Choctaw is a place that I would like to look forward to visiting. It’s right in our back yard, so it’s as close to a home field as Texas players get. We have many fond memories of the events there this year. I won my first ring there in January, La went HU for a pendant the same trip, and our friends have been crushing the mtt series there all year. Hard to complain about a decent venue, with solid structures, and a great PTC staff. They have the poker side of things down pat, I wish I could say the same for their hotel.
After the first event in January we decided to extend our stay and extended it again when a storm came through. Both times after extending we asked for new keys so we wouldn’t have to come back, and both times our new keys deactived on the extension day. The only thing worse than the walk of shame is the walk of shame where you can’t get into your hotel room and have to go back to the front desk, wait in line for ten minutes, and then wait another ten minutes for the undertrained night staff to figure out how to consolidate your reservation and get a new key. Life. Tilting. WoS. (edit) An important point I missed in my notes was the lack of security attaining a new key. Both times when we requested a new key they just asked for the room number and printed a key. They didn’t check our ID either time! Maybe they recognized us from our many trips to the desk that trip, but that is no excuse for circumventing an important security procedure.
This trend of tiltingly undertrained front desk staff has been consistent throughout the year. I know it’s not Vegas, but some of these people can’t even navigate the menus on their terminals, which makes doing anything at the desk a painfully tedious process. We tried to forgo the desk and use a host, and we were able to book through them quickly, but they screwed us on a promised comp.
The storm passed and we went home for a couple days of downtime. We had given the casino action during our first stay and asked a host to comp the room for the second trip. The host said “no problem” and booked our room and told us it was comped. When went to check in for the second stay the front desk said there had been a change in policy, “the host had made an error”and the room would not be comped. We talked to the host on duty, but they said there was nothing they could do and they would not honor the comp. Pretty terrible customer service, but we had a good month and it was a tax write off anyway, so I let it go. We only made a couple short weekend trips to Choctaw after this and didn’t have any major problems until December.
We decided to stay close to home for the holidays and only play a couple weekend events at Choctaw. One day we skipped a noon tournament to play the afternoon mega instead. We were laying in bed around 1230 with our do not disturb sign on, and we heard someone open the door. One of our friends had a key, and there was no knock, so I shouted out a greeting. The door instantly shut without a word. I hopped up, opened the door, and looked out in time to see a guy in uniform with a towel cart quickly walking away. When I asked him what he was was doing he said, “just seeing if you needed service”, without ever turning around or slowing down. I was in my boxers so I didn’t follow him into the hall, but why was a hotel staff member trying to enter our room, with a do not disturb sign, without knocking? At best it was another incompetent employee who couldn’t knock or say excuse me, at worst it could have been an employee trying to sneak into our room and take whatever he could find.
La tried to talk to a security guard about the situation after she busted the mega, but they were rude and dismissive. She was eventually able to talk to a manager who said they would talk with the housekeeping staff about procedure for entering a room, but really didn’t address our concern. La spoke with a lady on the elevator the same weekend that claimed she had money stolen out of a purse she left in the room. We were never able to confirm this story and didn’t know her, but it was enough to make us wonder if our visitor was the same person who came to her room.
Our concern is that the incompetence of the staff in general is opening the door for shadier elements to take advantage of holes in hotel security. It was certainly a sobering reminder that the places that we stay are not always as safe as they appear or should be. Hopefully Choctaw will remedy the problems they have with their service and security for the new year, but we will be taking extra steps to protect ourselves when we travel there and wanted everyone to be aware of our problems so they can take appropriate precautions.