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Social House Closing at TI

Posted: July 6th, 2009, by stevieg

Phil Ruffin continues on the march to take TI downmarket, with the announcement that Social Club is closing. Social Club was a sushi place that had kind of a nightclub. Good food, nice eye candy about. And a balcony with outside seating and a view of the pirate boats.

But the same new owner, Phil Ruffin, that wants to bring back Jilly’s from his days of owning the New Frontier, is planning on shutting Social House down.

Business wise I have no doubt this is a good move for him. Why chase after the same small high end market as every other Strip casino, when the middle market is underserved. But as someone who is closer to the high end market (especially when in Vegas) I hate to see a nice place liek Social House go by the way side.

Liberace, Yo

Posted: June 1st, 2009, by stevieg

Do you have an appreciation for old Vegas? Ever eat at Hugo’s Cellar in the Four Queens? Do you miss the Stardust?

If this description fits you and you have never visited the Liberace Museum when in Las Vegas, you should.

It has a great collection of Liberace’s tricked out pianos, extravagant outfits, and custom cars. The museum helps support the Liberace foundation, which gives hundreds of thousands of dollars in music scholarships every year.

Attendance is dwindling, though, and the museum director recently left.

Stop by and spend an hour some afternoon, get a taste of old school Vegas, and support a worthy cause. Liberace did a lot to introduce middle America to classical music. Help that mission continue.

Delaware Bills Pass House

Posted: May 5th, 2009, by stevieg

Delaware Senate Bills 30 and 31 have passed the House.

Now, the bill will become law unless Governor Markell vetoes it. Considering that Markell is the one pushing for sports betting in the state, that seems unlikey.

What does this mean for poker in Delaware? Well, no-limit should be available at charity events and establishments that offer charitable gaming.

However, the daily loss limit is supposed to be set at $150. That would limit players to less than 100 big blinds in a $1/$2 no-limit game.

Delaware Poker Bills Keep Moving

Posted: April 29th, 2009, by stevieg

The Delaware House Committee on Gaming & Parimutuels met today to discuss the two Senate Bills related to charitable gaming and no-limit poker.

Both bills passed the committee without unfavorables, but there were only three favorables for SB 30 and four for SB 31. Still, there is no fiscal note associated with the bills, meaning they now go directly to the full House for debate and vote. No news on when that will be at the moment.

If it passes the house, it goes to the governor, who has shown quite a lot of support for expanding gambling in the state. See this article by Bill Ordine of the Baltimore Sun for more on that.

As mentioned here before, the bills won’t turn Delaware into a poker mecca like California, AC, or LV. But it will expand the charity tournament scene quite a bit.

POG Apprentice Faded Away?

Posted: April 29th, 2009, by stevieg

I was really enthused about POG Apprentice, but it seems to have faded away.

There have been no updates since the week 1 contest.

That’s a shame, as mentioned before I think it was creative and fun to watch from a spectator standpoint.

Maybe Hitch will get it going again.

Delaware House Committee to Discuss Poker this Week

Posted: April 27th, 2009, by stevieg

Wednesday April 29, at 2:30, the Delaware House Committee on Gaming & Parimutuels will discuss Senate Bills 30 and 31.

These bills would expand somewhat the poker offerings in the state. Although some caps will be removed, for instance paving the way for no-limit hold-em as a charitable game, there will still be some severe restrictions. Daily losses are capped at $150, and gaming stops at 1 AM.

Still, I continue to be surprised how little press coverage this is getting.

Two Bills Related to Poker in Delaware

Posted: April 20th, 2009, by stevieg

It turns out there is not just one bill related to poker moving through the Delaware legislature, but two.

Senate Bill 31 has also passed in the senate, and is now in the House Gaming & Parimutuels Committee.

It does not mention poker by name, but would alter existing law on charitable gaming and bingo. Specifically it would remove the cap on bets and specify no limit on the wagering. That implies poker. After all, operators like limits on house games (it is their defense against deep pockets who might try to use the Martingale system).

This would still not completely allow Las Vegas or Atlantic City type action, though. Games could not run past 1:00 AM, and the daily loss total for any player would be capped at $150.

Delaware Poker Offerings May Expand

Posted: April 18th, 2009, by stevieg

While people have been paying attention to Delaware Governor Markell’s efforts to offer sports betting at the state’s racinos, Delaware Senate Bill 30 has quietly moved through the legislature.

This week it passed the Delaware Senate unanimously with no abstentions, and it moved to the House Gaming & Parimutuels Committee.

Here is the synopsis from the bill.

This Bill amends Chapter 18, Title 28 of the Delaware Code as it relates to Texas Hold’em Poker. Eliminates the no limit phase from the chapter making the game Texas Hold’em Poker. Adds definitions to the Chapter and allows the Board to set fees for Texas Hold’em Games. Mandates that facilities only conduct one (1) tournament a day. Allows organizations to have five (5) tournaments per calendar year instead of four (4). Establishes sit-and-go games and clarifies a year is a calendar year. Finally, it puts in the standard appeal language in order to appeal the Board’s decision to Superior Court.

Something else it does is take off the cap on total prizes for a tournament and highest individual prize (previously $8,000 and $2,000 respectively) and instead leaves the limits to a Board decision.

Naturally a less narrow law that simply allowed rooms to spread poker games would be more welcome. But it is surprising to me how this has moved quickly with little attention given how much sports betting has attracted.

Table Gaming Lawsuit – PokerTek at Risk?

Posted: April 17th, 2009, by stevieg

TableMAX (OTC: TBLX.PK) has filed suit against Shuffle Master (NASDAQ: SHFL) for Patent infringement.

The patents involved are:

U.S. Patent No. 5,688,174 covering a multiplayer interactive video gaming device. The diagram looks like a video game cabinet, only with multiple player inputs and bill acceptors, to simulate casino table games.
U.S. Patent No. 6,921,337 which refines the multiplayer device by adding an individual buffer to each player station.
U.S. Patent No. 7,201,661 which references the previous patent and describes a blackjack game with a central progressive jackpot for multiple machines and player stations.

Seems straight forward enough. TableMAX is losing money, they are trading over the counter, and they have resorted to suing the competition. But in the course of looking through those patents I saw this number referenced:

U.S. Patent No. 4,760,527 which describes a system for interactively playing poker with a plurality of players, issued back in 1988.

The system described seems a lot like what PokerTek (NASDAQ:PTEK) offers with its PokerPro tables. But the patent application specifically makes claims for Stud and Draw poker.

PokerTek does offer 7-card Stud on its PokerPro machines, however. And although the Web site for PokerTek lists 40 US patent applications, it does not list any granted patents.

Is PokerTek at risk for this kind of lawsuit from a company in trouble?

It’s been a good month for PokerTek stock otherwise, rebounding from a 52 week low of $0.57 to the current $1.05.

POG Apprentice Task 1 Board room

Posted: April 10th, 2009, by stevieg

The Board room thread is up. As mentioned yesterday, I think this is a good read, and worth checking out, even if you know nothing about POG.

You’ll want to catch up on the game threads before hitting the board room, obviously.

POG Apprentice, Boardroom.

The funny thing is that what I thought was very clever on the part of The_Hitch (using the game to achieve a real goal) has been seized by one of the participants, clowntable, as a reason to want out. That is, he thinks it is too overtly a way to get free work.

But doesn’t the Apprentice on NBC do this all the time?