PokerTek, Inc. announced last week that it had installed automated PokerPro tables on all 22 ships in Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleet.
"We have been so impressed with the quality of this product and level of service we receive from PokerTek that it was really an easy decision to roll-out PokerPro fleet-wide," said Rodney Dofort, vice president of casino operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. "PokerTek has become more than a vendor to us — they are a true partner. These tables allow us to attract new cruisers by providing a complete poker offering, while also increasing revenue."
PokerTek’s first trial with Carnival was in April, 2006, meaning that PokerPro went from initial implementation to a fleet-wide standard in just over 18 months.
"Carnival’s dedication to our technology has helped us accelerate the success of PokerPro across their fleet and expand our reach onto other ships under the Carnival umbrella," said James Crawford, president of PokerTek. "We are fortunate to work with an operator of this caliber, and are extremely proud to be the only live poker offered on their fleet."
Passengers with a penchant for poker have taken to the new tables.
"I had never played automated poker before I tried it on Carnival," said Monty Berger, a retired New York City police officer and winner of the 2007 Carnival PokerPro Challenge. "But once I played on PokerPro, it soon became my favorite. I even won a satellite event during the cruise for a $10,000 seat in the 2007 World Series of Poker."
As part of their partnership, PokerTek and Carnival have teamed together to introduce the Carnival PokerPro Challenge, a massive poker tournament spanning from January to November 2008 and awarding over $250,000 in cash and prizes. Select Carnival "Fun Ships" will run regular $150 buy-in satellite tournaments, and will commence with a final table showdown for a guaranteed $45,000 first place payout. Information on Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleet, destinations, and cabin packages can be found at www.carnival.com and additional information about the Carnival PokerPro Challenge can be found at www.OceanPlayersClub.com.