Christopher Coffin was born in Franklin, Indiana in 1961 and shortly after Chris was born his father enlisted in the Army. That was the beginning of the many places Chris was to call home, from that point on his family moved from Kansas to Texas to France to Georgia before settling in Indiana in 1968 when his Dad was sent to Viet Nam.
When his Dad returned in 1969 the family moved to Colorado for about a year. Chris's Dad returned to Viet Nam and at that time the family settled in Iowa. In 1971 his Dad returned from Viet Nam for the second time and the family moved back to Colorado.
From Colorado the family moved to Germany for three years and then back to the States, settling in Alabama for two years, where Chris graduated high school.
Shortly after Chris graduated he took up temporary residency in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, due to a medical condition.
In 1981, at the age of 20, he helped move his family to Las Vegas. For the first six years in Vegas he bummed around avoiding the casino industry as a possible profession.
In 1987 he found himself unemployed and decided to learn to deal poker. He broke in to dealing at the Fremont under the supervision of Alan Feiner and in 1993 he went to the Mirage as a poker dealer. When the Bellagio opened in 1998 Chris was promoted to Training Manager but after one year he returned to dealing at the Mirage.
In 2000 Chris made a career change taking a position with a computer tech support company. Two weeks later he had a motorcycle accident that put life on hold for the next six months.
In 2001 he returned to the Mirage working in the poker office. In 2002 Chris was enrooted to Training Manager. That only lasted three months and Chris was back to dealing.
In 2005 he assisted in running the second World Poker Tour event at the Mirage. With the explosion of poker the casino marketing departments within the MGM/Mirage Corporation realized their best high-rollers enjoyed playing poker and with that there was a need for someone to oversee the poker tournaments.
So the position of Poker Special Events Manager was created and Chris was appointed that position in 2005.
Many poker events followed at the Mirage, TI and New York New York. TI management realized the need for a poker and with the exposure Chris had with running poker tournaments there he was appointed Cardroom Manager in February, 2006 of the new TI Poker Room.
DB: How many poker tables are offered at the TI?
CC: We have eight tables for now with a possibility of future expansion.
DB: Where is the poker room located?
CC: It's very unique in it's not in the main casino area. The room is located in the retail promenade, directly across form the Mystere Theater and adjacent to self-parking. We are just steps from the bottom of the escalator from self parking.
DB: Does the TI offer daily tournaments?
CC: We have daily tournaments at 4:00 a.m. geared for the poker industry workers, and 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. events.
DB: Are there any plans for a major poker tournament at the TI?
CC: Not at this time, but we will be taking care of the special events here at the TI. Their main goal is to keep their in-house players in house.
DB: What live games does the TI offer it's players?
CC: We are spreading $2- $4 limit hold'em and the fight is on with one of the slot bosses as to whether we will spread $4-$8 or $5- $10. We're going to let the players vote and see who wins. We are also spreading a no-limit game with $1-$3 blinds with $100-$500 buyins and we expect to spread a $3-$6 game with a $500- $1000 buy-in. We have only been open for two days so we are still in the learning stages but by the time this interview hit's the streets things may have changed.
DB: Is the TI poker room equipped with all the modern technology?
CC: The room is equipped with seven 42" widescreen LCD televisions and the latest technology, including shufflers on all tables, a state of the art game list and player tracking system. Guests of the TI may reserve seats from the comfort of their hotel room.
DB: Who is responsible for the creation of the new cardroom at the TI?
CC: Richie Amalfitano, Vice President of Table Games realized how important poker players are to the casino and his support along with Kevin Turra and Alan Chi of Casino Marketing, Jordan Salmon, Slot Manager, Tom Mikulich, President are all 100 percent behind the success of the poker room. With the various connections to top level poker players we have already been host to professional poker players, Minh Ly and expect to see Johnny Chan and Scott Fischman dropping by from time to time.