Hartwith's Vegas Report Part 2 : If Natwest made beers…
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
I now fully understand Natwest’s slogan “Another way.” What they mean by this is that they’re going to set out to do banking differently and not in a way that benefits you.
Over the last few months, I can’t help but feel that they’ve tried everything in their power to stop me spending money. They’ve frozen my account at least a dozen times due to “suspicious activity.” What this really means is that they’re still struggling to cough up Sir Fred Goodwin’s hefty pension and they can’t honour any transaction over £100.
How does this relate to my trip to Vegas? Well, prior to my journey out here, knowing that I would need a lot of money, I arranged with Natwest to wire a sum to the Rio Casino where the WSOP is being played. With the previous history I’ve had with the bank and a knowledge of their amazing incompetence to do anything remotely efficiently, I called them no less than three times to re-confirm this. “Don’t worry Mr Adamson, the money will be in Vegas before you are!” Sure it will be, if I arrive in 2012. Needless to say my flight landed in Vegas before it did, as did the 100 subsequent flights inbound from London, and my wire, of course, has still yet to arrive.
Just in case that wasn’t enough, they proceeded to freeze my account after I tried withdrawing money from an ATM in Vegas. Why? “Suspicious activity” of course. When I then proceeded to call the fraud department (I have them on speed dial) to get my card re-activated they said it was as a result of using it in an unfamiliar location. I was going to argue that I’d warned them 3 times of my imminent arrival in the US but then I realized that I might as well be talking to a squirrel for the intellect and common sense the call operator possessed.
As a result, my dream of playing countless World Series events has, thus far, been crushed and I’ve been forced to play several smaller buy-in tournaments at the Venetian Casino. In all fairness, they’ve been very well structured with buy-ins varying between $340 and $1070 and attracting anywhere up to 1000 runners. With an hour clock and 12/15k starting chips they offer, arguably, a better tournament than the corresponding higher buy-in events at the WSOP. To date, though, I’ve only cashed in one of the four I’ve played for a meagre $175 profit. Technically, I actually made a loss for the tournament as I had a 2 hour massage during it as well as a burger, 8 coronas and 2 Jaeger bombs. Net loss for the tournament: $90. Result.
I plan on playing 3 or 4 more of those events before the main event of the WSOP begins on Saturday. This was obviously the main reason I came to Vegas, so if Natwest haven’t sorted out my wire by then, I will be truly gutted. Naturally, I don’t hold much hope. Natwest: Another Way. Yes, not with them.
I’ll try and provide more in depth tournament reports for the subsequent events I play, but for now, it’s good night as it’s fast approaching 5am here and the poker begins again at 12….