The poker room of the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will be completely electronic by this Friday.
The casino announced that they shut down their poker room on Sunday night and will be re-opening later in the week. 12 Pokerpro electronic tables will be installed, and the "majority" of the staff that used to work in the poker room (including 40 dealers) will be moved to other areas of the company and replaced by 18 "poker hosts".
I can see why the Excalibur is doing this. They will enjoy the novelty of being the first "electronic" poker room in Vegas, plus they will save on labor costs (I would imagine that some of the staff will simply be let go and not shuffled into other parts of the casino).
In my opinion, an electronic poker room just won't work in Las Vegas. Most people that I know fly to Las Vegas to play poker in a settling like the Bellagio or the Venetian. They want to play with real chips, just like on TV. They want to play with real cards that are dealt by a real dealer. Sure, an electronic poker table might deal more hands per hour and not accept tips, but that's what an online poker room is for, isn't it? I realize that the Excalibur caters to beginner players, but I still think that most players (even beginners) travel to Vegas because they want to play poker in a "real" setting, just like they've seen on TV.
I've talked to a number of people that have played on an electronic table. They all say the same thing - the novelty wears off fairly quickly, and they find themselves wanting to either play: a) at a "real" table or b) online. I briefly tested out an electronic table a while back and was very underwhelmed by the experience. It's a hybrid of the online and "live" poker experience that leaves out the best parts of both.
Overall, electronic poker tables get a thumbs-down from me. I'll be interested to see whether or not Excalibur's "electronic" poker room takes off, or if the computerized tables just gather dust.
Source: Excalibur's Poker Room Goes High-Tech
Filed Under: Random Poker News