Elliott Lamson of Kalamazoo, Mich., took home the big prize in the Winter Classic at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Lamson earned $23K, outlasting 240 entrants in the late $560 January tournament. Florida’s Yegor Moroz won $17K for second place and Israel’s Galit Malkin took home $13K for third. The total prize pool was nearly $117K.
In addition to the cash, Lamson’s purse included an Ante Up Poker Cruise package for two to the Mexican Riviera out of the Port of Los Angeles on March 30.
QUAD AND FLAMINGO: These neighboring rooms on the Strip are offering combined freerolls. The two weekly $2K freerolls require eight hours played for Monday and eight hours for Friday. There’s also a $12K monthly freeroll for 40 hours. Play in both rooms can be combined to qualify for all of these events.
Both rooms offer high-hand bonuses for quads and straight flushes. Royals are worth $500, plus $50 to each player at the table. A flopped royal is worth $2K and a $200 table share each.
The Quad offers Aces Cracked, while the Flamingo has high hands of the hour 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
The Quad and the Flamingo are the only rooms on the Strip that offer $2-$4 limit hold’em, as more rooms are switching to a $2-$6 spread-limit game. The Flamingo usually has multiple $2-$4 games. Its $1-$2 NLHE game is popular, too.
After several years of disruption from property renovations, the Quad has settled into its permanent location. The six-table room is next to the Catalyst bar and is one of the nicest, roomiest venues you can find for a small location.
VENETIAN: The biggest room on the Strip announced a partnership with Ca D’Oro and Horologio for 2014. Ten Tag Heuer watches, valued at $2,500, will be given away over the course of the year. Five will be given to main-event champions of the five Deep Stack events this year. It has not yet been determined how the other five will be awarded.
SAM’S TOWN: This popular locals room on the east side of town offers a $105 deepstack bounty tournament on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. The starting stack is 10K, and additional 2K chips are available as a $5 staff bonus. The levels are 20 minutes and only $10 of the buy-in goes to the house, making this an attractive option.
Sam’s Town also offers cheaper tournaments three times a day (10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.). Cash-game promos include high-hand bonuses, Aces Cracked and bonuses for the best full houses on selective days.
CLUB FORTUNE: This independent, stand-alone casino in downtown Henderson has a five-table poker room. The room opens at noon and has a $30 daily tournament at 2 p.m. It’s the only room left in Vegas where you’ll find a 50-cent-$1 NLHE game. The minimum buy-in is $20 and the max is $200. Its most popular cash game is $1-$6 spread-limit hold’em. Cash games have a max rake of $3, and free food is offered every evening.
The room offers a popular “Beat the Boss” tournament on Monday nights. It’s a $45 buy-in for 5K chips and 15-minute levels. Additional chips are available for live play up to three hours before the 7 p.m. start. The player that knocks out the boss receives a $100 bounty. If the boss wins the tournament, the $100 is carried over to the next week’s tournament, but the second-place finisher in the tournament will claim the first-place prize money. There’s also a random $20 mystery bounty. The tournament offers a progressive high-hand bonus, too.
BELLAGIO: Longtime tournament director Jack McClelland retired at the end of 2013. A replacement has yet to be named. His career spans more than 30 years, including director of the World Series for several years in the late ’80s.
OBSERVED IN A VEGAS POKER ROOM: A player was overly tired, or perhaps intoxicated, and was taking a long time to make even the simplest decisions. The river card put three to a straight on the board, which also showed a pair of nines. He was first to act. After a minute, he finally said to the dealer, “I forget, does three of a kind beat a straight?” The dealer wouldn’t answer, saying it was one player to a hand.
The player then said, “You mean I have to Google it? OK,” and grabbed his smart phone. The dealer called the floor person, who stopped the player from looking at his phone by telling him no, three of a kind does not beat a straight. By the way, I later checked with the shift manager who confirmed it was appropriate for the floor to answer the question.
The player said, “It doesn’t? Oh.” And then he mucked his cards, despite no bet facing him. The other player took the pot, and showed a 10, indicating he had a pair of 10s.
The moral of the story? If you see a player like this in a Vegas poker room, ask for a table change to his table.
— Email Rob Solomon at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Robvegaspoker and read his blog at robvegaspoker.blogspot.com.