Las Vegas Poker Tournaments – How to Find the Best Games

Las Vegas poker tournaments

11 minutes

Last Updated: February 27, 2022

For many poker players who enjoy playing the game in a live environment, Las Vegas is the go-to place.

Filled with dozens of casinos hosting poker rooms of all shapes and sizes, this Nevada city has you covered, whatever your bankroll and game preferences might be.

As a cash game player, you’ll have no problem finding whatever action you might be craving. There are poker rooms spreading cash games of all types and limits. So, it won’t take you long to find a place where you’ll feel at home.

But what about Las Vegas poker tournaments?

Unlike cash games, which run pretty much around the clock, tournaments are much more restrictive.

If you want to find the best games, you need to figure out what you want to play ahead of time and plan that into your schedule.

You want to know when the tournament starts, what the structure is like, and when it’s likely to finish in case you do get lucky and make it all the way to the end. With all that in mind, playing poker tournaments in Las Vegas requires some more planning.

This article aims to help anyone looking for tournament action in Sin City.

We'll help you find the best Las Vegas poker tournaments or tournament series and provide as many details as possible about buy-ins, structures, and player numbers.

Of course, these things aren't set in stone as casinos change their schedules all the time, and player numbers tend to fluctuate. But this Las Vegas poker tournaments guide should at least give you some idea of what to expect.

Best Las Vegas poker tournaments

Best Las Vegas Poker Tournament Series

It's not easy to define the best poker tourneys, as there are a few factors to consider. The most important one is the expected ROI (return on investment), i.e., how much you can expect to earn. That number correlates directly with the average quality of the players in the field.

That said, there are other considerations as well.

For example, you can have a high ROI in deep structure tournaments, but this doesn't necessarily translate into the best hourly. If you can achieve an ROI of 100% in a tournament that ends in six hours, you're better off playing that than an event where you have a 120% ROI, but it lasts three full days.

But I won't make this Las Vegas tournament guide too technical. Instead, I'll go with the events and series that are generally accepted as the best and take it from there.

The World Series of Poker

It’s impossible to talk about the best Las Vegas poker tournaments without mentioning the iconic World Series of Poker. Taking place every year and lasting for several weeks at the time, this is easily the best tournament series in the world.

Up until 2021, it was held at the Rio, but from 2022 onwards, the World Series of Poker will get a new home.

The biggest appeal of the WSOP is the fact it offers dozens of events featuring different poker variations and a wide array of buy-ins. You can play in tournaments for just a few hundred bucks, and you can find plenty of events with buy-ins of $10,000+.

Another great thing about the WSOP is that it attracts players from all over the world, and not all of them are very good at poker. So, if you're a decent player, you can expect high returns on your money, especially in big-field tournaments such as Colossus, Millionaire Maker, and even the Main Event.

On the flip side, there are some expenses involved, as you have to cover traveling expenses, accommodations, etc. Also, taxes can be quite brutal, depending on where you come from and whether your country has a tax treaty with the US.

Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza

Hosted by the popular Venetian Casino, the Deepstack Extravaganza has been running since 2007. As the name suggests, this is a series of deep stack poker tournaments, so if you want to really put your skills to the test, you'll love these events.

The series usually takes place near the end of the year, but these dates are subject to change.

Tournaments featured in the series are quite affordable, featuring 30 and 40-minute levels and big stacks of chips, with buy-ins ranging from $200 to $600.

Prize pools aren't as big as at the WSOP, but there are still some six-figure guarantees in the mix.

Las Vegas poker tournaments at Venetian

You’ll have to put some time aside if you want to play in these as they aren’t turbo events, but that’s the whole point. For a moderate buy-in, you’ll get to play some quality tournament poker and put your skills to work.

Best Weekly Las Vegas Poker Tournaments

If you're looking to really grind poker tournaments in Las Vegas, you'll probably need more than the MTT series. Luckily, there are plenty of great weekly and daily events hosted by numerous local poker rooms that you can get involved with.

Venetian $25,000 Guaranteed on Saturdays

Every Saturday, Venetian hosts a $25,000 guaranteed event with the buy-in of $340. The tournament starts at 12:10 p.m. local time and offers a decent structure with 40-minute levels and 24,000 chips starting stack.

Rebuys are available for the first six levels, so this is something to consider. This isn't your classic freezeout event, so don’t expect players to be too afraid to gamble it up during early levels.

The rake is pretty high, as $60 from every buy-in goes to the casino.

This isn't ideal, but if you want to play lower buy-in tournaments in Las Vegas, it's something you'll have to live with.

It's not often that you'll come across small events with the low rake.

In general, Venetian is one of the biggest poker rooms in town, and they have frequent series similar to the Deepstack Extravaganza if you're looking for some bigger action. The side action is good as well if you want to mix things up.

Weekend Events at the Wynn / Encore

Every weekend, you’ll find a couple of quality tournaments at the Wynn to help fill up your schedule. These are:

  • $230 $25,000 Guaranteed on Fridays at 11 a.m. (Rebuys allowed for first six levels)
  • $300 $20,000 Guaranteed on Saturdays at 11 a.m.

For Friday events, $190 from every buy-in goes into the prize pool. Players start with 20,000 in chips, and levels last for 30 minutes. Unlimited rebuys are allowed for the first six levels at $200 a pop.

On Saturdays, $256 from every buy-in goes into the prize pool. The starting stack is also 20,000, and levels last 30 minutes. However, there are no rebuys, so if you prefer a classic freezeout, this one might be a better option.

Poker tournaments in Las Vegas

Orleans Casino Sunday Special

On Sundays, you’ll find one of the best Las Vegas tournaments taking place at Orleans Casino. Dubbed the Sunday Special, the event features a $200 buy-in and the guarantee of $30,000, which is quite solid for a weekly event.

The starting stack is 20,000 chips, and blind levels are 30 minutes, so it's not the best structure in the world, but it's quite solid.

Re-entries are allowed for the first six levels, and there is a $100 add-on before the start of Level 7.

However, it’s worth noting that only $150 of the original $200 goes into the prize pool. The $50 amount is withheld by the casino to cover the organization's costs.

South Point Saturday $18,000 Guaranteed

If you’re looking for poker tournaments in Las Vegas with a decent guarantee and an affordable buy-in, South Point Casino is worth checking out. Located on the Strip, on the far south end, this venue features over 20 tables, with strong cash game and tournament action around the clock.

The $18,000 guaranteed event taking place every Sunday, Wednesday, and Saturday is the pinnacle of their regular schedule.

Featuring a buy-in of $150 ($30 of which goes towards the rake), the tournament offers 20,000 in chips and 20-minute levels.

You won't get as much play for your money as with some other weekly and daily Las Vegas tournaments, but with such a low buy-in, this is to be expected. Unlimited re-entries are allowed until the first break.

Daily Las Vegas Poker Tournaments

While most Vegas casinos have bigger weekly events, there is also a great variety of daily Las Vegas poker tournaments to take part in.

These usually feature smaller guarantees and lower buy-ins, but this doesn’t have to mean much. Popular poker tourneys tend to attract big crowds, so those conservative guarantees are often crushed.

If you simply can’t get enough action and need something to keep you busy and on the grind, check out our top picks for the best daily poker tournaments in Las Vegas.

Caesars Palace Daily Events

Caesars Palace remains one of the most iconic casinos and poker rooms on the Strip. If you’re looking for guaranteed tournament action every day, this venue doesn’t disappoint.

The schedule isn’t the most colorful out there as the casino is keeping it simple, but you can be sure that there is a tournament happening pretty much around the clock:

Day Time Guarantee Buy-in (rake) Starting stack
Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. $1,000 $100 ($25) 15,000
Monday – Sunday 2 p.m. $2,000 $150 ($35) 15,000
Monday – Sunday 6 p.m. $1,000 $100 ($25) 15,000
Monday – Sunday 9 p.m. $2,000 $150 ($35) 15,000

All tournaments feature 20-minute levels and a $50 add-on after the first six levels, which will get you an additional 10,000 in chips.

There are unlimited re-entries for the first six levels.

All in all, Caesars Palace features a great number of daily events, and whenever you show up, there will be an event registering. Guarantees could be better and the rake smaller, but it’s a nice option to have nonetheless.

Las Vegas daily poker tournaments at Caesars

Aria Daily Las Vegas Tournaments

If you’re looking for slightly bigger guarantees and somewhat larger buy-ins, check out what Aria has to offer. Another iconic Las Vegas Casino, Aria hosts one poker tourney every day.

Day Time Guarantee Buy-in (rake) Starting stack
Monday – Thursday & Weekends 1 p.m. $3,000 $140 ($30) 20,000
Fridays 1 p.m. $5,000 $240 ($45) 25,000

All tournaments feature 20-minute levels and unlimited re-entries for the first six levels.

Of course, Aria offers an excellent poker room in general, so if you want to jump into some cash game action after a tournament, you should have no problems finding a game.

Variety of Daily Poker Tourneys at Venetian

It should probably come as no surprise that Venetian represents an excellent choice for daily tournaments in Las Vegas as well. In fact, the room features one of the most colorful daily schedules you’ll find in the city.

Venetian caters to players of different bankrolls and preferences, but, like most places, all of their daily events feature No-Limit Texas Hold’em.

Day Time Guarantee Buy-in (rake) Starting stack
Monday 6:10 p.m. $4,000 PKO $125 ($30) 15,000
Tuesday 6:10 p.m. $9,000 KO $200 ($40) 12,000
Wednesday 6:10 p.m. $7,000 Rebuy $125 ($30) 15,000
Thursday 6:10 p.m. $6,000 KO $125 ($30) 15,000
Friday 12:10 p.m. $20,000 $200 ($40) 15,000
Friday 6:10 p.m. $9,000 PKO $200 ($40) 12,000
Saturday 12:10 p.m. $20,000 $200 ($40) 12,000
Saturday 12:10 p.m. $25,000 $340 ($60) 24,000
Saturday & Sunday 6:10 p.m. $4,000 $125 ($30) 15,000
Monday – Thursday 12:10 p.m. $8,000 $150 ($32) 15,000

Level durations in these daily Las Vegas poker tournaments are determined by the buy-in.

For all $125 tournaments, levels are 20 minutes; for $200 events, levels last 30 minutes, while the special $340 Double Stack tourney on Saturdays features 40-minute levels.

Biggest poker tournaments in Las Vegas

Affordable Daily Events at South Point

I’ve already mentioned South Point Casino in this overview of the best Las Vegas poker tournaments for their weekly $15,000 event. However, this venue also features a nice selection of daily events, especially for those on a limited bankroll looking to get started somewhere.

The poker room hosts at least one $80 tournament every day, solid guarantees of $2,500 and $5,000.

If you’re looking to get in on some tournament action without breaking the bank, this might be your best option in Sin City.

Day Time Guarantee Buy-in (rake) Starting stack
Sunday – Friday 10:05 a.m. $5,000 $80 ($17) 12,500
Mon, Wed, Friday 2:05 p.m. $2,500 $80 ($17) 12,500
Tue & Thur 2:05 p.m. $2,500 Omaha 8 $80 ($17) 12,500
Monday – Friday 6:05 p.m. $5,000 $80 ($17) 12,500
Saturday 10:05 a.m. $12,000 $150 ($30) 20,000

Blind levels last 20 minutes across the board, and the rake is reasonable, especially for the low buy-in events. It is also worth noting that this is one of the rare venues that hosts regular daily poker tournaments in Las Vegas featuring Omaha 8 or Better.

Wynn / Encore Daily $10,000 Events

In addition to their weekly tournaments, Wynn also hosts nice daily events featuring a guarantee of $10,000. These tournaments take place every day from Sunday to Thursday, starting at 12 p.m.

The buy-in for these daily poker tourneys is $200, $165 of which goes to the prize pool.

Players start with 20,000 in chips, and levels last for 30 minutes. Late registration is available through the first nine levels, and these events allow for unlimited reentries.

When all things are considered, Wynn's daily events offer good value for money. The rake is fairly standard for these types of tournaments, but 30-minute levels provide some more maneuvering space.

Best Las Vegas Poker Tournaments – Summary

As you can see from this guide, there are plenty of options for those looking for poker tournaments in Las Vegas.

You don't have to wait for the WSOP or other major series as daily, and weekly events provide a lot of action and decent prize pools.

Hopefully, the information provided on this page will be helpful to you. Casinos tend to change and adjust their tournament schedules quite frequently, so you should check the official website to ensure the information provided here is still accurate.

That said, you can get a good idea of what venues feature the kind of tournaments you’re looking for. While there might be some changes to times and guarantees, most places will stick to certain buy-in levels and structures.

The last thing I can do is to wish you good luck in your pursuit of poker greatness. Tournament poker can be hard at times as there is no way to avoid variance, so make sure to go in prepared for the long haul. As long as you persevere and manage your bankroll correctly, you’ll get to where you want to be!

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