Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Vegas Poker Scene -- July 2018

Below is my latest column for Ante Up.  The link for it on the Ante Up site is here.

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The next Extravaganza Poker Series at the Venetian Las Vegas will be Aug. 9-19.  The series offers $400K-plus in guarantees. This will be the first series at the Venetian to feature the big-blind ante structure in all of its events. 
The biggest guarantee, $200K, is offered in a five-starting-flight, $250 NLHE event that begins Aug. 14. The top 10 percent of each flight will be in the money, with the top 5 percent advancing to Day 2. Players start with 15K chips and play 30-minute levels on Day 1, which increase to 40 minutes on Day 2.
A two-starting-flight $340 doublestack starts Aug. 10. It has a $100K guarantee. Players start with 25K chips and play 40-minute levels. 
There are several $200 rebuy events during the series. The starting stack is 12K and $100 rebuys are available for 12K chips whenever a player’s stack is 12K or less for the first six levels. The guarantees are $9K or $12K, depending on the date.  These events run in the evening. There’s a pair of noon $300 rebuy tournaments with $25K guarantees, with the same rebuy rules. All of these tournaments have 30-minute levels.
During August, the room is offering a splash-pot promotion. Every 15 minutes between 12:15 p.m. and midnight, a random table will be splashed with $300. If the table is $1-$2 NLHE or a $4-$8 limit, the selected table will get three consecutive $100 splash pots. If the table is playing $2-$5 or $8-$16 limit, the table will get one $300 splash pot. More than $446K will be awarded for this promo.
Then in September, players will earn drawing tickets to win a custom Orange County Chopper Motorcycle. Players earn one drawing ticket for every 20 hours of live play in the month. For every 100 hours of live play, players get five more tickets. The drawing will be Oct. 10.
In May, Etienne Luduc of Canada took the $36K first-place prize in the $340 doublestack at the May Extravaganza. Esther Fedorkevich from Austin, Texas, claimed $22K for second and Klein Bach, a Vegas resident, grabbed $16K for third. The event drew 612 entrants, creating a prize pool of $171K, easily surpassing the $100K guarantee.
ARIA: The room hosted two big WPT events in May. Darren Elias won the inaugural $10K Bobby Baldwin Classic, taking home $387K. It was the fourth WPT title for Elias, a record. Kitty Kuo earned $248K for second and 2015 WSOP main-event champion Joe McKeehen received $179K for third. There were 162 entries and the prize pool was $1.5M.
A few days later, Matthew Waxman won the WPT Tournament of Champions, earning $463K. Matas Cimbolas took second for $266K. Elias placed third for $177K, wrapping up an incredible week of poker. The event had a $15K buy-in and was open only to previous WPT winners as 80 players entered and the prize pool was $1.3M.
Aria also was the scene of the fourth annual Super High Roller Bowl. The $300K buy-in event, was limited to 48 players and had a $14.4M prize pool. Justin Bonomo outlasted the field, finally eliminating runner-up Daniel Negreanu to take home the $5M prize. Negreanu received $3M. Jason Koon finished third for $2.1M.
BELLAGIO: The first WPT Elite Poker Championship ran in May as the $379K first-place prize went to Lawrence Greenberg. Danny Qutami was second for $224K and Jim Collopy finished third for $147K. The $10,400 event drew 126 players and the prize pool was $1.2M.
The 14th Bellagio Cup runs July 10-17, including the $10,400 main event, which plays out over five days, beginning July 13. There are several $1,100 satellites beginning July 12. Also, a $1,100 seniors event will be July 11.
RED ROCK: The room has picked up most of the regular games that were spread at the old Suncoast poker room, including the stud games regularly spread there. The famous, long-running Hoggie spread-limit $2-$10 stud-8 game runs regularly on Mondays during the day shift. The betting becomes $2-$20 on seventh street. The minimum buy-in is $100.
There’s also a regular $4-$8 stud game that runs Wednesdays and Saturdays with a minimum $40 buy-in. Sundays usually find a $4-$8 Omaha/8 game with a $40 minimum buy-in.
Hold’em fans will find plenty of $2-$4 limit action here, in addition to $4-$8 limit. The minimum buy-ins are $20 and $40, respectively. The busy $1-$2 NLHE game has a $100-$300 buy-in. For the $2-$5 game, it’s $300-$1K. A $5-$10 NLHE game runs fairly often with a buy-in of $500-$3K. 
Promos include Quad Floppers: Flopping quads on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday wins $500. A high-hand-of-the-hour promo runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The top hand wins $200, a full house or better is needed to qualify. A progressive-straight-flush promo runs 24-7. The payout progresses each day a specific straight flush fails to hit. Each straight flush starts at $75.
TREASURE ISLAND: The room has revamped its tournament schedule. The popular Magnum T.I. tournament is running every Thursday night at 7. The $125 buy-in gets players a 30K starting stack and there’s a $15 add-on for 15K chips at the end of registration (Level 10). The levels are 20 minutes and the house adds $250 to the prize pool.  
The room has three daily tournaments at 12:30 p.m., 6 and 10, except on Thursdays when the 6 and 10 p.m. tournaments are replaced by the Magnum T.I. All the dailies have an $80 buy-in for 12K chips with an optional $8 staff bonus for 8K chips. The levels are 20 minutes.

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