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WSOP / World Series of Poker / Rio / Poker / Phil Hellmuth / → All Tags
The second phase resumes in November 8 (AKA my birthday!) with the final table of the Main Event. This second phase is more commonly known as the November 9. The final table will be spread out over three nights unlike previous years where the final table took two very, very, very, long nights.
While you have to pay to enter and play in poker tournaments you can watch World Series of Poker in person at the Rio for free. The entire World Series of Poker is a spectacle but the action really kicks into high gear when the Main Event begins on July 5. If you’re even remotely a fan of poker, it’s worth the trip to Rio just to see what it’s all about.
World Series of Poker / Binion's / Plaza / Poker / Golden Nugget / Downtown Vegas / Poker Rooms / → All Tags
While there will be plenty of poker action at the host hotel--The Rio Las Vegas--there will be more players than normal at all of your large poker rooms on the Strip. There will even be a few more players heading Downtown's poker rooms.
Most of the big poker action is on The Strip but you can still find competitive games in two or three Downtown Vegas casinos. We say two or three because not everyone considers the electronic poker tables at Plaza a viable option.
Keep reading for a quick tour of poker rooms in Downtown Vegas:
A new documentary produced by the online poker company Poker Stars promises to bring viewers an in-depth look at one of the game's most popular and intriguing figures.
Kid Poker is the name of the soon to be released flick, and it focuses on the outspoken and always entertaining Daniel Negreanu.
Even if you've watched just a little bit of poker on television over the past ten or so years, odds are you've seen Negreanu at some point. In addition to being #1 on the list of all-time tournament money winners (his total winnings are close to $30 million), the Canadian card shark is one of poker's most entertaining players to watch.
Although the moniker "Kid Poker" may no longer be as relevant as it once was for a man who hit the milestone age of 40 last year, it's refreshing to see that Negreanu has lost none of the lightheartedness and boyish charm that set him apart from most other players when he first burst upon the scene.
Poker / The Strip / Venetian / Caesars Palace / Golden Nugget / Bellagio / Fremont Street / → All Tags
What is it like to be a professional poker player in Las Vegas? What it is like to make your living on the felt, doing battle with tourists and locals alike, fighting and clawing for fiercely contested chips in pot after pot, suffering through the bad beats, basking in the glow of making your opponents fold their superior hands, raking in the spoils of your victories, shrugging off the hands that got away, then racking up your soldiers and doing it all again the next day?
Tim "The Trooper" Watts (the nickname is a reference to one of his favorite Iron Maiden songs) knows exactly what it's like.
Since moving to Las Vegas from Jacksonville, Florida last June, Watts has been living the life that many poker players from all over the world have only fantasized about. It is in the poker rooms up and down the Strip where Watts goes about the business of grinding out his living by playing a card game.
Although he did line-up a part time job at a restaurant when he first came to town, Watts recently took a leap of faith and said goodbye to the day job so that he could concentrate fully on poker.
Now with no bosses to answer to and no schedules to follow, each day is an open book. Whether his office is Caesars Palace, the Venetian, or perhaps downtown at the Golden Nugget, Watts enters each day in full control of his own destiny.
When the final table of the 2014 World Series of Poker main event began last November, few predicted that the quiet, unassuming Swedish professional with the small chip stack in the eighth seat would be the eventual winner.
Martin Jacobson entered the November Nine with the second shortest stack, his 14.9 million chips paling in comparison to most others at the final table, including the 38.4 million chips possessed by the chip leader, Dutch player Jorryt van Hoof. As the battle played out and competitors were eliminated one by one, Jacobson somehow managed to hang on by a thread.
Poker / Venetian / MGM Resorts / Wynn / WSOP / Rio / Caesars Entertainment / → All Tags
As of May 1, the Venetian will be the latest casino to disallow cash from being used to wager at the poker tables. The move comes several weeks after MGM Resorts announced it would be banning cash from the tables at all nine of its Strip poker rooms. The Wynn has since instituted the same policy. Under these new guidelines, players will be required to convert their cash to chips before the money is considered in play.
As we outlined in our previous report, the reason casinos are moving toward cashless tables is so that they can more closely track how much players are buying in for at the tables. The Bank Secrecy Act requires casinos to file a Currency Transaction Report for any player who buys in for more than $10,000 in chips. At table games such as blackjack and roulette, casinos have required that bets be placed with chips rather than cash for many years now. This makes it easy for casino personnel to track how much a player buys in for. At poker, however, the permission of players to bet with cash has made it easy for individuals to slip under the radar and conceivably go over the $10,000 threshold without the casino being aware of it.
A sign in the Venetian poker room (seen below) states that anybody purchasing $2,000 or more in chips will be required to do so themselves at the casino cage rather than using a chip runner. It is likely that players who approach the $10,000 threshold will be asked for identification, including a social security number, if they do not already have one on file.
Poker / Gambling / Gaming / Bellagio / Venetian / Rio Las Vegas / The Mirage / → All Tags
VegasChatter reader Jim L. recently asked a question about which casinos in Las Vegas use different chips in their poker rooms than in the rest of the casino. The question stemmed from his discovery of the cream-colored $1 chip (seen below) during a visit to The Mirage poker room. This chip differs from the blue $1 chip which is found elsewhere in the casino.
When it comes to $1 chips, to the best of our knowledge, The Mirage is the only casino in Vegas that uses a specific chip set just for the poker room. If you were to play blackjack or other table games at The Mirage, you would see the blue chips. In the $3-$6 limit game that regularly runs in the poker room, you would see the cream-colored chip.
Poker / Venetian / The Strip / Orleans / Caesars Palace / Harrah's / Wynn Las Vegas / Bellagio / Binion's / Planet Hollywood / WSOP / Golden Nugget / → All Tags
Christmas will be coming a bit early for poker players at the Venetian next month. Beginning May 1, the Strip's largest poker room will begin offering a $2 max rake on all poker games 24 hours a day through May 24. The normal rake at Venetian is a $4 maximum.
To the uninitiated, the rake is, basically, how poker rooms make money. Because poker players do battle with each other instead of against the house, the poker room takes a percentage of the money in each pot. In most poker rooms, the rake is 10% of the pot up to a certain amount and it is taken in $1 increments. The first dollar is taken out when the pot reaches $10, the next dollar is taken out at $20, and so on until the maximum rake is reached. The $2 maximum rake at Venetian is a 50% drop from what they usually take and players will see a nice increase in their bottom line because of it.
Walk into any of the dozens of poker rooms in Las Vegas and the game you are most likely to see running is Texas hold 'em. While there are plenty of places around town to hit up if you're looking to mix things up with some different games, hold 'em is currently king in the world of poker and shows no sign up giving up that crown.
It's important to note that hold 'em comes in two distinct flavors: limit and no-limit. While the general rules of the game are the same regardless of which style you are playing, the difference in the betting structures can make the games massively different when it comes to how the action plays out.
Poker / Planet Hollywood / The Strip / Events / Caesars Palace / Absinthe / → All Tags
Winning money in a poker tournament is always a good thing, but winning money and contributing to a great cause is even better. Folks will be doing just that next weekend when the Poker for Hope charity tournament comes to Planet Hollywood Saturday, April 11.
The event, hosted by World Series of Poker bracelet winner Antonio Esfandiari, benefits Tia's Hope, which provides gifts and uplifting experiences to children who are hospitalized. The charity currently works with the City of Hope in Los Angeles and Golisano Children's Hospital in Rochseter, New York, and is in the process of expanding to more hospitals.
Formerly located right in the heart of the casino floor, situated between some blackjack tables and slot machines, the old setting wasn't as much of a poker "room" as it was a poker "area." The new location, now sandwiched between the Earl of Sandwich (couldn't resist) and the sports book, is a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of the main casino and the result is a much calmer, quieter setting. The old location was just feet away from the casino's raucous party pit, which gave the poker room the reputation as one of the noisiest in town after the sun went down and the go-go dancers started doing their thing. Some people don't mind a noisy room, but if you're like me, a little peace and quiet goes a long way when it comes to doing battle at the poker tables. The new room doesn't have the library-like feel of the room at the Wynn, but it is quite a bit more mellow in its new spot.
Poker / MGM Resorts / Aria / Bellagio / The Strip / → All Tags
It looks like the days of poker players being able to have stacks of cash on the table alongside their chips may be coming to a close, at least at some casinos along the Strip.
Chris Grove of Online Poker Report broke the news last week that MGM Resorts has made the decision to no longer allow cash to play on poker tables at any of their casinos as of April 1. MGM currently operates nine poker rooms in Las Vegas. Among them are two of the most prominent rooms on the Strip at Bellagio and Aria.
There was a time in Las Vegas when cash was king. Although, chips have long been the preferred currency when it comes to table games, it was once quite common to see bets placed in the form of $100 bills. Gamblers used to be able to throw a stack of bills down on the felt, the dealer would announce "money plays," and the bet would be considered live. There is a legendary story of a player walking into Binion's Horseshoe back in the 80s with a suitcase containing $777,000 in cash, which he promptly bet on the don't pass line. He won the bet and walked out onto Fremont Street with his winnings, no questions asked.