Resorts World Las Vegas’s chaotic opening gives the public their first look at new poker room

Jon Pill
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Posted on: June 25, 2021 10:33 pm EDT

Resorts World Las Vegas, the first new casino in a decade to go up on the Paradise Strip, opened its doors yesterday. Unfortunately, the opening was dogged by chaos. The organizers underestimated the level of popularity, with enormous queues stretching down the pavement from the only open entrance.

Once inside, however, things looked good.

The smart chips and cashless systems don’t seem to have been hit by any teething trouble. In fact, the innovative tech all seems to be working smoothly. There have been no reports of issues with the app that serves as a room key for instance. Nor have the paperless parking garages caused any noticeable outcry. Yet.

The poker room is everything you might have hoped. You’ll find clean lines, comfy chairs, and mask-free nine-handed action. The room is spacious and the equipment top notch.

Jim Barnes, a journalist for the Las Vegas Review Journal, managed to beat the crowds and get some pictures of the poker room in full swing. According to his Twitter account, thirteen cash tables were up and running. This is far below the full capacity, which can stretch to 30 tables according to the Resorts World Las Vegas website.

Barnes tweeted that “according to the board, there is a 10-20 NL going, two 5-10, one 2-5, seven 1-3, one 1-2 PLO, one 5-5 PLO with the rock.”

Just as importantly from a poker standpoint, the cards are nice quality plastic and the chips appear to be real clay. The former are provided by Faded Spade, one of the best playing cards for poker, which has a deal with the World Poker Tour, and makes a good product that comfortably rivals Copag.

The chips display a certain lack of taste in their coloring and design. But you probably didn’t fly into Las Vegas looking for a classy gambling experience. The key thing is that the chairs won’t crick your back and there’s plenty of places to grab a drink to celebrate or mourn your digital-wallet’s balance.

The poker room is at least good enough for one person to suggest it for the live leg of the Galfond challenge.

Faded Spade put out a tweet about opening. “our #playingcards will be utilized by the property’s #poker & retail divisions.”

Chaos on the streets

The public has been psyching itself up for the opening for weeks. Even so, Resorts World let people in painfully slowly. The result was queues for a long half-mile with thousands of patrons waiting to use the one available entrance.

To keep the waiting public entertained, a club D.J. named Chxrly Jordxn, did a two hour set at full volume. Delightful if her music was to your taste. Potentially tooth-grinding if not.

One report from the waiting lines even involved an altercation in which one gentleman threatened another with a firearm, putting his hand on his weapon as he did so. The report ends there as the witness decided it was time to go home. The Las Vegas news doesn’t seem to have printed anything about a shooting on the strip yesterday, so someone must have de-escalated the situation.

The organizers did luck out in one key way: the weather.

This week the mercury barely dropped below 86 degrees Fahrenheit. However, when resorts world opened yesterday evening, the heatwave seemed to dissipate for the evening. The crowds trapped on the street only had to cope with mild temps, and the radiative heat from the streets and parking lots. While the West Coast was blasted by a heatwave, the desert had a moment of relative cool.

Hopefully, as things settle, the waiting lines will become more manageable. Then more players might be able to get into the poker room to check out the new scene.

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