MSPT returning to the Venetian in November

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: September 16, 2020 01:00 PDT

Mid States Poker Tour Deepstack Extravaganza comes back to Las Vegas

The Mid States Poker Tour and the Venetian Poker Room stand at the front of the curve in the return of live tournament poker in the U.S. The mid-major poker tour and the Las Vegas Strip poker venue are now teaming up to bring back another big live poker series.

Details are sparse at the moment, but the MSPT will come to the Venetian for a pair of Deepstack Extravaganza events in November. Venetian Poker Room Tournament Director Tommy LaRosa made the announcement on Twitter Monday, with series specifics coming at a later date.

"Excited to announce our partnership with @msptpoker will continue with our DeepStack Extravaganza in November. $1100 NLH and $1600 NLH events will be the weekends before Thanksgiving. Working on the marketing now," said LaRosa in the tweet.

The MSPT and the Venetian operate as long-time partners, with the tour running its first event at the Las Vegas poker room in 2014. The partnership expanded to include multiple annual stops at the Venetian Poker Room for the MSPT in 2017.

The upcoming November series will feature a $1,100 buy-in, $200,000 guaranteed Main Event to cap off the first weekend of the series scheduled for Nov. 13-15 according to the MSPT website. The following weekend sees another MSPT series come to the Venetian Nov. 19-23, capped off by a $1,600 buy-in, $400,000 guaranteed Main Event.

MSPT, Venetian at the forefront of U.S. live tournament resurgence in pandemic era

The live tournament poker economy in the U.S. was forced to an abrupt stop in mid-March, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced casinos nationwide to shut down. Most of the country's retail and tribal casinos have reopened since, but live poker rooms across the U.S. have reopened at a much slower pace versus other areas of casino gaming.

In many states, casinos that have reopened live poker rooms have done so at limited capacity. Limiting the maximum number of players at a poker table isn't conducive to tournament poker, and the large gatherings associated with live poker festivals present challenges for poker rooms as they try to abide by state-mandated safety guidelines.

The MSPT made headlines as the first U.S. poker tour to run an event in the COVID-19 era. The MSPT Grand Falls Casino series commenced in Larchwood, IA, with the series Main Event running Aug. 28-30.

The event drew players from all over the U.S. to Grand Falls Casino, just outside of Sioux Falls, SD. The $150,000 guarantee promised in the Main Event was far exceeded, as 518 total entries pushed the final prize pool to $500,960.

Venetian draws big numbers for first pandemic-era tournament series

The turnout for that event showed a keen interest for U.S. players to see the return of live tournament poker.

Las Vegas poker rooms reopened on a more rapid timeline compared to several other states with live poker rooms, and by mid-July, the Nevada Gaming Control Board authorized some poker rooms in the city to spread eight-handed games.

The Venetian Poker Room was the first on that list, and perhaps not surprisingly was also the first to bring back a major live tournament series in Las Vegas. The poker room is currently in the midst of the Deepstack Showdown series, which started Sept. 7 and runs through Sept. 27.

That series has so far continued the trend of big turnouts for the return of U.S. tournament poker. The $340 Double Stack event ran Sept. 8-10 and saw the guaranteed $50,000 prize pool well-exceeded.

The tournament drew 668 entries, swelling the prize pool to $187,040.

Featured image source: Twitter