Poker News: Caesars Palace and Bellagio Open, Live Poker Returns

The poker action is ramping up in Las Vegas as more and more poker rooms are opening up their doors. We’ll start with the latest from The Strip as we begin our weekly recap of the poker headlines.

Three Additional Las Vegas Strip Poker Rooms Open

Poker players in Nevada are slowly getting more and more options available to them as now seven different poker rooms have opened up since the COVID-19 pandemic. Three more are being added this week as poker rooms in The Sahara, Caesars Palace, and Bellagio are opening, which joins the Venetian, South Point, Golden Nugget, and The Orleans.

The Sahara will run five-handed games with a $4 max rake and will be open from 6 PM to 2 AM. They will offer free drinks and comps as well as progressive high hand promos. Caesars Palace will also run five handed games and require that all players wear masks. Their room will be open from Thursday through Sunday. Lastly, the Bellagio will be open 24/7 and have been cleared to run six-handed games while using plexiglass dividers to separate everyone involved.

The Bellagio will only use 23 out of their 36 poker tables available to stay with social distancing efforts. There will be seven games running at a time with the games ranging from $1-$3 to $5-$10 no-limit hold’em with one game of $20-$40 limit hold’em.

Live Poker Tournaments Slowly Returning Around The World

Live tournament poker had an abrupt stop in action back in March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak but now they’re starting to open back up. As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, the global poker circuit is gradually resuming tournament action.

The first major poker room that reopened was the King’s Casino Rozvadov on May 11th. Known as one of the biggest poker rooms in Europe, this was a great sign. In North America, the first ones to open up were in Florida as they started to reopen in late May. That included the Derby Lane in St. Petersburg and the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, which had a huge lineup when they first reopened on June 12th.

Las Vegas was last to reopen as they got going on June 4th and we’re now expecting Atlantic City to join the fray too. Hopefully we can get back to business with these live tournaments as many people prefer playing in person versus online.

Marasco Wins WSOP Circuit Online Finale Main Event

The 2020 World Series of Poker Circuit Online Season Finale has now come to an end. A total of 12 gold rings were awarded and more than $2.7 million in prize money being paid out. Frank Marasco was the winner of the main event, making him one of the biggest winners of the poker festivities.

Marasco took first place in a $300,000 no-limit hold’em main event that had a $525 buy-in. As a result, he collected $127,535. To do so, he had to navigate a field of 1,109 entries. It’s not his first big win as he previously won a $10,021 prize in a $400 buy-in event at WSOPC Harrah’s Atlantic City this past March. He has also finished in second place in a live event called the Borgata Spring Poker Open tournament back in 2018.

Rounding out the top five was Thomas Lim, who won $67,371 for second place, J.J. Liu, who finished in third and took home $44,360, Joseph Brown, who placed fourth and won $33,270, and Anthony Zinno, who finished fifth and won $27,725.