Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Vegas Poker Scene -- January 2018 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.  A lot of you will be interested in my mention of all the vloggers who have been having games at The Westgate.  Be assured that more will be reported on from a some of these games in future blog posts here.

And be sure to check out my profile of the new poker room manager at South Point, Jason Sanborn.  I ran into Jason all the time when he was at MGM, but didn't realize until I saw his picture that the Jason I knew from MGM was the new manager down at the South Point.

Last month, I forgot to include the profile I did on Suncoast poker room manager Gerry Boone, and I've included that as well, you can find on the Ante Up site here.



The Deep Stack Extravaganza runs Jan. 29-Feb. 25. One of the highlights is the Mid-States Poker Tour Poker Bowl II, starting Feb. 1. The $1,100 event has two starting flights and offers a $500K guarantee. Players start with 20K chips and play 40-minute levels.
The $1,600 main event begins Feb. 19 with a $1M guarantee. Players start with 30K and play 60-minute levels. Registration is open through the first two levels of Day 2 on Feb. 22.
A few new events highlight the schedule. A two-day, $400 SuperStack with a triple add-on starts Jan. 30. Players get 18K chips and during the first break, after Level 4, they may purchase a 12K add-on for $100 regardless of stack size. Four levels later, they may purchase an 18K add-on for $200. After another four levels, they may purchase a 24K add-on for $300. The levels are 30 minutes and the guarantee is $50K.  
Also, a “progressive bounty” event is new. There are two price points for this format. On Feb. 6 and 24 at 7 p.m., the buy-in is $200. The bounty starts at $50. When the tournament is at the final 27 players, the bounty jumps to $100. At the final table, the bounty is worth $150. The guarantee is $9K. A $400 version runs Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. For this one, the initial bounty is $100 and increases to $200 when down to 27 players. The bounty at the final table is $300.  The guarantee is $20K. All of these start players with 12K chips and have 30-minute levels.
As for the last DSE IV main event in November, Eric Baldwin of Las Vegas took down the $114K first-place prize.  Christopher Moorman of Great Britain earned $70K for second and Las Vegas resident Venerando Villarino received $51K for third. The $1,600 event drew 345 players, resulting a $498K prize pool.
PLANET HOLLYWOOD: In November, the $1,675 main event of the World Series of Poker Circuit drew 845 players and had a prize pool of $1.26M. Fernando Galvan won it and earned $247K. Corey Hochman was second for $152K and Chris Tham scored $112K for third.
SAM’S TOWN: On the east side of town on Boulder Highway, the popular locals room has added a 10 p.m., $35 tournament to its schedule on Friday and Saturday. The starting stack is 5K and the levels are 20 minutes. An optional $5 add-on is offered for 2K chips.
The daily 10 a.m. hold’em tournament is $23 for 500 chips, with the starting blinds at 5-10. The first hour of the tournament is limit, then switches to no-limit. The daily 1 p.m. tourney is $30 for a 3K stack with a $5 add-on for 2K more. There’s also a $10 rebuy for the first hour for 2K chips. The levels are 20 minutes.
Sunday through Thursday at 7 p.m., the $35 tournament has the same details as the new 10 p.m. tournament. The Friday 7 p.m. is $25 for 1,500 chips, with a $5 add-on for 1,500. It offers unlimited $10 rebuys for 1K chips available any time a player has 2,500 chips or fewer. After the third level, a $20 add-on for 6K is optional.
Tournaments alternate on Saturdays at 7 p.m. The first is a $55 buy-in for 6K chips, $5 add-on for 2K, 20-minute levels. On the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, it’s a $25 bounty tournament that has a $105 buy-in. Players start with 10K chips, there’s a $5 add-on for 2K chips and the levels are 20 minutes.
The main cash game is $2-$6 spread limit with a $30 minimum buy-in and no max. A $30 minimum buy-in Omaha/8 game frequently runs. The $1-$2 NLHE game ($100-$300 min-max) runs less frequently. And the $2-$10 stud game with a $50 min. buy-in sometimes runs.
The promos vary each day. On Mondays and Thursdays, flopping quad aces is worth $100. Also, Aces Cracked wins the amount of the pot. On Tuesdays and Fridays, the best full houses made win $150, $100 and $50 twice a day. On Wednesdays and Sundays, players who win pots with all four flushes get $150. And on Saturdays, the high hand of each hour wins $50. The minimum high hand is aces full of deuces and if no hand qualifies the money rolls over into the next hour.
WESTGATE:  The room is working with popular Vegas vloggers (that’s video bloggers) to host games there. The Trooper, a.k.a. Tim Watts, hosts a regular game every Thursday at 6 p.m. It’s $1-$3 NLHE with a $100-$300 min-max. PokerKraut, Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen have hosted games and Westgate is interested in regularly scheduling them. These games are well-attended and a lot of fun. They do come up with a few twists on regular poker rules for these games. Some of the ones have filled five tables. Westgate is more than happy to let the vloggers record the games for their vlogs. So if you show up to one, be prepared to appear on YouTube a few days later. 
The Westgate hosts an industry freeroll Tuesday nights at 7. Casino workers are eligible to compete for a $300 prize and there’s no cost to enter.
SANTA FE STATION: The rebuy for the $50 weekly Omaha/8 tournament costs $20.

Meet Jason Sanborn
The South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas recently named Jason Sanborn poker room manager.
How did you get into poker? I started working in a casino at 18 and shortly thereafter lessons to deal poker were offered and I jumped on the chance. After working a few years in Michigan, I moved to Vegas and have worked exclusively in poker ever since. After working as a dealer, floor supervisor and shift manager in many locations, the opportunity to lead my own room came up at the South Point and I couldn’t be happier.
Why should poker players play at South Point? South Point is a place where you can still get a fair gamble without having to worry about incidental fees and inconveniences. Close parking, limit or no-limit games and friendly staff are the hallmarks of our room. Regular promotions include a free-roll that runs for three months and gives out $185K-plus. Plenty of football promotions make this the best time of the year to be at South Point.

What do you do in your spare time? When not on the clock, I like to golf, bowl and spend time with family. I have two great kids and a wonderful wife. Vegas truly has been good to me and I look forward to many more years here in Vegas and at the South Point.

Meet Gerry Boone

Gerry Boone manages the Suncoast poker room in Las Vegas.
How did you get started in poker? My father and grandfather were avid poker players. They would let me sit in on
their home games when I was young. They mostly played lowball. My dad made me memorize, “Roses are red; violets are blue; don’t draw to an eight and don’t draw two.” I have been at the Sun- coast for almost six years and in my current position for three.
Why should people play at Suncoast? We offer the lowest rake and best high-hand promotion. It’s $3 max on all games and progressive high hands start at $50 for quads and $100 for straight flushes and royals. You don’t have to op them. We’re the only place in town that offers low-limit stud/8. Players earn $1.25 per hour in comp dollars. We’re giving away $16K-plus in football promotions this season. We have excellent restaurants, great air quality, big screen TVs, new carpet and friendly dealers.
What do you do in your free time? I enjoy spending time with my four beautiful granddaughters.


  1. Always enjoy your posts, and also enjoy your picks. Happy New year Rob.

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

  2. are u sure sams town is matching the pot on all cracked aces? i bet if the pot has $826 in it, they wont match it. we would like to know the cap though.

    1. Good question Tony. But the sheet they sent me just says "All cracked aces win the amount of the pot."

      But aren't most of their games limit anyway? So how much could the pot be?

    2. Well, you've played at Sam's Town, right? (I never have) Arent' all the cash games 2/6 spread limit? So how big could the pots get?

  3. Good blog. You should play in some of the vloggers' games.

    1. Heh heh. Just wait for next post, Bob. Thanks!