Planet Hollywood sits on the Las Vegas Strip surrounded by a variety of notable poker venues. To the north on the East side lies the Venetian, while to the north on the West side is Caesars Palace. Across the street are the Bellagio and Aria. Planet Hollywood is right in the midst of the Strip action. In June we got a chance to drop in for the Goliath poker series Tag Team Switch tournament. While we did not have the full Planet Hollywood poker room experience, we were able to assess the casino overall.
Planet Hollywood sits on the strip right next to Paris and across from the Aria. It is relatively close to McCarran airport as well. Planet Hollywood initially opened as the Aladdin, and fully renovated in 2000. But when the Aladdin fell on hard times in 2007, it was purchased by the Planet Hollywood Corporation (in conjunction with Starwood Hotels & Resorts) and renamed Planet Hollywood. Today the Planet Hollywood casino is one of the many Las Vegas properties (including the Rio, the Linq, The Flamingo, and Paris) owned by Caesar’s Entertainment Corporation.
Planet Hollywood’s central location is ideal as a base to walk to most of the other Strip casinos. Walk north and in about 20-30 minutes you can reach the top of the Strip (Wynn, Palazzo, and Venetian). Go south and you can reach the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. Also, as of this writing, Planet Hollywood’s self-parking remains blessedly free. Free parking is a dying breed on the Strip.
Planet Hollywood is full service Las Vegas casino. It features a hotel, a complete array of slots and table games, as well as a race and sports book. The casino also boasts many conference rooms. Reality TV show auditions were even taking place while we were there.
The Spice Market buffet, one floor below the main casino offers a nice variety of options (Mexican, Middle Eastern, seafood, and more). Other dining options include a Strip House Steakhouse and Koi, a Japanese restaurant. There are close to a dozen other casual and fast food options in the casino proper that encompass your typical casino fare. These include a burger joint, pizza, sandwiches, Starbucks, Mexican, and Chinese. Addtionally, there are a wide variety of options in the attached Miracle Mile Mall.
The Miracle Mile Mall offers over 200 retail options adjacent to the casino. Finally, if an impulsive mood strikes any unmarried couples out there, there a wedding chapel awaits.
The gaming floor itself was visually overwhelming. The aisles around and through the casino wound around making it somewhat difficult to orient oneself. The Planet Hollywood casino is also quite loud.If you like being surrounded by the noise of slot machines and the bustle of crowds, the Planet Hollywood poker room will be right up your alley.Click To Tweet
The Planet Hollywood Poker Room Comfort
The ten table Planet Hollywood poker room is the least “room” we have seen. The poker room comprises a rather amorphous area plopped down amid slot machines in the casino’s main gaming area. There is no entrance to the poker area, no notable signage, and really no separate identity. As the “room” is part of the casino floor, is both smoky and loud. It also felt surprisingly dark. The space the poker room has been allotted covers a very small footprint, so the ten tables are packed pretty tightly.
Nonetheless, the felts were clean, cushioned, and featured an attractive design. The adjustable chairs were well padded and on wheels. The chips were clean, if a bit worn. There were TVs on posts ringing the area.
The tournament we played was held upstairs outside the poker room. So we don’t have a good idea how it would feel to play an extended time in this area. However, the environment seemed unfriendly to the poker player who’s not a fan of the general casino atmosphere.
Poker Room Staff
In the very enjoyable Goliath event that we played, the dealers were highly variable. Some were very skilled and fast. Others struggled mightily to deal at a reasonable pace and correctly award pots. Given this event was held during the World Series of Poker, which requires an enormous number of dealers for not only WSOP events, but to fill other casino tournament series as well, it was a bit hard to determine how many of these were full-time Planet Hollywood dealers.
The floors generally ran the wild tag team switch tournament well, and with the level of seriousness it merited (low). One floor was a bit confused about the seating rules for players joining late after the first hand switch, but no one could blame her. Chaos reigned.
Players at the Planet Hollywood Poker Room
We’ll need to give this an incomplete grade, as most of the tournament players were clearly in town as part of the wider WSOP frenzy. This was in no way the Planet Hollywood’s typical player population.
The Planet Hollywood poker room offers a single standard tournament that they run four to five times per day. The buy-in is $80, with a starting stack of 15K chips and 20 minute blind levels. The rake of $22 (28%) is fairly substantial. On Sunday mornings, the tournament increases to a $135 buy-in (rake drops to 24%) with a $5 staff bonus add-on for an additional $5K in chips. Blind levels remain at 20 minutes until level 9 when they increase to 25 minutes.
Cash Game Activity
There were 5-6 active cash tables going on during our our Sunday afternoon tournament.
Overall Assessment of the Planet Hollywood Poker Room
If you like being surrounded by the noise of slot machines and the bustle of crowds, the Planet Hollywood poker room will be right up your alley. This, however, is not our cup of tea. They do provide very comfortable chairs at least. Given that we only played a special tournament at Planet Hollywood that was not even held in the tournament room, we can not offer a fully holistic review. Unfortunately, the setting of the “room” makes it very unlikely that we’ll revisit the Planet Hollywood poker room on a future Vegas excursion.
- Tournament Structures
If you like being surrounded by the noise of slot machines and the bustle of crowds, the Planet Hollywood poker room will be right up your alley. This, however, is not our cup of tea. Unfortunately, the setting of the “room” makes it very unlikely that we’ll revisit the Planet Hollywood poker room on a future Vegas excursion.