Cancelled Station Casinos Poker Promo A Bad Beat For Everyone

Written By Martin Derbyshire on March 21, 2018
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Station Casinos has canceled its bad beat promotion after finally paying out the $124,252 jackpot it initially refused to at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa poker room back in July.

Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson told a Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter last week players have been paid out in compliance with a Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) ruling in February:

“The player-funded bad-beat jackpot had always been ready for payment pending the (NGCB) decision. The three players who filed a claim were paid in accordance with standard Gaming Control Board procedures. Additionally, we have been distributing jackpot awards to all of the qualified poker players who participated, not just the three who filed a claim.”

The end of a poker era

According to Nelson, Station Casinos has also shelved its Jumbo Hold ‘Em Poker Progressive Jackpot promotion. Instead, they are running what they claim are even more lucrative poker room promotions.

Station Casinos’ Jumbo Hold ‘Em Poker Progressive Jackpot had developed a reputation as one of the best bad beat promotions at Las Vegas casinos. All because it promised to pay players in all five Station Casinos’ Las Vegas-area poker rooms any time a qualifying hand is hit.

However, that reputation took a big hit on July 7, 2017, and the months following, when a qualifying hand was invalidated and Stations refused to pay.

The bad beat appeared to hit when Len Schreter‘s straight flush beat Avi Shamir‘s lower straight flush at Red Rock on that summer 2017 day.

Bad beat invalidated

However, Schreter prematurely exposed his hole cards. He exposed his cards after the final community card. However, he did it before the hand’s final betting round. Red Rock staff took a look and decided to invalidate the hand.

Shamir though he’d won $62,126 for taking the beat. Schreter assumed half of that was his after handing it out. Plus, the 78 other people playing at Station Casinos poker room at the time figured they’d just won $565 each. Instead, Station Casinos refused to pay.

The decision to refuse payment was reportedly based on bad beat jackpot rules that state discussion of a hand during play may invalidate it. Red Rock executives came to the conclusion exposing hole cards is tantamount to the same thing.

The players involved said the premature card exposure had no impact on the outcome of the hand. They ultimately asked the NGCB to review the matter.

NGCB investigator Bill Olliges took a look and ruled in the players’ favor. However, instead of paying, Station Casinos asked the NGCB to hold a hearing.

NGCB Audit Supervisor Chan Lengsavath presided over a hearing in January. He ultimately came to the conclusion Stations should pay up.

The board finally affirmed his decision on Feb. 7.

According to NGCB procedures, Station Casinos did have 25 days to appeal the ruling to Clark County District Court. However, they didn’t use it, making the immediate decision not treo appeal and start paying out the players.

Too little too late?

That decision may have been too little too late for some.

Reporters spoke to one player who returned to a Stations Casino poker room after collecting her $565 payout. In that first session back, she got in a dispute over a high-hand promotion. In the end, she made the decision not to play there anymore.

Other players told reporters they were playing at Station Casino poker rooms less frequently. Still, others noticed the number of players there seems to have dropped slightly.

Nelson said the company would not comment on traffic at the rooms since the incident. However, all indications are Station Casino poker rooms are ultimately the ones taking a bad beat here.

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire is an award-winning journalist, video and film producer with a decade of experience covering the brick and mortar casino, poker and iGaming industries. He has produced content for top media outlets including PokerNews, Bluff Magazine and PokerListings, and has crossed the globe scooping stories and interviewing major players in all corners of the high-stakes gambling world.

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