Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuscany acting strangely

I received this flyer in the mail today. It has me puzzled.

It's not too strange for a poker room to close and then later re-open. It happened to the Hilton and the Rampart, for example (though both later closed yet again). I understand that the Tropicana will be opening a new poker room in December, two years after closing the old one.

But what's strange here is the timeline. I can't quickly find anything that tells me the exact date, but the Tuscany poker room closed only about two months ago. With the other examples I can think of (at least the ones that aren't just a temporary closing for remodeling or for moving the room), it was years between the closing and re-opening, enough time that the poker economy could plausibly have changed. It does not appear from this announcement that they have overhauled the room or moved it. (If they had, I would expect language about a "new" room, rather than the old one being "back.")

Nothing could possibly have transpired in the last two months that would make it a good business decision to not have a poker room then but to have one now. What did they accomplish by closing for two months? They gave their few loyal regulars a chance to find new places to play, so that they will have to build their customer base from scratch again.

I am forced to this conclusion: Either it was a bad decision to close the room in the summer, or it's a bad decision to re-open it now.

I have mixed feelings about the place. It's a horrid little room in terms of aesthetics and management and game availability. Their worst sin: Twice when I called asking if they had a no-limit game going, they lied to me and said yes, apparently hoping that either they would have one would be going by the time I got there or I would be part of a list that would start a game soon thereafter. But on the other hand, on the rare occasions that I have found a NLHE game going, the players just hand you their stacks. OK, not quite literally, but the Tuscany remains at the top of my list in terms of average dollars won per session. I'm willing to put up with a lot for the chance to get into that kind of game.

So I'll cross my fingers and hope that the planned resurrection works.


Anonymous said...

It's likely that they had someone with experience come in and convince them to re-open.

The operation of a good poker room is like any small business. The most successful ones have an entrepeneaur who's not afraid of trying new things and strives for the highest customer satisfaction while still maintaining the bottom line.

Oh, and it doesn't hurt to be related to the casino boss either.


Glenn said...

Actually spoke to someone who works there last night. Apparently, once the poker room closed, there was a noticeable drop in the slot revenue. From what I understand the room was originally closed because poker wasn't making enough money, but people were just looking at poker in isolation without considering the other revenue that poker players bring in.