Stations to launch Jumbo progressive

Jan 27, 2003 10:51 PM

 By GT Staff 

Station Casinos will soon be piling up huge bad beat jackpots at its poker tables. Beginning next week, Stations¡¦ poker rooms will offer a Jumbo Progressive for Texas Hold ¡¥Em games, with the pot starting at a cool $100,000.

The progressive jackpot will be linked to Station Casinos throughout Nevada.

Patterned after its highly successful Jumbo Keno and Jumbo Bingo, Station is linking all the Texas Hold ¡¥Em games at its various properties to produce record-setting pots.

  The new program kicks off Feb. 3, sources tell GamingToday.

"It¡¦s a natural thing to do,¡¦¡¦ mused one poker aficionado. "It¡¦s only surprising they hadn¡¦t done it before now."

In addition to the Bad Beat linked progressive, individual Station poker rooms will have an in-house $10,000 jackpot, sources said.

Although few details of the new program have been released, sources said a hand of four 5¡¦s or better would have to be beaten in order to win the progressive award.

For players unfamiliar with poker or bad beat jackpots, a loose definition of a bad beat jackpot is rewarding someone with money who holds a very strong hand but is beaten by someone who has a better one.

Bad Beat Jackpots for poker rooms in Las Vegas are listed as an exclusive weekly feature in GamingToday (see page 12 for this week¡¦s list).

Bad Beat Jackpots were initiated more than 25 years ago in Low Ball Draw. The situation came up when someone holding 1-2-3-4-6 (the second best hand) lost a pot to a player holding 1-2-3-4-5 (the low ball equivalent of a royal flush).

The player with 1-2-3-4-6 usually put all his money into the pot, and with the creation of the jackpot, was awarded cash for losing. So, holding the 6-hand, a player would either win the pot, or hit the jackpot. Through the passage of time, with the expansion of casinos and public cardrooms and the legalization of stud and hold¡¦em in California, jackpots have evolved and adjusted to new games, grown into five-figure rewards, weathered the storm of governmental interpretation and interference, and have wreaked havoc on more than a few cardroom personnel.

Here in Las Vegas, nearly every poker room has some type of bad beat jackpot.

One of the largest jackpots to be paid in recent years occurred a few months ago at the Stardust, where a California woman turned over her cards in a $3-$6 Hold¡¦em game with Aces full of Queens and lost to her opponent¡¦s four Queens.

At the time, the Stardust¡¦s Bad Beat Jackpot had swollen to $88,148 and could only be won if the losing hand was Aces full of tens or better. The "loser" got $44,074 (50%), the holder of the winning hand got $22,037 (25%) plus the pot, and the other seven players in the game split the remaining 25%, which amounted to $3,148 apiece.

The division of the bad beat jackpot usually occurs this way: When a jackpot is hit, the loser of the pot takes the majority of the bad beat money, usually 35-50%, and the winner of the hands gets 20-30% of the posted amount. The remainder will be split in accordance with posted regulations. Sometimes the players at the table each get a share; other rooms give an equal share to all players at all tables playing the same type of game.

The qualifying hands may also vary. With separate jackpots for stud, hold¡¦em and Omaha, and with each room posting different hands, there can be variation among casinos. Some rooms have a "minimum low hand" of aces-full beaten to hit a jackpot, progressing up to losing with not less than four jacks. Knowing if a hand qualifies in one poker room, but not another, can make a difference. Also knowing how a hand is made is important. Sometimes a player must start with a perfect pair in hold¡¦em, other times not.

In any case, bad beat jackpots are growing in terms of dollars and interest. Poker rooms generally do an excellent job of posting all the rules and requirements for jackpots, as well as the progressive amounts. Be sure to follow GamingToday¡¦s exclusive poker coverage for the latest poker room news.