Vloggers like JohnnyVibes and Andrew Neeme have been taking their mobiles down to the strip to give us outsiders a look at what plexiglass poker on the Vegas Strip looks like.
Poker has been coming back to Vegas in fits and starts for a few months now.
The Venetian is running their DeepStack events, the MGM’s non-smoking $1/$2 tables are back up and running, and the Bellagio poker room is taking the same position on plexiglass dividers as the De Beers company takes on diamonds.
With the reopening of poker rooms, we are beginning to see a return of the poker vloggers to their natural habitat: The Bellagio. This is one of the few casinos that combines a massive poker room with pit-bosses who don’t mind your filming your own play.
As far back as June, Joey Ingram’s vlog on the state of Vegas poker used the word “bumpin” to describe everything from the Adelstein-funded gloss of the Venetian to the old-timers playing HORSE down at the Orleans.
The more recent reports from the baize are a bit more circumspect.
It’s still uncertain times for our game in its own capital city.
The Wynn-Encore complex is closing up the Encore poker room for most of the week. The managers there seem to be hoping to save costs by consolidating traffic at the bigger property.
With shorthanded tables and tables in shorter supply overall, waiting lists are longer than ever even though traffic is down.
The city as a whole is eerily quiet.
Restaurants closing early. Unemployment on the rise. And with everyone masked, incidences of random violence (and occasionally targeted violence) are breaking out in the streets. Where’s Dr. Zimbardo when you need a consultation?
Vloggers flock back
JohnnyVibes vlog this week reviewed the current state of Vegas. After driving in from California, Mr Vibes stopped for early drink and a snack at a restaurant. Early because “everywhere is closing early.” After a few treats at the Cocktail Garden, Mr. and Mrs. Vibes hit the strip in search of some $5/$10 NLH.
No dice. The table numbers were limited. The tables that are put on are all short-handed at the moment. This meant that even at midnight on a Sunday the waitlists for seats were too long for Vibes’s stomach. Back to the hotel then. Try again in the morning.
At the restaurant, it was masks on for everyone, unless you’re actively putting something in your mouth. Same rules at the card table.
“Obviously I don’t like wearing a mask for long periods of time because it gets hot,” Vibes says. Though he adds that he liked having his own little plexiglass palace. And he enjoyed the prevalence of 6-max games live.
Playing with Neeme
Andrew Neeme has also returned to vlogging live sessions after going pretty quiet on his YouTube channel for the last six months or so.
He’s got a few sessions up on his channel post hiatus. In them, he showcases the unusual world of shorthanded poker played in human-sized tupperware.
He gets tangled up with a call-station who almost tilts him off the table. But his luck goes the other way and he manages to finish his first session up about $1k.
Can it last?
The poker world will be pleased to see more of this kind of content coming back to YouTube. Though many people are wondering if playing live poker is the smart move in a pandemic.
New data shows that hotels and casinos are the big driver of COVID in Clark County.
So, the question of whether poker will remain in place long enough for poker vlogging to find its “new normal” is still unclear.
Featured image source: Twitter