Independence Day is just a few days away and Las Vegas is ready to celebrate. The Vegas Strip will light up in a way you’ll only see a couple times during the year. There are fireworks from Mandalay Bay to Stratosphere but that’s not all the fireworks action. You will find excellent fireworks shows off the Vegas Strip if you’d rather avoid the crowds.
Mandalay Bay – Mandalay Bay Beach will have concerts featuring the band 311 on July 3 and 4 to go along with their fireworks. Both shows will be followed by a fireworks show above the south end of the Vegas Strip. Doors open at 8 p.m. and performances start at 9 p.m. Tickets to the concert are $55.
Caesars Palace – Caesars Palace will begin their fireworks show at 9:15 p.m. sharp on July 4th. The fireworks are visible outside from most hotels in the center of the strip but you’ll get some of the best views from the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris and the High Roller observation wheel at The Linq.
Stratosphere – This fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. sharp and will go off from various points atop the Stratosphere tower. You can see these fireworks best from the Stratosphere but SLS Las Vegas has some excellent vantage points as well.
Green Valley Ranch – GVR will have a fireworks show on July 4th just after 9 p.m. The “We Love Locals’ July 4th Fireworks Blast” will be a nine-minute fireworks show produced by the world famous Grucci’s of New York. The fireworks can be seen outside just about anywhere in Henderson.
Red Rock Resort – Red Rock will have a fireworks show on July 4th just after 9 p.m. The “We Love Locals’ July 4th Fireworks Blast” will be a nine-minute fireworks show produced by the world famous Grucci’s of New York. The fireworks can be seen outside just about anywhere in Summerlin.
In addition to fireworks you’ll be able to find food and drink specials at different hotels and restaurants on the Vegas Strip. This special at PBR Rock Bar is one of the better deals available.
PBR Rock Bar is keeping it classic for the Fourth with a Burger/Dog + Brew combo deal. For just $15, guests can enjoy most of the restaurant’s specialty burgers (not including The Double Trouble) or hot dogs, plus a 16-ounce Pabst Blue Ribbon draft beer on Saturday, July 4. Guests can sit outside on the renovated patio’s picnic-style tables for a traditional Fourth of July vibe. They’re also offering the Cold One deal which is a Rock Dog (100 percent beef foot-long hot dog with bacon, onion, tomato, jalapenos and cheese) and a 16-ounce Pabst Blue Ribbon on draft served for 50 percent off, or right around $11.
Independence Day is one of the busiest times of the year in Las Vegas. With July 4 falling on a Saturday you should expect larger crowds than normal. If you want to see a show or go out to dinner make sure you have tickets and reservations.
Las Vegas is synonymous with many things including being called Sin City. It’s possible to have just about anything you can imagine when you’re in Las Vegas. That’s a large part of the mystery that attracts people to visit. However, not everyone is in the mood or needs to do something just because they can only do it in Las Vegas. There’s some comfort in doing things that are familiar. Here are some things that should be familiar to you at home but you probably wouldn’t expect to find or experience in Las Vegas.
Relive Your Childhood
Visit the Pinball Hall Of Fame is actually something you’ll only find in Las Vegas but it’s something you may still enjoy back home. You can relive the pinball games you grew up with. This interactive pinball museum is both historical and fun. The interactivity will cost you a quarter or two but the fun is free. The Pinball Hall of Fame is just off the Vegas Strip at 1610 E. Tropicana so you’ll need to hop in a cab for a quick ride.
Visit pinballmuseum.org for more information.
Check Out The Fishes
There are two options in Las Vegas to visit different kinds of fish. The aquarium at the Silverton is unique in that it’s right on the casino floor. The aquarium is small but it’s such a unique attraction that it’s worth traveling to see. Depending on the time of your visit you may find some special mermaid friends swimming around the stingrays and other fish.
For more information visit sivertoncasino.com.
The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay is more of the traditional aquarium experience. The exhibit houses everything from different sharks to tropical fish to a variety of reptiles including komodo dragons. The Shark Reef opens daily at 10am for children of all ages.
For more information visit sharkreef.com.
Go To A Circus Every Day
Starting every day at 11 a.m. you can catch a variety of circus acts performing At Circus Circus. This hotel let’s you experience the world’s largest permanent circus, highlighting the center stage of the Carnival Midway daily. Free shows run all day long and include performers such as trapeze artists, jugglers and more.
Visit Circus Circus for more information.
Take A Hike
The last thing you probably think about when visiting Las Vegas is the beautiful desert surrounding all of the casinos and hotels we love so much. You’ll find Red Rock Canyon just 15-20 minutes off the Vegas Strip. The mountain region isn’t just beautiful scenery but there are very active trails to hike. This is one of the best free activities you’ll find in Las Vegas if you enjoy being one with nature.
Visit the BLM for more information.
Hang With Actual Wildlife, Not People On The Strip
Similar to the aquariums in Las Vegas you have two options to see wildlife on the Vegas Strip. Likewise, one is free while the other comes with an entry fee. The Wildlife Habitat at Flamingo allows you to roam lush grounds for free. Take in the sun and real grass (that’s a big deal in the desert) and check out waterfalls, swans, ducks, giant koi and of course pink flamingo’s and more.
You can find more information here.
An all day pass to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage will cost between $15 and $20 depending on how old you are. You’ll come face-to-face with some of nature’s most exotic and majestic creatures including Bottlenose Dolphins, White Tigers, White Lions and Leopards hidden (in plain sight) behind The Mirage.
For more information visit The Mirage.
Summer officially started this weekend and Las Vegas had its highest temperatures of the year. This weekend high temperatures peaked around 113 in the shade throughout the Las Vegas valley. There’s no relief in site as weather people say that the high temps may not dip below 110 until after July 4.
This may sound silly but temperatures actually feel much hotter when standing in direct sunlight. The “dry heat” is hot but bearable in the shade. The same can’t be said when the sun is beating down directly on you. Buckle up…it’s summer in Vegas!
If should go without saying but you should drink plenty of water when it’s this hot. Booze, coffee and soft drinks can all lead to dehydration. If you’re like me and must have a few cups of coffee throughout the day just make sure you’re alternating with water. This goes a long way to a happy and fun summer day in Las Vegas.
You’ll also want lip balm (chapstick) and moisturizer for your lips and skin during the summer. Water only hydrates the body so much. It’s a pretty gross feeling to have dry skin and lips while you’re out and about. You may even want to carry both with you if you’re eating, drinking and gambling. It’s easy to lose the protection when doing these activities.
I like to walk the Vegas Strip no matter what the temperature is outside. When it’s really hot outside I’ll dip into a casino for some air conditioning to cool down for a few minutes. I find it best to do this on the east side of the Vegas Strip where you walk from Paris to Bally’s without going outside then cross the street to The Cromwell which is just a few steps from Flamingo. Flamingo, The Linq Hotel and Harrah’s are each separated by a 5 second to 15 second walk. Getting to The Venetian will take a few more steps then you can walk into The Palazzo which is connected.
When it’s super hot like this weekend I’ll often make a game out of a strip walk by planning something for each casino passed through. Here are some examples of things to do at each stop:
- Grab a drink and a cup of ice water. Drinking is fun while ice water keeps you cool and hydrated.
- Play a slot machine. Keep your buy-in low so you can move along quickly.
- Take a picture somewhere memorable. Each casino has something iconic to remember it.
- Sit and take 2. – Just sit down at an empty slot machine for a couple minutes and take a load off. It helps.
Be creative and see what might work best for you. Regardless if you make your strip walk into a game just make sure that you build a little extra time into your walk. The heat slows everyone and it does strange things to people.
One final hydration reminder: Make sure that you’re hydrating properly. Not to be an alarmist but Las Vegas is no fun if you’re laid up with heat exhaustion.
Playing low limits in the casino is great but if you’re not playing the right games you’re not really creating a good value for yourself. Often times lower limit games can cost you money. On the surface penny slots sound like cheap gambling. When you dig deeper you see that A) the maximum wager can be almost $10 and B) the house edge is one of the largest you’ll find in the casino. Penny slots are fun but they aren’t cheap and the house edge means that you’ll lose over 10% of what you play over time.
Having said that knowing the right games to play can extend your bankroll and even allow you a better opportunity to win. Some games in the casino involve skill and some don’t. When there’s a game that involves a skill, you’re going to need to learn correct strategy in order to receive the maximize returns. Here are some of the best bets in the casino.
Unless you know how to count cards the casino will have a house edge on you. Even if you can count you may be asked to stop playing blackjack. Las Vegas casinos now offer blackjack games with a variety of rules that can sway the house edge from as low as 0.20% to as much as 2.3%. Obviously you want to look for games with the best rules (like 3:2 on blackjack) and snag that tiny house advantage. In order to obtain the lowest house edge you’ll have to play perfect basic strategy. You can use a strategy card at the table so feel free to buy one online or in the casino.
Craps isn’t only the most fun casino game to play in the casino but it offers a few different bets with a small house edge. The house edge on the most basic wager, the pass line, is only 1.41%. If you lay “free” odds (actual odds with no house edge) you can bring the house edge down to as low as 0.00099% in Las Vegas depending on which casino you’re playing at. There are other wagers you can make with a similarly low house edge but it’s easiest to keep it simple in the beginning.
Baccarat used to be the game of ultra rich but that’s slowly been changing in Las Vegas casinos over the years. Baccarat is now offered in a few different size games but it still offers a very small house edge. Play the banker and there’s only a house edge of 1.06%, play the player hand and the house edge is just 1.24%. Don’t play the tie (14% house edge) and you’re all set.
Sports betting has a house edge for the casino of 4.5%. The thing about this house edge is that it’s not a hard 4.5%. It’s not easy but you can beat the house in sports betting. It can be done if you have great sports handicapping skills. If you can pick winners approximately 53% of the time you’ll become a winning sports bettor. That sounds easy but you should realize that most sports bettors aren’t this good. Skill is what will make wagering on sports profitable.
Poker is a game of skill and one of the best bets in a casino. The casino actually has no house edge in poker. They take a small commission, called the rake, from each hand but that’s all. The rake in Las Vegas is usually 10% of the pot with a limit of $4 or $5 depending on the casino. You can overcome the rake and become a winning casino poker player by learning how to play the game and the math behind it.
Getting around Las Vegas is a bigger deal than you’d imagine for a relatively small town. It can take 20-25 minutes to walk through some of those casinos. Walking is a great option for navigating the Vegas Strip but with large crowds and summer heat it can become a daunting task. Walking from Mandalay Bay to Caesars Palace on a hot summer afternoon may not be the kind of fun you had when planning a vacation to Las Vegas. That’s okay, there are a few transportation options and more possibly on the way in the future.
Besides walking your best bets for getting around Las Vegas are to take a taxi from the hotel or a monorail (there are a few monorails, one behind casinos on the east side of the Strip that will cost a few bucks and 2 free monorails on the west side of the Strip that connect MGM properties). Buses are also available but they’re less flexible than the other two options. As we mentioned a couple weeks ago some hotels have free shuttles to and from the Vegas Strip. If you want to wander the Vegas Strip or head downtown you’ll probably want to hop in a taxi or ride a monorail anyway.
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft recently became legal in Nevada. Details on how the services will be able to operate haven’t been released yet. The last time Uber operated in Las Vegas they couldn’t pick passengers up at hotels or the airport. Another option is great for consumers but we’ll save final judgement on ridesharing in Las Vegas until they begin operations. Uber hopes to get started before the year is over.
Every year there’s a new rumor about the monorail. It may be closing and it may be expanding depending on the rumor du jour. Monorail rumors date back to when it was built. The monorail was constructed with the ability to add a switching station onto the section at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Westgate. The idea was that perhaps an expansion downtown would be demanded. That never came to fruition and probably won’t for a while.
The current monorail rumor is that it might be extended to Mandalay Bay even though there’s already a free monorail from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay. There are no plans to extend the monorail to Downtown Las Vegas or to McCarran Airport. If the monorail does expand to the airport it won’t be for at least 10 years and a big fight with the Nevada Taxicab Authority. The Nevada Taxicab Authority make a lot of their money from fares at the airport. If you’ve visited Las Vegas on a Friday night you’ve probably waited in the longest line ever.
Monorail expansion is just being talked about and there are no plans to do anything. Unfortunately.
Las Vegas currently doesn’t have a light rail system and won’t anytime soon. However there’s a proposal going around about possibly building a light rail under the Vegas Strip in the future. This idea wouldn’t be completed for around 20 years so there’s nothing to get too excited about today. Like the other transportation options the light rail wouldn’t go to the airport or Downtown Vegas. Unlike the other options this system will be underground and away from the sun.
Besides ride sharing companies being approved and in business soon the rest of the near future of transportation in Las Vegas doesn’t look entirely different. A light rail and monorail extension to the airport would be nice but they won’t be happening any time soon. Fingers are crossed that future visitors to Las Vegas get to see these improvements.
Some people come to Las Vegas and choose to avoid the heat during the summer. Others come and embrace the temperatures that can reach 120 degrees in the sun since it’s something they’ll never feel at home. There are a lot free things to do in Las Vegas and many of those activities will bring you inside. If you fall into the outdoorsy category there are still plenty free things to do all over Las Vegas. Here’s a look at a handful of fun free things to do outside in Las Vegas in the summer.
The Bellagio Fountain Show is one of the most popular free attraction in Las Vegas. Enjoy a free show of the dancing waters every 15 – 30 minutes during the day or at night. Last year MGM Resorts added Tiesto to the soundtrack. While the music may not be the kind you’re accustom to playing at the Bellagio Fountains the show remains beautiful. If you’re looking for something different check out the show at night or during the day – whichever you don’t normally see.
Downtown Container Park
Downtown Container Park is one of the newer attractions on Fremont Street just past the Fremont Street Experience and El Cortez. This is more than just a park. It’s an outdoor mall built inside faux shipping containers with a park and tree house in the middle. Kids will enjoy the park, you’ll enjoy the shopping, dining and drinking. Everyone can hang out on the (real) grass lawn and watch a live band or a movie after the sun goes down.
Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
The Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo is one of the more unique free attractions on the Vegas Strip. It’s not just anywhere in Las Vegas that you can find exotic birds, fish and turtles. The 15 acres of lush greenery in the rear of the historic hotel and casino and allows you to enjoy fresh air while you take in the scenery. You can have a picture snapped with a couple of parrots after walking through the habitat to commemorate the day.
Fremont Street Experience
There may be countless ways to enjoy the Fremont Street Experience. Here are just a few. During the day you can slowly walk the mall of casinos, stop off at one of the souvenir shops and enjoy the various street performers. Things pick up at night when more people arrive. You can still watch the hourly light show on the canopy of the Fremont Street Experience, enjoy free entertainment on one of the various stages and embrace the vintage neon signs.
Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas
The “Welcome To Las Vegas” sign is probably the most iconic landmark in Las Vegas. It’s outside across the street Mandalay Bay and is a place that every tourist should stop by. Nothing says “VEGAS!” more than this sign. If you’re looking for a twist, head north on the Vegas Strip to the “Welcome To Downtown Las Vegas” sign just past the Stratosphere.
Did you know that 20% of visitors that come to Las Vegas every year are visiting for the first time? This isn’t much of a new development but it’s not something frequent visitors to Las Vegas think about. As someone that visited for about 10 years before moving here I almost don’t remember my first few trips. I was entirely unprepared and was swallowed up in being in Las Vegas. It happens to the best of us and it’s amazing.
You can only really get lost in the Vegas of Vegas before you know the tricks of being in Las Vegas. I highly encourage experiencing that kind of Las Vegas while you can. Once you learn the in’s and out’s of Las Vegas you’ll have an entirely different experience. That’s not a bad thing but it’s not the same.
I’d like to recommend these money saving tips for new visitors to Las Vegas if you’re the kind of person that prefers being in control of your faculties when on vacation. Anyone can use the information but experienced visitors may be already be familiar with these tips.
The Price May Not Be What You Pay
You have to pay tax on just about everything you purchase. Sometimes the tax is built into the price like when you buy gas and sometimes taxes are in addition to the price of the item. Las Vegas hotels have something called resort fees. This fee is a nightly surcharge on top of your room fee that isn’t part of the advertised room rate. Resort fees are different at all hotels and aren’t disclosed until you look deeper into the pricing. Sometimes these fees can be as much or more ($30) than the price of the room if you book mid-week and off the Vegas Strip. Be aware when comparing prices.
Timing Is Everything
If you search this blog you’ll find countless posts about planning your trip in advance to save money. It’s one of my favorite tactics to save money. Most people visit Las Vegas on the weekend so book Sunday through Thursday for less expensive hotel rooms. Book as far in advance as you can and take advantage of the liberal cancellation policies if prices go down.
Location, Location, Location
The bulk of the action on the Vegas Strip is in between MGM Grand and Wynn Las Vegas. You can may find a few less expensive options in between those hotels but don’t count on it. You’ll definitely find lower priced hotel options elsewhere. If you must be on the Vegas Strip head to the south or north ends. Stratosphere and Luxor offer decent value if you just want to be on the Vegas Strip. If you’re looking to spend even less head off the strip or downtown. There are plenty of good values off the Vegas Strip.
Head Online And Save Money
Travel Vegas is a great start to finding discounted hotel rooms and activities in Las Vegas. Don’t stop here. Visit sites like Groupon and Restaurants.com for discounted dining and even more activities. Check Facebook and Twitter for specials and discounts. You may not have time to check every hotel in Las Vegas so just check where you’re staying. You can find a lot of deals and big discounts this way.
Sign Up For Casino Players Clubs In Advance
Casino players clubs are similar to the loyalty club at your local supermarket in that they offer discounts, deals and special offers to members that not everyone has access to. You can sign up for some of the players clubs without ever stepping foot in the casino and you may find some early discounts. As you use the players club card you’ll earn point which will earn you greater rewards and discounts. Not all properties offer rewards for all cash spending but you should always try use your players club card when spending money in a hotel.
Be A Tourist
Las Vegas is awesome! Be a tourist and explore everything and everywhere. Some of the best tourist attractions are free. The Bellagio fountain show is amazing no matter how many times you’ve seen it. The conservatory at Bellagio is beautiful. Walk everywhere you can and see the sights from the Luxor pyramid to New York New York roller coaster to The Mirage volcano. There’s so much to see so just enjoy what’s around.
Now that Memorial Day has passed it’s officially summer in Las Vegas! This is a special time of the year because there are a more good times outside of the casino-hotels than other season. The 115 degree temperatures don’t dissuade anyone from heading outside for some fun in the sun. Actually, you’ll find the opposite. Eating, drinking, gambling and entertaining all head outside.
Pools – Pools are your salvation during the summer in Las Vegas. There is such a wide variety of hotels that you have a wide variety of pool atmospheres. If you’re looking for a mellow pool scene head to Bellagio. If you’re looking for a regular pool that has a party vibe check out Planet Hollywood. The kids will love the lazy river at Mandalay Bay. The Stratosphere has a new pool deck with a view. The prices are also easy on the wallet if you’re looking for a cabana.
Dayclubs – If nightclubs aren’t enough of a party for you then head to the dayclubs where you can party in and around a pool. Wet Republic at MGM Grand, Encore Beach Club at Encore and Marquee Dayclub are among the most popular. We can’t end a segment about dayclubs without mentioning the granddaddy of all dayclubs – Rehab at the Hard Rock.
Gamble – Gambling at the pool fits somewhere in between the mellowing out at the pool and partying at the pool. There are more pools than you’d imagine (13) where you can play blackjack at the pool but there are only 3 pools where you can play inside the pool. Swim up to blackjack tables at Caesars Palace, Hard Rock and Tropicana.
Rent A Pool – Want to experience a pool with nobody around to bother you? Maybe you want to throw your own pool party. You can do either at Caesars Palace this summer. They are renting entire Bacchus and Jupiter pool areas for you and up to 120 friends. You’re renting the pool area including lounge chairs and cabanas but if you want food, drink or a DJ you’ll have to pay a little extra.
Not everything fun outside in the summer happens by a pool.
Movies – Depending on the day of the week you can enjoy a couple hours watch a movie outside somewhere. Many of these movie viewings are free. They’re also spread all over town if you’re looking to expand your horizons.
Concerts – You can catch the free concert series “Rock of Vegas” outside at the Fremont Street Experience on different Saturday nights throughout the summer. If you’re looking for more current musicians and are willing to pay for a concert ticket you may want to head to the Boulevard Pool at Cosmopolitan where you watch bands performing six stories above the Vegas Strip. You can also dip your toes in the water at Mandalay Beach.
Outdoor Dining – The sun may be up or the sun may be down when you’re in the mood to grab a bite. Whatever the case there are plenty of places to eat outside on the Vegas Strip. What’s best about the outdoor dining option on the Vegas Strip is that you have a large variety of restaurants to choose from. If you’re looking for fine dining there are multiple options at Bellagio and Wynn. If you’d rather dine somewhere more casual you can grab a bite at Border Grill at Mandalay Bay, Umami Burger at SLS Las Vegas, Mon Ami Gabi at Paris or one of the many other options we told you about earlier this year.
Las Vegas Restaurant Week is a great way to either save money on dining or try a restaurant you may not normally want to pay for. Las Vegas Restaurant Week began in 2007 as a way to give locals and tourists the opportunity to help the community by dining out. 2015 marks the ninth year of Las Vegas Restaurant Week, which features a variety of fine dining experiences throughout the Valley. This year Las Vegas Restaurant Week takes place from June 15 – 26, 2015
Proceeds from Restaurant Week benefit Three Square, Southern Nevada’s only food bank. Three Square currently provides more than 34 million pounds of food and grocery product – the equivalent of more than 28 million meals per year to more than 1,300 community partners including non-profit and faith-based organizations, schools and feeding sites throughout Southern Nevada. Three Square is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks.
It’s great to see that revenue from something that benefits restaurant customers in Las Vegas going to a good cause. A variety of restaurants from all over Las Vegas take part in Las
Vegas Restaurant Week so you’ll find dining options on and off the Vegas Strip. Different restaurants offer special menus with prices between $20 and $50 depending on when and where you dine. Even if your meal doesn’t add up to a sweet discount you can be happy knowing that some of your money will be going to a good cause.
While some restaurants only offer dinner, Buddy V’s at The Venetian offers both lunch and dinner. Both menus have a nice variety to choose from but lunch really gives you a chance to take in a full meal at less than you’d normally pay. Here’s a look at the two menus they’re offering:
- ANTIPASTO (choice of): Tomato & Basil Soup – grana padano and focaccia croutons; or Caesar Salad – polenta croutons, parmesan and classic dressing
- MAIN COURSE (choice of): Spaghetti and Meatballs – beef & pork, red wine, tomato; Grilled Salmon – Mediterranean chickpea and artichoke salad, roasted tomato vinaigrette and balsamic; or Chicken Chopped Salad – chicken, artichokes, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, celery, garbanzos, roasted peppers, mozzarella, arugula and Italian vinaigrette.
- DESSERT: Cannoli & Cookies – cinnamon pastry, sweet ricotta cream, cocoa drops, pistachios and Italian Cookies.
Cost for the Restaurant Week lunch is $20.15 per person. Tax and gratuity not included.
- ANTIPASTO (choice of): Grandma’s Meatballs – beef, veal & pork, tomato ragu, pecorino; Caesars Salad – polenta croutons, parmesan and classic dressing; or Panzanella – buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, grilled bread, arugula, balsamic red onions.
- MAIN COURSE (choice of): Spaghetti Bolognese – beef & pork, red wine, tomato; Roasted Branzino – cured lemon, arugula salad and pine nuts; My Dad’s Bucatini Carbonara – pancetta, cracked black pepper and egg; or Chicken Parm – oven-baked, provolone, mozzarella, spaghetti marinara.
- DESSERT: Tiramisu & Cookies – marsala mascarpone cream, chocolate espresso cake, lady fingers and Italian Cookies.
Cost for the Restaurant Week dinner is $40.15 per person. Tax and gratuity not included.
A quick look at Buddy V’s menu shows a Caesar Salad will cost $12 and Spaghetti and Meatballs costing $24. Without dessert your lunch would normally cost $36. Add $6 or $7 for dessert and you’re looking at a full price over $40. This makes the $20.15 price they’re offering for lunch quite a steal!
You can see a full list of participating restaurants and their special menus at helpoutdineoutlv.org. Saving money on lunch and/or dinner while helping a good cause sounds like a win-win all around!
You’ll be hearing these words a lot over the next couple of months in Las Vegas and beyond. The 46th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) begins this week! The action kicked off Wednesday, May 27 at noon with the annual Casino Employees Event – a unique poker event bringing all Las Vegas employees together under one roof.
The action really picks up over the first weekend when a new tournament hits the WSOP. On Friday and Saturday (May 29-30), huge crowds of poker players will descend on Rio for a $565 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament called Colossus that guarantees $5,000,000 in prize money. This event will have four starting flights – two each day — one at 10:00 a.m., the other at 6:00 p.m. Colossus is expected to be the largest live poker tournament ever held.
Colossus is expected to be bigger than the Main Event at the WSOP and that’s no small feat.
The Main Even is the big $10,000 buy in tournament made famous on ESPN. The winner of last year’s WSOP Main Event, Martin Jacobson, bested 6,683 players and took home the grand prize of $10 million. This year’s Main Event is expected to have slightly less competitors and a slightly smaller grand prize of $8 million.
This year the Main Event gets underway on July 5 and ends on July 14. Professionals and amateur hopefuls from more than 100 countries around the globe will participate in this year’s WSOP. In 2014, 82,360 entered and $227 million in prize money was awarded to players from 110 different countries.
This year, eleven new events will debut at the WSOP. Here are the details:
May 29-30: $565 Colossus No-Limit Hold’em with a $5,000,000 guaranteed prize pool.
May 31: $1,000 Hyper No-Limit Hold’em with a fast, two-day structure.
June 20: $1,500 Extended Play No-Limit Hold’em featuring longer, 90-minute levels.
June 21: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em. (Must be age 65+ to enter.)
June 26: $5,000 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em, two-day structure with a high buy-in.
June 27: $1,500 DraftKings 50/50 No-Limit Hold’em. Half the field to be paid.
June 29: $25,000 High Roller 8-handed Pot-Limit Omaha. 4-day event.
July 1: $1,500 Bounty No-Limit Hold’em. Every player is a bounty. Each is worth $500.
July 3: $777 Lucky 7’s No-Limit Hold’em, featuring a first-ever $777 price point.
July 3: $10,000 Dealers Choice, featuring 19 variants – the most ever played in a single WSOP event.
Here’s a little known secret – you can watch World Series of Poker in person at the Rio for free. The entire World Series of Poker is a spectacle but the great people watching kicks into high gear once the Main Event which begins on July 5. This is a one-of-a-kind “only in Vegas” experience that’s free for anyone to enjoy. It’s also a good excuse to visit Rio and the other casinos in the area.
If you’re not able to watch the action in person in Las Vegas you can watch the WSOP streaming on WSOP.com or on ESPN if you prefer television. You can find details for both at WSOP.com.
Independence Day is just a
Las Vegas is synonymous with
Summer officially started this weekend
Playing low limits in the
Getting around Las Vegas is