Friday, July 23, 2010

The Future of Poker in PA

Poker is in PA: here is what it looks like so far and into the immediate future...
  • All casinos that offer poker in PA will cap their rooms at around 15 tables, save one. (back to that in a second)
  • Players all throughout PA will flock to these rooms trying to earn their piece of Poker History. The tables will have wait lists of 20-80 deep and will piss off the "players" who came to see what it was all about, sending them straight back down to AC anyway.
  • the new players (mostly 21-29 year old retards) will from groups like "DX" and "Rakemakers" and try to play at these establishments in groups, telling everyone that they will have all of their members playing in the WSOP next year and that they will "Take over the poker world" - again... retards
  • The only casino in PA that will make an actual run at real poker will be Philly Parx. They had released a statement a year ago that they wanted to open a 100 table room. I've heard it will be more like 75, but not for a while. Parx opens their poker room on September 1st.
  • If Parx does get someone in there to perform like a monster and really understand poker marketing, AND the finance and executive get on board, and realize the business model and rev streams from poker fall within their overall goals and strategies to hit whatever objectives they set, well then they are going to have a war on their hands.
  • The competition will be Borgata. These two will fight over who is the best card room in the east. The Borgata already holds that moniker and will be less likely to give it up against any casino anywhere. They are after all catering to more than just PA players.
  • Right now the only advantage PA casinos have is location. That advantage will go away as soon as all the monkeys who are trying this out run out of money, or interest.
  • The ones that do stick around, build a bank roll, gain some skill, will ultimately head down to AC and points further west to really play in the bigger games, with the better players, and become part of the community.
  • Parx does have an opportunity. For one, AC is hard to get to. For the traveling player that is. I know of three players who won't go to AC unless the tournament is super mandatory because it is such a pain to get there. You have to fly into Philly, then get an hour limo to the casino, then an hour limo back, etc. Costs add up. They hate it. Parx will be 30 min shuttle from the air port, and will probably offer it for free.

PA poker will not be a poker professionals dream. Most places will keep to 12-15 tables and will provide a very recreational atmosphere for players within their area. All this will do is build a larger database. It will hurt AC in the interim, and in their daily play when it comes to the guy who went down twice a month. But that twice a month guy won't be leaving AC forever. That 2x's a month will turn into 1 every six months, possibly, but he will spend more in that 1 visit.

PA offers poker (YAY!). I haven't been to one yet. I will shortly, and write you up a nice trip report. But offering poker tables and thinking they will compete with AC, or Foxwoods, or Mohegan, is silly. They won't come close to the product offering that these others have (well, OK, maybe Mohegan) and have built over years of catering to the poker community.

PA poker will be fine for a while. I doubt they have any tournament structure that will drive traffic. Tournaments are expensive to run. AC will own that and continue to do so.

OK, I'm done. Trip report at some point soon.


BamBam said...

First off, I love the new look!

Secondly, you make it sound a bit like they are doing things very half-assed in the PA poker rooms. Is there a good reason for that? Are they expecting to fail perhaps?

Dawn Summers said...'s new! And changed! Ahhhhhhh.... *Dawn hides under her bed until everything goes back as it was*

HighOnPoker said...

Good breakdown, Riggs. Can you offer your sources (vaguely, of course), or is it speculation. For what it's worth, I do recognize you as the foremost expert re: NE poker that I know, based on your deep involvement in the PA poker scene and the AC scene.

BTW, when did you revamp the site's design. I like it a lot. I usually just read you on RSS, so I don't get to see the site itself all that often. Nice job.

Shrike said...

Nice re-design.

Are the new rooms offering NLHE and LHE only?


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