Thursday, March 29, 2012

Aces Casino Blog: Words With Friends Takes Over The Office, And Teaches Me Some New Curse Words

When you're well-known in southern California as the top Orange county casino party company in the region, you'd best know your games - And believe me, Aces Casino KNOWS games.  I'm fairly sure that, if you got the chance to look at an Aces Casino Entertainment employment application, it wouldn't have a section on which high school, college, or trade school you graduated from.  Oh, no, not Aces Casino - They're more interested in finding out if you've tried out for games shows, loved playing Monopoly or other board games, or ever thought about joining the circus at some point in life.  THAT'S how we roll here at this resident insane asylum.

Just sayin'.  Believe it.

Aces Casino has always been at the forefront of assembling the craziest, most entertaining and professional dealer crew and management team in the business.  They've always put two ideals first - Know your games, and have fun with the guests at the events.  When prospective clients wander into the deep end of the Aces Casino pool and inquire about the dealers and staff that the company has to offer, the management usually corrects the inquisitive client, and says, "oh, you mean the frustrated game show contestants."

Yep.  That's us.

OK, we admit it, we're a little goofy over here.  "Professionally irreverent," the O. C. Register tagged us some time back.  Uh-huh, that sounds about right.  But, without question, no one blends professionalism and total on-site casino anarchy like this Orange county casino night company.  Often imitated, NEVER duplicated.  Plus, we've got more slogans in this office than the Oakland Raiders.  ("This Beats Working" is my favorite, but I digress.)

"Professionally Irreverent."  Yeah, OK.

Yes, 'tis true, Aces Casino's crew LOVES playing games.  All KINDS of games.  I can't recall the specific dates that "fantasy football" gripped the offices here (but they're ALWAYS plentiful EVERY September, and have been widely chronicled here in our parakeet paper), and everyone here remembers the "Farmville Craze" of 2010 (Ed. Note: PLEASE, don't ask).   Yes, when a game grabs hold of our team's short attention span during their off-time here at our main offices, it's usually legendary.  Which brings us to the latest "craze" that is currently sweeping thru the Aces Casino nut house as we speak....

Words With Friends.

I remember the first time I heard the phrase, "Words With Friends."  It sounded so calm, so peaceful.... It sounded like a little back-room coffee-break meeting, kind of like a lighthearted discussion about everyone's nice day that they were having.

(BUZZZZZZ)  Nope.  

Turns out, this kind-sounding phrase was something originally generated by Facebook, the social media giant.  It's Scrabble, without the trademarks, copyrights and attorneys. Hey, give ol' Scrabble it's due - It's a GREAT game, and Facebook makes it even greater, by using a similar design online, and eliminating all those goofy faux-wooden tiles and that game board on the spinning turntable.  That's what got me off of Scrabble - One false move, sneeze, or overzealous game board spinner, and there goes all the tiles, into Scrabble-heaven.

I HATED that part.  Game over, what a waste of time.

But then, Scrabble-Nirvana.  "Look at this," the cohorts in the office told me.  "No more bumping the board, and losing all the tiles.  It's great, you should play."  We had already "friended" each other on Facebook, so once the invitations started flying, It didn't take long.  EVERYONE was playin' "Words With Friends."

The floor of the office, before "Words With Friends" hit the 'Net.

Yep, things were good.  UNTIL.......... (Laugh)  Until some of our staff got VERY good at playing the game.  And I don't mean strategic placement of virtual "tiles" on the board.  I'm talkin' about some players learning what words they could GET AWAY WITH during game play.  I'd classify these words as "what kind of word is THAT" - type of words - Words that NO ONE in THIS office had EVER seen, or even heard OF, until this "Words" craze hit this Orange county casino party giant.

Here's a shining example of what I'm blabbing about.  Now, I'll admit I'm as competitive a person as just about anyone when it comes to playing games, but I'm involved in one of these internet "scrabble" games with a co-worker, and I've got her pinned right to the virtual wall in the game.  She's 35 points down, and she's only got something like one tile left.  It's over.  UNTIL......

She makes her last play.  She's got a "Q," and she places it in a "Triple word Score" box right next to the letter, "I," which makes the word, "QI."


Boom.  33 points plus a small bonus for playing all her tiles, and she's a winner, which immediately brought a question to mind -- "QI?  What the Heck is a QI?"  Hey, Darned if SHE knew, but She kept placing that "Q" tile all over the board, trying everything she could to find out if there was some obscure way to actually play that "Q," and score points with it.


Well, to make it official, she gets online, and looks up the definition of the so-called word, "QI."  Yep, there it is -- "QI - The circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine."  Uh-huh.  SURE.  I'll tell you one thing right now -- This unnamed woman (whose identity will be kept secret for the time being) couldn't have told you one darned thing about some Chinese philosophy 30 seconds ago, and was about to lose her own circulating life force in the just-finished contest, just by playing that dopey-looking "QI."

OK, OK.  I've got the picture here.  This means WAR.

Time to let Al Gore's invention, "the internet," go to work for me. My task - To find some obscure words that I can use to fight back against these no-good "Words With Friends" players in our Aces Casino offices.  And in just 20 minutes of net-surfing, I found something....

I found out that there is an entire network of websites that exist for one thing - to help Scrabble (AND Words With Friends) players that are looking for obscure words to fit into sertain game situations.  There are sites that deal with nothing but silly words, like "QI."  One such site had a prepared chart, with no less than 95 2-letter words that deal with these goofy-word situations.  NINETY-FIVE. Words like ZA, MU, TI, and my favorite, AG.

Come ON -- THESE aren't WORDS!  They're sounds that come out of guys that Chuck Norris is beating on in the TV show, "Walker, Texas Ranger."  These shouldn't count!  This is wrong, we need a moratorium on words like QI.  Even the spellchecker has a problem revery time I type the word, "QI."  New rule here at this Orange county casino party company -- If spellchecker doesn't like it, it's no good.  There.  I said it.  (Ed. Note: unfortunately, his word isn't a binding contract around here.  I'm using QI right now in a game.  Tough break, Aces Blogger.  Thanks for the tip.)

I couldn't believe it.... I mean, there is a TON of stuff dedicated to what I'll call the "Scrabble Phenomenon."  There were "7-Letter Word" creators, words that start with certain letters... It's Unbelievable.  So, we got curious.... I've heard that there are Scrabble tournaments; Surely, THOSE players don't use underhanded tactics to get over on unsuspecting opponents.

BUZZZZZZ.  Wrong again.

It's WORSE with THESE players!  A random search of possible Scrabble tournament controversies chased up a classic story about one player accusing another of actually EATING a game tile to avoid a loss.  The governing board eventually ruled against having the player go thru a strip search, and/or having his subsequent "droppings" examined in the hall's bathroom for possible "evidence."  Here's the link to the story, we can't make this stuff up, my friends.  There are other such goofy Scrabble inquisitions, too numerous to mention, but my fave quote from the story was from a guy that said, "the game is not about words."

No kidding.  When players are using "QI" and "ZA" against you, there's no doubt that real words are on the outside, looking in.

So, what does all of this mean to Aces Casino, the Orange County casino night kingpins? Well, not too much.  We DID decide to create a slush fund that "Words" players have to donate $1 to, whenever they stoop so low as to use one of the now-verboten words in an Aces Casino-based game here.  We'll end up using the proceeds for the annual Aces Casino Holiday party, normally held in February.

Knowing the staff that plays the game here at the Aces offices, something tells me that, for next year's bash, we'll have enough money to rent out the Honda Center with our "QI Fund."

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