March Madness kicks off this week with the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship starting Thursday night.
If you can’t attend a game live and in-person, the next best thing would have to be watching the action live from Las Vegas, Nevada. Particularly because it’s the only place in the country where you can legally get in on all of the action right now.
Of course, that’s all set to change by tournament time next year with New Jersey challenging the federal ban on sports betting at the US Supreme Court level. But for now, there are few better places to post up during the Madness than a Las Vegas casino.
Obviously, Las Vegas casino sportsbooks offer some of the best seats in the house. However, those who like to grind while they gamble on the games might find an even better one in the poker room. In fact, there are a few Las Vegas poker rooms that sit in close proximity to the property’s sportsbooks, making them the best places to play poker and watch the games simultaneously at tournament time.
Here’s our list of the top four places to play poker in Las Vegas during March Madness. Plus, a few reasons why each made the list this year:
Just a block off the Las Vegas Strip, the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino (formerly known as the LVH– Las Vegas Hotel & Casino) is home to Las Vegas’ best sportsbook by a country mile.
In fact, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook is considered the world’s largest race and sports book. It features the world’s largest indoor LED video wall at 240 feet wide and 20 feet tall. Plus, there’s a bar inside the sportsbook with video poker and a food court right behind it.
After a two-year hiatus, poker was brought back to the Westgate in the summer of 2017. A modest six-table room opened where the sportsbook’s fan cave once stood. That means the Westgate poker room is practically inside the famous Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
The action is on the low-limit side, with a $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em game probably the biggest you’ll find. However, it’s bound to heat up during tournament time. Plus, there’s probably no better poker room/sportsbook combination around where you can book room for under $120 a night.
The Bellagio poker room is perhaps the most famous in Las Vegas.
The 40-table room regularly hosts World Poker Tour events. Plus, some of the best players on the planet play in some of the biggest games in the world inside the legendary Bobby’s Room in the back.
No-Limit Hold’em action ranges from $1/$2 blinds to $10/$20 and higher. Plus, it’s one of the few rooms on the Las Vegas Strip where you’ll find decent mixed game action and all kids of games other than Hold’em are spread.
There’s eight 32-inch television monitors and eleven 42-inch plasma TV screens spread around the room to watch games on. Plus, the property’s 5,600 square-foot sportsbook is right beside the poker room.
The book boasts 99 individual racing monitors, seven big screens for racing, six large screens for sports, 38 sports bar flat screens plus other screens in strategic spots throughout. Plus, there’s a lounge area with leather seats and cocktail service.
A room this weekend will probably run you upwards of $250 per night. However, you might be able to find a poker room rate by calling ahead.
A 2014 renovation saw Caesars Palace move its poker room from a hidden space in the back to a spot on the gaming floor right beside its sportsbook.
The 4,500-square-foot casino poker room features 16 tables with free upgraded Wi-Fi and USB charging ports at each seat. The action is going 24 hours a day at a variety of stakes and is sure to heat up during March Madness.
The Caesars sportsbook itself is a sight to see and one need only take a single step out of the room for a clear view.
There are six 12-foot by 15-foot screens, a 20-foot by 50-foot LED board and twelve 50-inch plasma screens for game viewing. Plus, there are 12-inch flat screens at every table and a bar with its own variety of screens.
Additionally, the Forum Food Court is just a stone’s throw from both the poker room and sportsbook.
The sportsbook has 140 seats and 65 private booths for when you want to take a break from poker. However, you may have to pay to reserve a seat.
Rooms are going for upwards of $180 a night during March Madness opening weekend.
Wynn Las Vegas
True high rollers, or those who like to feel like one, will probably enjoy the March Madness/Las Vegas poker experience best at Wynn Las Vegas.
Wynn Las Vegas moved poker operations into a new luxurious 8,600-square foot locale across from the Encore Players Club in 2016.
The room features 28 tables, including a four-table high-stakes area, and its full of high-end amenities. There are thirty-seven 65-inch high-definition televisions for game watching and plenty of places close by to get in on the action.
The Encore Race and Sports Book is just across the way. There’s a sports-betting window in the poker room. Plus, it’s not too far a walk to the Wynn Race and Sports Book and its 1,600-square-foot wraparound LED video screen.
It’s going to cost you upwards of $287 per night to book a room at the Wynn this weekend, but a five-star luxury experience awaits those willing to pay for it.
Lead image courtesy of the Westgate.