Opening a Card Room in Texas! (83 Viewers)

ImCrossland

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Whats the cap? Would make a big difference if the buy-in is capped at say $300 vs $1k (or uncapped).
This is a bit different from what I’ve seen at places but my preference would be 200 BB cap on table opening with re-buys capped at table chip leader. Would also love input on this front.

Want to cater to all playing styles but trying to make everybody happy is -EV.
 

bergs

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Put “The” and/or Room” or other descriptors next to these for context.

Pumphouse
Yonder
Bluebonnet
Armadillo (would make a fun mascot)
Tin Star (Paulson inlays would be amazing)
Plateau
Rodeo (great for circus games)
Rattlesnake
Pecans
 

louBdub

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Y’all gonna make me ask????

Who’s gonna harvest some Nobleman’s fracs?!?!? :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

Kidding.

Reading your initial point behind the name gives me insight on who you are. I enjoyed it, and appreciated giving us a look into the spirit of the name and your path in the future for this adventure.

Truly wish it the best & I will be sitting at a table someday.
 

louBdub

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Random thought.

PCF kickstarter, crowd fund?

Just a thought. Not sure if your investors would care, because it could be a membership only type deal and not a company position in private holdings.

Kickstarter:
$500 gets you a “first month free entry”
$1,000 gets you X
$2,000 gets you Y
$5,000 gets you Z

Idk, I’m sitting here in my poker room, wishing Alabama let me do what you’re doing…
 

MrCatPants

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Wish you success.

Having thought about this myself years ago and ultimately coming to the decision the money just wasn't there, this is a pretty tough space - similar to restaurants. Low cost of entry, a business many people want to start, and a limited customer pool in a generally defined geographic area, and you are always at risk of something 'new and cool' taking your player base. In Houston, competition has caused average hourly rates to drop over the last couple of years, free play hours have increased, and new rooms still keep opening up/old rooms keep drying up and closing down. Rooms that are hot for two years eventually give way to new popular rooms.

Couple things I'd recommend vetting if you haven't already - happy to chat via PM:
  • Questions on players:
    • Players make the game/get other players - there's generally some key players that get and keep games running in each card room - how are you going to acquire and keep these people - the types of people that play poker 5+ days a week, not a few times a month? One of these people locally plays in my home game - happy to give you insight. He crippled a room here when he decided to move the hi-lo game he was effectively game running.
      • Read: it's not amenities; ratty-ass card rooms can be just as successful as nice ones
    • Is your competition overflowing with players? Or are they struggling to keep a full house? Where is your overall player base coming from and how are you going to acquire and keep them?
    • Connected to the tables, getting games started is one of the biggest battles here - how are you going to incentivize people to populate an empty room each day? (this likely means free play hours, which you have to bake in to your modeling)
  • Overall questions on the business model
    • Are you planning to manage the room? Investing equity or is the cash all coming from your partners? What types of cash flow does everyone need to see for this to be successful? Are you taking a salary before any profit distributions if you are managing the place?
    • Competition locally in CC seems to be priced at $10 daily rate, and $5 for time every 30 minutes. Are you going to be competitive, or try to win on price initially? The latter likely starts a war no one wins.
    • Running only 4 tables (I'm assuming to keep the fixed cost of rent and initial equipment down) will cause you scaling issues - still need a full time cage, at least one brush, and looks like bar staff and servers - that's a lot of hourly operating costs that are fixed regardless of the number of tables running. Drinking and eating in these rooms isn't as heavy as one might expect.
    • If things don't immediately take off, do you know what your burn rate will be, and how much cash you will have to keep operating and for how long?
    • With items like the lease that are long term, who/what entity is on the hook for it and how if things ultimately don't take off?
 

ekricket

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Random thought.

PCF kickstarter, crowd fund?

Just a thought. Not sure if your investors would care, because it could be a membership only type deal and not a company position in private holdings.

Kickstarter:
$500 gets you a “first month free entry”
$1,000 gets you X
$2,000 gets you Y
$5,000 gets you Z

Idk, I’m sitting here in my poker room, wishing Alabama let me do what you’re doing…
We get to play as shills to get games going
 

ImCrossland

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Wish you success.

Having thought about this myself years ago and ultimately coming to the decision the money just wasn't there, this is a pretty tough space - similar to restaurants. Low cost of entry, a business many people want to start, and a limited customer pool in a generally defined geographic area, and you are always at risk of something 'new and cool' taking your player base. In Houston, competition has caused average hourly rates to drop over the last couple of years, free play hours have increased, and new rooms still keep opening up/old rooms keep drying up and closing down. Rooms that are hot for two years eventually give way to new popular rooms.

Couple things I'd recommend vetting if you haven't already - happy to chat via PM:
  • Questions on players:
    • Players make the game/get other players - there's generally some key players that get and keep games running in each card room - how are you going to acquire and keep these people - the types of people that play poker 5+ days a week, not a few times a month? One of these people locally plays in my home game - happy to give you insight. He crippled a room here when he decided to move the hi-lo game he was effectively game running.
      • Read: it's not amenities; ratty-ass card rooms can be just as successful as nice ones
    • Is your competition overflowing with players? Or are they struggling to keep a full house? Where is your overall player base coming from and how are you going to acquire and keep them?
    • Connected to the tables, getting games started is one of the biggest battles here - how are you going to incentivize people to populate an empty room each day? (this likely means free play hours, which you have to bake in to your modeling)
  • Overall questions on the business model
    • Are you planning to manage the room? Investing equity or is the cash all coming from your partners? What types of cash flow does everyone need to see for this to be successful? Are you taking a salary before any profit distributions if you are managing the place?
    • Competition locally in CC seems to be priced at $10 daily rate, and $5 for time every 30 minutes. Are you going to be competitive, or try to win on price initially? The latter likely starts a war no one wins.
    • Running only 4 tables (I'm assuming to keep the fixed cost of rent and initial equipment down) will cause you scaling issues - still need a full time cage, at least one brush, and looks like bar staff and servers - that's a lot of hourly operating costs that are fixed regardless of the number of tables running. Drinking and eating in these rooms isn't as heavy as one might expect.
    • If things don't immediately take off, do you know what your burn rate will be, and how much cash you will have to keep operating and for how long?
    • With items like the lease that are long term, who/what entity is on the hook for it and how if things ultimately don't take off?
1) I appreciate each and every one of these questions.

2) Each of them are reflected in the business model and sufficiently understood by those involved.

3) Not answering them here simply out of best practices. This is not a half-hearted venture that hasn’t performed its due diligence. Every aspect of the business, including competition, demand, competitive rates, staff, location, square footage, potential for expansion along adjacent units without physically having to ever move to a different location, necessary staff at any given time (and therefore appropriate hours of operation) are reflected in initial costs and recurring costs. These numbers were presented showing multiple outcomes or “what-if’s,” rather than “this is our number and we will hit it.”
 

Señor Tony

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Noblemen's is polarising af. I drive by Noblemen's and I think to myself "Fuck nobility, I want to play cards with regular folk". I don't think to myself "Aha, finally a poker room specifically catered to men of good character such as myself!"

I''m never playing in a card room because it's named Noblemen's but I sure as shit would drive straight past it because of it.

The "nobility" plays at the lame ass country club up the road.

Top 10 card rooms in Texas, what are their names?
 

ImCrossland

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We get to play as shills to get games going
Haha I’m already expecting to ask the bartender to play a couple hands until someone comes in.

I have many strong convictions about why this business will be successful, but of course we all believe that at first. Here are four of them:

1) “Success” is highly subjective, and therefore, measured much differently depending on each person’s desired outcome. I might not ever hit $1M in revenue, but if the business can break even, I have won.

- I play(ed) ~60 hours/month at Rounders in San Antonio. I typically play 12 hour sessions. That is $8,940/yr in hourly fees + daily fees. Additionally, it is a 2.5 hour drive for me to make each way (so gas too), but I do it at least 5 times per month because the card rooms operating here have a number of red flags I’m not comfortable playing at. The $$$ savings by playing in my own city, under my own roof, and making the fiancé happy by moving my home games to a different “home,” AND building a business that addresses each and every frustration I regularly experience as a patron in other card rooms is very exciting.

2) I get to be the boss and treat my employees like the human beings they are, whether I hire 1 person or 100. I was forced out of my last job that I loved by one single person, my supervisor. I loved every single aspect of that job and every other person I interacted with. I would rather die than be treated like that. Each person who works for us will get a boss who knows exactly what poor management and interpersonal skills can do to a work environment.

3) I absolutely love this business. If I lived in San Antonio, I would certainly be a dealer at a local card house right now. While the money is important, it’s not THE most important thing (I am speaking on behalf of my partners in this regard, as well as myself). Having the opportunity to work every day involved in a business I’m sickly passionate about (not just playing), is truly incredible for me.

4) I couldn’t find a job. I have applied to over 200 job openings since completing my Masters in May. Over the last 2.5 months, I have not received so much as a single follow-up email. I have applied for positions matching my qualifications and all the way down Beach Worker III for $10/hr for county government. I have paid for professionals to build my resume with me and regularly refresh my junk mail 5x/day to see if something went there instead.

I regularly host games for others (entire set-up brought to their homes + host for a standard fee) and it was through this that I received this opportunity. Because of their belief, I was approached and asked for details on this business. Not only was it funded, but my terms were all agreed to by people I highly respect.

I may not be good enough to get an interview for picking up trash on the beach, but after hours and hours of questions and meetings, some other people think I might be able to do this.

My partners want no part of the day to day. My risk is sweat equity. I didn’t even have a job to leave. My risk is living with the pain that would come from letting my partners down. They showed a trust and belief in my vision and abilities that I have not experienced before. I can and will do every single thing possible to satisfy their measured expectations
 
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louBdub

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I helped opened up a room as a dealer/floor down here in SoCal and stayed for about 10 years. 15 table room on an Indian reservation. If you need any help with the poker side of the business, hit me up.

Good luck. Sounds like a really fun project.
This.

When I wanna shoot, I find a guy who’s been shooting longer and better than me.

When I wanna roll something, I find a cave man who made the wheel.

If I wanna get words from people about how to run a poker business, I’m finding people like @casinochipper22

Everything else is just fluff.
 

chrismurda

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Haha I’m already expecting to ask the bartender to play a could hands until someone comes in.

Although not the bartender, our local card room that spreads a max of 2 tables of holdem has dealers who are on break or the floor manager sitting in games to keep tables full enough until more players arrive.
 

HaRDHouSeiNC

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4) I couldn’t find a job. I have applied to over 200 job openings since completing my Masters in May. Over the last 2.5 months, I have not received so much as a single follow-up email. I have applied for positions matching my qualifications and all the way down Beach Worker III for $10/hr for county government. I have paid for professionals to build my resume with me and regularly refresh my junk mail 5x/day to see if something went there instead.
With all the reported job openings every quarter this blows my mind
 

Rakrul

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I strongly recommend this book. Granted, it's geared towards poker rooms in casinos and not pure poker rooms but it still has important points. The main difference being you probably won't have randoms popping in on impulse which are the ones you should cater to. It's a quick read and they make some points that aren't intuitive until you've read them.
 

ImCrossland

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Are there any chair manufacturers worthy of recommending here? Price/comfort/design are all important here.

Currently set on purchasing chairs from BBO but I’d prefer a classier look without giving up level of comfort or price point. ($15k budget)
 

Jonesey07

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doublebooyah85

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Tonysquander

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Are there any chair manufacturers worthy of recommending here? Price/comfort/design are all important here.

Currently set on purchasing chairs from BBO but I’d prefer a classier look without giving up level of comfort or price point. ($15k budget)
How many chairs are you looking to get for $15k?
 
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