Riviera Poker Room Review

Written by

riviera casino las vegasThe Riviera has seen better days. The casino is over 50 years old, and even though the property has had extensive renovations, the casino floor still looks drab and rundown. Due to the recession, the abandoned construction all around Riviera has left wide areas where there were once casinos. This has hurt the casino’s foot traffic.

While the Riviera Poker Room is well managed, it keeps the poker room from being a serious player. The poker room is in its third location in the past year, which also does not help with player numbers. Outside of special events like the national billiards championship, the Riviera struggles to get any action at all.

Starting about 3pm daily, a single 1/2 No Limit Hold’em game is common. The buyin is $50-$300. A 2/4 fixed limit game is spread from time to time. Three games, barring a special event at Riviera, are about impossible. Riviera spreads only Texas Hold’em in their poker room, as with low numbers they do well to get holdem games up and running, let alone non holdem variants.

Riviera Poker Room Facilities

Drink service and electronic shufflers are about all you get at Riviera. The chairs are old and uncomfortable, the tables are worn, and the only TVs are in the sports book area. The sports book is a close walk, but many seats in the poker room are unable to see the TVs there due to the angle. The bathrooms that were once close to the poker room are now closed. This means it is a long walk to the restroom and players are guaranteed to miss a hand or two when taking a break.

Freebies for Poker Players

Players earn $1 an hour while playing in the Riviera Poker Room. Comps are not placed on a player’s card though. Players must request comps from the poker room manager, which can be used in the hotel, ABC Store, or at food outlets owned by the casino. Players can receive 20% off of hotel by averaging 4 hours a day in play.

Daily Tournaments at the Riviera

Riviera’s poker room offers three scheduled tournaments each day. The times are 11am, 2pm, and 7pm and the buyin is $45+$15. Some tournaments do not have enough entries to start. Those that do are typically 1-2 tables. Players start with 5000 chips. The tournament levels last 20 minutes each. Due to a lack of monitors, it is hard for players to follow the time of the tournament as it is run from the poker manager’s computer.

Getting on the Waiting List

Players may call to get on waitlists or inquire about game availability. Riviera uses the Genesis Bravo System and distributes that data to the Bravo Poker app, so if you download the Bravo Poker app to your smartphone or tablet, you can access all the information on games in running, as well as placing your name onto a waiting list.

Jackpot Deductions and Rake Charges

The Riviera Poker Room rakes 10% up to $4. They also drop a $1 jackpot at $10, and another jackpot drop at $50. This jackpot drop goes to several promotions. There is a $2500 weekly freeroll based on hours. The new week starts at 10am Sunday morning. Players earn double hours between 11am-1pm, 3-5pm, 7-9pm, and 11pm-1am. Players that earn 15 hours will start with 5000 chips.

Players that earn 25 hours will start with 10,000 in chips. For $10, a player may receive an additional 2500 chips. The $10 goes to the dealers as a tip. When the freeroll is down to 10 players, the tournament stops and the players each receive $250. This tournament tends to draw 20-25 players.

Riviera is the only poker room in Las Vegas with a refer a friend program. If a player refers a friend, and the friend plays 3 hours, the referrer will receive $10 and the referred player will receive a $10 food comp. If a player refers three friends in a week, they will receive an additional $20.

There is also a $2000 bad beat jackpot. If a player loses aces full of tens or better to four of a kind or better, the bad beat jackpot is hit. The winner of the hand receives $401. The loser of the hand receives $599. The rest of the table divides $1000. There must be six players dealt in the hand, and the pot must be $40 or more, for the hand to qualify.

Smoke and Noise Level

The poker room at Riviera is not really a poker room. It is an area roped off in the middle of the casino floor. The poker room is smoky when the casino is busy. Riviera is not an especially noisy casino, and the sports book is very small, so there is little noise.

Where to Find the Poker Area

The Riviera Poker Room is located in the middle of the casino floor. If entering from Las Vegas Blvd, the poker room is immediately in front. If arriving by taxi cab or self parking, there is a long walk. After entering the rear entrance of Riviera, the corridor will wind its way to the main casino floor. Once on the casino floor, walk straight ahead across the casino, past the casino cage, and the poker room is to the left of the sports book.