The Aria is one of Las Vegas’s most breathtaking upscale hotels. A relatively recent addition to the Vegas landscape (it opened in 2009), it offers a modern and sleek look and endless luxury offerings. The Aria poker room transmits that sense of elegance and provides a top-shelf poker experience. We have played tournaments at the Aria in both 2016 and 2017. The Aria certainly did not disappoint, save some minor issues.
Poker Room Setting
The interior of the Aria Las Vegas poker room is striking. Vibrant reds and various shades of brown give the room a deep and rich feel, as do the architecture and drapes that frame the room. The swivel chairs are plush and comfortable, but not too oversized (like we ran into at Playground Poker Club). There is plenty of room between you and your table mates. However, the 24 tables are not housed in a very big space, so there is a somewhat cramped feel to the room overall. There is much less room to move around compared with The Venetian poker room, for example. Overall, the room is somewhat dark, although the tables were lit sufficiently. As the Aria Las Vegas poker room is also largely open to the casino, noise can be an issue if you are seated at a table near the edge of the space. The biggest drawback, however, is the smoke. Although the poker room is smoke-free, we found more smoke wafting in to the poker room from the Aria casino than we experienced at some of the other elite Vegas rooms.
The quality of the dealers and floors is probably where the Aria distinguished itself most. The dealers were fast, highly skilled, and knew what they were doing. The floors were very attentive and kept the tournament moving, balancing the tables quickly when needed. The entire staff seemed dedicated to the players’ well-being and the overall atmosphere is very professional. Table service likewise is swift and responsive with frequent circulation by the many waitresses assigned to the room.
Players at the Aria Las Vegas Poker Room
When we last visited in 2017, we found the players at the Aria stronger on average than those at the Venetian or Caesar’s Palace. This did not make the tournaments unplayable, as there were still plenty of recreational players (largely tourists) in our tournaments. There were definitely soft players at our tables. The regulars were moderately friendly to the tourist base, but definitely took their poker seriously. Overall, the tournaments that we played at the Aria offered a nice balance of competition and sociability.The Aria Las Vegas provides an elegant poker experience with well-run tournaments and good blind structures.Click To Tweet
Poker Tournament Structures
The Monday 1pm $125 tournament that we played most recently hosted 115 runners. The robust prize pool paid out 13, and several spots pulled in $1,000+. With 10,000 chips to start and 30 minute blinds, opening with a 25/50 level, this tournament offered a chance to play some real poker. As of this writing, it appears that the tournament buy-ins have bumped up a bit over the past year (the equivalent Monday 1pm is $140 now). Still certainly reasonable buy in for an advantageous tournament structure. The larger weekend morning tournaments offering a 20,000 chip starting stack and 30 minute blinds is only $240. Truly great value tournaments are hard to find. Few top our favorite local room, Hampton Falls, in New Hampshire. The Aria holds its own in the Vegas poker scene in this regard.
Overall Assessment of the Poker Room
While tight space, noise, and smoke should have been enough to put us off the Aria Las Vegas, they did not. In fact, we came out of our 2016 Las Vegas trip preferring our tournament experience at Aria over those at Caesars Palace and the Venetian. The quality of the staff, solid tournament structures, and amiable play carried the day for us. We will definitely be returning to the Aria Las Vegas poker room the next time we are in town.
The Aria poker room is elegant and attractive with comfortable chairs. Unfortunately, the tight space, noise from the adjoining casino, and smoky atmosphere limit the experience. However, the quality of the staff more than makes up for these drawbacks. The tournaments offer reasonable buy-ins and decent structures. All in all, the Aria offers one of the best poker experiences in Las Vegas.