Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas poker rooms’

Hard Rock Ready to Be Detoxified

Kegs, vodka en route for Savage throw-down tourneys

by , Aug 7, 2010 | 4:09 pm

The Detox Poker Series is right around the corner, starting Friday Aug. 13 with a $100k Guarantee for a $350 buy-in with two day ones, re-entry allowed. The spankin’-new small-stakes/big-action festival comes at a whispery time around the home room to the Pokerati NLH/PLO game … with a new crew of top-level casino brass combing through the Hard Rock’s books while walking through various gaming areas with tape measures … raising uncomfortable questions about the fate of the $12 million, two-year-old poker lounge that has seen its ups and downs without yet fully realizing its potential.

Of course that’s kinda the point of bringing in an internationally renowned tourney director. Or at least it was initially. Kinda still works, but for different reasons …

Detox Poker Schedule – Aug 2010

First things first … Savage has guaranteed the guarantees — $350k worth. This is despite a misleading tweet just two weeks ago from @hardrockpoker saying there’d be $1 million in guaranteed prize pools. [/shaking head] It coulda just been a hyperbolic typo, but an amusingly ironic one then considering the Hard Rock’s image problems after a few overpromises that these tourneys were to help put to rest. But according to Matt himself on 2+2, he’s got the $350k locked up by contract no matter how few players show.

Beyond that … expect an extra-partytime atmosphere around typical Savage series stuff (deep structures, quality dealers, friendly intelligent floor, good internet coverage, etc.) to liven up the joint: He’s in charge of providing ultra-improved tournament action while the Hard Rock promises to provide good music and a guaranteed flow of nipple-friendly eye-candy stumbling past the poker room.

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Hard Rock Aggro-Courting High-Stakes Cash Action

by , May 31, 2010 | 8:56 pm

Holy fugk, I can already tell … this summer in Las Vegas is going to be an absolute mosh pit of poker … where are my steel-tipped boots I never had?

I knew the Hard Rock’s High Stakes Cash Game was in the works but wasn’t sure what would come of it — as the first thing required for a game of this size is players! I’ve sent my overseers @HardRockPoker a message inquiring who they know will be there. Will pass on info when I find out.


This Friday
June 4th at 7PM

Hard Rock Poker Lounge
Las Vegas

Come play the high stakes cash game
on the first Friday of each month.
Buy-in is $20,000 to $50,000.
Blinds are $25 and $50.

Also wonder if this game will have $50 splash pots like we’ve got in our 1/2 NL/PLO to stimulate action, lol. (Remember, if The Maven makes a huge raise on a hold’em splash pot, you should probably call with J-10 or better … and if you don’t know the answer in the song game, your best bet is either Britney Spears or Cheap Trick.)

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More Special Action at the Hard Rock

by , May 26, 2010 | 1:48 am

Nice! Used to be people thought of Pokerati only as a place for news, analysis, and mistakes … but now they’re thinking about us, well, maybe for the exact same reasons (lol?) when it comes to quality low-stakes Vegas poker.

Check out PokerNews’s pimp-out for our version of 1/2 NL/PLO @HardRockPoker here. (Still can’t get the Hard Rock, however, to get behind the rule I’m pushing to allow me personally to use three hole cards instead of two in Omaha. Assholes. They also denied my suggestion to have at least two of our regular dealers pitch the cards topless.)

Anyhow, It seems PokerNews wants to cut in on ride along with our action, and thus they’ve added their own special games to the Hard Rock poker menu:

Wednesday night, PokerNews will host the PokerNews half-kill cash game, which will run weekly throughout the WSOP. This will be a limit hold’em game with a half-kill, with stakes at the behest of the players. Like all the games at the Hard Rock, it’s not limited to Wednesday nights and can be played upon request. Players who log the most PokerNews half-kill hours at the Hard Rock will receive a brand new iPad.

Sundays will be all about sit-n-go’s with PokerNews’ Sit-n-Go Sunday at the Hard Rock. Unlike the PokerNews half-kill, which will reward stamina, Sit-n-Go Sunday will reward results. Players with the most impressive sit-n-go results over the course of the WSOP will also be rewarded with an iPad.

IPads, plural? Great, now I get to listen to my players bitching about “why don’t we get an iPad?” Just friggin zip it, Rex. I give all of you one every time I get it in drawing to two outs for a chop.

You’ll be hearing about more Hard Rock action here throughout the WSOP, as well as a whole litany of special World Series promotions. I’m still trying to learn what they all are … but the coolest one that I know off the top of my head: they’ll be spreading rake-free satellites before each WSOP event. Boo-yah, no?

Also, for you mixed-game posers specialists, Scott Fischman hosts his 7-game mix there regularly. I’d like to play, but I’m scared …

Hard Rock will be running shuttles between their joint on Harmon and the Rio throughout the summer.


The Pokerati Game Rules

@HardRockPoker

by , May 6, 2010 | 4:47 pm

Looks to be yet another fun night of 1/2 NLH/PLO round of each at the Hard Rock this evening. The Maven has been showing up on Thursdays with a few students lately. Apparently they think the Pokerati tables are easy pickins a ripe training ground or something? Though aggressive, the Mavenites aren’t really a threat once you figure out the whole of his poker training is basically push and re-push with any two cards. (Jk David … you’d never do that with Queens or better, right?)

The Pokerati Game — which started off mostly as a bunch of media donks and an uber-tight dude named Jackson — also seems to be becoming (as I’d like it to be) something of a must-play for out-of-towners … awesome 1/2 action that you simply can’t find anywhere else in Vegas. Seriously. Go ahead and try. It’s not the same game … And that doesn’t even get into all the promotional perks the Hard Rock has been feeding us.

Three tourists I know today are already gonna be there, which of course draws the vulturey locals who claim to “make a living” playing 1/2, but haven’t yet found enough success to be playing 2/5 or bigger. These Vegas grinders, I gotta say, are an interesting group … they don’t say much other than to call floor, appear to live for comps and free coffee, and may or may not have rent riding on an all-in with top set against the nut flush draw and a wrap … Run it twice!

Anyhow, after playing sporadically beta testing @HardRockPoker for about six months, and running into / working through all the nitty situational question marks that spring up, we’ve finalized and formalized the rules. So now, anytime the game gets going — as it did on its own Tuesday around midnight! — everyone can be on the same page about how we play Pokerati half-and-half at the Hard Rock.

Click here for an updated PDF of Pokerati Game rules suitable for posting on your bedroom wall. Or click below to see more immediately how we play it:

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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.

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Prettying up the Pokerati Game

Drinky tourists, the Maven, and Shaun Deeb (?)

by , Apr 22, 2010 | 12:51 pm


The Best Low-stakes Game in Vegas* (according to Pokerati.com!) needs help making a better logo for the tables.

The Pokerati Game at the Hard Rock — 1/2 NLH/PLO, starting Thursdays at 7 pm — is really starting to catch on. People are coming in and sporadically asking about it throughout the week, and I’ve had players from the Bike, the Commerce, and the Borgata all inquire about when their hometown poker room is gonna start spreading it — half-and-half the way we like to play it.

Last week was a particularly fun game, thanks to Dan R, a longtime Pokerati reader from Dallas who happened to be in town for an annual Vegas get-together with friends from Chicago who happened to play NLH/PLO round-of-each in their home game.

They wanted to play bigger at 2/5, but I insisted on keeping it small. (I have my reasons. Will explain later.) They all bought in for the $400 max, and several busts and rebuys later, the stacks were unusually big. Once they ordered their second round of Patron, the Vegas vultures uber-nitty low-stakes locals began to swarm, filling up the interest list. We almost made two tables — were just one or two players short. Oh well, maybe soon …

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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.


Pokerati Game at the Hard Rock: $1/$2 NLH/PLO

The Best Low-Stakes Action in Vegas!

by , Apr 14, 2010 | 7:30 am

OK, that subhed might be geographically presumptuous and/or mathematically hard to prove. But hey, that’s how it goes in PLO! So allow me to do a little live poker pimping …

As twitter followers know, I’ve been hosting a new-ish game at the Hard Rock here in Las Vegas. 1/2 no-limit hold’em/pot-limit omaha. While there are plenty of 4-8 mixed games around town, there are, perhaps surprisingly, few if any low-stakes half-and-half games — and none where players have the option of running it twice. So in an effort to create what Dan personally wants to play top-quality action that serious amateurs, local grinders, and late-night drunks can’t find elsewhere in LV, you can now help your poker evolve by playing:

What: The Pokerati Game: 1/2 NLH/PLO (round of each)
When: Thursdays 7pm-? or upon request
Where: Hard Rock Poker Lounge
Buy-in: $100 min/$400 max
Who plays: Nitty locals, Euro-tourists, Action Junkies, Poker media geeks, loose-aggressive douchebags, off-duty Vegas dealers, disciples of Isildur1

We know you all know hold’em, but if Omaha’s not yet your game, check out this video of how gloriously painful PLO can be:

That comes from F Train’s assessment of poker’s #2 game. And across the pond, where they play it more frequently, our ole Betfair pal Marcus Bateman has his own strategy thoughts on the situational EV of running it twice.

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Las Vegas Overlay Alert

First Friday $20k guarantee at Hard Rock

by , Mar 4, 2010 | 4:34 pm

Our good pals at the Hard Rock wanna remind you that they have their $20,000 guarantee tourney tomorrow. They probably don’t want me to tell you that they had to add money to the prize pool the last time they ran this tourney to make the guarantee … but that’s good for you. There were about 60 players, and something like 9 got paid. (I got 12th-ish.)

Decent structure, too. 12k chips for $250 ($225+25) … with a $100 rebuy or add-on for 5k chips. (I didn’t take it. My starting table was soft.) Seriously, it’s not a huge tourney, but it’s a good one, with good payout possibilities. Starts at 6 pm. Details here.

And, of course, they’re always happy to spread 1/2 NLH/PLO … and they usually have enough people interested in dipping their toes into 4-card hold’em waters to make it happen. Just ask them to put your name on the list for the Pokerati game and they’ll be sure to accommodate. You can always text “pokerati” to 25827 and you’ll get a text whenever this game is running. I won’t be able to make it this week, but next week I’m back in action, so you probably need some practice.

UPDATE: Tournament didn’t make. Not sure where the fine print may or may not come in for “guarantees”.


Hard Rock Running it Twice

by , Feb 5, 2010 | 8:55 pm

The Hard Rock Poker Lounge is getting its weekend poker orgy underway — this is the “relaunch” of the poker room there … under new management, with new ideas, and more action than usual …

They’ve got a full slate this weekend — beyond just the free food, splashed pots, a 20k guarantee Friday tourney and stuff like that … they’ve got a whole slate of events, including a Sharon Osborne celebrity charity event (Trash Talk Championship of the World they are calling it), a party for the launch of Victory poker. Currently filming (for ESPN 360, I believe, is a $100/$200 NLH cash game. $50k buy-in … with Antonio Esfandiari, Andrew Robl and others on the table … we’ll have some more names for you. And I think that’s The Maven waiting in the wings for a seat.

Click here for a rundown of all they’ve got going on.

Of course the game next table over is what really interests me — $1/$2 NLH/PLO … just an option to run-it-2x today, not automatic. But in my jaded opinion, that’s where the real poker is going on. The plan is to keep this game running throughout the weekend — as Super Bowl raffle is currently my 2010 bankroll plan.

More TK throughout the weekend … but here’s a glimpse of surprisingly early Friday night action taking off at the Hard Rock’s big poker weekend:


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
1/07/10

[audio:http://www.pokerroad.com/upload/radio/23/audio/TPB1710.mp3] 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.


The Future of Gambling?

Doyle Brunson Meets Cantor Fitzgerald

by , Dec 13, 2009 | 2:30 pm

This (long) weekend’s #WPBT festivities are coming to a close … and as I type the poker bloggers are gathered for Sunday football at Lagasse’s Stadium in the Palazzo. There some of them are experiencing, for the first time, what many say is the future of gambling: handheld, semi-portable real-money action.

A new-ish device, “eDeck”, lets you gamble Blackberry/iPhone-style theoretically from anywhere, but currently within the confines of three Las Vegas casinos — the Venetian, Palazzo, and M Resort. Global Gaming Business Magazine named it Best Table Game Product or Innovation for 2009. And none other than Doyle Brunson has been pimping it:

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