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Down to the Felt: Why Poker Room Looks Matter

by Justin Moyer |  Published: Oct 30, 2013

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In four sessions between 2007 and 2012, I lost $344, or more than $30 per hour, playing $1-2 no limit hold‘em at Harrah’s in New Orleans. Why such poor results? Explanations abound: I’m a touring musician who plays many hands late at night after shows when I’m tired and not at my best; I’m still plugging leaks in a tight-aggressive style most effective against loose players in the Big Easy; maybe I caught a bad beat or three.      But I blame the felt. The purple felt at Harrah’s New Orleans is heinous, the color of bruises and arterial blood. Harrah’s $1 and $5 chips feature cartoonish Mardi Gras-themed images that clash with the felt, making each pot a swirl of colors not unlike an abstract Jackson Pollock canvas. Add the incessant buzzing of slot machines — unlike self-contained poker rooms at, say, the Bellagio or Maryland Live!, Harrah’s ...


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