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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

Playing with “The Grinder” at Planet Hollywood

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What was previously known as the Aladdin has recently been renovated and is now called Planet Hollywood. The new resort is trendy, modern, hip and cool. I’ve always been a big fan of the vast shopping at the Aladdin, but now I can say that I’m in love with the whole package – especially the brand new poker room!

Planet Hollywood definitely stepped things up a notch when they added brand new tables, with soft beige felt, built-in cup holders, adjustable chairs, automatic shufflers, plasma TV screens and best of all, The Grinder!

That’s right! Michael Mizrachi is the new face of the poker room at Planet Hollywood. In my opinion, they couldn’t have found anyone more pleasing to the eye.

At any rate, I headed over to “The Grinder Poker Tournament” at Planet Hollywood Wednesday night when I got off work. It was perfect timing because the tournament starts at 7 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and I get off at 6 p.m. When I arrived, my eyes immediately darted over to the 1-2 NL Holdem Table where The Grinder was seated and playing with the common folk. He was super talkative, friendly and looked to be having a great time. He was very approachable.

Because I was worried that I’d be late, I had a friend buy me in ahead of time. It was a good thing too, because the tournament was completely full and they had a long list of alternates.

I realized that I was sitting at the same table with all of my friends, so I headed up to the front desk and asked for a different seat card. As it turns out, they gave me Table 6, seat 10 which was the seat directly across from where Mizrachi would be sitting.

Two minutes before the tournament was to begin, The Grinder decided to go all-in blind (in his cash game) and the luck box ended up having pocket kings and took down the pot!!

The Grinder No-Limit Texas Hold-em poker tournament starts promptly at 7 p.m., the buy-in is $50 which gives you $1500 in tournament chips and there is a $10 add-on which gives you another $2500 in tournament chips. Basically everyone starts out with $4000 chips and as an added bonus there is a $300 bounty on The Grinder’s head. Of course it’s a huge benefit if you are seated at his table because you have the chance of winning an extra $300. For the entire first hour, if you are knocked out, you can buy back in.

The tournament structure is pretty average. Blinds start out at 25 – 50 and they go up every 20 minutes. The first break is after an hour and this is when the alternate list goes away.

I would love to tell you all about the wonderful new friendships I forged during this tournament, the witty table banter I shared back and forth with the Grinder, and how I played my best game ever, knocked out The Grinder and scored that $300 bounty, but unfortunately, that’s not what happened. In reality, the 2nd hand of the tournament, I had the small blind special, flopped two pair and was rivered when pocket aces in seat 8 (who limped in by the way) hit his two outer against me. Oh well! That’s poker. I wanted to stomp away and cry like a little girl about my bad beat, but instead I wished everyone well and drowned my sorrows over at the slot machine area for about an hour.

I would definitely check out this tournament again, I was really impressed with the room, the brand new tables, the friendly dealers and the professional management. The eye candy wasn’t bad either. If you are heading to Vegas anytime soon, it’s worth a little detour, and just for the record, I haven’t found a better buffet than the one at Planet Hollywood, so come hungry!

*Photo courtesy of MichaelMizrachi.com*

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