Hi all, I'm heading to Las Vegas on Wednesday evening for a quick trip to play tournament poker. Any suggestions about which tournaments to play?
I'm a decent tournament player but haven't played that often, and I generally prefer lower buy-ins. My bankroll for the trip is around $400. I prefer friendly tables over than super-competitive or ultra-quiet tables. I'm staying at Aria and I'm not renting a car.
Wednesday night: My flight arrives at 9:25 PM. I'm thinking of playing Monte Carlo's 11PM bounty tournament ($70) because it's right near Aria and it shouldn't be too competitive. Also considering the Stratosphere's 11PM but I'd need a taxi.
Thursday afternoon: Thursday I'm thinking about the Bellagio $120 tournament -- it has a good structure and it would be my first time playing at the Bellagio. Is that enough reason to play the Bellagio? What's the competition like? I'm also considering the Venetian, Wynn, and Aria afternoon tournaments... thoughts on those?
Thursday evening: Caesars Palace's 10PM $80 tournament sounds good. I've found that to be a friendly and beatable game in the past. There aren't many earlier options unless I bust out of the Bellagio tournament pretty early. Any other recommendations?
Friday afternoon: Same options as Thursday afternoon, but Bellagio and Venetian get more expensive on Fridays. I'm leaning toward the Wynn's noon tournament right now ($140). I've never played there either -- what is the tournament and the competition like? How does it compare to the Aria afternoon tournament? I fly out at 9:55 PM on Friday night, so I need to finish by ~8:00 wherever I play.
Bonus question: I'll have a $75 resort credit to spend at Aria. Any recommendations on good Aria eats for a solo traveler?
Hope you see this before departing... I have not played Bellagio, but am a big fan of Aria--a slightly better structure (30 min. blinds v. 25 min.) for $5 more. I have found CP to be a bizarre mix of semi-clueless tourists and guys who think they won the WSOP; haven't found it to be as friendly the last few trips. I prefer Mirage for similar price. If you intend to cash in the Wynn noon tourney or Aria 1PM tourney, there is no guarantee you will be done by 8PM. Last time in Aria I went out 16th at about 8PM. You might check out Planet Hollywood's new deal...$2K guaranteed prize pool for every tourney, $1K to first, $65, no rebuys. 10AM, 1PM, 4PM, 7PM, 9PM. It is drawing me back to a room that ruined their tourney structure when Harrahs took over. Worth a look. Sounds like the later 2 get the smallest pool, which means free money in the prize pool. A little lower $ than you were looking overall, but like I said, you might try it. I have only eaten at the restaurant by the sports bar at Aria but the food is always good.
I did get your message before the trip -- thanks for the tips. My plans changed a bit but I did play the Bellagio this afternoon (didn't cash) and MGM Grand tonight (cashed very well!). I decided to play the Bellagio because I wanted something a little smaller and a little faster than the Aria's tournament. Turns out it didn't matter, the Bellagio had changed their structure and now has 30 minute levels. The only big difference from the Aria structure is that the blinds start at 50-100, as if they skip the first level.
As for tomorrow, it doesn't make sense to play at Aria or Wynn if I can't stay through the end. The new PH tournaments do look interesting for the reason you mentioned. Now I think I'll try to play both the 1PM and 4PM there (assuming I bust out of the first). Playing both of those is within my budget, and it gives me 2 chances to cash instead of just 1. And honestly, I think I'll like the competition at PH more.
Bellagio's policy of allowing re-entries through the first six levels plus the break, (almost four hours after the start of the tournament), is ridiculous and the sole reason why I won't play it anymore.