Wednesday, October 26, 2005

New Home?

In a previous post I made a comment about how much better the floorpeople at the Bellagio were than the one at Boulder station. For the most part, this is true. However, a few weeks ago I realized that at least two of the floorpeople at the Bellagio are also pretty bad. One is named Dave Naif, and keeps the list for the 2-5 NL game most evenings. The other runs the game occassionally in the wee hours, but I can't remember his name. Some of the other floorpeople are much better, such as Tim Rose and most of the people who run the higher limit games.

Last week, as I said, there was a big tournament at the Bellagio and so the poker room was rather crowded. Dave Naif, a white, well-groomed guy of about 65, was holding the list for the 2-5 NL game while walking around the room, so I waited at the podium, where he is supposed to be. It took a ridiculous ten or fifteen minutes before he even returned to his post.

"Hi, Dave," I said. Several nights a week for the past couple of months, I'd given him my name to put on the 2-5 NL list, so I feel like a first name basis is appropriate. Also, he wears a name tag.

"Hi," he says, confused. Evidently he doesn't recognize me. This is a complaint about Dave that I've heard voiced by other players. Supposedly, Dave once carded a regular player three nights in a row. Despite this, I figure he'll eventually recognize me, but I guess it hasn't happened yet.

This is the point where Dave is supposed to ask me what game I want to play and put my name on the list. Instead, he is scribbling things on little post-it notes. I wait patiently for a minute or two. Then Dave turns and walks away.

Five minutes later, with Dave wandering the room again, I turn and walk away, too. I haven't been back. Instead, I've been playing at the Wynn, and a little at the Mirage.

Here are some Wynn/Bellagio comparisons.

Advantage Wynn:

Poker room in the Wynn is much closer to the parking garage than at the Bellagio. This isn't a big deal, though, because I don't mind walking through the Bellagio, which is quite nice. Still, proximity is key.

Rarely takes more than 10 minutes to get into a game at the Wynn.

Mixed game at the Wynn is played at 10-20 stakes. At the Bellagio it is 40-80.

Lower rake at the Wynn, if I remember correctly.

More beginners playing 2-5 NL.

Slightly more attractive waitresses at the Wynn.

If I want to move up in stakes, the 5-10 NL at the Wynn is a more logical progression than the Bellagio's 10-20 NL.

Floor managers are better at the Wynn.

Floor people are equipped with better technology. They have ear pieces so they can communicate across the room without shouting. And the lists are displayed on a screen overhead, which is a common poker room feature that the Bellagio lacks.

Wynn has more transparent comps system. This is a minor factor, since I find it inconvenient to have to stop and ask someone to swipe my card whenever I come and go, which is how the comp system works at the Wynn.

Wynn bathrooms are slightly nicer.

Tables not as closely packed at the Wynn, so it's easier to get around.

Advantage Bellagio:

Snack bar cheaper at Bellagio (but still exorbitant).

More poker stars around.

Slightly better dealers at Bellagio.

I know and like several of the regular players and dealers.

More drunk people playing 2-5 NL at Bellagio.

Also, I have recently played a bit at the Mirage. I like the Mirage for their relatively cheap $100 rebuy tournaments, cheap snacks at the gift shop (this is quite significant), and relatively poor competition. On the other hand, the tables do not have an automatic shuffler, the dealers are not quite as good, and the parking garage is not very convenient.


F.J. Delgado said...

I'm a fan of the Bellagio, having played there a great deal over the summer. The Wynn is the next place I'll check out extensively.

Some of the Bellagio floorpeople are awful, and you'll get pros and recreational players alike complaining about them. Obviously it can get crowded, but I think they have the wrong people in charge of keeping things going smoothly. To be honest, one of the best ways to get on a first name basis with the floormen is to start handing them old portraits of Andrew Jackson.

The Bellagio 30/60 and especially 80/160 games can be great action with a nice mix of bad players. Like you, I sort of dig catching glimpses of celebs I like and hate, as well as chatting with some of the players I'm friendly with.

Would be interested to hear your take on other rooms you play in a lot.

Keith said...

You may be right about the Andrew Jackson's, but I think that's dumb. Getting respect shouldn't cost $20; indeed, at most of the other casinos, respect seems to be given out for free.

Maybe I will give reviews of the other poker rooms, but I don't have extensive experience with most of them.