In what will be its final year hosting the World Series of Poker, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino will be the center of the poker universe for the next two months. But as experienced live poker players know, while the majority of the top poker pros and recreational players taking a shot will be focusing their attention on the WSOP, there are plenty of other great options all around town.
Here’s our guide to the tournaments and cash games you should consider outside of the WSOP.
The Wynn Is This Year’s Best High-Stakes Alternative
Players looking for tournaments with buy-ins of over $1,000 away from the Rio in the coming months will have plenty to choose from on this year’s 2021 Wynn Fall Classic schedule. The series includes five different tournaments with three Day One’s that all cost at least $1,600 to enter and have guaranteed prize pools of $1 million or more. Two of those tournaments are Mystery Bounty events that will award bounty prizes ranging from $500 up to $250,000.
There will be other high-stakes options to choose from around town including the Aria Resort & Casino’s October High Roller Series (which includes three $10,000 events). The Wynn’s schedule is the most consistent though, and these guaranteed prize pools could entice players more interested in cash than bracelets.
Check out the 2021 Wynn Fall Classic schedule right here.
The Aria and Venetian Make For Nice Getaway Spots
The Autumn at Aria series runs from October 5 through November 14. The same tournament will be running almost every day; a $400 No-Limit Hold’em tournament with a $40,000 guarantee starting at 11 am. With a 25,000 chip starting stack, 30-minute blinds, and a one-day format, these events should play a lot like the Rio Deepstacks have in previous years.
The Aria runs great tournaments and has one of the nicest poker rooms in Las Vegas. These won’t be the softest fields in Las Vegas, but the quality of play plus a decent guarantee and structure, as well as the price point of these beefed-up dailies, should make the Aria an excellent place to play in tournaments and cash games away from the WSOP and the Wynn.
The same could be said for The Venetian. The Venetian has been running its DeepStack tournament series non-stop since Las Vegas re-opened last year. They’ll be doing so again during this time frame with the DeepStack Championship Poker Series. Players looking for slightly higher buy-ins in the $600 to $800 range and multi-day tournaments will find plenty of options at the Venetian. Like the Aria, this is a highly-rated poker room that runs tournaments well and has nice cash games to play in as well.
Check out the Autumn At Aria schedule right here.
Don’t Sleep On NLHE Offerings at The Golden Nugget & The Orleans
Many poker players don’t even put casinos like the Golden Nugget or The Orleans on their radar during the WSOP. Those that do are usually circling the low buy-in mixed games or Seniors tournaments that are generally not offered on other schedules. And you will certainly find those types of events at both the Golden Nugget’s Grand Poker Series and the Orleans’ 2021 Fall Poker Series.
But what you’ll also find is a handful of No-Limit Hold’em events that will feature the softest tournament fields in town during the WSOP. Strong high-stakes players will be playing at the Rio and the Wynn and strong low-to-mid stakes players will be playing at the Aria or the Venetian. The great players playing in the tournaments at the Orleans and the Golden Nugget will be few and far between.
This is especially true at the Golden Nugget. The Orleans is at least close enough to the Rio to draw some strong NLH players looking for a low buy-in bankroll builder. Very few poker players on or near the Strip are going to head downtown to play in a $200 buy-in event. Value hunters should take a long look at these tournament schedules (note: this series is currently only scheduled through Oct. 18).
Check out the Orleans 2021 Fall Poker Series schedule right here.
Check out the Golden Nugget Grand Poker Series schedule right here.
Find Soft Cash Games at Resorts World Las Vegas
It’s difficult to know for sure what the atmosphere in the Resorts World Las Vegas poker room will be like during the WSOP as this will be the first year that it has ever been open during the series. On paper, though, there isn’t really any reason to expect many strong players to be playing there in October and November. It is inconveniently located far away from the Rio at the north end of The Strip and isn’t running a tournament series to compete with the WSOP.
With that in mind, the Resorts World Poker Room will likely be populated largely by tourists as opposed to poker regs. And with over 3,500 rooms available between the three Hilton properties, there shouldn’t be any shortage of tourists. Cash game players who are already on that side of the Strip after playing in a tournament at the Wynn might consider giving the Resorts World room a try instead of staying in the Wynn Poker Room’s shark-infested waters.