Red Rock poker room brings Mendiola on board as manager
April 24, 2018 3:01 AM
by H. Scot Krause
Tracy Mendiola is the new poker room manager at Red Rock Resort. We asked her about her background, the room at Red Rock and her thoughts about the future of poker.
TM: “I was married for 38 wonderful years, and my husband passed away three years ago. I have three grown successful kids, and I taught all of them to deal poker to get through college. I also have six grand kids and one more due soon. I have a two-year-old German Shepherd registered service dog, ‘Groot,’ that I train professionally.”
GT: You’re new at Red Rock. How long? What’s your current title/position and how did you get into poker?
TM: “I’m originally from Washington State, born and raised on a farm, where I acquired my taste for poker. Most don’t know Washington has a lot of casinos that fall under Washington State Gaming; it’s not all tribal. I was introduced to poker around the early 1990’s from playing the game back when poker was, for the most part, in licensed small rooms and the main games were 7 Card Stud and Omaha. I entered the poker world in Vegas around 2001. I had the great opportunity to open the brand new five-table poker room at the Venetian in 2006 working with Kathy Raymond, executive director of poker operations.
“I had heard her name concerning poker in Foxwoods and really wanted to learn from her, and she became my mentor and still is my friend today. While at the Venetian I had the pleasure of getting to know players like Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher and Jamie Gold, WSOP champions, and many more. I resigned my management position at the Venetian in 2015. I was thrilled to join Station Casinos at Red Rock in August 2017 as poker room manager.”
GT: Tell me about your room at Red Rock – how many tables, games you spread, tournaments, amenities, etc.
TM: “Red Rock’s poker room is an amazing, friendly poker room. We have 20 tables in which we will spread whatever our guests are interested in playing. We spread 2-4, 4-8 Limit daily, 1-2, 2-5 No Limit, Mix Games, PLO, just to name a few. Our local players like to come in the early morning hours, start our 2-4 limit game and socialize. We have televisions that surround the room and the sportsbook is next door. We keep the coffee brewing and fresh in the room and cocktail servers are always in the room for our guests, no charge. We also offer tableside food service from many food outlets.”
GT: What makes your room popular or unique for players?
TM: “Our tables are perfectly placed so our players have elbow room and comfortable chairs. Our dealers are friendly and very efficient. We use shufflers on all of our tables. We offer rewards and comps for all of our poker players. Red Rock is a beautiful property, and we don’t have the traffic of downtown, but we have free parking. We offer the best buffet in town, The Feast.”
GT: Any special events, tournaments or promotions coming up?
TM: “We run daily tournaments in the afternoon and evening, both with attractive buy-ins and great structures. The first Friday of every month we offer a $5K free roll. We recently launched a new tournament series, Climb The Rock, and will be hosting the second one on April 29. The buy-in for Climb The Rock is $300 and our first event had more than 235 players with first place paying over $14K. We also run different types of promotions such as High Hands, Rock it to the Deuce, and Aces Cracked.”
GT: What’s your view on the future of poker?
TM: “I foresee our popularity growing not only with our local players but also from out of town players. We are in the process of making some changes to our tournaments, which will make them even better. I’m confident that providing over-the-top customer service and our friendly and welcoming team will have our guests looking forward to returning to our property more and more.”