Most players who have travelled around to a variety of live games will have seen quite a contrast of different surroundings, all filled with the different components that make a live poker room either very good, or sometimes truly awful. Within this article, we shall take a look at all of those components and their importance in keeping players happy at the tables.
1. Great Dealers and Floor Staff
Dealers should be near flawless in the way in which they distribute the cards. Misdeals not only cause potential anguish when a player has a strong hand and the whole hand must be replayed, but they also slow the action and lower the number of hands played per hour. Disputes don't often occur at the poker table, but when they do arise, you need floor staff with a deep knowledge of the rules, and plenty of experience at fairly ruling on situations.
2. Collusion and Cheating
This links in to the issue above, as rules should be enforced by floor staff whenever collusive behaviour takes place. This isn't always easy to spot, but dishonesty should be dealt with very firmly when it is identified. Outright cheating is very serious, and exclusion from a game should quickly follow, along with criminal charges, ideally.
3. Good Chips, and Cards
It may sound strange, but when talking about good chips, we aren't only talking about the quality of the chips, but also their cleanliness. In the course of a tournament, chips can be handled by hundreds of people, which means that germs can spread very easily. Keeping chips clean, and having decks of cards which are of excellent quality and replaced as soon as they become slightly bent or marked, is imperitive.
4. Low Rake
This one is quite self explanatory. Rake is a necessary cost of any poker game outside of the home, and it can vary depending on the establishment. In the perfect live poker room, the rake wil be very low.
5. Food and Drink
Food can vary greatly between live poker venues, and in the perfect game, the choice of food is enormous, carefully prepared by a skilled chef, and brought to your table. Also, preferably, it is free, and is accompanied by any drink we choose. That may be a lot to ask of course, but if we're naming our dream poker room, we may as well push the boat out a bit.
Beeing able to eat well can be important for playing long sessions
6. Game Variety
For some people, this won't be a major issue most of the time. If you seek small to mid stakes Holdem cash games, you'll find those in almost any room. For those who want something a little different, whether it's in terms of the stakes, or the game being played, options are often limited. In our dream poker room, there are tables for every game, at every stake, and all of them are at least half full of players. There are also MTT's for every game imaginable, with big guaranteed prizes, and a multitude of blind structures.
7. Great Atmosphere
The enjoyment you gain from playing in a poker game will vary greatly depending on the players who are sat around you. Of course we want them all to be bad players, but we also want them to be friendly. Colourful characters can of course help to keep a game together longer, and help to create a positive atmosphere at the table.
To elaborate on the point mentioned above, everyone wants to have an edge over their table. The more weaker players there are, and the more limited their abilities, the easier it will be to make money. In our dream game, opponents would not only be terrible players, but they would be timid, and never bluff for any reason at all.
9. Great Venue
The greatness of a venue can often be very dependant on which player you ask, so it is difficult to pin down particular aspects. Certainly a good room temperature, and a well lit playing area, coupled with plenty of leg room, and toilets which don't involve a 2 mile walk, are all positives. When it comes to interior design, and whether you'd like to be able to smoke at the table, it all comes down to personal taste.
Playing in a great venue is always a great experience (Photo ClubPoker)
10. Technology and it's Benefits
If you want your dealer to be lightning fast at dealing cards and to help the action flow as much as possible, automatic card shufflers are an excellent addition to a dream poker room. Also, to expand on the idea of keeping cheaters away, cameras in the sky with teams of experts examining the action closely, and identifying suspicious behaviour, is certainly a bonus.
Article by Craig B.