It feels like the poker industry is losing a family piece on April 30th. I was playing in the San Manuel poker room that night when the last hand was handed out late at night.
I definitely hope this isn’t the end. The poker room has been part of the commune for more than 30 years. I listened and saw several players crying as well as saying goodbye to some of the dealers, staff, and colleagues they had played with for decades.
The poker room was sold out that night with several games visit KaptenCasino having 100 players in details to look forward to. I had never seen a room that size with several hundred players waiting to be on the table. Some, including my wife and myself, waited hours to sit down.
Several players arrive at the table and guide some of the dealers for prizes and thank them for their memories. In my 50 years of career I have never seen so much love between poker players and staff.
It’s not like a closed poker room in Las Vegas where you can go close together. Casino San Manuel, which is in the San Bernardino area with a population of more than 2 million people, has a monopoly in the area because there are no other poker rooms within a 50 mile radius. Now players have to travel and expect to see their old colleagues again.
Several dealers said they would start a new career at San Manuel Casino, which offers several opportunities to train again to tackle another game. But several thousand poker players have no place to play nearby. The closest poker rooms are at Casino Morongo, Resort and Spa in Cabazon, near Palm Springs, and Casino Pechanga Resort in Temecula, both nearly an hour’s drive.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indian owns and operates the San Manuel Casino, which is about one hour east of Los Angeles in Highland, California. San Manuel markets himself to have “the most slots in California” and has the intention of keeping the title.
Poker players are often the overlooked demographic of casino sales. San Manuel not only lost several thousand loyal poker players by closing the space and also the effort some of those poker players brought to all the casinos.
To illustrate this, I want to tell the story of a little poker player who asked the Los Angeles card room manager to help him get a room in Las Vegas. The manager called me, and I ordered a room for him. I was shocked when the casino explained that for some time the player had bet more than $ 400,000 on slots and table games. It shows how you never know how much action the so-called “poker player” can give the casino.
This crossing business is often ignored. Casino executives often look only at the bottom-line numbers poker rooms create and fail to recognize if poker players are taking more than a buy-in to the casino.
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