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Best of Gary Trask
One-on-one with Wynn Las Vegas Director of Poker Ryan Beauregard2 May 2016
Set to open May 26, the venue is adjacent to Encore Players Club, Surrender and Encore Beach Club and will feature dedicated restrooms and sportsbook counters, individual USB ports for on-site electronic device charging, dozens of televisions and an array of other unique attributes.
Director of Poker Ryan Beauregard is a former dealer at the Wynn who recently spent nearly seven years at Wynn Macau as senior poker manager. Now back in Las Vegas in his new role, Beauregard sat down with Casino City last week to discuss why he feels Wynn has created what will instantly become "Las Vegas' most luxurious poker room."
Casino City: For starters, why did Wynn Las Vegas decide to relocate and build a new poker room?
The reason for the move is twofold. First, the area in which the current room sits will be part of the recently announced Wynn Plaza retail expansion. Secondly, there was a great space that became available at Encore Resort when Society Café closed. These two events provided us the perfect opportunity to build a new room and to design it with all the amenities we could think of to create Las Vegas' most luxurious poker room.
Casino City: When will the current room close, and when will the new poker room officially open?
The current poker room will close for cash games on Thursday, May 26 at 7 a.m., and no games will be hosted during the 12-hour transition period. The new Wynn Poker Room will deal its first live hand on May 26 at 7 p.m., and I encourage everyone to attend in order to be a part of this exciting moment.
Additionally, the current poker room will be utilized to host our Wynn Summer Classic tournament series from June 2 through July 17.
Casino City: What factors went into choosing the location of the new poker room?
The excitement of live poker fits perfectly with the atmosphere of Encore. The poker room will integrate well into the established vibe and energy created by Encore Players Club, Surrender Nightclub and Encore Beach Club. It is a high-traffic area filled with guests that will bring action and excitement to our poker room. In our minds, it was a natural fit.
Casino City: What is unique about the new poker room that will help draw new players?
I have no doubt that this will be the most amenity-filled and comfortable poker room in Las Vegas. It will feature in-room restrooms, which, to the best of my knowledge, is a first for a poker room on the Strip. We’ve also built a sportsbook window into the cage, which is a nice amenity to complement the 35 65-inch televisions spread around the room. Additionally, a dedicated VIP cashier for the high-limit section as well our very own customized food menu serviced by Wazuzu and Jardin restaurants will make this poker room stand out as the most luxurious in town.
Casino City: How much were you involved in the design of the new room, and what do you like most about it?
I was fortunate to be involved in the design from inception. We had a very large area and were given the opportunity to fill it with the things we felt most important in creating the perfect atmosphere for poker. To me, that actually meant filling it with less. The space could have easily fit 30 or more tables. With that in mind, we reduced it to 28 and made the flow of the room and the comfort of the guests the top priority.
Casino City: The new room is much bigger than the current one, but there are only three more tables. What are you doing to optimize the extra space?
Yes, the current room is roughly 5,300 square feet, while the new room will be approximately 8,600 square feet. Of course, the additional amenities like the restrooms and sportsbook counter are included in the 8,600 total. As I mentioned, my idea of optimizing the space wasn't to fit as many tables as possible, but rather to ensure every single player has an ample amount of space and an experience that is complete with comfort.
Casino City: What are some of the highlights of the new poker room schedule?
Having both poker rooms available for the summer gave us a lot of flexibility for this year's Wynn Summer Classic (June 2-July 17). The extra capacity has allowed us to run events like the $750,000 Guaranteed Championship that could draw much larger fields than we were able to accommodate in the past. We have never run an event with such a big guarantee, and it's positioned in a good spot to attract a large field.
The layout of the new poker room lends itself nicely to tournaments, allowing us to cleanly divide the room between tournaments and cash games. We plan to continue offering our popular Wynn Classic Series multiple times per year, as well as expanding our newly introduced $250,000 Guarantee Signature Weekends. Of course, there's always the $225 Saturday rebuy event, which runs weekly and provides players with the most tournament value in town.
Casino City: What is the key to creating an atmosphere in a poker room that keeps players coming back?
It all comes down to friendliness and service. Poker players have such a wide variety of options of poker rooms in Las Vegas and, for the most part, they are going to be dealt the same games at every option. We've taken the extra steps to create a new room filled with fabulous amenities, but our real differentiator is the service our staff provides.
A poker room can feel a lot like a summer vacation town. Some people are full-time residents while others visit a few times a year. I expect our guests to be treated with the friendliness of that small town, because that is what builds a strong poker community and ensures that they'll visit again.
Casino City: You've been working in the poker industry with Wynn Resorts for a long time. What do you like most about your job?
For me, it's always been about helping to create the five-star experience. There's nothing I enjoy more than going out of my way to help a guest, whether it's poker-related or not. The personal satisfaction that comes from helping someone with what seems like an unusual request, or doing something that is completely unexpected . . . that is what makes me smile and what I enjoy most about coming to work each day.
Best of Gary Trask