Ivey And Brunson Lament Decline Of Las Vegas "Big Game"January 26, 2011 10:06 am
According to Phil Ivey and Doyle Brunson the high-stakes poker cash game scene in Las Vegas has started drying up, with even the celebrated “Big Game” held at Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio casino in decline..
In a sign of the times, Las Vegas casinos which once held regular juicy high-limit games have now seen their numbers dwindle dramatically, with Phil Ivey telling PokerListings:
“There’s still games in Vegas. Just not as many as there used to be. Four or five years ago you could count on there being a game four or five nights a week. Now there’s probably a game one or two nights.”
The “Big Game” at Bobby’s Room is the most famous of all Vegas’ high-stakes cash games, in which players usually buy-in for around $200k or $300k and play at stakes as high as $4000/$8000. However, Ivey believes the “Big Game” hasn’t really recovered since the untimely death of Chip Reese, who was considered the linchpin of the high-stakes game. As Ivey further elaborates:
“Once Chip Reese died it was pretty much over…there’s really no big game [in Las Vegas] anymore, except for during the World Series or when a tournament is in town or something like that.”
Poker legend Doyle Brunson, too, seems dissatisfied with the amount of high-stakes action going on in his hometown and even mentioned in his blog that Vegas is fast becoming an undesirable place for a poker pro to live. The factors which Brunson cites as main contributors to the “Big Games” downfall include the economy, world wide tournaments and internet poker.
However, as one door closes so another opens with both Ivey and Brunson saying they would consider moving out to California at some stage in the future. Doyle resignedly acknowledges that at least a few mid-level games are still played regularly in the state, whereas the Californian born Ivey paints a far rosier picture of a possibile move.
“I do love California, so if they start playing big out there, that’s where I’ll be…I guess there’s always going to be a time for change, and I don’t know what lies ahead in the future. We’ll have to see,” said Ivey.