Posts Tagged ‘Stratosphere’

Portrait of a Recreational Player?

by , Aug 20, 2013 | 10:59 am

It’s been a while since Pokerati’s had anything to do with my personal bankroll. And I’m not sure that’s really a direction I wanna take this ship as we navigate new poker waters. But I suppose now’s as good a time as any to hold myself accountable, pokerwise, because even though “the dream” has long dissipated, I do still wanna someday be a winning player able to move up in stakes.

But look at my 2013 bankroll numbers, and ya know what I see? Losing player, LOL? Ha ha, no … Forget for a second that this chart belongs to me, personally, and how removing from my playbook the overcall with unsuited connectors in the small blind could be all that stands between me and two trips to Hawaii … forget all that … because what I think you’re really seeing here is the profile of a so-called recreational poker player:

Totals $ hrs rate
Blackjack 306 41.14 $7.44
NL Cash -1,751 43.33 -$40.41
Tourney 302 6.5 $46.46
Prop Bet 380 xx $95.00

Recreational players are supposedly all the buzz these days … but do serious players and an industry intent on courting them even understand what that really means? A quick study of the above and you can probably see why I stand in solidarity with McDonald’s workers … but beyond that, we’re looking at a poker life that means about 11 hours a month in casinos, a few tournaments (nothing to brag about, but I did take down a Stratosphere nightly), some casual prop bets, a penchant for at least one house-edge table game … all tallying up to a net negative akin to what it might cost if I were playing similarly recreational tennis or golf or fishing.

Hmm, I suppose that’s psychologically why I’m able to keep coming back for more … because sure I can see the numbers, but also I know I can do better, and maybe next time I will get less unlucky.

Vegas Grinders: Cupcake Remission Stakes

by , Mar 14, 2013 | 4:12 pm

All I want is for you to love me like a Facebook friend.

We’re not just a 1-2 or 1-3-trick pony at Vegas Grinders … and to prove it we invite anti-Howard Lederer petitioner and middleweight grinder thug Nick diVella to report from the 5/10 and 10/20 NL tables at Aria, Bellagio, Wynn, and (sometimes) Venetian … just as we get word that the DOJ has launched a website to facilitate the repatriation of Full Tilt bankrolls.

Also … the Caesars Megabeat Jackpot hits at Planet Hollywood for $672k, paying off not just quad Queens < Queen-high straight flush, but also spreading a cool $2k around to 219 players in eight different poker rooms across Nevada. (Woot! It’s a casino party!) … But (sigh) what’s the point, really, when even Jerry Yang’s WSOP bracelet can end up on the auction block in an effort to pay off the IRS? With Dave boldly (and wrongly) folding pocket kings, good thing at least one of us finally took down a tournament FTW. Sure, it was just a little $45 tourney at the Stratosphere, but hey, don’t tell that to the 50 semi-grizzled players I bettered!

Vegas Grinders 1.5


Playing the Small Nightly at the Strat

by , Jan 28, 2012 | 6:23 pm

stratosphere poker tournament

4,500-chip, four-color starting stack at Stratosphere.

The Stratosphere’s quaint 10-table poker room sits in the back of the casino, past a row of slot machines, craps tables, another row of slot machines, down the ramp past Roxy’s Diner, near the escalators to the Top of the World restaurant — just before the Double Down Pit and Back Alley Bar. On Thursday, there was a sole 1-2NL table of action about 30 minutes before the nightly tournament.

You’d hardly know that this room has supposedly become the new Sahara when it comes to Las Vegas’ most popular small buy-in dailies — with the 7pm event drawing consistent fields of 50 players or more.

I approached the podium and purchased a seat for the event. The buy-in is $45 for 4,500 in chips, plus a $20 add-on that gives you 4,000 more chips, which you can purchase any time within the first hour. (There’s also an option for unlimited re-entry within that time frame.)  With 20-minute levels, that add-on is necessary, especially considering there are no automatic shufflers in the tournament tables.


Onward Local Tournament Grinder

by , Jan 26, 2012 | 5:05 pm

Nearly every casino with a poker room offers a daily tournament. The buy-ins range from $45 to more than $500, depending on the day of the week.

I want to explore the level of competition, how much play I can get for my money and whether the payouts are worth the grind.

I’m going to play at least a week of dailies around Las Vegas. Mostly, I plan to play on the Strip. But I also want to hit at least one event downtown and check out the action at an off-strip casino or two. I’ll avoid the WSOP-circuit events in town and Venetian’s Deepstack Extravaganza Series, as to stay out of the path of sharks.

If I happen to get knocked out early, I’ll do some follow-up reporting on the pay structure.

My first event started at 7 p.m. Wednesday, a $125 buy-in at Aria. The blinds opened at 25/50, with 30 minute levels.

Folks in town told me it’s one of the better events for the money.


Manhunt for Wannabe Stratosphere Poker Robber

by , Apr 22, 2011 | 5:59 am

You can LOL all you want because nobody got shot … but as things usually go with poker robberies, attempted or otherwise, someone in the Stratosphere poker room probably has more than a sneaking suspicion of who attempted to rob a single table Wednesday night of its low-stakes casino chips. Or maybe not … because from the sounds of it there might not have been any players around … which makes sense, because as far as I know no one tweeted from the actual scene … so did it really happen?

Hear for yourself about the man police are seeking:


Sound like anyone you know?

Dude … I’m actually pretty sure I’ve seen him at the tables somewhere.

Attempted Robbery at Stratosphere Poker Room

by , Apr 20, 2011 | 6:10 am

Minimal info at the moment … but around 12:30am today, according to Las Vegas Metro Police, a lone gunman walked into the Stratosphere and reportedly headed straight for the 8-table poker room, where he jumped a table, attempted to grab a bunch of chips, and then fled on foot. But apparently he ran into a casino employee on the way out and left empty handed.

Police tell local Channel 13 they have a “vague description” of the suspect and are looking for him now.

stratosphere poker room

Probably shouldn’t be laughing about violent crime FAILs, but LOL … just realized I wrote “walked into the Stratosphere” … so clearly the wannabe robber must be Criss Angel. OK, I jest … but what do you think the odds are that this amateur thief could be an online poker player who just lost his roll and is considering new career options? I’ll bet … either that or a neighborhood crackhead.

More tales of the Stratosphere poker room from a local low-stakes grinder here.

RIP Bob Stupak (1942-2009)

by , Sep 25, 2009 | 4:14 pm

Las Vegas businessman, poker player, and one-time candidate for Lt. Governor of Nevada, Bob Stupak died today in Las Vegas of leukemia. He was 67-years old.

KVBC of Las Vegas printed the news release:


LAS VEGAS – Bob Stupak, who is best known for revolutionizing the Las Vegas Strip with the development of The Stratosphere, passed away today at the age of 67.

Stupak was with close family at the Desert Springs Hospital this afternoon when medical maladies, including leukemia, took his life at 1:15 p.m. Per Stupak’s request, he will be cremated and there will not be a funeral.