One theme is common in low limit poker in Vegas, Bad beats abound. Low limit is played like roulette, 80% of players taking every Flop.

Bally's: The players are loose, no-limit can be a true grind, and cocktails are SLOW!

Bellagio: Nice luxurious room if you play for big money, 4-8 is the lowest limit w/a bunch of angry degenerates and rich kids telling bad poker stories. You'll see numerous pros during tourney times.

Binion's: Get the comp for the coffee shop, avoid the hype as it's located in desolate downtown, read Positively Fifth Street to experience the real story.

Excalibur: Love the $1-3 spread limit game, even after all the bad beats and bad dealing, a semi-pro can win 10 out of 12 times at this game. The free buffet has its share of interesting characters. Seven-stud is unpopular, but you can learn something about poker from the old-timers.

The Nugget: Last poker room in downtown, even though the "outdoor" room was much better than the new sardine can up front. Beautiful floor hosts and waitress make for Good Times.

IP: Decent low-limit tourneys, friendly managers, great comp system. The only place to go when you want bad dealing, w/a free donut. Talk to Rick if you want to meet a Vegas legend.

Mandalay Bay: Awesome high hands, for their low limit 1/2 blind 4-8 game w/half kill. Watch out for the locals though.

MGM Grand: New room that's too close to the bar. Everything is high tech though. Check out the room upstairs overlooking the sports book.

Mirage: Crazy comp system for a select few: Great place to watch a WPT event. Crabby dealers and even crabbier seven-stud players. The room is laid out well, if you make it past 3-6 low limit, the high limit games are where pros make a living.

Orleans: Jackpot can get huge, $100K. Get comped at $1/hour and enjoy the after midnight specials. The room is big, but ugly brown chips make it depressing, and it's off the strip.

Palms: Cocktail waitresses are the best in Vegas. Some dealers are awesome, giveaways during Monday night football and other promotions are great, get a Palms card.

Plaza: Never Again. The first time a played a tournament, dealer put down too many burn cards, making my AK lose to AJ for 50% of chips in play in a one-table shootout. Never could catch cards at the $2-4 game.

Sahara: Decent comps and table side eating from the Sahara cafe. Tourney is one of the best. Dealers and players vary as it's closer to a downtown Vegas feel.

Wynn: Opening night was cool, Negraneu is a good ambassador to have. Room is cramped, tables are small, but you might see some stars, and the Wynn itself is luxurious enough.

Out of all these rooms, I like the simplicity, space, and fun of the Excalibur. Even though the place itself is depressing, you'll never take more bad beats, win more times, hear more bad jokes, or have more good times anywhere else. "YOU CAN SEE A FLOP FOR A DOLLAR."

Overall Vegas is livelier than the Midwest rooms due to the surrounding atmosphere. You'll take way more bad beats on any given trip because people are there to gamble, but long-term you can flourish. The wait is shorter because of all the rooms open now and influx of dealers. Some dealers are really bad, so protect yourself. Some dealers are really good, so TIP them well! The comps are still there if you ask, and grinding out 12 hours in no-limit is normal, so you can net that cheeseburger and fries for free. Where else can get endless dissertations on the probability of Aces (rockets, bullets, pocket A's, American Airlines, etc.) holding up from a 23 yr old college kid or a housewife who became experts 2 months ago. The no-limit isn't really no-limit, but at least you can lose all your chips on one hand when your KQ runs into AQ so you have a story to remember your GOOD TIMES IN LOW LIMIT VEGAS POKER WHEN YOU GET BACK TO THE MIDWEST.

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