Sunday, November 10, 2013

No Bathroom Humor at the LVH

In my latest column for Ante Up (see here) I devoted a lot of space to the new poker room at the LVH.  Actually, my piece was about the fact that they now had a poker room, as opposed to a poker pit, which is what they had when they first started spreading poker this past July.  After a few months in the blackjack/craps pit, the poker tables were doing well enough to be moved to an actual room.  I thought that was worthy of some space in Ante Up.  Besides, Mark, the poker room manager over there, is a heckuva nice guy and it was the least I could do for him.  And never let it be said that I failed to do the least I could do. So I did an email interview with Mark for Ante Up.  And yes, Mark is his real name—as far as I know.   

I first ran into Mark when he was managing the room at the Riviera.  He was running it when the first of the (two) TBC “Meet & Greets” was held there last year.  For more details about that historic event, you can see the post here—but be warned, I believe that one is my second longest post ever, just so you know.  Then, earlier this year, I did a big piece for Ante Up about a big promo the Riv was having.  I eventually played at the Riv to try out that new promo, and you can find that story here. 

Sadly, the Riv closed its poker room not long after my column appeared.  I’m sure my column had nothing to do with its demise. OTOH, if anything negative happens to the room at the LVH, I’d have to consider the possibility that my Ante Up column is sort of the “Sports Illustrated Jinx” of poker.

Anyway, when I wrote the new column, I had visited the LVH poker pit a few times but hadn’t played there, and I had not seen the new room.  So I was eager to finally see it, and if at all possible, actually play in the new room.

So, last Sunday, I went over there to check it out with my own two, baby-blue eyes.  Mark greeted me warmly, shook my hand, and immediately gave me the grand tour of the bathroom.

I’m serious.  No less an expert than TBC himself had made it clear that he felt the most distinguishing feature of the LVH poker room was the bathroom.  I knew this from reading one of his posts. written after he played there the first time.  He said, “i wonder what RobVegasPokers (sic) report will say about the room, it might be a little nicer, although it wouldve been nice had he mentioned the bathroom.” The post can be found here, but I should warn you the title of the post is rather crude and offensive, to say the least.

I was surprised at being mentioned in that context, since Tony’s post appeared before my column on the room did, and also before anyone even knew I was going to write about the room for Ante Up.

The only thing I knew about bathrooms at the LVH was that the main casino’s Men’s Room had pictures of hot girls posted over the urinals, appearing to be reacting (both positively and negatively) to the penises of the guys relieving themselves.  So I assumed Tony was referring to that, and I took the opportunity to tell him and his readers that I’d already discussed the Men’s Room at the LVH, and kindly provided a link to that post (which you can find here).

Tony responded by saying that that wasn’t what he meant at all.  In fact, there was a separate bathroom inside the poker room which, according to Tony, was worth the trip to LVH all by itself. 

And then, in our business dealings, Mark himself indicated the bathroom inside the poker room was quite impressive. 

So, within a minute or two of arriving at the new LVH poker room, Mark insisted on taking me on a guided tour of the poker room’s private bathroom.  That was fine with me, because if he hadn’t suggested it himself, I was definitely going to ask him to show me the bathroom first thing, before showing me the rest of the poker room.

And it is indeed an impressive bathroom.  It is unisex and private—one person at a time only.  It is very plush and it is huge, I mean really big.  It’s bigger than most bathrooms I’ve seen in private homes—even though it doesn’t have a tub or a shower.  Just a commode and a sink.  I think there might be room enough for a full size poker table in there.

Mark did point out that one of the faucets on the sink would not completely shut off at the moment (something I assume has been fixed by now).  He made me promise not to mention that.

Did I just break that promise?  No, I don’t think so.  In my mind, I was only promising not to mention that little fact in Ante Up, not on my silly little blog.  I mean, I wouldn’t mention penis jokes in Ante Up, either.

The bathroom is so big that I’m guessing that at one time, that whole area was the private office of some bigwig, and that was said bigwig’s private toilet. Just guessing there.  I can’t recall seeing a public bathroom in any other casino anything like this.

And there were no pictures of hot girls anywhere to be seen.  I guess, being a unisex bathroom, there couldn’t be, it wouldn’t be fair.  Besides, what’s the female equivalent of mocking the size of a dick?

After the bathroom tour, Mark showed me the rest of the poker room.  It is very, very nice.  It is a big room, very comfortable, the tables are well spaced.  I’m sure they could probably add another table or two if needed, but right now five tables are enough.  Actually, the one issue they would have adding tables is that there are a few really huge pillars in the room, which I assume keep the roof from collapsing.  They’d have to work around that.

There are several really comfy easy chairs in the room so people waiting for a seat have a nice place to sit and relax, and watch a good number of TV’s that surround the room.

The room is right next to the LVH’s main showroom, so it’s a great location.  Mark tells me the action really picks up at night after the show gets out.  Since this was an NFL Sunday, the showroom was being used as a viewing venue for the football action.  There’s a wagering station there so gamblers don’t have to make the trek to the actual sports book to blow their money make their bets.

Overall, it’s a very nice place to play poker.  Some of the dealers are a bit new to dealing, but Mark has them well-trained.  He is a bit of a fanatic about making sure his staff provides great customer service, and that’s a very good thing.  I’d been there quite some time without having seen a cocktail waitress.  So I teased Mark that they needed to work on the cocktail service, knowing full well a poker room manager has absolutely no control over that.  But Mark made a call and within minutes a waitress showed up to take my order.  Nice work!

This visit, I made sure I played some poker there.  Can’t really asses the room without playing, right?  So after a long chat with Mark, I grabbed a seat in the 1/3 NL game and bought in for $300.  At the time, that was the only game they had, but Mark told me he was getting that game daily and recently had been able to spread a 4/8 limit game daily as well.

I guess I should mention the one thing I was less than thrilled about.  The room allows the button straddle.  Long-time readers will remember my beefs with the button straddle.  For the rest of you, you can read my post about it here.  At least they do it the “right way”—if you have to have the button straddle—in that first action is on UTG, not the small blind.

The game had a few open seats when I joined it but within an hour it was full and there was a small list.  The table was well run by both dealers and the players were friendly, but not overly so.  It really is a nice place to poker.  Of course, one of the things they will have to overcome is the location.  It’s pretty far north, quite a bit north of the Wynn, and it’s not on the Strip, about a ½ mile away.  And for me personally, well, I’m going to have to figure out how to exit the place without either getting lost or being stuck driving all the way to Sahara, and then having to either get on the I-15 or the Strip (ugh) to head back south. 

There were a few pretty big stacks at the table, including the one belonging to an older gentleman who bragged about being a professional poker player for many years and having played against every well-known pro—and never having been intimidated by anyone.  I didn’t really see any interesting or brilliant play from him while I was there.  There’s the standard $300 max buy-in, so he must have won those chips somehow, but I didn’t see it.  Interestingly, they let you buy in for only $60, which is a very small amount for a 1/3 game.  No wonder Tony likes to play here.

My biggest complaint about the session is that, for most of it, I was totally, totally card dead.   I went an hour and a half without dragging a single pot.  I was down to my last orbit or two with a remaining stack of about $220.  At least I was so card dead that I hadn’t lost any significant amounts with the second best hand.  I think I had the 8th best hand every single time.

Then finally came the only hand worth talking about. I had pocket 6’s.  A guy wearing a Riviera hat raised to $10.  I called, as did three others.  The flop was 8-6-x, can’t recall the third card but the important thing was there were two clubs.  I don’t slow-play sets anyway and I’m sure not going to with a flush draw out there.  Riv Hat led out with a $20 bet, which was kind of small for the size of the pot, I thought.  I made it $60.  It folded back to Riv Hat who called.

I didn’t want to see a club on the turn, and I didn’t.  Instead, it was another 8, which I didn’t mind at all, now no longer worrying about a flush.  He checked.  I suppose I should have thought more about checking behind him there.  But he only had about $70 left and I felt fairly certainly he would call my bet, considering the size of the pot and his remaining stack.

Sure enough, after I put out about $80 he put the rest of his chips in. I don’t recall the river card, but when it was on the board I showed my boat and he mucked, saying he needed a club.

Not after the turn he didn’t.

I played a few more orbits and went back to being card dead.  That one hand was a fluke.  I left with a nice little profit.  Not bad for winning only one pot in almost two hours.

The LVH is a nice little poker room, and Mark is doing a great job with it.

And there are no penis jokes in the poker room’s private, luxurious bathroom.  The picture below is from the main Men’s Room in the casino, not the very noteworthy poker room water closet.


  1. Glad to see you added a little class to your blog by posting pictures of urinals, discussing penises, and mentioning TBC several times. : o )

    1. My previous post was about enormous, unattractive tits. So I see what you mean.

  2. Whats the rake and is there also a jackpot rake?

    Do they have a 9 or 10 seated table?

    1. $4 rake, $2 jackpot, 2nd dollar taken at $30 on jackpot. 10 handed i think, could be wrong, but thats not an issue that matters.

    2. nice to see Rob agrees with the correct way to do the straddle as far as the order of the action, unlike all them guys including pokerkat and ironmike on RTP

    3. It's 10 handed, Nappy. And I'm pretty sure it's only a $1 jackpot drop, not $2, Nappy & Tony. I'll double check today. It is a $4 max rake.

    4. I don't understand the argument for making first action the small blind when there's a button straddle. Small blind is a terrible position anyway, and then, thru no fault of his or her own, you penalize them even further? Very unfair.

    5. Just confirmed, I was right. They only take a buck for the jackpot, not two. So it's 4+1 like most Vegas rooms that aren't part of CET.

  3. Another one to add to the Xmas trip List. Glad I've got a car for some of the trip !

    1. Cool, Ben. Hope you have a great trip. Remember to drive on the right side of the road! Mark is from England, by the way so you'll feel right at home there.