Monday, June 1, 2015

Vegas Poker Scene (June 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.

But first....for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, yes I did play in Colossus and no, I didn't make it to Day 2.  A full report on my feelings about the event will be forthcoming.  Expect another report on how Colossus basically broke Vegas poker this weekend, and yet another report on a 9 plus hour cash session on Saturday.

ARIA: The Aria Classic runs May 31-July 6. The highlight is the return of the popular WPT 500 sponsored by partypoker. The schedule is slightly unusual, with the Day 1s spread out over the course of the tournament.
The first three Day 1s are on May 31, June 1 and June 2. The next three run June 6, 7 and 8. The last four are July 2, 3, 4 and 5. The final Day 1 is a turbo that starts at 8 a.m., leading directly into Day 2 starting at 2 p.m. on July 5, with the final table the next day. The buy-in is $565. The top 12 percent on each day will be in the money and the top 5 percent from each day be awarded $800 that day and advance to Day 2. The tournament has a $2 million guarantee.
The rest of the schedule features $235 NLHE tournaments at 1 p.m. and $150 NLHE tournaments at 7 p.m. The only non-hold’em events are a $450 2-7 triple-draw event June 14 and a $235 PLO tournament on June 23. The Seniors Poker Tour, a two-day event, begins June 17 and a $125 ladies survivor tournament is June 28.
BINION’S: The ninth annual Binion’s Poker Classic runs May 23-July 4. Every event has a guarantee. Most events have buy-ins of $160 or $220 and offer $10K guarantees. In addition to hold’em, there’s plenty of Omaha/8, PLO, PLO/8 and HORSE. Most of the daily events start at 2. The $1K main event is June 18 and has a $50K guarantee.
Two World Series qualifiers (June 25, July 2) offer players a chance to win entry into the WSOP main event for $550.
The $400 Masters Series event runs three days starting June 20. This event is open to all players 45 years and older.
HOLLYWOOD POKER OPEN: The M Resort will host its third annual Hollywood Poker Open on June 25-28. Chris Moneymaker returns as the event’s ambassador. The three-day, $2,500 championship event begins June 26 and has a $500K guarantee. There’s a $555 seniors event June 27.
GOLDEN NUGGET: Arshavir Doulatyan won the Golden Saturday event on April 4 ($5,847). Paul Radfor, Ted Mamola, Sandra Steffen and Ryan Leadem each won $5843. It drew 492 players.
Andy Rich is the new poker room manager at the downtown property. Rich had managed several poker rooms for Caesars Entertainment, including Flamingo, Harrah’s Rio and Caesars Palace. He also has been director of poker for the WSOP.
VENETIAN: Calvin Anderson won the Deep Stack Extravaganza on April 11 ($111,549), followed by Benjamin Yu ($73,190) and Ramesh Puradchithasan ($53,089). The prize pool of $515,424 came from 354 entrants.
Overall, DSE II saw an increase of 37 percent in players over the same event in 2014 and saw almost 10K players. The room gave away $43K for missed guarantees, which was more than made up for by the big increase in attendance.
PLANET HOLLYWOOD: David Higgins ($24,500) defeated James Johnson ($15,138) in the Phamous Poker Weekend main event, which had a $100K prize pool and drew 166 entrants on April12.
WYNN: Clayton Nicholas ($15,677) took first over Christopher Keller ($14,439) in the recent $100K Spring Weekend Guarantee, which attracted 307 players.
CAESARS PALACE: The room is flourishing with the Omnia Nightclub open. The club took over the original poker room’s location and creates a tremendous amount of foot traffic passing by the room on the nights it’s open, bringing more inexperienced players to the room. Though the room doesn’t take a jackpot drop, it’s offering cash-game players a tournament voucher for getting quads or better. The voucher is good for free entry into the room’s 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. tournament, a $125 value. Alternatively, the voucher can be used for entry into the $150 9 p.m. tournament by paying the $25 difference.
SANTA FE STATION: The friendly locals joint in North Las Vegas has 14 tables and offers two $45 tournaments twice a day, at noon and 7 p.m. (6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). The tournament has a progressive bad-beat jackpot.
The most popular cash games offered are $2-$4 limit hold’em ($20 minimum buy-in), $3-$6 limit ($30 min), $1-$2 NLHE ($100-$500 buy-in) and $3-$6 Omaha/8 ($30 min).
Promotions include progressive Aces Cracked on Monday through Thursday 7 a.m.-3 p.m., starting at $50. There’s also a progressive quads bonus 24/7, which pays double from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The Omaha game has a bad-beat jackpot and the hold’em games are part of the Station’s chain-wide jumbo bad-beat jackpot. There are cash drawings every Wednesday at 6 p.m.; players earn tickets for every hour of live play in the week prior. A total of $3,500 is given away, the top prize is $1,100 and unclaimed prizes rollover to the next week.
STRATOSPHERE: The 12-table room at the north end of the Strip has been running a “Stratstack” tournament one Saturday a month at noon. The starting stack is 20K and the buy-in is $110. The levels are 30 minutes.
The room has a daily 7 p.m. tournament with buy-ins of $100 (Monday), $70 (Wednesday) and $50 the rest of the week. Monday has a $50 bounty, Wednesday has a $20 bounty and the other days have no bounties. The main cash games are $2-$4 limit ($20 min) and $1-$2 NLHE ($50-$300). There are high-hand bonuses and a bad-beat jackpot.


  1. Boy, you weren't kidding with that "no boobies in my next blog" threat. I'll mind my manners from now on... you are not to be trifled with, sir!

    1. Don't mess with me, DWP. A world-renown poker blogger just said on Twitter a few days ago that I have the most juice of anyone in Vegas.