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Best of Gary Trask

Gaming Guru

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Excalibur poker room removes electronic tables

6 July 2009

By Gary Trask

LAS VEGAS – Less than year after going all-electronic in its poker room, Excalibur is going back to live dealers and real chips and cards. A MGM Mirage spokesperson confirmed that the company planned to remove the 12 PokerPro electronic poker tables on Monday and hoped to have its live poker room back in action by as early as Friday.

It was just last August that Excalibur became the first casino in Las Vegas

 pokertek_table
to host a poker room with exclusively electronic tables. The flashy PokerPro tables made by PokerTek were installed and Excalibur's Vice President of Gaming Operations Todd DeRemer said at the time that the hope was the new tables would give the casino an "opportunity to pique the interest of a different kind of player."

But on Sunday night, Lynn Holt, the VP of Marketing for Excalibur admitted that did not turn out to be the case.

"Excalibur was happy to be the first Las Vegas Strip casino to offer poker players the opportunity to enjoy the PokerTek automated system," Holt said. "We found the system to be an efficient and viable poker alternative for players at all levels.

"While our experience was successful, we ultimately found that live poker games more accurately reflect the interactive poker experience customers have come to expect when they make their way to the excitement of the Las Vegas Strip."

In a press release last month, PokerTek said that it received notification on June 19 that the Excalibur had "elected to exercise its rights to terminate its agreement at any time if the field trial for the PokerPro system lasted more than four months." PokerPro received final approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission and exited field trial on March 19, 2009.

"We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Excalibur and their partnership was critical to the success of our field trial in Nevada," said Mark Roberson, PokerTek's acting CEO. "Over the past year, we've built a strong base of PokerPro players and our product is stronger than ever as a result of the field trial process. We do not expect the termination of this agreement to have a significant impact on our reported revenues or results of operations."

Gary Trask
Gary is an expert on all things gambling. The Boston native has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years, including a few at Casino City and was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's Media Committee.

No Limit Hold'em tournaments are a favorite of Gary's, but he also enjoys a night of dealer's choice with a variety of games like Seven-Card No Peek, Guts or Five-Card Draw with a qualifier. In addition to playing cards, another of Gary's interests is golf, a game that allows his two favorite hobbies to collide quite naturally.

Gary Trask Websites:

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