Poker Room Review: The Palms, Las Vegas, NV
If I were a young, single, swinging guy – or gal for that matter – this would be the casino I'd hang out at. It's got the Playboy Club; it's got the hot pool and nightclub action. It is a great place to meet other swinging young people.
The poker "room" is really two adjacent poker rooms with a total of ten tables. One room is for the limit games; the other for the no-limit action. The joined rooms reflect the high-end style of the entire casino. The tables are appointed with extremely comfortable, deeply cushioned chairs, ultra high class tables, with a faux granite circular runner for stacking chips inside the thick cushioned edge that has built-in cup holders. There's a beautiful royal-blue-and-black color scheme and there is high-intensity recessed lighting that provides excellent illumination – something that is increasingly important as I get older (but no less hip).
The room spreads $2/4 and $4/8 limit. The $4/8 game is played with a half kill. These run, generally, around the clock and seven days a week. During the day, these tend to be populated by relatively sedate retirees and other regulars. I found these players to be at least slightly better than the typical crop of daytime low-limit poker players in Las Vegas. They are more aggressive, less timid, tighter, and employ more trickery. Even so, they're beatable for the highly skilled limit hold'em player. They're not as tough as the mid-stakes competition at the Wynn or Bellagio.
The no-limit games, during the day, tend to be relatively calm as well – with maybe one or two regulars who make the occasional move. There are typically two structures: one with $1 and $3 blinds and a buy-in of $100 to $500 and the other with $2/5 blinds, with a $200 to $500 buy-in. On rare occasions they get a bigger game with $5 and $10 blinds – but don't count on it.
The quality of these games changes dramatically at night, after dinner and especially well into the overnight hours. While they are usually not worth playing in for the typically serious amateur during the morning and afternoon (given the relatively tough and tight opposition), by the time 11:00 PM or midnight rolls in, the games tend to have louder, more aggressive, drunker, and certainly wilder players. Maybe they're leaving the nightclubs and bars. Maybe they're just getting ready to party and are juiced up on adrenaline and testosterone. But for whatever reason, the rooms become wonderfully profitable for the disciplined player. I recommend them most at this time.
Players earn $1 an hour in comps that can be used for rooms and food. The house takes a 10% rake up to a maximum of $4. There is also an additional $1 drop for the high hand jackpot and other promotions the room runs. They are now having a drawing for all players who hit a diamond flush. Four players a day win $100 each. There is tableside beverage and food service. The drinks are free. The food isn't.
The room does not currently run any tournaments. There are discussions about having another freeroll – though nothing is scheduled at this time.
The room has recently started a $3/6 limit Omaha-8 game and will soon be starting an Omaha-hi game. The Omaha-8 game may be unique in Las Vegas right now in that the rake is limited to a maximum of $2. This is a very positive feature considering the many split pots with minimal profits. Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut is the only other room that I'm aware of that limited the rake on Omaha-8, and that was only when the pot was heads up.
In my opinion, this is the classiest of the low-limit rooms in Las Vegas – with the sharpest ambiance and most comfortable surroundings. If that matters to you, or if you want to impress someone by taking them to one of the hottest casinos in the city, this is the place for you. If you're looking to make a profit, stay away during the day – but head over in the wee hours. That's when all the stars come out and when the poker action is surely at its best at the Palms.
4321 West Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, Nevada