The Venetian Poker Room is hosting a guaranteed poker tournament in October that has some interesting stipulations attached. And many on Poker Twitter are calling out the Las Vegas Strip casino for the controversial event.
Word spread of the scheduled event thanks to a post from vlogger Jeff Boski. He shared screenshots of the fine print below the blind structure, and that led to some critical comments from poker players.
— Jeff Boski (@ICuRaRook) September 12, 2019
What is the Venetian Poker Room Thinking?
Boski, and many others, called out the Venetian Poker Room over a $150,000 guaranteed tournament in October. The event, a $250 buy-in beginning on the 22nd, includes some unique stipulations. Most notably, the rake could turn out to be high.
Up to $150,000 worth of entries, there is no rake. However, once the guarantee is met, the house rakes in every last penny of additional buy-ins. So, for example, if an another 200 players enter beyond the guarantee, the house would keep the additional $50,000.
That greatly differs from most tournaments where the house charges an entry fee from each player. If the buy-ins exceed the guarantee, money is added to the prize pool. So, if a tournament guarantees $100,000 in prize money and there is $130,000 worth of buy-ins, the house doesn’t collect the extra $30,000, in most cases. Instead, that money goes straight into the prize pool.
In the case of the October tournament at the Venetian Poker Room, the house will rake in any extra money beyond $150,000. And despite the low buy-in ($250), chances are good that the guarantee will be exceeded as there are six Day One starting flights.
The casino only needs 600 players to hit $150,000. That’s an average of just 100 players per session, which isn’t much. In comparison, the Venetian Poker Room hosted a $35,000 guarantee on Monday for $400. More than 120 players entered the one-day event. So, given the controversial tournament is cheaper, the odds are high the house is going to rake in some serious dough off this event.
What the Poker Community Has to Say
Boski’s post fueled some anger towards the Venetian Poker Room on Twitter. Many felt Venetian is hiding the truth behind the “guarantee” in the fine print. Others used this as an opportunity to bash the casino’s owner, Sheldon Adelson, the man partially responsible for the lack of online poker options in America.
Ben Lamb, one of the top high stakes pros in the world, wrote, “this is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in poker.” His opinion was that of the majority.
Jeff Dime (@JeffreyDime) joked, “The one guy who can unite the entire poker community does it again. Congrats Sheldon Adelson!” Touche, Jeff, touche.
Venetian Poker Room tournament director Tommy LaRosa responded to the criticism.
The Lucky Shot Poker Series & Drawing is a unique series where players can win by either cashing in the tournament they play or in a Drawing where we are awarding $52,000 in prizes. We are offering $225,000 in total prizes.
— Tommy LaRosa (@VenetianTD) September 13, 2019
He is correct. The $150,000 guaranteed tournament does have some additional benefits for the players. Although the house will take all the money beyond the guarantee, Venetian is also giving out $52,000 worth of prizes via random drawings during the tournament.