Beauregard's seven year Macau detour led back to Wynn Las Vegas, Encore
August 29, 2017 3:01 AM
by H. Scot Krause
Last year, Wynn Las Vegas opened a beautiful new poker room. Actually, the room moved from Wynn to Encore. I was excited to get an inside view and perspective from Ryan Beauregard, Wynn’s poker room manager.
GT: Ryan, what is your background?
RB: I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire and made my way to Arizona State University where I earned my degree in Business Management. Prior to joining the Wynn team, I worked for a golf management group based in Scottsdale (Ariz.), where my focus was on yield management and marketing. I joined Wynn prior to its opening, which was in April of 2005, and headed to Wynn Macau in 2008 to train the team and manage the new poker room. What was supposed to be an 18 month adventure turned into nearly seven years, as poker really exploded in Macau and ultimately throughout Asia. I managed to return to the poker room at Wynn Las Vegas a few years ago.
GT: How did you get into poker?
RB: When I was in college I wandered into a local casino and sat down at what I thought was a blackjack table. Turns out it was a low limit 7 card stud game, and after about 8 hours I had found my new passion. I really enjoyed the social aspect of playing poker. When I was looking to transition out of golf, I thought I would give Las Vegas a try. After taking some months off to get acclimated, I decided to start dealing, simply because I found it interesting. I broke in as a poker dealer at The Orleans poker room and quickly transitioned to the Wynn when it opened two months later. The timing worked out well.
GT: Tell me about your room. How many tables, games you spread, tournaments, amenities, etc.
RB: In May 2016 we opened a brand new poker room located at the Encore. It’s a bright and open space with all the fabulous design touches you’d expect from Mr. Wynn and Roger Thomas, our executive vice president of design and development. We have 28 tables, all equipped with USB chargers, as well as a sports betting window and restrooms located right inside the poker room. The location doesn’t get much better.
We sit right off the Encore casino floor, next to the Encore Players’ Lounge and the entrance to Encore Beach Club. There’s always foot traffic and energy in this corner of the casino. Texas Hold’em is still the most popular game, and we spread $1-3, $2-5, $5-10, and $10-25 on a regular basis. We also run consistent $1-2 Pot Limit Omaha games, which is quickly gaining popularity and could potentially rival Hold’em in the years to come. Poker players also enjoy convenient, complimentary self-parking with minimal cash or tournament play.
GT: Any special events, tournaments or promotions coming up?
RB: We recently completed our popular Wynn Summer Classic tournament series, which ran for approximately six weeks. It was a great summer, and we really saw the popularity of poker on the rise again. Our entry numbers saw a sizeable increase compared to last years’ Classic, which is a great sign. The Wynn Fall Classic is just around the corner, and will run from Sept. 27 to Oct 8. It is headlined by two large events. The European Open features a $400,000 guarantee and will include approximately 200 satellite winners from Europe, and our Championship event features a $500,000 guarantee, which is the largest we’ve ever offered in the fall.
GT: What’s your view on the future popularity of poker?
RB: There are some very passionate poker players that have been putting in the effort to become social media influencers over the last year or so, and we’re seeing positive results in part due to their influence. As a poker player, historical thinking always looked at coaching as a deterrent to maximizing individual profitability. The fact is, it is actually just the opposite now. We need these influencers to continue to teach poker strategy through social media and You Tube, because it gives players the confidence they need to walk into a poker room and take a seat.
GT: What are your interests, hobbies, family life like outside of the poker room?
RB: It’s just my wife and I for now, and we’re happy if we have a tee time or a day at the pool every so often. Even after years of watching poker games, I still enjoy playing the occasional tournament from time to time!