Thursday, April 5, 2018

Vegas Summer Series Preview Part 1 (April Ante Up)

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. 

This is the first part of my preview of the summer Vegas series, featuring Venetian, Aria and Golden Nugget.  So even if you normally skip my columns, this one might be of interest to you.  I particularly recommend you check out the first part, on the Venetian, because what the Venetian is doing this summer is pretty damn impressive.  If you haven't heard about it, you'll want to check it out!

This week I'm writing the May column, which will preview Planet Hollywood, Wynn, Binion's and Orleans.

The magazine should be in your local poker room by now. 

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The Deep Stack Extravaganza at the Venetian in Las Vegas runs May 14-July 29 and is the biggest DSE ever. It’s so big, the May 26-July 6 events will be in the Sands Convention Center. The tournaments before and after will be in the Venetian poker room. The series consists of no fewer than 150 tournaments, offering more than $31M in guarantees.
The series starts with a bang, offering a $340 DoubleStack with two starting flights and a $100K guarantee May 14. The same event repeats May 21.
New this year is the $400 NightStack, which features a $1M guarantee. It has eight starting flights spread out over the series, all starting at 6 p.m. The first Day 1 is May 31 and the last one is June 29. The top 10 percent of each starting field will be in the money and the top 5 percent advance to Day 2 at 5 p.m. on July 1.
The biggest tourneys are Mid-States Poker Tour events with huge guarantees. The $1,100 event with a $3.5M guarantee has the first of its four starting flights June 3. A $3,500 buy-in with three starting flights begins June 25 and has a $3.5M guarantee. In between, a $1,600, three-starting-flight tourney with a $3M guarantee begins June 18.
A $600 SuperStack with two starting flights starts May 31. It guarantees $500K. A three-day version with the same guarantee is June 23. A $600 MonsterStack (35K chips) with a $750K guarantee has five starting flights beginning June 30.
HORSE players can find a $600 tournament with a $50K guarantee June 3. An $800 PLO bounty event runs June 5 and guarantees $88,888. Omaha/8 has its day June 18 for $600 with a $100K guarantee.
The $500 LIPS event runs June 26 with a $40K guarantee. A $600 seniors event, with two starting flights, begins June 12 and features a $600K guarantee.
Right before the summer series, the Venetian hosts and Extravaganza, May 1-6, highlighted by a two-starting flight $340 DoubleStack event with a $100K guarantee beginning May 4.
ARIA: The Aria Poker Classic runs May 26-July 8. The centerpiece is the WPT500, which runs June 25-July 3. There are nine starting flights, three of which are turbos. The buy-in is $570 and the guarantee is $1M.
Like last year, the series heavily features $400 NLHE events in the day and $240 NLHE events at night. But this year, there’s a greater selection of disciplines other than hold’em. The buy-in for these events is $470 and they include eight-game mix (May 30), Omaha/8 (June 2), triple-draw mix (June 3), deuce-to-seven (June 4), PLO (June 7 and 9), HORSE (June 10) Omaha-stud/8 (June 19), triple stud (June 23) and PLO/8 (June 24).
There’s a $300 women’s event July 3 and $470 seniors June 13 and 17. Three two-day, $1,100 NLHE events are June 6, June 20 and July 6.
Aria also hosts the WPT Tournament of Champions, which will kick off with a new event: the $10K WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, a four-day tournament with one re-entry that starts May 20.
GOLDEN NUGGET: The Grand Poker Series runs May 29-July 3. A staple of the event will be a $150 NLHE tournament with a $20K guarantee taking place most days throughout the series at 1 p.m.
The daily 11 a.m. event features a nice variety of $250 non-hold’em events. For example, there’s HORSE on May 30, no-limit deuce-to-seven lowball draw on May 31, Big O on June 5, eight-game mix on June 15 and triple stud on June 26. Toward the end of June, the buy-in on these specialty events bumps to $360. A one-day $570 PLO championship event is June 20.
The $250 seniors event with a $100K guarantee runs June 16. Later that day, a $1K seniors high roller takes place and $250 super seniors (60-plus) goes June 18.
The $150 women’s event is June 25.
Three weekends are devoted to big multi-flight events. The first starts May 31 and has a $150 buy-in and a $150K guarantee. June 7 is the next one, a $200 event with a $250K guarantee. That tournament repeats June 21. All of these events have three starting flights a day beginning on Thursdays with Day 2 on Sunday. The $200 events play down each flight to 10 percent of the field and all players advancing to Day 2 are in the money.
Most evenings feature a $110 NLHE tourney with a $5K guarantee.
The $570 championship has three starting flights beginning June 28 and offers a $500K guarantee.
BELLAGIO: The room hosts WPT’s Elite Poker Championship, April 26-May 6. The $10,400 main event is May 1-6. There are plenty of satellites. A $1,100 seniors event is April 26 and a $1,100 NLHE tourney runs April 27. A $5,200 event goes April 30 and $25,500 high roller event starts May 4.
RED ROCK: The next event in the room’s periodic Climb the Rock series will be April 29. It’s a $300 tournament with a $25K guarantee.
RIO: Kevin Iacofono won the WSOP Circuit main event in February, earning $259K. Nikhil Gera ($160K) took second and Boris Kasabov was third ($118K). The $1,675 event had 887 entrants for a $1.3M prize pool.


  1. Thanks for sharing this -- it's quite useful to out-of-towners.

    1. You're welcome, sir. That's why they pay me the big bucks.

      Be sure to check out the next column for the rest of summer. I swear, I think this is the biggest summer of poker in Vegas yet. Even the WSOP (which I don't cover for Ante Up) is bigger than ever.