It’s been a scheduling nightmare, but I’ve finally settled on three tournaments to play during the Las Vegas portion of my trip in June.
There are four casinos holding poker tournament series at the same time as the WSOP (at Binions, Caesars Palace, Golden Nugget and Venetian) and I really wanted to play in one event at each but I just can’t fit it in. With the package for my freeroll satellite meaning I need to check in at Harrah’s Laughlin on Friday evening, I can’t play anything that day that might run for more than a few hours.
So, after looking at all the tournaments on offer I have prioritised and picked the ones that are the most appealing and have tried to fit them around my schedule – and each other – as best I can.
Top of the list is a $500 tournament at Binions on Monday 9th. The cheaper Binions tournaments only have a 30 minute clock and this one has 45 minute levels, but the main appeal is that it’s a chance to play a 10,000 chip event at the birthplace of tournament poker. Without a time machine, this is as close as I’m ever going to get to the old school World Series of Poker experience.
The best value structures overall seems to be at Caesars. You can get 7,500 starting chips for $225, 12,500 chips for $330 and 15,000 chips for $540. On a chips-per-dollar basis the $330 comes out in front, but the $225 isn’t bad – which is fortunate as it’s the only one that fits with my trip dates. It’ll be the first one I play, on Thursday 5th.
I considered the $330 on Tuesday 10th (my last day) but as there’s a chance it could spill over into a second day, I can’t risk it. There’s not much point playing for 14 hours if I’m not going to be around to compete at the final table.
The Venetian’s Deep Stack Extravaganza is the one I have to miss. The dates just don’t fall right. These are $540 tournaments with 10,000 chips and a 40 minute clock, but with the high likelihood of needing to play two days if I got into the money (they play until 2am, then re-start at 4pm the next day if necessary) the only dates I could do this would be Thursday 5th (which is actually an Omaha hi/lo event, and I’m not donating $540 to that) or Monday 9th (when I’d rather play at Binions).
So that leaves the Golden Nugget for my final day, and they have a $225 tournament with 40 minute levels and 5,000 chips. It looks like a bit of a downgrade from what you could get at Caesars for the same money, but I need to make sure I can catch my plane on Wednesday!
So that’s a total buy-in of $950 for the three tournaments. Should anyone be so inclined, I’ll be selling 1% stakes for a nice, round tenner. Time to get Team Donut back together!