Industry Insiders: JACK Cleveland Poker Manager Chris Lose Shares Legendary JRB Story
If you’ve never been to JACK Casino Cleveland, you are missing something. While most gaming venues are built from the ground up to be casinos, JACK Cleveland has adapted its casino operation to fit into a multi-story, decades-old former downtown department store. As such, it has a rather unique feel.
Inside, there’s a 24-hour poker room offering a wide range of tournaments and cash games, including no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha up to $5/10 $. The room has returned from the pandemic with renewed fervor due in large part to chris losingthe JACK Cleveland Poker Room Manager and former Director of Bingo Operations at ARIA.
Over the past decade, Lose has worked at various casinos both in his hometown (Horseshoe Cleveland and JACK Cleveland) and in Las Vegas (The Orleans and ARIA).
In the last episode of PokerNews In the Industry Insiders series, we spoke with Lose, who has assembled a strong team to help make Cleveland a booming poker destination.
Check out JACK Cleveland Poker Room’s review on PokerNews here!
Finding your way to poker
Born and raised in northeast Ohio. Lose has been married for 17 years and has two sons – Lucas (13) and Liam (9). In 2004, Lose was introduced to poker when his buddies took him to a $20 home game.
“I wasn’t amused by the game at first, but after winning my first tournament, I started getting hooked,” he said. PokerNews. “I started reading poker books and watched a lot of poker on TV. We had weekly games and sometimes weekend casino trips.
Then, in 2011, Horseshoe Cleveland held a hiring event. Lose was interested in getting a job, so in preparation he attended trading school and received a certificate for blackjack and poker.
“At the hiring event, 12,000 people applied and only 600 were hired. I made it,” Lose explained. “The Horseshoe had a training academy that lasted about 12 weeks. I wanted to be a poker dealer. It was my dream. However, at the end of the academy, I was offered a job as Poker Supervisor. I accepted. This position allowed me to progress quickly once I moved to Las Vegas.
His move to Sin City brought him to one of the most prestigious properties on the Strip.
“At Aria, I quickly joined the shift manager team. I used this post to learn even more about the game than I could have ever imagined.
He continued, “As an operator, I believe in engagement. Players have voices. Even if we disagree, it is important that the public is heard. They are the ones playing the game. Always engage and keep an open ear. Poker is evolving. Stay one step ahead.
Things came full circle for Lose when he returned to northeast Ohio and accepted the role of poker room manager at JACK Cleveland, which recently hosted a RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) stop. This is where he was able to bring his Las Vegas experience and build one of the best poker rooms in the Midwest.
“The best thing about Jack is that it’s a single-owner owned and operated casino. We’re owned. We get to try new ideas that a bigger company would avoid. It allows me exciting marketing opportunities.
A legendary JRB story
It’s actually having the chance to work with JACK Cleveland again that is Lose’s greatest pride in poker.
“Becoming the poker room manager of the casino that I opened in 2012 has to be my proudest moment. I always said to myself, ‘I will be a poker room manager in Cleveland one day. took risks and moved around to learn everything I could so I could rise to the challenge if it presented itself. Being able to support my family while changing the poker culture in my hometown is such an amazing feeling .
With years of experience under his belt, Lose has seen it all, which has proven especially true in the West.
“Working in Vegas gave me a bunch of stories. Most that I can’t repeat or are better for inside jokes than anything else,” he said. “My favorite story was during the Super Bowl Patriots vs Falcons. Jean-Robert Bellande had bet on Tom Brady and the Patriots. JRB was wearing a Brady jersey and was the usual himself. He hosted a game at the Aria on Table One. While the score was getting worse and worse for him, legend has it he quit and with a score of 28-3, JRB redeemed his sports bet.And just like that, in the classic Broke Living Luck, the Patriots made a epic comeback. Watching this happen live was crazy. I love JRB. He’s one of the nicest players in the business. He’s always been good to me and he’s someone I talk about a lot, but the events of that night make legendary JRB history.
For more from Chris Lose and poker at JACK Cleveland, follow them on Twitter @CLEPokerKing and @JACKClePKR respectively.
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United States Editor-in-Chief
American editor, co-host of the PokerNews podcast and winner of the 2013 WSOP bracelet.
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