Consider starting a featured game at your poker room



Does your poker room offer featured games? That’s a poker game you sign up for that has a specific starting time on a specific day of the week, every week, no exceptions. Most places don’t do this, so if you see the benefits of featured games you may be wondering how set this up at your poker room. The answer in one word is: recruit.

Begin by chatting with the manager to see if it’s OK, which it likely will be. Then start asking the players at your table and continue talking with as many players as you can find until you have enough who can agree on a game and time.

Arrange for the shift manager to put the list on the board in the morning. For the first three or four weeks, you and the shift manger will need to be standing at the table before the game begins to make sure everyone is following the plan. Make sure the table has been opened and a dealer is ready to start the game on time.

After the featured game at your casino gets a good foothold, you’ll be surprised at how popular it will become. The $20-$40 game I started 16 years ago at Hollywood Aurora still is going strong.

Here are some more ideas that will help enhance the game: To accommodate those players who have been loyal, let them do a “rollover” when they have to miss a week, as long as they have been in the starting lineup for at least five consecutive weeks. That means they’d be placed in the next-player slot after the initial nine players when they return. That way it shouldn’t take them three or four weeks to get back into the main game.

Also, give them a 15-minute leeway as long as they call in before the starting time. So if the game starts at 10 and they’re running late, they can call in before the starting time and have their seat reserved until 10:15.

After working hard to get your game, it’s quite likely other feature games will spring up.

Finally, I’ll remind you of the key word again: recruit. It might take a while for everyone to understand the benefits of a featured game. During the first few weeks, there will be turnover and dropouts. You don’t want to have a week during the startup period where only five or six players attend.

Now that you have the blueprints for getting featured games started in your poker room, it’s time to start recruiting. – Willy Neuman

Chris Cosenza

Chris Cosenza