“Big Game” Leaving Bellagio?
Highest Stakes Players Head to Venetian

by , Jan 10, 2008 | 3:20 am

For the last few years, the biggest game in Vegas has been at Bobby’s Room — a glass enclosed high-high stakes area at Bellagio, complete with fine oil paintings of its most regular players … Doyle Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Phil Ivey, Sammy Farha et al. But the action there has dwindled, and according to Doyle’s Blog (scroll down to the Jan. 7 entry) has moved, at least temporarily:

We moved the ‘Big Game’ down to the Venetian Cardroom this weekend. Not that we had a problem with the Bellagio, but just to have a change in scenery. The Venetian is a beautiful place and they treat us very well so they may get some of our business. I really liked it because I had a nice win there.

14 Comments to ““Big Game” Leaving Bellagio?
Highest Stakes Players Head to Venetian

  1. California Jen

    I wonder if the change doesn’t have something to do with Chip Reese’s passing. It must be difficult to walk in to Bobby’s Room with Chip’s picture on the wall and so many memories… Maybe Chip’s friends needed a break.

  2. DanM

    I think it had more to do with the dead money drying up. Even the biggest name pros can only handle losing so many millions to each other.

    The question will be does it stay at the Venetian … or is that just a temporary move to draw in some hi-tech whales / porn stars who happen to be in town.

  3. Ed

    Did you say porn stars? I need to get my bankroll up quick and hit the Venetian!

  4. DanM

    Actually, the tech geeks are just finishing up, and the porn stars are just arriving … so i’m not fully share where most of them are at yet. But i will let you know.

  5. TBR

    I don’t think a move across the strip is going to gather more suckers to play in the big game. What, you think there are untapped high-rollers over at the Venetian willing to sit in the big game if only it appeared in the back room? C’mon. I would imagine anyone with the kinda dough and/or ego to play in the big game knows EXACTLY where it is (i.e. AROD or Guy).

    More likely, as we have pointed here at pokerati a number of times, they probaby just realize how great a room Venetian is, so why not put it in the rotation? I hadn’t though about Jen’s point, but given Doyle’s the patriarch of the big game, it would not surprise me if that played a part, too. And let’s not forget a very obvious potential reason–maybe Venetian lowered the rake. Hasn’t Venetian been extremely aggresive with it’s poker room since it opened? What a great way to make another big splash–get the big game.

  6. DanM

    TBR, you make all good points, except for one. In a game like that they would be playing with a time charge, not a rake, of course … but i am sure it was the overall comforts the Venetian provides that made them say, yes, let’s play our big game there.

    At the same time, in terms of timing, just yesterday, these guys were in town, at the Venetian:

    I just wanted to follow up with you regarding yesterday’s event, sponsored by Samsung and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    NFL stars such as Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen, Deacon Jones, and Warren Moon were a part of the event which has now set the Guinness World Record for “Largest Autograph signing by Professional Athletes.”

    Not sure if any of these guys made it to the poker room. Will find out. And ya know, now that I think of it, one of the advantages of being out here in LV is that when it comes to finding out, say, why a game moves from one location to the next, I can kinda just go ask. Hmmm.

  7. Anonymous Asshole

    LMAO…….booked a trip with the girlfriend for this weekend only to find out there is a porn convention going on at the same time! This is going to be interesting! Hell, I told her to “slut it up” and she will still be TAME compared to a ton of the girls out there.

    AA out

  8. Michele Lewis

    I personally agree with Jen. OR it’s because Dan has been stripping at the big V which is drawing them over. Right? I mean, I can’t think of any other reason he won’t take my calls.

  9. Karridy

    If I were Doyle, I imagine I could be “persuaded” to move the game to a casino that’s willing to “invest” in it’s poker room. Being known as the host of some games can be so much more valuable than the time charged on that table. Especially if the BigGame room is positioned in such a way that requires my rake-rolled players to mosey all the way through a crowded room of players.

  10. Dirty Stacks

    A visionary poker room manager would do well to step out on a limb and host the “Big Game” for no charge what-so-ever and make it a semi-private room where there is plenty of room at the rail for railbirds. The draw and noteriety of watching the big game LIVE would surely bolster the wait lists for all poker in the room.

  11. TBR

    Dirty S.–couldn’t agree more. And isn’t the “back room” at Venetian just behind some glass? Couldn’t that offer the combination of privacy/viewability that would make it perfect to watch and draw attention?

  12. DanM

    The Venetian clearly wants to be the premier poker room. The Fiji water and preferred parking pretty much tell you that (though note to Venetian, your food service currently sucks!) … as do their efforts to buy the WSOP.

    But TBR, just to answer your question … there is a “big game” kinda in the back that is relatively easy to see. When I was last there, I saw Jamie Gold, Johnny Chan, Mike Wattel, Antonio Esfandiari, and shoot … can’t remember who else … but average stacks seemed to be about $30k.

    I think there is an even bigger-game table behind a closed wooden door … not visible. No glass-enclosed poker aquarium, however.

  13. Tom Schneider

    The Venetian is a great room. Now that Dan lives in LV he should take pictures and show everybody just how nice the place is.

    Gabe Thaylor made the first move about a year ago by hosting a big No Limit game there. He did a good job of advertising the game and calling people.

    He then was told that he couldn’t play at the Bellagio any more because he was stealing the players. Several of the big players went there and found out how nice it really is.

    #1 It’s quiet.
    #2 Sometimes the big Goliath (Bellagio) can get a little complacent with attitude and service.
    #3 The chairs are so much better.
    #4 The most likely answer is that someone at the Bellagio probably pissed off one or more of the players, or the biggest fish got thrown out of the Bellagio so they had to move the game to keep him in action.

    When I get back out on the road I’ll try to find out the real answer and post here.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with having to see Chip’s picture, and this game rarely picks up a drop-in. They will actually lose a little action by moving because some of the 400-800 players occasionally take a shot at the big one.

    By the way, the Bellagio is not a pit by any stretch and the filet at Fixx with the peppercorn sauce is why I look like I do.

  14. dan m

    gabe thaler … he was the other guy there, whom i recognized but couldn’t remember his name.

    so how does a host make money in bigger, time-charge games? same as in 1/2 where he would get, say, 25 percent of the “rake”?