Part of the buzz underlying this week’s Detox Poker activity has been the fate of the Hard Rock Poker Lounge. To be sure, the luxed-out $12 million 18+table poker room that opened in 2008 — nearly two years ago to the day and possibly two-and-a-half years too late — will be closing in about a week.
According to casino personnel, almost immediately upon the conclusion of Detox, Hard Rock cash games will be moving to a more efficient 6-8 table spot connected to the main casino area — something with a smaller electric bill, more in line with plans for expanded sports-book offerings, and in view of the round casino’s famously raucous “center bar”.
The decision to downsize was final before Detox even started — and gotta say … kudos to HR Poker Director Troy Evans for presumably putting his job on the line to keep Detox. New suits above him were supposedly less enthusiastic about keeping the Matt “Savage Rocks!” late-summer mini-series on the calendar. Don’t have any hard dates for transition, but all potentially affected say it will be quick. Here’s a glimpse of what the new space next to Wasted Space will look like:
(Wasted Space is also closing, to make room for the new-and-improved sportsbook.)
The new poker room — about a third the square footage and in an arguably better location — will replace the former “Hell’s Belles” blackjack pit (hot dealers, go-go dancers, $100 minimum bets), which prior to that had been the “Peacock Lounge” (a pimped-out tribute to Jimi Hendrix). It will supposedly still have its own bar (with video poker, of course), a semi-private nook for high-stakes or VIP games, and a separate poker-player’s bathroom. Management says they’ll be bringing over the same tables and chairs, but are unsure whether or not they will keep the name “poker lounge”.
Decisions were also still pending (as of last week) about whether or not the Detox Series would be back and held in a Hard Rock ballroom. The current poker space will apparently become a restaurant.