My new Ante Up "column" is online. Since the magazine changed the format, and now my contributions are part of a bigger column that encompasses the entire "West" region, I'm going to copy my contribution and run it here on the blog. That way you can easily access just what I've written. You are welcomed and encouraged to check it out online at the Ante Up site, here.
The magazine should be available in poker rooms around the country soon, if not already there.
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MONTE CARLO: The stylish eight-table room spreads $1-$2 NLHE with a $100-$300 buy-in and $2-$6 spread limit with a $20 minimum buy-in. It also offers a $1-$3 NLHE game with a $100-$500 buy-in. There are four tournaments a day (9 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 and 11) with buy-ins $40-$70. On Wednesdays. the 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. have $10 bounties. Promotions include a biweekly $8K freeroll. Qualifying starts at 13 hours but extra hours played earns extra starting chips. There are high-hand bonuses for quads ($50), straight flushes ($100) and royals ($300), plus a mini-bad-beat jackpot for $10K.
EXCALIBUR: You can find 10 tables of action here and it only takes $60 to buy in to the $1-$2 NLHE game ($300 max). The $2-$6 spread-limit game has a $30 minimum buy-in. The room has unique promotions, highlighted by the big Wheel of Fortune that players spin when they hit a high hand (quads or better) or when they have their aces cracked. The prizes vary from $20 to $100. There’s also a “deuces never loses” promo that awards $222 for quad deuces and it has a $555 payout for royals. The bad-beat jackpot is progressive starting at $1K and requires aces full beaten by quads. Inexpensive tournaments run four times daily (9 a.m., 1 p.m., 5 and 8) for $40-$45.
LUXOR: The main game in this nine-table room is $1-$2 NLHE ($60-$300). The $2-$4 limit game offers $3/hour in comps and a $1 max rake from 8 a.m. to noon. Promotions include graveyard drawings. Prizes of $100 are given away at 6, 7 and 8 a.m. If no one claims the prize, the money is carried over to the next drawing. Tickets are earned between 2-8 a.m. whenever a player wins a pot. Two daily $45 tournaments run at 10:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.
MANDALAY BAY: The action in this 10-table room can get quite wild. The normal game is $1-$2 NLHE ($100-$300), but on the weekends look for a $1-$3 game with a $1K max buy-in. This game has a mandatory button straddle of $6-$10. There’s also $2-$4 and $3-$6 limit as demand requires. Daily $40 tournaments run at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and a $65 turbo is at 10 p.m.
The daily progressive high-hand bonuses offer extra payouts during the week. On Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays there is a tiered bonus with players getting an extra $300 if they flop the high hand, an extra $200 for turning the hand and an extra $100 for hitting it on the river. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, designated high hands earn a $500 bonus with a $50 table share.
VENETIAN: William Sturiano ($178,870) defeated Joe Kuether ($109,877) for the Deep Stack Extravaganza Main Event title on Feb. 22. The event had 585 entrants for an $851,760 prize pool. With the regular tournament schedule back, the Venetian increased the guarantees. Every daily tournament has a guarantee of between $5K and $20K. The buy-ins are $125-$300 and $137,500 is guaranteed each week. The tournaments run daily at noon and 7 p.m.
ORLEANS: The Orleans Open runs May 20-27. The main event is $540. Also featured are two $230 Omaha/8 events, a $330 Omaha/8 event, a $230 HORSE and two $230 NLHE tournaments, one with $50 bounties. Satellites run daily. All events start at noon.
BINION’S: The downtown room is offering a cash-back bonanza and a freeroll. Players earn $50 for 25 hours of live play, up to $750 for 125 hours in a calendar month. Players qualify for the $15K freeroll with 25 hours of live play. The minimum starting stack is 1K but players can earn more chips for more hours, up to 7K for 100 hours.
The room has been running some deepstack cash games lately. A $2-$5 game is starting to run fairly regularly during the afternoon, with a $1K min buy-in and no max. The room always spreads $1-$3 NLHE ($100 min, no max) and a $3-$6 limit game (min $30).
The popular $140 Saturday deepstack is still going strong. It starts at 2 p.m. and offers a 20K starting stack and 30-minute levels with a $10K guarantee. The event averages 120 players and recently away $4,500 for first.
GOLDEN NUGGET: Here are the top-three finishers of the Golden Saturday event on Feb. 21: Margaret Stuart ($7,647), Jared Lichtin ($6,224) and Jeremiah Moore ($5,000). It had 625 entrants for a $71,760 prize pool. The next $150 Golden Saturday is April 4 at noon ($50K guarantee, 15K chips, 30-minute blinds) and registration is from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Must have a 24kt card to register. Also, see the AUPT preview on Page 16 of our April 2015 issue.
HOOTERS: The two-table room on the south end of the Strip closed in February after struggling for years to build business.