Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Vegas Poker Scene--September 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 by now.


ARIA: The poker room is hosting a series of high rollers called the Poker Masters series Sept. 13-20. The player with the most total earnings over the five events will be crowned Poker Masters champion.Two-day, $50K events run four consecutive days beginning Sept. 13.On Sept. 18, a $100K, three-day event finishes things.The $50K events allow a single re-entry and there’s no re-entry for the $100K event.
BINION’S: The poker room has revised its tournament schedule. The Saturday tournament at 1 p.m. now has a $175 buy-in and graduated levels. The first eight levels are 30 minutes, the next six are 40 minutes and the levels increase to 60 minutes beginning at Level 15.Players start with a 20K stack and the tournament offers a $10K guarantee.
On the last Saturday of each month, that tournament is replaced by the new “Saturday Special,” a $240 event that has a $15K guarantee and starts players with 25K chips.It has the same graduated levels as the regular Saturday tournament.
New on Sunday is a $150 tournament at 1 p.m.Players start with 15K chips and play 30-minute levels. The guarantee is $5K.
Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. and daily at 6 p.m. is a $125 event with a 20K starting stack and 20-minute levels.
HARRAH’S: The mid-Strip room is offering five tournaments a day at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 7 and 10.The buy-in is $65 for 5K chips, with an optional $5 add-on for 2,500 more. There’s a $500 guarantee. Friday and Saturday nights at 7 a $100 bounty tournament is offered instead. The bounty is $25, the starting stack is 10K and the $5 add-on gets 5K more chips.The guarantee is $1K.
Promotions for the room include high hands of $50 for quads, $100 for a straight flush and $300 for a royal. High hands hit during tournament play qualify for the bonus. There are biweekly freerolls for 20 hours of live play.There is a weekly freeroll for the top nine players with most hours of live play between 6 a.m. and noon.
RIO: Tournaments are offered six times a day, at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4, 7, 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.Monday through Thursday, all tournaments are $65, with 20-minute levels, a 5K starting stack. There’s a $5 add-on for another 5K chips.The guarantee is $500.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, bounty tournaments are offered instead. The $75 buy-in runs at 1 p.m., 7 p.m., and 1 a.m, and features $10 bounties and a $500 guarantee.The $100 buy-in is offered at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., with
$25 bounties and a $1K guarantee. All bounty tournaments feature 20-minute levels and have the $5 add-on for $5K chips.
Promotions include a micro-bad-beat jackpot. The worst losing hand to qualify is quads with a pocket pair. The losing hand gets $500, the winning hand gets $100 and the rest of the players at the table get $25. High hands pay $50 for quads, $100 for straight flushes and $400 for royals.
CAESARS PALACE: The new schedule offers four tournaments daily. The 10 a.m and 6 p.m. tournaments have $125 buy-ins, a 12K stack and a $2K guarantee.The buy-in at 2 and 9 p.m. is $150 for a 15K stack and a $3K guarantee. All tournaments feature 20-minute levels.
PLANET HOLLYWOOD: The Grand Finale of the Goliath series saw Mihai Manole of London earn $210K for his victory. Bulgaria’s Yaron Malki received $130K for second and New Zealand’s Sam Ruha pocketed $95K for third.The $1,650 event had 684 players and prize pool of $1M-plus.
The regular tournament schedule features a special Sunday tournament at 10 a.m. It has a $130 buy-in for a 10K stack, with a $5 add-on for 5K more. The levels are 20 minutes. The guarantee is $7,500 and first place is guaranteed to be at least $2K. The top 15 spots will be in the money. Players can earn a free entry into this tournament by logging 20 hours of live play the week before.
Five $80 tournaments run daily, at 10 a.m. (except Sunday), 1 p.m., 4, 7 and 10. Players start with 12K chips and play 20-minute levels. The guarantee is $1,500.
Promos include high hands, $50 for quads, $100 for straight flushes and $500 for royals. Any table where quads or a straight flush is hit gets a $25 splash pot. Every player at the table when a royal is hit gets $25. Three hours of live play between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. earn players a $20 food voucher or a free buffet.
VENETIAN: The top prize in the $5K Deep Stack main event went to Spain’s Javier Gomez, resulting in a $561K payday after a three-way chop. Paul Hoefer of Germany took home $393K for second and Sweden’s Martin Jacobson, 2014 WSOP champ, received $398K for third. With 688 entrants, the prize pool was $3M-plus, easily topping the $1M guarantee.
BELLAGIO: Patrick Leonard of the United Kingdom took home $475K for winning this year’s Bellagio Cup in July. When play was four-handed, Leonard, Jonathan Karamalikis, Adrian Attenborough and Stefan Schillhabel made a deal and then played for the title. As a result, Karamalikis received $523K, though he was runner-up.Attenborough earned $361K and Schillhabel claimed $299K.The $10,400 event attracted 271 entrants, creating a prize pool of $2.6M. 
WYNN: Yazdi Ardavan won the championship event at the Wynn Classic in July, earning $237K. Mohammadi Homan took second for $212K and Scott Hall received $201K for third. The $1,600 event drew 2K-plus entrants, resulting in a prize pool of nearly $3M , smashing the $1M guarantee.


  1. That Binion's update is almost enough to get me to revisit my lack of Vegas trips for the last 4 years or so. Previously the Binion's Saturday tournament was always my number one first thing to do and I built my air travel to facilitate getting into the Binion's Saturday Deepstack. I really like that new structure.

    1. Well, as it turned out, before they implemented that schedule, long after the mag went to press, they cancelled the once-monthly bigger Saturday tournament and the Sunday $5K as well.