Losing money in a high stakes poker game is never fun, but usually players are able to keep their emotions under control for the sake of everyone involved. Unfortunately, big losses can lead to aggression or even criminal behavior, as was demonstrated this past Sunday at an American poker room.
Poker player Mesbah Khaffaji, 52, was enjoying a game of No Limit poker at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, California, when he became upset with the way the game was progressing, and allegedly spit food in the dealer’s face. Khaffaji was quickly detained by casino security, and was then arrested by authorities with the Bell Gardens Police Department. He is being charged with misdemeanor battery, and was soon released after posting $20,000 bail.
Police Sergeant Brendan Kirkpatrick speculated that Khaffaji had lost a hand prior to the incident. “People get heated,” said the Sergeant. “Large sums of money lost, people can’t control their emotions.”
While emotions can run high during an intense game of poker, people who play online poker in the USA enjoy a certain degree of anonymity and privacy that helps prevent this sort of thing from happening. Many internet poker sites do offer an in-game chat feature, but players who lose their temper and begin to abuse the chat system will quickly find themselves disconnected.
Perhaps this privacy afforded by online poker sites in the United States has led to players forgetting to keep a “poker face” while playing live games at the casinos. While competing online, nobody is around to watch players frown at bad hands, or jump with joy when they are dealt a Royal Flush. The differences between online and offline poker are not so great, however, when it comes to the amount of money that players can win.