Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Vegas Poker Scene -- January 2020

Here's my latest column for Ante Up.  Since it still has not been posted on the Ante Up website for some reason, this is the version I submitted for publication.  You can read the entire issue online here.  The actual issue is available in a poker room near you.
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Michael Trivett, long time Vegas pro, won his first WSOP circuit ring in November at Planet Hollywood.  Trivett, who until just a few years ago was mostly a mixed games player, took down the $1.700 No Limit Hold'em Main Event.  Trivett won $216K.  James Petzing, a fellow Las Vegan, busted to Trivett in heads-up play for a $133K payday.  Canada's Tzu Huang earned $99K for third.  The event drew 778 entrees and had a prize pool of $1,178,670.

VENETIAN:  Samuel Uhlmann from Colorado won the Main Event at Venetian's November Deepstack Extravaganza, taking home $93K.  Rory Brown from Ireland claimed $73K for second and Matthew Leecy from Florida received $46K for third. The $1,600 event attracted 312 players, resulting in a $446K prize pool
In February, the cash game promotion will be a "Let it Ride" High Hand Giveaway. Every thirty minutes between noon and midnight, the high hand is worth $600.  If that high hand is a full house or quads, the winner has the option to let the hand play through the next thirty-minute period.  If it remains the high hand, the winner receives an extra $900.  If it does not hold up, the winner who beats that hand receives $1,200 instead of $600.

ARIA:  Sam Soverel won the Main Event of the High Roller Poker Masters series in early November, securing his title as 2019 Masters Champion for his overall performance in the series.  Soverel won $680K for his first place finish in the $50K main event, and finished with 1,160 total points in the series.  His overall winnings for the event were $1.4M.  Kahle Burns and Chance Kornuth each had 630 points for the series, with Burns taking home $586K and Kornuth earning $556K.  Soverel cashed in seven of the 10 events, quite an impressive feat, and also took home the coveted purple jacket for winning the series.

The room runs two popular tournaments daily, and has just added guarantees to the daytime events.  Monday through Thursday the 1 p.m. tournament has a $140 buy-in and a $5K guarantee.  Players start with 12K chips and play 30-minute levels. Late registration and re-entry is open for four levels.  On Friday through Sunday, the starting time is 11 a.m. for the $240 buy-in that now has a $7,500 guarantee. Players start with 20K chips and play 30-minute levels. Entry and re-entry is open for six levels. The guarantees have definitely increased player interest in these dailies, and have been routinely surpassed thus far.

The 7 p.m. tournament running Monday through Thursday is the same as the one during the day, minus the guarantee. The weekend 7 p.m. is the "20/20" tournament.  It's a $140 buy-in for 20K chips, with 20-minute levels.  Players have six levels to register and re-enter.

The cash games are usually hopping at the Aria.  You'll always find multiple $1-$3 NLH games going.  Minimum buy-in is $100, maximum is $300. The $2-$5 game is almost as busy, with a minimum buy-in of $200 and a maximum of $1K.  Another popular option is the $1-$2 PLO game with a $200 minimum and a $500 maximum. 

Beyond that, Aria is home to some of the biggest and most varied cash games in town.  You'll often find a $5-$5 PLO game with a rock that has a $400-$2K buy-in spread.  There are mixed games of various limits available, and much bigger NLH games spreading during busier hours.

BINION'S:  The venerable downtown poker room, the birthplace of the WSOP, has new hours.  The room is now open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., daily.  Of course the room will stay open past 1 a.m. if there are games running. The one daily tournament is at 6 p.m.  It's a $75 buy-in that starts players with 10K chips. There is an optional $25 add-on for 10K chips available any time through the first four levels.  In addition, players can re-buy 10K chips any time they are below 10K through the first four levels.  The levels last 20 minutes. 

The main cash game is a $1-$2 NLH game with a $100 minimum buy-in and no maximum. There are high hand bonuses, and additional bonuses for flopping the high hand.

SOUTH POINT:  Qualifying for the $225K winter freeroll runs January 1 – March 31.  Players need to play 120 hours during the period to earn a seat.

RED ROCK: The popular locals room in Summerlin recently made some changes to their tournament schedule.  Tournaments run daily at noon and 6:30 p.m., except for Saturday, when only a noon tournament is offered.  Monday through Friday the noon tournament is a $60 NLH event with a 6K starting stack, 20-minute levels and a $1K guarantee. Saturday a $100 Bounty tournament runs.  Players start with a 13K stack and play 20-minute levels.  The bounty is $25 and the guarantee is $2K.  Sunday the noon tournament has a $125 buy-in and a $5K guarantee. Players start with 18K chips and play 30-minute levels.

Monday and Thursday the 6:30 p.m. tourney is a $100 NLH Bounty with a 13K starting stack and a $3,500 guarantee. The levels are 20-minutes and the bounties are $25.  Tuesday and Wednesday it's a $90 buy-in with an 18K starting stack and 20-minute levels.  The guarantee is $2K.  Friday evening a $150 NLH Bounty is offered with a $5K guarantee.  The starting stack is 15K, the levels are 20-minutes and the bounties are $50.  Sunday evening the buy-in is $60 for a 7K starting stack, 20-minute levels and a $1,500 guarantee.

All the tournaments offer a $10 add-on for an additional 2K in chips. Players can win free tournament entries for hitting high hands of quads or better during tournament play.

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