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Poker coming to Bingo Palace

By By ARTHUR McLEAN Special to The Standard
There's a new game coming to the Creek Bingo Palace in Atmore – poker.
Work is underway to begin running poker games at the bingo palace starting in late November.
Arthur Mothershed, CFO of the tribe's gaming operations, said it plans to hire as many as 50 employees to work the poker games.
A room is being constructed in the bingo palace for the games and operations will start with 9 tables for seven to 10 players at a time.
"It's an experimental deal for us," Mothershed said. "Our goal is to increase the overall value of the entertainment experience here for our customers."
Poker has increased in popularity in recent years with the success of such shows as the World Series of Poker and Celebrity Poker.
That popularity led the gaming branch to look at running the games. "Its an area where we thought we were authorized to enter, but we weren't real sure we wanted to, until recently" Mothershed said.
Because the state's gaming rules don't allow players to play against the house, the games will have what is called a non-banking house. The house will receive a certain percentage from each game up to a certain amount. Mothershed said the charge has not yet been determined.
Initially, three types of games will be offered, Texas hold 'em, Omaha and stud poker. "One of the players has to win the game," Mothershed said.
Each of the nine tables will hold between seven and 10 players, depending on the game being played. There could be tournaments in the future, but the palace will hold off on holding those, Mothershed said.
Of the Poarch Creek entertainment centers in Alabama, Atmore will be the first test site for the poker games. If they are successful here, they may well add the games at the tribe's other facilities in the state.