Playing Vegas – Caesars

I’m in Vegas for the next eleven days and I’ll be trying out various rooms for small no-limit cash games. Last night I played in the new open-air card room at Caesars. It was an interesting night, with some very good, and some not so great, things about the card room itself.

The Good Stuff

There was no wait to get into a $1/2 no-limit game, with seven tables running and a seat open right away. The dealers and floor people were friendly and getting into a game was easy. The service was good, though my Bailey’s Coffee wasn’t very strong. My favorite feature was the $4+0 rake structure. Low rake in cash games is really important, probably saving a typical player around $9 an hour versus a typical $6+1 structure that we see in many rooms across the country.

Between the great rake structure and the very soft games, there is real money to be made in these cash games and this might be one of the best rooms in the city from grinding $1/2 no-limit holdem games. $2 an hour in comps and double tier credits toward the best rewards program in the industry also helps, especially if you are trying to get a diamond card by playing poker.

The Not-So-Good Stuff

After my cash game broke, I decided to give the $150 tournament a shot. The field was small, but looked soft, and was in fact remarkably soft with only a few solid players in the 30 person field. The field was small, mostly because local grinders wouldn’t consider playing a tournament with the juice and structure we were subject to.

This was my mistake. I should know better than to play a tournament that I haven’t done any research on. $117+33 is awfully high rake, especially consider that we have a $200+35 in Minnesota every Wednesday and larger events drop below 10% in juice. Maybe I’m spoiled, but 22% rake is painful.

The structure of the tournament was fine until we went from 2,000/4,000 to 4,000/8,000. This was obviously a terrible jump. Especially considering that we then went to the 5,000/10,000 level. Why get rid of 3k/6k instead of 5k/10k like most rooms would if they wanted to speed up their structure? I have no idea. If you get rid of 5/10 levels you avoid any spot where the blinds actually double.

And why didn’t I notice this jump earlier in the tournament? Because it wasn’t there earlier. We actually played the 300/600 level. Confused? So was I. The tournament director explained that they had changed the structure recently, and it sounded like he knew a mistake was made and would be corrected once they had used up all the printed materials they ordered recently. Let’s hope it happens soon.

My final issue with the tournaments at caesars, and indeed all of the Caesars properties in Vegas, is that they do not facilitate chops. This has lead to open theft in the past when players have agreed to chop a tournament and the player who is paid first place money simply walks off with the cash rather than paying out the chop. Refusing to pay out the chop as it is agreed to is simply a disservice to the players and should really make you think twice before chopping anything at a Caesars property.


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