Sunday, September 05, 2004

Friday, September 5, 2003

This post is more about the tournament setup at the Luxor, than an actual account of a tourney itself.

A month passed during the time I was looking for a home, and settling the details of the contract in Arizona.

My husband, Glenn, returned to Arizona from the east coast. Our house was sold and closed there, and we were free to start our new life in the southwest.

While we were waiting for the new house to close in Arizona, we stayed at my Mom's house in Vegas for 10 days during September, 2003.

I told Glenn about how juicy the tourneys were at Luxor. We decided to play in as many as we could while we were there.

We played in five tourneys. I cashed in 2 of the five, and Glenn cashed in 2. My total cashings at the Luxor were 3:6 (one second place chop, one fifth place, one third place). I have never had such success in multi-table tourneys (every tourney had at least 40, and all had alternates).

The 50% cash rate is not due to any brilliance on my part, but rather the inexperience of most participants. The players aren't bad, they just don't know how to play poker. Literally. They do not understand how poker is played.

In all, I think the Luxor tourneys are great for players who are not looking for a high hourly rate, but looking for more consistency in cashing tourneys (see Sklansky's Tournaments for Advanced Players). If your turbo game is good, and you are not afraid to take chances that would be suicide in a slow structured tourney, you will do well.

One of the things that could stand improvement at Luxor is getting rid of some of the stud tables and getting some hold'em tables. We were using stud tables for the tourneys, as well as the few precious hold'em tables, and we were very cramped playing 10 handed hold'em at a stud table.

Another thing that I have always disliked about certain tourneys is when the members of staff fail to tell the participants that the dealers add-on is exactly that. If participants are led to believe that the additional $3 goes into the prize pool, that is subterfuge we can do without. I love the dealers add-on's. I always take them, and I feel that they are quite welcome by both the players and the staff. My Mom, who just quit dealing last year due to a broken elbow, agrees that the dealers add-on's are terrific. It takes quite a bit of pressure off players who cash, and adds something for the dealers from each player, whether they win or lose.

Like I said, though, I feel that it should be a MUST to tell the players that the dealers add-on is for dealers tips, and is not added to the prize pool.

When things are good, the staff is friendly and cooperative, I always add a tip onto the add-on when I cash. I also will encourage my fellow winners to give a little extra for the dealers if they felt they were treated well. It is rare to be treated well in Vegas if one is a poker player (sorry, it's true). So if the staff of a poker room goes out of the way to treat the players well, I definitely encourage bonus tipping.

Another thing that could be done to improve the Luxor is to increase the lighting. It can be dark and intimidating for new players.

One rule in most tourney poker rooms is that railbirds must literally be at the rail. They cannot stand or sit behind players. This goes for anyone, husband and wife, friends, etc. I completely understand this rule, but have found that many poker rooms do not have a nice way of enforcing the rule. So many times I heard dealers yell, "Sir! Sir!!! Hey you! You canNOT stand there. You can't be there, you must be at the rail!" Maybe I was a CSR for too long, because I can find a million other ways to tell railbirds where to stand, without coming off so rudely. Unfortunately, most poker rooms that spread tourneys do not employ any tact whatsoever in asking a player to move to the rail.

In one tinfoil-biting moment at the Luxor, the following happened:

I was at the final table. A man just got busted out at 8th, on the bubble. Ouch. He moved over to watch the table play out. The male dealer told him to go to the rail. Then the dealer said, "Sir, Sir, come here." The railbird came back to the table. The dealer continued, "Sir, we have a couple of live games for you to participate in if you're interested." When the man declined, the dealer said, "Okay, now get back to the rail."

I know this dealer, and he did not intend to be rude at all. It just came across all wrong. I flinched. Ouch! This does not help the booming tournament poker world.

I played a little shorthanded 4/8 hold'em after I busted out of one tourney. I am a much better shorthanded player than full ring player. I ended about even, but the competition was not as soft as most games I've encountered at the lower limits. Two of the people keeping the game alive were cardroom employees. These two are pretty nice. I have seen them both go above and beyond for the players. Kudos!

For those of you who are interested, the Luxor spreads 2/4 and 1-4-8-8 hold'em as well as 1-5 Stud. I have never seen them spread anything else, although they have signs stating they will.

Overall, I have good feelings for the Luxor poker room. I feel that things can be improved, and they have definitely improved over the last year. I like the newer staff members better than the former ones. I feel that they are making good, striding efforts in the right direction to recruit new, young poker players into their room, and provide lots of low limit action. They are growing with the exploding poker world, and that is always a good thing!