An old friend is now a pit boss

What to do when a friend from high school becomes a pit boss

APJD: I recently learned that an old friend from high school is now a pit boss at a casino property that is part of a national chain. The friend and I were not close back then, but now she came up to my table frequently during my session to catch up. A few years ago, I was backroomed at a property in the chain and successfully sued them. That lawsuit has settled and is over with now. I have not requested or used a player’s card at any of the chain’s properties since the backrooming incident.

I am wondering whether and how I should approach my pit boss friend for information. What are the non obvious potential pros and cons?

Hit A7: I don’t know what benefit it would provide you to approach your friend for info. To be safe, you can assure that at the very least, you are already flagged on their system as an undesirable, and will remain as such. I had an incident in which I had not been to a national chain in years, went there, and was able to learn that I was still flagged as an "offender.” So that will not change. In my opinion, any attempt to obtain info can cause you more damage than benefit, especially with a lawsuit in your history with them.

AceTen: You said your friend is a pit boss. Is she a pit supervisor or does she just work in the pit? If she just works in the pit, she may not have access to detailed information on you. The casino computers have numerous levels of information that takes a password to access each level. The position in the casino determines what level an employee has access to. A pit boss can access numerous levels. She could go to her boss and ask them to research your name, though she would have to give a good reason to do this.

If she has access to all levels and can research your name, ask yourself why she would do this. I strongly suspect that since you have a lawsuit your name may be on the lower levels of the screens. If this is true then anyone accessing the computer will see a skull and crossbones blinking in red.

My suggestion is that you can go to a sister casino you don’t really care about on a shift you wouldn’t usually play, and try to get a player’s card. If you do this, do it in the pit and not at the player’s club. The player’s club goes into more detail and asks more questions. They also have the authority to access all of the screens to research your name. They also have the authority to back you off at the player's club. They usually just tell you that you're backed off and ask you to leave. No harm done. Have the pit give you a card and do it when they are very busy. You want them to be in a hurry so they will not do a lot of research. If you get a card from a sister property then you're probably good at your local casino. If you're backed off at the sister property, than just play unrated with your friend.

ParlayView: Develop her as an asset? Opposite sex, weren't close in high school, made it a point to give you a lot of attention...

With no knowledge of your or her marital statuses or sexual orientations -- sounds like at the very least she found you a welcome distraction at her humdrum job, and perhaps she would like your friendship rekindled to some extent.

Consider the possibility that "radical honesty" might earn you what the intelligence community calls an "asset" -- someone who can help you out on your assignment, whether she knows she's helping or not. Are you a good flirt?

Ask her to lunch. Harmless, friendly lunch just to "catch up," and ask her a lot about her life right from the onset, which is a great way to ingratiate yourself to people because most everyone loves talking about themselves. Eventually steer it toward her casino career. Tell her (truthfully!) how interested you are in how things work at the casino, the ins and outs. If she becomes suspicious, come right out and tell her about the court case. Most women find honesty very attractive.

Risky!! -- don't try this if the possibility of losing this casino altogether would be a problem, because that could happen. But honesty and candor with a friend in this type of situation will often get you an insider, as long as it's clear you won't endanger her job. If she likes you and (believes she) understands you, she will fail to notice your bet spreads and perfect play and whatever else, as long as your activity isn't so blatant that she can't help but see it even through "friend-goggles." I don't know if this is applicable, or your style at all -- just something to weigh and consider.

bigplayer: Wait until after you are backed off there. I'd not play on her shift from now on. She knows your real name and could decide to look you up. If you were a real close friend of hers from way back, rather than a mere acquaintance, then I'd have a different answer. If you become friends later on things might change, but you should never just “out” yourself to her as a skilled player.

Once you are backed off, then you will have nothing to lose by probing her for information. You should still remain on friendly terms, stopping by to say hello at her pit if you go there to eat or whatever. Who knows, she may find out that you're under scrutiny and give you an unsolicited warning.

Dallas Barrister: My humble thoughts -- do not renew your high school friendship merely to "use" her for information. As others have noted, it will end badly if you do. If you like your old friend and are interested in renewing any relationship for reasons unrelated to your play, then do so -- whether through social media or otherwise.

However, never ever initiate any inquiries seeking "information" -- allow her to volunteer whatever gems she may share. Be aware that whatever info you do receive may be property-specific and may not hold true at other venues.

By renewing the friendship, you are increasing the risk that she will run you through the system to see what the chain has on you -- we all know what it is likely to reveal if she has sufficient access to all of the facts. Good luck however you proceed.

Originally published on Green Chip, edited for this format.


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