When Great Canadian Casinos’ Chairman Ross McLeod co-founded Great Canadian Casinos in 1982, he envisioned that one day gaming in British Columbia would evolve to include restaurants, entertainment, and an experience that would be second to none for gaming enthusiasts.
After over twenty years of hard work, his vision of a world class casino and entertainment facility was realized when phase one of the new River Rock Casino Resort opened to standing room only crowds in Richmond B.C.
A long time poker aficionado, Ross has supported organized poker for many years. Great Canadian Casinos was the first casino operator to open poker rooms at its properties in 1997. Soon other casino operators followed and legal, structured poker could be played at casinos in BC under the guidance of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. Much thanks to the vision of Ross McLeod.
As other operators entered the poker fray, Ross and his team at Great Canadian were not comfortable with the status quo. They wanted to raise the bar and open Canada’s largest poker room.
Plans were drafted and the team at Great Canadian Casinos commenced construction of the new 20 table, 20,000 square foot state of the art poker room at River Rock Casino Resort. The goal was to provide novice and seasoned poker players with an inviting, warm, safe, and superior room that would not only spread a wide array of games but offer players many different amenities that can be found in the famous poker rooms in the United States.
With the opening of phase one of the River Rock Casino Resort the dream has become reality. Richmond, BC is now home to Canada’s newest and largest full service poker room. The poker room at the River Rock Casino Resort opened to standing room only crowds on July 8th 2004 featuring 20 tables spreading Texas hold‘em, 7-card stud, and Omaha with a wide array of limits including: $2/4, $4/8, $8/16, $15/30, $30/60, $50/100, and no limit/ pot limit tables.
The poker room at River Rock Casino Resort also features a state of the art waiting list and tournament display system by QueueOS TableTron that enables players to leave the poker room, enjoy the gaming action throughout the casino, and then be paged electronically when their poker seat comes available.
Food and beverage service is available 24 hours in the poker room and the menu is extensive – players can choose from light appetizers to steak dinners and from distilled water to fine cognac.
All poker tables feature the new Shuffle Master Deck Mate shuffling system that assists with dealing a faster and more efficient game. Professional dealers and supervisors are on hand to assist guests so that their poker experience is truly second to none.
The River Rock Casino Resort poker room is nestled on the upper floor of the complex adjacent to the soon to open 400 seat buffet and across from the exclusive video poker / keno room that houses over 50 units. Western Canada’s largest sports bar will open in the summer only steps away from the poker room. It will be home to great food and libations and over 60 flat screen televisions so that all die-hard sporting enthusiasts will be able to enjoy their favorite sporting events from around the globe.
Non-smokers will enjoy the 100% smoke-free poker room, while smokers will have access to a special room off the poker floor that will open in the fall of this year.
Currently, the River Rock Casino Resort poker room offers special “poker play” rates at local hotels and expects to continue these offers to poker enthusiasts when phase two of the resort is completed in the spring and the luxurious all-suite hotel opens to the public. The hotel will be located on property and will feature in-room dining, a spa, health club, and additional restaurants.
If there is one area that BC poker has lagged behind Alberta and Saskatchewan it is tournaments. Ross is seeing to it that this gets addressed as well. Starting this month, the River Rock Poker Room will hold weekly tournaments. They are planning their first Canadian Poker Tour Major Event as well. And, the poker room is also planning on holding a major tournament to benefit the C.H.I.L.D foundation.
A bad beat (when a strong hand loses to an even stronger hand) is always an unpleasant occurrence. However, at the poker room at River Rock Casino Resort, bad beats are lucrative. As of Aug 15th, over $100,000 has been paid out in Bad Beat Jackpots to lucky players. On July 16th (after being open just one week) $18,754 was shared, with Gabriel Tsang taking home $9,377. On July 31st $34,377 was shared, with Linwood Charles Bailey walking away with $17,188. And, on August 1st $10,008 was split and Justin parked earned $5,004 with his beaten hand.
Ross McLeod’s perseverance for more than two decades has Great Canadian Casinos in partnership with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation thrilled to open Canada’s largest poker room.
Daryl McCullough, Poker Room Manager is excited about the future for the River Rock Casino Resort Poker Room: “I want to invite everybody – novices and veterans – to visit this great room and enjoy the action 24 hours a day.” Moreover, McLeod still isn’t done. Poker players and table / slot enthusiasts can expect more great news from Great Canadian Casinos and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation as construction will be commencing soon on the Coquitlam Casino with big things planned there too.