Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Vegas Poker Scene (January 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 sooner, rather than later.

 The daily tournaments with $100-plus buy-ins tend to get the most attention, but many players who come to town for just a quick two- or three-day visit may not want to commit to playing in a tournament that could easily take 10 hours or more if they run well. After all, people also come to Vegas to see shows, go to nightclubs, sunbathe at the pool and enjoy some fine dining. So let’s take a look at some of the regular more affordable buy-in tournaments that won’t take too much time, even if you’re fortunate enough to finish first.

• MGM runs one of the most popular morning tournaments at 11, sporting a $70 buy-in, $2K guarantee and a 15K stack.The first nine levels are 15 minutes and 20 minutes after that.The same tournament is offered Sunday through Thursday at 7 p.m. without the guarantee. The room has turbos daily at 2 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday at 10 p.m. The $50 buy-in gets you 10K chips and 10-minute levels.
• Treasure Island offers $75 tournaments at 2 p.m. ($750 guarantee) and 10 p.m. ($1,500 guarantee).The starting stack is 12K and the levels are 20 minutes. There are daily 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. tournaments for $65, with 20-minute levels and an 8K starting stack.
• The Rio has $60 tournaments daily at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and
9 p.m.They all have $500 guarantees and start with 10K chips and 20 minute levels.
• The Stratosphere’s daily tournament starts at 7 p.m.On Monday and Wednesday, it’s a $70 buy-in with $20 bounties. The starting stack is 6K and there’s a $20 add-on for another 6K. The rest of the week it’s $50 for a 4,500 chips and the same $20 add-on for 6K extra. The levels are 20 minutes.A nice bonus is free pizza during the first break.
• South Point has a $60 tournament daily at 10 a.m. and 2 a.m., plus a 7 p.m. event every day except Wednesday and Sunday.These tournaments have a $5 bounty, 20-minute levels and 4,500 chips.The Wednesday and Sunday evening tournaments start at 6 and have a $100 buy-in.The starting stack is 7,500 and offers a $10 add-on for 2,500 more.
• Daily $40 tournaments at Excalibur start at 9 a.m. with 15-minute levels. The buy-in at 1 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. is $45 with 20-minute levels.The starting stack for all tournaments is 5K.
• Luxor’s tournaments are daily at 10:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.(5K chips, 20-minute levels, $45 buy-in).
• Monte Carlo has a daily 9 a.m. tournament with 4K chips and 20-minute levels.On Wednesday, it’s $60 with $10 bounties; the other days it’s $50 to enter.The 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. tournaments have a $40 buy-in for 4K chips, with a $20 add-on for 4K more. The levels are 20 minutes. The 6 p.m. tournament offers 10K chips and 20-minute levels. Wednesday the buy-in is $75 and there’s a $10 bounty, the other days it’s $65.
• Mandalay Bay has a daily $40 event for 4K chips at 10 a.m. There is a $5 add-on for another 1K.The levels are 20 minutes. The other two dailies are 15-minute levels. The 3 p.m. is $40 for 5K chips with a $20 add-on for another 5K.The 10 p.m. is $65 and starts with a 10K stack.
GOLDEN NUGGET: Golden Weekend was a huge success. The $140 buy-in, $50K guarantee main event on Nov. 28 had 787 players and a prize pool of $82K-plus. The final table agreed to a chip-chop as the top prize of $7,373 went to Michael Gatto of Las Vegas. Robin Hamilton of California earned $5,775 for second and Colin McAliece of Ireland received $5,411 for third.
CAESARS PALACE: The tournament schedule has been revised.There are four daily tournaments, all with 20-minute levels. The 10 a.m. tournament has a $100 buy-in for 10K chips and a $1,500 guarantee.At 2 p.m. it’s $125 for 12K chips and a $2K guarantee. The 6 p.m. tournament has a $125 buy-in, 15K chips and a $2K guarantee.The 9 p.m. ($150) has a 15K starting stack and a $2,500 guarantee.
The cash games are always busy as the $1-$2 NLHE has a $100-$300 min-max buy-in.The $2-$5 game is $200-$1K. The room offers $2/hour comps and max rake is $4.
PLANET HOLLYWOOD: Sean Berrios of the Virgin Islands earned $347K for winning the main event of the WSOPC on Nov. 23. Two Southern Californians, Peter Hengsakul ($215K) and Antonios Roungeris ($157K) took second and third, respectively.More than 1,300 players competed for a prize pool of nearly $2M in the $1,675 event.
VENETIAN: Mohammad Eshagi of Las Vegas won $137K and the title in the $1,600 Deep Stack Extravaganza’s Main Event Nov. 18. Nipun Javia of California claimed $85K for second and Christian Soto from New Jersey earned $62K for third.The prize pool was $625K with more than 425 entrants.
MESQUITE: A little more than an hour from Las Vegas on the Utah border, the town of Mesquite has one poker room, at the Eureka Casino Resort. Twice a year, it hosts the Eureka Open.The next one runs Jan. 15-24.Most of the events are $80-$100 no-limit tournaments. The series ends with a $20K freeroll on Jan. 24.Entry is earned with a minimum of 25 hours of live play starting Jan. 10, with more starting chips awarded for more hours of play. Players can enter this tournament for $500.Many Las Vegas pros make the drive to play in this series.


  1. how come u left out P-ho is now reducing their r@ke to $4 too

    1. The deadline for this column was WAY before they announced that, Tony.

  2. Happy New Year Rob! Your writing has never been better.
    Go Green!
    Kenny (The Snaker)

    1. Thanks very much, Kenny! Happy New Year to you too!