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Card Player Poker Tour: Question And Answer with Kathy Raymond, Executive Director of Poker Operations For The Venetian And Palazzo

Raymond Talks About Ongoing Deep Stack Extravaganza


The Card Player Poker Tour has partnered with The Venetian and The Palazzo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for this summer’s Deepstack Extravaganza III. The stop consists of more than 200 events from May 23 to July 21, the centerpiece of which will be the $5,000 buy-in main event, to be streamed live on

The Venetian is one of Las Vegas premier poker rooms and offers something for every poker player. Card Player sat down with Kathy Raymond, Executive Director of Poker Operations for The Venetian/Palazzo, to learn more about the tournament series and highlights of the poker room, which was recently renovated.

Q: What is the history of Deepstacks at Venetian and your involvement in bringing this tournament to Venetian?

A: The Deep Stack Extravaganza was initiated in February of 2007 and was a result of player input. Between 2002 and 2007 players were becoming much more skilled at tournament poker utilizing coaches, books, seminars, etc. to hone their tournament skills. The typical tournament in 2007 weighed heavily on luck with short starting stacks and quickly escalating blind levels. With the introduction of the Deepstack concept we were able to integrate a heightened skill level into the equation of tournament play. The tournament concept was received with tremendous enthusiasm from player and became an instant success. Since that time the concept has spread around the globe venues offering deep stack tournaments including the World Series of Poker. We are extremely proud of this contribution to the industry and to poker players around the world.

Q: Over the years, how many events have you run and why is this such a great value for poker players?

We began the DSE series with two tournament festivals in 2007 and over the next five years, responding to popular demand, have increase the series to encompass five separate festivals a year. In 2013 we are holding events in February, April, May thru July. September and November. We have accommodated over 1,000 players in a single tournament and popularity is as strong as ever. The buy-ins to our numerous events range from $200 to $5,000. The types of tournaments satisfy every player’s appetite including no limit, limit, stud, razz, PLO, bounties, survivors and six-handed events. These events are in the luxurious atmosphere of the Venetian/Palazzo and are manned by some of the most talented dealers, floor staff and support personnel in the industry.

Q: What type of comps and other added value promotions do you supply tournament and cash game players during the Deepstack events and year-round?

All tournament players entering any DSE events with buy-ins of $400 or more are entitled to a choice of a $10 food comp or logo merchandise including hats, shirts, jackets, iPad covers, fanny packs, etc. Table side food service supplied by Grand Lux Café, self-service coffee stations, complimentary beverage service featuring Fiji water, cocktails, juices and energy drinks are some of the amenities offered to our players. Comp points earned in cash play can be used toward the buy-ins of tournaments affording our players an even better value. Players can now also view their own personal tournament clock on the Bravo app including blind level, time left, number of players, etc. The Sands Poker Room is one of the only venues that offer automatic shufflers on every tournament table. Special hotel rates are offered to tournament players during our Deepstack events. We are now offering cash game play from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily in the Palazzo tournament area for the convenience of our tournament players.

Q: Beyond tournaments, Venetian is making a name for itself as the premier place to play live cash games in Las Vegas. Can you tell our readers about the games that make Venetian a great place to play cash?

Cash game play at the Sands Poker Room is always exciting. Game types include mo limit, limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, Omaha eight-or-better and Open Face Chinese Poker. All games offer $2 per hour in comps which can be used for table-side food service from Grand Lux Café as well as the multitude of various restaurants in Venetian and Palazzo. Self-service coffee stations and complimentary beverage are always available. Comps can also be redeemed for tournament buy-ins in both our daily and DSE tournaments. We provide two electrical outlets at each seat of our cash games for players to recharge their electrical devices. Comfortable chairs at our 59 tables in the Sands Poker Room situated in our 14,000 square area offer spacious offers spaciousness and luxury. Thirty five large screen plasma televisions are located around the room to allow for viewing from every table.

Q: What are some of the games recently added to the live action line up or games that are found at Venetian and nowhere else in Las Vegas?

Some of the games recently added to our live action lineup are higher limit Omaha eight-or-better including $30-$60 and $75-$150. We have also started spreading Open Face Chinese Poker, one of the newest games gaining popularity in the poker world. Our efforts are not geared to consistently spreading limit hold’em at medium to higher stakes. Along with mixed and HORSE games these limit games will enhance our already comprehensive offering of game types.