Peppermill’s new poker room beyond breathtaking

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By Scott Long

Mike Gainey has been in the poker business for 35 years, but it’s safe to say he hasn’t seen anything as pretty as his new room at Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nev.

“(We) didn’t cut corners on anything,” Gainey, the director of operations, said of the room, which cost well in excess of seven figures and was completed in just six weeks.

Trimmed in walnut, copper and antique gold and outfitted with leather, wood and onyx furnishings, the 19-table room has a sense of elegance from the time you walk past the adjoining bar. A spacious waiting area features plush couches and tables where you can enjoy your favorite poker room while you wait for a seat.

“I have some couches (in the room) that are better than what I have in my house,” Gainey said.

The Peppermill staff specially designed the nine-player tables to be narrower, allowing for improved sight lines, and new chairs don’t have arm rests after Gainey surveyed his players and found 80 percent didn’t want them.

The Genesis Bravo system is installed, allowing for electronic wait lists, a signup kiosk and player tracking for $1 and hour in comps, and the room is outfitted with 36 LCD televisions, including a 10-foot showcase screen. A glass wall separates a high-limit area, which hosts games as large as $50-$100 no-limit hold’em on some weekends.

Players are treated to complimentary sandwiches three times a day and soup all day long, and they can help themselves to soda, juice and bottled water when they wish. Also, restrooms are close by.

“That’s unheard of,” Gainey said with a laugh. “A poker room with restrooms nearby.”

For larger tournaments, such as the recently concluded Jennfer Harman charity event that required 90 tables, Gainey has use of a spacious ballroom.

“I’d put that space up against any in Las Vegas,” he said.