Players flock to weekly events

September 24, 2002 5:56 AM
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   BIG ACTION AT BELLAGIO ON FRIDAYS! I stopped by the Bellagio late Friday afternoon to see for myself, and it was true. There continues to be solid interest in the Bellagio 5 O’Clock Friday Poker Tournaments, running every week now since July. Some modifications have been made since first starting this series, with entry fees reduced from $1,000 to $540, and all events feature No Limit Hold’em action only. One-table satellites are held at 11 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Director of Poker Operations Doug Dalton and his team, which includes veteran tournament director/ poker host Jack McClelland and poker training manager Alan Feiner, are to be commended for their energies to create and maintain a truly high-end Las Vegas poker room. By the way, congratulations go out to Ron Stanley of Las Vegas for winning this past week’s event.

   ENTER THE POKER ZONE. Daily Hold’em tournaments (Sunday through Thursday) continue to be well-liked at the Mirage poker room, but Director of Poker Operations Donna Harris is always looking for more things to make current players happy and to create new players. They use a Customer Survey brochure that allows players to easily tell management in writing what they like and dislike. This type of customer feedback helps them come up with ideas like their latest customer service feature, called the Training Table-that’s right, all it takes is a few wannabe players to say they want to learn how to play a poker game, and a designated Training Table is opened for instruction (during day shift only for now). “We don’t really teach them playing strategy, but we teach them the rules and explain the appropriate player etiquette so they are comfortable about playing here,” Donna explained.

   TOURNAMENT IN MESQUITE NEXT MONTH. The Oasis Open Poker tournament takes place Oct. 25-29 at the Oasis Resort & Casino in Mesquite. Tournament Director Jan Fisher and Host Linda Johnson will be working in conjunction with Poker Room Manager Bob Davidson to offer both Limit and No Limit Hold’em and Omaha Hi-Lo events, plus Tag Team and 7-Stud second-chance tournaments. They have arranged for $25 room rates, and for those who play in five events will get five nights free stay. All tournament players are given a $10 daily food voucher for each day they participate. Call 800-216-2747 and ask for the Poker Room for more details.

   NEW ARENA OPEN AT COMMERCE. Commerce Casino in L.A. reports that their new Arena Sports Bar & Grill is becoming the sports bar of choice for Monday night pro football action. Commerce Marketing Director Nancy Friedman says that the Monday Night Football Madness seasonal promotion features cash and Super Bowl ticket giveaways on Mondays in addition to its popular food and beverage specials throughout the week.

   PROMOTIONS IN THE ROOMS: Excalibur Poker Manager Tony Green reports that his Monday Knight Madness Football Contest is getting very positive customer responses. Players must pick the exact score of the game at the end of each quarter to win as much as $250 or more. Bad beat jackpots in 7-Stud, Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hi-Lo, spinning the Wheel for cash prizes from $20 to $200, and of course, the 5 p.m. daily (except Saturday) free food buffet in the poker room continue to draw strong player interest. Sahara Poker Room Manager Fred Masters offers evening No Limit Hold’em poker tournaments on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. with buy-ins of $40, $45 and $65, respectively. Besides Texas Hold’em, they spread 7-Stud. Several promotions are in effect, including cash for bad beat jackpots and losing AK flushes, as well as winning free rolls for Wednesday’s tournament. See Fred for details. Luxor Poker Manager Jim Wellington hosts daily $25 buy-in Hold’em Freeze Out tournaments (every day at noon, plus 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday), plus weekly free roll tournaments on Monday (7-Stud), Tuesday (Hold’em), Thursday (7-Stud) and Friday (Hold’em), all at 7 p.m. Ten hours of play is required for the free roll Hold’em, and 12 hours of play is required for 7-Stud. The greatest thing about the free roll tournaments is that the worst you can do is win $25 for last place. There are also cash drawing tickets for anyone who qualifies for tournament play. Ask Jim or his staff about more details on the qualifying times. Jim says that free roll tournament qualifiers also get a football score box for the Monday night pro football score chart. A Luxor logo hat and $50 are given away for the correct scores at the end of each quarter, plus an extra $50 for the final score, if you’re there.