MGM has made the difficult decision to close the poker rooms at three of their properties — Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, and Excalibur. Since March, these rooms have been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and officials promised that they would be “continually re-evaluated.” However, it seems that, by the mere process of evaluation, the officials of MGM found it best to close the poker rooms for good.
The evaluations confirmed that the properties would be able to move forward without poker rooms. The announcement marks a sad day for poker players who enjoyed visiting the three properties to play poker.
However, there’s some good news in all of this. Namely, there’s a six-figure bad beat jackpot that the property decided to distribute to players by offering a series of freerolls.
The Trend of Closures Continues
None of the three poker rooms were particularly big. The smallest of the three had just seven poker tables, while the largest one had 12. However, the fact that they are closing continues the trend that has been happening in Nevada for some time already — the shrinkage in the number of tables offered due to the lack of guests.
In other words, properties in Nevada are adjusting to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic will severely affect the industry, even after the pandemic is declared “over.”
Before the pandemic reached the US, there were a total of 34 rooms in Clark County, with a total of 430 poker tables, as stated by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
However, that shrank to just 21 rooms and 285 poker tables. The state of affairs is similar in the entire state of Nevada, where there are a total of 29 venues offering 338 tables. In February this year, there were a total of 57 venues and 540 poker tables.
Freerolls for Poker Lovers
As previously stated, there are three freeroll events that have the goal of distributing the bad beat jackpot money. The first one is already underway at Mandalay Bay, and by the time you read this article, the outcome may already be known. The total bad beat jackpot prize for this event is $24,002.
The second will begin on November 11 at Mirage, with the jackpot of $69,804. And the last one at the Excalibur is planned for December 1, where you’ll have a chance to play for $27,837.
Even though there will be freerolls, this is overall sad news for many poker players, especially for people who lost their job with poker room closures.
Mirage, in particular, left many players disheartened. Before it was downsized to just 12 tables, it was one of the top poker destinations in Las Vegas, hosting some of the best poker players in the world.
One such player was Daniel Negreanu, who shared some of the photos on his Twitter about his poker beginnings in Mirage.
Needless to say, Las Vegas (and the entire world) lost a poker room that was filled with exciting history and great poker action.