Poker Room Review: The Orleans, Las Vegas
The Orleans is the poker room in Las Vegas you either love or hate. There are simply no players I can find that don't have a strong opinion on this room. I have now played the Orleans room six times in the past month and I have to say that my opinion has changed. I used to be a big anti-Orleans player. The room was packed with locals, who all knew each other; the table chat was about Emily's daughter's kid's health problems or whether the night shift manager had actually gotten the pregnant cocktail waitress fired. The worst part of the "old" Orleans was the soft play. Players who knew each other would 'check it down' as often as they would bet; that is, as long as the tourists were out of the hand.
It was over three years ago that I spoke at length to a shift supervisor about the soft play at the Orleans and was basically told that they had no intention of scaring off their "bread & butter" customers to satisfy the occasional "stickler for the rules." Well, I can say based on recent experience that things have changed at the Orleans. I personally think the increase of big outlaying casinos has drawn a lot of the old Orleans crowd out to the suburbs and it may actually be true that the poker boom has killed the need for sloppy rule enforcement in all the big rooms.
The Orleans definitely qualifies as a "Big Room". With 35 tables in a very spacious room, the Orleans also qualifies as player friendly. My only complaint about the room itself is that although it is non-smoking, you can be seated within a foot or two of the smokers just outside the room. A few well placed signs to keep the cigarettes back by the ashtrays would solve that problem. Other than that the Orleans is a very comfortable room and because it is off the strip there is both easy access and has lots of parking. If you enter from the back parking structure or the West side lot, the poker room is immediately inside the doors to the casino.
The tournaments at the Orleans run every day at noon and 7 PM. The schedule is varied and you can find three, yes three(!) Omaha hi/lo tournaments a week here. The schedule was revamped last fall and numbers have been rising since then. Of the 14 weekly tournaments, 9 are no limit hold'em, 2 are limit hold'em and the 3 Omaha8. Buy-ins vary from $40 to $75 with a mixture of rebuy or add-on structures and straight buy-ins for the $75 events. The fees are flat rates here: $10 for the house with all rebuy money to the prizepool. There is an optional $5 dealer toke for 25% more in chips, which everyone takes, so add that to your bankroll calculations. I do strongly suggest reading the tournament structures for each of various tournaments; you will find the differences should be taken into account when planning a tournament strategy.
I should mention that the Omaha8 events have a sizeable load of good players, while the hold'em events are the usually mix of tourists and sharks. There is a fairly high new player factor at the Orleans, so consider that also; this increases both the fish-factor and the suck-out potential. As you might guess because of the Omaha-friendly nature of the tournament schedule the cash games also include Omaha at the Orleans and usually more than one table. There is also a fairly good mixture of $2/$4 and $4/$8 hold'em and always several tables of $1/$2 no limit hold'em.
The Orleans Casino and Hotel
4500 W Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, 89103