Nevada Online Poker Review: Palms Closes, Caesars Palace Renovated

It was an interesting week for anyone in Las Vegas for the 2014 World Series of Poker, as the hordes of poker players who have descended on the city may have to adjust their off-site Las Vegas poker playing plans as they’ll find a familiar poker room has been closed but a newly renovated has reopened to take its place. In this installment of the Nevada Online Poker Review we’ll let you know which properties are taking part in this poker room musical chairs game, as well as the latest news coming out of the Rio during the 2014 WSOP over the past week. We’ll also look at the latest online tournament results in Nevada, check out how the WSOP has affected the online poker traffic numbers, and detail the latest promotion Ultimate Poker has cooked up for its Nevada patrons. So sit right back and you’ll hear a tale… Sorry, the Gilligan’s Island theme song has been running through my head because I’m heading to Martha’s Vineyard tomorrow. Palms shutters poker room The Palms Poker Room has always been considered one of the nicer and more player-friendly in Vegas, with even the hard to please locals fond of the poker games at the Palms. Alas, all good things must come to an end, and after a period of feast the Palms poker room has gone through a period of famine over the past couple of years, and the room was simply unable to maintain its player base after moving to a new location inside the casino according to’s John Mehaffey, who was also a big fan of the room. As Mehaffey explains, the Palms closure is yet another in a long line of closures across Vegas over the past year. Fortunately, the Palms closure was a trade-off, as Caesars Palace recently reopened their poker room, and the room looks terrific. Caesars Palace reopens renovated poker room Once again I’m going to turn to John Mehaffey for help with this story, as John got a behind the scenes look at the room (and snapped a dozen or so pictures you can view here) which just opened in the area next to the sports-book. The spacious 16-table poker room is one of the bigger in Las Vegas and fills a nice void for players looking to play a little poker that want to avoid the hotspots like Bellagio, Aria, or the Venetian. #WSOP2014 Updates The WSOP always produces too many stories to cover appropriately, especially when you’re devoting about 100 words a week to it like me! So with that in mind I’m going to steer you to a couple of the bigger stories over the past week. Matusow’s penalty brings about the first right or wrong debate of the 2014 WSOP ICYMI from Week 2 of the WSOP Bluff Coverage PokerNews live reporting Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada WSOP Main Event Satellite With the WSOP in town it was only a matter of time before these online satellites started heating up, and this past weekend saw the best turnout to date as 65 players registered for the tournament with dreams of Main Event seat, creating a first and second place prize.
tommasera – $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat
Maynardo – $3,000 The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker Ultimate’s weekly guarantee pulled in 94 runners this week, which meant a nearly $1,500 overlay for the participants. Here are the final table payouts from the tournament:
Blane_cards $2,900
jeff89074 $2,000
BIGP707 $1,500
jigglybluff $1,000
Shoveitrick $800
KillGameKat $600
bansman $500
twinsdad $400
Slowbedon $300 $15k Chase the Dream If you’re into overlays than Ultimate Poker’s Chase the Dream tournament series is right up your alley (more on Chase the Dream below) as this past week saw 107 entries for just $25 a piece, which meant the overlay for this tournament was north of $12,000!
Limpkin $5,000
whaassuuppp $5,000
Other Level $1,500
WhiskeyNeat $1,000
bosilla $700
floppintrips $400
SpewArtist $250
$Annunaki$ $150 Traffic trends in Nevada has seen their average cash-game traffic tick even further upwards over the past week, with an average of 150 cash-game players populating the site’s tables according to The traffic increase seems to be coming from new players (very good news for Nevada) as Ultimate Poker has been able to maintain their traffic numbers, which is now just 1/3 of’s, as Ultimate Poker is averaging just 50 cash-game players.. The word on the street Ultimate Poker wants you to Chase the Dream Ultimate Poker is back with a new promotion for their Nevada customers, giving players in Nevada the opportunity to turn $1 into $10,000 every week during “Chase the Dream,” which is running from now through July 5. Here is a look at the company’s press release on the promotion:

Another Win for Regulated Markets as Bovada Pulls Out of Nevada

The largest unregulated online poker site in the US, Bovada (part of the Bodog Network), has just announced it will no longer be accepting new players or new deposits from the states of Nevada and Delaware. Players from Nevada attempting to register or deposit at Bovada are met with a message informing them of the new policy. The news comes on the heels of the company’s decision to stop accepting new players in the state of New Jersey last month and amid the larger of backdrop of a mass exodus of unlicensed poker sites from these markets. This seems to be a clear signal that unregulated sites are finding licensed online poker markets not worth the trouble. The departure of Bovada from Nevada is likely the final nail in the coffin for unregulated rooms in these markets, considering the Merge Gaming Network, the Winning Poker Network, and the Equity Poker Network have all left the three regulated markets in some capacity this year. It’s unlikely the departure will negatively impact Bovada’s traffic numbers in a meaningful way (the site has an average of 1,350 cash-game players at its tables according to’s data), but if more and more markets are closed off, the site may find the situation in the US untenable, as it did in Europe in 2012. It will also be difficult to identify the impact of Bovada’s departure on licensed rooms in Nevada as the World Series of Poker currently taking place in Las Vegas, and has been steadily increasing traffic at over the past couple of weeks. Whatever amount of players migrate from Bovada to or Ultimate Poker will be hard to distinguish from the new players in town for the WSOP. Sites cave to regulators’ pressure Interestingly, this wave of departures came after what appeared to be the first real concerted effort to by regulators to eliminate the presence of illegal offshore online poker sites. It’s unclear if regulators in Nevada have been applying pressure to these unregulated sites, but we do know that this pressure was occurring in New Jersey. In April (the letters only came to light in May) the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement in conjunction with the state Attorney General’s office sent out cease & desist letters to licensed affiliates who were still advertising offshore sites alongside the licensed New Jersey online poker rooms. We know the DGE and the Attorney General’s office sent C&D letters to affiliates, but we do not know if similar letters were sent to the unlicensed sites, although it would make sense that they were. Consider that within six weeks of the affiliate sites receiving their C&D letters the Winning Poker Network, the Equity Poker Network, and Bovada had all left the New Jersey market – Merge Gaming had left New Jersey back in January. According to the NJ DGE’s Kerry Langan the C&D letters sent to online poker affiliates served the following purpose: Unlicensed operators are just one hurdle Cutting down on unregulated competition will certainly help the licensed online poker sites in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, but it’s only one of the problems these markets are facing, as intrusive sign-up processes and the continued rejection of many credit cards are still holding the industry back. That being said, the way regulators have attacked the unlicensed sites problem is a good sign that they are in this for the long haul and see tremendous potential from online gambling.

Nevada Online Poker Review: WSOPOC Comes to a Close, Massive Overlays Abound

As to be expected around this time of year, it was yet another busy week in Nevada’s poker scene. First, we witnessed 2009 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Cada become the first winner since Carlos Mortensen to score a post-victory bracelet. A day later, the always controversial (and now hairless) Dutch Boyd would join an exclusive group of three-time bracelet winners. Yes, during the WSOP newsworthy poker stories hit the web faster then Phil Hellmuth can hurl expletives towards “idiot” players. So much so, that we’ll cheat a bit and dedicate one section solely to the happenings at the Rio. On the online front, after a huge initial surge that saw WSOP NV become the most widely traversed regulated poker room in the U.S., things have settled down a bit. Cash-game turnouts remain impressive, but both WSOP and Ultimate Poker were forced on multiple occasions to reach into their own presumably deep pockets to account for massive tournament overlays. We’ll delve into just how much value was to be had from playing online, check in on Ultimate Poker’s Chase the Dream promo and explore recent traffic trends in this edition of Nevada Online Poker Review. Down at the Rio – WSOP Updates Cada wins Event #32 – 6-Max Championship Joe Cada silenced his naysayers by capturing his second bracelet last Monday in the $10k NLHE 6-Max Championship. After navigating through a stacked final table featuring 2013 November Niner JC Tran, multiple bracelet winner Erick Lindgren and Max Silver, young Joe would find himself against 2012 WSOP Main Event finalist Jeremy Ausmus for the title. Despite going into heads-up facing a chip deficit, Cada would ultimately prove that just because he got lucky a few times back in ’09 doesn’t mean his skills aren’t on par with the world’s best. Boyd Does It Again: Wins Event #33 – $1k NLHE Nearly five years after being charged with driving players away from the Two Plus Two forums, and four removed from his last bracelet – Dutch Boyd would capture WSOP gold for the third time in his career on Tuesday. What’s even more impressive about the former owner’s victory is that he overcame a massive field of nearly 1,700 players en route to the title. Danzer becomes summer’s first multiple bracelet winner German pro George Danzer won his second $10,000 buy-in event of the series last week, both of which coming in non-Hold’em events. If that weren’t enough, he already has two more top-ten finishes, and an additional cash to his credit. Not bad for someone most of the western poker world has never even heard of. If Danzer runs half as well for the rest of the series, he’ll be a virtual lock to capture that elusive marker of greatness that is the award for WSOP Player of the Year. Humberto Brenes still plays poker? Yes! Representing the old-guard is a big way, the elder statesman of the sport is currently on target to eclipse Konstantin Puchov’s record for most cashes during a single series. To date, the always energetic Brenes has a staggering seven cashes to his credit – four off the gold standard Puchov set in 2012 Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada WSOP Main Event Satellite Entries into last week’s Main Event satellite on were down from 65 to 55. While we certainly expected week-over-week turnouts to rise as the Main grew closer, the presence of Father’s Day could have put a wrench in things. Poker players have dads too. Regardless, the satellite still drew enough runners to cover its $10k guarantee and offer a $1k consolation prize to the runner-up: 1. CindrllaMan $10,000 WSOP Main Event Seat 2. jamie17 $1,000 WSOPOC Main Event – $200,000 Guaranteed The big story this week in the online poker world was the simultaneous presence of the Online Championship Series Main Event in both regulated markets where is present (Nevada and New Jersey). Nevada’s version would fare significantly better than its East Coast counterpart, drawing 571 runners and 155 rebuys. Unfortunately, that wasn’t saying much. With just a $200 entry fee, the players created a prize pool of only $137,000 – a staggering $62,800 short of the minimum payout offered by WSOP. Talk about value. 1. Peaches $48,0002. science $25,4003. Specialk33 $16,6004. lvkid7 $12,600.00 5. Perry_White $10,6006. Renoaces44 $8,6007. The_Swede $6,4008. FishN.chips $4,2009. bcmclawh $2,800 Again it’s conceivable (and likely) that turnout numbers for the Main were negatively affected by the Holiday Weekend. Ultimate Poker: $10,000 Guarantee UP’s weekly major saw an overlay of $991. The event would draw 99 entrants, each of whom would pony up the relatively inexpensive $91 + $9 entry fee. Results as follows: 1. MattZman $2,9002. Kristin $2,0003. JP $1,5004. Shoveitrick $1,0005. blue1974 $8006. DatDude $6007. Moses7 $5008. MrBeaumont $400 9. SpewArtist $300 Ultimate Poker: Chase the Dream For the second week in a row, Ultimate Poker’s Chase the Dream promo made me wish I was currently situated in Nevada, if only because it’s currently offering some of the highest percentage overlays in the online poker world. Last week saw only 148 runners put up the $25 required for entry into the $15,000 guaranteed tourney. With an entry fee of a shiny red penny, that amounted to an otherworldly $11,301.48 (or 75.3 %) overlay. 1. 4BETFOLD $5,0002. commatoast $5,0003. ohdohno $1,5004. upking13 $1,0005. Cash Plays $7006. McConnico $5507. bansman $4008. luckysnake $2509. TheGameKat $150 As part of the promotion, each week’s top two finishers will be given the choice to parlay their five grand on a single hand of blackjack at the Red Rock casino in Las Vegas or take the money. Beat the dealer and they’ll walk away with a cool $10k, lose and they’ll receive 2,500 U$ points as a consolation prize. Ring game traffic on WSOP falls off, then stabilizes After reaching a 7-day average peak of 149 on June 10th, volume on the WSOP NV network dipped to 140 by the 19th. That is still leaps and bounds ahead of its pre-WSOP traffic, and with a swarm of fresh faces making their way to the Rio for the Main it’s quite possible that the network will surpass the 150 marker by early-July. Data provided by PokerFuse Pro via PokerScout. Ultimate Poker partially compensated for WSOP’s loss, increasing its traffic margins by just over 12 % in the past week. This week withstanding, volume on UP has held relatively steady in the mid-50s since the live WSOP’s onset.

WSOP Scramble for Nevada Could Open to New Jersey Players

It is no secret that in Nevada is offering numerous seats to the World Series of Poker at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Players have been winning their seats to the $10K WSOP Main Event all month long. The big promotion that has players scrambling to get at the online poker tables right now is the 25 Seat Scramble. You read that correctly. There are 25 seats, each worth $10K, for the WSOP Main Event up for grabs now on The question is: Should New Jersey players have a shot at this as well? Nevada Players Like It Scrambled The 25 Seat Scramble is going to be big. The satellite will run on July 5 with 25 seats to the WSOP Main Event. Nevada players are already getting in on the action and playing the daily qualifiers for as little as $1.10. There will also be players who buy in on July 5 for $215. Those without the big bankrolls, like most of us, will be playing the qualifiers. The WSOP Main Event is the dream of every poker player, but this year, the dream got even bigger. The WSOP put a $10 million guarantee on the winner, so no matter how many players are in the Main Event, the winner will receive at least $10 million. Life-changing money, indeed. Should New Jersey Have a Chance, Too? Head of online poker, Bill Rini is asking that question. He wants to know if New Jersey players want a Main Event Scramble and has taken to poker forums to talk to players, many of whom have indicated an interest. The WSOPcom Twitter account is running a poll of sorts:
The best way to make this happen for New Jersey players is to retweet the @WSOPcom tweet from June 10 to let Rini and the others at know that there is sufficient interest for a New Jersey Scramble. It must run by June 28 in order to give players enough time to get to Las Vegas for the July 5-7 start of the Main Event, so urgent responses are encouraged. Main Event Potential With so many players winning their WSOP Main Event seats online this year, there could be a notable increase in the registration numbers for the “Big Dance.” Players from Nevada and New Jersey are playing satellites in record numbers, and there will be numerous players in the Main Event who won their seats online. It is a new age of online poker in the United States. While the market is still in its infancy, the is ready to prove that online qualifiers are back and making a difference. As mentioned, there is a new $10 million guarantee on the first place prize for the WSOP Main Event. If online qualifiers show up in force, that dollar amount could go even higher. It’s in the players’ hands.

Don’t Expect A Resolution Between Seneca Nation And Cuomo Any Time Soon

1 Binding arbitration “no surprise” to Seneca Nation
2 Seneca and NY state fought four years last time It appears New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is finally ready to talk with Seneca Nation about their casino compact. After canceling multiple meetings throughout the summer, Cuomo and his staff drew up paperwork for binding arbitration with the tribal nation. Binding arbitration “no surprise” to Seneca Nation The Buffalo Times obtained the arbitration paperwork. In the filing, the state claimed it is obvious Seneca is in the wrong by stopping casino payments. This entire argument stems from wording in the compact which guarantees casino exclusivity in certain parts of upstate New York. Both parties agreed to extend the compact, but the language regarding the payments did not change. As a result, Seneca stopped payments earlier this year. Seneca Nation was not surprised the state sought arbitration. Cuomo made it clear he does not intend to bargain with tribal leadership when he publicly threatened to open a commercial casino in Seneca territory after months of silence on the subject. “After all, rather than take President Gates’ offer and willingness to meet in person, the governor repeatedly chose insults, attacks and threats through the media,’’ Seneca spokesman Philip Pantano said in a statement. Pantano is referring to Todd Gates, the president of Seneca Nation. Pantano went on to point out Cuomo’s legal team failed to identify binding language in the compact that suggests payments continued beyond 2016. Seneca and NY state fought four years last time The last time these two parties butted heads, it took four years to resolve. Seneca stopped payment in 2009 shortly after Cuomo signed a bill allowing for four new commercial casinos in upstate New York. To the tribes, this was a violation of their exclusivity agreement with the state. The two parties finally settled the matter in 2013. In the interim, local governments had to do without the more than $630 million in payments and fees the tribe withheld. Seneca eventually paid back $408 million of that money per the arbitration agreement. This time around, local governments might not be able to exhibit the same level of patience. Numerous local lawmakers like Niagara Mayor Paul Dyster voiced their hope Cuomo and Seneca could resolve things as quickly as possible. The possibility that is going to happen is quickly fading. Given history, arbitration is going to be a drawn-out process. Already there will likely be a fight over the location of the meetings. Cuomo’s team requested a site in New York City, even though the agreement stipulates the only site is Buffalo. There are plenty of other things to argue over too. Per the agreement, each side gets to pick one person to serve on the arbitration panel. Then, collectively, they agree upon a third person. The process of selecting the panel can take months. Moreover, even though the decision is binding, either party can appeal in federal court. If that happens, a resolution could be years away. Photo by a katz /