Poker Collusion in Lake Charles?

As most of you know, Lake Charles is about 2.5 hours from Houston and is the closest legitimate live casino action to our city.  Once you cross into Louisiana, the first major venue that you will run into is Delta Downs.  This race track turned slot heaven is so incredibly tight that the billboards along I-10 don’t even try to lie about how loose they are.  Their selling point is “We are the Closest”.  Great.  If you are looking for slot action that will payback 70% or less, then this is the place for you.  I hope that everyone visiting here has enough sense to pass them by (unless you’re going to see the ponies).

If you are able to get past that one, then the next stop is the Isle of Capri which has the largest poker room in Lake Charles with lots and lots of live action poker abound the clock.  This is a favorite stop for many Houstonians that like to play, but lately we’ve been hearing lots of rumors concerning COLLUSION at the tables there.

What is Collusion?

Collusion (or Team Play as others refer to it) is when two or more players acting together share information about their hands with the hopes of squeezing the money out of the other unsuspecting players at the table.  They will then slit their profits at the end of the day and go home smiling.  The pit boss can only do something is he catches these players exchanging information about their hands which can be difficult to spot.

Some teams will use their chip stacks to signal to their buddies what they have.  One example is by signaling before the flop.  An over-sized chip placed on top of his stack could be signaling to his teammates that he has an Ace in the hole.  Two over-sized chips could indicate a pocket pair, and so on.

One story that was related to me by a friend was that he was playing $1/$2 Pot Limit Holdem at The Isle of Capri when two guys came to his table. The table was very tight for most of the day, but when they came to the table it started loosening it up a lot.

They came from another table when two seats opened up, and then when a third seat opened up, one of the guys yelled to his friend to come over. The way they were playing looked a lot like they were teaming up on everyone else at the table. They were reckless when playing against each other, not seeming to care if they lost to one of their friends, but when anyone else called one of their raises, they re-raised on top of them to try to get them to fold. Everyone knew what they were doing.  As a matter of fact one person left and told the pit boss that they weren’t going to play while that was going on.  Another player commented on how strange one of their re-raises was when one guy flipped over a bottom pair and his friend called with an ace high. When one of these guys had gotten up to about $500, he muttered that he was going to another table where there was more money, and then told his friends to follow him, which shortly after he did.

Just to be clear, this is NOT collusion unless they were sharing information about their hands.  Bullies will come and go from tables and the best way to deal with them is to take them down with a monster hand.  But if (and this is a big IF) they have come up with a method of signaling information to each other, then they are STEALING YOU MONEY.  A poker room the size of the Isle of Capri is difficult at best to manage when everything is flowing properly.  The pit boss has his hands full with making sure he is staffed properly, that his dealers are not stealing from the house.  One of his last concerns is whether or not other players are stealing from you.  If you suspect that collusion is taking place at your table, WALK AWAY and bring it to the attention of the pit boss…and remember their faces.

But of course, the BEST WAY to save yourself $50 in gas and any threat of being cheated by a poker team is to have your game at home with people you know…and honest poker dealers from iHostPoker (-;

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