The Mirage Poker Room Review
***As of November 2020, The Mirage poker room has closed permanently
The Mirage poker room is perfectly situated in middle of the Vegas Strip between Caesar’s Palace and Treasure Island. This ideal location allows great access to poker players staying at many of the Strip hotels. The Mirage provides a happy medium for the visiting poker player: contemporary and nice enough, but small, and perhaps without the intimidation that larger rooms may convey.
Setting and Non-Poker Amenities
The Mirage is not as grand as Caesar’s or as fancy as the Wynn or Aria. But it’s certainly more upscale than many of the Strip offerings. There are plenty of higher end restaurant options on site, but there are also chain offerings such as California Pizza Kitchen and Starbucks. There is a nice range of dining options at the property, both in terms of type of cuisine and price point.
The Mirage also offers some significant entertainment options. Ventriloquist Terry Fator has a longstanding residency at the Mirage, and the property hosts Cirque du Soleil’s well regarded Beatles themed show Love.
As in many casinos, there is a sportsbook next to the poker room.
The Mirage Poker Room Comfort
The Mirage remodeled their poker room in 2015, bringing it from 19 down to its current 12 tables. Despite the decrease in size, this apparently brightened the room. The room is not fully walled off from the casino. However, it does have the sense of being a separate space, with a front railing and being recessed back from the slot machines. Despite not being fully walled off, the room was not smoky.
The slightly vaulted interior ceiling of the Mirage poker room is framed by attractive horizontal wood beams. The back wall, has a funky design that is a bit incongruous to the rest of the room. But overall the room is visually pleasant. The tables have attractive purple felt and are clean and well-kept. The chairs are well padded and fairly comfortable. Tables are decently spaced. The chips are very clean and look new. Although the poker room’s lighting is not very bright, it illuminates enough to see hole cards and the flop easily. The room has a few medium size TVs are on the walls which are not visible from all tables. So if you want to watch some sports with your poker, this may not be the room for you.
Overall, the room feels warm, comfortable, and intimate.
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Poker Room Staff
The dealer quality was highly variable. The first dealer I had was a little tentative, which slowed things down quite a bit. But some dealers were quite fast and skilled. The registration staff, floors and dealers were all friendly and accommodating. While tournament we played was professionally run, the staff seemed to prioritize players enjoying themselves. Overall, the room lacked the “poker snob” quality that plagues some Las Vegas venues. Drink service staff were attentive and prompt. It was apparent that a couple of players downed several cocktails during the course of this brief tournament.
Players at the Mirage Poker Room
There was a wide range of players in the daily tournament that we took part in. There were wild young guns alongside very tight older players. A couple of players were felted within a few hands and quickly rebought (re-entry only ran through the first 3 levels). As at the Orleans, there were a lot of women playing which added to the open and welcoming feel of the game. Several players were very gregarious, attempting to engage the entire table in discussion. While players’ focus drifted at times because of the more social nature of the game, few players seemed to get irritated.The intimate Mirage poker room provides a less intense alternative for the Vegas poker scene.Click To Tweet
We played in a $65 re-buy tournament with an $18 rake (a sizable 27%). Even the $100 Mirage daily tournament takes $25 out of the prize pool. The Mirage’s highest weekly buy-in of $120 (offering their best structure), holds out $28 (23%). In short, the rake is pretty substantial for all Mirage poker room tournaments.
Our tournament (with a 10,000 chip starting stack and 20 minute blinds) played incredibly fast. The problem isn’t just the modest starting stack and short blind levels; the level increases in the middle stage of the tournament are very aggressive. Within two hours everyone was short stacked. Although not labelled as such, this was really a turbo tournament. The field ended up to have 35 players, so payouts were modest.
The Mirage poker tournaments are definitely not a must-stop for the intense tournament player. The daily games are just not large enough and take too much of a bite out of the prize pool. But if you are looking for a fun, laid back poker experience, the Mirage may just fit the bill.
Cash Game Activity
There were a few cash tables active during the tournament, but several of the 12 tables were empty throughout the evening. This may be do to the fact that the day we visited the WSOP was in town. The games going were mostly low blind no limit and limit games with some Omaha mixed in. The Mirage has historically been known as a locals venue for cash poker games. Although, we can not confirm or deny that reputation by our experience there.
Overall Assessment of the Mirage Poker Room
Not every poker experience needs to be intense, focused, and serious. We’ve played our share of deep stacked tournaments where it takes 10-12 hours to make the top 3-4 spots. While we love those well-structured tournaments and the challenge of competing with generally good players, sometimes the more freewheeling short-stack game has its appeal. The intimate Mirage poker room provides a less intense alternative for the Vegas poker scene. Players at the Mirage poker room were having fun, being a little silly at times, and not incredibly focused. The Mirage seemed to understand their clientele and catered to them well.
The intimate Mirage poker room provides a less intense alternative for the Vegas poker scene. The staff and dealers are all friendly and accommodating. While professionally managed, the staff seemed to prioritize players enjoying themselves to running a tight game. Overall, the room lacked the “poker snob” quality that plagues some Las Vegas venues.