t want to leave a few bucks from his own winnings but that he wants someone else to do it for him. I can see the other players staring at him as if they’ve misheard him but we’ve all heard this asshole whine for the last 3 hours and I’m not in the least bit surprised that this tool is trying to assert his fucked up idea of authority. It’s his BB next hand and a couple of players now say the chop is off – I’m quite happy with this as I don’t want to give this idiot the satisfaction. Luckily someone picks up a decent hand and it ends up all in with Santa holding A-10 and the other player turning over K-K. The kings hold and Santa is off to the north pole. The guy who won the pot then turns round to everyone else and asks if everyone agrees to an equal chop – he does this before Santa has even had chance to haul his frame away from the table, so I’m pretty sure it was deliberately done so that Santa could hear. I ask him if he’s sure and he says it’s fine and everyone else agrees.
As we’re waiting for the desk to sort the paperwork out and to bring the prizepool over we all share our relief that we didn’t end up chopping with the misery guts (up to this point I’ve not called him Santa at the table although the resemblance is obvious). One player comments that “he’s a grade A asshole” whilst another adds “I know, I always thought Santa was meant to be jolly” which sends me into hysterics as I tell the other players that I’ve been calling him miserable Santa in my head for the last few hours.