Would you like to play poker against some of the biggest fish in the world? This doesn’t mean whales, which are bad poker players with a lot of money. This means some of the worst players in the world, regardless of how much money they have. It’s certainly not easy to find terrible players at a casino poker room, but the Flamingo poker room take the cake. Most bad players stay at home games and wouldn’t dare venture into a casino poker room, but this is Las Vegas, baby!
When people come to Las Vegas, they’re ready to throw caution to the wind and take chances. Without any doubt, terrible poker players continuously flood into the Flamingo Poker Room. This is at any time of day and every day of the year. First, I’ll go over the specifics for the Flamingo Poker Room, then I’ll get to the fun stuff.
Poker Games at the Flamingo
The two poker games that you will always find running in this poker room are 1/2 NL and 3/6 FL. I’ll discuss both games below, and I’ll delve into a little poker strategy for the 3/6 FL game. FL = Fixed Limit. The Flamingo Poker Room also has a 1/1 PLO game running sometimes.
The cash games at the Flamingo Poker Room are fun, but most people come to play here for their poker tournaments. There are a minimum of five tournaments per day, every single day.
You get 20,000 chips, but the blind structures are warp speed and the fields are small, so the average tournament is complete within three hours. This can be good and bad. It’s good because there is usually another tournament starting right when the previous one finished, and because most people will play a wider range of poker hands due to feeling rushed.
The latter gives you many opportunities to pick them off. You just have to hope your hand holds. Over the long haul, you will be in good shape as long as you’re the one remaining patient and you stick to basic strategy poker rules.
On that point, I was fortunate to take down a turbo tournament at the Cherokee Poker Classic a few years ago. My poker strategy was simple. I knew that everyone would be playing faster because it was a turbo. All these players somehow felt they were at a disadvantage because of the clock, not realizing everyone was playing the same exact structure, which means there was no advantage or disadvantage.
I told myself to take the opposite approach of the field, just like playing aggressive at a tight table or playing tight at an aggressive table. This worked extremely well. You can apply the same tactic at the Flamingo Poker Room.
The poker tournament schedule at the Flamingo Poker Room might change from time to time, but below is what you should generally expect:
10 a.m. $65
1 p.m. $65
4 p.m. $55 – Turbo
6 p.m. $80 – Bounty
9 p.m. $65
12 a.m. $65
The Flamingo Poker Room also has 2 a.m. poker tournaments when the WSOP is in town in the summer. At that time of year, an army of poker players invades Las Vegas and plays all times of day and night.
If you want to make money playing poker and you prefer poker tournaments, the Flamingo Poker Room is one place to do it. The majority of these players don’t apply poker strategy in any logical manner. I have seen some amazing things here. Below are a few examples:
A player open-shoving for 50 BB with QJ-off.
A player calling off all his chips with Ace-high (35 BB).
Player calling a pre-flop 4-bet with 6d 3d (and winning).
A player consistently telling her opponents what she had because she said she always told the truth when she was drunk.
These might be highly intelligent people in the real world, and I mean that sincerely. Despite that potentially being the case, they’re morons as poker players. You always want to play against moronic poker players. It’s +EV (Positive Expected Value).
A huge bonus to playing in the Flamingo Poker Room is that a lot of people who stay at this property are in Las Vegas to drink and see shows. These aren’t poker players. They just decide to give it a whirl. I always think of this crowd as mostly middle-aged and might own a Harley-Davidson at home. I don’t know why I have that image in my mind, but if you have played poker here, you know what I mean.
Another factor that helps the good poker player is that the poker room is right next to the slots. I have seen it happen many times where the slot player stands up and leans over the rail to check out the poker action. They always hesitate a little at first, but then they almost always look up at the waiting list. Before you know it, they have bought in and are looking for action. Their thoughts are: Maybe this is the game where I can become a millionaire! Good luck.
Any poker room that is in or near the casino is going to have a lot more fish. I know this firsthand because Harrah’s Cherokee is my home court. For many years, the poker room was right smack in the middle of the casino. You should have seen the range of people that sat at those tables. You would see anything from the girl who just graduated college and wanted to have some fun to the 90-year old man who could barely see to the grinder—and a lot in-between.
The only other place where I have seen such a wide range is PH (Planet Hollywood), which is also because the poker room is right smack in the middle of the casino. Actually, PH has even more fish than Cherokee used to have because the Pleasure Pit is viewable from the poker room, which attracts scores of drunk and drooling men with no game (not referring to poker on that one).
The poker room at Harrah’s Cherokee was eventually moved upstairs as its own private room. What do you think that did to the action? Do you think that girl who just graduated from college is still going to sit down and try her luck? Nope. She’s going to feel intimidated, and she’s never going to enter that room. Harrah’s Cherokee is still one of the softer rooms on the east coast (not the softest), but it’s nothing like it used to be.
The point here is that the Flamingo Poker Room is one of the few poker rooms you will find where it’s in the casino. Even though it’s not in the middle of the casino and is off to the side, it still helps. Slots attract more gamblers than any other game in the house, and slot players love to explore to find their favorite machines. It’s very rare that a slot player will leave one area of the casino unexplored.
This means they will end up seeing the poker room, and some of them will end up playing poker. When you mix that with the touristy players who are in Las Vegas to see shows, you’re in for a treat. Think of this treat as a lollipop in the shape of a dollar sign.
Amenities at the Flamingo Poker Room
I’ll give you the list and then expand on some of them:
11 poker tables
TVs (always playing sports)
The 11 poker tables is a problem based on the size of the room. Despite that not being a lot of tables compared to other Vegas poker rooms, the room itself is small. It’s so small that some of the tables are backed up against walls. This means that if you’re in seats 4, 5, or 6 on several of the tables, it’s going to be a hassle to get up and use the restroom.
Think of it as being in the middle or window seat on a plane and you really need to go. You’re going to have to ask people to get up so you can get by. But, hey, at least they won’t be sleeping (like on a plane).
By the way, the restrooms are not close, as advertised by the Flamingo Poker Room. You have to go through the casino, through the often-crowded lobby, and around a corner, just to find yourself in a not-so-clean restroom.
The $1/hour comps are not very good, especially when there are much better options in town. On the other hand, you’re not there for the comps; you’re there for the fishies.
The cocktail service is sporadic. Sometimes you will wait an hour just to place an order. The positive side is that the Flamingo Poker Room is so small that the cocktail waitress will see you when you raise your hand to place an order.
Flamingo Poker Room Location
The location of the Flamingo Poker Room is absolutely spot-on perfect. I always think of Caesars Palace as the center of the Las Vegas Strip. It’s massive and you feel very alive when in that area. There are constantly people moving in both directions, and you will often find entertainment on the street.
The Flamingo property is nothing like Caesars Palace, but it has an even better location. Caesars Palace is so large that there is no room for variety. On the Flamingo side of the street, you’ve got everything: different casinos, restaurants, outdoor bars, more entertainment, etc. It’s Buzz Town USA. If you walk south, you have Bally’s, Paris (no poker room here), and PH. If you walk north, you have The Linq, Venetian, and Wynn.
Friendly Tip: If it’s late at night and you’re walking south, do not go past Excalibur. I have done it. There aren’t many people out past 2 a.m., and the people who are out are not the type you want to befriend. The lighting is poor, so you will often find yourself in the shadows. I looked over my shoulder many times and made a mental note never to do this again.
If it’s late at night and you’re walking north, don’t go past Encore (attached to Wynn). I have never done it, but I have been told by many people not to walk any further in that direction late at night. If you end up by the Stratosphere at that time, you’re asking for trouble.
On a lighter note, let’s get to the 3/6 FL poker strategy referred to above.
3/6 FL Poker Strategy
It doesn’t matter if it’s 2/4 FL, 3/6 FL, 4/8 FL, or 5/10 FL, there is a certain way to approach Fixed Limit poker games that most people can’t comprehend.
Seven years ago, I was sitting at a NL table at Harrah’s Cherokee and another player mentioned that you couldn’t beat the rake at the 3/6 FL game. I took that as a challenge and played 13 sessions to see if I could deliver a winning record as well as a profit. I ended up going 13-0. That is not an exaggeration. The regs at Harrah’s Cherokee can confirm this—those who are still there.
The basic poker rules say not to play low-stakes limit poker because you can’t beat the rake. A high rake stinks in any and all poker games, but all it means for me is to play fewer poker hands. By playing fewer hands, I’m reducing variance. At the same time, I’m gaining respect from my opponents. When I bet, I mean it. Since you can’t fire big bluffs in limit poker, you better mean it. You can bluff the river when heads-up, but that’s about it.
The only other potential time to bluff is pre-flop when you want to steal some blinds—assuming there has been no action to you. However, you can fire a ton of semi-bluffs. In fact, you want to fire a ton of semi-bluffs.
Have you ever noticed that most winning hands that get to showdown in NL are not top pair? They are usually two pair, trips, a straight, or a flush. In NL, you want to protect your made hand to prevent drawing hands from getting there. In FL, you want to build pots so you win a big pot when your draw hits. This is how you accumulate chips.
If you have top pair and you have several opponents, you’re going to get called. You need to check-call here. I know that sounds crazy, but this is where most poker players get the limit game wrong. There is no sense betting out with top pair because you will likely be raised and your opponents are taking this sucker to the river. Therefore, you’re gambling, especially if you’re up against more than one opponent. You need to think of limit poker as the opposite of NL. If your heads-up, yes, bet with top pair.
Another thing people get wrong in limit poker is that you want your big hands in early position, not late position. Let’s say you wake up with AA UTG. If you raise, nobody has committed anything to the pot (other than the blinds) and will fold to your $6 bet unless they’re very strong (this is how 3/6 players play). If you wake up with AA in late position and three people already called, they already committed $3, so when you raise another $3, they’re not going to fold. Now you’re up against several opponents with AA, which is rarely a good situation.
Generally, in limit poker, if you continue to put yourself in mathematically advantageous situations, you’re going to win, and that’s regardless of a high rake. But you also must consider how many opponents you’re up against in each hand. As far as rake goes, you can combat that by reducing your tips. I’m not saying don’t tip. I always tip. But you can take it down a notch.
Some 3/6 limit games are softer than others, and the 3/6 limit game at the Flamingo Poker Room is one of the softest I have ever seen. A lot will depend on timing, but you’re never going to find a tough table.
Check Flamingo poker room for current schedule.
If you want to put some Benjamins in your pocket, go to the Flamingo Poker Room. You can play 1/2 No Limit, but it’s going to take a while to build your stack. I personally think playing their poker tournaments is going to be more lucrative if you’re there for the day. Plus, how often do you get to play five poker tournaments in one day? If you’re just looking to keep it light and you want to have fun while making some money, you can also play 3/6 Limit.
Flamingo Poker Room – FAQ
Does the Flamingo in Vegas have a poker room?
Yes. the Flamingo in Vegas has a poker room.
How much money do you need to to play poker at the Flamingo?
You can buy-in to the 1/2 NL cash game for $100, but you can also play their daily 4 p.m. poker tournament for $55.
How do you win poker at the Flamingo?
A lot of the players here are reckless and don't know what they're doing. You win here by playing tight ABC poker. Just wait for winning hands. They will usually call.
Does the Flamingo in Vegas have poker tournaments?
Yes. The Flamingo poker room runs tournaments all day and evening.