Excalibur is converting back to traditional live poker room!

Announcement by PokerAtlas Posted

Excalibur, the first room in Vegas to convert to all electronic PokerTek PokerPro tables last August, has contacted their formerly laid off dealers and offered their poker dealing jobs back to them.

Excalibur, the first all electronic poker room in Las Vegas, has contacted previously employed poker dealers and offered them their old jobs back.

Lou White, former PokerTek CEO and current Board Member, has publicly states on the AllVegasPoker.com forum that it is true that the tables are being taken out of Excal and moved elsewhere in Las Vegas. The other property has not been named.

Dealers have been told that their approximate start date is July 15th, 2008, less than a month from now.

Early speculation predicts that said property could be New York New York or Paris, neither of which currently operates a card room.

To discuss this news item, please see the dedicated thread: HERE

To discuss the Excalibur poker room, please see the dedicated thread: HERE

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  1. I hope that MGM treats these displaced machines better than they treated their poker dealers.

    Maybe they can get them retrained as grocery scanners so that they may be able to make a living after they get replaced by humans.

  2. It's like watching Wargames (for us 'older' folks).

  3. omfg, can u say xmas in june !!!!!
    always stay at the X, and loved their poker room, worst trip we ever had last year when we could not play there, tried the auto tables for 30 mins, worst 30 mins in my life in vegas that i can never get back, going again in october, and if this comes true, i will be in heaven !!!!

  4. A new update has been added to the OP, and a news item has been posted on the main page.

  5. AVP has been notified that the tables are being taken out of Excalibur and moved to a different (undisclosed) venue within Las Vegas.

    maybe Von's ? maybe I was right about retraining them as grocery scanners.

  6. Any speculation about a date when live poker with dealers will be back and machines gone??

  7. The OP has been updated with the news that it is true that the machines are being pulled out of Excalibur and moved elsewhere, as confirmed by Lou White, former Ptek CEO and current board member.

    Lou did not disclose where the machines are moving to.

    AVP has been informed that dealers approximate start date back at Excalibur is July 15th.

  8. I hope that it will be ASAP so I can end my boycott of Excalibur and play there during the WSOP. @cokeboy99

  9. Any word on how this will affect tournaments and cash games? Just curious as I will be staying there in early December and trying to plan my trip as well as set a budget.

  10. I used to play at the ex everytime I went to vegas because it was a relatively newbie room and I am not confident in my play. I am going out on the 19th of July to the 23rd. Do you think the tables will be up and going at that point or would they still be doing some retraining and not opening the room until later?

  11. @Nash_equilibria

    Exactly that.

  12. used to work there has been confirmed we will be reopening on july 10th will provide more details as the become availible.......

  13. It was retarded of Excalibur to replace live with machines in the first place. It would have and still make sense to put these machines in casinos which currently do not have live rooms. That way, every casino would have some sort of multi-player poker available.

  14. they should go half and half IMO.. I loved the elec tables and I enjoy dealer tables also. THey go half and half and its a win win!!!

    Or slap those babies down in the middle of NYNY, that'd be ok too!!

  15. @gowhitesox99

    With the MGM-Mirage management having stated in print media that they have learned players have a preference for live dealers I would be a little surprised to see them undertake this experiment again at NYNY. Who knows, maybe the tables will resurface there, but if I were betting I would bet on a non-MGM-MIrage owned casino. Maybe Harrah's will pick them up and give it a go at Paris???

    Regarding the discussion of machines becoming the dominant face of poker in Las Vegas. I don't think that will ever happen. If it does it will simply be in the wake of real pokers death for some other reason. Machines do not have mass appeal. They appeal to some, but not to enough to make them viable outside of the no-alternative settings.

  16. @Railbird
    What type of poker room a majority of poker players prefer isn't relevant.
    That would be like someone who runs a pizza place surveying its customers and finding most of them prefer pepperoni! Were only serving pepperoni now guys!

    Point is...it doesn't matter what your customers "prefer". It only matters which products have enough interest to survive.

    Now I know plenty of you will say "Well there isn't enough interest then." So las vegas can't support a single electronic room? I think they can.

    Will that mean an electronic room with 6 tables or a live room adding a few electronic tables...I don't know. I do know there is demand for some .50/$1 games and low buyin tournaments.

    Saying that isn't true is a blatant lie.

  17. @gowhitesox99

    Think about whether its logical to go half and half. Majority of poker players prefer live dealers when presented with a choice. Therefore if you went half and half in a room, the majority of players will play on the live tables and you would find this type of room having trouble starting and keeping 1 game going on the e-tables. I've said in the past that these tables have a place filling the niche of micro-stakes, small buy-in tourneys and sngs, and mixed games. Excal's problem was they didn't want this to be their niche or they didn't recognize the potential. This can be seen with them increasing the rake to $4 on the .50/1 game which was very popular while keeping the rake at $3 on 1/2 to try and lure players to play the bigger game (bigger game=more rake). They tried to start mixed game tournaments later on, but they weren't promoted heavily. I think an e-room can be successful if it was managed and promoted correctly and towards the right players, something Excal failed to do.

  18. @TheJacob
    What type of poker room a majority of poker players prefer isn't relevant.
    That would be like someone who runs a pizza place surveying its customers and finding most of them prefer pepperoni! Were only serving pepperoni now guys!

    Point is...it doesn't matter what your customers "prefer". It only matters which products have enough interest to survive.

    Now I know plenty of you will say "Well there isn't enough interest then." So las vegas can't support a single electronic room? I think they can.

    Will that mean an electronic room with 6 tables or a live room adding a few electronic tables...I don't know. I do know there is demand for some .50/$1 games and low buyin tournaments.

    Saying that isn't true is a blatant lie.[/quote]

    Whatever the major casino corporations perceive to be relevant in their decision making is relevant. Maybe erroneously so, but it will factor into the decisions being made. If MGM-Mirage says they are getting rid of an electronic room because poker players prefer live dealers then their perception that poker players prefer live dealers is going to impact their decisions regarding electronic poker.

    Interest... preference... what's the difference? I think this is just a matter of semantics. Products don't have interest, people have interest or preference regarding products. Isn't saying consumers have to prefer a product enough for it to be profitable the same as saying consumers have to have enough interest in a product for it to be profitable?

    Using the pizza analogy.... If people like pepperoni pizza the market will carry it, if they like mushroom the market will carry it, but if people don't prefer chicken liver on their pizza there is not enough interest in or preference for chicken liver pizza to survive. The same may be true for electronic poker in Las Vegas, maybe not. Maybe electronic poker is like mushroom pizza, enough people have interest in it for it to survive. But maybe electronic poker in Las Vegas is like chicken liver pizza in that it lacks enough interest to be viable.

    Again, I really think that electronic poker is a niche market. I don't think enough people will choose it when numerous options for live dealt games exists. I could be wrong though, maybe the machines will be successful somewhere in Las Vegas.

    Please don't read any of my comments as angry, I'm arguing the point in good humor :wink:

    Again I think preference and interest are the same thing and both are relevant because MGM-Mirage sees them as relevant factors in their decision making. I would be very surprised to see the machines pop up in an MGM-Mirage casino.

  19. Bottom line: Live is more fun than e-tables. I am a 2/4 and low buy-in tourney player and I have done both at Excal over the last 9 months. I would play a $20-$30 buy in tourney on PokerPro, but I would never play 2/4 if I had a choice of playing at a live dealt table. I would go as far to say that I would even ride "The Duece" to a live 2/4 table before I played cash on PokerPro again.
    And I hate riding the Deuce.

  20. @The Piker
    1000% agreed!

    Except, I hate riding the deuce SO much last time I was in Vegas I walked from the Excalibur to the ti just to play 2/4 with a live dealer and a wheelspin for aces cracked :grin:

  21. @mauihaole
    I have for a while had my suspicions that the economics of their micro-stakes and low buy-in tournaments may not have been that profitable even on the PokerPro tables.

    The 9am $18+$2 tournaments were popular, but those $2 don’t go far. I certainly had more than $2 worth of cocktails in every one I played! And that’s without paying the floorwalkers, cashiers and table rental to Pokertek.

    The 0.5/1NL game wasn’t that profitable, either, and they certainly weren’t that keen on running it. To quote the manager:

    I can just about believe that you could financially make a go of $25+$5 SNGs and/or MTTs, but even those must be somewhat marginal.

  22. A news item has been posted on the main page concerning the official closing and reopening dates for the room.

    The electronic room will be closing on Sunday, July 5th, and reopening on Friday, July 10th. 21 of the original dealers are being brought back.


    When I predicted that this experiement would fail back in August, I had no idea that it would occur as quickly as this. I honestly thought that they would either pull them out by January or keep them for at least a full year. It is no secret that I am not a fan of these tables, and I look forward to playing at Excal again next weekend.

  23. i have ALWAYS supported the dealers at the excal as i have NOT played at the excal since they put machines in. i will get over to the excal on my next two trips as i will be at the MGM.

  24. Excalibur poker room has closed. It will reopen on Friday as a traditional card room.

    A new news thread will be created for the grand re-opening of the Excalibur poker room.

  25. Is there any update on what time the grand opening will take place on Friday?

  26. Yes, that will be posted in the new thread that I am creating for the grand opening.

  27. Okay, guys, here is how its going to work:

    This thread will stay open to discuss the decision of Excalibur to switch to PokerTek tables, then switch back.

    This thread will not be used for discussing the new room. A new thread will be created for that.

    thank you!

  28. I agree it seemed someone wasn't happy running .50/$1 games and small buyin tournaments.

    Which just proves my point...they were being unrealistic. If you think people are going to come to your room to play the same games offered everywhere else, but on electronic tables...clearly you wrong.

    If the tables can't run the .50/$1 games very very profitably then something is being done wrong...

    Also, I don't know if this belongs here or somewhere else...but it appears to me the new room is just going to be another unspectacular room running 2/4L and 1/2 NL. I really have absolutely no use for another place to play 1/2 NL...

  29. The only thing I can think of electronic tables being good for would be to run sit & go's in big rooms. I know before I moved out of CT, Foxwoods was experimenting with this idea. Wether they went through with it or not, I don't know. This way, the big rooms can blast out s&g's all day long without having to take dealers away from the cash games (which is where they make more money anyways). Using them in this fashion is about the only thing I can find them useful for. Using machines to replace live action games just doesn't work. I see more people playing live roulette at the IP then playing on the rapid roulette machine in the dealertainer pit. I'm just glad to hear that the dealers are getting their jobs offered back to them.

  30. @IPKev

    I think that electronic machines might be able to fill a heads-up niche in a large room, too. If a larger room were to put 2-4 of the heads-up electronic tables off to the side for the online folks who happen to be in the room at the time and the testosterone matches that occur, the electronic tables might pay for themselves. HU tables take up much less space and the players can specify the games and limits.

    I think Jacob is right that the e-tables must offer something that live tables don't or they really won't be successful.

  31. I think most of you guys are underestimating technology.

    Honestly the pokerpro tables are like D- grade given current technology.
    Imagine if the engineering/software was of A+ quality and is made 10 years from now.

    The things you will be able to do with electronic tables is pretty much limitless.
    I don't know much about pokertek, but I'm not sure if they are capable of producing the technology.

    The quality of their current product is about the same quality I would expect some really smart Do-It-Yourself guys to come up with in their garage. Not the quality I would expect from a corporation spending millions on r and d.

    The hardware used clearly isn't all that unique and the software is awful.
    I kinda took the gloves off here, but just being honest with my view after using the product for 40+ hours.

  32. @TheJacob

    I think there is some truth in what you say - for me it was the quality of the touch screens that was particularly disappointing.

    Pokertek have spent significantly in excess of $10 million in research and development over the last 5 years, though of course a good proportion of this must have been used to develop their heads up challenge machines. Plus its not like they were particularly cutting corners with materials for the machines themselves - estimates derived from the Pokertek annual reports put the manufacturing cost somewhere around $40,000 per 10-seat table.

  33. @IPKev

    I tend to agree with this sentiment, but I've still seen this idea fail in 2 places here in So Cal. Both Hollywood Park Casino & Hustler Casino had the PokerTek tables for a short time in the past 3-4 yrs. Neither place kept them very long. HP tried to use them for both small stakes games AND SnG's. Hustler was trying to use them for SnG's only. Both places cleared them outta there within 6 months.