Today we get the perspective of the people who design and run the casino poker show, thanks to guest Steven Pique. Steven has climbed the poker industry ladder in classic fashion, starting with dealing on the WSOP circuit, moving to the Aria, and now running the Sahara Poker Room.
We go over the details a poker room manager cares about, including how he picks out games and promotions. Steven remains sunny about the future of live poker; our discussion covering Covid, the state of the poker industry, and getting the picky regs and mercurial recs into the seats doesn’t phase him. The coming wave of rooms moving to Poker Atlas comes up. We also get to hear a casino’s perspective on the controversy about Reserved/Private games which has flustered many pros.
I’ve worked with Steven over the past few months to create Vegas’ most interesting low to mid-stakes cash game blend, the 2/3 deep stack time game. We take another step together this week with a different target: making a highly affordable, but action-heavy, PLO game.
Since the Linq closed its room, access to low-stakes PLO on the strip has disappeared. The bait and switch of games with bring-ins keep true low-stakes players from being able to afford the Great Game played live. This has driven many PLO-Curious players to the app games.
To combat this, we’ll be playing 1/1 PLO with a low 50$ min starting Tuesday March 16 at 6 p.m at the Sahara Poker Room. That’s so you can get your feet wet and gamble and not lose too much. However, it won’t be just a game of short-stacks, because it will be no-max buy-in. I promise I’ll put down a pile of money, and you should try to come take it. Combined with a max rake of 4$, this should be good for everyone.
Hopefully, this one is more to Mason’s satisfaction!
First, a common promotion that many poker rooms have is a reward for making certain hands of value, usually four-of-a-kind or better, and sometimes the reward money goes up based on the strength of the hand. And who gets this money?
Well, if you understand how different people play poker, it should be obvious that in most cases the weak players play more hands than the tight strong players, and the more hands you play, the more likely you’re to make one of these strong hands. It’s also my guess, and again this is just a guess, that about two-thirds of this promotional money will go to the weak players. So, in my opinion, this is a good promotion for a cardroom.
Second, I’ve also been in cardrooms where they have seat drawings. I won one recently when my seat was randomly drawn (and the drawing occuring was linked to a casino slot machine jackpot being hit). While this was certainly nice for me, having the money go to me was from a cardroom’s perspective similar to putting putting the money in a wood burning fireplace and burning it.
Of course, live players can also win these drawings, so this is not the worst promotion there is, and I would give it a neutral rating. Not good but not that bad either. However, if it was up to me, random cash drawings would never happen since there are better ways to distribute the promotional money.
Third, many poker rooms have a promotion where in one form or another, they reward players for playing a certain amount of hours. It can be something like $100 for playing 20 hours in a week, and, if you play a full 30 hours, the reward will go up to $200. Another version of this is that players after putting in enough hours (and sometimes the hours will count double), will earn a spot in a free-roll tournament which of course has value,