‘Kitchen’ Billy takes over at Meadows

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The new poker room manager at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, Pa., is Billy Takacs, and he’s no stranger to the felt. Takacs, a 56-year-old poker player from Weirton, W. Va., has spent most of his life in the Monroeville, Pa., area and previously worked for the Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino in Chester, W. Va.

Early on in his career Takacs owned a kitchen design firm where he picked up his poker nickname “Kitchen Billy.” With his knowledge of the game and local players there’s no doubt he’s the right man for the job. Meadows Casino hired Takacs because of his knowledge of poker and his numerous relationships with poker players in the area.

He plans to concentrate on making the poker room more player-friendly, including greeting players and being more generous with player comps.

“I’ve played and been around these players for nearly four decades. I know what they want and what they expect,” he said.

Takacs has promised several new changes over the upcoming months and plans to revamp the tournament schedule to accommodate the serious tournament players. The starting times for weekly tournaments are 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. As for weekend tournament action, Saturdays feature a $175 deepstack at 5 p.m. with 15K chips and a 5K dealer add-on. Sundays feature tourneys at 11 a .m. ($45) and 11 p.m. ($65). As for cash games the room spreads all games at players’ request.

The casino recently altered its bad-beat jackpot rules making it a little harder to hit. The losing hand must be at least four of a kind, with the player holding a pocket pair. Takacs said the new qualifying hand is less confusing for novice players.

PONGO PROMOTION: The Meadows has introduced Pongo as a promotion for hold’em cash-game players who make a full house, quads and straight flushes.

The Pongo board is setup with 25 squares. Each square contains a predetermined poker hand worth $50 when hit. If a player hits a square that completes a row or column they win an additional $100. If a player hits a square that completes a diagonal they’ll win an additional $200. The last remaining square will be worth $1,000. The Pongo board will reset once all the squares have been hit.

— Mike Owens is the Ante Up Ambassador for Western Pennsylvania andWest Virginia. He’s a poker player, journalist and creator of CheckRaze.com.He can be reached at anteupowens@gmail.com.