Vegas Poker Room Reviews, Part II
In a previous Weekly Shuffle, we reviewed the poker rooms of four Las Vegas casinos. Here are reviews for four more poker rooms you might want to check out on your next trip to Sin City.
Number of Tables: 9
Cocktail Waitress Eye Candy: C-
Game Availability: C+
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Customer Service: B
As far as Vegas casinos go, the Monte Carlo is past its prime. Nevertheless, one of the best features of this casino is its modest poker room tucked away into a corner of the casino. Featuring just nine tables, this room is cozy and elegant. Since most games are played for small stakes, this is not a good poker room for anyone looking to play higher than $1/$2 no-limit or $5/$10 fixed-limit.
The Monte Carlo runs an interesting promotion for frequent players. From April 1st to June 30th, players who log at least fifty hours of poker receive entry into a $125,000 freeroll. The manager I talked to made a rough estimate that 500 players will be eligible for the tournament, making this freeroll worth $250 per seat. Evidently, the Monte Carlo runs a similar freeroll promotion to this one every couple of months.
Small-stakes players can enjoy a comforting atmosphere at this card room. This place is perfect for anyone new to live poker. Big poker rooms such as Wynn or Venetian often intimidate people who are not accustomed to the Vegas poker scene. So while this room may not offer much in terms of high stakes games, big egos, and prestigious tournaments, it does do a great job of giving small-stakes amateurs a classy location to play poker with comfort.
Best for: Anyone who has never played live poker before, small-stakes players looking to dodge the feeling of being stuck at the bottom of the poker ladder.
Number of Tables: 60
Cocktail Waitress Eye Candy: B
Game Availability: A
Customer Service: A
Caesars Palace might possibly be the nicest poker room in all of Las Vegas. Their sixty-table room is by far the largest in the city. The poker room is divided into different sections for tournaments and cash games. This is the only room in Las Vegas that has an entire section of tables dedicated solely to spreading tournaments. On Saturdays, they spread a $300+$30 tournament with fantastic structure.
In my experience, the customer service at Caesars is unparalleled among other Vegas poker rooms. For some reason, there seems to be a trend among Vegas poker rooms where the staff is often rude and curt, sometimes to the point that you do not even feel welcome. This is especially the case at Bellagio. At Caesars, this pretentious attitude among the staff is non-existent.
Promotions at this poker room include $1 per hour in comps, progressive high hand jackpots, and $100,000 freerolls to which seats are awarded based on a large volume of play.
The only two knocks I can make on this poker room are that the cocktail service is a little slow and (relatively) unattractive and television access is quite poor due to the size of the poker room. Aside from that, this poker room is a well-oiled machine.
Best for: Pretty much anyone, especially those wanting to play at a large poker room while avoiding pompous customer service.
Number of Tables: 30
Cocktail Waitress Eye Candy: B
Game Availability: B
Customer Service: B-
This card room is the epitome of average. It is of average size, spreads typical stakes, the atmosphere is of average class, the customer service is standard, and the cocktail waitresses are attractive but dressed modestly.
One nice thing about this room is its central location. Many casinos make finding their poker room about as challenging as finding the Holy Grail. This room is right in the middle of a casino that is right in the middle of the Strip.
I requested to speak with a manager to ask a few questions about the room. They seemed suspicious and downright hesitant to even talk to me. Finally, after having three different people come out from the office to ask me what I wanted, a nice lady came out and actually seemed willing to talk. I would think that if you are a manager at a poker room and someone tells you they are reviewing your room and would like to know some of its nice features, you'd be tripping all over yourself trying to brag about how great your facility is. The lady who eventually spoke with me said Mirage prides itself on being one of the oldest and most reputable poker rooms in the city and that they are one of the few places that still regularly spreads 7-card stud.
Best for: 7-card stud players, impatient players wanting an easy-to-find room with a lot of railbirds, people interested in good television access for watching sports while playing poker.
Number of Tables: 8
Cocktail Waitress Eye Candy: A
Game Availability: C
Customer Service: A-
Treasure Island is a hidden gem for small-stakes players. They only have eight tables, but there are always enough players around to keep the action going. The $1/$3 no-limit game with a $500 max buy-in is very popular, as is their $2/$4 limit game. Six times daily they run a $65 buy-in multi-table tournament with an absolutely horrible structure and a ridiculous entry fee. I couldn't help but chuckle when I noticed at one point in the tournament the blinds were 2,000/4,000 while the average stack was 14,000.
The best feature of this poker room is its friendly, welcoming atmosphere. The staff and dealers are helpful and pleasant to be around. Also, to my utter astonishment, the cocktail waitresses for this tiny poker room are quite possibly the hottest and most scantily clad in the whole city. Usually, I'm not one to gawk at cocktail waitresses, but I couldn't help doing so from time to time when playing at this room. The actual cocktail service itself was quite mediocre, but I didn't even care. It could take an hour to get a bottle of water, but as long as those girls are bringing it to you, all is well in the world.
Best for: Hormone-driven males, those wanting a low-pressure and trendy atmosphere, small stakes players wanting deep stack no-limit action.