The north end of the Las Vegas Strip, particularly once you get past the Wynn, isn’t the most exciting place for poker players. Things got a little more interesting on Valentine’s Day, though, when the Sahara Las Vegas unveiled its new poker room. It is the first time poker has been offered at the casino in nine years.

Attention to detail

By all accounts, it is a fairly luxurious space, even if, at just seven tables, it is a bit small. There is a giant 16-foot by 9-foot video screen along one wall, giving players easy viewing of sports. Several other televisions are mounted around the room, as is a William Hill odds board for those who want to place bets on their mobile phones will sitting at the table.

Every table has charging ports and from the reviews on PokerAtlas.com, the chairs are very comfortable. Players can also order food and drink and have it brought to the table.

As for the poker itself, the poker room is open from 10:00am until 2:00am. That it isn’t 24/7 has rankled some players who responded to the poker room on Twitter, but it looks as though 2:00am is just a soft target. If there are games going, the poker room will not close. It is only when there is no action will the staff decide to pack it up for the night.

So far, it sounds like only No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha have been spread, but as the Sahara poker room gains more traffic and interest in other games, it plans on dealing Stud, Fixed-Limit Hold’em, and Mixed Games. Cash games are the norm, but there are $45 and $55 tournaments held daily.

Tables are nine-handed and rake is $4 max. Promos like progressives and “flush frenzy” are in the works.

Praise from an expert

Nolan Dalla, the former World Series of Poker Media Director and all-around Las Vegas poker guru, gave the Sahara poker room high marks on his blog.

One thing he noted was its convenience.

“Free parking and easy access from the garage,” Dalla wrote. “Other casinos charge for parking or require long walks. I was able to get into the parking garage easily (from both Paradise and Las Vegas Blvd.), park on the 4th Floor, and walk to the poker room within 5 minutes.”

He also said that the tableside food service was top-notch:

While I was visiting, a player ordered food inside the room. Imagine that, a cart with a plate and silverware was wheeled up next to the player. So, instead of fast-food garbage brought to tableside, the Sahara offers real food with a wide range of menu items combined from several restaurants. I’m really big on food served at tableside, and this right up there with the Aria (best food service in the city) in terms of poker and dining options.

Dallas also singled out Steven Pique, head of Sahara’s poker operations, with whom Dalla worked on the WSOP Circuit for several years.

“He was always thoroughly professional and knowledgeable,” Dalla said. “His impact on the new room should be both immediate and long-lasting. I’m glad to support Steven, who deserves every bit of success.”

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