Los Angeles Crowne Plaza Hotel “Corrupt” Cries Daniel Negreanu

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Los Angeles Crowne Plaza Hotel

Hey, Kid Poker, want some cheese with that whine? 

Daniel "Kid Poker" Negreanu has had another meltdown in print.

The wacky Canadian poker pro, who previously has used his blog to rail against sunglasses, Annie Duke, online poker room Ultimate Bet, African-Americans and the Black Entertainment Network, is in the midst of another rant--this time against a hotel he doesn't like.

The hotel in question is the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which high school dropout Negreanu repeatedly misspells in his rant. The hotel is near the Commerce Casino in Commerce, California, USA, and many participants in the casino's poker tournaments stay at the conveniently located hotel.

Playing in the casino's recent Los Angeles Poker Classic was Negreanu, who planned to stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel while participating. But it didn't quite work out that way, as related by "Kid Poker" in his latest blog post at www.cardplayer.com.:

"I tweeted that I would write a blog about the corruption that takes place at Crown Plaza hotel which is connected to the Commerce casino, so here goes: I'll start by saying that the Commerce has always been my favorite poker room in the whole world, I've been saying that for years and that hasn't changed...

"When I started going there, they didn't have a hotel connected to the casino so I'd stay at Wyndam hotel (now the Double Tree) and would do the 8 minute walk to Commerce. Since the hotel was added, I usually stay there whether it's for a Commerce tourney, or even for the WPT event at the Bike. I'd never really had a problem with the hotel before, but this year, some pretty shady activity came to my attention that just absolutely needs to stop.

"After shooting The Big Game myself, Phil Hellmuth, Joe Hachem, Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Jason Mercier, and Brian Rast all got on a plane to LA since no commercial flights went out late enough for us. We all had rooms reserved at Crown Plaza. This wasn't at all a case of 'big time players' waltzing in at the last minute trying to steal someone's room, quite the contrary.

"When we arrived, we were told that all our reservations were canceled! Also, there was only one room available at Double Tree, which wasn't going to work. Tilly and Laak went home, Rast and Mercier stayed with friends, and Hachem took the room at Double Tree which left me and Hellmuth without any place to stay.

"So how did this happen? A corrupt practice that entails greasing the right palm which will allow you to flat out steal a room from someone with a reservation. February is Crown Plaza's busiest month and they'll often overbook as many as 40 rooms which creates a bit of chaos. Now, Vegas hotels may often tell you they are sold out, when in fact they do have rooms reserved for potential high rollers, but no Vegas hotel will tell someone with a reserved room that their reservation has been canceled.

"Worse yet, at Commerce, people have literally been kicked out of their rooms in order to make room for someone who greased the right guy. I did a bit of research and found that this practice has been going on for years at the Commerce. It used to be a guy named Juan. If the place was sold out, you call Juan, give him a few hundred dollars, and he'll get you a room. The new guy's name is Rodney. Give Rodney some money and all of a sudden rooms that were once reserved are canceled and 'voila' you have a room.

"I was absolutely not OK with the idea that they'd kick someone out of their room for me. No chance, that's just flat out wrong. Me and Phil packed up and looked for a place to stay. Rather than getting a good night's sleep in preparation for LAPC day 1, we were in a car roaming around LA looking for a place to sleep. I spoke to the owner of Commerce the very next day, and along with apologies for what happened, he also explained to me a little bit about what happened and that he is not at all OK with this practice.

"He gave me an example: during the tournament, say 40 rooms are reserved for people they know will be coming. They confirm those reservations with players (myself included) and assume that everything should be taken care of. Then, Rodney, or whoever is on the take at Crown Plaza, essentially steals that room and gives it away to whoever shows up with a few hundred dollars. Now, I live in Vegas. I get it. I understand how greasing a doorman can get you a table at a club, etc. What's happening at Crown Plaza, and has been for years apparently, is a very different thing. Reserved rooms are being STOLEN.

"In doing some research on it I heard plenty of horror stories. The owner of Commerce was aware of these stories after last year, and thought everything was addressed for this year. Well, it hasn't been. If I was told before flying out there, 'Sorry, we are fully booked and there are no rooms,' I would have made other arrangements and realized it was on me for not booking sooner. That's totally fine. I don't need preferential treatment, and I certainly don't want to steal anyone's room. I just want to be treated fairly and I assume that's what most of you want as well. It's a corrupt practice and it needs to stop."

Yo, Daniel, we here at Gambling911.com feel your pain.

But you're a multi-millionaire, stop whining!

In fact, according to tournament records, you've made more than $10 million in your career playing live tournament poker, plus God knows how much from cash games and online.

Next time buy your own hotel!

By Tom Somach

Gambling911.com Staff Writer