For the past 20 years, Gary Hager has spent most of his life in poker rooms around the world.
a professional player, dealer, poker room manager, from Las Vegas to Macau. The 38-year-old from Chicago has done the job. So it would be safe to say that Hager is well aware of the key ingredients for running a poker room successfully, and what the players sitting in the room are looking for.
“At the end of the day, both the players and the businesses want the same thing,” Hager said, “and everyone wants all the tables, fair rules, competent dealers, comfortable stadiums.”
He added, “Most of all, poker players will sit on wooden stumps and play at folding tables if the action is good.” 슬롯머신
Luckily, for Hager, the poker director of the newly opened Angkor Boston Harbor, and poker lovers across New England, there’s a lot more than a yard stand and squeaky wooden seats for poker players at the swanky mega-resort that won rave reviews last week.
In fact, after dedicating more than 23,000 square feet of valuable space overlooking the casino floor, Angkor Boston Harbor fully expects its state-of-the-art poker room to eventually become one of the busiest places in the country.
After three and a half years of working as a poker room manager in Wynn Macau and hearing grand plans for a new $2.6 billion resort, Hager seized the opportunity to return to the U.S. knowing that Encore Boston Harbor’s rooms would reflect the quality of Wynn Resort buildings in Macau and Las Vegas.
Hager, who worked as a poker pro from 1999 to 2006, became a dealer in Las Vegas, Venice, and was inaugurated as tournament director in 2011 at the famous poker room in Winn Las Vegas, said, “I always joke that someone must have made a mistake and given me this sweet spot in the poker room.”
“Room is great. We are lucky to work for a company that provides players with the resources they need, leaving behind everything they need to provide a world-class experience. Where other companies can cut costs, we spend more to provide better products.”
According to Casino City data, 88 poker tables, including 16 table tournament rooms at Angkor Boston Harbor, are the fifth-most casinos in the world, behind only Commerce Casino (200 tables), Hawaiian Garden Casino (145) and The Bike Hotel and Casino (135), and Foxwood Resort Casino (94) in Connecticut. Every seat at every table has a private USB charger, and the room has 285 dealerships, of which about 200 have moved in from out of state. There are 35 65-inch televisions, and pre-registration can be handled at PokerAtlas.com . In addition, there are a dedicated poker grill and bathroom for poker players only, and 460 safety safes will soon be provided to poker players.
There are also more subtle items such as thick glass custom dealer buttons, unique “all-in” placards, high-quality chips and shuffle machines on each table.
“Those kinds of things aren’t cheap, and players take notice,” added Hager, who moved to Boston 13 months ago and spent the past year preparing for the Grand Open. “They make a big difference.”
Hager said his first week of action in the poker room was lively. There were expected opening bugs, of course, but from a poker point of view, Hager said, “It feels like we’re playing for months on end.”
“It’s only been a week, but every day is significantly better than the day before,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier with my staff. Our veteran dealers are doing a really good job coaching rookie dealers. They’re helping them by taking them by the side during breaks or their own time. We’re not perfect yet, but we’ll get there.”