Venetian Poker Room Review

The Venetian Poker Room Review

The Palazzo/Venetian Resort Casino

First, I must couch this review within my general affection for the Venetian/Palazzo complex at large.  My wife and I started our annual poker jaunts to Las Vegas three years ago. I was uncertain whether I would like Las Vegas at all. As much as I love poker, I do not necessarily groove to the full casino experience. An entire city  of that environment might prove to be too much for me.

Choosing the Palazzo as our hotel was the critical and fortunate first step to loving Vegas.  The rooms have a large, multi-level design complete with a desk, dinette set, square coffee table and huge wrap around couch. The bathroom is bigger than some hotel rooms I’ve rented in New York City! Our room at the Palazzo always feels more like a small, beautifully appointed apartment. Whenever I stay there, I never want to leave.

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San Diego: One of our favorite cities

Our 5 Favorite Cities in the US

As we ponder our Poker Pilgrimage, we need to decide where our year of travel will take us. We have three basic criteria for places to earn a spot on our journey, a location must either have a poker room (or rooms: Hello Las Vegas!) we want to visit, be a spot that we have never been but would like to go (such as Charleston, SC), or be one of our favorite cities, and thus worthy of a return trip. Today, we thought we would share our five favorite cities and start to pin some way-points on our journey.

Boston, MA

Boston: One of our favorite cities
The Boston Skyline

Boston is an easy one. We live in the Boston area, and thus this is where our journey will begin. Boston has history, museums, culture, natural beauty, and sports teams galore. For the first time visitor we would recommend the aquarium, the science museum, Faneuil Hall, a walk down the Freedom Trail, a walk along the Charles River, taking in a game (Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox, or Bruins depending on the season), and a visit to any of the many historic and beautiful outlying towns. Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, and numerous New Hampshire cardrooms are within a couple of hours if your poker jones needs to be fed.

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Mohegan Sun Poker Room

Mohegan Sun Poker Room Review

NOTE: This review was updated in September of 2019 to reflect substantial changes in poker room location, cash room activity, and tournament offerings.

Mohegan Sun moved its poker room in 2019. We recently stopped in for a visit to play a tournament and update this review. Previous to the move, having to wind through the Casino of the Sky and the Casino of the Wind, to find the poker room wasn’t an easy task. You had to pay pretty close attention to the signs at every bend. The journey was always worth it, as the Mohegan Sun poker room always provided a top-notch experience. However, the decision to move across the casino near the Autumn entrance, convenient to both the Indian Summer and RiverView garages, has made access to the room much better.

Mohegan Sun Setting

Mohegan Sun sits in the woods of Southeastern Connecticut right off of I-395 and not far from I-95. It’s very convenient to access, more so than its nationally recognized nearby rival Foxwoods which is farther off I-395 toward the Rhode Island border. Conveniently, if you want to sample both poker rooms, they are only about a 15-minute drive from one another. Mohegan Sun’s setting is slightly less scenic than Foxwoods, but you definitely know you are far from any large cities here. Nonetheless, you can reach several beautiful Connecticut and Rhode Island beach towns and coastal communities in under 30 minutes. One of our personal favorites is Mystic, Connecticut which is worth visiting in its own right.

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Building a Budget

Building a Budget for a Dream

Although our Poker Pilgrimage is still five years away, we spend a lot of time thinking about its viability and about building a budget for our dream. We are fortunate to work as consultants and thus know that we will be able to take our jobs on the road.  However, a year of travel (and poker!) will certainly lead to reduced hours, and a wide variety of costs (gas, food, and lodging for a start) that are different than those we face today.

Building a Budget
Building a Budget
Image by GotCredit.com

We also hope to reduce hours with our primary income source on this trip. While our main hustle pays well, it is not our favorite way to spend time. So we are actively looking for side hustles, both small and large, that will help increase our income as we are building a budget for this trip.

On the other hand, we plan to give up our apartment and one of our cars. We will also reduce or eliminate costs that we bear today. Initial targets include gas expenditures and groceries. Our Pilgrimage budget will help us get an idea of the costs we can expect during our year of travel, and tell us how much we need to start saving today.

Building a Budget for a DreamClick To Tweet

This is only a rough initial budget. We intend to update our budget regularly as we take deeper dives into each aspect of our trip. These posts can be found in our “Building the Stakes” thread.

For our first budget, we share our original baseline estimates for our yearlong trip.

Monthly Budget CategoryAmountNotes
Lodging1800Assumes $60/night at VRBO or AirBNB
FIOS0No cable
Utilities0No Utilities
Phone / Internet Access150Need to Explore Options
Health Insurance (couple)1200Need to Explore Options
Car Insurance (1 car)60
Groceries300Need to estimate
Accounting230
Gas400Need to calculate
Car Property Tax50
Medical100
Dining600Need to estimate
Entertainment200Need to estimate
Gifts200
Household0No household!
Poker1000Need to estimate
Charity50
Emergency Fund100
Total6440

As you can see, we are starting with a very rough estimate. Over time, we will fully explore each of the items above to refine our budget. We will share each of these explorations in a post so that you will learn the financial ins and outs of long-term travel along with us.

If you have any questions about our initial budget, feel free to ask in the comments.

 

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Poker Rooms Closed: Hampton Falls Poker Room Review

Hampton Falls Poker Room Review

UPDATE: Hampton Falls poker room was purchased by The Brook this spring. The beautiful old Hampton Falls room has since closed. We are saddened, as Hampton Falls was our very favorite New Hampshire poker room. However, we hope to see some of our favorite staff and structures coming to The Brook.

 

Hampton Falls Poker Room is the best poker experience in New Hampshire. For the player looking for a well-run room, quality dealers, and reasonably competitive play this is your spot. Want to match wits with tournament players who can actually fold correctly? Well, your chances here are far better than many of the other local rooms. We have played them all, from Seabrook to Chasers.

The cash games at Hampton Falls Poker Room can get fairly wild with loose aggressive play being a seeming badge of honor. But the tournament play is fabulous. We highly recommend Hampton Falls for those seeking tournament poker in southern New Hampshire.

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