Posts Tagged ‘Aria’

Vanessa Rousso’s 1-day Main Event Prep Course

by , Jun 8, 2011 | 2:58 pm

One of my personal faves, @VanessaRousso, will be hosting a 1-day crash course for the WSOP main event, with strategy discussion specifically geared for this one unique and special tournament. She says she’ll show you how to apply advanced game theory and winning secrets to huge-field deepstack events … as well as instruction on how recent changes to tournament structure affect strategy and play.

It takes place at Aria Casino on July 7, during Day 1A of the WSOP main event. Read below for more information if you want to go. Of all the boot camps out there, I think this one will probably be the best because Vanessa’s a girl, and everyone knows girls are smarter than boys. Tee-hee.


Where to find … ?

Low-stakes PLO in Las Vegas

by , Nov 11, 2010 | 6:48 am

Talk of PLO on Poker After Dark comes as I personally have been jonesin’ for mo-bigger low-stakes PLO … and based on emails, tweets, and Facebook, a stream of Vegas visitors and locals seem to be, too. Interest in PLO may be growing, but players in Las Vegas looking for starter stakes can’t always be sure where to find reliable action.

Word from the Strip is that a rather strong 1/2 PLO game has been running lately at the Venetian, apparently fueled by the November Deep Stacks. But one-bullet buyers beware, a $5 bring-in at the V makes the game kinda steep … especially for those with a strategy of pushing with weak two-pairs, calling with non-nut draws, and relying on run-it-twice to stick around long enough for a meal comp. (Don’t ask me how I know.)

And Aria Poker spreads a vibrant 1/2 NLH/PLO that occasionally makes. Their game plays most similarly to the Pokerati Game of old — and though it runs only sporadically, Aria often has the game posted on the board with a list of mostly 1/3 and 2/5 no-limit regulars ready to take a seat against any and all PLO tourists.

Mel Judah Cashing out, Gavin Smith Paying Forward

Vegas Poker Beat

by , Oct 6, 2010 | 8:53 pm

Check it out … caught my eye the other night … Cashout tourneys. Though I’m not sure if they’ll be a regular thing, they made their debut this past weekend @AriaPoker. Interesting concept — essentially tournaments with pre-established guaranteed chops, allowing players to cash out at any point (and go home) … you know, should they not like their chip situation, have somewhere else to be, be on tilt from incessant angry wife texts … whatever … backer with a gun? Apparently they also can cash out and keep playing, too.

Full Tilt began offering these online a while back, but no clue how they worked out. According to the sign, these were the first ever in a land-based casino. I ventured over to see how it was playing, but they were down to three and it seemed at this point it was just straight poker. Mel Judah sat at the final table but wasn’t playing. I assumed he was sweating, or at least trying to woo, the lovely middle-age Asian lady still with chips. That may or may not have been true, but turns out primarily Judah was there because it was his game — supposedly his creation.

See for yourself what Mel is up to at

UPDATE: Oops, turns out the lovely lady was JJ Liu. One of these days I will learn actual players.

Hard Rock charity knocks

Upon his own early elimination, Gavin Smith took over as charity photog, no-flash rules be damned!

Also stopped by the Hard Rock this weekend … first time since Detox and the shuttering of their room (and operations) that made @hardrockpoker the Pokerati game’s home for most of 2010. No new-resto construct has begun — just a bunch of tables stuffed in the back of the old room, with their previously decorative orange-luxe highback leather chairs lined up in front of the TVs that used to entertain 1/2 players. With football on and one viewer lounging per screen, It was both awesome and sad.

Anyhow, the new smaller spot is still called the “Poker Lounge” … nice-ish, but looks unsettled in. And though it seemed clear from a matter of simple square footage that the Hard Rock’s days as a red-carpet poker venue are gone, none of that seemed to stop the good times at Gavin Smith’s Darius Goes West charity tourney (with Bryan Devonshire) … which was kinda a birthday party for the namesake beneficiary, Darius Weems, the kid with an extra-funky form of muscular dystrophy that Smith says inspired him to a WSOP bracelet this summer. Darius had just turned 21 (he wasn’t supposed to live past 16 I think?) … and really, can you think of a better host to welcome those coming of age into the glorious world of degenerate gambling?

Here’s video from the final table, with Layne Flack, David Plastik, and at least one semi-awkward kiss:

BTW, fwiw, the Hard Rock has changed their basic game to 1/3 NL, with a $500 max buy-in.

Elsewhere in Vegas …

Unvetted, unconfirmed word has it that Fiesta Henderson has closed their poker room. Supposedly they lost their players to the Club Fortune casino, which began holding a $40 bounty tourney ($10 for each knockout) and taking a better-for-locals high hand jackpot drop. (You’ll have to pardon Pokerati for not digging into this plausibly controversial game-shift.)

And here’s a globally funny poker picture … from power Vegas player Eric Baldwin at EPT-London:

Hellmuth’s Entrance + Eastgate Hangs Up the Gloves?

Plus … 360-Tour: where Hellmuth will retire during the Main Event

by , Jul 7, 2010 | 2:27 pm

Lots of times poker players talk about “retiring” from the game. What they usually really mean is “I’m getting sick of running bad against the Delta Betas.” But every once in a while, someone actually means it … and one of those could be 2008 WSOP Main Event Champion Peter Eastgate.

We knew earlier that he was more interested in the World Cup than WSOP preliminaries. But now he says, via PokerStarsBlog via Wicked Chops (with a nifty pic added from Pokerati, shortly before walking in to his televised raping on High Stakes Poker):

“When I started playing poker for a living, it was never my goal to spend the rest of my life as a professional poker player. My goal was to become financially independent. I achieved that by winning the WSOP Main Event in 2008. The period following has taken me on a worldwide tour, where I have seen some amazing places and met many new people; it has been a great experience. In the 20 months following my WSOP win, I feel that I have lost my motivation for playing high level poker along the way and I have decided that now is the time to find out what I want to do with the rest of my life. What this will be, I do not yet know. I have decided to take a break from live tournament poker, and try to focus on Peter Eastgate, the person. I want to thank PokerStars, my friends and family for their support over the last 20 months and for their support in my decision to take a break from poker.”

Meanwhile, one man who will not be retiring (probably until he’s dead) is Phil Hellmuth. Had to wonder how he could ever top Caesar … but this year he himself donned UB-branded MMA fighter attire, while surrounded by Dancing Bracelets, which I think are supposed to represent prize belts.

Check it out, by and via Pauly. Is it too early to wonder if Hellmuth will reach the ridiculousness apex* in the 2011 WSOP?

While he has no plans to retire for life, he does have a specific place where he will retire for the night.

Apparently Hellmuth doesn’t understand why everyone’s always talking Ivey, Ivey, Ivey … and it seems he musta went to some honchos at Aria and said, hey, why don’t I get an Ivey Room, too? While they couldn’t hook him up with his own super-high-stakes cash game area, they did put him up in one of their shmancy Sky Suites, and he gives a pretty cool 360-degree tour of it via All 360 Poker here.

* note: I’m taking claim to the phrase “ridiculousness apex” — anyone wanna fight for it?

Coming Soon: The Ivey Room at Aria

Opening May 22 with $1 million invitational freeroll

by , Apr 19, 2010 | 6:11 pm

Remember those rumors about Phil Ivey plausibly bringing the Big Game at Bellagio to the new high-stakes room at Aria? Well … unless these pricey invitations mailed out to an undisclosed few are just some sort of elaborate belated April Fool’s joke, they certainly seem to be true … with a poker christening in the form of a million-dollar freeroll that could-well rival the WSOP-TOC.

Take a look … The Ivey League $1,000,000 Poker Invitational … coming May 22:

More details in NVG at 2+2.

Cards in/on the Air

The Poker Beat

by , Jan 9, 2010 | 6:48 pm

The Poker Beat is back … (attempting) to make sense of all that is going on in the poker world. In this episode, BJ, Huff, and I discuss (at length) PokerStars’ record-setting 149,000 player $1 tourney; the opening of the Aria poker room (and what this may or may not mean over at the Bellagio); the ridiculousness of 17 $1k rebuy tourneys at Bellagio’s upcoming 5-star Classic; everything that is the PCA; PokerStars getting in bed with the Venetian for the new NAPT; and over at Full Tilt, all things Isildur … and, of course, the second red-pro suspension of Brian Townsend.

The Poker Beat
Huff, Nemeth, Michalski

[audio:] subscribe via iTunes

BTW, a little breaking-ish news on this episode — and perhaps an indication of the perceived threat of the NAPT-Venetian, which just so happens to coincide with the LAPC, the usual early-year destination for the LA-LV poker masses … anyone who buys into the $10k WPT-LAPC main event at the Commerce before February 19 now will receive a seat in the televised $200k WPT Invitational. Neato!

Phil Ivey to Relocate Big Game Action?

RE: Aria, Newest Las Vegas Poker Room (2)

by , Dec 21, 2009 | 1:14 pm

@JessWelman has more info over at PokerNewsDaily about the new Aria poker room … and specifically some details about their highest-stakes salon/fishbowl:

Fans of Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio will be happy to hear there is an equivalent in the Aria poker room and it has already been put to use. Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, David Benyamine, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and Patrik Antonius were all spotted playing in the secluded VIP lounge on Thursday evening, the day after the casino opened. While the room is semi-private, ogling railbirds can get a peek at their favorite high-stakes players through the glass front door. According to one of the employees at Aria, Phil Ivey is currently in talks to loan his name to the room in the same fashion that Bobby Baldwin did at the Bellagio, so news of big games being played in “Phil’s Room” could be on the horizon.

Two questions come to mind:

1. Is there enough room for two “Big Games” in this town?
2. Big-name players supporting poker rooms or poker rooms supporting big-name players?
3. What’s MGM/Mirage’s vision for poker across its competing properties?
4. When are they gonna put this highest-stakes shit on 24-hour webcam?

OK, that’s four. But hey, CityCenter is big … and so far, just a few days old, it raises more questions about Las Vegas’ future than it answers.

RE: Aria, Newest Las Vegas Poker Room

by , Dec 18, 2009 | 4:11 pm

Here’s a better look at the new Aria poker room in CityCenter … with Aria photos and info coming from Flipchip at LasVegasVegas:

24 tables.

Games being spread in the opening days:

1/3 NLH
2/5 NLH
5/10 NLH
4/8 Mixed (Badugi, 2-7, Razz, Stud 8, O8)
100/200 PLO

NOTE: According to @LasVegasMichael, while this room was absolutely packed throughout the evening, the games totally died by morning, with only two 1/2 tables, and some heads-up 2/5 going on shortly after sunrise this morn.

Perhaps to be expected on an overall slow Vegas weekend, in a room without a loyal following yet, with most of the players being just passersby?

Newest Las Vegas Poker Room Opens: ARIA

by , Dec 17, 2009 | 6:28 pm

The ARIA poker room, at CityCenter, along with the rest of the casino around it, is now open for business. Here’s a picture of last night’s festivities, celebrating the addition of 4,000 more hotel rooms to the relatively unoccupied Strip:

The AP reports some guy named “Daniel” was the first person to sign up for action — putting his name on an interest list for 1/2 no-limit hold’em two hours before ARIA opened for business at midnight.

Now that all the multibillion-dollar pomp and circumstance is over (ha) … low-stakes Vegas pokerers may want to head to the Hard Rock, where we’ve got a Pokerati 1/2 game (nlh/plo round of each, w/ automatic run-it-twice) getting underway tonight at 7 pm. #MoreFireworks

UPDATE: The Pokerati Hard Rock game made a full table … even has a very brief wait for seats, but broke by 11 pm. Everyone was headed to Aria … where there supposedly “like 37 tables!” all full with a $1/$3 waiting list some 30something deep. I guess people really like new shiny things.

RE-UPDATE: Here’s more on the Aria, with specifics about their poker room, from Gaming Today:

The entire race and sports books is located in its own wing near the north entrance of ARIA, which also features the casino’s poker room.

Poker Room Manager Adam Altwies has created a beautiful room with 24 tables, 18 of them located on the main floor, with five in a high-limit alcove and one reserved for an exclusive VIP room.

The room is designed so players have plenty of elbow room, with comfortable chairs and food and beverage service available.

A nice touch is the Genesis-Bravo reservation system, which allows the poker room to summons the guest through a text message to his cell phone, rather than using some of the pager-type systems.

First Peek at CityCenter Poker Room

by , Nov 30, 2009 | 8:43 am

It’s been conventional wisdom around LV for nearly two years that as goes the fate of CityCenter, so goes the fate of Las Vegas. The multibillion-dollar project and biggest construction endeavor since the Pyramids (and maybe the Great Wall of China?) has had its shaky ups and downs … Five workers have died building it, and the project almost was abandoned under bankruptcy until Dubai World bailed out MGM/Mirage, which saw a 10 percent drop in stock price Friday after Wall Street learned of Dubai’s own $60 billion debt problems. But the stock price did rebound …

The artistically bent glass-and-steel center-Strip monstrosity begins opening in phases tomorrow, with the Aria casino putting cards in the air on Dec. 16.

Your very quick look at the newest poker room in Las Vegas — at what’s supposed to be the crown jewel of the MGM/Mirage gambling empire — comes at 1:37. Cheesy (but apt) poker metaphor at 1:54.