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Old 07-04-2011, 08:55 PM   #1
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La Center, WA

Surprised there's not one of those let's-shoot-the-bull-about-this-casino threads for the Frontier already. But now there is! I know you guys are out there.

What say you?
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:26 PM   #2
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Re: La Center, WA/Last Frontier Poker Thread

Nice little room with decent food, great action, and frustratingly perplexing game management policies.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:51 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:35 AM   #4
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Re: La Center, WA/Last Frontier Poker Thread

Originally Posted by DesertCat View Post
Instead I sit and steamed that I wasted my time driving all that way and am denied an open seat.
I feel your pain. The only time I went there I was at the top of the list after a 90 minute drive and a long wait for 15/30. After two hours of waiting they bumped me from the top of the list and he took me seat offering no explanation. Haven't been back since but reconsidering.

I played with an older guy a while back that claimed he floored there, based on how he handled himself none of the other stuff you mentioned surprises me at all.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:52 AM   #5
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Re: La Center, WA/Last Frontier Poker Thread

I remember one time a few years ago I was in a 4-8 game waiting hours for them to start a 10-20. Turned out that 7 of the 9 players in the game were waiting for the 10-20 and willing to start 7 handed. I asked the floor to start the game and he declined because 2 players would be forced to switch to a 3-6 game until seats opened in another 4-8 game.

I pointed out that there is a huge difference between 10-20 (and some of us were waiting for an even bigger game, 10-20 was just the minimum acceptable game we wanted to play) and 4-8, but only a slight difference between 3-6 and 4-8. Then he bluntly told me that those two were regs who came there all the time and liked to play 4-8, not 3-6. I'd never heard a floor decline to start a new game that would make the house more money ever before, or explicitly favor regs in that manner.

I understand it's not an easy balancing act to get the right games started at any room size, but I think the New Frontier has counter-productive rules and polices. And if you are floor you need to make a living, and tips are a big part of it so it's hard not to take care of the people who take care of you. But management certainly could find ways to tweak the rules in ways to make the room run run better and fairer for all without inconveniancing regs.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:09 PM   #6
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Re: La Center, WA/Last Frontier Poker Thread

Just wondering what games are going recently at the Last Frontier (or other rooms in La Center if the bigger games have moved). Also would be interested in knowing if the poor game management policies mentioned have been changed at all.
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