Flamingo Poker Room Review
Dec 17, 2005  
2005 Jason Kirk  

The center of the Las Vegas strip is home to the center of the poker universe, the Bellagio, where all the highest stakes action in town takes place. Most of the players who visit Vegas are more than a little undercapitalized for most of the games at the Bellagio, though, especially those who just play online as a hobby. Such players need poker rooms that cater to their low-limit needs. A quick trip across the street will find just such a room at the Flamingo.

Unlike some of the nearby low-limit competition, the Flamingo poker room has been open for some time. Its 10 tables sit at the front of the southern end of the casino, separated from the slots and pit area only by a railing. It's not an ideal location for the room but things have definitely improved in the last year since some tables were moved and a bank of nearby slot machines was moved away. Smoking is not allowed inside the playing area. One downside to the room is its distance from the bathroom - you have to walk past the hotel registration desk to get to it, which is less than ideal when you've been taking advantage of the poker room's free drinks. The tables have drink holders and are nice but nothing too fancy. The chairs are comfortable enough to play for a few hours at a time.

The room caters strictly to low-limit players. $2-4 limit hold'em is the mainstay game of the Flamingo room, though $4-8 limit hold'em is also spread when there are enough players. At least one table of no-limit hold'em with $1 and $2 blinds usually runs, and on some occasions you'll spot a game of $1-5 spread limit Stud. There is rarely a long wait for a seat, even during the busiest times of day, so anyone mid-Strip looking for a game right away might want to drop in and check out the games.

In addition to the cash games offered, the Flamingo holds tournaments most days of the week. At 10 AM Monday through Friday, a $55 buy-in will get you $1000 in tournament chips and 20 minute blind levels in a no-limit freezeout. At 6 PM Monday through Thursday, as well as on Sundays, the same tournament structure runs for the same buy-in. The tournaments fields are usually very small, and only a handful of players make the money as a result. These tourneys aren't quite as good a deal as those at the Sahara but also aren't as far away for anyone staying on the southern end of the Strip.

The dealers at the Flamingo are pretty good for a small low-limit room. They are much more competent than you'll find at some of the Flamingo's competition, in addition to generally being easy-going and friendly. The management staff is also attentive and friendly, doing their best to accommodate players. They offer a high-hand jackpot that is split up among the top 3 hands hit for every 24-hour period, which can be a nice little bonus if you manage to hit a straight flush. The waitresses at the Flamingo range anywhere from decent to very attentive, but on the whole they're one of the better crews at the low-limit rooms in Vegas.

The games at the Flamingo poker room are usually pretty good, though they attract a handful more players who know what they're doing than some of the other low-limit rooms. A typical table lineup will have two or three players with some skill, three or four tight-passive players, and two or three loose players. The aggression level at some of the tables can actually get pretty high from time to time, but more often than not you'll find yourself facing a pretty passive lineup. Some of the only low-limit games I've played where players will lay a hand down have been at the Flamingo. While your mileage may vary, almost all the games I've ever seen at the Flamingo have been very beatable.

If you're looking for low limits, good service, and a friendly staff when you play poker, give the Flamingo a look the next time you're in Las Vegas.

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