Thursday, June 1, 2017

Vegas Poker Scene--June 2017 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 soon--or now, even.


The World Series part of the summer is the best time of the year for poker players here. In addition to all that great action at the Rio, there are great tournament series all over town, as we’ve documented in previous issues.
Of course, that’s not all. Every poker room is busier and you can find great cash games everywhere. Be warned: Waitlists for cash games can get extra long and it’s not just for no-limit hold’em. You may see PLO, Big O and even mixed games in rooms that never spread them the rest of the year. And you’ll see small rooms spreading $2-$5 NLHE and bigger games.
Tournament players have plenty to appreciate, too. If the buy-ins for those series events are too much for your bankroll, consider playing in the smaller, regular tournaments at just about any room in town. The turnouts will be much more than usual, meaning prize pools will be larger, too.
Let’s take a look at some of the regular tournament offerings.
MIRAGE: The 11 a.m. $120 tournament Friday through Sunday starts players with a 25K stack and has 25-minute levels. The rest of the week, a $65 tournament with a 10K starting stack and 20-minute levels runs at that time, as well as 2 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. most days. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. tournaments offer $25 bounties and a $100 buy-in.
FLAMINGO: Tournaments are six times a day, all featuring a 20K stack. At 10 a.m., it’s a $60 buy-in with a $500 guarantee. At 1 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m., and midnight it’s a $60 buy-in with a $600 guarantee. All of these have 15-minute levels. The 4 p.m. is a turbo with 10-minute levels, a $50 buy-in and a $500 guarantee.
BALLY’S: The $60 tournament runs daily at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Players start with 5K chips and play 20-minute levels. Each tournament has a $500 guarantee.
SOUTH POINT: The $60 tournament runs daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and has a 4,500 starting stack, 20-minute levels and a $5 bounty. The same structure is offered at 7 most evenings, except for Sundays and Wednesdays.
On those days, the evening tournament starts at 6 and has a $100 buy-in for 7,500 chips and 30-minute levels. A $10 dealer add-on option gets players 2,500 more.
MGM: There are two $70 tournaments daily (11 a.m. and
7 p.m.). Players start with 15K chips. The levels start at 15 minutes and increase to 20 at Level 10. The morning tournament has a $2K guarantee ($1K in the evening). Turbo tournaments for $50 run daily at 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. The levels are 10 minutes and the starting stack is 10K. The guarantee is $500.
ORLEANS: The room offers great variety in its schedule. Tournaments run at noon and 7 p.m. daily and events include HORSE, Omaha/8, Omaha/8-stud/8, PLO and NLHE. The room is expected to adjust buy-ins and starting stacks for the WSOP.
One thing not likely to change is the Friday 7 p.m. $130 NLHE event, the most popular regularly scheduled tournament in town. Players get a 15K stack and enjoy 30-minute levels. Expect to compete with between 175 and 250 players in this one.
TREASURE ISLAND: At 11 a.m., a $65 tournament with an 8K stack starts things off. At 2 p.m., it’s $75 for 15K chips. That one has a $500 guarantee. The 7 p.m. is $55 for 8K in chips. At 10 p.m., the $75 buy-in starts players with 15K and features a $1K guarantee. Late Saturday night, at 1 a.m., an extra $65, 8K stack tournament is offered. All levels are 20 minutes.
SUNCOAST: Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m., it’s $45 for 4K chips, with a $20 add-on for 4K more. Fridays and Saturdays at 6 p.m., it’s $60 for 6K, with an optional $10 add-on for 2K more. The evening tournament has a $1K guarantee. All levels are 20 minutes.
VENETIAN: First place in the main event of the Deep Stack Extravaganza went to Joshua Berman-Turnball from Brookline, Mass. He took home $112K, followed by Steve Sung of Torrance, Calif., ($69K) and Hien Nguyen of The Colony, Texas ($50K). The $1,600 buy-in drew 338 players and had a $488K prize pool.
The Venetian will host another DSE Aug. 10-20. Among the events is a $340 doublestack event with the first of its two starting flights on Aug. 15. Players start with 25K chips and play 40-minute levels. The guarantee is $75K.
The series starts Aug. 10 with a $250 event that has three starting flights and an $80K guarantee.
The starting stack is 15K and levels 30 minutes, increasing to 40 at Level 19. Along with bounty and rebuy tournaments, there’s a PLO-PLO/8 event Aug. 16 that has a $250 buy-in and offers a $7K guarantee.
WYNN: Kenna James of Las Vegas and Gary Margolis of Southern California each took home $55K at the Wynn Signature Weekend in April, with James claiming the title. Bob Shao of Northern California was third ($44K). More than 700 players paid $600 to enter, resulting in a $368K prize pool.

ARIA: The room is hosting several high roller events this summer. In June, $25K buy-in events run June 9, 10, 16, 17 and 24. All of these events start at 2 p.m.

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