Florida's Palm Beach Kennel Club Poker Room to Reopen w/ Lauded “Game Containment” Protocols
The Palm Beach Kennel Club Poker Room in West Palm Beach, Florida has been closed since March 16. Now, over two months later, they’re slated to reopen on Friday, May 22 with procedures that have elicited praise from many in the poker community.
Starting at 9 a.m., the poker room will spread cash games, while the rest of the property will open up at 11:30 a.m. Upon entering the premises, which will operate at 50 percent capacity, guests will be required to sign a waiver and have their temperature checked.
In addition, they will need to adhere to the following poker room procedures:
- Games will be played with a designated number of players to be determined by management
The waiting area will not be utilized. Players will be seated upon arrival and games will commence when the designated number of players is achieved.
- Players will not be granted table transfers. The table you are seated will be your table for the duration of the day.
- Players will be required to purchase their initial and buy-ins at the cage.
- Dealers will not rotate from table to table. Dealers will be assigned to one table only.
- Chips will be isolated to a specific table. Once chips have been introduced to a game, they can only exit in the following manners: Drop Boxes, Dealer tip boxes, Cashed out at the cashier.
- Once chips are removed from play, they will not be recirculated until after they are sanitized.
- Paper cards will be utilized and discarded at regular intervals.
- Eating food at the tables will be prohibited.
- Drinks will be served with tabletop cup holders; cup holders will be sanitized prior to being issued to a new customer.
- Hand sanitizer will be used in lieu of a dealer button. When a player has the sanitizer, they are encouraged to use it.
- Dealers will sanitize their hands after arriving at the table.
- All players will be required to sanitize their hands upon initially or subsequently arriving at the table.
When word of the procedures hit Twitter, users seemed receptive.
“Interesting, sounds functional, especially that hand sanitizer will be used as the dealer button,” said Michael Miller.
Joe Hebda added: “If these rules tay permanent I may play live poker again.”
Director of Poker Weighs In
In addition, PBKC has established a “PBKC Clean Team" to ensure the frequent cleaning and sanitization of all public spaces.
“PBKC was one of the first properties in Florida to close its doors due to the Corona Virus. It was a pretty rapid decision, but times like these require companies to react fluidly,” Director of Poker Noah Carbone told PokerNews. “PBKC held off as long as feasible before having to furlough over 400 employees. Employees were paid for six weeks and their medical benefits were continued prior to the furlough. We are currently in the process of bringing back our employees.”
He continued: “We held weekly Facebook live meetings to keep everyone in the loop during the pandemic. This was our most valuable tool as we were able to openly communicate with the employees and see if they had any needs or concerns to address during this time. It also reassured the employees that they were still part of the PBKC family.”
Regarding the poker chips, Carbone added: “Each and every one of our chips have been cleaned and sanitized. Moving forward, we will be sterilizing all our chips prior to being reintroduced into play. Basically, our chips are now one-use chips. Once they enter a game they cannot enter another game or circulated prior to being sanitized.”
Finally, Carbone weighed in on the recent introduction of tables utilizing plexiglass dividers — such as the Hard Rock Tampa that is also reopening — something PBKC doesn’t plan to do.
“PBKC did take a close look at plexiglass dividers. However, we determined that game containment was the best way to provide the most sanitary environment for the group as a whole. Game containment is defined as isolating each and every person and object in one game from another game.”
The PBKC is prepared to amend its rules as necessary and will announce any changes on its website and various social media channels.
*Images courtesy of PBKC.