Pechanga reaches out to players, makes changes

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By Christopher Cosenza

As a poker player you always like to find out the manager of your favorite poker room listens to his or her players. The best managers are able to hear players’ concerns and ideas, filter them, and make all parties happy.

Pechanga’s poker room has taken this a step further, conducting interviews with a few groups of its players to find out what can make playing at Pechanga a better experience. They even have a survey on their website asking for feedback (Pala Casino does an online guest survey as well).

Pechanga manager Richie Lopez and VP of table games Mike May then crafted a letter that outlined these findings and distributed it to players, even via snail mail to its Players Reward cardholders.

“Pechanga’s slogan is, ‘It’s Paid Play’ and the motto of our poker room is ‘Pechanga Poker Gives Back.’ So, we need to make sure we are giving the players exactly what they want and are asking them directly to tell us what they like and what they don’t like,” Lopez said. “Our main goal is to make sure we’re doing absolutely everything we can to make the Pechanga poker room their No. 1 choice to play and that all of our players feel they have an open dialogue with myself and the room’s management to make sure they are well taken care of.”

Here are some of the changes:

• Players asked for more value in daily tournaments, so as of Dec. 1, Pechanga has added chips (call the poker room for totals and structures) and cash drawings for tournament players.

• Jackpots attract a lot of players, but the harder it is to hit, the more likely players are to look for easier qualifiers. So Pechanga’s $3K bad-beat jackpot qualifier is now aces full of eights or better beaten by quads or better. This jackpot is always $3K, but Pechanga’s Mega Share Jackpot (quad jacks) starts at $100K these days, and once this reaches $150K the qualifier will be reduced. The different hand qualifiers and amounts can be found at pechanga.com. This jackpot includes a 20 percent room share.

• It’s no secret poker players love to eat, and they love it even more when they can eat at the table so they don’t miss a hand of action. Pechanga’s tableside menu has been improved to have more variety and prompt service.

And finally, Pechanga held a $10K freeroll for players who had at least eight hours of live play between Nov. 14-19. When players were upset because they missed out, Pechanga sent out another letter to players offering a second $10K freeroll for December.

Like a fine poker player, Pechanga sized up the situation at hand and adapted quite well. And if you disagree, you know Lopez and his staff will listen to your comments.