There are over 20 Las Vegas poker rooms, but only a handful or so receive international acclaim. But there’s one card room in town that doesn’t get near as much attention as it probably should.
Nearly every hardcore poker player, and even most casuals, are familiar with poker rooms such as Aria, Bellagio, and Venetian. Those card rooms attract players at all levels, even the nosebleed games and celebrities. Most high roller poker tournaments take place at those casinos.
A few miles south of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard is a casino I personally enjoy, and not only for the poker. I’m talking about South Point, a 2,000-room resort with a shiny gold exterior. There are numerous reasons why you should play at South Point, most notably because the games are juicy and the staff is outstanding.
South Point has 30 card tables and the room is often packed full of mostly low-stakes cash games and inexpensive daily tournaments. You’ll find a good mix of $1/$2, $2/$3, and $3/$5 no-limit hold’em, along with some $3/$6 limit hold’em and even a bit of low-stakes limit Omaha.
Players receive $1 per hour in comps, and those comps are quite valuable at South Point. The casino has some solid restaurants to spend your comps at, my top recommendation being the prime rib joint, Primarily Prime Rib.
Receiving comps for your play is merely a perk and likely isn’t the main reason you choose a poker room. The quality of the games, proximity to your home (or hotel), cleanliness of the room, and the staff are more important to most players, myself included.
South Point Staff Among Best in the Business
South Point’s poker room manager, Jason Sanborn, is respected among the local grinders who frequent his card room. Ben Abrahams, a friend of mine who plays exclusively at South Point these days, raves about the quality of the poker room’s staff.
“When most poker rooms around town accept mediocrity in dealers and staff, South Point strives to have high-quality and professional staff,” Abrahams told CardsChat News.
Abrahams is one of hundreds of players who enjoy the juicy freerolls offered to locals at South Point. The Las Vegas poker room will host a $250,000 freeroll in mid-August. Players who put in at least 150 hours of cash game play by Aug. 1 will receive an entry. The winner is guaranteed at least $40,000 and everyone will earn at least $150 simply for showing up.
Earlier this month, South Point stepped out of its comfort zone and hosted a major tournament — the $2,200 buy-in Benny Binion Shootout, which guaranteed a $256,000 prize pool. Only 94 players showed up, leaving the card room on the hook for nearly $70,000 in overlay. But Sanborn found a positive in the situation.
“Players are talking about the room and that is always great,” Sanborn said. “We honored the guarantee and started the tournament without delay. If we advertise something, we follow through regardless of the cost. Hopefully, players will recognize that, and the support will be there for future events.”
Many poker players in Las Vegas are fixated on the card rooms on the Strip such as Bellagio and Aria. And I can’t blame them. Those are among the best places in the world to play. But they aren’t the only worthwhile spots in town for poker. South Point, Orleans, Golden Nugget, and Red Rock Resort offer a nice change of pace from the craziness of the Las Vegas Strip.