- The Bellagio poker room reopened after receiving an approval to host six-handed games with its plexiglass dividers.
- The dividers gave the poker room an advantage over other Las Vegas rooms.
- With the dividers, players at the Bellagio poker room can wear masks at will, which is not the case for other poker rooms.
- Various poker rooms have reacted to the development differently, with one choosing to match Bellagio’s plexiglass.
The Bellagio poker room raised the ante on Thursday when it started hosting six-handed games, thanks to an approval to do so.
The Bellagio installed plexiglass dividers between players, giving the poker room an advantage over its competitors in Las Vegas. The other poker rooms can only host five-handed games according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s guidelines.
With the dividers, it is optional for players to wear masks as opposed to other rooms where wearing them is a must.
Usually, casino poker games require nine to ten players per table.
Different poker rooms have responded with varied courses of action. While one is sticking to five-handed games, another is installing its dividers to permit six-handed games. Yet, another room is hoping to get approval for six-handed games without the dividers.
Poker rooms were full of action throughout the weekend, regardless of the number of players participating at the tables.
Mike Williams, the Bellagio director of poker operations, said the company was very happy to open. He liked the positive response they had.
Open 24/7, the room was running more than 15 games at a time all Saturday. Sometimes, it was running at least 20.
Unfortunately, Bellagio poker room’s high-stakes area, Bobby’s Room, was empty on that day. Williams hoped to see the return of the big games because the room was ready.
The Orleans also wants to have plexiglass that resembles Bellagio’s. Garrett Okahara, the poker room manager, said they had already ordered the dividers and are set to install them by the end of the week.
After reopening on June 4, the Orleans ran at least 20 games from Saturday afternoon till evening. The room opens daily from 8 am to 4 am.
Okahara said he expected unusually high demand on the reopening. However, the demand has exceeded his expectations. He feels six players will make it better.
Caesars Palace will stick to five-handed games. Ryan Bishop, the executive in charge of the room, said there was no need for installing the dividers. He added that they were getting good business without them and the players were happy.
Open from 10 am through 2 am Thursday to Sunday, Caesars was hosting 10-15 games throughout Saturday. The room reopened on Thursday.
The South Point hopes to get approval to host six-handed games without the dividers. Jason Sanborn, the poker room manager, said the casino had requested for six-handed, noting that the new mask requirement, which was not a must before, means plexiglass won’t be needful.
He said the Gaming Control Board’s new guidelines mean that masks are equal to plexiglass. So, he feels going six without them is okay.
Open 24/7, the South Point was having at least 15 games for most of Saturday.