Atlantis, Dames go All-In

Atlantis, Dames go All-In

February 27, 2018 3:01 AM

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno has its All In Poker Series coming up March 15-25, featuring a $200,000 Main Event guarantee. So we interviewed Keith Dames, Atlantis poker room manager, about the big event and what’s going on at Atlantis.

GT: Tell me a little about yourself.

KD: “I’m Keith Dames, a 39-year-old poker manager and poker player. I grew up in California, and then joined the Army in 1999. I was trained as a television studio electrician, working with electronics for six years in a variety of locales including Seoul, South Korea and Baghdad, Iraq. After the Army, I moved back to California and learned to deal table games, breaking in at a tribal casino in the Coachella Valley.”

GT: How did you get into poker?

KD: “In addition to dealing table games, I taught at a local dealer school. When I had my students doing repetitive tasks, I would observe the poker classes. One day my supervisor got a phone call from the poker room. They had sold one more table for their daily tournament than they had dealers. I went and dealt the tournament and had a blast.

“I started working a couple days in the poker room and a couple days in the pit. When it was announced the pit dealers were going to start pooling tips, I asked the poker manager to let me deal poker full time.

“I moved to Reno nine years ago and started dealing at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. I supervised for several years and was promoted to assistant poker manager under Mike Gainey. When he retired, I became the poker manager.”

GT: Tell me about your room at Atlantis.

KD: “The poker room at Atlantis has eight tables in a beautifully decorated, smoke-free room. We spread a variety of limit and no-limit Hold ’em daily and special games on certain days of the week. $6/12 Drawmaha is a new favorite game for a lot of our players.

“On Mondays, we spread a $1/2 Pot Limit Dealer’s Choice game unlike any game you’ve ever played. We do a small buy-in morning tournament daily and two 11-day series in March and August. Our upcoming March event features an $1,100 buy-in Main Event with a $200,000 guarantee.

“During our big events, we add 25 tables to our convention space. This space features floor to ceiling windows offering views of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains. I call it, ‘#PokerWithAView.’ Our poker tables are equipped with shuffle machines, Bravo player tracking, and USB ports at each seat. We have a self-service beverage station as well as cocktail and food service. Our Sports Bar offers 16 draft beers as well as over forty Whiskies of the World. Our comp rate for live poker play is $4 an hour. As far as I know, it is the highest rate anywhere.”

GT: What about your tournament coming up and special events?

KD: “Our All-In Poker Series is March 15-25 with an $1,100 buy-in $200,000 Guarantee Main Event. There are a wide variety of buy-ins, formats and guarantees during the series.

“We run promotions across the property for seniors 55-plus every Monday. Our series adds to that by offering a $25,000 Guaranteed 55-plus event on the Monday of the series. At just a $200 buy-in, it is a great value and one of our highest attended events every series.

“Satellite seats for the All-In Poker Series are being added to our Daily tournament prize pool every day between now and March 11.

“We encourage anyone who wants to play in our tournament to register at Pre-registration is open now through March 14. 

“We run a host of promotions every day including Aces Cracked, Progressive Bonus Hands, and the EZ Way Bad Beat. We do drawings for cash and free play on Monday and Thursday evenings accompanied by a nice food spread. On top of all that, we have a quarterly promotion: The 50 players who play the most hours each quarter are awarded with cash and free play totaling $15,000.”

GT: What are your interests, hobbies, family life like outside of the poker room?

KD: “My wife and I enjoy spending time with our daughters, traveling, and playing with our dogs. We recently got an old Honda Goldwing for long motorcycle rides. I also like to golf with the guys, but only the ones who are as bad as I am. I played bass guitar in bands when I was younger, but don’t seem to have the time these days. I still listen to a lot of music and annoy anyone who will listen with music trivia.”