Friday, Feb. 5, 2010 | 2 a.m.
Mirage poker room manager Christopher Coffin noticed a trend on Super Bowl Sundays throughout his years in Las Vegas.
Poker rooms around town would be packed leading up to kickoff, then everyone would vanish to watch the game.
Last year, while Coffin was still the manager of Treasure Island’s poker room, he decided to combat the emptiness by offering drawings for cash prizes every time a team kicked a field goal or scored a touchdown. The result of the giveaway was even better than he expected.
“We actually had a boost last year,” Coffin said. “I’m expecting it again.”
Coffin and his team will hold a similar event at the Mirage this year with $100 awarded for every field goal, $250 for every touchdown and $444 for every safety and two-point conversion.
It’s one of the many promotions being held throughout Las Vegas poker rooms this weekend. Because of Super Bowl crowds, poker rooms enjoy one of their most popular weekends of the year.
“It’s definitely big,” Coffin said. “People love to come to Vegas for Super Bowl weekend and play poker.”
And poker rooms everywhere are giving players incentives to do it. Headlining the weekend is a grand re-opening at Hard Rock’s poker lounge.
Hard Rock is hosting a $1,000 buy-in Sharon Osbourne charity tournament Saturday and running a high-stakes celebrity cash game that will be filmed for television all weekend.
Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari is one of 20 big-name players who will be around for the cash game and tournament, poker lounge manager Troy Evans said.
Evans said the lengthy schedule of games and tournaments was planned to send a message to the Las Vegas poker community.
“We already had the best room in the city with the best emphasis on décor and design,” Evans said. “Now, I’m wanting to show that our customer service is just as important."
Like the Mirage, the Hard Rock has no plans to slow down on the day of the big game. Evans said Hard Rock cheerleaders would be in the lounge during the Super Bowl.
The Hard Rock is also giving away $7,500 in raffles during the Super Bowl and splashing pots with extra cash.
“It’s our No. 1 day of the year,” Evans said. “It just seemed to be the right time to showcase our re-branding.”
Someone could be leaving The Mirage especially happy over the next few days. Coffin decided to merge four separate flopped royal flush jackpots into one this week. The total prize is now $34,000.
With the amount of hands being played Super Bowl weekend, Coffin wouldn’t be surprised if this was the weekend someone got lucky with a flopped royal flush.
“Statistically, we should have had over three of them so far,” Coffin said. “Realistically, it should happen soon.”