Poker Tournament Action Around New England – PokerAtlas.com

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Poker has been big in New England in the 21st century.  But it wasn’t like this when our country was born.  Jack Kelly, writer for American Heritage.com said,

“America was founded on gambling; Jamestown was one of several colonies backed by the proceeds of English lotteries. But the gambling craze that swept Europe in the seventeenth century was sternly condemned by the Puritans who settled New England. To them, card playing was sinful idleness that smacked of the sacrilegious…….In 1633 authorities imposed a fine for card playing in Plymouth Colony. The southern colonies of America, beyond the influence of Puritan moralizing, embraced this aristocratic view of gaming……..George Washington recorded his modest wins and losses in his daybook (but gave orders to squelch the rampant gambling among Continental Army soldiers). These conflicting patterns persisted after the Revolution. Gambling remained subdued in New England but was pursued with abandon in the South and on the frontier.”

So, it seems were late to come to the table, so to speak – I mean the poker table.

Let’s jump to today and we see a vibrant poker scene in our New England colonies, uh, I mean states.  And NETimeGambling is going to attempt to keep you informed in the NEW ENGLAND POKER SCENE.

If you play in New England Tournament action, you should be following PokerAtlas.com

Here is what they say about themselves, CT & New England poker:

“Welcome to Poker Atlas, the local favorite provider of information about playing poker in Connecticut and New England. Join Poker Atlas today to get your finger on the pulse of poker in your area, share your room reviews, and much more!

Connecticut and New England poker players are well located to play in some of the country’s best poker tournaments. The World Series of Poker Circuit is never far away from Foxwoods Casino poker room in Mashantucket. This enormous venue boasts more than 150 poker tables and is familiar even to first-timers due to its television exposure. Mohegan Sun is another sizable venue, with 42 tables, and hosts a number of tournament series throughout the calendar year. Poker in this area is strictly regulated, hence the fact that only Native American casino venues are allowed to spread live poker. Online poker is also not yet legal in Connecticut or New England. Thankfully, there are none of the pot size caps that are enforced in other states during live cash games. Up in Maine, players frequent the Hollywood Casino Bangor for cash games, and they flock to Twin River in Rhode Island for the cash game action (no tournaments, though). In New Hampshire, players have 10 rooms to choose from, but all 10 are charity rooms. Tournaments, however, are plentiful at most rooms, and bigger venues such as Seabrook, Manchester and Chasers (in Salem) have action non-stop during operating hours (rooms are not open 24/7). Massachusetts is set to join the poker scene on September 2018 when MGM Springfield opens its doors with a 19-table room.”

Below you will find New England’s poker schedule.  But PokerAtlas.com is so much more.

Connecticut and New England Tournament Schedule

You will find Poker coverage for Nevada, New Jersey, New Jersey Online, and other states at PokerAtlas. You’ll also find a general discussion area, posts on strategy and advice and so much more.

The Table Captain

Plus, they utilize TableCaptain™ Poker Room Management System – the world’s most advanced, user friendly, and cost-effective Poker Room Management System. The PokerAtlas TableCaptain™ will simplify your poker room operations, improve your players’ experience, and attract more players to your room by broadcasting your Live Action on PokerAtlas, the world’s largest network of live poker information.

What are you waiting for, go check out PokerAtlas.com

And come back to NETimeGambling to keep up on New England’s Poker Scene.

Binbin

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What Makes a Good Poker Room?

Twin River Casino Poker Room

Poker Room at Twin River Casino, Lincoln, RI.

I’m not much of a poker player.  I love home games, dealer’s choice, low limit games – just as long as the most I can lose would be equal to the cost of a McDonald’s Happy Meal. But it’s the casino poker room that we wondered about.

Four New England casinos have poker rooms. By 2019, poker rooms will most likely be offered at MGM Springfield & Wynn Boston Harbor. For information about games, tournament, and general info, check out the following links:

Hollywood Poker Room, Bangor ME

Twin River Poker Room, Lincoln RI

Mohegan Sun Poker Room, Uncasville CT

Foxwoods Poker Room, Mashentucket CT

“What makes a good poker room?” It seems it takes a lot of little things and big things combined.  Poker player preferences are as different as the casinos themselves.

One thing I found tis that a consensus on what makes a good poker room was not easily found.  A few basics did pop up often though: the room’s rules should be clear, the dealers should be pleasant. The staff should keep an eye out for cheats and colluders.  That being said, without a lot of experience, I checked out poker forums and asked the question “what makes a good poker room?” However, to quote Paul Harvey, now, “for the rest of the story.”

Concerning the Rake:

First of all, the “rake” is the scaled commission fee taken by a card room operating a poker game. It is generally 2.5 to 10 percent of the pot in each poker hand, up to a predetermined maximum amount.  Obviously, most players prefer a lower rake %.  Low rake is sometimes switched with time charge, especially in the early mornings. Some players actually had decisive limits – 5 percent rake and a $3 maximum per hand, 10 percent with a $4 maximum is the highest that should be charged.

Second, a BBJ, “Bad Beat Jackpot” is also not preferred. What is a “bad beat jackpot”? It’s  when a poker room pays out an amount of money if a very good hand (usually Quad Eights or better) ends up losing to another hand. This “bad beat jackpot” is usually divvied up between all of the players at the table who participated in the hand that was played. In most circumstances, the loser of the hand will receive 50% of the bad beat jackpot, the winner of the hand will receive 25% and the remaining players will split the remaining 25%.  The “bad beat jackpot” accrues over time and grows based on how much rake the poker room is collecting.  The low rake combined with fewer BBJ’s are preferred.

Concerning Comfort:

Mohegan Sun Poker Room

Most players like what everyone in a casino prefers – a comfortable place to play. One player said, “The poker room exists to generate rake and the best way to generate rake is to provide an atmosphere that people enjoy. If I ran a poker room, I wouldn’t be in the “Poker” business, I would be “hosting a party and a party atmosphere” (business)…..Make the poker room fun. Hire/train competent staff because it makes the room more fun and increases your drop.”

But to most, quiet is most conducive to a comfy atmosphere. The room should be clean, good-looking, and well-lit, with nice chairs and cushions, and bathrooms.  Many players admitted they prefer a poker room with space, especially at and between the tables.

When it comes to smoking, most players seem to be changing towards a non-smoking poker room. “I ‘ve played in rooms where smoking is allowed and it’s horrible. Can’t get away from it. Your cloths smell terrible afterwards. A smoker in a no-smoking room can always take a walk to indulge but a non-smoker basically doesn’t enjoy their time playing (especially when Mr. Chimney sits down right next to you).”

Foxwoods Poker Room – Best in New England

Comfort can be a product of the way management enforces good etiquette and nice behavior so that everybody feels comfortable – which brings us to our next consideration, the Management of the Room.

Concerning the Management of a Poker Room:

The first part of what management controls is getting to the table.  almost unanimous was the preference for “…quick to get from waiting list to seated at a table…”

Foxwoods Resort Casino. Waiting for a game.

Every room needs someone on duty 24/7 who knows all the games who knows all the correct rulings, and is accessible to the dealers and the players. Great managers, or “floor-men,” are guys who know when to intervene and guys who know when to let the players handle their own situations.

The sign-up desk should be warm and friendly instead of ignoring its patrons, standing there politely waiting. “Greeting people poorly is a very common problem in poker rooms,” said one response. “If you aren’t a people person, don’t work the sign-up desk. Floor people should also have some people skills instead of having an assertive, officer-like attitude. A friendly person who approaches situations professionally and makes informed decisions will please more people in the long term. Correctness is most important but you can make correct decisions and still be pleasant.”  Which brings us to part four.

The Poker Room Staff

Good dealers are a must, good floor people as well and other support staff like cashiers, chip runners, wait staff etc. Everybody agrees you should have great dealers. But some people think a great dealer tells jokes and gives his sports picks, while others think a great dealer never says a word except what has to be said to call the game. Being a good dealer is not that easy – just think back to your sessions. It must be hard being a dealer for years. Dealing with lots of rude customers really much take its toll. Maintaining a smile night after night of people accusing you of giving them bad cards, etc. has to be emotionally draining.

poker dealer

Here are “good dealer traits” that were mentioned mostly:

  • Most of the dealers have been here at least 4+ years.
  • Good dealers deal a decently paced game
  • Don’t talk too much
  • Know the game left and right
  • Very courteous especially to the losing players.
  • Provide a consistent experience as other dealers (which suggests better training by management)
  • Treats 1-2 (limit) players like 10-20 (limit) players. (i.e., treating all players like they’re important)

Wait staff should represent the positive aspect of the service industry. Visiting players and people on vacation expect polite and fast cocktail service.

Concerning the Games:

Poker Room at Hollywood Casino in Bangor, Maine

Poker Room at Hollywood Casino in Bangor, Maine

A lot of tables with a wide mix of games, including stud, seems to be best – games for high rollers, games for low-rollers (one player called them ‘degens‘ as in degenerates, but that’s kinda harsh!), games for hobbyists and games for the low limit players to introduce them to poker, let them learn on and move up in stakes. Good games seems to be the most imports factor, and yet the house has little control. Players who make good games tend to flock to the best run rooms. So, the clientele ultimately plays the most important part of good games. What a revelation!!!

What was lower in considerations and THE FINAL CONCLUSION

Service with a smile.

Can you believe that being treated well was more important in my findings than free food, drinks, and comps? Promotions, and all the amenities were important, but not if the place was a mess, run poorly, and made the players uncomfortable with the game.

So, my conclusion is this:

  1. Management must care and cater for its players
  2. This will attract the best clientele, raising the interest and packing it’s poker room.
  3. If the poker room is packed, then the rake will be small, with tournaments and a variety of games.

Heard this before?  Sure, SERVICE COUNTS. It’s the same old thing we have been saying for years, as we see casinos change to a business first model instead of the service / hospitality model we were used to in years past.  It’s the same for any part of the casino, not just the poker room. Happy players means repeat business of the best kind. Treat players fairly, make them feel like valued customers, and they’ll come back for more.  Simple……….too bad it’s more often a thing of the past….and that’s the rest of the story!

 

Binbin

Presidents & Poker – Happy Presidents Day

 

Did you know that many American Presidents have also loved a good game of poker?

Martin Harris in his post for PokerStarsNews, covered the many presidents who enjoyed a good card game, saying “Poker is a great revealer of character, a truism that applies to Presidents as well as to lesser men.”

Did you know:

  • Before becoming the country’s first president, George Washington gambled at cards, keeping close records of wins and losses on a page in a ledger book titled “Cards and Other Play.”
  • Theodore Roosevelt used poker as a way to gain entry into social circles while moving up through the ranks to the vice presidency.
  • No president had a special dedication to poker the nation’s 29th president — Warren G. Harding. Harding hosted poker games twice a week with members of his administration, earning them the nickname the “Poker Cabinet.”
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt  brought back the poker-playing tradition during his administration with low-stakes games several times a week, often nickel-ante stud.

But the most studious poker-playing president of all was Richard Nixon. He became proficient at poker while serving in the Navy during WWII, earning perhaps as much as $10,000 which he used to help fund his first Congressional campaign. So taken with poker, Nixon even turned down dinner with famous flyer Charles Lindbergh as he was hosting a game that night.

The entire article can be found at “US Presidents Who Played Poker.”