Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Vegas Poker Scene—April 2019

Here's my latest column for Ante Up.  The Ante Up website is still being upgraded so they are not posting my columns in HTML format these days (tho you can download a PDF version of the entire magazine).  So this is the version I submitted for publication.

And this time, readers of my blog get a bit of a bonus because I noticed that the actual print version of my column was edited down quite a bit.  I assume that the reason for this was just a matter of space, I sent the same length column I always do.  If they needed more room for something else, it's easiest to reduce my column since of all the territories, mine is by far the largest and the the longest column.

So enjoy the extra coverage that only my blog readers will ever see.. 

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Planet Hollywood hosts Goliath May 28 – July 7.  The main event, which will be 8-handed, starts July 2 and has a $1,700 buy-in and a $1M guarantee. 

As usual, the series promises something for everyone.  A turbo $150 Dealer's Choice tourney (20-minute levels) gets things rolling on May 28, and a regular $150 Dealer's Choice tournament (30-minute levels) runs June 2.  If you can spare $100, you can play for a $150K guaranteed prize pool in the "C-Note" NLH event that has three consecutive days with three starting flights each beginning May 29. First place is guaranteed to be $20K.
A $200 Short deck NLH event runs June 1.  A $250 NLH with seven starting flights and a $250K guarantee begins June 2. Then a $600 NLH with five starting flights and a $500K guarantee launches June 5. A $140 "Low Roller" event with three starting flights runs June 10, followed by a similar tournament with a $160 buy in the next day.  The guarantees are $50K and $60K respectively.

There are three different $300 two-day events with six-starting flights and $200K guarantees.  These start June 12, June 18 and July 5.  Running through the series are "50K in a Day" NLH with a $250 buy-in and a $50K guarantee.
A $600 NLH "Ultimate Goliath Stack" with a single starting flight and a $300K guarantee plays over three days, beginning June 17.

A $600 Seniors runs June 14 with a $100K guarantee and a $400 Super Seniors plays on June 15 with a $50K guarantee.  The $300 Ladies event with a $50K guarantee starts June 18.

There are plenty of non-hold'em events throughout, most priced at $200.  For example, 2-7 NL Draw (June 7), 8-Game Mix (June 8) 2-7 Triple Draw (June 14), PLO (June 16). Omaha8/Stud8 (June 20), Razz (June 22) and PLO8 (June 24). A two-day, $1,100 PLO tournament with a $75K guarantee starts June 20.  A two-day $1,100 PLO 8 event with a $50K guarantee begins June 29. A two-day $1,100 Big O tourney with a $50K guarantee starts June 26.

ARIA: The Aria Poker Classic runs June 2 – July 14.  New this year: virtually all regular day time events will have guaranteed prize pools. The $400 NLH tourney that runs most days has a $40K guarantee. The non-hold'em events during the day (replacing the $400 NLH) are $470 buy-ins with a $25K guarantee. These include Limit Omaha 8/B (June 3 and 14), HORSE (June 4 and July 13), Limit O/E (June 6), PLO (June 9 and 11) and PLO 8 (July 1).
A $1,100 two-day HORSE tournament starts June 16 with a $50K guarantee.  A two-day NLH with a $100K guarantee starts July 2.  There will be $150 satellites for these two events the evening before.

A $350 Ladies event runs June 18.  A $470 Seniors event with a $50K guarantee runs June 12.

Most evenings feature a $240 NLH tournament, but there are a few $240 non-hold'em events as well, including a Short Deck tourney (June 5), Triple Draw Mix (July 3) and NL 2-7 Single Draw (July 10).

The WPT 500 returns, beginning June 21.  There are eight starting flights, four of which are turbos. The buy-in amount and the prize pool guarantee have yet to be announced, but last year the buy-in was $570 and the guarantee was $1M. There will also be two $100 turbo satellites for these tournaments on June 21 and June 22.

In February, David Peters won the $100K main event of the U.S. Poker Open  That victory gave him enough points to also claim the overall championship for the 10-event high roller series.  Peters earned $1.3M for the final event and $1.6M for the overall series, including the $100K bonus he was awarded for the championship.

In the final event, Christopher Hunichen took second place for $858K and Keith Tilston was third for $528K.  There were 33 players and a total prize pool of $3.3M.  Sean Winter finished second in the overall series, taking home $748K, and Stephen Chidwick, last year's winner, received $706K for third overall.

WYNN: The Wynn Signature Series runs April 24 – May 5.  The opening event is a $550 Seniors NLH tournament with a $50K guarantee. On April 25, the first of three starting flights begins for a $600 NLH event with a $250K guarantee.

April 28 is the day for an $1,100 NLH event with a $100K guarantee.  The first of three starting flights for a $400 NLH with a $150K guarantee takes place April 30.  One day NLH events with buy-ins of $300 and $400 fill out the schedule. 

For fans of disciplines other than no limit hold'em, the series offers a $300 Limit Omaha 8 tournament on April 30 with a $10K guarantee. The next day, a $400 PLO event takes place. May 2 is the day that fans of the new game Short Deck NLH get their chance to play in a $300 tourney with a $10K guarantee.

RIO: Viet Vio, of Pearland, TX, won the main event of the WSOP circuit event in February, taking home $274K.  Sohale Khalili of Los Angeles earned $169K for second and Peter Lockwood of Arlington, TX claimed $125K for third.  The event drew over 950 entrants for the $1,700 buy-in event, resulting in a $1.4M prize pool, easily surpassing the $1M guarantee.

VENETIAN: Former WSOP Main Event runner-up Jesse Sylvia took down the main event in the room's first Deepstack Extravaganza of the year in February.  Sylvia was heads up with fellow Las Vegas pro James Carroll and the two agreed to an even chop, then played one final hand for the title. Each went home with $185K.  Mitch Garshofsky, also of Las Vegas, earned $103K for third. The $1,600 buy-in event attracted almost 800 players for a prize pool of $1.1M.

Deepstack Showdown runs May 1 – 5, featuring a $400 MonsterStack NLH tournament with three starting flights beginning May 2 and offering a $200K guarantee.


  1. Hi Rob.

    Do you have any notes on what the high hand jackpots were at the MGM back in January this year?

    I’m just writing up a trip report and I seem to remember getting something for flopped quads (but don’t remember getting one for a straight flush). I had been partaking of the free drink service but I’m sure that has nothing to do with my memory problems!!!


    1. Pretty sure it's the same promo they have now. If you flop quads between certain hours it's $299 for 10's or better, and $599 for deuces thru 9's.