Interview with Playground Poker COO David Montour

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Hi, Corey here from CanadaPoker.com and I’ve got Dave Montour with me here today. He’s COO of Playground Poker and we’re here for the grand opening. This is the third day of great freerolls and tournaments running.

CP: So how has the grand opening been?

Dave: It’s been a huge success. Had three days of our signature free-buy event where it’s free to enter and $50 to rebuy and we’re packed at maximum capacity for all three days. We also threw in another 2 tournaments and the place has been packed and the feedback has been positive.

CP: When playground poker was just getting off the ground, what was your mission in bringing it to life?
Dave: Well for us, it wasn’t about local competition or even regional, we want to be the best poker room in Canada and in North America. That’s what we’re striving for. It was never about, you know, small time at all. Myself and the team that  has been put together for Playground Poker has always had that goal in mind to offer the best service and product to poker players. And I think we have succeeded so far. There have been lessons that we’ve learned from the first day to the second day to the third day there’s been immersive improvements and I don’t think that will stop from the team that we have here.

CP: We’ve been here from the beginning and we’ve seen amazing progress. It’s actually been quite incredible to see how successful you’ve been from day 1, right from the first hour of operation. Now you guys have invited some great guests as well. Michael McDonald has been playing here, Eric Cajelais as well – a local guy to name a few. Anybody else of note?

Dave: Eric is here very often we expect him here all the time. He loves it here and was part of helping us design it. You know, Eric is a big time player and with our high stakes room a lot of it was from the feedback from players like Eric. Besides Eric we’ve had Nenad Medic, we’ve had Valerie Ross, we’ve had Roy Winston come in and as you mentioned Mike McDonald. So we wanted them to get in and get the endorsement from players of that caliber. We feel that it will spread to all of players.

CP: Going forward, what are you looking to do to expand? What’s next for Playground Poker?

Dave: What’s next is to improve our product to the best it can be. As in any area, there are improvements you can make: whether it be in customer service, or player satisfaction or the food, you know it’s an endless thing. If poker is your passion as it is for the management at Playground Poker, you can always find something you can improve. If you watch our management here, they’re very attentive to the needs of our players. Is the temperature alright, is the air alright, can I get you another drink… And that’s what we want to stress – we want to be the poker club for the players.

CP: And actually, that’s always been your motto from the beginning right?

Dave: Yes it has. For players by players. We’re all players. We know what it’s like when we’re in a bad poker room and poker players as you know are sitting very long hours. A lot of times ten, twelve hour nights. Little irritations may get to you but for us, we thought of those irritations and we’re trying to get rid of them as much as we can.

CP: Great, we’re definitely sold! In case anybody needs help getting here, where are you guys located?
Dave: We’re in Kahnawake Mohawk reserve about 15 minutes from downtown Montreal. We have a shuttle bus that we can arrange to pick up groups that was running constantly for the last three days. When you want to go we arrange 5 or 6 people together and we bring them taxis and again, it’s a 15 minute drive from downtown Montreal. We’ve very accessible!

CP: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us Dave, we really appreciate it and absolutely congratulations on such a fabulous job that you’ve done here. It’s been absolutely phenomenal. Great launch I think from what we’ve seen so far and hope to start seeing players in here every day all the time. Great job!
Dave: Thank you very much!

Hi, Corey here from CanadaPoker.com and I’ve got Dave Montour with me here today. He’s COO of Playground Poker and we’re here for the grand opening. This is the third day of great freerolls and tournaments running.
CP: So how has the grand opening been?
Dave: It’s been a huge success. Had three days of our signature free-buy event where it’s free to enter and $50 to rebuy and we’re packed at maximum capacity for all three days. We also threw in another 2 tournaments and the place has been packed and the feedback has been positive.
CP:  When playground poker was just getting off the ground, what was your mission in bringing it to life?
Dave: Well for us, it wasn’t about local competition or even regional, we want to be the best poker room in Canada and in North America. That’s what we’re striving for. It was never about, you know, small time at all. Myself and the team that  has been put together for Playground Poker has always had that goal in mind to offer the best service and product to poker players. And I think we have succeeded so far. There have been lessons that we’ve learned from the first day to the second day to the third day there’s been immersive improvements and I don’t think that will stop from the team that we have here.
CP: We’ve been here from the beginning and we’ve seen amazing progress. It’s actually been quite incredible to see how successful you’ve been from day 1, right from the first hour of operation. Now you guys have invited some great guests as well. Michael McDonald has been playing here, Eric Cajelais as well – a local guy to name a few. Anybody else of note?
Dave: Eric is here very often we expect him here all the time. He loves it here and was part of helping us design it. You know, Eric is a big time player and with our high stakes room a lot of it was from the feedback from players like Eric. Besides Eric we’ve had Nenad Medic, we’ve had Valerie Ross, we’ve had Roy Winston come in and as you mentioned Mike McDonald. So we wanted them to get in and get the endorsement from players of that caliber. We feel that it will spread to all of players.
Going forward, what are you looking to do to expand? What’s next for Playground Poker?
What’s next is to improve our product to the best it can be. As in any area, there are improvements you can make: whether it be in customer service, or player satisfaction or the food, you know it’s an endless thing. If poker is your passion as it is for the management at Playground Poker, you can always find something you can improve. If you watch our management here, they’re very attentive to the needs of our players. Is the temperature alright, is the air alright, can I get you another drink… And that’s what we want to stress – we want to be the poker club for the players.
CP: And actually, that’s always been your motto from the beginning right?
Dave: Yes it has. For players by players. We’re all players. We know what it’s like when we’re in a bad poker room and poker players as you know are sitting very long hours. A lot of times ten, twelve hour nights. Little irritations may get to you but for us, we thought of those irritations and we’re trying to get rid of them as much as we can.
CP: Great, we’re definitely sold! In case anybody needs help getting here, where are you guys located?
Dave: We’re in Kahnawake Mohawk reserve about 15 minutes from downtown Montreal. We have a shuttle bus that we can arrange to pick up groups that was running constantly for the last three days. When you want to go we arrange 5 or 6 people together and we bring them taxis and again, it’s a 15 minute drive from downtown Montreal. We’ve very accessible!
CP: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us Dave, we really appreciate it and absolutely congratulations on such a fabulous job that you’ve done here. It’s been absolutely phenomenal. Great launch I think from what we’ve seen so far and hope to start seeing players in here every day all the time. Great job!
Dave: Thank you very much!

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I've been with Canada Poker since our launch and started out as the site's webmaster, forum administrator and developer. Eventually, my love for poker drew me to start writing articles. You'll also recognize me as the one in front of the camera when we interview the pros. Also an amateur photographer, many players at live events also recognize me as the Canada Poker photographer. Canada Poker has also provided me with a wild ride across Canada to most of the major events on the circuit as a reporter.

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