A week of daily events across Las Vegas
Nearly every casino with a poker room offers a daily tournament. The buy-ins range from $45 to more than $500, depending on the day of the week.
I want to explore the level of competition, how much play I can get for my money and whether the payouts are worth the grind.
I’m going to play at least a week of dailies around Las Vegas. Mostly, I plan to play on the Strip. But I also want to hit at least one event downtown and check out the action at an off-strip casino or two. I’ll avoid the WSOP-circuit events in town and Venetian’s Deepstack Extravaganza Series, as to stay out of the path of sharks.
If I happen to get knocked out early, I’ll do some follow-up reporting on the pay structure.
My first event started at 7 p.m. Wednesday, a $125 buy-in at Aria. The blinds opened at 25/50, with 30 minute levels.
Folks in town told me it’s one of the better events for the money.
Wednesday’s tourney found 80 entrants, with the top 9 making money. First place paid $2,677 after play wrapped up around 3 a.m. Mine ended about an hour in, after 7-4 crippled my A-K.
Twenty minutes before cards hit the air, I received my entry card: Table 5, Seat 9.
Doyle Brunson and Eli Elezra were playing 400-800 mix one table over, and my seat directly faced them. Could I focus on cards with The Godfather sitting inches away?
I set my Vitamin Water squeezed on the felt in front of my seat.
“Excuse me, sir. Are you here for the tournament?” a floorman asked.
“We’ve moved your table. It’s all the way on the other side of the room.”
OK. Nice view of the coffee bar, and a rainbow tower of green, black, blue and yellow chips that added up to 10,000.
Even this close to the rail at Aria, I won’t smell the cigarette smoke outside the room.
I figured I was at a great starting table after three players had open-limped the button, and one woman paying more attention to the noise in her headphones than the cards on the table let her stack bleed quickly by chasing gutshots.
I would get nowhere near the top, however, as I ran into a kid with what’s known as fancy play syndrome.
He began the near-knockout hand with the 10,000 starting stack. I had a few more.
The dance started with his casual 2.5x raise from the hijack seat. I tried to wrest control with a three-bet on the button, holding AcKh. His four-bet earned another raise from me. He thought momentarily and shoved. I called instantly.
He turned over 7c4c, and the flop looked good: AhAd5s.
He said, “nice hand.”
No, not yet.
Dealer: “He still has outs.”
No. No. No.
I was eliminated a few hands later when the same villain beat my 77 with AQ. With luck like that, I opted not to rebuy.
Tonight, I’m going to hop in the 7 pm, $45 tourney at Stratosphere, which some players are calling the new Sahara, because of the small buy-in. With a little luck, I’ll get past the second level.
Check my twitter feed @randompoker for updates from the felt.