Gank's Guide to Las Vegas: WSOP Edition

Published on May 17th, 2009

Every year, right around this time, an energy starts to take over the poker World, as thousands of players travel millions of miles to take part in poker's biggest festival, the World Series of Poker. As people start to trickle in, it doesn't take long for them to either go out and party with friends as a way to relax, regroup, and have fun before the big dance, or to head to the poker tables and start down the road towards their goals. It won't be long before dreams are realized and hearts will be crushed, and preparing yourself for success may very well be the difference. As I get ready to spend my seventh consecutive Summer in Las Vegas, I feel I have picked up a few tricks along the way to make the journey a smoother, more enjoyable ride, which hopefully translates into more fun and money! Here is my collection of tips and tidbits for Vegas this Summer.

Tips for WSOP:

* Sign up for WSOP events as soon as possible, lines can get very long. Late-night signing up works well too. You can always unregister later, so registering for all your planned events is not a bad idea either.

* On tournament days, dinner reservations can help avoid a lot of chaos as thousands of players head to a handful of restaurants at the Rio.

* Avoid using your whole break waiting in line for the bathroom, try to get a jump on the crowd as the level ends.

* The best time for cash games is usually the first two weeks once the WSOP starts, and then the time surrounding the Main Event. This is when the freshest money comes into town, get to work!

* Do not become overwhelmed by all the hoopla that goes on at the Rio, or become frustrated with things that are out of your hands. Stay focused on the game and the things that have gotten you this far.

* The Rio also has a regular poker room that runs games, located near hotel registration area.

* Take care of your dealers.

Poker on the Strip:

Bellagio (pictured): King of the cash games. The floor can be a little snobbish, but almost all higher limit poker is played here.

Caeser's Palace: Daily NLHE tourneys will be held here this summer. The staff does a strong job and the tourney area is separate from the cash games, which are generally low limit.

Venetian: Nicely run tourneys on a daily basis, which has made their acclaimed 'Deep stack Extravaganzas' popular. Good chips, good structures, good times.

Wynn: A smaller room with a comfortable feel. Staff is generally awesome and it's one of my favorite places to play. Low to mid limit cash games are available, and the floor is very accommodating in starting new games, including mix games and my personal favorite, Chinese Poker!

Poker Downtown:

Binion's: Ever wonder what poker was like 20 years ago? Wonder no more! Just travel down to Binion's for a glimpse into the late 80's, where no one bluffs or re-raises you with less then aces! Tournaments are run extremely well by a very competent staff.

Golden Nugget: Tournaments sometimes have trouble getting good numbers, but are run well. The 'Nugget' was cool with poker way before poker was cool.



Clubs in Vegas can be awesome, especially with the right mix of company, know-how, and, of course, drinks. The way Vegas works, every day of the week designates a different hot spot, i.e. every Tuesday most clubbers in Vegas will go Tao. It is important to know which days are where because you do not want to go to a hot spot unless you are willing to get a VIP table, as it will be a terrible time with you being barely able to move and it is impossible to get drinks. Instead go to the cool clubs on their off nights, there will still be plenty of people to mingle with, and it will be a much more fun and sociable. Ghost Bar on top of The Palms offers an amazing view of the strip and is one of my favorite bars/clubs in Vegas.

Beer Pong:

Does the thought of hitting an overtime, game-winning shot with a ping-pong ball sound amazing to you? I have a spot for you! Blondies -- located in the Miracle Mile shops in Planet Hollywood. You can play anytime, but call up to find out when they have their weekly beer pong tournaments, $10 entry to win a $200 bar tab!


Maybe you didn't come to Vegas to bowl, but maybe there isn't much to do in Vegas either. The main places for bowling are The Orleans, The South Point, and Lucky Strike located in the Rio. Grab a few friends and get your hustle on!


Las Vegas has some very nice courses, with The Wynn having one of the most amazing ones, although the green fees are astronomical. There are plenty of other courses to play that are fun and affordable. I highly recommend that you get tee times early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as summertime in Las Vegas is no joke.


Sushi Roku: Located in Caeser's Palace, it has some of the best sushi in Vegas.

Fiamma Trattoria: This Italian restaurant is in the MGM, it has a great atmosphere and amazing food.

Fix: This steak and seafood gem is located in the Bellagio. Typical Bellagio, amazing and pricey.

I wish everyone the best of luck this year!

* Brett gank Jungblut is a World Series of Poker bracelet holder (2004 $5,000 Omaha Hi/Lo World Championship) and former Top 10 ranked online tournament player. From 2003-2005, gank was among the highest volume online poker players on the Net. His poker training site,, features content from some of poker's biggest names and is now offered free to the public. Brett is also a member of the original "Crew" that was televised on ESPN during the 2004 WSOP.



  1. <p>GANK OWNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p>

  2. <p>may I say... gank owns...</p>

  3. <p>Sushi Roku blows.  Naked Fish pwns.</p>

  4. <p>No tips on slowrolling?</p>

  5. <p>great article.  helpful, useful, and insightful. </p>

  6. <p>Tuesday is Pure, Thursday is Tao</p>

  7. <p>gank is my original poker hero</p>

  8. <p>Great article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p>

  9. <p>For a good place to escape everything for a few hours..check out Red Rock Canyon.  It's only about 1/2 hour drive from the strip.  Great scenery.</p>

  10. <p>Gank owns!</p>

  11. <p>ty as this will be my first time in vegas. good info</p>

    <p>Flanders is it really that great because a couple of people want to go and i thought they were busting my balls.</p>

  12. <p>OBV GANK OWNS nice article sir see ya in Vegas.</p>

  13. <p>Ruit for money?</p>

  14. <p>ya naked fish>sushi roku</p>

  15. <p>thanks Gank!</p>

  16. <p>Very well written. Just another reason why gank owns.</p>

  17. <p>You can play against gank every Sunday in the Gank Open! Google it.</p>

    <p>There are a couple of places on the strip (across from the Wynn at the Fashion Mall and near the Flamingo) that sell discount tickets to the hottest shows. The headline shows are all worth seeing.</p>

  18. <p>This year is going to be a blast.  </p>

    <p>Where is the P5 party</p>

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