Caesars Palace opened its new poker room in early June, just weeks after the old one was closed to make room for an expansion of the Pure nightclub. It’s a beautiful, comfortable, inviting 16-table room, with a separate high-stakes table and a private dining area for special occasions.
It’s on the opposite side of the sports book from where the old room resided. Unlike the old room, which was virtually hidden, it’s in the open and should attract a good deal of traffic.
The main game spread is $1-$3 no-limit hold’em ($100-$500 min-max). There’s also $2-$5 NLHE ($200 minimum with no cap). All games have a $4 maximum rake ($5 max previously) and a $1 jackpot drop. High-hand bonuses are offered for quads or better. Players earn $2 an hour in comps. In addition to free Wi-Fi, all tables are equipped with USB chargers for electronic equipment. Tournaments are four times a day, at 9 a.m., noon, 7 and 10 p.m.
PLANET HOLLYWOOD: The smaller Caesars room means it will no longer host the special tournament series like in the past. Those events have been moved to its sister property, Planet Hollywood, starting with the recently completed PHamous Poker Series.
Kien Tieu took home $56K, winning the final $560 event of the Planet Hollywood series. Erdogan Munich earned $54K for second and Bento Sato received $45K for third. More than 900 entrants resulted in a $451K prize pool.
HOLLYWOOD POKER OPEN: Simon Deadman of the U.K. took the championship of the second annual Hollywood Poker Open main event at the M Resort the last weekend of June. Deadman survived a field of nearly 700 players, most of whom paid $2,500, though more than 200 entrants won their way in at regional HPO events held throughout the country.
Deadman earned $350K while Michael Wang of Los Angeles took home $216K for second. Kitty Kuo of Taiwan received $142K for third. The prize pool was more than $1.5 million.
WPT500: The first WPT500 ran at Aria in July. The $1 million guarantee had six starting flights and lasted two days as the culmination of the Aria Classic. It was a huge success, attracting overflow crowds that seemed to increase for every starting flight. The winner, Simon Yu, is a salesman in Southern California. He goes home $260K richer. Kareem Marshall, the runner-up, claimed $180K, which he earned after playing nearly21 straight hours. Marshall played in the last starting flight, which started at 8:30 a.m. on the same morning that Day 2 took place. Scott Clements took third ($120K).
MGM: The newest promotion is the $10K Weekly Invitational Tournament. Players need to play 15 hours between Monday and Saturday to earn their invitation to the Sunday morning event, which has a maximum of 60 players. First prize is $2K and 30 spots will get paid. The minimum cash is $75. A $5 entry fee is required, which will go to the staff.
WYNN: The Summer Classic wrapped up with a $1,600 buy-in main event. Florida’s Paul Belzano earned $180K for first while Joey Weissman, also from Florida, took second ($165K). Nevada’s Patrick Curran was third ($100K). The prize pool was more than $1 million with more than 750 players.
BINION’S: The $1K main event of the Binion’s Classic saw Mike Reilly of Ireland taking the $40K first-place prize, outlasting Yordan Mitrenstsov of Bangledesh and Michael Corrigan of the U.K., who earned $35K and $17K, respectively. Nearly 190 entrants created a prize pool of $173K.
GOLDEN NUGGET: Sean Stevens of Las Vegas and Francois Tosques of France chopped first place in the $1,100 main event, each taking home nearly $100K. Wesley Chong of Reno received $50K for third. More than 550 played for nearly $540K.
BALLY’S: Labor Day weekend will see a Bally’s Classic series take place, featuring a few $80 events with $5K guarantees, two $120 events with $8K guarantees and a $240 event on Aug. 31 that has a $20K guarantee.
VENETIAN: DSE III reached some record numbers. The $1,100 buy-in event that began July 8 saw 1,100 players enter on Day 1C, the largest single-day number of entrants in the room’s history. All told, more than 1,900 players entered over three days, resulting in a prize pool of nearly $2 million, the biggest prize pool this summer for any event outside the WSOP.
The $5K main event drew more than 350 players, a 40 percent increase over last year. Mark Dube won the title and $377K. Jeff Garza was second ($233K) and Jake Schlindler was third ($170K). The prize pool was $1.7 million.
With DSE III finished, the Venetian has a new daily schedule. There are six tournaments a week with $10K guaranteed prize pools, including the $150 tournament Mondays at noon. All 14 dailies are NLHE and priced between $125 and $200, with the exception of the Saturday noon tournament, which is $300 and offers $100 bounties.
— Email Rob Solomon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Robvegaspoker and read his blog at robvegaspoker.blogspot.com.