Caesars Entertainment’s Mega Beat Progressive Jackpot hit for the first time March 9 at Planet Hollywood. The jackpot started Jan. 10 with an initial pool of $200K, and had grown to $672,420 when the unlikely hand was dealt just before 7 p.m. In a $1-$2 no-limit hold’em game, Alex Adams saw his quad queens lose to Scott Rosen’s queen-high straight flush.
For having the losing hand, Adams claimed a prize of $136,675, while Rosen took home $69,401 (and the pot) for the winning hand.
The rest of the prize pool was distributed equally to the 216 players playing hold’em in one of the seven participating Caesars properties in Las Vegas (Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Rio, Harrah’s, the Quad, Flamingo and of course, Planet Hollywood), netting them each $2,159. Harveys in Lake Tahoe chose to opt out of the Mega Beat at the last minute.
WYNN CLASSIC: The Wynn Classic came to a close March 21 as the $5,180 main event had 207 players to surpass $1 million for a prize pool. Raymond Dehkarghani of Kansas won the title and $235,931. California’s Sam Stein was second ($170,672) while Tom Marchese of Las Vegas settled for third ($115,454).
BINION’S: Recently, I discussed the popular 2 p.m. weekend tournament at Binion’s, reporting the guarantee increased from $5K to $10K for a slight bump in the entry free ($105 to $125). On the third weekend in March, Binion’s went even further, trying a $160 “Super Saturday” event with a $25K guarantee. It was a huge success, with more than 325 players participating and a first-place prize of more than $10K. The event was so popular that Binion’s scheduled another one in April, with plans to make it a monthly event once the Binion’s Classic ends.
TOURNEYS GALORE: As summer approaches, the special events increase dramatically. First up is the WPT Five Star Poker Classic at Bellagio, running May 7-24. One of the highlights promises to be the Super High Roller on May 21. The entry fee is a cool $100K, with players getting 300K chips.
The WPT World Championship starts May 18 and has a $25,500 buy-in. The final tables for both of these events will be televised and live-streamed, on May 23 and May 24, respectively.
• The Orleans has the Orleans Open starts May 18, including a H.O.R.S.E. tournament and two Omaha/8 events among the usual NLHE schedule. The final event is a $540 NLHE tournament May 26.
• The Hollywood Poker Open returns to the M Resort on Memorial Day weekend (May 24-26). For the Friday ($125) and Saturday ($225) events, the top-five finishers will win seats to the next day’s tournament. The top-two finishers in Sunday’s $335 event will earn entry to the HPO championship event that takes place at the M in late June.
• Of course, the biggest event of the year is the 44th annual World Series of Poker, which descends on the Rio on May 29 and continues until July 15. Sixty-two gold bracelets will be up for grabs, one more than last year. The main event gets under way on July 6.
The Rio is a poker lover’s dream during the series. In addition to the bracelet events, there are numerous satellites running virtually non-stop, giving players a chance to enter the big events without coming up with the big buy-ins. Additionally, nearly every form of poker imaginable is available at the Rio. Daily deepstack tournaments run three times a day, and wild cash games at every level run around the clock.
During the series, many other special events are scheduled around town. And there are so many poker players in Vegas during this time that all of these tournaments get large fields.
• The Venetian will run its Deep Stack Extravaganza III from May 23-July 21. Most days will see four tournaments being held, with games such as stud, deuce-to-seven triple draw, triple stud, and razz, among the offerings, in addition to numerous NLHE and Omaha events. The $5K main event starts July 13.
• Caesars Palace has its Mega Stack Series running May 24-July 22. The $1,080 championship begins July 9.
• Binion’s will host its seventh annual Binion’s Classic on May 25-July 7. A few H.O.R.S.E. tournaments are sprinkled in among the Omaha and NLHE events. For the event on July 3, the room is letting the players choose the game. The room’s Facebook fans will be voting on which form of poker will be played in that day’s tournament, which is a $160 event. The $1K main event starts July 1.
• The Golden Nugget, the other fine downtown poker room, has its Grand Poker Series on June 1-July 4. Among the different games offered are a deuce-to-seven triple draw/NLHE mix, a Badugi/2-7 mix and a “Guys & Dolls” tag team NLHE event. The Nugget also is opening up one of its events to a player vote, the $125 tournament on June 21. The $1,080 “Grand Finale Poker Shark Championship” event begins July 3.
• Aria has its Aria Classic June 17-July1. An open-face Chinese poker event and a 2-7 triple draw event are featured in the heavily NLHE-oriented schedule. The $1,080 championship event begins June 30.
• The Wynn also will be having a summer classic, with dates to be determined. A $5K championship event is planned as part of the series.
— Rob Solomon is Ante Up’s Las Vegas Ambassador. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Robvegaspoker and read his blog at robvegaspoker.blogspot.com.