Poker is Life

Self Awareness and Self Improvement through the game of Texas Hold'em

  1. 2012-05-27 06:58:49

    Vegas Cash Games Reviewed - May 2012

    I spent last Saturday through Tuesday in Las Vegas and had the opportunity to play Texas Hold???em No-Limit Cash Games in seven different casinos. Here they are in order of classiness from worst to first:

    Hard Rock
    Planet Hollywood

    I?m relatively new to no-limit in casinos. I?ve played plenty of 3/6 limit, and a good number of no-limit home games ? but it?s different when you?r not among friends. Thus far I?ve been timid about playing no-limit in casinos, mostly because I tend to lose my entire stack quickly. It???s been too easy for me to make mistakes and blow it all.

    But last weekend I just dove into it. Having $1200 cash on me to fool around with gave me a lot of confidence. I wasn?t afraid to lose a hundred bucks here or there, because I knew I?d have an opportunity to win it back an hour later, or the next day, or the next. And besides that, most of the players in Vegas were not that intimidating. At Lucky Chances and Artichoke Joe?s the players seem so serious, and I often feel like a goldfish in a tank of piranhas. In Vegas it seemed that a lot of my opponents were young, well-mannered Canadian or British tourists ? and who the hell is afraid of guys like that?

    That said, here is an overview of my experiences at the 7 different casinos in which I played no-limit Texas hold???em cash games:

    One of the cheapest and sleaziest casinos you?ll ever want to visit, it?s clear that they threw poker in as an afterthought. I know for a fact that they didn?t have it there 2 years ago. All they did was dump one table in the middle of the room. A year ago it was limit, but this year it?s no-limit. No-limit seems to have gotten more popular in recent years. I have to say, it is a hell-of-a-lot more fun that limit.

    The players at Terribles were mixed. Mostly middle-aged and not very aggressive as I remember. So it wasn???t hard for me to see a lot of flops or to scare players off a hand. I only played there for an hour or so, but managed to walk away with a $50 profit.

    The poker here had a similar feel to Terribles ??? although they did have 2 poker tables. Similar players to Terribles, only maybe a little more aggressive and serious. I only played for about a half hour and lost some bucks before my friends wanted to move on.

    I wouldn?t go out of my way to play here. I played many hours at Hooters? one and only poker table, mostly because I was staying there. I never dreamed I?d stay at Hooters, and never thought I?d admit it openly because the place is so goofy; but the fact is that it?s a decent place with a nice pool and a decent location for a great price. And the cash game there was made up mostly of twenty-somethings as you might imagine. Loose, aggressive, sometimes odd play which can get a rational player like myself into trouble. Although I lost a good chunk of change at Hooters I still ended up feeling like it was a good place for me to play ? that somehow I?d make some good cash if I spent more time there. Maybe I?m delusional.

    I have always hated the Hard Rock. Loud obnoxious music, ridiculously dressed rock?n roll types right out of the ???80s? But I loved it the night I played their cash game. The group there reminded me of a bunch of Silicon Valley types at a home game. They all seemed familiar with each other, drinking a lot, ribbing each other, and generally yucking it up. As soon as I sat down one guy leaned over and welcomed me to the table. He said, ?What?s your name?? My response: ???Danger.? He laughed. He liked it.

    First hand: Pocket Queens. I made a nice bet, two guys called. The flop was all undercards. I bet bigger. Only the guy to my left called. It became clear to me by the guy?s movements and lack of facial expression that he was plastered. Turn, River? He eventually put ME all in. I figured he?d hit something or he was a complete moron. ? Yeah, I went with ?moron? and called him. My QQ held up and I raked in a $125 profit. Nothing big happened after that and I walked away with my winnings.

    I?ve always loved the Mirage. But in my opinion this is no place to play if you?re looking to take down suckers. The players there mostly seem pretty skilled and pretty serious. It???s not the funnest or liveliest group of players. And though I did take down a few nice pots I found it difficult to win consistently and eventually ended up taking a loss.

    Probably my favorite place to play poker in Vegas. I like the decor, I like the atmosphere, and I liked the players. There always seem to be a lot of Canadians at this place. They?re generally friendly with a good sense of humor. Smart, but not sharks at the table. Typically most of the players seem to be thirty-somethings. Planet Hollywood?s got a lot of poker tables going, and I did well there. I only played a total of about 3 hours at Planet Hollywood but profited over $200.

    Definitely the classiest place I played. I mean, where else can you pull up a chair to play a nice cash game and look across the room to see a legend like Doyle Brunson sitting in his private area playing high stakes with his picture hanging on the wall over his head? This Bellagio poker room was abuzz with cash games. I think they had 3 low-stakes no-limit cash games going on when I was there. I profited mare than $200 in the first 20 minutes though I must admit it was mostly due to the fact that I was dealt KK, AQ, and flopped a straight in three different hands ? all of which held up. But after about an hour I?d lost it all back. My overview: Serious, good players. Again, no place to play if you want to take advantage of suckers. Unless, of course, you see me sitting there.

    And that?s it ? my overview. So to sum it up, here???s the order, from Best to Worst places to play No-Limit Cash if my objective is to make money:
    1. Planet Hollywood
    2. Terribles
    3. Hard Rock
    4. Hooters
    5. Riviera
    6. Bellagio
    7. Mirage

    Let me know how your experiences compare.

    Posted by Phil at 2012-05-27 06:58:49

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