Poker At The MGM

I have been playing a lot of poker since we arrived. I’ve played a few tournaments with the remainder $1/$2 no limit Hold’em.

Don’t let the declared stakes fool you. $1/$2 can easily become an expensive game.

At the moment, playing lots of hours since Wednesday, I’m up $28! That’s less than one winning hand separating me from being a net loser.

The dealers and cocktail waitresses at the tables have made more from my play than I have. I tip the dealer on every winning hand and the waitress with every drink (mainly water and coffee) delivered.

I have never played where the cocktail waitresses came to each table as often as they do here. I haven’t heard anyone have to ask for drink service! That’s very, very unusual. No, actually, that’s unheard of.

I like the poker room at the MGM a lot. The tables have a hard surface between the felt and rail. It’s much better for stacking chips and helps better delineate the playing area.

The dealers here are also very good. I’ve had no ‘losers’ dealing. Most are friendly and often engage in conversation.

Earlier today I had a dealer I recognized from years at the Mirage – Daryl. He is also known by his nickname, Razzo.

Razzo was the first person I know of to bring poker to the Internet. This was long before online poker sites and the like. His has been online since 1995.

I said hello and he said he recognized me. Maybe… though who knows. He’s dealt to tens of thousands of tourists.

The poker room is squirreled into a curved space, almost like a warped dumbbell. The two ends are larger than the middle. There are twenty two tables, each with automatic shufflers.

MGM’s poker room has the best automation set-up I’ve seen. As you sit down, the dealer logs you in (if you’ve got a player’s card, he just swipes that). The poker room floor people know how many people are at a table, who needs to buy chips, who has left. It’s super efficient, which is good because I want to play at full tables.

MGM runs some sit and goes (single table tournaments) and larger tournaments. I don’t like the blind structure, which goes too high too quickly. That favors gamblers and penalizes more analytical players.

When I started playing poker in Las Vegas, the average player was in his sixties. Most tables dealt limit 7-card stud. Today, the average player is in his twenties and (at least this afternoon) the room was 100% Hold’em, mainly no limit.

It’s still called poker, but it’s a totally different game.

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