“I want my customers to feel that we are going to into somebody’s living room.” Those words were echoed by former Mayfair Club owner Mike Shichtman as an emblem of the gaming environment he wanted for the most famous poker room in New York City.
New to PokerGO is a documentary short about “The Mayfair Club.” Today’s edition of Stories from the Felt relays the adventure of New York’s notorious gaming hangout where many of poker’s stars from previous decades got their respective starts. Poker Hall of Famers such as Erik Seidel and Dan Harrington cut their teeth playing No Limit Hold’em against the best New York City had to offer before taking their talents out to Las Vegas.
“The Mayfair Club” is one of the first of poker’s learning communities. What started as an establishment for Backgammon quickly grew into a factory of poker talent. When Hold’em was gaining popularity in the 80s and 90s, the Mayfair Club was on the cutting edge of learning the game and honing their skills against those who they studied with.
When it came time to “Roll up the stakes and go to Las Vegas,” the talent built on the foundation of the Mayfair Club was more than ready to compete against their Western United States counterparts.
Screenwriter Brian Koppelman used to frequent the Mayfair Club and used what he encountered from the games there to inspire his hit film Rounders. All details from the ‘Members Only’ sign on the door to the cashier are modeled after what Koppelman experienced during his playing days there.
The cultural impact of the Mayfair Club ranged so far as to have a featured episode on Season 4 of Poker After Dark featuring former members Howard Lederer and Mickey Appleman.
Poker players are ruthless by nature but they compassionate side to the competition is a great side of the game rarely shared. Like the Stories from the Felt episode “Bobby’s Room,” the Mayfair Club makes it clear that there is a camaraderie built as a result of the competition.
The club itself may no longer be in existence but the legacy lives on through those who played and worked there.
Start your weekend off with a trip back in time to one of poker’s eminent establishments on PokerGO. More exciting news is scheduled to be released regarding upcoming Poker After Dark lineups and stay tuned to PokerCentral.com for all updates along with Sunday’s WPT Five Diamond live stream.