Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Vegas Poker Rooms

I was hoping to visit a number of poker rooms in Vegas this time that I had not been to before. I only played at two new rooms, though - the Mirage and the MGM Grand.

An online friend had recommended the Mirage as his favorite poker room, and I had read that it was basically the home of high stakes poker in Vegas until the Bellagio opened. So I went to check it out. I already described my one session there in my earlier entry about hitting quad aces.

It's a nice room. I didn't pay too much attention to the tables and chairs, but the decor was nice, the dealers competent, and the action was quick. It was crowded and lively, which is nice if that's what your in the mood for.

But I really liked the MGM room. In contrast, the room felt large and open to the rest of the casino. The tables were spaced well apart so you never felt like people were walking back and forth behind you, and the ceilings were high and lofty. There seem to be a lot of mediocre players there (myself included!) so it's probably very profitable if you're a good player.

The brushes use the PA to make flippant comments to each other, which contributes to the fun feel of the room. I was there when they called a player to his new tournament table as he was hurriedly finishing up at his ring game table, playing the last hand, racking his chips, gathering his stuff up. "This is the third call for Rob G, your tournament spot is open.." came over the PA, and the guy shouted "I'M COMING!!!".

This got a few chuckles on its own, then the announcement came over the PA, "Um, I think we need a wet cleanup on table 12..."

I stopped by the new Caesars poker room, since it had just opened. I went by on the evening of the 21st, which I think was the first day it was operating. It looks nice, but after the MGM all I noticed was the rectangular walls and low ceiling. Unlike the MGM, which only ran holdem games from what I saw, they were running stud and omaha games, but the limits on all games were high, much higher than I could consider. I heard they had some 3/6 holdem there the first night, but all I saw was 10/20 and up. Whew! No thanks.

I poked into the Excalibur room a couple of times to see if I could get lucky and spot Dr. Pauly there spinning the wheel, since he was in town at the same time. I looked around for Phish baseball caps several times but never found him. Ah well. Maybe next time.

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