PokeTek launches $1M bad beat ‘pot

November 13, 2007 6:29 AM
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Bad beat jackpots are nothing new. You’ll find them all over Las Vegas in several poker rooms, which often set up progressive jackpots that grow until they are hit.

Ordinarily, as the name suggests, the jackpot is triggered when a poker player loses with an outstanding hand, usually four of a kind.

Now, PokerTek, the company that developed the PokerPro automated poker table, has come out with a national PokerPro $1 Million Bad Beat Jackpot, which was kicked off at Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis, Arkansas, last weekend.

"The concept of the $1 Million Bad Beat is simple," said Tracy Egan, VP of Marketing for PokerTek.  "It’s a rare combination of events with a million dollar payout." 

The PokerPro $1 Million Bad Beat Jackpot is triggered when a player with four-of-a-kind sixes loses to a royal flush, subject to other house rules (such as minimum pot size and number of players in the hand).

When this hand combination occurs at the table, the game pauses and notifies the staff that the hand needs to be verified.  The poker room can determine how the one million dollar prize is distributed among the players, but Bad Beat Jackpots of this size are unprecedented.

"This is a big deal," said Vito Casucci, PokerTek Regional Account Director and former Poker Room Manager at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  "There’s a segment of the poker playing market that follows bad beat jackpots around.  This promotion should attract that crowd and help build traditional bad beat jackpots at the same time."

As noted, the jackpot was initially set up at the Arkansas poker room.

"At first I was a skeptic of automated poker tables, but now that I’ve seen them in action, I get it," said Kevin Tolliver, Director of Gaming at Southland Gaming and Racing. "It’s faster, has no mistakes, players love the technology and we never could have offered a jackpot of this size on a manual table."

One of the keys to the promotion is the automated poker table.

"It would be difficult to have supported this promotion on a manual table," said Mick Luckhurst, President and CEO of American Hole N One, which is underwriting the promotion.  "PokerPro tables have been tested and certified by regulatory bodies around the world.  There’s no opportunity to cheat the system or collude.  Thanks to the security of PokerPro, we feel comfortable offering this exciting promotion."

Egan added that the amount of the jackpot is unprecedented.

"It is rare to see bad beat jackpots over $100,000, much less one million dollars," Egan said. "We hope that this will intrigue new players enough that they try PokerPro for the first time, and enhance the benefits of PokerPro for our regular players."

After a suitable trial period, PokerTek will consider rolling out this promotion to other customers pending regulatory approvals in each jurisdiction. PokerTek is seeking a patent on the $1 Million Bad Beat jackpot.