The Stratosphere is a small little "area" next to the parking garage escalators and very close to the Cafe. The have approximately a dozen tables but only one was going when I showed up for the 1:00pm tourney. The tables are your standard 10 person table with rubber bumpers and worn felt. The cup holders are of the portable type and not built into the table. The chairs are average conference chairs. Right now the Stratosphere is building a new nightclub next to the poker room. It was very noisy with the sounds of saws, hammering and general construction.
I had a very difficult time trying to decide if I should sit down at the $1/2 NL cash game or play the tourney. The cash game looked very sweet with a lot of beginners who played too many dominated hands out of position. Usually about 5-6 people to the flop, regardless of the preflop raise. Seemed like everyone wanted to "just see the flop" and would fold if they didn't connect. I decided to play the tournament. $30 with a $20 add-on gets you 3000 chips. A good starting stack. There were 45 people in the tourney with a lot of beginners who slow played (limped) with AA, then check the flop and paid off my straight on the river. I made the final table and busted out in 9th place. They paid top 4 (4 tables, 4 places paid). First place was $815.00.
Given it was the Stratosphere, the dealers were pretty good. No mistakes and they took control of the table and kept the game moving (i.e., gently coached the beginners). We had one guy push all in with 2 callers. He then showed his cards to one of the callers and the dealer stepped in to make him flip up his cards and show the other caller too. Good job.
Our waitress came around often. While we were waiting for the tourney to start, after the break and again at the final table. They're older waitresses and not of the supermodel type-but friendly and efficient. Good enough for a chick like me.
Very friendly and cordial. They got folks seated right away and were very good about monitoring the empty seats and balancing the tables during the tourney. No complaints here.
I didn't ask about comps.