Poker rooms in Las Vegas saw plenty of action in the past weekend, with some casino managers saying that participation in games exceeded expectations.
The Bellagio reopened its poker section last Thursday. The Strip casino installed plexiglass dividers at its tables and was allowed to host six-handed games by Nevada regulators.
Most of the poker rooms around La Vegas that reopened in recent days were given the green light to host five-handed games. Per latest guidelines from Nevada casino regulators and health experts, players at tables that do not have plexiglass partitions are required to wear face masks. At the Bellagio, poker players are encouraged to wear masks but these are not mandatory due to the dividers.
Las Vegas casinos usually host nine or ten-handed games at their poker tables.
Bellagio Director of Poker Operations Mike Williams said that the reopening of their poker room has definitely seen a positive response from players. The room ran at least 15 games throughout the day on Saturday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes, sometimes even more than 20. The poker space at the iconic Strip property is open 24 hours a day.
Bobby’s Room, the high-stakes area of Bellagio’s poker room remained empty on Saturday. Mr. Williams said that he hopes to see higher-stakes games back at the property and that they are ready whenever players are.
How Other Poker Rooms Performed throughout the Weekend?
It was a busy weekend at the poker room at The Orleans, as well. The property resumed operations June 4. The casino’s poker room ran more than 20 games at once for the greater part of Saturday.
The Orleans is preparing to install partitions at its poker tables and to ask gaming regulators for permission to host six-handed games.
Poker room manager Garrett Okahara wrote in an emailed statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that they have already ordered plexiglass dividers and that they hope to have them installed by this coming Thursday or Friday.
Mr. Okahara said that while he expected “pent-up demand upon opening”, the demand for poker action among their patrons “certainly exceeded [his] expectations.”
Demand for poker action was high at Caesars Palace, too. The property reopened its poker room on Thursday. It has been hosting five-handed games since then. Poker room executive Ryan Bishop said that they see no need to install dividers at the poker tables as there is plenty of action without them and players are happy.
Caesars Palace ran between 10 to 15 games at once throughout Saturday. Its poker room is open from 10 am to 2 am Thursday through Sunday.
There are also casinos that seek permission to host six-handed games but without partitions, with the South Point being one of these. Jason Sanborn, poker room manager at the property, said that they have put in a request to get six-handed, arguing that with masks now being mandatory, there is not need for plexiglass.
Mr. Sanborn noted that the way the latest guidelines are worded indicates that “masks equal plexiglass” and that they “feel like we have a good case to go six without them.”
The South Point ran more than 15 games at once for most of Saturday. The poker room at the casino is open 24 hours a day.
The poker room at the Venetian became the first one to resume hosting multi-table tourneys. The venue ran $250 buy-in shootout events on Friday and Saturday. These were capped at 80 participants.
The 80 players were spread at 16 five-handed tables. Each of these tables played down to a winner. The 16 winners were than spread at four-handed tables. The four winners were placed at the final table and played down to a champion.
The poker room at the Venetian hosted 20 games at once for the greater part of Saturday. The room is open from 9 am through 1 am every day.
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