Santa Fe poker will be ‘serious’

Dec 14, 2004 4:20 AM


Santa Fe Station is ready to play serious poker.

"We’re planning to open a spacious poker room before Christmas," Wayne Bossung, the resort hotel’s director of casino operations, told GamingToday last week. "It’s our hope to be ready for play by Dec. 20."

Bossung said that a former steak house would be the site for the poker room, which will host eight games and seat up to 80 players.

"The room is quite large and capable of adding another two tables if needed," he said. "We began talking about creating a poker room at the beginning of the year. Poker is so popular and fits right in with the overall expansion and upgrading at Santa Fe Station. We’ve come so far in the last five years."

Santa Fe plans on $2-4 and $4-8 Texas hold’em games, along with $3-6 Omaha (high-low split) and bad beat jackpots set at $10,000.

"No limit hold’ems are also possible," Bossung said. "There will be a Station-wide jumbo hold’em jackpot starting at $100,000 at the combined properties. Each week the total will go up until it’s hit and then will reset. The focus here at Santa Fe is on Texas hold’em and Omaha."

Carol Thompson, Santa Fe’s director of marketing, said the property would be offering free poker lessons for those who want to learn the wildly popular games.

"We want to get totally involved in poker and offer our customers the chance to play poker and feel at ease," Thompson said. "At some point, I believe we will have some televised tournaments. We are committed to doing a two-day, live tourney to raise money for the local chapter of the Red Cross and we will be offering a poker school for dealers."

The poker room is part of Santa Fe’s transformation into a first class entertainment venue, which includes a movie theater, bowling center and recently revamped race and sports book.

"Anywhere that people spend money not in the casino," Bossung said. "We want to give customers value for their dollar and diversify through our expansion. Poker certainly applies to that and we’re anxious to show off the room and meet the demand for play in the sport."

Santa Fe table games business is up 35 percent this year, according to Bossung.

"That’s a huge number," he said. "I think it’s because our dealers appeal to the public. No jerks here."