Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Vegas Poker Scene--February 2017 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 soon if not already.


The Bellagio poker room has added a 30-second shot clock to its daily tournament. It’s the first regularly scheduled tournament in Las Vegas to feature the shot clock.
It works like this: As soon as it’s a player’s turn to act, the dealer will start the clock, which will be visible to the player.The player has 30 seconds to act.If the player hasn’t acted at the end of the 30-second period, the player’s hand will be dead, unless the player uses a Time Extension card, which gives the player 60 more seconds to consider the action.Each player is issued two of these cards at the beginning of the tournament.
Bellagio used this format for one of its Five Diamond events in December and it proved popular.That was a $1,900 event that attracted 200-plus entrants, so the Bellagio feels players in their dailies will appreciate the quick pace.
The Shot Clock tournament runs daily at 2 and has a $200 buy-in.The starting chip stack is 12,500 and the event has 30-minute levels.
Speaking of the WPT Five Diamond Classic, James Romero of Oregon took home nearly $2M for first place in the championship event in December. Chicago’s Ryan Tosoc grabbed $1.1M for second and Jack Schindler of Pennsylvania locked up $736K for third.The $10,400 tournament had 792 entries and a $7.6M prize pool.
RIO: The World Series of Poker Circuit comes through Feb. 17-28. The series starts with a $365 event with six starting flights and a $250K guarantee. A two-day mixed PLO-NLHE event starts Feb. 20. The $250 seniors event is Feb. 21. PLO fans have their opportunity on Feb. 22 with a $365 event. A $365 HORSE event runs Feb. 23. The $365 Monster Stack, with 20K in chips, is Feb. 24.
The $1,675 main event has two starting flights beginning Feb. 25 and features a $750K guarantee. The series ends with a $2,200 high roller Feb. 27, finishing the next day.
WYNN: The Wynn Classic returns Feb. 23-March 12. The first of the three starting flights for the championship event is March 2.That event has a $750K guarantee and a $1,600 buy-in.
There’s a $400, two-starting-flight event Feb. 27 that has a $100K guarantee.A $600 tourney with three starting flights begins March 9 and offers a $250K guarantee.
The $600 seniors event with a $50K guarantee runs Feb. 24. The PLO tournament is Feb. 26 and has a $400 buy-in and a $25K guarantee. Two $400 Survivor tournaments with $40K guarantees each are offered on Feb. 23 and March 8.
The Wynn is adding 25 tables to the Encore Players Lounge for the event.
PLANET HOLLYWOOD: The Phamous Poker Series Goliath Warmup event runs March 24-April 3. There are 13 events offering a combined $1M in guarantees. The five-day main event starts the first of its three starting flights March 30. This $1,650 buy-in event starts players with a 30K stack and features 60-minute levels. The guarantee is $529,850.
A smaller version of the main event kicks off things March 24.It has two starting flights and 40-minute levels, with the same 30K starting stack.The buy-in is $600 and the guarantee is $150K. There’s also a $4K high roller April 2.
BALLY’S: The mid-Strip room is offering progressive high hands. The royal flush of each suit will reset at $500 each. Straight flushes of each suit reset at $100.Each rank of quads resets at $50. The payoff of each hand increases daily until each is hit.
Hourly high hands run daily from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.The payout is $100.There’s a $20K monthly freeroll with 60 hours of live play during the period needed to qualify.The top-50 finishers in the freeroll each get $400.
The main cash game is a lively $1-$2 NLHE with a $100-$300 min-max buy-in.A $3-$6 limit game with a $30 minimum also gets spread.
Tournaments run daily at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 8 p.m.They are all $50 buy-ins with a 5K starting stack, 20-minute levels and a $500 guarantee.
FLAMINGO: One of the busiest mid-sized rooms, the Flamingo is one of the few rooms on the Strip offering a $2-$4 limit game and it’s almost always running. The minimum buy-in is $20.
In addition, Flamingo spreads $4-$8 limit with a half-kill.It has a $40 minimum buy-in.There’s a free buffet to players for every six hours they play in this game.There’s also a monthly freeroll just for players in this game, with 35 hours of play in the period needed to qualify.The first 20 finishers in the freeroll get $250, the rest of the qualifiers get $100 each.
Of course, the room spreads $1-$2 NLHE, which has a $100-$300 min-max buy-in.
Other promos include high hands ($50 for quads, $100 for straight flushes and $300 for royals). The payouts are doubled for that $4-$8 limit game.There are also two weekly freerolls (Monday and Friday).Eight hours in the half-week before each qualify.The top-10 finishers get $250 each.
There are six tournaments a day, all starting with a 20K stack.At 10 a.m., it’s a $60 buy-in with a $500 guarantee.At 1 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m., and midnight it’s $60 with a $600 guarantee.All of these have 15-minute levels. The 4 p.m. is a turbo with 10-minute levels, a $50 buy-in and a $500 guarantee.

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