Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Vegas Poker Scene -- January 2019

Here's my latest column for Ante Up.  Well, it's the version I submitted for publication.  The actual print version is probably slightly different.  I found out why they have not been printing the individual columns online recently.  They are upgrading their website and don't want to post new columns as it will delay the upgrade.  Once the new website is online, all my columns and future columns will appear there.  

In fact, the January pdf magazine isn't even online yet.  But I know the issue is out as I picked up a copy of it at the Venetian.  So I feel it is ok to live with my submitted for publication version.  The Ante Up website is here.

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Sam's Town, the popular locals casino on Boulder Highway, is fighting the current trend of rake inflation by offering it's players a $2 max rake on its hold'em games between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily.  The main game here is $2-$6 spread limit with a $30 min buy-in. It is a full-kill game and offers players "action" buttons (sometimes called "overs") which allows the game to become no limit when the only players left in the hand are players with those buttons.

A $1-$2 no limit game, with a $100-$300 buy-in, runs less often.  The $3-$6 Omaha 8 game runs daily.  The minimum buy-in is $30.

The promos include a bi-monthly $5K freeroll, 80 hours in the two-month period to qualify.  There are progressive high hand bonuses and bad beat jackpots for both hold'em and Omaha 8.    

There are four daily tournaments.  At 10 a.m., they run a $26 hold'em tournament that starts out with an hour of limit poker before changing to no-limit.  The 1 p.m. NLH is $45 with one $10 rebuy.  At 7 p.m weeknights and 10:30 p.m. nightly a $50 NLH event is offered.  Friday nights at 7 p.m. it's a $40 NLH with unlimited $10 re-buys for the first hour.  And Saturday nights at 7 p.m. a $120 Deepstack bounty runs, which has a 10K starting stack, a $5 dealer add-on for 2K additional chips and a $25 bounty.

All tournaments, except the 10 a.m., offer players an additional 500 chips for registering at least a half hour before the start of the tournament.  The tournaments have a bad beat jackpot.

GOLDEN NUGGET: The main event of Golden Weekend, held in November, saw Torin House of Las Vegas take down the $12K first place prize.  Matthew Hartigan of Omaha earned $7K for second and Dermot Cumiskey of Ireland scored $5K for third.  The $200 buy-in event attracted 317 players and the prize pool was $50K.

The Nugget once again hosts the Moose International poker series, January 12 – 16.  Most of the events are open to the public.  All of the events have guarantees of between $3K and $25K, and the buy-ins range between $75 and $200.  Each buy-in includes a $5 donation to the Moose charity.  Historically, these events are all wild and loose affairs, with the great action spilling over into the cash games as well. 

PLANET HOLLYWOOD: Travis Dorsey, of Boerne, TX won the $1,700 main event at the WSOP circuit event in November, taking home $169K.  Ryan Tosoc of Chicago took second for $104K and Daniel Strelitz from Torrance, CA received $76K for third place. The event had over 500 entrants and a $785K prize pool.

SOUTHPOINT: The next $205K freeroll will be held in April.  Players need 120 hours of live play between January 1-March 31 to earn a seat. First place is $40K and all players who qualify receive $120.  Players get additional starting chips in the freeroll for extra hours of play.

VENETIAN:The $1,600 main event at Deepstack Extravaganza IV in November was settled when Peter Nigh of St. Louis and Ben Palmer of Florida agreed to a heads up chop.  Nigh claimed $85K while Palmer received $83K.  Dylan Weisman from Southern CA earned $46K for third.  There were 315 players and the prize pool was $452K. 

Deepstack Extravaganza I runs January 28 – February 25. The $1,600 main event has three starting flights starting February 19 and offers a $1M guarantee.  The $1,100 Mid-States Poker Tour event has the first of its two starting flights on January 31 and has a $650K guarantee. 

The series starts with $400 MonsterStack event with a $100K guarantee and two starting flights beginning January 28.  A one-day, $1,100 DoubleStack event with a $100K guarantee runs February 2.  There are three $400 DoubleStack events with $100K guarantees and two starting flights.  The first starting flights for those are February 4, February 11 and February 23.

A $600 MonsterStack with a $150K guarantee has two starting flights beginning February 8.  An $800 8-Max NLH with a $250K guarantee has three starting flights beginning February 14. 

A one-day $400 Omaha 8/B is offered on February 4.  February 11 is the day for a $400 PLO8/B contest. Both of these have $10K guarantees.

Most of the 6 p.m. events are either bounty tournaments or their popular rebuy events, and have a buy-in of $200. There's also a few Survivor tournaments sprinkled in.

The Venetian is guaranteeing over $3M in prize pools over the course of the series.

There are changes for Venetian's busy cash room in 2019.  The big news is that the base no-limit game has changed from $1-$2 to $1-$3.  The buy-in for the game remains $100-$300.  No changes in the $2-5 game, with a buy-in of $200-$1,000, or the $5-$10, which has a buy-in of $800-$5,000.  The room sometimes spreads a $4-$8 Omaha 8 game with a minimum $40 buy-in, and a $1-$2 PLO with a $100-$500 buy-in.

The bad beat jackpot has changed and now starts at $50K and increases incrementally by $1,500 a day.  Initially, quad Aces must be beaten.  The qualifying losing hand decreases one rank for every $50K that is added to the pool.  The losing hand receives 50%, the winning hand receives 25% and the rest of the table splits the remaining 25%.

The January cash game promo runs daily between noon and midnight.  The high hand for every half hour will receive $500.  An exact matching hand to the high hand wins $1,000. 

In February, there will be a random table cash giveaway. Every hour between noon and midnight, a random table will be selected and every active player at that table will have $100 added to their stack.

Players earn $1/hour in comps.  In addition to food (which can be delivered to you at the table), comps can also be used toward tournament buy-ins, or for a massage while playing.

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