The Excalibur poker room in Vegas is removing their PokerPro electronic tables and reverting back to live dealers, according to ThePokerAtlas.Com (never failed me yet). Excalibur was the field trial site for PokerTek, the company that makes the PokerPro tables, in Vegas.
This follows on the heels of Trump Plaza in Atlantic City getting rid of their PokerPro room as well. Trump Plaza had been the field trial site in Atlantic City.
So what does this mean? I can only assume the field trials were a failure, generating substantially lower traffic than the live dealers. Lower traffic = less running games = less raked pots. I had the opportunity to use these tables during my Chicago area poker tour a few months back (the poker room I played with these was in New Buffalo, Michigan).
I found them to be perfectly fine, and actually good for certain things. Low limit NLHE, for instance. No poker room I'd ever been to would spread a $.50/$1 NLHE game, except for this one. The lower stakes mean a lower overall rake, but the lower stakes also attract a decent list of newbie players. Also, the electronic nature of the game led to a lot more donkeyish all-in plays, which was nice for my bankroll. And I see the argument that for games like PLO or split games or stud games, the tables could play many more hands than live dealers and be 100% accurate to boot.
But PLO and split games are a small population of the overall poker community. Hold'Em is the game of choice and the electronic tables fall short of the experience of a live dealer and real chips in your hand. So, overall, I'm glad these tables failed. There's definitely a niche place for them, but it would have been sad to never be able to chip shuffle at the table again.