A few days back Daniel Negreanu made an interesting tweet on his twitter account @kidpoker. ‘Pretty amazing that Bellagio lost ALL of its hi limit action. Players banded together and moved the game to Aria due to poor treatment.’ This caused quite a stir in the poker community since Bobby’s Room in the Bellagio used to be the home of the high stakes action in Las Vegas since it opened. What’s wrong with the Bellagio and what is the Aria anyway?
The Aria is a new hotel casino which opened his doors last year and is located right next to the Bellagio. Unlike other Vegas casino’s the Aria doesn’t have a theme. Instead it is a high tech hotel which incorporated a lot of technology in its design and even won a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification, the biggest hotel ever to do so. Pretty impressive for a hotel/casino built in the Nevada desert where environmentalism seems to be the last thing on people’s mind.
After Daniels tweet more people raised their voices and it became clear why the Bellagio lost their players and the Big Game. According to the players, the low comps, low level of service and rude floor people of the Bellagio have been an annoyance to the players for a long time. When the Aria opened their own high stakes room called Ivey’s room, named after Poker pro Phil Ivey, it was an easy switch. The Aria provides their high rollers with food, rooms, calls players when their seat is open and the setup of the room is much nicer. The Aria also allows the highest game running the be seated in Ivey’s room where as the Bellagio always refused to let any game below $400/$800 in Bobby’s Room.
The WSOP always brings a lot of poker players into town for the summer and fills Las Vegas poker rooms with action at all stakes. This year however might very well be different because of the recent events on Black Friday. The Big Three online poker sites, Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker and Cereus traditionally provide a lot of the online qualifiers for the WSOP. With no US qualifiers this number will be significantly lower this year and with that the amount of poker players in town. This will force the poker rooms to compete more then ever for their players. A full poker room cannot be take for granted anymore. Maybe the Bellagio will see this as well and clean up their act in time to regain the high stakes action this summer.