Summer poker tournaments in Las Vegas generate nearly a quarter-billion dollars worth of prize money, Pokerati data crunchers have found. (Thanks Thea in the Philippines!)
It really is about more than just the World Series. Sure the tournament brand proudly owned by Caesars Interactive may have started it all, but now you’ve got Venetian Deep Stacks, the Wynn Classic, Binion’s Classic, Aria Classic, Rio Deep Stacks, Caesars Megastacks, Bellagio Cup … the list goes on … but all are competing for players, and apparently all you need is a casino property and a poker cliche … and maybe 110-degree weather outside, and voila — tournament success awaits!
LOLs notwithstanding, to better understand the impact of live events on the poker economy, and to assess the scope of WSOP and non-WSOP summertime Vegas action, we looked at 13 different series(es?) held at 10 different casino properties from mid-May through mid July … accounting for 722 tournaments total, nearly 230,000 entries (not to be confused with number of players) … making for more than 1,000 tournament days (whoa, that’s a lotta staff somebody’s gotta manage) in just one city.
And upon looking a little deeper (scroll horizontally) we found how:
Caesars clearly dominates across low, middle, and high stakes tournament levels — with the 312 tournaments they operate accounting for 43 percent of the action we looked at, but 88 percent of the available prize pools
Bellagio tourneys may be in a different league of high-dollar play, but even with WPT-branded events, total prize pools under MGM Resorts’ umbrella tally a relatively paltry $10 million
Venetian held 212 tournaments, with some 32,000 entries generating about $14 million in prize money (after raking about 14 percent)
With an average buy-in of $185, Rio Deepstacks accounted for 70,000 tournament entries, and $12 million in prize money
The Hollywood Poker Open was notable, but probably also an outlier; still, might this one-off just before the WSOP main event reveal a possible a soft spot in the tournament economy at the $2,500 level in late June?
M Resort closed its 14-table poker room [earlier this month] to make space for additional slot machines that will be used for tournament play.
Rina Foster, a spokeswoman for the casino, said employees displaced by the closure were offered other jobs, although she wasn’t sure how many were moved to new positions.
M Resort is owned by Penn National Gaming.
She said the space layout is still be reconfigured and M Resort has not determined how many slot machines will move in the space. Foster said the property’s customers wanted a better location for slot tournaments.
“Currently tournaments are held in a ballroom and with the new area, guests will be able to play on our floor with better access to our amenities and easy access to self-parking,” Foster said.
M Resort still plans to host custom poker events, such as the Hollywood Poker Open that was held at the end of June. The $500,000 tournament featured players who qualified at Penn National properties across the U.S.
The tournament was held in the M Resort convention area.
Foster said next year’s Hollywood Poker Open is already being planned for M Resort.
Regional casino giant Penn National Gaming, which owns M Resort, announced plans Friday to enter San Diego’s Indian gaming market.
The company, which is based in Wyomissing, Pa., announced an agreement to build a $360 million Hollywood-branded casino project for the Jamul Indian Village. The development, which is expected to break ground later this year, is roughly 20 miles east of downtown San Diego.
In a statement, tribal officials said that the environmental review process for the site was completed and the tribe is working with California and San Diego County agencies to address potential environmental impacts.
The project is planned as a three-story, 200,000-square-foot casino with 1,700 slot machines and 50 table games, restaurants, entertainment amenities and a parking structure.
This (long) weekend’s #WPBT festivities are coming to a close … and as I type the poker bloggers are gathered for Sunday football at Lagasse’s Stadium in the Palazzo. There some of them are experiencing, for the first time, what many say is the future of gambling: handheld, semi-portable real-money action.
A new-ish device, “eDeck”, lets you gamble Blackberry/iPhone-style theoretically from anywhere, but currently within the confines of three Las Vegas casinos — the Venetian, Palazzo, and M Resort. Global Gaming Business Magazine named it Best Table Game Product or Innovation for 2009. And none other than Doyle Brunson has been pimping it:
The M Resort & Casino’s 12-table poker room that opened on March 1st began hosting daily No-Limit Hold’em tournaments last week.Â They start at 10 am with a $55 buy-in ($50+5), 3,000 starting chips, 30 minute levels, and have a $1,500 guaranteed prize pool.
For more info contact the M Poker Room at 702-797-1777.