This is a review of the current and temporary poker room at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This is also a review of the future poker room at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Confused? Don't be. There are big doings at the Aladdin, not the least of which is the changeover from the Aladdin name and motif to the new ownership and new decor of Planet Hollywood. This, of course, requires lots of logo, branding and signage changes. The redesign will also include a new poker room very soon.
First, some dates. January 1st, 2007 was the soft date for the changeover to Planet Hollywood that is still the plan but it appears the champagne ceremony may drift a bit further into the new year. As for the new poker room; that is scheduled to open around mid-January and this appears to still be a reasonable date. For the present, there is a temporary eight table room set up on the second floor of the casino. It actually is one of the nicer interim rooms I have played in. It's open and airy out there in the middle of the old mezzanine. The full service bar basically serves, well just the poker room, nice touch.
The new Planet Hollywood tables are already there and like many of the other players-we hate them. This trend to having a wood or marble ring all the way around the table is just bad for playing poker. In this case there is a drop of nearly half an inch from the new fresh felt inner table down to the wood area for your chips, which means cards can flash every single hand unless you act as a blocker to keep them on the felt. Why do non-poker players design tables?
The Aladdin is a low-limit house, in fact, if you ask about higher limits they will actually tell you that Bellagio is right across the street. $1/$2 no limit, $2/$5 no limit and $3/$6 limit are the choices in this room. The real event is the 7 PM NLHE tournament; $60 buy-in, no rebuys but if you bust in the first hour, you may buy-in again. Last night with 30 starters and 3 late arriving alternates, there were a total of 44 entries, you do the math. One lady bought in five times, so she had $300 invested in an event that paid $570 for first place. Need I say more about the 'loosivity' of this event?
The new Aladdin/Planet Hollywood room will have 12 new electronic log-in tables with card shufflers. If you know the Aladdin's current floor plan, the current sports book will be moved and the new poker room will be built on that footprint. The walls come down next week and the fully operational new room will be up and running in 30 days or thereabouts. Plans are to look at an expanded tournament schedule as well as some 'newer, fresher' player promotions to go with the current high hand bonuses that start at four of a kind.
I promise to play the new Planet Hollywood room soon after it opens and bring you an updated review. Until then, it's upstairs for poker at the Aladdin and check out the 7 PM tournament for lots and lots of no-foldem, no-limit action.
Ed Note: Do you own a Mac? You can play online anytime you want at Full Tilt