Playing Poker in Las Vegas — A Super Bowl Weekend Guide

Planning a poker trip to Las Vegas over Super Bowl weekend, but unsure of where to play? No worries, I have you covered. Follow our advice, and you’ll see why Sin City is the place to be next weekend, whether you’re a cash game or a tournament specialist.

Las Vegas poker Super Bowl

Poker in Las Vegas? Over Super Bowl weekend? Yes, please! (Image: ktnv.com)

Southern Nevada is home to over 30 poker rooms, so it can be a bit confusing — especially for a first-time visitor — to decide where to play. To make matters worse for newbie tourists, Super Bowl weekend here is a madhouse.

Hotel rates bump up due to the massive influx of travelers coming to town, especially from neighboring California. For example, as of Jan. 23, a room at MGM Grand from Friday to Monday costs $233 per night on Orbitz, which is higher than normal.

So, not only should you expect to pay a pretty penny for a hotel room, you should also be prepared for heavier traffic than normal on the Strip due to the large crowds coming to town to get some action on the big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

The good news, however, is that big-event weekends — such as the Super Bowl — draw lots of gamblers, which inevitably means the poker action heats up as well. So, how do you get your hands on a share of that juicy tourist cash? I can’t help you with that, but I can tell you where to find it.

$1 Million Guaranteed Tournament — and Others

If you’re a tournament grinder, Las Vegas has plenty of action for you over Super Bowl weekend. The juiciest tournament of all is the Mid-States Poker Tour’s “Poker Bowl” at the Venetian, the Sheldon Adelson-owned property on the Strip. The $1,100 buy-in gets you 25,000 chips for your shot at a share of the $1 million guaranteed prize pool. Day 1A begins at noon on Jan. 29 (Wednesday), with Day 1B running the following day at the same time, and the final Day 1 session kicking off Jan. 31.

Another $1,100 event at the Venetian begins Feb. 1 — Super Bowl Eve — and features a $100,000 guarantee. If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, you’re in luck. There are dozens of daily events around town throughout the weekend for under $500, many in the $100-$200 range.

The Orleans (a mile west of the Strip) has a great, low-stakes Friday night tournament each week. For just $130, you’ll receive 15,000 chips with 30-minute blind levels, and have a shot at winning part of a $15,000 guaranteed prize pool. If you’re bothered by heavy cigarette smoke, you might want to avoid this one, however. While I enjoy the Orleans poker room at times, the downside is this place attracts the chain-smokers, and the air ventilation system isn’t great.

Other Noteworthy Super Bowl Weekend Poker Tournaments in Las Vegas

  • Aria (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) 11:00 am – $240 buy-in (20,000 chips, 30-minute levels, $7,500 guaranteed)
  • Aria (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) 7:00 pm – $140 buy-in (20,000 chips, 20-minute levels)
  • Wynn (Friday) 12:00 pm – $200 (20,000 chips, 30-minute levels, $40,000 guaranteed)
  • Wynn (Saturday) 12:00 pm – $550 (20,000 chips, 30-minute levels, $50,000 guaranteed)

Where to Find Juicy Cash Game Action

You can find some good cash game action in Las Vegas on any day of the week, 365 days a year. But during Super Bowl weekend, the fish is a little extra fresh. That said, wait times for cash games are likely (read, definitely) going to be bit longer than normal. To limit your wasted time, download the Bravo app and call ahead to put your name on the wait list. Otherwise, you might get stuck waiting an hour or longer to get in a game.

The best places for action over Super Bowl weekend will be at the standard Strip hot spots — Wynn, Venetian, Bellagio, and Aria. But understand that these casinos attract massive crowds full of sports bettors on this glorious weekend. Thus, you can expect a packed poker room.

If you’re claustrophobic or hate large crowds, I’d suggest avoiding the Strip altogether. You’ll find some decent action at casinos such as Red Rock Resort (Summerlin), Green Valley Ranch (Henderson), and South Point (south of Strip). Those poker rooms will likely have longer wait times to get in a game than normal, but the wait will be far shorter than at a popular Strip card room.

Where to Stay Near the Action

Most who come to Las Vegas over Super Bowl weekend, even if their main agenda is to play poker, are going to watch and bet on the big game. So, not only is it best to book a hotel near your card room of choice, I’d recommend staying in a hotel that’s within walking distance of a quality sportsbook.

My personal favorite sportsbooks are Aria and Bellagio. I’m also partial to the Green Valley Ranch sportsbook, mostly because I live in the neighborhood.

If money is a major concern, however, you should probably avoid the Strip. Hotels on the Strip have juiced pricing during Super Bowl weekend. As I mentioned, even mid-priced hotels, such as MGM Grand, aren’t cheap. But there are some options nearby. South Point, less than 10 minutes south of the Strip, is going for under $150 per night.

Silver Sevens is dirt cheap at under $80. The location is walking distance from the Strip if you aren’t lazy, though, admittedly, this casino is kind of an eye sore. If you’re just looking for a cheap place to crash, however, it may not be a bad option.

If money is of less concern, get a room at the casino where you want to play poker. Bellagio, Aria, Venetian, Wynn, Green Valley Ranch, and Red Rock each have nice poker rooms and sportsbooks, along with comfortable and clean rooms. They aren’t Silver Sevens cheap, but sometimes you just have to splurge.

Las Vegas Travel Tip: Make sure you check the daily resort fee charged before booking your hotel. Nearly every hotel in town charges a resort fee, which can cost between $10 and $55 per night. These hidden fees come as a surprise to many Vegas tourists when they check-in. Don’t fall victim.

 

Jon Sofen
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.

Comments

armoko wrote...

So much opportunities to play poker for people who will visit Sin City during the SuperBowl. I wish I could afford it too 🙂 Still in my wish list, hope one day I will visit Las Vegas in near future.

Anders1616 wrote...

You can always dream, maybe one day the will be a chance of going to Las Vegas and play poker.

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