You need to be mindful of collusion. I haven’t been to Aruba in 5 years. This was my sixth trip there and the reason I haven’t been there so long is: player collusion at the Radisson. When we last stayed there, the local players that played at the Rad would whipsaw an unwary tourist to death. That is: Local A would raise, Tourist B would call, Local C would re-raise, Local A would re-raise, Tourist B would call both raises. Sometimes more than 2 Locals would re-raise. Then, when Tourist A folds, then all the Locals would suddenly, and mysteriously, fold to another to Local B (no matter what was in their hands.
I once saw a Local go through this gyration, then fold a full house to another local for no reason, other than the Tourist was knocked out of the hand. I watched all this, 5 years ago, in amazement. The same 6-8 Locals would gang up on one or two tourists (which is all they cold get to play there) night after night. I reported it to the poker room owner, who denied any collusion was happening. I do not believe he or the dealers were a part of this, but I think they did not try to put a stop to it since those 6-7 Locals were his nightly bread and butter and the tourists were temporary. It was enough to keep me away from my favorite island for 5 years, and almost forever.
Add that to a local poker institution called Reggie, who falls asleep during each hand (and the local rooms allow this); a player who brought his laptop to the table to play online while playing live at the table; and the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth and I swore I wold never play at the Radisson again. I haven’t. I was lucky enough to notice this nonsense going on an didn’t lose any money on that trip, but I don’t mind playing a whole table full of individuals, but you can’t beat a whole table playing as a team. Even during that trip, I quit playing there and went to the Holiday Inn, which back in 2007, was the only other option for poker on the island.
There’s No Sleeping in Poker
Five years later, I am at the Holiday Inn, enjoying a great vacation, and keeping an eye out for the “Radisson Locals” as I call them. A few that didn’t really participate in the scam are there, including the narcoleptic Reggie. My suggestion is: if Reggie is at your table, ask for a table change. Tell the floor manager why. All you have to say is”Reggie.” They know. I did and they didn’t move my table, but tried to warn him and again in true Aruban style, they made allowances for the local. He falls asleep in every round of betting in every hand! It slows the game, the dealers have to wake him up to tell him it’s his turn to check or bet on every round, and it’s just unprofessional. The Locals range from thinking it’s cute to annoying, but no one tries to put a stop to it. I refuse to play at a table where the sleeping guy’s hand could beat you and take 5 times longer to do it. If enough people complained to the floor managers, they would put a stop to it. I don’t care that he’s been falling a sleep at the poker table for 20 years. It’s wrong. Speak up.
The regular tables at the Holiday Inn are jammed into a relatively small room. They have more in the sports book area, but only use those as overflow. So, unless you’re a masochist, pick your seat wisely. Seat1 at Table 6 is where the dealers come in and you have to get up every dealer change because the table is jammed close to the wall. Seat 9 at Table 5 has the same problem, but it is the Smoking table… closes to the area where players smoke and so not only do the dealers trample you, but if seats 1 or 2 smoke, you are constantly getting up and down. One guy kept making me move so he could walk over and talk to his buddy and Table 6. This smoking thing is also an issue because at any given point, especially later at night, 2-3 players are up smoking and then run over to look at their hand and check or bet, then run back to their cigarette. Or miss the hand you are short handed. It’s a pain and disrupts the game. The H.I. should just cut an entry to get into the table BEHIND it so at least 6 people aren’t bumped every time someone jams in and out of the table for a puff. I am not against smoking (I love a good cigar) but I wouldn’t disrupt a game or crawl over someone to smoke it. It’s the H.I’s fault. Poor room design, jammed tables, and the Aruban “whatever” business attitude toward all this make for a disruptive game.