I've played in most of the poker rooms on the Strip in my time but hadn't been to TI since they moved the poker room so I thought I'd swing by this trip and check out the new setup. I was only here for 6 days this time and I spent 5 of those at TI, which pretty much says it all.
OK it's not the largest poker room on the Strip by a long way (just 6 tables) but what I found here was a room full of really friendly regulars and excellent cardroom staff which made this trip one of the most enjoyable weeks I've spent playing poker in Vegas. Most of the time I felt I was playing round my kitchen table with friends I've know for years, it really is that friendly. I even had an old poker friend of mine who I haven't seen for years fly in for the day from San Diego just to play here for one riotous night. Let's just say the game played a little wilder than usual that evening ;)
The room is compact but not at all cramped. Six 10-seater + Dealer tables all in excellent condition. Plenty of drinks tables, comfortable chairs and the cocktail waitresses come along regularly right through to the graveyard shift. Dealers are super friendly and within a day or two everyone will know you by name, I can't speak highly enough of the TI dealing team and support staff. They just go the extra mile to make your playing experience an enjoyable and memorable one. Many thanks to Rob & big shoutout to Scott!
The doors open at 12 prompt and one cash table will almost immediately fill up so you need to get there on time if you want to lock up a seat. They usually have a second table open as the list fills. I've never seen more than 2 cash tables on the go. They usually spread just NLHE, 1/3 100 min/500 max. Games don't usually get that deep, but later in the day you'll often see quite a few stacks 300xBB or more. Tables are populated mainly by friendly regs with the odd local pro or higher limit player dropping down for a break, as well as the odd holidaymaker of course. The regs are mainly there 'putting their hours in' as TI currently runs quite a nice little 'Get Paid To Play' promotion, whereby you can earn up to $599 in cash for playing a total of 60 hours Sunday am - Saturday pm. You also get food comps on top of that which I think run to $1.50 an hour. I hit my hours from Sunday - Wednesday but I do quite long sessions. Definitely register for a TI Players Club Card if you're going to play there with any regularity, as you're basically giving up on $11.50/hr by skipping it, and hey, if you found this review useful, say David Potts sent you - we'll both get bonus money!
At this writing TI run three tourneys a day, the first one starting at 12:30. If I remember right the other two are at 6pm and 10pm. $77 buyin for 15,000 and an optional add-on of $10 for an additional 10,000 at the break, blinds start at 50/100, 20 minute clock. From what I could see this usually attracted 15-20 runners, so whilst it offers a $500 guarantee, they almost always break this. It starts promptly with 4 players or more. Re-entries for 4 levels. Standard of play in the tourney is pretty good as it attracts mostly local regs trying to win the $500 weekly leaderboard.
As mentioned Cash players with a TI Player Rewards Card can earn up to $599 in cash every week for putting in 60 hours. Food comps run to $1.50 an hour.
There's currently no Bad Beat, Aces cracked or High Hand Jackpot at TI for Cash games, but if you get a full house or better after 6pm any day you'll qualify for a 'Football Square', which will give you a shot at winning $50 every Monday & Thursday night.
As far as tournament promos go, players making any FT will also receive a Football Square. Four $50 prizes are up for grabs and can be exchanged for a tournament token. In addition to this the Tourneys feature a progressive bad beat Jackpot which increases each week and gives 65% to the losing hand, 35% to the winning hand and a free tournament entry for the Field.
My only criticism - and it's a small one - is that some of those chips can be a bit sticky - clean the chipsets guys!
That said, if you're coming to Vegas and want to enjoy yourself while you play, without a roomful of fanboys in hoodies wearing earbuds and telling you about how good they are before they go busto, then TI is for you. Just tell em Dave Potts sent you, and don't forget to tip your Dealer all the blues!