Vegas Tourney Report: Small is the New Big

by , Feb 6, 2009 | 5:09 pm

Highish-stakes pro David Plastik, looking to take down a $330 deep-stack tournament at the Venetian.

The 1st of four Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganzae got underway this week … and sure enough, the chance to play a skill-heavy event (deeper stacks, longer level times) for a low buy-in seems extra appealing (at least value-wise) in the current economic client.

I don’t have too many specifics, but I can say the fields seem to be bigger than last time, or at least are staying in the same ballpark. They definitely haven’t shrunk, relative to the world economy, that’s for sure. At this moment, the Venetian poker room and 30-something extra tables set up on the main casino floor aren’t packed, but they are full. Some familiar faces (on very quick glance) about five levels into today’s $550 NLH include Gobboboy Jimmy Fricke and PokerNews expat John Caldwell.

In a few minutes About an hour ago, the final table from yesterday’s $330 got underway. Bryan Micon from Neverwin was there, along with David Plastik, a couple other solid players, and a couple donks (according to Micon, who has since busted). First place: $28k.

To give you another example of the field sizes the Venetian’s 2009 DSE-1 is drawing, Event #1, on Monday, another $330, saw 447 players and a $129k total prize pool. 36 got paid …

1st – $40,117
2nd – $21,029
3rd – $10,353

Some other familiar faces who have been hanging at the Venetian this week: JJ Liu (she hasn’t missed a day), Kenna James, Susie Isaacs, Daniel Alspach, Adam Schoenfeld, and Lacey Jones. Some bloggers seem to be filtering through here, too … just ran into BWOP, and I hear Grubette is on her way.

UPDATE: Also in the $550 hizzouse — Haley Hintze and Mike Laing. Maybe this sorta turnout is nothing new, but it seems to me these events are being taken much more seriously than previous Deep Stacks.

15 Comments to “Vegas Tourney Report: Small is the New Big”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    A comparison of the first DSE in 2008 (also starting the first Monday in February):

    2008 version

    Event 1 – $330 NL – 571
    Event 2 – $540 PLO w/rebuys – 65 + 170 rebuys
    Event 3 – $330 NL – 519

    2009 version

    Event 1 – $330 NL – 447
    Event 2 – $330 NL – 336
    Event 3 – $330 NL – 304

  2. DanM

    OK, hmmm, so maybe I stand corrected?

    What kinda numbers did they draw in December?

  3. DanM

    ***They definitely haven’t shrunk, relative to the world economy,***

    For the record, I think this statement is technically still accurate.

  4. Kevin Mathers

    November’s first 3 events of the DSE:

    Event 1 $540 NL – 298
    Event 2 $1,060 NL – 72
    Event 3 $330 NL – 342

    Those were Saturday/Sunday/Monday

  5. Kevin Mathers

    I also think you’re technically accurate Dan. Certain events like the Venetian, the LAPC so far, and the recent Borgata Winter Poker Open (with over 1k paying $3,000 for their main event) will do well.

    Also, Suze Orman said yes to someone who wants to play the Main Event, so the economy can’t be that bad, can it?

  6. DanM

    I haven’t been over there yet, but am curious how the Caesar’s MegaStack events are doing. Not sure this town is currently big enough for two competitive buy-in poker festivals.

    Great Suze Orman link, btw! (Bummer they won’t let us embed.)

  7. Kevin Mathers

    Caesars’ event is full of $200 tournaments during the week with the $300 and $500 tournaments on the weekends so it may be attracting a slightly different crowd.

    It seemed incredibly out of Suze’s character to say yes to that guy, but a guy really has to be whipped to have to call in to a nationally televised show to ask that question.

  8. Poker Shrink

    The Caesars event is a direct marketing attack on the Venetian series. They have all started doing this in the last year or so. Last summer the Caesars events were announced a couple of weeks after the Golden Nugget schedule was released and they just mirrored what the Nugget was offering each day: same event, same buy-in and same starting time.

    Can you say cutthroat? I knew you could.

  9. California Jen

    Say hi to BWOP and Haley for me!

  10. DanM

    I just hung out with BWOP and F-Train … (am just chillin’ at the Venetian now) … but haven’t said hi to Haley yet. Didn’t want to disturb her while she was playing, and then her table broke. Not sure if she’s still alive, but if she isn’t, I will of course have to fear she may bop me over the head with a bowling ball.


  11. Grunkzzz

    I’ll be there the 15th-18th 😀

  12. Haley

    Ha, Dan. And I’m at the Gold Coast until Monday morning. I wasn’t planning on doing any bowling, however.

  13. DanM

    That’s the trouble with bowling … it’s too expensive to travel with your own equipment!

  14. Poker Shrink

    Sure Dan a 16 pound ball is tough to check. Obviously you have never gone to the double broadsword hang-gliding competition in Japan.

  15. DanM

    I have not. But interesting, I see where you’re going with that … clearly double broadsword hang-gliding is the new poker!