For the second time in succession, Las Vegas’s The Orleans casino has pulled certain multi-flight, prize-pool-guaranteed events from a major poker series midway through the series’ run. On Tuesday, Orleans staff announced that they had canceled the three remaining multi-flight events that remained in the current Summer Open series.
“We love offering multi-day events with great value and big guarantees. But, after talks with casino management, we unfortunately must cancel our NLH Championship, $250k Gtd, and Finale events,” the Orleans posted on Twitter. “In their place will be some of the best one-day events available anywhere in Vegas.”
As originally offered, the NLH Championship was to offer a $750,000 guarantee when it started up this Friday, June 17. The $250,000 NHL Guaranteed event was scheduled for the following Friday, June 24, while the Finale, starting on Friday, June 31, was to guarantee another $300,000. The three initial guarantees accounted for more than a third of the $3.5 million in guaranteed prize pools the Summer Open series initially promoted. The cancelled events have been replaced with several smaller offerings, slashing the series’ overall claimed guarantees to $2.7 million.
Missed guarantees, player disappointment
While many tournament providers accept occasional overlays as an unexpected advertising and promotional expense, the Boyd-owned Orleans has decided that pulling the plug on the biggest events now is the safer course. The Summer Open series had reportedly already missed a few of its guarantees in the series, and this week’s NHL Championship was heading into a window of spirited competition against major events at other Vegas tournament venues.
Though the Orleans is predominantly known as a “locals” cash-game room, its frequent tourney series had carved out a comfortable niche in the affordably-priced tournament market. With increased competition in that space from the Golden Nugget, South Point, MGM Grand, and even the WSOP’s offering of non-bracelet daily events, the Orleans faces a toughened market. Despite very easy access from parking areas plus very competitive rake, the Orleans is still something of a bare-bones poker setup, with tourneys of any size overflowing into a cramped temporary area set up adjacent to the poker room itself.
Cancelling guarantee-promoted events in advance of their planned starts remains much better than offering fake guarantees that include promotional “Based on ___ entries” terms. However, numerous players expressed their dismay at the Orleans for deciding to back away from its original promotional promises. Prior WSOP bracelet winner Justin Pechie’s response on Twitter was typical: “You know how to offer the guarantee but you don’t know how to hold the guarantee. And that’s really the most important part of the guarantee, the holding. Anyone can just make em.”
Featured image source: The Orleans Hotel & Casino