Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vegas, baby!

I'm headed out to Vegas on Friday morning...  plans are for a 5 day trip.  I'm looking to perhaps mix it up with a few tournaments since I'll have the time to put in.  Here are the "major" guaranteed tourneys going on while I'm there:
  • Venetian 8/1 12pm $300 $15k guaranteed - 12k chips, 30 minute levels
  • Wynn 8/1 12pm $225 $25k guaranteed - 10k chips, 40 minute levels
  • Venetian 8/4 12pm $150 $10k guaranteed - 12k chips, 30 minute levels
So, having never played a wide field tournament, how long do these events last?  If it starts at 12, will I be playing into the dinner hour?   Are they one-day events?  Would any of the above be considered "good value?"  Do the weekly guaranteed at these places carry an overlay (which would be nice)? 

Likely, I'll play the Wynn 8/1 and the Venetian 8/4 from the look of it.  The rest of the days and time that I have will be filled with 1/3 cash games.  Best I can tell, the places for cash games are the Venetian, Belagio, ARIA and Wynn - and based on Rob's latest details with Orel Hershiser, I'll probably go with the ARIA primarily.



  1. Rob or others should be able to give you a better idea of how long you'll be spending in a tournament if you have a deep run -- certainly much longer than you have indicated. Therefore, choosing tournaments wisely is important if you want sufficient time for cash games.

    As for cash games, I thought the softest games on my last trip were at Mirage, which has a nicely remodeled poker room. Venetian is always good for action and the Aria is a top room. I won in my one session at Bellagio. I haven't played at Wynn for some time. I personally like the vibe at MGM and Harrah's. My old favorite, Bally's, has let me down the past few trips.

    Have an excellent trip and win lots of mobney!

  2. I've played the Venetian noon $150 buy-in a couple of times. Best I did was busting out in tenth and I think that was after six hours of play. The fields ranged from 80something to just over 120 entrants. If the blind structure is available online you could calculate 100 entrants stacks totalling 1,200,000 and see which level would have 90 BB equaling the 1.2 million in chips. My estimate is that would typically be the last level played or possibly one more.

  3. Wish i could make it over there, but still in nyc. Id avoid the wynn tournament, frankly. The fields usually end up being pretty small for them so you need a final table to cash most of the time.

  4. Those events are going to take a lot longer than just the dinner hour if you have a deep run. Figure being there nearly 12 hours if you are going to finish in the top 3 And there are no dinner breaks, fyi. I don't believe any of the ones you listed are likely to have overlays, they are well attended. They would have dropped the guarantees if they consistently came up short.

    A note about that Wynn tournament....there's a $100 add on for 5K in chips, so if you want to give yourself a fair shot of cashing, consider it a $335 tournament. That's one of the reasons I've never played it.

    But you don't have to limit yourself to tourns with guarantees. The $125 Aria 1PM daily has no guarantee but it doesn't need it. It gets well over 100 players daily for a nice prize pool. I highly recommend that one. Last time I ran deep, I was there past 10PM and as I recall, we did a 5-way chop or it would have gone even longer.

    Another possibility is the best weekly tournament in town--the Orleans Friday nite at 7PM, also $125. They get over 200 players and if you win it, you'll be there at 6AM at least. However, if you are flying in that day, you'd probably be nuts to give it a try, but I thought I'd mention it.

    Binion's $160 2PM Saturday tournament is another good option, it has a $10K guarantee. But I dunno if you want to go downtown.

    With all of these tho, you really can't have any evening plans, like shows or a fancy dinner, that you can't get out of.

  5. I'd be surprised if any of the tournaments were over before midnight.

  6. Oh, and I meant to wish you good luck!

  7. Thank you for all the comments! I'm definitely re-thinking my ideas above... I don't know that Binion's downtown is really an option, but the ARIA sounds promising. I hadn't realized that there would be nice prize pools regardless of guarantees - which was my biggest concern. Whatever tourneys I chose, I am going to make a conscious effort to play a few more tourneys throughout the year. The Baltimore Horseshoe has the WSOP-C coming to town Aug 21-30, so I'd like to take a shot at that as well...

  8. Replies
    1. Thanks Tony - will keep that under advisement. I've been debating back & forth as to whether to get a car. I feel like the car will just sit in the parking lot most of the time - so I've been thinking about just taking a taxi back & forth from the hotel to the airport.

    2. You misunderstood Tony. He meant you need a car to pick him up in Reno and take him places. For poker, all you need is cabs.

    3. LOL Jordan - there was no driving Tony around this trip; my wife had the car when I was playing and when I wasn't playing, I was with my wife.

  9. My 2c:
    1. The tournaments at Venetian/Wynn won't be done before midnight.
    2. I agree with not renting a car, the duece is $8 for 24 hours and $20 for a three day ticket. You can ride any bus. Going to downtown might take some time on the buses but that is an option. I would try SDX if I want to go quicker.
    3. Aria and Orleans are two good tournaments. Play cash during evening hours when the action is good and use the afternoons to grind tournaments.
    4. Whatever you do have fun!

    Just for the heck of it I would try 2 hours each in each room and see how you would do.


    1. I wound up playing the Venetian $150 on Monday. I busted 20 minutes before the first level break in spectacular fashion:
      AJ in mid-position with 150/300 blinds (I have 10K). I raise to 1200 after 3 limpers. I get one caller and the guy to my left 3bet / shoves to 7000 to go. I think for a bit and re-shove. Folds around - I'm up against JJ - Ace in the window, 1 outter J on the turn and I'm down to a 3K stack. 1 hand later, I 3bet ship a 1K open with AK against AQ (who snapped me off and spikes a Q in the window, natch).

      Oh well - $150 for 2 hours of fun. The cash games were quite lucrative.

  10. I think I lost everything I typed.

    The tournaments will take longer if you run deep. I would play tournaments in the afternoon and cash games in the evening.

    Don't rent a car, it will just be sitting in the lot. Buy the bus passes as needed, three day ones are only $20. You can ride any bus. Take the SDX if you want to go faster.

    1. We wound up renting a car - but not to get to the different rooms. If it was just me there, I certainly wouldn't have needed a car. However, my wife went to the convention center, and we kinda carted my in-laws around. It worked out well for us.

  11. Don't rent a car unless there are things you want to do that are not on the Strip or in Downtown. Plan on 7 to 11 hours if you do run deep but honestly I prefer the Aria tourneys for my money. I live here next to the Strip and if all I cared about was playing poker and I wasn't going to Chinatown and Trader Joe's for food or doing like "regular" things with friends (going to the lake, hiking, etc.) I normally just take the monorail up and down the Strip which is air conditioned and stops at casinos with poker rooms. Tony is banned from almost every casino along the monorail stop so this is not something he would suggest to anyone but I love it!

    1. Thanks Alysia - next time I'm in town, it'd be cool to meet you (and play with you & Tony at the table :-). I'd love to hear the conversations...)


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