Starting around 2005, the poker world in Las Vegas took an interesting turn and exploded in numbers. Many poker rooms have opened in the past 7 years, over 20 in fact. But when you are taking a look at rooms that have truly stood the test of time, you have to be pretty mindful of how the poker world was different in 2002. This was before Chris Moneymaker and before the poker boom. This was a time when rooms spread Hold'em and Stud mainly, with NL being a tournament game occasionally. Today's article will focus on rooms that have been in the same location for over a decade. It is these rooms that add a certain comfort level to the playing experience. It is rooms that seem to never really get old, because it is never a bad day to just be relaxing in a place where they know your name and you consider a home feeling. Here are a few rooms that hold the distinction of standing the test of time.
The Monte Carlo poker room is probably one that most people don't think about when it comes to standing the true test of time, but it indeed has. Up until very recently, it still had tables cut specifically for Stud in the room. It was built to be a poker room from day one. No velvet ropes or thrown together feeling here. This room has been in the same location and same setup since its opening in 1996, and with a few minor remodels like adding a cashier cage to the back and replacing the television's with newer technology, it still offers an aesthetically beautiful setting with hand painted murals of poker being played in the 19th century. The dark woods and parlor setting make this a wonderful intimate room to be comfortable and play cards.
The Bellagio is an understood inclusion on this list. Though the venerable Bellagio poker room has truly been the be all end all of high end poker in Las Vegas since the resort opened in 1998, the poker room has experienced some pretty significant remodeling since then. Though the physical location has stayed the same after all these years, the main entrance, the table layout, and the furnishings have all experienced a major upgrade. The old furnishings were actually purchased and used by the production company that created the poker film Lucky You, as they wanted to emulate the actual Bellagio poker room from 2003. Despite this major remodel, the poker room at Bellagio remains in the same classic location and still offers the most consistent high limit poker in Vegas. The card room manager, Doug Dalton has been there since the beginning and understands that level of player. Of course, all limits are offered, and more recently, the Bellagio has seen a strong shift to more mid and low level games due to sheer popularity. Like it or not, the Bellagio poker room has truly stood the test of time and deserves a mention on this list.
The poker room at Manadalay Bay is another one that most people don't think about when it comes to standing the test of time. The reality is that the poker room has been there, in the same location, with the same card room manager since day one, in 1999. Located conveniently next to the race and sports book, the Mandalay Bay poker room was also a popular stud room when it grand opened some 13 years ago. The card room manager, Kay White, has adjusted her room over the years to player tastes, including jackpots, NL hold'em, and value priced tournaments. It is known as a popular room for tourists due to the heavily used Mandalay Bay convention center that often packs the hotel to capacity. Though the room has seen very little by way of major remodels, it is still a comfortable and classic poker room that has been there since before the boom, and will more than likely be there for many more booms to come.
Finally, no article about poker rooms can be complete without discussing The Mirage. This was the first all luxury card room to open in Las Vegas, back in 1989, and has been in the same location ever since. No other poker room in Vegas can make this claim, and the fact that it is still going strong every day is definitely worthy of respect. The room has adjusted over the years to trends and refocusing of its core customer, but the original room in its original location tends to stay the same. During its heyday and peak, the Mirage poker room held over 30 tables. Currently, it sits at a spacious 19 tables and offers 1/2NL and 3/6LHE every day with high hand jackpots and freeroll promotions.
When you are interested in taking a look at the Vegas poker world through the eyes of those that have been there and want to get a glimpse into the poker world long before this whole poker boom happened nine years ago, try out some of these classic rooms that have truly stood the test of time.
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