The Venetian poker room on the Las Vegas Strip will reopen on June 5, despite the new four-handed restrictions. While many other card rooms won’t reopen right away, Sheldon Adelson’s property will give it the old college try.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) recently released guidelines poker rooms must adhere to upon reopening. Among the COVID-19 safety restrictions, casinos must limit poker to four-handed games. That, of course, puts the card rooms in a bit of a predicament, given there’s only a small market for four-handed poker. Most cash game players prefer a full table of 6-9 players.
The Wynn, Venetian’s neighboring casino, has already announced its poker room won’t reopen with the casino. Station Casinos, which owns five card rooms in Las Vegas, also won’t be bringing back poker right away. But the Venetian poker room, one of the most popular places to play in Sin City, is going to try out four-handed poker.
Venetian Poker Room Tries Something New
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak set June 4 as a tentative date for Silver State casinos to reopen. That could all change, he said, if the state’s coronavirus cases spike between now and then. But assuming all goes well, live poker could conceivably return to Las Vegas in less than two weeks for the first time since mid-March.
The Venetian poker room will be one of the few places to play cards right off the bat. On June 5, the luxurious Vegas Strip casino will open its card room and give poker players a look at four-handed poker.
There won’t be an plexiglass dividers separating players from each other, and players won’t be required to wear a face mask, although masks will be provided if requested. But staff will take extra precautions, such as regularly sanitizing tables and chairs to help in the fight against COVID-19.
The games inside the Venetian poker room will be a bit different for a while. Four-handed cash games might take some getting used to for most players, but there will be a reduced rake. For tournament players, Venetian plans to spread $100 winner-take-all sit n go style games. As soon as four players are seated, the game will start.
Live poker in Las Vegas, and all across the country, isn’t going to return to its pre-coronavirus condition any time soon. But for those who are itching to get back to the felt, you’ll have at least one option available to you soon.