The poker room at Bally’s Casino in Las Vegas has some very positive features, but not all is proper in my opinion. If you are looking for a comfortable place to play cards, Bally’s may be for you—if you can forgive a few problems.
Ring Game Availability at Bally’s Poker Room
I played at Bally’s on a Saturday morning at 10:00AM. I had to wait for about 15 minutes for them to start another table (they had one 1/2 NL, and one 3/6 Limit running) when another 9 guys showed up. There was certainly money available to be taken, but at the time I played, there were about 4 people who knew what they were doing—a high amount in my opinion by Vegas standards. It was one hour before their 11:00AM tourney started so that may have been the reason.
While I was there they opened yet another table so I give props to Bally’s for having the staff available to keep the flow of players on the tables. They also opened another limit table so before the tourney there was five full tables running. Impressive.
Bally’s Poker Room 11:00AM Tournament
I played in the $65 freeze-out at 11:00AM. They had 5 full tables of players and took alternates through the first two rounds. Rounds lasted 30 minutes and the starting stack while not incredibly deep, was certainly enough to move a few chips and still have enough to fold and survive an ill timed bluff. There were a few savvy players, but plenty of fish and gamblers as well. But it wasn’t the play that will not have me back to Bally’s for tournaments, it was the rake structure.
On our $65 entry fee, Bally’s scraped off a WHOPPING $20 as rake. Of which only $5 went to the dealers. Nearly 31% rake is not rake, its ‘rape’. I was sorely disgusted when I found this out. But I was there, so of course I paid my money and sat down. Also, they took alternates the first hour. There were a few guys pissed about this because when an alt sat down, his stack was the full buy-in. They did not take off any blinds from the alt’s stack. So, it was a bit of an advantage walking into the tournament 45 minutes in with a full stack, but honestly it didn’t bother me much. I understand the problem, but personally I really didn’t care.
The tourney lasted about 4+ hours and paid to 6. It was well run, and moved along nicely. Antes were never introduced, but blinds doubled each round for the most part. I was impressed with the tournament, other then the ridiculous rake.
Bally’s Poker Room Service:
Service is a key component for me because I am playing cards first and foremost to make money, but a close second is to have fun as well. Bally’s gets a solid A- for their service. The poker room is located right beside the bar, so you get drinks fast. They do not have Red Bull so they get marked down (Casinos fault really), and their servers are, well, umm, old. The lady serving drinks to me HAD to be a grandmother. Seriously. She did a fantastic job at keeping us all liquored up, but it feels a little strange to peek at Granny’s cleavage. Of course I did that…but it still felt a little wrong.
Bally’s Poker Room Location:
Again, typically not much of a problem for me, but I do know others that go crazy with casino noise that filter into a poker room. If you are one of those guys, you may want to think twice about Bally’s. It’s basically right in the middle of a bunch of slot machines and near the table card games. Like I said I could care less, but there was certainly a fair amount of noise.
There was no smoking at the tables, but again its right in the middle of everything. I never really smelled smoke, and was certainly never bothered by it, but it was around. The place is somewhat bound by the backs of machines so there wasn’t a lot of traffic, but again, ding, ding, ding, was certainly around.
Bally’s Poker Room Ambiance:
There were a lot of nice plasma TV’s around and just about every seat at any table had a view of a TV. Again there wasn’t much general traffic around, but then there was never any eye candy as well. Catching a glimpse of a nice skirt, or well dressed lady never really happened. And since grandma serving drinks didn’t quite cut the need, you basically just had to concentrate on poker.
Bally’s Poker Room Dealers:
The dealers were great. Never had a misdeal, and all of them were quick. Each table had an auto mixer and play moved along nicely. Professional dealers and never had a problem.
Overall I’d say Bally’s in an OK place to play. Quick service, and easy to find fairly soft games make up for a few of their faults. However, I don’t think I will ever play in one of their tournaments again. Unless they change that rate structure, the expected value is just not there. For ring game, sure. Tournaments…granny is going to need a better boob job to make up for the loss in rake.
Bally’s Address and Contact Information
3645 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Ph: (877) 603-4390