Tuesday, August 2, 2016

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 soon if not already.


The Wynn recently opened its new poker room and the new location is in the Encore, connected to the Wynn by a shopping promenade. Conveniently, the room is just a short walk from the Encore and Wynn self-parking garages.
The room is beautiful with 28 tables spread out over 8,600 square feet, so there’s plenty of space between the tables, which have USB ports for charging devices. The chairs are adjustable and quite comfortable. Players never need to leave the room. There’s a sports-betting window and players who want to see how their wagers are doing have 37 65-inch high-definition TVs to view. The restrooms inside there are nicer than most you will see anywhere at the average casino. There’s an exclusive menu for players to get food delivered to the table. There’s also a separate area for bigger limits and players receive $1.50 per hour in comps.
The Wynn offers $140 tournaments daily at noon, Monday-Thursday. On Fridays and Sundays, there’s a $200 event with a $10K guarantee. The Saturday tournament is $225 and has a $25K guarantee. Thursdays at 5 p.m., a $120 PLO event is featured. The first Wednesday of the month, a $300 seniors tournament, replaces the daily and has a $12,500 guarantee.
GOLDEN NUGGET: The Grand Poker Series had a $760K prize pool for its $570 main event, beating the $500K guarantee. There were 1,520 players over the three starting flights. The final two players made a deal in the end, with Darrell Smith of Sugar Land, Texas, taking home first-place money, $109K. Robert Stan from Bridgeport, Conn., settled for $103K. Ante Up strategy writer Brent Philbin of Hallandale Beach, Fla., took home $55K for third.
The Nugget also offered a $150 event with a $100K guarantee, drawing nearly 1,800 players to more than double the guarantee at $202K. Canada’s Cameron Bartolatta was the winner, earning $21K.
BINION’S: Andrew Kloc of Naugatuck, Conn., was the last player standing from a field of 500-plus to win the Binion’s Classic. Kloc earned $48K for the $565 main-event victory. Second place went to Tony Gordy of Los Angeles, who took home $36K. Rajappa Chidambaram from Sugar Land, Texas, grabbed third for $27K.
ARIA: Andreas Olympios of England won $260K for capturing the WPT 500 title on July 6. The $565 event had a $2M prize pool. Wesley Hickey of Canada earned $185K for second and Drazen Illich of Lincoln, Neb., scored $135K for third.
VENETIAN: As part of the Deep Stack Extravaganza, the Mid-States Poker Tour held its main event in early June. The Venetian offered a $2M guarantee, but the event drew almost 2,900 players, creating a prize pool exceeding $2.8M. Thomas Boivin of Belgium won, taking home $352K. Makul Pahuja of Long Island was runner-up ($300K). Third went to Thupten Thondup of Santa Fe ($187K).
The Venetian also offered a $3,500 event with a $3M guarantee. The final prize pool was almost $3.6M with more than 1,100 entries. The top three were Andjelko Andrejevic of Belgrade ($655K), Antonin Tesseire of France ($402K) and Darren Elias of Los Angeles ($298K). The Venetian hosts the Weekend Extravaganza Aug. 10-14, with more than $145K in guarantees. The biggest event is a $550 mega-satellite to the Mega Millions tournament at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, Calif.
HOLLYWOOD POKER OPEN: The $2,500 HPO at the M Resort in late June went to Dejuante Alexander of Houston, earning $332K. Philadelphia’s Aaron Mermelstein was second ($205K) and Denver’s Brady Bullard was third ($134K). The event drew 655 entrants for a $1.47M prize pool.