Question and Answer With Scarlet Pearl Poker Supervisor Matthew Johnson

This week the Card Player Poker Tour is at the Scarlet Pearl Resort Casino in D’Iberville, Mississippi for the first-ever CPPT event held on the Gulf Coast. The $100,000 guaranteed main event, hosted in the beautiful Big Slick’s Poker Room run by Poker Room Manager Karen Kaegin, drew a turnout of 537 entries. As a result, the tournament smashed the guarantee to build a $160,026 final prize pool. Card Player caught up with Matthew Johnson, Scarlet Pearl’s Poker Supervisor, to learn more about the exciting event and what the Casino has to offer for poker fans.

Card Player: This was the first time that the Scarlet Pearl has done a week-long series with this large of a guarantee, and the turnout was fantastic. What are your thoughts on the success of this event?

Matthew Johnson: Yes, our previous largest guarantee was $30,000. So for this $100,000 guaranteed event, this was an outstanding turnout. When we started planning for this event we were hoping to make that guarantee, but we ended up easily breaking that mark and building a $160,000 prize pool. It was just a tremendous turnout, even better than we were expecting, and we want to thank Card Player for their help in promoting the event.

CP: Thanks for partnering with us on this great event. Can you tell me a little more about what the Scarlet Pearl has to offer for poker players outside of this tournament series? Are tournaments a key offering for this poker room?

MJ: Oh yeah, tournaments are definitely a key part of what we do here at the Scarlet Pearl. We have daily noon tournaments throughout the week. Leading into this series we also held nightly tournaments, but now that this series is wrapping up we will likely return to having tournaments in the evening as well.

CP: What can tournament players expect on a weekly basis?

MJ: The noon events are $40 buy-in tournaments, except on Wednesdays when we host a super senior event for players 50 years and older. That is our largest weekly event, it’s a $60 buy-in. We add some money to the prize pool and regularly average between 70-80 players for that event.

CP: Outside of tournaments, what can cash game players expect when they come to the Scarlet Pearl?

MJ: Cash games offered here include $1-$2 no-limit hold’em, $1-$4-$8-$8 spread limit for our limit hold’em, and we also run $4-$8 limit Omaha eight-or-better. We are also very excited about a new game we are spreading that was just approved this week by the Mississippi Gaming Commission called Texas Hold’em Down On The River. It’s a variant of Texas hold’em where instead of a face-up community river card, each player gets dealt their own river card face down.

CP: Are players really enjoying this new game so far?

MJ: Players really love the action it creates, many players will stay in the hand maybe a little longer and create a little more action then they might have otherwise. It’s been a hit so far, and games have been running pretty much every day since we first started spreading it.

CP: Can you tell me about some of the promotions the poker room has for the players?

MJ: A great promotion we do is for tournament players. If you play in a tournament and then bring your buy-in receipt when you play in the tournament the following day and show our staff we will give you additional bonus chips. We also do a tournament promo fund where we award seats to upcoming tournaments. For cash game players we have a high hand bonus and we also do a ‘splash the pot’ promo, where once every half hour, when the flop bring three cards of the same suit, the table will get $25 added to the current pot.

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CP: What are some things that make the Big Slick’s Poker Room at the Scarlet Pearl a great place to play?

MJ: The poker scene down here is great. What makes our room stand out is that it’s so new and modern. We have ten beautiful tables, each with USB charging ports at every seat. The poker room is large and spacious; you aren’t packed into a tiny little area. It’s very bright in the room, with a window on one wall letting in natural light. There is table-side food service. It’s just an all around great poker room.

CP: How would you say the poker scene in the Gulf Coast area is different than around the rest of the country?

MJ: We’re a little more laid back and relaxed here on the coast. Poker down here is still serious, but the players do like to have fun and they do fit in with the atmosphere of the southern coast.

CP: In addition to the great poker room and everything the fantastic Casino Resort has to offer, the surrounding area also provides a lot of players to do when their not at the tables. What do you find players like checking out when they’re down here?

MJ: We’ve got plenty of beach space, all kinds of attractions if you love to fish or do anything out on the water. There are ferries that will take you out to the Barrier Islands or you can get out and see the dolphins swimming. There’s just a lot to do.

CP: If you had to sum up why a poker fan might want to check out the Scarlet Pearl what would you say?

MJ: Great poker, great atmosphere and one of the finest overall facilities in the Gulf Coast area. It’s just a fantastic place to play cards. Spade Suit

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