Vegas rooms on fire

May 8, 2006 1:31 AM

The poker scene in Las Vegas gets better and better.

New poker rooms are either opening or expanding seemingly every day, and existing poker rooms are ramping up the promotions to keep players in action.

And, remember while all this is happening that, just a few years ago in Las Vegas, casinos were removing poker rooms because of the lack of patronage.

What a difference a few televised TV tourneys can make!

Here are some of the latest happenings around town.

At the Aladdin, the metamorphosis continues from the Arabian Nights motif to Planet Hollywood. The new poker room, scheduled to open near the end of the year, will be quite a showplace. For now, players can find plenty of good games at the Aladdin poker room, plus a new promotion that kicked off Monday. It’s called High Hand Jackpots (cash games only).

The High Hand Jackpot is a progressive that starts at $250 and caps at $599. It is awarded when a player catches four of a kind, a straight flush or a royal flush while playing Texas Hold’em.

In order to qualify, the winning hand must use both of the player’s hole cards, and the pot must have at least $10 in it. But the high hand doesn’t have to be called down to the showdown. A player can win even if his bet isn’t called.

The Aladdin High Hand Jackpot runs through the end of June.

Out in North Las Vegas, the Cannery — in the midst of a $45 million expansion — has just opened its new poker room. The setting is comfy and cozy with 12 tables to handle players’ favorite games.

The Cannery is also offering some tempting promotions, including a free $10,000 seat in the World Series of Poker, a $20,000 freeroll, free hats and jackets. The new, smoke-free poker room is open 24/7.

The early word from Mike Doe, poker room manager at Red Rock Station, is that the room is packed with players. That’s a testament to the great job Mike’s done, along with his dealers and staff, and the beautiful job Station did in building a first-class poker room. It’s a nice play to play poker.

New WPT season
debuts at Mirage

Daniel Negreanu, Gavin Smith, Bill Edler and Evelyn Ng may be the most illustrious Canadian poker players on the world stage, but come October the World Poker Tour may identify new Canadian stars-in-the-making when the Tour inaugurates its first stop north of the border at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort.

The WPT has selected Canada’s luxurious new gaming Mecca, overlooking the famous Niagara Falls, as the site of its third annual North American Poker Championship, October 25-29.

The event is part of the recently-announced Season V of the World Poker Tour, which kicks off next week at The Mirage here in Las Vegas.

The elegant Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort is the premier casino and resort facility in Canada, with 3,000 slot machines, 150 gaming tables and a dedicated poker room.

"By staging the North American Poker Championship in this beautiful Canadian casino, we put out the welcome mat for all poker enthusiasts in Canada and truly lay down the gauntlet to see who can reign supreme on the continent," said Steve Lipscomb, CEO and founder of WPT Enterprises. "We are thrilled to welcome the Niagara Fallsview to the WPT family and look forward to an inspiring and exciting event that will attract players from both sides of the border."

Season V of the WPT kicks off May 14 with The Mirage Poker Showdown and concludes April 27, 2007 at Bellagio for the exciting and much heralded WPT World Championship.