Hard Times have seemed to hit AC Casinos

Posted by James Guill on Aug 03, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

This past week, I took a trip to Atlantic City for some post-WSOP poker relaxation.  My intention was to go up, play a lot of cash and maybe take part in a couple of tournaments.  While there seemed to be plenty of players at the slot machines and a decent amount at the game tables, the poker room I played at was a different matter.  I usually play at one of the larger rooms in the city, so I can usually get a good idea of how things are going for poker in the area based on this room.

Hard Times Visible by Looking at Staff

The first thing I noticed after putting my name on the list for the Limit Hold’em game I usually play is that two long time floor staff members at this casino were now dealing.  This was a bit of a shock as the two people I am referring two have been floor staffers since I started coming to Atlantic City in 2006.

After I took my seat, I started to pay attention to the chattier dealers at my table.  One dealer that I know has been at the casino for most of the time I was playing mentioned that he was down to working two days a week and that some of the players at the table were at the casino more than he was.

Normally, I don’t recognize over half of the dealers that rotate through the box in a day.  That wasn’t the case.  I recognized everyone as it seemed that any open board dealers were no longer in the rotation.  Also, one of the dealers that used to floor split duties between flooring and dealing.  While that is a normal occurrence in smaller casinos, I had never seen that here.

Tournaments Feeling the Pinch

The casino I play at has several tournaments a day, or at least that is what they advertised.  On most days, I was there long enough to play in at least two if I so desired.  The problem is that it seemed that the Noon event didn’t go off any day I was there and on more than one occasion, the second tournament of the day had to be delayed as they tried to beg for more players.

This casino would almost always average 50 players per tournament during the slow days and up to as many as 200 for evening and night events.  Now they are having trouble getting games off.

Perks and Comps Not Stressed

Another thing that stuck out like a sore thumb was how the poker room did not seem to push their promotions like they used to.  One day, we did not know that the high hand promotion was even running until the current high hand was mentioned with just 20 minutes left in the promotion.

Also, the room had decided to reduce the payouts on the high hand by $50 and even the regulars didn’t know about it.  That was very telling to me.  Also, the floor staff did not seem to be doing their job of making sure people were clocking in for their comp money like they have in the past.  Normally, they ask me every time I sit down, and even try to sell me on getting a new card if I don’t have mine.  Now they barely asked for the card.  I had been playing 2 hours before a floor person even asked if anyone had a card to scan.

As things turned out, I only played cash during the time I was up there.  Tournaments were next to dead and the games I were in were just too good to give up for an event that might pay a couple hundred bucks profit to the winner.  As things stand, I may hold off from going to AC for a while and try somewhere else for my poker playing.  Either that, or I will wait until the off season when I go stay at the casino for free or next to nothing.



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