Travel Fanboy

Low Roller Poker Tournament Tips

In lucky episode 13, I share some advice from Rob, author of Rob’s Vegas and Poker Blog and PokerAtlas affiliate. I asked him about some of the best tournaments in Vegas overall and some low roller options. Here are the highlights of his thoughtful response:

Best Daily Tournament: Aria’s $125 at 1PM & 7PM.  Great structure, big fields (well over 100 players) resulting in big prize pools.  Very well run and you’re playing in arguably the nicest poker room in town.
Best Saturday Tournament: Binions 2PM Deepstack, $140. Has an even a more generous structure than Aria.  Very well run…but of course, it is downtown, so could be a plus or a minus, depending on taste.
Biggest Regular Tournament: Orleans $125 Fridays at 7PM. Great structure and over 250 runners every week which creates a huge prize pool.


Low Roller Options:

Treasure Island has four $65 tournaments a day which are good for the price, and the 2PM and 10PM both have $1K guarantees.  Sometimes they have overlays, making them an even better value.

The Linq has five $40 tournaments which are not bad for the price.

MGM has a $35 re-buy tournament (with unlimited re-buys) at 11AM daily for the early risers.  And $50 Turbos at 2PM & 10PM.  Those are fairly popular and don’t take up much time.


General Tips:

The more the cost, the longer the tournament can be expected to run.  Make sure you have you enough time to play it all the way through.  In other words, don’t play the Aria 1PM if you have 7PM dinner reservations.

Best tip for picking a tournament other than what I just wrote, use PokerAtlas to compare and contrast the buy-ins, admin fees, starting stacks and level times.

If you’re just in town for a few days, pick a tournament in a room you like, you’re more likely to enjoy it than in a room you’re not comfortable in.


Basic Strategy:

The smaller the buy-in/starting stack, the more aggressive you have to be early.  The smaller buy-ins turn into shove-fests by the third level or so.  You have to be aggressive and figure out a way to get chips.  Deeper stacks (the ones that cost over $100) give you a chance to play more conservatively and work into it.
Study your opponents, and learn their tendencies.  And pay attention to their stacks.  If a guy seems to be playing tight but suddenly has a short stack, he might be raising or shoving with a less than premium hand, because he’s desperate.

*This may not be word for word, as I edited his thoughts for formatting reasons

This is all great information and I can’t agree more. I especially like that he noted that an important thing to remember is to play in a room where you’re comfortable. The overall goal is to have fun, atmosphere is a big part of that. Be sure to check out both Rob’s poker blog and PokerAtlas for great insight, reviews, and trip reports.

For more articles, be sure to check out the Your Poker Dealer blog as well.

Thanks to listeners who’ve shared their thoughts. Listener @ismebsb is a fan of Mandalay Bay and listener @elfritobandito_ likes the Treasure Island $65 tournaments. @Victorochodiaz likes Caesars during football season because the splash the pot after every score during certain games. Have a favorite tournament or poker room? Let me know in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you!


photo credit: slgckgc


Host of the Vegas Fanboy podcast. A reluctant Millennial. An amateur human.

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