Sunday, July 2, 2017

Vegas Poker Scene--July 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 room by now.


VENETIAN: The next Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza runs Aug. 31-Sept. 24. Among the highlights is the $1,100 superstack event that has two starting flights beginning Sept. 15. Players start with 20K chips and play 40-minute levels. The guarantee is $200K.
Another event with a $200K guarantee is the $800 eight-max that starts Sept. 1. The starting stack is 15K and has 40-minute levels.
The $340 doublestack event, which has a $100K guarantee, offers two starting flights beginning Sept. 12. The starting stack is 25K and levels run 40 minutes.
Players with tighter bankrolls should check out the $250 event Sept. 19. With five starting flights, it has a $250K prize pool. Players start with 15K chips and play 30-minute levels to start, progressing to 40 minutes on Day 2. A similar tournament with three starting flights and a $125K guarantee starts Sept. 7.
Omaha/8 players will enjoy the $250 O/8 event Aug. 31, starting with 10K chips and play 30-minute levels. The prize pool guarantee is $7K.
The series has 42 events and guaranteed prize pools exceed $1.4M.
In other news, a deal was reached at the final table of the main event of Venetian’s May Weekend Extravaganza, resulting in Australia’s Rajkumar Ramakrishnan and Las Vegas’ Stephen Ma each taking home $20K-plus. Carl Grounds of Las Vegas left with $18K-plus, while Christopher Busch of Colorado grabbed $17K and Mark Cannon from Southern California earned $16K. This $340 doublestack had more than 620 entrants, resulting in a prize pool of $176K, easily surpassing the $100K guarantee.
SOUTH POINT HOTEL AND CASINO: July 1-31 is the qualifying period for the poker room’s $10K player-appreciation freeroll, which will be Aug. 8. The top 50 players with the most hours played will qualify with $4K being paid to the winner of the tournament. Payouts, rules and more info is available in the ad on Page 11 of our current issue.
HARRAH’S: The room hosts a Ladies Warm-up event July 6. The $240 tournament offers a $7K first-place prize package that includes a cash prize, a day of training from the WSOP School of Poker, sunglasses, headphones and a bracelet. The event runs at 10 a.m. and starts with 20K chips and 20-minute levels. A $10 add-on gets 5K more.
ARIA: Christoph Vogelsang took home the $6M first-place prize for winning the Super High Roller Bowl on June 1. Jake Schlinder came away with $3.6M as runner-up. The event was limited to 56 players, each paying $300K to compete for the $16.8M prize pool. The tournament welcomed actor-comedian Kevin Hart as the special celebrity player and he played admirably, knocking out Phil Hellmuth and Fedor Holz on consecutive days. He fell short of cashing, though.
Aria hosted a number of high rollers leading up to its Aria Classic. The two-day, $100K event in late May was settled with a three-way deal. Christian Christner of Germany won $1.4M, Steffan Sontheimer of Germany won $1.2M and Benjamin Tollerene of Texas took home $1M. The total prize pool was $5.2M and there were 54 players.
MANDALAY BAY: The revised tournament schedule offers three $65 tournaments a day, at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. Players start with 10K chips and have 15-minute levels.
The main cash game is $1-$2 NLHE with a $100-$300 min-max buy-in. Another option is a $1-$3 game with a $1K max buy-in and a mandatory button straddle. There’s also a $2-$5 game with a $200-$2.5K min-max.
Aces and Kings Cracked is one of the promos. Players who lose with pocket aces win the size of the pot ($150 max). Players losing with pocket kings win the size of the pot ($75 max). The pot must be a minimum of $20 to qualify. This promotion runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 3 p.m. and daily 6-9 p.m.
Rolling High Hands runs at specific time periods during the week and there are three specific prize pools, all starting at $100 and progressing until it is won. The minimum hand to qualify is jacks full or better.
There are high hands, too: $100 for quads, $200 for straight flushes and $400 for royals.
STRATOSPHERE: The poker room at the north end of the Strip offers two versions of its daily 7 p.m. tournament. Every night except Mondays and Wednesdays, the buy-in is $50 for 4,500 chips. There’s an optional $20 add-on for 6K chips. The levels are 20 minutes.
Mondays and Wednesdays offer a similar tournament at $70 with $20 bounties. The starting stack is 6K and has a $20 add-on for 6K chips.
The room offers its popular Stratstack tournament periodically on Saturdays at noon, usually twice a month. It has a $110 buy-in, 30-minute levels and a 20K stack.
All tournaments offer players free pizza during the first break.
The regular cash game running is $1-$2 NLHE, with a $50-$300 min-max. There are high hands, which pay double when flopped between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. The $50 High Hand of the Hour runs three times a day (11 a.m. to noon, 2-3 p.m. and 7-8 p.m.). Aces Cracked pays $50.
CAESARS PALACE: Jake Revelle is the new poker room manager. He moved over from Bally’s, where he was manager for several years. Before that, he managed poker rooms at Harrah’s, Flamingo and the Quad.
BALLY’S: Chris Gawlik takes over for Revelle. He had been running Planet Hollywood’s poker room for more than five years and will manage both rooms now.
LUXOR: The poker room closed in June.


  1. I hate reading your column. Why? It makes me sad that I'm not out there to play in some of the nice tournaments they have, ha.

    1. Thanks, MOJO...I think.

      Simple enough....just move to Vegas!

  2. MOJO would kill it in Las Vegas.

  3. Rob, where you been? I'm having withdrawals!


    1. I'm still here, Kenny, thanks for asking.

      Just haven't had time to blog from Vegas, but I'm returning home today and should be starting with the stories very soon. Just a little more patience, sir!