Back from Vegas - Aria and Golden Nugget Poker Rooms

General Discussion by Cypress Hunter Posted
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6 Comments

Just got back from my yearly trip to Vegas - Oct 11-15. We stayed at the Monte Carlo just a short walk to the Aria poker room and sports book. I played about 24 hours at the Aria (based on comps) and about 6 hours in two sessions at the nugget.

First let me state I preferred Aria over the nugget for the table cap. I played 1-3 NL at Aria and 1-2 NL at the nugget. Min $100 max $300 at Aria. No cap at the nugget. I was fortunate to have 1 losing section at each. $200 at GN and $250 (last morning at Aria before my flight - I played hands I normally would not have).

I consider myself a true recreational player. Living in Houston I play in a local club that plays the first and third Wednesday of every month. $40.00 tournament buy-in with 1 rebuy allowed the first 30 minutes. If you get knocked out a $1-2 PL game breaks out. So no ones winning or losing their mortgage but its great fun and practice.

I found the Aria game filled with business men who've watched too much poker on TV. Thinking every hand should be played and going all in with medium pairs. The first day at the Aria I was able to take the $300.00 buy-in to over $2,100.00. If you play solid poker you can easily identify the fish and they were more then willing to donate to my trip. The dealers were friendly, poker room management great and table service was always great. $2.00 comps per hour was nice as well. If on the strip I'd say plan a session or two there. There early crowd was great. 8am the drunks are still at the table and the businessman wanting to get in a hand or two before a conference.

Now on to the GN. The game was a little tougher and with no max buy in I was surprised at how many locals would sit down with $1,000+ at a 1-2 and just try and play bully poker. I had two sessions there. 1 losing $200.00 and the second walking away up about $275.00. they catered more towards the locals. I'm ok with that; it's their main clientele. But when a local misses a big and small blind and can sit back down without sitting out or paying that's a little much. Drink service was slow and inconsistent, dealers friendly enough and I was able to get into a game quickly.

So as a review no matter where you're staying - on the strip or Fremont I'd suggest taking the Uber ride to Aria. It's always been one of my favorite poker rooms and with the rake going up (max $5.00) and comps $2.00 per hour more of the locals are heading elsewhere making the game softer.

I hope this helps on your next trip to Vegas and happy hunting!

Comments

  1. "Now on to the GN. The game was a little tougher and with no max buy in I was surprised at how many locals would sit down with $1,000+ at a 1-2 and just try and play bully poker."

    the 1/2 game at the nugget does play deeper than any other 1/2 in vegas, but it is really rare to see a lot of $1000 stacks at the table. not sure why so many people get intimidated by large stacks, in my experience these are the games you want to sit in.

    "But when a local misses a big and small blind and can sit back down without sitting out or paying that's a little much."

    was this happening on a regular basis? again, this is rare in my sessions at the nugget and is usually just an error by the dealer in giving a button. and if it does happen, players should speak up and remind the dealer to give the player a missed blind button.

    "with the rake going up (max $5.00) and comps $2.00 per hour more of the locals are heading elsewhere making the game softer."

    where are the locals going to play? the only place on the strip that isn't at least $5 is
    caesars and their business hasn't grown dramatically since the other properties went to
    $5. aria has a large share of local grinders playing there, and in your limited time playing there consider yourself lucky to have been at a table(s) without them.

  2. @zzyzx
    the 1/2 game at the nugget does play deeper than any other 1/2 in vegas, but it is really rare to see a lot of $1000 stacks at the table. not sure why so many people get intimidated by large stacks, in my experience these are the games you want to sit in.

    It's not intimidation - if you've been playing poker long you know the benefit of having a larger stack. Structure is there for a reason.

    was this happening on a regular basis? again, this is rare in my sessions at the nugget and is usually just an error by the dealer in giving a button. and if it does happen, players should speak up and remind the dealer to give the player a missed blind button.

    There was a missed blind button - and yes I did say something about it. Didn't seem to matter. Besides a good dealers not going to do this any time.

    where are the locals going to play? the only place on the strip that isn't at least $5 is
    caesars and their business hasn't grown dramatically since the other properties went to
    $5. aria has a large share of local grinders playing there, and in your limited time playing there consider yourself lucky to have been at a table(s) without them.

    Couldn't tell you where they are playing. Sounds like you're playing the GN. Could be Caesars. Could be the Wynn. Could be anywhere.

  3. @zzyzx
    the 1/2 game at the nugget does play deeper than any other 1/2 in vegas, but it is really rare to see a lot of $1000 stacks at the table. not sure why so many people get intimidated by large stacks, in my experience these are the games you want to sit in.

    It's not intimidation - if you've been playing poker long you know the benefit of having a larger stack. Structure is there for a reason.

    was this happening on a regular basis? again, this is rare in my sessions at the nugget and is usually just an error by the dealer in giving a button. and if it does happen, players should speak up and remind the dealer to give the player a missed blind button.

    There was a missed blind button - and yes I did say something about it. Didn't seem to matter. Besides a good dealers not going to do this any time.

    where are the locals going to play? the only place on the strip that isn't at least $5 is
    caesars and their business hasn't grown dramatically since the other properties went to
    $5. aria has a large share of local grinders playing there, and in your limited time playing there consider yourself lucky to have been at a table(s) without them.

    Couldn't tell you where they are playing. Sounds like you're playing the GN. Could be Caesars. Could be the Wynn. Could be anywhere.

  4. @zzyzx
    the 1/2 game at the nugget does play deeper than any other 1/2 in vegas, but it is really rare to see a lot of $1000 stacks at the table. not sure why so many people get intimidated by large stacks, in my experience these are the games you want to sit in.

    It's not intimidation - if you've been playing poker long you know the benefit of having a larger stack. Structure is there for a reason.

    was this happening on a regular basis? again, this is rare in my sessions at the nugget and is usually just an error by the dealer in giving a button. and if it does happen, players should speak up and remind the dealer to give the player a missed blind button.

    There was a missed blind button - and yes I did say something about it. Didn't seem to matter. Besides a good dealers not going to do this any time.

    where are the locals going to play? the only place on the strip that isn't at least $5 is
    caesars and their business hasn't grown dramatically since the other properties went to
    $5. aria has a large share of local grinders playing there, and in your limited time playing there consider yourself lucky to have been at a table(s) without them.

    Couldn't tell you where they are playing. Sounds like you're playing the GN. Could be Caesars. Could be the Wynn. Could be anywhere.

  5. "It's not intimidation - if you've been playing poker long you know the benefit of having a larger stack. "

    This is true in tournament poker, but cash games are not tournaments.

    "Structure is there for a reason"

    It is there to benefit the HOUSE over the long term.

  6. In my opinion, Encore Poker Room is the best on the strip with Aria coming in second. Encore has a waitress always near by so drink service is excellant. Encore 1/3 seems to play a little bigger than Aria, Ceasars or GN since almost every hand it seemed have a Mississippi straddle to $6. Layout of the poker room has great table spacing. Saw a few recognizible players (Dan Harrington, Lilly Killeto) playing 5/10 there three weeks ago. If you stay at Wynn or Encore there is a TV channel dedicated to the poker room so you can see where you are on the list, number of tables and games currently going on. I found this feature very helpful when trying plan my day. $2,500 in 5 days.

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