Two Vegas poker rooms open, another closes



Two more poker rooms have opened in Las Vegas. The LVH, next to the Las Vegas Convention Center, just off the strip, opened a five-table “Poker Pit” on the main casino floor. The room will offer low buy-in tournaments in addition to $1-$3 no-limit hold’em and $4-$8 limit. Mark Selby, late of the Riviera’s recently closed poker room, will be lead supervisor.

Downtown, the Plaza opened a three-table room featuring PokerPro electronic tables. The lack of live dealers allows the room to offer a $3 maximum rake on its cash games and a 25-cent/50-cent pot-limit Omaha game, in addition to $2-$4 limit and $1-$2 NLHE. Ed Peterson, who is the director of slots, will be manager. Peterson was a supervisor in the Excalibur poker room.

On the flip side, the M Resort, the popular locals casino, announced it has closed its 14-table poker room. It was hugely popular when it opened four years ago at the new casino, but it has been struggling to keep games going for the past year.

CHANGES: Susan Sandberg, longtime manager of the Monte Carlo poker room, has been named manager at the Mirage, replacing Chris Coffin, who left in July.

MEGABEAT: On July 1, Caesars Entertainment’s Mega Beat Progressive Jackpot hit for the third time, and just like the previous two, it happened at Planet Hollywood.

Another Caesars Entertainment promo is its “20 for 20 freeroll.” Players who accumulate 20 hours of live play in a two-week period at any of its Vegas properties are eligible. The top-40 finishers in each biweekly $20K freeroll get $500 each. The poker rooms participating are Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Rio, Harrah’s, the Quad, Flamingo and Planet Hollywood, and players can combine hours at the individual properties to qualify.

ARIA/AVP: Last issue I wrote about the All Vegas Poker tourney Sept. 15 at Aria. It’s a $125 ($115+$10) buy-in event, not $100 as initially reported. All entrants will get a $10 food comp and all players are welcome.

Speaking of AVP, the site is celebrating the excellent World Series of Poker Main Event run by one of its own, Paul Gordon. Gordon blogs under the name “Vookenmeister” on AVP and is one of its most popular contributors. He plays poker online to great success, mostly one-table and double-or-nothing tourneys.
At the beginning of the year, he put together a 33-step program to get ready for his WSOP debut and started playing a lot of multitable tournaments online to prepare. He had no trouble finding backers to help him with the entry fee and took a week off from his IT job in Virginia to follow his dream.

Despite his limited experience in big, live tournaments, all of Gordon’s preparation paid off and he made it to Day 4, busting out at 538 for a $21K payday. It was an incredible accomplishment for a main-event debut and he celebrated with his wife, Patsy.

SUNSET STATION: The locals room in Henderson announced it will start spreading tournaments for the first time in years, beginning with a $35 tournament (5K chips) Sundays through Thursdays at 7 p.m. There also will be twice-monthly $2,500 freerolls, with 20 hours of live play needed to qualify.

CAESARS PALACE: The Summer Mega Stack Series wrapped July 14 with the $1,080 main event. Neville Darrell of Bermuda won the tournament and $340K, outlasting runner-up Greg Himmelbrand of New York, who settled for $241K. More than 2,160 entrants resulted in a prize pool of more than $2 million.

VENETIAN: The main event for Deep Stack Extravaganza III finished July 14. Las Vegas’ Allyn Shulman claimed the $293K first place prize for the $5,000 event. Alexander Condon of Iowa finished second for $181K. More than 260 entered and the prize pool was $1.2 million.
Venetian’s next event is Deep Stack Extravaganza 3.5 on Sept. 16-29. The $1,600 main event starts Sept. 27.

WYNN: Sixty players competed for the $5,180 Wynn Summer Classic on June 22 as one-time Ante Up columnist Kenna James won the $83K first prize. Kyle Carlston was second ($63.5K). Both players are from Las Vegas.

Wynn’s Fall Classic will be Oct. 11-29. Many of the events have $100K or $250K guarantees. The $1,600 championship event starts Oct. 26.

ARIA: The $1,080 championship event at the Aria Classic went to Jarad Jaffee of New York over Diego Serrano of Spain. The winner took home $57K and the runner-up received $37K. More than 210 players generated a $205K pool.

BELLAGIO: David Peters of Ohio won $355K and the Bellagio Cup title July 15. Jason Koon of Las Vegas took home $216K for second. The $10,300 event had nearly 140 players and generated a $1.3 million prize pool.

— Email Rob Solomon at Follow him on Twitter @Robvegaspoker and read his blog at

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine