Bar none, this is the most comfortable, beautiful, and relaxing poker room in Las Vegas. I have played in every single poker room in Vegas trying to find a permanent home base, and I have finally found it. Venetian has officially taken the carpet out from under Bellagio's feet with this poker room. Granted, it is non-smoking, but unfortunately, that fits the mold nowadays on the Strip. Aside from the smoking rule, though, there is nothing that one can possibly complain about regarding this Palatial Poker Heaven. Every table has an autoshuffler. The tables are large, comfortable, and VERY spread out. You can lean back in your chair and still have two feet between you and the next table. The chairs are sumptously comfortable, being that they swivel, are adjustable, and are made from golden supple leather. The felt is firm and smooth, and the tables have commitment lines. Oversized leather elbow rail with oversized cup holders, and thankfully, no stupid wooden/marble racetrack. Large chandeliers, plasmas on every wall, rich leather and mahogany veneer wall coverings and ceiling detail, 29 tables, dedicated cashier cage, several seating areas to use while waiting, electronic list management system, butler service (for all players), and every limit and game you could ever want. Aesthetically, this is easily the most luxurious and beatiful poker room in the world. Suffice to say that this is the ULTIMATE Players Poker room that hasn't just raised the bar, it has DEFINED it.
Competition is nearly impossible to define yet, as the room has been open for seven hours, as of this writing. Obviously, it will get a lot of locals in the beginning to check it out and see if it fits their needs. I am going with average for now, but honestly, I see this room going to easy fairly quickly due to the large amount of conventioners that this hotel caters to. Conventioners tend to be pretty drunk, loose, and wild, from my experiences (as they are often tourists on a free trip with an expense account). I think that over time, locals will proliferate this room more as it is so comfortable, but the conventioners should generally soften the room with time.
All dealers were excellent. All except one came from neighboring resorts (Excalibur, Orleans, Bellagio). All had experience, and dealt quickly and efficiently. It seemed that the executives have been grinding into them the house rules all week during training, as all seemed to know them pretty well. There were a couple that they needed to call a floor on (like show one show all, and how to fix the autoshuffler), but other then that, they dealt very fast and responded kindly when spoken to. They didn't slow down the game with small talk, nor did they have any misdeals while I was there. Outstanding staff, in every regard.
Cocktails were fast and plentiful. Lots of girls in the room, and lots of butlers as well. This is a very well staffed room when it comes to cocktails, and all types of drinks are available. Drinks are of very high quality, and premium liquors are available. Going along with everything else that this room excels in, cocktails are no exception.
Lots of managers and lots of floorpeople to resolve issues at all tables. The list was well managed, and the PA system was readily used to call names on the list. Management was friendly, efficient, fast, and most importantly, know how to run a big room, replete with list management technology. All managers new how to work the technology, and names were called quickly, often in groups, as new tables were opened immediately. All were well dressed and had professional demeanors. Definately the cream of the crop in every regard.
Although not up and running just yet, they will be giving $1 per hour on your Venetian players card for pot rake games, and $1.50 per hour on timed games. They do not take a dollar out of the pot for cheesy high hand or bad beat jackpots, which is wonderful. To boot, for being there on opening night, they gave out good quality embroidered Venetian Poker Room hats to the cash game players. This is the ideal comp system, as far as I;m concerned. Leave the jackpots to the locals casinos and the mid level rooms, and just play real poker. The Venetian does this, and just further escalates itself to the top of the poker food chain. In conclusion, Venetian is my new poker home, case closed. It has always been the best resort on the Strip with regard to the 700 sq foot standard hotel rooms, and palatial casino and lobby. Now, it takes it a step further by debuting a true poker heaven. See you there!