What to Play in Vegas this Summer

Hey all. Hope everyone is doing well.

In my last blog, I tried to give you some helpful hints on how to prepare for the summer grind in Vegas during the WSOP. This week, I want to talk about specific tournaments that I think you should be playing if you have the time and the bankroll. I know everyone reading this does not have 300k to spend on all the events, but hopefully I can point out some key concepts on when you are picking out events to play that will give you the best chance to win money.

First off, I use the 10% rule when deciding to play a MTT. In other words, I won’t spend anymore than 10% of my entire bankroll on one event. The Main Event is a little different in that it is the biggest MTT of the year, so I may go a little higher in that one. Actually this year I will probably be selling more of myself to stay under my personal 10% number.

The reason I think it is good bankroll management to stay at 10% or less is because all MTT’s are very high variance and  you could play the best poker ever and still not cash so I want to keep my bankroll at a level I am comfortable with and I feel losing no more than 10% in one event allows me to do that. I don’t mind taking shots, but please think about what you have to do if you don’t cash to get back to your comfortable level.

With this being said, lets look at a couple MTT’s and talk about value.

BGJ and I talk a lot about this exact subject and we are of the opinion that all the so called “fish” are at the Rio.

The Rio has everything you could possibly want to play. They have single table sats that run 24 hours. They have low buy in MTT’s. They have high buy in bracelet events. Lastly, they have a ton of cash games where you can play NLHE, LHE, PLO, Mixed games, and probably this year will run some OFC tables.

For this discussion, I will only be talking about  MTT’s. Here is what the Rio will offer starting May 29th:

3 PM Deepstack with a 235 buy in. This is great value for your money. On the weekends last year, they were averaging 1000 players a day and first was paying around 60k. Amazing value for 235 bucks. Also they did get these done in one day which of course means that the structure became a super turbo late, but for the price it was an awesome one to play. I do suggest you taking at least one shot while you are in town.

6 PM Deepstack with a 185 buy in. This also had a pretty quick structure but I remember first place would pay around 8-10k a night.

10 PM Deepstack with a 135 buy in. I never played this one so I don’t have anything to say about it.

The WSOP just announced they have brought back a tournament series called the Carnivale of Poker. These MTT’s will be run every Monday and Tuesday during the WSOP and start at 11 AM. They are using the WSOPC structure which is great and instead of getting a ring, the winner will receive a medallion. I think these are going to be great value because the structure is one of the best out there and none of the Internet Kids will wake up that early so the field should be soft until they all try to late reg at 1 PM.

Of course the WSOP will still be running bracelet MTT’s that start at noon and the buy ins range from 1k all the way up to 50k. The 1k and 1500 ones are good value but the starting stacks are pretty small. You have to gamble early to try and get a stack and once you do, the structure does play great. Usually these have hour rounds so you will still have some play even with the smaller stacks.

If you really don’t feel like playing at the Rio every day, almost every casino that has a poker room is running some sort of series. There is Venetian, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Binions, Aria, just to name a few. All these other casinos are trying to pull players out of the Rio.

If I had to pick one of these places to play, I would say the Venetian would be the place I would go. Actually the MTT’s they are running are at the Palazzo, but it is the Venetian tournament staff that is running the events. The dealers are great, the floormen are great, and they do all they can to make it a very good experience for the players. Top notch all the way around.

BGJ and I disagree a little on the value of them. I feel that there is value since the field is about 70% recreational player which is great, but the problem is that the other 25% are world class players. So it seems pretty easy to get chips early, but when you lose around 75% of the field, the MTT’s becomes extremely tough. You are playing some of the best poker minds in the world that have results that would blow your mind.

So is there value? I am not sure but personally, I love the Venetian because of the challenge. I usually don’t get to play with that caliber of player in LA, so I really like to test my skills against the best and try to beat them. It hasn’t worked yet since I have never final tabled one, but I do have a couple of deep runs and I can’t wait to try it again.

As for the other smaller series I don’t think the value is there. They do have smaller fields for all those events and you may pay a little less, but a lot of those MTT’s remind me of playing all the MTT’s that I play year around. I am lucky to live in LA and get to play them all, but if I am there only once I year I want to take a shot at the big money and some hardware. I want to make runs at bracelets and now medallions and  of course my first 6 digit score.

To close, BGJ both agree that if you are there to play poker, get up, have breakfast, hop in a cab, and get to the Rio. This is where we both believe you will have the best chance to build your bankroll and maybe even make a deep run for a bracelet.

 

Thanks for reading this and good luck this summer. Please come back and post if you took any of my advice and had a big score.

 

Take care and good luck.

 

Dan

 

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