How New COVID-19 Capacity Restrictions Impact Live Poker in Las Vegas

If you’re planning on visiting your favorite Las Vegas poker rooms over the next few weeks, you may notice some changes due to the Nevada governor’s new COVID-19 restrictions. But, on a positive note, despite capacity limitations, the live poker scene is still thriving.

Las Vegas poker rooms

South Point, one of the top Las Vegas poker rooms. (Image: CardsChat News)

And, even better, the poker room changes won’t impact your ability to find a seat in a juicy game … much. Governor Steve Sisolak imposed new coronavirus restrictions due to increased COVID-19 cases last week. They include limiting capacity in casinos to 25%.

That means poker rooms in Southern Nevada must decrease their capacity for the time being. But, some card rooms have found ways around the capacity limits to continue spreading tournaments and keeping the cash games running.

Las Vegas Poker Rooms Still Operating (Almost) as Normal

Although the governor is limiting capacity in Las Vegas poker rooms for the next few weeks, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of games running. What many of the card rooms are doing, temporarily, is shifting some of the tables outside the poker room into the main casino floor.

At The Orleans, for example, only cash games are currently running inside the poker room. Daily tournaments, however, are still running. Those tables have been moved to a separate area in the casino just outside the poker room. This is being done to ensure The Orleans poker room is abiding by the governor’s new capacity restrictions.

Venetian is doing something similar, as the casino continues to run its popular Deepstack series, which includes some low and mid-stakes tournaments. The number of cash games running at every casino has dropped due to the temporary restrictions.

On Sunday night, only a few cash games were running at most of the casinos — far less than normal. At Aria, one of the top poker rooms in the world, cash games are still in operation, but daily tournaments are paused until the governor lifts the new capacity rules.

There are currently 19 Las Vegas poker rooms in operation, down from 31 prior to COVID-19. If you’re looking for some action while in town, you can get it at one of the following properties:

  • Aria
  • Bally’s
  • Bellagio
  • Boulder Station
  • Caesars
  • Flamingo
  • Golden Nugget
  • MGM Grand
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Poker Palace
  • Red Rock
  • Sahara
  • Santa Fe
  • Silver Sevens
  • South Point
  • The Orleans
  • Venetian
  • Westgate
  • Wynn.

Given the new restrictions, it would be wise to call ahead to get on a cash game list before arriving. Due to a decrease in available games, there may be longer than normal wait times.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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