WPT rolls out new poker table game

Dec 5, 2005 2:59 AM

After a successful field trial at Bellagio, the Nevada Gaming Commission has approved the formal rollout of the World Poker Tour All-in Hold’em table game for use in all casinos within the state of Nevada.

Bellagio plans to immediately expand to two tables and the Mirage and TI-Treasure Island intend to debut the game this month.

The table game capitalizes on the success inspired by the World Poker Tour, the television show that launched the worldwide poker boom.

Developed by David Sklansky, a world-renowned poker expert and author, the table game has been licensed to Lakes Entertainment for distribution.

"We believe that the World Poker Tour All-in Hold’em table game provides players the most exciting table game experience possible, under the premier brand in poker," said Lakes Entertainment CEO Lyle Berman. "Wherever it has been introduced, it has become one of the most popular games on the casino floor.

"The number one reason that it has proven to be so popular is that it is so ”˜player friendly,’ Berman continued. "It’s extremely simple — easy to play and to deal."

All-in Hold’em allows poker fans to experience the same kind of excitement that they have been accustomed to seeing on their television sets when watching the World Poker Tour. Players can strategize their betting and experience the thrill of making an "all-in" raise or a big bluff. Like the No Limit Texas Hold’em poker played on the World Poker Tour, the World Poker Tour All-In Hold’em table game "takes a minute to learn for a lifetime of action" — to paraphrase WPT commentator Mike Sexton. World Poker Tour All-in Hold’em is distinctive, however, in that players only play against the dealer rather than against the other players at the table.

What makes All-in Hold’em distinctive is that, unlike the traditional Texas Hold’em played on the Tour, players don’t bet against their fellow players — they bet against the dealer only. The table is specially designed to showcase a new derivation of Texas Hold’em, which is easy to learn, easy to play, and provides plenty of action.

In All-in Hold’em, each player is required to bet the blind ante on every hand. Then the player has other betting options, including bonus bets on the hole cards and the final value of the hand. For example a royal flush pays 500-1, four-of-a-kind pays 40-1, while a "pocket pair" of aces pays 20-1.

Once players have seen the hole cards, they can fold, raise the blind ante by betting five times or "go All-In" by raising 10 times the ante bet.

Then the action turns to the dealer, who will fold and pay off the blind antes, or call. If the dealer calls (based on specific rules), the play continues with the flop, turn and the river. If the player’s best five-card poker hand beats the dealer’s, the player wins his ante and raise bet.

The game debuted for its initial Nevada trial on April 22, at Bellagio. Bill Bingham, vice president table games at Bellagio, reported to Lakes Entertainment, "The game has been performing above expectations. The interest level has been very high, and the response from the players and staff has been extremely favorable. As you know we positioned the game in close proximity to our poker room, and I believe this has resulted in significant crossover play."