Las Vegas Poker Tournaments

Las Vegas is blessed with more poker tournaments than most players would ever be able to join in a lifetime. From the annual World Series of Poker Finals worth millions to the 6:30pm No-Limit Hold’em tourney held every day at the Poker Palace with just a $20 buy-in, Sin City has got them all.

No-Limit Hold’em Daily

Just about every card room in town offers one or more daily poker tournaments, most featuring No-Limit Texas Hold’em. A good example is Harrah’s Poker Room on the Las Vegas Strip, staging competitions each day with $25 and $60 buy-ins at 1pm/8pm and 10am/3pm, respectively, plus an extra daily tournament with an $80 entry fee at 8pm. Players who put in 30 hours at the tables are invited to Harrah’s Monthly Freeroll, featuring a $10,000 prize pool and paying $500 to each player in the top 20.

Also offering daily No-Limit Hold’em tournaments along the Strip are Bally’s with $75 buy-ins at 11am, 4pm and 8pm; Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall with $30 buy-ins at 2:3-pm, 5:30pm, 8:30pm and 11:30pm; Treasure Island with $50 buy-ins at 11am, 2pm, 7pm and 10pm; and Circus Circus with its once-a-day $45 buy-in at 2pm.

Excalibur offers a $25 buy-in at 9am and $40 buy-ins at 1pm and 5pm, while the Flamingo’s $65 buy-in tournaments are at 10am, 6pm and 9pm, supplemented by a $75 buy-in at 2pm and a $55 buy-in at half-past midnight.

More No-Limit Hold’em Venues

At the Luxor, the 10:30am No-Limit Hold’em tournament features a $35 buy-in, and the ones at 12:30pm and 8:30pm have $60 buy-ins. Neighboring Mandalay Bay offers No-Limit Hold’em every day, too, but mixes up the schedule with buy-ins ranging from $40-50 on weekdays to $50-100 on weekends.

Other places for No-Limit Hold’em action every day on or near the Strip include the Stratosphere, the Suncoast, South Point, the Riviera, the Rio, Planet Hollywood, the Monte Carlo, the Mirage, MGM Grand, M Resort, Imperial Palace and the Hard Rock Hotel. Buy-ins range from $25 to $100, depending on the day—higher on weekends.

Downtown, poker tournaments are a daily occurrence at Binion’s ($60-100) and the Golden Nugget ($65-100), while further afield locals gather for $23 buy-ins at Sam’s Town, $25 buy-ins at the Eastside Cannery, $30 buy-ins at Joker’s Wild and $45 buy-ins at Santa Fe Station.

Higher-Rolling Tournaments

Over at City Center, Aria is the place for $125 No-Limit Hold’em buy-ins daily at 1pm and 7pm daily. Caesars Palace has four tournaments each day with buy-ins ranging from $65 to $110, and the Wynn’s daily tournaments at noon and 7pm cost $140 to enter.

Many players believe the Poker Room at the Bellagio is the classiest act in Las Vegas. The No-Limit Hold’em Tournaments conducted there at 2pm feature a $120 buy-in on Monday through Thursday, which goes up to $540 on Friday and Saturday or $330 on Sunday.

By comparison, Caesars Palace has a 2pm tourney with a $225 buy-in on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile the Venetian offers its daily tournament at high noon with a $150 buy-in from Monday through Thursday, $200 on Friday and Sunday, and $500 on Saturday.

Beyond Texas Hold’em

The popularity of No-Limit Texas Hold’em has made it the #1 game in town, of course, but those who prefer other types of poker tournaments are in luck when they play in Las Vegas. The Orleans offers Omaha 8/b tournaments every Monday at noon and Thursday at 8pm with $75 buy-ins. The same poker room also has H.O.R.S.E. tournaments at noon on Friday and 7pm on Sunday with buy-ins of $75 and $100, respectively.

Over at Sam’s Town on Boulder Highway and Flamingo, an Omaha Hi tournament takes place at 7pm every Wednesday. The buy-in is just $45. And at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, there’s a Pot Limit Omaha tournament on Monday and a H.O.R.S.E tournament on Wednesday, both starting at 7pm with $40 buy-ins.

One of the premiere events on the Strip is the weekly H.O.R.S.E. tournament at the MGM Grand. It starts at 7pm and the buy-in is $120. Those who would like to play in other types of poker tournaments, such as Five-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud or Razz, etc. can often find them on monthly calendars of events in town, too.

Major Tournaments

Of course, the gorilla in the (poker) room is the World Series of Poker (WSOP) played from late May through mid-July at the Rio Convention Center. It is preceded by a WSOP Warm-up tournament at Caesars Palace in May and surrounded by a number of other major poker competitions.

For example, the MGM Grand holds its Grand Challenge Tournament Series of 30 events from mid-April through early May. Games range from Texas Hold’em to Chinese Poker 1/2 High, with opportunities for H.O.R.S.E., Omaha, Seven-Card Stud and other variations, too, including Pot Limit as well as No Limit stakes. Buy-ins vary from $150 for qualifiers up to $1,600 for championship rounds.

Likewise, the Bellagio conducts its Five Star World Poker Classic in May with 34 separate events and buy-ins starting at $330 and super satellites from $2,620. The crème de la crème of the three-week poker fest is the World Poker Tour Championship and the WPT Super High Roller event, with buy-ins of $25,500 and $100,000, respectively.

Other big poker occasions include the Orleans Open in May, the Venetian’s Deep Stack Extravaganza coinciding with the WSOP events, Binion’s annual Poker Classic and the Grand Poker Series hosted by the Golden Nugget in June. And for those who don’t mind a $1 million buy-in, event #55 on the WSOP schedule in July is “The Big One for One Drop,” a No-Limit Hold’em showdown that’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.

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