Â Â Tournaments continue to play a major role in promoting poker to today’s casino players, which is ever so evident at The Orleans Poker Room in Las Vegas. With 23 tables in their new poker room, Director of Poker Operations Mike Vento has the most aggressive weekly poker tournament schedule in Las Vegas.
Â Â “The players here really like the tournaments,” commented Vento. “They’re fun for them and us, and usually end up creating great side games for everybody, too.”
Â Â It’s not at all uncommon for the popular locals casino to fill six or more tables twice a day just for tournament play, according to Orleans Poker Tournament Supervisor Bryan Gurden. Â Â Tournaments are scheduled seven days a week at noon and 7 p.m. and include events for Texas Hold'em, 7 Stud, 7 Stud Hi-Lo and Omaha Hi-Lo (see complete list of weekly Las Vegas poker tournaments in this issue). Buy-ins range from $20 to $60, all events offer re-buys.
Â Â The gradual bet progression structure causes the events to typically go 5-6 hours in length, and $5 cash bounties are paid to players who eliminate other players from play.
Â Â The largest event of the week is usually the Monday evening No Limit Hold'em tournament, drawing more than 100 players every week and featuring a $20 buy-in with $10 re-buys.
Â Â “We typically find that the entire final table of players finish in the money,” said Gurden, who’s been directing tournaments at Orleans for the past six years. “This is because of the number of players and the amount of re-buys purchased,” he explained. “We even have about a dozen players who play tournaments five days a week or more.”
Â Â With all of the tournament activity at The Orleans, Gurden utilizes the “Tournament Assistant”, a tournament management software program which provides management and players with tournament update information. Data is constantly updated to show how many chips are in play, the prize pool, how many players are still “alive”, what the blinds and bet levels are at the time, and how much time remains for the current bet levels. The program runs on two of the room’s 26 monitors around the perimeter of the room, which makes it easy for players to know where things stand at all times.
Â Â For non-tournament action, the non-smoking Orleans poker room spreads Hold'em, Stud and Omaha action. They also have bad beat jackpots for each. The Hold'em jackpot grew to over $50,000 this past week.
Â Â The Orleans also is introducing their first $20,000 Free Roll Poker Texas Hold'em Tournament on Oct. 27th. Players can qualify for tournament entry by logging 50 hours of “live” play from Sept. 15 through Oct. 20 with their special Orleans Poker Player’s Rewards Card. Ten dollars in tournament chips are earned for every qualifying hour recorded, plus an additional $15 in tournament chips will be earned for every hour played between the hours of 2 a.m. and 10 a.m. See Orleans poker staff for more details. The prize fund is generated from poker room revenues (75%) and bad beat jackpot revenues (25%).
GOOD DEAL FOR MIRAGE TOURNAMENTS. Tournament players continue to find a good bargain at the Mirage Poker Room in Las Vegas. Tournaments are run nightly from Sunday through Thursday, but players can find bargain prices on the buy-ins for the daily one-table satellites for these tournaments. No Limit Hold'em events are held at 5 p.m. on Sundays and 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for buy-ins of $120, while Limit Hold'em tournaments are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays with buy-ins of $60. Mirage Director of Poker Operations Donna Harris explained that players can enter one-table satellites anytime during the day for only $15 to win a seat in the Limit Hold'em events and for $25 to try for a No Limit Hold'em tournament seat. Satellite winners can use their free entry anytime, plus they win cash in the satellite events as well. It doesn’t get much better than that! You can stop by the Mirage and pick up one of their Poker Zone Tournament brochures for more details.
POKER STILL GOING STRONG AT HORSESHOE. Director of Poker Operations George Fisher reports that the poker room continues to operate at full speed ahead at Binion’s Horseshoe.
PROMOTIONS IN THE ROOMS: Poker Manager Kay White and her staff offer players a great mix of events at the Mandalay Bay Poker Room with eight weekly tournaments and a high hand progressive jackpot. A $25 buy-in Texas Hold'em Freeze-Out tournament is held at 10 a.m. each day Monday through Friday. Â At 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, players can buy-in for $25 for the Omaha Hi-Lo Freeze-Out tournament, and Thursdays at 6 p.m. feature a $45 buy-in Texas Hold'em Freeze-Out tournament. A maximum of 30 players is allowed for all tournament events. In addition to the tournament promotions, high hand progressive super board jackpots are paid for four of a kind or better in both Texas Hold'em and 7 Stud action throughout the week. Commerce Casino continues to keep Pan play interesting in their facility, with weekly Pan tournaments at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays, and at 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Buy-ins for each are only $40 and include high hand awards, table winner cash prizes of $100 to $200, and a complimentary food buffet. All tournaments are 24 hands. Other Commerce Pan promotions include $1,000 for 15 or more in any live Pan game (hand must start with at least three players); 1K, 2K and 5K players can earn up to $1,000 on Fridays between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. with a money wheel spin if their table and seat are drawn or earn cash drawing tickets by playing in any 1K, 2K or 5K Pan game on Saturdays. Commerce’s next $10,000 Quarterly Pan Tournament is set for Oct. 22-23. See the Commerce Pan staff for more details.
(If you have poker news or items of interest for GamingToday poker readers, you can call me at 702-798-1151 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, fax it to me at 702-798-2069, or send me an email at [email protected])