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Don’t Leave Home Without These Poker Apps

Whether you’re in Las Vegas this summer or any other location with multiple poker rooms — think the Los Angeles area, Biloxi, Atlantic City, etc. — Bravo Poker Live is one of those apps you definitely don’t want to leave the home without. And while Bravo is best for cash game information, you’ll want to download Poker Atlas for tournament details.

If you’re floating around the Strip, seeking the best that each Vegas poker room has to offer, you’ll find the Bravo Poker Live app absolutely essential to your quest. The app will tell you pretty much anything you want to know about the games taking place from the Stratosphere to Mandalay Bay and all of the poker rooms small and large in-between.

That’s because almost all of the poker rooms in Vegas use the Bravo software to manage their live games and tournaments, and when seats are filled and tables are opened the information is updated almost instantaneously on the app. Because Bravo has a virtual monopoly on such things it’s the only place to go for the information.

So if you’re looking for a $1-$2 no-limit Texas hold’em game and see that both tables are filled at Bally’s (with 12 players on the wait list), you might find a seat open at Flamingo across the street. You’ll find addresses, phone numbers, emails, poker room managers’ names, room promotions, links to websites — just about everything but the location of the nearest bathrooms. You’ll have to ask for that after you arrive.

The app is particularly useful during summers in Vegas when the action is hopping, and there is a bounty of activity in the two dozen local poker rooms that are part of Bravo. Since there is such a variety of games and often long wait lists because so many players descend on Sin City in June and July, using the app will save you a lot of wasted phone calls or time traveling from poker room to poker room.

You can save your most preferred rooms to favorites to find them easily later on Bravo Poker Live, available on both iOS and Android. I use the favorites feature to scope out the action in Vegas during the World Series of Poker before my trip. I can see what kinds of games and wait lists are forming at the various rooms in the city to get a virtual lay of the land.

If you’re hunting for tournaments, Poker Atlas is your best bet as it organizes tournaments by the hour they begin. So if you’re looking for a quick-and-easy daily tournament in your favored buy-in range, you can scroll through the listings to see which rooms offer them and when. For example, on a recent weekday I examined the listings to find a $365 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tournament at Binion’s Dog Days of Summer series at 11 a.m. and a $100 No-Limit Hold’em tournament beginning at Planet Hollywood at the same time. At 1:30 p.m. Golden Nugget was hosting a $150 NLHE event, while the Daily Deepstack NLHE tournament with a $250 buy-in was beginning at the World Series of Poker 30 minutes later.

Poker Atlas also provides detailed information on each tournament, including buy-in (and how much of that the house keeps), number of starting chips, length of levels, whether there are re-entries, how long breaks are and just about any other pertinent information you might have questions about before you go.

This hour-by-hour feature is particularly useful when things go sour in the tournament you intend to play — if you bust out early you can see where to head next to get into another event.

Poker Atlas provides a list of amenities available at each room. You can, for example, order food at the table at Horseshoe Tunica in Mississippi, or see that Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut, uses automatic shufflers, which helps speed up the action. User reviews of each room lets you see how fellow poker players rate the quality of each facility.

If you’re an avid player, especially if you’re in Vegas during the summer, these apps are integral to making your experience more efficient and — hopefully — profitable.

Johnny Kampis is author of  Vegas or Bust: A Family Man Takes on the Poker Pros.

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