Bally’s to open live poker room

Jul 27, 2004 1:11 AM

As the popularity of poker continues to sweep the nation, Bally’s is tossing its visor into the green-felt ring. Beginning Monday, Bally’s will offer live poker tables in its sprawling casino, adjacent to the pit.

Initially, games offered will include Hold’em and seven card stud, with a $200 buy-in no limit game. Geared toward the novice to intermediate crowd, games will feature bets from $2-4, $3-6, $4-8 and $1-5 for stud.

"Even though we’re new, we will have the most customer-friendly staff on the Strip," says John Avello, Bally’s race and sports director who also oversees keno and poker. "This will be a fun poker room for the players and dealers alike."

Avello added that the non-smoking poker tables will be located adjacent to Sully’s Bar, which "boils over with fun and excitement 24 hours a day."

Because many of the dealers were culled from Bally’s existing staff, they will be dealing poker for the first time. Avello said what they lack in experience they’ve made up for in enthusiasm and friendliness.

"It’s a fresh crew and the experience will come," Avello said. "In the meantime, we will strive to make the players feel at home."

Poker should be well-received at Bally’s, Avello added, because casino customers frequently ask about live poker.

"With 5,200 guest rooms between the (adjoining) Paris and Bally’s hotels, we expect to deal plenty of poker," Avello said.

Known for his innovative promotions in the race and sports book, Avello said he has some interesting poker promotions up his pin-striped sleeves.

"Let’s get the room up and running first," he said. "Then we’ll try out a few promotions the poker crowd will surely love."