Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Somewhere between Java & pinksheets
Re: La Center, WA/Last Frontier Poker Thread
One of the horribly frustrating rules they have at La Center is they seat players in order from the list. Why is this horribly frustrating? Because the order of the list is set by when you call in. If you walk in, you are on the list behind a bunch of people who haven't even arrived (and may never arrive). And the list is never adjusted for the order in which people actually physically set foot in the place.
So for example, let's say you decide to go to the Last Frontier (the only place to play in La Center worth playing BTW) to play at noon. You are smart, and call in to get on the 15-30 list (typically the biggest game spread except on Mondays/Tuesdays). You leave from Portland, fight through the horrible PDX mid-day traffic and get to La Center around 12:40. You will likely find 5-10 names on the list ahead of you, all with asterisks that symbolize they've called in, but haven't physically checked in. You check in and they remove your asterisk.
You play smaller games for three hours and finally a seat opens in the 15-30. But they don't give it to you. They give it to a player who walked in 5 minutes ago, but who happened to call in before you did.
It's a horrible game management policy that rewards people for calling first, not actually showing up to start games first. And for newcomers who don't know the policy, it's a very unfair and unwelcoming policy. Since good rooms need new players too, that's very bad.
Worse, it can be easily gamed. If you are a reg, the floor will be happy to put your name on the list if you haven't called in. Say you pull an all-nighter, and are a good reg (probably tipping the floor regularly), they'll be happy to put you on the list for the morning game as you leave at 3 am, so that when you stroll in that afternoon you are given the next open seat over anyone else, even someone who called in early in the morning and has been waiting hours playing white chips.
Lastly they favor regs in ways that are bad for the games and also for New Frontier revenues. The red chip games have a huge problems with walkers. It's common for players to leave the game for over an hour and not get picked up, even when there is are people who've made the long drive sitting waiting to play. I've heard the floor say "oh, he's eating Sushi", or "he's next-door" (meaning he's playing a table game at the other building).
Because all their games are raked, a game short due to walkers means that the remaining players are punished, they will play more hands per hour and on average pay more in rake per hour. A couple days ago we had a player walk for 40 minutes, come back, play for a down, then leave for over an hour, came back for an hour, then left again and they didn't pick him up for at least a half hour (despite repeated player complaints). Surprisingly, New Frontier clearly understands the costs this inflict on the players, as dealers are allowed to reduce the rake once the table gets down to 6 handed, or less, but that still doesn't offset all of the increased costs for the remaining players.
This is a big reason why paying time is so superior to rake and why it's the standard at most higher limit games. It doesn't punish players for playing short, or playing more hands, you pay the same amount either way. But it taxes players for walking, because time is still taken out of their stack for locking up the seat. Not sure why the New Frontier doesn't want to switch to time in their red chip games, because it doesn't just make the games better, it would make their games more profitable (no more rake reductions, walkers still pay).
But if they aren't ready to make such a big change as switching to time, they should at least start picking up walkers no later than 30 minutes. The walker isn't that inconvenienced as they are put back on top of the list, and if the New Frontier actively discourages the practice the games will get better and be lower cost for the players, and that should attract more players over time.
Lastly they bend their already loose standards for regs excessively. I've been denied an open seat because a reg was ahead of me on the list, yet he wasn't in the room. When I asked where he was, I was told he would be there soon. He didn't show up for almost a half hour while the game played short and while I would have gladly sat and given action and paid rake. Instead I sit and steamed that I wasted my time driving all that way and am denied an open seat.
It seems like they are afraid to force any changes on their regs, not sure why. If they impose consistent and fair polices the regs will quickly adapt to them (and appreciate them) and the benefit will be more games going faster every day, players getting in games faster, and game costs declining for players, all of which adds up to increased play and revenues over the long run.