Hollypark Casino installs ‘ePoker’ room

Oct 10, 2006 4:39 AM

On Wednesday, Hollywood Park Casino will hold a grand opening gala including a happy hour and red carpet party to unveil its newly constructed, state-of-the-art e-Poker Room.

The high-tech venue was designed for PokerPro, an automated, electronic poker table from North Carolina-based PokerTek. Initially, the e-Poker Room will feature six of the computerized tables.

The room of automated, dealer-less poker tables is in addition to Hollywood Park’s "live" poker room, which features 35 tables.

"To be the first California casino to install PokerPro illustrates how Hollywood Park Casino is constantly ahead of the curve," said Phyllis Caro, director of poker operations. "Our goal is to offer our current customer base a new product and invite a new demographic of online players and gamers into the casino. And we can do this by creating an environment that is stimulating and exciting."

PokerPro is the first-ever, full automated poker table — without chips to stack, cards to flip, or dealers to argue with.

Hollywood Park is the first in the Western U.S. to offer PokerPro to its players. For players who want more action, the tables deal about 50 percent more games per hour than a live table.

The electronic tables already have won converts in cruise ships and on Indian reservations.

The faster pace also means an increased "rake" for the casino — the small percentage of each pot collected by the house — and eliminates the cost of a dealer’s salary and benefits. Moreover, there are no dealers to tip.

Players participate by depositing cash into an account at the Hollywood Park Casino, which is available for deposits and withdrawals 24 hours a day.

Each player at the table has a touchtone screen that shows at a glance how much money is in a player’s stack. The hole cards appear face down in the lower right corner; tap lightly, and the cards peel up for a quick peek. A screen in the center of the table displays the current pot and the community cards.

Play is automated, leaving little room for error or confusion about whose turn it is to bet, raise, check or fold. The screen displays a player’s available options, including the minimum size of a raise, an amount players frequently miscalculate.

In addition to their new venue at Hollywood Park, PokerPro tables are in use on cruise lines and at Indian casinos in Florida and Oklahoma. PokerTek is also seeking licenses from gaming commissions in Nevada, New Jersey, Louisiana and Mississippi.