GuvnA80 wrote a review about Cheers in Salem, NH

Over-hype and under-deliver, untrustworthy.

I had such a terrible experience at this room today that I decided it was finally time to share my experiences over the last 5 visits, there won’t be a 6th.

Rake:

Increased rake from $2 (house) + $3 (promos) without notice to $2 + $5. In fact they left up the notices on their front door which state the rake is $2 + $3. The managers I pointed it out to seemed confused, then said "yeah but the extra is for promos, so it goes right back to you players." NOT the right answer. 3 hours later when I left the flyer was still on the door. They are also dropping the entire rake into one slot. This can't be legal; from what I heard from the owner himself player promos are required to be funded by player promo rakes ONLY (not house rake). If all that money is going into one box, how do they know how much is for the house rake and how much is for the promo rake? They can't, so I can only assume the owner/managers are just estimating/guessing how much to put in which fund. The strange thing is I've seen them use "blank" chips on other days which seemed to indicate promo drops, but today they weren't doing that.

Competition:

Despite having the most tables around, Friday night I was forced to wait over an hour for a 1-2 seat with only two tables running. Why? No players. There is nothing special about this room to draw them away from the rooms they play in currently (even when those rooms have no promos/tourneys going) and so all my visits to Cheers have either been short-handed games or long waits to play at one or two tables.

The owner has posted some negative things about their main competitors in poker forums and social media in the past month or so. That seems to be an attitude he is encouraging with his staff. An older dealer with a nasal cannula started trash-talking the competition. I just don't understand that. If your room is great, you don't need to talk about the competition with your customers, especially if those customers are currently choosing to patronize your room! Focus on your strong points and let your customers know what you think is best about your room.

Equipment:

Some autoshufflers were finally installed (promised before opening) but the table I was on today the shuffler broke down within the first 3 hands. If the delays in opening were all construction related then why were the shufflers not ready to go? Chairs were way too low, uncomfortable, and don’t have wheels or adjustments.

The padding under the felt is almost non-existent (how much does padding cost?!) so much so that you can barely pick your cards up if your fingernails are trimmed.

There seems to be no music/PA system as high hands and table opening announcements were done by managers shouting at the top of their lungs across the room. Could barely hear them and there were only 9 tables running when I got there, they were probably only at about 30% total capacity. Imagine trying to hear an announcement if they were full.

Staff:

4 out of 5 visits nobody greeted me as I entered and there was no clear host or desk to sign up for a game. Considering they took the name Cheers, you would think the least you could expect would be someone greeting you as you enter. Another visit I had to wait for a dealer to relieve a manager so he could go into the cage and cash me out.

Today there was a manager manning a laptop on a small table (and changing cash for chips once we got a seat). Dealers’ skills were average to below-average - many misread bets and cards and for the most part dealt incredibly slow, especially for an autoshuffler house. Only my first dealer, Justin, could get cards out with any speed yet he had his flaws too as he seemed annoyed when I asked about the apparent rake increase. Waitress walked by my table borderline mumbling "beverages" and didn't return for 3 hours until someone at my table won the high hand and summoned her over to get drinks for the table.

Nobody smiled. Nobody. Not a waitress, bartender, or dealer. I've worked in customer service and entertainment for almost 25 years and I've never seen a more miserable staff.

The owner was working the cash-out window when I was there Friday night and he couldn't count my chips right, almost shorted me $25 until i corrected him. Said it was "the third time I've done that today." Not a good sign.

Promos:

Barely any, poorly structured. Players weren’t sure which amount they would win on today’s high hand. Supposedly have a coupon deal based on how long you play, but they didn't have it advertised anywhere in the room and the PokerAtlas tablets were set to inactive so I didn't even ask for a reward card as I assume they're not using them.

Overall:

If you choose to play here out of convenience or friendship or some such reason, do so at your own peril and watch everything the staff does. But if you're looking for the best place to play, this certainly isn't it.

Competition
Promotions and Comps
Dealers
Food and Drink
Management

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