Matt Savage Returns to Vegas Poker Scene

Hosting 10-day series at the Hard Rock

by , May 3, 2010 | 6:18 pm

Matt Savage, host of the new Las Vegas Poker Series at the Hard Rock, served as tournament director in the 2007 movie Lucky You. Don’t hold that against him.

Storied tournament director Matt Savage is stepping back into Las Vegas poker events — for the first time since 2004 — bringing the Las Vegas Poker Series to my weekly donk-stomping grounds at the Hard Rock, August 13-22.

The LVPS will feature low buy-in events ($230-$550), most of which count toward CardPlayer Player of the Year standings … with the Savage-tested deep structures (as opposed to deep stacks) that just about all players except Allen Kessler vigorously applaud. Also a money leaderboard of some sort is in play, though I’m not yet sure if this is about crowning an overall champion or qualifying for a player-appreciation freeroll … more TK as the schedule and other PR info gets released.

IMHO, bringing in Savage, who hasn’t hosted a series in Vegas since his Varkonyi-to-Raymer WSOP run, is a big coup for the Hard Rock, which has seen its games grow since a management overhaul a few months ago … but is still trying to firmly establish itself as a friendly service, professionally run room (despite its inclination toward hard-rocking, trash-talking action) that gives more and better player perks and comps than any other room in Vegas. Fiji water/Shmiji water … I can attest that in my Pokerati game, players seem to love the splash-pots, rakeback, and late-night $40 rebate promotion.

For the LVPS, in addition to seat-added super-sats and the player-appreciation freeroll, the opening NLH event (with multiple Day 1s) comes with a $100k guarantee, and the main event will have $200k guaranteed.

Savage, of course, is the former WSOP Tourney Director (2002-2004) who currently hosts numerous events at the Commerce Casino and elsewhere. (California State Championship about to get underway.) From blind structures to payout scales, his events seem to set a standard for TD’s worldwide … even though at the moment he is currently running his tournaments contrary to popular deeper-and-deeper-stacks theory, which he believes is over-hyped. Savage is also co-founder of the TDA and was the inaugural inductee into the Poker Room Manager’s Hall of Fame in 2003. (Yeow, anyone know where that HOF is?)

Whether this August event at the Hard Rock serves as a WSOP Second-Chance Series or summer poker-hangover recovery festival remains to be seen. But as the guy hosting the Thursday Pokerati Game there … I’m personally excited about Event #8, which I hear promises some semblance of PLO in a $200+30 with a single $200 rebuy. Any typical NLH player who doesn’t learn this game is falling behind the Europeans. And yet at the same time, the Eurodonks often aren’t as good at it as they think they are …

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