Originally Posted by arahel_jazz
If I want to play electronic poker, I'll just fire up PokerStars or FullTilt in the privacy of my own home.
The reason I go to Vegas (or other live rooms) in the first place is the physical interaction with the cards, chips, dealer, and other players. Its the reason I bought a chip set this last Christmas so I could practice handling a chip stack properly (and play Mah-jong with them too).
You have a point. (physical interatction with other players? do you wait for people out back when they put a bad beat on your? )
Anyway I didn't think about the benefits of these machines until the OP mentioned some features that made me think of why I might prefer them some day over the dealt tables.
1) Easier to use: people who have never played poker might not feel intimidated to sit down and play a game that looks similar to other casino games.
2) Lower limits: OP says the stakes were .5/1...more people and worse players would be willing to play at lower stakes.
3) No mistakes: The players can't act out of turn, you can see exactly how much money each player has, quicker seperations when side pots happen, no miscounts or misdeals.
4)PLO! Even more FISH! And SOOOOO much quicker than using a dealer while playing pot limit.
There are probably a lot more ups and downs, and to be quite honest while I'm living at the shore this Summer I'll probably head to AC quite a few times. If there is a choice between the live and electronic version though, I'm still goin straight to the poker room with the dealers. There's just somethin about the sound of the chips and the texture of the felt that get's a poker player amped up.