Thursday 13th April, 2017

Vegas summer tournament lowdown

By Mad Harper

The World Series of Poker may grab a lot of poker headlines, but it’s by no means the only big event happening in Las Vegas this summer. Tear yourself away from the Rio and there’s a ton of other tourney offerings around the city.


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Big festivals are taking place throughout May, June and July, with buy-ins to suit players of all kinds. These include the 2017 ARIA Poker Classic, the Venetian’s DeepStack Extravaganza III and the 2017 Phamous Poker Series Goliath at Planet Hollywood along with the Golden Nugget’s Grand Poker Series, Binion’s Poker Jam and the Wynn Summer Classic.


Vegas summer – at a glance

World Series of Poker – Rio, 74 events, May 30 to July 18
2017 Phamous Poker Series Goliath Planet Hollywood, May 25 – July 13
2017 ARIA Poker Classic – ARIA, 66 events, June 2 to July 9
DeepStack Extravaganza III – the Venetian, 110 events, May 15 – July 23
Grand Poker Series – Golden Nugget, 57 events, May 30 - July 3
Binions – Binions, 18 events, June 2-19
Wynn Summer Classic – the Wynn, 29 events, June 2 – July 16


Aria Poker Classic
The 2017 ARIA Poker Classic runs June 2 to July 9 at the ARIA Resort and Casino and is one of several series offering a lower buy-in alternative to the World Series of Poker at the Rio.  The Aria Poker Classic schedule features a $400 NL morning tournament and a $240 NL evening tournament on most days, with an occasional extra tournament thrown in.


The flagship event on the schedule is the WPT500, a giant $565 buy-in event featuring nine different starting flights; the first seven take place once a day from June 26 through to July 2 (at 11 am PT each day) with the final two “turbo” flights on Monday, July 3 – at 11 am and 7 pm.  Day 2 is on Tuesday, July 4 with the tournament’s final the next day. This is the fourth WPT500 at ARIA. All events on the ARIA Poker Classic schedule, with the exception of the $1k NLH and the WPT500, are one-day tournaments.


The Venetian’s summer DeepStack Extravaganza III still remains one of the most popular series on offer in Las Vegas, despite the anti-online poker stance of owner Sheldon Adelson. This year, the Venetian poker room is going bigger than ever before, with 110 events and more than $21 million in guaranteed prize pools.

The DeepStack Extravaganza III takes place May 15 to July 23 with a wide variety of events, including no-limit hold'em, pot-limit Omaha, Omaha 8-or-Better and Big O, with buy-ins ranging from $200 to $10,000.

Some of the highlights include a $200k guaranteed $600 No-Limit Hold'em SuperStack, $1m guaranteed $10k High Roller, the $2.5m guaranteed Mid-States Poker Tour Event, a $600 Seniors Event ($400k guaranteed), $1,600 NLH tourney ($2m guaranteed) and a $3,500 NLH event with $3m guaranteed.


Planet Hollywood
The popular Planet Hollywood poker series kicks off May 25 — almost a full week before the WSOP — and runs through until July 13, with more than $7.5 million in guaranteed prize pools. The 2017 Phamous Poker Series Goliath opens with the ULTIMATE GOLIATH, a $600 buy-in event with three starting flights. There are a several other GOLIATH Stack events during the series, highlighted by the Goliath Milly ($1m guaranteed) on June 4, the $2m guaranteed GOLIATH 2017 Main Event on June 28 and The Grand Finale ($1 Million Guaranteed) on July 9. Last year, Jan Schwippert won the $1,650 Goliath Phamous Poker Series Main Event for $300k after defeating a 2,332-entry field. There was an eight-way chop at the final table.


Golden Nugget
The Golden Nugget's annual Grand Poker Series is back for a 10th edition this summer. The series, which runs alongside the World Series of Poker and several other poker series during the summer in Las Vegas, runs from May 30 through July 3 with a total of 57 events.

The Grand Poker Series is one of several lower-buy-in options available during this summer, with most tournaments ranging from $150 to $570. While the series features predominantly no-limit hold'em events, a handful of Omaha, stud and other mixed game tourneys are also in the mix. The Grand Poker Series is certainly considered one of the better tournament series for low-stakes players and the downtown location makes it a must-visit destination in its own right.

The biggest buy-in event this year is the $1,000 Seniors Super High Roller on June 17. It's one of five Seniors events at the Golden Nugget running from June 15-20, and conveniently ties in with the WSOP’s Seniors events on June 16 and June 18.

The 2017 Grand Poker Series finishes with a $500K Guarantee NLH tournament from June 29-July 2. The $570 buy-in event has three starting flights and was won last year by Darrell Smith after he and runner-up Robert Stan did a heads-up deal guaranteeing them more than $100,000 for each.

Binion's Poker Classic
Binion’s Gambling Hall is the place that made poker famous and is an iconic destinations among poker players for its unmatched legacy. Binion's has a feast of tourneys on offer this summer including a great mix of non-No Limit Hold’em events. The schedule features nightly $125 buy-in NL tournaments (from June 3 to July 4) as well as $20k guarantee and $50k guarantee PLO events, $20k gte HORSE, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Razz and a WSOP qualifier (on June 19).  



Wynn Summer Classic
The annual Wynn Summer Classic returns this year with more than $5 million in guaranteed prize pools. With around 29 events, there is something for everyone nearly every single day The series kicks off Friday, June 2 and runs through Sunday, July 16. Events include $50k and $100k guarantee NL tourneys as well as the $1m guarantee Main Event which has four start flights from June 14 and the $1m guarantee NLH Championship starting July 4.