Sunday, June 30, 2019

Vegas Poker Scene—July 2019

Here's my latest column for Ante Up (or the version I submitted).  You can find it in your local poker room.  Enjoy!  Note:  At the bottom be sure to check out the profile I did of Santa Fe Station poker room manager Wally Womer.

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Let's take a look at some of the regular tournaments around Vegas.

MGM: There are four tournaments daily.  At 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., a $100 tournament is offered.  Players get a 25K stack and play 20-minute levels.  The morning version has a $2K guarantee and the evening tournament has a $1K guarantee.
A $65 turbo runs at 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.  Players get 15K in chips and play 15-minute levels. Both of these have $500 guarantees.

STRATOSPHERE: Wednesdays at 7 p.m. there's a $100 bounty tournament.  The starting stack is 10K and the levels are 20-minutes. The bounties are worth $25. The rest of the week a $75 is offered at the same time, also with a 10K stack and 20-minute levels.  The same $75 tournament is offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  For all tournaments, players get an extra 1K in chips for registering at least 15 minutes before the start, and free pizza is served at the first break.

EXCALIBUR:  There are four daily tournaments.  The 9 a.m. tournament is a $40 buy-in. At 1 p.m. there's a $50 bounty ($10 bounties).  At 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. the tournament is a $45 buy-in.  All these tournaments have a 5K starting stack and play 15-minute levels.

MANDALAY BAY:  The room offers $65 tournaments three times a day, at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. The starting stack is 10K and the levels are 15-minutes.

ARIA: Monday through Thursday a $140 tournament runs at 1 p.m.  Players start with 12K in chips and play 30 minute levels.  Friday through Sunday the daytime tournament runs at 11 a.m. and has a $240 buy-in. The starting stack is 20K and there are 30-minute levels.
The 7 p.m. tournament that runs Monday through Thursday is identical to the $140 daytime event.  Friday through Sunday at 7 p.m. the buy-in is $140, the starting stack is 20K and the levels are 20-minutes.

GOLDEN NUGGET:   A $70 tournament runs Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and daily at 3 p.m.  The starting stack is 10K and the levels are 20-minutes.  Sunday at 11 a.m. a $125 tournament is offered.  This one has a $5K guarantee.  Players start with 15K chips and play 20-minute levels for the first eight levels and 30-minute levels thereafter.
A $50 tournament runs daily at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. The starting stack is 5K and the levels are 20-minutes.

SANTA FE STATION:  The $45 NLH tournament runs twice a day.  It runs daily at 12 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday at 7 p.m.  On Friday and Saturday the start time is 6 p.m.  Players start with a 4K stack, with an optional $5 dealer add-on for 2K extra chips.  There is a single $20 rebuy for 4K chips available any time during the first three levels.  For the last Friday of the month, the regular evening tournament is replaced by $200 buy-in with a 15K starting stack and 30-minute levels.  All of these tournaments offer a 500 chip bonus for registering at least an hour before the starting time.  A tournament bad beat jackpot is offered.

Every Thursday at 10 a.m. an Omaha 8 tournament runs.  Players start with 6K chips and a $20 rebuy for 4K chips is available for the first four levels, which are all 20-minutes.

BELLAGIO:  A $130 NLH tournament runs daily at 2 p.m.  The starting stack is 15K and the levels are 30-minutes.

WYNN:  Monday through Thursday it's a $140 buy-in with 15K chips and 30-minute levels.  The guarantee is $5K.  Fridays and Sundays the buy-in is $200 for 15K chips and 30-minute levels. This one has a $10K guarantee.  The very popular Saturday tournament has a $230 buy-in for the 15K stack but it has 40-minute levels.  Through the first six levels, players may take unlimited $200 rebuys for 15K chips.  There is also a single $100 add-on for 7,500 chips available any time for the first six levels. This tournament plays long so there is a 45-minute dinner break after the 9th level. All of the Wynn tournaments start at Noon.

RED ROCK:    Tournaments run daily at Noon and Sunday through Friday at 6:30 p.m.  Monday through Friday the Noon tournament has a $60 buy-in, a 6K starting stack and 20-minute levels. The guarantee is $1K. Saturday a $200 bounty tournament runs with 10K chips, 20-minute levels and a $2K guarantee. The bounty is $25. Sunday the $125 tournament has 30-minute levels and a 13K starting stack. The guaranteed prize pool is $2,500.

Monday and Thursday evenings a $125 bounty runs, with $25 bounties, a $10K starting stack and  20-minute levels. The guarantee is $3,500. Tuesdays and Wednesdays it's a $60 tournament with 6K chips, 20-minute levels and a $1K guarantee. Fridays a $150 bounty is offered, with $50 bounties, a 13K starting stack, 20-minute levels, a $4,500 guarantee. Sunday the tournament is $60, 7K chips, 20-minute levels and a $1,500 guarantee.
All these tournaments have a $10 dealer-add-on for 2K chips and offer high hand bonuses.

VENETIAN: Eric Baldwin of Las Vegas won the $400 MonsterStack at the May Deepstack Showdown on May 5, earning $31K for his efforts.  Asa Goldstein of Seattle earned $27K for second and Minh Nguyen of Vegas claimed $26K for third.  The event attracted 666 players resulting in a prize pool of $223K.

The next Deepstack Showdown runs August 5 – 8, offering over $600K in guaranteed prize pools. The biggest event is a five-starting flight $400 DoubleStack event that begins on August 13. It has a $250K guarantee. Players start with 25K chips and play 30-minute levels on day 1, increasing to 40-minutes on day 2.

A two-starting flight $340 DoubleStack starts on August 6 and has a $100K guarantee.  Players start with a 25K stack and play 40-minute levels.

CAESARS PALACE:  John Martin has been named the new poker room manager.  He's worked in the poker room for four years..

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Meet Wally Womer:

Wally Womer has managed the poker room at Santa Fe Station for the past five years.

How did you get started in poker? My grandmother taught me how to play poker when I was just a kid. She made sure I understood when you lost, you lose, you do not get the money back until you win. It took me a few years to finally beat her. But I was hooked. I played professionally for about 10 years. 

Why should people play at Santa Fe Station? Santa Fe has a wide range of poker. We usually have four different games ($1-$2 no-limit, $2-$4 limit, $4-$8 limit and $3-$6 Omaha/8) going most of the time. We also run two tournaments daily (noon and 7 p.m., but 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday). We also have an Omaha/8 tournament every Thursday at 10 a.m. We have a progressive high hand that runs almost every day, starts at $50 and increases by $50 every hour that it does not hit. 

What do you do in your free time? I like to go to the park with my granddaughter, who just likes to go outside and have fun in the fresh air

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