We traveled north this month to Reno to chat with Margie Heintz, poker room manager at Silver Legacy, Reno’s newest poker room.
Silver Legacy Resort Casino opened its new poker room last month, catering to guests and ONE Club members at the Silver Legacy, Eldorado Resort Casino and Circus Circus Reno. The poker room is equipped with 13 tables, is open 24 hours and is located on the main casino floor next to the all-new Canter’s Deli.
This new room is managed by Margie Heintz, who is considered to be the first woman ever to deal in the World Series of Poker. Heintz is also a member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame. He was appointed in 2011.
GT: Margie, you have an interesting history and story to tell, visit online ARTAPOKER. How did you get into poker?
MH: “I started playing poker in late 1974. Several women were in the poker industry at that time. I was born and raised in Montana… fifth generation Montanan. I am 21 years old, the year poker became legal in Montana. I was fascinated by the game. I learned to deal and then took a vacation to Las Vegas in the summer of 1976. I was hired by the famous Bill Boyd at the Golden Nugget while on vacation. In March 1977, Jack Strauss held a major tournament at the Marina Hotel / Casino on the Strip. I got over it and made lots of connections with big players.
“I am known to be able to handle big money games. Cowboy Wolford suggested that I tackle the World Series of Poker. In May 1977, I applied and was sent to Benny Binion. I know he has a ranch in Montana. So I introduced myself and we started talking about Montana. She liked me and allowed me to become the First Woman in History to handle the World Series of Poker. I got involved again in 1981; sometimes in cash games, I push a $ 500,000 dollar pot. “
Margie continues, “I came to Reno and opened the biggest casino in the world at that time, the MGM Grand. It was May 3, 1978. I fell in love with the Reno / Tahoe area. I feel more at home in this area; Reno was small and Lake Tahoe was one of the most beautiful places in the world. I was part of three more poker room openings after that. The Eldorado poker room opened in April 1986 and closed in April 1988. It was only open two years and two weeks.
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