When you think about the history of poker, an image of the Wild West and the river boats of the Mississippi might come to mind, not to mention Las Vegas’ most famous casinos!
We could say that most of the best hands of poker have been played at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino since it became the official venue of the World Series of Poker in 2005. Among these, the most memorable hand might be when Jonathan Duhamel collected close to nine million dollars at the Main Event after beating John Racener. However, other legendary casinos of Las Vegas have also seen great players at their tables make poker history.
The Bellagio, which is frequently visited by stars like Johnny Chan, Ted Forrest or Daniel Negreanu, who was even awarded the title of Greatest Ever Poker Hand in 2013, has hosted some memorable games and is often nicknamed “the office or home base” by the world’s top players who spend much of their time there when they visit Las Vegas.
Some of the city’s highest stakes are played during the Big Game, which is held at the renowned Bellagio’s Bobby’s Room, named after Bobby Baldwin. World Poker Tour events have also been hosted here and perhaps the most famous of these was when Tom Marchese won the $100k High Roller for $1.3 million in 2012. In fact, this New Jersey player has earned close to $12 million playing this game in Las Vegas. Carlos Mortensen has also played some legendary hands at this emblematic hotel on the strip during WPT editions. The Bellagio also welcomes amateur players, so if you visit it and feel like playing make sure you know the poker rules first and check out its website, where you will find a guide explaining all you need to know about its casino.
Of course that the former Binion’s Horseshoe, the Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel has to be included among legendary rooms and poker games. Formerly run by the unforgettable Benny Binion, it is the place where the first World Series of Poker was ever played almost half a century ago, with Carl Cannon, Crandell Addington, “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Doyle Brunson, Sailor Roberts, Puggy Pearson and Johnny Moss making it to the final table. This event alone makes the Binion’s poker room noteworthy so make sure that if you’re around Vegas you pay a visit to this spot. Although little is left of the original room, you can still take your picture with the famous 1 million dollar display that the Binion’s is also known for.
The Aria Poker Room is another more recent yet well-known spot that is often visited by top players. It has an exclusive space inspired by Phil Ivey – it is called the Ivey – which hosts $300/$600 mixed games. In spite of not being as historic as other casinos in the city, it currently hosts some of the most emblematic daily poker tournaments in Vegas, some of which will probably be remembered in the future as the best poker hands of this decade.
In addition these legendary venues, The Wynn, whose room opened with Negreanu as its poker ambassador, Caesar’s Palace, Venetian – which offers an ample selection of low limit games – and The Mirage are also among the venues that have hosted great poker games throughout their history and that are well worth a visit.
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