Poker players have been known to earn food through casino comps, and plenty of professionals use the game to pay for their meals.
But a new venture from PokerStars is connecting the card game to diners in a more direct way.
A partnership between PokerStars and Jones and Sons restaurant has resulted in the creation of the All-in Kitchen, a three-day “pop-up” restaurant in East London.
The restaurant, which will only be open from January 19 to 21, is designed to celebrate the beginning of the 2015 United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) season.
It’s too late to get a seat at the table now, as the restaurant is booked solid throughout the promotional period, but those who were lucky enough to get in will enjoy a rather unique poker-themed experience.
If they so choose, diners have the option of treating the All-in Kitchen as a normal restaurant.
In that case, a meal will cost Â£50 ($76) per diner for the entire meal. But patrons also have the option of playing a short poker game, and there’s really no reason not to: even if things go disastrously wrong, everyone who gives the game a shot will get a significant discount on their meal.
Here’s how it works. Anyone interested in trying out a little poker can head on over to a small table, complete with a dealer, where they’ll be paired up with their friends or dates along with other diners to play in a tournament so fast, it makes a hyper-turbo seem unbearably slow.
Each player gets 10,000 chips to start, and only three hands will be played.
How well each player does determined how much they’ll have to pay for their meal. If you can increase your chip stack above 10,000, you’ll earn yourself a free meal, no strings attached.
Lose a few chips but stay above the 5,000 mark, and you’ll have to pay a modest Â£5 ($7.60) for your dinner. And if disaster strikes, and you fall below 5,000 chips, you’ll still get an incredible bargain, paying just Â£10 ($15.25) to eat and drink.
What do you get for working so hard at the poker table?
The menu is also entirely poker-themed, with appetizers being called “The Flop,” entrees coming as “The Turn,” and deserts available on “The River.”
Even the names of the dishes are borrowed from poker terms, ranging from “Kings” (a char grilled king prawn cocktail) to “The Royal Flush” (a king crab thermidor with straw fries). If you need sides, you can grab them off of the “Small Blinds” menu.
“I love food and never shy away from the tables when I get the chance, so having the opportunity to create a menu that combines two of my favorite things was something I jumped at,” Andy Jones, founder of Jones & Sons, told the Daily Mail.
The restaurant idea has proven so popular that it has already been extended to include new dates on January 26 and 27. PokerStars also plans to continue the experience in other UKIPT locations throughout the year.
The first leg of the UKIPT will take place at the Hippodrome Casino in London from January 20-25.