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 several 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 casinos 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 first time around. 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. Sadly, the resort fees have gotten steep over the years, so our more recent visits have been to an AirBnB. But the Palazzo will always be our first Vegas home.
Although the room is certainly the star of my initial Palazzo/Venetian experience, the whole complex is wonderful. It is pleasant to walk through the faux canal area that connects the two casinos. There are great restaurants everywhere and good quick food options in the St. Mark’s square area. There seem to be nice shopping choices for those into such things. The gaming areas themselves are at the high end in terms of the look and feel among the major Las Vegas casinos. While not as expensive or elegant as the Wynn, the Palazzo charges higher than the median price for rooms on the strip. I promise you it is well worth it.
OK, enough of the general resort experience. Let’s get to the poker room.
The Venetian Poker Room
Heather and I have played tournaments at the Venetian Poker Room three times. The Venetian poker room went through a significant transformation in 2016, and again during the pandemic. They have lost several tables by shrinking the room space significantly. Poker Atlas currently reports that they have 32 tables, but we believe that to be an over-estimate. The room also seemed a bit dimmer than I remember, but that could just be my rapidly aging eyesight. Because they were a bit washed out, discerning chip denominations from one another across the table was a challenge. However, the tables remain nicely spread out with comfortable elbow room and comfortable chairs.
In April of 2017, we played in a Sunday evening DeepStacks Extravaganza tournament. Special tournaments happen so regularly at the Venetian that they might as well be daily tournaments. This was a $200 rebuy tournament (15,000 chips, 20 minute blinds, antes start at level 4. Players were stronger overall than those we played against at Caesar’s the night before. Meanwhile, the Aria offered stiffer competition the following evening.The Venetian's highly skilled and efficient dealers kept good control of tableClick To Tweet
In fall of 2022,the Venetian offers two tournaments daily, generally a $300 No Limit and a $400 No Limit tournament. However, the exact buy-ins and structures vary from day to day. And, as we mentioned, the Venetian frequently holds “special series”. So be sure to check Poker Atlas or the Venetian’s own website if you plan to play a tournament on your visit.
The Venetian’s highly skilled and efficient dealers kept good control of table, if not always consistent about announcing raises. The floors actively managed the action and no major issues developed. The tournament was professionally run (as you’d expect at a large Vegas cardroom). Service was prompt, although we did not order anything other than water. Wait times did not seem inordinately long for those around us. Tipping was low stress and convenient, as you just put what you want in a box away from the table. There is a dealer hold out from your entry, so large tips are not expected.
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There is a lot of cash poker activity at the Venetian as well. If you are interested in playing cash poker in Las Vegas, check out our recent analysis of cash poker activity in Nevada, and see what you can expect each day of the week on our Nevada cash poker page.
Obviously, there are a lot of poker options in Las Vegas. Our current favorite is the new Resorts World poker room down the street. We particularly enjoy the Aria poker room, as well. The Venetian poker room, however, is one of the best in terms aesthetics, comfort, and professionalism.
As I said earlier the Venetian/Palazzo complex is filled with great dining options. One of our favorites is Yardbird. Close to the Venetian poker room, Yardbird offers great Southern-style food featuring a fabulous fried chicken. Most plates are meant to be shared; the fried chicken is certainly enough for two as a main course. Side dishes of biscuits and grits with cheddar cheese are also very good.
The Venetian offers a first-rate, Las Vegas professional poker experience. The surrounding Palazzo/Venetian complex is spectacular with large, unforgettable rooms. Vegas has a wide array of great poker options obviously, but the Venetian easily rates among top echelon rooms.