The World Series of Poker is at its halfway point, with most of the premier events scheduled over the next couple of weeks. The One Drop High Rollers tourney, with a buy-in of $111,111, runs on June 26; the $50,000 “Poker Players Championship” begins June 30; the Little One for One Drop with a $1,111 buy-in and unlimited rebuys runs on July 3, and the Main Event starts on July 6.
The action is free to watch, and it’s worth taking a trip over to the big hall just to say you’ve experienced it. But frankly, sitting around watching other people play poker only works for so long. Sooner or later you’re gonna want to grab a drink or get a bite, and there are plenty of deals to be had on the Rio Corner—home to the Rio, Palms and Gold Coast.
On its face, the host casino has the least to offer, but that’s if you don’t consider the ongoing discount for locals (with a Total Rewards card) that gets you 25 percent off food and 50 percent off drinks in most Rio restaurants and bars. There’s also a good daily happy hour with $7 appetizers from 5 to 7 p.m. in Buzio’s.
For drinking, head across the street to the Gold Coast, where beers run about $3.50, and $2 specials are common. Hit the Red Zone bar from 3 to 7 p.m. and again from midnight to 2 a.m. for $1 Coors Light drafts. During the day, get a hot dog from the cart in the sportsbook (till about 5 p.m.). These are Vienna all-beef franks for $1.50, and you can load ‘em up with kraut, onions and relish at no extra charge. There’s also good inexpensive Chinese food at Ping Pang Pong and Noodle Exchange, but the best play at Gold Coast is the Cortez Room. This classic Vegas “value-gourmet” room serves entrees under $25 that come with choice of soup or salad, potato, and fresh bread. Prime rib is the specialty, with a trio of cuts for $16, $20, and $25 for a 22-ounce bone-in monster that everyone turns to look at when it’s delivered. The Cortez Room also has one of the best daily happy hours in town, with all appetizers half price from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Palms is known for its high-end offerings, but good specials are always running in the 24/7 Café, including a $7.99 prime rib or $4.99 ham & eggs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and a $7.99 New York steak & eggs or $5.99 cheeseburger & fries from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Or hit the food court for Nathan’s hot dogs, La Famiglia pizza, the Earl of Sandwich or the just-opened Chronic Tacos. Simon at the adjacent Palms Place has a weekday happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. with $7 sushi specials.
Best of all, these deals will all still be there after the WSOP dealin’s done.