This week is the grand opening of the new Thunder Valley Poker Room. What an event it was. The team here, led by Ben Erwin, has a little different philosophy on now casinos and poker players should interact. They view it more as a team effort between the player and staff to build a place where people come to have fun. Let me tell you about opening events.
They kicked off the festivities with a poker celebrity bounty tournament. I was fortunate enough to be one of the bounties.
If you signed up for the bounty event in advance, which was a $560 buy-in NL tournament, you could attend many events on Tuesday. Thunder Valley hosted a golf tournament, and added prizes.
They hosted a dinner and cocktail party, a book signing with Mike Sexton and added many of the bounties to the prize pool.
They had a ribbon cutting ceremony to start the bounty event that included a champagne toast and some food for the players.
After the bounty tournament on Wednesday, they are hosting a WPT Deep Stacks event over the weekend with a 500K guarantee.
Personally, I love it when a casino is willing to do things that allow players to have fun. Giving away some stuff, allowing the patrons to fell involved in the process, basically working together to build an environment that feels more like a family than a business.
Hats off to a very well-run event and poker room. I wish more casinos could take this kind of approach, poker would boom again and that would be great for everyone.