Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Vegas Poker Scene -- July 2018

Below is my latest column for Ante Up.  Unfortunately, it is still not posted at the Ante Up website, so I can't give you the link for it there.  This is the column as I submitted it.  The actual in print version is likely a little different (amazingly enough, it usually gets edited down by a few words before they run it).  I'll add the link and replace my original draft with the actual printed version when it finally gets posted.  I know the issue is in poker rooms because I saw it before leaving Vegas.


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The Venetian will be hosting August Extravaganza, August 9 – 19.  The series will offer over $400K in guaranteed prize pools.  This will be the first series held at the Venetian that will feature the Big Blind Ante in all of its events.

The biggest guarantee, $200K, is offered in a five-starting flight, $250 No Limit Hold'em event that begins August 14. The top 10% of each flight will be in the money, with the top 5% advancing to day 2.  Players start with 15K chips and play 30-minute levels on day 1, which increase to 40-minutes on day 2.

A two-starting flight $340 DoubleStack event starts on August 10.  It has a $100K guarantee.  Players start with 25K chips and play 40-minute levels.

There are several $200 Rebuy tournaments during the series.  The starting stack is 12K and $100 rebuys are available for 12K chips whenever a player's stack is at or below 12K for the first six levels. The guarantees are $9K or $12K depending on the date.  These events run in the evening.  There are also two Noon $300 Rebuy tournaments with $25K guarantees, with the same rebuy rules.  All of these tournaments have 30-minute levels.

During the month of August, the room is offering a Splash Pot Promotion.  Every 15 minutes between 12:15 p.m. and Midnight, a random table will be splashed with $300.  If the table is a $1-$2 NLH or a $4-$8 limit game, the selected table will get three consecutive $100 splash pots.  If the table is playing $2-$5 NLH or $8-$16 limit, the table will get one $300 splash pot.  Over $446K will be awarded for this promo.

Then in September, players will earn drawing tickets to win a custom Orange County Chopper Motorcycle.  Players earn one drawing ticket for every 20 hours of live play they record during the month.  For every 100 hours of live play, players get five additional tickets.  The drawing will be held October 10.

In May, Etienne Luduc of Canada took the $36K first place prize in the $340 DoubleStack at the May Extravaganza.  Esther Fedorkevich from Austin, TX claimed $22K for second place and Klein Bach, a Vegas resident, grabbed $16K for third.  The event drew 612 entrants, creating a prize pool of $171K, easily surpassing the $100K guarantee.

ARIA:  The room hosted two big WPT events in May.  Darren Elias won the inaugural $10K Bobby Baldwin Classic, taking home $387K.  It was the fourth WPT title for Elias, a record.  Kitty Kuo earned $248K for second place and 2015 WSOP main event champion Joe McKeehen received $179K for third.  There were 162 entries and the total prize pool was $1.5M.

A few days later, Matthew Waxman won the WPT Tournament of Champions, earning $463K.  Matas Cimbolas took second place for $266K.  Darren Elias, fresh off his win at the Bobby Baldwin Classic, placed third for $177K, wrapping up an incredible week of poker.  The event had a $15K buy-in and was open only to previous WPT winners. Eighty players entered and the prize pool was $1.3M.

Aria was also the scene of the fourth annual Super High Roller Bowl.  The $300K buy-in event, was limited to 48 players and had a $14.4M prize pool.  Justin Bonomo outlasted the field, finally eliminating runner-up Daniel Negreanu to take home the $5M first place prize.  Negreanu received $3M.  Jason Koon finished third for $2.1M

BELLAGIO: The first WPT Elite Poker Championship was held in May.  The $379K first place prize was taken by Lawrence Greenberg, with Danny Qutami taking second for $224K and Jim Collopy finishing third for $147K.  The $10,400 event drew 126 players and the prize pool was $1.2M.

The 14th Bellagio Cup takes place July 10 – 17.  $10,400 main event plays out over five days, beginning the 13th.  There are several $1,100 satellites for it beginning July 12.  A $1,100 Seniors event will be held July 11.

RED ROCK:  The room has picked up most of the regular games that were spread at the Suncoast poker room.  That includes the stud games that were regularly spread there.  The famous, long-running "Hoggie" spread limit $2-$10 Stud 8 now runs regularly on Mondays during the day shift.  The betting becomes $2-$20 on 7th street. The minimum buy-in is $100. There's also a regular $4-$8 Stud game that runs Wednesdays and Saturdays with a minimum $40 buy-in.  Sundays you can usually find a $4-$8 Omaha 8 game with a $40 minimum buy-in.

Hold'em fans will always find plenty of $2-$4 limit action there, in addition to $4-$8 limit. The minimum buy-ins are $20 and $40 respectively.  The busy $1-$2 NLH game has a $100-$300 buy-in.  For the $2-$5 game, it's $300-$1,000.  A $5-$10 NLH game runs fairly often with a buy-in of $500-$3,000.

Promos include "Quad Floppers":  Flopping quads on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday wins $500.  A High Hand of the hour promo runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The top hand wins $200, a full house or better is needed to qualify. A Progressive Straight Flush promo runs 24/7. The payout progresses each day a specific straight flush (Jack-high, Queen-high, King-high, for example) fails to hit.  Each straight flush starts at $75.

TREASURE ISLAND:  The room has revamped their tournament schedule.  The popular "Magnum T.I." tournament is now running every Thursday night at 7 p.m.    The $125 buy-in gets players a 30K starting stack and there is a $15 add-on for 15K chips at the end of registration (level 10).  The levels are 20-minutes and the house adds $250 to the prize pool. 

The room has three daily tournaments at 12:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., except on Thursdays when the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. tournaments are replaced by the Magnum T.I.  All the dailies have an $80 buy-in for 12K chips with an optional $8 staff bonus for 8K chips. The levels are 20-minutes.





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