By Donovan Livingston
Our Manager Spotlight this month focuses on Pete McGuire. With more than 30 years of management experience, McGuire has been with the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino for two years. But how did he get into the casino industry?
“In 1993, I was living outside Atlantic City and working in sales when New Jersey approved poker. Since poker is the greatest game ever invented, I enrolled in dealer school and, upon graduation, was hired by Resorts Hotel and Casino. I spent three years dealing and flooring at Resorts. In 1996, Tropicana Hotel and Casino expanded the poker room from six tables to 50 tables. I was hired by Tropicana and spent many years helping to manage the poker room. In 2010, Delaware approved poker and I was hired by Dover Downs Hotel and Casino to run swing shift in the poker room. In 2012, the poker-room manager position became available and I was selected.”
It’s clear he’s like many of us, a poker junkie. So does he still play today?
“I prefer seven-card stud, but like everybody else who played in the ’90s I now play hold’em. I am a better limit player, and my favorite game is $10-$20 limit, but most of the time I play $1-$2 no-limit because it is widely available.”
When he’s not playing poker live or online, he likes working with wood and working on and around his house.
So what about Dover Downs? What kind of games can you expect to find there?
“Dover Downs spreads $1-$2 and $2-$5 NLHE and$2-$4 limit, plus Omaha,” he said. “We also have a mixed game two or three days each week. Our tournaments run from $35 buy-ins to $600 buy-ins. The majority of our tournaments have guaranteed prize pools. Our $199 buy-in with a $20K guarantee is so popular that we often need to open an overflow room. We also have run a “Beat the Boss” tournament in which we insert an employee with a $200 bounty on his head. If the employee felts a player we buy the player back in the following week. The players love playing with the casino big wigs and there is always a list of executives waiting to play. Another popular tournament has an Ante Up Poker Cruise package as the prize for first place.”
So there’s plenty for everybody at every price range. Dover Downs also offers some fantastic promotions.
“We have high-hand contests from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and a weekly cash-back program for players,” McGuire said. Plus we have a ladies freeroll tournament on Sundays, free steak and eggs breakfast delivered to the poker table for the overnight players. We gave thousands of dollars away in our March Madness promotion and, of course, we have a bad-beat jackpot.
“Our tournament players receive the same rating and comps as a cash players and Dover Downs also has a $10,000 tournament bad-beat jackpot.”
Sounds like a place we all need to visit. Any other things we need to know about Dover Downs? Said McGuire: “We do not have anything as exciting as the world’s largest ball of twine but Dover Downs is located in the state capital and has a beautiful historic district. Dover Air Force Base is minutes away and we have the Air Force museum here in Dover. Delaware has three of the nicest beaches on the East Coast. And it is an hour drive to Philadelphia and Baltimore and D.C.”
So, the next time you’re on the East Coast, you’ll know exactly where to find the best poker.