For a casual, fun poker room on the Strip that offers numerous promotions and tournaments look no further than the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas poker room.
Planet Hollywood Las Vegas sits atop the space formerly occupied by the Aladdin Hotel and Casino on the Vegas Strip. It officially opened in April 2017 and has done a good job at shedding the Aladdin vibe and re-branding itself.
The poker room is quite casual with an interesting blend of hipsters, tourists, and locals. Because of the party atmosphere, Planet Hollywood tables tend to have more outgoing players. This is in direct opposition to the more serious, high-stakes poker rooms with the hoodie and headphone atmosphere. Because this poker room leans toward the laid back, fun, and outgoing end of the poker spectrum—in addition to being in the middle of the action on the Las Vegas Strip—poker newbies will enjoy this room without the common intimidation that tends to surround higher-end, more serious poker rooms.
The Planet Hollywood poker room’s location in the middle of the casino gives the entire casino a club-like atmosphere. This 12-table poker room is one of smaller rooms on the Strip, but is cozy and fun.
This room offers comfortable chairs and several LCD televisions. This is perfect if you are a sports fan and don’t want to miss the game. The room is tastefully decorated and decently lit. The tables are also in very good shape.
However, because this poker room is not separate from the rest of the casino—it is simply set off from the main floor with velvet ropes—it can get quite noisy and smoky at times.
Cash games at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas poker room
Because Planet Hollywood is so small, the live cash action is largely limited to $1/$2 and $2/$5 No-Limit Hold’Em. The minimum/maximum buy-in is $100/$300. At times—or upon request—Planet Hollywood will offer a PLO game.
Straddles are quite common in this room, and Planet Hollywood is known for its $20 PHamous Straddle from any position (except UTG and Button.) Otherwise, at $1/$2, straddles are $5 for UTG and $10 from the Button. For $2/$5 NL games, the straddles are $10 UTG, $20 Button, and $25-$100 for the PHamous Straddle.
Planet Hollywood takes a ten-percent rake (up to a $5 maximum) plus a $1 drop for high hand payouts.
Locals and regular players oftentimes report that the casino tends to attract more “party people” or “drunk fish”. This results in good action and fairly soft games. Depending on who you are, this may also add to Planet Hollywood’s appeal. If, however, you are shark hunting, you’d likely do better at the Aria, Bellagio, or Encore poker rooms.
Finally, waiting times for games tend to be rather minimal. The Planet Hollywood poker room utilizes the Bravo Room Management System to let guests know what games are running and wait times. Of course, you can always call ahead and have your name added to the wait list.
Planet Hollywood 2018 tournaments
The Planet Hollywood poker room hosts four daily tournaments at 10 a.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m., and 10 p.m. For each of these (except Sunday at 10 a.m.), the buy-in is $80 for 12,000 in starting chips, 20-minute levels, and a $1,500 guarantee with payouts to at least the top three finishers.
Additionally, there is a new 1 p.m. daily deepstack tournament. For a $100 buy-in, this tournament offers a $3,000 guarantee with $1,200 going to the winner and payouts to, at least, the top five spots.
The Sunday Special 10 a.m. $130 tournament offers a $7,500 guarantee with a guaranteed $2,000 first-place payout. This tournament has a starting stack of 10,000 and 20-minute levels. For a $5 staff appreciation add-on, you can get an extra 5,000. Players can also gain entry into this tournament by playing 20 hours of live action during the week prior to the tournament.
Planet Hollywood WSOP tournaments
The Planet Hollywood poker room also hosts various WSOP circuit events.
Last November, the $1,675 WSOP Circuit Main Event drew 845 players and offered a $1.26-million prize pool. Winner Fernando Galvan pocketed a hefty $247,000 while Cory Hochman (2nd place) won $152,000 and Chris Tham (3rd place) became $112,000 richer.
The Planet Hollywood Las Vegas poker room also hosts its PHamous Poker Series that takes place during the WSOP and other poker rooms’ summer tournaments such as the huge Golden Nugget Poker Series. The very popular and successful 2017 Goliath PHamous Poker Series dispersed more than $7.5 million in prize money.
For these larger tournaments, Planet Hollywood makes excellent use of its mezzanine. This spacious room holds roughly 75 tables and accommodates larger events as well as extra cash games.
You can check out the WSOP circuit schedule or call the poker room at (702) 785-9150 for more information.
Poker room promotions
The Planet Hollywood Las Vegas poker room certainly does not lack in the promotion department. Among its high hand promotions include $100 for quads (plus a $25 splash), $250 for straight flushes (plus a $25 splash), and $500 for royal flushes.)
Additionally—and this is pretty unique—if you win a pot without a pair using both hole cards between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m., you win an additional $25.
Because Planet Hollywood is a Caesars Entertainment property, players can register for the Total Rewards card for various comps and other benefits. Poker players earn $1 in comps for each hour played. These comps can be redeemed in any Planet Hollywood restaurant or bar or for tableside service.
Finally, play three hours of live action between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. and earn a free buffet or a $20 voucher for Ringer—the pizza, wings, and sliders joint in the sports book.
Planet Hollywood Las Vegas poker room staff
Poker room manager Chris Gawlik knows what it takes to run a great room. A former WSOP dealer who moved to Las Vegas from Chicago, Gawlik worked as a dual-rate supervisor at Bally’s and Paris when they had poker rooms. He started running Planet Hollywood’s room in February 2012.
As a result, the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas poker room staff is quite helpful and friendly. Many players report a great emphasis on customer service. Dealers are friendly, fun, experienced, and quite good at their jobs. Chip runners are quick as well. Of course, there will always be complaints about inept dealers, but these grievances are few and far between.
The friendly cocktail waitresses are also always around, and the tableside rolling drink cart is a nice benefit.
The bottom line
The Planet Hollywood Las Vegas poker room receives consistently high marks across the board. Low-stakes NL players, tournament fans, tourists, and beginners especially enjoy this room. For local grinders, the free Super Sunday tournament entry with 20 hours of weekly play is a big draw.
Ultimately, from its tournaments to promotions to amenities to cash games to overall room comfort, if you are looking for a fun and casual room on the Strip with decent action, you really can’t go wrong here.
Have you played at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas poker room? Please share your thoughts and experiences below.
Until next time.
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Natalie Faulk is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer/blogger and the author of several books. She is an avid low-stakes (for now) poker player and huge Vegas Golden Knights fan.