WSOP 2014: Filthy animals
When you have that uneasy feeling that the world is about to come to an end, do this: visit a restroom at the World Series of Poker. It's here where you will see what the breakdown of civilization looks like at its filthy beginnings. It's where you realize the end isn't foretold by cockroaches, locusts, and leeches. It's men. Men in bathrooms.
Before I go on, please note, I'm going to tread on some territory here that isn't easy to read. But rest assured, friends, it's far worse to see firsthand.
It's a wet place, where rules and conventions recognized in polite parts of the world are ignored. Seats that should be up are down. Seats that should be down are up. Men who can calculate implied odds is in a six-way Omaha High-Low hand can't understand the simple physics of liquid meant to be traveling at a 45-degree angle. Or, put another way, they can calculate it. They just don't care to. There is a wetness that goes beyond sickening humidity. It's a pervasive slickness and slop that only men of singular self-focus can manufacture. Poker is a game of individual achievement, and there exists a breed of man who lets loose on a toilet seat and thinks, "Won that pot!"
Now, friends, begins the fight to hold society together. Stationed outside the nearest women's restroom is a burly security guard. He has a push-broom mustache and a demeanor that oscillates between Robocop and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop. If he spoke, I know his first words would be, "I can't believe this is my job right now."
His job? To keep the men from using the women's restroom.
Why? Just ask Team Pro Vanessa Selbst.
First break: constant flow of men in women's bathroom, and they don't even have the decency to close the stall doors while using them.— Vanessa Selbst (@VanessaSelbst) July 6, 2014
In the parlance of our times: that happened.
Full credit to WSOP officials. As soon as this atrocity started, executives sent your brush-lipped man above to his station. What's more, over the years, the WSOP has installed fairly elaborate temporary toilets just outside the tournament area. Beyond that, there are some hard-working bathroom attendants who are running harder than Wimbledon ball boys to keep everything clean. And, I'm not one to suggest people get any sort of exercise, but if one were to walk about another 50 meters from the nearest bathroom, they'd find...wait for it...another bathroom. I won't even tell you what you get if you walk another 50 meters. (Hint: it's literally the biggest bathroom in the building).
The simple point is: this is not the fault of the WSOP. This is a social disease of selfishness and extinct manners.
But how could I expect such an effort in societal concern from men who can't find a moment to wash their hands after handling their filthy bodies in a place they've just made more filthy?
Team Pro Bryan Huang visited the restroom on a recent break and witnessed a man walk directly from his urinal to the exit door. Aghast, someone asked if the animal was going wash his hands. His response? Well, it's not publishable, but suffice it to say, he claimed to never have touched himself in the process of doing his dirty work. This is what we have been reduced to. Lies, propaganda, and filth.
There is a new addition to the Rio in 2014. Nearly everywhere you go, you see automated hand sanitizer dispensers. It's a noble effort to protect us from the worst of us. I applaud it.
But it's not enough. So, here's my modest proposal: Let's give the security guard a Louisville Slugger. Let's station him inside the men's room. Let's give him a headful of amphetamines and clear, concise instructions on what to do with the animals. I don't know much, but I do know guys without kneecaps can't stand up to urinate.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging