$9 rake is coming

SicSemperSicSemper Red Chipper Posts: 112 ✭✭
Just heard last night the Venetian is bumping up to a $9 rake for the month of March while they increase their high hand giveaways. (They're already at a pretty-gross $7.) Like 6:5 blackjack and triple-zero roulette, would not at all be surprised if that's going to slowly become the new normal.

Comments

  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,354 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 16
    It does but sound like "rake+drop" more than like "more rake", doesn't it?

    (Also if you play 6:5 black jack or triple-zero roulette, you definitely don't want to win but only gamble and burn money, so why care about rake? haha!)
  • SicSemperSicSemper Red Chipper Posts: 112 ✭✭
    I may be wrong, but I believe it's going to be the usual $5 cap on the rake with a $4 drop for the month. Though I wouldn't be surprised if it was a 6/3. They currently drop $2.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    If true, they are running a bingo hall, not a card room.
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  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Just tried to get confirmation on this and the two rumors are 5+3 and 6+3. I wonder if the V is putting this out there to gauge the response. 5+3/4 you'd get promo-chasing nits camping out all day for the high hands. 6+3 I can't imagine who the target clientele is.
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  • SicSemperSicSemper Red Chipper Posts: 112 ✭✭
    Dealer tonight told me it's 6+3.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,354 ✭✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    6+3 I can't imagine who the target clientele is.
    Gamblers who want to play cards and ev. hit a jackpot and don't care much about the rake ?
  • U_TurnU_Turn Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 51 ✭✭
    The V has also allegedly suspended or cancelled their big bad beat jackpot. 5 or 6+3 is disgusting.

    Caesars Palace just added a $2 promo drop, also. I’ve moved my play to Wynn because of this.

    Now there are only three rooms in Las Vegas without a promo drop.
  • In The DarkIn The Dark Red Chipper Posts: 241 ✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    If true, they are running a bingo hall, not a card room.

    I prefer to compete against the bingo crowd instead of the GTO crowd.

    Those insensitive to rake make the best opponents. The nits go elsewhere.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    If true, they are running a bingo hall, not a card room.

    I prefer to compete against the bingo crowd instead of the GTO crowd.

    Those insensitive to rake make the best opponents. The nits go elsewhere.

    Unfortunately they don't. A lot of Vegas nits have convinced themselves you can't actually win at poker (which at 6+3 may be true), and many of them are consequently attracted to these awful promos where their only interest is playing as few hands as possible while trying to hit some jackpot. I'm not saying there aren't profitable countermeasures to such players, particularly if the promo compels them to play hands, but it's freaking miserable sledding.
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  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    SicSemper wrote: »
    Dealer tonight told me it's 6+3.

    Yeah I got the same info.
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  • ChibberChibber Red Chipper Posts: 380 ✭✭✭
    If you choose to play in rooms that rake or drop that much, it is your own fault.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Chibber wrote: »
    If you choose to play in rooms that rake or drop that much, it is your own fault.

    It's actually worse than that, IMO, since other rooms will be watching. If people show up at the V, it has the potential to encourage other rooms to make the move.

    It will be in effect for a month. I'm really hoping the place is empty during that period.
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  • BigFudgeBigFudge Red Chipper Posts: 35 ✭✭
    edited February 20
    Before the boom all full service casinos hated poker (I guess outside of Binions way back in the day of course and Steve Wynn Mirage/Bellagio at the time). Some didn’t offer it and those that did put no thought into it. It’s all about revenue per square foot, and so taking a drop for so much square footage didn’t seem to make much sense. Of course the boom happened and thus they opened these large rooms (by Vegas standards). These large rooms were to fill the demand of their other revenue generating customers though, as those of us who were around and remember every fish wanted to play NLH and even whales, while they still preferred their game of choice simply had to throw a few bucks around in NLH. Make no mistake about it, they didn’t build the room for grinders or the local nit crowd, although once the room was built they may as well keep it somewhat non-fish friendly, until recently.

    Obviously times have changed, the primary customer of the large resorts have gone back to their usual game (or has shifted to other forms of spending inside the resort) and one wonders if they are trying to implement a sink or swim type of test, if demand won’t support a $9 drop maybe they close it or shrink it. Having worked in finance and analytics for more than one strip casino, this seems like something they would do....
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Poker has one fortuitous break in this regard, in that to preserve the tag of "full service" a casino has to have a poker room. I suspect this is why that sad room at T.I. survived years past its natural lifetime, although Ruffin's fondness for poker may have been an additional factor.
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  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Let me offer a corollary perspective and perhaps, a hopeful one. Studies, now years past, mainly found that the theory of the "Full Service" model in casinos was not solid. In other words, the thought that the casino benefited from offering many amenities such as the poker room was disproved. You can find some of this stuff with a little research. This research came to a head in the early 2010's, and coincided with the closure of many rooms after.

    However, I noticed something which confirmed my thoughts and experience that suggests something else is going on. The studies telling casino operators that poker was extraneous are somewhat flawed because they are biased toward the "critical gaming activities" aka slots and table games, and that the researchers were not particularly interested in doing the work of connecting poker to the other amenities, including food and entertainment.

    Now, everyone hears that Americans do less gambling as the years go by in Vegas, and that it is in fact the entertainment and amenities that are pushing growth. I'm not sure that this is true, as gambling revenue continues to rise each year, but let's say it is.

    It therefore seems to me that as the industry catches up with what is happening, they may reconnect what it is that most poker players love - food and entertainment but not -EV time in the slots and pits - with amenity income, and that if poker can survive its lean times now, rooms may reopen or grow or be otherwise looked at more positively, as they once were.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    edited February 21
    You make a critical point. Non-gaming activities/revenue in Vegas have increased rapidly means the non-gaming/gaming ratio has gone up, but that doesn't mean gaming revenue has dropped. There are direct data showing that it is healthy. The fact that people first see Celine Dion, then play poker, isn't actually a problem for poker. It simply reflects woeful taste in music.

    Where I do think Vegas needs to be smarter is recognizing more Americans can stay in their home state to gamble, and stop pumping up these wretched resort and parking fees.
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  • sfx_beigssfx_beigs Red Chipper Posts: 72 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Where I do think Vegas needs to be smarter is recognizing more Americans can stay in their home state to gamble, and stop pumping up these wretched resort and parking fees.

    A little tangential but, on a recent trip to Vegas, I was playing Pai gow at, I believe Bellagio. My gambling friends and I are scattered across the country and Vegas is a fun and convenient rally point.

    The conversation turned to resort fees, parking fees, and -more importantly- the robo bartenders serving only well drinks at the tables. we asked the pit boss when he thought the casinos would just start charging us for drinks. He thought within 5 years.

    I then told him why we go to Vegas and asked, “if all of the old school comps get phased out, what’s stopping me and my friends from gathering in another city like New Orleans, where we can still gamble and have great food and shows and everything else?”

    He replied, “I don’t care. I’m watching you play. I might make $400-500 bucks off you. Maybe. I’m sure you got a free room. Maybe we gave you a resort credit. You aren’t making us money.”

    It’s probably true but certainly a little off putting especially since I go to Vegas 3-4x a year and each trip is different. One time it’s gambling focused. If I go with my wife, it’s food and shows. If I take my daughter it’s food, shows, and the pool. If those non-gambling/non-poker amenities go away, I might as well pay for a plane ticket to anywhere else.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    That certainly sounds like the positive, customer-friendly response we've come to expect from staff at the Bellagio.
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  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,354 ✭✭✭✭
    Poker is not so profitable to casino. There are studies discussing the benefits of poker tables on other casino revenues (tables, slots, restaurants, shows), yet the poker itself doesn't provide a huge income for casino (compares to almost any alternative).
    When I compare poker in Europe (BXL, Prague, Budapest, Baden, Montreux, Dublin, Riga once, Malta once) and in US (most of casinos in LV and Harrah's in NOLA), US are giving up a ton of their more margin.
    In USA:
    • Rake is very low
    • Alcoholic beverages are free at the table
    • Soft drinks are free at the table
    • You receive comps for food / goodies
    • With a credit card bounded with the venue, you get even more comps (free/discounted room, VIP lounge, etc.)

    In Europe:
    • Rake is moderate to rather high. I'd say expect smth like a ~5-10% capped at 5bb. Yet rake differs strongly between countries/venues and could get up to 10% uncapped (!!).
    • but tips aren't needed or sometimes is not even expected tho.
    • Alcoholic beverages are never free. (And they are at best the same price as in a restaurant.)
    • Some places (few of those I visited) offer free soft drinks. If so, it will be a self service with big bottles of coke/similar from local supermarket and a coffee machine.
    • Almost no casino provide comps. If so it will be a general loyalty card for a whole big brand (like Barrière), and the bonus per $/€ is much lower as in USA.

    Now a big difference too is that in USA casino is almost always linked with a whole venue including hotel, many restaurants, sometimes theater, other activities, etc. In Europe, it's usually only casino + (most of times) one of few restaurants + (rarely) hotel. Meaning casinos need to make money of their games.
    Also the casinos are much MUCH bigger (square meter) in USA that in Europe. Meaning you don't have much room of maneuver to sacrifice profitable tables/slots machines for meh poker table or create synergies with other revenues alternatives.

    Bottom line
    In Europa, casino are small(in comparison with US) and make their revenues mostly of their playing room. Rooms are small and need to maximize any square meter. There is little to no room for synergies with other revenues opportunities (shows etc.). Conclusion: Not all casino provide poker, and it will be limited to few tables; rake will be moderate-high and comps non-existent.

    Venues in USA are numerous, big, and with many revenues alternative. Having a poker room can boost other revenues (= synergies).
    Yet if financial advisor start to analyze the revenues of poker alone - trying to maximize the revenue per square meter in any place of the casino instead of having the big picture - , then they may see that they are at best making little money (compare to other alternative) and take the European road: either stop providing poker in favor for "critical activities" or increasing their margin either by increasing taxes (rake, drop) or decreasing the bonuses (jackpot, comps).
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Maybe someone in the casino industry can explain the following to me. We often hear that per square foot of casino floor, slots make a lot more money than poker. Makes complete sense. However, does it follow that if one took all the tables out of a poker room and replaced them with slots, that the income to the casino due to slots would automatically rise?

    To put it another way, I've never seen people on a wait list to play slots.
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  • SicSemperSicSemper Red Chipper Posts: 112 ✭✭
    @TheGameKat Not exactly answering that question, but the dealer who first told me about the March bump up at the V also mentioned that the big rooms were under increasing pressure to kick up a bigger slice of the revenue pie to the casinos, and that he'd expect even a couple of the larger cardrooms to shutter in the next few years. I mean, grain of salt an all. I have no idea if this particular dealer was in tight with poker room management and got the skinny, or if he was just talking out his ass. But we've definitely seen poker room expansion and contraction over the years with casinos that can't make up their mind about the game, so I guess it wouldn't be shocking. (Mohegan Sun, anyone?)

    Definitely not any kind of casino expert, but I do wonder if there's a saturation point with slots where each additional machine is diminishing returns. Tough it doesn't have to be slots. To stick with the Venetian example, they've twice cut down the size of the cardroom in the last 5-6 years, and I'd ballpark about a third of what used to be poker room space is now dedicated to stadium versions of table games (low-limit blackjack, baccarat, etc. where there's one dealer for a whole grip of people playing on digital terminals).

    But there's definitely some value for casinos in these more niche gambling products. Statewide racebook revenue last year was $38M. Not at all the biggest winner for the casinos, and dwarfed by sports betting revenue, but it's 38 milly they wouldn't get without offering the product. It's not like horseplayers are going to just spend their gambling dollar on slots if the racebook ain't there. They're horseplayers. They'll complain to anyone in earshot about the gross injustice of it all, then grudgingly take it to TwinSpires or BetFair or whoever if they can't get to the track. But they're not coming back to the casino.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Since moving here ten years ago, I've that there are too many poker rooms on the Strip, so I'm personally fine with some continued shrinkage. Having a large number of small poker rooms has multiple problems, including the fact it dilutes the already thin pool of genuinely good poker room floor, and the difficulty it tends to create in getting games started. It's also a contributing reason IMO why low-limit PLO never gets off the ground outside of WSOP time.
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  • BigFudgeBigFudge Red Chipper Posts: 35 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Maybe someone in the casino industry can explain the following to me. We often hear that per square foot of casino floor, slots make a lot more money than poker. Makes complete sense. However, does it follow that if one took all the tables out of a poker room and replaced them with slots, that the income to the casino due to slots would automatically rise?

    To put it another way, I've never seen people on a wait list to play slots.

    Not so much these days as slots have definitely been declining over the last 10 years or so. More than likely they put something else there....or put slots there and take slots out of an area that’s a better location for whatever they want to replace it with. Maybe there is nothing better so they just keep it, but my thinking is if they really are testing a $9 drop (even as a promo drop) more than likely they have something in mind that they think will make them that kind of equivalent profit, and want to see if they should pull the trigger or not. Or it could be something as simple /stupid as “Hey let’s see what they will pay!”. At any rate, in the second case an empty room is best if you want to keep the room, in the first case an empty room could bring about changes.
  • Benjammin Benjammin Red Chipper Posts: 28 ✭✭
    At what point would the rake unbeatable in a typical Vegas 1/3nl game?
  • Chris_VChris_V BoiseRed Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    edited February 22
    It doesn't help that since I started playing in the 90's inflation has doubled the price of everything but my wages have stayed about the same. People can't afford to play much higher stakes than they played 20+ years ago.

    I mean, if 5/10 NLHE was the smallest limit in the house a $9 rake wouldn't seem so bad.
  • BigFudgeBigFudge Red Chipper Posts: 35 ✭✭
    Here in grand ole LA poker we have a 1-2 40 cap buy in with a 7 dollar drop. Now THAT is unbeatable. A deeper 1-3 game? I’d say it’s still beatable with a $9 drop of there are enough suckers in it to give you a decent edge...although can’t say for sure
  • sfx_beigssfx_beigs Red Chipper Posts: 72 ✭✭
    BigFudge wrote: »
    Here in grand ole LA poker we have a 1-2 40 cap buy in with a 7 dollar drop. Now THAT is unbeatable. A deeper 1-3 game? I’d say it’s still beatable with a $9 drop of there are enough suckers in it to give you a decent edge...although can’t say for sure

    I sat in that $40 cap game once. I sat there for one hand and left. It’s hard for me to say if the $100 (2-3blinds) or $200(3-5blinds) are beatable. If you think about it, the house is busting a player every hour. But these people bring many many many buy ins so there never seems to be a shortage of money. You just have to win it $100 at a time instead of stacking someone for $500.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    At what point would the rake unbeatable in a typical Vegas 1/3nl game?

    I think the way to look at it is that as the rake increases a decreasing fraction of tables become beatable.
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  • BigFudgeBigFudge Red Chipper Posts: 35 ✭✭
    edited February 23
    sfx_beigs wrote: »
    BigFudge wrote: »
    Here in grand ole LA poker we have a 1-2 40 cap buy in with a 7 dollar drop. Now THAT is unbeatable. A deeper 1-3 game? I’d say it’s still beatable with a $9 drop of there are enough suckers in it to give you a decent edge...although can’t say for sure

    I sat in that $40 cap game once. I sat there for one hand and left. It’s hard for me to say if the $100 (2-3blinds) or $200(3-5blinds) are beatable. If you think about it, the house is busting a player every hour. But these people bring many many many buy ins so there never seems to be a shortage of money. You just have to win it $100 at a time instead of stacking someone for $500.

    And also, while many of these games don’t start out deep they can get deep. When they do you are often playing against unskilled players who got deep because they are lucky, and even the skilled players in this game are usually just skilled at short stack and can’t or don’t know how to switch to a deep stack strategy. To me that’s a huge edge if you are a player that can play both deep and short stack poker. Still that edge will only take you so far.

    My feeling (no data here) is that if you are skilled at both short and deep stack, and can manage to mostly play in a deep stack version of these games (I.e you don’t have to wait for the table to get deep you can table select and/or tip your way into these games after the fact) the 200 game you are talking about is somewhat profitable, the 100 game is about break even and below that even the best in the world would probably lose some money long term. Sadly we will never know because even at equivalent limits and drop the best in the world would never sit in such a shitty structure. Can you imagine a 10k min and max buy in cash game with a $1500 drop???
    😂

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