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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, June 2004, #53


LV Tournament Pro

Tournament Pro is the pseudonym of a skilled advantage blackjack player and an experienced tournament player who has won over $375k playing in blackjack tournaments.

Monday Morning

Cannery Hotel & Casino

First round 10am, every 45 min ending at 1pm, semis at 1:45pm, and the finals at 2:30pm. Single deck. Entry is $10 and fist place usually pays $599.


Tuesday Morning and Afternoon

Rampart Hotel & Casino in Summerlin

Same times and format as the Cannery

Fiesta Henderson is one of my favorites - single deck, $25 entry, two advance from the first round into the semis, one from the semis goes to the finals. $1,000 1st place is guaranteed. The rest of the prizes can be as low as $50 so usually the players work it out to give the winner somewhere between $500 to $600 and the other finalists in the final round walk away with at least $225 no matter where they finish. The tournament is run by the Shift Manager, Julie, who is a charm (and the dealers are very friendly). A nice place to be on Tuesday evening starting at 6 P.M. 6:45, & 7:30pm. Semis are at 8:10pm and the finals at 9pm.

Wednesday Afternoon

Green Valley Ranch (GVR) was originally played every Wednesday; however it has been changed to every other Wednesday because of attendance problems when a floor person named Sue ran it. She was originally from the Reserve Casino (now Fiesta Henderson), which also had attendance problem. My take is that she lacks in people skills and had her favorites so when there was a decision to be made, she would look to see whom it involved before making her decision. Not a good thing so this was brought to managementís attention and she was removed. Shift Manager, Michelle Richards, has kept an overview of their mini-tournament since and it has run smooth with no favoritism and all her decisions were fair. She has since left GVR and now itís just an OK tournament. Michelleís ability was never recognized by Stations Casino (what a shame). They have been known to overlook the bad and not recognize the good.

Thursday Morning

Rampart Hotel & Casino holds their tournament same times and format as their Tuesday mini-tournament

Thursday Evening

Sunset Station Hotel & Casino holds a mini-tournament with the highest paying first prize of $2,000 guaranteed (it is also the longest running tournament in Las Vegas). The brainstorm of Bob Defroda this tournament just packs them in. It was expanded to 10 tables 3 years ago and it still sells out for the most part. Bobby D, as he is known to his regular Thursday night crowd, has recently turned over the reigns to Joe and his staff and it still running strong 6 years and one of my top mini-tournament picks in Las Vegas.

Friday Morning

Brings us back to the Cannery for the same tournament that they run on Mondays 10am. Entry fee is $99 first prize starting at 10 a.m.

Saturday Morning

Boulder Station Hotel & Casino has a $25 entry starting at 11am, 11:45am, and 12:30pm. Double deck dealt face down, two advance from the first round into semis and one from the semis into finals. First prize is $1,350.

Sunday Evening

Silverton Hotel & Casino only if you must since their staff can be down-right rude and their dealers are for the most part not the friendliest. Donít blame the dealers because they follow the supervisorís treatment of the players. They stopped handing out match play coupons with your entry (which made the entry fee more valuable) after one of the tournaments players called the Gaming Board on them because they paid the player even money on a blackjack. The Gaming Board ruled in the players favor and the casino paid the player the correct amount. He won the battle but lost the war a few weeks later because when he returned to play in the tournament, he was told he could no longer play. Other players have been told they could not play anymore because they play too slow. (The average age of players at the Silverton is over 65 and these folks stopped doing things fast 20 years ago). Find something else to do on Sundays until they learn to treat their customers better.

My Top 3 Las Vegas Blackjack Mini-Tournament Picks are:

  1. Sunset Station, 6 decks, betting range $10-250, 25 hands played, $2,000 first prize and a great staff
  2. Fiesta Henderson, single deck, betting range $25-500, 20 hands played, $1,000 first prize and a player friendly place.
  3. Boulder Station, 2 decks, betting range $10-300, 20 hands played, cards dealt face down, $1,300 first prize

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