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Las Vegas Poker - Rio Hotel Casino Las Vegas - poker room review

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No-Limit Holdem: Yes
$100 min / $300 max Buy-in.
2/5 Blinds.
Rake: 10% / $4 max.

Stud: No
No regular stud game, but will spread if interest list large enough.

Omaha: No
No regular Omaha game, but will spread if interest list large enough.

Tournaments: Yes

Total Rating: 2.90

Room Quality Rating: 3
Overall? The Rio poker room is a little disappointing. For a hotel that will host the WSOP in 2005, the new poker room is a gutless showing. My expectations were not met, but my expectations were not that high. I was just hoping for something with a little more quality, and a little more style.

The Rio poker room occupies a portion of the Rio sports book. There is a 4 foot high wall that separates the poker room from the book. The big advantage of this location is watching sports. There are several big screen televisions and many smaller tv's easily visible from the poker tables.

The poker tables are new, but are only average quality. Also, only two or three of the tables have auto-shufflers. Each player space has a drink holder. The chairs are also new poker room style chairs of average comfort.

Because the poker room is located within the sports book area all cell phone use is prohibited, whether seated at a table, in a hand, or just standing around the room (in Nevada, it's illegal to use cellphones in a sports book to prevent communicating point spreads posted on the board).

The Rio poker room is of average quality, but on the night I visited it was in poor condition. There were empty bottles littering the management desk area (perhaps 30 to 40 empty glasses and bottles scattered around – really trashed). Also, there was some type of human hair all over the poker table I was at. Literally hundreds of little hairs that looked like eyelashes. Totally disgusting. I had to ask the dealer to call over a “brush” to literally brush off the table.

Competition Rating: 3
The competition is average. The players seem to be older than average, with few players in their 20s. Definitely not the superabundance of kids that inhabit most of the larger Vegas card rooms these days. Most of the players I encountered were playing at the Rio poker room because they were staying at the Rio hotel. I suspect that this will be the trend, at least until the Rio itself becomes a tourist attraction because of the WSOP.

Dealer Rating: 4
Dealers were friendly, and there were very few mis-deals. Above average.

Cocktail Rating: 3
The Rio cocktail waitresses are smoke'n hot. The female waitresses that is. You see, the Rio hotel has had a reputation for good look'n ladies for years, and the reputation is still justified. However, these days there's a little twist.

I saw something on my last trip to the Rio that I've never seen in my life – a MALE cocktail waitress. Yep, that's right, a man walking around the casino with a tray taking drink requests (um, I guess that makes him a cocktail 'waiter'). I think the Rio is employing men as cocktail waitresses because of the Chippendales show held nightly at the hotel. I guess some ladies may find this sort of thing attractive. I don't like the idea of a dude bringing my drinks, but if the numbers work out, and male cocktail waitresses attract business, then that's fine. Money talks. Fortunately, there were only hot women serving drinks to poker players.

Although the women are hot, the drink service is slow. I was only getting one drink every 30 to 45 minutes. There was one waitress working the entire 10 table poker room. This might be okay when the room isn't full, but when there are 100 players in the poker room, one woman can't bring the drinks fast enough.

Also, I have to mention that the Rio serves genuine Red Bull in the can (if requested). This is rare. I live on Red Bull, so I love it.

Overall: The ladies are hot, but the service is slow.

Management Rating: 1
The Rio poker room management is definitely the biggest let down. I don't know which circus the Rio hired these monkeys from, but they definitely have not been trained properly.

First of all, list management was terrible. There is no podium or clearly marked area for signing up for a game. The list manager works behind the same desk where chips are bought, which would be fine – if the manager actually managed the list. I walked up and literally stood at the desk for 10 minutes before being acknowledged. There was a huge group of waiting players standing around the desk. A good list manager tells waiting players to back away from the desk after their names are on the list, so new players (like me) can get their names down. The manager was also not very good about calling names and directing them to the proper table. After my name was called, I had to ask him three times which table I was at, and twice he gave me the wrong answer. These type of screw ups do not make me happy.

Second, the list was 20 to 30 players long for both the 2/4 and 4/8 games. This is fine too, except when there are THREE poker tables WITHOUT DEALERS. How the hell does a poker room expect so many players to wait around without finding dealers to work the tables? If you can't tell, this really bothered me. I can handle a long list, but not when 30% of the tables are not even being used. Very poor resource allocation.

But here's the worst part. The same list manager that couldn't keep his players in order also couldn't count chips. Not only did he try to short the player who cashed in ahead of me by $20 (thinking $247 in chips was only $227), he also thought my $140 was only $120. Here's a lesson – ALWAYS count your own chips before you cash out.

Overall? The Rio's poker room management was terrible.

Comps Rating: 3
Poker players at the Rio can earn $1 per hour, up to $8 per day. This is the only comp I am aware of at this time.

WSOP $10,000 Buy-in Main Event Begins Today.
Summary:The World Series of Poker main event begins today. There will be more than 6,000 players in the tournament, creating a prize pool of over $60 million. If you’re coming to Vegas during the next week, you should stop by the Rio to check out the action.

2005 World Series of Poker Begins Today at Rio Hotel!
Summary:The 2005 WSOP is being held at a new home, the Rio Hotel. It also expects to attract more players than any WSOP in history.

New Rio Poker Room Las Vegas Not Very Impressive
Summary:The short version of my opinion about the Rio poker room? I'm not impressed.

Rio Las Vegas Poker Room Opens with Daily Poker Tournaments, No Limit Holdem and 10 poker tables.
Summary:The Rio Hotel opens a brand new poker room just in time for the new year.

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Rio Poker Room Player Reviews

Summary of Player Reviews:
Overall: 2.86
Room Quality: 2.33
Competition: 2.56
Dealer Rating: 4.11
Cocktail Rating: 3.67
Management Rating: 3.67
Comps Rating: 2.67

Better than expected (from the previous reviews)
By: rsleeds 03/07/06
Total Rating: 3.35

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. .But. you'll be surprised.
By: shaq_daddy 01/05/06
Total Rating: 2.60

Below expectations, but still a nice room
By: LasVegasMichael 11/02/05
Total Rating: 3.00

Not worth the trip, RIO guests only
By: slow_turtle 10/26/05
Total Rating: 3.05

Rio The Home of The World Series of Poker
By: DChipLeader7 10/26/05
Total Rating: 3.35

poker room at the rio
By: jjojr72 09/09/05
Total Rating: 1.95

Playing at the WSOP (Satellite)
By: 711buddha 06/26/05
Total Rating: 2.35

Well run tournaments, little ambience/atmosphere...
By: ferretinns 06/08/05
Total Rating: 2.70

Not Too Thrilled...
By: mactionY2K5 02/26/05
Total Rating: 3.40

Trip Reports About Rio Poker Room

Stayed and played at Monte Carlo
01/25/06, Player: Shane
For Rooms: Bellagio,Harrah's,Imperial Palace,MGM Grand,Monte Carlo,Rio,

Spring Break '06---Poker 2/4, 4/8 style....
03/20/06, Player: GUPrinceChaz
For Rooms: Binion's,Mandalay Bay,Plaza,Rio,

nephew turning 21
03/29/06, Player: flipside
For Rooms: Caesars Palace,MGM Grand,Paris,Rio,

9 days and 8 nights with my family in Vegas
04/23/06, Player: scotty blue
For Rooms: Gold Coast,Hooters,Orleans,Rio,Treasure Island (TI),Wynn,

3 days, 3 small buy-in tourneys
05/09/06, Player: cdreef
For Rooms: Imperial Palace,Plaza,Rio,

Memorial Day WE until Thurs 5/28-6/1
06/02/06, Player: rflush
For Rooms: Hooters,Paris,Rio,Venetian,

Fun at low limits and finding my inner 'nit' 5/21 - 5/25
06/09/06, Player: swede
For Rooms: Bellagio,Binion's,Circus Circus,Flamingo,Golden Nugget,Harrah's,Imperial Palace,Mirage,O'Shea's,Rio,Riviera,Stardust,Treasure Island (TI),Wynn,

Last update: 09 June 2021

Author: Alex Ramos

Alex Ramos

Author Bio: Alex Ramos is a casino specialist that reviews online gambling sites and games. A professional and independent blogger not linked to any casino corporate media or association. Alex dedicates its career for online casinos and online entertainment. He is graduated in Computing Science and is working in the online gambling industry since 1997.

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