I will guarantee this is the first poker room review you have seen on the South Point Hotel and Casino. I know this because when I was at South Point a few days ago they were giving out champagne and cake celebrating their name change from South Coast to South Point. The name change was part of the transfer of the property from the Boyd Gaming Casino Group of "Coast" properties to the single ownership of Michael Gaughan. Gaughan is founder and former operator of Coast Casinos, which Boyd Gaming acquired two years ago in a $1.3 billion merger. He also oversaw the $600 million construction of the South Coast, now South Point, which he now owns through a sale and turnover of his Boyd stock worth an estimated $512 million.
South Point casino is located on Las Vegas Blvd. six miles due south of the last big cluster of strip properties (Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Tropicana etc.). Lots of changes are in store for the still young South Point, which only opened in December 2005 with "64 bowling lanes, 16 movie screens, 650 hotel rooms, 6,000 parking spaces, a 600-seat bingo room, eight restaurants, countless gambling opportunities, a 150,000 square-foot conference center, and an equestrian events center with 1,200 climate-controlled horse stalls." The poker room will be one of the areas of the casino operation to enjoy some upgrades.
As it stands today the poker area has eight tables with lots and lots of space. The new plans call for using that space to the benefit of the players. The podium will be moved to the front of the area and a new, more smoke resistant separation walls will make the room more intimate and player friendly. The already adequate plasma screens will be increased and the very competitive tournament schedule is being overhauled as I write this review.
Poker room manager, Joseph DiGiacomo filled me in on the new plans for poker at South Point. The biggest change is simply the new ownership.
"In the past all of the Coast properties had senior shift managers but not an onsite manager, the room was run from a corporate base at the Orleans. Now this is our room and our needs will be dealt with locally and decisions will be made in the best interest of South Point."
The first changes will be to the tournament structure. The very popular 10 AM NLHE tournament will become a $45 buy-in next week. This event attracts 4 to 6 tables every day, I have played several times and I highly recommend the structure and the competition to anyone looking for a mid-morning event. The 7 PM event will become a $65 buy-in on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday but Wednesday will be a mid-week $110 event. Again, good structure with the turn-out a bit dependent on which conventions or groups are staying at South Point that week. Still a good event for anyone way down South in the evening. Weekends, like most rooms in Las Vegas, the tourist wave sweeps in with the No Limit addiction. The $1/$2 No Limit tables can be, to say the very least, most lucrative.
South Point poker has both high hand bonuses as well as an almost endless run of other promotions. The graveyard giveaway running now is for some very classy (and, of course, brand new!) South Point jackets.
All in all, this is a nice off-the-strip poker room, not particularly a "locals" room, which I think is due in part to the destination resort feel that South Point promotes. There are lots of people staying at the hotel and a good number of them are taking their shot in the poker room.
Beverage Ratings –
Strawberry Julius: B