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The Rio During the WSOP

The Rio during the WSOP
by Chad Holloway of

When it comes to premiere poker, the World Series of Poker takes the cake. The numerous events in the different variations of poker bring people by the thousands from around the world. These tournaments become poker lore through numerous broadcasts on television and extensive online coverage. However, there is one part of the WSOP that does not harness the attention of the mainstream media, and that is the cash games.

The cash games that are spread at the Rio throughout the WSOP are nothing less than spectacular. WSOP officials set aside approximately 50 tables (they'll add more if needed) for cash games that are spread 24 hours a day. Almost every variation of poker can be found at almost any limits.

Some of the regular games spread during the WSOP include No Limit Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha Eight or Better, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Mixed Games, Chinese Poker, H.O.R.S.E., along with many more.

The stakes are as varied as the games, the cheapest being the $2- $5 No Limit Hold'em tables and the highest . . . well there isn't a limit since the Rio will spread any game at any limit if enough players are interested. Games such as $200-$400 Mixed Games, $100 a point Chinese Poker, and $100-$200 Stud are a daily occurrence.

On top of the excellent game and stake selection, the Rio offers the chance for players to play against some of the most recognizable names in the poker world. Players such as Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker, Jerry Yang, Teddy "Iceman" Monroe, and Robert Williamson III could be seen playing various cash games at the 2009 WSOP.

Afraid you can't afford their stakes? You may be excited to know that Raymer was playing $2-$5 No Limit, while Moneymaker and Yang were found at the $5-$10 No Limit tables, making it affordable for the average Joe to sit and play with a World Champion.

There are some other specifics regarding cash games at the Rio during the WSOP that make a visit worthwhile. Although the rake is a bit higher than other casinos at $5 a hand, it is well worth it considering the speed of the dealers (there are no automatic shufflers in the cash games) and the other amenities offered. These amenities include offering a massage service at $2 per minute and free drink service (this includes free alcohol, Red Bull, water, etc).

Second, the experience of playing at the WSOP, whether in a tournament or in a cash game, is second to none. Being able to play with or near some of the biggest names in poker will make any amateur feel like a pro.

Finally, the competition in the WSOP cash games is easier than you might think. Many tournament players venture into the cash arena in between tournaments and tend to lose a bit while others at the tables are merely tourists looking to have a good time. These table dynamics are enough to make any serious poker player's mouth water.

Trying to capture the magic and wonder that surrounds the WSOP is not an easy task; in fact, the only real way to really understand its mystique is to experience it for yourself. Whether you are a cash game specialist or a tournament player, the next time you are in Vegas between the months of May and July, the Rio is the place to go for the highest quality poker action.

If you can't get to Vegas, a great place to play online (you can deposit using your credit card) is Players Only.


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