Posts Tagged ‘MGM’

Boyd, Station Casinos Move Forward with Online Poker Plans

Next stage could mark US re-entry for BwinParty

by , Oct 6, 2012 | 10:00 am

Boyd Gaming Corp. and Station Casinos, fierce competitors in the locals casino market, could soon take their rivalry to the Internet.

Affiliates of the two companies were tentatively approved Wednesday to operate online poker websites within Nevada’s boundaries by the Gaming Control Board. The Nevada Gaming Commission will take up the matter Oct. 18.

The companies may launch their poker operations at different times. The sites can be accessed only from computers and mobile devices within Nevada’s borders.

Boyd Gaming officials said they will wait until the company’s online partner, bwin.party gaming, is licensed by state gaming regulators. Ultimate Gaming, a subsidiary of Fertitta Interactive, which is controlled by the founders of Station Casinos, plans to launch a Nevada gaming site as soon a technology achieves the various levels of approval.

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Brad Garrett plays MGM, PokerGives Keeps on Giving, Bellagio Raising (Low) Stakes

@Randompoker around Vegas

by , Sep 21, 2012 | 3:37 pm

Red-ish Carpet: Because of ongoing renovations at MGM, the Brad Garrett charity tourney will take place in a temporary area between Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant and the Cirque du Soleil’s KÀ theater.

Celebbing it Up @MGMGrandPoker
Brad Garrett has been a character around the poker scene for a while — pretty much since everyone in poker started loving his fictional brother and real life home-game buddy. On Saturday, Garrett hosts a $250 buy-in charity tournament at the MGM Grand, with a top prize of $10,000.

Fellow sitcom star and WSOP notable Ray Romano says he’ll be there. Others expected to join the action include actresses Elizabeth Perkins and Mimi Rogers, 2008 WSOP Main Event third place finisher Dennis Phillips, and, of course, MGM poker room ambassador Karina Jett. MGM officials expect upwards of 300 entrants for the event, which offers $100 rebuys and add-ons.

Proceeds from this event go to the Maximum Hope Foundation, a group Garrett founded 12 years ago to provide “compassionate, practical assistance” to families caring for a child with life-limiting illness.

Garrett recently opened up Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at the MGM, offering nightly stand-up acts on the Strip. (Somehow I haven’t been yet.)

Cards in the air tomorrow at noon.

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More than Just No-Limit Hold’em for Tourists

PLO, HORSE, AIOF, Mix-Max, and Chinese Hi-Lo (?) make for Challenge Series

by , Apr 23, 2012 | 5:30 am

Matt Savage returns home to Las Vegas tomorrow to take the TD helm for the MGM Grand Challenge Series, which began on Friday anr runs through May 6.

At first glance, this series resembles most “tourist stakes” festivals in Las Vegas — two-and-a-half weeks of two tourneys a day, with buy-ins ranging from $150 to $550 and a $1,600 main event (starting May 1). But a closer look at the schedule reveals that 9 of the 30 events are something other than no-limit Texas hold’em. There are five Omaha events, two HORSE events, a stud event and a hi-lo variant of Chinese Poker. Even the WSOP doesn’t have that.

Matt Savage opted not to include any limit hold’em or pot-limit Words with Friends in the current MGM series line-up, but did include just about everything else.

And six of the hold’em events veer from standard full-ring multi-table freezeout structure — to include turbos, a double-stack event, bounties, an “all-in or fold” tournament (where those are your only two choices on every hand), and a mix-max, where the number of players at each table progressively shrinks (from 10 to 8 to 6 to 4…).

Savage says he  expects a healthy turnout of pros for the Chinese Poker ½ High, ½ 2-7 event.

The idea for this series, he said, was “to provide a variety of games that other series’ in Vegas don’t generally have. No-limit hold’em, while it’s popular, isn’t the only game.”

The Grand Challenge series is taking place in a temporary location on the casino floor,  next to the old lion habitat, while construction on the adjacent bar is underway.

For the first event, a $230 NLHE tournament with 3 day ones, there were more than 300 entrants. The top three finishers chopped for a $10k, $9k, and $9k payout.

Dan played the $150 Pot Limit Omaha with $100 rebuys last night. The Sunday evening event drew 37 players and saw 98 rebuys, for a first prize around $5k. Dan got knocked out just short of the money, with 32 players remaining. I wonder how many hands he played before realizing the odds can actually change when you don’t run it twice.

I’m personally interested in Wednesday’s 6-max NL Hold’em event — something I’ve played before online but never live. We’ll see if my online experience short-handed combined with my looser live cash-game style gives me the edge I anticipate. And if I make the money there, I may just take a shot at the all-in or fold event on Friday. Ever since I heard about it, I’ve been hashing out strategy with friends.

Sounds like it could be really fun or really quick.


Las Vegas @RandomPoker Buzz

Jett & Savage sign with MGM, Aria big game relocates to Bellagio, farewell drunken shenanigans at O'Sheas

by , Mar 22, 2012 | 12:38 pm

It’s hard to play anywhere in Vegas as a non-tourist without hearing noise about the room you’re in or one down The Strip. No wonder so many regs wear headphones. But I keep my ears unplugged to filter through it all for Pokerati — and so Dan has at least half a clue about what’s real, what’s bullshit and what’s a live tell.

Some of what I’ve picked up lately:

Karina Jett is the MGM’s new poker room ambassador, meaning she will promote the room and host the weekly $120 HORSE event at 7:15pm every Tuesday. Jett has hosted the HORSEament previously at the Palms and then M Resort before settling into her new gig at MGM. The inaugural running at MGM featured a drinks-flowing pre-party that saw Cyndy Violette, Gavin Smith, Layne Flack, Allen Kessler, and Erik Seidel.

DonkDown Radio founder Bryan Micon won the tournament last week, beating a pro-filled field of about 80 for a $2k score, along with besting several others in a last-longer bet that paid an added $4k. The next running, earlier this week, attracted a field of about 60 players.

Meanwhile, WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage is also on board with MGM, serving as tournament director for the upcoming Grand Challenge Tournament series. Savage apparently was looking for something else to do in Vegas now that the Epic events are off his calendar.

Occupy Aria?
Players take Ivey Room mixed game back to Bellagio

This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but according to at least one regular player in one of the bigger regular games in Vegas:

FWIW I saw Jean Robert Belande (@BrokeLivingJRB) still playing in Ivey’s room with David Williams (@DWPoker) just last night, so there could be more to this schism. If it’s all political, as Crazy Mike says, that could explain why Barack Obama was in town yesterday.

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Casino Corporations Hooking Up at Epic Pace

by , Feb 20, 2012 | 4:30 am

There’s a corporate rush like something that hasn’t been seen for a while in the casino industry — to secure and develop poker-related assets. After the Department of Justice’s quiet reinterpretation of the 1961 Wire Act, and subsequent political buzz it created , corporate gaming partners jumped into bed together faster than you can change a relationship status on Facebook.

• Kentucky-based horse racing and casino company Churchill Downs acquires the assets of Bluff Media.

• Caesars Entertainment extends its partnership with 888 Holdings.

• MGM, Boyd Gaming, and BwinParty looking for a wild poker three-way.

• Vegas-based ShuffleMaster dangling diamonds in front of OnGame Network.

• Pinnacle Entertainment in acquisition talks with newly formed Epic Poker League.

• Golden Nugget partners up with ChiliGaming for online poker.

What’s next? Will Pokerati be getting a bid from Palms Casino Resort?

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Margaritavillains

Life on the Low-Stakes Vegas Grind

by , Oct 29, 2011 | 1:24 pm

margaritaville casino las vegasSometime during this year I decided I wanted to add more tournaments to my poker diet.  I’ve been a cash game grinder for my entire poker-playing career and don’t really have anything to speak of in regards to big tourney scores.  My “official” tourney resume is pretty weak.  That being said, I think every high-volume tournament pro wishes they crushed at cash games, and I think that every cash game grinder wants that feeling that only a tournament victory can bring: the combination of the big pay day combined with being the last man or woman standing at the end of the day (or day 2, 3, 4, what have you).  It very well could be my ego projecting my perceived thoughts onto the rest of the poker-playing community, but why would you not want to be well rounded in your profession and have multiple skill sets?

I’ve torched a lot of money being irresponsible … Vegas definitely has a way of seeping into any crack in your guard wall and blowing it wide open.

If you think that low stakes live poker games tend to be pretty soft, you should check out some of the tournament series that are running this month and next around Vegas.  You’ll see things that will make your head shake and leave you feeling good about the future of poker and its draw to the casual players.  However, these are tournaments we’re talking about, which means you’re a bit handcuffed in regards to how much manipulation of tourists you’ll be able to partake in compared to the cash games.  The structures for a lot of the events are pretty good, but variance is still a bitch.  I won’t go into detail about some of the ridiculous beats I’ve taken over the past week to send me on a walk of shame toward valet.  I’m gonna keep plugging away though with a healthy mix of the series, and cash games when there isn’t an event to my liking.

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RE: Russ Hamilton Playing 1/2 at MGM

More from-the-felt footage

by , Sep 27, 2010 | 6:33 pm

More confirmation of what we suspected all along upon seeing this video … here’s additional video of the OJ Simpson of Poker playing 2/5 at MGM a couple weeks earlier.

And here’s an amusing video of the other Russ Hamilton, which makes you realize how shafted some people’s legacy can be in Google, particularly for a cultural renegade who sang about the desire to “make love” out of wedlock to a teenage girl in 1957:


Russ Hamilton Playing 1/2 at MGM?

by , | 11:49 am

Unconfirmed … so you make the call: Is that everybody’s favorite online poker supervillain Russ Hamilton in the 3 seat?

(Of course it is, but surely that can’t be a silver main event bracelet he’s wearing, right?)

This video was shot at MGM yesterday, about 9:30. (That’s the lion attack exhibit in the background.)

Again, without saying this is for certain any one specific person who has never been formally accused of any crimes yet still finds himself living something of an OJ Simpson retirement … Hamilton has apparently resurfaced from poker exile in the Nevada amateur pub leagues and has been showing up at the MGM about once a week for the past month or so to in put in some hours on the low-stakes grind.

(Check it out, pretty much the same type of crumpled visor Hamilton wore in the notorious Raw Vegas vid.)

Supposedly this player was noticeably a bit tilted by the lingering camera, and quickly got up to put his name on the 2/5 list as “RR”.

UPDATE: RH said in ’08 he keeps his bracelet in a safe, only to be taken out for the World Series. Thinks obviously coulda changed since then, but that was his answer almost three years ago. [Video interview]


Lion Tilt

by , Sep 8, 2010 | 10:53 pm

Speaking of Jungleman … this has little to do with poker other than that the Lion habitat at MGM happens to be right outside the poker room … so it’s the kinda thing plainly visible from the 1/2 tables — happened just a few days ago:

Damn. Kinda cool to see the lady lion try to help break up the fight. And Papa Lion clearly had it in for that one dude. That’s how it can go at MGM poker … a tame game can suddenly turn brutal. Still contend that the lion wouldn’t stand a chance against Ivey.

Also, with no information other than what you just saw in the video, I’ll bet for sure that the overall rake for MGM poker goes up over the next week, even though the number of lion attacks will almost certainly go down.


Ultimate Bet Party Video: Anyone Who Is Anyone …

by , Jul 3, 2009 | 11:07 am

In case you missed it (I did) here is some Pokernews video from the first of about a dozen big WSOP main event run-up parties, this one hosted by Ultimate Bet at Studio 54 in the MGM.

So much sayable about this, lol … and we can use the phrase “lol” because twitter comes into play. More Phil Hellmuth making a mockery of a few orbits before being pulled from the 2-7 Triple Draw … Tiffany Michelle talking about experimenting with UB and her breasts … Layne Flack being Layne Flack … Shawn Rice and Debo sitting … and just about everything else you might expect from a celebration of, by, and for “anyone who is anyone” in the UB poker world:


Why It’s Bad to Slowroll

Bad cardplay, emotional taunts lead to famine, pestilence, war

by , Mar 9, 2009 | 12:37 pm

Tom Dwan doesn’t slowroll, and you shouldn’t either.

My latest Bluff column is now up online … in this episode I call out the Scandis for potentially causing a violent international incident:

Without a doubt, for low stakes players MGM cash games can be a test of nerves…. Little did I know it would be a test of my sanity, not to mention my criminal intent.

The villain in this story is a slowroller, so I’m sure most will understand. Before the night was over he had an entire table plotting revenge. The plan was to gang-tackle him in an elevator, beat him senseless, take his money, then beat him some more, and then, just to let him know we weren’t really crooks, roll up the cash and wedge it in his facial orifices. Or at least that’s what one of us was thinking… that’ll teach him proper etiquette!


Tao of Kenorati

by , Dec 16, 2008 | 1:04 pm

Sure, the Bellagio 5-Diamond is a pretty big deal to the pros — it’s one of those tourneys that harkens back to pre-boom days of the WSOP, both in competition and relative size of the buy-ins. Every table is star-studded, and the no-names who make it to the Fontana Room have fought hard to get there, knowing mathematically maybe one or two of them stands a chance of doing something truly special.

Postcard from the Venetian: Wish you were here not really.

You wouldn’t know anything about it, though, from the 82 bloggers who were in town for the fourth or fifth (anyone know?) annual Unnamed Winter Blogger Holiday Gathering — this year honoring the netty nuptials of Pablo and Gracie (ceremony officiated by Rev. AlCantHang). While all that mattered to the professional world was going on at Bellagio, what attracted reps from the other 99.9 percent of poker players out there was shaking down and out at the MGM and Venetian … where friends, colleagues, and acquaintances gathered for boozing, boasting, bitching, and busting chops, all surrounding a big-but-affordable challenging tourney that would reward on-the-felt bad-assness with real American dollars while everyone else still enjoyed ever-festive poker-bloggery times.

A full moon was closer to Earth than usual, naturally enhancing the funk. Dr. Pauly busted out the portable satellite Tao of Pokerati studio, and before you knew it, our recorded commentary degenerated into lunar analysis of semi-annual drunkfests, slumped-over gambling addicts, donk-ass keno play, and, of course, hookers in a down economy on the late-night Vegas prowl. Recorded live from an extended weekend’s worth of bars, sportsbooks, bedrooms, bathrooms, and casino floors … with guest appearances by Derek, Human Head, Bobby Bracelet, Mean Gene, and PKPNF, before and after his unsuccessful relationship with Betty Underground.

Aural delights below:

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Phil Hellmuth Sells!

With help of PokerBrat romance script

by , Nov 4, 2008 | 2:23 pm

Speaking of Thrillist … my other, non-poker gig … one thing we’ve learned over there is that Thrillist readers care way more about night clubs, booze, restaurants, race cars, and tiddy bars than they ever do about poker.

So I was a little surprised to get the numbers back from last week’s edition, where an item about Phil Hellmuth’s new website for his clothing line was the highest performer. Really? Yep … A decidedly non-pokery readership found the PokerBrat’s T-shirts and Pep Pills more intriguing than an MGM bar, a new gambling-themed wine, casino decor, and a corner of P-Ho where blackjack dealers wear lingerie:

From Thrillist:

Thrillist - PokerBratWear: PokerBrat Clothing
These surprisingly subtle tees come from the John McEnroe of poker, 11-time WSOP champ Phil Hellmuth, with highlights including “Poker Tree” (“grow that chip pile from a toothpick to a lumberyard”), and “Poker Skater”, harkening back to his U of Wisconsin transpo from barroom games back to his dorm. Less tastefully, Hellmuth also hawks books, DVDs, and “Go Heads-Up” energy pills, guaranteed to keep you at the table long enough to lose your subtle tee.
Check out shirts and more at PokerBrat.com

They really are some pretty cool shirts. But perhaps the scary thing is clicking through the site, where Hellmuth tries his hand at pokery grocery-store romance. Click below to read about a poker-bratty encounter with the woman who would later become his wife:

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RE: Best Poker Room in Vegas

by , Sep 3, 2008 | 4:47 am

There are 50 poker rooms in Las Vegas, so we thought you might appreciate the assistance of fellow degenerates in narrowing down the possibilities of where to play when you come to town. The votes have been tallied … and four places stood out above the rest … In what may or may not become a recurring tradition around these parts, Pokeratizens say the Best Poker Rooms in Vegas are:

Gold Medal
The Venetian

Great regular tourneys, Deep Stack Extravaganzas, plenty of all-but-the-highest-stakes action, bottled Fiji water, and maybe the escalator that dumps off drunkenly clad party girls coming out of Tao right in front of The V’s poker room make it far and away the favorite of this website’s readers/players/dealers.

official site / TPA


Silver Medal
Caesar’s Palace

The separate tournament room really is cool, if not the best in town, and the comfortable multi-tiered cash game area never seems short of action appealing to the masses of big little-stakes players. Great freerolls for regular cash players, too.

official site / TPA


Bronze Medal
Bellagio

Still home to the biggest games in Vegas (in terms of buy-ins), thereby drawing the most pros and the players who want to challenge/sit near them. Everything Bellagio is always luxe, of course, and their regular $500 and $1k tourneys makes the chance to play for baller money an in-town constant.

official site / TPA

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Why I Am (Still) Not a Very Good Player

by , Aug 4, 2006 | 6:03 am

LAS VEGAS–Three weeks or so ago, I found myself going bust in a $2/$5 NL game at the WSOP, and it all hinged on a single hand. I had called a small raise with 8-9s and the flop came 9-9-10. As the hand progressed, I began duking it out with the big stack at the table … and ultimately, even after putting more than $250 in the pot, I woulda/coulda/shoulda been able to get away — thereby saving $320 in my stack. (And leaving me $20 up for the session.) I did not do that, however, and sure enough … he had flopped a boat with 9-10s. Of course he did.

A “very good” player knows how to flop trips and get away from them.

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