Players won’t find the variety of tournaments that were available during the World Series of Poker, and certainly events with big buy-ins are few and far between. But if you’re looking for a evening tournament, there are plenty of options in Las Vegas. Let’s look at some of the 7 p.m. tournament choices. Almost all of these are at least $60; there are cheaper options, too. All are re-entry tournaments.
Aria’s tournament is one of the most popular choices, consistently drawing crowds of 100-plus players. It’s $125 with a 10K stack and 30-minute levels.
The Venetian’s tournament varies nightly. Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays it’s $125 with a 10K stack and 30-minute levels. Tuesdays and Saturdays offer the $200 bounty tournament that has a $10K guarantee. Bounties are $50, levels are 30 minutes and you get 12K chips. The $200 tournament on Thursdays is identical, including the guarantee, but there are no bounties. The Survivor tournament is Friday night, with the same details as the other $200 events, but it ends when 10 percent of the starting field is left, with all remaining players earning $1,600 each.
The most popular regular 7 p.m. tournament in town is the Orleans on Friday. More than 250 runners regularly show up for the $125 event, which has a 12,500 starting stack and 30-minute levels throughout (recently changed; the first three levels used to be 20 minutes). Be prepared for a long night if you plan on winning; it usually ends Saturday morning.
Evening tournaments for the rest of the week here offer smaller buy-ins. Thursday is your chance to play Omaha/8 for $80 (10K stack, 20-minute levels, $10 bounty). Saturday is HORSE ($100, 10K stack, 20 minutes). Wednesday and Saturday are $100 bounty tournaments (same details as HORSE; bounties are $25). Tuesday is $80 NLHE with a 10K stack and 20-minute levels. Monday is $50 for 5K chips but has a $20 add-on for 5K more (20-minute levels).
Mirage has a $60 tournament every evening but Fridays. It starts with 4K chips and an optional $5 staff bonus for 4K more. Levels are 20 minutes. On Fridays, it’s $100 with $25 bounties. The starting stack is 5K, levels are 20 minutes and there’s a $5 staff bonus for 4K more chips.
Caesars Palace offers an $85 tournament with 20-minute levels and a 5K stack.
Planet Hollywood’s $75 tournament offers two guarantees; a prize pool of $1,500 and a first-place prize of $1K. Players start with 6K chips and play 20-minute levels.
Treasure Island just changed its 7 p.m. tournament. It costs $65 for an 8K starting stack and has 15-minute levels. One in eight players will get paid, and at least 50 percent of the prize pool goes to first place.
MGM’s tournament has an $80 buy-in for 10K chips and 20-minute levels.
If you’re at the far south end of town, South Point has a $60 event that has a 4,500 stack, 20-minute levels and a $5 bounty.
Perhaps you’re downtown for the evening. In that case, you can try your luck at the Golden Nugget for $60. The starting stack is 3,500 but a $5 staff bonus will add 500 more and there is a $40 rebuy through the first three 20-minute levels for an additional 4K chips.
WYNN: The Fall Classic kicks off with a $550 seniors event Oct. 16 with a $40K guarantee. The $1,600 championship event has starting flights Oct. 25-26 and features a $250K guarantee. All events are NLHE.
PLANET HOLLYWOOD: The Phamous Poker Series runs Oct. 9-12, highlighted by a $565 “Feature Presentation” with two starting flights Oct. 10-11. That event has a $500K guarantee. The series also features a $125 heads-up event with a $4K guarantee. The room will be holding its first WSOP Circuit on Nov. 13-24. Details are being finalized.
PLAZA: The downtown casino’s poker room has three electronic tables and features a host of small buy-in tournaments, all with guarantees. The tournaments are $3 (with $5 rebuys) at 10 a.m., $12 at 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. and $33 at 7 p.m. The 7 p.m. offers a $250 guarantee. All the others offer $100 guarantees. The 10 p.m. Monday tournament is stud, the 10 p.m. Tuesday is PLO. All the others are NLHE. If you’ve been trying to convince your newbie friends to try live poker, this would be a good place to get them to give it a try. The room also offers affordable cash games, including NLHE and PLO games with 25-cent/50-cent blinds.
BALLY’S: Jake Revelle is the new manager of the popular Vegas strip room. For the past few years, Revelle was managing the Flamingo and Quad poker rooms.
SANTA FE STATION: The locals casino in the northwest part of town has a new manager. Wally Womer, with 35 years in the poker industry, moves over from Palace Station.
CLOSURES: The Palms, after a long struggle to survive, and Texas Station poker rooms closed.
— Email Rob Solomon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Robvegaspoker and read his blog at robvegaspoker.blogspot.com.