All-in Kitchen Diners Can Gamble for Discounts at UKIPT London
Most restaurants around the world employ the standard tactics to attract customers: offer good food, friendly service, and a comfortable atmosphere. Some eschew one or more of those and opt to win with low prices or lightning-fast serving speed, but all in all, not much is new under the sun.
Then there are the venues that employ a gimmick in order to stand out from the crowd. The Safe House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for instance, is a spy themed restaurant and bar. The entrance is hidden in a back alley and before gaining access to the main part of the establishment, patrons must first enter a sitting room and perform some sort of embarrassing act. Hidden cameras broadcast the performance throughout the bar, of course. Or take Dick’s Last Resort, which has a number of locations. Here, diners are purposely treated terribly by the wait staff – the restaurant’s name is not coincidental – but people flock to the place because, for some, it is a fun change from the ordinary.
Jones & Sons restaurant in London does not normally gimmick it up – it is a classy joint to be sure – but for three days next week it will transform into the All-in Kitchen and a hybrid poker/foodie event. Scheduled for January 19th through January 21st, the All-in Kitchen will pop-up in conjunction with the start of the PokerStars UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) London event. But this will not just be a restaurant plastered with PokerStars branding. Oh, no. Customers will actually be able to gamble for their food.
Those who are able to get a reservation will be given the opportunity to play poker for their dinner. Diners will receive 10,000 chips prior to their meal and will get to play three hands of poker (I assume against someone from PokerStars or the restaurant). If they finish the three hands with at least 10,000 chips, their entire £50 three-course dinner will be completely on the house. The best part, though, is that there is no cost to playing the poker hands. It is a total freeroll. And on top of that, even those who do not end up ahead in chips still get a heck of a discounted meal. Anyone who finishes with 5,000 to 9,999 chips will only have to pay £5 for dinner, while those who lose enough to finish under 5,000 chips still get an 80 percent discount, paying just £10.
There is no information on the promotional website as to the rules of the poker game, so we can only guess right now as to the proper strategy. It seems logical that if the chip denominations are small enough and there is no minimum wager (assuming one must bet something each hand), the best move would be to bet enough on the first hand where a win would guarantee a finish at or higher than 10,000 while at the same time not risk falling below 5,000. Of course, this all depends on the chip denominations. It would be easy to do with 100-denonomination chips, as one could just bet 200 on the first hand and if it wins, bet 100 on the next two to guarantee at least a 10,000 chips closing stack. Lose the first and the second bet would be 300 to get back over the 10,000 chips mark. Lose both and the final bet should be 500 – the player can still hit 10,000 but not fall below 5,000.
A stack of 20 500-denomination chips would still work. In this case, it would make sense to bet 1,000 on the first hand. If that hand wins, then 500 can be bet on the next two hands without worrying about falling below 10,000. If it loses, bet 1,500 on the next hand. If that also loses, bet 2,500. Worst case scenario, the customer finishes with 5,000 chips, good enough for the £5 meal.
This strategy will not work with 1,000-denomination chips, as the player gets too far in a hole with a loss.
The menu at the All-in Kitchen is quite elaborate; it is easy to see why a three-course meal would cost £50. For example, a customer could choose a “Flop” of Queen Scallops, Salt Baked Swede, Bacon Marmalade, a “Turn” of Lamb Chops, Rump, Kidney & Shoulder, Rosemary Jus, and a “River” of Pear Tarte Tatin, Pear Caramel, Ice Cream. There are four choices each for the Flop and Turn, while there are two River options. There are also “Small Blinds” available, which look like side items, as well as cocktails.
More information, including the location and menu, can be found here.