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Old 06-19-2018, 03:46 AM   #1
Chicagodude
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What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

At my casino they give out 2 meal buttons per table. It seems like some of the guys would rather collect player points than win $ playing poker. They'll spend 59 minutes on "meals." One of them comes back after a meal, waits 20 minutes and asks for a meal button again. LOL. Isn't it in the best interest of casinos to terminate all of this? Wouldn't it just be better to get rid of these tokens and force people to play? Am I missing something?

Additionally, they also just started a "play over" feature whereby you can sit in the gone player's seat until they get back. I think it's a masterful idea. Have you heard of it? They rack the guy's chips and keep the game lively.

Also, have you noticed all the degens that play poker, get up from the table and then spew $ on slot machines? I walk by them on the way to the bathroom and think, aren't you supposed to be playing poker? What the hell is wrong with these guys?

Is all of this just standard in other casinos or am i in a special 0 productivity zone?
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Old 06-19-2018, 05:18 AM   #2
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

I don't personally care about walkers because I'd rather play 6 handed than 10. It's unfair to other players on the wait list though.

Slots & pits attract degenerates, so does poker. A degenerate is not there to 'play poker', a degenerate goes to the casino to gamble. Again, don't care. In fact I do care, I need these guys...if everyone approached this game like a job, I'd be screwed.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:44 AM   #3
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

I just would like it for everyone to follow the rules, and the guys who take their hour long meals and then get another meal button are nits, not degens
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:55 AM   #4
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

You list some annoying facts the casino could probably improve on, but also a couple things that show a lack of fundamental understanding about the environment you play in.

For starters, for >90% of players it’s (significantly) more profitable to collect players points without actually playing poker or paying blinds.
A ‘degen’ is called that way, because he’s a degenerate gambler. So you shouldn’t be surprised to see a person like that play slots. Besides that, there’s a decent chance those persons lose less money playing slots than playing poker.

Meal buttons, or the general option to sit out for a specific maximum amount of time (or downs) are there to keep players in the game. Otherwise, if they have to rack up and leave the game if they want to grab a quick eat or go for an extended smoking break, there’s a good chance they won’t return to the poker room after they are done.
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:33 AM   #5
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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Originally Posted by Chicagodude View Post
At my casino they give out 2 meal buttons per table. It seems like some of the guys would rather collect player points than win $ playing poker. They'll spend 59 minutes on "meals." One of them comes back after a meal, waits 20 minutes and asks for a meal button again. LOL. Isn't it in the best interest of casinos to terminate all of this? Wouldn't it just be better to get rid of these tokens and force people to play? Am I missing something?

Additionally, they also just started a "play over" feature whereby you can sit in the gone player's seat until they get back. I think it's a masterful idea. Have you heard of it? They rack the guy's chips and keep the game lively.

Also, have you noticed all the degens that play poker, get up from the table and then spew $ on slot machines? I walk by them on the way to the bathroom and think, aren't you supposed to be playing poker? What the hell is wrong with these guys?

Is all of this just standard in other casinos or am i in a special 0 productivity zone?
A difference where I play is that a dinner marker is requested from the floor, who can watch for "misuse" better than a string of dealers. Perhaps I'm lucky in that while there is the occasional person who likes to take long breaks from the games, there aren't many of them. Since they get picked up when missing two big blinds, they aren't usually gone for too long, and another player is put in when they are.

We have always had the ability to "play over" a dinner marker, but it doesn't happen as much as it did 10-20 years ago.

This is in Edmonton, Canada, btw; I don't know how it goes elsewhere.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:05 AM   #6
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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A ‘degen’ is called that way, because he’s a degenerate gambler. So you shouldn’t be surprised to see a person like that play slots. Besides that, there’s a decent chance those persons lose less money playing slots than playing poker.

Meal buttons, or the general option to sit out for a specific maximum amount of time (or downs) are there to keep players in the game. Otherwise, if they have to rack up and leave the game if they want to grab a quick eat or go for an extended smoking break, there’s a good chance they won’t return to the poker room after they are done.
a very good point, i wish they'd get rid of the meals but you're right i don't want fewer people
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:55 AM   #7
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

Offering the option to 'play over' is already way more than most other card rooms do to keep the table full.

But I agree with you 100% that they should start cracking down on players who abuse the absent button system by playing a couple hands, then taking an hour off, play a couple more hands and go on break again. Unfortunately, I think most card rooms don't want to do anything about it because it's mostly regulars who do it and they don't want to keep them happy.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:41 AM   #8
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

A request for a meal button should absolutely be handled by the floor as opposed to the dealer. That's how it's done in my room. And then you can't get a 2nd meal button for 6 hours. Play-overs are a great way to help keep a game full. But they need to be consistent with it and even make certain rules for it.

As for 2 meal buttons and then 2-3 walkers? Not much you can do about it, especially if there isn't a wait list. We limit your "walking" to a max of 15 minutes or you get picked up. Habitual walkers can get more stringent rules.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:26 AM   #9
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

The room should care about keeping the games as full as possible and the players happy to stay playing at the tables. I assume most places do, and I assume a few likely don't bother to address this at all.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:26 PM   #10
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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The room should care about keeping the games as full as possible
The room wants the tables to be as short as possible. If there are 18 people in the room, they'd rather rake 9 HUHU matches than 2 FR tables. The floor for most small stakes tables is 6-7, any shorter than that and people will want to break.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:56 PM   #11
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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For starters, for >90% of players it’s (significantly) more profitable to collect players points without actually playing poker or paying blinds.
I'm assuming the tables have Bravo installed and that's how time and points are tracked. Aren't dealers putting walkers in lobby mode on their Bravo, which suspends points tally? What am I missing here?

On a side note, a coworker told me a story about a poker supervisor in a room where he used to work who would enter his girlfriend's player card number on empty seats in the room and she would rack up points around the clock for free meals, shopping, etc. And, yeah, he was fired.
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Old 06-19-2018, 01:21 PM   #12
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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I'm assuming the tables have Bravo installed and that's how time and points are tracked. Aren't dealers putting walkers in lobby mode on their Bravo, which suspends points tally? What am I missing here?
You're missing that OP said that these players collect points. If that's the case or not is a totally different issue, I just replied to his statement.
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:54 PM   #13
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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The room wants the tables to be as short as possible. If there are 18 people in the room, they'd rather rake 9 HUHU matches than 2 FR tables. The floor for most small stakes tables is 6-7, any shorter than that and people will want to break.
Yeah we never have any feeder tables at all. it seems like when its 2 full tables they'll start a third even when the first 2 tables start losing players, the more tables the bigger the take...sadly
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Old 06-19-2018, 03:09 PM   #14
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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Originally Posted by bolt2112 View Post
I'm assuming the tables have Bravo installed and that's how time and points are tracked. Aren't dealers putting walkers in lobby mode on their Bravo, which suspends points tally? What am I missing here?

On a side note, a coworker told me a story about a poker supervisor in a room where he used to work who would enter his girlfriend's player card number on empty seats in the room and she would rack up points around the clock for free meals, shopping, etc. And, yeah, he was fired.
at the horseshoe in hammond they do that, at the majestic star they don't because they run on poker atlas
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:24 PM   #15
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

I had the impression that playing over was a thing done "in the old days" but not done anymore, as I've read about it but never heard of any rooms that still did that. Is it pretty rare today, or are there still plenty of rooms that do that?
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:34 PM   #16
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

Both Horseshoe Hammond and Majestic Star do it. Frankly, I think it's a great idea.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:15 PM   #17
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

borgata lets you play over in the high limit area


poker rooms need to use more discretion and just ban people exploiting things done as a courtesy like meal buttons.
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:50 PM   #18
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

Recommend to management that they save money by not giving hourly comps to players while they are walking from the game. As mentioned by someone else, most rooms do this already.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:15 AM   #19
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
The room wants the tables to be as short as possible. If there are 18 people in the room, they'd rather rake 9 HUHU matches than 2 FR tables. The floor for most small stakes tables is 6-7, any shorter than that and people will want to break.
OK , yeah , I see that, but empty seats for folks at meals, "walkers" or other players holding down a seat while they play roulette, doesn't add to the house rake either. Or maybe it does not make that much difference. IDK , seems like filled seats playing would be preferable to held seats not being played.
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:43 PM   #20
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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Recommend to management that they save money by not giving hourly comps to players while they are walking from the game. As mentioned by someone else, most rooms do this already.
Recommend that they not give hourly comps period.

Why would you want to encourage people to occupy seats? Fundamentally, that's why people occupy seats and then try to play as little as possible.

Instead, reward people who play. Hand out tokens for generating action, and those tokens can be redeemed for stuff.

One token for defending for being the only caller of a preflop raise! Two tokens for taking down a pot over 50 bb without showdown! Three tokens for the last aggressor every time someone scores a goooooooal / touchdown / home run!
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:52 PM   #21
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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Instead, reward people who play. Hand out tokens for generating action, and those tokens can be redeemed for stuff.

One token for defending for being the only caller of a preflop raise! Two tokens for taking down a pot over 50 bb without showdown! Three tokens for the last aggressor every time someone scores a goooooooal / touchdown / home run!
Dude that would actually work with the action players! They'd love that.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:45 PM   #22
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

Sounds interesting but the nits would probably hate that. They would want tokens for aces cracked, and tokens for the times they have KK and an ace comes on the flop, tokens for bad beats, etc. OTOH maybe it’s a good thing if the nits don’t like it.

As for the walkers, one thing that annoys me about them is they cause tables to break.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:08 PM   #23
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

One meal ticket for anyone who takes down a pot with 7-2.


In the old days they had "play over" boxes. Clear plexiglas box put over the chips while the player is on an hour dinner break.

I've also seen a towel draped over the chips so a player can sit in for an hour.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:25 AM   #24
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

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One meal ticket for anyone who takes down a pot with 7-2.


In the old days they had "play over" boxes. Clear plexiglas box put over the chips while the player is on an hour dinner break.

I've also seen a towel draped over the chips so a player can sit in for an hour.
They're still being used today the plexiglass boxes. I think it's a great idea.

Yes, and they also cause tables to break. It happened to me on Sunday. They started a new table and our table fled to join it.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:05 AM   #25
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Re: What's Up with the Meal Button and Walkers?

In games with a relatively high rake % but low-ish rake cap, like 10% capped at $4 in a 1/2 game, the card room actually likes to have plenty of nits in the game.

Rake cap is going to be reached with a preflop raise and one postflop bet, so it’s better for the casino to get over with the hand in 2 minutes than have 4 action players building a $500+ pot on the river and making the hand take over 5 minutes.

The card room wants to maximize rake/hour and that’s not happening with lots of big pots unless the rake cap is relatively high.
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