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SuitedConnector reviewed Gila River Casino in Chandler, AZ

Excalibur Poker Room Converting to Electronic Poker Tables on 8/22/08

Announcement by PokerAtlas Posted
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255 Comments

In a true sign of the current poker times, the Excalibur, one of the oldest continuously operating poker rooms in Las Vegas, will be converting to all electronic poker tables in a few weeks.

The Excalibur's long standing poker room will be converting to all electronic tables as of August 22nd, 2008.

The room is scheduled to close on August 18th, and reopen as an all electronic room on August 22nd, 6PM.

This was confirmed by Gail, the long term Swing Shift Manager at the Excalibur.

Most of the Excalibur's dealing staff has been there since the property opened in 1990. All of their dealers are full time. It is uncertain how many will be keeping their full time employment at Excalibur once the conversion occurs.

Excalibur is the first Las Vegas poker room to officially announce a conversion to all electronic tables.

It is assumed, but not confirmed, that Poker Tek will be the supplier of the all electronic tables. Electronic tables do not use cards or chips. All players have their own individual screens which show their cards. There is a community screen to show the board.

There is no tipping, as there is no dealer. There are also no physical cards or chips.

For additional details and to comment on this, please see the Discussion Forum thread located HERE.

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Comments

  1. Hopefully not a trend that continues up the strip!

  2. guess I wont be playing excal anymore

  3. Wow, that's huge. This is a first for Vegas isn't it?

  4. Whats next? Will they increase room rates to compensate for fewer travellers? Remove meat from the buffet? Stop serving free drinks?

    Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

  5. Yes, this is the first in Nevada.

    Most of those dealers have been there since 1990. All are full time, and can be expected to be laid off.

    This is a very dark day in Vegas poker, and cold hard proof that the poker boom is long over.

  6. I can't say that I won't ever go back there because I am a little curious about how these electronic tables work. I will probably stop in there and try them just to say I have done it but after that, I doubt I will be back.

    It is sad that people are losing their jobs and I kind of liked the Excalibur room. I think it was the first place I played live poker on the strip.

  7. Ugh! Hope this is not the beginning of a trend. Doesn't really affect me much though and furthers my liking of the mid to north Strip area.

  8. Excalibur was the first live room that I ever played poker in. It is a very sad day, I hope it doesn't become a mainstay in Vegas.

  9. Wow, that is very unfortunate I'm glad I played there a couple nights ago, I guess for the final time. I feel sorry for the dealers, but hopefully they will get a severance package or at least be able to retire, since most probably will not be able to get work elsewhere.

  10. @LasVegasMichael

    So, anyone want to hazard a guess as to how long it lasts before the tables are more expensive than they are worth?

  11. I sincerely hope that this fails sooner rather then later.

    The Excal has always been a budget minded room.

    All extra board dealers were laid off months ago, leaving only the long term full timers dealing in the room.

    They only have 4 autoshufflers, out of 11 tables, yet on a typical weeknight, you would see at least 6 live games running, with more on the weekend. Though they recently got new felts and new chairs, it has always been obvious that the room was running on quite a tight overall budget.

    Thing is, the room is always busy. It has 4K hotel rooms above it, and there are over 15K rooms on that corner. The room has always appeared to be a financially successful poker room. I would have expected this from one of the smaller, newer rooms, but to come from Excalobur is truly shocking to me.

  12. Our local Casino is in the process of adding a 10 table poker room as part of it ongoing expansion, increased parking, more slots, and adding an entertainment venue, basically becoming more like a Vegas Casino. For the last 8 months they have had 2 electronic poker tables that at first were popular but are now sitting empty most of the time I was told they will remove them when the new "live" room opens. I tried these tables and I didn't like it, I like the feel of the cards and handling the chips. 50 hands an hour plus or minus. In one 3 hour sesion the table I was at had a straight flush, 4 four of a kinds and so many full houses I wonder what kind of RGN process they use. Most of the better player are going to wait the 7 to 8 months for the real poker room to open. When I travel to vegas I will avoid these tables and support those rooms that support live poker and provide an income for dealers that from time to time contribute to an excellent poker experience.
    Just my 2 cents

  13. hopefully this tanks horribly and no other rooms will try it. I played on them in Memphis, I would rather play online at home, the tables have their place (mainly cruise ships and other small 1 or 2 table venues)

    I think it will get some interest early as people try it out, but I don't think it will last very long

  14. Just like I won't go through the automatic checkout at the grocery with no teller I won't play poker in a casino without a dealer present..... ya gotta have some kind of principles in life.

    Seriously, I cannot imagine this being a good idea unless a casino is just ready to give up on poker and shut their room down, which is basically how I take it.

  15. excal reallyt started losing when they moed the poker room. No railbirds to join in. In the evening they would have 10-12 tables running if not more

  16. After letting the news of the Excalibur digest, I understand the position that some exec at MGM Mirage was in. Let me state I definitely do not agree with the decision, but I understand the situation. This should further exemplify to some that those chips being dropped in the box (the rake), pay quite a few things before they show a profit. Heck, most casinos would probably rather fill up the area with slot machines than to worry about paying a manager, dealers, etc.

    MGM/Mirage just posted that they had a huge drop in net profit over the past quarter. The economy didn’t help, people are still coming here, but they are not bringing too much to gamble with. The fire and shut down at Monte Carlo didn’t help either. Meanwhile, they are trying to fund the completion of CityCenter. This all boils down to higher management putting pressure on middle management to find ways to squeeze more dollars of profit out. Along comes the owner of these electronic tables (seeing a perfect situation), and gives out these terrific sales pitches…1) less employee payroll -- you just have to pay someone to take in the money and fund out what they cash out with (heck maybe they will incorporate the ticket system like the slot machines)…2) no more employees to pay health care to, feed when on break, etc…3) still make the full rake that you made before. That number three point is a big one. If the salesperson knows roughly what you pour in to pay your employees to run the games, that has just become profit in their eyes. What the exec doesn’t see is the drop in business, and the subsequent demise of these electronic machines. They have a place for these machines, cruise ships, greyhound tracks, etc….but not in Vegas.

  17. My first thoughts? This is big!

    Next thoughts? I'm a little sad to see the Excalibur poker room converted, but I'll get over it. It was one of my regular haunts during grad school when I was learning to play cards. I enjoyed many drunken nights there "studying up."

    I knew it was only a matter of time before a Vegas poker room brought in the electronic tables; but I didn't expect a medium size room like the Excalibur to go "all electronic" all at once -- I'm surprised they didn't test the response with just a couple of electronic tables.

    Definitely an interesting development in the Vegas poker community.

  18. To all dealers, floorpeople and shiftmanagers.

    I said this before. If you play in the Excaliber after they go to Electronic tables you deserve to lose your job. Yes, we will all go see the tables. But to reward the jackasses in upper management by giving them hours of business is insane.

    This decision is being made by some short sighted executive who doesn't understand poker or poker players. Middle management will be rewarded for cutting labor. And when the revenue plumits in the room, they will blame the poker boom being over as the cause.

    What management doesn't get and for some reason never will is; poker is a social game. In the low limit levels it is a people game, a drinking game. New players are a little intimidated by the game and need to have their hands held to ease into the game. An E-table will basically turn new players away, the way bacarat or other somewhat confusing games don't attract new customers.

    Many of the dealers in the Excalibur, I assume, play in their own room. That business is gone. Most of the locals who have friends that deal there will probably find a new place to play. And if we're smart, everyone on this sight will stay away.

    Obviously, Mike and I will review this room after the change. But I will spend about 15 minutes there tops.

    Perry

  19. Interestingly enough, the subject of electronic tables came up at the live table I playing at today. There was no discussion of the Excalibur, as we didn't know this was happening. The guy that brought it up is a regular player at Foxwoods Casino back east. He told us that they put a few of those machines in there, and they sat dead. Of course, players had the option of playing live poker or those machines. The discussion led to the fact that most that have played on them, compared it to online poker, with the feeling of "what's the point then?" He told us that it was a failed experiment, and that they removed the machines shortly thereafter.

    My guess is that those machines at the Excalibur may get a little action from tourists from time to time, especially beginners. But, I'm sure that anybody that has ever played live poker will be going elsewhere, searching for a real game.

    As far as this starting a trend in Las Vegas...I seriously doubt it. Some of the smaller rooms may try this, but the larger rooms and/or well established rooms (TI for example) will be in no danger. Quite the opposite actually, they'll benefit from it with more players.

  20. This is a very dark day in Vegas. No dealers? Horrible, plan horrible. I can't believe they are turning Vegas into a on-line poker site.

  21. All e-tables? EWWWWWWWWWWW that's terrible!! Just see my post about the difference between Fantasy Springs (e-table) and Agua Caliente (live dealers). The poker action will dry up so quickly at Excal, it'll make heads spin. I really feel sorry for the dealers that are being squeezed out of a job.

  22. @SouthPointPerry

    Exactly. That's what makes this so surprising to me coming from the Excalibur. Not that I'm any expert, but wasn't their whole niche providing a casual, non-threatening room for new players and low rollers? At least that's why I went their on my last (and first) trip, and I wasn't disapointed. That was also why the Excalibur was at the top of my list for my next trip. I know as a first time player I sure wouldn't have sat down at one of those machines - I really appreciated have a patient and friendly dealer to guide the action.

    And why would I spend my money to come halfway around the country to do what I can do sitting at the computer in my own house? Heck, here I can play in my boxers, drink better beer, and get moral support from the dog. I can maybe see a machine at a venue that would not otherwise have poker (not that I'd play it there either), but definitely not in a Vegas casino.

  23. OK, I'll be the voice of disention here. I think this is actually a good thing.

    If poker was really dying -- and I think summer and the economy are giving it a good kick, at least here (Washington) -- they could just close the poker room and put it slot machines. They think there's enough interest to put in electronic tables. As well, this is a pretty significant investment in poker. I assume they lose money over the first year because of the huge start up costs and don't (in theory) make money until year 2. So they expect poker to be going strong for a few years.

    Someone, somewhere had to experiment with electronic tables. Better sooner than later. If it turns out people like this -- maybe it's an easier transition for online players -- then they made a good call. If/when it fails and they see the room is dark much of the time, that will stop other casinos, certainly other MGM-Mirage properties, from even thinking about E-tables.

    I'll admit, I'm very curious to try them out. But I expect I won't like them at all in a real casino. Pocket rockets don't have the same effect when they're pixels on a screen rather than cards you can feel.

  24. There is one version of these tables that I think can actually help a poker room - the heads-up tables.

    The only reason these particular tables would work is that it is not financially viable to deal a heads-up game with a live dealer. Too much dough to the house and dealer. But an electronic table can do it.

    Where this can help a room is if there's a wait, a couple of buddies can play at a heads-up table. This is about the only scenario that I can picture where one of these tables could actually be profitable in the long run. People won't stay at these tables long, but the heads-up table could be a way to keep people in the poker room while they wait.

    But as for the big tables - I hope they die a quick death. They will be a curiosity, and folks will look at them and play on them for awhile. But it won't take long to wear off. The sad part of it is that once the room is gone, it will be difficult to bring it back, even if the e-tables fail.

    I really feel for the folks at Excalibur that are being displaced. While there are a few rooms opening in the next 60 days, there are few positions open around town. I wish them all good luck.

  25. @talon1964 Ummm, no. No they didn't. Sorry to so directly contradict you, but they actually reported a 2% drop in revenue in comparison to their all time record the previous year, and a 68% reduction in net income (that's profit not revenue) due primarily to the cost of building the enormous new City Center development, and not due to the year on year decline in revenue from $1.94 billion to $1.90 billion.

    http://www.lvrj.com/business/26330279.html

    But on the main topic, I don't know what I think of it, I have several contradictory thoughts, but at the risk of being figureatively tarred and feathered and burned at the stake I definitely will try it as soon as I get a chance. Maybe I'll go in disguise so the dealer mafia doesn't get me down on their hit list. I think for this to work well it will require a beefed up floor staff that is really on the ball in multiple ways. I can think of exactly one individual who works the desk there who is likely to be up to that task. They will need more floor people of that caliber than just him. I wonder if it has even occurred to them that they will need that. They have some others employed there who are, well, just not. At all.

  26. @AdRock

    First of all its not that significant of an investment. Here's why! These are hypothetical figures.

    20 dealers for an average of 6 hours a day at $7 = $840
    Cashiers, 3 @ $12 hour x 8 hours each = $288
    Extra cocktail waitress at $10 per hour = $240
    Shift Manager $25 per hour x 3 x 8 hrs. = $600
    Total cost per day = $1968

    Monthly labor savings = $1968 x 30 = $59,040

    I don't know how much these pieces of junk cost, but they can't possibly be more than $60K per unit.

    Second, and this is the important part. What is the drop off in business? And what will the impact be on other parts of the casino? I have played in the Excalibur. While waiting for a table I have played blackjack, craps and made sports bets. In the 7 years I've lived here, I have probably lost at least $1000 in the excalibur in non-poker gaming activities. That revenue will go away. How many loyal customers will stop staying there because they don't like the poker?

    Here's one piece of anacdotal (ignore the spelling) evidence as to why a poker room is important. Before the current Ceasar's poker room, they had another one about 20 years ago. They made the decision to close it. The month after they closed it monthly revenue in the sports book was down 8% year over year. That translated into $250,000.

    While this decision will save labor, it is shortsided and probably very stupid!

    Perry

  27. It is my understanding that we may be seeing some of these machines at Aliante Station (at one point they were going to be all e-tables but now I understand it will be a mix).

    So far every instance I have heard of an existing poker room trying these tables has been a failure. live players generally want a more social situation and the speed of an electronic game requires players to focus more on the game then the social environment.

    And those players who are more serious about the game and like the fact that the game will force the action then get to deal with the fact that there is no dealer there to reign in misbehavior/etiquette breaches/outright cheating by the other players.

  28. I know I will want to try it just to see how they work but honestly, if I want to play on a machine, I will stay home and play on the internet.

  29. I could digest a few tables going electronic .....but, not all of them !!!

    Some of the dealers at Excal are the best... some are not. Poker is a people game and hard core players know that a bad dealer is a waste of time and money and a Great Dealer is priceless.

    I have been looking forward to the machines coming to Vegas ....... to wake up the bad dealers and let the best of the best be recognized for being the best. Evevery time a dealer sits at the table and I have to adjust to a bad dealer it's a distraction from my game...... which costs me time and money.

    Please understand me....... I play many hours a day at many casinos each week and that if I had a choice between a Great dealer and a good machine I'd pick the Great Dealer ....... and with a choice between a bad dealer and a good machine I'd pick the machine.

    Am I the only one who feels this way?

    And yes I feel bad for the employees at Excalibur Poker Room !!!

  30. Oh Dear! Another catastrophic example of a knee jerk reaction to a relatively minor problem.

    Why aren't these people in Management giving their business maximum flexibility? The current world financial squeeze is having an effect but it will be short term. I could understand a reduction in service at the room, i.e. partial closure as per the T.I. during slack times of the day but a whole scale transfer to an electronic room, utter madness. Try one maybe to see if it outlasts its curiosity value, but don't jump in with both feet!

    If you people at the Excalibur are listening out there, YOU WILL LOSE LOTS OF CUSTOMERS!! They won't be playing slots or other table games & they won't be using your restaurants either!!

    Part of me wants to see it fail in the hope that those responsible lose their jobs & it then sends the right message to any other bright eyed Management team that this is not the way to go!

  31. IMO this is a precurser to closing the room. My theory is that someone at MGM decided to put in the e-tables to slowly kill poker at the Excal. So instead of having the stones to actually just go ahead and shutter it they decided to put in the tables, and when it fails - and it will - they can say "Well, we tried. Sorry."

    The south end of the strip is a bad place for poker. Mandalay Bay has horrible rules. NYNY doesn't have a room. Did Luxor ever finish their "remodel?" Does the Trop have one? I never hear anyone talk about it. About the only rooms worth a damn are MGM and Monte Carlo.

  32. Something I find odd is that I still can't find any announcement of this by PokerTek, or any confirmation that they have their Nevada device license. They got their manufacturer's and distributor's license in May 2007 but also need to have a device license for PokerPro tables to be approved for use in the state.

    They tend to trumpet these whenever they get a new approval or agreement or installation, such as at the new electronic room at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City for example. Like THIS. Getting final approval to use the device in Nevada will be a big deal for the company, as will the first Nevada casino installation. I don't question the information, as it sounds solidly confirmed, but it is peculiar that they haven't rushed out a press release as soon as they had Nevada approval to begin using the machines in the state, and again as soon as they had an agreement to install them somewhere, not just for the public but particularly for shareholders.

    http://www.pokertek.com/
    http://www.pokertek.com/pressarticles.html
    http://finance.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ%3APTEK
    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/h?s=PTEK
    http://gaming.nv.gov/

  33. Excalibur will fail miserably. This won't work.

  34. This is such a BAD idea. If MGM wanted to give this a go, I could understand introducing some E-tables into the LUXOR room, given it's been in a pretty bad state of upheaval of late, and, in my opinion a much quieter room. The Excal room has always looked busier to me than many other of the low key strip rooms.

    Just to echo the sentiments of some that have posted, this is a sad day for me. The Excal, while not the nicest place to play your game, was always a good bedding in ground for new players (Fish have to start somewhere). It was also my own specific choice for very drunk sessions of 2/4 LHE when i was too far gone to let myself play anything else.

    I'd planned trips down to the south end of the strip to eat, get very merry, and then indulge in some very drunk, but normally very fun sessions at the Excal room on my next trip in Nov. Those meals were all going to be at other MGM properties. The MGM Grand room (while obvisouly a superior room) does't have the same fun vibe, so I can see myself spending those drunken nights in some of the Harrah properties mid strip, along with the accompanying food dollars!

    I sincerely hope this falls flat on it's face, and would echo SouthPoint Perry's sentiments to all locals. For what it's worth I'll be giving the property a wide berth on my few visits a year.

  35. Do you think that this is an experiment?

    If it succeeds (however MGM/Mirgae defines it), could they justify this move at ALL MGM properties?

  36. @SouthPointPerry

    Do casinos really quantify non-poker gaming that comes from the poker room? I would think that it's "poker" (my understanding, a relatively small revenue source) vs. "not poker" (slots, etc, a BIG revenue source). I'd love to hear an insider's comment on this.

    @SouthPointPerry

    Where was the poker room relative to the sports book? I could certainly see this happening somewhere that has the poker room fairly open and immediately adjacent to the sports book. Interesting point though.

    Finally: Assuming that new B&M players DO see a lot more high hands on the electronic tables, wouldn't that bode well for when these players sit at a live table, since they would expect much better hands and play that much more loosely?

  37. I will NEVER sit down at one of those things and it's highly unlikely that I will ever gamble at a casino that has them. I have no curiosity towards this at all only contempt.

    I guess you can still sit around the electronic table and drink and socialize with the other players, but I don't trust the shuffle on Full Tilt and I never will be 100% comfortable with any electronic shuffle of digital cards.....

    I want real cards dealt by a real person. More important than the social aspect of the live dealer-dealt game is the integrity of having and seeing 52 cards shuffled and held in a dealers hand.

    Without that I am flat out not playing cards in a casino, I'll save the expense of the trip out and load that money up online. It is very likely that I will never be in Excalibur to gamble again.

    I truly believe that the Full Tilt shuffle is rigged toward promoting action which increases rake. I might be wrong, but I believe that and feel that I see a lot more boat over boat, str8 over str8 and runner, runner bs online than ever live. So to me "poker" is distinct from "online/electronic poker".... 2 related but different versions of the same game... real poker is played with cards.

  38. Well, considering they already have some pros pushing the "love this table" attitude on the web site, it will be interesting to see what people will do. Since the entire room is going this way, it may work seeing as Excalibur has a good following along with the newbie clientele. From those that have commented about already having these installed in their casinos, seems that they fail when there are still "live" card games to play, but if the entire room is this way, what choice does a tourist have other than having to leave the comfort of their hotel?

    I know that the Hull casino in Quebec has these and their room is packed because this is all that is available for players. It obviously won't be a big hit with the regulars here it appears but I have a feeling that it may not die the miserable death that some are hoping.

    As for me? I'd have to watch first to see how the "cards" play. If it looks like Poker Stars in it's card play I wouldn't touch it with anyone's money.

    Hey, too bad MGM doesn't own the WSOP rights. They could have added these tables to the final table to prove how great they are. I guess we will know they are a good thing when Doyle and the boys play their high stakes games at Bellagio on one of them...

  39. Did it ever occur to management that their hotel rooms look like a bad Days Inn on the inside? I've never stayed there, but recently stopped by a friend's room....OMG what a dive!

    If you've ever seen old particle-board furniture that has gotten wet too many times, you know what I am talking about.

  40. You guys all know more than me on this, but the thought I had is what rake are they going to charge on these tables? Could they set it at something like 5%/$3 max - at least initially - and push the e-tables as 'the cheapest poker in Vegas'?

    Have to say that they have no appeal to me - I'm coming to Vegas to play some real poker, and if I want to play on a screen, I can do that at home.

  41. @CosmicHobo

    This was my question too -- will they continue the same rake structure? If so, how can they possibly justify it?

    I have no interest in trying out these tables. I am not going to fly all the way to Vegas to do what I can do in the comfort of my own house.

    Also, I think a good dealer can really enhance a poker table experience, in much the same way that a good waiter can really enhance a dining experience.

  42. Excalibur was the first hotel I stayed at when turning 21 and the first poker room I ever played in. After this decision I will never step foot in Excalibur again.

    Earlier in the year I was at the Star City Casino in Sydney and they had the electronic poker machines there. It was a busy day but there was not one person playing the electronic game. Any room that brings these in are just about ready to go out of business.

    RIP Excalibur poker

  43. @guynotes

    I think they are replacing the two tables in Bobby's Room as we speak! :laughing:

  44. I am an online player who goes to vegas for the live action. This is why most of the people who play poker go to vegas nowadays with the advent of online poker imo. There is absolutely no reason to leave the comfort of my easy chair if I am going to not be able to touch cards and chips.

    Just my $0.02

  45. I know this will go against the general feeling most people have about e-tables, but maybe the Excalibur is the perfect location for the industry to try them out for the following reasons.

    1) The Excalibur Poker Room definitely caters to the novice poker players and the use of e-tables eliminates some of the human factor which actually intimidates the rookie B&M player and reminds them more of their online experience.

    2) Their is no city that has more choices for poker rooms then Las Vegas, so given the wide range of gambling options available it makes sense that the e-tables should be present somewhere on the strip and as players get better they'll look to move to the live dealer games.

    3) If they actually stay busy, these tables will be more profitable for the Excalibur based on number of hands played and lower staffing. I suspect they will decrease the size of the poker room as well (more room for slots)

    I hope that it isn't a huge trend in the industry but I think with all the choices in Las Vegas it is good to have this option to bring more people into the game. Also you should look at the upside of this change, if the e-tables at Excalibur do take off this may end up being the juiciest game in town.

  46. Maybe this is a dumb question... but if all-electronic poker tables, why not all-electronic blackjack, craps, and roulette? And heck, while we're at it, why not all-electronic casino war and the big money wheel?

    Seems to me that someone is missing the boat bigtime on what the casino experience is all about. Interaction with real live people is what most people want, whether they admit it or even realize it, when they choose to play a game that involves other people.

    Granted, some "electronic-ization" seems to have been accepted by players over time. For example, the elimination of the lever and actual coins on slot machines. BUT the key difference there is that slot machines require ZERO knowledge as to how to use, and they cater to people who don't want to be embarassed in front of other people. It's not quite the same with poker or other games that involve you sitting with other people...

    And if it's a matter of money, it seems to me that in business sometimes you have to accept lower profits (or even losses) in some areas in order to bolster your other areas or your reputation. It's like a supermarket taking a loss on some exotic fruit because people who come there to buy that fruit ALSO buy lots of other stuff at the supermarket, and they get a reputation as a store that has everything so they get other people's business too.

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Maybe the casino execs know more than I do, or maybe they're just being short-sighted.

  47. 1. This has been planned for quite a while: About a month ago, all Excalibur uniforms were changed/updated except for poker. All carpeting was changed/updated in casino areas, except for poker.

    2. If there are openings at sister MGM Mirage properties, the dealers will be transferred upon approval. If not, they will be laid off. This was said point blank to the entire dealing staff yesterday. All of their dealers are full time, and the vast majority have been at Excal since 1990 when their poker room first opened.

    3. All tables are being replaced. They are not keeping any live tables in the room.

  48. I've played at Excalibur a few times and it seems that most of the players there are either novices who don't play much poker, or they are regulars who know eachother and just seem to enjoy a friendly game a couple nights a week. Due to the non-social atmosphere that Poker-Tek tables bring I think they will lose a lot of business from the regulars.

    Furthermore I think the whole notion that e-tables are "less intimidating" to online players is ridiculous. People who play online are not all pale-faced socially awkward misfits who have panic attacks any time they are faced with a situation where they have to deal with real people. If an online player finds himself in a casino I think he's just as likely to sit at a real table as he is an e-table. Looking at it from the other side, I think the e-tables will be intimidating to a large part of the population and that many people who would potentially play at a real table at Excalibur will not even think about playing at the e-tables. Not to paint any group of people with a large brush, but think of how many "older" folks out there have never used a laptop, are confused by cell phones, and just fear technology in general. What are the odds that they're going to play a game where you have no real cards, no real chips, and no dealer?

    This will be a massive failure and sadly the Excalibur will have no poker room by this time next year.

  49. @DayTripping

    Well, not to blast anyone, but we are going to lose quite a few rooms anyways.

  50. @SouthPointPerry

    Perry,
    I think you missed some extra costs here.

    Some times there is OT but let's just assume there is none.
    you still have..

    Long term disabilty
    Short term disabilty
    federal Fica
    Federial Unemployement
    State unemployment
    Employee meals
    Dental Benefits
    Life Benefits
    Vision Benefits
    Major Medical (A really Big one here)
    Savings & Retirment (401k)
    Worker's Comp
    Holiday Pay (PTO)

    and if employees do good a Bonus on top of that all.

    Now most people do underestimte the cost of Labor but even with all the costs listed above I can see where an exec not familer with poker would be like poker tek is a great way to cut costs but most people want a live dealer and IMO I perfer a live dealer.

  51. @Vince

    It's funny you mention this. I was in Vegas at the end of July, and the first thing that I noticed was that some casinos had taken to having electronic roulette and even a couple of electronic blackjack tables (where there was a screen with a "live" dealer nonetheless). If I want to play any of those games electronically, I can spend $10 for the computer game, or play online for free...

    As for the demise of live poker at the Excal... I have always enjoyed the Excaliber to do some "low rolling." I once played there, at my bachelor party. Of course this was after myself, 9 other guys, and some old guy (with his 4th wife, who was buying the shots) at the bar in the Monte Carlo brewpub drank ~2.5 bottles of Jager in about 1 hour. Needless to say my brother and I played a session of 1-3 spread limit from around 1200AM until the sun was up. One of my all time favorite poker playing/gambling experiences.

    RIP (live) Excaliber poker...

  52. @suited76

    I wouldn't worry about about loising too many rooms to the electronic tables because live players will always prefer to have a dealer and real chips/cards in front of them.

  53. I also don't understand the notion that people are intimidated by live poker but won't be intimidated by these tables.

    I don't understand why anyone would think that someone is intimidated by the dealer but not intimidated by the other players.

    The simple fact is that the dealer is the least intimidating aspect of live poker.

  54. You are absolutely right psand. Generally it's the other players that the novices are afraid of, not the dealer. The dealer (assuming it is a good one) is there to make the new player feel welcome and comfortable. Besides, at low limit tables the atmosphere at the table is generally friendly because people are there to have a good time. From what I've heard, the atmosphere at these e-tables is generally gloomy and depressing with very little social interaction going on. How is that supposed to be less intimidating than a real table?

  55. @IP POKER

    IP,

    My estimates were very back of the envelope. I think we can add about 25% to my $60K per month for an average 8 to 12 table room. Whether we use my numbers or your more realistic estimation, it still becomes easy for a short sighted executive to "try this out" and fire 25 to 40 employees.

    The final test with this thing is whether the bottom line will justify keeping them in the casino. If the gross profit of the poker room is the same or better, it is "a dark day for poker in Vegas."

    A smart Vice President or President of a casino will judge the poker room by how many people stay in the casino. Are they using the restaurants, slots, shows, blackjack, dice etc? Just last Sunday I was in the mix game at your place, took a break, and lost $200 to a Mariah carey impersonater. If you didn't have live poker dealers the mixed game wouldn't go and my $200 would of gone to charity not the IP.(lol)

    We all know change is inevitable. But progress does not necessarily go hand in hand with change.

    I will say it one more time: Any dealer, floorperson or Shift Manager that gives these machines your business should be fired and replaced with this box.

    RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT!

    SouthPointPerry

  56. This move is probably good news for IP. If you want a fun, friendly, social 2/4 game on the strip, Excalibur and IP are the main choices. As I see it, this looks like IP losing its biggest competition for that particular niche market.

    Like everyone else, I'm not thrilled about electronic poker tables. I'm not flying to vegas to play on-line poker.

    I'm loathe to admit though, I kind of like the video Roulette machines, but that's not because I prefer them to a live game, but because the machines offer small stakes. I can sit down with $20 bucks, amuse myself, get a beer and spend some time waiting for a poker tournament to start. Roulette is NOT the reason I go to Las Vegas. Conversely, many people DO go to Vegas specifically for real poker.

  57. I absolutely HATE this news. I first played on the Strip in the Excalibur when the poker room was located to the left when you walked into the back of the house. Then, later, when I was getting good at poker, I still visited the room when it was on the right, where the sportsbook is now. Now, I've moved out here, and been pleased at the staff/action of the room in the middle of the floor. I've played on the Tek tables when they had them at Winstar. They suck. I won't be going back.

    A special thanks to all the staff from Excalibur who read the board. Hopefully, we'll see ALL of you at other spots around town.

  58. Some of the casinos here in Detroit tried them out a little while ago. I did play at one just to give it a try, all they had was $3/6 limit. I didn't like it all that much, but after talking to some players they perfered playing those tables. They liked the faster dealing and eleminating mistakes from the dealers (the dealers here aren't as good as the dealers in Vegas) among other things. If thats what you like, then stay home and play on the internet. Like I said, I didn't like it much and only played for about 30 minutes then left. To my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong other Detroit casino goers), but I think they didn't survive the test phase. Hopefully they don't survive in Vegas either.

  59. @Grind House

    I agree with you Grind House. I was thinking about this today actually. Usually, when a "beginner" live poker player asks me where to play there are two poker rooms come to mind immediately - Excalibur and I.P.

    This could be wind up benefiting IP. If the Excalibur experiment is a flop, I'll be recommending IP exclusively.

    On the other hand, Excalibur may very well end up being THE place for a beginner to get his feet wet since electronic poker tables are sort of like poker with training wheels.

  60. I absolutely hate this change. I don't claim to understand the business side of the decision, my feelings are personal. This was the first casino I played poker in and I stayed there on my second Vegas trip. I have always made a point of stopping in, if only for a little while during my trips. Had many great evenings playing low limit hold em. Always had tables full of players drinking, throwing around chips and having a good time. Sad to say, I don't think I will be back based on this change. Good luck to all who look to be out of work.

  61. I hate to belabor this because I already posted this question, but what about the rake? Are they actually going to keep the rake at a $4 or $5 max? If so, how do they justify it?

    It seems to me that the electronic tables would allow the casino to lower the rake to something like a $2 max, which would be a key incentive to get players to come and try it out. But are they not even bothering to do this?

    LVM, if you talk to the Excalibur management again, please ask them about this. IMO, if they are actually keeping the same rake, this move amounts to highway robbery and is even more ridiculous.

  62. If they lower the rake, I could see a place for tables at lower limits, less rake and no toke to dealer can make a big difference in lower limit game.
    Still have conversation at tables, just no dealer to throw cards at when on tilt, and no cards to throw.....darn it :confused:

  63. wow a table with a lower rake and no tipping the dealers...sounds like a nits dream!!!

  64. @DayTripping

    Heck, you just pretty well described me, and I'm only 35. :flushed:
    (Ok, not quite, but pretty close. Luddite and proud!)

    Beyond that, though, I totally agree. A good dealer makes the game less intimidating and enhances the social aspect. And like you said, novices and social players were the Excalibur's bread and butter.

    I'd venture to guess that online players would be even less inclined to play the e-tables. If you're already playing at home, you're not going to travel to Vegas to do the same thing. If you come, it's to get all the stuff you're missing online.

  65. We can guess how you personally feel about it. I have not heard one person EVER say, "I LOVE POKERTEK!"

  66. Can't wait to check out these new tables.....and laugh my head off. Wow. The online poker experience in a casino. Really? Maybe they will put in bench seats like the big wheel of fortune machines have so me and my sweetie can sit side by side and ruin the B&M experience even further. I want to vomit with rage.

  67. Tried one of these at Tunica last year. Once the 'cool gadget' factor worn off, it was rather impersonal and cold. While there are other players at the table, it still felt like playing poker vs. a machine, since the action is displayed in front of you. The pace was also rather fast, you feel like you are always being waited on.

    It sat empty most of the time, while there were a couple live tables going.

    I can see it getting non-poker players (if they keep the stakes small) or transitioning online players into live poker, but other than that it can't replace the 'live poker' feel (the felt, the cards, the chips, the dealer conversations).

    Electronic blackjack didn't replace live blackjack, so I doubt this will replace live poker. As many have said, people go to Vegas for the gambling atmosphere, not just the gambling.

  68. @SouthPointPerry

    One thing you left out of your calculation is the rental for the auto-shufflers. I understand the fee is not small. I also understand that that they can only be rented and not purchased.

    The Hard Rock Tampa had these electronic tables. They used them to allow low limit sit and gos. $40 and $60, IIRC. They are gone now as well as the low limit sit and gos. $120 is the smallest right now.

    Sorry to the dealers that got laid off. I wish you guys and gals the best.

    Pete

  69. Wow, this a bummer. I just found this thread while doing a search about the topic. I'm a new poker player and my wife and I head to vegas on Aug. 18 and I was planning on taking a lesson and playing my first game of real poker in a cardroom at the Excalibur because I'd heard it was a good place for low-limit novice players. I have no interest in electronic poker (not that it'll even be open while I'm there) or any type of electronic gambling for that matter. If I want to gamble on a computer I can do that at home. I'll still have a blast playing BJ and Pai Gow but now my poker plans are crushed. Any suggestions?

  70. As has been picked up in the rest of the thread, I think most people would most closely match the IP room with the vibe of the Excal room (yes I did just use the word 'vibe).

    Personally I'd probably toss in the Monte Carlo room in as a nice beginner casual type kick off venue. (I'm making an assumption your south strip)

  71. thedude is correct that Greektown in detroit had 2 electronic tables, every time i was there there were lengthy lists for the games with a dealer and no one playing at the electronic tables. I think they then started to be used just used for sit n go tournaments and i believe they are gone now but am not sure.
    It seems that if a game is available with a live dealer that is the game people will choose. As someone else posted the electronic tables would seem to work on cruise ships or bars but not where games dealt with a live dealer are available.
    On the west side of michigan there is a casino with all electronic tables anyone know how that is working out?

  72. I agree with the previous poster - Monte Carlo's 2-4 limit game is an excellent game for a beginner to get his or her baptism into poker. Usually there a couple to a few good players in the 2-4 limit game, and the rest are relatively new to poker. The dealers are also friendly and make new players feel welcome and comfortable.

  73. Almost every room offers $2-$4 (there are a few exceptions) and $2-$4 is a beginners game regardless of what casino it is in. I don't get when people single out the Excalibur or IP or any other room as having a beginners $2-$4 game. Every room that offers $2-$4 has a beginners game.

  74. I absolutely agree that $2/$4 LHE is a beginners game whatever the venue, but I think, as supported by many peoples comments in the thread that the Excal had a really easy going feel about it especially to the newbie's at the table. I certainly had more fun playing drunk $2/$4 there, than i did anywhere else, and Drunk is the only time i play $2/$4!

    Somehow I think Excal had become the rookie camp of Vegas!

    My 2c for what it's worth.

  75. I just saw this thread for the first time today, it has been a busy week at the office. I have several thoughts on this:

    I have played several times on the electronic tables at Four Winds in MI as this is all they offer in their WSOP branded poker room. First and foremost, I STRONGLY dislike it compared to live poker. I think most of us like the social aspect of poker both from the enjoyment of interaction with our peers to the ability to observe other players. Both of these components are greatly diminished at the e-tables. While people do talk at the table the amount of time looking at your screen and the faster pace of the game greatly diminish the social interaction. While the increased speed of the game might be of interest to some it has a great draw back in that your time to act is severely restricted; to, I believe, 30 seconds and you can not ask “for time” as you can online, indeed the table effectively calls for a clock on you every hand. Given these factors and several others I greatly prefer live games.

    However, I am not so sure these tables will fail outright in Vegas. I say this for a couple of reasons. First, I have seen several people who view these tables as “kind of like” video poker or a slot machine. People do seem fairly willing to give them a try as they are often spread at low limits. Four Winds offers .50/$1 NL with a $50 min and $100 max and it is very popular. Second and equally important is the apparent potential for employment cost reduction for the casinos. However, I will point out that these tables will not limit these costs as much as you might think as the room tends to have one or two greeters working the desk and helping players learn how to sign up, put money on their card, get on a list, find their table…, also there is at least on floor position who can be called to handle disputes, yes they do still happen at these tables for example claims of collusion or talking about hands are very common, and also the poker room maintains its own cage to allow players to put money on their card and to withdraw it when done. A third reason the tables may work is it seems for the most part a large portion of Vegas consumers will swallow whatever is served up e.g. 6:5 blackjack; hopefully, this is not so true for poker players. The fourth reason they may work is the players they attract are so bad. I have never played with such a wide sample of bad novice players. As we all know if these are the players who come to the tables it will in turn attract skilled players to take advantage. While I do not enjoy the game nearly as much at these tables I have to admit the ease of these games is very tempting. I am not sure if the same will scenario will develop in Vegas.

    I hope that live poker will continue to be the norm in Vegas and my gut says it will but don’t be too quick to predict the failure of the e-tables, especially at the lower levels.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Mark

  76. @SouthPointPerry

    Yes you are correct, and by the way Mariah Carey told me she now has a stalker.... you wouldn't happen to know anything about this would you?

  77. I'm going to agree with the other posts and say that an electronic table is less intimidating than a live dealer. I know many people who are hesitant to play at a live table because they don't want to look dumb because they don't know how to bet or how much to bet or the minimum raise, etc....with an electronic table it's all done for you.

    For low limit players, I really think it could be good because most of the people who don't have a problem playing at an electronic table are going to be relatively inexperienced players. Inexperience doesn't ALWAYS equal easy money but they aren't going to be as good as the people who really know how to play.

    I kind of think this might be a wave of the future especially if Excalibur is remotely successful. I mean if every room in vegas used electronic tables, would you all quit playing forever? Unfortunately we really ARE at the mercy of the corporations. Doesn't mean we like it or can't voice our opinions about it though...

    Personally if I had the choice of playing an electronic table or live table? The purist in me wants to say a live table but the moneymaking part of me says electronic because I have found that those electronic tables are generally softer.

    Then again I'm out to play the softest competition. I'm greedy like that. :laughing:

  78. @cabopc There's no shortage of places on the Strip that are fine for a new player to get started, offering lessons on the basics of handling chips & cards & an opportunity to get comfortable in a low-limit game. Like almost all of them, except for a few that tend to be awash in Red Bull and stocked with a platoon of folks dressed for a covert airborne assault operation or something. I can think of at least eight places for that right off the top of my head, and if I spent as much as fifteen seconds thinking about it would probably come up with more. But I would not have put the Excal in the top half of that list myself. I agree with some others here that Monte Carlo is a nearby property that should be a fine place to get an introduction to casino poker. After getting a little instruction from a dealer, offered by almost all Las Vegas poker rooms, play in the morning when business is slow and dealers often have plenty of extra time to work with you and your wife at the table as they are waiting for games to start filling.

    Have fun. It's a rule.

  79. @psand

    Because people have opinions other than you.

  80. @cabopc

    If you're looking for places that advertise free lessons, Planet Hollywood's webiste lists them daily at 9 am. Although as others have said, most places will probably be happy to do something similar even if its not regularly advertised or scheduled.

    Have a fun trip!

  81. This truly is my worst nightmare, I'm sad for Excal, but happy it wasn't the Monte. Being that we are an MGM property that does scare me. I have questions about the other aspects of poker. What will the electronic table do when people want to change the limit of the game. Do you only have a choice of whats programmed into the machine? What will it do when people are speaking other languages, or about the hand? Arguments, bad etiquette, these are my concerns.

    Don't forget Weekly Freerolls at the Monte, $6,000 pot for 10 hours of play!!!!!

  82. @vegasdealer78

    This must be done by a floorperson, and is done with the touch of a button.

    Do you only have a choice of whats programmed into the machine?

    Yes. At this point, the machine cannot handle games other then hold'em. No mixed games can be spread on one as far as I know.

    What will it do when people are speaking other languages, or about the hand? Arguments, bad etiquette, these are my concerns.

    Theirin lies a very key problem with these machines: Game control.

    Though the poker room will be keeping its floorstaff for monitoring these things (and the machine has a "floor" button to call a floor), language and hand discussion control is lost.

    Obviously, hand tabling, betting line angle shooting, misdeals, slowrolling, exposed and boxed cards are all moot with these, but language control and hand discussion will need floor enforcement.

  83. Michael is absolutely right about game control, while you can call the floor and each players screen does have a built in microphone for recording what is said I have seen some very heated discussions once the floor is called to a table. I believe the arguments go much further than they do in a live game as there is not a neutral dealer to provide information to the floor when two or more players are arguing with each other. These tables are very ripe for table talk and it often happens when you have several friends at the same table. Overall, the conduct/control is much less formal; it's kind of like when the teacher steps out of the classroom.

    Mark

  84. @StrayBullet

    Because people have opinions other than you.[/quote]

    Sure,

    But what i'm saying is there opinion on thsi matter seems to be not based on any sort of facts or reasoning.

    I'm not sure why the fascination with Excal, b ut I don't think I ever heard anybody recommend the IP (except for comps) until some IP guys started posting here. Why people all of a sudden love a room just because a floorman or manager poists here is beyond me.

  85. The IP guys have been posting here long before the "IP Love" started forming.

    The "IP Love" grew, understandably, due to their willingness to go above and beyond for AVP VI, and for hosting and going out of their way to support (both physically and financially) the weekly mixed game on Sundays.

    Posting on here is a big plus for the room, as it energizes people to check out the room, and this look for a reason to like the room. I am surprised more poker room's staffs have not gotten on here, yet.

  86. @LasVegasMichael
    Theirin lies a very key problem with these machines: Game control.

    Though the poker room will be keeping its floorstaff for monitoring these things (and the machine has a "floor" button to call a floor), language and hand discussion control is lost...

    <SNIP>

    ...language control and hand discussion will need floor enforcement.[/quote]
    I want to pile on as the fourth or fifth here to point that out, in hopes the significance of it may percolate upstairs and the suits in any of the gaming companies might hear it. Dare I hope the State Gaming Control folks also take some note of the special vulnerability of automated tables to this issue, and encourage licensees to staff the floor appropriately to maintain the integrity of the game?

    I do want to give these a try, BUT poker dealers really do have an important function other than causing a rectangular piece of plastic to travel eighteen inches and pushing some pieces of clay in the right direction. And the staff working the floor in a PokerTek room will NEED to be well trained and extra attentive to things other than to meet and greet and seat and buy-in and cash-out.

  87. THis has been talked about before on/in the Tampa Hard Rock thread.

    They brought in the tables and though the players would love them, No tipping, less rake, no mistakes, and twice as many hands per hour!

    Thing is you would go there on a Saturday night and there would be a wait list of 25 people and then those poker pro tables sitting empty. Management finally understood that the players just didn't like them.

    The moved them and set them up to play Sit-n-go's at. This drew a little intrest but not a lot. They lowered the price of the sit-n-go from $125 to $80 to $60 to $40.

    I don't recall if they were still there when I was there last week.

    Here is an except from the Daily Wealth (stock trading online mag) from Aug 2006: "The card room at the Hard Rock is large... definitely bigger than 90% of the card rooms in Vegas. And busy. We arrive at about two o'clock on a Monday afternoon. I worry there won't be anyone there. Wrong. It's packed. I guess there were around 30 tables in this room. They are all being used. There was even a line to sign up on the table waiting list... something I'd never seen before.

    Anyway, as I go to stand in line, I notice the two PokerPro tables, right at the front of the room, just next to where I am standing. Astonishing. No one is using them.

    I couldn't believe - in a huge busy card room - no one was using either of the tables.

    So I go to customer service and ask to speak to the person who knows most about these tables. I asked her why the tables are empty. She says, “players would rather hang around watching for five hours, and wait for a seat at a live table, than sit at the PokerPro.”

    Wow."

    Needless to say they have not improved in popularity over the last two years due to the fact I didn't even notice if they were still there or not upon my last visit.

    On a side note: during my 33 visits to Las Vegas I have never been inside the X. There is a reason for that but I will keep that reason to myself for the time being.

  88. I really wish they had done this at O'Shea's, the Trop, Circus Circus, or some other really bad poker room in Vegas. The Excalibur was one of my all time favorite Vegas poker rooms. Although I am not a poker dealer, I stand in solidarity with Perry and most of the rest of LVA on this one and will not be visiting Excalibur anytime in the foreseeable future (and, because I am not local, my time in Vegas is too rare to make the curiousity visit to see these tables at Excalibur).

    I will always remember the Excalibur as the surefire cure to a cold streak, because the players at the Excalbur were a notch below most other Strip casinos in terms of their poker playing abilities (and that's saying a lot, because there are so many donkey's out there).

    In tribute to what was once a great poker room, I went and found a story I sent via e-mail to my Dad and a few other poker friends (never before posted on LVA). It described my last trip to - and last hand at - the Excalibur. I include this as a memorial tribute to the Excalibur. May you rest in peace.

    [Excerpt from trip report - January 2008]

    On my final day, I was a bit demoralized from my two losses the previous evening, so I knew I needed to seek out weaker opponents. Knowing just the cure, I headed to the Excalibur. I found just what I was looking for - a table of idiots with money to gamble. I buy in for $300 and, on my second hand, I get pocket Queens. Being first to act, I just call the $2 big blind (I don''t want to scare anyone away with a raise here). The very next player raises to $12 and gets two callers. Seing almost $40 in the pot, I decide to win the pot right there. I raise to $50. The idiot on my left thinks a while and finally goes all in for a total of $150. I feel very confident I have the best hand and call immediately. The idiot re-raised me all-in with a weak Ace-Jack of Diamonds. I am roughly a 70% favorite to win a pot of over $300. YEAH BABY!!! Until the first card flopped in an Ace.... OPPS. I am now down $150+. A half an hour later, I get pocket Aces and raise. I get two callers on a flop of K-J-3. I bet $20 and get one caller. The turn is the 3rd Ace. I bet $25 and my one opponent goes all in (for a pitiful extra $15). YEAH BABY!!!! Just as I am celebrating the extremely rare set of Aces that I have, the dealer turns a third diamond on the last card and my idiot opponent rakes the pot. OPPSSSS!!! I am outplaying my opponents and am down close to $300. This is not the therapy I was seeking. I fight my way back some and have about $450 (after investing $600 into this table) when the following hand happens:

    I have pocket Aces and am first to act. Again, this is time to "limp" into the pot because a raise is too likely to scare everyone away. However, my worst fears are realized when every single person calls the bet. I am already contemplating how to avoid losing a big pot with this many opponents playing all sorts of trash hands when I realized the big blind hasn't yet acted and is contemplating a raise. He goes all in for $22 more. GREAT!!! That will scare off some of the trash hands. Now action is back to me, and I don't mind one or two callers so I just call the $22 instead of raising. BIG MISTAKE. Five or six more players call the $22 (and you wonder why I call them idiots). There is now $150-$175 in the pot. The flop comes Three of Clubs, King of Clubs, and Ace of Hearts. WOW, I HAVE THREE ACES!!!! I decide to get greedy (not a good move in retrospect) and bet ONLY $40 into the huge pot, which fully invites calls by all sorts of draw hands (most importantly, the obvious club draw). I somewhat regret the bet as soon as I make it, knowing this is how you loose a big pot. You must chase off your opponents when the pot gets big. Going all-in for $400 might have scared off a good club draw - or made the person drawing put all of his/her chips in the pot on the draw as a 25% favorite to win. I threw out a sucker bet instead. Two people called. Would I be the greedy sucker? I resolved to go all-in on the turn if any harmless card came. That is when the miracle happened. The fourth aces appears on the turn and my opponents are "drawing dead" (have literally a zero percent chance of winning) in a pot of $275 to $300. That changes things, and I bet another $40 into the pot. Come on suckers, do I have any takers? Yes, I have one. I am now routing for a club on the river so my unsuspecting opponent can make a flush and give me all of his chips on the river. A harmless two of spades falls on the river. Okay, maybe my opponent has a King and is willing to pay off a small $50 bet to be sure he lost. I throw out $50 more and, after much deliberation, get called for the final $50. This high hand even wins me a bonus spin on Excalibur's prize wheel, which nets me an additional $20 (the minimum prize on the wheel... oh well, there prizes are generally $40 or less). With that hand, I go from $150 down to $275 up. I cash out and end the trip up exactly $2,050 playing poker (which is reduced by the $50 I bet on the Patriots to win the Superbowl... oh well).

  89. @psand

    I can only speak for myself, but I didn't "all of a sudden love" IP because some of their managers post here (or TI or Harrah's for other examples). Rather, the fact that these managers took their time to post on AVP, provide information about their room, and even respond to criticism made me decide to give their room a shot. There are a lot of poker rooms in Vegas, and for a tourist on vacation only 2-3 times a year, deciding where to spend my limited poker time requires advance planning (otherwise I likely would end up just playing only in the Venetian). Because managers of rooms like IP, TI, and Harrah's post on here, I've decided to give them a "look-see" session on past trips, even though I likely would never have visited those rooms otherwise. I enjoyed my sessions in each of those rooms, and would recommend them to others, and would return for sessions on other trips. If I had had a bad experience, the mere fact the room manager posts on here would not be enough for me to recommend or to return to those rooms.

  90. Like others here, I lament the changes at Excalibur. The Castle was really the first live poker experience for many of us because it had the reputation of being friendly and soft. Most of the dealers were nice and helpful.

    The second time I played the old $1-3 spread game there, I hit a torrid streak of cards, which led to everyone buying every bluff I put out. I won about $400 at that game one long night, and have been hooked on live poker ever since.

    Online poker is okay, but I live for the benefits of live poker -- the table chatter, feeling and throwing chips, getting real cards in my hands, observing other players, getting Las Vegas insights from thr dealer ...

    I am going to Las Vegas Sept 1-5 and will try the electronic games just to see what they are like. Hard to think I would get the same basic feeling of satisfaction ...

    btw -- I have stayed at Excalibur a few times, as recently as this past June when I went with my daughter for a non-gambling trip. The rooms have always been fine, it now has Dick's Last Resort, and the new pool area was great for my daughter. As long as you stay out of the ultra-smokey casino, it is not that bad of a place.

    I had some bad experiences a few years ago at IP and never played there again, even when I roomed at the hotel. The recent posts about IP and the good job which they apparently did with the big AVP tournament have led me to believe I need to give it another chance.

  91. I will try the "new" Excalibur ONCE on October 30. it will be different i am
    sure. i do play mostly online but i can handle mentally better a "suck out"
    or a "bad beat" with a LIVE dealer and an auto shuffler on the table.

  92. I played at the Excalibur last night and found out sme information.

    Over 40 dealers are being laid off on August 18th.

    Dual rate floor staff, and floors in general are receiving a pay cut, but will keep their jobs.

    Despite morale being at an all time low, the dealers were quite friendly, and open to talk about things.

    I talked to the floor who asked to remain anonymouse. They said that it is obvious that whoever made this decision has NO idea about poker. Also, that the final approval of this falls into the hands of Renee West, The Excalibur CEO.

    Last night, Excalibur had NINE tables running. I guarantee that after a couple months, they will be lucky to have 3 games on a saturday night.

    Apparantly, the reasoning for going all electronic is due to the test markets where the room would order one or two, and they would go unused since the players had a choice. The thought is that if they don't have a choice, the tables will succeed.

    Wow. Thing is, poker players in Vegas DO have a choice. If you are staying at Excalibur, and those horrid tables are there, WALK OVER TO LUXOR (simple walkway), or MGM or even MANDALAY.

    I am looking forward to this being a colossal failure.

  93. @LasVegasMichael

    Well I have nothing against the Excalibur but Vegas does need a few less poker rooms and if management is willing to contribute to this by decisions such as these, so be it. It makes it easier on the rest.

  94. How about the players stop it right here and now, before other houses get the same idea. This is the first test market and if it fails, then it's back to plan A.

    If no one plays at this electronic abomination then they will drop the idea. All it takes is for the PLAYERS to drive the bus and boycott the room.

  95. it will get some novelty attention when it opens, people will try anything new, but I don't think it will stick, it sucks that the excal room is the one biting the bullet, but hopefully it stops there

  96. @LasVegasMichael Well okay then, so apparently they gave almost no thought to what might be needed to actually make something like this work, or don't have a clue, or don't care. So in the near future I can look forward to a harried floorman waving me over to the newly opened seat at table full of players chatting in Chinese or Cebuano, with nobody minding the store as the the floor does six things at once and has no time to bother with whatever might be happening at the tables. Eh, no thanks. Magandang gabi, walang anuman.

  97. I think they we be kind of like blackjack machines. A few newbies will play them and then look to move on to the real thing.......

  98. It has been posted on Cardplayer.com

    Much like the liberal media distorting the facts, this article is weighted heavily in favor of the machines.

    I commented on it, and sure enough, poker tek shills jump in on commenting back.

    Anyone that feels compelled should post their feelings as a comment on this article:

    http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-news/ar ... tic-tables

  99. "Much like the liberal media distorting the facts..." Not everyone can be as fair and balanced as Fox News. Agree with you about the Card Player article.

  100. My reference was more to the fact that cardplayer is notorious for never critisizing ANYONE that advertises in its magazine. There is never a criticism of a poker room in at magazine if the poker room is an advertiser. Their room reviews are always jokes.

    This poker tek article is no exception. The article doesn't mention one criticism of the machines. It is obviously biased, much like the entire publication.

  101. I just posted my thoughts on the cardplayer site. Not that they will listen.

  102. I'm a guy who'd always hit the Excalibur poker room on my twice a year jaunts to Las Vegas. Not anymore. We can play electonically online. Nothing beats real cards and chips and cranky dealers.

    Hopefully this will fail quickly. I'm not too worried about it spreading all over the strip, because I'd bet there are lots of people like us on this board who will vote with their wallets and only support real live tables.

  103. Electronic tables will crash and burn and I will never play on them.

    I play poker to:

    Touch cards and chips
    Banter with the dealers
    Scoop pots with my hands
    Engage in idiotic banter with my fellow poker players and drunks/idiots

    If I wanted to play online, I would stay home to do it. I don't fly to Vegas four times a year to play online.

    Poker is a social game to me. Putting everyone at electronic table sucks all of the quaintness and persona out of the game. If there were electronic tables at Treasure Island, I would have never made some very good friends.

  104. Is it me or is there something that just doesn't read right in those 'pro' poker tec posts on CardPlayer??

    They appear contrived :confused:

  105. It says "Last Hand" as an option. Does this mean that it will show all hands that went to showdown, like on the internet? One of the thousands of reasons I prefer live play is the ability to control information given to my opponants.

  106. This sucks. I want to burn down the factory that makes these things

  107. @larfingravy Not just you. Obviously a lot of PokerTek employees are posting over there.

    This is real crappy move, to me. Never played at Excalibur, and though I'll be there for the last day or real dealers, I don't know if I could take the depression that would be going on in that room. Hope it fails pretty bad and doesn't lead to any other casinos trying to pull the same thing.

    I know people have said it before, but honestly... who goes to a real casino to play online poker?

  108. Like others have said, this sucks! Ex was the place that I took my wife for the last four years to play poker and I have great memories there so I will close it down live on the 18th but I will bid it farewell after that. This is one of the downsides to Vegas, everything keeps changing and we lose our gems.

  109. Michael,

    You are correct that the last hand button will allow you to see a final screen shot of the last hand. On this screen your cards are not exposed however if you tap on them they become exposed, several times I have seen players show their "nieghbor" what they had; yet another reason to "love" these tables. Also when you choose to muck you can show none, show both, or show just one card.

    Mark

  110. One more difference to live cash games, once all involved players are all-in the players hands are exposed to the table with win probability % posted/updated on each street. Therefore, you can not choose to muck if you make an all in bluff that gets called.

    Given these differences you can start to see why Excal management decided not to give players a choice between live and poker pro. As everyone has pointed out players do have a choice in Vegas so this may well be their downfall.

    Mark

  111. What about running it twice?

    ..chopping the pot?

    ..chopping the blinds?

    ..laying / buying insurance?

    I mean, is it like online where you get an all-in and a call and the application runs the flop/turn/river at a breakneck speed? I will be playing Omaha or O8 online and there are times that I have no idea what is going on after an all-in and a call because the cards and dealt so quickly.

    The bottom line is that the vast majority of poker players are not going to like this. Again, I don't fly to Vegas to play online.

  112. @bgeorgeee

    It really sucks the human element out of the game altogether.

  113. And the truth of the matter is that I don't want to have to worry about mis-clicks in a live game.

  114. @mpitts

    Not gonna happen

  115. @mpitts

    I played on these things one time at Four Winds in Mich recently and it actually wasn't as online-esque as I thought it would be.

    Yes there are no cards and chips to touch, which does take a bit of the fun out of it. I agree it is fun and satisfying to drag in a big pot and stack all the chips.

    As for your last point, I didn't notice any difference. There was tons of idiotic banter between players at my table, people drinking, etc. The social aspect (minus socializing with a dealer) seemed the same to me.

  116. @mpitts

    At 2/5NL and lower I've yet to ever see anybody do (or the casino allow ppl to do) any of the things you mentioned above other than chopping the blinds.

    When you get all in it deals it out super slow, with pretty long pauses between cards (during which ppl always make comments and such). I actually thought it was much slower during all ins than a regular dealer usually is.

    My biggest complaint about these things is that you can't ask for extra time when facing a big decision. You always have 30 seconds which just isn't enough time to think through a really big decision.

  117. I’m getting late to the posting with this one, been busy a lot lately.

    They tried the electronic poker tables at Motor City in Detroit it was “turbo poker tables” they lasted about 2-3 months and were left virtually unused after the first month, they would offer all kinds of perks and bonuses but no one would play them eventually they we kicked to the curb and everyone was a lot happier.

    Have not seen anymore in Detroit again......... :grin:

  118. There's pretty strong consensus this will be a disaster. Anyone have predictions/guesses on time frame and what's next?

    I think they'll actually be pretty busy in August and September. For every person who said "I'd never play there again" there was someone who said they'd check it out. And I think a lot of people will be checking it out the first few months. Plus those people who play where they're staying will play. But about October, the locals will have stopped coming, the novelty affect will have worn off, the people who play at Excal for the promos and atmosphere will learn they're gone, and you're left with people staying at the hotel who AREN'T turned off by the electronic experience.

    I think the experiment will have failed by the holiday season but they'll keep them running through November/December to see if the holiday rush helps anything. By Jan 3, they'll give up on the electronic tables for good and go dark. If the US economy has picked up, they'll put in some felt tables sometime in spring 2009.

  119. This morning PokerTek finally made a public announcement about this.
    http://www.pokertek.com/pdfs/NV%20Field ... 0Final.pdf
    http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site ... ewsLang=en
    @Local Rock

    @TI Poker TI Poker is right. It's a field trial. Seems surprising to replace a whole poker room as a “trial” but that's what it is.

  120. A few things concerning this:

    1. The rake will be 10%/$3 max. There will be no jackpot.

    2. This is a 6 month trial. After the 6 months, the casino can either sign a two year contract or return all the tables. Pokertek is giveing Excalibur a FREE six month trial on the machines.

    3. I just finished an interview with CBS Channel 8 concerning this. It will air monday morning on channel 8. Good times!

  121. so be honest LVM, if they said ok we know our tables suck but we are going to allow smoking while playing, will you play there???

  122. @LasVegasMichael

    Be sure you put it on YouTube with a link here so we can see it!

  123. I seriously have no idea how to do that. If they put it online, I can probably figure out how, but I don't know how to take video from DVR and put it online.

    They are interviewing Doug now. I think they are also interviewing an MGM Mirage person.

  124. @TheOD

    Interesting question. That would be a tough one. :laughing:

    I'm quitting in October, so even if they were to sway me with smoking, it would be short lived anyway.

    In all seriousness, no brining back smoking would not sway me. If it really meant that much to me I would be playing at Boulder, Palace, and even Palms.

  125. @Mrs. Lederer

    Be sure you put it on YouTube with a link here so we can see it![/quote]

    It should end up as a video on www.lasvegasnow.com

    They also have their own channel on youtube I'll post a link when it hits.

  126. I wasn't sure if I should reveal who set it up or not, but since he mentioned it, special thanks to SleepyD for setting up the CBS News interviews concerning the Excalibur Eroom. Great that AVP is getting some press converage in the wake of this dark day of poker!

  127. What if you have to use the restroom? Do you have to cash out? Or is there a way to lock up your seat? You wouldn't want to come back from the restroom to see someone else playing your "chips"!

  128. There is an option that will allow you to sit out, I believe for 1/2 hour. When you return you have to enter your pin.

    Mark

  129. Does anyone else feel like they can officially implode the Excalibur and build something differently. I can for see another high end property which will bump the Mirage down yet another notch and then the can try these tables at the Mirage poker, which would be an improvement over what they have already..... :smiling_imp:

  130. @Clem2754

    Just as long as Dick's Last Resort and 'Taco' the superstripper are saved. :laughing:

  131. @Clem2754

    Actually, I don't. The Ex makes a ton of money for MGM Mirage. Just because they are changing poker operations, doesn't mean they should just close up the casino. Remember, poker makes very little money for most of these joints to begin with. Considering the state of construction in this city, why would any company implode a place and hope to build another one. MGM is having trouble with the City Center financing, Eschelon is on hold, the Plaza just went on hold for another year+, and I'm sure that's not going to be the last.

    Poker isn't the end all be all of casinos. We do have 50 poker rooms to chose from, losing 10 or so won't hurt a bit.

  132. Yeah, let's run the middle class out of Vegas altogether.

    Alright, so they're changing their poker room. It probably won't work, and some people are likely to lose their jobs, which sucks. But people are losing jobs all over the country and we're not whining for them, so all this heartfelt sympathy is just a bunch of poker players climbing their high horse because we may lose one of our places to play.

    So, we tear down the Excalibur? And do what? I think we have enough generic luxury hotels coming to the strip already, and more than enough idle cranes on dusty lots.

    Vegas needs to bring some fun back, and maybe, just maybe, some new players might find these etables to be fun.

  133. if i was in Vegas i would make the trip to the excalibur just so i could go to where these table are (i cant bring myself to call it a poker room) and ask "do you only have online poker?" then i would ask "where is the nearest real poker room?"

  134. Thanks for Posting Q. It is sad that they just pulled the plug on the room without much heads up, there are many rooms in vegas, hopefully you can find something soon, good luck on the hunt.

  135. Very good post Q. It really puts it in perspective. I hope you bounce back from this quickly.

  136. I too am sorry for you and your fellow employees Q. I would never have picked the Excalibur as being one of the rooms that wouldn't survive. I have a dozen or so in mind, but that was not one of them by far. That was the first place I ever played on the strip 5 years ago, playing 1-3 spread and 2-6 spread, and was very surprised when they got rid of those games. I still remember the "Training game" that started as a 1/2 limit for 1 hour (maybe it was 2) and went to 2/4 after that.

  137. Thank you very much for posting, Q. We sincerely appreciate your perspective on this, and wish you the best going forward. I agree with everything you said, and as you know, I have been a semi regular at the Excal for many years.

    Tonight is the last night, everyone! I will be there to cover the rooms closing, and will take pictures. The room closes tonight at 2AM. I plan on getting there around 11PM (going directly from the IP mixed to there).

  138. Thanks for posting Q and we wish you the best going forward.

    All of the points you made are spot on.

  139. @Q

    I hope that this post will have those who were planning to try the poker machines out of curiosity reconsidering. To play the machines at Excalibur is to support MGM's action here.

    Supporting this, even once out of curiosity is a mistake. Please stay away from these machines. Out of respect to the employees who have been replaced and in the interest of live poker please do not support the Excalibur electronic poker room.

    Good luck to Q and all others who have lost their jobs at Excalibur. That part of it sucks the most.

    Q- Excalibur/MGM won't be getting a dime off me in these tables and the whole thing really has me rethinking overall where I'll spend my money in Las Vegas. What's worse guys. Harrah's increasing the rake or MGM ousting live poker.... geez. The Venetian just keep looking better and better all the time. I'll be writing to MGM soon to let them know what I think of their action here.

  140. @Railbird

    I agree with your sentiment, and I will not play at Excalibur. However, curiosity is natural, so I can understand someone wanting to try the tables as a novelty. This may not be a bad thing; if someone tries the machines then complains, their complaint actually might have more credibility in MGM's view.

    @Railbird

    Yeah, this does make the Harrah's rake issue seem a little less offensive. But let's face it, casinos are looking to squeeze profit from any source possible. In craps, max. odds are down and min. bets are up. In blackjack, you have continuous shufflers and 6:5 blackjack payouts. Caesars Palace's poker room doesn't comp mid-range booze. Staff are being cut. Poker room hours are being cut. Comps for smaller players are being cut. I'm sure the Vegas locals on here can add another dozen or so items to that list. But, if my choices are an extra buck on the rake or electronic tables, I'll reluctantly pay the extra buck.

    @Railbird

    Ditto. Best wishes to all of the staff.

  141. I went down to Excalibur tonight for a few hours and it was definitely a sad night there. I've played there on a semi-regular basis since I moved here a few months ago, so I've gotten to know quite a few of the dealers there. I really feel bad for the dealers as they got royally screwed here and I hope these things crash and burn so that we never have to see them in another vegas poker room ever again. Good luck to all the dealers as I hope you all find other opportunities quickly if you haven't already.
    LVM, I hope you made it down there in time tonight. I saw you were gonna go at 11. I made a post in the Excal room thread earlier stating that they were closing at midnight. I was there from about 9-1130 and management (of the hotel, not poker room) seemed like they wanted to get all of the players out as fast as they could

  142. Railbird said:


    I hope that this post will have those who were planning to try the poker machines out of curiosity reconsidering. To play the machines at Excalibur is to support MGM's action here.

    Supporting this, even once out of curiosity is a mistake. Please stay away from these machines. Out of respect to the employees who have been replaced and in the interest of live poker please do not support the Excalibur electronic poker room.

    Good luck to Q and all others who have lost their jobs at Excalibur. That part of it sucks the most.

    Q- Excalibur/MGM won't be getting a dime off me in these tables and the whole thing really has me rethinking overall where I'll spend my money in Las Vegas. What's worse guys. Harrah's increasing the rake or MGM ousting live poker.... geez. The Venetian just keep looking better and better all the time. I'll be writing to MGM soon to let them know what I think of their action here.

    I couldn't disagree more here. Instead of boycotting these tables entirely, the poker community appears to be a bunch of crotchety Luddites opposed to any change whatsoever. What is much more powerful (assuming MGM actually thought this through) is to provide data to them in the form of
    1) go to play
    2) Ask the floor folks who is responsible for receiving feedback
    3) THEN tell them "having tried your Pokertek tables, I find the experience drastically lacking in all the things I play poker for."

    If an experiment fails, it's easier for it to fail (and remove the politics somewhat) if the reasons are clear.

  143. I just got home from a LONG night of poker, so I will go into more details later.

    The segment aired on CBS News this morning. There are two different segments. The first one was aired at 5AM and included Doug's interview. The second one aired at 6AM and included my interview. It is going to repeat two more times today, I believe. Doug was rather non-committal on the positive or negative of the machines. I however, let the machines have it.

    I will link to the segment soon. The media news segment took a strong opposition to the machines in the piece, which is great for those that agree that this is a bad idea.

    I was at Excalibur when the room shut down. 5 tables were broken simultaneously. It was surreal.

    I spoke briefly with the poker room manager who was quick to reassure that he had nothing to do with the decision to go electronic.

    I also received some information from an MGM Mirage corporate employee who asked to remain anonymous:

    This decision to go to e-tables was made at the property level. Though the MGM/Mirage Corporation is a large one, each property has the ability to operate independantly; each property makes their own decisions as to what amenities, games, restaurants, etc., that they will have.

    This decision was not done at a corporate level and was purely at the property level.

    So please don't look harshly at the corporate level and don't punish all the other properties within this corporation.

    Will the eyes of the corporation be on the Excalibur, SURE! But have no doubt that the eyes of all corporations will be on the Ecalibur.

    During a gaming trial, gaming has its eyes and ears on the trial. Nevada Gaming Commission employees will be at the Excalibur looking for feedback too - the kind of feedback that can affect the licensing of the tables.

    Very interesting.

    I will be posting the link to the news segment soon, and will post information about who to contact should you feel compelled to voice written complaints over this (or compliments, for that matter).

  144. Michael,

    Based on what your source said, if it is true, that the gaming commission is looking for feedback players may wish to share with them the undeniable heightened ability for table-talk/collusion at these tables as their is much less immediate supervision. As you know I have played at these tables and I can assure you that based on the table talk I have witnessed it would be much easier for a crew to work one of these tables then a table where a dealer is present.

    If you are interested in providing first hand testimony I suggest you go sit at one (yes I know the thought will make your skin crawl) just to see how easily this can be done.

    Mark

  145. Found a link to the story on www.lasvegasnow.com story is HERE

    Text for those of you who don't want to click

    @LasVegasNow.com

    There is no video posted yet....and who is Clark Walton?

    Video should be up soon, just got an email from them.

  146. Continuing my function of being the second least popular participant on this website...

    I think the selling point for marketing these tables to casinos is surely not mostly about the savings in staffing cost. This site has a heavy presence from people who work in the industry, so it is understandable if that may be what people here tend to focus on, but it isn't about you. Pokertek's claim of a large potential increase in revenue from nearly doubling the hourly hand count is a factor which is far more important in marketing these tables, among others.

    A rough general rule of thumb in projecting “other payroll expense” for a business enterprise is to estimate an additional twenty to thirty percent on top of actual salary or wage. The very most expensive benefit heavy employers such as unionized government civil service may sometimes approach thirty-five or even up to forty percent of payroll cost for “other payroll (employee related) expenses.” Even assuming a gold plated wage + 35% level of total employee cost, along with a really lame poker game producing an anemic hand count with a rather weak flow of chips into the rake box, it is really hard to make all staffing related expenses get very much past 10% of the drop. The cost of “free” drink service for players will often rival employee related costs in many Strip rooms at night.

    By contrast, increasing the hand count to something well over 50/hour as the company claims, even at a reduced rake, would be worth close to three times as much as the employment cost savings, unless we were looking at small tournaments instead of cash games. Whether it works or not, this is about increasing revenue to offset the opportunity cost of foregoing other possible alternative uses of valuable casino floor space in a property with an unrestricted gaming license.

    I do not find either this or rake increases in any way “offensive.” I find them to be business decisions which they are entitled to make, even if I think it may be ill advised, and I most certainly will not be joining anyone's boycott. My feelings are not hurt, and if they were I certainly hope nobody would be so foolish as to give a fig. And players most definitely do NOT have any obligation to ever consider any of the enterprise's internal cost structure and financial issues when deciding whether or where they may or may not want to play, whether it relates to reasons for the amount of rake or electronic tables. You can be outraged if you wish, but I am not, and I will be making a special point to try one of these soon, much more so now than before reading some of the posts in this thread. These are business enterprises in a competitive marketplace which are not entitled to the patronage of anyone who for any reason does not find what they are offering to be attractive (fun) for the price (rake) that is charged for the service, and no potential customer is under any obligation to apply any other consideration to the matter. Deal with it.

    The success or failure of this will certainly depend largely on the visceral on the spot reaction to the experience as felt by the six or seven thousand or so nightly guests in the Excalibur's four thousand and eight room hotel, and they are not reading this or any other poker subculture websites as they decide how they feel about what they see when they unpack and wander downstairs.

    During a gaming trial, gaming has its eyes and ears on the trial. Nevada Gaming Commission employees will be at the Excalibur looking for feedback too - the kind of feedback that can affect the licensing of the tables.
    That is a lot more interesting to me than any boycott. I think an electronic poker room needs to make extra special provisions (staffing the floor) to insure game control in the way it is run, or not be run at all.

  147. @minton

    There is no video posted yet....and who is Clark Walton?

    Video should be up soon, just got an email from them.[/quote]

    LOL - it's my first name; I asked them to credit me using my middle name, but the message didn't get through.

    There is a video that's posted there now which includes a few seconds of me talking; and Michael was in a video that was broadcast around 6:30AM but I can't find his online.

  148. I was guessing you were one of those go with the middle name guys, after I saw the quote.

    There is now 2 parts of the video up.

    part one has Doug

    Part two has LVM

    Nice interviews guys!!!

    You can click on the story LINK to see the videos

    someone with more computer skills might figure out a way to post them here, I cannot get them to work

    edited to correct typos wow I was horrible on this post!!!

  149. There are two parts to the video portion of the story. On the home page www.lasvegasnow.com there is VOD on the right side. Look for part 1 and part 2. Part 1 is AllVegasPoker, part 2 is LasVegasMichael. Look for videos 1 and 2 under the VOD.

  150. hm. Interesting. Excalibur wouldn't comment so they went to Orleans.

  151. @minton

    Half Clark Griswold, half John Boy Walton. In fact, AVP is now officially "John Boy" to me. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

  152. @Local Rock That is a lot more interesting to me than any boycott. I think an electronic poker room needs to make extra special provisions (staffing the floor) to insure game control in the way it is run, or not be run at all.[/quote]

    All points well taken, but I think they miss (or do not address) the one factor as to whether they will be successful - Will they get used?

    The arguments of cost savings, increased revenue, etc., all assume that the tables see the same traffic as they did before the tables were installed. That, I believe, is a hard argument to make. The anecdotal evidence from the majority of locations that have tried the tables is that they do not generate the same traffic, and in most cases, end up being pulled because they can't generate the traffic.

    These rooms were generally in markets where there were existing live games in the same location or nearby. The tables are initially in use due to the novelty of their design, etc., but quickly lose the interest of the regular poker player.

    The new Harrah's property near Chicago has two of these tables, and as I believe had been noted by Mrs. Lederer, they had started to lose a little of the interest by the middle of the first week. Interestingly, as she also noted, they were mainly in use by smokers, as their location outside the poker room allowed smokers to play poker and puff away. This may be an angle that will work, but I don't see it being successful as a long term strategy.

    The bottom line is if there are no players - and I don't see filling *12* tables - it doesn't matter what the cost savings or increased revenue *could* be.

  153. For all you non-vegas folks, KLAS CBS 8 is doing the story again during the noon show. The show streams live on the website. If you go between now (12:03pt) and 12:30pt the story will air again.
    www.lasvegasnow.com

  154. @zoltan

    I couldn't disagree more here. Instead of boycotting these tables entirely, the poker community appears to be a bunch of crotchety Luddites opposed to any change whatsoever. What is much more powerful (assuming MGM actually thought this through) is to provide data to them in the form of
    1) go to play
    2) Ask the floor folks who is responsible for receiving feedback
    3) THEN tell them "having tried your Pokertek tables, I find the experience drastically lacking in all the things I play poker for."

    If an experiment fails, it's easier for it to fail (and remove the politics somewhat) if the reasons are clear.[/quote]

    Zoltan - You may be right, but I'm skeptical about how much clout our verbal feedback will have. I tend to believe that the final analysis will be made on dollars and cents and if we collectively put a bunch of money in these machines to test drive them the data will come back skewed to the positive. If we all try them out for $100 sustained over 6 months or a year as we each make our pilgrimages to Vegas I can't help but think we may be adding fuel to this fire. I still think giving them no play, staying completely out of the casino that has them and bitching as loud as possible is the course that I'll take. :smile: I guess we will all go about it in our own way, but I hope all of us will do what we can not to support this.

  155. @Railbird

    A valid point. It would be interesting and useful to know just what the metric of success is. Total money earned? Hours played/player? Total players sitting? It seems to me that if the tables see very high overturn (i.e. players sit, play a short time, then move on) then that would be a negative in the eyes of Excal.

    Perhaps Michael or someone more in the loop knows how these tables will be judged.

  156. Another thing I thought of was if it's raking $3 a hand 50 hands an hour, that's $150 coming off the table every hour, you are going to need a lot of reloading, if players are just pushing "chips" back and fourth the only thing making money will be the casino.

    Also a lot of people swear online and video poker are rigged, what is to say they aren't going to think these are rigged as well?

  157. The interviews that Doug and I did for CBS have been airing in almost every CBS Channel 8 broadcast today. Doug posted the two from early this morning on yourtube, and it is posted above.

    The reported took my comments as I was saying that "experienced" players would avoid these tables, but "novice" players would like them. I was actually saying that NEITHER player pool would enjoy them, but they concentrated on the fact that the Excal poker room has always had beginners in mind and that the tables are where beginners would be playing (basically because it is like "group video poker" which I thought was a pretty funny analogy by the field reporter).

    I am quite pleased overall with the stance that CBS took to report the story. Though remaining relatively impartial, the wording used in the reporting did have an overall negative spin on the tables, which was good to see, in my opinion.

    Also, the viewer mail that was submitted concerning the tables, thus far, was pretty strongly negative. Also good to see, as far as I'm concerned.

  158. Just want to chime in on this. I was offended by the thought of these machines at first as well, but then I played on one and realized how much better it was. It has all of the conveniences of internet poker but you see exactly who your playing against, you can still pick up tells, no one can act out of turn, there are no mis deals, you can't get logged off, a regular player will save $1,000's on tips per year, there's a lower rake with more hands per hour, there's optional side bets, you can play a cash game and a sit-n-go tourney at the same time, you can still drink, talk, and have a good time. The Excalibur was closing the room any way! That's something the news cast failed to mention. There were 40 dealers and Poker tek still has openings for 16 employees. Poker Tek didsn't kill 40 jobs they saved 16. Most of the dealers were sent to other MGM properties, or offered other positions. This isn't the end of poker, it's a new beginning. This is a way for the rooms to actually make a decent profit and save the players money. Many dealers make it seem as if the game exists for the sole purpose to pay their bills. We have all had incompetent, rude, careless, lazy, dealers do stupid things like burn and turn, misdeal, push pots to wrong players, chase loose players that don't tip away and then have the nerve to stare you down or make a stupid comment if you don't give them a fistful of chips everytime you win. I'm sick of it, and this is simply much better! I've always been a good tipper and I have lots of friends that are good dealers that will never have trouble finding a job. But when the poker boom started they hired anyone who could pitch a card in the general direction of a player whether they had any poker knowledge or common sense what so ever. Most of them never bothered even attemting to get better. They didn't care at all about moving the game along, being accurate with decisions, courteous, or any other human emotion that someone who did a job with pride would exhibit. For every good dealer out there you will find five of these clowns. Electronic will be the future and will make up a large part of live poker in the next five years and the players will benefit 100%. Much like coinless slots, rapid roulette, and self check out at the grocery store. To say you won't like electronic poker tables is like saying bring back the manual pin setters at the bowling alley, it just doesn't make sense!

  159. Anyone want to bet that these e-tables are gone by dec 09. I know everyone has arguments both ways. But i can tell you guys definitively this will fail. It just won't work when there are other rooms on strip.

  160. @bottalubear

    As a generous soul who likes to think the best of people, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are not a Poker Tek or Excalibur shill. Could you please provide a concrete source(s) for your assertions: a) the Excalibur room was closing no matter what; and b) the Excalibur dealers were sent to other MGM rooms or offered other jobs. These assertions seem to contradict other information reported on the change. I'd like to have the full and correct set of facts to evaluate the situation, so if your assertions are true, please back them up. Whether your assertions are true and/or verifiable will go a long way to establishing your credibility, or lack thereof, on the issue.

    @bottalubear

    Lot going on here, but a few quick responses:

    A) Let's not kid anyone. These tables are not "live internet" games, nor are they "normal, but electronic" games. These games are a hybrid, and won't play the same as either internet or traditional live games. For example, handling cards and chips in a live game can offer a lot of tells an electronic game cannot. Electronic tables may serve as a nice transition game for internet players dipping their toes into the live world. Or, they may render traditional live games obsolete. But please, do not suggest they are not a significant change.

    B) Dealers are like any other occupation. There are good ones, average ones, and bad ones. Let's not tar the whole lot of them with overbroad generalizations. Generally speaking, the dealers I have encountered have added to the game, sparking conversation, keeping the game friendly and moving along, and added enough value to the game to earn their tips. I have only rarely encountered a "bad" dealer, but like most other jobs, the bad ones tend to weed themselves out over time. I suppose saving tips on electronic tables is probably a legitimate issue, but it's hard to evaluate if you will get the same kind of action without a good dealer present, so are you really making a profit on those saved tips? Also, there is the collusion concern others have raised without a dealer present.

    C) Preferring a live game doesn't make one a Luddite. Certainly, eliminating dealer errors is an advantage for the electronic tables, but who's to say they won't have power glitches, hardware or software glitches, or other problems of their own? I can't wait to hear the first accusations posted on 2+2 about how the electronic tables are "rigged" to produce big hands and juice the action. Or what about a team of cheats who figure out how to intercept and read the electronic signals and thus can "see" everyone's cards and communicate that information to a confederate at the table? How about a big money tourney where someone is accused of hacking or rigging the system?

    D) Finally, don't suggest that the casinos are putting in electronic tables for the benefit of the players. These tables have been tested in numerous locations, but I haven't heard any great outcry from the poker masses demanding these miracle machines. In fact, the opposite reaction is generally the case. The casinos (as good corporations) care only about the bottom line. If the electronic tables can give a greater net profit than live tables, then that's the ballgame. But don't think that ends the story. If electronic tables are forced on the poker market as the norm, don't be shocked if we are all on here in 2-3 years whining about how free drinks and comp dollars are being reduced or eliminated, or how the rake is being pushed up to $4 or $5 or more, because the casinos say the poker tables need to compete with the slots or other table games.

    At the end of the day, the market will decide the issue. If the poker masses are indifferent to or in fact prefer the new tables, those tables will eventually take over the main poker scene and live games will slink away to a few smaller joints and with maybe one big live "high roller" room (like Bellagio) surviving. If that happens, though, my patronage of Vegas (and other casinos) will drop significantly since my poker will be mostly home games and internet games.

  161. @bottalubear

    Real poker is not played with an electronic deck of cards.... period. There is no advantage to having the next card up randomly generated or worse, purposefully manipulated to generate action by a freakin computer. Full Tilt hits Vegas...... no thanks. I want to see 52 cards in the deck and I want to see them actually shuffled and then dealt to me by hand.... that is the only way that I trust the game. The deck of cards has to be in the hands of a living, breathing dealer for it to be real poker.

    I also think that you are misrepresenting the number of bad dealers. I know bad dealers exist, but I think good dealers out number them significantly... at least in places that I choose to play in.

  162. @Grange95

    Exactly! The market will decide the issue. I hope that everyone will keep this in mind and decide not to play at Excalibur in any manner and it wouldn't hurt to let MGM know about it. I haven't yet, but when I get a little time this weekend that is at the top of my list...... I'm pretty seriously upset about this and for me it's probably going to influence my play beyond just Excalibur.

  163. There were 40 dealers and Poker tek still has openings for 16 employees. Poker Tek didsn't kill 40 jobs they saved 16. Most of the dealers were sent to other MGM properties, or offered other positions

    I can tell you that this is not true, as most of the dealers at Excal that I talked to had yet to find other jobs. There are simply no jobs for poker dealers anywhere right now, and if they were sent to other MGM properties it is in an on-call position. But most of the dealers I talked to had yet to find anything, as they were given less than two weeks notice

  164. Picture of the new tables being installed at Excal. Notice the new carpeting.

    They changed the casino carpet about two months ago, and told the poker room that they were going to hold off on the poker room's carpet update as they were getting player card tracking technology for the live tables (i.e. like MGM Grand and TI).

    Also, dealer uniforms were updated in the main casino around the same time. Poker was not updated. Poker was told that they did not update the poker uniforms as the new uniforms did not have pockets sewn in yet.

    It is obvious that the executives knew about the change to pokertek long ago, and choose not to reveal it until just before the change.

    From what I can tell, the two individuals responsible for this change at Excalibur are:

    Todd DeRemer: Excalibur Vice President of Casino Operations
    Renee West: Excalibur Chief Executive Officer

    I will be posting their e-mail addresses as soon as I get them.

  165. Q,

    I feel your pain. I am a former dealer myself...in another lifetime. I can not specifically comment on your situation but I can confirm that, when it suits them, casino management can blow some serious smoke at their employees just to string them along for whatever reason behooves the casino. It almost rises to the level of detrimental reliance (for my colleagues in common law states...promisory estoppel).

    As for the whole concept of electronic poker, I'd be beating the long since dead horse to say, "it's B.S." It's B.S. (whilst kicking the deceased nag right between the eyes).

    BTW, LVM, from the looks of it, I need to multi-table online at your place. How many screens you got going there, chief? LOL. Well done on the interviews, guys. AVP continues to rock the proverbial poker house.

  166. The Fox channel in Vegas is helping spread the dealers were relocated rumor

    @KVVU Las Vegas

    The entire story (all 3 paragraphs) can be found HERE

  167. They had a 3rd report which includes a snippet of LVM, it can be found HERE

    Also found some more articles about it HERE

    and HERE

    And one thing I found interesting is that on May 1 2008 Mr. Deremer was quoted saying @Todd Deremer That was 5 months ago...wow how things change...the entire article can be found HERE

  168. Thanks for posting that Minton! I had no idea that they aired another segment that had the "why would you go to a casino to do something you can do at home" comment I made, plus the "everyone is watching Excalibur" line.

    Interesting stuff!

  169. For anyone that would like to voice their comments, complaints, or compliments concerning the decision to go Electronic at Excalibur, I now have the direct e-mail addresses of the two decision makers that are responsible for making the Excalibur an electronic poker room.

    Todd DeRemer: Excalibur Vice President of Casino Operations

    email: TDeremer@mgmmirage.com

    Renee West: Excalibur Chief Executive Officer

    email: RWest@mgmmirage.com

    I STRONGLY encourage all AVP'ers to voice their opinions regarding this decision to the two individuals listed above, whether positive or negative. AVP Members are truly a strong voice in the Las Vegas Poker world, and it is imperative that all of our voices are heard.

    Thank you!

  170. On Saturday night I met Mike over at the Excalibur to play for the last time. On a saturday night there were only about 6 games going. It was a strange feeling in the room.

    The staff was eerily calm and had accepted what was going to happen. I hopped on the microphone and the floorman said he didn't care what I said. Fortunately, at least this time, I thought before I spoke.

    To get a feel of what it was like, imagine a college campus on the night before the last finals in the spring semestir. Most of the dorm has emptied out and left. You have one buddy to hang out with, LVM, everyone else is gone. There is a sence of melancholy.

    I am sure that Renee West thinks this is a good thing. Or maybe she was pressured by upper upper management because they have a friend who has a heavy investment in PokerTek. While you don't care, Renee, I hope one day you feel the sence of emptyness that those dealers and your customers feel regarding this issue.

    Perry

  171. @TopPairNoGood

    That wasn't Michael. He didn't have any computer's in the video with him. That was AVP himself.

  172. Oh, yes, I stand corrected...got the two clips confused with who had what in front of them....sorry guys.

  173. ok, who left the door open and let the troll in??

    @bottalubear

    I've played on these e-tables at 3 different casinos and never did I see anyone making "optional side bets" utilizing a feature of the table. The only side bet made one night was between 2 buddies and they had to pull cash of out their pockets to settle up. I also never saw any situation whereby you could sit in one seat at the table and play 2 different types of games. This is definitely NOT like internet poker where you can multi-table. The game you're sitting at, is the only game you're playing. You do NOT bounce back & forth from screen to screen to play different games.

    @bottalubear

    I have played these tables before and I can definitely say I don't like them nearly as much as I like cards, chips & live dealers.

  174. It has all of the conveniences of internet poker but you see exactly who your playing against

    How the hell does it have all the conveniences of internet poker? Can you play PokerTek while laying in bed in your underwear watching porn? (sorry for the visual there, just an example). Can you play 10 tables of PokerTek at the same time? Can you check your email and read AllVegasPoker while playing PokerTek? The fact is PokerTek has all the inconveniences of live poker but none of the benefits that make us willing to put up with those inconveniences.

    And you really need to stop spreading rumors about dealers being placed in other rooms and PokerTek "saving" jobs at the Excalibur when it is clear you have no idea what you are talking about and are just shilling.

  175. @DayTripping

    I KNEW there was something missing all those times I was playing on one of these tables. :scream:

  176. @DayTripping

    I plan to bring a cot and lie in it in my underwear while playing at Excalibur this weekend. Just try and stop me! :smiling_imp:

  177. @bowlingfool

    I KNEW there was something missing all those times I was playing on one of these tables. :scream:[/quote]

    Who lays in their underwear while watching porn? Birthday suit ftw!

  178. New tagline for the exacl poker room.

    It's like internet poker, but with pants!!!

  179. I dont think this is going to fly! First poker players that play at med. stakes dont play on the strip durring the week.Except for A couple of casins I wont mention.For one if your A daily player the rake is to high and they are to stingey with the comps. All the good action is off the strip! The casinos have just got to greedy and treat there help worse than dogs,I think the strip has sinsationalizing them self out of business!TGive me A cardroom with easy access A fair rake decent comps.and treat there employes right and I'll be there 4 out of 7 days!

  180. @zoltan

    I plan to bring a cot and lie in it in my underwear while playing at Excalibur this weekend. Just try and stop me! :smiling_imp:[/quote]

    I'll be in Vegas in Sept and am mildly tempted to walked into the Ex poker room with my laptop to sit at one of their EMPTY e-tables and play online poker, read my email, look at porn, play MP3's really loudly, look up sports scores, all while asking the employees, "uh, so when can I expect a full game to get started????" :scream: :smiling_imp:

  181. @HLV Poker Guy I agree. And I also am skeptical about how much play they will get, even though I'm not quite as sure they will fail as you seem to be. That's why I qualified the company's selling points and claims as just that. Fifty-five hands an hour really won't be much use to anyone if you can't fill the tables and keep them that way.

    But.

    Excalibur's poker room had problems. Can I even say that here? I'll find out I guess. Some of those are problems that predated any recent economic issues. Some of them were staff issues. Some of them involved folks who clearly felt entitled to their positions as a birthright, and were not at all shy about letting everyone at the tables know how much they did not like their jobs, their customers, their employer, and having to be there. They said so, more than just occasionally, and more than just a few of them. I have mentioned it on this site in the past. It included both dealers and some supervisory floor staff. On some shifts, some of them were already effectively e-tables without a dealer or floor showing much interest in running the game. That will make some folks here angry for me to say, but it is not an uncommon observation among folks I talk to who've played there. Sorry, but that's what I saw, and what I've continued to hear from others. I've been biting my tongue about saying this, because I fully expect to get flamed for doing so. I'm not the only one, just the only one posting about it so directly here. I do understand and sympathize with folks who have fond sentimental memories of playing there in the past. I have places I think of that way too, including one which was closed. But. I don't agree with very much of what bottalubear wrote, like almost none of it, but I do think just closing the room and putting in more slots was a more likely alternative than keeping that room open indefinitely the way it was, and was becoming. That's just an opinion, nothing more, but I rather suspect it is one shared by the property's management, and you will just have to excuse me from joining the expressions of outrage, even though I'm not any great proponent of these tables.

    On a more personal note to folks who are now having to find a new job...

    It sucks, till it doesn't. Almost all of us will lose a job and need to get another some day. Most of us more than once or twice or thrice. On average more than half a dozen times in our working lives. I have been fired, and I have fired people. You will eventually find yourself losing a job again someday too, and you, and you, and yes even you over there hiding behind that potted plant. It can sometimes end up being a good thing even if it doesn't seem like that right away. It is sure not a fun or easy thing to go through. But. Even as you may feel angry or depressed about it, 'tis good to remember that the mere fact of having lost a job is not by itself any reflection on your character as a man or woman, though the way you choose to handle it often is.

    It can provoke a lot of emotion when it happens. That's understandable, and may take a little time and reflection to get past. But. One is not well served by going into the marketplace nursing bitterness towards those who gave you a job in the past, anymore than trashing your ex-mate is a very good opening line to get a date, and if one adopts an attitude of entitlement towards one's employers then that will be something which will not tend to lead to occupational success in the long run, in any line of work, and shouldn't. I would not want to employ such a person, for any position, anywhere, anytime, and I took great pains to weed them out.

    Q, based on a few little tidbits in your first post, I think I know who you are. I'll just assume I'm right about that here for a moment in this paragraph. Pardon me if I am a little presumptuous in offering you some advice as someone who has been around the block a little longer. If you are who I think you are, I remember you as one of the two or three most outstanding dealers in that room, a real standout, someone I WILL miss, an intelligent engaging woman who can be a great find for any employer and a success in most any line of work you want to pursue. (That is, aside from your obsessive compulsion to build elaborate intricate castles out of poker chips. A charming habit, but probably not rewarding.) If you need to take a little time to refresh and renew your spirit, I really want to encourage you to please do that first, then go out with the attitude of seeking to be a great asset for your next employer, with enthusiasm for what your past work helps you to bring to them, and everything else you seek will naturally tend to follow in time. Good luck. It gets easier eventually; it really does.

    @bowlingfool

    I plan to bring a cot and lie in it in my underwear while playing at Excalibur this weekend. Just try and stop me! :smiling_imp:[/quote]

    I'll be in Vegas in Sept and am mildly tempted to walked into the Ex poker room with my laptop to sit at one of their EMPTY e-tables and play online poker, read my email, look at porn, play MP3's really loudly, look up sports scores, all while asking the employees, "uh, so when can I expect a full game to get started????" :scream: :smiling_imp:[/quote]Now that's funny. Well played, gentlemen.

  182. LocalRock, I've played Excalibur a few times over the past year or so and I agree with your observations that there were definitely some dealers and floor there who didn't seem to care. In that respect, it seems like they are partially to blame because if they ran a better room then it would have been less likely that the Ex would have been chosen as the guinea pig in this experiment.

    That being said, if the room was not showing the profit that management expected, it seems they would have been wiser to clean house and get rid of the folks who were not doing a good job and replace them with better people instead of replacing them with machines.

    As for the employees of the room who did care and did do a good job (and there were many), they are the real victims.

  183. LocalRock,

    A huge "Here-here." Very rarely do I feel compelled to applaud a particular post. However, your previous reply was so succinct and on-point that I had to give you an e-pat-on-the-back.

  184. @Local Rock

    No disagreement from me here. Nor agreement, actually. My opinion is based not on how the room was, but the mechanics, math, and meta issues of a room full of e-tables. I don't think the math and the previous track record of these tables makes good sense.

    It's really going to depend on what is considered a level of success for these tables. If it were me, anything less than an average of 6 tables would be a less than successful. That's an average, so every hour of a full room on Saturday night balances out an hour of downtime on a Tuesday early morning. I base this on the fact that there are going to be 12 tables installed, so I'm only looking at 50% capacity on average, and even then, those tables at 70% capacity. Technically, that's running at 35% average total capacity on a 10-handed table. And as the math will tell you, 4 7-handed tables are better for the house than 3 9-handed tables. Heck, they're usually better than 3 full tables, so I'm giving the benefit of the doubt.

    I don't know what these tables cost, but it the room there has to pay lease on the table, comps and beverage to players, staff (albeit limited) in the room, support staff, and all the other bills, I think less than the average I estimated above is just not going to fly.

  185. One thing I wonder is if these tables will really save the Excalibur nearly as much money as they think.

    I don't really think these tables will get much business, for the many reasons given by lots of posters before me. But lets just assume that we are wrong, and the electronic tables become very popular.

    How many employees will it *really* take to run such a room? I think part of the flaw in the thinking is the idea that dealers just dealt and pushed chips around. Dealers do much more than that, including being the first line in enforcing rules, backed by the floor.

    In the new electronic table room, who keeps players from colluding? Who makes sure only English is spoken at tables? Who makes sure there is no abusive talk? Who keeps people off their cell phones? Who keeps the guy from pokerstoving every hand on his laptop? Who explains to the newbie player why his straight just lost to the flush? Who answers questions about how to cash out, or solves problems?

    The answer (I believe) in the new electronic room is that the floor/host will have to do all this. Considering that there is no dealer observing and enforcing rules, I don't see how a floor can cover more than about 2-3 tables. They still have to be able to observe and listen and know whats going on at these tables. So haven't they just replaced 20 dealers with 10 floor? Does that really save them any money?

    I'll be in Vegas at the end of the week and I'll probably stop in to see how the tables work - but I won't give them any significant business. Not only do the electronic tables seem bad for the players and dealers, but I also wonder if they even really help with poker room costs... seems like lose/lose/lose to me.

  186. I think there is a place for e-tables but I don't believe it is in a normal casino. I could see them being an awesome draw in a bar. Some states allow video gaming but not table games and they have a few video poker machines and that sort of thing. I could see them working in that type of environment. But I just don't see it catching on in a regular casino. Especially in a casino that is close proximity to other casinos that have real dealers, cards and chips. There are plenty of choices in Vegas and I think time will tell the truth for these machines.

  187. @timpramas

    Is this line a joke? "not everyone can be as fair and balanced as Fox News" And MSNBC with Keith Olbermann is also "fair and Balanced"

  188. @minton

    Print the t-shirts! I'll buy one.

  189. @Liquid Oxygen2

    Is this line a joke? "not everyone can be as fair and balanced as Fox News" And MSNBC with Keith Olbermann is also "fair and Balanced"[/quote]

    Why can't they both be biased? Why one or the other?

  190. I have updated the News Section on the Main Site as well as the OP of this thread to reflect the current opening date of the new room: Friday, August 22nd, at 6PM.

    +++++

    I have noticed a problem already with the new tables, based solely on the photograph of the new tables being installed: THEY DON'T HAVE CUPHOLDERS!

    The Excalibur does not offer side tables for beverages (they used to but took them out when the room moved). Does this mean that cocktails are being kept on the actual tables themselves? I hope they have lots of towels!

    ++++++

    Local Rock, no flaming at all coming from me. No one is putting the Excal on a pedestal as having the best overall dealers, best room quality, etc. Let's face it, it was the Excal, not Venetian.

    I happened to feel comfortable there, and felt that the room (despite being generally worn down) had a lot of character, and the dealers, though many were old school and didn't necessarily all have bright and bubbly personalities, fit the room nicely.

    When it comes to discussing the rooms "problems" I can give some more details from a source I spoke with, within the MGM Mirage/Excalibur group that asked to remain anonymous:

    1. The room was profitable. The room did NOT lose money, and though business had declined overall in the poker room since the move from the current sportsbook area, the room was still generating a profit each month.

    2. The biggest expense for the Excalibur poker room is cocktails. $9,000 per day is charged to the poker room for cocktails. This is an expense that will not change once the room switches to electronic tables.

    I'm guessing that 9K per day is high. I welcome our Poker Room people on this board to inform me whether or not 9K is excessive or fairly standard, as that is information that I am not normally privy to.

    I can only assume that 9K per day is a little obscene, and perhaps by decreasing business overall by adding the tables, they will also save cocktail money. As I said earlier, the new tables don't have cupholders, so maybe that was intentional. :wink:

    ++++++

    One final comment with regard to volume of business: The Excalibur was traditionally a pretty busy room. On a typical Saturday night, at around 1AM, it was standard to have 9 cash games (non holiday weekend).

    During a weeknight, 5-6 games were standard.

    Despite the fact that the old room had 12 tables, the busiest I had EVER seen the room was 10 tables. I think that the average weeknight is 5-6 games, and the average weekend is 8-9 games.

    When the room closed two days ago (Sunday night at midnight) they collectively broke FIVE running games at once. It was surreal.

  191. I doubt Excalibur was MGM's least profitable room. Just based on my observations over the years, MC and Luxor both looked to be less busy than anytime I have ever been to Excalibur. Seems like they should have tried this out in a different room.

  192. "Local Rock",
    I want to point out just a few things back for this site to remember....The Excalibur Poker Room has definately had it's share of (shall I say) not so personal dealers. They did weed out quite a few and there was a few bad eggs left in the "box". I will agree. I am not praising myself by any means. I am not perfect (like a computer might be....) BUT on the most part we had a great staff. I praised my job, I loved my job and also love the game of poker. What some poeple aren't seeing is quite a few things. IF, these e-tables catch on here in Vegas...not only will 40 (or so) dealers be out of a job. There are tons of poker rooms here...HOW MANY OTHER PEOPLE will be out of a job???? If computers make it in Vegas, the next thing you know, you will be playing computerized blackjack and all other table games as well. This is a train wreck going on here. Don't you people see that? If we think we have poor economy now...wait another few years at this rate. We as Americans will be wanting to move to Mexico and replace all of them that moved here. People are talking about money they would save by not tipping the dealers, but they have no problem tipping the waitress a $1 for a .25 bottle of water. We run the game, we try to keep things orderly, we read your hands, we MAKE YOU SMILE...we push POTS OF MONEY and so what if it turns out to be spending a few extra bucks by the end of the night...it was an evening of fun. This is VEGAS....people over-all are here to spend money and have fun!

    I will remind all of you that Excalibur was doing just fine 3 years ago...THEN MGM purchased the property. They got rid of a very knowledgable poker manager (Tony Green) and replaced him with a person who openly admits he knows nothing about POKER. He is a Race & Sports Book Manager...why did they give that position to someone who knows nothing about POKER? MGM removed our nice little "free" buffet offered every night to poker players. THEN they MOVED the room into the middle of the casino.....DUHHHHH! They took away everything that was attractive about our room and never replaced a thing back to offer customers.

    Now they are using your money (player money) that built up that nice jackpot and wheel spin account to over $100,000 (I heard) to GIVE it away to draw new players in. They basically have spit in the old players faces. Not that you can't go and try to win the freerolls they will be doing...but think hard at what has happened here. This town has always been about "customer service"....did they even consider the customer base here?

    I have lost my job to a computer...you are right, it isn't the first time I've lost a job and probably won't be the last. I put all my effort into doing a good job and will do the same for my next employer. I appreciate your nice compliments and your advice. I am BITTER and need some cooling off time for sure. I think I loved my job more than most dealers in our room and can't believe it's not a poker room any longer. I honestly don't see how they will fill those tables now, when they couldn't fill them before.

    I also want to state that even though I was only there for 4 years, the dealers that were there long-term (15-20 years) did not recieve ANY severence. Only the floor people got offered severence packages and these dealers have broke their back working this many years. There are quite a few employees in their late 50's and early 60's...where will they get a job now? What about their benefits?... Walmart?

    I'm not sure if I read you correctly about "my castles of chips", I am assuming you mean when I have played. I think you have the right person on my end, now how do I know who you are?

    Thanks for listening again. Hope someone gets something out of this.

  193. Thank you for continuing to post your side of thinks, Q. I am pretty sure I also know who you are. That runner runner suckout (flopped nut straight versus an overpair, going runner runner boat) that you put on me still stings. :wink:

    I agree on your points mentioned, and appreciate your honesty. Also, we appreciate getting the behind the scenes information that we may not have otherwise been privy to.

  194. @mritz

    Is this line a joke? "not everyone can be as fair and balanced as Fox News" And MSNBC with Keith Olbermann is also "fair and Balanced"[/quote]

    Why can't they both be biased? Why one or the other?[/quote]

    It is that they are both biased. That was my point

  195. @LasVegasMichael
    Obviously, I can't divulge specifics, but 9k per day sounds very high. Nonetheless, cocktails are usually the highest ezpense in any poker room. What most folks don't realize is that the "free" drinks to the poker players aren't free to the poker *room*. Every one of those little water bottles that get 2 sips and are left aside still cost the room. And I promise you, they ain't 25 cents. I WISH they were 25 cents.

    The more drunks in the room, the higher this skyrockets. In many cases, the food and beverage folks look to make their bottom line look better, so they raise the price of booze to the house. The pit might see their booze bill increase by 10 percent, and it's barely a blip, due to the high dollar volume they drop. Poker rooms drop such a small fraction of what the pit drops that a 10 percent increase can be devastating.

    But never fear, the cocktails will be served. You can bet the server's union will be watching this closely to make sure the servers are still making money. Ironically, I'll bet this increases the booze bill, as the lack of personnel at the table removes one of the safeguards against poorly behaved drunks.

    I wonder how much it costs to replace a screen after a player slams a shot glass down onto it?

  196. How far are the server's tips going to go down, now the the players don't have chips to tip with? This looks like a disaster for them.
    I hope these things don't catch on.

    Stiveco

  197. Good Point, Stiveco. I didn't even think of that. Many people don't carry a plethora of singles.

    Anyways, here is a copy of the letter I sent to Mr. DeRemer and Ms. West:

    @Letter from LasVegasMichael

  198. I was down at Excalibur tonight checking out the progress of the new room. It looks pretty much ready to go as all the table were set up and turned on. No chairs or anything but I'm sure those will be brought in at the last minute. Strangely there were no signs anywhere announcing when the new room would be open. There were 6 or 7 tech geeks in the room working on stuff. I couldn't get images to post here but there are a couple pics on my blog here.

  199. @LasVegasMichael
    Given the ease these days with which you can start an email campaign and bombard people's email boxes (I get 4 or 5 political requests a month to click a link to mail my senators), I'd make two suggestions.

    1) If you can, send a snail mail letter. That will likely get more attention while I expect email will receive a copy-and-paste form response and may not even be read. In fact AVP or allvegaspoker may be "magic words" that make it seem like an organized campaign and less effective.

    2) Actually wait until the new room is open. If you're local or visiting soon, your letter would have a lot more bite if you actually play on the tables and relate your experience. Speculation about problems with collusion, tipping, feel of the game is very different than first hand experience. I understand many are opposed to playing the game, but even if you stop by and just watch and comment on what you see rather than what you think, it's much more likely to matter to the management.

  200. @LasVegasMichael I understand and do sympathize. A couple of my very most favorite places had exactly that kind of quality, even more dog-eared around the edges than Excal. I don't want to be a skunk at the funeral as y'all mourn it's passing.

    @HLV Poker Guy It's a minor side issue, but I understand there may be some advantages to the overall bottom line of the casino/hotel/resort enterprise to do some cost and revenue shifting from gaming into food and beverage, because it gets accounted for and taxed differently.

    @Q-UV-HARTZ Yes, a few times when discretely sitting at a table as a player late at night, perhaps to help keep the game from breaking. It worked for me; I enjoyed watching you construct and deconstruct your precision tabletop architectural projects.

    @Q-UV-HARTZ I am nobody. Just a local rock who enjoys little small stakes games in slightly scruffy older joints. Hope I'm lucky enough to run into you at a table in the future.

    I am getting some things out of this and that and the other thing. Offering no severance to long term employees is something I don't admire at all.

  201. @Local Rock While the corporation may benefit overall, the managers in charge of rooms are responsible for their own operating income. When your biggest costs go up outside of your control, operating income goes down. Unless you can increase revenue, the picture just gets uglier.

  202. Thanks LVM...yes, I remember the Hand....sorry :confused: I totally thought I had the winning hand.

    Total Rock:
    I hope one day I do get to meet you in person. I hope that you will address me, for I wouldn't know who you are...lol

    Correction about the cost of WATER: I meant that little bottle of water cost the casino about .25 cents...I know the poker room is charged $2.50 for each bottle water served. The sad part is Excalibur doesn't even give the poker players top shelf booze....you are are only getting the cheap stuff. Even if you ask for Jack Daniels or Crown Royal....It's not the real deal.

  203. @AdRock

    As many others have, I've played on one of these tables elsewhere, a cruise last summer. I absolutely hated the experience. You don't interact with the other players... you spend all your time staring at your screen. You do not get the benefit of reading your opponenents even though they're right across from you... they're staring at their screens trying to figure out how to use the machine too. It's always your turn to act, it's relentless, and you don't really have time to think. It's not a fun way to play. Just because the location was different doesn't invalidate that experience.

    When I was in Vegas for a week last year, I spent several afternoons playing at the Excalibur and had a great time. I enjoyed my interactions with the dealers and the other players. I'll be visiting for a week in October, and I was looking forward to playing at Excalibur again. Now the only reason I will set foot in the building is to pass through to Luxor, or because I'm really craving Cold Stone Creamery.

    Further, I live in NJ and Trump Plaza has recently opened a room like this, only PokerPro tables. They've promoted it on local radio, and they have huge banners hanging on the building advertising it clearly visible as you enter Atlantic City from the AC Expressway. Well, I was curious on last Friday, so I walked through at about 7pm. They had one half-full table going in the middle of an empty "poker" room. Next door at Caesar's, they had a wait list for every game. Hopefully we'll see the same thing at Excalibur, and the casino executives will get the message loud and clear that we prefer real poker with dealers, cards, and chips.

  204. Thought: Isn't this PokerTech business a little like learning to speak Latin?

    -Pause for thought- :smiling_imp:

    In other words, the vast majority of poker players, if only in a fleeting thought, dream of that "one day" scenario at the WSOP, WPT, or similar poker tournament of major prestige. When so much promotion goes in to telling the world that the winner of the Main Event is a "world champion," or that the winner of HORSE is in a class by himself or the recognition (and money) that comes with any major WPT / WSOP title, it's almost impossible (even for the strictest of cash game players) to not think about throwing their name in that hat and giving one of those huge tourneys a whirl.

    That being said (and, IMO, I think it's the gospel), why would anyone want to play PokerTech. It's the proverbial dead language. Unless the Main Event or the 5 Diamond decide to go to PokerTech (which ESPN would never allow to happen, since they obviously like "good" TV), it is reduced to an irrelevant endeavor.

    You know, people who play the powerball/lotto don't actually think they'll win. They love that rush, of 4 or 5 days, thinking about "what if." It's very similiar in poker. You may never shell out the coin or get lucky enough to satellite into a major tourney BUT, you know, as a player who plays REAL POKER, you could because, at least, you won't be intimidated by dealers, cards and chips. Who would shell out $10K to play in the ME if the only poker experience they had was playing this automated BS. You know that this technology only goes so far and, thereby, is limited in its appeal. No major tourney or significant notoriety or any TV time will be had around one of these stinking tables and, so, it loses a degree of appeal.

    Now, I don't suggest that this, in and of itself, should be the red flag that turns anyone one way or the other, but I couldn't help but to think that it will sour some people ESPECIALLY PEOPLE NEW TO THE GAME from ever trying them on a serious basis to begin with. The 19 year old kid, whose only exposure to poker comes every Tuesday night on ESPN, knows one thing: this PokerTech stuff ain't what I see Lederer, Nguyen, Hellmuth or anybody else playing on TV.....and what those guys are doing is where I want to be.

    Anyone agree?

  205. I've played on these e-tables at 3 different casinos and never did I see anyone making "optional side bets" utilizing a feature of the table. there is a side bet option called Flop lock . that should be on the machines in the next coming months

  206. It is clear that the majority of people who frequent this website enjoy live poker. In many cities around the world players risk fines or worse to play in illegal card rooms "for the live experience" rather than play online which has been around for about 10 years. The Vegas experience has generally been all those things you can't do at home. Where else can you have free drinks, 24 hour excitement, poker, craps ect. When non Vegas casinos introduced these tables people didn't react as strongly in oposition because it was E or nothing, Plus you knew that you could always go to Vegas. I think what concerns alot of people is what kind of poker will we be playing 20 years from now. We all know the growth of poker has leveled off and business plans are in place to try and bring new people into the game. The same thing is happening in the world of golf. Golf courses are closing and the cost is going up, so how do you retain your client base so they will help with future growth. You don't turn your back on people that supported your business for 18 years and say we want somebody different. I prefer live play, I spend alot of money on travel expenses to patronize live cardrooms even though 2 E tables are just down the road at the local casino. I play for recreational purposes only, usually at the 1-2NL or 2-5NL level. I totaly agree with LVM on his point of view concerning this issue and commend him for writing letters and speaking on behalf of recreational poker players that enjoy live play.
    PS I have no problem tipping dealers they provide a valuable service.

  207. @Gravel

    Very good point.

  208. @robtraut

    this is EXACTLY the same experience I had as well. it was possibly one of the quietest games I've played in since NO ONE was chatting. everyone was trying to figure out the touch screen.

    @robtraut

    exactly like the experience I had in the Palm Springs desert.

  209. I have played on the Poker Pro tables of the last 2 cruises that I went on. There is no way I would play on them in a real casino setting. But on the ships they only had the one computer table.

    As far as accidentally clicking an action, you must double click all actions on your screen to process the action.

    And for the "last hand" feature" if a player was not in the hand or the winner was before showdown the winners cards are not exposed. The winners cards would be exposed to anyone who was in the hand at showdown, as would the losers.

    Mohegan Sun in Conneticut has about 40 - 45 tables in their recently reopened poker room. All Poker Pro tables. I have not been there, but went to Foxwoods and their poker room on Saturday was jammed as always. And they have 100 tables. All live.

  210. I'm a transplant from Connecticut and played at the poker pro tables at Mohegan Sun . They first had them about a year and a half ago and they had 4 tables to start and then added 6 more with 2 heads up tables. The I never saw the heads up tables ever used . Maybe thats why the heads up tables were only there a month or so.
    I tried playing 1-2 and 1 tourney boring I thought I was playing online with a bunch of guys with laptops. No chips No cards just my players card to tap the screen. So I drive extra 20 minutes to Foxwoods for real poker.
    Two months later only 4 tables there no heads up.
    As for the Mohegan Sun's new poker room it will be all live with real dealers with 42 tables.

  211. I caught the end of Michael's interview-nice job. You made great points. If the Poker Tech tables work, this is the perfect property-a lot of tourist playing low limit. If a guest doesn't want to play them, they can simply walk to M. Bay or Luxor (both these rooms should see an increase in play). Honestly, I have to go check them out one time (just once). From my experience most dealers are really cool, and keep the game in order; so they earn their tokes.

    Cheers & good luck at the tables!

  212. @cronkbrast

    Actually, no. Mohegan put in 15 temporary poker pro tables until the new 45 table Live Poker House of Blues room opens on the 29th of this month. They don't get much action at all. They put them in about 4-6 months ago and never really took off. 2/4 and 1/2 NL is about the only games that get going, and hardly ever more than 4 or so would run.

  213. Hay we ought to start A contest we could do an over/under thing on electronic tables!!! :

  214. I just wanted to say to the Excal dealer that posts here, that I feel for you. I was shocked when I heard what Excal was doing. And I started questioning my future at MGM, and feeling my job maybe in trouble. This is my worst nightmare, and I'm deeply sorry it actually happened to you.

    About 3 months ago a young poker player was playing at my table and started boasting about Vegas going electronic and how great it would be. Now what I'm about to say is telling on myself, and probably not a professional thing, but I look him straight in the eye and said "Are you seriously saying this while I'm dealing, go out in the hall and boast about how you want me out of a job.". Later on he was complaining about players talking during the hand. I told him" I'm acting as the computer does, not saying anything".

    I'm really thinking about my future as a dealer, and it saddens me to think that the best job that I've ever had, and the only job I've enjoyed doing, could be taken away from me by wires and hardware.

  215. I am completely on your side on this one VD78.

    It is not real poker as far as I'm concerned.

    My only justification for them would be the heads up version. I can justify a room putting the two handed tables in a live poker room, as heads up play is not conducive for a poker room.

  216. I agree LVM. It would be nice to see a couple poker rooms have those heads up tables. I think they'd see some decent business, especially when people are waiting for a seat in a regular live game.

  217. Personally I'd love to see more rooms try the tables for heads up play, and single table SNGs (perhaps with better structures than rooms can offer with live dealers).

    I'd consider taking a seat at one of these while waiting for a REAL cash game to open up.

  218. Ideally, they are designed for the hot headed types that we have all seen at the tables. Two guys get all up in each others faces with trash talking (usually after a suckout) and one of them ALWAYS says "Let's play Heads up! I'll take you down!". Having a heads up table will allow for the hot heads to empty their wallets and prove their masculinity.

  219. I think this would encourage me to piss people off at the tables in an effort to get someone to play heads up with me, as most people are pretty inexperienced when it comes to heads up play

  220. I'd like to see one of these machines flung from a giant catapult right down Las Vegas Blvd. and smash into a milliion pieces. Can we get AVP to sponsor that? :smile:

  221. @mauihaole

    Yeah, but the computer program will out weigh your experience when your flopped boat gets busted by runner, runner to give a pair of 3's quads, or the bigger boat, or the str8 flush or some other computerized BS. :wink: I guess my opinon on the integrity of poker software as replicating a real shuffle and deal is somewhat obvious... No way in the world I will ever be convinced that the programs are not set to stimulate action and increase rake.

  222. The sign hanging over the room should have to say

    Poker* Room*
    *Not really poker
    *Not really a room

    Truly the 6/5 blackjack of poker...

    What really cracks me up is the "pros" who are giving these props...

    "I am so excited that automated poker is finally going to exist in Vegas," said pro poker player Clonie Gowen. "PokerPro is an amazing way to play the game. The speed and accuracy beats any manual table. You will find me in the Excalibur's poker room from time to time and I challenge all poker players to try this."

    ....sure, we'll see you there.

    jc

  223. @jcc37000

    She will actually be there so she can pick up her endorsement check.

  224. @AlaskaGal

    She will actually be there so she can pick up her endorsement check.[/quote]

    Clonie Gowen playing $1/2 NL at the new Excal room is about the only way I'll even consider going to play

  225. She is hot, but not hot enough to get me to play on one of those tables...

  226. Now that they have been open with these e-tables for a little bit has anyone been by to see how it is going in there?

  227. @Morty33

    The room does not open until tonight at 6PM. The original opening date of the 21st was pushed back a day.

    I will be there tonight to review the room, play a round or two, and take pictures.

    I will post thoughts when I get back home tonight and a full review will be posted tomorrow.

  228. Thanks LVM. I thought I read somewhere that the date was the 18th.

  229. Michael,

    If you go to night I will give you the following suggestions/advice be prepared to have some difficultly getting the touch screen to show you your hole cards by simply cupping your hand over them. Many players at these tables in Michigan (myself included) will use the edge of their players card inside their cupped hand to expose their cards or the edge of a small pen like a mini sharpie. This will allow you to get your cards to lift up easier. Also the corner of your card or the end of a pen work much better for hitting the "chip" and other buttons on the screen.

    Yes, I can feel your love for these tables building as you read this.

    If you want to get a quick reaction from the floor under the options menu you can select "call the floor" or "call the floor & hold the game" the second one tends to get a very fast response :wink:

    Enjoy your night I look forward to hearing what you think.

    Mark

  230. I'll second georgee!!!

    The people in memphis were tapping with their cards as well, it never seems to register when you just touch the screen. So there was always a little tapping sound while people were figuring out what to do.

  231. I can see it unfold before my very eyes, a drunk gets tired of hitting the button and nothing happens, he inadvertently mucks, so smashes the screen accidentally or otherwise.

    Or same overserved patron repeatedly holding up the game

  232. There is a great over/under

    How long until someone smashes a screen

    I say a week

  233. @minton

    How long before drinks are spilled on the screens? As for drunk players holding up the game, it's almost always up to the dealer to get them to act because they won't stop talking to all the other players at the game, which I can see happening at this. At least there is an action clock.

  234. @photoc

    how fast is the drink service???

    I'd say there will be some spillage tonight

  235. @minton

    how fast is the drink service???

    I'd say there will be some spillage tonight[/quote]

    The servers are going to hate this room, much like low limit slots. No chips or dollar tokens in play for easy tipping.

  236. I'll go the opposite way of Minton and JohnDZ with the prop bets. I'll contend that these tables will actually be too confusing for most drunks who will probably not stay very long at the table. 15-20 mins. tops before they just give up and leave. :laughing:

    I'll go with the over on a screen getting smashed. :scream:

    I'm still expecting (hoping) for these to be a total failure.

  237. OK, this gives me an idea. Before everyone boycotts the room, let's all go in with 54 oz cokes, no ice, and dump them in the machines. I'm going to hell aren't I?

  238. @Tucson Jim

    TucsonJim,

    Your not going to hell for this. But if you do go, there are a lot of poker players who are endorsing this product that will be joining you. Anyone who is taking money for this product should be careful that the Vice squad
    doesn't see them getting paid.

  239. David Sklansky will be at Excalibur at 6PM to promote the tables.

    This should be fun.

  240. I plan on asking a couple questions:

    1. Mr. Sklansky: Approximately how many sessions/hours have you spent playing at the Excal in the past 18 years?

    2. Given that, why do you feel that these machines match the customer deographic of a room you have never set foot in?

    3. How much is pokertek paying you? If it weren't for the check, would you support these machines and play at the Excalibur? If no, why? If so, why?

    Any others?

  241. Of course, the opener from me will be "Hey, you and I have something in common! Neither of us would be here if we weren't gettng paid."

  242. @LasVegasMichael

    Well played Sir

    Mark

  243. Ask him if he feels any guilt over Brandi's suicide.

    On 2nd thought, Better not ask that one.

  244. I can't wait to read LVM's review! I am interested to hear how many people showed up for the opening.

  245. we know 2 did for sure, I'd laugh if it's just LVM and sklansky there playing heads up internet poker in a poker room

  246. Please ask him whether Pokertek is paying him in real dollars or Sklansky dollars....

  247. @SouthPointPerry

    TucsonJim,

    Your not going to hell for this. But if you do go, there are a lot of poker players who are endorsing this product that will be joining you. Anyone who is taking money for this product should be careful that the Vice squad
    doesn't see them getting paid.[/quote]

    Interesting to see who is on the dole for these things. PokerTek may think getting Sklansky to support these tables will give them a boost. Newsflash to PokerTek: Sklansky is not particularly well-thought of these days. Just don't think his (paid for) support will bring people stampeding to the tables. Might be a few guys who would play if they could sit and gawk at Clonie. :wink:

    Look forward to LVM's full report. Personally, I have my druthers about playing poker by jabbing a screen like I'm paying for groceries with my debit card.

  248. Here is a better idea in order to show the faults of these machines. Get together 8-10 AVPers to go down to Excalibur at around the same time. We all get at the same table, however the people at Excal don't know we're together. Then, when we're there have a few people colluding or talking in foreign languages. Since there is no dealer to stop them, this will visibly anger the "other players." Then those players can complain to the supervisors and managers about how these machines do nothing to control the game. The colluding players can also do everything in their power to slow down the action and make the game painfully slow. I mean, if multiple people are taking 60sec per decision then they won't get in too many hands per hour.

  249. The pro's will pretty much sell out to anything won't they? I love Matusow's "whores for Harrahs" line and it seems to apply to about any situation they can profit from... guess you can't blame them, but I don't know it's getting a bit much when they are making a dime of crap like this.

  250. I think they will die on their own, we don't need to help them fail.

    They might have some attention early since it's a new thing, but eventually people will go to real rooms.

  251. Stopped by there briefly tonight... Saw LVM and Sklansky having a discussion but it appeared to be cordial enough. They had the room roped off and in order to enter you had to stand in a line outside the room. They would let people in one at a time and then that person would go to the sign up desk and presumably say what game they wanted to play and then they'd get seated. There were probably 10 - 15 people in line at about 6:30 and they had 4 or 5 tables going. From what I could tell they were playing 2/4, 4/8, and 1/2 NL. I heard a lot of people who were outside the room make negative comments like "Can you believe they did this?" On the other hand everybody who was actually in the room playing the tables seemed happy to be there. There were lot of PokerTek people monitoring the games and answering questions.

    It looked like opening night drew quite a few people but of course the true test will be to go there a week from now and see how many tables they have got going...

  252. @DayTripping

    Did you take any pictures?

  253. I really have no problem with this room giving these machines a real shot in Vegas. I just wonder what the reaction will be when a player takes a bad beat and bashes the screen, thus breaking it.

  254. I am in bed typing on the laptop, so this will be brief for now.

    Number of games when I left @ 11:45PM: 6
    Peak number of running games: 9
    Number of games @ 11:45PM last friday night: 9
    Number of times I dropped the Fbomb at the table: 33
    Number of times I was warned by the floor for cursing: 0
    Number of times I talked about the hand in play: 17
    Number of times I was warned by the floor for discussing hands in play: 0
    Room rating on a scale of 1 to 10 when I entered the room: -5
    Room rating on a scale of 1 to 10 when I left the room: 3
    Number of times I'll be returning: 1 (need to take pictures, as I forgot my camera this time)

    I played 1/2NL; .50/1NL; 2/4LHE, and 1/3 PLO at various times throughout the night.

    Summarize the evening in three words: It was interesting.

  255. The Excalibur Electronic Room thread in the Strip forum is live now, so this thread will be locked and archived. Please direct all further questions and comments to the new Excal thread.

    viewtopic.php?t=6136