Turn out the Lights?

by , Sep 14, 2012 | 1:00 pm

If you didn’t arrive by 8:30am, you didn’t get a seat. (The room wasn’t even supposed to open until 10.)

On its last day, the Tropicana would give away nearly $16,000, and draw its biggest single-day crowd

The last day at the new Tropicana Poker Room, this past Tuesday, may have been their busiest ever, as they gave away nearly $16,000 in leftover jackpot cash before closing down to make room for more slot machines.

Every seat in the 6-table room was filled until the last drawing at 4 p.m.–  with a wait-list at one point nearly 100-long before those realizing they would never get a seat disbursed.

Nevada law stipulates that any jackpot drop must go back to the players, so twice every hour, there were drawings for $1,111 in cash, and in the final hour, the money was juiced up a bit more to fully empty the coffers. I had a deal to split the money with fellow Pokeratier Andrew, if one of us hit, but our numbers were never called. One guy won 3 times, and didn’t share with anybody but his wife.

The action at my table was pretty loose, mostly because of one splashy tourist who straddled almost every hand (at Trop you could straddle for any amount from any position but the blinds). Most of the other tables looked super nitty. The list was forever deep, but no one budged from the games after they locked up seats at about 8:30 a.m., save for one guy who got felted and had no more money in his pocket.

Kathy Liebert, friends with some of the old Trop staff, showed up for the mix game Monday night, but wasn’t present for the drawings.

Heavy rains crashed through the ceiling, showering a table in the back of the room

It rained so much Tuesday there was flash flooding all across Vegas, but those of us inside the poker room hardly knew until the weight of the water broke through a ceiling tile, splashing the same dude who won the three drawings.

As the final hour turned into the final minutes, players racked their chips up on the table.

And then it was over. We collected our comps and cashed out. Dealers sat quietly at their given tables, waiting for chip counts.

A Tropicana poker room dealer waits for the final chip count

A few people hung around, shook hands and hugged, shedding a few tears.

They’re supposed to turn the room into a slot tournament area, but the next afternoon the poker tables and chairs remained, recessed lights shining in the empty space. The glowing pink “Poker” sign out front called out to no one.

The Tropicana poker room the day after it closed

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