Wednesday, August 31, kicks off what promises to be a great series of poker tournaments here in Reno. We start things off with the Peppermill’s Chop Pot Classic running through September 5. Then after ten days off we move right into the WPT Regional series at the Atlantis running from September 16 to September 25. With only a four day breather we then have the marathon of Grand Sierra’s Fall Pot of Gold from September 29 to October 17. That’s a lot of poker! And while you will surely want to play as many events as possible, in total, there are over $22,000 in buy-ins in the three series combined. So, unless you just won the lottery, you may want to choose your spots as far as which tournys you play. That’s where we come to your rescue. Here’s the low-down on each of the series.
Starting with the Peppermill Chop Pot Classic, the first thing you should know is that there won’t be a single no limit hold ‘em event in this series. As the name implies, most of the events will be hi-lo split games like Omaha8, Stud8 and Crazy Pineapple. There will also be a few of HORSE events thrown in for good measure. All of these events are limit poker except for one pot-limit Omaha8 event on September 1. So if limit poker isn’t your thing, just move on. Most of the events are going to have a $100 buy-in with a not-too-outrageous $20 vig. There are a couple $200 events with a $25 vig. Hopefully, the Peppermill will have revamped their structures that have, in the past, been a little brutal. But no matter what, you will surely enjoy the Peppermill’s gorgeous new room. I’ve talked about the room before, but in case you missed it, I’ll just sum it up by saying the room is the nicest in Nevada, bar none.
The next series of tournaments will be the WPT Regionals at Atlantis. Of the three, this is the one I’m looking forward to the most. Of the 26 events, all but 3 are no limit hold ‘em. Buy-ins range from $60+10 to $500+50 in the daily events, with three events a day at noon, 4 pm and 7 pm. The main event is a $2400+100 NLH event that will probably draw some major talent. For the most part, the juice they are charging is in line with or below what you pay everywhere else in the poker world. If the structures are anything like the ALL IN series last held at the Atlantis, the structures will be phenomenal. You will get more play for your buck here than anywhere else. Combine that with the large draw that having a WPT-branded event naturally has, and I’m predicting some large fields. I wouldn’t be surprised to see fields near 200 players. And the tournament area at the Atlantis (on the second floor between the casino and the convention center) is spacious and smoke-free with a great view of the mountains.
The final series is the Pot of Gold at the Grand Sierra. Although the facilities at the Grand Sierra may not be as nice as the other two venues, there are definitely some upsides to the series. To begin with, the structure is good. Also, the Pot of Gold will have one of the best tournament directors/staff you can find in the business. But what really will set this series apart from the other two is the amount of guaranteed money in the tournys. Through 52 events the Grand Sierra is guaranteeing ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Let me say that again, just because it’s so fun: ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Some of the guarantees are small, 15 to 20 thousand, and some are large, up to $250,000. There are generally three events per day at noon, 5 pm and 7 pm. Each noon event is a no limit hold ‘em event with a guarantee. Most of the 5 pm events are non-no limit hold ‘em that often also have a guarantee. The vigs are a little high on the events with a guarantee (an extra $5 to $10 over the usual amount), but there is likely to be some overlays on at least a few of the guaranteed tournys. That, combined with a generous “rake back” program makes these tournys a good value in the long run.
So there you have it. Two months of tourny madness coming to Reno. Enjoy.