The poker room at the MGM Grand is like none I’ve ever seen before. It eschews many of the “essentials” you would expect from a top-tier poker room in favor of a vibe that lures in the central demographic of the current poker boom, males under 30. If you want to play in a quiet, classy room with professional dealers and staff then you should take your action to the Mirage or the Bellagio. If you’re willing to put up with poor dealers and a lot of noise in order to play against some drunk kids who suck at poker, then you will find a happy home at the MGM Grand.
The room itself is shaped like a semi-circle, enveloping a club/bar equipped with speakers on the outside of its walls to pump dance music into the poker room. On the outer walls plasma screen TVs show whatever sporting events are being televised. All tables are equipped with automatic shufflers, a clearly marked commit line, and marble bands around the perimeter of the felt. The shufflers increase the speed of the game, and are a great help to the lesser dealers at the MGM. The marble bands, however, are a nuisance. Chips and cards slide around too easily, and the marble forces you to look at your cards in an awkward manner that makes the table seem rather cramped. In fact, I think the marble bands are perfectly analogous to the room as a whole. Functionally, the bands are ridiculous, but they look really nice and help to create an atmosphere that is attractive to a guy in his 20s.
Much as Party Poker had done with internet poker, the MGM Grand has made attracting players its number one priority, and given almost no priority to many of the niceties poker players take for granted. It’s a nice alternative to the other rooms in town, but I’m glad the other ones are still there.
The MGM Grand has created a room that young tourists will flock to... which translates into excellent games. The games aren't quite as good as in some other areas of the country, but for Vegas the games are awesome.
Yuck! Misdeals, pots repeatedly shipped to the wrong player, incorrect change made from pots, poor knowledge of the rules, overraking... at least they're friendly. Kudos to whomever decided to put automatic shufflers in the tables. The shufflers prevent A LOT of mistakes from the MGM's inexperienced dealers.
Cocktail service is efficient, and the waitresses are generally pretty.
The room is well organized and their waitlist system is the best I've ever seen. They floor people are friendly, but they seem a little green. The floormen seem to have a difficult time making relatively easy rulings. The banal dance music can get distracting, but since it draws in a lot of players I'm willing to deal with it.
$1 an hour comps... it's difficult to check how much comp money you have accumulated as the MGM's website only allows you to track your play on table games and slots, not poker. Still, the comp rate is farily decent.