Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Vegas Poker Scene (August Ante Up Column)

Here's my newest column for Ante Up.  The link for it on the Ante Up website is here.   Remember, my contribution is embedded in the entire West Coast report.  So below is just my Vegas report.  The magazine should be in your local poker room sooner, rather than later.

VENETIAN: The $5K main event for the Deep Stack Extravaganza finished July 17 with nearly 550 players generating a prize pool of more than $2.5M. The top three were Samuel Bernabeu ($537K), Doug Lee ($330K) and Hans Winzeler ($240K).
Venetian hosted the Mid-States Poker Tour on June 1-3. The buy-in was $1,100, the prize pool was nearly $2M and there were close to 2K players. Angelina Rich won $215K in a chop, becoming the first woman to win an MSPT event.
DSE 3.5 runs Sept. 10-Oct. 4. The series offers more than $1.7M in guarantees. The championship event has three starting flights beginning Sept. 25 with a $1,600 buy-in and a $400K guarantee. Most of the noon events are priced at $250, $300 and $600. The 7 p.m. events are $200 or $300, with a mix of bounty, survivor and rebuy tournaments. Several Omaha/8 or PLO tournaments are sprinkled throughout the schedule at 4 p.m. All events have guarantees.
ARIA: The second WPT500 completed July 6 as more than 5,100 entrants competed over the course of 10 flights that started in late May. It was the largest field in WPT history. The final three finishers were Craig Varnell ($330K), Lucio Antunes ($223K) and Alexander Lakhov ($150K). The prize pool for the $565 buy-in was more than $2.5M.
Aria also hosted the Senior Poker Tour on June 17-18. The $350 buy-in event had a field of 325 with a prize pool of $97,500. Top prizes went to Jerry Zickert ($15K), Konstantin Novoa ($12K) and Wayne Clarke ($11K).
Aria’s Super High Roller Bowl ran July 2-4. The $500K buy-in drew 43 players for a prize pool of $21.5M. Brian Rast ($7.5M), Scott Seiver ($5.1M) and Connor Drinan ($3.2M) took home the biggest prizes but, honestly, there weren’t any small prizes.
PLANET HOLLYWOOD: The PHamous Poker Series Goliath Main Event was June 25-28 as more than 1,600 entrants paid $1,150 to compete for more than $1.6M. The top three were David Schultz ($278K), Jonathan DiMatteo ($172K) and Phillip Mighall ($130K).
The LIPS National Championship ran June 27-28 and had 430 players for an $83K-plus prize pool from the $250 buy-in. Top three prizes: Persia Bonella ($18K), Cindy Kerslake ($11K) and Kimberley Kilroy ($8K).
WYNN: The main event, played July 3-6, had a $620K prize pool for its $1,600 buy-in. The field was 400-plus players and the top three were: Raymond Rice ($103K), Fadh Hamad ($95K) and Dan Larson ($89K).
HOLLYWOOD POKER OPEN: After a year-long qualifying process that spanned the Hollywood Casino properties across United States, Kevin Stammen captured the $2,500 Hollywood Poker Open Championship title at the M Resort on June 26-28. The event sported a prize pool of $1.5M as Stammen earned $347K, followed by Joe Serock ($214K) and Alex Keating ($140K).
BINION’S CLASSIC: The $1K main event on June 18-19 drew 150 players. The top three prizes from the $137K prize pool went to Paul Vacchio ($28K), Rueben Hoang ($31K) and Timothy Acker ($14K).
The Masters Poker Series, for players age 45 and older, ran June 21-22. The buy-in was $400, the field was 320 and the prize pool was $105K. Top three: David Klutchman and Norman Hall ($20,360 each) and Scott Yeates ($10K).
BELLAGIO CUP: Held July 10-14, the $10,400 event had 301 players and a prize pool of almost $3M. Top three players: Sean Winter ($562K), Dominik Nitsche ($429K) and Byron Kaverman ($409K).
ORLEANS OPEN: The $540 main event finished May 27 with 89 players and a $43K prize pool. Winners were Ethan Wermer and Brandon Setzer ($11K), followed by Joshua Takesky ($6K).
FLAMINGO: New promotions include an hourly $50 high hand between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Only one card needs to play to qualify. Between 2-9 a.m., there is a flop-a-flush promotion that pays $100, $200, $300 and $500 as each suit pays until all suits are hit. The weekly freeroll is worth $6K with 30 places paid and 12 hours of play are required to be eligible. The new single-table bad-beat jackpot pays $1,500 to the loser, $599 to the winner and $150 each to the other players at the table. High hands remain $50 for quads, $100 for straight flushes and $300 for royals.
EASTSIDE CANNERY: The four-table locals room on Boulder Highway just added a $45 HORSE tournament. It runs twice a month on the first and third Thursdays. With an optional $5 dealer bonus, players receive 8K chips. The second and fourth Thursdays feature a $50 Beat the Boss tournament that has a $400 bounty on the boss and a $10 bounty on the other players. The starting stack is 5K.
Every Tuesday there’s a $45 Omaha/8 tournament. Fridays at 7 p.m. is a $45 deepstack (10K stack if you take the optional $5 dealer bonus). Saturday and Sundays at 7 p.m. there is a $25 tournament (2K stack, 15-minute levels). All other tournaments have 20-minute levels.
The room offers plenty of promotions, including $50 for Aces Cracked between 2-5 p.m. and 7-11 p.m. Royals earn $500. There’s a cash award for at least 25 hours of live play during the month; minimum $50, maximum $400.
STRATOSPHERE: Mark Selby is running the poker room. He formerly managed the rooms at Westgate and the Riveria. He replaces Rick Luksza, who retired.
The Strat recently added several promos. In addition to $50 Aces Cracked, the room is offering high hands three times a day and flopped high hands between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Players who flop the high hand get double the normal payout.
WESTGATE HOTEL: The property, formerly known as the LVH, closed its three-table room in June.

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