New poker rooms finally open in Louisiana

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By Scotty Rushing

The L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles and the Hollywood Casino in Baton Rouge have completed the construction of their new poker rooms and are open to players.

In a July 1 news release from Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc., Kerry Andersen confirmed the opening at L’Auberge where Roger Russell will manage the room, which includes six tables spread over 2,100 square feet and one table that will be placed in a semi-private, high-stakes area.

Geno Iafrate (previously of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs) said the room is a response to something players have been requesting for quite a while.

“The premier gambling joint in the region just got better. Our guests have been requesting a poker room since we opened in 2005 and we are delivering a product that offers a truly superior poker experience with unmatched amenities inLouisiana. We are excited for our customers to see and experience the exciting action, personalized service and luxurious amenities.”

Features of the room include a non-smoking atmosphere, text-messaging to alert those waiting for a seat, massage service and tableside food service. A dedicated sound system and 13 large flatscreen TVs round out the amenities.

The room is open 24 hours and provides a variety of hold’em games (limit and no-limit), as well as Omaha/8 and pot-limit Omaha. Seven other games can be spread upon player interest. The room also offers a $100,000 bad-beat jackpot.

For more info call 1-866-580-7444 and ask for the poker room.

Hollywood Casino in Baton Rouge is open daily at 10:30 a.m. and offers four tables spreading hold’em, Omaha and stud, depending upon player interest. It’s highly recommended that those who plan on visiting the room call 225-709-7777 to reserve a table seat.

The Hollywood room is offering a bad-beat jackpot with the most generous rules to be found in Louisiana. The minimum qualifying hand is aces full of 10s and it must be beaten by quads or better. The jackpot will be split according to the following: 50 percent to the losing hand, 25 percent to the winning hand and 25 percent divided among the remaining players at the table. A maximum of $1 is deducted from each pot of $20 (including the rake). Pots of less than $20 do not add to the jackpot.

David Veillon, the day-shift manager for the room, talked about the bad beat and other plans for poker in Baton Rouge.

“We chose to make the bad-beat rules very liberal, among the most liberal in the United States, for the purpose of drawing interest and actually making the jackpot something that was hittable pretty often. And this is not a mini-jackpot. It’s our full bad beat.”

And if they get a lot of interest?

“There are plans to expand the room to accommodate whatever interest we have,” he said. “Since opening we’ve seen waiting lists 20-deep, so we will expand to accommodate that. There are no tournaments planned for the first month but we will begin to offer them soon.”

Hollywood is at 1717 River Rd. North in Baton Rouge.