Las Vegas is a poker player’s dream. With over thirty different poker rooms on the Strip and around town, many offering tournament action, how do you decide where to play? Let us walk you through some of the best poker tournaments in Las Vegas. We will help you find the cheapest Las Vegas tournaments, those with the best structure, and those with the largest fields. Welcome to the Poker Pilgrim’s Ultimate Guide to the Best Poker Tournaments in Las Vegas
We have discussed elsewhere how to identify the best poker tournaments for you. If you are just interested in finding any poker tournament in Las Vegas, you may find our Poker Tournament Nevada page helpful. Also, if you are interested in learning about the norms for weekly poker tournaments across the US, you can see our write-up here. But if you are looking for our thoughts on the best poker tournaments in Las Vegas, read on.
Here we are discussing regular daily or weekly poker tournaments in Las Vegas. Las Vegas poker rooms offer many special tournaments during the year. Most of the larger rooms run large series regularly, with the biggest occurring alongside the World Series of Poker. But each room also has smaller tournaments that will run throughout the year as well. Along those lines, many poker rooms in Las Vegas pause their daily tournaments in June and July (as they put on their big series). So as always, check Poker Atlas and buyer beware.
Cheapest Las Vegas Poker Tournaments
Sometimes you have a low budget and you’re just looking for an affordable tournament. If you don’t have a lot of money to play poker, Las Vegas still has options. You’re not going to find super-cheap tournaments on the Strip, but if you are willing to go downtown on a Friday or Saturday night, The Poker Palace has you covered. At a mere $20 buy-in, this is the cheapest tournament in Las Vegas. With 15-minute blinds and a starting stack of only 4,000 chips, this one will run quickly. A $10 add-on, however, will get you another 3,000 chips at the end of the third level. And if you bust before that, the tournament offers unlimited rebuys of 1,000 chips for $5.
For just a bit more money down, The Westgate offers a $35 tournament several days a week. This tournament offers 13,000 chips. For another $35 you can add 30,000 to that stack, but that does double your price. If you stick with your original $35, you’d better play aggressive, because blinds are only 15 minutes, and at an S-Point structure of 11, this one plays blindingly fast.
If you are confined to the Las Vegas Strip, the cheapest tournament you will find is at the Mandalay Bay which runs a $60 twice a day most days of the week. Your $60 will get you 10,000 chips and 15-minute blinds. At 13 S-Points this one is again a bingo tournament, but you can always rebuy!
Vegas Tournaments with the Biggest Fields
If you are looking for big, rather than cheap, you will find your best poker tournaments in Las Vegas at The Orleans. The Orleans runs a $150 tournament most Fridays at 7pm that garners on average 270 players. As you might imagine, that adds up to a pretty big prize pool (approaching $32,000 for the $118 entry-after fees- if you’re counting). Unlike the cheap tournaments listed above, the Orleans offers 20,000 starting chips, 20-minute blinds, and a whopping 37 S-Points (that’s good).
For $200 The Wynn offers a tournament on Mondays at noon that draws an average of 227 players. The larger buy-in (compared to the Orleans tournament) results in an even larger prize pool of approximately $37,000 despite the lower number of entries. This one also offers 20,000 chips, but with 30-minute blinds and an even slower structure (47 S-Points). This definitely qualifies as one of the best poker tournaments in Las Vegas.
If you want to avoid the Strip, South Point is another strong option for big field tournaments in Las Vegas. On weekends (Friday through Sunday) at 10am South Point offers a $60 tournament which garners from 170 to 180 players depending on the day (Saturdays bring in the most players). The cheaper buy-in makes this a more accessible tournament, but also a much smaller average prize pool (generally around $10,000). Your $60 will buy you 15,000 chips and 20-minute blinds with a 20 S-point structure. If you’re looking for a big field on a lower budget, this tournament may be for you.
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Las Vegas Poker Tournaments with the Best Structures
If you have the time and the money and are just looking for the best value for your buy-in, you will probably focus on tournament structure. A good structure (which translates into high S-Points) means a nice long tournament with lots of play deep into the game.
Hands down, the Venetian offers the tournament with the best structure in Las Vegas. At 73 S-Points, the 11:10am daily tournament offers a lot of bang for your buck. The $400 to $500 buy-in (depending on the day) is not cheap, but combined with healthy fields of 70 to 144 players (Sunday brings in the most players) the result is some very healthy prize pools. And the 50,000 chip starting stack, 30-minute levels, and slow structure mean that if luck (and skill) is on your side, you can expect to play all day and into the night.
The Orleans offers a tournament on Sundays at the same time for $200 with a very healthy field (averaging 198 players) and 59 S-Points. This is another excellent choice for a tournament with a healthy prize pool that can be expected to run all day. This one starts with 20,000 chips and also offers 30-minute blinds.
The Aria also offers a high-value tournament on Friday and Saturday at about 11:00am. For $240 you will receive a starting stack of 20,000 chips, see 30-minute blinds, and enjoy a 58 S-Point structure. The fields are on average much smaller than the Orleans or Venetian tournaments, however, so the prize pools are not as large.
Best Poker Tournaments in Las Vegas Overall
Any of the above tournaments are great choices to meet your various poker goals. However, we believe that the Sunday $200 tournament at The Orleans brings together structure, size, and prize pool in a uniquely wonderful way. What’s more, The Orleans offers one of the most professional poker rooms in Las Vegas to ensure that your tournament runs smoothly and that your time at the table is enjoyable.
If you are trying to avoid the craziness of the Las Vegas strip or just can’t stomach a $200 buy-in, South Point‘s $60 weekend tournament is another good candidate. With a low buy-in and a large prize pool, this tournament offers a decent return on your money. The mid-range structure will make for a shorter tournament and invite a bit more luck into the game, but will get you out of the room before dinner unless you are lucky enough to run very deep.
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