Station Casinos has now paid out pieces of a once-disputed $124,252 bad beat jackpot hit at Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in July of last year. Plus, it made sure nothing like this will ever happen again by putting its bad beat jackpot promotion on ice.
Last week, Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper the players involved have been paid out in accordance with a February Nevada Gaming Control Board ruling in their favor:
“The player-funded bad-beat jackpot had always been ready for payment pending the (Gaming Control Board) 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.”
Station Casinos cancels bad beat promotion
Nelson also confirmed Station Casinos discontinued the Jumbo Hold ‘Em Poker Progressive Jackpot promotion. She also claimed it is now running other promotions “equally and in some cases richer,” than the bad beat.
Issues surrounding Stations’ bad beat jackpot began when when Len Schreter‘s straight flush beat Avi Shamir‘s lower straight flush at Red Rock on July 7, 2017.
The hand normally would have triggered the jackpot, earning Shamir $62,126 for taking the beat and Schreter half that for dishing it out. Plus, Station Casinos’ pays out a percentage of its Jumbo Hold ‘Em Poker Progressive Jackpot to players in all five of its Las Vegas-area poker rooms when a qualifying hand is hit. Therefore, the 78 people playing at Station Casinos poker room at the time should have been in line for a $565 payout.
However, Schreter exposed his hole cards after the final community card, but before the hand’s final betting round. As a result, Red Rock invalidated the hand and refused to pay out the jackpot.
Red Rock executives concluded exposing cards is the same thing as entering a discussion of the hand. Bad beat jackpot rules clearly state discussion of a hand during play may invalidate the jackpot.
The players claimed Schreter’s actions happened so late, they had no impact on the outcome of the hand. However, Red Rock still refused to pay and players asked the Gaming Control Board to review.
Gaming board backs players
Board investigator Bill Olliges was call in, and after an investigation, he ruled in the players’ favor. Olliges said Schreter was certainly guilty of bad poker etiquette. However, his actions did not change the outcome of the hand.
In response, Station Casinos asked the board to hold a hearing on the matter.
Gaming Control Board Audit Supervisor Chan Lengsavath presided over the hearing and concluded Stations should pay. However, the case was sent back to the hearing officer in January after board member Terry Johnson said Lengsavath’s report left him with more questions than answers.
Finally, on February 7, the board affirmed Lengsavath’s decision to award payment to the players. Station Casinos had 25 days to appeal the ruling to Clark County District Court. However, Nelson also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the organization decided not to appeal. Instead, it started paying out the proceeds of the jackpot to the players involved.
Station Casinos’ poker room traffic down?
Having to wait more than eight months for their money appears to have left a bad taste in some players’ mouths.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal spoke to one who collected her $565 payout. She then returned to playing in a Station Casinos poker room. However, she soon ran into another dispute over a high-hand promotion. When the room refused to pay, she decided not to play there anymore.
Others involved in the bad beat jackpot controversy told reporters they were going to Station Casino poker rooms less often.
Nelson refused to comment on whether traffic at the rooms was down since the incident. However, Station Casino players told the newspaper numbers have been down slightly, but noticeably, ever since.