Archive for the ‘Las Vegas poker rooms’ Category

The Restoration of Venetian Poker

@RandomPoker finds bigger, brighter Sands room open for expanded business

by , Sep 7, 2012 | 1:00 pm

Let’s hope it’s an omen. I picked up pocket Aces on my first hand in the new-and-improved Venetian poker room. My good friend and fellow Pokeratier Andrew raised into me, then called my three-bet “just in case” before check-folding the flop.

venetian sands poker room

$10 Million Rebuy: The Venetian poker room has expanded to add 50 percent more tables and hopefully 50 percent more donkey tourists.

The new digs reopened at 5 am Wednesday; I arrived around 4:30 pm, or what Vegas grinders call morning. I wanted to see what a month-long renovation and supposedly $10 million could do for a major poker room. And I can tell you, this is now the fanciest poker joint in Vegas — if only for the giant, shimmering chandeliers hanging under a Renaissance ceiling mural at the front of the room.

Here’s some of what I couldn’t help but notice upon re-entering this previously familiar poker space:

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Gimmick Mixed Game or New Way to Play?

@RandomPoker tries “2-11” poker for blend of Hold’em, Omaha and chaos

by , Aug 31, 2012 | 1:00 pm

So you’ve played hold’em, Omaha, 7-card stud, razz, badugi, badaci, baduci, razz-dugi, 2-7 triple draw, Chinese poker, Taiwanese poker, Indian poker and every hi-lo variant there is.

What’s next?

In a new game being spread at the Palms, using three 7s in his hand,  Bruce Paul turned quads and paused the action after scooping a big pot.

“That’s called a sniper,” he informed all of us newbies at the table about holding three-of-a-kind.

Paul, the 58-year-old Californian who created the game, hopes his 2-11 poker is the next big thing to captivate the card playing world. It’s called 2-11 (“two-eleven”) because of the 2-card flop, the 1-card turn and 1-card river.

Players get 4 hole cards and can use 2 or 3 from their hand and 2 or 3 from the board to make the best 5-card hand. Betting was 2/4 fixed limit, but could easily be played NL or PL.

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Tobacco Station

@RandomPoker in one of the last smoking rooms in Vegas

by , Aug 26, 2012 | 7:14 pm

Dragging Pots: The 4/8 limit Omaha at Boulder Station is a throwback to days when smoke-filled poker rooms were standard.

Open the locomotive-handled doors, weave through the slot machines between the bingo hall and Burger King, and step into the past.

The poker room at Boulder Station, an off-strip casino opened in 1994, is one of only two poker rooms in Las Vegas that allow smoking at the tables. (The 3-table Arizona Charlie’s on Decatur being the other.) With 11-tables and a reputation for action, the Boulder room remains popular among a certain, darker-lunged crowd.

And it’s one of the few places — smoking or non — that offers consistent small stakes limit Omaha.

But what are places like this still doing around?

“It’s just tradition,” Steve Deuel, the poker room manager, told me. “It’s been that way for 18 years.”

Only about 5 miles from the Strip but seemingly in another era, the train-station-themed casino sits between a Motel 6 and an apartment complex facing the I-515. It’s on the east side of town and the  north end of a row of a widely spaced casinos along the diagonal Boulder Highway.

“Play the 4/8 Omaha high over there,” Andrew Neeme said in a text message. “I’ve never seen bigger pots, physically, than in that game.”

Giddyup.

I wondered what kind of splashy tourist might find this place, and I’m still wondering. As a local who rarely grinds off-strip casinos, I felt a little out of place in what is something like the Cheers of poker rooms. Couldn’t spot an out-of-towner in the place, let alone someone under 30.

By 5pm, they were starting a  third 4/8 Omaha table, and I hopped in the 6 seat. The action picked up quickly, especially for a Monday. Along with Omaha, there were 4/8 and 2/4 limit hold’em games and a quickly growing interest list for 1/2 no-limit.

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Venetian Poker Room Overhaul Underway

Games moved to temporary space in Palazzo until Sept. 1

by , Aug 16, 2012 | 9:00 am

The long-awaited redesign of the Venetian Poker Room is in full gear, creating a major, albeit temporary, shift in big-room action on the Vegas Strip.

In a couple weeks, the renovated room will have 59 tables with bigger and better TVs — mounted on the walls and in pillars — and cushier chairs. The newly remodeled room is slated to open Sept. 1, according to the Venetian’s facebook page.

The old 52-table room quickly grew favor among regulars and tourists alike after it opened in 2006, particularly for its Deep Stack Extravaganza tournament series. But the Venetian’s prestige as the Best Poker Room in Vegas slipped with some poker enthusiasts as Aria opened 3 years later.

The renovated room supposedly will extend across floor space previously used for overflow tournaments and slots, abutting the new Cantor Gaming Sportsbook and Noodle Asia.

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Nosebleed Heaven

@RandomPoker's Guide to the Biggest High-Stakes Cash Games in Vegas

by , Jul 15, 2012 | 5:10 pm

Dan Bilzerian tweeted this picture of $9.4 million in chips with the caption: “Our poker game is officially fucking huge.”

Flags were flying around Las Vegas — and it had more to do with the WSOP than the 4th of July.

Sure, you can always expect to see more $5,000 chips in play on Vegas felts during the WSOP, but the super-high-stakes action that requires them really picked up this summer — more so than usual, it seems, particularly in the days leading up to Big One for One Drop, the biggest buy-in tournament in history.

Pots in the hundreds of thousands of dollars practically became the norm in The Ivey Room at Aria, where a bunch of billionaires and Hollywood socialites were playing $2k/$4k NL for more than a week. At the same time, a $1k/$2k PLO game was going on in the Pavillion Room at the WSOP, and Doyle Brunson was logging super-long sessions at his home room in Bellagio.

Poker room supervisors say Vegas hasn’t seen this level of action since billionaire banker Andy Beal took on “the Corporation” at the Wynn in 2004. ($15k/$30k and $30k/$60k heads-up limit hold’em was their game.) There’s some chatter among Vegas regs about how different poker rooms go about bringing in certain players while keeping others out — lest the biggest casino whales get devoured too quickly by certain poker sharks.

Here is a 2012 guide to the who/what/when/where/why of the really big games around Las Vegas:

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Tipping Points

A Vegas Poker Player’s Guide to Gratuities at the WSOP

by , Jun 25, 2012 | 12:39 pm

wsop dealer tips

A drunken fish plopped down in the uncapped $1-$2 NL game at Golden Nugget on a recent Saturday night, and before long, playing maybe 98 percent of his starting hands, he scooped an $800 pot thanks to an extremely fortunate flop. He threw the dealer a $100 bill for a tip.

The other players’ eyes widened, and the dealer even seemed reluctant to accept the 12.5 percent gratuity. But considering that I got to be the one who eventually stacked him (KK > TT) I couldn’t help but think that the dealer’s good fortune ultimately cut into my own profits!

Call me a life-nit or just a guy who chooses self-park over valet, but here in Las Vegas too many people want a piece of your bankroll. You can see it almost everywhere at the WSOP, and after awhile all that extra “optional” money can really add up.

We spoke to dozens of seasonal WSOP workers to find out what they really expect from decent players, along with the likelihood that you are going to stiff them.

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Ellis Island Poker Room Opens for Business

@RandomPoker honoring immigrants, donating to donkeys

by , Jun 23, 2012 | 2:49 pm

The newest poker room in Las Vegas opened Friday night at Ellis Island, which sits just off the strip behind Bally’s, between a 7-Eleven and Super 8 motel. It’s a casino that caters to local casino workers — with stiff drinks, cheap steaks, and loud karaoke — and I was there for the very first hand. (I folded 2-8 offsuit in early position.)

Cards got in the air shortly after 6 pm for a 1-2 no-limit and 2-4 limit game, both 10-handed. Though inside a Leroy’s Sportsbook, the casino operates the two-table room, which is next to the cage and slot machines, but out of earshot from the karaoke bar.

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Hook a Lady Up

Special (Pink) Ladies Event Satellites @TropLV

by , Jun 22, 2012 | 12:53 pm

Say what you will about the WSOP Ladies Championship — I’ve got the over/under at 15 for number of men who enter this year — it’s still the kinda event that some people get super-excited about for weeks if not months beforehand. And our super-good friend Donna from Pink Ladies Poker Tour has a series of single-table satellites this Sunday, June 24, St. Jean Baptiste Day, at the Tropicana.

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Station Casinos Ready Themselves for Online Play

Fertitta Interactive launching Ultimate Gaming, Poker

by , Jun 20, 2012 | 10:35 am

Fertitta Interactive LLC on Tuesday announced it will launch its real-money and social gaming company, Ultimate Gaming, an online gaming business it has been developing since its October acquisition of CyberArts Licensing LLC.

“We view it as a global opportunity,” Tom Breitling, chairman of Fertitta Interactive, said during an hour-long presentation . “We believe the timing is right to enter the world of online gaming, so we are doing so with Ultimate Gaming.”

Breitling said its free-play poker game, Ultimate Poker, will be released Friday on Facebook, with a promotional campaign to begin July 7 during Ultimate Fighting Championship 148, a pay-per-view event.

He said Ultimate Gaming is UFC’s official online gaming sponsor.

The Las Vegas-based company will launch real money poker in Nevada as soon state gaming regulators approve pending manufacturer, service provider and operator licenses, Breitling said. That should be by the end of the year, he said.

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Sneak Peek at New Ellis Island Sportsbook / Poker Room

European online poker site setting up shop in Vegas, US?

by , Jun 6, 2012 | 7:41 pm

A new two-table poker room is under construction at Ellis Island, the popular off-strip dive casino. Perhaps taking a cue from the new CantorGaming poker room at the Palms, the room is located inside a Leroy’s Sportsbook.

Leroy’s (owned by British online bookmaker and poker room William Hill) and Cantor are engaged in a quiet battle of licensed technology … as Cantor has devices allowing in-game sports-betting all across casino properties its in, and Leroy’s has Nevada Gaming-approved iphone and android apps that allow sports betting anywhere within state lines.


Wynn Plugs in, Keeps Players All Charged up

@RandomPoker around Las Vegas

by , Jun 3, 2012 | 2:25 pm

I’m posting this from my mobile device while at a 1/3 table, without worrying about my battery dying. About a week ago, the Wynn installed electrical outlets under the tables at almost every seat in the room.

wynn poker table outlet

“It’s great customer service,” said the random player to my right with his iPhone plugged in. He said he talked with a Caesars floor man about it and would tell poker room managers back East.


10 Essential Apps for the WSOP

Find the best chip counts, tournament results, and live Vegas cash games

by , Jun 2, 2012 | 3:45 pm

The WSOP is the time to buckle down. It’s time to grind. It’s time to ditch Scramble with Friends and Temple Run.

Once you’ve packed every color hoodie you own and your favorite headphones, here’s a list of the 10 most useful apps (with iTunes ratings) for poker players in Vegas to check out between rungood tunes.

Find a game — and keep track of it

1.) Most poker professionals I know use an app to track their bankroll and make sure their live stats are fresh. I use Poker Income Pro (4 stars): For $9.99, the app allows you to add live sessions and auto-detects your location or plug in completed sessions. Arrange a setup for your standard game. For tournament stats, you can filter through stuff like location, length and game. For cash games, you can check reports on your hourly, your $ per session, the number of hours you’ve played, and the percentage you’ve cashed cashed, along with plenty of other details.

2.) For $12.99, you can opt to buy Poker Journal. (3.5 stars) This app includes many of the same features as Poker Income, while also letting you to pause your live game tracker while you take a break from the table.

3.) PokerNews.com (2.5 stars): You’ve got 3 horses in 3 different WSOP events, and you want to rail them all. This free app lets you know who’s still got chips and links you to hand analysis, so you can rest assure they didn’t bust playing A6 like a fish.

4.) Bluff Mobile (4.5 stars): This new, free app provides up-to-the minute news on tourneys, player rankings, archives from the magazine and even a few Twitter squabbles.

Apps like Bravo Poker Live help you find the best games in town

5.) Bravo Poker Live (3.5 stars): Just about every Vegas grinder I know has this app. You can check the number of live cash games, along with the current waiting list. You can also look for daily tournaments schedules and and buy-in amounts, along with specific room promotions. Troubles: The search function doesn’t seem to work. And some poker rooms, such as Aria and Bellagio are not connected to Bravo.

6.) All Vegas Poker (4.5 stars): This takes the Bravo app a few steps further, including extras like pictures of some rooms, whether you can straddle in cash games, the max rake and average players in a given tournament and its duration. AVP also lets you know which casinos are holding other special series events.

7.) Poker Chip Tracker (5 stars): This free app lets you show off your giant chip stack on Facebook and Twitter. Simply enter hand-by-hand analysis and snap a stream of photos to go along with your session and upload.

8.) Wynn Poker (3 stars): A free, Wynn-centric app that gives you an “up-to-the-minute” view of the games being played and the waiting list for each, while it also lists the daily tournaments and links to Wynn’s poker site.

Around Vegas

Many of the major casinos — MGM, Luxor, Palms, Aria, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Hard Rock and New York-New York — have their own apps that allow you to check out the restaurants and make reservations. Here are a few that give you something to do if you ever want some fresh air.

9.) LV Weekly (3.5 stars): A free app with the basics about Vegas clubs, pools, restaurants and casinos. Includes brief descriptions, hours, directions and distance. Trouble: The calendar lacks any events, so you’ll have to pick up a print edition for the latest events.

10.) Guest List (4.5 stars): Download this 99-cent app when you’re ready for clubbing. It updates daily and allows you to get yourself on the guest list for clubs and pools.


Put a Personal Poker Coach in Your Pocket

Special rate expiring soon. Sign up now!

by , May 30, 2012 | 12:36 pm

Private Live Poker Training

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All you have to do is log in and click here. We’ve made many exciting changes at Stack Em over the first year, and we have many more in store. Online or live, NL or mix, we have what you need to start stacking the competition.

Hope to see you around!


Las Vegas 2012 Summertime Tournament Matrix

A cool spreadsheet circulating around the WSOP breaks down your options

by , | 1:45 am

The WSOP isn’t just about the WSOP … you have tournament options of notable field sizes and different game varieties all across town. While Aria has opened an entire new section for dailies, Bellagio cleared a section for tournaments and TV cameras and Binions made way for more tables, too. There’s a summer “classic” at Wynn and the Deep Stacks Extravaganza is back at Venetian, while Golden Nugget and Caesars Palace gear up for the Grand Poker and Mega Stack series’ respectively.

Need help deciding what, when, and where to play throughout the summer? This handy spreadsheet breaks down all the big tournament action — with details on buy-in, blind structures, and rake so you can choose the best brick-and-mortar MTT.


OMG IT’S THE WSOP!

Choosing events, swapping percentages, and selling pieces: Cash game grinders look for value spots in Vegas tourneys

by , May 25, 2012 | 11:59 am

After spending the majority of the past 3 weeks in Detroit, Columbus, and Carlsbad attending weddings, I’m back in my one-bedroom apartment at the intersection of Flamingo and Maryland in Las Vegas. Maybe it’s just the annoyingly vast amounts of construction and “improvements” they’re doing on my building, but there seems to be higher than standard levels of particles and dust in the Vegas air. People are excited, poker players are selling pieces, and Phil Hellmuth moved into the Aria penthouse for 2 months. That electric feeling can mean only one thing… the World Series of Poker is almost here.

I’ve never sold on the open marketplace, so bear with me as I figure this process out. I’m not a high volume tournament player, but I agree with Phil Galfond when he says that strong cash game players can find success in tournaments if they take them seriously.

Poker rooms across town (well, those in Caesars-owned properties anyway) are ramping up their promotion efforts for the series, offering a plethora of ways to win a seat into various events. On top of that, you can step into one of many rooms to pick up a flier for their own mini-series which will run concurrently; events with smaller buy ins but still impressively sized fields and prizes can be found up and down the strip as well as downtown. WSOP time in Las Vegas is awesome. If you like poker, you simply need to see the sheer size of the production that takes place inside the Rio Convention Center. Rows and rows, hundreds of tables (in use, no less…). Strip poker rooms overflowing with players. So many hopefuls, so many fans of the game, all the superstars and several soon-to-be poker-famous players descending on one spot. And let’s not forget… so many fish!

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