Recently I was invited, along with many others to the Coushatta Casino in Louisiana. This wonderful Indian tribe decided to put their casino on the map. How’d they do that? Well they planned to invest a few $$ in marketing a major poker event and they weren’t concerned if they lost a few bucks. How much did they lose? Well into 6 figures!! So this begged another question. Is it just because they don’t know any better or is it because they DO know better than most how to make a little known casino the talk of the poker world. Here was the deal. It was a $3000.00 buy in with a 1 Million Dollar guarantee. Scheduling this event during the Bellagio 5 Diamond event was a gamble, but because the WSOP circuit event in New Orleans was just ending and the buy-in was lower than many of the 5 Diamonds, they decided to go ahead with the event. There was more to entice the true players of the game too. The structure and starting chips were outstanding. $20,000T chips to start, 90 minute rounds and all the play in the world. I thought I gave generous structures, but nothing compared to this.
Here’s an example: 200-400 250-500 300-600 400-800 500-1000 600-1200 700-1400 I repeat 700-1400; I mean I never even heard of this level!!! And all in 90 minute levels. Tom, I’m nominating you for Tournament Director of the year!! The organizers soon discovered that they weren’t going to cover the million so they invited pros from Vegas and paid for everything. Kido Pham hosted the invited players and the casino hosted everything else. How detailed, well the Vietnamese players were served Pho!! Further they decided that it was better to have players seated rather than have a small field, so they ran 2 for1 $325.00 satellites. That’s not a misprint. If they ran 50 satellites they gave away an extra 50 seats.
So was it worth it? To those of us that came a free-roll with an overlay the answer is obvious, but was it worth it to Coushatta? I can’t tell you what the final loss figures were, but I can certainly tell you the gains. Monetarily the pit was filled with poker players, the win or loss there is irrelevant. The poker room was full and the action was incredible. Limit, No Limit and yes Pot Limit. There was even a ½ & ½ game. More, the games were as juicy as Tunica. The food, well ok it was fried, but fried deliciously and the service was southern hospitality So what did I learn about Coushatta, the people and Louisiana? First off when you get there ask for Randell, he might be the best host in any casino. Then see just how happy the people are.
These are down to earth working people that are either into lumber, oil, rice, nurseries or crawfish. The weather was great, warm even when it rained. And oh yes some are in the casino business, and sometimes they lose money during a promotion. What they did though was show a large number of people just how serious they are about getting you to know Coushatta. Every one of us talked about how nice we were treated and how we’d all be looking forward to coming back. Hey it even got me fired up enough to write this article. Randall, Kido, Coushatta keep me on your mailing list!!! Warren Karp