In the past few years, one particular time of day seems to stand out as one of the most popular times to start a daily tournament: 7PM. Seemingly replacing the classic Noon start time, the large roster of 7PM tournaments around town have shockingly replaced the Noon gold standard of poker tournament start times. Though the World Series and many other properties continue to offer tournaments at Noon, the time spent outside of the World Series of Poker, and specifically those seeking a buy in that doesn't completely break the wallet, have found that often their best value and chance is at the 7PM hour whereupon a host of different options around town are available. This is not without cost, of course, as more and more casinos invest in the idea of a 7PM daily tournament, the player field tends to decrease, as there are more casinos competing for this fairly traditional evening customer. Today's article will examine the 7PM tournaments around town and see exactly what the drive and popularity of this particular time seems to be, and offer up a brief discussion of some of the more popular and new choices.
One thing that must be mentioned when it comes to surmising the popularity of the 7PM timeframe is that regarding locals and tourists. One of the largest driving forces behind the popularity of the 7PM tournament is the ability for the working men and women to play after they get off work. In a town like Vegas, the poker rooms depend on the local player to help create a foundation of daily games and tournaments. Though the tourists certainly fuel the Vegas economy, it is the local base that truly makes or breaks a typical poker room. It is these players that can be depended on, regardless of the heat, changing vacation plans, or hotel room rates. The local players are the ones that put in the freeroll hours and the daily grind that help to create the games and build the tournament foundations in every poker room, especially at the 7PM hour. When it comes to the tourists, the 7PM hour tends to be slightly less attractive due to dinner plans or sightseeing, but it still seems to be a popular time for both fields of players. Though the idea of an evening tournament is not new, the increasing popularity and battle for the 7PM tournament dollar seems to be heating up now that the WSOP is over and business has returned to typical numbers in the Vegas poker scene.
The largest battle for 7PM is easily that between Venetian and Aria. These tournaments are very similar and have successfully chipped away at each others numbers over the years as the structures and player fields battle head to head. Before the Aria opened, it was easily Venetian that owned the $100+ buy in tournament time, often getting 120+ players every night, all year. Once the Aria opened and started offering a very similar structured 7PM (with longer levels), the numbers started to even out between the two juggernaut properties. Now, the numbers are pretty similar, with both garnering in the 60-80 player range often (weekends higher). The Aria's tournament is a good value at $125 and the Venetian comes in at $120.
Though the Aria and Venetian offer their 7PM daily, some rooms see explosive numbers on certain days more than others. The Orleans' 7PM tournament on Friday night saw a period in time where 200+ players were a very common occurrence, and to this day, their 7PM on Friday night value priced at $125 still nets one of the largest player pools in town on that day. Another popular option that seems to come alive on the weekend is Caesars Palace. Caesars has always been a popular choice for good value tournaments in a quiet setting, but the weekend options really show where Caesars shines, often seeing 10+ tables filled for their $110 tournament option.
No 7PM tournament discussion can be complete without another mention of the low buy in value 7PM tournaments around town. The most popular and gold standard of value 7PM tournaments continues to be the Stratosphere, replacing the Sahara with both staff and players. Their $65 nightly tournament offers complimentary pizza at the break and sees significant numbers well above any other low buy in offering on or off the Strip. The Treasure Island, Mirage, and Planet Hollywood also offer daily 7PMs that range from $50-$65 and all garner 3-4+ tables for a nice quick value driven tournament atmosphere.
One thing is certain, there are a good amount of options for those seeking a 7Pm tournament in Vegas. Do your research and see which one works the best for you before just jumping into the battle for your 7PM tournament dollar.
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