What do poker players do when the 46th annual World Series of Poker ends on July 14? They find another tournament. Just like any sport, poker tournaments are played all year long. If you love poker and are visiting the U.S. this summer, there are a number of major poker tournaments taking place all across the country.
Below is a list of three of the top poker tournaments for all skill levels taking place in the U.S. this summer.
Bellagio Cup XI: Las Vegas, July 9–15, 2015
The Bellagio Cup Poker Tournament takes place from July 9 to July 15 at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The weeklong tournament kicks off Thursday, July 9 at 12:00 p.m. with the Super Satellite No Limit Hold’em, with a $1,090 buy-in.1
Day one of the five-day-long Bellagio Cup starts Friday, July 10, at 12:00 p.m. with a $10,400 buy-in. Five 90-minute levels are played each day. Day five of the Bellagio Cup takes place on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.
Other highlights of the Bellagio Cup include the Seniors Summer Championship on Monday, July 13. With a 10:00 a.m. start, the Senior Summer Championship has a buy-in of $2,1400. Day two of the three-day event takes place on Tuesday, July 14, with a 10:00 a.m. start; a winner is decided on Wednesday, July 15 (10:00 a.m. start).
There are also five single-day events:
- Thursday, July 9: 10 players (two winners), 9:00 a.m. start with a $240.00 buy-in
- Friday, July 10: 10 players (one winner), 9:00 a.m. start with s $1,090 buy-in
- Saturday, July 11: 10 players (one winner), 9:00 a.m. start with a $1,090 buy-in
- Sunday, July 12: 10 players (one winner), 9:00 a.m. start with a $1,090 buy-in
- Monday, July 13: 10 players (one winner), 9:00 a.m. start with a $240.00 buy-in
The Bellagio Poker Room is one of the most popular destinations in Las Vegas for poker aficionados. As one of the stops of the famed World Poker Tour, the 7,000-square-foot Bellagio Poker Room has 40 tables and two high-limit areas. The most prestigious of which is Bobby’s Room, an exclusive two-table enclave named in honour of the 1978 World Series of Poker champion Bobby Baldwin.2
The 100,000-square-foot Bellagio casino features 2,400 slots, 190 table and poker games, and a high-limit lounge. The Bellagio Hotel and Casino has 3,933 guest rooms and suites. If those aren’t to your liking, you may want to stay in one of their 6,500-square-foot, two-bedroom/five-bathroom villas or 8,000-square-foot, three-bedroom/seven-bathroom villas.3
Mid-States Poker Tour: Grand Falls Casino, August 8–16, 2015
If you’re going to be near Sioux Falls, South Dakota this summer, you might want to plan your visit around the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) taking place at the Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort.
The Mid-States Poker Tour (originally called the Minnesota State Poker Tour) is a series of affordable deep stack no-limit hold’em tournaments designed for poker players of all skill levels. Now in its sixth season, the MSPT has grown to more than 20 events a year in states all across the country.4
Over the years, the MSPT has attracted the attention of amateurs and pros alike, including World Series of Poker bracelet winners and former World Series of Poker Main Event champions.
Starting on Saturday, August 8, the series will kick off a weeklong schedule of qualifiers before culminating at the main event on Sunday, August 16.
The Grand Falls Casino held its first MSPT in 2012, when 215 players created a prize pool of $215,000. In August 2014, the $1,100 main event attracted 201 entrants and created a prize pool of $201,000 with tour pro Blake Bohn walking away with $54,607 (from a tournament tally of more than $1.4 million).5
The Grand Falls Casino boasts 900 slot machines, 16 blackjack tables, two pai gow poker tables, three craps tables, three roulette tables, one ultimate Texas hold’em poker room with eight poker tables, a VIP lounge and bar, a high-limit slot area, and a show lounge stage and bar.6
The Falls Golf Course at Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort, designed by the legendary Rees Jones, is now open. The world-class, 18-hole course spans over 7,100 yards and includes a 30-foot waterfall that flows into a 12-acre lake.7
WPTDeepStacks: Reno, August 20–30, 2015
The WPTDeepStacks Poker Tour (DSPT) is the premier mid-major poker tournament in the world. So far this year, nine of the 16 event tour stops have already taken place in locals such as Florida, Malta, Mississippi, Alberta, and California.8
In August, the World Poker Tour makes a stop in Reno, Nevada at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa from August 20 to August 30 with the main event taking place August 28–30. The tournament features a wide array of great events, player-friendly structures, and multi-flight $1,100 buy-in and a $200,000-guaranteed main event.
The 60,000-square-foot Atlantis Casino has 1,500 slot machines, keno, and numerous table games, including blackjack, ultimate Texas hold’em, baccarat, craps, and pai gow progressive. In addition to having one of the best poker rooms in Reno, the Atlantis Casino also has an expanded high-limit area. With three private gaming tables, the area also includes high-limit video poker, high-limit baccarat tables, high-limit blackjack tables, and a high-limit bar with video poker progressive.9
After a day spent winning in the casino, you can stay in one of the 824 guest rooms and Jacuzzi suites, spend some quality time in Spa Atlantis, or sit down at one of the 19 dining destinations.10
But what happens if you’re a tourist from outside of the U.S. and you happen to win big while gambling during one of the famous poker tournaments?
Poker Tournament Winnings Subject to 30% Withholding Tax
If you’re travelling to the U.S. and take part in a poker tournament or win playing almost any other game, you need to keep in mind that residents of foreign countries without a U.S. tax treaty will be subject to a 30% withholding tax.
Countries that do not have a U.S. tax treaty with the U.S. include Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and UAE.
That means that if you reside in any of these countries and win a substantial amount when gambling while visiting the U.S., your winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax. If you’re from Malta, you get a little break: your gambling winnings are taxed at just 10%.
Having said that, there’s a way to get this money back…
RMS Is the Easiest, Fastest Way to Get Your Money Back
If you’ve been to the U.S. and had 30% of your poker winnings held back by the IRS, Refund Management Services (RMS) can help you reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings. We know how to get the tax back from your U.S. gambling winnings.
Founded by a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1998, RMS is the most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider for Canadian and non-U.S. residents. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest. Your refund cheque gets mailed out to you as soon as your refund is approved. We’ve never been refused an eligible refund. Contact us today!
1. “Bellagio Cup XI,” Bellagio web site; http://www.bellagio.com/files/casino/bellagio_cup_XI.pdf, last accessed June 25, 2015.
2. “Poker Room,” Bellagio web site; https://www.bellagio.com/casino/poker-room.aspx, last accessed June 25, 2015.
3. “Casino,” Bellagio web site; http://www.bellagio.com/casino/default.aspx, last accessed June 25, 2015.
4. “About MSPT,” Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) web site; http://msptpoker.com/Pages/About.aspx, last accessed June 25, 2015.
5. Nuwwarah, M., “Blake Bohn Wins 2014 Mid-States Poker Tour Grand Falls Casino for $54,607,” Poker News web site, August 18, 2014; http://www.pokernews.com/news/2014/08/blake-bohn-wins-2014-mspt-grand-falls-19049.htm?style=2.
6. “Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort,” Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort web site; http://www.grandfallscasinoresort.com/casino/default.html, last accessed June 25, 2015.
7. “The Falls,” Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort web site; http://www.grandfallsresort.com/default.html, last accessed June 25, 2015.
8. “Season 2 Schedule,” WPT Deep Stacks web site; http://www.wptdeepstacks.com/index.php/schedule, last accessed June 25, 2015.
9. “Atlantis Casino,” Atlantis Casino web site; https://www.atlantiscasino.com/casino, last accessed June 25, 2015.
10. “Hotel Overview,” Atlantis Casino web site; https://www.atlantiscasino.com/resort, last accessed June 25, 2015.