Palms Banking On Epic Poker League To Help Increase Revenue
The Palms Casino in Las Vegas has been searching for several years for the perfect compliment to their slot and table games. The economic recession has hit the Palms hard, and like other Las Vegas casinos, the Palms has tried several different ways to bring customers back.
This weekend, the Palms was the host for the inaugural Epic Poker League event. The league was formed by professional players who wanted to ensure that a competitive, structured, option existed for the hundreds of players that have made the game of poker their craft. Annie Duke, a legendary player, is heavily involved with the new league.
For the Palms, the concept of a new poker league at the time when the US was cracking down on Internet poker, was a risky proposition. President George Maloof admitted to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he was taking a bit of a chance by allowing the league to call the Palms home.
If the first weekend of play is any indication, it is likely that the Epic Poker League is here to stay. Almost 250 players entered the inaugural pro/am event, and hundreds of poker enthusiasts filled the casino in an effort to see what all of the hype was about. In all, thousands of customers came through the Palms, which is exactly what the doctor ordered at a time of economic uncertainty in Vegas.
"We set up a bunch of live poker tables outside of the (tournament) room for that purpose," said Maloof. "We're hoping this helps boost casino play."
Poker is going through a transition period in the US, but it has been proven several times that the casinos in Las Vegas can attract large audiences and particpants when they hold the biggest tournaments in the world. The Rio has been home to the World Series of Poker, and the largest poker event in the world has given back in many ways.
Over 6,500 players entered the main event at the WSOP last month. Before that, thousands of players filled the Rio each day as over fifty tournaments were held. Players who were knocked out of the tournaments early spent their extra time filling slot machines with cash. That is exactly what Maloof hopes will happen at the Palms as the Epic Poker League grows in popularity.
The league will hold four events leading into January. Each month, a new event will take place at the Palms, and the casino expects that will bring in increased revenue for at least a couple days a month. The league will serve as a bridge between the economic recession and a new era in Nevada gambling.
State lawmakers earlier this year created a bill regulating online poker. The exposure the game will get at the Palms and through the Epic Poker League should help the state when the casinos go live online. Legislators, however, made a stipulation in the bill that there will be no regulated online gambling in Nevada until the federal laws change.
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