Largest automated poker room opens

Phil Laak
Phil Laak tries out the PokerTek heads-up table at the 2007 WSOP

It's only 19 tables.

But a hint of poker's future may now be sitting at the Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Michigan, with the opening of the world's largest automated poker room last week.

"Four Winds is committed to delivering the best gaming and entertainment experience possible and PokerPro is part of that commitment," said Matt Harkness, Four Winds Casino Resort General Manager. "We are proud to open this state-of-the-art, all-PokerPro poker room."

"We're going to offer the best action in the region," Harkness added. "And playing on PokerPro gives players more action with fewer hassles and distractions."

The room features 15 PokerPro 10-seat tables and four heads-up tables, with all exclusively provided by North Carolina-based software provider PokerTek.

Game-wise, Harkness says, the automated room will offer Limit and No-Limit Texas Hold'em cash games, Limit and Pot-Limit Omaha Hi and Hi-Lo cash games, and single and multi-table tournaments with a variety of buy-ins.

Players will also be able to win seats into major events and compete in heads-up tournaments on one of the four PokerPro heads-up tables.

Ultimately the advantages of a fully-automated poker room, PokerTek says, are two-fold:

For one, dealer error is pretty much eliminated and total accuracy is ensured. PokerPro tables let players use individual touch-screens to view their cards, call, raise or fold, while seeing the pot, community cards and players chip stacks on a large center display.

The other notable advantage is speed, with a supposed 50% increase in hands dealt every hour compared to a manual poker table.

"The Pokagon Band (owner of the Four Winds) has been an ideal partner for PokerTek's largest installation to date," said Lou White, PokerTek's Chief Executive Officer. "Their commitment to electronic poker is phenomenal, as evidenced by the size and quality of their new poker room."

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