OK, RC. I'd also vote Silver Legacy tops in Downtown Reno. We stay there once or twice a year on average. Here's a hint: Unless it's a holiday or during a big sports event, wait to book your hotel until about 2 weeks or less ahead of time. You can go to SilverLegacyReno.com and pull up the rates. As it gets closer to the date, you will notice a steep decline in the price. We learned this in July. We booked in May and saw the price go way down. We ended up canceling our reservation and re-booking on the website 2 weeks prior and saved about $80 on 2 nights stay. Don't worry about sellouts unless a holiday or big sports betting event.
As for tournaments, here's a link:
Scroll down and click a casino name under "Poker Tournaments" on the left side. Freak and I have played the $25 Cal Neva SnG and the Harrah's $65 "Winner Take All" SnG. Both are fine. CN's format has low starting chips and a steep blind structure (sort of like a turbo), so you can't play too tight or you'll get blinded out. Harrah's is a better format but gets tough at the final 3 or 4 since it is WTA. Both had loose, semi-soft touristy competition, so smart play and tell reading is rewarding.
Downtown Reno overall is not as nice as say Fremont St in LV, but it still has a dive-ish charm and is still mostly safe to walk the streets. I've heard the outer casinos are nice enough for both play & stay, like Atlantis, Peppermill, & Grand Sierra (formerly Reno Hilton, home of the WPT World Challenge). Use MapQuest to get an idea of the relative spread. Most have shuttles to Downtown, if desired.
Feel free to ask more questions.