In case you hadn’t seen it yet … here’s one of the betting sheets available in the Caesars sportsbooks for morning wagering on WSOP Final Table-days. You’ll notice the rule at the bottom, which says you can’t bet on yourself. And though a Caesars casino should be able to track this via a player’s Total Rewards cards, stopping it from happening seems about as effective as stopping people from using their cell phones in a sportsbook.
Why don’t they offer parlays? That’s where the real money in rigging a couple outcomes would come!
Neato. But I gotta wonder what will be more important in the future — these wagers, or the ability to show live-streaming video with hole cards. And if you can’t have both … what does this mean for the future of betting on skill games like America’s Got Talent?
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.
“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.
Mondays and Tuesdays are arguably the worst days of the week for poker, which is why I often take those days off.
The tourists have donated their Vegas dollars to the grinders over the weekend, and even the L.A. crowd has headed back to their movie studios and plastic surgeons.
This meant that for the final two days of my week-long experiment in playing Las Vegas daily tournaments, I would have to hit some of the bigger casinos — Caesars Palace and Bellagio.
The 10,000 starting stack at Caesars Palace's nightly tournament.
With a WSOP-circuit event being held at Caesars, I didn’t have trouble finding a comfortable-size field for their nightly 7pm tournament on a Monday. With a $110 entry fee, this event has a $5,000 guaranteed prize pool (Mon-Fri only). The staff and one local at my starting table who had already worked out the math said they would need at least 63 entrants to reach that figure. Caesars’s nightly tournaments sometimes start with even fewer players, offering a healthy overlay.
Of the buy-in, Caesars took $20 as a “maintenance fee” and $10 was for the staff toke.)
Grinders and well-known pros filled the room — the 2008 WSOP Main Event third-place finisher Dennis Phillips sat a few tables away playing a cash game and Jeff Madsen, the rapper who also won 2006 WSOP player of the year, was at the final table of the main event in the elevated area nearby. I didn’t recognize anyone at my table who should have given me trouble.
A Week of Whiffs?
I was due for a nice run, having missed the money in my first 5 tournaments. The 10,000 chip starting stack and 20-minute levels felt comfortable out of the gate. I’d have to beat out 59 others to earn the $1,914 first-place prize.
Buckle up … the news (we care about) has been moving too fast for Pokerati be the lone source keeping up with it all. And with this latest — Caesars has made it official … the Empire is going public (again)! — don’t be surprised if February/March 2012 turns out to be the biggest news month in poker since April 2011.
I haven’t quite yet figured out if and how this is different from an IPO. But I do know these sorta things don’t happen in a vacuum. And considering the last time Caesars — soon to be better known on NASDAQ as CZR — looked serious about going public was the last time they had reason to believe passage of online poker legalization was imminent (Dec 2010) … uh, um, gahhh! So much going on, so many old docs to look at, so much for Kevmath to hopefully fact-check … my head is spinning with the possibilities! (And I can only wonder who Barack Obama met with on the side when he visited Las Vegas long enough to stay the night in the suburbs a couple weeks ago,)
Probably not a bad time to remember that Caesars was a public corporation (called Harrah’s) that went private almost immediately after passage of the UIGEA, controversial legislation that leveled the impact of the biggest online poker sites in the world (at the time).
The Palms Casino Resort, one of the last remaining “family run” operations on or off the Las Vegas Strip — and home to the gloriously raucous @Pokerati Game @PalmsPokerRm — will likely become part of the Caesars casino empire. The Maloof family, 80 percent owners of the Palms, sold off their majority interest this week to investors that include TPG Capital.
Across the street from the Rio ... a true palace of low-stakes NLH/PLO.
Fort Worth-based TPG, of course, are majority owners of Caesars Entertainment, corporate overlords to the WSOP.
According to the Sacramento Bee, upon approval by Nevada Gaming regulators, the billionaire Maloof family will retain just 2 percent … with an option to rebuy up to 20.
Turns out talk of TPG owning the Palms wasn't referring to The Pokerati Game after all.
Untested but presumably reliable sources say the Palms will almost certainly end up in Caesars’ portfolio of casino properties, following an acquisition path similar to how things went for Planet Hollywood … and should become part of Caesars’ Total Rewards program by year-end. Over in Sacramento, the buzz is all about what the Maloof sale means for the Sacramento Kings, who apparently need both a new arena and a player bankroll.
I can’t begin to think I really understand the high finance and debt restructuring of Big Casinos … so before I try to explain, you should probably peruse the past six months or so of SEC filings for CZR. There really is a rather fascinating story in the agate here.
Maybe Caesars corporate has a greater sense of humor and love for irony than I give them credit for …
Visitors to the WSOP will likely notice this painting in the central dome area of the Rio convention center, near the entrance to the Pavillion room, by Shane McDowall, the artist from “On Tilt” who designs the WSOP bracelets. Supposedly this is just a place-holder for what will be a more dynamic installation, some sorta electrified Roy Lichetenstein meets Lite Brite display.
We love fine art as much as fine scandal here at Pokerati, of course … but I did find it rather curious that WSOP brand protectors would go for an Ace-up-a-sleeve so closely attached to images of their proprietary chips.
While this painting’s narrative presumably tells the story of a cheater foiled, or one who just can’t win (and thus is “on tilt”) … McDowall said he received no blowback from Caesars corporate about the Ace or any insinuations of crooked play or even violent outbursts. However there was a fair amount of concern, he said, about the altered font in the official World Series of Poker logo.
(Eventually proper suits agreed with the artist that cartoonified lettering was essential to the authenticity of this representation of the WSOP.)
In many ways it’s a disheartening reminder of what Phil Hellmuth can never be … and possibly indicative of poker’s future direction. Say what you will about the struggling American family farm, clearly there’s more money in virtual harvesting than poker, and hence the biggest name in poker (as far as Google is concerned) — and the most powerful celebrity in the world thanks in part to a song talking about poker — has moved beyond Texas Hold’em to sign with Farmville — and the parent company of the biggest online poker site.
Implications are clear … Zynga is planning to take over American agriculture by introducing poker players to the concept that money can indeed grow on trees. It should play great with the kids (who love Lady Gaga).
At a minimum you can see how Zynga’s at least thinking along the similar lines as Caesars:
It’s time to take a breath after all of last week’s crazy poker action, but there was still quite a bit of poker to be played this week.
The Borgata Winter Poker Open and the Caesers Classic each held their Main Event,Â and the year of the media continued to roll on strong.
Borgata Winter Poker Classic (Atlantic City, New Jersey)
After almost a full month’s worth of tournaments, the Borgata Winter Poker Open culminated in a $3,500 Main Event that drew 718 players and generated a prize pool of over $2.6 million. The top six players each locked down a six-figure score, but Ukranian Vadim Shlez was the last man standing, claiming a first place prize of $533,210. [Borgata Blog]
Caesars Winter Poker Classic (Las Vegas, Nevada)
This $550 Main Event drew over 450 players, which made for a first place prize of over $44,000. The biggest name to make this final table was Bryan Micon, who would have to settle for eight place and $6,500. The big winner on this day was Christopher Johnson, no relation to the Tennessee Titans Pro Bowl running back, but he undoubtedly got paid, straight cash homey. [CardPlayer]
Remko Rinkema became just the latest member of the poker media to score big on the other side of the tournament ropes. Remko finished 4th in an Estrellas Poker Tour event in Madrid to the tune of over â‚¬26,000… Liv Boeree made her first big splash since joining Team PokerStars by defeating James “mig.com” Mackey to win the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up and $75,000.