Multiple independent sources have told Poker.org that the Flamingo poker room has become the latest casualty in Caesars Entertainment’s ever-shrinking poker presence in Las Vegas. The room had been “temporarily” closed during the World Series of Poker at the Rio, apparently in an attempt to ease staffing shortages at the series. Today at an all-staff meeting, dealers and floor personnel were informed that the room would not reopen.
Rumors that the room was in trouble have been circulating for several weeks. In September, Poker.org noted an oddity in the announcements of the upcoming temporary closures of Bally’s and the Flamingo poker rooms. An explicit reopening date of November 26 was given for the room at Bally’s, with no such date stated for the Flamingo. That same article included the speculation that Caesars was leaving the door open to close those of the Flamingo.
The oldest poker room on The Strip
The Flamingo opened in 1946. A couple of the regulars in the Flamingo’s $3/$6 limit hold’em game claim they witnessed the event. The property in general has a long and colorful history, which includes some iconic poker tales.
According to many, the lengthy heads-up match between Poker Hall of Fame charter inductee Jonny Moss and Nick “The Greek” Dandalos took place at Binion’s Horseshoe. However, Jack Binion himself stated in an interview that the match went down at the Flamingo in 1949.
As the original glitz of the Flamingo dulled, and it became dwarfed by the massive hotel-casinos that now surround it, the property maintained its popularity with tourists and locals alike. In recent years, the poker room evolved into the one true locals’ room on The Strip, with a loyal player base grinding out freeroll hours in the cramped, but well-run room.
Poker.org spoke to several players who enjoy the poker action at the Flamingo, the majority of whom were as baffled as they were disappointed. They noted the room invariably had a large number of tables in action, and that its limit action in particular put it in a unique niche on The Strip.
The contraction of the Caesarian poker empire
The room’s closure has also left a lot of industry insiders puzzled by Caesars Entertainment’s poker plan. On the one hand, we have a corporation that just put on one of the most ambitious poker series ever. On the other, the company is shedding Vegas poker rooms like a cat losing fur in spring.
While remodeling, merging, and the sale of properties makes an exact numbering of poker room closures challenging, it is apparent that Caesars is rapidly running out of venues. With the latest announcement, the company is left with Caesars Palace and Bally’s, which will host the 2022 WSOP.
Contrast this to a mere five years ago, when you could be dealt in at the (non-WSOP) Rio, Harrah’s, Planet Hollywood and The Linq. A few years before that, there was poker action at Paris and the now-defunct Bill’s and O’Sheas’s. The Flamingo thus adds its name to a depressingly long list of poker rooms whose services are no longer required by Caesars Entertainment.
Featured image source: Twitter/eldiesel