Posts Tagged ‘poker-room-operations’

Out with a Fizzle? New Trop Poker Room Closing

$16k jackpot money giveaway tomorrow

by , Sep 10, 2012 | 9:02 pm

tropicana poker room closing

Sit-n-Go-Away: The Tropicana Poker Room tried everything, but just couldn’t get enough action to stick.

I went to the Trop poker room Wednesday night, about 10:30, to see if a few friends might be working or playing. The room was totally dark but for a single flickering light. No dealer in a box, no suit at the counter. It seemed odd, but the room had been growing noticeably quieter in recent weeks.

Sure enough, the new Tropicana Poker Room, which opened on Black Friday and briefly enjoyed a stretch as the Jamie Gold Poker Room, is closing tomorrow. Supposedly for good, with its current space, next to the CantorGaming Sportsbook, slated to be transformed into a special area for slot tournaments.

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Wynn Plugs in, Keeps Players All Charged up

@RandomPoker around Las Vegas

by , Jun 3, 2012 | 2:25 pm

I’m posting this from my mobile device while at a 1/3 table, without worrying about my battery dying. About a week ago, the Wynn installed electrical outlets under the tables at almost every seat in the room.

wynn poker table outlet

“It’s great customer service,” said the random player to my right with his iPhone plugged in. He said he talked with a Caesars floor man about it and would tell poker room managers back East.


Getting Paid to Lose

A few Las Vegas poker rooms offer cash consolations

by , May 17, 2012 | 11:25 am

Quad queens at the Wynn, a few hands after losing with quad jacks. Read below for the best bad beat jackpots in Vegas.

This is not a bad beat story, though it starts with one.

This is a story about bad beat jackpots, and the lack thereof.

Playing a 1-3NL game the other day, I raised to $12 in late position with JhJd.

An older man — here’s him as a younger man, seriously — called on the button, one of the blinds called and the limper directly to my right called.

The flop was a dream: Js5c7c. And it was checked to me, so I bet big, hoping to build it up with one of the suckers stupid enough to call my preflop raise.

To my delight, the button moved in for $150. The blind folded and the limper contemplated.

“Please call, please call, please call,” I thought.

And he shoved for $200.

Oh boy, dreams do come true.

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Cantor Gaming to Take over Poker Operations at the Palms

New room (with hole-card cams?) part of high-tech sportsbook overhaul

by , Apr 5, 2012 | 3:48 am

poker room cash

Cantor Gaming will open a new poker room at the Palms, and hopefully get new felts for Pokerati's signature game.


The poker room at Palms Casino Resort will close on May 2, with a new room, in a new location, under new management opening May 5.

Cantor Gaming confirmed recently that an 8-table poker room will be part of the Palms’ redesigned sportsbook (currently under construction) and say the new room will be state of the art in style and technology. Sources at Palms tell me that one of the tables will be equipped with hole card cams, a la Live at the Bike.

“We are honored that Palms has chosen us to manage their poker area,” Lee M. Amaitis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cantor Gaming said in a press release. “By situating poker within the sports book we can offer customers maximum entertainment and convenience.”

Because of the partnership, the current staff at Palms must re-apply for new jobs with Cantor if they want to stick around. A spokesman for Cantor did not immediately respond to an inquiry seeking further details about the new poker room, and the cost of the project was not disclosed.

Late last year, the Las Vegas-based gaming company unveiled a new sports book at Venetian, the first phase of $30 million in renovations. Cantor has been taking over sportsbooks across Las Vegas — including the Venetian, Tropicana, Hard Rock, M Resort, and Cosmopolitan — but Palms will be the first location to open with a poker room as part of its design.

“Our decision to relocate the poker room to the new race and sports book was a natural one given the synergies that exist between poker players and sports bettors,” said Joseph A. Magliarditi, President of Palms.

“We are confident that a sleek new poker room will be a spectacular addition to our resort and one that offers poker fans the ultimate in poker playing experiences.”

Dan Michalski, who runs this site and has hosted a weekly half no-limit hold’em, half pot-limit Omaha game at the Palms for the past year, wouldn’t say much about the future of Pokerati’s relationship with the casino. (And he acts surprised when I can’t get a corporate casino flak to answer my questions!)

“Stay tuned,” Dan said in a text message.

So I guess that means there may only be a few more weeks to take his money in the Pokerati game — at least at the current past-its-prime Palms poker room.


Las Vegas @RandomPoker Buzz

Jett & Savage sign with MGM, Aria big game relocates to Bellagio, farewell drunken shenanigans at O'Sheas

by , Mar 22, 2012 | 12:38 pm

It’s hard to play anywhere in Vegas as a non-tourist without hearing noise about the room you’re in or one down The Strip. No wonder so many regs wear headphones. But I keep my ears unplugged to filter through it all for Pokerati — and so Dan has at least half a clue about what’s real, what’s bullshit and what’s a live tell.

Some of what I’ve picked up lately:

Karina Jett is the MGM’s new poker room ambassador, meaning she will promote the room and host the weekly $120 HORSE event at 7:15pm every Tuesday. Jett has hosted the HORSEament previously at the Palms and then M Resort before settling into her new gig at MGM. The inaugural running at MGM featured a drinks-flowing pre-party that saw Cyndy Violette, Gavin Smith, Layne Flack, Allen Kessler, and Erik Seidel.

DonkDown Radio founder Bryan Micon won the tournament last week, beating a pro-filled field of about 80 for a $2k score, along with besting several others in a last-longer bet that paid an added $4k. The next running, earlier this week, attracted a field of about 60 players.

Meanwhile, WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage is also on board with MGM, serving as tournament director for the upcoming Grand Challenge Tournament series. Savage apparently was looking for something else to do in Vegas now that the Epic events are off his calendar.

Occupy Aria?
Players take Ivey Room mixed game back to Bellagio

This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but according to at least one regular player in one of the bigger regular games in Vegas:

FWIW I saw Jean Robert Belande (@BrokeLivingJRB) still playing in Ivey’s room with David Williams (@DWPoker) just last night, so there could be more to this schism. If it’s all political, as Crazy Mike says, that could explain why Barack Obama was in town yesterday.

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Caesars Recruiting Dealers for 2012 WSOP

Are you (and I) good enough to shuffle at the Series?

by , Mar 8, 2012 | 2:44 pm

The 2012 WSOP is looking for a few good dealers, or perhaps I should say a few hundred, and Caesars Entertainment still has a couple of 3-week boot camps to prep the troops.

You won’t get paid while attending the academy, but as far as I can tell you don’t have to pay either. Caesars promises to equip you with the skills to pitch cards and cut chips at RIO All Suites Hotel from May 27 to July 16, aka the 2012 World Series. A session in late April provides advanced lessons for dealing non-hold’em games.
I’m still waiting for a response on my application. If I get accepted, I hope to document the experience. And since Caesars stresses “good customer service skills,” we’ll do it with a smile.

The job ad also says “a neat professional appearance and good personal hygiene are essential.” That might narrow the competition in the poker community. But I know I’m ready to shave and shower before I shuffle up and deal.


Playing the Small Nightly at the Strat

Day 2 on the Las Vegas daily poker-tournament circuit

by , Jan 28, 2012 | 6:23 pm

stratosphere poker tournament

4,500-chip, four-color starting stack at Stratosphere.

The Stratosphere’s quaint 10-table poker room sits in the back of the casino, past a row of slot machines, craps tables, another row of slot machines, down the ramp past Roxy’s Diner, near the escalators to the Top of the World restaurant — just before the Double Down Pit and Back Alley Bar. On Thursday, there was a sole 1-2NL table of action about 30 minutes before the nightly tournament.

You’d hardly know that this room has supposedly become the new Sahara when it comes to Las Vegas’ most popular small buy-in dailies — with the 7pm event drawing consistent fields of 50 players or more.

I approached the podium and purchased a seat for the event. The buy-in is $45 for 4,500 in chips, plus a $20 add-on that gives you 4,000 more chips, which you can purchase any time within the first hour. (There’s also an option for unlimited re-entry within that time frame.)  With 20-minute levels, that add-on is necessary, especially considering there are no automatic shufflers in the tournament tables.

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Fueling a No-Limit / PLO Revolution?

Pokerati Game @PalmsPokerRm FTW!

by , Nov 27, 2011 | 2:01 pm

pokerati game palms poker room PLOCheck it out. This story in PokerListings is probably a bit too kind without any LOLs. But hey, as a guy who’s key flaw in his plan to offer Pokeratizens the best low-stakes action in Vegas was not learning how to fold more often pre-flop, I’ll take the love!

While it is true that nowhere in Vegas could you “run it twice” in a 1/2 game before Pokerati NLH/PLO came to town, now plenty of poker rooms hardly blink when two or more players get it all-in and want to reduce variance by seeing more than one river … just like they used to do it on High Stakes Poker.

So crap now the secret of the Pokerati Game’s success is out:

  • Offer games people want to play, at stakes they’re comfortable playing
  • Give preference to poker rooms with skillful, supportive staff (and maybe a really big sign)
  • Treat low-stakes players no differently than high rollers (h/t Benny Binion)
  • Suck out often to keep the nits away

That’s pretty much all it takes to host a game that attracts tourists and locals alike. And now that I can expect casinos everywhere to be spreading Pokerati-style live action, I suppose my pioneering days are over and I can go back to being just another poor-man’s Jean-Robert Bellande.


Poker Art: Making of the Cowling Desk @AviatorCasino

by , Mar 25, 2011 | 6:23 pm

Stumbled across this vid on Youtube — the time-lapse construction of the welcome desk @AviatorCasino in Delano, Cali. I can 100 percent say that Aviator is my favorite poker room in California’s Central Valley … (where Bakersfield is the big town some 30 miles away, but is also just a $15 flight from Vegas on Allegiant! $40 after taxes, but still … airplanes!)

That’s the whole theme of the Aviator Casino … airplanes, airports, and pai gow. That’s why at least some non-poker people see this creation of an info station at a California poker room as less about tourney registration but not too much less because it is still “functional art”:

More about this awesome little poker room — the coolest I’ve ever seen in the area — at TheAviatorCasino.com.


My Name in Felt

Well actually, let’s say Kevmath’s name if any suits ask

by , Aug 17, 2010 | 7:16 pm

Though not so sure it’s the sexiest table ever, guess I’m glad to see the Hard Rock design team moving away from Ed Hardy styles in favor of something akin to … um, an Excel spreadsheet?

Still, fancy lines aside … as something of a new guy in the attaching-blog-names-to-Nevada-tournaments racket, kinda cool to leave one’s mark at least in a small way on the fabric of licensed-and-regulated corporately overseen real-money Vegas.


Hard Rock Ready to Be Detoxified

Kegs, vodka en route for Savage throw-down tourneys

by , Aug 7, 2010 | 4:09 pm

The Detox Poker Series is right around the corner, starting Friday Aug. 13 with a $100k Guarantee for a $350 buy-in with two day ones, re-entry allowed. The spankin’-new small-stakes/big-action festival comes at a whispery time around the home room to the Pokerati NLH/PLO game … with a new crew of top-level casino brass combing through the Hard Rock’s books while walking through various gaming areas with tape measures … raising uncomfortable questions about the fate of the $12 million, two-year-old poker lounge that has seen its ups and downs without yet fully realizing its potential.

Of course that’s kinda the point of bringing in an internationally renowned tourney director. Or at least it was initially. Kinda still works, but for different reasons …

Detox Poker Schedule – Aug 2010

First things first … Savage has guaranteed the guarantees — $350k worth. This is despite a misleading tweet just two weeks ago from @hardrockpoker saying there’d be $1 million in guaranteed prize pools. [/shaking head] It coulda just been a hyperbolic typo, but an amusingly ironic one then considering the Hard Rock’s image problems after a few overpromises that these tourneys were to help put to rest. But according to Matt himself on 2+2, he’s got the $350k locked up by contract no matter how few players show.

Beyond that … expect an extra-partytime atmosphere around typical Savage series stuff (deep structures, quality dealers, friendly intelligent floor, good internet coverage, etc.) to liven up the joint: He’s in charge of providing ultra-improved tournament action while the Hard Rock promises to provide good music and a guaranteed flow of nipple-friendly eye-candy stumbling past the poker room.

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Hard Rock Running it Twice

by , Feb 5, 2010 | 8:55 pm

The Hard Rock Poker Lounge is getting its weekend poker orgy underway — this is the “relaunch” of the poker room there … under new management, with new ideas, and more action than usual …

They’ve got a full slate this weekend — beyond just the free food, splashed pots, a 20k guarantee Friday tourney and stuff like that … they’ve got a whole slate of events, including a Sharon Osborne celebrity charity event (Trash Talk Championship of the World they are calling it), a party for the launch of Victory poker. Currently filming (for ESPN 360, I believe, is a $100/$200 NLH cash game. $50k buy-in … with Antonio Esfandiari, Andrew Robl and others on the table … we’ll have some more names for you. And I think that’s The Maven waiting in the wings for a seat.

Click here for a rundown of all they’ve got going on.

Of course the game next table over is what really interests me — $1/$2 NLH/PLO … just an option to run-it-2x today, not automatic. But in my jaded opinion, that’s where the real poker is going on. The plan is to keep this game running throughout the weekend — as Super Bowl raffle is currently my 2010 bankroll plan.

More TK throughout the weekend … but here’s a glimpse of surprisingly early Friday night action taking off at the Hard Rock’s big poker weekend:


Not so PHabulous: Four Planet Hollywood Employees Arrested in Poker Room Scam

by , Sep 10, 2009 | 3:20 pm

Rumors of these arrests have floated around the forums the past week or so, but now The Las Vegas Sun reports the arrest of four casino supervisors and managers at the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas. Johnathan Sanner, Jason Peterson and Thomas R. Kordick, of Las Vegas along with Scott Marshall of Henderson were charged with forgery, embezzlement or conspiracy in the false reporting of $2,201 in high hand jackpots for two instances in August.


Judge Judging Judges

by , Jun 17, 2009 | 2:59 am

As we all know, there’s far more to the World Series than just bracelet events. One of the alt-poker activities going on today and tomorrow and yesterday (Tuesday and Wednesday) is the TDA Summit. That’s where tourney directors from card rooms around the country get together with Matt Savage, Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher, and the other honchos in tournament operations to discuss, debate, and vote on various technicalities of poker rules — as well as to discuss handling new and old situations that inevitably arise.

They also had a specialty non-bracelet tourney today — a $125 buy-in with 60something players (Warren Karp was the “known” name who made the final table) — and I happened to stumble upon the semi-funny sitch captured above … where at a table full of floormen, someone called floor. Ha ha.

Though you can imagine the pressure on the floorguy should he make the wrong ruling, it frankly wasn’t that hard of a decision … But there were a lot of people interested in how it would turn out, particularly because these players, while being trained in TDA rules, where in a tourney being run by WSOP staff, which has its own rules, which are slightly different from the TDA’s.

Click below for a breakdown of the situation, and see for yourself if you woulda made the same decision.

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RE: Paris Hilton Playing Poker

by , Mar 10, 2009 | 12:38 pm

From our sources at the Hard Rock, the ever-important details about Paris Hilton’s poker action:

She did the tournament Friday night at 11 p.m. as part of her weekend-long birthday celebration. She was with about 20 friends and had a special section reserved for her, however, the room was not closed and other players cycled in on her table. There was about 50 people in the un-advertised tournament. A DJ was brought in for her and the room had a great party atmosphere and vibe that evening. The buy-in was $100 and she was knocked out in about 45 minutes.