I recently spent a couple of days in LA, as part of a trip from Australia. I had a couple of lengthy sessions at Commerce and one at the Bike, playing 5/5 and 3/5.
As a player, Bart would describe me as a "recreational player", less kind regs would see me as a fish. I love the game and like most recreational players am break even at best. I am in my mid 50s, and well enough paid in my job so that winning or losing is largely irrelevant at the 5/5 game. Still, like any player my ego wants me to win. I enjoy the podcasts and am probably less fishy than I used to be.
Anyway I was really looking forward to playing at both Commerce and the Bike, but both were really dreadful experiences. Perhaps I was unlucky and found enough obnoxious players at the tables I played at to make it a pretty miserable experience. The only "conversation" that seemed to take place was either hostile, offensive or demeaning. I don't need to be told if someone thinks I played a hand badly. Most times I think they were talking crap, but that's not the point. I can live with it, but is sure takes the fun out of the game. Certainly not all players did this. Some just had headphones on and were in their own world. As an aside I couldn't believe how badly several players talked to the dealers, who just seemed to cop it. At one point one of the dealers reported an obnoxious player who had clearly insulted her to the floor. The floor, patted the dealer on the shoulder and brought in another dealer. No comment was made to the player, and offensive behaviour was rewarded.
I apologise to the majority of players, who are not offensive at the table, but it only takes a couple of morons at the table to poison the atmosphere and make it an experience I'd rather not repeat.