"Las Vegas Michael," editor of allvegaspoker.com, is an exceptionally knowledgeable and personable guy, but in the past he and I have had very different--even polar opposite--preferences in poker rooms. For example, he used to smoke (quit a few months back) and complained about the trend toward non-smoking rooms, while the level of smoke is one of the main factors that will tend to drive me away from a room. I have a thing for small, quiet rooms (all else being equal--though it never is), while he seemed to like lots of action and people. He avoided rooms where locals were putting in hours toward freeroll tournaments, while I was one of the ones participating. That sort of thing.
So it has been interesting to me that over the last several months our opinions have tended to coincide (with the stand-out exception of the electronic tables at Excalibur), for example, on the new rooms opening at Hard Rock, Binion's, and Eastside Cannery. (By the way, I see on AVP that the Eastside Cannery has already moved its poker room to a new, smaller location, only six months after opening. Not a good sign. See here. I'll not be bringing you an in-person review of the new place, for reasons that you might well imagine....)
Anyway, the latest area on which Michael and I are in complete agreement is the Luxor. He had apparently not been there in a while, but a few days ago posted a formal "editor review" of the room. See here. Michael always tries to find good things to say about a place, and tries to be gentle in his criticisms (at least that's how I read him), but he struggled to come up with any compliments for the Luxor, other than the convenient location of the restrooms. He came down particularly hard on the dealers:
Dealer rating: 2.
The dealing staff at the Luxor is yet another weak link on the Luxor poker
room chain. The staff seems to be a mix of younger dealers with attitudes and
older dealers who don’t care. It is apparent that many of these dealers have
been at the Luxor a long time, and perhaps due to this fact proper dealing
protocol seems to have been softened greatly over the years due to many simply
being “set in their ways”. It is rather common to see dealers complaining
publicly about various management decisions and scheduling in plain view and
hearing range of the patrons. It is also a frequent occurrence to see commonly
accepted procedures and protocols tossed out due to what can only be explained
as sheer laziness: rolling the deck, matching stacks after an all-in win,
watching televisions instead of paying attention to the action, mixing the muck
and the stub immediately after the last card is boarded, etc. These are dealer
idiosyncrasies that are common in dealers that have simply lost the passion for
the game and their jobs.
I have witnessed more rolled eyes, snappy answers, and lack of interest for
conversations from the dealing staff here then from nearly all other properties
combined. When a dealer makes a mistake, and is corrected by a player in the
game, more often than not, the staff responds very negatively and with an
Of course, there are always exceptions. There are a few dealers at the
Luxor that do their job well, welcome new and established players, and maintain
good solid game control. Unfortunately, these good apples are the minority in
This caught my attention, because I have ranted here several times about how the Luxor dealers are working hard to capture the "worst dealers in Vegas" title. See, e.g., here, here, and here.
It's nice to see a confirmatory opinion along these lines, and to know that I'm not just imagining things or blowing them out of proportion. There really is a serious, chronic problem at the Luxor that nobody there seems interested in fixing.
The only reason I put up with all the crap that goes on there is that, as Michael also notes, the competition is definitely on the soft side. It's easy to win there, which in the end trumps other concerns. But I tend to use it as a "hit-and-run" room for a quick buck, because it's just not a pleasant place to linger. It's too bad, because the problems are things that could be remedied rather easily, if there were just a poker room manager who knew how things should be and was given both a mandate to make a good room and the authority to make it happen.